The Pokémon franchise is definitely a popular one. Being the second highest-selling video game franchise of all time, it’s hard to not know what Pokémon is. While the main titles in the franchise like Pokémon Red and Blue, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, and Pokémon X and Y get most of the love, there are plenty of Pokémon spinoffs out there, such as PokéPark Wii: Pikachu’s Adventure, Hey You, Pikachu and Pokémon Channel, but those games don’t get a lot of love. But did you know that Pokémon may have tried to do something musical. Unfortunately, this music-related Pokémon title never saw the light of day, and today on The Beta Room Floor, we’re going to take a look at Meowth’s Party and attempt to answer the big question of “What the heck happened to Meowth’s Party?”
At SpaceWorld 2000, Nintendo showed off their newest console, which was the GameCube. At the same convention, Nintendo showed off multiple tech demos to demonstrate what the GameCube’s graphics could handle. One of those tech demos was titled Meowth’s Party. The tech demo had a fairly simple concept: Meowth would rock out on his red guitar while Pokémon models from the game Pokémon Stadium for the Nintendo 64 partied with him. Now, while the presentation wasn’t as graphically impressive as other tech demos shown off at SpaceWorld (i.e. Super Mario 128 or The Legend of Zelda 128), the demo did show that multiple Pokémon models could be rendered on the same screen at the same time and these models looked pretty sharp, too. I don’t think it would been a great game, but I think that, if it was a game, it would at least be colorful enough to entertain the kids.
Now, after the tech demo was shown off, we never learned anything new about the game. Developers never said anything about it, so all we are left with are theories and ideas as to what became of the project. There are a lot of theories, but, in no particular order, these are the most common theories:
1. Some believe that this was an early build for the game Pokémon Channel. Now, I didn’t really like Pokémon Channel at all, but I can understand this theory because they were both more casual Pokémon games that seemed to aim a bit more at a younger audience. Pokémon Channel also has a special movie based on the Meowth’s Party tech demo, and they both bear a striking resemblance, so this theory is highly plausible.
2. Some believe that this was just a remastered version of the ending to the Japanese Pokémon anime. Now, I can see where people are coming from with this theory, but what I noticed is that the original ending features Jessie and James (or whatever their Japanese counterparts were called) while the tech demo does not. Still, the two are eerily similar, so this is a credible theory.
3. Some believe that it never entered development and was only created as a way of demonstrating the GameCube’s graphical capabilities. Again, this demo wasn’t as graphically impressive as, say, The Legend of Zelda 128, but it did show that a lot of Pokémon models could be rendered on screen at the same time without the system failing or suffering from frame-rate droppings. This is definitely one of the more believable Meowth’s Party theories.
4. Some believe that the game did enter development, but was cancelled early on because public reaction to the tech demo was negative. I can certainly understand why it wasn’t well received by the general public. To me, it probably would’ve been just like Pokémon Channel in the sense that they were both titles that kids would’ve found some enjoyment in, but many hardcore Pokémon fans would’ve ridiculed it and forgot it existed. This is the theory I probably would have to agree with the most. Either this or theory #3.
So, have we solved the mystery behind Meowth’s Party? No. Absolutely not. We have seen the tech demo and we do know what it looked like, but it is still shrouded in mystery because there was never an official announcement as to whether the game was just a tech demo or if it was a cancelled game. If it was cancelled, I’m not too bummed about that because the game probably wouldn’t have been a great game. We already had quite a few Pokémon games on the GameCube, so this one probably would’ve just fallen into obscurity because everyone would be too busy playing Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness to even care about the title. I think it was a good idea to keep it as a tech demo and not make it into a game. That would’ve pushed the boundaries a bit too much. Don’t worry, though. If you have a GameCube, at least you’ve got Colosseum to play on it.
Thank you for reading this edition of The Beta Room Floor. If there is a cancelled or unreleased game that you want to see me talk about, don’t hesitate to let me know in the comment section below. Thank you very much for reading and have a great day!