A version of Pokémon Sword from 2018 has appeared online and shows a number of features and pokémon that weren’t in the final game.
With The Crown Tundra DLC expansion due out this week Pokémon Sword and Shield are about to become complete, but an unexpected insight into what they could have been has turned up online.
It’s rare for an early version of any game to leak, but even more so anything connected with Nintendo – although technically developer Game Freak is a separate company.
Exactly where the leak came from isn’t clear but footage from it was being streamed on Twitch before it and the whole channel were nuked from orbit by Pokémon Company lawyers.
One of the most interesting parts of the leak though is simply the original title screen, which prominently features both mega evolutions and Greninja – despite the latter not being in the final game or any of the DLC.
There’s been long-standing rumours of mega evolutions in Sword/Shield, since references to the feature have been found in the game’s code. But while that’s previously been put down to the game reusing code from earlier Pokémon titles the title screen seems to suggest mega evolutions were originally intended to feature.
Other discoveries include a new female form of Rotom, that never made the cut, and temporary emojis for the Y-Comm communication system – that have already become a meme-worthy fan favourite.
Although there are some pre-existing pokémon that didn’t make the final game there don’t seem to have been any major new unused pokémon or prototype designs.
Although we’re not sure what’s going on with the screenshot below, which seems to show a pokémon much larger than anything else you encounter in the Wild Area of the finished game.
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