Pokémon trainers originally earned training belts instead of badges

The original Pokémon Gym achievements were to be marked with various colored belts that could be used as whips, but the idea was scrapped.

It was recently revealed that Pokémon games did not plan for players to earn gymnastics brands in the early development, where different colored belts were part of the original design. That Pokémon the series has built its name about the relationship between a player and their partner Pokémon, which depicts a loving bond that grows through a coach’s journey. However, the previous games were investigated for a partnership where children demanded that their beloved peers fight against other trainers and innocent wild Pokémon, and it could probably have been much worse if the original training belt designs remained in the game.


In most Pokémon main series titles travel players through one of eight current regions with a team of six Pokémon partners. During their travels, they take on rival NPC battles, antagonist team battles, and challenges for gymnastics leaders. There is eight gymnastics leaders in each Pokémon games spread across different cities throughout the region. Earning all badges gives players access to the ultimate challenge of taking on the Elite Four. While the latest games like Sun and Moon and Sword and Shield has changed the formula a bit with Totem Challenges and a Championship Cup tournament, the progression is still very similar to older titles in the series.

Related: Why Pokémon evolve through trade

According to NintendoLife a recent translation of Did you know how to play? on YouTube by Game Freak: The Creative Group, which rewrites the rules of the game world, a book written by Game Freak developer Akihito Tomisawa, revealed original plans for training performance. When trying to decide how to reward players for defeating gymnastics leaders, a colored belt system was created to mimic the belts one achieves when learning martial arts. The original idea was that the belts could be used as whips during training, but the idea was quickly dismissed as too violent for a child’s play. Despite this, many of them are sprites found in Pokémon red, blue and yellow depicts trainers with whips, revealing a much darker side of Pokémon training.

It is possible that these early design choices led to the concept of Ash’s Pikachu and its aversion to being contained in a Poké Ball. While most Pokémon appear to be indifferent to their portable capsule, Pikachu resents the ball and will break out as soon as it is resubmitted. It’s possible Pokémon developers and writers found the idea of ​​the reluctant trainer-Pokémon relationship worth revisiting and used it as a basis for depicting a collaborative partnership. To help show the autonomy of Pokémon, they are regularly seen breaking free of their Poké balls in the animated series, as well as letting themselves be caught after tying ties with a trainer over the course of a story.

While the idea that Pokémon choose their trainers and enjoy being in a partnership that involves combat and training is endearing, the series does not shy away from the darker side of a Pokémon journey. That mix of Pokémon cemeteries, cruel trainers and Pokémon ghosts are almost as dark and gritty as the use of whips in the training process, reminding players that the responsibility for Pokémon training should not be taken lightly. Fortunately, other main themes in Pokémon games are much less heavy, allowing players to enjoy their time traveling in each region.

Next: Pokémon Anniversary Converse Line includes adorable Pikachu Chucks

Source: DidYouKnowGaming? / YouTube, NintendoLife

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