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.


Sources

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.

Nintendo.co.jp pages

This early page contains some screenshots of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire from an earlier stage of development.

  • In Lilycove City, there are flowers behind the fence near the Pokémon Center. They are not found in the finished game.
  • In Dewford Town:
    • There is a single tree behind the house near the town sign. There are two trees in the finished game.
    • There is a female NPC near the Dewford Gym. She was replaced by a Fisherman in the finished game.
  • In Route 109:
    • The Seashore House is nearer to the Slateport City entrance in the website.
    • The Seashore House is also nearer to the sea (a small portion of the sea is visible in the screenshot).
    • The umbrellas are arranged differently in the screenshot.
  • In Rustboro City:
    • A different building is shown in place of the Rustboro Gym.
    • In the website, there is one additional lamppost behind the building in place of Rustboro Gym.

This other page also features some early screenshots.

  • In Sharpedo's summary screen:
    • The "Cancel" text is missing, which would be located at the top-right in the finished games.
    • The female gender symbol is white, like the Pokémon name and level. This symbol is pink for female Pokémon in the finished games.
    • The Poké Ball and markings are missing.
    • Sharpedo's front sprite has her teeth with more evenly spaced gaps both at the top and bottom jaws. In the finished games, Sharpedo has some teeth together, followed by some gaps.
    • Sharpedo's front space also has a dark spot at the bottom fin. The X mark at the top is not visible.
  • In battle:
    • The qualifier "てき" (enemy) is used. It was used in the Generation I and II games, but not in the finished Generation III games.
    • Shroomish's front sprite has a different pose.
    • Shroomish's back sprite displays her whole body down to her feet. In the finished games, Shroomish's back sprite only displays the upper portion of its body.
    • The level 12 Shroomish uses Mega Drain, which would be learned on level 16 (except if the move was passed down via breeding).
    • Sharpedo is level 29, even though Carvanha evolves into Sharpedo starting at level 30.
  • In Fallarbor Town:
    • The female NPC south of the Contest Hall is located 1 tile north of her position in the finished game.
    • The roof of the Move Tutor's house has tiles arranged in orange and brown horizontal stripes. In the finished games, the roof simply has a flat orange color.
    • There is a regular house in place of the Poké Mart.
  • Inside the Contest Hall:
    • The counter is white in the website, while it's green in the finished games.
    • None of the four Contest Halls has exactly the same people as shown in the screenshot.
  • In the PokéNav:
    • Wynaut's female symbol gender is blank. Once again, it would be pink in the finished games.
    • Wynaut is facing right in the screenshot. In the finished games, the Pokémon face left in the PokéNav screen.
    • The gender is located at the right of the level in the screenshot. It's the other way around in the finished games.

Pre-release

Pokémon

There were a multitude of changes to Pokémon included in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. A prototype of Torchic was nearly identical to the final design, aside from the large floppy ears in either side of its head. There was another design that shows Torchic 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 a less rounded 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 one less spike at the end of its 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 super-ancient Pokémon signature body markings were absent.

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.

"Enemy" word

In some early media, the qualifier "てき" (enemy) is used in battle. This word was used in the Generation I and II games as a qualifier for all opposing Pokémon. However, this qualifier was not used anymore in the finished Generation III games, which introduced separate qualifiers for wild Pokémon and for Pokémon owned by a Trainer.

Post-release

Pokémon

In the May 2007 issue of Nintendo Power, Junichi Masuda stated "There's also a sea-slug Pokémon that we weren't able to put in Ruby and Sapphire that we were able to put in this one, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl", which likely suggests that Shellos and/or Gastrodon (existing sea-slug Pokémon) were planned for Generation III instead of Generation IV.

Supporting this theory is the fact that internal data in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl reveals a back sprite for both Shellos and Gastrodon with a slightly different design, 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.

