In the realm of video games, no franchise is as long-lasting or as popular as Pokémon. Even beyond its native medium, in fact, spinoff anime series, merchandise, live-action films and a plethora of other tie-ins have come and gone over its 20-plus-years of history and The Pokémon Company shows no signs of slowing down, either. And at the centre of it all? Hundreds (edging ever-closer to the 1,000 Pokémon milestone) of weird, wonderful and outright wacky creatures waiting to be caught, trained and battled in the name of becoming a bonafide Pokémon Master.
With such a rich history already behind it, however, the designers at Game Freak will undoubtedly have penned countless ‘Mon designs that never made the cut. Early demos of Pokémon Gold & Silver famously featured several critters that were ultimately pulled from the final version and now, there appears to be the discovery of one further Pokémon that was never meant to be. As per Pokémon historian Dr. Lava, the Twitter user has shared images of what they believe could have been designs for a scrapped Pokédex entry from Generations past.
See for yourself below:
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Beginning with a single kernel and finishing with a full-blown popcorn-spewing animal featuring the uncanny likeness of the Pringles mascot, the above designs are the work of Muneo Saito. For those unaware, Saito was a character artist for the Gold & Silver games and is credited with creating the Legendary Beasts Raikou, Entei and Suicune found in the Johto region. This vegetable-themed being is a far cry from that canine-inspired trio but nonetheless, the connections are clear as day.
Akin to any existing official Pokémon, this individual has a series of evolutionary stages that were said to be designs meant for a game Saito was currently working on at the time. Whether that unnamed project was in fact a Pokémon title, Saito never specified, though I’m hard pushed to believe they could have been for anything else. With that said, however, the series has never featured a Pokémon with three evolutions (two is the current max), so the answer isn’t so clear cut.
A fascinating find either way and one that’s sure to spur further investigations into Saito’s past work. Watch this space for more.