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 PostPost subject: Pokémon Gold/Silver Betas (No Roms, Info only)        Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:11 am 
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Greetings,

As stated in my last topic, the second generation games are the ones we have more info on their betas, not because of the fact that the development ROMs have leaked to the general public (mysteriously, I have no information of a leaked ROM for any Pokémon game of any generation... now that I think about it, the only leaked beta game from Nintendo I know is the California Raisins game for the NES) but because the hype was so big in Japan that the development of the sequels of the Pokémon games was highly followed. That, and the advent of the Internet allowed that information to survive until today.

So, today we have two sources on the betas of the second generation: press releases and the stuff left over on the released games.

Are your ready? This is going to be a wild -and long- ride...

In 1997 Game Freak announced the beginning of the development for the sequels of Pokémon Red/Green/Blue to be released at the end of 1997: Pokémon 2.

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As you can see, whilst the official name was Pokémon 2, the background colours were already gold and silver (more like yellow and gray, but lets be romantic here).

Along with the logo for the new games and promises of new features (100 new monsters, new attacks, a skateboard -that was all the rage in within my junior high friends- compatibility with the older games and an internal clock), Game Freak was kind enough to provide some images of the game development:

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Here is the player behind a berry plant, while a more Japanese buildings surround him (the one in the right could be Sprout tower). It is clear that the trees were in the middle of their modification from the shrub-like ones from the first generation to the pine-like ones of the second generation (while they have the layered and conical form, they lack the roughness the trees in the finished game have). The rest seems to be the same sprites from the first generation.

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Buildings based on the first generation ones but with some minor fixes (like the different coloured windows in the one to the right, as well as a different roof texture) and little chimneys that didn't made the cut in the final game. The signpost is another change from the first generation ones, while the NPC is a design that didn't made to the released versions.

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Another nondescript town with an incredibly big building (never in the history of the Pokémon games a building with four doors has appeared). The little flowers sprite seems to be the one of the second generation (compare it to the first image from the series), while the... Clefairy? sprite is the same of the "generic monster" of the first generation's status screen (you know, the one that was a mix between Clefairy and Pikachu).

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Another town. It could be a prototype Goldenrod, since the building to the right has antennas and gadgets on the roof, making it a very small Goldenrod Radio Tower. Notice the "GATE" above the... well, gate building, making it stand out from the other non-gate buildings (this too, was removed and has never appeared in any Pokémon game).

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Another "GATE", flowers sprite from the first generation and trees. The small tree to the left is what later would become a "headbutt tree". This area supposedly did made it to the finished game, in the form of Route 35, making the "GATE" the entrance to national park. Don't believe it? Here's some proof.
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Look at the upper left corner, replace the fence with bodies of water, trim a few trees and replace the GATE building with a normal one. Modern Route 35 appears. (This image also helps to see the difference between the flower sprites and the trees from the ones in this series of images).

Clearly, this images -except for the last one of the released game- have a palette of colours far lower than the Game Boy Colour was capable of displaying, meaning that, in at this point of the development, it wasn't supposed to be a Game Boy Colour compatible game, but it was a Super Game Boy compliant game (compare, for instance, the second image with one of Cerulean City in a Super Game Boy and they're practically the same colour).

At that moment, the only information on new monsters had appeared only in the Anime series: The Togepi that belonged to Misty, the Ho-Oh that Ash saw in the first episode (even before Pokémon 2/Gold-Silver was in development!), Marril and Snubull in the "Pikachu's Vacation" short movie and Donphan in the First Movie intro. Few information was released on possible monsters. As time has passed, leaked designs from some of the then-new Pokémon have surfaced.

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Bukuu, which clearly was a Quilfish beta design (final name in Japanese: Hariisen).

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Happa, a pudgier and more evil looking Chikorita (Chikorita is the name in Japanese).

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Kirinriki, a proto-Girafarig (Krinriki ended up as the final name in Japanese).

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Mariru, a purple, short eared Marill (Mariru also ended as the release name in Japanese).

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A cute looking Silver (possibly pointing to a different back story in the game) as well as part of the intro that did make it into the final game. There's also a Ledyba (Rediiba, which ended up as its final name) that seems to be a cross between the finished Ledyba and a Heracross -the blue colour and the eyes are a quick give-off, but it lacks the horn.

This monsters were fairly similar to their released counterparts, but then there are the next two that either were radically changed or didn't make it to the release (and until now, in Generation IV, still haven't appeared):

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Kurusu. Whatever it was, it hasn't appeared in any game.

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Honooguma. The "Guma" part points to it being a bear like creature, and its obviously a fire type. It also hasn't appeared in any game.

In mid 1997 there was an article on the next Pokémon games on a Japanese magazine (probably CoroCoro, but I'm not really sure). Although it showed no new images of the gameplay, it did have artwork for the then upcoming games that had Sugimori Ken's traditional looks. Most of these didn't end up in the game:

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A female trainer. Judging by the PokéGear she has, it seems that Gold/Silver -as Red/Green before it- also was planned to have a playable female character. The reason it was cut from the first generation was because time constraints and not enough space in the cartridge. The reason why it was cut from the second generation is still a mystery (specially taking into account that the game was released in 1999, two years after this images appeared, and that in the third game of the generation -Pokémon Crystal- there is a female lead).

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A male trainer. It appeared on the same page as the female trainer, but the lack of PokéGear and the differences from the sprite make it difficult to say if its supposed to be the male lead.

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Chansey/Clefairy/Hitmontop hybrid. The "horn" in its head, as well as the four legs, seem to point that this was a prototype of Hitmontop, but it looks nothing like the final monster.

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A weird turtle-like Pokémon. It could be an early design of Shuckle or Torkoal. If you stretch your imagination a bit more, it could also be the prototype of the Generation IV grass starter line: Turtwig/Grotle/Torterra.

