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Proto:Pokémon Gold and Silver

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This page details one or more prototype versions of Pokémon Gold and Silver.
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:
Documentation of this prototype is an ongoing process, and work on an English translation is ongoing. You can view the current progress at this Google spreadsheet, which includes data on all Pokémon and many other things, as well as this repository.

On November 15th, 1997, a playable demo of Pokémon Gold and Silver debuted at Space World '97 for the public. On May 26th, 2018, an anonymous user dumped a ROM of the elusive demo, twenty years since it was last playable by the public. May Game Freak have mercy on our souls.

There are 4 separate ROMs: two Gold and two Silver, two Debug and two NonDebug.

Download.png Download Pokémon Gold - Spaceworld 1997 Demo (Debug)
File: Pokémon Gold - Spaceworld 1997 Demo (Debug).7z (info)
Current version: ‎November ‎15, ‎1997
Download.png Download Pokémon Gold - Spaceworld 1997 Demo (NonDebug)
File: Pokémon Gold - Spaceworld 1997 Demo (NonDebug).7z (info)
Current version: November 15, 1997
Download.png Download Pokémon Silver - Spaceworld 1997 Demo (Debug)
File: Pokémon Silver - Spaceworld 1997 Demo (Debug).7z (info)
Current version: November 15, 1997
Download.png Download Pokémon Silver - Spaceworld 1997 Demo (NonDebug)
File: Pokémon Silver - Spaceworld 1997 Demo (NonDebug).7z (info)
Current version: November 15, 1997

Each archive contains two ROMs; the original ROM, and a version with a fixed header that allows it to run on normal Game Boy hardware and most emulators.

To fix a ROM yourself, open the ROM in a hex editor (such as HxD on Windows), and edit the following:

  • For all versions, set the byte at 0x0147 to 0x10
  • For Debug Gold, set the bytes at 0x014D to 0xC7 0x7B 0xA2
  • For NonDebug Gold, set the bytes at 0x014D to 0xC7 0xA2 0x84
  • For Debug Silver, set the bytes at 0x014D to 0x18 0x54 0xEF
  • For NonDebug Silver, set the bytes at 0x014D to 0x18 0x2C 0x58

Subpages

PKMNGoldSpaceworld-TitleDebug.png
Debug Menu
You've got the power right in your hands.
PokeGoldDemo-front 172.png
Pokémon
You won't believe your eyes.
PKMN GS Prototype Town Map.PNG
Maps
Kanto looks a lot smaller than I remembered.
GS Demo Picross 1.png
Minigames
Pokémon Picross is alive and kicking.
Blank.png
Items
Ice Bikini joke goes here.
Blank.png
Text
It's a rather different story after all.

Main Differences

  • The intro lacks music.
  • Songs from Pokémon Red & Green are used entirely for the demo.
    • The music from Viridian City, Saffron City and Pewter City is used for Silent Hill.
    • The music used on the first route is Route 1.
    • Though, both the Wild and Trainer battle use the Gym leader battle music.
    • Several more tracks from Red & Green remain in this version's data, including jingles for inaccessible events (like healing at the Pokémon Centers).
  • Pokémon descriptions from Gen 1 are carried over here. New Pokémon have a placeholder entry "はっけんされた ばかりの ポケモン げんざい ちょうさちゅう。" (Currently investigating this recently discovered Pokémon.)

Demo Lockouts

Because this demo is meant for Spaceworld 1997, there are several restrictions in place that can't be surpassed without using the debug menu or hacking.

  • The only options on the main menu normally available are "ポケモンを あそぶ" (Play Pokémon) and "せっていを かえる" (Change Settings).
  • The player also can't save their game.
  • Can't use the PC or the healing center without the debug menu. The player is given healing potions instead.
  • Can't rename your player character. It chooses one of the default names randomly.
  • The starter Pokémon, and most of those available to catch, have had their evolutions removed. Caterpie and Metapod can still evolve as usual.
  • To speed up the demo, losing dialogue from the NPCs is removed.
  • The player can only visit the starting town and the route to the left.
  • When all Pokémon have fainted, the player is booted back to the title screen.

Visual Comparisons

Pokémon Gold - Spaceworld 1997 Demo-title.PNG Pokémon Silver - Spaceworld 1997 Demo-title.PNG

While the demos do contain unique borders as seen here, the final games' borders can also be brought up if the game is saved in debug mode and restarted.

