Prototype Pokémon Sword and Shield builds now leaked

Multiple builds of the generation eight games have been uncovered – and they’re playable. They’ve given an insight into development for the games.

Update 22nd October: A further build have been found, dating later in development to May 2018.

In the run-up to the official release of the Crown Tundra expansion, there has been an unexpected deluge of screenshots from a prototype version of Pokémon Sword and Shield, shedding light on an earlier stage of development for the Generation 8 games. A playable build dated to March 2018 was found (likely an early stage of ‘post-pre production’), as is an older one from 2017.

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These leaks have shown primitive versions of everything from the Title screen and Overworld, to early Y-Comm icons, to the 20 Pokémon that were used as filler data in the prototype builds (the link erroneously identifies a table folder as a Pokémon). There were even elements that are missing in the base games, such as a Mega evolution (Mega Rayquaza). The build uses Pokémon Sun and Moon as a base, and includes Pokémon not available in the full game including from Expansion Pass, such as Furfrou and Beedrill. A possible early G-Max Toxtricity form (possibly a statue) has been found in the overworld (corresponding to where Leon stops dynamaxing Pokémon after the seventh Gym), while there is evidence the Avalugg line may have had a different evolution in its species line (likely scrapped during generation six).

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Even some beta music tracks haven been uncovered. The Wild Battle and Gym themes are examples, as well as a different version of the second phase of the Gym Leader battle theme. This version has a more realistic crowd chanting sound, as opposed to the more melodic singing present in the final version.

The older build includes some curious finds, like a stylised version of original Kanto map art, and a very small Ballonlea town.

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Further analysis and images can be seen on Lewtwo‘s Twitter thread, who has summarised the findings nicely. The source for these new leaks are currently unknown, but more findings are still being made.

What do you think of the information these leaks show?

Co-written with bobandbill.
Edited by Siddhar.