Over the years bits and pieces of Pokemon’s past have been revealed via interviews, early design documents, and even leaks of seemingly lost content like the Pokemon Gold and Silver Space World 1997 demo dumped last May. But for the most part, information on Pokemon Red and Green’s development has been limited to blurry pictures and design documents, such as those seen on Bulbapedia. However, today some of this that has changed with a release from the Helix Chamber of assets from a Pokemon prototype of Pokemon Red and Green that contained unused designs and elements.
According to Helix Chambers Twitter, the prototype assets came from an anonymous source last summer. This source would eventually send a zip file containing a variety of images to Helix Chamber, and from there time was taken to catalog and interpret the data the file contained. The result, which is linked above, was a report containing a flood of information on things like Pokemon that didn’t quite make it, a different tileset for the map of Kanto, and even information on Pokemon’s pre-alpha history as Capsule Monsters.
While there is an amazing amount of information contained in these files, we’ll focus today on some most interesting elements of this exciting discovery.
Possibly the most exciting part of the Pokemon prototype is the back sprites of a number of Pokemon who didn’t make the final cut. These Pokemon lack normal sprites, those used at the status screen for example, but still provide a window of what could have been. Most of these monsters can be seen in the image below:
Explanations for each of these unused Pokemon can be found on Helix Chambers website, but the most interesting include the following:
- #175 Gorochu, an evolution of Raichu whose existence was revealed in an interview last year but seen in-game for the first time here.
- #146 A possible evolution of Cubone that resembles Khangaskhan. It seems to gives some credence to the long-held fan theory that the two pokemon were linked in some way.
- #52 a yeti-like Pokemon that may have been the male version of Jynx.
- # 181 an evolution for Wartortle that more resembles its prior form than Blastoise.
The prototype also contained a number of unused trainer sprites.
- Early player sprites for the playable trainer, note the whip.
- A version of Fire-type Gym Leader Blaine. Here he is depicted as a soldier, rather than as a scientist as he was in the final game.
- An early version of the player’s rival Blue.
An early map of the first generation game’s Kanto region was also found in the Pokemon prototype data:
According to Helix Chamber, the anonymous donor told them that Silph Co. was the original host for the Pokemon League and would have consisted of an area containing every Gym Leader that capped off with the dungeon containing Mewtwo.
Finally, for those interest in diving deeper into the game’s data Helix Chamber has also released a list of unused Pokemon cries, a number of unused moves, and several alternative teams for important Pokemon trainers.