Pokemon Scarlet and Violet’s second trailer revealed new Pokemon, locations, and people — but more notably hints at a potential gym theme. What if Pokemon Scarlet and Violet’s gyms are themed after Formula One? There’s a chance it could be MotoGP instead, but given the heavy vehicle theme we see between the new Legendary Pokemon and in other elements, one theme or the other seems likely.
Game Freak isn’t shy about leaving hints about upcoming announcements in its trailers. The first trailer, for example, featured four Nintendo Switch on a single table that now serves as a nod to the four-player co-op. Below is our analysis of several screenshots from both the first trailer and the second that lead us to believe Pokemon Scarlet and Violet features one of Spain’s popular motorsports. And, come on, the Legendary Pokemon literally have wheels protruding from their chests.
Scarlet and Violet’s region is heavily influenced by Spain much like how other Pokemon regions are based on real-world locations. Although the most popular sport in Spain is said to be soccer (football), motorsports are also prominent. According to Spain’s official tourism website, “Spain has hosted a Formula 1 Grand Prix World Championship uninterruptedly since 1986.” The New York Times also reported in 2012 that “Spain is very much a leading auto-sport country all around, as it hosts the two Formula One races, four international motorbike races and one world championship rally per year.” Game Freak seems to be determined to keep shaking up their Gym league formula since Pokemon Sun and Moon, so using a theme that hasn’t been done before makes the most sense.
Legendary Pokemon Design
At first glance, only Miraidon, Pokemon Scarlet’s box Legendary, looks related to technology. In the second trailer, we can clearly see Miraidon’s jet engine legs in action and its digitized eyes. Its maw, which could resemble scales, actually resembles carbon fiber upon closer inspection. Sure, jets are mostly made out of carbon fiber, but so are Formula 1 cars, due to their superior strength, durability, heat resistance, and incredible light weight. According to motorsport.com, using carbon fiber for F1 cars was a new development in 1981 with the debut of the McLaren MP4/1. Before, F1 cars were made out of pretty much the same materials as normal cars. Though obviously F1 cars in our world have wheels as average cars do, Miraidon here has evolved past the need for them.
Not Koraidon, though. Scarlet’s box Legendary looks totally naturalistic, except for, well, the tire sticking out of its chest. Though not functional in its current state, it’s not unheard of for Pokemon to have different forms, even wildly so. Maybe Koraidon and Miraidon will gain new forms that make them… drivable. Ridable? To further speculate, we believe Koraidon could transform into an aquatic “vehicle” due to its webbed hands and feet, and Miraidon into an aerial “vehicle” of sorts. They could also just be design motifs. Regardless, they’re vehicle-related motifs.
A New Kind of Pokemon Center
These structures appear to replace traditional Pokemon Centers, but they have an easily accessible, all-outdoors design complete with an outdoor seating area.
They even appear with this design inside towns (shown below), but when seen out in the open, they always have pavement around them. They resemble “gas stations” and could serve as “pit stops” for weary trainers and their Pokemon.
The attendants aren’t too clear, but each seems to feature at least two individuals, one who seems to be a Nurse Joy with a cap on her pink hair. There are three distinct banners below the counter — blue, red, and green. The blue could represent Poke Mart items, red the Pokemon Center, and green could be miscellaneous items. Above the service counter is a wraparound screen with ads for a variety of things, from travel, to shoes, and… even tires.
A Region With… Tire Advertisements?
It’s a bit hard to make out, but behind our friend, Nemona, is an ad on the far side of one of the Pokemon Center pit stops. Zoom in to that same ad behind her Pawmi to get a broader view. It appears to be an ad for a specific brand or type of tire, with a tread design in black and yellow behind the main text.
Maybe the Qwilfish mascot alludes to the extra grip the tire has on tricky terrain.
If Game Freak follows a similar framework as Pokemon Sword and Shield, then there’s a good chance that this proposed F1 theme is going to be featured most prominently in Scarlet and Violet’s gyms. In this shot of a large castle town, the circled modern structure in the hills stands out not only because of its design, but also its location. F1 racing requires a ton of space. What better place to have an extra-large gym than in the hills right next to the town? The screenshot perfectly hides what lies beyond the tallest part of the building. The building itself seems like it could be small for a gym, but the size could make sense if the structure we see houses the stands that overlook the gym track.
Even if the Scarlet and Violet gyms only feature F1 in theme with no actual racing, we’re still left with a big question: why does this region require so much space for Pokemon battles? Sword and Shield’s Gigantamax made use of the height of soccer stadiums, but what mechanic will make use of the space and implied speed of F1? There is a chance this theme could be used purely for aesthetics.
The Other Hints
Crossed flags are an iconic symbol for racing. These are shown in the second trailer in conjunction with what seem to be other landmarks, possibly marking gym locations, or other points of interest.
The second trailer also included a reveal of the “full” logo design for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. The text logos both have prominent borders featuring a profile of their respective legendary Pokémon and four mysterious symbols. These logos, interestingly, look like ornate license plates. Note that the details of the plates (the quarter wheels on the top right and left and even the pattern of the border) also mimic the design of the legendary Pokemon. While F1 cars don’t have license plates, this still keeps with the car theme.
This theme could be totally off the mark, but why else would Pokemon Centers suddenly look like gas stations? Be sure to let us know your Pokemon Scarlet and Violet theories below. For confirmed Pokemon information, head over to our confirmed list of Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet and their version differences, including the version exclusive professors.
Casey DeFreitas is an editor on the guides team at IGN. Catch her on Twitter @ShinyCaseyD.
Miranda Sanchez is the executive editor of guides at IGN. She’s a big fan of stationery and fountain pens. You can sometimes find her on Twitter.