Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are currently caught in a whirlwind of purported leaks, but the text on one less-than-legitimate photo sneakily mocks people fiending for any morsel of information they can get rather than providing any real info on the upcoming games.
The image was reportedly first posted to 4chan before making its way to Twitter last week courtesy of PokemonLEAKS, an account that’s accrued almost 12,000 followers since joining the social media site two months ago. While the ostensible leak appears to depict an evolution for Fuecoco, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s fire-type starter, a closer investigation reveals that it’s anything but.
“Hello, idiot,” the Japanese text reads, according to novelty Twitter account Out of Context Pokémon as well as a trusted translation provided to Kotaku by Future Club designer Earl Gertwagen. “How are you coping with not having a girlfriend?”
In fact, the only real detail is Fuecoco’s name (ホゲータ, or “Hogator”) in the upper-left corner. The other bit of text seemingly denoting this fake Pokémon’s name, 脳たりん, combines the Japanese words for “brains” and “insufficient.” I’m told this is a slang term roughly equating to “dumbass,” but that the Japanese insult is also considered softer and less crude than its English counterpart.
The secret diss amassed nearly 200 retweets after appearing on PokemonLEAKS on July 14. It’s received most of its attention, however, thanks to the derogatory text.
It seems like everyone and their mothers are claiming to have early info on Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Fans spent the last week and a half scanning a variety of blurry images supposedly taken from the upcoming games, with some believing they reveal new battle mechanics, debuting Pokémon, evolutions of known Pokémon, and gym leaders.
Whether or not any of this info is real is still up in the air. As we’ve seen during previous release cycles, talented artists are more than willing to spend time inventing fake Pokémon if it means tricking those desperate for details. We won’t know for sure until Pokémon Scarlet and Violet come to Switch on November 18, but it’s fun to speculate in the meantime, especially when creative fakes are willing to break up these overly serious investigations with some light-hearted ribbing.