Pokémon Gold and Silver was the most fun I ever had with the series. I’ve made no secret of how I dropped off on the franchise over a decade ago, but I get why new generations are perpetually compelled to the games. However, new and old fans alike will be surprised to see some of the early gen 2 designs freshly uncovered for Pokémon Gold and Silver from a Space World ’99 demo, whose source code has apparently leaked online. While people are still poring over the data, images for all the Pokémon in the game have already been shared online, including some really different early designs for Celebi, Pichu, and others. Here is just a somewhat random sampling:
Clearly, not every sprite was finished, which is understandable. Nintendo’s 1999 Space World event occurred in August, whereas Pokémon Gold and Silver released in Japan a few months later in November. A quick scan of the 251 critters will show you how much looks as you would expect and how much is looking a bit askew.
Beta or not, the looks of many Pokémon have evolved over time, or sometimes they have been altered very consciously, as is the case with Jynx’s skin color being changed for issues of sensitivity.
For more potential leaks, check out how there might have once been plans to create… a Pokémon Pink.