In-Depth Stories

How several Pokémon changed during Pokémon Gold and Silver development

We’ve learnt about stat and typing changes made to various Pokémon in development of Pokémon Gold and Silver, including those that were cut… and sometimes brought back into the game.

Analysis has continued throughout the year on the intriguing prototypes discovered for Pokémon Gold and Silver. Lately, website The Cutting Room Floor has released a new page detailing the various changes in base stats assigned to Pokémon during the development of the first generation two titles. Some Pokémon gained stats and others lost during different builds, and some Pokémon were outright cut… and added back in later. Cut Pokémon also have a detailed summary given here.

The articles are worth a full read, but here are the highlights from their findings:

  • The generation one Starter Pokémon, and Eevee, initially had an equal 50:50 gender ratio, which was only changed to 75:25 (male:female) later on in development. This was only changed during August 1999, to the currently used split of 87.5:12.5. The same happened for the Johto Starter Pokémon.
    • On the topic of gender ratios, Tauros was only changed to male only, perhaps to accommodate the addition of Miltank later in development.
    • Staryu originally had a 50/50 split, before the very late change to ‘Genderless’ in the 3rd September build. This was such a late change, that Staryu still had Egg Moves in the final release!
    • Slowking was originally male only, perhaps because of its name. The Snubbull line was meanwhile originally female only.
  • All Johto Starters were initially given the same Base Stats as their Kanto counterparts – but the Cyndaquil line kept the same stats throughout development. Was it forgotten about, or did the developers just feel it didn’t need to differentiate any further from the Charmander line, when they altered the stats for the Chikorita and Totodile line?
  • Togetic was one new Pokémon with its stats and typing only decided upon later in development. It originally had the same Normal typing and stats as Togepi!
  • Sunkern evidently was a single stage Pokémon in the 1997 Spaceworld demo. Only later were the plans for Sunflora revealed. Sunkern’s stats, typing, and evolution method were removed during July, evidence that it was to be cut. However, it got a reprieve and was given its finalised base 30 stats by the 22nd August build.
  • Espeon and Umbreon were quite different earlier in development. Espeon had its Special Attack and Special Defense stats swapped, and had much less Speed. Umbreon went from a slow Special Attacking nuke to its more defensive spread now. This aligns with Umbreon’s interesting development history, where it was originally a Poison type that evolved from, at one point, low Friendship (the same was originally the case for Golbat to evolve into Crobat).

Umbreon’s toxic origins

  • Pineco was originally a single stage Grass-type Pokémon.
  • Shuckle has a rather big set of changes. It originally only had 210 BST, with base 60 defenses and 15-25 Speed and Attacking stats. It was also Genderless and Rock/Ground, and was set to have an evolution which was quickly cut. Only after the Spaceworld 1999 demo did its type change and it received its (much) higher defensive stats… which were further buffed in time for the final release.
  • The Teddiursa line evidently replaced the cut Kotora and Raitora lines – the latter appeared in the scratchpads for Teddiursa and Ursaring, and the latter were also Electric types initially.
  • While Piloswine’s early evolution was removed from the final game, only to reappear as Mamoswine in generation four titles, it was Swinub who had dummied out stats at one point – it was the one to be cut at some stage! This only appeared in a build that had this change reverted two weeks later.
  • Among the other interesting entries for cut Pokémon is Purakkusu, the Pinsir counterpart to Scizor. It was heavily developed, with two evolution methods, a Steel typing added (but no Steel-typed attacks), and even Pokédex entries! It was meant to be a trio with Scizor and Heracross, given their shared Bug typing and identical BST.
Purakkusu was quite developed before it was removed from the game. The Cutting Room Floor
  • Lugia originally had a very similar spread to Mewtwo, just with HP and Speed swapped. It was only later turned into a more defensive Pokémon. Ho-Oh meanwhile only became a Fire/Flying type (from Normal/Flying) by the 1999 Spaceworld demo.
  • Scyther and Pinsir originally evolved through the King’s Rock – before they had their original development plans changed (Scyther gaining the Steel typing and Pinsir’s evolution being removed).
  • Even Held Items of wild Pokémon shows some interesting ideas during development. For instance, Slowpoke were originally likely to hold a Slowpoketail item. This was removed by final release, with an internal document mentioning that keeping it in would allow players to mass catch Slowpoke and sell their tails… the very thing the player was stopping Team Rocket from doing.

What are your favourite new findings from the generation two development changes?

Edited by Corviknight and Kitty.