The past few years have seen some incredible leaks involving older Pokémon games and it’s now Generation IV’s turn, as supposed leaked sprites from Pokémon Diamond & Pearl show a greater degree of differences between the genders of Pokémon than what made it into the final game.
2018 saw the leak of the Pokémon Gold & Silver demo that was shown at Space World ’97, which revealed tons of unused Pokémon designs, as well a scrapped vision for Generation II that was somehow more ambitious and yet more limited than the final game. 2019 has seen assets leaked from an early build of Pokémon Red & Green, which shows a much different direction for the first games in the series.
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The most recent leaks from the older Pokémon games come from Pokémon Diamond & Pearl. According to Lava Cut Content, these unused assets were leaked on 4chan and were taken down, but were saved by members of the community before being purged. The sprites appear to come from a period between the development of the third and fourth generations of Pokémon games and the most notable thing about them is how wildly different the sprites were for the male and female Pokémon. The changes include female Pikachu having flat ears and female Charizard only having a single horn on their head.
The leaks haven’t been 100% confirmed, but they seem to match numerous different statements from people within Game Freak regarding the original design choices for Pokémon Diamond & Pearl. The reason why these designs were scrapped may have had to do with the fact that animating so many sets of sprites would have made things more difficult for the developers, so the differences between genders were made more subtle in the final version of the game.
The Space World ’97 demo set some pretty high expectations for Pokémon leaks and the beta sprites from Pokémon Diamond & Pearl (assuming they are legit) likely won’t be as exciting to some fans as the cut Pokémon from the older games. The altered sprites show how Game Freak might have scaled back its ambitions in order to save time on a game, which might sound familiar to modern Pokémon fans.
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