The Space World 1997 demo for Pokemon Gold has leaked online

Oct 26, 2017
1,150
#1
This OT has been replaced by one provided by user ERAsaur, who contributed to the community effort in analyzing the leaked prototype.

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Well, hell reached a brisk 5 degrees this month and cats and dogs finally put aside their differences: the famous Gold and Silver demo actually surfaced online! And it had debug options!




For 21 years this thing has eluded everyone, the only remnants of it being a few blog posts, offscreen pictures, VHS footage, and fanart. Well, here it is in all its glory. I personally spent 15 of those years studying every little bit of footage and info trying to piece together what might have been in there, and I was actually right about a few things!

So enough talking, I know what you want to see. Every Pokemon sprite in the game:
This game may have been based on Blue JP, the same game that became our Red and Blue. There’s a lot of sprite reusage but you’ll notice a few differences. Fun fact, the Pikachu, Chansey, and Mew sprites were used elsewhere first; the first two being in the Game Boy Camera and the latter being used in the Mew distribution ROM in Japan years ago.

The names of these unused Pokemon? Glad you asked!
152 Happa (Chikorita)
153 Hanamogura (replaced by Bayleef)
154 Hanaryuu (Meganium)
155 Honōguma (replaced by Cyndaquil, may have inspired Teddiursa)
156 Volbear (replaced by Quilava)
157 Dynabear (replaced by Typhlosion)
158 Kurusu (replaced by Totodile, may have inspired Popplio)
159 Aqua (replaced by Croconaw, may have inspired Brionne)
160 Aquaria (replaced by Feraligatr, may have inspired Primarina, especially with the “-aria” part)
161 Hoothoot
162 Bohboh (early Noctowl)
163 Pachimei (Mareep)
164 Flaaffy
165 Ampharos
166 Mikon (baby Vulpix)
167 Monja (baby Tangela, evolutions added to a single stage grass type may have inspired Budew/Roserade)
168 Jaranra (evolved Tangela, may have inspired Tangrowth)
169 Haneei (early Mantine)
170 Pukuu (Qwilfish)
171 Shibirefugu (evolved Qwilfish, may have inspired Stunfisk)
172 Pichu
173 Cleffa
174 Igglybuff
175 Quagsire
176 Natu
177 Xatu
178 Gyopin (baby Goldeen)
179 Marill
180 Manbo-1 (“Sunfish-1”, like the naming system seen in Gen 7’s starter leak)
181 Ikari (evolves from Manbo-1, may be the namesake of Lake of Rage)
182 Grotess (evolves from Ikari, may have inspired Huntail)
183 X-ing (Crobat, evolves at level 44)
184 Para (baby Paras… yup)
185 Kokumo (Spinarak)
186 Twohead (early Ariados)
187 Yoroidori (Skarmory, not the Silver mascot like was theorized)
188 Animon (Ditto evolution, evolved with a Metal Coat trade and still only knows Transform)
189 Hinarzu (baby Doduo)
190 Sunny (Sunflora)
191 Paon (Phanpy)
192 Donphan
193 Twinz (baby Girafarig)
194 Girafarig (OH DEAR GOD THAT FACE)
195 Painter (Smeargle)
196 Kohnya (baby Meowth)
197 Rinrin (female only)
198 Berurun (evolves from Rinrin, not programmed female only)
199 Politoed
200 Slowking
201 Unown (not on this sheet, same sprites as final. Y and Z are swapped)
202 Ledyba
203 Mistuboshi (early Ledian)
204 Puchicorn (baby Ponyta)
205 Espeon (evolved with “Heart Stone”)
206 Umbreon (was Poison type, evolved with “Poison Stone”)
207 Turban (no data relation to the Slow line, but it’s the fan theorized “Brofish”)
208 Betobaby (baby Grimer)
209 Remoraid
210 Octillery
211 Gongu (early Tyrogue, still evolves into all 3)
212 Hitmontop
213 Puddi (baby Growlithe)
214 Haneko (early Hoppip, slight name difference)
215 Poponeko (early Skiploom, slight name difference)
216 Wataneko (early Jumpluff, slight name difference)
217 Baririina (baby Mr. Mime, may have inspired Mime Jr.. Name is identical to one on the internal Gen 1 Poll)
218 Lip (early Smoochum)
219 Elebaby (early Elekid, male only)
220 Magby (just like Bart)
221 Bellossom (evolves with “Poison Stone”)
222 Tsubomitto (Weepinbell alternate evolution, evolves with “Poison Stone”)
223 Miltank
224 Bombseeker (Water/Fire)
225 Gift (early Delibird)
226 Kotora
227 Raitora (evolves from Kotora)
228 Madame (evolves from Farfetch’d at Level 24)
229 Norowara
230 Kyonpan (evolves from Norowara at Level 1)
231 Murkrow
232 Happy (early Blissey, evolves from Chansey at Level 45)
233 Scizors (early Scizor, evolves from Scyther at Level 41)
234 Plux (evolves from Pinsir at Level 42. May have inspired Heracross.)
235 Devil (early Houndour)
236 Houndoom
237 Wolfman (may have inspired Swinub)
238 Warwolf (may have inspired Piloswine, evolves from Wolfman at level 25)
239 Porygon2 (early design based on Pon de Lion, mascot of the Mister Donuts chain and a nice lawsuit)
240 Namehru (evolves from Lickitung at Level 32, may have inspired Lickilicky)
241 Steelix (evolves from Onix at Level 38)
242 Kingdra (evolves with a Dragon Scale trade)
243 Rai (early Raikou, may have inspired Luxray)
244 En (early Entei)
245 Sui (early Suicune… ed...ward...) [May 31st note: Glad I wasn't the only person who thought this lol]
246 Sneasel (what)
247 Ho-Oh
248 Togepi
249 Snubbull
250 Tail (early Aipom)
251 Leafy/Leafeon (evolves from Eevee with a Leaf Stone. May have inspired Leafeon)
Click to expand...
It should be noted that a lot of types seem wrong (Ho-Oh is pure flying despite knowing Fire moves, the baby Vulpix was water despite knowing fire moves) and there may be some evolution errors (Eevee evolves into Squirtle at Lv. 33). Types in this build should be taken with a grain of salt, as should the base stats which seem to be rough ballparks or not touched from the template at all (50 across)
Soooo… yeah. A lot of changes were made before the final. There’s even some cameos from later generations in there!


