Pokémon is one of the most well known and beloved franchises in gaming, and the original 151 Pokémon are considered some of the best designs for characters in any RPG series. But like all projects, the lovable little monsters went through a lot of changes, and some were removed completely.
Pokémon first saw the light of day as a personal project of Satoshi Tajiri called Capsule Monsters. In this early version of the idea, we can see many Pokémon that were simply redesigned like Rhydon, Slowbro, Gastly, Gengar, Blastoise, Staryu, and Lapras. However, some designs seem to be completely unused. Most of these Pokémon are simple sketches, and may not have been intended to be included in the final game.
- Papyo - Not much is known about this design, although it looks to be some kind of Bug type. Its Pokédex number is 211 (the number of Qwilfish in the final version).
- Buhi - Again, not much is known about this Pokémon. It is similar in design to Pikachu and Mew, and its Pokédex number is 124, the same as Jynx in the final version.
(author's note: will work on this more later, feel free to add to this list)
The 39 Formatted Pokémon
At a fan convention in 2010, Shigeki Morimoto (the lead programmer of the first Pokémon games) confirmed that there were originally 190 Pokémon intended to be included in the release of the First Generation of Pokémon games. This is backed up by the fact that for the first 190 of the 255 slots in the hex grid of Pokémon, all slots possess either a valid Pokémon, or the same form of Missingno. All 191 slots and later contain garbage data that produce different glitch Pokémon in each slot.
If a certain glitch is performed when trading between the First and Second generation games, Missingno. will appear in Gold or Silver as a Generation II Pokémon. However, in the same interview, Morimoto also stated that some Pokémon on the hex list in Generation I were not intended for those games (including Ho-Oh). This means that either the Pokémon that filled those spaces when they were formatted are completely different from the ones seen in the index list, or they are indeed the same Pokémon that are used in Generation II.
Interestingly, the original cries for the 39 missing Pokémon remain in-game, although the rest of their data have been removed. Several of the cries are noted to be extremely similar to several Generation II Pokémon cries, further supporting the theory that some of the scrapped Pokémon were recycled for Gold and Silver.
However, in 2019, a leak containing nearly all the unused designs from Generation I surfaced on the internet. Unfortunately, the leaker was unable to recover the front sprites due to the sprites having been updated for Blue, so only the back sprites were recovered.
Unused Sprites - Generation I
|Number||Image||Japanese Name||English Name||Possible Type||Notes|
|21||???||???||???||Unfortunately, neither of the sprites for this Pokémon were recovered, so we'll never know what this was.|
|31||Gyaōn||???||???||A Pokémon that resembles Godzilla. Possibly reworked into Tyranitar for Generation II.|
|32||???||???||???||An early back sprite for Nidoran♂. Most likely a placeholder for something else that was removed at the last second.|
|50||Barunda||???||Flying||A balloon Pokémon first revealed in a biographical manga about Satoshi Tajiri. May have influenced the Drifloon line in Generation IV, as both of the line's members are balloon Pokémon. May have also influenced Jigglypuff.|
|52||Bu||???||Ice||A yeti-like Pokémon. This was supposed to be the original Ice-type counterpart to Electabuzz and Magmar, and possibly a male counterpart for Jynx.|
|56||Deer||???||Normal||A deer Pokémon first revealed in a biographical manga about Satoshi Tajiri. May have influenced later deer Pokémon such as Stantler from Generation II, Deerling and Sawsbuck from Generation V, and Xerneas from Generation VI.|
|61||???||???||Either Normal or Water||An elephant Pokémon first revealed in a biographical manga about Satoshi Tajiri. Its name was also shown, but unreadable due to being cut off. May have influenced Phanpy and Donphan from Generation II, as well as Cuphant and Copperajah from Generation VIII.|
