The source code for a 1997 Japanese Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver demo has surfaced online, revealing prototype designs for all 251 monsters.
The demo, perhaps now more widely known as the “Nintendo Space World” demo, was presented in Japan at the video game trade show in 1997. Though it’s been 23 years, dataminers are shining a bright light on near-forgotten information.
One member from the independent gaming community GBAtemp claims to be testing the demo. “What is in that folder is crazy,” said chocoboss. “This is history. Some files are from 1990 that have been written by Masuda himself (look in the source code, you will see).” Quite a few changes took place, and many beta designs were altered or outright replaced.
For example, let’s examine beta Celebi (Pokémon No. 251) from the first image in the gallery below. Celebi stood upright and had, what appears to be, strands of hair or feathers protruding from its head. Another detail worth noting about the information in the beta Celebi sprite image is that its specified weight is 6 kg. However, it’s official, final weight became 5 kg.
Further, the design for beta Larvitar (Pokémon No. 246) appears very ameteurly designed compared to other beta sprites. The same can be said for beta Wobbuffet (Pokémon No. 202). And beta Quagsire (Pokémon No. 195) just looks hilarious. (These simple beta sprite images were likely placeholder mockups for their respective monster’s final design.)
In January, we learned that Game Freak planned on adding ten baby versions of Pokémon to the Generation II lineup—pre-evolution stages of Pokémon that already existed in Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow. However, this never came to fruition.