I started out my first ever Randomizer Pokemon Nuzlocke Challenge on generation four’s remake of generation two’s Pokemon Silver, Pokemon SoulSilver. It’s confusing.
I started off with a Piplup the Penguin with solid defensive ability and named him Marc-Andre. In a generation that is a remake of GOLD. And he eventually looks kind of like a KNIGHT. Huh. Seems like a GAMBLE to me.
After having my excellence recognized by Professor Oak, I battled a brat named Lil Gio who stole a Pokemon Professor Elm didn’t even have, and then I decided to become a Pokemon Master.
I caught a bunch of Pokemon that didn’t inspire a lot of long-term hope, like Goldeen and Skiploom. I thought an Armaldo could be useful until I did more research. I used a water type to kill a tower full of grass types. I even encountered MEWTWO himself, but it was super anticlimactic.
The first gym of the Johto region was no match for my evolved March-Andre the Prinplup. So far, so good!
Now on with the challenge in Chapter 2: Don’t Bug Me, Man! (or: A LOT of Walking Back And Forth)
After resting up in Violet City and enjoying the shine of victory, I gathered my things and my Pokemon friends, and I got ready for the trek to Azaela Town. The quiet little village in the southern end of Johto would be the home of (hopefully. Eh, let’s be honest: definitely) my second gym badge.
Before I left, however, I was stopped by a geisha performer in a kimono. She eyed up my mystery egg from Professor Elm and then told me to take good care of it. I mean… okay? There goes my plans for breakfast, I guess. You’re not supervisor, Kimono Girl!
I took the road out of Violet City heading west and end up on Route 36, but there’s no grass here. What a rip! There is, however, a strange, wiggling tree blocking my path, so I can’t continue westerly. Some folks are standing around complaining about not being able to get to the store due to the tree. Weird flex, but one of them gives me the HM for Rock Smash! Now I can give one of my Pokemon a crappy move they can’t easily unlearn just so I can break dumb rocks.
This is a job for Estrada! If you learned better moves more quickly, you wouldn’t be an HM Slave, buddy. Now smash rocks quietly and think about what you’ve done.
Can’t go west, so I head south and find the Ruins of Alph which I am not kidding when I say I JUST NOW REALIZED WHY IT’S CALLED THAT (it’s the home of the Unown, Pokemon that are in the shape of letters… of the ALPHabet. Holy crap, it took me 20 years to see that).
I venture down into the catacombs to catch my first new Pokemon of the day!
…or, I WOULD have, had Harmony not critically hit the first Pokemon we found (a Castform, meh). 0-1 on the day.
Also, remember how Mewtwo was just chilling out in Sprout Tower?
Oh well. The Ruins of Alph were a thing, I guess. I finished a Kabuto puzzle and fell in a hole for my troubles. Smashed some rocks. OH! Did you know that when you Rock Smash, sometimes a Pokemon emerges from the shattered stone? Well, the Ruins were a new area, and…
Welcome Joan to the team! I mean, the PC box of the team, but still! This game with its water-types, man. But it would get so, so much stupider. You’ll see.
I left the Ruins and found myself on a path I would end up getting VERY familiar with over the next several hours: Route 32. See, Route 32 separates Violet City from Union Cave, which takes you to Azaela Town. And if you want to go back to any place you visited earlier than Violet City, you had to go ALL THE WAY back. The whole way you came. You will see why this matters in a bit.
Route 32 brought Fred to the roster, and… I mean, okay. I was really hoping to be seeing a lot more Golem and Gyarados than, say, Gulpin and Castform, but Random IS Random. But still… Gulpin. What happened later would be be somewhat amusing. It was actually a theme of the day.
While walking, I got a call from Bug Catcher Wade, from all the way back on Route 31! He needed to see me ASAP. So I walked ALL the way back to him. His emergency? He wanted to give me a Persim Berry.
I mean… I can’t really be mad about that.
But also? I totally can.
