Gaming Curry from the 1990s

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What’s up with this Puyo Puyo curry and why does it say Game Gear?

I remember Sega Saturn Magazine UK doing a review of Warp branded curry. I’ve since made a lot of Japanese curry from blocks so I’m curious what’s up here.

They‘re Nazo Puyo games! https://segaretro.org/Nazo_Puyo

I’m terrible at them, but I keep trying (and failing)!

As far as game-themed curry goes I ate this one once and... it tasted quite nice, actually:
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@“docky”#p39201 I own hard copies of these and can confirm they are puyo puyo games with curry theme, and, while technically inedible, do not have the flavor deterrent present in nintendo Switch cartridges.

puyo curry is a truly revolting concept. i imagine puyos to have the texture of a gummy bear or bubble tea bubble and it's the last thing i want near any kind of curry. i am of course talking about the notion of puyos in a curry.

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not 80s, but

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@“docky”#p39201 What’s up with this Puyo Puyo curry and why does it say Game Gear?

Others have chimed in already but _What’s up with this Puyo Puyo game on Game Gear and why does it have curry on the cover?_ is the right question.

https://youtu.be/3XCTpOARs-k

Puyo Puyo was big enough of a phenomenon in Japan to have spin-offs. One mode called Mission Mode or Nazo Puyo (“mystery Puyo”) present in certain versions became its own dedicated game. In this mode, players are tasked to solve puzzles in prearranged Puyo Puyo sessions. Here is the first dedicated game, Nazo Puyo.

https://youtu.be/auvvWrg5bsI

Nazo Puyo was sold exclusively in a bundle with a Game Gear as part of Sega’s “+1” promotional campaign so it was never sold as a standalone cartridge. But it got enough praise to receive standalone sequels!

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The Game Gear game / “curry” you were asking about is the third and easily most popular Game Gear episode: Nazo Puyo Arurunorū. In order to _spice up_ the appeal of another standalone purchase, this episode includes a dedicated story mode in which Arle goes on an adventure to find the best ingredients to cook the tastiest curry. The game’s subtitle is a cute phonetic pun (アルルのルー → _Arurunorū_ → Arle’s roux).

https://youtu.be/7jXo5XjeOGs

For some reason, Arurunorū is also the one of the four games included in the yellow Game Gear Micro, because compiling the three Shining Force Gaiden games wasn’t awesome enough. I guess the common theme is either “games that require you to strategize your next move” or “small talented developers Sega screwed over eventually”. [size=10](Nah more likely it’s simply because the Game Gear is yellow. More on that later.)[/size]

https://youtu.be/VrTeB2m9g6M&t=9m38s

Arurunorū served as the basis for a Super Famicom version, Super Nazo Puyo Rurūnorū. [size=10](Notice that the subtitle is slightly different.) [/size] This game is pretty much a remake of the Game Gear game with more stuff in it. The premise is the same.

https://youtu.be/U1BP0cI62DQ

Here is the last stage, which ends with a "fight" (i.e. series of puzzles) against a popular Puyo Puyo character named [Rurū](https://arleandcarbuncle.fandom.com/wiki/Rulue) (Leroux / Rulue depending on the translations). She gives her name to this remake, Rurūnorū (Rulue’s Roux) and appears on the Super Famicom cover which you posted.

https://youtu.be/5PDKmgR2Qc8

Rulue gets her own story mode in the remake, also revolving around curry. Somehow this game kinda made Rulue the standard Nazo Puyo character instead of Arle and so she was the star of the sequel, Super Nazo Puyo 2. This sequel does not really revolve around curry anymore, although there’s a fun callback in the introduction.

https://youtu.be/N9RAf_fPDcQ

Now, to answer a relevant question: why curry? I had never asked the question myself, and I don’t remember curry being mentioned in earlier games but that was maybe twenty years ago so I would not trust my memory on this... Arle’s [very extensive page on Niconico’s dictionary](https://dic.nicovideo.jp/t/a/アルル・ナジャ) does mention that she is known to love curry so maybe it was already established in one of the original Madō Monogatari games where she and the puyos come from, or possibly it became a meme in one of the comics released in Compile’s fan-oriented publications or Disk Station issues.

