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Prerelease:Pokémon Gold and Silver

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This page details one or more prerelease versions of Pokémon Gold and Silver.

To do:
Remove Space World '97 info when not relevant

Pokémon Gold and Silver had a long development phase marked by delays and a shift from Game Boy to Game Boy Color. It went through a significant overhaul between its first reveal in 1997 and its release date, leaving traces of a very different game.

Development Timeline

Development of the game took significantly longer than Game Freak originally prepared for, due to several reasons: Much of the staff was allocated to working on localizing the first two games. And the developmental team of Gold and Silver only had about four programmers, which was similar in size to the development team for Red and Green, but with the added challenge of creating several new features for the games.[1]


  • Feb, - Development of the games begin almost immediately after the release of Red and Green.[2]
  • Jul. - Pokémon 2 is first publicly announced.


  • Apr. - Ho-Oh appears in the first episode of the Pokémon anime.
  • Jun. - Nintendo's official Pokémon 2 page, archived in June 1997, advertises an initial release date of the end of 1997.
  • Sep. - The September 05, 1997 issue of Famitsu reports that Pokémon 2 will be released in fall 1997. [3]
  • Nov. - A playable demo of Pokémon Gold and Silver debuts at Space World '97. Around that time, the release date was adjusted to March 1998.
  • Dec. - The Pokémon Shock event occurs, causing the anime to be halted and delayed for a significant amount of time, and potentially impacting development of games and merchandise.


  • Jan. - Mar.: The same demo of Gold and Silver from Space World '97 is showcased at the World Hobby Fair in various locations around Japan.
  • Mar.
    • Nintendo's official Space World '97 page advertises a revised release date of the last third of March.
    • The official Nintendo webpage for Gold and Silver announces that the games will be postponed with no definitive end date.[4]


  • Apr. - The May 1999 issue of CoroCoro is released, reintroducing Gold and Silver to the public .
  • Apr. 14 - Pokémon Pinball is released in Japan, where music from Gold and Silver is featured.
  • Aug. - The game is showcased at Space World '99. It is reported as 90% complete.
  • Nov. - Pokémon Gold and Silver is released in Japan.


  • Oct. - Pokémon Gold and Silver is released in North America.


Raikou Design


In 2014, Pokémon designer Muneo Saitō released an image as part of material for a then-upcoming lecture he held on character design. This was an early (undated) design for what would potentially become Raikou, one of the three legendary beasts, all of which Saitō designed.[5]


Lugia's design was commissioned for the 2nd Pokémon movie, which was released in 1999. Before its public reveal, it was referred to as "Pokémon X."[6] Lugia may have been designed and envisioned as a partner for Ho-Oh much later into Gold and Silver's development.



Pokémon 2 was first announced in the August 1996 issue of Corocoro Comic, with Ho-Oh being the first new Pokémon shown. Ho-Oh is described as a legendary Pokémon that "only appears before a genius who will go down in history." It features an interview with Satoshi Tajiri about the basics of the game, including that there would be a total of over 200 Pokémon, with new ways to evolve Pokémon, and that the games could connect and trade with Red and Green. The games were intended to be for Game Boy, with Super Game Boy support. There is also a hint at a froglike branch evolution for Poliwag, which may have been a hint at Politoed, although in the final game, Poliwhirl is the one that evolves into Politoed instead of directly from Poliwag. [7]


A letter sent to CoroCoro by a reader asking for Pokemon 2's release date and what colors the games will be is answered in the "Pockemon Club" section of the November 1996 issue. The editor suggests that the games will probably release in the spring of 1997 because "development seems to have advanced considerably," but says that the colors cannot be revealed yet.[8]


The Pokémon anime is announced in the January 1997 issue of CoroCoro Comic (which came out in December 1996), speculating that Ho-Oh and other elements from Pokémon 2 will be featured in the show.[9]



At some point in early 1997, the games' titles would be lengthened to Pokémon 2: Gold and Silver. In May, a guide called ポケットモンスター公式ファンブック (Pocket Monsters Official Fanbook) was published by Shogakukan. It contained new details about the upcoming Pokémon titles, including an interview with director Satoshi Tajiri and producer Tsunekazu Ishihara.


In the interview, Satoshi Tajiri gave a few details about the games' story:

The protagonist begins collecting Pokémon when he hears rumours about a certain boy in Kanto Province who completed his entire Pokédex. That's where the story starts.[10]

There is something unusual about this quote; the official Japanese name for Kanto is カントー地方 (Kantō-chihō), which translates to "Kanto region", with the word "Kanto" written in katakana. However, it is referred to here as 関東州 (Kantō-shū), meaning "Kanto Province", with the word "Kanto" written in kanji.


One page of the fanbook confirms (despite having been confirmed many times before) that it is possible to trade between Gold and Silver and Generation I games.


In response to the question "Will characters such as the protagonist and trainers from the previous titles make an appearance?", Tajiri had this to say:

There's a different protagonist, but the story takes place in the same setting, so there's a strong possibility that you'll meet characters from the previous titles. You'll definitely be seeing Ash and Professor Oak again! Giovanni also left to go train in the last games, so... [laughter] Look forward to that.[10]

Ash, known as Red, and Professor Oak did, indeed, go on to appear in Pokémon Gold and Silver. Giovanni was absent from the games, but much of the plot centers around his disappearance.


