Creating the Pokémon

Posted By at 7:20 PM on Monday November 7, 2011

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There are many different types of Pokémon, like water and grass. Did you have that in mind from the beginning?

Sugimori: The idea came to us during development. Battles would get monotonous if there were only strong and weak Pokémon, so by affixing types to the Pokémon we were able to give the fighting more depth. There were also characters that were born of their types.

That means that the characters you came up with in early development were created without much regard to type, then.

Sugimori: That’s right. At first, Pokémon were more dinosaur-like than the ones you see today. Beginning the story by choosing 1 of 3 Pokémon of different types was also something that came about in the middle of development. It’s pretty common at our company to have a game change completely during the development period. We had at least 10 different scenarios just for the opening sequence.

Which characters did you come up with first?

Sugimori: The first Pokémon were Rhydon, Clefairy, and Lapras. At first, we’d planned to have Pokémon living alongside humans, making their lives easier. So, during the early stages of development, many of the characters we came up with had clear roles, like carrying things around or sailing across the sea with people on their backs. We also thought up cute pet-like characters like Clefairy.

And how did you decide on the monsters’ appearance?

Nishino: If we hadn’t made a certain number of rare Pokémon, no one would want to collect them. To that end, we made sure there were a few Pokémon that would be difficult to catch. The Pokémon that resemble familiar creatures you’d find around you in the real world appear quite frequently. That means Pokémon like Pikachu are harder to find.

Sugimori: People who own rare Pokémon will spark the envy of their friends. Even in the game world rare Pokémon are very popular. There’s a character who compliments you, saying “What a cute Pikachu you have!”, which is pretty much the same thing that happens in the real world.

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