Oh, my! I haven't posted since last year! What is wrong with my consistency, man? Anyway, Papa Plague is back with something newer than usual, with a promotional disc from Gen 3!
GAME is essentially the UK's equivalent to GameStop, acting as our retailer over here. I picked up this old CD from uhhh...either a Charity Shop, or by an employee when I was getting a Midnight Forme Lycanroc Event from said store. It was one of the two, not sure which. I've had so much stuff come in and out of this collection it's silly. Sorry, I don't know which! I know it came from Staffordshire, though.
I own quite a few promotional pieces from GAME, including demos of Star Wars Rogue Squadron II and Splinter Cell on the GameCube. This just happens to be one of the things I've picked up in the past, and I never actually thought to upload it online.
For starters, here's the cover. I had to compress it to JPEG quality as my scanner, once again, saves gigantic images with pristine quality. You can find a high res raw scan right here, clumsily put together by myself.
Now, this disc is dated on the files to be from 11/6/2003, or 11th June 2003 (note this is BritSpeak we're talking). So, a month and a week or two before release. GAME has been doing this for years, so it's nothing too out there. This IS licensed and copyrighted by Nintendo, and is probably one of the most haphazardly made advertising ever. I can't believe I didn't even open it until now.
The amount of work put into this is kind of nutty though, as you usually never see discs like this put together for customers. In fact, I don't think these were even meant to leave the store, as if you try to run the files extracted (as in, not on a disc you've burned the files to), it'll mention a projector being turned off. Maybe I'm looking a bit too much into it though.
So, what's actually ON the disc? There are 6 trailers for what I assume is given to consumers to watch when they get back from their trip to the store. I believe this as the 2nd video mentions the 6th one being included on the CD. Weird system though, especially considering that they could have put these into one big video.
So as you can see, you can select those 6 trailers to have shown on a projector. In my case, it showed up on my monitor, with an option to click Space for full-screen watching. The videos are all in MPEG, dated 11/6/2003, all edited in a very small time frame. The EXE File to open this application was made the next day at 5 AM (poor advertisers). Each trailer features a poor British soul trying to talk about Pokemon, although he sadly doesn't seem to quite understand it.
What, you want to watch these trailers now? You can! I dumped the disc and uploaded all the videos to a nice tidy playlist. Go here! Or if you want to see it in its original format, I extracted all the files on the disc and uploaded them to Dropbox!
Now, I'm going to sum up the videos for you! Because of course I'm going to needlessly look into content made a month before the release date! Who do you think I am?!
That's all I really observed while screaming at all the inaccuracies, and I really don't want to watch it again. I'm kind of shocked this was copyrighted by Nintendo at all, as there wasn't much quality control done at all.
So that's all I have for now. What do you think of this? Interesting, no?
With the emergence of the Pokemon Index List, the Capsule Monsters concepts, and so much more, many theories have been arising about Gen 1's development. From what Beta Pokemon became what to whether Magby and Elekid were in the game at some point.
But none would be more backed up than the belief Blastoise was originally a standalone Pokemon.
Sounds weird, doesn't it? But worry not, Papa Plague has you covered with all the information, continuing from an article I made a while ago. I originally thought that MissingNo. Index 181 could be two things: an unused evolution line from Spaceworld or an alternate Blastoise. Let's just say the prior theory was blown completely out the water.
You see, I was originally kind of confused about Mew's placement in the index, as the last 3 MissingNo. in the Index were used for sprites in Lavender Tower and the Pewter Museum of Science. I initially believed they could have been reused, but what if they were intended for this all along? We could simply come to that conclusion and it all makes a lot of sense. As for Spaceworld, well, I did say it was circumstantial in that original article.
So now, we arrive at the #AltBlastoise theory, with my old image to guide us through. We actually came across some very useful information to help validate this entire thing now too!
For starters, let's bring up the main points from before;
But now, we have a new point. You see, thanks to the NHK broadcast showing that sprite sheet, we have confirmation that Blastoise used Cry No.30, which corresponds to Index Number 181: MissingNo. Hex B5. Weird coincidence, is it not?
Suddenly we have some extremely strong evidence that Blastoise would have been separate from the Squirtle line at some point, backed up by design differences and general oddities spanning years.
