Pokémon Crystal beta

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Pokémon Crystal introduced many features that have since become staples of the core series games, such as the option to pick a female player character, animated Pokémon sprites and battle facilities with special rules. Likewise, some aspects of the game's initial design did not make it to the final release. However, it has fewer known pre-release elements compared to its companion games, Pokémon Gold and Silver, likely because it is heavily based upon them.

Pre-release

First Mentions

Although Game Freak released a game called Pokémon X for the Nintendo 3DS in 2013, the tentative title for a game similar to the Japanese version of Pokémon Crystal with planned support to connect to a mobile phone and set for an April 2000 release was also Pocket Monsters X (ポケットモンスターX), according to multiple sources such as an Asahi Shimbun news article from December 1999[1] and IGN.[2][3] The game was postponed until 2001 due to the planned release of the Game Boy Advance.[4] The article mentions an adapter for linking a Game Boy to a mobile phone, with the datacenter server used for the feature being hosted by Kyocera in Kyoto.

An early logo for Japanese Crystal (the word kashō (仮称) means "tentative title")

The Japanese logo shown at Nintendo Space World 2000 was originally similar to the one from Pokémon Gold and Silver.[5] Additionally, the previous referred source also shows an early design for the PokéCom Club rooms.

Pokémon Communication Center

Main article: Pokémon Communication Center
Various images from the development stages, courtesy of Game Freak

A picture of the game's development later released by Game Freak revealed an earlier design for the Pokémon Communication Center. Fundamentally, the differences from the final design include an upper floor on the top-left of the map and two machine areas in the main floor instead of just one, one of which was replaced with a Trade Corner for use with the Pokémon Mobile System GB in the final release.

Female character

Prototype female character

A development picture reveals that Kris, the female character introduced in Pokémon Crystal, originally had a different design which was more plain and showed her with black hair in pigtails.[6]

Post-release

Music

An unused song is present in the game's code. However, the circumstances it would have been used for are unknown. Interestingly, the same song exists within Pokémon Stadium 2 and was actually used in the Japanese version.

Unobtainable Shiny Pokémon

The coding of Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal have shiny sprites for Mew and all Unown. However, as neither were obtainable normally in Generation II, they are never seen during normal gameplay.

Super Game Boy features

The unused Super Game Boy border

Despite Pokémon Crystal being incompatible with the original Game Boy, Game Boy Pocket, Game Boy Light, the Super Game Boy and the Super Game Boy 2, there is an unused Super Game Boy border programmed into the game, which can be activated by setting a flag in the game's RAM to enable the Super Game Boy features. Cheating devices such as the Game Genie can also be used to achieve the same effect, albeit only temporarily. The border is a leftover from the Japanese version of Pokémon Gold, since the design is the same and the text reads Pocket Monsters Gold Version, rather than Pokémon Gold Version as it does in the English version of Pokémon Gold.[7] This could also suggest that Game Freak used Pokémon Gold as the basis for the development of Pokémon Crystal.

When the player attempts to play the game on a model of the Game Boy prior to the Game Boy Color, the error message "This Game Pak is designed only for use on the Game Boy Color." is output by the game, with the word Crystal spelled out using Unown. There is an unused color palette associated with this message, using an orange tint, which appears when triggering the unused Super Game Boy border; this tint also appears if one force-boots Pokémon Crystal on a Super Game Boy.

References


Beta versions of Pokémon games
Generation I
Red and GreenYellow
Generation II
Gold and SilverCrystal
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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