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Posted by nnickers (496 posts) 4 months, 6 days ago

Poll: Would You Watch a Giantbomb Pokemon Nuzlocke Run? (58 votes)

Yes 64%
No 36%

The first episode of PokeMONday Night Combat is a ton of fun to watch, but as soon as it popped up it got me thinking about a GB Nuzlocke run. For those unfamiliar, Nuzlocke runs are type of self-imposed playthrough in Pokemon games intended to make them difficult and exciting, originating from the Pokemon: Hard Mode web comic by Nick Franco. Back in 2010 he detailed his playthrough of Pokemon Ruby with a comic in real-time, playing with these two restrictions:

  • If a Pokemon faints, it must be released [to non-Pokemon players: deleted].
    • This adds risk and consequence to a series that, traditionally, has none.
  • The player may only catch the first Pokémon encountered in each area, and none else [if you defeat it or it flees, that's it - no do-overs].
    • This makes every Pokemon count, as otherwise you could simply keep catching more to refill your roster as needed. It also randomizes your available Pokemon so that you can't cherry-pick or min/max your team.

A whole scene has sprung up around the Nuzlocke concept in the near-decade since Franco's original run. There are tons of other written stories, comics, and the like describing peoples' uplifting, heartbreaking, and hilarious attempts to get through these games with the above restrictions. A number of additional and widely-accepted, but "unofficial," rules adopted over the years can be found here and if you look further down the rabbit hole there are tons and tons of other variations, some of which are absolutely cruel.

For me, Nuzlocke runs make for deeply personal, dramatic, and unpredictable stories. I was born in '91 and was the perfect age when Pokemon took over the world; it's probably the single most nostalgic piece of media from my childhood. I want to play all of these games still simply because I love the world of Pokemon, but nowadays they're so easy that I haven't even bothered picking up the last several games. Last year, however, I started going back to the older games with the Nuzlocke ruleset and have had an absolute blast. Nuzlocke runs make Pokemon interesting as an actual game that you play and there are simply no other experience in games quite like this. Anyone who enjoyed the chaotic majesty of Twitch Plays Pokemon can capture some of that same magic themselves with a Nuzlocke run [For the record, Twitch Plays Pokemon is probably my favorite product of the internet / social experiment, period].

For an example, see below the first episode of Griffin McElroy's Nuzlocke run through Pokemon Y for Polygon from a few years back. I highly recommend the series and I think it would make a great series here on Giantbomb if Jan were to throw his hat into the Nuzlocke ring, ideally dragging someone into the room with him. With the right personalities behind it, this style of playthrough can be tremendously entertaining and nailbiting to watch. Hell, maybe it will even cast a new light for everyone out there who just never got Pokemon.

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#1 Posted by Nixamo (65 posts) -

Nope. Pokémon is BORING to watch.

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#2 Posted by FacelessVixen (2577 posts) -

No. I get the impression that it'll end up being another Kingdom Heartache where it'll have the initial burst of interest but will end abruptly due to either frustration or boredom, especially if it's just going to be a one-man show.

Most of PokeMONday's appeal to me is Jan interacting with people from the stream. Being a possible participant is much more exciting than just being a viewer. So if anything for the moment, I'd be very interested in Jan going back to Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon so those like me who don't have a Switch can participate.

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#3 Posted by nnickers (496 posts) -

@facelessvixen: I'd certainly hope it wouldn't be a one-man show. Jan did great solo with this PokeMONday episode, but a long-form series would definitely need banter. And you can Nuzlocke anything, so he could totally do Sun/Moon. I think he even mentioned being curious about those two in this episode.

Regarding participation, I think this could be a ton of fun as a live stream. Let chat name the Pokemon (Police State)! Just think of all the memes!

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#4 Edited by nnickers (496 posts) -
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#5 Posted by Efesell (4475 posts) -

Edited down in that similar style yeah sure.

As like a streamed series it's a way harder sell. In between all the exciting potential moments of a Nuzlocke is a ton of boring shit.

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#6 Posted by reap3r160 (240 posts) -

I have never actually heard of this before but now I would like to do it for sure.

For clarification, when you say

The player may only catch the first Pokémon encountered in each area

What does that mean exactly? Like, what constitutes an area?

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#7 Posted by nnickers (496 posts) -

@reap3r160: Most games designate areas pretty clearly, ie the numbered routes between cities.

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#8 Edited by htr10 (1048 posts) -

I want more Jan content, especially if he is going to bring more streaming to Giant Bomb. Nuzlocke run is as good an idea as any if Jan is interested in doing it.

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#9 Posted by Redhotchilimist (2960 posts) -

Will I get Jeff Gerstmann talking about the two Pokemon anime DVDs he watched? 'Cause in that case yes

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#10 Edited by interlude (16 posts) -

Oh god please. Especially if it means more content from Jan :) I miss Griffin being at Polygon so much. That nuzlocke was legendary.