Everyone loves a Pokémon remake, but what if those remakes kept the aesthetic of the original games? That's the idea behind Pokémon Redrawn, a collection of over 100 artists who are redesigning the maps from Pokémon Red and Blue, and Gold and Silver.
So far, they've completed the entirety of Johto, and now they've moved on to Kanto, which is about 25% finished already. Speaking to Nintendo Life, foofarawr — one of the artists involved — said that the project began as an "accidental chain reaction of tweets" where a bunch of artist friends ended up inspiring each other to create "re-imagined scenes" of the first Pokémon games. What was just a joke on Twitter quickly grew into an actual project between them.
When it comes to the Kanto Redrawn project, which is in the works now, the artists have some style guides to follow, but nothing too strict. "We're limiting it to the original palette from [Gold, Silver, and Crystal]," says foofarawr, "allowing a few extra colours if necessary." Sadly, though, bringing these re-imagined maps to Game Boy Color isn't likely — "we're clearly going beyond the color limitations," says foofarawr, "and we also want to avoid any possible trouble with Nintendo!"
Between Johto and Kanto, the team decided to "[step] it up a bit", and as a result, Kanto has interior maps, caves, and gyms as well as the overworld maps. If that sounds like a lot of work, it is — somewhere between 34 and 50 per cent of the maps have not yet been assigned to an artist (which means there's room for more, if you're interested!).
Foofarawr is proud of Pokémon Redrawn so far, having worked on it from the start. "I love the positivity of the project," they said in a chat with us. "It's a great bunch of people." The ability to add details and references into beloved scenes is a cool opportunity, and foofarawr says that the best part for them was remaking the National Park: "it was fun to add life to it, and some Easter Eggs, like Cooltrainer Nick who'd always beat you in the Bug-Catching Contest!"
If you want to check out more about the Pokémon Redrawn project, you can check out the Kanto Redrawn art so far, or you can visit the website to look at the completed Johto Redrawn map, which has a lovely "tour" option that can take you through all the separate areas. When Kanto is done, it'll be added to the website, too!