Random: Did A Cheeky Nando’s Inspire The New Pokémon Games? Probably Not


Fan theories tend to range from annoying (“My dad’s dentist knows a Nintendo guy who says there’s a new F-Zero game. But it won’t be about racing”) to harmlessly silly (“Luigi is the stronger brother, why he just doesn’t eat Mario”). Today’s rumor is closer to the “harmlessly stupid” end of the spectrum. But we nonetheless feel the need to debunk it. Get ready for the most pedantic debunking you’ve ever seen!

So: are Pokémon Scarlet and Violet inspired by the trip the developers took to the infamous Afro-Portuguese chicken restaurant (and incidentally a mainstay of British culture) Nando’s? Let’s find out.

First, we need to establish one crucial thing: Pokemon games are based on real locations, usually whole countries, but sometimes regions – Kalos X & Y is based in France, Sword and Shield’s Galar is the UK, White’s Black, and Unova is New York. . Generation 9, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet appear to be based in the Iberian Peninsula, which includes Spain, Portugal, Andorra, southern parts of France. All the various regions within, from the Basque region to Occitania.

In a Twitter thread described explicitly as “for fun,” a Pokémon Eclipse fan lists similarities between Nando’s menu and aesthetic influences and an announcement trailer for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

It all started when Junichi Masuda, longtime producer, and director of Pokémon games, tweeted about Nando’s visit back in 2019, which could well have been during the game’s research period:

Hey! I’m with Nando!

ランチは大好きなナンドーズのチキン! (笑)

いまからリッチモンド公園に鹿を見に行きます !#ロンドン #メディアツアー #ポケモン剣盾 pic.twitter.com/8Zm3VjQkq9— 増田順一@Pokémon (@Junichi_Masuda) October 5, 2019

So we have a proven relationship between the two, which is a good start. We love a good and thorough investigation that includes evidence.

The first similarity is the “Rooster Pokemon,” an unconfirmed monster that may or may not is based on the Barcelos Rooster – the logo of Nando’s restaurant, which itself is a real semi-legendary creature in Portugal that has come to represent faith and luck, and often sold as a souvenir in the country. We already see a trend: inspiration comes from Portugal, not Nando. Just Nando’s – a restaurant that sells chicken in Portuguese – also inspired by Portugal.

On the face of it, it speaks for itself. The inspiration for the region is Spain/Barcelona. Don’t forget the “Rooster Pokémon” he wanted to create and revealed in the last interview.

Moving on 😂 it’s crazy, to be honest, pic.twitter.com/Qsfi5BQBzf

— Eclipse 🌑 𝕯𝖆𝖗𝐤𝖗𝖆𝖎 𝖀𝖒𝖇𝖗𝖆! (@3clipse_tt) March 4, 2022

Eclipse then compares the two fonts used by Nando with the two fonts used for Scarlet and Violet and assumes they are the same. Fact refuted by VGCwhich says, “Although they are similar, they are not the same font. Nando currently uses a well-known typeface designed by South African sign artist Marks Salimu.”

Here we see a picture in a frame that Nando has.
The design of Fuecoco, one of the launchers Pokémon for the two new games, is inspired by chili peppers. Of course, Nando’s uses chili peppers in their cooking and marketing the theory is that some hot pepper inspired Fuecoco. Chicken. But Portugal and South Africa, the two countries that inspired Nando’s, also use chili in their cuisine. That’s where Nando’s Signature African Bird’s Eye Hot Pepper Piri Piri Sauce derived from! In addition, people who know Spanish cuisine better than us have suggested that a Fire-type guy is most likely piquillo peppers stuffed with cheese anyway.

Masuda drew inspiration from this to create the Fuekoko. Now we may be able to confirm the exact appearance of the pepper.

African chili from a bird’s eye view 🌶

No, it’s not over yet. pic.twitter.com/LfXiL9YTGT

— Eclipse 🌑 𝕯𝖆𝖗𝐤𝖗𝖆𝖎 𝖀𝖒𝖇𝖗𝖆! (@3clipse_tt) March 4, 2022

Finally, we have the fruity part of the theory, which indicates that Nando’s drinks menu is full of oranges, grapefruits, and pomegranates. [of which] mostly scarlet/purple” and that the Pokémon Scarlet and Violet trailer features oranges and grapes. No the same, and focus instead on the fact that Nando didn’t invent oranges or grapes – both of these fruits are important to Spain’s agriculture and economy, which seems to be the main inspiration for the game.

Don’t get us wrong – we love fan theories, and this one is fun, mainly because it includes spicy chicken.

But suppose the theory is based on the idea that the similarity between two things is more easily explained by the fact that one of them is inspired by the other, and not by the fact that these two things have an everyday inspiration, as well as the theorist completely ignores the existence of Portugal. In that case, we cannot miss it! Portugal is already neglected in the video game industry, and translations into Portuguese are still very rare. We love theories and Nando’s theory… but we love Portugal more.

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