Next article will be going into Omega in more detail, the Pokemon which Mew replaced in the final game!
Given how much history there is on Shellder and Cloyster at this point, I decided it would be fitting to discuss the entire history of the two lines. Linked by the claims of a "Spiral Shellder" being attached to Slowpoke so it becomes Slowbro, there's a lot to take in here. So, let's take a trip down memory lane to witness the development of some of Kanto's most interesting Pokemon!
Funnily enough, both Cloyster and Slowbro existed in the Capsule Monsters sprite sheets.
These sheets were taken at rather different times, but are nevertheless significant in devising the history of the two lines.
Slowbro was the 4th Pokemon conceived in Capsule Monsters going by the sheet, although it sits at Index Number 8 in the final game. Thus, the idea of a Shellder latching onto it is likely an afterthought or something. This also means that Tārban technically had its design made at this time, and could well have been saved for later as well. This is a bit of a reach, however.
Cloyster, as it turns out, thanks to the NHK report that was unearthed, was also made during this time period. But this is where it gets weird: it was named Shellder, not Cloyster. This could partially explain why the thing on Slowbro's tail is called a "Spiral Shellder" in Pokedex Entries nowadays, but it's still a bit odd. It gets weirder though, as in the final game, the Shellder we know fills the index number Cloyster should be at; Cloyster is actually Index Number 139 in the final game. This could explain why Shellder's sprite was downsized during development.
On a side note, Shellder held Scyther's index number for a period during development, before Scyther was moved to Index Number 26. This is reflected in the Popularity Poll (note that Scyther uses Index Number 23). As for how long and when this started, well, is hard to tell.
What these facts mean, well, there are a few theories and facts that can be derived from this.
Later on we find the Slowpoke line getting more love, with Slowking being featured in Pokemon The Movie 2000 and being one of the first Pokemon revealed for Gold and Silver in June of 1996. Nothing really changes here.
Later we see Tārban get added in the Spaceworld Demo as some bizarre...thing with only 3 moves. Incomplete, sadly it didn't get to fly and be seen in the final game. It answered so many questions and theories though, I'm glad we got closure in the end.
I do think that the Slowpoke Line inspired Mantine's later design, going from a sea slug-inspired beast to a ray with a remoraid attached to it. Perhaps Tārban inspired the concept of a Mantyke with Remoraid in the party becoming Mantine! After all, Sinnoh appeared to use heavy inspiration from the Spaceworld Prototype.
It's amazing to see how such an interesting line of Pokemon have such intricate history. While there are still mysteries to solve, it's cool to look at now and try to come up with theories to figure them out.
Helix Chamber released some more info on Capsule Monsters Sprites after a shock report, featuring more early designs of the Pokemon. It confirms a multitude of theories, so I'm going to cover this with some speculation thrown in. Before we continue, these numbers on the paper are cry numbers, so you may want a list to gather an idea of how they sounded.
From left to right, these are the Pokemon shown;
This is a very interesting sheet, as it not only shows a beta Pokemon, but it's a Beta Pokemon that has been bugging us historians for a while. You see, there's been a thing called "The Mystery O" among the thing, where we have a shred of a name of a Pokemon but nothing else. It just happened to be on this sheet!
So here I just made a very poorly made reconstruction (using Helix Chamber's of the part as a basis) that I totally didn't make in 2 mins in MS Paint. Anyway, meet Omega, the ultimate E-Series Robot- wait, that's not it...I mean, the original user of Blastoise's cry!
Yeah, this Pokemon looks pretty weird and early, much like the rest of the Pokemon there. It's not really much, just another Pokemon to add to the dinosaur list (likely why it was cut in my opinion). It's overall another Pokemon to go with the likes of Deer and Crocky, as it lived and died in exactly the same span of time.
It's funny how this design didn't even get reused in the Spaceworld 1997 Demo. Seems they definitely did not like this Pokemon and killed it before it laid eggs. The name was so cool though!
