Pokemon Radical Red (GBA): Full In-Depth Review
This post was last updated on February 1, 2023
If you keep up with the ever-expanding and changing Pokémon community, you’ve probably heard of the incredibly popular ROM hack called Pokémon Radical Red. The original Pokémon games provide hours of endless entertainment—but fan-made ROM hacks take them to a whole new level. So, how does Radical Red compare to Pokémon FireRed, and what should you know before jumping into it?
What Is Pokémon Radical Red?
Pokémon Radical Red is a game that the Pokémon fanbase created to build on Pokémon FireRed. Most players can beat the original games without paying too close attention to their stats, techniques, and skill. However, this difficulty hack offers the ultimate challenge for only the most daring trainers, with every Pokémon character from the first eight generations in the Kanto region.
Many avid gamers will play and replay FireRed until they can beat it with their eyes closed. Pokémon Radical Red brings the game back to life and gives it a fresh feel. The fun doesn’t have to end!
Radical Red is by no means the only available Pokémon game hack. If you’re interested in others, check out our list of the best Pokémon fan games.
How Is Radical Red Similar to FireRed?
If you’re new to Pokémon Radical Red, you may wonder, “Is it anything like FireRed?” The answer is both yes and no. Although it strays from the mainline game in many ways, the game draws several parallels with its predecessor.
The main thing to know is that Pokémon Radical Red doesn’t create a new storyline. If you’ve played Pokémon FireRed, you’ll recognize the story immediately and won’t have to spend hours sifting through walkthroughs and tutorials. It might help to think of the ROM hack as FireRed with more level caps rather than an entirely new game.
As you move through the story, you’ll have plenty of thrilling adventures, dangerous encounters, and opportunities to collect and upgrade Pokémon. The gameplay includes:
- Meeting your good friend Professor Oak to get the first Pokémon
- Battling gym leaders to earn badges
- Fighting Team Rocket members
- Challenging the top trainers in Kanto
How Is This ROM Hack Different from FireRed?
If we stopped at the storyline, then yes—Pokémon Radical Red is just a cheap copy of a long-outdated original game. The story is pretty much the only similarity between this difficulty hack and Pokémon FireRed. After that, the community-made game offers an entirely new experience with an advanced map and EV training areas to make it more absorbing.
Difficulty Hack of FireRed
Shortly after installing Radical Red, you’ll notice it’s significantly more challenging than its predecessor. That’s not a knock against FireRed—it had its challenges for first-time players. However, this ROM game takes the difficulty level up a notch.
Pokémon Radical Red can be tough for gamers who have never branched out from the regular games. If you have no experience with a Nuzlocke or permadeath run, you may also feel a little out of your element. Nuzlockes aren’t mandatory, but we recommend steering clear of them until you get accustomed to the gameplay mechanics.
For this Pokémon extension game, concentrate on teamwork and the individual characters in your inventory. You’ll want to collect Pokémon with complementary skills to avoid catastrophe when facing specific opponents. Remember: everything is a little harder, and you may pay a steep price for adding relevant buffs.
One reason behind Pokémon Radical Red’s popularity is that it includes a built-in randomizer. A randomizer does just what it sounds like—randomizing almost every aspect of gameplay. Randomizers allow you to experience the game like never before.
Randomizers are not exclusive to this popular ROM hack. Many other fan-made games include them, and Pokémon players have used them throughout the years. Radical Red’s built-in randomizer option is unique in that many players don’t use it because the game is hard enough in default mode.
How might the randomizer affect your gaming experience? Here are some specific examples:
- Starter Pokémon may be different than normal
- NPC teams will have randomly generated characters
- Pokémon may have random colored natures on the summary screen
- You’ll find random objects in random places
Gym Leader Rematches
Wouldn’t it be awesome to have rematches after your trainer battles gym leaders? Maybe it could help you boost your Pokémon stats, test your abilities striker, and claim other rewards. With Pokémon Radical Red, you can do just that!
Long-time players and budding Pokémon enthusiasts have flocked to this ROM hack because it allows you to re-challenge gym leaders. You don’t need to only rely on EV training areas, raid battles, and side quests to boost your stats. This is especially beneficial as you grow accustomed to the higher difficulty level cap.
As a quick aside, the eighth gym leader is different in Pokémon Radical Red. In FireRed, it’s the infamous Team Rocket leader named Giovanni. In the fan-made game, the eighth gym leader is actually the dragon-type leader called (spoiler alert!) Clair.
Pokémon Radical Red Hacks
You might think initially that Pokémon Radical Red wouldn’t have any hacks. After all, isn’t it a hack in and of itself? Although this game is indeed a ROM hack, it includes many new and traditional Fire Red enhancement hacks that can unlock additional features like the following:
- Mega Stones cheats
- Dream Ball cheats
- Upgraded EV training gear
- Mega evolution
- Ability swapper
- Pokémon Clover cheats
Hacks and cheat codes for Pokémon Radical Red are available online through various websites. However, you should consider checking the Pokémon Center to find reputable sites.
Available Pokémon and Encounter Locations
A key difference between Pokémon Radical Red and Pokémon FireRed has to do with the number of available Pokémon. FireRed has a fair number of characters you can add to your Pokédex from multiple regions. However, Radical Red expands the availability and can provide access to 775 different Pokémon.
Here’s a rundown of all the Pokémon you can collect:
- 17 dragon types
- 27 steel types
- 28 ice types
- 28 fairy types
- 31 fighting types
- 31 ghost types
- 35 electric types
- 36 fire types
- 36 rock types
- 37 dark types
- 44 ground types
- 47 poison types
- 49 psychic types
- 51 bug types
- 54 flying types
- 55 grass types
- 73 normal types
- 96 water types
Pokémon Radical Red includes 46 trained and wild Pokémon locations where you can find characters. These encounter locations include:
- Celadon City
- Seafoam Islands
- Diglett’s Cave
- Pewter City
- Safari Zone
- Cerulean Cave
- Victory Road
Legendary Pokémon, Ultra Beasts, and Mythicals have been the subject of much debate among dedicated Pokémon fans. Fire Red does not use Legendary Pokémon for the primary storyline, making it a little unusual for the series. Pokémon Radical Red redeems this with additional legendaries and characters, including:
How Do You Install Pokémon Radical Red?
The Pokémon Radical Red download process is not complicated. The most important thing is to find a secure website with a safe link to download the game. The second most important thing is to ensure your Radical Red download is the most recent version of the game.
Once you’re ready, follow these steps to complete the installation process with an emulator:
- Download a 1.0 ROM version of Pokémon FireRed
- Select the developer or co-creator patcher
- Install the most up-to-date patch
- Plug the ROM and patch file into the application
Are you having issues with the Radical Red download? You can download the RR patching game itself from a secure website. Most players don’t face any Radical Red download hang-ups with this save type.
That VideoGame Blog: The Number One Resource for Pokémon News and ROM Hacks
Pokémon Radical Red has so many neat features that will resurrect your love for Pokémon FireRed. At That VideoGame Blog, our resources will tell you everything you need to know about cheat sheets, gameplay tips, ROM hacks, and much more! We’ll help you stay in the know with things like the most recent Xbox One updates.