It has been an amazing few weeks for fans of the original Pokémon games, with the next Pokémon video games on the Nintendo Switch returning to the Kanto region, as well as unused Pokémon designs for Pokémon Red & Green appearing in a manga series.
For More Pokémon Secrets: Our Breakdown Of The Pokémon Red & Green Demo Leaks
One of the biggest finds in the history of video games has happened today, with the original demo of Pokémon Gold & Silver that was revealed at the 1997 Space World event being leaked online.
A few blurry screenshots and eye-witness accounts were all that remained of the Space World demo for years. This leak shows us an early beta build of the game, which includes numerous unused Pokémon designs and gives us a look at how Pokémon Gold & Silver were almost very different games.
Here are the unused Pokémon from the beta of Pokémon Gold & Silver. Bear in mind that some of the information presented here is speculatory on our part.
Unused Baby Pokémon
It seems that baby Pokémon were going to be a much bigger part of the game, as sprites exist for baby versions of Vulpix, Tangela, Goldeen, Parasect, Doduo, Ponyta, Grimer, Growlithe, and Meowth.
There are also different designs for Pichu, Mime Jr., and Elekid.
Pokémon Gold & Silver only has a handful of baby Pokémon and they were never a big part of the later games, which suggests that the people at Game Freak realized how pointless they were during development.
Unused Evolutions & Designs
A few of the new evolutions introduced in Pokémon Gold & Silver originally had different designs, with Politoed having longer limbs, Noctowl seeming to have never skipped chest day, Blissey having a horrific heart-shaped growth coming out of its head, Kingdra having limbs, and Lickilicky having rings on its body and sporting a set of whiskers.
It seems that Tangrowth was planned to appear in this generation instead of Pokémon Diamond & Pearl, though its design is different here.
The Bellsprout line and Pinsir also had new evolutions, with the new tree-like Bellsprout sporting limbs and Pinsir's evolution sporting a horn.
Chikorita and Bellossom are the only starter Pokémon in the Space World demo that exist in the final version of the game, though they have a new middle-stage which resembles a creature emerging from a plant.
We have known for a long time that there were different Fire-type and Water-type starter Pokémon in the beta of Pokémon Gold & Silver, as their artwork has been shown by Game Freak in the past. This is the first time we have ever seen their evolutions, with Honoguma (the Fire-type) transforming into a large cat and Kurusu (the Water-type) evolving into a seal-like creature.
Unused Legendary Beast Designs
The Legendary Beasts were still planned to appear at this point during the development of Pokémon Gold & Silver, but their designs were totally different. The only reason we know that these are meant to be the Legendary Beasts is due to their names (Rai, En, and Sui).
One of the biggest revelations of the Space World demo is that Leafeon was planned to debut in Pokémon Gold & Silver instead of Pokémon Diamond & Pearl. It's unknown why it took so long for a Grass-type Eeveelution to appear, as fans had been speculating about its existence since the days of Pokémon Red & Blue.
There are several totally new Pokémon designs that never made it into the game.
A black Pokémon that is similar to Gorebyss appears here, which predates the actual debut of Gorebyss by a single generation.
The unused Pokémon include a shark with an anchor for a tail, a ladybug Pokémon, a tiny bear with boxing gloves, a cat with a hand on its tail, an electric tiger Pokémon (and its evolution), a screaming slime monster, a set of ghostly Pokémon, a seal with a burning ball on its head, a large duck that appears to be holding a sword, a Pokémon that appears to be based on a Jiangshi (a hopping vampire from asian mythology), a plant/dog mixture Pokémon, and what appears to be a voodoo doll Pokémon!
A lot of old school Pokémon fans will also be pleased to see that the long-standing rumor of Slowbro's tail-biting monster being an actual Pokémon on its own was true at one point in time.
The Original Story
The original version of Johto was planned to be a lot bigger and would have encompassed the entirety of Japan, as each region in the Pokémon world originally represented a part of Japan. This may be due to the fact that Pokémon Gold & Silver were planned to be the final games in the series at one point in time, so they wanted to use the whole country.
There are sprite data for the human characters that have also unearthed some amazing discoveries, such as Blue (the rival from Pokémon Red & Blue) being planned to be one of the Gym Leaders of Johto.
It seems that the original lineup for the Elite Four of Johto was going to be very different, with Lorelei remaining on the team. The Elite Four would also be joined by a new member... Misty!
There is also sprite data for Giovanni, which proves that he was intended to return to the story in this generation of Pokémon games.
The story of Pokémon Gold & Silver also involved Gold's brother, Ken, who never made it to the final version of the game. Blue would also play a much larger role, as he is the one who introduces you to Professor Oak in the demo.
Work has only just begun on sifting through the files of this demo, which means that more discoveries may be on their way. This is one of the biggest gaming finds outside of an EarthBound 64 cartridge showing up out of nowhere.
The discovery of the Pokémon Gold & Silver Space World demo means this has become one of the best times to be a Pokémon fan!