So that was my second attempt at a Nuzlocke challenge. I’d love to say I lost because of the rules, but I would be lying. I lost, because I played dumb. I didn’t have the patience to grind, I used fast forward on the emulator too much, and I made stupid mistakes. There was literally no reason to lose any of the Pokémon I lost.

It’s not the end. I’ll definitely do more of these runs eventually. For now, though, all I can say is, If you love Pokémon, you should try it yourself. It really, truly makes the game new for you. You don’t have to focus on getting the best team ever, and you get to enjoy some of the less popular Pokémon. It also makes you play more strategically, since you can’t just sweep through your opponents as usual. Some of those defensive and utility moves actually start making sense then.

In any case, that’s it for now. I dub this Pokémon Emerald Nuzlocke challenge a failure.

Fallarbor Town was just a temporary stop. I needed to go south, in search of Team Aqua. I’ve caught a Swablu on route 114, which was an excellent catch, since I believe it learns Dragon moves at higher levels. I named her Poof, because I think the name fits the looks.

Team Aqua was at Meteor Falls, fighting with another team, Team Magma, over who gets to take some guy with them. I wasn’t really paying attention since both teams sound dumb as hell, so I can’t tell you who the guy was. I’ve chased them off and caught a crappy Zubat before moving further south to Route 115. I don’t even remember what I named the Zubat at this point.

Route 115 didn’t have any bushes, so I guess I’m going to have to catch a Pokémon there by swimming, if I ever get to that. Since I was at Rustboro, I decided to pay a visit to the president of Devon Company, who gave me an Exp. Share for helping him earlier.

Then I took the cable car to Mt. Chimney, where I had a throw down with one of the Team Magma leaders. He was easy to beat, but it was obvious I was starting to fall behind in level grinding. Chasing away Team Magma opened the way to Lavaridge Town, through Jagged Pass. Sadly, I was an idiot and forgot this was a new area, so I killed what could’ve been the best and only Machop I ever owned.

The Gym was easy, deceptively so. I cleared pretty much every Pokémon with no difficulty, since most of them were fire types. This boost of confidence ruined me. Alice was at half health when the gym leader’s final Pokémon entered the battle. It was a Torkoal, and it took one critical Body Slam for Alice to go away, forever. I got my new badge, and lost my most powerful fighter. It was at this point that I knew it wasn’t going to end well.

Terrible Pokemon Drawings

I might actually be getting worse at drawing.

I started training Smokey, hoping it would soon replace Alice as my top Pokémon. It was looking good. Soon he was able to one-hit-KO most of the Pokémon below his level. I got him to 22 before I got bored, and then I decided to try my luck with my dad’s gym. Before that, I also went to the desert on route 111 and caught another potential asset – a Trapinch I named Chompette.

I should’ve waited. I should have prepared more. I didn’t. The rooms before the final one, I was able to clear, though with difficulty and a couple of close calls. Vigoroth and Spinda fell, but I was hurt badly. Then Linoone entered the battle. Headbutt, and my Jonathan was gone. Another one, and there goes Mr Ploppy (who evolved in the meantime, by the way). I was left with 3 Pokémon at around level 20. Care to guess how that ended?

My task was not yet over. I had to deliver the parcel to a captain in Steelport. He was found at the local museum, under attack by a bunch of Aqua grunts. I disposed of them and gave the captain his parcel. With this done, it was time to continue on my journey.

Route 110, north of Steelport, was next. I caught an Electrike there – a girl which I named Jude. I was hoping for something rarer, but this will suffice. Jude can learn flash, and I good electric Pokémon is always a welcome addition.

With some training, I managed to evolve my Silcoon, which I called Fluffy, to Beautifly. A bit farther north on the route, I’ve met with May, who challenged me to a duel. It was an extremely difficult fight, with her grass Pokémon having evolved, but I somehow managed to beat her without losses.

I got to Mauville City and found out the gym there was electricity-based. I decided to train for a bit, so I explored the outlying routes to fight trainers. I wasn’t very smart about it. Soon, Fluffy, who I just started to like, was lost to a random trainer. It was a shock, but I had to move on. It was time to give Bob, the Makuhita, his chance to shine.

Horrible Pokemon Drawings

Instead of a bunch of bad drawings, you get one large horrible drawing.

Bob was tough. It was very easy to train him and he was level 18 in no time at all. When he got to 20, I decided to challenge a family of trainers living north of Mauville. The daughter and the mom and dad were beaten with no difficulty. It felt great to have a Pokémon who can dispose of his opponents so easily. It was almost too good to be true. I got confident….

The grandma was much stronger. Bob was hurt from the previous three battles and all it took was one hit. Another friend lost to my stupidity…

With only four Pokémon left, I needed to figure out something, and fast. Luckily, I was yet to find wild Pokémon on any of the outlying routes. Route 117 gave me an Oddish I named Mr Ploppy. A grass type could be a good addition, so I decided to train him for a bit. However, it was too weak to train alone, so I used Jonathan to help him. Pretty soon, Jonathan evolved to a Pelipper, which made him even more awesome.

When Mr Ploppy got to level 18, I decided it was time for Jude to catch up. I haven’t trained her at all since she was caught on route 110. I didn’t train her for long. Again, I got careless, and again, one of my friends paid the price. It wasn’t even a trainer battle that time; just a random fight with a wild Pokémon was enough to rip another friend out of my life. No more! I promise I’ll be careful from now on.

I trained for a while longer until I was completely confident I’ll be able to get to the next town, at the base of Mt. Chimney. I had to traverse to routes to get there, as well as a cave between them. At the first route, I caught a Numel, an excellent fire type. I named him Smokey. In the Fiery Path bellow Mt. Chimney, I caught another fire type, this time a Torkoal which I named Smokey. Once out of the cave, I finally caught a Skarmory on the next route. I named her Lancelot, because it can be a girl’s name, dammit!

Finally, I got to my destination, Fallarbor Town. Wait, Fallarbor Town? I thought Lavaridge was next! It seems I’ve taken a wrong turn, or something. Oh well, I’m here, so it’s time to check the place out.

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.

Bad Drawing of Mudkip

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.

Horrible drawing of Zigzagoon

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.

Horrible drawing of Wingull

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.

Bad drawing of Silcoon

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.

Horrible drawing of 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…

Bad drawing of 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.

Bad drawing of Makuhita

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.

Pokemon Emerald - Releasing a Pokemon

So long, my friend…

I was a bit bored, so I decided to try another Nuzlocke challenge. I already did one with Fire Red, but the rules ended up a bit too forgiving, so I didn’t have many issues in beating the game. This time, the rules will be slightly harder, but again, not by much. The game I picked was Emerald, because I needed fresh Pokémon. The rules are the following:

  1. Name your Pokémon for more emotional attachment.
  2. If a Pokémon faints, release it. It’s gone forever.
  3. You are only allowed to catch the first Pokémon in each new area.
  4. No going back this time. Once you leave an area, you cannot catch a Pokémon there under any circumstances.
  5. No fishing, no special Pokémon. You can only catch Pokémon through battles.
  6. All levels of a cave count as one area.

Anyway, those are the rules and Emerald will be the game. On a side note, I also decided to draw every single Pokémon I catch, as well as maybe some other things. I suck at drawing, though, so at best, it will be good for a laugh or two.

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.


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.