Let's Talk About: Pokemon Gen I and II Beta's (Part 2)

In our previous post, we spoke about all the beta Pokemon that were cut out of the first generation games, but what about the second generation? Thanks to a leak last year, the infamous Space World 1997 demo was released for the whole world to see. Let's jump right in!

The Gen II starters are a group of very loved Pokemon, but it could have been entirely different. Strangely, only the Chikorita line seems to have had any sort of impact on the developers, as the rest were removed entirely. "Bayleef" was a much stranger Pokemon that didn't really resemble either Chikorita or Meganium. As for the other two, well they were scrapped entirely. It's possible these Pokemon were reworked later, as I've seen speculation that "Bayleef" became Flabebe, "Cyndaquil" inspired Teddiursa, and "Totodile" eventually became the Popplio line, though personally I believe this purely to be a coincidence.

The original Gen II starters

The starters aren't the only Pokemon whose designs weren't up to scratch, as a fair few other Pokemon saw some reworks, though not as major. Firstly we'll cover the infamous Baby Pokemon, which all received redesigns. Most of them are similar to their final versions, though still have a few differences between them (some more than others). There were also a few more that didn't make it into the games, but we'll cover those later in this post!

Tyrogue is yet another Baby Pokemon introduced in this generation, who also had a massive redesign, alongside it's evolution, Hitmontop. Not baby Pokemon, however, are Remoraid and Octillery, who were always a strange family, but their original concept makes their family resemblance a lot clearer. They looked closer to a gun and a tank than their final designs did, leaving a lot of fans disappointed with their final change.

Whilst we aren't talking about cut mechanics in these posts, there were some cut items that tie into evolution, being the Poison and Heart Stone. The Poison Stone would be used to obtain Umbreon, Bellossom, and a new evolution of Weepinbell (called Tsubomitto), and the Heart Stone would be used to obtain Xatu, Politoad and Espeon. Because of this, Umbreon was originally a Poison type, and Bellossom a Poison/Grass type.

There's a few more Pokemon that saw some redesigns which we'll brush over here. Noctowl followed Hoothoot's owl design rather than a real life owl, Mantine appeared more angelic, Marill was pink, Ariados had an angry face akin to it's pre-evolution, Phanpy looked more like a tea-pot elephant, Girafarig's design was more of a palindrome, Ledian just looked like a redesigned Ledyba, the Hoppip family were more cat-like, Blissey just looked odd, Scizor was green, Porygon2 looked like Pon de Lion, and Kingdra looked more similar to Seadra.

...and there's still a few more Pokemon that saw redesigns! We've decided to include them separately since they have more semblance attached to them. First up we have the Legendary Beasts. These guys look really incomplete and we can happily say we're glad they got redesigned. The same applies for Sneasel and Aipom. Interestingly, these two, along with Snubbull and Togepi, appear at the very end of the Pokedex. We've seen some speculate that since these Pokemon are so far down the Dex, that they may have been related to Legendary Pokemon (especially since Snubbull was also a Psychic type), but we think that's just conjecture and was the way the Pokedex was implemented for this build.

Well, that's most of the Pokemon that were changed in development, but what about the ones that were cut entirely? A few from the Gen I games actually make it back into this demo, and were yet again cut, it seems like they just can't catch a break.

Firstly, it turns out Mime Jr. wasn't the only Pokemon they wanted to revisit in later generations. We could have received Tangrowth, Lickylicky and Leafeon in this generation, rather than Gen IV. Luckily they were held off, because other than Tangrowth, the other two don't have a lot going for them.

Then we have the baby Pokemon. Baby Vulpix, Ponyta, Growlithe, and Meowth are all present again, but ultimately got scrapped. Baby Zubat is the only one who didn't make it into the second generation, and was likely scrapped as Crobat had already made it into this build. Tangela, Paras, Doduo, Grimer and Mr. Mime all have baby forms present, and as we know, none of these, aside from Mr. Mime, received a baby form in future games.

And finally we have evolutions of Pokemon that got cut, or Pokemon that just got cut entirely. We'll start off with the evolutions we haven't mentioned yet. Qwilfish was to evolve into Shiberefugu at level 18 (both being Water types), Girafarig would evolve from a Pokemon called Twins at level 29 (both being Dark/Normal types), Farfethch'd would evolve into Madame at level 24, and most interestingly, Ditto would evolve into Animon via the use of a Metal Coat. 

But Ditto isn't the only Pokemon that got some more lore behind it. Much like our Kangaskhan drama from Gen I, Slowbro's famous shell-tail was to become it's own Pokemon, called Turban. In the games, it's mentioned this Pokemon is a Shellder that's latched onto a Slowpoke's tail, but Turban doesn't have any relation to the Slowpoke or Shellder families. Between Animon and Turban, it seems GameFreak had plans to further develop these Pokemon families, and it's sad to think we'll likely never get to officially see them.
A couple more Pokemon were removed entirely, but they're nowhere near as interesting as the previous two. Manboo1 (no, the 1 at the end isn't a type on our end) was a Water Pokemon that evolved into the Water/Steel type, Ikari at level 19, and then into Grotesque at level 38 with the same typing. This evolution line seems to go from a fish, to an anchor, to an eel, so it's possible it got cut due to being too confusing (not like that's stopped them before).

Our last batch of cut Pokemon are probably the fan favorites. First are our tiger friends mentioned in our previous post, this time named Kotora and Raitora, and are now a two stage family rather than three. We assume these guys got cut  for redundancy after Raikou was fully designed, as it's also a thunder tiger. We've also got an evolution of Pinsir named Plucks, who would evolve at level 42. We also assume this Pokemon went on to become Heracross. Then we've got a perculiar Fire/Water type called Bomshika, based off a seal.

Now we've only got three families left; Rinrin, Norowara, and Wolfman. Rinrin was a Dark type cat Pokemon, who'd evolve into Berurun at level 28, and was female only. Norowara was a Ghost type who'd evolve into Kyonpan at level 1. We assume this was either a placeholder evolution level, or there was a unique concept behind it that they couldn't get working, which led to it's demise. And finally to finish it off we have our personal favorite, Wolfman, who evolved into Werewolf at level 35. These guys were pure Ice types

And that's all the Pokemon that saw substantial redesigns in the Gen II games, or were cut completely. But what about the rest of the Pokemon that are included in Gen II? Outside of the ones listed, only the Mareep line, Quagsire, Skarmory, Sunflora, Donphan, Smeargle, Slowking, Unown, Ledyba, Miltank, Delibird, Houndour, Houndoom, Steelix, Snubbull, and Ho-oh appear with very minor graphical updates, so we opted not to include them. As for the rest, they simply don't exist in the demo. That means that all the afore mentioned Pokemon were all standalone lines, with no evolutions.

It's great to finally see this demo in it's full glory. Previously we had seen a small glimpse of the demo, which only showed Hoppip's original design, as well as Girafarig, and early concept art of Bellossom - now we've been fortunate enough to see stuff that wasn't even visible in the demo! So, now that we've gone through the majority of Gen I and II's betas, which ones do we think could reappear in Sword and Shield? In all honesty, we don't think any of them have a chance to reappear. Speculation aside, we haven't seen any of these designs revisited since Gen IV, which was 13 years ago, but there's always a chance they could revisit their vault and put updated versions of these cut monsters in their future games.

Sources: https://helixchamber.com/2019/02/16/what-dreams-may-come/


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