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Tamanoir

Pokémon Gold & Silver 1997 Beta

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No one posted this here yet, so I'm gonna do this.

Some of you may have already heard about this one. In 1997, during a Japanese event (Spaceworld), some lucky players were able to play a first version of Gold and Silver.
You probably heard about the two other starters Honoguma and Kurusu.

Well, earlier today, someone lealed the whole beta, and hackers are working hard to data mien the game.

You can find all the information here

And here is a colorized version of all the new Pokémon present in this demo (all 100 of them).

Spoiler

Deh5R8-WkAApAW-.jpg:large

And I'll also link you to the Johto Map which was radically different

This is pretty big. You can see that there weresupposed to be far more baby Pokémon and evolutions than we had known. Some made their way into gen 4 (notably Leafeon, the last Pokémon in this image. It evolved with a Leaf Stone)
Pancham isn't the first Panda Pokémon, and Slowpoke's shell (referred as Shelder in the Pokédex) was a real Pokémon.
Togepi and Ho-oh also existed on their final form already.

Some Pokémon had radically different design (Politoed and the legendary beats come to mind. Beta Suicune may remind you of something else ("Ed.. ward") )

Honestly, to me this is a far bigger new than Pokémon Let's Go announcement.

Edited by VincentASM
Typo in topic title

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What are some of these design?!:wtf:

Delibird getting the whole Santa being a little less obvious was a good move if you ask me.

In fact, maybe its just being used to the finalized Gen 2 designs, but a lot of them here seem a lot more extreme/crazy/out there.

And is that a Gastly baby? Looks awful.

Thank goodness Smoochum is no longer a literal mini Jynx!

I can see the issues with having a voodoo doll Pokemon with a nail stuck in it, might lead to Nintendo getting some flak far worse than the Porygon nightmare.

Also, no Lugia in this beta? No Mantine either?

At least Skarmory and Donphan are unchanged, proof that Silver > Gold.

Edited by Interdimensional Observer

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I actually quite like a number of these designs and its interesting to see where some would go, like the Pinsir eveolution becoming Heracross. 

I'm sad we missed out on these guys though 

93f6e614b3b3ede121754e418157e069.png
 

0349e7ac38e223f6cb35bf5587142b0a.png

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Man. And there were complaints of too many babies already.

The Bellsprout evo is pretty similar to Bellsprout as is, no wonder they didn't bother. I actually like Beta Smoochum more to be honest, while Lickiking certainly was not missed.

Wooper also didn't exist in the beta. Clearly this is the inferior version.

 

Edited by Dayni

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Fascinating.

Must say, what got most my attention is the fact "Johto" was actually the (almost) whole of Japan, instead of just the Kyoto-Osaka region in the final product. Which is a big contrast to Kanto just being, well, Kanto. In fact, Kanto is there, the southeastmost "city" on the map. If you thought Kanto was bare-bones in the actual games we got... amusingly enough, Pallete Town was reacreted 1:1, but the rest...

Edited by Acacia Sgt

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42 minutes ago, Acacia Sgt said:

Must say, what got most my attention is the fact "Johto" was actually the (almost) whole of Japan, instead of just the Kyoto-Osaka region in the final product. Which is a big contrast to Kanto just being, well, Kanto. In fact, Kanto is there, the southeastmost "city" on the map. If you thought Kanto was bare-bones in the actual games we got... amusingly enough, Pallete Town was reacreted 1:1, but the rest...

Didn't notice the map until you said it (I'm using Night Forest), but yeah it is interesting. A little boring, but to be fair this is a beta, sans cave and building interiors as well. Guess they concluded fitting all of Japan in one game was either too ambitious or bad from a marketing perspective (and fitting in Kanto, while unique among Pokemon games, was indeed quite barebones as is in the final product).

This being a beta from a whole two years prior to actual GS release, it's understandable why these Pokemon designs would be so different. We don't even have a steely Scizor! I'm happy they delayed things.

I find it funny though the starting town was supposed to be called Silent Hills. Did Gold have some sort of psychological trauma in his past?

Could they bring back some of these beta Pokes? Farfetched could use the evolved form.

