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1997 Gen 2 Space World beta/demo leaks, and it's fascinating


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#1 Admin Prime

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 09:04 AM

The somewhat infamous 1997 Gold and Silver Space World demo, previously only known via a few old articles and photos, has finally leaked online. To start, the part that's probably most interesting, the beta Pokémon list, ripped right from the ROM:

JXBgkiB.png

All sorts of goodies in there. In addition to differing takes on various gen 2 Pokémon (including very different Legendary Beasts, an unrecognizable alternative to Bayleef, and a completely different take on Porygon 2 [the weird dog next to alternate Lickilicky]), there's alternate takes on Pokémon that showed up in later gens, such as Tangrowth, Mime Jr., Mega Pinsir, Lickilicky, and Leafeon, as well as alternate water starters that appear to have inspired the Popplio line.

It seems like at one point the plan was for all gen one two-stage evolutions to become three-stages, and all one stages to become at least two, though many were cut or used later. There's several entirely scrapped babies of gen 1 Pokémon, including Vulpix, Tangela, Goldeen, Paras, Doduo, Meowth, Ponyta, Grimer, and Growlithe. Girafarig also has a baby as well, in the form of that odd ghost-looking Pokémon next to it. Additionally, there was a scrapped Ditto evolution (still only learned Transform), a Farfetch'd evolution, an alternate evolution to Weepinbell, a la Bellossom, and a Quilfish evolution. The Shellder form from Slowbro and Slowking is also present as its own species.

Then there's the entirely new Pokémon that were dropped altogether, with seemingly no analogs in later games. A drastically different fire evolution line (previously known by its starting evolution via old screen shots), a full three-stage water evolutionary line (perhaps tied to the Lake of Rage), a two-stage cat family, a kinda dope fire seal named "Bombseeker", an electric tiger evolutionary duo, a pair of... voodoo doll things? (probably a reference to something, if someone wants to help me out), and a duo that as far as I can tell appears to be wearing another Pokémon's skin? lol. Almost reminds me of Mimikyu in concept.

So yeah, lots of interesting stuff there.

Next up is the world map, which had some big differences:

9qqAtjQ.png

It appears that originally, Johto was intended to represent the entirety of Japan. Here's the complete rip of the map, which reveals some pretty extreme alterations:
 

HwlLnLa.png


Perhaps most interesting is the town at the bottom right, which may look familiar. It's the entirety of Kanto, compressed down into one very large town. This was likely GameFreak's somewhat desperate attempt to squeeze Kanto in while working around space restrictions, until Iwata famously saved the day and wrote them a compression tool that allowed them to restore nearly the entirety of Kanto.

There's a whole lot more here and here if you're interested.

#2 Billy "Buford" Morgil

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 05:07 PM

Apparently there hasn't been very much reporting on this leak over in Japan, but here's a handful of comments on it from Japanese fans:

 

https://legendsofloc...paceworld-demo/

 

A surprising amount of the comments seem to think the leak was just a hoax.


Edited by Billy "Buford" Morgil, 04 June 2018 - 05:09 PM.


#3 Admin Prime

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 08:50 AM

Not shocked folks are jumping on hoax, but the amount of effort and knowledge that would have to go into this makes is impossible that it’s the case. It just couldn’t be feasibly done.

#4 Billy "Buford" Morgil

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 01:58 PM

Yeah, but then there's things like the Porygon 2 thing that seem to cast a reasonable shadow of doubt.



#5 Admin Prime

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 07:13 PM

Yeah, but then there's things like the Porygon 2 thing that seem to cast a reasonable shadow of doubt.


Not really, no. In depth knowledge of proprietary GB code executed with enough perfection to behave perfectly on native hardware on emulators with a perfect matches for GameFreak’s coding style, various details matching obscure, decades old details from long forgotten trade show reports and interviews, elements too perfectly representing the state the code would have been in for a 1997 press snapshot of 80% complete code shortly before a significant rebooting and overhaul, perfect recreation of assets previously only seen off-screen in low quality, etc. etc.. I mean, there’s developer tools, beta scripts and story fragments that are completely different from the final game but entirely believable as potential early versions, along with dozens of partially implemented elements consistent with development rode maps...

There’s a reason why no one with any sort of serious knowledge in this area doubt its veracity. Besides, the scope of the people/community members involved make it too farfetch’d to believe there’s a hoax with this level of coordination occurring. For this to be fake would be so impressive that the word “Herculean” would be wildly underselling it. It would be akin to green lighting a multi year development project with dozens of team members for the purpose of... saying “gotcha”?

Besides, there’s even a reason why Porygon 2 looks the way it does - it’s a reference to a very popular advertising character in Japan.

#6 Billy "Buford" Morgil

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 07:50 AM

Besides, there’s even a reason why Porygon 2 looks the way it does - it’s a reference to a very popular advertising character in Japan.

 

Except the advertising character didn't debut until 2003. And despite some rumors that the guy who created it also worked for Gamefreak in the late 90s, the author of the article i posted has been unable to find any conclusive proof of such claims.

 

EDIT: I'm not saying i conclusively believe it's a hoax. I'm just saying i feel that there are plausible reasons to remain skeptical on both sides of the argument.


Edited by Billy "Buford" Morgil, 06 June 2018 - 07:52 AM.


#7 Admin Prime

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 12:21 PM

Hadn’t seen that wrinkle, though the design being shopped around after the fact is certainly a likely explanation, given that it’s something that does happen.

Regardless, let me emphatically state this: this demo is not plausibly fakable. To know the details of this demo and understand their significance, one could not reasonably believe anything other than it being real. It would take:

a person who has disassembled the Japanese code for the various gen 1 and 2 games (while builds for the US versions have been disassembled and the code easil available online, that is not the case for the Japanese versions) and studied them intimately, with perfect recreation of their conventions.

a person who has intimately studied long obscure articles, interviews, and general write-ups in various languages of the Spaceworld demo, the details of which have never been gathered and centralized anywhere, to perfectly recreate the demo script and elements, none of which is available in video form and with only a few poor off-hand photos, and match attendees memories.

a person with development knowledge in depth to the point that they’d know how to fake the developmental progression and state of a build of its specific circumstance.

a person with accute knowledge of various obscure details known, but not widely disseminated, about the state of gen 2’s development circa late 1997.

a person with the skill to pull off sprite art of that specific style to such a convincing degree, create hundreds of various plausible assets.

a person with in depth knowledge of certain entirely obscure and uninteresting gen 1 and gen 2 oddities, such as an incomplete Pokémon Center room that was left over in gen 2’s assets, and various other similar cases.

etc.

What I’m saying is the only “sides” are those who do and don’t understand the sheer maddening complexity of such a fake, and the extent to which certain elements are unfakable. This is like when the Smash 4 video leaked and people said it was fake because “Shulk looks too much like Marth” and “some of the pixels at the edge of the character select screen look weird and would never be shipped in a final game” (they did, lol).

We’re literally in moon landing truther territory.

Here’s more from someone who’s in the know: https://iimarckus.org/spaceworld/




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