The Original Concept Art For ‘Pokemon’ Is The Most Important Historical Document Of Our Time
There are few things in this world that I am more interested in than the history of Pokémon. They are, after all, the single most important thing in the world, helping us with every aspect our lives --- as long as the most important aspects of our lives involve running around fighting organized crime at the age of ten and making our pets fight each other so that they can double in size, turn into lamps or, in some cases, sprout literal guns from their shoulders.
But I'm getting off track here. The point is that the history of Pokémon is fascinating stuff, which is why I was so excited to find Glitterberri.com's collection of original art and design documents for the franchise. Check out a few of my favorites below!
One of the most important aspects of Pokémon --- the function that inspired Satoshi Tajiri, who has said in interviews that he always designs games around a single verb, to create the game --- is being able to trade Pokémon. Here, we see artist Ken Sugimori's take on that, with some poor jerk trying to pawn off a Nidoran on a fellow trainer who is not having it.
One of the cool reveals of the early documents is that rather than Pokémon Centers, the early development used another classic RPG element: Hotels, where the rooms came complete with beds and those weird little microwaves that Nurse Joy uses to heal your party.
Another scrapped idea from early development seems to be that you could actually buy Pokémon from stores, although GlitterBerri's translation indicates that the retailer might not sell them to you if you weren't experienced enough, an idea that later became integral to getting gym badges that would allow you to control your Pokémon.
For the whole design document and translations --- including excerpts from interviews with Tajiri and Sugimori that give more context for what changed during development --- check out GlitterBerri's full post here, breaking down each page of the document. It's a great read!
Check Out Some of the Best Pokemon Fan Art Ever!