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Lab γ: Video Games and Glitches Discussion => Pokémon Discussion => Topic started by: Evie the Bird Mother 🌸 ☽ on April 16, 2019, 08:58:08 am

Title: A dedicated video about Game Freak I'm making (and obscure Game Freak books)
Post by: Evie the Bird Mother 🌸 ☽ on April 16, 2019, 08:58:08 am
(It should be available here: uploading has been going on for hours now and is at 63%, then there will be processing. Hopefully it does process.)

Update: 76%, so it's working! But due to unwise encoding the video is 18.3 GB. It is 2.5 hours long though.

This was inspired by Helix Chamber (")'s work, who like Glitterberri's Game Translations (") and TCRF (") the pret Discord group are a great source on Pokémon development information.

I own three books produced by Game Freak staff (the former two via Yahoo Auctions Japan and the latter via eBay), "New Game Design" (1995) by Satoshi Tajiri himself with guests like Ken Sugimori, "A Man Who Created Pokémon" (cards cover, not Pulseman one unfortunately), and "Ken Sugimori Works" and wanted to get some of the information about them out online. My video will also briefly talk about some similarities between the Game Freak games, such as similar audio melodies, easter eggs, cameos (such as the Mario & Wario one in Red/Blue/Yellow) the game and general prerelease data, I also talk about how Satoru Iwata immensely helped with the series (as he did with EarthBound).

1. New Game Design (新ゲームデザイン: TVゲームのアイディアが見えてくる!) December 1995:

Very cool book published by Enix which makes me wish I was proficient in Japanese sometimes. Very text heavy with few images and no furigana.


Some other scans relevant to Pokémon:

The sprites on the front cover are actually from a real prerelease version of the games when they were known as Capsule Monsters, it has been confirmed from a prerelease version of the game (if you read on Helix Chamber, but the subject of that is a legal grey area; the sprites were seen from sheet overlay found by image manipulation during an NHK broadcast in Japan, and the other confirmation is illegal and part of an alleged leak that seems very likely true due to the nature of it and so I don't support reading about the leak (and the related Space World 1997 demo leak)).

Some things that were not mentioned before; if you wanted to read more about Satoshi Tajiri's fascination with arcade games in general and not just Pokémon this is the book for you. There are sections on Pokémon (which was yet to be released, and actually has one prerelease screenshot) and other Game Freak developed games, however it also covers things like Super Mario Bros., Tetris (including strategy and what seemed to be hypothetical configurations including five tetromino as well), and many other video games in general.

When you open the book, you also get like a fold-out page that is a listing of relevant games at the time from a variety of companies and organised by their genre. There are no pictures specific to the games on the pages though, and it just lists the game, genre, company, however the games are organised in like a tree diagram (with illustrations based on trees). Examples include; for instance, "VurtuaCop" by Sega, which is listed as a 3D shooting game, TwinBee is listed as a shooting game but not 3D, and then there are various race, action (including the iconic Sonic the Hedgehog, Donkey Kong), another genre from kanji I can't read (Virtua Fighter is included in it), sports, puzzle, board game and quiz games.

2. Satoshi Tajiri: A Man Who Created Pokémon (ポケモンをつくった男 田尻智) :

(The two cover editions I'm aware of, I own the Pokémon cards cover but the Pulseman one is fascinating to me:)

(,204,203,200_.jpg) (

A very text heavy book like New Game Design about Satoshi Tajiri's experiences and personal accounts, with Ken Sugimori joining in at some point (in addition to other staff possibly). Many of the images were already scanned and copied to places online, such as GlitterBerri but among the ones not mentioned it seems you actually get to see some content from Game Freak's early hand-printed magazine vol.1 (1983) featuring (Taizo Hori, the protagonist from Dig Dug is it?) on the cover, basically an enlarged version of his Dig Dug sprite.

