For the second post in this series, we'll take a look at the arrangement of buildings in each generation 1 Pokémon city by looking at:

  1. Each type of building for a town/route
  2. Any unique buildings
  3. Number of buildings
  4. Average height of the building in stories
  5. Size of the town in 8x8 pixel tiles
  6. In-game Population

We can then use these to get an understanding of what makes a Gen 1 Pokémon city feel like a nostalgic Pokémon city. And as a fun aside, I'll also link where in Japan each city is based on.

Towns and Cities

We'll look through the towns in order, starting from where "Shades of your journey await!"

Pallet Town

Pallet Town. Credit Pokeant

The smallest town in Kanto, with two family homes and Prof. Oak's lab. Based off Shimoda City.

Stat Count
Number of buildings 3
Average height 2
Size of town 40x36
Population 8

Viridian City

Viridian City - Black represents animated tiles. Credit FrenchOrange

While there are few buildings, the population is why Viridian is a city. Based on Hakone Town.

Stat Count
Number of buildings 5
Average height 2 (1.6)
Size of town 80x72
Population 28

Pewter City

Pewter City - Black represents animated tiles. Credit FrenchOrange

We'll find out later that Pewter City is nearly the model average of a city even though I remember Pewter feeling sparse. Based on Maebashi City.

Stat Count
Number of buildings 7
Average height 2 (1.7)
Size of town 80x72
Population 28

Cerulean City

Cerulean City - Black represents animated tiles. Credit FrenchOrange

Has the most number of flat, wide buildings. Based on Tsuchiura City.

Stat Count
Number of buildings 11
Average height 1 (1.2)
Size of town 80x72
Population 27

Vermilion City

Vermilion City. Credit Badassbill

Maybe one day we'll see the building being built to the North East by the old man and forever stomping Machop. Based on Yokohama City.

Stat Count
Number of buildings 9
Average height 2
Size of town 80x72
Population 25

Lavender Town

Lavender Town. Credit SoniChaos

While the Pokémon Tower can't be fully seen, it is made up of five windowed levels, a non windowed level and the bottom "cave entrance" level totaling to seven. Based on Narita City or Sakura City both in Chiba Prefecture.

Stat Count
Number of buildings 6
Average height 1 (1.4) or 2 (2.3) with the Pokemon Tower
Size of town 54x36
Population 36

Celadon City

Celadon City. Credit Badassbill

Now we're getting much larger with only a single building being single floor. The population also includes those in the Team Rocket hideout. Based on Shinjuku.

Stat Count
Number of buildings 23
Average height 2 (2.4)
Size of town 100x68
Population 81

Fuchsia City

Fuchsia City. Credit Sunny Cassette

A neat city with the Safari Zone and little enclosures but annoying to navigate as it isn't straight forward and requires Cut. Based on Tateyama City.

Stat Count
Number of buildings 9
Average height 2 (1.7)
Size of town 80x72
Population 29

Saffron City

Saffron City. Credit Sunny Cassette

Funny how we can't go behind Silph Co. building, which is 10 floors tall. Based on Marunouchi.

Stat Count
Number of buildings 34
Average height 3 (2.5)
Size of town 80x72
Population 50

Cinnabar Island

Cinnabar Island. Credit Pattyman

It gets much smaller in Gen 2 after the eruption. Based on Izu-Ōshima.

Stat Count
Number of buildings 5
Average height 2
Size of town 48x44
Population 33

Routes

Some routes also feature buildings, while sparse, they often serve as homes, a unique building or some sort of toll/rest stop. For the following we'll be looking at routes that have non-Pokémon Centre buildings.

Route 2

Route 2. Credit FrenchOrange

Between Vermillion City and Pewter City we have four buildings. The buildings on the western paths are gates that bookend the Vermillion Forest while the eastern path, going south to north, contains another gate (with HM05, Flash) followed by a trainer's home.

