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The Cut Content of Pokémon

Rantaro

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I didn't see a thread about this anywhere, but I thought this would be an interesting thread to have to talk about/share information regarding content that was once planned for Pokémon games, but ultimately ended up on the cutting room floor. I personally find this to be the most interesting part of the franchise--especially given how much information has come to light in recent years about the games. I'm pretty familiar with Gens I and II's cut content, so below I have write-ups about both. However, if there's anything I missed or you know about--do share! :giggle:

Red and Green:
Concept

Pokémon's development started back in 1990 after Satoshi Tajiri saw two Gameboys linked via link cable and being given the idea of a game in which players could not only play against each other, but with each other. The initial concept was inspired by Tajiri's own childhood as well; as a child, he liked to collect bugs, and search in every and any place he could find to discover more. Given how Japan was becoming more and more urbanised, it would soon become harder and harder for most children to be able to do this. Thus, Capsule Monsters, or Capumon, was born.
1609506589199.png

Original Capsule Monsters logo

We've had the pitch for Capumon for a quite a while, even on Bulbapedia. However, it's still incredibly interesting to see what was different at this point of development.

Firstly, acquisition of the monsters was possibly not exclusive to random encounters in the wild. There is concept art in the pitch showing that monsters could also be purchased in stores. Remnants of this can be found in the game corner where rare Pokémon can be purchased with coins.
1609521175374.png

Concept art showing Pokémon available for purchase
There was also a point in development where trainers would fight Pokémon themselves--this is why some trainers, such as Team Rocket and Cool Trainers, have whips in their Gen I sprites. The original sprite for the protagonist (named Yuuichi at this point) also had him wielding a whip. I'm not really sure how this would have worked, so if anyone has any more info on that, please let me know!
1609521380789.png

1609521575150.png

Yuuichi, the beta version of Red

The concept art for the pitch also shows the player at a hotel, implying that at one point Pokémon Centers didn't exist and that the player would heal in an Inn, like most traditional RPGs.
1609521691953.png

The images on the left and the bottom right show the player using a hotel.

Interestingly, there is a female trainer in the concept art posted above using a hotel as well. However, I can't find anything in the leaks or in leftovers from Gen I that implied a female player character was considered throughout most of development. Yuuichi is the only protagonist sprite coded into the game.

One last thing to note about the concept pitch is it does show Pokémon hatching out of eggs. As we know, breeding didn't exist until Gen II, and while there isn't anything that explicitly states breeding was in Gen I, there are some things I think imply this. Keep in mind that this part is just my own speculation--I have other things that I think back this up, but I'll bring those up later.
1609522193431.png

Yuuichi and Rhydon exploring a cave. Note the hatching Pokémon in the bottom.

Lastly, I'm not sure if it's from the same pitch or not, but there is a sprite sheet from a pitch of Pocket Monsters that contains beta versions of some sprites as well as some Pokémon have different names. The most drastic changes are Scyther (top left) and Gyarados (bottom right). I had to cut this down due to the file size, but the full version will be in the Helix Chamber link below

Screenshot 2021-01-01 at 18.22.05.png

Now that we've gone through the concept, let's move onto something that we're all interested in: the cut Pokémon.


Cut Pokémon:
As we know, originally Pokémon Red and Green were supposed to have 190 Pokémon available. However, 39 of these got cut due to cartridge limitations, so let's look at the ones that we know of.

In the spoilers below, I'll post both the internal index from Red and Green, and a chart showing which unused Pokémon match up with which MissingNo. slot. Credit goest to Helix Chamber for both of these, I'll link their article at the end of this post.
Internal Index:
1609524021923.png

Lost Pokémon:
1609524048876.png

Now for my thoughts on each of these:

Omega:
Omega is literally just mecha godzilla. It first showed up in the Red and Green concept art as well. Notably, Omega's spot was overwritten by Mew!

Gyaoon and Gyaoon pre-evolution:
Gyaoon was first seen in the Satoshi Tajiri manga. It's front sprite is visible there, and it's back sprite is visible in the leaks. There is also a back sprite listed later in the index that seems to be the pre-evolution to Gyaoon. Interestingly, there is evidence supporting that Gyaoon was originally in slot 1 of the internal index, but moved down later on, potentially overwriting it's once pre-evolution.

Nidorino/Nidorina hybrid-lookalike-thing:
There's a back sprite that shows the second stage of the Nidoran line, that has features from both Nidorino and Nidorina. There's theories that maybe the Nidoran line wasn't supposed to be split into male and female lines originally, but I'm genuinely not sure.

