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Pokemon Red And Green Nearly Let You Buy Pokemon

Pokemon Red And Green Nearly Let You Buy Pokemon
Images: The Pokemon Company

Written by 

Joseph Kime

Posted 

14th Jun 2022 09:57

Pokemon is lovely. But Pokemon is dark. It's hard to forget once you've read the worst of the game's Pokedex entries, but the world of Pokemon isn't a forgiving one. Even the cutest of beasties that roam the grass on routes across the series' regions can turn out bleak stories. 

Death, squalor and vengeance aside, though, the original games were a huge hit with kids upon launch in the '90s - but they could have been much, much darker. How does a Pokemon trafficking system sound to you, kids?

How Did Pokemon Almost Include Pokemon Trafficking?

Pokemon Red And Green Nearly Let You Buy Pokemon

Good lord. As if the world of Pokemon couldn't get any more grim, there was once a plan to let players actually purchase Pokemon - implying a grotesque Pokemon trafficking system in-universe.

Among the concepts that never made the cut for Pokemon Red & Green, is one that saw players buying creatures from "Pokemon Stores," along with their ability to catch them in the wild. It's thought that these stores would exist alongside Pokemon Centers and PokeMarts, but even so - it makes a very dark implication about a trade in the game's universe that is deeply immoral.

You could buy a Magikarp for a ridiculously inflated price, while Porygon was a similar story by spending your winnings at the Celadon Game Corner, but being able to complete your Pokedex by splashing the cash is a very different story. We know that the Pokeworld is a little dark, but maybe Pokemon trafficking is a step too far for children. 

Pokemon Purchases Were Removed To Focus On Trading

The feature was thankfully removed because, as revealed in an interview with Satoshi Tajiri (via Did You Know Gaming, the team wanted to focus on the prospect of players trading Pokemon with each other instead. "Transferring money in the game is very different from wiring money in real life, and there were difficulties getting it to work on Game Boy - there were just too many obstacles to overcome to make it happen," said Tajiri in an early interview.

"We had no choice but to focus on what we wanted most and give up on the rest. In this case, being able to trade Pokemon was our top priority, so we cut the monetary value feature." Still, it makes your Red & Green experience all the more rewarding. There was nothing quite catching that elusive final Pokemon or bullying your sibling into trading to polish off your Pokedex. It's hard not to be glad that such a bleak feature was axed from the original game - and that they just stuck to the normal amount of depressing stories. Whatever that means.

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