Pokémon Nuzlocke Challenge: When adult players create their own game rules


“Catch them all!” Remember that old phrase? Although it’s been a while since he used the iconic catchphrase, the whole world Pokemon The phenomenon is still relevant 25 years after its initial release. Unlike other franchises however, it hasn’t really matured with its audience. Many adults who have played Pokemon because kids may find that those games of yesteryear just don’t have the same spark they remember. Thus, in order to alleviate the banal Pokemon experience, adult gamers have developed a new, sometimes heartbreaking way to play. Presentation of the Pokemon ‘Nuzlocke Challenge’.

So what exactly is a Nuzlocke?

Well, to participate in a Nuzlocke, you will need two things: a Nintendo console and a Pokemon game of your choice. Simple enough, right? Not for long though. From now on you will complete your choice Pokemon travel by adhering to a set of self-imposed rules. The core of these is as follows:

– You can only catch the first Pokemon you encounter in each area.

– If your Pokemon faints, it’s considered “dead” and must be released or stored, which means you can’t use it for the rest of the game.

– This one is pretty cute. You need to nickname each Pokémon you catch in order to get more attached to it.

If you’ve ever played in the universe, you already know that these new rules are a real game-changer. If you are a new ‘Trainer’ then let me explain.

Normally the regular Pokemon journey is not particularly trying. You travel from city to city, defeat “Gym Leaders” (the boss version of the game), collect “Gym Badges” from them, catch many Pokémon to complete your “Pokédex” (a special electronic encyclopedia to record information about the creatures), stopping the bad guys and becoming the region’s Pokémon champion. You understand the essentials.

The worst thing that can happen to your little pocket monsters is that they pass out in battle, but just hurry to the nearest Pokémon Center (the in-game equivalent of a hospital) or use healing items and they’ll be good to go again. You can’t really lose one Pokemon neither game. Your party may be wiped out, but you can simply respawn at the last Pokemon Center you visited and try again.

Not in a Nuzlocke though. If any of your Pokemon’s HP reaches zero, it’s considered dead. If all of your Pokémon are wiped out, the game is over and you must delete the save file and start over if you wish. You can also forget to complete your Pokédex on a run like this. Each time you enter a new route or location, you get a chance to catch the first Pokémon you encounter. If you knock the Pokemon out or it runs away, your chance is lost and you must wait for the next new area before you can attempt to catch another party member.

As you can see, making your team members somewhat “lethal” and having a limited roster of Pokemon adds another layer of difficulty and strategy to your experience. You get what you’re given and you just have to make it work.

If you thought that wasn’t enough, the icing on the cake is nicknaming each Pokemon you catch. “But that’s just a name,” some of you will say. Indeed, that may be the case. But when Sparky the Pikachu, who has been with you for most of your journey and to whom you are now attached, gets knocked out in a pivotal battle, you’ll see why this is the toughest and most devastating rule of all. . RIP Sparky.

This extreme version of Pokemon was developed in 2010 by an artist based in Los Angeles Nick Franco. He first documented his journey in a webcomic titled Pokemon: Hard Mode which later inspired many adult gamers who started naming it themselves as a Nuzlocke – a combination of ‘Nuzleaf’, a grass-type Pokémon and the character John Locke from the TV series Lost. Don’t waste your brain cells on it, even the fans don’t get it. In an interview with VoiceFranco told the publication, “I was just trying to make someone laugh with a stupid comic. I didn’t want to do anything big. Well, well, look where we are now.

Go hard or go home

So why do players want a tougher challenge? Pokemon isn’t exactly known for its difficulty. Most fans, even younger ones, can get through a normal game without much hassle. And therein lies the problem with many older players. Even after 25 years, the games are still aimed at children, even more so now with many new entries guiding the player through the adventure – we’re looking at you, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon– rather than letting them explore at their own pace.

GameFAQ user SmellyvonBeli expressed annoyance at the grip, saying “Why can’t I explore on my own?” Why is my overly happy “rival” constantly giving me potions, revives, etc. ? I wish I could explore new areas at my own pace instead of watching cutscenes every 90 seconds. Now, Pokemon was, and always will be, a game aimed at a younger audience, there’s no doubt. But older fans are no longer content with this idea. And we think nostalgia is to blame.

You know what it’s like – you’re reliving something from your childhood and it’s just not as good as you remember. It’s the same with Pokemon. As you grow your perspective on things changes and you mature, so when you sit down to play Pokemon: Ruby Version 19 years later, it’s much easier and less impressive than you remember. This is where the Nuzlocke Challenge comes into its own – it revitalizes a set of beloved, but ultimately tired games, and gives them another chance to shine. And for nostalgic, challenge-hungry fans, it’s a dream come true.

Illegal Pokémon activity

the Pokemon However, Nuzlocke Challenge is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to helping the game series “grow”. In fact, a quick Google search will reveal a whole world of Pokemon ROM hacking.

A ROM hack is basically a modified version of a game. Internet users take over the folder from an already existing folder Pokemon game and then get involved – adding their own features, some even going so far as to create an entirely new version from a pre-existing one. Some gamers take it a step further and create their own Pokemon games from scratch, one of the most notorious being Pokemon: uranium version which contained a much more mature story and was much more difficult than normal games. It added difficulty modes, a Nuzlocke option when you started the game, and a greater focus on building a competitive team. However, due to legal action being taken against the developers, they had to remove all the download links and cease the development of their project in 2016.

As with most things involving original intellectual property (IP), certain legal issues can and will arise. Pokemon ROM hacks and fan projects unfortunately cross these legal boundaries, with Nintendo historically pursuing a host of cease and desist orders. But if these projects are illegal, why do so many people continue to do them?

The answer is simple. As mentioned above, many players are unhappy with the state of Pokemon right now and where Nintendo is taking the franchise. These fan-made games seem like a public letter to the game developer to step up Pokemon. If they don’t make the changes they want, the fans will.

Despite all of this, it seems that, to some degree at least, Nintendo has heard the call to Pokemon to grow. With the release of Pokemon Legends: Arceus on January 28, 2022, a huge leap forward was made in the way video games could be experienced. In an article by WiredYouTuber Rogersbase had this to say about it: “It’s like an adult Pokemonas far as you can Pokemon grown up. It will always be a franchise that appeals to everyone and can appeal to children. And he’s right. By opening up the world, giving players the ability to explore as much as they want, and adding challenge to the game, Pokemon is finally catching up to where fans want it to be.

Heart of the community

Let’s take a second and get back to the subject at hand. The Nuzlocke Challenge has been around for many years at this point, and with good reason. With such a fun and refreshing way to relive pokestarmon, it seems obvious that some people would want to document their adventures. Enter the “PokstarTubers.

A type of YouTuber who mainly does pokestarmon video game content, there are currently hundreds if not thousands of examples of this type of content creator and many of them participate in the play pokestarmon games with Nuzlocke rules. Zwiggoa pokestarTuber from the Netherlands is one of the most popular designers and produces many types of pokestarmon challenge videos including Nuzlocke races.

This type of video has obviously found its way onto TikTok too, with creators like purple cliff offshoot of YouTube. From there, huge communities were born. Many creators broadcast their series on streaming services such as Tic where fans can interact with them on a more personal level. This type of interaction builds strong communities and fanbases and allows content creators to enjoy and share their content. hilarious experiences.

Probably the biggest boost to Nuzlocke’s notoriety was the posting of a video by a YouTuber called Jaiden Animations in November 2019. The video followed the host’s very first Nuzlocke pokestarMon: Ruby Version and what started out as a fun and joyous adventure ended up being anything but. One of the most notable moments came when she went up against the sixth gym leader “Winona”, who is known for his sweep teams.

Before the fight, she lost her beloved team member ‘Corn the Nuzleaf’ and during the fight against Winona, Jaiden’s ‘Magneton’, an Electric-type Pok.starmy compound of a set of three magnets – the aptly named ZIPZAPZOP was nearly killed by Winona’s ‘Altaria’ (a large cloud-covered bird). “Somehow ZIPZAPZOP lived through the earthquake on 2 HP, like crazy. Corn must have despised us for this one because there was a 90% chance that ZIPZAPZOP was supposed to die there”


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