With the release of Pokemon Sword & Shield on the horizon, let’s take a moment to look back at the last time the franchise made a big jump to a new console: Pokemon X & Y for the Nintendo 3DS.
Despite being the Pokemon franchise’s first 3D entry as well as the second best-selling 3DS game of all time, Pokemon X & Y was the subject of quite a number of complaints when it first launched. Some weren’t happy about the introduction of Mega Evolutions, others about the quality of the 3D graphics compared to the 2D sprites.
Chief among the complaints however was the fact that the game’s story and characters seemed woefully underdeveloped and uninteresting. This was especially jarring in light of the previous games Pokemon Black & White being commonly regarded as having the best story and characters in the series up until that point. Many fans hoped that a 3rd version a la Pokemon Emerald could have redeemed X & Y somewhat, but this unfortunately never came to pass.
Today, we have a rumor about what this ideal version of X & Y could have been. Recently, an article on Medium.com spotlighted a series of posts from 4chan’s Pokemon board, well known for having leaking information about the series.
The posts claim to document cut content from Pokemon X & Y, sourced directly from Gamefreak employees. While these claims of course cannot be verified, what makes them interesting is that many of these proposed ideas seem eerily similar to plot points that have appeared in Pokemon games after X & Y, possibly adding to its legitimacy.
The series of posts is quite long, and contains details about a scrapped Alien plotline, the true nature of Mega Evolution and more. You can find images of the posts in the gallery below, along with some highlights of the key points.
- Pokemon X & Y were rushed to meet the 2013 release date, and this led to many plot elements, areas, and features being downplayed or cut entirely.
- Development time ended up more focused on getting the 3D models ready
- The plot of X & Y was originally going to involve Aliens, with the Version Legendaries originally planned to be alien superweapons.
- Team Flare were to be a group of aliens posing as humans attempting to take over Kalos
- Lysandre the aliens’ leader, taking over Professor Sycamore’s body after the latter was exposed to a space rock
- Team Flare’s mission was to hunt down AZ, who was also an alien
- AZ’s unique Floette was the key to unlock the alien superweapons that Team Flare was after (presumably the version Legendaries)
- Looker would have a bigger role investigating the alien threat
- Fairy-types were planned to be “Moon Aliens” as well, being Pokemon that had arrived from space long ago, similar to Clefairy
- Champion Diantha and Gym Leader Valarie were planned to be Moon aliens as well to reflect this
- Some other gym leaders such as Viola were also planned to be tied into the Alien plot
- Mega Evolutions were originally planned to be more alien and mutant in appearance
- Mega Stones were fragments of AZ’s ship scattered across the planet
- They were planned to have elements similar to Deoxys, implying that it was from the same planet as AZ
- A few more Mega Evolutions were planned, but were left out due to hesitation on the development team’s part
- The group of Friends in Pokemon X & Y were supposed to be a tutorial for a “Team” Feature with real-world players that was eventually scrapped
- The alien plot would later be deemed “too weird” and scaled back in favor of more mystical elements.
- The Ghost House was a Luigi’s Mansion tie-in for the “Year of Luigi”, but had those elements removed later
- Riding Pokemon was originally planned to be more extensive in X & Y, even replacing the bike completely
- Pokemon Size differences were planned to apply to every Pokemon, not just Pumpkaboo and Gourgeist
- Several Pokemon underwent type changes during development such as Chesnaught being Grass/Steel and Goodra being Dragon/Water
- One cut area was a town sitting atop a giant Avalugg floating in the ocean
- Zygarde was meant to be an event Pokemon, but was later added into the game. Diancie was changed from an evolution of Carbink to an Event Pokemon to take Zygarde’s place.
As you can see, several of these cut features may have made their way back into later Pokemon games. This includes the sci-fi “alien” like aesthetic of Ultra Space in Sun & Moon, size differences in LGPE, and Deoxys’ expanded role in Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire. That said, whether these add to the credibility of this “leak” or are merely lucky guesses is up to interpretation.
Even so, there is no denying that Pokemon X & Y would probably have been a lot more memorable as games had these elements been included. If what the leak says is true, it just goes to show that Gamefreak is no stranger to having lofty ambitions for a game get torn down by tight deadlines and other complications.
We can only wonder what other potentially interesting corners aside from the National Dex had to be cut for Pokemon Sword & Shield to arrive in our hands promptly on November 15 2019.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.