Pokemon has long established itself as a family-friendly franchise. With its adorable creatures and their solid turn-based combat strategy, the games have long been accessible to a wide range of ages and abilities, especially since 1996, when Pokemon Red and Green was released.
While the franchise's obvious appeal has contributed to its large appeal, its long-term popularity may leave a lot to be desired by long-time players. For example, players who have played Pokemon since they were children might find the challenge less appealing in more adult-oriented modern RPGs.
What is a Nuzlocke Challenge?
A Nuzlocke Challenge is a way of playing Pokemon that is enforced by the players themselves. There are only two primary rules to a Nuzlocke Challenge.
Although the Nuzlocke is primarily defined by its two main rules, some players prefer to nickname their Pokemon so that they feel more attached to them. Others prefer modified Pokemon games that alter the spawns of Pokemon so that a wider variety of Pokemon appears in the grass. For example, if grass on a route has Zigzagoon, its changed so you get a better Pokemon like Kyogre.
How do I start a Nuzlocke Challenge?
To successfully complete a Nuzlocke Challenge, you'll need a fresh save file on a Pokemon game, and you'll need to follow a set of specific rules. However, executing the challenge will be more difficult. Here are a few general tips to help you get started.
- Pick a game youre familiar with. Youll want to know as much as you can about the game so you can adequately prepare for potentially dangerous events like a rival battle or particularly challenging trainer. That way, youll also know which Pokemon are available on which routes, so can anticipate which Pokemon you might catch and you can make sure to keep the right Pokemon at the front of your party to optimize elemental matchups.
- Make sure you level up your Pokemon as much as possible; that way, you have a higher likelihood of success in battles.
- Carry antidotes. You dont want a Pokemon to faint from poison damage (especially when its a permadeath!) while walking around, which can happen in gens 1 through 3.
- Switch your Pokemon out of battle if youre the slightest bit worried. If you have a Pokemon thats low on health, then swap them out. Dont risk it; always switch out sooner than you think you need to.
Nuzlocke University is a great resource for more detailed advice and guidelines on Nuzlocking specific Pokemon games. These guides will walk you through each section of the game and highlight specific trainers or Pokemon to be aware of. Another great idea is to watch successful Nuzlocke streams of the game you picked.
What is the origin of the Nuzlocke Challenge?
Nick Franco, a webcomic artist known by the moniker Nuzlocke, invented the Pokemon series called Hard Mode in 2010 and created a comic illustrating the concept using the 2002 Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire as a base.
The game's slogan of catching em all is a derogatory term. Nevertheless, the challenge has since developed into a fan-favorite way of playing. Fans continue to use the challenge with more recent Pokemon generations and have even transposed the concept to other video game franchises.
Why is it popular?
Its not just that it's more difficult, it's that it makes Pokemon more strategic. Rather than catching a batch of baddies who can wipe the floor with any gym leader, you must understand specific details, like whether your opponents Pokemon have better physical attack or special defense, so you can match them with a Pokemon with a higher physical attack or special defense stat. Even a simple trainer battle can have you fighting for your life depending on the situation.
Franco explained what he considered the challenge's core appeal in an interview with Know Your Meme. He said that after each challenge, people have stories to tell.