Pokemon: Fire Red – Nuzlocke Challenge

I must admit, I was getting a bit tired of playing the same old Pokemon games. Yes, they are fun, but it’s always the exact same thing. Are you a boy or a girl? Boy? Great, here is your monster, now go defeat 8 gym masters, beat a Team Rocket Clone on the way and become a Pokemon master. This is why I decided to try this challenge. As far as I understand it, the challenge was thought of by Ruby, the owner of the Nuzlocke Comics blog. He decided to play Pokemon Ruby with this set of rules and drew a comic while doing it. The name Nuzlocke came from a character in the comic (heavy Lost references). Anyways, his, and the other challenge comics he collects are really fun to read, so I heavily recommend those.

There are many variations to the rules of the Nuzlocke Challenge, some easier and some harder. Being new to this, I decided to try one of the easier set of rules:

  • Can only catch one Pokemon per route
  • All floors of the same cave count as one area
  • If a wild Pokemon faints before I catch him, I forfeited that area
  • After I get the first Pokeball, I have to catch the first Pokemon I encounter on every route. No rerolls.
  • Once a Pokemon dies, I need to either release him or put him in one of the PC Boxes, never to be used again.
  • Pokemon from trades or acquired by methods other than catching in the wilderness are not allowed

The game that I decided to try this set of rules on is Pokemon Fire Red. I prefer the first set of Pokemon and the graphics in this remake are a major improvement from the original. Also, since I am playing this on an emulator, I plan to use the fastf orward feature heavily to save time on loading and battle scenes. The rewind feature is, of course, disabled. After saying all this, I think it’s time to start the game.

Pokemon Fire Red Cover

Let’s get it on!

Session Start 15.6.2010, 00:15

I named my trainer Red in the style of the original comic, and my rival Dick for the fun of it. As my starter, I chose Charmander and nicknamed it Libby. Following the regular story, I went to the next town to get a parcel for professor Oak and got it back to him. He gave me the Poxedex. I got 5 Pokeballs and caught Rattata on Route 1. I named it Kate.

I decided to train both Kate and Libby to level 8 before continuing. This included lots of trips to the Pokemon Center, but thanks to this, Kate learned Quick Attack which will be really useful. I proceeded to route 2 and, what a surprise, I caught another Rattata. This was another female, so I named it Clare. I trained her to level 8 as well.

Next, I proceeded to Viridian forest where I caught a Kakuna, which I named Rousso. All that Rousse knew was Harden, so there was really no point training it for now. In the forest, I raised Kate and Clare to level 10 and Libby to level 14. Arriving to Pewter City, Rousso was level 6.
Pewter City is the location of the first, Rock type gym. I foolishly decided to just go for it and lost Libby and Rousso. They will both be mourned deeply (well, more Libby than Rousso). May they rest in peac

It was time to move on to the next town. I proceded through Route 3 and Mount Moon, catching a Pidgey called Missy and a Zubat called Sally on the way, respectively. As you can see, it was here that I quit with the Lost naming scheme because I was getting an unusual amount of females. I wish it was the same in real life. Being quite late in the night, or early in the morning, depending on how you look at it, I decided to end my session here.

Session End 15.6.2010. 00:59

Session Start 15.6.2010. 10:55

Starting this session, I have cleared Mount Moon completely and got the Dome fossil. Proceeding on Route 4, I caught another Rattata, this time a male and named it Charley. I was finally in Cerulean city. This is where I unexpectedly stumbled into Dick and was forced to battle him. Sadly, I lost Clare in the battle.

Pokemon - Rattata

I was sure to get this one.

Being shaken up by this, I decided to do some training. I trained Missy and Sally to 22. Sally evolved to a Golbat. This being Fire Red, for now this was the final stage of her evolution. Bolstered by training I went on to defeat the second gym leader, Misty, a water trainer. I suffered no losses and earned my second badge.

I proceeded to Route 24 where I caught a Catterpie. I forgot to name it, but it doesn’t really matter because, even though I evolved it to a Beautifly lightning fast, I also lost it lightning fast in a regular trainer battle due to a critical hit. At the end of Route 24 I’ve found Bills house, the creator of the PC system. After helping him with a teleportation issue, he gave me his ticket for a boat. I proceeded to Route 5, where I caught a level 15 Pidgey named Rodger (yes, typo, I know). I decided to put Charley in the Day-Care center because I’m getting swamped with Rattatas. I caught another Pidgey on Route 6. This one was level 16 and I decided to name him Mark.