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A Tyranitar. Compared to the other Pokémon we've seen, this one had little to no changes between the initial design and the final release.

Whew... that's been a lot. WAIT, THERE'S MORE!?!?

Ok then, lets continue. As 1997 was nearing its end, it was fairly obvious that Game Freak wasn't going to release Pokémon 2 by the end of the year. In early 1998, all information was removed from Nintendo/Game Freak websites only to be supplanted by the new names of the games:

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Pocket Monsters Kin/Gin, or Pokémon Gold/Silver.

1998 came and went, and finally, in 1999 Nintendo announced that Pocket Monsters Kin/Gin would be released by June of that year. As time went on, images started to appear on the internet again showing the progress made by Game Freak:

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As evidenced by the different colours used, the game now used the Game Boy Colour full capabilities. This battle scenes show the added items since their counterparts from the first generation: the Experience gained bar (which, oddly, the Pokémon here have no gained experience), and the little Pokéball icon that indicates if the player has caught that Pokémon before. The gender indicator of the Pokémon seems to have not been implemented yet.

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Slowking's Seen Pokédex entry. It lacks the footprint and the "Old Pokédex" number, as well as the "Location, Cry, Print" in the lower part of the screen.

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Although the intro seems to have been the same since the beginning of the development of the games -as seen in the "Cute Silver" image above- the "Push Start" screen seems to be closer to the ones of the first generation, with the static Pokédex image of the version mascot displayed instead of the flying version the released games ended up with.

Well, that wraps this post... THERE'S STILL MORE!?!?! For God's sakes!!!!

Alas, this last part is very short, so bear with me.

After the games were released in November 1999 (yep, not in June as Nintendo promised), people started to analyze the code of the game, and they found many left over information from the beta part of the game: unused sprites for Quilfish, Marill and Chikorita (which, by the way, were part of the released prototype Pokémon posted above), maps of the beta versions of Jotho towns, maps for the Cerulean cave, Viridian Forest, Pokémon Mansion and Cinnabar labs -meaning that Cinnabar Island wasn't supposed to be blown by a volcano, as it ended up in the released games- a second game for the Game Corner and a stand alone event to catch a level 40 Entei (all references and triggers to this event were removed from the game, but the text survived in the game's text dump).

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This is an example of a beta map left on the game. Its a prototype of the Lake of Rage.

More elements removed from the game that still exist in the code are the ability to change the name of the player's mother (Red and Green being default names), a reference to "Sweet Honey" that appeared until Generation IV (maybe, instead of Headbutt, the player was supposed to smear honey in the "headbutt trees" like in Generation IV to catch Pokémon) and, since the game engine relied so much in Red/Green's engine, the code for the Pokéflute and the Town Map -both useless since the PokéGear has both functions- still exist in the game, under the name of "Teru-Sama" (both items can be used using a Gameshark code, and while the Pokéflute works like normal, the Town Map has trouble with the new game map). And the "Bird" type still exist.

But that's not what you wanted to see, right? You wanted to know about the Safari Zone, don't you? Well, rejoice, for this map exists in the game:

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Ok, it is not as big as its inception in Red/Green, but taking into account what happened to most routes in Kanto and the Viridian Forest, that it exists is great. Although there is nothing programmed in the grass nor in the water, the map has music specified (the evolution theme) and active pointers leading to and from Fuchsia City, which the other maps lacked (they don't have any way of being accessible, and the music played is the one from the place the player visited last). How did they make it impossible to the players to get into the Safari Zone? Easy, they just deleted the door of the Safari Zone entrance. If one uses the "no clip" Gameshark code and another code that point to the interior of the Safari Zone entrance, one can enter it through another building. See the next video for more information:



My theory is that, taking into account the Missingno./'M experience and the glitches triggered by saving in the Safari Zone in the First Generation, they couldn't remove the troubles they caused and decided to remove those maps from the playable game.

Maybe if they hadn't left all that unused information in the ROM they could have had enough space to put full versions of the Kanto Routes, and not the ridiculous... things we ended up with.

(Pant)... well, that is indeed all for this generation's beta information. the following games have little to none information residues on their cartridges, so they'll be fairly easy to post their information in here.

As always, if you have any comments or doubts, please make a post.

And don't forget to view the thread on the Pokémon Red/Green beta information!

-Commanderraf

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 PostPost subject: Re: Pokémon Gold/Silver Betas (No Roms, Info only)        Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:14 am 
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Great,

Forgot to add this image:

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This is what eggs were supposed to look like in the first versions of this generation.

And just discovered that F-u-c-h-s-i-a seems to be immediately filtered to [censored]. Go figure!

-Commanderraf

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 PostPost subject: Re: Pokémon Gold/Silver Betas (No Roms, Info only)        Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:17 am 
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Quite the interesting set of details there... If only we had even one beta cart to mess with...
I grew up on Pokemon, and there were always stories flying around school about this and that for the TV show... and what stuff might actually be in the games, what new cards would be out... all that childhood crap...
I still do play my Pokemon games (I own Blue, Gold, and silver, and my little brother owns a botched copy of Silver...)
It would be nifty to add these known facts to a regular part of the game, to make a "fake" beta cart to mess around with, any ideas on how to lower the game's palate for a start?

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 PostPost subject: Re: Pokémon Gold/Silver Betas (No Roms, Info only)        Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:42 am 
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Yeah, I know this info .. and i just wish ROMS had been leaked, but i doubt we will see them .. :(

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 PostPost subject: Re: Pokémon Gold/Silver Betas (No Roms, Info only)        Posted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:02 pm 
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Pokemon was my favorate game as a child, and still would play them. If I knew where my DS was :( If only someone would leak the betas. *Nudge*


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