Next up we have Scyther, who I will say has the best sprite in the history of Pokemon in the Blue JP / Red and Blue Int games. I will die on this hill, you cannot prove me wrong. Anyway, we can agree that Scyther had very humble beginnings in Pokemon. Crappy sprite in Capumon, looked ugly in Green, had no Bug Moves and the only Flying STAB was 35 Base Power Wing Attack...yeah. Game Freak did not like this poor boy. To be honest, that initial sprite makes me think it was originally a Bug/Dragon Type, with the face and all. All speculation though.
Gyarados was very different originally, seemed the original idea was to bring in something from Tremors or whatever. It may shock you, but yes, that name is Gyarados'. It looks a bit like Omanyte or Omastar, but a closer look will tell you that spiral is actually it dipping down or something. Hard to describe. But yeah, this explains why Magikarp is so far ahead at Index Number 133. The designs were originally very separate! Perhaps this inspired Eelektross at some point? It's all very interesting!
Now, the Cloyster thing is pretty weird, so bear with me. Index Number 23 has quite a bit of history to it now.
Blastoise being shown here so early also shows it is even more likely that it wasn't meant to be an evolution for Wartortle, strengthened by its placement in the popularity poll and the MissingNo. entry coming after Wartortle (as shown in another one of my articles). I believe this is a very plausible theory now.
So yeah, that's some crazy info that we have here now! I've also updated my research document with this new information, so feel free to check it out!
As Generation 7 begins to close its doors, I decided to look back on a certain Pokemon that has never been released since Generation 6: AZ's Floette, or officially known as Eternal Flower Floette.
Many of you may have heard about this event, as it's the first to go completely unused in a Pokemon game. This Pokemon is quite unique and notorious as a result. I have done some digging myself and decided to document some stuff regarding this, as well as ironing out some rumors as well.
The reason Eternal Flower Floette is the first Pokemon to go unused is because Events for Generation 6 are no longer run. As a result of this fact and how you cannot transfer Generation 7 Pokemon - regardless of the generation they were introduced - to Generation 6, Eternal Flower Floette is officially unused. This will never change. If it is released in Generation 7 later, however, it will not be unused there, but still in Generation 6 due to these facts.
So, this is Eternal Flower Floette, with the Normal and Shiny Sprites (left and middle). Apologies for the resolution and present-ability, finding the animated models is a nightmare. As you can see, it is quite different to the normal Floette on the far right. It holds the flower in the opposite direction, and has a different coloration and general model.
The Non-Shiny model for Eternal Flower Floette is also used during the AZ Cutscene in the ending of Pokemon X and Y.
It's quite comical to look at when you know it's a battle sprite, but the scene is still cute and tear-jerking when you know the lore. It's still extremely unusual to see how it was never released during the XY Era. After all, it is a big part of the lore.
Smogon has an analysis page for this Floette, as there's a policy to document all Pokemon in preparation for release. Obviously, Floette has sort of...not been released. Anyway, as you can very well see, this Floette has obnoxious stats in comparison to the original. In fact, the original Floette has 371 BST, while Eternal Flower Floette has 551 BST! A massive increase! The stats gear it towards being a Choice Scarf user or possibly a Life Orb attacker. Smogon played around the idea of a Wish Tank, and I agree that it would work well like that, especially with its unique attack.
The differences don't end here either. Normal Floette gets Ally Switch, which this variant does not. What this variant does get is its own signature move in Light of Ruin, which is a 140 Base Power, 90 Base Accuracy move that deals half the damage in recoil. It also has a unique cry. This is the normal cry.
Due to being an Event, Eternal Flower Floette has no access to Egg Moves. Luckily, the Flabebe Line only get these Egg Moves;
Eternal Flower Floette also gets its own Pokedex Entries in Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.
Ultra Sun: The flower it's holding can no longer be found blooming anywhere. It's also thought to contain terrifying power.
Ultra Moon: Terrifying energy is concealed within its ominous flower, but Floette still swings it about innocently.
So, the flower the Pokedex is talking about must be the "Eternal Flower".
The funny thing is, Pokemon Bank itself actually has no hackcheck, which allows players to upload clearly hacked Pokemon into the system without punishment. I, myself, have tested Eternal Flower Floette in-game thanks to the QR Code Exploit back in the XY-ORAS era. I still have it...in Bank. Have had for quite a few years now, actually! Pokemon Bank reads the stats perfectly fine, and even has a sprite for it. Hell, it lists Light of Ruin with no problem either. So, what gives? It's clearly intended for use at some point, why hasn't it? It's been in the files for multiple generations, plus Bank. They also used Eternal Flower Floette for debugging in Bank in the past.
