Possibly the biggest news in video game archiving history so far has been broken: A complete copy of the Pokemon Gold and Silver demo from Spaceworld 1997 has been leaked! This development version is almost totally different from the release, with dozens of previously unseen concept Pokemon that have been either radically changed or completely cut.
The full contents of the leak are being compiled by @TeamSpaceWorld into a table that you can view on Google Docs. To see the new Pokemon, just click on the ‘Pokemon’ tab at the top of the page. If you’re a Pokemon fan, this is a treasure trove of new Pokemon designs that have never before seen the light of day!
We’ve compiled a list of what we think the ten best “lost” designs are!
First up is Politoed, a Pokemon that did make it into the final version – but with a radically changed design. This beta Politoed was to evolve from Poliwhirl with an item called the “Heart Stone”, instead of the King’s Rock. It is somewhat more frog-like in appearance, with no distinct neck and longer arms that end in long, pointed fingers. This places in the number 10 spot for us, since it’s a look at the changes even a finalized Pokemon goes through before launch. Even if a Pokemon is guaranteed to get into the game, you never know what might’ve happened to it during development!
Number nine is Bellboyant, a Pokemon that didn’t make the cut. Evolving from Rinring, Bellboyant is a Dark type Pokemon with a pretty simple design: it’s a cat with a bell on the tip of its tail. We don’t know why Bellboyant got the chop, but its simplistic design is unbearably charming. We especially like the design of its pre-evo, Rinring, which has rings of little bells around its ears. The simplicity of its design may have been its downfall, in the end, as the iconic Meowth was already the perfect fit for the “cat Pokemon”. Bellboyant being removed from the final game is a shame, but gave us room for many other incredible Pokemon.
You wouldn’t believe this was Porygon2 if you didn’t know the context, would you? Yes, originally the evolution of Porygon was supposed to be a bizarre robot lion instead of the smoothly contoured duck we know today.
Oddly enough, this Pokemon bears a strong resemblance to a Japanese mascot for a donut chain. Mister Donut’s mascot, Pon de Lion, is almost identical to the early design for Porygon2.
Gold and Silver, as the first sequel in the Pokemon series, were known for their additions to the evolutionary line of older Pokemon. Gelanla was nearly one of those additions. Intended to be an evolution of Tangela, a Pokemon similar to Gelanla would show up in generation four: Tangrowth. Gelanla – and the baby version of Tangela, Tangel – are radically different from the Tangrowth that we did end up with. The theme of both of these Pokemon is hair. Tangel’s vines are styled in a short bob, while Gelanla has an unruly mop with bangs and large tentacle “bow”.
Electiger is another original Pokemon that was dropped, along with its pre-evolution Tigrette. They are, as their names suggest, electric tigers and they are both extremely round. A Pokemon this cute seems like a sure-fire marketing opportunity, but Electiger has not shown up again in any way, shape or form. Perhaps the potential overlap with Pikachu was a possible moment of Pokemon competing against itself?
Girafarig isn’t that different from the final version. The two-headed gimmick is the same, except that beta Girafarig has the same kind of head on both ends! Girafarig may have been inspired by the pushmi-pullyu, a fantastic creature from the Doctor Dolittle series. The pushmi-pullyu is a llama (or zebra) that has two front ends merged together in the middle. As well as having a different design, the beta Girafarig is is Dark/Normal instead of Psychic/Normal, suggesting the second head has ill intentions of its own…
One of the greatest mysteries of the Pokemon world has been the relationship between Slowpoke and Shellder. To evolve, a Slowpoke must catch a Shellder with its tail; this triggers a change in the Slowpoke when the added weight allows it to stand upright, causing it to become a Slowbro. Most mysteriously, this also causes a strange change in the Shellder itself, making it turn from a crab into something resembling a turban snail’s shell.
In the beta version of Gold and Silver, this change would finally have been explained with the addition of Turbann, the Pokemon that allows Slowbro and Slowking to evolve.
Oddly enough, this Pokemon has no direct relationship to Slowpoke or to Shellder in the beta. It simply exists as its own isolated pokemon.
Many Pokemon concepts are very unique in their own right, but some can draw comparisons to Pokemon’s bitter monster-collection-game rival: Digimon. Warwolf and the pre-evo Wolfman are both Pokemon that highly resemble Digimon more than regular Pokemon to us. What they are is not exactly known, but their designs suggest a dark figure hiding inside the fur of a wolf. This reminded us strongly of Gabumon, a Digimon with a similar gimmick. The design of small, beady eyes peering out from a large cloak also gives us shades of Mimikyu, a Pokemon that wouldn’t appear until five generations later.
Gold and Silver introduced Pokemon breeding, as well as baby Pokemon: special Pokemon that could not be found in the wild, but were the “baby forms” of other Pokemon that could only be obtained through breeding.
There are many interesting babies that got cut in the Gold and Silver beta, like the beta Pichu (a little head on legs), Chiks (a baby Doduo with three heads), and Ballerine, (a baby Mr. Mime, which would show up again in gen 4 as Mime Jr.) – but our favorite baby that was lost in the beta was Meowsy. This unbearably adorable kitten was the baby form of Meowth; its only pose was laying on the ground splay-legged with three little coins floating around it. Is that cute or what?
We’ve always felt that the Meowth line was a little short, and the only addition it ever got was its extremely weird and bulbous-looking Alolan forms in generation 7. We think that Meowsy would have been a welcome, if perhaps pointlessly cute, addition.
Of all the evolutions introduced in Gold and Silver, an evolution to Ditto was not expected – but here it is, howling at the top of its lungs! It’s relatively similar to Ditto, aside from its little teeth and large head-spike. It evolves from Ditto while holding the Metal Coat, but it’s still a Normal type instead of evolving into a Steel type like Steelix or Scizor. Animon is our favorite Pokemon that was cut from Gold and Silver because it is the strangest and most inexplicable. Why did they think Ditto needed an evolution? What would a Ditto evolution do? Why did it need Metal Coat to evolve? The questions just add up…
Of course this is all extremely subjective, and we’re sure some of you will have a lot to say to us for leaving your favorite Pokemon out. What Pokemon did you like the best from the beta? Let us know in the comments!