It should be noted that Arurunorū specifically uses [Vermont Curry](https://housefoods.jp/sp/products/special/vmt/index.html) on its cover. Vermont Curry is Japan’s #1 brand of ready-made curry blocks. It’s known to be enjoyed by kids thanks to the use of apples and honey in the recipe. Arurunorū’s yellow package is a [direct parody of their packaging.](https://housefoods.jp/products/special/vmt/history.html)

https://youtu.be/jBg-aEp3_2U

I couldn‘t tell you precisely where Arle’s love of curry was introduced but it was definitely very early on; I don‘t think there’s any deeper meaning to why she specifically likes curry, except that the developers wanted to go with something relatively unsophisticated.

To my knowledge, the Nazo games adopted the curry theming mostly for the sake of the pun, but also as a way of indicating to people that they weren't going to be in for any sort of grandiose plot.

Carbuncle (the yellow rabbit-esque mascot creature) also loves curry, hence why it's still a recurring thing. Carbuncle-branded curry went on sale again as recently as the end of last year... I can't dig it up right now but I think it's was an in-store-only run for a certain cafe and not available online.

@“Kimimi”#p39207 that green curry looks amazing! Who needs mushy peas when you have Umbrella Corporation providing snacks?

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Not from the 90s but Ryū ga Gotoku 4 (Yakuza 4) had a special collaboration with Matsuya which involved both an in-game subquest and a special curry in real life Matsuya joints. You could buy some to bring home as well.

me before reading this thread “haha this is like a one off thing”

me after reading this thread “what the FUCK”

One of the most popular goods at Capcom’s TGS pop-up store for a few years in a row was Dhalsim’s (yoga) flaming hot curry. Searching for an image tells me it first appeared in 2014. It’s specifically branded with SFII in mind so I say it counts as a 90s game’s curry!

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@“chazumaru”#p39252

I love Vermont Curry! It’s my favourite, but my local shop stopped selling it. -_-;;

I didn’t know that Nazo Puyo was such a thing! Thanks everyone for the detailed info! I especially remember these challenges from Puyo Puyo Fever on Game-Cube, but I remain very bad at them.

@“hellomrkearns”#p39235 this was the Warp curry I remembered!! Richard Leadbetter (from Digital Foundry) was editor at the time, and it was obvious how much they were starved for Sega Saturn news, which is why this curry got a two page spread.

@“rootfifthoctave”#p39225 I ate puyo gummies once. but curry usually has a highly sweet element to it as well, often from sugar, honey, peanut butter etc. so imagine them like raisins in curry.

edit: like chazumaru said, curry has sweeteners in it, like apples. one of the puyo gummies I had was apple flavor, so it's not that much of a stretch.

Something about the pick up and play, "bite size" nature of the Nazo Puyo fits the theme of instant curry blocks, and a consumable product. I love this stuff. Similar to how cardboard game boxes in Japan are sometimes referred to as "Cartons", whether it's curry, or a video game, marketing copy appeals to the same part of your brain.

I think Vermont was the first curry I tried making myself. It's really good with some Japanese pumpkin added!

The first japanese curry I made was S&B Gold, because that is the most widely available here. It is … ok … but that‘s about as far as I’ll stretch it.

Presently, I'm not sure if I prefer Vermont or Kokumaro. I may have to make more curry to conduct further research.
_~oh ~no!_

Kokumaro and Vermont are owned by the same company, House Foods. Seems like House’s new brand manager @“docky”#649’s plan is working perfectly, then!

@“chazumaru”#p39518 it seems like House are responsible for several things I keep stocked — I always have their shichimi togarashi and their rayu

I also have a box of Vermont just waiting to be made presently
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It's not curry, but…

https://twitter.com/gosokkyu/status/1425381782354989057