Unova Red

July 28, 2022

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It's the original Pokemon Red, but with the Unova Pokemon instead of the Kanto Pokemon. No other real changes.
  • Really fun concept, loved playing the originals with a different cast of Pokemon.
  • Offers a challenge mode patch to add some difficulty.
  • No ease of use additions to Gen I, so you are getting the Red/Blue experience, warts and all.
4.5/5 Stars


What if the original Pokemon games had the 156 Pokemon from Unova instead of the 151 from Kanto? That's the idea of this ROM hack. Unova Pokemon are the only ones available in the game, with extra overworld legendary encounters since there are so many more legendary Pokemon. The Dark and Steel types are added, but the game still uses Red/Blue mechanics (Ghost is special and Dark is Physical though). No real modernization added, just sticking with the "this was the alternate universe original pokedex" concept. There's also a Challenge Mode Patch that restricts what items you can use in battle and strengthens enemy trainer teams.

Major Features

  • Pokedex swapped out for Gen V. No Gen I Pokemon exist in game and every single Gen V Pokemon is available.
  • Some new moves so the Dark and Steel Pokemon will have STAB moves.
  • All trade and friendship evolutions changed to involve items or level ups.
  • Some evolutions changed to be at a lower level due to the gen I level curve.
  • Challenge Mode ROM that increases trainer levels and forces SET battle style. Healing items cannot be used in battle except Max Revives and Full Restores, which are not purchasable. Status healing and PP restoring items can be used as well.
  • Ghost is now special type and Dark is physical unlike it is in Gen II.
  • More overworld legendary encounters.

What is it?

I love the concept for this hack. Playing through Gen I, but with the Unova Pokemon really changes up the game. Doing the original story and locations and gyms, but with a different set of Pokemon changes the experience entirely.  I played on the challenge mode and while there was some challenge to it, I didn't find it too hard outside of being stuck on Lance for a bit. The number of legendaries in Gen V means a few have to be added in slightly weird places, but I think it works well overall.

If you don't have the patience to deal with Gen I mechanics — the small bag, box management, type-based physical and special divide, etc. — then you may not be interested in this one. I appreciated the dedication to the concept of "Gen I, but with new Pokemon" a lot since the available Pokemon completely changes how you play a given game. I'd like to see more ROM hacks take the conceptual simplicity of just swapping out the Pokedex, even though I'm guessing that's harder in reality than a lot of other modifications you could make.

Unova Red Title ScreenUnova Red Battle