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Prerelease:Pokémon Crystal

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This page details prerelease information and/or media for Pokémon Crystal.

Pokémon Crystal, compared to Gold and Silver before it, had a short and seemingly-discreet development period. Regardless, some promotional material of prerelease builds does exist.

Development Timeline

1999

  • November 21 - Pokémon Gold and Silver are released in Japan. Development of Crystal begins some time after, as it was directly built off of those, most likely Gold.
  • December 16 - The magazine Asahi Shimbun publishes an article regarding rumors of a Pokémon game with the tentative name "Pokémon X" that would allegedly be released in April 2000.[1]

2000

  • February 8 - ABC News has an hour-long public chat session with some important figures related to the development of Pokémon, which would be retranscribed by IGN the next day.[2] One of the questions asked revolved around rumors of a new game nicknamed "Pokémon X" that was supposedly able to connect to cellphone systems. Tsunekazu Ishihara, president of Creatures Inc., responded that while no such thing as "Pokémon X" existed there was indeed a project in the works which made use of cellphone connectivity, which confirms that Crystal was already in its conceptual stage at this point.
  • August 24-26 - Spaceworld 2000 takes place, and the event's official website announces Crystal and showcases some early game screenshots.[3]
  • September 15 - The October issue of Corocoro Comic, which includes a section dedicated to Crystal, is released.[4]
  • November 15 - The November issue of Corocoro Comic, containing more coverage of Crystal, is released.[5]
  • December 14 - Pokémon Crystal is released in Japan.

2001

  • July 30 - Pokémon Crystal is released in North America.
  • September 30 - Pokémon Crystal is released in Australia.
  • November 2 - Pokémon Crystal is released in Europe.

Game Freak Article

GameFreak Early Crystal Development Pictures.png

Shown in a now-deleted article on Game Freak's official website is this picture taken from what appears to be some sort of design documents made during the development of Crystal, offering a look at an earlier version of some of the game's elements.[6]

Kris

Prerelease Final
PKMN Crystal Early Kris1.png
PKMN Crystal Final Kris1.png
Prerelease Final
PKMN Crystal Early Kris4.png
PKMN Crystal Final Kris4.png

As seen in those screenshots, the design of Kris, the female playable character, was completely different. The early version appears to have solid black hair, black shorts, black shoes, and pigtails that droop down more than the ones worn by Kris in the final game. She also seems to have a meeker pose, while the sprite itself is in the center of the screen instead of being aligned against the middle-right side. While hard to see, the name クリス ("Kris") is visible, implying that this is indeed the same character. Regarding the other three name options, サ卜コ ("Satoko") appears in both screenshots, but while hard to discern チホ ("Chiho") appears to instead be モカコ ("Mokako") and キヨミ ("Kiyomi") appears to instead be キツコ ("Kitsuko").

Prerelease Final
PKMN Crystal Early Kris2.png
PKMN Crystal Final Kris2.png

This shot of Kris in her bedroom shows us not only her early overworld sprite, but also her room, which is shown to have been decorated thanks to the Mystery Gift room decoration option introduced in Gold and Silver. Here we can see the Big Lapras Doll, Nintendo 64, TropicPlant, Clefairy Doll, and what appear to be the Magikarp Doll and Clefairy Poster.

Prerelease Final
PKMN Crystal Early Kris3.png
PKMN Crystal Final Kris3.png

Kris fighting a wild Magikarp, giving us a look at her early battle sprite. Her pose appears to be directly based off of Gold's, whereas the final games went a more unique one.

PokéCom Center

Prerelease Final
PKMN Crystal Early PokéCom Center.png
Pokemoncrystal pcc.png

An early design of the PokéCom Center which notably features no Trade Corner, two Pokémon News Machines, different NPC and chair placement, and no trace of a PC, potted plants, or even mat. The door leading to the Administration Office is also on the right instead of the left, and with no NPC in front of it. It also appears that the Administration Office is located on the same map as the lobby, whereas in the final game it is on a separate map.

Interestingly, this early layout bares strong similarities with the "PMC TR", an area seen in a piece of concept art from Red and Green.


Prerelease Final
PKMN Crystal Early Adminitstration Office.png
Pokemoncrystal pccflr2.png

The Administration Office can also be seen here in the top-left corner of the original picture, revealing that its design was originally closer to the Game Freak office in the Celadon City Condominiums. In the final game the room was ultimately flipped horizontally, with potted plants added for decoration.

Early Logos

Prerelease (Early) Prerelease (Later) Final
PKMN Crystal Logo Early Attempt.png PKMN Crystal Logo Later Attempt.png PKMN Crystal Logo Final.png

Shown on in the Pokémon Crystal page of the Spaceworld 2000 website is this early logo which is more in line with the Gold and Silver logos, and features the word "仮称" ("kashō", literally means "tentative title"). Strangely enough, the Pokémon Stadium 2 page shows what appears to be a later version of this early logo, which lacks the "tentative title" part, has a slimmer more purple font inside the crystal, and has a long crystal encasing the "Pocket Monsters" portion.[7]

(Source: Official Spaceworld 2000 website.)

Early Online Trade Room

Prerelease Final
PKMN Crystal Japanese Online Trade Room Early.png PKMN Crystal Japanese Online Trade Room Final.png

This screenshot, originally shown in the Pokémon Crystal page of the Spaceworld 2000 website, shows the player in an early iteration of the Japanese version's exclusive online trade room that can be found on the second floor of every Pokémon Center. The design of the room is quite different:, with the railing is missing, the outer wall design is more jagged, and the floor is entirely blue and lacks the more elaborate patterns found in the Japanese version. The symbol on the floor is also red instead of blue, and is placed closer to the machine than in the final game.

The machine itself also has a few differences, with some bits having a green tint instead of a gray one, some having a yellow highlight not found in the final game, as well as the Poké Ball banner being blue instead of red. Moreover, the text box is more dark blue, and the sprite for the cellphone is red instead of blue and appears to be wider.

Canceled English Online Compatibility

Both BXTE and BYTE (the latter having SRAM downgraded from 512 to 256 kb for cost-cutting reasons) were tentatively in development at some time, with the plan being to first develop BYTE into a stable and complete game, then deciding to only spending more effort on BXTE if plans and specifications for the North American GB Modem were ready (which they weren't).

(Source: Source code: あークリちゃん.txt)

References