Fans uncovered some never-before-seen designs from Pokémon Gold and Silver, showing new baby forms and evolutions for Generation I and II creatures. Pokémon hasn't exactly left the spotlight over the years, but they've been having a stellar time lately. Aside from the near-ubiquitous nature of Pokémon GO following its launch, fans have been eagerly awaiting the rumored core Pokémon RPG for the Switch. Luckily, that's still coming in 2019, but some more events are closer at hand.
Two new Pokémon RPGs are coming to the Switch in November when Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee drop and attempt to merge Pokémon GO with the more familiar aspects of the main handheld game. Of course, those titles will only allow players to interact with the original 151 characters (along with their new Alolan forms from Sun and Moon). Naturally, there are hundreds of other pocket monsters that have been rolled out over the years that a Pokémon game can take advantage of. But the history of the franchise is also full of character designs that have been discarded.
Eurogamer is reporting that fans have discovered some unused character designs from Pokémon Gold and Silver. The start of Generation II and the follow-up to the original batch of games, Gold and Silver added the Steel and Dark Types while also bringing Baby Pokémon into the mix. As a result, a number of new evolutions, Baby forms, and alternates to the new Types were toyed with before the final roster was set in stone. Take a look at the full list of Pokémon originally envisioned for the game.
Just a quick glance will show that different takes on Pichu, Noctowl, Hitmontop, and many others were attempted before the games were released. That's actually fairly common, as we recently learned that Pikachu almost had a very different evolution. As more and more games have been created, all sorts of designs and code for would-be characters have emerged. And often, iterations of these concepts eventually become playable Pokémon. In the Gold and Silver designs, we can see some different Baby Pokémon, including a new form for Mr. Mime that would eventually become Mr. Mime Jr. in Generation IV.
Eurogamer also notes that more information was hidden in the code, including the fact that Eevee was once meant to evolve a Poison form before the Dark-type Umbreon was born. There's also evidence that Ditto, Weepinbell, Farfetch'd, Qwilfish, Tangela, and Lickitung evolutions were in the works, though the latter two did eventually manifest with different designs. Even the familiar Starters were quite different at one point, with Chikorita and its evolutions joined by a different Fire and Water Pokémon. The bear-like Fire Starter has yet to have a counterpart, but it's not hard to see echoes of the seal Pokémon Popplio in the Water Starter.
Hopefully, these new looks at some old Pokémon will hold fans over as they await the new games on the horizon. There's also, of course, Detective Pikachu to look forward to. With Pokémon coming into the world of live-action, joining the Nintendo Switch, and getting new mobile games all the time, there's no shortage of media that could be used to introduce new characters. With any luck, an upcoming Pokémon project will dust off some of these designs.