Have you ever wondered where Pokemon come from, how they're made? When a publisher and a developer love each other very much—realizing they're in need of another generation to sell to a new generation—they quietly retreat behind closed doors and let the (creative) juices gush forth.
It can be a rather messy process, one that carries expected casualties. As Pokemon Designer Hironobu Yoshida tells us:
"There are probably five to 10 times the number of ideas that are rejected as the ones that make it into the final design, so it's a very difficult process."
What about the poor half-formed pocket monsters left on the cutting room floor? For every Garbodor there's nine WORSE ideas out there. Think about that for a second.
Though we'll never find out about all the aborted monstrosities deemed unworthy of the wild, small remnants of abandoned Pokemon concepts still linger, and they're well worth a look.
Former #124. Disgruntled Kitty
Though this might look like an elementary school child's hastily filled-in exercise book, it's actually official concept art for the original #124, later claimed by everyone's favorite double-slapper Jynx. This crudely drawn cat never made it into the game, as far as I can tell, and it looks positively pissed about that fact.
Former #211. Mspaintomon
This stern-faced critter didn't make it past the early stages of conception either. Nothing is known about this creature other than its number, #211, which Qwilfish now claims.
Though it could be mistaken for any generic picture of a dragon, this concept design most likely evolved into the flame-spewing Charizard we're familiar with today. You can also see an early version of the original stat screen sketched out, which would later be implemented into Pokemon Red and Green.
This cutesy blob—bearing somewhat of a resemblance to Jigglypuff—appears to be half-asleep. We don't know much about this guy, other than the fact it looks like a Nintendo-ified version of Doom's vile Cacodemon.
Honōguma, which roughly translates to flame-bear, appears to be a Fire-type corruption of Pikachu. Included in the game's alpha state, this devilish Pokemon was actually one of the starters, assigned the moves Ember, Scratch, and Leer. Seems Honōguma got bumped by Charmander.
This bizarre creature splits the difference between Weedle and Kakuna, rather fittingly earning its name Kokana. The abandoned 'mon has become a bit of a fan favorite, with DeviantArtist Urbinator17 even designing a revamped Pokedex entry:
Yeah, we probably didn't need another bug-type.
This illustration was done by franchise veteran Muneo Saitō, the artist responsible for Legendary beasts like Entei. Though this unnamed creature bears some similarities with Raikou and Suicune, this particular form never made it into the games.
This is well trodden Poke-history at this point, bur it's pretty fascinating to see where it all began. Creator Satoshi Tajiri originally decided to call his project Capsule Monsters, later shortened to CapuMon. Doesn't quite have the same ring to it, does it?
Got an original concept for a Pokemon? We want to hear from you!