Cries

The leaked Debugging Version 0509A prototype of German Pokémon Ruby revealed a sound test menu allowing to play two unused Pokémon cries in slots 266 and 269 on the Driver Test menu. These cries may have belonged to Shellos and Gastrodon. This sound test was later found in the final versions of Ruby and Sapphire, along with the same unused cries.

The cries of Generation III Pokémon are not stored in National Pokédex order or in index number order, instead going in a unique order from Kecleon to Chimecho, which like in the index number list, is located after all other Pokémon. This order remains in the final versions of the game, though normally unseen. Among the initial Generation III Pokémon cries in the audio data are the aforementioned Kecleon, Duskull, Latias, Wynaut and Azurill, which were also among the first Generation III Pokémon to be revealed.

Index no. Pokémon Types
HEX DEC MS Name
0FC 252   Kecleon Normal Normal
0FD 253   Roselia Grass Poison
0FE 254   Torkoal Fire Fire
0FF 255   Electrike Electric Electric
100 256   Manectric Electric Electric
101 257   Duskull Ghost Ghost
102 258   Latias Dragon Psychic
103 259   Wynaut Psychic Psychic
104 260   Seviper Poison Poison
105 261   Sharpedo Water Dark
106 262   Zangoose Normal Normal
107 263   Azurill Normal Normal
108 264   Swablu Normal Flying
109 265   Altaria Dragon Flying
10A 266   ??? ??? ???
10B 267   Taillow Normal Flying
10C 268   Swellow Normal Flying
10D 269   ??? ??? ???
10E 270   Spinda Normal Normal
10F 271   Torchic Fire Fire
110 272   Combusken Fire Fighting
111 273   Blaziken Fire Fighting
112 274   Treecko Grass Grass
113 275   Grovyle Grass Grass
114 276   Sceptile Grass Grass
115 277   Mudkip Water Water
116 278   Marshtomp Water Ground
117 279   Swampert Water Ground
118 280   Pelipper Water Flying
119 281   Wingull Water Flying
11A 282   Banette Ghost Ghost
11B 283   Shuppet Ghost Ghost
11C 284   Lotad Water Grass
11D 285   Lombre Water Grass
11E 286   Ludicolo Water Grass
11F 287   Seedot Grass Grass
120 288   Nuzleaf Grass Dark
121 289   Shiftry Grass Dark
122 290   Carvanha Water Dark
123 291   Wurmple Bug Bug
124 292   Silcoon Bug Bug
125 293   Beautifly Bug Flying
126 294   Cascoon Bug Bug
127 295   Dustox Bug Poison
128 296   Ralts Psychic Psychic
129 297   Kirlia Psychic Psychic
12A 298   Gardevoir Psychic Psychic
12B 299   Slakoth Normal Normal
12C 300   Vigoroth Normal Normal
12D 301   Slaking Normal Normal
12E 302   Nincada Bug Ground
12F 303   Ninjask Bug Flying
130 304   Shedinja Bug Ghost
131 305   Makuhita Fighting Fighting
132 306   Hariyama Fighting Fighting
133 307   Nosepass Rock Rock
134 308   Glalie Ice Ice
135 309   Plusle Electric Electric
136 310   Minun Electric Electric
137 311   Surskit Bug Water
138 312   Masquerain Bug Flying
139 313   Skitty Normal Normal
13A 314   Delcatty Normal Normal
13B 315   Gulpin Poison Poison
13C 316   Swalot Poison Poison
13D 317   Numel Fire Ground
13E 318   Camerupt Fire Ground
13F 319   Barboach Water Ground
140 320   Whiscash Water Ground
141 321   Corphish Water Water
142 322   Crawdaunt Water Dark
143 323   Spoink Psychic Psychic
144 324   Grumpig Psychic Psychic
145 325   Trapinch Ground Ground
146 326   Vibrava Ground Dragon
147 327   Flygon Ground Dragon
148 328   Cacnea Grass Grass
149 329   Cacturne Grass Dark
14A 330   Baltoy Ground Psychic
14B 331   Claydol Ground Psychic
14C 332   Lunatone Rock Psychic
14D 333   Solrock Rock Psychic
14E 334   Feebas Water Water
14F 335   Milotic Water Water
150 336   Absol Dark Dark
151 337   Meditite Fighting Psychic
152 338   Medicham Fighting Psychic
153 339   Spheal Ice Water
154 340   Sealeo Ice Water
155 341   Walrein Ice Water
156 342   Clamperl Water Water
157 343   Huntail Water Water
158 344   Gorebyss Water Water
159 345   Lileep Rock Grass
15A 346   Cradily Rock Grass
15B 347   Anorith Rock Bug
15C 348   Armaldo Rock Bug
15D 349   Beldum Steel Psychic
15E 350   Metang Steel Psychic
15F 351   Metagross Steel Psychic
160 352   Bagon Dragon Dragon
161 353   Shelgon Dragon Dragon
162 354   Regirock Rock Rock
163 355   Regice Ice Ice
164 356   Registeel Steel Steel
165 357   Castform Normal Normal
166 358   Volbeat Bug Bug
167 359   Illumise Bug Bug
168 360   Poochyena Dark Dark
169 361   Mightyena Dark Dark
16A 362   Dusclops Ghost Ghost
16B 363   Sableye Dark Ghost
16C 364   Mawile Steel Steel
16D 365   Aron Steel Rock
16E 366   Lairon Steel Rock
16F 367   Aggron Steel Rock
170 368   Relicanth Rock Water
171 369   Luvdisc Water Water
172 370   Groudon Ground Ground
173 371   Kyogre Water Water
174 372   Rayquaza Dragon Flying
175 373   Salamence Dragon Flying
176 374   Breloom Grass Fighting
177 375   Shroomish Grass Grass
178 376   Linoone Normal Normal
179 377   Tropius Grass Flying
17A 378   Wailmer Water Water
17B 379   Zigzagoon Normal Normal
17C 380   Exploud Normal Normal
17D 381   Loudred Normal Normal
17E 382   Wailord Water Water
17F 383   Whismur Normal Normal
180 384   Snorunt Ice Ice
181 385   Latios Dragon Psychic
182 386   Jirachi Steel Psychic
183 387   Deoxys Psychic Psychic
184 388   Chimecho Psychic Psychic

