A recent Gen 4 Pokémon leak suggests that its sprites were originally going to include many more gender differences. A YouTuber known as “Dr. Lava” highlighted the alleged Pokémon Diamond and Pearl beta sprites, which originally popped up on 4chan.
This Gen 4 leak does not show off any unused Pokémon like last year’s Spaceworld 1997 Gold and Silver leak. However, it does reveal that many Pokémon were intended to have gender differences that did not make the final cut.
The Gen 4 Beta Sprite Leak:
The new Pokemon leak just revealed tons of gender differences that ended up getting scrapped from Gen 4's release versions. I've just published a lengthy article explaining the what, where, when & why.
— Dr. Lava's Lost Pokemon (@DrLavaYT) December 20, 2019
In many cases, the beta female variants had different physical characteristics from their final versions. For example, the ears of both female Pikachu and Raichu were going to point down instead of up. But sometimes the male variants differed, like male Chimecho, which sported a yellow stripe instead of a pink one.
Unpacking the legitimacy of the Gen 4 Pokémon leak
There are many aspects of this Gen 4 Pokémon leak that suggest it is in fact legitimate. The sprites are consistent with information that appeared in CoroCoro in July 2006 before Diamond and Pearl’s release.
That CoroCoro issue stated that, “Male and female Pokémon will now be visibly distinguishable in most, if not all, cases. Most female Pokémon will be smaller or will have reduced or lacking physical features.”
It is interesting to note that female Charizard in the Gen 4 Pokémon leak only had one horn. This could be in reference to artwork from back in 1997, which displayed a single-horned Charizard. In addition, female Mudkip in the leak possessed a smaller fin, just like an unused sprite that appears in Diamond and Pearl’s internal data.
What are your thoughts on this leak? Which of these gender differences would you have liked to see in the final game? Let us know in the comments or on our social media! And if you really love Pokémon sprites, check out these classics sprites that were converted into 3D models.