When it comes to Pokemon, none can come close to Pikachu in terms of exposure and popularity. The electric mouse Pokemon not only serves as the franchise’s mascot, but is a video game and anime icon as well. And recently, the Pokemon Company talked about Pikachu’s origins, as well as its rejected second evolution, Gorochu. GAME FREAK founder Ken Sugimori, together with planner Kouji Nishino, sat down to discuss the pokemon. Pokemon character designer Atsuko Nishida also joined in the discussion as well.
Previously, Sugimori and Nishida revealed that Pikachu’s inspiration isn’t really a mouse. During the discussion, they affirmed that statement. Nishida revealed that the guidelines for making Pikachu’s design was pretty simple. Pikachu had to be cute, had to use electricity, and she also revealed Pikachu had to evolve twice. And as it turns out, the same also goes for Pikachu’s evolution, Raichu.
However, they instructed Nishida that Pikachu should evolve twice, so what happened to its final form, Gorochu? Well, to put it simply, they cancelled the design, which featured a Pokemon with large fangs and horns. The Shinto god of lightning, Raijin, inspired the design. However, they seem to have used a different design for a different Raijin-inspired legendary Pokemon in Thundurus.
As to why they cancelled Gorochu’s design, it was simply to save data capacity. Unlike today’s games, GAME FREAK had to work with limited amounts of data. And in order to not make the game too big, Gorochu had to go, unfortunately. As to why they cancelled Gorochu instead of Pikachu, it was simply because they found getting rid of the final stage evolution was easier than getting rid of the basic Pokemon.
Well, there you have it folks, right from the horses’ mouths. It’s a shame we didn’t get Gorochu, as well as the other cancelled designs though. But if they were to make Pokemon today, then surely they would be able to store all those cancelled Pokemon, right?
source: Pokemon Co. Official