Battles

Wild Double Battles were planned for the Generation III games in addition to the Double Battles against Trainers. This mode is incomplete, however, since the game only generates data for one wild Pokémon and copies the data of that Pokémon for the second wild Pokémon.[1] It can be enabled by setting the battle mode flag to 0x0001.

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.

Pokémon 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 Littleroot Town, which lacks the introduction and instead goes straight to the loop point.

By PocketMonstersMusic
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By PocketMonstersMusic
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By PocketMonstersMusic
This video is not available on Bulbapedia; instead, you can watch the video on YouTube here.


By PocketMonstersMusic
This video is not available on Bulbapedia; instead, you can watch the video on YouTube here.


By PocketMonstersMusic
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By PocketMonstersMusic
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Weather

 
The "four snowflakes falling" weather effect.

In the internal data, there is a weather effect for snowing that looks rather incomplete as it only has four 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.

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 Huntail and a level 17 Sharpedo. 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. Likewise, Pokémon Ruby contains unused data for Maxie, the leader of Team Magma, who has a level 17 Torkoal and a level 17 Camerupt. He also has two Super Potions.

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.

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
This video is not available 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!

Cable Club text

Unused copies of the first sentence of Cable Club welcoming the player to the Trade Center and Colosseum exist in the code. A third message welcomes the player to the Time Capsule, which is a feature exclusive to Generation II, the previous Pokémon generation; where players can trade a Pokémon from Generation II over to Generation I and vice versa.

Welcome to the POKéMON CABLE CLUB TRADE CENTER.
Welcome to the POKéMON CABLE CLUB COLOSSEUM.
Welcome to the POKéMON CABLE CLUB TIME CAPSULE.

