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Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire beta

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Several things were originally going to be added to Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire during their development. Some were dropped or changed, and some of the dropped concepts of the prototypes can still be found in the internal data of the games.

Pre-release

Demo

Sharpedo's lack of ability. In the place where the ability description should be, it says "It doesn't have an ability."

A demo was available at the Pokémon Festa 2002 in Japan. There were prototypes of Route 104 and the Pretty Petal Flower Shop, which was "not yet open" according to the lady inside. There was also an unfinished version of the party screen, alongside a battle system more thoroughly developed in comparison to what was seen in older screenshots. When the battle starts, it is not possible to see how many Pokémon the Trainers have. Some moves, like Surf and Faint Attack, are depicted with different animations than those seen in the final release. It is also shown that Sharpedo has no Ability in the demo; it could mean that not all Pokémon could have Abilities. Given Sharpedo's low level in the demo, it could also mean that Carvanha didn't exist at the time.

Graphics

In some early screenshots, the roofs of Poké Marts are colored red instead of blue. The HP bar was also different from the final release. Some prototype sprites for several Pokémon were also shown, including Shroomish, Duskull, Wailmer, Wynaut, and Sharpedo.

Post-release

Battles

Wild Double Battles were planned for the Generation III games in addition to the Double Battles against Trainers. This is evidenced by a text string found in the internal data that reads Wild \v[&H05] and \v[&H03] appeared!, with \v[&H05] and \v[&H03] being placeholder values used internally to display the names of the Pokémon that the player would encounter. This mechanic would later be introduced in Generation IV.

Music

Some remastered Generation II music is present in the internal data.

All of these themes are remixed from Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal and were likely made for testing the soundfont.

コンテスト! Contest!, which plays during the appeals round of Pokémon Contests, is programmed in as both its full version and as four minor tracks which are combined to play the full theme. These minor tracks are next to the normal music in the internal data, indicating that they were initially intended to be used, though with what purpose is unknown.

Another theme in the internal data is a variation of ミシロタウン Littleroot Town, which lacks the introduction and instead goes straight to the loop point.

By PocketMonstersMusic
Videos are currently unavailable on Bulbapedia; instead, you can watch the video on YouTube here.

By PocketMonstersMusic
Videos are currently unavailable on Bulbapedia; instead, you can watch the video on YouTube here.

By PocketMonstersMusic
Videos are currently unavailable on Bulbapedia; instead, you can watch the video on YouTube here.

By PocketMonstersMusic
Videos are currently unavailable on Bulbapedia; instead, you can watch the video on YouTube here.

By PocketMonstersMusic
Videos are currently unavailable on Bulbapedia; instead, you can watch the video on YouTube here.

By PocketMonstersMusic
Videos are currently unavailable on Bulbapedia; instead, you can watch the video on YouTube here.

Weather

The "three snowflakes falling" weather effect.

In the internal data, there is a weather effect for snowing that looks rather incomplete as it only has three snowflakes falling once, but seems like it was originally going to be used in the final release. A likely location for using this would be Mt. Chimney, as it might have been originally planned to be a snowy mountain instead of a volcano. The only way of activating this weather effect is by modifying the weather header for a certain map in the ROM.

Abilities

An Ability known as Cacophony was found within the internal data. No Pokémon has it legitimately; a Pokémon can only have this Ability by modifying its data. It is identical to Soundproof, another sound-based Ability, and it allows the Pokémon to avoid all sound-based moves. Since it is identical to Soundproof, it was likely scrapped due to redundancy, and some Pokémon that have Soundproof may have originally been intended to have Cacophony instead, such as Loudred and Exploud, which are well known for their loudness.

A Pokémon that has been modified to have Cacophony will regain the normal Ability it should have according to its personality value if it is migrated to a Generation IV game. However, it has not been fully confirmed that the Ability is not present within the internal data of the Generation IV games.

Pokémon

In a Nintendo Power interview, it was revealed that Shellos and Gastrodon were originally planned for Generation III instead of Generation IV. These are not the forms in the final releases, however; internal data in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl reveals a back sprite for both Pokémon, but no front sprite. Shellos's sprite is pink, like its West Sea variation, and seems to combine the West Sea variation's head with the East Sea variation's body, while Gastrodon's sprite is brown and looks like its West Sea variation, but with more rock-like protrusions on its body.

