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Prerelease:Pokémon Red and Blue

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This page contains changes which are not marked for translation.

This page details one or more prerelease versions of Pokémon Red and Blue.
This cactus is UNDER CONSTRUCTION
This article is a work in progress.
...Well, all the articles here are, in a way. But this one moreso, and the article may contain incomplete information and editor's notes.
Hmmm...
To do:
Prerelease screenshots, development information, concept art:

Development Timeline

1990

  • Development officially begins on the games.

1995

  • December 21 - Pokémon Red and Green is set to be released in Japan but delayed for unknown reasons.

1996

  • February 27 - Pokémon Red and Green is released in Japan.
  • October 15 - Pokémon Blue is released in Japan exclusively to subscribers of CoroCoro Comic.

1998

  • September 28 - Pokémon Red and Blue is released in North America.
  • October 23 - Pokémon Red and Blue is released in Australia.

1999

  • October 5 - Pokémon Red and Blue is released in Europe.
  • October 10 - Pokémon Red, Green and Blue are re-released in Japan, with some minor bug fixes. This is the first public release of Blue in Japan.

Pokémon Red and Green

Hmmm...
To do:
As well as prototype sprites and scrapped designs, some prototype Japanese names for Pokémon which differ from those in the final game are visible on certain pages of the Satoshi Tajiri: The Man Who Made Pokémon manga. Where readable, these should be documented and added to a "Prototype names" section.

Scrapped Pokémon

The 2018 manga Satoshi Tajiri: The Man Who Made Pokémon includes images of a number of Pokémon that didn't make the final cut. With the exception of the first two Pokémon listed, all of the index numbers assigned to these designs match blanked-out "MissingNo." slots in the final game, suggesting these were the Pokémon assigned to those slots earlier in development.

Image Name Index No. Notes
Pokemon RG Scrapped Design 7.png
ギャオーン (Gyaoon) Unknown Name is derived from the onomatopoeia for Godzilla's roar. The image shows the katakana ス (su) crossed out, suggesting that its name was going to be ギャース (Gyaasu).
Pokemon RG Scrapped Design 9.png
Unknown 1 Probably an earlier or later version of ギャオーン (Gyaoon) due to the similar pose and physical appearance. Its index number would eventually be used by Rhydon in the final game.
Pokemon RG Scrapped Design 1.png
ディアー (Diaa) 56 Name is the English word "Deer".
Pokemon RG Scrapped Design 3.png
Unknown 61 The name appears to end with ロ (ro) or コ (ko).
Pokemon RG Scrapped Design 4.png
クロッキー (Kurokkii) 62 Name means "Crocky".
Pokemon RG Scrapped Design 5.png
カクタス (Kakutasu) 67 Name is the English word "Cactus".
Pokemon RG Scrapped Design 6.png
ジャッグ (Jaggu) 68 Name means "Jagg".
Pokemon RG Scrapped Design 8.png
Unknown 81
(Source: ERAsaur)

Sprite Changes

The aforementioned manga also includes of a number of sprites with noticeable differences to the final game. All of the Pokémon have their index numbers listed next to them, which match their index numbers used in the final game with the exception of Venusaur and Rhydon.

Pokémon Prerelease Final Index No. Notes
Venusaur
Pokemon RG Venusaur early sprite.png
Pokemon RG Venusaur sprite.png
9 (prerelease)

154 (final game)