Given how this Pokemon is completely in limbo right now, I don't really know what to say about its future. Given the Pokedex Data being added in USUM, one could say that it is ready to be introduced. However, there have been many opportunities TO release it in the past. Pokemon Generations Episode 18 (the finale that featured AZ), the end of the XY Anime, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire since they mention AZ, the middle of the USUM Era due to the Pokedex Data...so many have been missed. It's so, so weird.
If it isn't released by Generation 8, I'm pretty sure it'll be absent entirely in the eventual Main Series Switch Games. It's usually how Nintendo and Game Freak operate: use the old games as a base, then reset completely when the next console rolls around. In which, this really cool Event Pokemon will simply fade into obscurity. I really don't want that to happen, since it'll become the first official Unused Pokemon.
So there we have it as it stands: Eternal Flower Floette has a ton of stuff going for it, but it has yet to be released. Will it ever happen? Well, I don't want to doubt it. It's honestly got a really cool design and a lot of interesting lore.
It would be cruel not to give the Pokemon out for some cool event with AZ in Generation 8. I feel this could be the best way to release it at this point: as a cross-generational event, like the Celebi and Zorua, and Legendary Beasts and Zoroark Movie Tie-Ins. Those events were really cool and encouraged utilizing transfer features. Here, it could work just as well.
Let's just sit back and hope this doesn't become a beta element for a second time...
To be more accurate, the name is Tārban.
It's been almost a month since I last made an article, and I apologize for that. I'm not very good at upkeeping blogs, but I am still alive!
So I'm continuing on the "Cut Pokemon" article trend since I haven't really got any new, expansive theories to bring out. This one is from the Spaceworld Demo, and will be familiar to uhhh basically all of you.
So, meet that "Shellder".
Yep, you're seeing this. A Pokemon called Tārban was in the demo, and it was Slowbro's shell all alone. However, it was quite unfinished.
For starters, Tārban only learned three moves: Harden, Water Gun and Body Slam. Not exactly great, huh? It didn't have the stats finished either (50 all around like the others that had them dummied out), so we don't really know what it was meant to be. It was Mono Water Type, with no evolution links. Overall, just, well, unfinished.
It's quite jarring, especially since it has no real link to the Slowpoke or Shellder lines. It doesn't evolve from Shellder at any level - in fact, it's standalone - nor does it influence the evolution from Slowpoke into Slowking (the King's Rock WAS implemented already, so it makes sense). Overall, it's just a little fat shell that does nothing.
I'm pretty sure the reason for its removal was because of the anime and the previous games. They all specify the thing on Slowbro's tail is a Shellder, rather than anything else. Thus, Tārban would create some weird lore issues if it were to be added then or even now.
I do hope Tārban comes in another game though, since the idea of something linking two evolution lines would be so cool. Like Remoraid with the Mantyke line! Goofy evolutions like that tickle me.
The Satoshi Taijiri Manga is pretty famous among us beta researchers, and really, it's a goldmine for information. So let's talk about some Beta Pokemon from it, and in this case, unmasking a MissingNo. Index.
Now anyone who has read my research page for the Internal Pokedex Order in Gen 1 matches the Popularity Poll. In fact, it's almost a one to one match. And here, it's no different. The Beta Deer - literally called "Deer" - still has its spot in the data. It's just...blank. Technically it's not in the game, as MissingNo. takes its place. If you try to encounter it through the Mew Glitch with a Special Stat of 56, like with every other MissingNo., the game crashes since it's trying to load blank data.
So, what could Deer have been, and has it ever been reused anywhere? Deer, to me, could have inspired Stantler and Sawsbuck. In fact, Sawsbuck feels like a re-imagining of the concept of a grass deer. Here's my typical poorly made MS Paint representation for you all to see the comparison.
I'd say it's more of indirect inspiration. The idea of a deer Pokemon makes a lot of sense really, so it may have not inspired it at all. However, I can't help but think that Deer - the Pokemon - was most likely used as inspiration for Sawsbuck. Both clear Grass Type Pokemon, possibly Grass/Normal on Deer even.