|62||Crocky||Same as Japanese||Either Normal or Water||A crocodile Pokémon first revealed in a biographical manga about Satoshi Tajiri. Had hair in the manga, which was later replaced with spikes in the beta. May have influenced crocodilian Pokémon such as the Totodile line from Generation II and the Sandile line from Generation V. It also may have influenced Dreepy from Generation VIII.|
|63||???||???||Water||A squid Pokémon. May have influenced Inkay from Generation VI and may have possibly been reworked into Omanyte.|
|67||Cactus||Same as Japanese||Ground||A cactus Pokémon first revealed in a biographical manga about Satoshi Tajiri. May have influenced Cacnea and Cacturne from Generation III and Maractus from Generation V.|
|68||Jagg||Same as Japanese||Water||A shark Pokémon first revealed in a biographical manga about Satoshi Tajiri. May have influenced Sharpedo from Generation III.|
|69||???||???||Poison/Flying||A pre evolution of Zubat. Replaced by Crobat in Generation II.|
|79||???||???||Water||A fish Pokémon. Resembles the Cheep Cheep from the Mario franchise.|
|80||???||???||Water/Fighting||A fish Pokémon and the evolution of 79.|
|81||Mikon||Trifox||Fire||A pre evolution of Vulpix that was later reused in Generation II.|
|86||???||???||Fighting||A sumo Pokémon with what appear to be boxing gloves. May have influenced Makuhita from Generation III, as it also has a sumo motif.|
|87||???||???||Fighting||A sumo Pokémon and the evolution of 86. May have influenced Hariyama from Generation III, as it also has a sumo motif.|
|94||???||???||Dragon||A lizard Pokémon. Somewhat resembles Mew.|
|95||???||???||Dragon||A lizard Pokémon and the evolution of 94.|
|115||???||???||???||Like 21, neither of this Pokémon's sprites were recovered, so we'll never know what it was.|
|121||???||???||???||Once again, neither of this Pokémon's sprites were recovered. (Perhaps 21, 115, and 121 were related?)|
|122||???||???||Water||A squid Pokémon and the evolution of 63. May have influenced Malamar from Generation VI.|
|128||???||???||Water||A middle evolution for Psyduck that appears to have elements of both Psyduck and Golduck.|
|134||???||???||???||Appears to be an early back sprite for Meowth. Like Nidoran♂, this sprite is most likely a placeholder. The actual front and back sprites for this design were first revealed in a 2004 interview, but were too blurry to be seen clearly.|
|135||???||???||???||Yet another Pokémon whose sprites weren't recovered. Like 134, its actual front and back sprites were first revealed in a 2004 interview, but were too blurry to be seen clearly.|
|137||???||???||???||A pre evolution of Gyaōn. Like its evolution was based on Godzilla, it may have been based on Minilla (a baby Godzilla) from the film Son of Godzilla. Possibly reworked into Larvitar for Generation II. It also resembles the Substitute doll.|
|140||???||???||Electric||A middle evolution for Magnemite, as Magneton was created first, while Magnemite was created very late in development. Replaced by Magnezone in Generation IV.|
|146||???||???||Ground||A final evolution of Cubone. It appears to be holding a baby Cubone. Its skull strongly resembles Marowak's later skull design.|
|156||Gyopin||Golppy||Water||A pre evolution of Goldeen that was later reused in Generation II.|
|159||Kotora||Tigrette||Electric||A tiger Pokémon that was later reused in Generation II. May have influenced Shinx from Generation IV.|
|160||Raitora||Electiger||Electric||A tiger Pokémon and the first evolution of Kotora that was later reused in Generation II. May have influenced Luxio.|
|161||???tora||???||Electric||A tiger Pokémon and the final evolution of Kotora. Unlike the other members, it wasn't reused in Generation II. May have influenced Luxray from Generation IV.|
|162||Puchikōn||Minicorn||Fire||A pre evolution of Ponyta that was later reused in Generation II.|
|172||???||???||Water||A pre evolution of Blastoise, who was originally separate from the Squirtle line.|
|174||???||???||Dragon||A lizard Pokémon and the pre evolution of 94. Bears a very strong resemblance to Mew.|
|175||Gorochu||Same as Japanese||Electric||The most famous scrapped Pokémon and the final evolution of Pikachu. Replaced by Pichu in Generation II.|
|181||???||???||Water||The original final evolution of Squirtle before Blastoise became part of the line.|