Pokemon Scarlet and Violet fans think that a visit to a London chicken restaurant may have helped inspire the new game.
The theory appears to stem from a tweet posted by Pokemon producer Junichi Masuda in 2019. Shortly before the launch of Pokemon Sword and Shield – games inspired by the UK – Masuda visited London, during which time he told fans he was visiting a branch of the Portuguese-inspired restaurant Nando’s. While the chain began life in South Africa and is a mix of Portuguese and Mozambiquian cuisine, its popularity in Britain has led to 450 locations in the country, where it also spawned the ‘Cheeky Nando’s’ meme.
Fast-forward several years, and the Pokemon Scarlet and Violet trailer points pretty clearly at a region inspired by Europe’s Iberian peninsula, land that’s home to Spain and Portugal. That was jumped on by fan account PokePortuga, which noted that in a trip to the country’s Comicon in 2016, Masuda was struck by the legend of the Barcelos Rooster. The legend states that a travelling pilgrim was saved from a wrongful death sentence while travelling through the town of Barcelos when he implored his jailor’s chicken dinner to rise from his plate as a sign of his innocence. While the story and design could mean we’ll see a rooster-inspired Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet, it’s interesting to note that Masuda would have come across the Barcelos Rooster a few years later – in the Nando’s logo.
There are literally 2 different Fonts used by the restaurant chain and 2 are the Fonts used for writing the official logos of Scarlet & VioletWait there’s even more, oh shit pic.twitter.com/xlVQxCWAA4March 4, 2022
That connection is the start of Twitter user Eclipse’s thread documenting the theory. That thread goes on to suggest that the Scarlet and Violet logo fonts match up to those used by the restaurant chain, though as noted by VGC (opens in new tab), despite similarities the two aren’t exact matches.
The theory continues, suggesting that chilli pepper-shaped Pokemon Scarlet and Violet starter Fuecoco is based specifically on the African Bird’s Eye Chillies central to Nando’s iconic Peri-Peri sauce, and that the restaurant’s signature drinks link to the oranges and grapes that feature prominently in the reveal trailer – and that fans think are a teaser dating back to Sword and Shield.
The timing of Masuda’s trip and his enjoyment of the Barcelos Rooster does line up quite nicely with the period during which Game Freak might have been starting work on Scarlet and Violet. That said, early concepts are likely to have been in the works well before 2019, and even if they weren’t, I’m not sure that even the most ardent Nando’s fan would be able to identify the ingredients in the drinks. After all, everyone knows you just get a water glass and fill it with Coke while the waiters aren’t looking.
We’ve not seen a rooster yet, but here are all the Pokemon confirmed for Scarlet and Violet.