Pokemon Pink was the Creature-Catching Game That Never Happened

Pokemon Pink Clefairy cover

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Pokemon Pink was the Creature-Catching Game That Never Happened

April 13, 2020

By: Robert N. Adams

View more Games Info
Developer
Game Freak
Publisher
Nintendo
Platforms
Game Boy, Nintendo 3DS
Release Date
February 27, 1996
Genre
RPG
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There have been a lot of Pokemon games over the years. Even the "first" game ended up having four distinct versions (Pokemon Red and Blue, Green, and eventuallyYellow), but you may be surprised to hear that we almost got a fifth. Pokemon Pink is the Gen 1 game that never was.

Our story begins in a place that's often rife with rumors: 4chan. Unlike some of the leaks and rumors that spring out of there, A post on 4chan's /vp/ board (Archive) actually contained useful data. Somehow, someone got their hands on the source code from the original games, this being the same source that leaked the Spaceworld Demos of Gold and Silver last year.

While there's surely a lot to discover in there, there was one particularly interesting discovery: Pokemon Pink was almost released as a companion game to Pokemon Yellow.

Pokemon Pink beta names slice

 
 

By Any Other Name

Another curious discovery was early English names for some of the Pokemon. Some are hilariously on the nose, and others don't make much sense unless you understand the original Japanese names.

Here are the ones revealed in a tweet by Pokemon historian Dr., Lava:


Final English Pokemon name Early English Pokemon name Japanese Pokemon name

Rapidash Gallop Gallop (ギャロップ)

Rattata Korattavar Koratta ( コラッタ)

Vulpix Foxfire Rokon (ロコン)

As you can see, Rapidash and Rattata would have been heavily based off of their Japanese names. Vulpix, meanwhile, had a rather literal name in its early days. As for its Japanese name, Bulbapedia has some speculation on that matter:

Rokon may be a combination of 六 roku (six) and 恨 kon (grudge, from the curse that Ninetales, its evolution, may cast on its foes), コンコン konkon (the sound foxes make), コンロ konro (gas stove), or ko, an alternate reading of 狐 kitsune (fox).

Who Would Have Been on the Cover of Pokemon Pink?

One final mystery in this story is just who would have served as the cover Pokemon for this never-released game. As ResetEra notes, Clefairy was originally intended to be the series mascot. Pikachu ended up being much more popular, though, and Clefairy never got its day in the limelight.

Considering that this game was never released, we'll probably never actually get to play it. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if some industrious modders use these leaks for a little inspiration someday.

Given the choice, would you have picked Pokemon Pink or Pokemon Yellow? Who do you think should have been on the cover? Let us know in the comments below!

 
A photograph of Robert N Adams
Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!

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