For those interested in seeing how Deer could have looked and played in Pokemon, there's a ROM Hack of Red that significantly improves the game! It also has a version with the Taijiri Manga Pokemon in it! You can find it here, it's really good! If you want to simply see the Pokemon, there's a Dex Test here.
I'll be covering Crocky and other Taijiri Manga Pokemon in separate pieces to give more elaborate opinions.
This is very likely to be the last time I cover this magazine until someone translates the Hideo Kojima area of the magazine (someone is doing it for me, next week seems promising). Also, apologies for my inconsistent uploading of articles, I like to keep it spaced out but it gets a bit much sometimes.
I have covered parts of "Hitmontop" before, but never actually went in depth or put it all in one place. So, it feels correct to put it here. Given the turtle has no real thoughts on it, I don't think it warrants an article (Unless I need filler...heh). This article is mainly to compile my thoughts, and to clear up any misinformation regarding this thing.
So, let's begin this with what is the speculative history of Hitmontop. All the images here will be recycled from my previous articles, since there's no point in redoing them: they're fine!
One thing I questioned in my initial research of the Spaceworld 1997 Demo back in June-July times, the biggest thing I questioned was the drastic difference in design. The only similarity was the concept of a spinning top, but even then it is quite the reach.
Now, let's bring up the interview retranslation that Obskyr did. It has been agreed upon that the designs were never intended to be canon from the beginning: notice that Tyranitar wasn't in the Spaceworld Demo. It wasn't intended to exist up until after Spaceworld when the designs were looked over again. I believe that as a result, we can say the same for "Hitmontop", who I don't think is Hitmontop at all.
Thinking about it, the only way that we can really explain the drastic design difference and the existence of Hitmontop in the Spaceworld Demo is that this Pokemon is not actually a beta Hitmontop. It never was.
Hitmontop is based on a practitioner of Capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian Martial Art. Got to commend Game Freak for researching such an obscure thing tbh, pretty cool. Hell, the Japanese name is a homage to it. Anyway, getting off track. This weird Pokemon doesn't feature any implications of any kind of fighting style, and is simply a spinning top. If anything, I really think it looks like Clefairy. Here's an image I put together using my HQ scanned images of it;
Ken Sugimori stated in the interview with the writers of the magazine, that he had the idea of a parallel universe when designing these Pokemon. They were not meant to be canon, but obviously Tyranitar really complicated this when Ken looked back at his old designs and thought "hey let's contradict this for a laugh".
So really, this Pokemon was never meant to be used from the beginning. As I said in my previous articles, this Pokemon was a throwaway design, just like the turtle and Tyranitar (god it still feels weird saying that). All in all, the most this Pokemon could have done is indirectly contribute to Hitmontop's inception: the concept of a spinning top, that evolved from there thanks to the drug-fueled beings that are Pokemon's designers.
So, not Hitmontop. It's about as irrelevant as the turtle Pokemon that may or may not have become Tirtouga.
But what do you mean, Papa Plague? We got Pokemon Blue! Hold your horses there, pardner. Because that Pokemon Green you keep talking about? You already played that, it's Pokemon Blue International bar the sprites. Yeah, as you can tell, this will be a very complicated article.
So, let's talk about Gen 1 some more. I like Gen 1, you probably know it for the hilarious glitches. But did you know that we never got the definitive experience? Pokemon Blue JP, as I call it, is the Japanese Pokemon Blue. You see, we never actually got Blue: we got Green.
I have a lot to talk about here, since there are also some sprites that never got released too. I was going to do this in 2 articles, but the sprites are pretty minor overall, and I didn't enjoy writing that small Game Boy Camera article.
So as you can see, Corocoro has a small oddity going about. You see, Blue JP was initially released through there on October 15th 1996, a while after Red and Green were released that same year. However, in the two later magazines - November and December - show entirely different sprites. I have not seen a copy of Blue JP with these sprites, so I am assuming that there is an error here. However, this could also imply the existence of copies of Blue JP with these sprites. I cannot clarify this however. What we do know, however, is that Mewtwo was packing some SASS in that beta sprite.
