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Pokemon Badges Were Almost Way More Disturbing

In the mainline "Pokemon" games, gym leader badges allow trainers to command higher-level Pokemon. These tiny icons represent a player's skill and progress as a trainer, but Game Freak reportedly had some more disturbing ideas when it came to marking a trainer's progress. A recent DidYouKnowGaming video revealed some surprising facts about "Pokemon" by translating a Japan-exclusive book, "Game Freak: The Creative Group Rewriting the Rules in the World of Play" by Akihito Tomisawa, a former Game Freak developer. 

Perhaps the most disturbing detail had to do with gym badges.Game Freak apparently considered a few different ways of tracking a player's progress through "Pokemon." One of the ideas was to mark a trainer's rank by giving them different colored belts, similar to how martial arts ranks are tracked. The developers then had the idea that the belts could also be used as training whips, which would allow players to command higher level Pokemon.

They ultimately decided that having players whip their Pokemon would be too cruel and that the relationship between the two should be more akin to pets than animal tamers. This is how Game Freak eventually settled on badges, which don't have the same implications as whips. While whips didn't make it into the gym system, there are multiple trainers in the original "Pokemon Red and Blue" that are shown carrying whips, implying that some people have a less friendly relationship with their Pokemon. That's not the only interesting information revealed in the video, though.

The origin of fossil Pokemon and more

DidYouKnowGaming's video also contained multiple other new pieces of information divulged from the "Game Freak" book, like where the idea for fossil Pokemon came from. The idea for fossil Pokemon came to the original creator of Pokemon Satoshi Tajiri at a similar time as the idea for the game itself. It's well known that Tajiri would catch bugs as a kid, which inspired "Pokemon," but the "Game Freak" tell-all also revealed that construction near Tajiri's home when he was a child unearthed a ton of fossils. Tajiri additionally based the size of the Kanto region on how far he was able to ride his bike as a child.

While some details were heartwarming — like memories of Takiri's childhood — the original inclusion of whips stuck out as truly surprising. Despite the fact that "Pokemon" games have become more and more kid friendly over time, it seems almost unimaginable for players to whip their own Pokemon, even in the original games. That probably would have given PETA even more fuel to attack the series with, and completely changed the relationship between Pokemon and humans in the process. Fans can only wait to see how the friendship between these pocket monsters and humans continues to develop by taking a step back in time with "Pokemon Legends: Arceus."