Pokémon Pink: the Pokémon game on GameBoy that never was?

Pokémon: Magikarp Jump (mobile)
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Pink or yellow? That’s the choice that Nintendo may well have planned for owners of the original GameBoy, with a new leak pointing to the existence of an unreleased Pokémon game called Pokémon Pink.

The Twitter user (and self-described ‘Pokémon historian’) Dr Lava has tweeted about their early findings in the recently-leaked source code for the Pokémon Blue and Pokémon Yellow GameBoy games, claiming to find numerous hints of a Pink version of the first-generation Pokémon titles. 

There appears to be specific mention of “Pocket Monsters Pink and Yellow” in the header for the Pokémon Yellow source code, along with several other mentions of “pink” throughout the various files. There’s plenty of other tidbits being drip-fed to Twitter, too, including alternative English names for various Pokémon: “Vulpix was originally Foxfire, Rapidash was Gallop, and Rattata was Korattavar.”

Bulbapedia writer @SnorlaxMonster also lends credence to the claims, citing a “Japan-only GameBoy Camera frame” that shows both Pikachu and Clefairy cuddling up together – in a pairing reminiscent of the marketing around the Nintendo Switch’s Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee games.

What would Pokémon Pink have looked like?

It’s fun to speculate, of course, but it’s still pretty likely that the likes of Clefairy or Jigglypuff could have been the mascot for the companion Pink game – given the games tend to tie its naming conventions to specific Pokémon (Blastoise for blue, Lugia for silver, etc).

In a original Resetera thread discussing the leak, there’s also speculation over the gender of the game’s protagonist, with one user suggesting we would have played a young girl instead – which fits with the (sadly predictable) conventions around the color pink.

It’s not like we were left short, by any means, with Pokémon Red and Blue following the Yellow version, and multiple generations of Pokémon thereafter, up to today’s Pokémon Sword and Shield on the Nintendo Switch. But we could well have seen things kick off differently – and a whole other Pokémon become one of the leading mascots of the franchise.


Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.