Oh man… OK so whether or not you’re new to this site, you might have known that a new “Pokémon Presents” video was released worldwide yesterday. Wait, you DIDN’T see it? Well what are you waiting for then? Check it out below!
Pretty nifty stuff, huh??
Now if you’re new to this site, I enjoy doing research into various Pokémon stuff. In particular, I like doing research that not a whole lot of people follow up on for one reason or another. If I was some other website, I’d simply do some reaction video of me watching the Pokémon Presents video live and making that OMG!!! face… but naw, I ain’t about that trip. I actually get into the weeds and find new and interesting things about these videos. And boy howdy, do I have something interesting to share with you today about yesterday’s Pokémon Presents video!
Now if you don’t know who I am and my personal history… I’m Korean-American, and so I try my best to stay on top of what’s happening in Korea as much as I can. And I especially enjoy seeing how popular Pokémon is in South Korea as well; I pretty much even wrote most of the Bulbapedia article about it! And so one thing I like to do is also watch the Korean version of the Pokémon Presents video. Most of the time it’s basically a one-to-one copy of the English (and basically every other) version of the video, so there’s usually nothing worth talking about in them. But this time? Something was up… something was different.
The thing that tipped me off was watching about the Sinnoh Underground bit during the Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl games and seeing the statues you can place in your Secret Base. Here, lemme post the English and Korean versions and see if you can see what I mean:
You see Gyarados’ tail and how it’s sticking out from its 3×3 grid in the Korean version (right), while its tail is tucked beneath it in the English version (left)? And then count the grids between each version: the English version has a 12×8 gird while the Korean version is 14×10. Weird, right?
Here’s what I’m getting at: the Korean version of the Pokémon Presents video shows footage from earlier on in development, and the video editors most likely forgot to update it with new footage. This means that the Korean Sinnoh Underground footage represents an earlier version of the Underground planned which was going to be 14×10, but it was later changed to 12×8. HOLY CRACKERS!
Mind you, only footage written in Korean is affected. Anything without any language (English, Korean or otherwise) is likely from a universal set of video footage which was the same across all versions. But when any Korean text was revealed, it was clearly from footage of a different stage of development. More interesting is that this affects footage from BOTH Briliant Diamond/Shining Pearl as well as Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
Here, before I get TOO ahead of myself, I made a quick supercut of ONLY footage that was significantly different between the English and Korean versions of the Pokémon Presents video. And by “significantly different” I mean that I’m not including simple translations of text or the fact that the Korean version included burned in Korean language subtitles (as the voice over was still in Japanese), or any other Korean text which was simple graphics overlaid upon “universal game footage” and not due to in-game Korean text. On the other hand, I am including anything that is reasonably different between the two, even if it’s something as simple as the English version has characters blinking at different times or something.
It’s also over 3min30s long, which is actually quite surprizing. The video itself is set up so you can see the English version on the left and the Korean version on the right (including their respective audio playing only in their respective ear), as well as a “mix” version of the two below them which represents how different they are. That is to say, it’s set up to show that anything in black means that there is little to no differences in that part of both videos, while bright objects represents hightened differences. It’ll make more sense when you see it play out. Finally, there’s also a time code so you can get an idea of where you’re at during the course of the original Pokémon Presents video. Enjoy!
Did you get to see it? If not, that’s OK, I’ll give you a quick tour of certain details from it. But if you did, maybe you’ll see what I mean about how things are different across both games. Either way, I’ll share the things that stood out the most to me. Oh, quick notice: not to get your hopes up too much, but the Sinnoh Underground was probably the most shocking change out of everything I’m about to share below. That said, I WILL at least order the pictures by increasing “shockingness”… so at least it’ll get more and more interesting with each image.
The thing is, all games go through their alphas and betas and prereleases and whatnot… so little things get changed here and there all the time. So the point of sharing all this is more about getting a view in how Pokémon games are made, seeing as Game Freak, Nintendo and friends tend to be pretty tight-lipped about their development process. Anyways, without further ado:
CHANGE OF UNDERGROUND: OK well I slightly lied about this one being the least interesting one… I’m placing this one first only because I covered it above. But here you can at least see the differences between the two versions; not only are the grid and Gyarados model different, but so are the walls and camera placement. The English version feels closer to the ground—which you can see by counting the layers on the walls (3 for English, 5 or 6 for Korean)—and even then the artwork for the wall looks slightly different.
