The original Pokémon games almost didn’t feature multiplayer battling.
In the 1996 interview, producer Shigeki Morimoto said: “President Tajiri had wanted us to implement battling for a while, but I personally didn’t find the idea very interesting, and just thought it would be a pain to program.”
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The producer also revealed that the much-loved feature was added very late in development.
“It looked like we’d run out of time and would have to scrap the battling feature, but Nintendo made it clear they wanted battles in the game, so we had to make it happen”, he explained
“So I just thought, ‘well no choice then, it has to be done,’ and the early battles were something you just watched. You would just see there was a battle and who won and who lost.”
Morimoto revealed that when this element was first shown to Nintendo, the feedback was negative.
“We showed that to Nintendo and the surveys we got back called it ‘boring’,” Morimoto said. “I guess they were right, but we were cutting it close to the deadline trying to add in battles that the player commands.
“Ultimately, it’s what everyone wanted, so we got it to work with the Link Cable and made it a reality.”
The Link Cable was a popular feature of the original games, and its promotion was one of the main reasons for Nintendo’s initial interest in the franchise.
With this accessory, players could trade Pokémon between versions in order to complete their Pokédex.