One of the Pokémon Red & Green programmers revealed that there was a moment where all progress seemed to be lost forever after a computer crash.
Pokémon Red & Green had a notoriously difficult development period, with the first generation of games taking six years to complete. Pokémon Red & Green were well-received by fans, but it was obvious that the games were riddled with bugs, to the point where an updated version of the games, called Pokémon Blue, was released to fix the issues.
The early Pokémon games may have had problems with glitches, but they were a small price to pay in order for the series to hit the store shelves and find an audience.
We were close to never seeing the Pokémon series, due to a glitch with the computers that the developers were using to make the games.
Junichi Masuda (one of the Pokémon Red & Green programmers) has revealed in an interview with Polygon that there was a moment in development when it seemed like all progress on the games was lost forever.
It was around four years into the development of Pokémon Red & Green that the Unix computer stations that were being used to house the data of the games all crashed, to the point where it seemed as if all of the work on Pokémon Red & Green had been destroyed.
Junichi Masuda and the rest of the development had to track down every book and expert on Unix computers to try and reverse the damage. They were able to restore all of the information that was lost, which allowed the development of Pokémon Red & Green to continue.
Junichi Masuda described this as the make or break moment for Pokémon Red & Green, as development would have to be canceled if the data could not be restored. They didn't have the funds to start working on the games over again from scratch and even if they did, they would still have had to wait for the Game Boy Advance to be released, as it would have been far late to release new games on the original Game Boy.
It's odd to think how a single computer crash could have affected the media landscape in such a significant way. The Pokémon series is one of the biggest media franchises in the world and it was almost lost as a result of a single computer crash.