No copy of text exists for welcoming the player to the Record Corner, which may imply that the record mixing feature was planned or implemented later in development.

Placeholder move texts

Placeholder battle texts for each type such as "Used a NORMAL move", "Used an ELECTRIC move" exist for when the player uses an (unused) move with the relevant type and an index number greater than the last valid move (0x162, Psycho Boost).

The texts include:

a NORMAL move
a FIGHTING move
a FLYING move
a POISON move
a GROUND move
a ROCK move
a BUG move
a GHOST move
a STEEL move
a ??? move
a FIRE move
a WATER move
a GRASS move
an ELECTRIC move
a PSYCHIC move
an ICE move
a DRAGON move
a DARK move

In the Japanese versions, the messages appear in the form of "(TYPE)わざ" (わざ being the Japanese term for move), with the exception of the ???-type's message being "はてなわざ" (meaning "question move"). Due to an unknown bug that does not occur in the Japanese versions of Ruby and Sapphire, using a Fighting or Electric type move with index number greater than 0x162 results in "What should (PKMN) do" and the 'Fight/Bag/Pokémon/Run' boxes being temporarily shifted up when the move is used, with blank space taking up the area where they are supposed to be.

By ChickasaurusGL
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Discount sale

Unused text exists which seems to be for when a shop (possibly a Poké Mart or the Lilycove Department Store) is having a discount sale. Note that the Lilycove Department Store randomly holds a Rooftop Sale in the final games.

Welcome! We’re having a discount sale today!

"Closed today" text

Unused text exists for an NPC (or more than one NPC) laughing, mumbling and telling the player that some place or some thing is closed.

Fufufu...

Mumble, mumble...

Oh!

Closed today!

Pokémon choice text

Unused text exists for choosing a Pokémon, possibly a starter Pokémon. In the final versions of Ruby and Sapphire, the text "Do you choose this POKéMON?" is used for picking a starter Pokémon.

You like the \v4-type POKéMON \v2?

It contains a POKéMON!

Pseudo-Gym Leader

Unused text exists for a test battle with a "pseudo-GYM LEADER", which may have been used for development or a trial demo.

We’re making preparations.

I’m a pseudo-GYM LEADER for interviews.

Ready for a test battle.

Open question

Unused text exists for an NPC who asks what they should do today.

What should I do for fun today?

Debug menu texts

Leftover text strings remain from a debugging version of Pokémon Ruby[2], detailed below. 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.

Debugging Version 0509A prototype

A German-language debugging version of Pokémon Ruby was apparently sold by a Nintendo representative to the prototype collector who uses the pseudonym "drx", who later released the ROM to the public. 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.

The cries of Pokémon with index numbers 252-276 are playable in the 'Driver Test' menu, labelled as 'Debugging Version 0509A'. Although these Pokémon normally correspond with ?, they have the cries of existing Pokémon exclusively to the Driver Test (with index number 266 and 269), suggesting that they may have once been real Pokémon. The cries, Driver Test and overall Sound Test menu are still present in the final version of all the Generation III GBA games, but are inaccessible under normal conditions.

A video of this debugging version is available here:

By Gligar13Vids
This video is not available on Bulbapedia; instead, you can watch the video on YouTube here.


The debugging functions are mostly documented here.

Limitations

Junichi Masuda stated on his blog 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.[3] It is currently unknown what sort of potential changes were to be made, and as of Generation VIII, no changes like this have been made to the series.

References


Beta versions of Pokémon games
Generation I
Red and GreenYellow
Generation II
Gold and Silver (Spaceworld '97 demo) • Crystal
Generation III
Ruby and SapphireFireRed and LeafGreenEmeraldColosseumXD
Generation IV
Diamond and PearlPlatinumHeartGold and SoulSilver
Generation V
Black and WhiteBlack 2 and White 2
Generation VI
X and YOmega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
Generation VII
Sun and Moon
Unreleased
Pokémon Picross


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