Baloonda/Barunda:
It's a balloon. I'm wondering if Drifloon was inspired by this cut design?

Buu/Ice Yokai:
This yeti looking thing was originally going to be the male counterpart to Jynx! I think it's pretty cool, but it gives off even worse blackface vibes than Jynx did, so it's probably a good thing this was cut.

Deer:
It's a deer. That's about it. Likely reworked into Stantler.

Elephant:
It's an elephant but scary. Likely reworked into Donphan.

Crocky:
Not gonna lie, I love Crocky. A lot. I wish it had made it into the game, it's so crazy looking. Would've been a fave of mine for sure.

Squid line thing:
This is a two stage line. I don't have much of an opinion based on their back sprites. They just seem like squids. I'm guessing that if they were water types, they got cut for being less interesting versions of Tentacool and Tentacruel.

Cactus:
That's a cactus alright.

Jagg:
Jagg is pretty sweet. It's a shark with a freakin' spear coming out of its nose. I wish this one could have made the cut.

Bird-fish-thing line:
I have no idea what I'm looking at with these ones. Apparently they had movesets programmed for them, which means they were likely among that last ones cut. I just want to know if it's a bird or a fish, because it looks like both at the same exact time.

Orb things:
86 and 87 in the internal index are...well they exist. There's some theories that it's related to the Magnemite line, but i don't know how much of this I buy.

Water dragon-things and water dragon-thing baby:
At least I assume these are water dragons, though they look just like the ice dragon from Kirby. The middle and final stage are next to each other in the index, whilst the pre-evolution is on it's own much farther down the index. This also ties into my theory about breeding, which I'll now use to segway into that.

ALL THE BABIES:
There are quite a few baby Pokémon on the cutting list, being pre-evo water dragon-thing, baby Zubat, baby Blastoise (!!!), Konya (Baby Meowth), Mikon (Baby Vulpix), Puchicorn (Baby Ponyta), and Gyopin (Baby Goldeen). Konya, Mikon, Puchicorn, and Gyopin also all appeared in the 1997 Space Demo along with Magby, Pichu, Elekid, Mime Jr., Smoochum, Togepi, and a baby Tangela. This, to me at least, points to GameFreak seriously considering breeding as part of Gen I, before scrapping it due to limitations. Like I said, this is pure speculation on my end, but I don't think it's unreasonable. Also, Gyopin seems to have been one of the last Pokémon cut--evolution and moveset data is programmed to it.

Psyduck Mid-stage Evolution:
Yes, there was going to be a mid-stage between Psyduck and Golduck! And it's horrifying. I hate it. I'm really glad they cut this thing before it could haunt me in my sleep for years to come.

Magneton-looking thing:
So fans can't decide if this was a weird duplicate of Magneton, or if there was a midstage inbetween Magnemite and Magneton. I...have no idea. It just seems like a lot of nothing to me so I'm cool with this one getting the cut.

Marowak Evolution:
I can't forgive this one being cut, though. Fans, since back in Gen I, theorised that there was a connection between the Cubone and Kangaskhan. Well, this is more or less confirmed now, as evolved Marowak is still wearing the skull of its mother, whilst carrying a baby of its own in its pouch. Gutted that this was...well, gutted (from the game).

Kotora line:
And this. This is the one that makes me cry myself to sleep every night. Anyone who knows me knows that I love these adorable electric tigers more than I love myself, and knowing they got cut from not only Gen I, but Gen II as well, hurts me to this day. In Space World '97, it was only a two stage line, but it looks like it was to be a 3 stage line in Red and Green. Ugh, GameFreak. You hurt me so. You keep Seel and Voltorb, but don't keep these babies. I'm so mad. GIVE ME MY CUDDLY ELECTRIC TIGERS GAMEFREAK.

Pre-Blastoise:
I know I mentioned it earlier with the babies, but I thought I'd make a quick note here that there's seemingly a Blastoise pre-evolution, seeing as Blastoise was originally unrelated to the Squirtle line. It's basically just a tiny blastoise, but it's got a snot bubble going on which is kind of adorable.

OG Kamex:
Yes, the Kamex (Blastoise) we got in the final game was not the original Kamex! Wartortle's floofy ears and tail get floofier and we get this guy out of it. Not gonna lie, I know it's pretty uncreative, but I kinda like it more than Blastoise. It's programming data is largely unfinished, with only one move in its moveset being programmed. This, to me, suggests it was one of the first ones they cut when they ran out of room on the cartridge. It's a shame, really. It's also the last Pokémon in the index.

