Pokemon Gold and Silver were meant to be a lot bigger than they were, according to newly leaked beta demos of the games. The demos were initially shown off to the public on November 15, 1997, at the Nintendo Space World Convention in Japan, two years before the games were released. Those demos have disappeared from the public eye until yesterday when an anonymous user leaked the ROMs to the public.
Four versions of the demos were leaked, two debug versions of the game and two versions that have been modified to work on normal Game Boy hardware and most emulators. Since the release of the ROMs, the folks from The Cutting Room Floor have been working on uncovering all the elements and features of the games that never made it to the final releases. They’ve released a spreadsheet containing all the information they’ve discovered so far as well as a few interesting notes and guides regarding the ROMs. The spreadsheet includes a list of Pokemon, moves, items, item effects, trainers, maps and map names, music, and more.
ResetEra poster ERAsaur, who helped The Cutting Room Floor with their work on the demo, details some of the more interesting details found in the demos. One of the more interesting bits that was discovered from the demos that was eventually removed from the final games include a massively larger map that looks like it covers the whole of Japan as well as the Kanto region from the first generation titles, which was surprisingly compressed into a single town for the Gold and Silver demos. There’s also around a hundred unused Pokemon (some of which were supposed evolutions of already existing Pokemon), early designs for released Pokemon, cameos from Pokemon that would eventually be released in later generations, trainers in their unfinished states, and a whole lot more.
There’s a lot more to be discovered in the demos as The Cutting Room Floor continues to parse and translate them. While it looks like players missed out on a lot of things, the final versions of Pokemon Gold and Silver still ended up being considered by many as the best games in the franchise, selling millions of units worldwide.