Tajiri stated that, while the number of Pokémon that would appear in the games was not yet officially decided, he wanted there to be over 100 more than before. He also mentioned that players would be able to evolve some of the Pokémon that didn't have evolutions in the previous games.[10]

The cover of the fanbook featured official art for Donphan, Ampharos, and Slowking.[11] These three Pokémon, along with Ho-Oh, were described in greater detail inside its pages, with screenshots of their sprites.


Early Sprite Space World '97 Sprite Final Gold Sprite
Pokémon GS-Early Donphan Sprite.png PokeGoldDemo-front 192.png Pokémon GS-Gold Donphan Sprite.png
This powerful-looking new Pokémon seems like it could really pack a punch. The details are still unknown, but it looks like a Rhydon-type Pokémon, doesn't it?[12]

This initial screenshot of Donphan appears to match the sprite used in the Space World '97 demo shown to the public the following November - however, at this point in development it apparently used a blue Super Game Boy palette, which had been changed to a brown palette by the time the demo was released. This sprite seems to have stayed fairly consistent throughout development, as even the final Gold sprite is very similar, albeit reshaded to allow for a fully-coloured sprite using the Game Boy Color's capabilities.


Early Sprite Space World '97 Sprite Final Gold Sprite
Pokémon GS-Early Ampharos Sprite.png PokeGoldDemo-front 165.png Pokémon GS-Gold Ampharos Sprite.png
This new type of Pokémon looks as though it came from outer space. The name suggests that it might be an Electric Dragon Pokémon...? Its true nature is not yet known.[12]
The Japanese name for Ampharos is デンリュウ (Denryū), which is a homonym for both 電流 (denryū), meaning "electric current", and 電竜 (denryū), which translates to "electric dragon". Unlike Donphan, Ampharos' sprite is unique to these scans, and offers a look at some of the changes Ampharos' design went through during development, such as having smaller horns and a shorter, rounder body. By November's Space World '97 demo, this sprite had already been replaced by completely different artwork which seems to have served as the basis for its final Gold sprite, though it appears to have been more heavily redrawn than Donphan's while also being reshaded to take full advantage of the Game Boy Color's capabilities.


Ho-Oh was the first of the creatures appearing in Pokémon 2 to be revealed. It's said that this legendary Pokémon will only reveal itself to a genius...[12]

In Pokémon Crystal and Pokémon Y, Ho-Oh's Pokédex description states that "It will reveal itself before a pure-hearted trainer by shining its bright rainbow-colored wings." There is no mention of whether the pure-hearted player must also be intelligent. Additionally, no sprite was provided for Ho-Oh.


Secret Data on Slowking
Slowpoke, a very stupid Pokémon, was out fishing for bait when a Shellder clamped onto on its tail, causing it to evolve into Slowbro. However, it is said that, in 1 instance out of 10,000, a Shellder will clamp down on a Slowpoke's head instead of its tail. As the Shellder bites down, its essence penetrates the Slowpoke's listless brain cells, bestowing upon it extreme motivation.
Slowking has quickly become a hot topic among Pokémon collectors. How its evolution takes place is still unspecified, but it has been established that it evolves from Slowpoke![13]

In the final games' Pokédex entries and the anime, Slowpoke's evolution is described similarly to the above, but in gameplay, Slowpoke evolves into Slowking when it is traded while holding a King's Rock.


To do:

These screenshots give a glimpse into an earlier version of the original overworld also seen in the Space World '97 demo, which greatly differs from the Johto region as seen in the final game.

May 1997 Fanbook SpaceWorld 1997 Demo
PKMN GS Unknown 1 screenshot 4.png

This image was captioned "The starting town, Silent Hills".[10] (This name predates the PlayStation video game Silent Hill, which wasn't released in Japan until January 1999.) As seen in November's Space World '97 demo, Silent Hills was indeed the starting town at this point in development, and from what can be seen here its layout differs significantly from the demo's version.

  • The map seems more heavily forested than the demo's version, with a large number of trees directly surrounding the buildings.
  • Prof. Oak's Lab sits much closer to the water with no fence separating the two, and there's a house butting right up against it. Both of these facts suggest the town's layout may have been more compressed than the version seen in the later demo.
  • The single house seen here is a small one-story building; the demo's Silent Hills contains only two-story houses.
May 1997 Fanbook SpaceWorld 1997 Demo
PKMN GS Unknown 1 screenshot 1.png PKMN GS Unknown 1 screenshot 1 Comparison.png

The town in this image was captioned オールドシティ (Old City).[10] Data from the Space World '97 demo shows this was a traditional-style town positioned to the north-west of Silent Hills, with a route connecting the two. Compared to Silent Hills this map bears a much closer resemblance to the version found within the demo ROM, though there are still some visible differences.

  • The Old City tileset appears to be an earlier revision than the demo's version, lacking some of its unique features such as the traditional-styled wooden doors, vertically-slatted window shutters and more detailed trees.
  • The area of ground to the left of the large tower extends further north than in the demo's version of the map.
  • The fence to the south is unbroken in this version. In the later demo, the third fence tile along is replaced with another signpost.