And that leaves us with last, but definitely not least...

Gorochu!:
Yes, the now famous evolution of Raichu. This guy bore fangs and horns, and now we've seen its back sprite! This is also one of the few Pokémon confirmed to have not been cut due to limitations, but due to the fact that it was kinda OP--"balancing reasons" is the exact reasoning given to why Gorochu was cut. RIP, you pointy eared, sharp toothed beast.

Anyway, as I've run out of room for attachments and have spent three hours on this, I will conclude this portion of the Red and Green Beta write up. I'll work on the second part, which will include cut trainers in locations, in another post soon.

Photos and information were taken from Helix Chamber and RetroVision, I recommend checking them out if you're interested!
 

Rantaro

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Red and Green part 2 let's go!

Trainers:
Trainers are actually known as dealers in the internal data of the leak. Huh. The more you know.

Anyway let's look at some of the faces we never got to see:

Screenshot 2021-01-01 at 19.45.07.png

Student: She's definitely a student. That's all we know, to be honest.

1609530454294.png

Shinjuku Jack: He's a robot! I'm not kidding, he's an actual robot. GameFreak, give us more robot trainers, that's cool as hell. He got replaced with Jugglers in the final game, who are less cool than robots.

1609530527980.png

Firefighter: I quite like this design! Nothing is really known about it though, other than it existed at one point. Helix Chamber thinks they could've used water or ground types, which I can get behind. I'd like this design to be reworked into another class at some point, I really like. It was replaced with Psychics in the final game.

1609530613220.png

Silph Chief: We've known about the Silph Chief as a cut trainer class for a while, but it appears here again. His team data was wiped from the build that the leak came from, so there's no telling what his team was supposed to be. You might notice that he has Blaine's sprite! Well, that's because originally, this sprite belonged to the Silph Chief, because...

1609530723902.png

Blaine has his own, different sprite in the game, that matches the design he had in the RGB manuals, as well as the anime!

1609530828573.png

Ichitarou: This is Ichitarou, who is Brock's beta counterpart. I quite like this design as well, but I can see why it was reworked. It's a bit generic. His design was changed by the time we got the concept art that Ken Sugimori posted on Twitter a few years back. Interestingly, his name is made up of "ichi," the Japanese word for the number one, and "tarou," a suffix generally given to the oldest male child of a family. Whilst Brock is the oldest in a family in the anime, him having a name with the number one as part of it is interesting, because...

1609530980897.png

...Brock wasn't the first gym leader! Meet Yujirou, he first appeared on the same concept art I posted before. It's highly likely he ran Viridian's Gym. There's nothing in the data showing what kind of team he would have had.

1609531284047.png

And finally this is Junior. It's believe he was someone's younger brother, likely either Red or Blue's. That's all we know. I do like his design though, it looks like it was reworked into Ethan's Gen II design.

Dad:
There's no sprite for him, but data in the leak does imply he existed at some point. He was replaced with Oak's Assistants instead.

Professor Oak:
He wasn't cut from the game entirely, but there is an unused fight with Professor Oak programmed into the game. His team consists of Tauros, Exeggutor, Gyarados, Arcanine, and the final form of the starter you and your rival did not choose. The levels of his Pokémon are higher than your rival's in the champion fight, implying he was either a true, post-game final boss, or was originally the champion himself.

And finally, we have our original gym coach!

Screenshot 2021-01-01 at 20.03.33.png

Meet Danpei, who gets his name and design from the character from Ashita no Joe. GameFreak clearly loves this guy, his name has been kept internally at least through Gen VI.

Locations:
So, there's a lot of maps that have changed in the Red and Green beta. Like, a lot. More than I can post in here, probably because the game was developed for 5 years. Helix Chamber has a brilliant article one it, if you want to check that out. However, there is one location I want to point out here. In the original concept pitch for Red and Green, it was noticed by fans that there was an extra city that isn't present in the final game, which was marked by the letter C. Well, we finally have it, friends! Behold, the metropolis of C:

1609532245458.png

I know, it's massive. Please contain your excitement. Aside from the clearly placeholder tiles, the infamous Mew truck also is in this town! Maybe south of the barriers was another docking point for the S.S. Anne? It's worth noting that via cheating devices, you can access the fly location for this city. However, the game will crash as soon as your bird flaps its way off screen.

