2018 has seen numerous reveals for beta and unused Pokémon designs, with the manga about Satoshi Tajiri and the leaked Spaceworld demo of Pokémon Gold & Silver offering hundreds of alternate Pokémon that never made it into the series.
A new group of unused Pokémon designs were shown during a TV special on the NHK network in Japan, which reveals some interesting and deeply disturbing alternate looks for some classic Pokémon.
These designs were brought to us via a Twitter user named @okp108.
There are fourteen designs shown in the image and only four of them match the final versions of the Pokémon that appeared in Pokémon Red & Green (and later, Pokémon Red & Blue.)
Cubone, Pinsir, and Staryu look almost identical to their final forms, and Gastly resembling a cloud of gas is accurate to its sprite in the original Pokémon games, as it didn't become more ball-like until later on.
That horrific looking creature below Lapras was the original design for Gyarados.
The Pokémon shown in the bottom left corner is the only brand new creature in the set and its name is Omega. The design of Omega shares elements with Aggron, who wouldn't debut until Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire.
The original design for Blastoise had more prominent ears (similar to Wartortle), Rhydon wasn't as long and had a much bigger head, Tangela's legs were more pronounced, Tentacool had lots of smaller tentacles instead of two long ones, Lapras is lacking its two curled ears, Arcanine looks a lot derpier, and Cloyster (which was called Shellder at this point in development) has a much smaller shell.
The two Pokémon that look the most different are Scyther and Gyarados.
Scyther is the Pokémon above Arcanine and it appears to be based more on a dinosaur than an insect.
It might be hard to believe, but that horrific looking creature below Lapras was the original design for Gyarados. It seems to have more in common with a lamprey than a sea serpent, though it still keeps Magikarp's two whiskers.
A lot of work goes into designing each Pokémon and it seems that many of them have been left on the cutting room floor over the years. We can only hope that the people at Game Freak and the Pokémon Company keep revealing more of these unused designs, as they offer a fascinating insight into what the Pokémon franchise could have looked like.