Intro

The intro is mainly similar between the two, though the actual art is noticeably different between the two versions.

SpaceWorld 1997 Demo Final Game
PokemonGold SpaceWorldIntro 1.png PokemonGold FinalIntro 1.png

Omanyte can be seen in the intro instead of Shellder. The detail of the ocean floor was also simplified.

SpaceWorld 1997 Demo Final Game
PokemonGold SpaceWorldIntro 2.png PokemonGold FinalIntro 2.png

Magikarp were redrawn to be on-model.

SpaceWorld 1997 Demo Final Game
PokemonGold SpaceWorldIntro 3.png PokemonGold FinalIntro 3.png

The Lapras in the intro was also redrawn to be more on-model, with the most notable differences being the head and shell. It also was given more animation in the final, with less of a "bob" as it paddles in the water.

SpaceWorld 1997 Demo Final Game
Such a deceptive smile.
PokemonGold SpaceWorldIntro 5.png
PokemonGold FinalIntro 4.png
Surprise, Jigglypuff!

Details on the trees and bushes were removed. Shading is removed from Pikachu and Jigglypuff. Pikachu attacking Jigglypuff does not use unique frames like the final game.

Spaceworld 1997 Demo Final Game
PkmnGSProto-Intro-1.png PkmnGS-Intro-1.png
PkmnGSProto-Intro-2.png PkmnGS-Intro-2.png
N/A
PkmnGS-Intro-3.png
PkmnGSProto-Intro-3.png PkmnGS-Intro-4.png

In place of the Johto starters, the final part of the intro uses Blastoise and Venusaur instead. Charizard's silhouette is also a bit different.

SpaceWorld 1997 Demo Final Game
PKMNGold-SW-Chari1.png
PKMNGold-SW-Chari2.png
PKMNGold-SW-Chari3.png
PKMNGold-Chari1.png
PKMNGold-Chari2.png
PKMNGold-Chari3.png

Finally, like the silhouette, the Charizard sprites at the very end were redrawn for the final game.

Interface

Battle

Generation I SpaceWorld 1997 Demo April 1998 Corocoro Issue Final Game (JP)
PKMN RB Battle.png PKMN GS SpaceWorld Battle.png PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 7.gif PKMN GS Final Battle.png

The battle HUD is almost exactly the same, except for the lack of color since it used original Gameboy hardware. When using a Super Game Boy, color tinting is added just like in the original Red, Green and Blue versions.

Party

Generation I SpaceWorld 1997 Demo 1999 Promotional Video Final Game (JP)
PKMN RB Party.png PKMN GS SpaceWorld Party.png PKMN GS videogames.com screenshot 3.jpg PKMN GS videogames.com screenshot 3 FINAL.png

Inventory

Generation I SpaceWorld 1997 Video SpaceWorld 1997 Demo Mid-to-Late 1998 Final Game (JP)
Pokemon-GenIBag.png PkmnGS-Folders.jpg Poke Gold (Demo) - Bag.png PKMN GS rpgamer 1999-11-08 screenshot 14.gif Poke Gold (Final) - Bag.png


Trainer Card

SpaceWorld 1997 Demo Final Game
Poke Gold (Demo) - Trainer Card 1.png
Poke Gold (Demo) - Trainer Card 2.png
Poke Gold (Final) - Trainer Card 1.png
Poke Gold (Final) - Trainer Card 2.png


Pokédex

SpaceWorld 1997 Demo Final Game
Poke Gold (Demo) - Pokedex 1.png Poke Gold (Final) - Pokedex 1.png

PokéGear Radio

SpaceWorld 1997 Demo 1999 Promotional Video Final Game (JP)
PKMN GS Radio Demo.png PKMN GS videogames.com screenshot 2.jpg PKMN GS videogames.com screenshot 2 FINAL.png

Options

SpaceWorld 1997 Demo Final Game
Poke Gold (Demo) - Options.png Poke Gold (Final) - Options.png

Version Differences

  • In the demo, Hoppip is found in Gold, and Marill is found in Silver. Both are found in the same locations and at the same levels.

Battle Mechanics

Type Matchups

  • Poison does 0.5x damage to Steel-types rather than being completely ineffective.