Next up: the region.

It appears that Game Freak wanted most of Japan to be the region in Gen 2 originally. This map is huge compared to the real-life ground the final Johto covers. You might be thinking “Well if that was so big, why did they have problems putting Kanto in the game?”

Well…
That town in the bottom right? That’s Kanto.

...

I’m not kidding. That’s Kanto. It’s condensed into one town in what I presume was a fit of madness.
Most of the region is unfinished. There’s a slight difference between the two, a town in the lower left on the Town Map is missing and the Town Map is missing the dead trees route. There’s routes that are very visibly in a rough draft stage, most non-demo related NPC text is missing, no cave entrances work, about half of the collision data is missing, and only the right half has working tall grass (the stuff on the left side blocks normal walking permissions). Several warps are weird as well, most notably the gyms' 2F that have a doormat but can only be left via an invisible staircase. The train was also completely missing, it seems instead they opted for a boat system.

You can re-enable the nonfunctional grass by starting in the Silent Hills, Route 15, or Route 18 tileset, skipping the loadzones in the gates to keep that tileset, and then going to your route of choice. I discovered this while goofing off and moving South's tileset to Kanto. I noticed that the grass in the surrounding routes no longer worked and then did as I described up there. Yup, it worked, I got half the region working again because I was a dumbass.

Because of this, we can now guess the order of progression, Here is my personal theory (that will be disproved later):
The demo appears to have some edits done to the world map. That large mountain above Silent Hills shouldn't be there and the "forest" area in the demo itself was added at the very end of the Warp list, implying it was made special for this (and considering how unreadable the entrance is, not surprising).


It's here, should you play.

Trainers are mostly unfinished, several of them use Gen 1 sprites as placeholders, but there are some very interesting associated names with them:

Click to expand...
In order from left to right:
Falkner
Whitney
Bugsy
Morty (uses old name of “Enoki” as Ken Sugimori confirmed)
Okera (no idea)
Jasmine
Blue (no idea if this was Blue as in Gary, Red [Red’s overworld sprite is in the Kanto Gym as the leader an this game is based on Blue JP], or some other character entirely)
Gama (no idea)
Rival
Professor Oak (not an intended fight. Uses the Gen 1 placement to display Oak’s sprite)
Giovanni (Giovanni’s overworld sprite is at the top of the Radio Tower, he was likely involved in the plot)
Protagonist
Bruno
Misty
Lorelei
Lance
Geruge Member♂ (unknown)
Trio (The Trio may have been reused in Crystal as the sages who test you before Suicune)
Trio
Trio
Rocket♀
Youngster
Schoolboy
Hiyokko ("Fledgling") (Make your Undertale jokes here)
Lass
Prodigy
Professional♂ (Seems to be the replacement for the Cooltrainer, which was reverted in the final)
Professional♀
Beauty
PokéManiac
Rocket♂
Gentleman
Teacher♂ (Male teachers were a thing)
Teacher♀
Manchild (no idea)
Bug Catching Boy
Fisher
Swimmer♀
Swimmer♂
Sailor
Super Nerd
Engineer
Rocker
Hiker
Biker
Rock Climber
Burglar
Firebreather
Juggler
Blackbelt
Sportsman
Psychic (name changed slightly)
Kung Fu Master
Fortune Teller
Hooligan
Sage
Medium
Soldier
Geruge Member♀ (unknown)
Kimono Girl
Twins
Geruge Member♂ (duplicate)
Elite Four♂
Elite Four♀
Click to expand...
So this list hints at a few things. The demo index order seems to imply that the order of the gyms was:
Falkner
Whitney
Bugsy
Morty
Okera
Jasmine
Blue/Kanto Gym
Gama