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34 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Didn't notice the map until you said it (I'm using Night Forest), but yeah it is interesting. A little boring, but to be fair this is a beta, sans cave and building interiors as well. Guess they concluded fitting all of Japan in one game was either too ambitious or bad from a marketing perspective (and fitting in Kanto, while unique among Pokemon games, was indeed quite barebones as is in the final product).

This being a beta from a whole two years prior to actual GS release, it's understandable why these Pokemon designs would be so different. We don't even have a steely Scizor! I'm happy they delayed things.

I find it funny though the starting town was supposed to be called Silent Hills. Did Gold have some sort of psychological trauma in his past?

Could they bring back some of these beta Pokes? Farfetched could use the evolved form.

Well, Gold and Silver were originally gonna be the last games. Perhaps, like what happened with FE and Awakening, they were aiming big. Though this might apply for the second release date, maybe.

I've seen people theorize that the two-year delay (where no info whatsoever came out for a year) is because they were rebuilding everything from almost scratch.

If you ask me, the fact the anime was going to debut shortly before Gold and Silver were originally going to be released, likely had a hand in the delay once initial reactions to the anime happened. Maybe. Who knows.

Edited by Acacia Sgt

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I'm stuck on beta Leafeon. Actually, I see an early Leafeon, Tangrowth, Lickilicky, and Mime Jr design. All of which were finalized in Gen 4.

 

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Gotta say, really diggin Murkrow's original design. Ultimately though Im glad this didn't become the roster. Gotta have my lugia.

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6 minutes ago, Acacia Sgt said:

Well, Gold and Silver were originally gonna be the last game. Perhaps, like what happened with FE and Awakening, they were aiming big.

I've seen people theorize that the two-year delay (where no info whatsoever came out for a year) is because they were rebuilding everything from almost scratch.

Sounds feasible to me. That'd also give all the time needed to come up with redesigns- and you know you're really changing things up when you overhaul two starter lines- mascots of every generation.

But to think, Pokemon ending after only two generation. Did Nintendo not realize how big a moneymaker Pokemon was back then? *Looks at release dates*

Red and Green: February 27, 1996

Red and Blue: September 28, 1998

Yup! Beta GS was planned to release merely a year after it first released in Japan, and before they ever considered bringing Pocket Monsters aboard. By no means could they have been expecting it'd turn into a decades-long moneymaker for Nintendo. Thus them wrapping up Pokemon with just one more set of games covering all of Japan.

During the supposed delay to rebuild, they must have caught notice of the profits Pocket Monsters was bringing in and took a longer perspective for the series into consideration. Then, probably too late into the rebuild to truly affect it, international sales turn out to be hotcakes, and drives home the need for a long-term focus for the Pokemon franchise.  

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It looks like there was initially a Poison stone item. It was for Bellossom, "Bellmet" (the alt Bellsprout evo), and Umbreon. Umbreon is reportedly venomous in certain dex entries, so that makes sense. The original Ariados is made of nightmares.

I'm.sad about the loss of baby Grimer and baby Vulpix most out of the scrapped ones, but I have feelings for that Ditto evo. It apparently results from trading one with the metal coat item.

PokeGoldDemo-front_188.png

Just wow.

Edited by Altrosa

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3 hours ago, Altrosa said:

I'm.sad about the loss of baby Grimer and baby Vulpix most out of the scrapped ones, but I have feelings for that Ditto evo. It apparently results from trading one with the metal coat item.

PokeGoldDemo-front_188.png

Just wow.

It's supposed to be what exactly? Something that leaps out of nowhere, impales you, and then latches onto your body like a leech?

 

38 minutes ago, Fryer said:

What is everyone's opinion towards Beta Johto? Do you prefer the beta design or what we got as the finalized product?

It's a bit hard to tell from a beta, since there is no trainers, no items, berry trees, etc.. Parts are obviously incomplete, others not included, and there is overuse of maze-like paths. But the general concept is indeed as said before ambitious. You have all four major islands of Japan represented in some way, that is for such a compact game, a Game Boy one, no small feat.

What we got in the final product was only part of western Honshu, which made for what is probably a more cohesive place. Covering all of Japan at once would be diverse, but perhaps rather hectic and incoherent. Final Johto has Goldenrod as a urban center and Olivine as a port, but is largely rural and traditional, as in IRL, which gives it a certain warm feel. Looking at the beta map, you have palm trees (near what I guess are based on ancient Japanese funerary mounds?) and snow-covered evergreens at opposite ends of the map, that is literally combining Hoenn and Sinnoh.

Honestly, I wouldn't mind a finalized version of Beta Johto, and I can see how being rustic Final Johto can be boring, but I do like how Pokemon works with smaller regions and makes them vibrant (I really should try to get back into the series).

 

Also, from what Bulbapedia has to say on GS beta, this might not show off all of the Pokemon that were planned at the time, since there is this picture from 1997:

Spoiler

File:MicroGroup Game Review Volume 14.jpg

Ttar makes me happy! But what is with the six-legged Clef-something? Or the Carracosta/Tirtouga predecessor?

Nice guy (PC?) trainer too, but the purple says a little villainous combined with the look on his face. I doubt the girl here was playable, looks more like a new version of the Lass type.

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This is interesting. I always like reading and seeing the history and development of older games like Pokémon Red/Blue and Gold/Silver.

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2 hours ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

It's supposed to be what exactly? Something that leaps out of nowhere, impales you, and then latches onto your body like a leech?

Honestly, that's probably why it was scrapped.

Ditto always freaked me out as a kid, being this mass of flesh just wriggling around, so a version that's a half molten nail that looks like it's eternally screaming sounds like nightmares.

The fact it's a trade evo would ruin my chance to use it, though. Shame.

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7 hours ago, Altrosa said:

Honestly, that's probably why it was scrapped.

Ditto always freaked me out as a kid, being this mass of flesh just wriggling around, so a version that's a half molten nail that looks like it's eternally screaming sounds like nightmares.

Honestly the first generation goes back to Satoshi Tajiri's original idea of bugs crawling over a GB link cable more than later gens would. (Has anyone actually ever staged an IRL pict of this?)

Not to say Gen 1 was "dark" or "edgy" or "mature" or anything like that. Only that Gen 1 in the official artwork is a little more monstrous- creepy, mean, ugly.

Clefairy and Pikachu are as much part of Gen 1 as Victreebel and Gengar, and later gens do have things like Stunfisk and Wormadam, so Gen 1 doesn't have a monopoly on the gross nor lacks the cute. Nonetheless, I do think, particularly as of Gen 3, Pokemon shifted a degree away from Pocket Monsters to Pocket Plushies. 

One piece of evidence for this is to this day, six generations and two decades later, according to Bulbapedia, half of all Poison types originated in Gen 1. Poison is just the type that lends itself to ugliness and monstrosity.

Beta Johto's Pokemon, made in the same zeitgeist of Gen 1 coming just a year later, does despite all the cute babies align itself with the Gen 1 in a significant measure (although not as much). Metal Coat Ditto is one, the Baby Paras half devoured by a mushroom is another, Beta Hitmontop has three eyes and isn't actually upside down I think.

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Interestingly, Pikachu wasn't a Tajiri concept. Atsuko Nishida came up with the original Pikachu.

But, this is a pretty good explanation on why so many fans aren't interested in the newer, "cuter" designs. 

You can apply this to Gen 5, too, with their unique aesthetic of realism, even more so that Gen 1, as well.

 

I'm actually glad most of these designs were scrapped. The better ones were added to Gen 4, but most of these are hilariously squishy or unpleasant.

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I'm kinda surprised that some of the Pokemon were suppose to get Pre-Evolutions and Evolutions before the final game happened. Also, I'm kinda surprised to see the previous designs of the Beast Trio were originally suppose to be more like dogs since Pokemon Generations shorts did showed the flash back of the Beast Trio were trapped in the Burning Tower before Ho-Oh resurrected them did showed a silhouette of them as dogs. I kinda wondered if one of the developers from Pokemon Generations saw some of the beta designs or asked ones developers from Gold and Silver about planning to think of something for the Beast Trio's origins and come up with the idea of making the beast trio were originally dog-like Pokemon.

Edited by King Marth 64

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