Almost 20 years after its original release, fans have discovered an early demo of Pokémon Gold and Silver. This version of the game shows off a variety of cut features, including old Pokémon designs and Pokémon that never made it into the final game.
Two years before its official 1999 release, Nintendo showed off a demo version of what would become Pokémon Gold and Silver at the Nintendo Space World Convention. No one has seen the demo since until now.
Yesterday, a ResetEra user by the name of ‘ERAsaur’ announced the discovery of the Space World demo. The website The Cutting Room Floor, a website dedicated to unearthing and archiving unused and cut features in games, has created a spreadsheet of all the information they’ve collected so far from the demo. They are still transferring information about the prototype onto the wiki. Some of the uncovered features include:
- A Bigger Map: The original map was evidently based of of the entirety of Japan. Notably, the Kanto region, the region players explored in Pokémon Red and Blue, was compressed into a single large town.
- Unused Story Elements: Among the unused sprites in the demo are Blue, also known as your rival Gary from Pokémon Red and Blue, and Giovanni, the final gym leader and the head of Team Rocket in Pokémon Red and Blue. The fact that Giovanni appears in the demo’s sprites could be an early version of a plotline in the remake HeartGold and SoulSilver where the player could meet and fight Giovanni at his hideout at Tohjo Falls.
- Unused/Changed Pokémon: The demo already had a variety of Pokémon designs that were changed or scrapped for the final version.
Some of these also provide some interesting context. Like this one, which shows that the Pokémon Remoraid and Octillery were originally designed to resemble a revolver and a tank (the colored ones are the final sprites.)
Out of the original designs (as in not a baby Pokémon or an evolution to an existing Pokémon,) this one might be my favorite. It’s a mix between a panda and a jiangshi known as Pangshi
Although it might not have all of the information on there yet, you can read up on the unreleased content here. It also provides access to the ROM, for those that have an emulator.