Nintendo is great at creating unique and compelling designs for the pokemon franchise, but sometimes beta designs for Pokémon that didn’t make it into the game are better than those that did. The typing combos that Nintendo wanted to use add a measure of interest to this, as it shows how bold they wanted to be, but ended up bringing it back for balance. These beta designs have another use as many were later used as inspiration for Pokémon.
The hardest thing about finding beta Pokémon is that Game Freak usually keeps his work to himself, so most of the leaks are descriptions of Pokémon with no official art. However, a beta leak of unused designs from Pokemon Gold and Silver managed to get out, providing fans with the best samples of beta Pokemon. Even for a game designed over two decades ago, it’s remarkable that some of their designs return and impress.
This cut content from the popular second generation games – unofficially recorded on the pokemon Fandom Wiki – featured many Pokémon that never made a game or inspired others. For starters, many more baby Pokemon would be added to the game; Doduo, Vulpix, Arcanine, Grimer, Paras and more. Although it was probably a good thing Game Freak didn’t go through with that, as it would feel a little out of place, and the baby Pokemon that Gen 2 did have was a better fit for their role. Another interesting line to note is the original Water starter line, often pokemon‘s best starter type, would be an early design for the Popplio line, but those designs were shelved and replaced by the Totodile line. Finally, a handful of evolution lines were scraped completely and not used much since.
A Fire Bear Pokémon line works as a starter or non-starter
This Fire Bear trio was originally supposed to be Gen 2’s Fire starter before being replaced by the Typhlosion line. Listed from left to right, fans could have had Flamebear, Volbear and then Honoguma as perfect English translations are hard to come by, these are the best the community has found. Now it’s only arguable whether this line should have stayed above the Typhlosion line, but sure, some form of it should have reappeared. Teddiursa and Ursaring, who recently got the Ursaluna evolution Pokemon Legends: Arceusfirst appeared in Gen 2, but outside of the bear theme, there’s little similarity between the two lines.
Even looking through Fire Pokémon, there is no resemblance to this beta design. An evolution line like this should definitely have been used by now, whether it was kept the same or maybe got a new type to keep up with stronger Pokémon. The fourth generation would have been a perfect place to take it, as that generation is known for its lack of Fire types, allowing Nintendo to amp up the generation and make use of an old design.
Pokémon could have had two interesting water/steel types
The Generation Four Empoleon is currently the only Water/Steel Pokémon in the franchise, but it could have been the third if these designs had come out. Starting out as the small fish Sunmola, it would evolve into the shark Pokemon Anchorgae and then the eel-like Grotess. Since both evolutions were Water Steel, an underused and often missing Pokémon-type combo, they would have been an interesting combo to explore early in the franchise and would have continued with good viability as Empoleon is the only other of that dual type.
The Sunmola line would have just been a cool trio, giving players more split evolution Pokemon to mess around with. While it’s disappointing that none of these Pokémon made it to the final game, Anchorgae is believed to have inspired the Sharpedo and Grotess-inspired Huntail.
Pokémon Gen 2 almost gave Farfetch’d an evolution
Long before the Galarian evolution in Sword and shield, Sirfetch’d, Farfetch’d had almost evolved into the beta Pokemon known as Madame. Not much is known about this Pokémon, except that its typing would be the same as Farfetch’d, and while this might not have helped too much, the stat bonus would have made it more useful than Farfetch’d. This helps solve the problem of not having Evolution Pokémon where their stats just can’t compare to most Pokémon that do evolve. Although Madame has never been seen anywhere pokemon game, it is speculated that the design may have inspired Sirfetch’d.
Generation two had plans for a type of fire/water
Bomushikaa, the only known name for this Pokémon, would have given fans a Water/Fire type long before the only other current one, the Mythical Volcanion. To clarify, there is a difference between Mythical and Legendary Pokémon. The design alone is very attractive and giving it a character that would not be seen for over ten years would have given Bomushikaa good popularity. The weakness here is that since it doesn’t evolve, the stats would eventually make it tricky to use from a competitive aspect. Fire-Water isn’t a broken type per se either, as it still has some good counters, but it’s more the fact that it puts two opposing types together that makes Bomushikaa so appealing. Bomushikaa would certainly be the only beta Pokemon fans would celebrate if Game Freak added him back to the series.
The harsh reality for most beta Pokemon is that they will most likely never get the time to shine in the series. The best they could hope for is to inspire other Pokémon over time, similar to how real world history has inspired some Pokémon. Hope can’t be thrown away entirely as some designs like Leafeon and Tangrowth have been pulled from this beta, albeit with some design changes. However, the final decision is always in the hands of Game Freak and his plans for the pokemon franchise are often difficult to predict.
Source: pokemon Fandom Wiki