While the original 151 Pokémon are now world-famous, not every monster idea that Game Freak at the time made the cut. Earlier this week, we got a look at some of the creatures that never made it into the game, and fans are giving the designs a new life.
The image above was shared via Twitter by Pokémon designer James Turner. It is a sliver of a larger manga book detailing the life of Satoshi Tajiri, who founded Game Freak and went on to create Pokémon, too. Some of the designs above you’ll recognize—Rhydon, Venonat, and so on. But a few of them are completely new. I can kind of see why these critters didn’t appear in the game: some of them look wild, especially compared to the more down-to-earth compendium that existed in the original games. Look at the eyes on number 62, for example. Woah. Number 68, however, I could definitely imagine in Red and Blue.
It’s also curious to note the details on real Pokémon here—according to Turner, the name under Blastoise appears to be a TMNT joke.
While we may never see some of these beasts in an actual game, fans are are taking matters into their own hands and mocking up more fully-fleshed designs. Turner’s Twitter mentions are full of fan art right now:
Perhaps the most fascinating thing about this all is that Pokémon fans think the excerpt gives some insight into the infamous Missingno glitch. Every Pokémon has a number attached to it which is referenced within the coding of the game itself. Here, in the original mock-ups, we can see the numbers that the unused Pokémon would have taken up had they made it into the game. As many veteran fans know, a glitched Pokémon can appear in Red and Blue when the game gets confused as to what monster the player should be encountering. That’s Missingno. Based on the numbers on the manga page, it seems that some Missingno appearances are actually referencing the stored data of these unused monsters:
This would also explain why one version of Missingno has a cry that no other Pokémon has: it belongs to a monster in this unused cadre. Amazing that we’re still learning things about such influential games after decades, huh?