TV Gamer

Two unique screenshots from a May 1997 issue of the Weekly TV Gamer magazine feature different locations in Gold and Silver. These can also be seen in the third edition of ポケットモンスターを遊びつくす本 赤 (Pocket Monsters Play Book - Red), published on Feb. 20th, 1998.

TV Gamer May 1997 SpaceWorld 1997 Demo
PKMN GS Unknown 1 screenshot 2.png PKMN GS Unknown 1 screenshot 2 Comparison.png
  • The first screenshot appears to be the area just south of Old City, which is the final area seen in the playable portion of the Space World '97 demo. Quite a few differences are visible in this screenshot:
    • The gate building is much smaller than the version seen in the demo.
    • The ground is covered in grass and there are no fences lining the route - in the demo's version of this map, the ground is simply dirt and fences have been added.
    • The pathway across the water is thinner and features a proper road leading up to the gate - in the demo's version, the water doesn't stretch as far north, the pathway is wider, and the road has been removed.
    • In the demo, this is the final playable area, with the player's rival standing in front of the gate entrance - however, no characters other than the player are present in this screenshot.
TV Gamer May 1997 SpaceWorld 1997 Demo
PKMN GS Unknown 1 screenshot 3.png PKMN GS Unknown 1 screenshot 3 Comparison.png
  • The second screenshot appears to be from West City, an area found within the demo ROM's data:
    • As with the Silent Hills screenshot above, no area exactly matching this one appears in the later version of the map, though the large building resembles the large shop found in the later version of the map.
    • The paved areas have a different, diagonally-oriented pattern.
    • The tileset for this area also appears to be an earlier version than the one seen in the demo, as like the Old City screenshot above it lacks some of the unique features found in the demo's version such as the glass doors.
    • This area appears to be using a pink Super Game Boy palette - the version found within the demo uses a grey palette instead. The shadows of the fence are also red, suggesting the palette for this area hasn't been adjusted to display water in blue as is the case in the later demo.




The October 1997 edition of Monthly CoroCoro Comic magazine (published in mid-September) carried an advertisement for Space World 97's Mew giveaway event, in which 100,000 players would be given the opportunity to insert their game cartridge into a machine that would upload Mew into an empty slot in their party, provided they'd received the Pokédex. The advertisement stated that this Mew could be traded to Pokémon 2.[15]


In October, the November 1997 issue of Monthly CoroCoro Comics showed off three new types of trainers, along with their official art, leaving the editors to speculate on what role they played and what kind of Pokémon they would use. These three were Firebreather, Schoolboy, and Lass. [16]


A photo from Space World '97 showing the Pokémon Silver playable demo kiosks. Some details can be made out, such as the title screen, Route 29, and the unique border for the Silver demo.

In mid-November, the December 1997 issue of CoroCoro was published, continuing on the theme of introducing three characters per issue. These characters were Kurt, a Fisherman, and Kimono Girl. Kurt was specifically described as a non-trainer character, but his role in the game was still unknown. [17]

In addition, the first publicly playable demo of Pokémon Gold and Silver was featured at Space World '97, a showcase event held in Tokyo from November 21 to 23. Attendees could try the games out, a promo video was on display, and an event guidebook was distributed.

Space World '97 Official Guidebook

The official guidebook for Space World '97 featured two full pages dedicated to Pokémon Gold and Silver.[18] The contents of these pages are described below.


The official guidebook described the game as a Link Cable-compatible Game Boy RPG that was scheduled to be released in the last third of March 1998, for a price of ¥3,500.[18] It was said to be 80% complete.[18] The held item mechanic, new to Generation II, was introduced in the guidebook with a quote from Professor Oak himself:

Big news! It seems that some of the Pokémon set to debut in Pokémon Gold and Silver have been found to carry items themselves. What's more, I hear that there are occasions when, if the Pokémon is intelligent enough, it will use the item it's holding to give it an advantage in battle. It also appears that when you trade Pokémon with a friend, you'll also be able to exchange items. I'm sorry, but that's all the information I have right now...[18]

The professor also advertised a number of new Pokédex features:

I also had a hand in revising and improving the latest version of the Pokédex. Pages can now be flipped through 10 at a time, and it will even automatically search by Pokémon type - Water, Fire, Grass, etc.[18]
  • The guidebook introduced the protagonist:
A boy living in a certain town. He has a brother who's 3 years older. These days, his primary hobby is toying around with a hand-me-down computer that was given to him by his brother.[18]
  • The rival's description follows:
The boy's rival. He lives in the same town. His appearance and personality differ from the rival in the previous games.[18]

Names and official art for Ho-Oh, Slowking, Ampharos, and Donphan were published in the guidebook. No specifically new details were provided about the Pokémon.


The guidebook also listed some of the trainers who would be opposing the protagonist, and included official artwork for each. These were Schoolboy, Lass, Firebreather, Kimono Girl, and Fisherman.[18]


Four screenshots of the overworld were included on page 35 of the guidebook. These locations were not visitable in the demo, but they can all be found within the demo ROM's data with layouts and tilesets matching the ones seen here. The Super Game Boy palettes assigned to each area appear to be differ from that data found within the demo ROM, possibly suggesting these screenshots originate from slightly earlier in development.

