I did some research before starting and decided to pick Mudkip as my starter. Apparently, it makes the first several gyms simple to beat and its ground attacks can easily handle the grass Pokémon I might encounter. Since this is Emerald, and usually the main protagonist’s name is picked based on the game on these challenges, I named my trainer Irish.
A horrible drawing, I know.
I got through the usual motions and got my Mudkip. She was a girl, so I named her Alice. I soon realised this game makes you miss the first two routes on a Nuzlocke challenge. On the third route, which was route 102, I caught my first new friend – a boy Zigzagoon I named Stardust, due to obvious reasons. I remained on this route for a while, and trained both Stardust and Alice to level 10. Stardust learned the move Headbutt at level 9, which made him absolutely awesome.
Who’s that Pokemon’s got nothing on me.
The Petalburg Gym was owned by the main character’s dad, so that one was off limits until later in the game. Moving through Petalburg, I got to route 104, where I caught a Wingull, out of all. I was honestly hoping to get this one because I love its evolution and I remembered it as being quite tough in my previous Sapphire/Emerald/Ruby playthroughs. I named him Jonathan, after one of the books I liked as a kid.
My future star player!
Route 104 was followed by Petalburg woods, where I encountered several bug Pokémon. The first one I encountered was a Silcoon, so that was the one I caught. This one was such an awesome catch. I actually can’t remember what I named it at this time. Suffice to say, it was not used in battle yet. I do intend to train it to its final form later, though.
It almost looks like the real thing this time.
Rustboro City housed the first gym I could actually fight in. It was a rock gym, so Alice had no problems soloing it from start to end. This got her to level 16 and made her evolve to her next form, Marshtomp.
If this Marshtomp could talk, it would ask to be euthanized.
After getting the badge, I taught Cut to Stardust and used it to get some items on route 104 and in the forest. I then went north of Rustboro and soon saw the first Team Aqua event, where they steal some stuff from a Devon employee. I chased them to route 116 where I caught a Poochyena. I named her Neera, after a dog I used to own. I then followed the Aqua grunt to Rusturf tunnel and beat it. For some reason, I returned to the tunnel and promptly forgot about my challenge, which means I killed a potential new friend by accident. So long, nameless Whismur…
At least it died before I could fail it.
I returned the goods to Devon Company and was promptly asked to deliver them to Slateport, as well as delivering a letter to a guy named Steven in Dewford Town. May was nearby, so she told me I can get to both those places by hitching a boat ride with a guy living on route 104.
Dewford town had another gym, this one completely dark and filled with fighting Pokémon trainers. I fought through it and managed to easily beat it thanks to Jonathan and his Wing Attack. My new badge allowed me to use the Flash HM, which I didn’t have yet. In town, I was told Steven was at Granite Cave, north of Dewfort. That’s where I got flash, but sadly, none of my Pokémon could learn it.
There was one good thing coming out of visiting the cave, though. I caught a Makuhita! I named him Bob, but decided to still focus on Stardust, Jonathan and Alice for a while. I will soon learn that this was a mistake.
Makuhita actually has some potential.
After collecting myself, I got to the Pokémon Center and gave him a proper burial. So long, my friend.I got the letter to Steven and moved on to Slateport. The beach was filled with trainers, so I had to go through a couple of battles with Stardust. Then it happened. I got into a team fight with Stardust at half health and Alice as his partner. I foolishly thought they would be able to handle a Wingull and a Tentacool, but the Wingull got a lucky first strike. Stardust was gone.
So long, my friend…