As stated on the Gold/Silver tread, the last two generations lack of information on the early developments of the game, since it has become Nintendo's policy to announce the game when its nearing its development end or when its almost ready to be launched. So, in a stark contrast with the Second Generation post, this will be quite short.
This time around (as happened in the first and fourth generations, and will certainly happen for the fifth generation due in the following years) all of the beta information has been obtained from the remnants of the development left in the ROMs of the released games.
In Ruby/Saphire ROM two unused sprites were found. One is probably a beta Team Aqua grunt, since it seems fairly similar to the finished sprite for that trainer class.
Sprite used by the game. Beta Team Aqua member sprite.
The other unused sprite consists of two rather sharp edged question marks that were probably meant to be used as placeholders for the not seen Pokémon in the Pokédex. Besides hacking into the rom, the ?? sprite appears when triggering the encounter with glitch Pokémon (like Missingno. appeared on the First Generation).
Sprite used by the Pokédex when a pokémon hasn't been seen.
Unused ?? sprite.
On a more interesting part, several unused background music tracks were found, most of them being remixed themes from Pokémon Crystal (Route 38 and 39 themes, the theme for the battle with the Legendary Dogs/Cats/Beasts/callthemwhatyouwant, Saffron City theme, Team Rocket's theme and the Japan Only Pokémon Communications Center [something like today's WiFi Global Trade Station in Pokémon Crystal]). The fact that this music comes from the Crystal version could mean that, initially, the game engine could be very similar to that of the second generation, before the Game Boy advance was released and Pokémon made the jump to the new platform. It could also mean that, instead of a remake of the first generation games, a second generation games remake was initailly thought of. A third possibility is that Pokémon Ruby and Saphire were intended, like Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal before them, to include the previous regions in the game. A final possibility is that, since the G/S/C music was already done, they used it in the early stages of the game as placeholders for the new music tracks already in development for the new games. Other unused tracks exist, like a more classical sounding Pokémon center theme, independent tracks that, if played together, form the Pokémon contest music, and several that, although are in the game, no use has been found.
G/S/C Route 38 and 39 theme. Sounds upbeat and epic. Saffron City theme.
Be aware please that although the music exists in the games, the maps in the videos are hacks, created by the video uploader to give a setting to the music.
Another interesting thing found in the released code for the game is a Pokémon ability called "Cacophony" that has the same attributes as the "Soundproof" ability. This ability could have been created with two Pokémon in mind: Loudred and Exploud, since its Pokédex text mentions the loud sound they make. But from a practical point of view, to have two abilities that do the same thing is a waste of space, and Cacophony was replaced with Soundproof in all Pokémon.
A snowy weather condition is also in the ROM code for Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, very much like in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, but since the games take place in a more tropical climate, this weather condition never is triggered.
Finally, in several interviews and news reports, it has been said that the monsters Shellos and Gastrodon were designed for this generation, but didn't appear in it for unknown reasons.
That's all for Ruby and Sapphire versions, but this generation had other three games, so lets get to them.
In the FireRed/LeafGreen ROM there is also some unused information, mostly regarding the Sevii Islands (since the rest of the game is based on the first generation, that the beta elements belong to the only new part of the game makes sense).
First of all, it appears that the Sevii Islands region was initially going to be called the Sevii Isles (wow! A groundbreaking change in the name) and map information for the islands 6*,7*,8,9,22,23 and 24 exists, though only islands 8 and 9 have actual maps.
* Although islands 6 ("Fortune Island") and 7 (Quest Island) do exist in the game and are an important part of the game, there is also unused information that points to another part in the code that is referred as Island 6 and Island 7 that has nothing to do with the playable versions.
Sevii Island 8.
Sevii Island 9.
Other things found in the code are only available and usable through using gameshark codes, for example, a Records Room not unlike the ones on Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald/Diamond/Pearl/Platinum, the Mach Bike, Devon Goods and HM08 (Dive) from Ruby/Saphire. The Records Room is fully usable, the Mach Bike is as fast as the regular in-game bike, Dive is usable as a regular TM and the Devon Goods are completely useless. This items appear because -obviously- FireRed/LeafGreen are built upon the Ruby/Sapphire game engine.
Finally, Pokémon Emerald is the most interesting game in regards to what it is found on its code. Although it could be argued that -since its the "Third Version" of the third generation- it should be based on Ruby/Sapphire, a close look at the code reveals that, in fact, its based on FireRed/LeafGreen.
First of all, all the names of Kanto and the Sevii Islands are in the game, as can be seen when looking at a Pokémon status screen and noticing that, if captured on FireRed/LeafGreen, it states where in Kanto it was captured (instead of the cryptical "Kanto" that appears on Diamond/Pearl/Platinum). Second of all, all of Kanto and Sevii islands maps are in the game, but they've been reduced to an empty 1x1 tile map to which all respective pointers... point at. This could just have been made for compatibility issues, but the fact that all of Kanto's items (S.S. Anne ticket, Oak's Package [heh... dirty], the Game Corner's Coin Case, etc...) and music are in the code of the game (but are unusable) and the sheer effort that coding all that information from scratch would require points to the fact that they started with the complete FireRed/LeafGreen information, crippled it, and built Emerald over it.
It seems that, after all the Kanto and Sevii islands information in the code of the game there exists a section called "Special Area" that is just a header. What this area is, where it is located in game, or what its purpose in the code means is still unkown.
On Emerald, the Battle Frontier -according to reports- was also tweaked during development, but its modifications were only aesthetical, like moving fences and other static objects around.
Well, that wrap's up this generations several beta information. Although the information wasn't released during development, it certainly gives some insight on how the games were developed (especially in Emeralds case).
See you around. There's just one generation more to go!
Help me get to my goal of 5 bitcoins! Donate to 166wvZUzA8j7Ltf3eZZK8KW1fCeiAPFVtr
Post subject: Re: Pokémon Ruby/Saphire-FireRed/LeafGreen/Emerald Betas-no Posted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:15 am
Pro Beta Collector
Joined Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:47 pm
Location Absurdistlán, Mexico
Favourite OS Windows CE 2.11 Build 9015
As mentioned in the Pokémon Red/Green Betas thread, with the appearance of a new Pokémon Board in 4chan some interesting images relating to the beta version of the games have also been released.
In the case of this generation two interesting images have surfaced in /vp/:
A weird looking Torchic, with either big ears or a strange hairdo. But this isn't the only beta image released of that Pokémon evolutionary family:
It certainly looks like Blaziken, but it shares some elements with Latias/Latios. Maybe at first Latias/Latios wasn't going to exist and Blaziken was originally thought as Fire/Flying. It seems that, later in development, both Pokémon kinds were separated, and we got a Fire/Fighting third stage of the starter and the Dragon/Psychic legendaries.
Who's that Greek-looking girl in the Blaziken/Latios/Latias image? Who knows, maybe some character that got dropped during development or one that changed completely and did appear in the released game.
I'll be keeping my eyes open and see if I can get more beta images of this generation.
Help me get to my goal of 5 bitcoins! Donate to 166wvZUzA8j7Ltf3eZZK8KW1fCeiAPFVtr