The text in the Game Freak magazine copy is too heavy with kanji I don't understand but there seems to be an image of an arcade cabinet, like a Galaga inspired comic frame they made where this lady says something like "It's called Galaga" (ギャラガによばれた) (possible mistranslation), there is also a listing of Taito arcade games including lesser known ones like "Gipsy Juggler"; and the popular Space Invanders, I only just realized the former may have inspired the Japanese name of the Juggler Trainer class (also "Gypsy Juggler"). Also we have a page called "Amusement News" which talks about the news surrounding arcade games like a best five list featuring Xevious, Pole Position, (something below in kanji appears), Time Pilot, and Galaga. It does seem Game Freak really loved Xevious, with sources saying "one magazine sold 10,000 copies about how to get a highscore in Xevious" (page 50 of this publication, according to Wikipedia and Time (,9171,2040095,00.html") as a tertiary source. Additionally, the magazine seems to briefly discuss character design and some kind of card/gambling game (but not to do with Pokémon I gathered). There is also hardware information including a photo of a Namco (Namcot label) chip.

The book concludes with development specific Pokémon information. I'm unsure if the interviews are documented, but the concept art has already been for a long time (such as the 'hotel' and intro scenes, the shopkeeper who looks like "Plump" from Mendel Palace (of whom I don't know his North American name, it might just be "sumo"))). There is an interesting combination of some kinds featuring Satoshi Tajiri sitting down at a table with Pikachu and a Poké Ball on it facing an unidentified bear-like mascot wearing like a pom-pom hat and dinner bib (I don't think it was a Pokémon/Capumon) with red cheeks, and may have been a collaboration with a brand, character IP, or company.

3. Ken Sugimori Works (杉森建の仕事):


This book seems more documented and available to overseas buyers on the Internet. Some have said it's not worth it but I beg to differ. You can find a lot of rare artwork and concept art from Ken Sugimori here, like his Micro Review (MicroGroup Game Review?) illustration featuring 'what-if' Pokémon, which were used as a basis for Tyrannitar, Hitmontop and possibly Tirtouga from Generation V (which was documented before but you get to see it in a high resolution form in the book). There are also a series of "long interviews" in Japanese. I'm unsure if they have been documented before or not. In addition to the artwork you even get copies of manga from Mendel Palace and Jelly Boy. I'm unsure if these ever appeared in their own self-contained book or not, I think Japanese Wikipedia has details of where they were initially serialised.

Mendel Palce:

(Also copying this to some other Nintendo related forums in the hopes to spread it and the information gathered)

Also for reference, four other official Game Freak books include,


(Game Freak Asobi no Sekai Hyōjun o Nurikaeru Creative Shūdan)


; Satoshi Tajiri's:


(Pac Land de Tsukamaete)


ポケモンをつくった男 田尻智 (小学館版学習まんがスペシャル)

(Pokémon o Tsukutta Otoko Tajiri Satoshi)

This one is the same mentioned here I believe, and got popular in the community as it featured never seen before cut Pokémon like Crocky and Jag the shark Pokémon.


And this one, it was suggested by as a similar product. I don't know if it's related to Game Freak but it's about Gunpei Yokoi and may contain valuable information.

Edit: I think (7) may be from an author who doesn't work at Nintendo, so there may be mainly already published information in there from official representatives and other sources, and its recent rather than around Pokémon's inception. So I'm not sure if it would be as useful."

I'd love to try and cover these eventually in more videos if no one else has done it.

If you know anymore official Game Freak books would love to hear in a reply, as they aren't very well documented.
Title: Re: A dedicated video about Game Freak I'm making (and obscure Game Freak books)
Post by: Sherkel on April 18, 2019, 02:06:15 pm
I'm slowly making my way through this. Too much for my attention span in one sitting, but obviously lots of good stuff here.
Title: Re: A dedicated video about Game Freak I'm making (and obscure Game Freak books)
Post by: Evie the Bird Mother 🌸 ☽ on April 19, 2019, 11:30:10 am
I'm slowly making my way through this. Too much for my attention span in one sitting, but obviously lots of good stuff here.

Thank you! :)