SpaceWorld 1997 Guidebook SpaceWorld 1997 Demo
PKMN GS Spaceworld 97 guidebook screenshot 1.png
  • Compared to the previous screenshot, the pink Super Game Boy palette has now been adjusted to include one blue shade in order to allow water to display correctly. In the data found within the demo ROM, West City uses a grey palette, with the pink palette applied to High-Tech City instead.
SpaceWorld 1997 Guidebook SpaceWorld 1997 Demo
PKMN GS Spaceworld 97 guidebook screenshot 4.png PKMN GS Spaceworld 97 guidebook screenshot 4 Comparison.png
  • Old City appears to use a green-ish Super Game Boy palette, rather than the brown seen in both the demo and the earlier screenshot.
  • A male NPC stands in front of one of the tower doors - this NPC is not present in the demo ROM.
SpaceWorld 1997 Guidebook SpaceWorld 1997 Demo
PKMN GS Spaceworld 97 guidebook screenshot 3.png PKMN GS Spaceworld 97 guidebook screenshot 3 Comparison.png
  • A screenshot of Font, another area which can be found within the demo ROM. In this screenshot it seems to use a brown Super Game Boy palette - in the demo ROM's data, it's assigned an orange palette instead.
SpaceWorld 1997 Guidebook SpaceWorld 1997 Demo
PKMN GS Spaceworld 97 guidebook screenshot 2.png PKMN GS Spaceworld 97 guidebook screenshot 2 comparison.png
  • The player Surfs across a stretch of ocean, avoiding newly-found whirlpools. From looking at the map data found within the demo ROM, this area is situated to the west of the Blue Forest area. In this screenshot it uses a blue Super Game Boy palette, while in the demo's data it's assigned a brown palette instead.

Space World '97 Playable Demo

At Space World '97, the Pokémon Gold and Silver demo kiosks were separated into two large rows, and players were able to choose which version they wanted to try. Playtime was limited to around 10 minutes. The contents of the demo are described below.

  • The intro to the game was fairly similar to the final version, with Pikachu running, Jigglypuff singing, Lapras Surfing, and Charizard spitting fire.
Lapras Surfing
Prototype Final
PkmnGS-LaprasEarly.gif PkmnGS-LaprasFinal.gif
  • Lapras's design for the opening was simplified from a detailed Generation I-like sprite to a multicolored sprite with flat shading. It also no longer bobs up and down as much as it once did. The scene still plays out in a similar way. [19]
Charizard's Fire Blast
Prototype Final
PkmnGS-CharizardEarly.gif PkmnGS-CharizardFinal.gif
  • When the event lasted into the evening, players returned to the game demo to find new night-exclusive Pokémon.
  • The Super Game Boy borders for the demo are only seen in footage of real gameplay, while the promotional B-roll footage used the debug border, identical to the final.
(Source: Coloradohugge - Footage Discovery)

Promotional Video

Footage of the demo is interspersed with footage of a slightly different and more expansive build of the game, from a video shown at the demo. The difference between the demo and the promotional video can be noted by the SGB border. The video has the final Gold Version border, while the demo itself has unique borders for Gold and Silver.


The following Pokémon were mentioned in accounts of Spaceworld, but do not exist in the prototype ROM. Because there are no records of the promotional video that listed several new Pokémon, much of the information below is taken from Legendary Starblob, a Japanese fan site dedicated to cut Pokémon, and the legitimacy of some of these Pokémon may be cloudy.

Picture Name Romaji Type Final Equivalent Notes
[None] ワタコ Watako [Unknown] Jumpluff This Pokémon is an early version of Jumpluff, whose final Japanese name is ワタッコ (Watakko). In the leaked 1997 prototype, this Pokémon is called ワタネコ (Wataneko); the name was probably still being refined, or it could have been a misspelling by the person who wrote the account.
[None] ヨロイドリ Yoroidori Flying/Metal Skarmory Skarmory's early name, Yoroidori, is mentioned on the PC in the demo, and it is present in the ROM. According to one account, Yoroidori could be briefly seen during the "opening video." Seeing as Skarmory is unable to be encountered during the demo, it may be assumed that this refers to the promotional video or slideshow.
[None] エレキング Eleking [Unknown] [Unknown] This may be a mistake or a remnant from an earlier build, as Elekid's name in the prototype ROM is "Elebaby".
[None] ネタモン Netamon [Unknown] [Unknown] This Pokémon's name is very similar to Ditto's Japanese name, Metamon. It could allegedly be encountered on a route. An evolution of Ditto, Animon, can be found in the prototype's files, so "Netamon" could possibly be a misspelling or misinterpretation of the name.
[None] ブクー Bukū [Unknown] [Unknown] This Pokémon could be encountered at night on a route near the player's house. It was described as resembling a flying squirrel. It was originally assumed that Bukū was an early version of Sentret, whose final Japanese name is オタチ (Otachi). This Pokémon actually does not appear in the leaked 1997 demo; the name might be a misreading of Puku above, but a flying squirrel Pokémon does not appear in said demo at all. It's possible the leaked demos are slightly earlier or later builds.

