The Viridian Forest that fans saw in their imaginations, but never got to see in the games.

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Viridian Forest is where it felt like fans were taking their first real steps into the world of Pokémon. Sure, Pokémon Red and Blue, the first games in the series, start you off in Pallet Town, but the walk from there to Viridian City along Route 1 is so simplistic that it’s pretty much impossible to get lost.

But once you leave Viridian City, the path branches, twists, and turns through the Viridian Forest, giving you your first taste of exploring the Kanto region on your quest to become a Pokémon Master. Of course, since Pokémon Red and Blue were released for the Game Boy, Viridian Forest wasn’t as verdant as its name implied. Nintendo’s original handheld system had a monochrome screen, so Viridian Forest looked like this.

But in fans’ imaginations, this was a lush, green woodland area. So Japanese Twitter user @pokeyugami got to thinking, what if you remade Viridian Forest using modern graphics, while also keeping old-school art design? The answer, as he shows us, is amazing.

Instead of going for a high-spec, photorealistic aesthetic, @pokeyugami goes with cel-shaded graphics, with his choice of colors evocative of watercolor or even crayon. The design for Red (as the game’s protagonist is called by default) closely resembles the illustrations by original Pokémon character designer Ken Sugimori, clean and uncluttered with just the right combination of boyish innocence and adventurous spirit.

Also looking like he did in the franchise’s early-era artwork is Pikachu, who shows up sporting his more rotund physique.

@pokeyugami has even included various “on-screen” user input prompts, based on the buttons for the Nintendo Switch, such as the minus button to bring up the map, the L and R triggers to cycle through items (such as the currently selected Poké Ball in the image below) and the X button to use them.

Even the human NPCs get plenty of care, like this kid whom Red runs into.

▼ “Let’s battle!”

Sadly, @pokeyugami’s beautiful vision of what a modern remake of Pokémon Red and Blue could look like is nothing more than fan art at the moment, but we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed that it, and also his amazing all-evolution Eevee neon lamp design, becomes a reality one day.

Source, images: Twitter/@pokeyugami
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