Pokemon Beta Design that Game Fans Should Return to

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As Pokemon is about to release its latest ninth generation with Pokemon Scarlet and Violet this November, Game Freak should revisit some of the earliest Pokemon beta versions from its series that were never released in the final version. As the series continues to grow, and the total number of Pokemon seems to reach the thousand mark, returning to the history of Pokemon beta sprites can help interest nostalgic players, as well as revive good designs that perhaps should never have been disposed of. Even if some old ideas have been recycled, there is still a lot of untapped potential.

One of the most famous cases of beta design leaks occurred in 2018, when an early demonstration of what would later become Pokemon Gold and Silver appeared on the network. This demo, presented at Nintendo Space World ’97, gave the first glimpse of Game Freak’s plans for a Pokemon sequel. While many of the Pokemon featured in the demo eventually made it into the final version of the game, many others were cut out. These beta Pokemon, ranging from several new Pokemon cubs from one of the Pokemon Gold and Silver tricks to a completely unique design that no one has seen since, deserve a second chance.

Baby Pokemon

To begin with, Game Freak has to solve most of these beta projects with numerous small Pokemon that she originally created. Baby Pokemon were synonymous with Pokemon Gold and Silver when the mechanics of sex and reproduction were introduced into games. Most of the Pokemon cubs that were introduced were usually for existing Pokemon from the first games, which led to the fan term “pre-evolution”. Pokemon players will be aware of memorable little Pokemon like Pichu, Elekid and Magby, but a whole host of others were planned and eventually cut before the final release.

It is clear that not all Single Pokemon have a good design, since the baby Makeup Artist was nothing more than a drop of slime, and the baby Paras looks more like a mushroom than a beetle. However, some of the designs were great, such as Baby Meowt, who used 5 yen coins as inspiration related to Pokemon’s relationship with money, or baby Tangela, who would reveal more of the actual body hidden under the vines in later evolutions. Since no additional pre-evolutions of existing Pokemon have been introduced since Gen 4, Game Freak may benefit from this and revisit these baby betas for new inspiration.

Bomushikaa

If there is one beta design that deserves revision, it is Bomushikaa. With its name deriving from “bomb” and Japanese for sea lion “ashika”, Bomushikaa would have been the very first type of water/fire before Volcanion all the way into Gen 6. Its sprite image depicts a unique Bomushikaa trick where it balanced magma. a ball similar to a circus sea lion, which leads players to believe that this concept was later redesigned for the Popplio line also from the 6th generation, although without the fire type. However, the Popplio line may be missing the most distinctive elements that Bomushikaa has, which means that the potential of the beta version remains unnoticed.

Honoguma, Borubea and Dinabea

For Pokemon Gold and Silver beginners, after an early demonstration, only the Chikorita line remained. But while the beta seal-like water starter line is supposed to eventually become the Popplio line, the beta fire starter has not yet been revised. Instead of the Cyndaquil line, another line of bear Pokemon was originally planned. Their names use the Japanese “kuma” and “bea” for the bear with the words “fire”, “volcano” and “dynamite”, it is easy to see the similarity between him and the Sindakila line. But the fire bear has not been seen in Pokemon yet, so these beta versions may inspire the creation of new Pokemon or even possible variants.

Kotor and Raytor

Oddly enough, while fans assume that Manectric’s mega-evolution design is related to Raikou’s original beta design, it seems that Raikou’s official design was also taken from another Pokemon beta line: Kotora and Raitora. It seems that they are based on clay bells in the shape of a tiger, Kotor and Raytor were a line of electric tiger-like Pokemon whose bell sounded like thunder. Adorable because they are unique and there are currently so few Pokemon tigers, Kotor and Raitor can be re-introduced in games if they are slightly modified to distinguish them, Raikou and Chingling.

Norovara and Kenpan

Given the absence of ghost-type Pokemon in Pokemon Gold and Silver with the return of the Gastli evolutionary line and the introduction of Misdreavus, it is not entirely clear why Norovara and Kenpan were cut out as new Ghost Pokemon. Some suspect it’s because of the inspiration of the voodoo doll, but the design isn’t too different from other Pokemon like Banette. However, since Pokemon were created around the Curse as their signature technique, they represent wasted potential that can be lost if it is not reviewed.

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