Route 5

Route 5. Credit FrenchOrange

South of Cerulean City and north of Saffron City gives us Route 5 and three buildings. The middle building being the Daycare, the east building being the underground path and the south building being a gate.

Route 6

Route 6. Credit Badassbill

To the north is the gate to southern Saffron City and the small building to the east is the other side of the underground path on Route 5.

Route 7

Route 7. Credit Badassbill

The small filling of the sandwich bread of Celadon City to the west and Saffron City to the east gives us a long side view of a gate and an underground path that takes us east beyond Saffron.

Route 8

Route 8. Credit Badassbill

Saffron City to the west and Lavender Town to the east. Like all routes adjacent to Saffron City, it has a gate (west) and this time a peculiarly short entry/exit building to the underground path leading to Route 7.

Route 10

Route 10. Credit Pokeant

This is an edit after, I entirely forgot about the Power Plant on Route 10. Another unique building. To the very south, we can see the top of Lavender Town's Pokémon Tower.

Route 12

Route 12. Credit SoniChaos

A tall route mostly occupied by Silence Bridge. We have a north entry being a tall gate and a just-in-shot gate to the west. With nearly the center being a single story building belonging to the Fishing Guru.

Route 16

Route 16. Credit noodleboy347

To the south, a gate leading to Cycling Road. To the north, another gate but much less important. To the west, a trainer's home and where you can pick up HM02, Fly.

Route 18

Route 18. Credit Pokeant

The southern end of Cycling Road just containing a gate.

Route 22

Route 22. Credit SoniChaos

A special gate greets us on this route, the Pokémon League Reception Gate.

Route 25

Route 25. Credit Pokeant

Pokémon Expert Bill has a lovely sea cottage on the Cerulean Cape.

Building Analysis

Now that we have the data, let's take a look at it.

What's the Difference Between a Town and City?

We'll look at towns first and I'll be including Cinnabar Island as it feels like a town. I'll also be converting the size of the town to total number of tiles.

Stat Pallet Town Lavender Town Cinnabar Island Average
Number of buildings 3 6 5 5
Average height 2 2 2 2
Total tiles 1440 1944 2112 1832
Population 8 36 33 26

Both Lavender Town and Cinnabar Island are much larger in population due to their dungeons - Pokémon Tower and the Pokémon Mansion respectively. But it is clear that towns are about five, two height buildings.

Stat Viridian City Pewter City Cerulean City Vermilion City Celadon City Fuchsia City Saffron City Average
Number of buildings 5 7 11 9 23 9 34 14
Average height 2 2 1 2 2 2 3 2
Total tiles 5760 5760 5760 5760 6800 5760 5760 5908
Population 28 28 27 25 81 29 50 38

With the cities, we have two big outliers: Saffron and Celadon. But we do get a fun one with Cerulean being on average shorter than towns. Let's split the big cities from the regular cities.

Stat Celadon City Saffron City Average
Number of buildings 23 34 29
Average height 2 3 3
Total tiles 6800 5760 6280
Population 81 50 66

Large cities are... large. A huge amount of people, exacerbated by their dungeons or large number of enterable buildings.  

Stat Viridian City Pewter City Cerulean City Vermilion City Fuchsia City Average
Number of buildings 5 7 11 9 9 8
Average height 2 2 1 2 2 2
Total tiles 5760 5760 5760 5760 5760 5760
Population 28 28 27 25 29 27

Much tidier numbers for the regular cities, very uniform across all the data.

In short:

  • Towns have about 5 buildings of about 2 stories
  • Regular cities have nearly 10 buildings of about 2 stories
  • Big cities have 20-30 buildings and while they average to 3 height, do have some buildings much taller than the average

What Do We See Outside of Urban Centers?

This is a short answer: gates and the occasional home. Gates are often two stories with special ones being taller.

To Conclude

If you want to make a bog-standard Pokémon Generation 1 city, throw in just under a dozen buildings of varying heights but (around two stories) and fill it in with a late-twenty number of NPCs.