Title Screen

1996 Spaceworld '97 Oct/Nov 1999 Final (J) Palette Glitch (J)
PkmnGS-EarlyTitle.gif GS Demo Title.png PkmnGS-LaterTitle.jpg Pokemon Gold Japanese Title Screen.png
  • The 1996 footage shows the earliest known version of the Gold title screen. This version featured animated leaves on a white background, with a stationary Ho-Oh emblazoned across the center, closely resembling the sprite seen in the final game. The title reads ポケットモンスター2 金 (Pocket Monsters 2 - Gold), with a stylized "2" partially visible behind the kanji.
  • By the time of the Space World '97 demo, the title screen has changed somewhat. The stylised "2" element was removed from the logo, leaving the title as simply ポケットモンスタ 金 (Pocket Monsters Gold) as in the final version of the game, and the English "Gold Version" text is spaced differently. Some background detailing was added above and below Ho-Oh, and the animated leaves were replaced with animated flames. Ho-Oh's sprite was also completely redrawn, bearing no resemblence to the final game's sprite, and was displayed in partial silhouette. Finally, the copyright text was updated with a date of 1997.
  • By late 1999, the title screen had been revised completely to something much closer to the final design, showing an animated Ho-Oh sprite flying through the skies. Unlike the final game, in this version Ho-Oh was rendered in color instead of silhouette. The extra detailing on the sprite is still present in the final game, but hidden by the color palette assigned to the sprite - by using a a glitch that causes Ho-Oh to be displayed with an incorrect palette, the full details of the sprite can still be seen. Conversely, the Lugia that appears on the title screen of Silver lacks these extra palette colors, suggesting that version's title screen may have been created well after the developers decided to use silhouettes, and that Lugia was added significantly later in the game's development.

Brief footage of the player leaving a town area is shown. When combined with two screenshots of unknown date (likely to be from around the time of the video), a more coherent map is visible. This map resembles the early New Bark Town map still present within the game, although with several cosmetic differences.

Combined map images Leftover final map
PkmnGS-Combinedmap3.png PKMN GS Map2A 7AFB TS20.PNG

This is the area after Silent Hill Forest near where the demo ends. The girl NPC is not present.


An expanded view of Old City. The music playing here is the same as the theme for Viridian/Pewter/Saffron City from Red and Green.

  • The player 'jumps' over the Cuttable tree, which was possibly some sort of debug function.
  • There are two signposts, like in the guidebook screenshot.
  • The NPC standing in front of the tower, seen in the guidebook screenshot of Old City, is missing.

Only the first floor of the tower's interior is shown in extant footage.

  • Growlithe or Arcanine statues are set up instead of Bellsprout statues or generic dragon Pokémon. Growlithe and Arcanine are based on lion-dogs, statues of which can be seen often in China and Japan. These statues still exist without their bases, unused, in the Sprout Tower tileset in Crystal Version.

A battle between Blastoise and Meowth is shown. Blastoise's sprite is unique and lacks the finish of the final sprites, while Meowth's sprite is ultimately the same. Music from Red and Green is used.

  • The transition into battle effect seen here matches the Poké Ball-shaped transition described in some accounts.
  • Meowth cannot use Sand-Attack legally in any game, but it is seen here using it on Blastoise.
  • Accounts note that Gust's type had been changed from Normal-type to Flying-type at this point.
  • During one of the videos, the new weather function was shown, with Poliwhirl using Rain Dance.
  • The Pokémon sent out by the player appears using a materializing effect. In the prototype, this effect only applies for Hoothoot.
Generation I SpaceWorld 1997 Video SpaceWorld 1997 Demo Final Game (JP)
PkmnGS-Folders.jpg Poke Gold (Demo) - Bag.png Poke Gold (Final) - Bag.png
  • When the items menu opens, it is larger than the list from Red and Green, and it blanks out the battle screen behind it. There are "folders" for TMs and Poké Balls, which, when opened, briefly display a "? ?" message in the description box. The functionality appears to fully work otherwise, with the ball folder opening to a selection of different types of Poké Balls. This was an early version of the Bag's 'pockets' for different types of items.
  • Mail can be seen in the player's inventory. Its description simply says that it is a "special item".
1997 Footage 1997 Demo Final Game



  • The player's battle sprite is different; the hat has a simple circle design on it, the clothing appears different, and the colors appear to use a purple and orange palette. Space World 1997 Demo uses the same palette as the earlier footage but the trainer back sprite itself was already finalized for the demo.


In December 1997, CoroCoro revealed the official art for the protagonist and the rival, identical to their final versions, as well as information that was already revealed at Space World '97: descriptions for both characters, an upgraded Pokédex, Professor Oak's presence, held items, the release date and price, and the four previously seen in-game screenshots. [16]

Unknown date, 1997

Two screenshots with no known source appear to depict roughly the same location: a small town with fences, houses, trees, and NPCs. This map is the first playable area in the demo, and is briefly seen in both the promotional video and in footage of the demo itself.



Gold and Silver were playable again at the January 1998 World Hobby Fair.[16] Only one image survives from the demo at this event, showing Honooguma and Metapod. Assuming that the demo contained the same content as Space World, this battle would have been against a wild Metapod in the forested area.

