Initially, “Pokémon” creator Satoshi Tajiri intended to call his project “Capsule Monsters” after having been inspired by gashapon vending machines. While ultimately unable to secure the name “Capsule Monsters,” Tajiri shortened it to “CapuMon” before finally settling on “Pocket Monsters.” Also of note here are early designs for Gengar and what is presumably Nidorino.
Early in-game animation sketches of catching a Pokémon.
At first, one half of the Poké Ball would slide into the other instead of opening on a hinge as they do now. In addition, the button to open it appeared on the top.
An early concept for an individual Pokémon’s status page complete with what could possibly be a prototype Charizard.
An early concept for a battle screen that would have had the Pokémon face-to-face as opposed to the finalized over-the-shoulder perspective. Did Nintendo scrap the idea of having a depressed Donkey Kong wearing a cap be used as a Pokémon?
Aerial view of a conceptual town whose populace enjoys caging their Pokémon like common animals.
A trainer and his Rhydon exploring a cave. Upon closer examination of the artwork you’ll see a baby Pokémon hatching from an egg. This lends to the possibility that the idea of breeding Pokémon and raising eggs was thrown around prior to “Pokémon Gold” and “Pokémon Silver.”
On top is a battle between a rather large Slowbro and an even bigger Gastly, of which is being whipped by its trainer. Below is Staryu landing a critical hit on an early concept of Blastoise, sans shoulder cannons.
If this concept art is anything to go by, it looks like the game’s developers intended to have hotels serve the same function as a Pokémon Center (which would explain that hotel in Celadon City that looks like an empty version of the aforementioned establishment). Also notice how most of the trainers look somewhat like roughnecks.
Aside from selling Max Potions and Escape Ropes, Poké Marts would have also specialized in the sale of actual Pokémon. Although, based on the concept art, one’s lack of experience would bar them from purchasing more powerful ones. I’ll just take an embryonic Pokémon and leave…
Who needs the Hidden Machine to learn Surf when Lapras could ferry you from island to island? Aside from the horn moving to the top of its head, Lapras didn’t deviate too far from the original concept art.
Fake Pokémon they’re not! These are actual early designs that were either altered or scrapped entirely. Weedle was originally intended to follow the real life growth cycle of a beetle, but why this was rejected in favor of a giant bee is anyone’s guess. And check out that regal final evolution for Poliwhirl!
This is a cover to a magazine showcasing “Pokémon” series artist Ken Sugimori’s rejected designs for trainers and Pokémon. Even though it was supposed to appear as early as “Pokémon Red” and “Pokémon Blue,” Tyranitar was at last used in “Pokémon Gold” and “Pokémon Silver.”
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