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The Original Pokemon Games Were Almost Lost

by on September 28, 2018

What’s an interesting story about the development of the original Pokemon titles? Any bad almost happen?

The truth about video game development is that it’s fraught with issues, many of which don’t get discussed in the media while things are going on. And sometimes, not until years later when the games are firmly rooted in history. Such is the case with the original Pokemon titles, where developer Junichi Masuda told Polygon about a story where a computer crash almost cause the games to not be made.

“Somewhere midway through the development, maybe in the fourth year or so, we had a really bad crash that we couldn’t, we didn’t know how to recover the computer from. That had all of the data for the game, all of the Pokémon, the main character and everything. It really felt like, “Oh my God, if we can’t recover this data, we’re finished here.” I just remember doing a lot of different research. I called the company that I used to work for, seeing if they had any advice to recover the data.

I would go on this internet service provider back then called Nifty Serve. It’s like a Japanese version of CompuServe. I’d go on and ask people that I never talked to for advice on how to recover the data. I would look at these English books about the machine itself, because there wasn’t a lot of information in Japanese, just to figure it out. We eventually figured out how to recover it, but that was like the most nerve-racking moment, I think, in development.”

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