The Best Pokemon That Never Were
There are over 900 Pokemon who have made official appearances in Pokemon games over the years. However, thanks to a number of leaks, interviews, and other media material over the year, we know that Game Freak designers have come up with many other Pokemon who, for some reason or another, have wound up on the proverbial cutting room floor. Some Pokemon were cut due to space restrictions in early Pokemon games, while others simply failed internal polls or were cut because they didn't meet the general aesthetic of the Pokemon series.
Luckily, a lot of this lost content has made it into the hands of fans over the years. Between a series of leaks of early beta Pokemon, datamines, or new material released over the years, we've gotten a valuable look at dozens of "lost" Pokemon, which help showcase how the franchise has evolved even outside of the public view.
Since Pokemon Day is a celebration of the entire Pokemon franchise, let's take a look at some of the best Pokemon who never appeared in an actual Pokemon game.
Perhaps the most intriguing Pokemon to have not made the cut is Gorochu, a planned evolution of Raichu. In the original plans for the Pokemon franchise, Pikachu was meant to have a two-tier evolution that culminated in Gorochu. The Pokemon was unfortunately removed due to a lack of space and balance issues, but we do have a description of what the Pokemon was to look like. According to designer Atsuko Nishida, who designed the Pikachu line, Gorochu "had fangs and horns and looked like a god of thunder."
Fan art of Gorochu (such as the one seen below) popped up not long after the Pokemon's existence was discovered. However, a leaked beta of Pokemon Red and Green revealed that Gorochu had only one horn. We've yet to see Gorochu's front sprite, so the Pokemon is still shrouded in mystery.prevnext
Godzillante is an early concept Pokemon created by Satoshi Tajiri when he first pitched the Pokemon concept to Nintendo in the early 1990s. The fire-breathing lizard appeared in a handdrawn picture that Tajiri used to pitch the game, facing off against a cap-wearing monkey named Gorillaimo in a callback to the Godzilla vs. King Kong movie. While it's likely that Godzillante was never meant to be an actual Pokemon, it did make several unofficial appearances. The Pokemon's design seems to have inspired the Substitute doll, and it has also made a cameo appearance as a Pokemon toy.prevnext
Crocky is another Pokemon cut early which first appeared in the 2018 manga Satoshi Tajiri: The Man Who Created Pokemon. Not much is known about this Pokemon other than it looks like a derpy crocodile with side tufts of hair. The Pokemon was seemingly cut early in the creation process (as it didn't appear in the leaked Pokemon Red and Blue beta), but it still created quite an uproar when it finally appeared online.
if we all say "i love you crocky and youre real crocky" at the same time crocky will be real & added to pokemon generation 9 i believe it in my heart pic.twitter.com/QWBK1AlxDL— Rosalie Vile♡ (@rosalievile) April 20, 2020
Back when there was a significant gap between the release of Pokemon games in Japan and in the United States, rumors would often abound over the upcoming Pokemon games and the localized names of Pokemon. For instance, rumors suggested that Marill would be called "Pikablu" solely because of its blue skin color. However, a 1999 demo of Pokemon Gold and Silver revealed that Marill was almost a totally different color – the demo depicted Marill as a light purple/dark pink instead of the blue we know it to have now. You can check out fan art of the early Marill design below:prevnext
Honoguma is another lost Pokemon that originally appeared in a public demo for Pokemon Gold and Silver. Fans didn't know much about the Pokemon – it was a Fire-type Pokemon that resembled a bear, and it was ultimately scrapped for Cyndaquil. For years, the only image we had of Honoguma was a blurry picture of its back sprite and some fan art created by Japanese players who played the game. This all changed in 2019 when the Pokemon Gold and Silver beta was leaked online and we got to see this adorable Pokemon in all its official glory. Since we can't share leaked images on here, here's the earliest fan-made picture of Honoguma from the Internet.prevnext
Hitmontop is another Pokemon who took a rather winding route to the games. Hitmontop notably has two different beta forms. The first (shown below) appeared on the cover of a Japanese magazine to promote the Pokemon games. As you can see, this version of Hitmontop has six legs and a pointer-like tail/horn on its rear. A later version of Hitmontop appeared in the beta version of Pokemon Gold and Silver showing the Pokemon with three eyes (one of which appeared on its stomach), three legs, and a pair of arms. Clearly, a lot of work went into making the Pokemon into its final form.prev