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OK, people absolutely eat Pokémon

Forget the sausage, there’s straight up Slowpoke tail in some curries

Curry with Slowpoke tail Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Nintendo via Polygon
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

One of my biggest questions heading into Pokémon Sword and Shield was about the game’s curry system — in particular, about the sausages shown off for the Nintendo Switch game.

Pokémon developer Shigeru Ohmori refused to say what Sword and Shield’s sausages are made of, but it turns out, that doesn’t really matter. Forget sausages, in Sword and Shield, you can make curry out of Slowpoke tails. Yes, Slowpoke tails, a bagged treat called Smoke-Poke Tail.

“One of the many ingredients that can be used for cooking at your camp,” the item’s description reads. “When a Slowpoke’s tail falls off, it grows back quickly.”

The item itself appears to be addressing, already, the question of whether or not it’s ethical to eat a Pokémon — and then to feed it to other Pokémon, too.

Two plates of spicy boiled egg curry Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Nintendo

A Polygon investigation from last year found that people in the Pokemon universe do eat byproducts, like Chansey eggs and Moomoo milk from Miltank. Apparently, people have also been creating cheese from Moomoo milk, another ingredient found in Sword and Shield. You can also create curry topped with a massive boiled egg ... maybe a Chansey egg?

The most worrying detail from Sword and Shield is that Slowpoke isn’t included in the Galar Pokédex. I’m speculating here, but perhaps the people of Galar got a taste for Slowpoke meat and, well, maybe he’s gone extinct.

Things are also looking bleak for Sword’s region-exclusive Sirfetch’d. A Pokédex entry in the original Pokémon anime said that people like to eat Farfetch’d: “Farfetch’d, a Wild Duck Pokémon. Farfetch’d makes a delicious meal, especially when cooked with leek. Because of this, Farfetch’d is nearly extinct.”

If people thought Farfetch’d was delicious with its original leek, wait ‘til they taste it with its magnificent Galar vegetable. It’s still unclear whether or not you can make curry out of your Sirfetch’d — there are a ton of ingredients and more than 100 kinds of curry in the game, according to developers. There are bitter curries, sour curries, sausage curries, bean curries, salad curries, and fried food curries. There are curries that come from packages and others made with burgers. (Like the sausages, it’s unclear what kind of meat it is, though.)

Curries are cooked at the Pokémon camps, a three-step process that requires you to fan flames, stir a pot, and then put your heart into the dish. (Not your literal heart, because you would die — though I’m not sure eating humans is off the menu, either.) How your curry affects your Pokémon is determined by how well you’ve cooked it. It can be one of three tiers: Wobbuffet, Milcrey, or Copperajah. If you do a really good job — that’s Copperajah tier — then your Pokémon will be healed and have their PP restored. Plus, they’ll like you a little more.

Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are out on Nov. 15 for Nintendo Switch.

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