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Forum Home > Nuzlocke Runs > A Story of a Nuzlocke

Crimson DESTR0YA
Administrator
Posts: 1888

One year ago today, Murphy's Law had kicked in for me. Capping off an already tumultuous year for me, my then-girlfriend developed her own issues which eventually resulted in an icy breakup, I found out cancer actually WOULD kill my grandfather this time, and my one meaningful class of the semester was kicking my ass. When problems like these arise, you face them the only ways you can. The hardest times for me, though, occurred when I WASN'T facing them. The pain was there in my free time; that's when I did my thinking. That's when I got myself in trouble.

 

Because of this, I spent a lot of time doing something I never do: Studying. Which admittedly helped a bunch in eventually coming back to not only pass World Lit II but actually come roaring back with a respectable B, considering the circumstances. But especially for a lazy bastard like me, there's only so much of that you can handle at a time. I needed something fun.

 

The World Series had just ended, so I didn't have baseball. Football was on every Sunday (I don't watch college, except the Hogs) and that was nice when the Saints won, but that's one day a week. Every TV show I've ever liked has either been ended (Monk) or ruined (House) by this point, and I've never been a movie guy. If anything, movies give me even MORE time to think myself over the edge.

 

That pretty much left video games. Problem was, I was broke. And every game I owned had been played and overplayed before. The one thing that never got old for me though, no matter how many times I played, was Pokemon. But my main competitive battling partners had retired or were experiencing wifi difficulties. The reason I picked up competitive battling in the first place was that the main games had just become too childish, too easy to even be considered a legitimate intellectual pastime for me anymore.

 

That's when I discovered something different.

 

Actually, I didn't discover it, I remembered it. Months before, when I first tried to turn PR into something, CJ posted a link to something explaining "Nuzlocke rules." A new way to play Pokemon, a way to turn this innocent children's game into a brutal, grueling expedition filled with heartbreak and regret. It effectively barred you from catching the best Pokes the games had to offer. It turned misplays and unpreparedness into dead friends. It completely robbed the games of all their original spirit, and shattered all your innocent perceptions of this beloved franchise forever.

 

And it was just what I needed.

 

I don't remember quite how or why this came back to me when it did. CJ's post had sat dormant for several months, and it was actually my initial run that sparked PR's activity to begin with. But somehow, I was drawn back to this post, and realized I had found one last essence to squeeze out of these games.

 

So, on November 9, 2010, I dug my spare copy of LeafGreen Version out of my closet. I wanted my first to be a Kanto game, for that will always be my home in the world of Pokemon, and yet I wanted the somewhat-modern game mechanics of the GBA games, without the complications and advanced AI of the DS era. Besides, that LeafGreen cart had nothing but an old half-a-run I'd abandoned sometime during my junior year of high school. I had nothing to lose but time, and because of what I explained earlier, in a way, losing time was a gain for me.

 

I devoted literally all of my spare time for the next week into that run. Wake up, play until 9, go to school, hour off for lunch, play while eating, back to class, home by 2, alternate playing and doing whatever I had to do for class that day until I took a pill and made myself sleep by about midnight. There was one weekend in the middle of the run; I made it from Rock Tunnel to Koga during those two days. I didn't let myself escape the game while I was playing; for the first time, I applied my knowledge from competitive battling to the in-game world, and I needed every last bit of planning. The rules CJ posted turned out just to be some Smogon scrub's take on them; as a result, I actually subjected myself to much more of a challenge than I had to. The main restriction was on healing items; how I made it out of my maiden Nuzlocke without items is something I still haven't figured out, but I did it. Being the derp that I am, I also never picked up the VS Seeker (I actually forgot it was even IN LeafGreen…;), but the added challenge only helped me more. The harder the game got, the more brainpower I had to devote to it. And the more brainpower I had devoted to Pokemon LeafGreen, the less brainpower I had to devote to "I want to kill myself."