Move Differences

  • Scary Face lowers Defense instead of Speed.
  • Belly Drum does not inflict any damage on the user.
  • ボーンラッシュ Bone Rush was originally named ホネホネロック Bonebone Rock, using ほね instead of the katakana ボーン to refer to Cubone and Marowak's bone clubs.

Type Changes

Several moves had their type changed between Generation I and II, but these changes had not been implemented yet in this prototype. Additionally, many new moves were in an unfinished state, and seem to default to Normal-type.

Name Type (Demo) Type (Final)
Bite Normal Dark
Sand-Attack Normal Ground
Karate Chop Normal Fighting
Rain Dance Normal Water
Sunny Day Normal Fire
Crunch Normal Dark
Spikes Normal Ground
Mud-Slap Normal Ground

Removed Moves

Hmmm...
To do:
Check how each move behaves.
Hex Name (JP) Translation Type Base Power PP Description Notes
AE クギをうつ Nail Down Ghost -- 10 By attacking itself, the user damages the foe every turn. This move was the original Curse, but lowered the enemies HP regardless of typing and had its name changed; Norowara is the only Pokémon that could learn this move by level up.
C4 シンクロ Synchronize Psychic -- 10 The enemy takes the same damage as the user. The described behavior has not been implemented in the game yet for some reason; instead, it acts like Conversion. This move's name was used for an ability in Generation III.
D4 ストーカー Stalker Psychic -- 10 Prevents fleeing or switching. This move is identical to Mean Look, and even takes up the same slot, but its name was changed; its type was also changed to Normal-type for the final game.
E8 いしあたま Rock Head Rock 90 10 The enemy is hit with the user's hard head. It may cause flinching. This move's name was used for an ability in Generation III. A similar move, Iron Head, was introduced in Generation IV.
F5 ひっこぬく Uproot Normal 30 10 The user flings the enemy for massive damage. Is assigned as the move taught by HM01 (Cut).
F6 かぜにのる Wind Ride Flying 40 10 The user rides the wind and rams into the enemy. This move has a high critical-hit ratio. Is assigned as the move taught by HM02 (Fly). May have gone on to become Aeroblast.
F7 みずあそび Water Sport Water 30 10 Comment under construction Is assigned as the move taught by HM03 (Surf). This move's name was used for an unrelated move in Generation III.
F8 てつわん Strong Arm Steel 30 10 Attacks using a burly arm. May raise the user's attack. Is assigned as the move taught by HM04 (Strength). May have gone on to become Meteor Mash.
F9 ひかりゴケ Bright Moss Grass -- 10 Raises the accuracy of moves by lighting up the surroundings. Is assigned as the move taught by HM05 (Flash). This move's name was used for a held item in Generation VI.
FB とびはねる Bounce Water 0 10 No effect whatsoever. Is assigned as the move taught by HM07 (Waterfall). This move's name was used for a unrelated move in Generation III.

Oddities

  • Poison-types can get poisoned, which does not happen in Generation I or II altogether.
  • Aurora Beam is supposed to occasionally lower the opponent's Attack, but if it is used on a Pokémon with Substitute active and it breaks the substitute, the game will replay the Aurora Beam animation and state that the Pokémon's "9999" fell.
  • Sketch has an oversight; if your Pokémon Sketches Sketch, the dialog will say that it learned "ヌ" (Nu) instead (most likely reading garbage data), and your Pokémon will run out of moves and use Struggle.

Trainers

Unused Graphics

Hmmm...
To do:
  • Some of these are used in the proto itself. Suggest splitting the section into two sub-sections - graphics used in this build which aren't present in the final game, and graphics which are completely unused.
  • Add more details in the descriptions where appropriate - for example, which of the two snow towns (Blue Forest/North) does Agatha appear in?
  • Are there more?

Aerodactyl in Intro

Aerodactyl-PokemonGS-SpaceWorld.png

The graphics are loaded in the first part of the intro but it doesn't appear at all, this was meant go along with the segment where Lapras is swimming on the ocean.

Overworld Poliwhirl

PKMNGold Spaceworld PoliwhirlOverworld Front.gif PKMNGold Spaceworld PoliwhirlOverworld Side.gif PKMNGold Spaceworld PoliwhirlOverworld Back.gif

Sprites of Poliwhirl are present in the overworld sprites, but were removed in the final game. It can be seen in-game walking around in West City's Shop 5th floor.

