Playing through Pokemon Let's Go Eevee and Pikachu is a nostalgic experience that's sure to have gotten fans of the original Game Boy games excited. Indeed, returning to the Kanto region with the original Pocket Monsters from Pokemon Red and Blue is a wonderful trip down memory lane. Having said that, those all too familiar faces could have been a lot different based on some new images of the original Pokemon designs that have surfaced.
The latest scrapped designs to emerge from The Pokemon Company's vault were recently aired on the Japanese TV channel NHK, where several well-known monsters from the first generation of games were shown to look very different than how they ended up. Some of these are only slight variations on the finished designs, with Lapras, Rhyhorn, and Arcanine looking very reminiscent of how they ended up.
Shockingly, mainstays like Scyther and Gyarados look radically different than what trainers are familiar with. At the very least, the latter Pokemon is a far more grotesque monster than what players eventually evolved their Magikarp in to, which is saying a lot given how intensely powerful the creature looks already.
Scyther (pictured upper middle between Pinsir and Lapras) is much more dragon-like in appearance, and would have presumably operated like a quadruped. Truthfully, Scyther's final design that everyone knows and loves is sharper and places more emphasis on its scythe-like hands in lieu of providing it with an abdomen more akin to a praying mantis. This version would work spectacularly as a pre-evolved form if The Pokemon Company ever decides to revisit it, though.
Meanwhile, the early look at Gyarados (pictured lower middle between Arcanine and Cloyster) is one of the coolest designs ever scrapped in the Pokemon series. Featuring a Tremors-inspired aesthetic, the design is much more intimidating than the way Magikarp's evolved form ended up looking. Perhaps it will emerge again at some point, but with Gyarados securing a Mega Evolution this seems unlikely – barring something like an Alola form.
This isn't the first time that long-forgotten concepts for Pokemon have surfaced either. The original Japan-only demo for Pokemon Gold and Silver was discovered and datamined by fans, and they discovered a number of never-before-seen designs from the second generation. One was actually a metallic evolution for Ditto, which appears to have only just recently become Meltan from Pokemon Let's Go Eevee and Pikachu.
As is evident by that example, these concepts do have a way of turning up again when Game Freak and The Pokemon Company find a need for them. Who knows, perhaps these original Scyther and Gyarados designs will find a way to do just that when Pokemon Gen 8 arrives on Nintendo Switch in 2019.
Source: NHK (via Benisboy - Twitter)