CHANGE OF SHADOWS: This is also not much of a shock, because it should be obvious that the game actually adjusts the lighting and shadows based on the time of day. Wait, none of the Pokémon Legends Arceus promotional material mentioned anything about changing time during the day? Well, if it wasn’t obvious, this should make it so now! Like, I figured there would be a time system like in many previous Pokémon games… but I thought it would simply be a simply changing of colors during certain points in time. No, I guess it’s actually going to be more like Grand Theft Auto and other open world games where the actual movement of the sun and shifting shadows are baked into the game. Good times!
CHANGE OF CAMERA ANGLES: This is also something that is pretty low key: many times you’ll see the two versions showing the same scenes but from slightly different angles. This one is probably the most obvious, but other scenes include battle scenes and scenes at your base camp. I can easily see why they wanted to change this camera angle: the English version feels ever so slightly more eye level, making Cyllene feel more approachable. With a view above her like in the Korean verison, it feels like we’re hovering above the two, like we’re a fly on the wall… so it gives me an uncomfortable feeling of detachment.
CHANGE OF BACKGROUND MODELS: These tend to be more subtle, but throughout the video you’ll see a few examples of background items moved around, added or removed. And not because maybe the changing time of the moving sun simply shifted the shadows… actually things have been straight-up moved or removed! In this case the mushrooms behind Laveton in the Korean version was replaced by flowers in the English version. The wood planks leaning up on the building have also changed in size, being ever so taller in the English version.
CHANGE OF ACTUAL MODELS: This was a quick one to pass my eyes that I almost didn’t notice them… but several times during the BDSP segment about your ability to change clothes, it shows both Lucas and Dawn in slightly different poses while you’re previewing what clothest you can change into. To be honest I don’t know why they changed it, I thought the poses looked better in the Korean version!
CHANGE OF SHADERS: This is one that affects a LOT of the video in many places… you’ll see the same scene but either with more or less clouds, fog, lighting effects, reflections, etc etc… it is definitely clear that the Korean version of the video was recorded using an earlier build.
CHANGE OF BATTLE MODELS: This was a shock! Look at how small Rhydon is in the English version! Was the Korean version a mis-match of size and it was corrected in the English version? Or maybe it was a camera angle thing? It really does look like Rhydon has gotten smaller.
CHANGE OF BATTLE INTRO: This is maybe the second biggest change! What’s even more interesting is that that grass effect see in the Korean version was also in earlier videos about BDSP… but yet it got removed from the English video? Maybe it was a mistake. … Another thing of note about this particular picture is you can see how the shaders make the scene look a bit more… green. Hmmm….
Anyways, that’s just the preview version of what is in the supercut video. Now none of this is anything that needs to find its way to The Cutting Room Floor’s page about PLA (well, except for the Sinnoh Underground Secret Base grid size change), but it’s still neat to see how much and how constantly games are changed throughout their development. And I can only imagine in what ways it’ll change further before final release. Neato keen!
OH! One last thing I want to share with you folk. In fact, it’s two minor things I saw. First off:
That’s weird: why does it say “PS” instead of “HP”? Oh, well it’s worth pointing out that “HP” in Spanish is “PS” (only after it was “PV”, which was changed from “PI”). Maybe they were working on the Spanish footage and forgot to switch it to HP. I wonder then if the Spanish language Pokémon Presents has it in “HP”?
And one last one… I just noticed that Proto-Dawn’s head scarf looks like Samsung’s old logo.
ANYWAYS…! That’s all I have to share in this update. Pretty neat look into the kind of changes these games go through during their development, right? It only just makes me wonder what other changes have been made, and what changes are left to be made? Whatever it may be… I hope it shows up in the next Pokémon Presents release! Huzzah, good times!