A good friend was telling me about his recent (mis)adventures in the Pokemon handheld games. He told me about his playthrough of Pokemon X using the self-imposed Nuzlocke Challenge rules. I’d heard about the game type before, but never had a lot of interest in it myself. I’m kind of a casual when it comes to most games, and my tastes in the Pokemon games skew decidedly towards using supremely overpowered and care-fully tailored monsters. So, I wasn’t keen on taking on the challenge myself.
A second source of Nuzlocke inspiration had come from the recent video series by Monster Factory famed McElroy brother Griffin, where he records himself playing through a Nuzlocke Challenge on Pokemon Y. I’ve been watching with my son, and it’s great fun to watch other’s minor sufferings.
However, it wasn’t until I finished my recent second playthrough of Pokemon Emerald that I decided to jump into my own Nuzlocke Challenge. I decided I would follow in Griffin’s footsteps and, since I’d only had a run through Pokemon X on my own before, I would play Pokemon Y in Nuzlocke mode!
Starting out, I decided to follow the optional rule for picking your starter. Namely, this rule:
- Starter Pokémon is based on the player’s Trainer ID number. If the last number is 1-3 the player starts with a Grass type, 4-6 is Fire type, 7-9 is Water type, 0 is the player’s choice.
Turns out, my Trainer ID ended in 5, so I was the proud new owner of a Fennekin! Another core rule of the Nuzlocke Challenge is that you must name each of your Pokemon. Since I had nick-named myself El Presidente, I decided each administration needs a loyal second in command, so I dubbed my Fennekin as Juan-Manuel. We are friends to the bitter end. Even when the US-backed coalition comes to drive us from power.
Juan-Manuel and I headed out onto Route 2 in the hopes of finding a new buddy to join our growing oligarchy. Wandering around in the tall grass, I encountered a Pidgey! Unfortunately, after I had reduced it to less than a quarter health, I realized I hadn’t purchased any Pokeballs. Oops! I decided this would be my one and only cheat of the rules, and ran away from the fight, vowing that the next monster would be the replacement. Also unfortunately, but after returning with extra-dimensional magic Pokeballs, we encountered a Scatterbug. Bleh. Reluctantly, I caught him, and dubbed him Y2k.
My journey with Y2k didn’t last long. I put the bug up front of my party, hoping to get him some XP. Well, he was just too low level, and when I got in trouble in a wild pokemon battle, he dropped low in health. When I tried to run, I couldn’t get away! After the second failure to run, Y2k was felled by a tackle from a vicious Pidgey. RIP in peace, Y2k.
I was doing pretty poorly at this so far. But I resolved to improve the situation, and entered Santalune Forest with my friend Shauna, who helpfully healed my Pokemon whenever I wished. Very handy.
After I prepared Juan-Manuel with a pep-talk, we ventured into the tall grass. The first Pokemon we encountered was a Weedle! Not too bad. Now I just had to capture it. A couple tackles from Juan-Manuel was all it took, and with a single toss of a Pokeball, the Weedle was mine. I’m not sure why, but I named him B. B. King. Maybe because it looks like he plays a mean guitar? I mean, he knew String Shot (GET IT?!).
I took a little time to level up B. B. King and Juan-Manuel a little bit in Santalune Forest before heading out onto Route 3. After a couple trainer battles, I ventured into the tall grass to find the next member of my team. Highly disappointed when the first monster I encountered was Bidoof. I could have had a Fletchling! I would have even taken a Pidgey or Pikachu. Bummer. Reluctantly, I caught Pickles the Bidoof, and headed up into Santalune City.
It was here that my adventures came to a close for the day. I knew there was a gym battle ahead of me. It was my hope that Juan-Manuel and B. B. King were up to the task, because Pickles is just awful. You should feel bad, Pickles. Useless.
More to come!