Cut starters, Baby Pokémon, and more uncovered in massive ROM hack.
During the 1997 Space World event (a Nintendo trade show similar to E3), an early version of Pokémon Gold and Silver was showcased through a demo (the games would release two years later in Japan). This version of the game allegedly featured Pokémon that did not end up in the official release of the game, and as time passed, these cut Pokémon remained a mystery. Until now.
An anonymous user on 4chan has leaked the ROM file of the 1997 Space World demo of Pokemon Gold and Silver, and The Cutting Room Floor has begun to uncover data from the demo, including the mysterious missing Pokémon.
A high-resolution image of every Pokémon sprite from the demo can be found here, and below are just the generation 2 Pokémon as sprites found in the demo’s data (in color!).
If you’re familiar with gen 2, you’ve probably noticed a number of changed designs and unreleased Pokémon.
To start, two of the starter families are completely different. The Fire type Cyndaquil family was originally Flambear, Volbear, and Dynobear. The Water type Totodile family was at first Cruz , Aqua , and Aquaria, which seem to be based on sea lions, and perhaps influenced gen 7’s Popplio line.
Another very notable cut was the number of Baby Pokémon. Pre-evolutions for Vulpix, Tangela, Goldeen, Paras, Doduo, Meowth, Ponyta, Grimer, Growlithe and Mr. Mime were planned, but were all scrapped. A baby Mr. Mime, Mime Jr., would eventually be introduced in gen 4.
Also notable is the Legendary beast trio of Entei, Raikou, and Suicune, who are present in the demo’s data, just with very different designs. I’ve been seeing these designs be described as “DeviantArt Neopets,” and yeah, that’s spot on.
There’s a number of other interesting changes and cuts. My favorites include the gorgeous Bellsprout evolution meant to mirror Bellossum, the over designed Scizor, the lunging Tiger, the voodoo doll, and my personal favorite, the horrifying Ditto evolution.
We absolutely love this discovery, and there’s plenty more being uncovered. For a list of each Pokémon’s name and additional images, check out this ResetEra thread here. For a comprehensive spreadsheet of everything discovered so far, click here.
Here’s hoping more lost Pokémon are found!