Since Satoshi Tajiri created Pokemon in 1995, a surprising number of Pokemon concepts were developed, then cut before official release. For one reason or another, Pokemon of many sorts have made their way into a sort of alternate universe, an Island of Misfit Toys, if you will. Today we’re taking a look at 10 of these "failed" Pokemon.
Before we go any further, I need to give a shout out to Dr. Lava, a master of video game history and a finder of lost relics. His work with Dr. Lava’s Lost Pokemon and Lava Cut Content was integral to the creation of the list you see below. He’ll likely continue to find "new" forgotten or otherwise cut Pokemon in the future. For now, take a peek at the most excellent oddities below.
10. Petilil middle stage
According to Lead Pokemon Designer Ken Sugimori in a 2011 interview, "Petilil and Lilligant were originally meant as a three-stage evolutionary line." Sugimori suggested that Gen 5 (Black and White) families of Pokemon were made to "mirror" families from Gen 1. As suggested by Dr. Lava, it would appear that Petilil’s family would mirror that of the Oddish family – concept by Briggs!
9. Monja – pre-evolution of Tangela
This lil’ baby was meant to be the pre-evolution, the most Basic of forms of the grass-type original noodle beast Tangela. Pokemon Gold and Silver’s "Demo" version was leaked in 2018 and revealed this cutie in all its glory.
NOTE: The sprite "recreation" you see here was created by Rachel Briggs. Rachel Briggs has been working with Dr. Lava to create a wide range of "lost" Pokemon – you’ll see her work featured throughout this list!
8. Baby Zubat!
It’s time to get REAL with 3-stage evolutions and the TRUTH about the odd 1-2-3 choices made with the first Pokemon game. As mentioned by Dr. Lava, a (translated) Yomiuri interview revealed that a bunch of Pokemon in Gen 1 actually had thre stages of evolution, but a bunch had to be cut down to two.
In the video above, you’ll see an awesome animation made using original pixel imagery of the pre-Zubat and work from Briggs. Isn’t he cute?!
7. Beta Porygon 2
You know Porygon – the sharp-edged original digital Pokemon from the original 150. In 1999, the release of Gold and Silver brought us the balloon-like Porygon2 (as seen in the lower right of this image). The 2018 leak of the 1997 demo for Gold and Silver showed the original version of Porygon2 – more like a lion!
6. Madame – not so far-fetched
Farfetch’d had an evolution in an early version of Pokemon Gold and Silver. That 1997 demo mentioned earlier had a Pokemon called MADAME! This is different from what we eventually saw with SirFetch’d in Pokemon Sword and Shield. Smash the patriarchy with a scepter, smash it!
5. Jaggu – the shark
Jaggu was another Generation 1 Pokemon that didn’t end up in the final collection for Kanto. This monster is basically a shark with a big arrow-like appendage on its snout. There was a shark Pokemon later in the series with Sharpedo, but this elder shark beast is a whole different sort of weird.
4. Plux, or PURAKKUSU
Pinsir was meant to evolve into the Pokemon called Purakkusu, aka PLUX. This was meant to appear in the Pokedex after Scizor, but missed the cut. As with Jaggu, it would appear that the head-mounted appendage got pushed to the Pokemon that looks very much to have been made a combination of many elements: Heracross!
3. The other Blastoise
Per a leaked set of Gen 1 Beta assets leaked in early 2019, we’ve got a brand new – different – version of the third-level Squirtle. It’d be Squirtle, Wartortle, and … whatever this is, instead of Blastoise. He didn’t give his name before he disappeared into the wild unknown.
Below you’ll get a bit of back-story from Dr. Lava. Props to Atsuko Nishida! Blastoise was the name of the beast that inspired the final Blastoise – the water cannons came last.
2. Ditto Evolution: Animon!
Ditto is a blob, and has always been a blob. It doesn’t make sense for Ditto to have an evolution, because Ditto can transform into any Pokemon it sees. But… there was an evolution of Ditto called Animon nonetheless. Here it is, animated, courtesy of Niall Stenson.
Another Lost Pokemon, this time Ditto’s evolution, Animon! I love making these lost Pokemon, they’re quick to do and they give me an excuse to practice animation! Thanks to @DrLavaYT and @RacieBeep again!
— Niall Stenson (@vertex_arcade) January 8, 2020
The fabled freaky dragon Crocky was first revealed to the world in the manga called Satoshi Tajiri: The Man Who Created Pokemon!
In addition to work from Briggs, we’ve got some artwork here from Shenanimation @dbMisadventure too – as seen in part well above. The Pokemon named Crocky was originally part of Pokemon Gen 1, but never made it to the game – other than one very strange rendering, per the Manga mentioned.
UPDATE: We had a brainstorming session today about the Pokemon you see above. What do you think of the idea that Niantic could (if they had the means and the permission) release these Pokemon to Pokemon GO exclusively? What if they were the first to bring these odd monsters to the Pokemon universe officially? That’d be madness… wouldn’t it?