With an Elite 4 of
Bruno
Misty
Lorelei
Lance
(and I’m assuming the rival)
One final note, there is actually a way to restore the game’s original intro and a patch to do so may be releasing soon.
The protagonist’s brother (named Ken) makes an appearance, ending the rumors that Gold’s brother was Red. You get an email from Professor Oak telling you to go to his lab, then your rival approaches you outside your house and asks you for what you call your mother (this was semi-unused in the final game, it’s used to prevent the Old Man glitch by storing names during Dude’s catching tutorial). You walk into the grass and Green stops you, bringing you to the lab like his grandfather did years prior. Green and Oak ask if you two want your starters, and then Oak takes you into the back room where the starters are located. You leave, talk to Green, and then Oak gives you and your rival Pokedexes. Your rival challenges you and unfortunately his team is missing so he challenges you with either garbage or things meant for demo trainers. If you somehow manage to beat him, you leave and your mother gives you 6 Pokeballs and the Pokegear. The script ends here and you’re left with the normal demo again.

So, yeah. I'm still reeling from this. 15 years I've been researching this thing and here it is. I'm very glad I was on the team during this and I even made a few discoveries myself (the non-demo wild grass, the Blue=Red connection, Sunny's backsprite having the shiny animation hardcoded in, and Hoothoot having the early footage fade-in effect hardcoded in). Enjoy!

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End of ERAsaur's OP
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The The Cutting Room Floor page for this prototype can be found here

The spreadsheet containing all information about the prototype uncovered so far can be found here

For those not comfortable editing the prototype to make it bootable, I've made a patch.

http://www.robin64.co.uk/files/GoldProtoBoot.ips

Use Lunar IPS to apply it.
SGB color sprites:
An album containing map rips of interior locations in the demo:
https://imgur.com/a/dDwqHlk
 
Last edited:
Oct 25, 2017
3,561
#3
Oh wow! This is really exciting stuff. I love seeing early versions of games and just how different they are. I'll have to check this out more once I'm home.
 
Oct 28, 2017
5,095
#9
OMG those gen 2 sprites. I knew about the dual headed Girafarig before but look at Noctowl(?), look at Typhloshion lol.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,070
#11
This stuff is amazing! The beta legendaries are really interesting. I figured they'd already have Ho-oh designed but just about all the others look nothing like the final legendaries.
 
Oct 29, 2017
3,704
#13
That’s cool.

Crazy to think there was such a big gap before it came to Europe.

The bad old days of Nintendo games and the huge delayed for PAL versions
 

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Oct 27, 2017
1,099
#14
I don't recognize this one. Can anyone tell me what Pokémon this is?



Shame that the alternative Shellder evolution separate from Slowbro wasn't included:
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,738
#18
There are some truly awful designs in there, some of them are just blobs with eyes that are indistinguishable from Ditto.

I do like that Phanpy sprite, though. Adorable.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,559
#22
I don't recognize this one. Can anyone tell me what Pokémon this is?

The sprite sheet corresponds with the Pokedex list in the spreadsheet, so refer to that. A lot of these designs seem to be originals that never made the final game.

This one seems to be a pre-evo for Girafarig.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,614
#31
This stuff is the raddest. Look at those Legendary Dogs before they turned them into alien lifeforms! And the moustached Lickitung lamo.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,559
#32
What strikes me is that Nintendo was reaaallly pushing the whole baby pokemon thing hard at first. Especially when compared to the relative few we got in the final product.
 
#39
Oh damn, some of these look dope. Is that Slowbro's shell as a separate Pokémon I spot? A potential Farfetch'd evolution?

I do think it's also interest seeing which old sprites they thought had to be updated asap and which ones could remain. Like Machoke was a good call, because that old sprite was atrocious, and this one's pretty good. For some reason they thought fat chicken Pidgeotto was fine though?
 
Oct 31, 2017
4,627
Greece
#40
Um holy fuck. Prototype baby Pokemon. Babies that never happened. Mime Jr 8 years early. More wizard like Murkrow. Slowpoke like Cloyster Evo. 4Chan meme frog is actually a protype pokemon. Baby paras. What the hell is this alternate dex that never happened!
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,199
#42
What strikes me is that Nintendo was reaaallly pushing the whole baby pokemon thing hard at first. Especially when compared to the relative few we got in the final product.
yeah, there's a ridiculous number of baby pokemon in here compared to the final. easy to see why so many of them got cut - the world did not need baby muk.
 
Oct 27, 2017
821
#44
Girafarig is creepy af. I love it!

The Legendary dogs are hilarious. Thank god they redesigned them, since the final versions are (imo) some of the best Pokemon designs ever.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,255
Italy
#45
So...

...is this the first time we're clearly seeing some early design of known Pokémon or Pokémon that didn't enter the final product...?

This is pretty huge!
 
Dec 22, 2017
3,631
#47
So...

...is this the first time we're clearly seeing some early design of known Pokémon or Pokémon that didn't enter the final product...?

This is pretty huge!
We've seen a few things here and there before, but this is by far the most of them that we've ever seen at one time.