The long trek back full of tall grass and tedious wild encounters FINALLY took me to Union Cave. I was super excited to see what my new friend opportunity would be. And are you seriously ready for this shit?
Four generations’ worth of awesome starter Pokemon I could have encountered, and it throws ANOTHER PIPLUP AT ME? I caught it strictly out of spite and called her Sidney. I didn’t realize it was a her when I caught it, but luckily, it’s a girl’s name, too.
I did end up remembering there is a Nuzlocke rule to avoid this exact situation: you can forego the first pokey you find if it’s a duplicate you already have/had. Having caught Sidney, I was wary of twisting the rules TOO MUCH, but I gave myself this leeway: On the second level of the cave, I would consider it a new opportunity, as if it were an entirely new location.
This isn’t actually unheard of in Nuzlocke circles, to look at levels of caves as different routes.
That said, if you are worried about my potential cheating, don’t be.
That’s what you get for bending the rules. A Delibird. Caught it. Named it Kris. In this cave, there be penguin monsters only for me!
At that point, a thought occurred to me. Before I entered Union Cave, I got a fishing rod. I can go back to cities that had bodies of water and catch new friends! All I had to do was… go back to the beginning of the cave, go all the way back up Route 32, and as far back as New Bark Town–the beginning of the game! Waugh! I already went up Route 32 and back once.
But come on! That’s potential for three new friends between Violet City, Cherrygrove, and New Bark Town! Surely it would be worth it!
Ron Howard voice: “It wasn’t”.
The BEST of those was Pineco, and it Self-Destructed before I even had a chance to catch it. Luckily it didn’t cost me Harmony because he is T-U-F-F tough.
But at this point, MAN. I was consistently getting weak Pokemon as my first new area encounters, only for my follow-ups to be the likes of Weavile, Shiftry, and Sceptile.
I know I am supposed to love and treasure ALL my friends because they might all serve a role, but if I beat Lance, it likely won’t be on the back of El Seed the Sunflora or Linda the Spinda.
Covered in the stink of failure and Repel, I made my way back to–and through–Union Cave.
Route 33 is a very short path outside Union Cave, and the grass there held a Hippopotas! Excellent! That’s actually a good Poke-never mind Marc-Andre killed it with a critical hit.
All that walking around God’s green Johto was good for something, though… the Mystery Egg hatched!
That egg was MUCH bigger than I was lead to believe.
But no matter: welcome, Charlotte!
Not all was peaceful in Azaela Town, though. It turned out that all of its indigenous Slowpoke were missing. A criminal organization known as Team Rocket was cutting off their tales and selling them as food!
I mean, that’s kind of what we do with animals IRL. I feel you, Pokemon. We’re a bad species.
I took off down the Slowpoke Well to
catch a new team member defeat these evil gangsters!
Look, everyone! It’s the evolved form of Fred. Fine, whatever. Happy to have you aboard, Dali.
I defeated the Rocket head honcho Proton in the well and saved the Slowpokes! They are pretty adorable. I mean, I know we as a people eat cows and chickens, but I like to think we would not consume adorable, pink, psychic, mildly stupid otters.
Team Rocket was vanquished and now NOTHING could stop me from taking on Bugsy’s Bug-Type Gym!
Oh, right, I caught Leonidas by Headbutting a tree first.
But then… Bugsy!
He surprised me a bit by LEADING with Scyther, who I thought was his last Pokemon, but that was all he had up his sleeve. I didn’t even need Marc-Andre to team wipe him. After defeating Scyther, I gave him the battle off. Charlotte was more than enough for Kakuna, and Harmony finished Metapod.
Two badges down. No one has come even close to dying.
My team may not be well-rounded or have superstar potential, but these early gyms just can’t handle us. The way things are going, I can’t see anyone…
To be continued in Chapter 3!
MY TEAM SO FAR:
Marc-Andre, the Prinplup – level 25
Estrada, the Armaldo – level 7
Harmony, the Marowak – level 17
Charlotte, the Nidoqueen – level 13
Linda, the Spinda – level 10
El Seed, the Sunflora – level 10