Game Freak originally wanted the first Pokémon game to have 65,000 variations

Pokémon Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Purple, Pink...

11 June 2022
by rawmeatcowboy 6

Pokémon Red and Blue were pretty incredible creations for their time, offering all sorts of variety in Pokémon and more. That’s why it’s pretty crazy to learn that developer Game Freak originally had a much grander vision for the Pokemon franchise’s debut.

The latest episode of Did You Know Gaming digs through a ton of old Pokémon interviews to discover some brand-new facts, and one of them points to the variety Game Freak wanted in Pokémon Red and Blue. Believe it or not, the developer originally intended for there to be 65,000 variations between the two games, and this would all relate to the Trainer ID system.

When players start up Pokémon Red/Blue, the original plan was for them to get a Trainer ID that would be somewhere between 1 and 65,000. Depending on the number that was given, a player would see slight differences in Pokémon that appeared, the shapes of locations in each game, and more. This obviously would have taken much more time to development, and the variations between Trainer IDs would be minor in some instances.

Game Freak founder Satoshi Tajiri revealed that the team decided to shelve this idea when none other than Shigeru Miyamoto suggested that the games should differ based on their color, rather than making 65k variations all together. This idea sat well with Tajiri, and eventually led to the Pokémon Red/Blue versions that became timeless classics.

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Comments (6)


2y ago

So procedurally generated based on the trainer ID? Neat idea. Would be nice to see that idea return even in a spin-off. Call it Pokémon Infinity.


2y ago

I think this again illustrates how Nintendo uses their own expertise to guide other studios under their supervision.

I don't know what kind of variations GameFreak was planning, but 65,000 sounds like a number from a Kickstarter by a first-time indie developer discovering feature-creep for the first time.

Silicon Knights, Rareware, and GameFreak are just a few of the many developers that have found much more success with their titles when Nintendo was working with them than when they worked on their own.

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2y ago

As a potential reason for "why 65k?", My guess would be to do with the maximum possible numbers in a computer program. If you're using unsigned short integers, then those numbers are stored with 16 bits. 2^16-1 is 65,535.


2y ago

'Gotta Catch Em All' would've been 'Good Luck, Sucker'


2y ago

I do think this would be an interesting idea to return to in the future. Albeit, not nearly to this scope. It would be neat if each playthrough resulted in changes different enough to inspire multiple runs. Maybe changing dominant Pokemon in certain areas, what trainers use, and etc.

I'm not a huge fan of procedural stuff, but when done right I think it can really add to an experience.


2y ago

Would be cool if they could make some kind of spinoff with this idea, more than then they would have the resources for it now (even if its hard to do good quality testing on such a high number of variations).
Can tell the idea still lived in pokemon stadium, where pokemon names changed a pokemons color slightly.

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