  • This picture shows an orange-red palette because the player at the January 1998 event chose an another Super Game Boy palette option or the demo was setupped to use it which would be very unlikely. It can be fully replicated playing the Space World 1997 Demo on Super Game Boy and changing the settings to use Red palette.

  • Metapod's sprite is unique to the demo for Gold and Silver.
(Source: @Katsu_Nagao - Photograph, Catstorm - Discovery)

Additionally, the 1998 issue of the Game Boy Encyclopedia Young Selection was published in January, which featured a three-page article on Gold and Silver. This article included some previously unknown details as well as screenshots of Game Corner games. It advertised that there were more than four different minigames, which could have possibly included the unused Voltorb Flip minigame at the time.

One paragraph in the article alludes to a pre-evolution for Clefairy, and another says that bug Pokemon may show up in the morning, and bird Pokemon at night, most likely hinting at Ledyba and Hoothoot's active hours.

(Source: Julioointment on Imgur)

Slot Machine Start!

SpaceWorld 1997 Demo 1998 World Hobby Fair Final Game (JP)
160px PkmnGS-SlotsEarly.jpg 160px
  • A significant amount of the graphics are identical, save for the transition to color mode.
  • The border around the slots has been connected instead of using a simple dash pattern.
  • The buttons have had their shading changed.
  • Golem is shaded in the final, and a pixel was removed from its eyes.
  • PAY OUT was changed to PAYOUT in the final.


SpaceWorld 1997 Demo 1998 World Hobby Fair Final Game (JP)
160px 160px
  • The border for the build of Gold in this article is slightly different from both the Space World 1997 and final versions. "POCKET MONSTERS" has been changed to "POCKET MONSTERS2". It is unknown when this change was implemented or when it was removed.

Card-Guessing Game

SpaceWorld 1997 Demo 1998 World Hobby Fair Final Game (JP)
PkmnGS-CardEarly.png 160px

The card guessing game was changed to resemble a betting table instead of a simple card flipping game.

  • Pikachu, Jigglypuff, Oddish, and Poliwag are still used in both versions.
  • The game uses five cards instead of two, but it is unclear what the original mechanics were supposed to be like.


PkmnGS CoroHonooguma.jpg

CoroCoro covered another World Hobby Fair event on February 15th for their March issue. A photo of a player using Honooguma in battle is included, although its sprite is barely visible, only recognizable by its black ears and tail. No other new information about the games was provided or included. [20]


The games were shown once more at the March World Hobby Fair. New information about the games comes to a halt as a webpage on the official Gold and Silver site appears confirming that the games will be delayed for an unknown amount of time in order to 'power up' the games.



Gold and Silver finally resurface in Corocoro's April 1999 issue, and are now on the Game Boy Color. A batch of screenshots are also shown as well as a few new Pokémon and reintroducing the characters and the rewritten plot.[21]

Prototype Final
PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 7.gif PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 7 FINAL.png

Notably, genders have not yet been implemented.

Prototype Final
PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 8.gif File:PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 8 FINAL.png

The trainer class Picnicker (ピクニックガール, Picnic Girl), known in Gen 1 as Jr. Trainer (ガールスカウト, Girl Scout), was not yet renamed at this point.

Prototype Final
PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 9.gif File:PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 9 FINAL.png
Prototype Final
PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 10.gif File:PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 10 FINAL.png
Prototype Final
PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 13.gif PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 13 FINAL.png

This Pokédex screenshot of Slowking is unusual as it differs significantly from the final game's Pokédex layout. The layout became closer to the final in screenshots that were released only two months later.

  • It has the 'new Pokémon under investigation' entry as a placeholder. (This text is also used in JPN Blue Version for any invalid Pokédex entry like Missingno.)
  • Slowking's sprite was flipped horizontally for the final version.
  • There is no red border between the description and the data, nor are there any sub-menu options such as listening to the cry. The Pokédex number is missing as well. The border around the screen is an undecorated orange bevel, as opposed to the later builds and the final version, which use a redder line with white highlights. This is akin to the way the Spaceworld 1997 Demo did PokeDex Data (in regard to a lack of suboptions), but is shockingly a downgrade if anything.


  • Coverage of the games continue in the May 1998 issue of Corocoro. It is revealed that the games are slated for a June release.
  • Pokémon Pinball is released, featuring two tracks that share their melodies with songs in Gold and Silver: the Blue Field for Ecruteak City and Cianwood City, and the high score entry screen for Gold and Silver's credits, respectively. Gō Ichinose composed Pokémon Pinball's soundtrack as well as a majority of Gold and Silver's soundtrack, including the two aforementioned tracks[22], and used the melodies for both games.


The June issue of Corocoro continued to reintroduce the games as well as new Pokémon, along with a series of screenshots that have some differences.

  • Prototype footprints can be seen on Pokédex screens - a generic footprint with the Pokédex number written within it. A few of these were not overwritten and are still located in the final, visible in the dex entries for glitch Pokémon #252 and #254-256.
Prototype Final
PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 11.gif PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 11 FINAL.png

Farfetch'd's Pokédex description was the same as it was in Red and Green.

Prototype Final
PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 12.gif PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 12 FINAL.png

Clefairy uses its Pokédex entry from Pokémon Blue.


