The Pokemon Company’s chief mascot, Pikachu is a cute and bubbly yellow electric mouse. However, did you know that Pikachu nearly had a more vicious looking second evolution after Raichu?
In an interview with Siliconera, Pokemon game designer and illustrators, Ken Sugimori, Atsuko Nishida, and Koji Nishin talked about the creation of Pikachu and how it nearly got a second evolution called Gorochu, packed with fangs and horns.
Gorochu was eventually canned due to balance issues, but imagine your cute Pikachu evolving into the devil’s incarnate. What a world it will be.
In the game Pikachu only evolves to Raichu, but I hear that at first there was three stages. Why did it end up being only two stages? (Or one evolution)
Nishida: Yes. It was “Pika(chu),” “Rai(chu),” and “Goro(chu).” The Pokémon known as Gorochu bared fangs and even had a pair of horns.
[Editor’s note: “Rai” comes from the Japanese word for thunder and “Goro” comes from “Goro-Goro,” the Japanese onomatopoeia for rumbling usually used in the context of thunder.]
Sugimori: There wasn’t any problem with its appearances, but it was omitted due to matters surrounding game balance.
You can read Siliconera’s interview here, where the trio talked more about Pikachu.