Published on February 19th, 2013 | by Stevesesy1
The Strange and Sordid History of Pokemon Stadium
Have you ever played Pokemon Stadium for the N64? It is a great game filled with some of the most complex and interesting features of any N64 game. You could upload your team from your own GameBoy copy of the game, play the actual GameBoy game on through your TV, battle through some very tough computer players, and spend countless hours playing some of the most addicting minigames on the planet (Sushi-Go-Round is still amazing).
What you might not know is the sordid and developmentally challenge history of what would be one of the best selling N64 games of all time. It all started with an overzealous developer, Nintendo. Originally, Nintendo had all sorts of crazy, crazy plans with what to do not only with Pokemon but with their Nintendo 64 system. The biggest and most dubious one was, of course, the N64DD or “Dynamic Drive”. The first DD expansion was nothing more than a zip drive (a type of glorified floppy-disk) but eventually they unveiled their second and final model which used special (and cheap) proprietary disks. THEY HAD HUGE PLANS FOR IT, it was going to change everything. They scrapped a ton of projects and reworded them for the DD instead of cartridge.
Wanting to cash in on the Pokemon popularity hike they announced 4 N64DD Pokemon games, Pokemon Snap, Pokemon RPG, another game, and Pokemon Stadium. The problem was that the N64DD wasn’t available to public yet, so know what they did? Nintendo released half a game on the N64 and promised the other half on the N64DD at a later date. Yeah, I’m being serious.
The original Pokemon Stadium released in Japan had literally only 42 Pokemon in it. No minigames but you could still play the GB game through this game. Here are the Pokemon in the original release:
Yeah, that was it. The game even has special coding for dealing with accepting the N64DD expansion.
Yeah, you would have had to go out, buy an N64DD and the expansion pack to get the other Pokemon. Needless to say, that plan fell through very hard. The N64 was a mail order-only piece of hardware and lack of good titles, high prices, and negligible availability ensured that the N64DD was on retail for a very short time.
Instead of packing up and going home, Nintendo did the right thing and took everything they had planned for the expansion pack and just released it on a normal cartridge, Pokémon Stadium 2. They then released it worldwide as Pokemon Stadium, trying very hard to cover their tracks. Good move Nintendo, you short-changed a lot of your fans and released something early as a stand-alone game promising them more (for a very high price) and when that didn’t work, you just showed that you could have put the entire game on a single cartridge anyways!
I CAN’T WAIT FOR X AND Y.