What's your favorite Pokémon? Chances are it's a well-known species, like Pikachu or possibly Meowth (that's mine). Pokémon fans know the characters in the franchise, especially the playable and trainable ones in the game nearly by heart, hundreds of them, and we love them all equally as trainers. But what if there were a whole set of Pokémon you've never seen before? Pokémon that were meant to be in the games, but never got a chance to be?
Well, there is. Believe it or not, an early version of Pokémon Gold and Silver, which featured dozens of different Pokémon that didn't make it into the final versions of the game, has been found. Originating from Nintendo's promotional Space World event from back in November 1997, this unreleased beta was thought to be lost to time, never to see the light of day again. Until now, all we really had to go by were firsthand accounts of the "secret" Pokémon, which no one could ever really prove existed.
That's all changed now, thanks to fans over at The Cutting Room Floor. The dedicated dataminers on the team have taken a deep dive into the demo, and what they've found has rocked the Pokémon world as we know it entirely. If you're a Pokémon fan, buckle up, because things are about to get crazy. These are the secret Pokémon of Gold and Silver that you never got to meet.
It's hard to believe, but this has all happened over 20 years after the original beta was first shown off. But there have been some amazing discoveries, including alternate, unfinished versions of work-in-progress Pokémon that just never saw the light of day. The second generation of Pokémon that would been seen in Gold and Silver are intriguing, to say the least, especially if you've been following the series from the very beginning.
For starters, many Pokémon that don't have evolutions, or only one form, were meant to have them in the first place. These include characters like Tangela and Lickitung, who would have had evolutions such as Tangrowth and Lickilicki, and an evolution for Pinsir, which remains in the same form throughout the entire game.
The beta is also rife with baby versions of Pokémon that we never knew about. For instance, Vulpix, Ponyta, Tangela, Grimer, Goldeen, Growlithe, Paras, Meowth, and Doduo all would have had pre-evolutions in their "baby" stages, many of which look like adorable, smaller forms of the Generation 1 Pokémon. Seriously, "Meowsy," are you kitten me right now? It's a crime that this little darling didn't get his time in the spotlight.
Other Pokémon that seemingly stopped dead in the middle of their evolutionary lines got new forms as well, such as Ditto, and Farfetch'd, who would have turned into a beautiful swan. We never got anything in terms of a replacement for them, which effectively made them one-hit wonders. The amount of additional evolution forms we could have had is staggering.
The changes even go all the way to the starter Pokémon of Gold and Silver that we know well: Chikorita, Cyndaquil, and Totodile. There was some strange fire bear that eventually ressembled something like a fire fox, and something totally bizarre for the normal Chikorita's second evolutionary form that we're not exactly sure how to describe. Just look at it. What even is that? Why is that? Is it stuck in a flower?
Aside from alterations to existing Pokémon, new species were just taken out of the game without a trace, including a small kitten-type Pokémon, a panda-like character that looks kind of scary, and even a thunder tiger whtat looked almost exactly like Pikachu, but puffier and cuter. Then there's this upsetting straw doll, and... it's probably for the best that we didn't get that one.
There's an entire cavalcade of Pokémon that were cut, and never spoken of again. It's unfortunate, because there are so many intriguing evolutions and brand new monsters that we would have been thrilled to see in the game. Don't get your hopes up when it comes to seeing them in new games, either. It's likely the series will never revisit these beta Pokémon, which we really weren't even meant to see in the first place.
But there's no need to get upset. Just check out The Cutting Room Floor for access to playable builds of the games, which are being worked on as we speak. You'll be transported back to the nostalgic '90s, right back into Space World, where all these Pokémon were right in the game, when no one had any ideas about what would end up happening to them. You can also see a complete image of all the Pokémon removed from the game, just in case you want to get your fanart going now. There's also a spreadsheet here with all of the new monsters in it if you'd like to better keep track of things.
Now that things are out in the open, the ball is in Nintendo's court to implement these crazy designs in future games. We won't hold our breath, but we can certainly dream, right? Anything's possible, when you're a Pokémon trainer.