The Mystery Skateboard from Pokémon Gold & Silver Beta

The old Pokemon games from the 1990s are still some of my favorites. When Red and Blue first came out they were my go-to source for mobile entertainment. After Yellow version was released there wasn’t a whole lot of news until stuff was leaked out of Japan. The rumor mill was talking about a sequel called Pokemon 2: Gold and Silver.

At the time I was still in elementary school and it wasn’t something I could have researched. But now looking back I can find so much great information regarding Gold and Silver alpha & beta. Notably one of the coolest unknown features is a hidden skateboard item which was supposed to be released on-par with the original bicycle.

The best article investigating this feature can be found on GlitterBerri with lots of circumstantial evidence. It is fairly lengthy so I want to present this case in a shorter, more concise method.

Now most people know that video game releases are often given their own webpage to handle promotions and other stuff. Looking back to the G/S page archive we can find lots of great info. One of the sections translated by GlitterBerri reads as follows:

A new mode of transportation debuts in the form of the Skateboard! In Pokémon Red, Green, and Blue, the protagonist used a Bicycle as a handy mode of transportation on his Pokémon-catching adventure. In addition to the Bicycle that appeared in Red, Green, and Blue, Pokémon 2 will feature a Skateboard as a new mode of transportation. Riding it may even allow players to reach unexpected locations in the world of Pokémon 2.

This is also true looking back to old magazine scans. Nintendo Power in America never got this information because pre-release stuff was only published in Japan. But thankfully the writer(s) at GlitterBerri found an old archive which was translated discussing points about the skateboard. One repeated idea seems to be that new areas can be unlocked by riding on the skateboard.

pokemon 2 magazine scan ash skateboard picture

The reason this skateboard seems so plausible(aside from pre-release ads) is because Gold in the manga also rides a skateboard. He is the only character among all the Pokemon Adventures series to be seen riding a skateboard. Granted it could just be a coincidence but I find that harder to believe. It is much more likely that the game developers scrapped this idea because of deadlines or some other problem with semantics.

In fact, the GlitterBerri article goes into detail about how the skateboard animation looks if you hack into the game code. While riding this skateboard item your character just appears to be walking. There is no unique sprite similar to riding the bicycle or surfing. It also behaves much like you are sliding on ice(think the Ice Path).

However you do not have the ability to change directions once in motion. The skateboard will carry you along until you bump into something or get spotted by a trainer.

This raises the question of what could be unlocked by using this? It actually reminds me of the Acro bike from Gen III where you slowly ramp up speed and eventually can bike up slippery mud slopes. There was probably a similar intention with the skateboard to unlock hidden areas throughout Johto and Kanto.

silent hills gold silver alpha town screenshot magazine

One of the touted features was an ability to jump up ledges while riding the skateboard. Although this proved impossible when tested, the theory makes sense and it would have allowed players to access much more difficult areas in the game. This also makes sense as to why it could have been scrapped – players sneaking into areas way above their current level by jumping ledges.

The only other theory which makes sense is using this animation for mine carts. Looking at the early sprite tiles you will find a mine cart with some rail tracks. These were never used in GSC but it would make sense that your character would not be able to control the direction of this mine cart. Also if your player’s sprite was inside the cart we wouldn’t see their legs, so it wouldn’t matter if the sprite was animated as walking or not.

Unfortunately we just don’t know much about these mining tiles. They are in the game for a reason so it was part of the original plan. But taking into account all of these magazine sources discussing the skateboard, along with the Adventures manga really leaves me scratching my head.

pokemon gold silver screenshots beta alpha collection

Ultimately from my perspective this skateboard concept holds more truth than imagination. There has been a lot of artwork and screenshots published about Pocket Monsters G/S beta which allows you to see how development changed over time. It is true that Gen II improved many dynamics of the game. We got 2 new types, baby Pokemon, eggs, day & night, room ornaments, mail, apricorn pokeballs, and so much more I can’t even list it all.

But man this skateboard would have been so cool.

featured image source

Tyler is a true culture fanatic with love for comic books, music, movies, video games, and all forms of pop culture.

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