There were also numerous changes to Pokémon included in the games. A prototype of Torchic was nearly identical to the final design, aside from the large floppy ears. There was another design that shows it inside an eggshell with lots of fluff on its neck. Another curious design depicted a creature with traits of both Latias and Blaziken, along with an unused Trainer. Concept art of Treecko also showed numerous designs for the Pokémon before the final design was decided, mainly with less elongated head shapes and less round nose than the final design.

Groudon also had an earlier design where it had a different shape to its eyes, one more set of spikes on the torso and a spike less on the tail. One of the spikes on the neck was moved to the head on the final design and overall shapes were much less sharp. Head details became much more elongated, and the weather trio signature body markings were absent.

Trainers

Pokémon Sapphire contains some unused Trainer data for Archie, the leader of Team Aqua. According to the data, he was planned to be battled at some point where his team consists of a level 17 Togetic, with no other Pokémon present. He is also carrying two Super Potions. This may indicate that Archie was originally planned to be encountered earlier in the game and was intended to appear with a drastically different sort of team.

Graphics

An unused sprite for a member of Team Aqua exists in the internal data and is identical to that of male Team Aqua Grunts with the exception of a mirrored body, modified coloration, the addition of a mustache, and a bandanna around the Grunt's left arm.

A prototype model of the sprite that is used for a Pokémon the player has not seen (yet) consists of two blocky, big and white question marks instead of the round and black one with a white circle and a white question mark.

There is also data for an unused tileset, which could have been intended for the Mossdeep City Gym or the Trick House.

Remnants of the demo

The alternative versions of Route 104 and the Pretty Petal Flower Shop still exist within the internal data of the final release, though the associated tileset data for the prototype of Route 104 has since been removed.

戦闘野生ポケモン Battle! Wild Pokémon, which was used for Trainer battles in the demo, was used for wild Pokémon battles in the final release.

Unused dialogue strings, associated with the Pokémon Festa 2002 demo, still remain in the final release. The text remains untouched in the Japanese versions but has been translated in the localized releases.

A video of the demo can be watched here:

By xdanielIDZD
Videos are currently unavailable on Bulbapedia; instead, you can watch the video on YouTube here.

Text

Pokémon AGB

Certain text refers to "Pokémon AGB", which appears to be a short form for "Pokémon Advanced Game Boy", the once tentative title for Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. They are presumably from the initial stages of development.

Message 1:
This is sample message 1.
Welcome to the world of POKéMON AGB!
We hope you enjoy this!

Message 2:
This is sample message 2.
Welcome to the world of POKéMON AGB!
We hope you enjoy this!

Message 3:
This is sample message 3.
Welcome to the world of POKéMON AGB!
We hope you enjoy this!

Day-Care Mail

Additional unused text makes reference to a Pokémon raised at the Pokémon Day Care receiving a piece of Mail, presumably if raised with a Pokémon from another Trainer. It is not known why this mentioned feature did not make it into the final release.

By the way, about your {Pokémon}
it seemed to be friendly with
{Trainer}'s {Pokémon}.
I may even have seen it receiving
a piece of MAIL.

Debug menu

Leftover text strings remain from a debugging version of Pokémon Ruby[1]. Some of them are absent in the final release, though there are still references to some of these strings, such as Init comm. data, Set highest score, Reset highest score and Set all art museum items.

Prototype Ruby

A German-language debugging version of Pokémon Ruby was apparently sold by a Nintendo representative to the anonymous user "drx". The ROM has many debugging features, which can be accessed by scrolling through a section presumably relevant to who developed that aspect of the game. For example, choosing WATANABE attempts to save the game, although it turns out unsuccessful, and selecting KAGAYA allows the player to view his or her Trainer Card, the opponent's Trainer Card or activate the slot machine interface.

A video of this debugging version is available on YouTube.

drx later released the ROM to the public.

The debugging functions are mostly documented here.

Limitations

Junichi Masuda stated that while developing Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, Game Freak considered changing the number of Pokémon the player can have and the number of moves a Pokémon can learn but that the idea was later scrapped. It is currently unknown what sort of potential changes were to be made, and as of Generation VI, no changes like this have been made to the series.

References

  1. Pokémon Ruby Debug


Beta versions of Pokémon games
Generation I
Red and GreenYellow
Generation II
Gold and SilverCrystal
Generation III
Ruby and SapphireFireRed and LeafGreenEmerald
Generation IV
Diamond and PearlPlatinumHeartGold and SoulSilver
Generation V
Black and WhiteBlack 2 and White 2
Generation VI
X and Y
Unreleased
Pocket Monsters RPGPokémon Picross

Project Games logo.png This game-related article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.
Last modified on 27 July 2014, at 16:23