To do:
Add info from here and other sources. Was this a playable demo?

Pokémon Gold and Silver was showcased at Space World '99, held at the end of August, where it was said to be 90% complete. By this point in development the game's overworld had been completely redeveloped and is much more recognisable as the Johto region seen in the final game, though there are still visible differences compared to the final version.


These are screenshots of unknown origin, but the border may help identify the source. They're dated 1999-11-08. The multicolored screens indicate that the game has been fully ported to the Game Boy Color. Genders are not present on battle screens.

Possibly Route 30
Prototype Final
PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 1.gif PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 1 FINAL.png

The route has been changed slightly in layout, and the two female NPCs were replaced, mostly with eager Youngsters and Bug Catchers. The ledge which prevents progress earlier on by placing a Pokémon battle next to it is missing completely. The tile for normal Pokémon-free grass seems to have larger dark spots.

Possibly Route 32
Prototype Final
PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 2.gif PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 2 FINAL.png
  • The water tile resembles that of Red and Green.
  • The brick bridge and the water are placed awkwardly and look strange, which was fixed in the final by making the edge of the water completely straight.
Possibly Route 46
Prototype Final
PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 3.gif PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 3 FINAL.png
  • The one-way ledge was removed from the top path, which itself was moved one 32x32 block to the left.
  • The cliff on the right was straightened.
  • No grass is visible at the bottom of the hills.
  • The NPC near the north path was either not implemented yet or is in a different area.
Poké Mart
Prototype Final
PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 4.gif PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 4 FINAL.png
  • Although the Poké Mart's layout is somewhat similar to the final game, both it and the tileset still very much resemble the Space World '97 demo. The tileset ended up being almost completely redrawn for the final game.
  • The counter changed from red to blue, and the case sitting on it was removed.
  • The freezers were moved from in front of the back wall to inside of it.
  • Both the cooler in the lower-left and foreground shelves in the lower-right were removed and replaced with more floor space.
Union Cave?
Prototype Final
PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 5.gif PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 5 FINAL.png

This map is most likely a section of Union Cave, but the layout and obstacle placements are significantly different.

  • The wall taking up space in the center of the room was replaced by a pool of water.
  • The water in the lower left corner of the screen was placed farther down than in the final. Additionally, it lacks the shore tiles on both its right and left sides, which may be due to the fact that the right side shore tiles resemble the cave walls.
  • A light brown palette (used by the basement of the Burned Tower and the summit of Mt. Silver in the final game) is used instead of a dark purple one. Whether this palette had been developed yet or if there had been different plans for this map remains unknown.
National Park
Prototype Final
PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 6.gif PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 6 FINAL.png
  • The brick border tiles were redrawn to be larger and rounder for the final game.
  • Because of the way the layout works, the outer borders don't use a corner brick tile yet.
  • The fence tiles on the lower right don't overlap the brick borders; they just sit below them. Grass also appears underneath the fence tiles instead of stopping before them.
  • A brick floor tile marks the exit from the area instead of a rug.
  • NPC placement is completely different. The kids by (sitting on?) the benches aren't there, and a young male and fat man NPC are visible on the right in lieu of the dark-haired woman.
  • A trash can was added by the benches for the final game. Remember, kids, littering is illegal.
Prototype Final
PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 14.gif PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 14 FINAL.png
  • The bar at the top of the screen is multicolored and shows every pocket in the bag, in addition to the one currently selected. The final game replaces this with a staid black bar that does nothing except show the menu's controls. Lame. Later Pokémon games would adopt a style similar to the early version.
  • Since the navigation bar at the top was changed to show the controls, the name of the currently selected pocket was added beneath the bag.
  • The entire menu switched its orientation, with the bag graphic being on the right originally, and the item list on the left.
  • The menu has a light blue, patterned background instead of a dark blue one with less detail.
  • The backpack's design was changed, with the cover for the large main pocket moved down, and the strap to open it removed.
  • The regular items/medicine menu was moved from the small center pocket of the bag to the left pocket.
Prototype Final
PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 15.gif File:PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 15 FINAL.png
  • Originally, the left pocket was for TMs.

Unknown date, 1999

Nintendo Promotional Video

A build was showcased in footage shown on Nintendo's website. This showcases a build of the game from sometime in 1999, with more new Pokémon. Some sprites are different, but most of the elements resemble the final.

  • Notably, some Pokémon are encountered in the wild that are impossible to encounter in the final game, namely Slowking, Ampharos, and Togepi.
  • Ho-Oh on the title screen has its original dark purple palette, although it is difficult to see.
  • This video also includes an early sprite for Bellossom featuring its original purple colouring, also seen in an earlier revision of its official artwork.
To do:
Document sprite changes.
To do:
Some of the screenshots in Electronic Gaming Monthly #124 seem to be stills taken from a better quality version of this video - may be worth adding to this section alongside the video if higher-quality scans can be found. Bellossom's official artwork showing it's original purple colouring is also featured - might be worth adding here as this difference is also evident in its battle sprite during the video. Coverage is between P200-208.


To do:
Comparisons, dating, finding better quality screenshots (CoroCoro).