The Helix Chamber article I linked above shows the changes that every other area of the game went through during development. Like I said, there's wayyyyyy too much there for me to write about in a forum reply, but I recommend checking it out!

Music:
Red and Green contain an unused musical track in their files:


It's so beautiful I could cry.

Anyway, for years fans wondered what the hecky this disease of a song was supposed to be for. It was playing in the wrong channels, so we couldn't get a clear reading on whether or not this was supposed to be corrupted happy town theme, or if it was, in fact, supposed to sound like the devil himself was descending upon Kanto.

Good news, now we know! Yay. Leaks have shown that this was likely supposed to be the music that played when you connected with another Gameboy to trade Pokémon, and the reason it sounds like my hopes and dreams dying is because the song is trying to use 4 channels to play the music, when the Gameboy only uses two. What was supposed to happen is that each of the two Gameboys would take two of the channels and play the song in ~stereo sound~ using the two of them. This was recently recreated by a fan:


And thus, the song has now gone from nightmare fuel to being in my "Bop City" playlist.


And now for some random fun facts that I couldn't fit anywhere else here:
-Bird type was a thing, likely replaced with flying type. MissingNo. has this typing, so you can technically own a bird type Pokémon. Cool. This is also present in Gen II.
-The Elite Four all have walking sprites. However, since they're peak lazy goals, they go unused.
-In fact, many characters have walking sprites, as seen in the above link, such as Koga and Daisy.
-There's an unused field move in the game. If someone accesses it via a cheating device, the text "ground raised up somewhere" will appear. Maybe early version of something that would eventually become Rock Climb in Gen IV? Would've been more interesting than Flash, which we did get. Sigh.
-There's an unused Butterfree for Beedrill trade. Give a Butterfree, get Pipin the Beedrill! Unless you're playing Blue Version (JP), in which you still can't access the trade, but you get ChikuChiku the Beedrill instead.

That's about all I can think of when it comes to Red, Green, and Blue. However, we've still got Yellow version, which has a significantly shorter list!

Pokémon Yellow
-The Beedrill trade is back! This time he gets an English name--Stinger. Stinger still cannot be given to me, and I am sad as I now have an attachment to this Beedrill.
-There's also two more unused trades: a Pidgeot for a Pidgeot, and a Mew for a Mew. In the Japanese version, their names are both Matsumiya, but in English they got renamed to Marty and Bart. The next time I get a Mew, it will be named Bart, and it will like it. This change is likely due to Yellow shuffling around the world map from RGB, causing the trade trainers once in certain buildings being unaccessable, and it was easier to just dummy out the trades rather than remove them entirely.
-There's loads of unused cries recorded for Pikachu. You can listen to them on The Cutting Room Floor.
-In the Pikachu Beach minigame, there is data for a radness score of +750 points. This is impossible in the actual game.
-Game Boy Color support: as we know, in the west, Yellow had support for the GBC allowing for the game to change its Pallet in different areas. This doesn't exist in the Japanese version, since it was only a Gameboy game, it used the default Yellow pallet. Ok, not technically unused, but it's noteworthy.
-There's an unused battle mechanic in which the player encounters a wild Pokémon, and the only option available is to run. Choosing anything else will bring up a text string saying "Hurry, get away!" It's possible the player at one point was supposed to catch their own Pikachu.
-There is an unused track specifically in Yellow version. There is debate amongst fans about what it was intended for, but I think it was for this unused battle mechanic myself. Take a listen:

-Pokémon Pink is mentioned in the source code for Yellow version, implying it was originally supposed to be another set of paired version. The most likely candidate for the mascot here is probably Clefairy, due to it being the original planned mascot of the anime until late into development, and also due to it being the mascot of the Pokémon Pocket Monsters manga. It was most likely cut very early on due to GF not wanting to bloat the series with 5 games in the exact same region. Thanks to @prog rocker for reminding me about this!


And that's all I've got for the Gen I! You can find my sources here, and let me know if I made any mistakes or missed something. If there's anything cut from later generations, do share! I'll do a write up like this for Gen II soon, but there's a lot to unpack there and Gen I itself took me about five hours to do!

Also, justice for Kotora.

(Edited to add info on Pink version)
 
Last edited:

prog rocker

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The fish and the squids make me think of Cheep Cheeps and Bloopers from Mario, so I wonder if they were a reference to that series? I mean, Miyamoto was more or less a mentor to GF.
 

Rantaro

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The fish and the squids make me think of Cheep Cheeps and Bloopers from Mario, so I wonder if they were a reference to that series? I mean, Miyamoto was more or less a mentor to GF.
I hope the front sprites leak eventually because it would definitely clear up a LOT of questions about how they actually look.
 

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I hope the front sprites leak eventually because it would definitely clear up a LOT of questions about how they actually look.
Yeah, but that would depend if the sprites still exist outside of Tajiri's book. IIRC, they did lose a whole lot of progress once, so I don't know if that was among the data they lost.
 

Rantaro

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Yeah, but that would depend if the sprites still exist outside of Tajiri's book. IIRC, they did lose a whole lot of progress once, so I don't know if that was among the data they lost.
I thought they lost that prior to the build that leaked to Helix in 2019? I always under the assumption that that's why there was chunks missing from the beta maps, despite them being present in the original draft map.
 

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I wonder if the spin-offs had cut content too?
 

prog rocker

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I wonder if the spin-offs had cut content too?
Yes. Not as much, but there is. From the top of my head:

-Moltres was going to be Mitsuhide's Pokémon in Conquest instead of Articuno.
-Unused sprites for Growlithe in Conquest.
-Munchlax in the original PMD being more or less playable (I think there's data missing).
-Ekans in Pokémon Snap.
-Judgment in the second PMD games.
-A whole game, Pokémon Picross for the GBC.
-Rhyhorn and Jumpluff sprites in the original Ranger.
-(Unconfirmed) A cart of a cancelled Ranger for GBA with an Arceus event.
-Some toys in Pokémon Channel.
-Like 10 different Shadow Pokémon in Colosseum.
 

Rantaro

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So I'm starting the beginning of a write-up of what was cut from Gen II, but there's 3 different sets of source code that have leaked for Gold and Silver so it'll take a hot minute for me to get through everything again and write something actually worth reading (especially since the 2019 source code leak is more or less wiped from the internet right now aside from articles about it). I'll try get it up in the next few days, but for now I'll leave you with my beautiful babies who deserved better:

1609611607848.png

GAMEFREAK HOW COULD YOU
 

prog rocker

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I could help with that, or at least give opinions since those are the ones with the most info available... and the ones that made me interested in lost media in the first place.
 

Rantaro

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I could help with that, or at least give opinions since those are the ones with the most info available... and the ones that made me interested in lost media in the first place.
I'd really appreciate it if you could! I have the Space World '97 demo and the late 1997/early 1998 source code info, it's the August 1999 build with all the Pokédex entries (and beta wooper) that has seemingly just yeeted itself from the internet.
 

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it's the August 1999 build with all the Pokédex entries (and beta wooper) that has seemingly just yeeted itself from the internet.
I think a certain place dedicated to beta elements might have it, or at least it did last time I checked.
 

Rantaro

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I think a certain place dedicated to beta elements might have it, or at least it did last time I checked.
I'll have to check there again. The original website dedicated to them and the original 4chan posts no longer exist so it's strangely elusive to find now. I knew I should have saved the code when it leaked.
 

prog rocker

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I'll have to check there again. The original website dedicated to them and the original 4chan posts no longer exist so it's strangely elusive to find now. I knew I should have saved the code when it leaked.
I think someone here saved the pics, but I'm not sure.
 

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I wonder if that Youjiro kid got reworked into Giovanni or possibly related to Giovanni. Maybe it serves as the beta design for Silver eventually.
 

Rantaro

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I wonder if that Youjiro kid got reworked into Giovanni or possibly related to Giovanni. Maybe it serves as the beta design for Silver eventually.
It looks like his sprite art got reworked into the one Giovanni has in the final game, but they did both exist at the same time as far as I know.
 

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Is the ROM on the cutting room floor the source code for SW1999 or are you looking for something else?

I also found a nice youtube video that documents all the pokedex entries in the demo:



Apparently there are pokedex entries that are different, but I can't find any documentation on which ones are different. I'd try to do it myself, but I can't find a text dump of the Japanese pokedex entries from the final games.
 

Rantaro

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Is the ROM on the cutting room floor the source code for SW1999 or are you looking for something else?

I also found a nice youtube video that documents all the pokedex entries in the demo:



Apparently there are pokedex entries that are different, but I can't find any documentation on which ones are different. I'd try to do it myself, but I can't find a text dump of the Japanese pokedex entries from the final games.

Yes, I did manage to find what I was looking for! And thank you for the video, I'll check it out!
 

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That Pichu sprite is atrocious. The Spaceworld one is fine.

My avatar is from a Spaceworld-based hack, by the way.
 
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