Image: Warner Brothers
In a big win for preservation, a lost Pokémon browser game has been restored and is now fully playable online, thanks to DidYouKnowGaming.
Pokémon 2000 Adventure was developed by Cyberworld International Corporation, which was a client of Warner Bros., and was released to tie in with the movie Pokémon the Movie 2000. As reported in DYKG’s video on the subject, Nintendo gave Warner Bros. permission to create officially licensed products to help promote the second Pokémon movie — so Warner Bros. of course commissioned for Cyberworld to create a game in their QBORG engine, following on from the success of their Harry Potter-based browser game.
Pokémon 2000 Adventure blends 2D sprites (based on the anime versions of the Pokémon) with 2.5D backgrounds, and upon release, it became a hit. Eddie Ruminski, who worked at Cyberworld, said the browser game “had about a million downloads in the span of a month”. It was at that point that Nintendo “freaked” as the browser game proved much more popular than the company expected.
Nintendo then issued a cease and desist, Ruminski states, because “they thought Warner Brothers breached the contract — they exceeded the contract’s allowable scope”. Essentially, Nintendo was expecting something smaller to promote the movie rather than a whole new video game.
*whoops, I meant Pokemon 2000 Adventure. Anyway it was an official game, made in partnership with Warner Bros for $2 million, but Nintendo killed it after it was already finished. Messy story, too long for a tweet, just see the video if you wanna hear it (or download the game). pic.twitter.com/LlgtXFddJE— DidYouKnowGaming (@didyouknowgamin) September 20, 2023
Given that the browser game was released back in 2000, you have to consider — as DYKG points out — that there were only two 3D Pokémon games out in the West at the time: Pokémon Snap and Pokémon Stadium. So Pokémon 2000 Adventure could’ve given the wrong impression to fans about a new direction for the series.
The game has been long thought lost — though according to Lost Media Wiki, the website was still up and available on the Wayback Machine as late as 2012. But you don’t need to worry about that now as Ruminski has kept hold of the files of the game and has shared them with DidYouKnowGaming. And the right thing to do, obviously, was to dump the files and archive them online. That means that yes, after years of being a piece of lost media, Pokémon 2000 Adventure is now fully playable once again.
Pokémon Garden (which was covered by our friends at Time Extension) archivist Rufus10 and a friend DoomTay both got the game working on modern computer systems, with DYKG dumping the files so all can experience. You can watch the full video for coverage on a whole host of cancelled and lost Pokémon games down below.
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While it’s only a ten-minute or so experience, you can replay the game with three different teams of Pokémon and choose from one of three difficulties. Plus, it’s just kind of cool to see this lost piece of Pokémon history in motion.
You can check out instructions on how to play the game over on DidYouKnowGaming’s YouTube channel. Not only is the game fully playable, but you can also download concept art, storyboards, and the soundtrack — all of which have also been archived.
Huge thanks to Eddie Ruminski, Rufus10, DoomTay and DidYouKnowGaming for preserving this game. We’ll see if Nintendo manages to let this piece of history sit safely and soundly online for now…
Do you remember Pokémon 2000 Adventure? Will you be checking this out now it’s re-available? Let us know.