A set of screenshots, some of which possibly came from a video. The battle screens contain gender symbols, meaning that it was likely after the mid-1999 reveal of gendered Pokémon. Some of these images can be seen on a promotional flyer for Gold and Silver.

Using a Berry
Prototype Final
PKMN GS screenshot 1.jpg File:PKMN GS screenshot 1 FINAL.png
Prototype Final
PKMN GS screenshot 8.jpg File:PKMN GS screenshot 8 FINAL.png
PokéGear Radio
Prototype Final
PKMN GS screenshot 2.jpg PKMN GS screenshot 2 FINAL.png
  • The PokéGear menus were reordered to put the back button in front.
  • Markers were added to the radio tuner.
  • The phone icon was changed to a more recognizable cell phone design instead of a bulkier device.
  • The "tuning" text was changed from ちょうせい to チューニング.
Party menu
Prototype Final
PKMN GS screenshot 3.jpg PKMN GS screenshot 3 FINAL.png

The rows containing HP bars and numbers were swapped.

Route 31
Prototype Final
PKMN GS screenshot 4.jpg PKMN GS screenshot 4 FINAL.png

The road on Route 30 ran straight into the area with Bug Catcher Wade instead of making the player take the long way around. The ledge is also impassable, meaning that you would have had to use Cut or wade through the grass in order to reach the upper half of the route. The Cuttable tree is also placed much farther down than in the final.

Egg hatching
Prototype Final
PKMN GS screenshot 5.jpg PKMN GS screenshot 5 FINAL.png

The egg is more rudimentary in design - an ordinary egg shape without any spots.

Entering the Bug Catching Contest
Prototype Final
PKMN GS screenshot 6.jpg PKMN GS screenshot 6 FINAL.png

The player is entering a Bug Catching Contest on a Monday. In the final, it holds every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

PokéGear Phone
Prototype Final
PKMN GS screenshot 7.jpg PKMN GS screenshot 7 FINAL.png
  • The PokéGear menus were reordered to put the back button in front.
  • Current time can be seen in the top right corner. It is only present on the "back" menu in final.
  • Prof. Elm is not present in the contact list.
  • Bug Catcher Wade speaks of his Scyther, but he doesn't have one in the final.
  • The trainer class Picnicker (ピクニックガール, Picnic Girl), known in Gen 1 as Jr. Trainer (ガールスカウト, Girl Scout), was not yet renamed at this point in development. Furthermore, no trainer goes by the name of サトミ (Satomi) in the final.

Info to Add



(Source: Eisnerguy1 - Discovery)


To do:
Source these, group by build, place in appropriate sections.

Textual Info


  1. Iwata Asks: Pokemon HeartGold Version & SoulSilver Version - 3. Just Being President Was A Waste! -, Feb. 2010
  2. Iwata Asks: Pokemon HeartGold Version & SoulSilver Version - 2. The King of Portable Toys -, Feb. 2010
  3. Top 20 - Famitsu, Sep. 1997
  4. ポケットモンスター金・銀発売延期のお知らせとお詫び -, archived May 1998
  5. 伝説ポケモンのイラストを手がける斉藤むねお、キャラデザ講座開講! -, 1 May 2014
  6. ルギア黙示録 - Web Anime Style Column, Jun. 2003
  7. 月刊コロコロコミック1996年8月号 レビュー - コロコロコミック1996年8月号, Jul. 1996
  8. 月刊コロコロコミック1996年11月号 レビュー - コロコロコミック1996年11月号, Oct. 1996
  9. 月刊コロコロコミック1997年1月号 レビュー - コロコロコミック1997年1月号, Dec. 1996
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Pokémon 2 Creator Interview - ポケットモンスター公式ファンブック (Pocket Monsters Official Fanbook), Shogakukan, May, 1997
  11. Cover - ポケットモンスター公式ファンブック (Pocket Monsters Official Fanbook), Shogakukan, May, 1997
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Pokémon Bios - ポケットモンスター公式ファンブック (Pocket Monsters Official Fanbook), Shogakukan, May, 1997
  13. 13.0 13.1 Slowking Bio - ポケットモンスター公式ファンブック (Pocket Monsters Official Fanbook), Shogakukan, May, 1997
  14. TV Gamer -Twitter, 21 May 2016
  15. 幻のミュウを100.000人にプレゼント!! - コロコロコミック1997年10月号, Sept. 1997
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 ポケモン金&銀新キャラクター独占公開!! - コロコロコミック1997年11月号, Oct. 1997
  17. ポケモン金&銀3大特報激ゲット!! - コロコロコミック1997年12月号, Nov. 1997
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.6 18.7 Nintendo Space World '97 Official Guidebook - Nintendo, Nov. 21st, 1997
  19. Pokemon Stadium/Snap Beta (HQ) - GamesMaster Series 7 Episode 4, 1997/98 (via Shaun O-Reilly and HyperSonicXtreme)
  20. 次世代ワールドホビーフェア トヨタオート店全国ドームカップ 全ブースがコロコロファンで大盛況!! - コロコロコミック1998年3月号, Feb. 1998
  21. 月刊コロコロコミック1999年4月号 レビュー - コロコロコミック1999年3月号, Mar. 1999
  22. Gō Ichinose - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia