Saffron City is either the eighth or ninth town that trainers encounter in the Kanto region. This is dependent on whether the trainer goes to Saffron or Fuchsia City first. Saffron City has 34 buildings, making it the largest city in all of Kanto. However, only 8 of the buildings have entrances. Saffron City also has a robust population, though the population is not quite as high as Celadon City (unless the Team Rocket members in the Silph Co. are included in the total). The town’s motto is “Shining, Golden Land of Commerce.”
The Pokecenter and Pokemart are both back as usual. The Pokemart does have new stock, in the form of Max Repels and Hyper Potions, which block wild Pokemon for 250 steps, and heal Pokemon for 200 hit points respectively. The Pokecenter is in the southwest corner of town, while the Pokemart is in the northeast corner.
In the southeast corner of town is a building that can be entered. This is Mr. Psychic’s house, and he will give you the powerful Psychic TM if you talk to him. Psychic is the most powerful Psychic-type move in the first generation and is a welcome addition to the move set of any Pokemon that can learn it. Choose who to teach it to wisely though, as this is the only copy of the TM available.
There is another building in the northwest corner of town that can be entered. This is Copycat’s house, and she gives another TM if you give her a Poke Doll. This can be purchased in the department store in Celadon City. The TM is for Mimic, which copies the move that the opponent’s Pokemon used last in battle. The move reverts back to Mimic after the battle ends, or the Pokemon who used Mimic is switched out. This causes Mimic’s uses to be relatively limited, and highly situational.
The building in the left center of town can be entered, but the only important thing there is that one of the characters inside says he plans to get a Poke Doll for Copycat, which is a clue to on how to get the TM mentioned above.
In the center of town is the most noticeable building in Saffron City: the Silph Company Headquarters. This building, however, cannot be entered until the trainer has defeated Erika in Celadon City. This is a massive office building that has been taken over by Team Rocket. Inside are a large number of Team Rocket members who have seized control of the building in order to control Pokemon around the world. The building is a maze that is navigated through the use of teleportation pads and the elevator to move between floors. The maze is too complicated to be described in this article, however, so for more information visit a website that has a walkthrough for Pokemon. At the second to the last floor of the tower are two important notes. The first is that the trainer’s rival is here, and he will initiate a duel with the trainer. After defeating him, there is a scientist in the same room that can be talked to. This scientist will give the trainer a Lapras if there is an empty space in the trainer’s party. This is the only Lapras in the original Pokemon Red and Blue. After these two events, there is one final teleportation pad that leads to one last Team Rocket Grunt and Giovanni. Giovanni has a relatively strong team, and thus can be difficult to beat, particularly after the rival battle. After defeating Giovanni, the trainer can talk to the president of Silph Company, who will give the trainer the Master Ball. This ball will capture any Pokemon without failing. It is highly recommended that the trainer save the Master Ball until the very end of the journey, and use it on the Mewtwo that is in the Unknown Dungeon.
Another noteworthy point about Saffron City is that there are two Pokemon gyms. However, one of them is not an official gym with a badge, while one of them is. The “gym” on the left is the Fighting Dojo, where all the trainers inside use Fighting-type Pokemon. There are only five trainers here, and they are in a very simple formation down the middle of the dojo. After defeating the trainers here, the trainer has the option to pick one Pokemon from the two that are available here. They are Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan (who are obvious references to Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan). These Pokemon are both Fighting-types. Both of them are decent Pokemon, though Hitmonchan is arguably better. He learns the three elemental punches, Ice Punch, Fire Punch and Thunder Punch. Although his special stat is very lacking, these moves provide good coverage.
The second gym on the right side is the official gym, which utilizes the Psychic-type. Note that this gym is actually the sixth gym in the Kanto region, and the one in Fuchsia City is actually the fifth gym. Psychic-type Pokemon are ridiculously strong in the first generation, so this gym can be very difficult. If this gym proves too difficult, it is recommended that trainers go complete Fuchsia City if they have not already done so. Due to the small variety of Pokemon that are Psychic type in the first generation, some of the trainers in this gym use the Ghost type Pokemon Gastly and Haunter. The gym is navigated similarly to the Silph Co., in that it is a maze of teleportation pads. It is not as much of a maze though, as the gym is simply 9 rooms with 4 teleportation pads in each (except for the first and last rooms, which have 1 each). The pads can be easily navigated by simply using the one above or below the trainer when he reaches a new room. If the trainer comes in on the top pad, he needs to go to the pad below him, and vice versa if he comes in on the bottom pad. After reaching the end, the trainer duels Sabrina. She has a Kadabra, Mr. Mime, Venomoth, and an Alakazam. Her team is ridiculously difficult if the trainer is not prepared. Half of her team has access to Recover, which heals them for half of their life, and can hit extremely hard with Psychic-type moves. This battle is mostly about simply attacking faster than her Pokemon. Inflicting the paralysis status on her Pokemon is a very effective strategy for defeating her.
Saffron City is a town of business and technology, as well as the supernatural. The Silph Company represents the world of technology, while the Psychic powers of Mr. Psychic and Sabrina represent the supernatural. The city is a conglomeration of two very different worlds, and is a thriving metropolis despite this clash of worlds.
This article focuses primarily on the aspects of Saffron City in Pokemon Red and Blue. To learn more about Saffron City, visit the following website: