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There’s nothing quite like finding a prototype of a beloved classic that contains a number of hitherto unknown secrets — especially for a game with such an enduring legacy. Pokémon Red & Green is arguably one of the most essential games to ever exist, but it’s also a notoriously buggy game held together with tape and hope that bled a number of oddities, most notably Missingno and other glitch Pokémon. Well, now we’ve seen prototype date for R&G, which has revealed an entire bevy of Poké-info.

Most striking here are the beta Pokémon, many of whom have their backsprites present in the files. Besides what appear to be early versions of ‘mons like Zubat, Meowth, and Magnemite, a ton of never-before-seen designs are present too, from the fabled “Gorochu” to a tiger evolutionary line to a Mechagodzilla ripoff. While none of the designs to have been used in future Pokémon installments, it’s plausible that some served as basic inspirations for later generations, such as a balloon Pokémon that could lead to Driftloon, or a deer that bares a certain resemblance to Stantler.

Pokémon aren’t the only things found in the code, of course. There are proto-Trainer types, including alternate versions of the main character and a Silph Chief that looks a lot like Blaine; unused moves and sets of Pokémon; and a large list of unknown Pokémon cries. It’s too much info to unpack in a short piece, so go to the source over at Helix Chamber for the full breakdown, and marvel at what might have been for everyone’s favorite catchin’-em-all franchise.


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Written by Amelia Fruzzetti

A writer and Nintendo fan based in Seattle, Washington. When not working for NinWire, she can be found eating pasta, writing stories, and wondering about when Mother 3 is finally going to get an official localization.