Overworld Snorlax

PKMNGold Spaceworld SnorlaxOverworld.png

A very tiny Snorlax. Reused sprite from Red and Blue.

Surfing

PKMNGold Spaceworld Surf Front.gif PKMNGold Spaceworld Surf Side.gif PKMNGold Spaceworld Surf Back.gif

A surfing sprite which more closely resembles the ones in Red and Blue, rather than a red Lapras in the final game. There are additional water ripples around the Pokémon. Despite this sprite existing in the data, Lapras is used for Surfing in this prototype.

Skateboard

Protogold-1-skateboard.png

The skateboarding player, a cut transportation mode.

Giovanni

Protogold-2-giovanni.png

Giovanni, found in the Radio Tower with his Rockets.

Mother

Protogold-3-mother.png

A different design for the player's mother. Notably has a more traditional Japanese look to her.

Girl in Rival's house

Protogold-4-silvergirl.png

Silver's family member.

Imposter Oak

Protogold-5-imposteroak.png

A character posing as Professor Oak, a plot element which was scrapped at some point during the game's development. In spite of this, the Imposter Oak character still made several appearances in the official Pokémon Trading Card Game.

Agatha

Protogold-6-agatha.png

Chilling in a house in the snow town. A generic girl runs the ghost gym nearby.

Falkner

Protogold-7-falkner.png

A different design for Falkner, with a headband.

Bugsy

Protogold-8-bugsy.png

In the prototype, Bugsy is a tall, well-dressed man. He was changed to the champion of the Bug Catchers in the final game.

Cape Guy

Protogold-9-capeguy.png

Most likely one of the cut gym leaders Okera or Gama.

Jasmine

Protogold-10-jasmine.png

A radically different, more delicate design than final.

Generic Girl

Protogold-11-genericgirl.png

A girl who was possibly changed because she's too similar to Rival.

Dark Nurse

Protogold-12-darknursejoy.png

An alternate design for the nurse. Used inside the time capsule Pokemon Center.

Elderly Priestess

Protogold-13-nun.png

Found in the traditional tower with the monks. Resembles the Medium trainer class found in the final game.

Delinquent

Protogold-14-notlance.png

Resembles a stereotypical Japanese high school delinquent, complete with pompadour and school uniform.

Biker

Protogold-15-powerranger.png
The biker trainer class in the ROM looks nothing like this overworld sprite.

Hole

PKMN Gold Unused Hole 1.png PKMN Gold Unused Hole 2.png

Looks to be a hole in the ground. Passable; when stepped on, the player walks left one block. Found on the route west of High-Tech, and in Blue Forest. These holes aren't used in the final versions, but the top half of the graphic (right) remains in the following tilesets: Johto overworld, cave, and Ilex Forest as two separate blocks. Unused in the overworld for whatever reason, but are used in caves as the inner corner of two mountain tiles.

Corrupted graphics

The ROM contains corrupted data, some of which is leftover from Generation I.

From 0xC3E40 (these graphics are corrupted beyond recognition in the Silver demo):

Pokémon Gold 97 Demo - Corrupted sprite1.png

What can be made out here seem to be the sprites of one of the male Silph Co. workers. If there were any other sprites from other NPC's here, however, they've been corrupted to the point they can't be made out anymore.

From 0xC6640:

SpaceWorld 1997 Demo Recreation
Pokémon Gold 97 Demo - Corrupted sprite2.png
PokemonGS-CorruptedSpritesRestoration.png

The NPC's shown here in order: The female Silph Co. Worker, the middle aged woman NPC, Lass, Lance, another generic female NPC, another Silph Co. NPC, Bug Catcher, Gameboy Child, Clefairy, Agatha (which strangely is actually used in the prototype, albeit under a different offset), Bruno, Lorelei, the surfing sprite, and the first Generation Protagonist's bike sprites.

Three fourths of the S.S. Anne graphics are located at 0x4E900.

Send-Out Animations

Hoothoot is hardcoded to use send-out animation type 2, a fade-in effect. This effect is present but unused in the final. Send-out animation type 3, a wave effect, is not used in the prototype or final. Pikachu and Sunflora are hardcoded to use send-out type 1, the shiny effect, in the prototype.