Pokemon has long established itself as a family-friendly franchise. With its adorable creatures and its steady turn-based combat formula, the games have long been accessible to a wide spectrum of ages and abilities since Pokemon Red and Green first appeared in Japan in 1996.
The franchise's vast appeal is likely to be attributed to its friendly nature, but it may leave a lot of room for experienced players. More adult-oriented modern RPGs may not provide the same challenge as older RPGs. That's where the Nuzlocke Challenge comes in. It's a popular method of playing that allows players to dictate rules in order to have a more difficult experience.
What is a Nuzlocke Challenge?
A Nuzlocke Challenge is a way of playing Pokemon that is controlled by the players themselves. There are only two primary rules to a Nuzlocke Challenge.
The Nuzlocke has a wide range of variations, including a nickname for their Pokemon, so that they become more attached to them. Others create modded Pokemon games that alter the spawns of Pokemon so that a larger variety of Pokemon emerges in the grass so that you get a better chance at seeing a stronger 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 some general suggestions to help you out:
- 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 has more detailed information as well as recommendations for Nuzlocking specific Pokemon games. These guides will guide 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 selected.
What is the origin of the Nuzlocke Challenge?
Nick Franco, a webcomic artist who goes by the moniker Nuzlocke, got the idea for a Pokemon series called Hard Mode in 2010 and illustrated a comic illustrating the concept using the 2002 Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire as the base.
The idea of catching em all goes against the series' motto. Despite its popularity, the challenge has since evolved into a popular game format. Fans continue to take the challenge with more modern versions of Pokemon and have even transported the concept to other video game franchises.
Why is it popular?
It's not just that training is harder, it's that it makes Pokemon more strategic. Rather than catching a bunch of baddies who can slug the floor with any gym leader, you need to know specifics, like whether your opponents Pokemon have better physical attack or special defense. Because even a simple trainer battle can have you fighting for your life depending on the scenario.
Franco described the main appeal of the Nuzlocke challenge in an interview with Know Your Meme. He said that after each challenge, people have stories to tell.