We all love Pikachu; for people of a certain age (this writer included), that adorable little yellow face is a perfect representation of their entire childhood, when nothing else in life mattered except 'catching em' all'. As it turns out, things could have been very different for the electric rodent.
Ken Sugimori, Atsuko Nishida, and Koji Nishino, key illustrators and designers of the Pokémon series, recently sat down with Japanese newspaper Yomiuri to talk all things Pikachu (translated by Siliconera). When asked about Pikachu's evolution stages, and if there were any other designs created, Nishida spoke of an early idea for a pretty scary sounding final evolution.
"Yes. It was “Pika(chu),” “Rai(chu),” and “Goro(chu).” The Pokémon known as Gorochu bared fangs and even had a pair of horns."
The word "Goro" comes from the Japanese phrase "Goro-Goro", which is used as an onomatopoeic description of large rumbles such as thunder, suggesting that this final evolution may have been a colossal beast of the electric mouse family.
Of course, Gorochu never made it into the games, but it wasn't scrapped because of its scary nature, or from fear that it wouldn't suit Pikachu's loveable ways, as Sugimori explains.
"There wasn’t any problem with its appearances, but it was omitted due to matters surrounding game balance."
Was it too strong? Or did it simply not fit well alongside the rest of the original 151? We'll likely never know.
Do you think a final, beast-like evolution for Pikachu could have worked well? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.