Ever wonder what it takes to become a Pokemon? Our head Gaming Acquisitions and Events expert Blaine Campbell did and he along with other fans found some unreleased Pokemon, baby forms, evolutions, and other abandoned concepts in early copies of the Gold and Silver video games. Says Blaine, “It’s a very involved process. It begins with illustrators designing a character that will eventually be analyzed by tons of programmers and editors until a final design is placed into a video game that will head to stores. With all of this scrutiny, it’s no surprise that some designs change dramatically during the design process. In fact, some don’t make it to the final games at all! That is why this discovery is so unique.” So without further ado, Blaine take it away!
Back in 1997, Gamefreak (the producers of the Pokemon games) were looking to follow up on the success of Pokemon Red and Green with a new sequel: Pokemon Gold and Silver. Gamefreak decided to let fans see the new sequel in a special demo for the 1997 Nintendo Space World; a huge video game convention in Japan. The demo became the most popular exhibit at the show and had fans lining up for a glimpse at these new games. Despite the instant popularity, Nintendo decided to ultimately delay the release of the games in order to rework some aspects of the game and because Pokemon Yellow Special edition was scheduled to release the following year to coincide with the first Pokemon movie. With all of the demo copies being collected after the show and presumably destroyed, this glimpse into Pokemon history was thought to be lost forever. However, a copy of the game was recently found and all of the flies contained within were put online for everyone to see. Included in them were the designs of every Pokemon in the original demo game!
The big changes you can see are that two of the starter Pokemon were completely different from the final version of the game we all know. Cyndaquil is instead a fire type Bear Pokemon called Honōguma and Feraligatr is instead a water type Loch Ness Monster inspired character called Korusu. Another interesting thing is the appearance of several Pokemon who weren’t released in Gold and Silver but were added many years later such as Leafeon and Lickilicky. Some other sprites that can be seen were never released at all including a Pokemon that is half lion, half sunflower and another which bears a striking resemblance to a voodoo doll. There is even a Pokemon that evolves from ditto with the help of a metal coat. I think he is as surprised as the rest of us that this game was uncovered.
This discovery comes only a few weeks after a biography of Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of Pokemon, was released which showed some designs that never made it into the first generation, Pokemon Red and Green.
As you can see there are a number of designs that were changed with some ultimately being cut entirely. Some of the ones that never made it appear to be a Moose Pokemon, a Pokemon that is a cross between a shark and a harpoon, a cactus Pokemon, and a Pokemon based on a two legged crocodile.
And of course, no discussion about unused Pokemon designs would be complete without mentioning that Godzilla and King Kong inspired Pokemon were intended to be in Pokemon Red and Green but ultimately never made it into the final product.
With all of these unused and changed images, it’s pretty clear that every Pokemon has a ton of work put into it. With all of this dedication, it is no wonder Pokemon has developed the intense fanbase it has today. What are some of your favorite published or unpublished Pokemon? Let us know in the comments below! Also, don’t forget to come to dacardworld.com to get your hands on Pokemon Forbidden Light booster boxes and Celestial Storm booster boxes when the set releases in August!