Nuzlocke Run

So I’m an unabashed Pokémon fan.  I’m 27; the video games, show, card game, and other memorabilia came here to America when I was still in my early teens and, despite my parents’ warnings that the game was dangerous, satanic, and completely pro-Darwinist, I was hooked from the first time I picked up Pokémon Blue.

Pictured: Where I grew up.

I loved Pokémon growing up; heck, if it weren’t for Pokémon, I’d never have had occasion to learn how to type the ‘´‘ over the letter ‘e.’
Did playing Pokémon make me unpopular in high school?  No, I wouldn’t say it did… but then again, I didn’t let it completely consume my social life, like a couple other students did.  I never got into the card games, I never bought any of the crazy tie-in items (except for that Pikachu pager-walker-Tomagotchi-wannabe-thing) and I only briefly watched the cartoon, mainly because I couldn’t take the repetitive plot of each and every episode.  (Although really, I can’t fault the show… it was only aping what the video game series has been doing for over a decade.)

What?!! Criticism of the Pokémon game franchise?  Yes.  Absolutely.  I mean sure, the games are actually geared towards younger kids, so plot elements aren’t really that important… who cares if each game in the main series is nothing more than a huge fetch quest punctuated by rather boring rock-paper-scissors battles every twenty seconds? Who cares if the generic villains always have the same M.O.?  Who cares if the newer games are so plagued by lack of ideas that they’re recycling the same roster of creatures over and over, just with new paint jobs and names with each new generation?  (I swear, it’s like the latter seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation… it’s the same exact generic creatures, just with comically mutated foreheads.)

Having said all that, the original series, consisting of Pokémon Blue and Red (Yellow can just screw right off,) and its immediate successors Gold and Silver were really the high point of the entire series; it simply doesn’t get any better than those early days of waking up your best friend in the middle of the night to shout in his bewildered face that you just caught one of the game’s two Snorlaxes after a twelve minute battle.

(T-Roy, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry for waking you up and shouting in your face.  Also I’m sorry for that time I nearly burned down your back yard… but really, you should have known better than to let me bring that giant firework back to your house in the first place.)

Where was I?  Oh right, the original series.  I actually gave up my copy of Pokémon Blue years ago to a friend who was going overseas to Iraq, so he’d have something to do.  You will not believe how hard it was to press the confirmation button to erase my nine-year-old game file.  (Actually, if you’ve ever had a little brother, you probably know the pain of losing a great gamesave intimately.)  I erased nine years of progress (just eight monsters shy of a complete Pokédex!) and gave it to my buddy.  He had grown up playing the game as well and actually had tears in his eyes as he hugged me goodbye; he was genuinely touched that I would do that for him so he’d have something to do on those long, freezing nights overseas.
A few years back, my wife surprised me for Christmas, presenting me with a huge box under the tree.  I honestly had no idea what was in it; I ripped off the paper and opened the box… only to find a smaller box inside of it.  After I had opened about three boxes inside of boxes, I finally located the prize inside, swaddled in tissue paper: a used, slightly battered copy of Pokémon Blue she had located at the local Gamestop.

It was like finding this under the tree:

If the smallest doll had been replaced by this:Which is, of course, totally rad.

And now on to the crux of this post.  (Yes!  I finally get to use ‘crux’ in a sentence!  Score!)
The Nuzlocke Run.

What’s a Nuzlocke Run, you ask?  Why, it’s only the Pokémon game for the criminally insane.  It’s a normal Pokémon game, with a few game-changing modifier rules thrown in.  Here, I’ll let Nuzlocke himself explain it to you:

Yes.  That is a Nuzleaf with John Locke’s face.  I don’t have time to explain it.  Suffice it to say, the joke is funny.  Laugh.

So yeah, that’s the basic rules for a Nuzlocke run; there are ways to make it even more insane, but I think I’ll stick with those for the time being.  I’m going to go home tonight and delete my Fire-Red file (in no freaking way am I touching my Blue file) and start it as a Nuzlocke Run.  Of course the funniest rule of all is the ‘Make a comic whenever something amazing, upsetting, or terrible happens’ rule… which you can bet I’ll be following to the letter in coming days.

Stupidly hard runthrough of Pokémon Fire-Red, I choose you!

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