I arrived to Vermilion City, where I boarded the S.S.Anne. I fought a bunch of trainers on the ship, including Dick again and I helped the ship Captain, who then gave me HM01 Cut in return. I left the ship early, not knowing it would leave, so I missed a few trainer battles. Cut was taught to Kate, so now I could enter Gym 3. This one was an Electric type and was won with no casualties.

I proceeded to Route 9 where I accidentally killed a level 9 Rattata with a critical Quick Attack. As far as I care, good riddance. I just hope I won’t lack any Pokemon later. Later on Route 10, I caught an Ekans and called him Paul. Next was Rock Tunnel where I caught a Geodude and called it Anna.

Session End 15.6.2010. 11:44

Session Start 15.6.2010. 15:45

I switched Rodger out for Anna, thinking a rock type would be way more useful. I arrived at Lavender town where I bought a bunch of Great Balls and restocked on other consumables. Lavender town is the location of the Pokemon Tower, which is a Pokemon graveyard. I encountered Dick again, but managed to defeat him with no casualties. After exploring most of the Pokemon tower, I encountered a ghost who wouldn’t let me proceed. I guess I need an item to clear this area.

It was time to leave Lavender Town for now. On my way through routes 8 and 7, I caught a Pidgey named Adolf and a Meowth named Mietzi. I arrived at Celadon City. While exploring it, I managed to get a Coin Case and acquire an Evee. Since I can’t use Pokemon not caught in battle, I stored it in the PC.

The Gym 4, a Grass type gym was located in Celadon City. I defeated the leader, Erika easily thanks to Missy. After this I proceeded to Route 16 where I managed to kill a Doduo with Quick Attack again. Also, Missy evolved. Somewhere along the way, I managed to get HM02 Fly and taught it to Mark. I’ve also found the secret hideout of Team Rocket where I fought and defeated Giovanni and got the Sylph Scope.

With the Scope, I went back to the Pokemon Tower and managed to catch a level 16 Ghastly who I named Casper. I calmed the Ghost at the top and it turned out it was a Marowak. Team Rocket was holding Mr. Fuji on the top so he gave me the Pokemon Flute for saving him. An old lady in Celadon City gave me some tea, which I then handed to one of the guard blocking the road to Safron city. He said he would share it with the other four guards so now all the routes are open.

Pokemon

Gotta catch ’em all, right?

The Safron City gym was blocked by Team Rocket, but there was a fighting dojo next to it, which I also managed to clear and got a Hitmonlee in the process. Of course, I had to send it to the PC. After all this, I went to Sylph Co. which was also being controlled by Team Rocket. I fought them for a while, but I decided it was still too dangerous for me, so I got out. I used the Flute to awaken a Snorlax, which opened another route for me. On Route 18, I lost another Doduo to Quick Attack.

I managed to get to Fuchsia city, which was the home of the Safari Zone. I decided catching Safari Pokemon was against the rules, since it doesn’t include a real battle. Fuchsia City was also the home of another Gym, this time a Poison type. It was a really tough battle, which forced me to use most of my potions, but in the end, I managed to win it with no casualties.

Session End 15.6.2010. 17:34

Session Start 15.6.2010. 20:07

Since I got my fifth badge, I decided I was brave enough to tackle the Sylph Co. building. This is a huge building with, I think, 12 floors weirdly connected with various teleporters and stairs. In the end, I managed to do it, defeated Giovanni again and also got the Master Ball.

Next I got to Gym 6 and defeated the psychic, Sabrina, also with no losses. Wing attack is an awesome attack! Since I had to learn Surf to proceed, I had to go to Safari Zone to get it. I did catch a few Pokemon just for my Poxedex, but they all instantly went to the PC. Since none of my Pokemon can learn surf, I have to catch one on a water route I haven’t been to yet.

Session End 15.6.2010. 22:37

Session Start 16.6.2010. 12:45

The water route in question was Route 19 and I caught an awesome Pokemon, Krabby, which I then named Rick. I’m not sure where exactly I managed to get the Good Rod to catch it, but I was probably a fisherman in some random house, like all other Pokemon games. I trained him to 28 and he evolved to a Kingler.