Its prerelease index number was assigned to Ivysaur in the final game. It is frowning instead of smiling. Its eyes are bigger. Its front right leg is on the ground. Its front left leg is further forward. Its teeth are bigger. Its back left leg is more visible. Its head has a number of spikes. The leaves are attached to the flower instead of its body. The center of the flower does not have spikes. The flower does not appear to have spots and the petals are not pointy. The plant trunk widens towards the bottom.
Spearow
Pokemon RG Scrapped Design 10.png
Pokemon RG Spearow sprite.png
5 Likely to be an early version of Spearow due to its matching index number. The page that this was scanned from contains only early designs for the Pokémon occupying the first 16 internal index numbers in the final game, and Spearow holds the distinction of being the only bird Pokémon in this range. The general shape of the beak is the most similar part to the final version's sprite, but some elements such as the head feathers were later used by Pidgeotto and Pidgeot instead. Other elements such as claws were scrapped completely
Nidoran♀
Pokemon RG NidoranF early sprite.png
Pokemon RG NidoranF sprite.png
15 The spikes on its back are bigger. It has less spots. Its eye is bigger. Its left ear is lower down and doesn't have spikes. It doesn't have whiskers. The spikes on its head are further back. It doesn't have a visible nose.
Nidoqueen
Pokemon RG Nidoqueen early sprite.png
Pokemon RG Nidoqueen sprite.png
16 Its right ear is larger. It has more visible claws on its right hand. It has a visible tooth on the left of its mouth. Most shading is darker including on the right of its mouth and on its left leg.
Nidoran♂
Pokemon RG NidoranM early sprite.png
Pokemon RG NidoranM sprite.png
3 The pupil in its eye is bigger. There are no spikes on its ears. Its toes are bigger. It has less spots. The shading on its back horns is darker.
Clefairy
Pokemon RG Clefairy early sprite.png
Pokemon RG Clefairy sprite.png
4 There is no curl on its head. Its eyes are bigger and darker. It has claws. It has no back spikes. Its mouth is closed. It has pointy ears without dark spots. Its toes are bigger. Its tail points down and doesn't curl. There is more shading towards the bottom.
Slowbro
Pokemon RG Slowbro early sprite.png
Pokemon RG Slowbro sprite.png
8 It has a somewhat confused expression instead of a smile very similar to Slowpoke's sprite. Its right arm is not raised. The visible tail has lighter shading and the eye on its shell is further to the right.
Seel
Pokemon RG Scrapped Design 2.png
Pokemon RG Seel sprite.png
58 Although it looks completely different at this stage of development, the Pokémon's species, Japanese name (パウワウ/Pauwau) and internal index number all match Seel's from the final game. Even the creature's pose is very similar, albeit proportionally very different due to its completely different design. All of these factors suggest this is simply an earlier design for Seel rather than a separate, scrapped creature.
Grimer
Pokemon RG Grimer early sprite.png
Pokemon RG Grimer sprite.png
13 Its mouth is closed. Its arms are pointed forwards. Its hands are round. Its left eye is further down. Its right eye is more central. The shading is different throughout its full body.
Gengar
Pokemon RG Gengar early sprite.png
Pokemon RG Gengar sprite.png
14 Its mouth is much smaller, and difficult to see on the scanned image. The shading is darker. Its ears are smaller. It has larger spikes on its head. It has a bigger tail. It has no visible hands.
Voltorb
Pokemon RG Voltorb early sprite.png
Pokemon RG Voltorb sprite.png
6 Its eyes are bigger. There is darker shading on the top of its head.
Exeggcute
Pokemon RG Exeggcute early sprite.png
Pokemon RG Exeggcute sprite.png
12 The front two eggs have less shading. The middle-back egg has more of its right eye visible. The front-right egg has an extra crack at the top.
Exeggutor
Pokemon RG Exeggutor early sprite.png
Pokemon RG Exeggutor sprite.png
10 The toes on its left foot are bigger and the ones on its right foot are less pointed. The eyes on its left head are bigger. The eye on its middle head is at a lower angle. The eye and mouth on its right head are in different places. The overall shading is lighter.
Lickitung
Pokemon RG Lickitung early sprite.png
Pokemon RG Lickitung sprite.png
11 Its arms are not raised. It doesn't appear to have thumbs. Its stomach and legs do not have patterns on them. Its tail is shorter. Its tongue is more forked. Its feet are smaller.
Rhydon
Pokemon RG Rhydon early sprite.png
Pokemon RG Rhydon sprite.png
0 (prerelease)

1 (final game)

The front horn is smaller and isn't a spiral. Its collar is missing suggesting that the striped pattern on its stomach would have been bigger. Shading is lighter especially around the bottom.
Kangaskhan
Pokemon RG Kangaskhan early sprite.png
Pokemon RG Kangaskhan sprite.png
2 The shading on its head is darker while its stomach is lighter.


There is also a backsprite of Nidoking, suggesting that backsprites would have shown the full body instead of just the top part. It is in a similar pose to its final front sprite. Full body backsprites for all Pokémon would not be implemented until Black and White in 2010.

Prerelease Final back Final front Index No.
Pokemon RG Nidoking early back sprite.png
Pokemon RG Nidoking back sprite.png
Pokemon RG Nidoking sprite.png
7

Pokémon Blue

Previews for the Japanese Pokémon Blue were featured in the November and December 1996 editions of CoroCoro Comic (published in October and November respectively). Page 22 of the November edition and page 19 of the December edition show a few sprites which differ from the final game.

Pokémon Prerelease Final
Raticate PKMN Blue Raticate scan.png
PKMN Blue Raticate final.png
Fearow PKMN Blue Fearow scan.png
PKMN Blue Fearow final.png
Kadabra PKMN Blue Kadabra scan.png
PKMN Blue Kadabra final.png
Alakazam PKMN Blue Alakazam scan.png
PKMN Blue Alakazam final.png
Rhydon PKMN Blue Rhydon scan.png
PKMN Blue Rhydon final.png
Ditto PKMN Blue Ditto scan.png
PKMN Blue Ditto final.png
Porygon PKMN Blue Porygon scan.png
PKMN Blue Porygon final.png
Dragonair PKMN Blue Dragonair scan.png
PKMN Blue Dragonair final.png
Mewtwo PKMN Blue Mewtwo scan.png
PKMN Blue Mewtwo final.png

English Localization

"The (TRAINER TYPE) wants to fight!"

Prerelease Final
PKMN RB U Brock Beta.png PKMN RB U Brock Final.png

A prototype screenshot of the trainer fight with Brock is present in the official manual, on Pages 7 and 25. The dialogue has a "The" at the start of the text. Another prerelease screenshot had the player encountering Misty, with the text "The MISTY wants to fight."

"(POKéMON) CUT down a bush!"

Prerelease Final
PKMN RB U Cut Beta.png PKMN RB U Cut Final.png

In a screenshot on Page 31 of the official player's guide for Pokémon Red and Blue, "(POKéMON) CUT down a bush!" is used instead of the usual message "(POKéMON) hacked away with CUT!" when using Cut on a bush. This was changed because Cut can also be used to chop down tall grass, and the same text string is used for both purposes.