Anyway, what's this about Blue JP being a different game? Well, it's quite the interesting debacle. You see, Blue JP (as said in that research image), was used for the scripts in Red and Blue International. Thus, we got those trades implied. You know, the Raichu and Poliwhirl evolving and such? This is because Blue JP was essentially a 3rd version, with different in-game trades to boot. Those version differences you see between Red and Blue, well, there were more in Blue JP. Ditto in Rock Tunnel, Rapidash in Cerulean Cave, Golem can be obtained via In-Game Trade, etc. There are many, but Bulbapedia sums it up quite well.
I'd say that Blue JP is among the most friendly games to players. You can get Tauros, Golem, Gengar and Kangaskhan via In-Game Trade, all of which are amazing Pokemon. Hell, Tauros, Golem and Gengar can form a very good Gen 1 OU Team on their own. Kangaskhan was even nicknamed Rodan: a Godzilla reference! This is also the only way you can get a Lickitung in the wild: via the Safari Zone. Jynx can also be found in the Seafoam Islands. It is among the most complete of the Gen 1 Games, with only the Arbok Line, Ninetales Line, Primeape Line, Victreebell Line, and Magmar and Electabuzz missing. Nidoran wasn't available early game though (and Mankey completely gone), so have fun killing Brock with Charmander. Not too shabby, really. Hell, Porygon was cheaper in the Game Corner. It also fixed some minor glitches, such as Sabrina Skip.
There is a patch available replicating the version differences, but I'm not sure if it patches out the glitches Blue JP did. No translation patch is directly available, however.
Anyway, if you're interested in the version differences across the board, Papa Plague can provide!
The release schedule of Gen 1 was so hilariously bad, that it forgot a whole game. How fantastic is that?
After I got myself a copy of the magazine and scanned it all, I decided to take all this a bit further. With access to the best possible quality images of it, I couldn't just leave it at that. Given we only had a very poor translation of the page, I got Obskyr from Team Spaceworld to retranslate the page for us. So now, we have an improved translation erasing any grey areas that we initially had. Due to my PNG Copy being 16.3 MB I couldn't get it on here, but you can view it here. To compensate and for a more streamlined experience for you all, there's a JPEG version below.
So overall, this translation has some key differences thanks to the kanji being legible: firstly, it confirms that Tyranitar was a throwaway design. I went over this in two articles, which you can see here and here. However, the latter is thrown into question.
You see, Sugimori states here that these were original designs, made for a parallel universe of sorts. A separate world, in his words. Thus, these designs were never intended to be canon at all. This is more of a practice go or something, although the motivation is not mentioned. Thus, that's speculation.
In regards to my Tyranitar Dev History Article being thrown into question, it's mainly because I claimed that Ken Sugimori likely polished Gyaoon to make Tyranitar. While Question 3 does support this, Question 1 does not. In fact, Question 1 could outright deconfirm this: Ken Sugimori claims they are original. However, polishing an old design and using it could also be just as good as an original. It could be a final hurrah for a Pokemon Design he had a kinship with. Or, he revived the concept of a Godzilla-like Pokemon as I said. It could mean anything, and sadly this is the one question we'll leave with: was Tyranitar a revived concept, or an original throwaway design before its inception in the final game?
I believe this also confirms that Hitmontop was never, ever a part of this. From this I infer that this is simply a non-canon design (as stated in the original interview) that was taken from the Clefairy formula. They feel sort of similar. Possibly a Clefairy in a parallel universe as he claimed?
Now for the turtle design. I agree with the masses that this could well have indirectly inspired Tirtouga. There are some very strong similarities between the two, although there are some differences between them that are natural with age.
Now, I believe that the Clefairy-Hitmontop mishmash was laid to bed quickly after this magazine was published. I think Ken Sugimori did what he did in Question 3 to bring Tyranitar into being: looked back at the magazine, liked the idea, and pitched it. The turtle, I believe, was redesigned across multiple generations to eventually become Tirtouga.
So there we go! The Sugimori Interview has been retranslated and we have answers!
So I really, really like researching Beta Pokemon information. I worked on a ROM Hack attempting to restore Pokemon GSC's beta for around 5 years before the Spaceworld Demo dropped on 4Chan. Both extremely happy, but also inches away from killing myself.