Next I went to the Seafoam Islands cave, where I caught a Psyduck named Erica. I explored the cave for a bit, but I think I need the Strength HM to continue so I got out. On Route 21 I killed a Tangela with curse. I Tried 3 Ultra Balls, but I didn’t manage to catch it before it died. Eventually I arrived at Cinabar Island.

There was a laboratory on the island so I left my Dome Fossil there to get resurrected. Next up was Pokemon Mansion, which was a tough area. I caught a Growlithe in there and named it Jessica. After the mansion, it was time to go to Gym 7, where I defeated a fire leader. I must say, Rick was an awesome asset here.

Pokemon - Kingler

Krabby/Kingler is kind off an underdog of the anime.

Outside the gym, Bill was waiting to take me to One island. For now I could visit the One, Two and Three islands. I managed to help some people there, but I also failed to catch any Pokemon, killing them by accident instead. Since all of this was for nothing, I decided to go back to Veridian city to tackle the final Gym.

This was a ground type gym so Rick was very awesome again. I won with absolutely no difficulties. This means I have 8 badges now, so it’s time to go to the Pokemon League. First stop – Victory Road.

Off course, before all that, I had to fight stupid Dick again. I beat him with no casualties, but his Blastoise was pretty tough. After solving lots of puzzles, I finally managed to get out of Victory Road and got to the League area. Since I can now fly from here and back, I decided I have to train my Pokemon before I tackle the elite four. First I tried grinding at Victory Road, but that got boring really fast. Then I decided to use the VS Seeker to do repeat battles with trainers I’ve fought before, but I couldn’t find any that were high enough level. Still, I explored a bunch of routes and areas I haven’t visited before, and caught a few nice Pokemon. Still, none of them were good enough to replace anyone from my main team. Among other things, I got a bunch of levels and evolved Casper. Also, Rick learned his Crabhammer attack.

Session End 15.6.2010. 17:13

Session Start 17.6.2010. 13:31

At this point, I was really short on time because exams were closing in so I decided to just go for the Elite Four. As it turns out it wasn’t that hard. I had a bunch of Potions, Ethers and status restoring items, so, with Rick being level 75, I managed to go through all four with no major issues. I was so happy about this I forgot that I also need to kick Dick’s ass for the last time. He wasn’t that hard either, at least for the first 5 of his Pokemon. Blastoise, though, was a bitch. I managed to lose two of my team members before Rick finally managed to finish him with the last of his strength. I entered my team into the Hall of Fame and Professor Oak managed to give a major scolding to Dick for, well, being a dick. I waited through the credits so I can save my game, but the emulator crashed at that point, I guess I won’t be playing the after game.

Session End 15.6.2010. 13:58

Final Words

Well, as you can see, I managed to complete my first Nuzlocke Challenge, and it wasn’t hard at all. I guess I will have to try some tougher rules next time, but for now, I can add this one to my completed list. I must say, playing the game this way was really fun. If you want to spice up your Pokemon sessions, I really recommend you to try this. Also, I promise to keep a more detailed log of my journey on my next attempt at a challenge like this.

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  • Nathan Campbell

    Great Post. You gave me inspiration to do a nuzlocke.

  • Gage

    Its easy to tell how much bullshit is in this story based on the fact that you cannot get a krabby in Fire Red.

    • Bulbapedia disagrees with you. Krabby can be caught on routes 4, 10, 11, 12, 13, 19, 20, 21 and 24, as well as Cerualian and Vermilion Cities and also Seafoam Islands.

      Some, if not all of these places require a Good Rod, but I’m not sure about that part.

      As you can see, I caught it on route 19.

    • Gage

      Well yes but if you look again it has the LEAF GREEN BOX HIGHLIGHTED and not the Fire Red box. GG mate sorry but I can tell your shit.

      • If YOU look at it again and scroll down to the page where locations are listed, you’ll be able to see separate listings for Leaf Green and Fire Red. Krabby is available in both games, though it’s available in more locations in Leaf Green.

        I’ll grant you that, for instance, Route 4 page claims Krabby cannot be caught there in Fire Red, but the pokemon page does list several locations in Fire Red where it can be caught, including route 19.

        http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Krabby_(Pok%C3%A9mon)#Game_locations

        Serebii also agrees.

        http://www.serebii.net/pokearth/kanto/3rd/route19.shtml

        I’m not sure why it matters, though. Or why would I make things up for a badly written posting that you and maybe five other people actually read.