 

The final day was what truly cemented its place in my memory, though. By day 7, I had completed every task in the main game, including the optional jaunt to the Sevii Islands. Because of my neglect of the VS Seeker, I was facing a buttload of grinding to be ready for the E4. That's when the unthinkable happened. Gerald, my Venusaur, my starter, the one who had carried me through the first half of the game on his shoulders alone, who had whipped Brock and Misty when no one else on my team was equipped to, who Seeded Surge's Raichu to death when it got to +6 evade, who absorbed Poison Sting after Poison Sting in Viridian Forest when I couldn't use Antidotes on anyone else, who took the hits from Erika's Victreebel while Helena prepared to fire her lazah, died to a wild Machoke in Victory Road. Completely my fault. I thought a Frenzy Plant would OHKO; it did not.

 

That blow actually hurt. Removing myself from in-game mode, I felt genuine regret that I had gotten him killed like that. I lost five other Pokes that run, most early on and in death fodder situations. I was just a hard-ass like that, I didn't care if I had to use fodder. But my starter, and only because of my own laziness… I honestly hurt for that Venusaur. I felt ashamed that I had let that happen.

 

After that, I went into "fuck it" mode. I knew my run was probably over, I knew spending a week grinding without the aid of VS Seeker would ruin the experience for me, and I figured I might as well give it my best shot now and get this over with.

A level 50-something Jolteon. A level 50-something Starmie. A level 50-something Gyarados. A level 40-something Golem. And a random-ass level 40 Fearow that I slapped Hyper Beam on just because it got STAB.

Knowing that I still didn't have much of a prayer, I got bold and went after Zapdos. I allowed the pursuit of legendaries in this run, and I had previously failed to get Articuno after it broke out of 50 Ultra Balls. To show how little I cared, I went into the Power Plant with eight, just leftovers from the ten I brought into Victory Road. After paralyzing with J-Dog and whittling him down with Rochelle, the thing went into the eighth and final ball. I named him SUCCESS, knowing it might well be the last bit of that I experience in this run.

A Zapdos helps a lot, but it's not enough to beat the Elite Four with the rest of the group I had. It was then that I got my last bit of divine inspiration for the run.

I used up all my rare candies, and in the process Helena the Gyarados learned Dragon Dance. Well, there's a chance. +6 +6 Gyara is absolutely horrifying, I don't care what the level difference is. If only there was some way to protect her long enough to set all those up…

Then I remembered the move tutors. I remembered Substitute. And I remembered that Gen 3 intelligence was about on par with Sarah Palin.

 

Except for Agatha, who J-Dog roasted with Shadow Ball, Helena the Sub-Dancing Gyarados swept the Elite Four, including Gary. Turns out the AI tries to inflict status moves even after they've failed a few times thanks to your Sub. I'd done the impossible. Without VS Seeker, without items, without my starter, and on my first try. Hell, Zapdos never even saw the battlefield, so I can honestly say without legendaries, too.

 

The best part about it all, though, was the crowd I drew for my finale. During that run, I made an open call on Facebook for my friends to join me in PR's group chat to cheer me on. To my surprise, 8 or 9 people showed up, all seeming to have been following along with the updates I'd posted, all seeming to genuinely be rooting for me to succeed. During that lonely time, that was huge for me. Many of those people went on to join PR and start its two-month golden age where people posted every day and everybody got along. But just in that moment, to see everyone rally around me, over a simple game… It was beautiful. I think that's still my favorite part of the whole thing.

 

I can't say things improved dramatically after that day. None of those problems I led off with wound up ending well, except my World Lit II class. Papa finally died in February and I never really talked to that girl I was dating again. To this day I actually have no idea what happened to her; I still wonder sometimes. But for that week, I was Hideki again, in a world where none of that shit mattered. It was just me and Gerald and Helena and J-Dog and Starwho? and Rochelle and SUCCESS and Big Bird and all my fodders and HM slaves and early fighters and worthless encounters who made the whole thing possible. It forever changed the way I look at those games that I've loved so much and for so long, and it honestly made that ancient region of Kanto feel brand new again. For that one week, and the adventures that have followed since, I'll always be thankful to Nintendo, Game Freak, Nuzlocke, CJ, that random Smogonite, and everyone who followed that adventure and the ones that came after. I was happy that week, right in the middle of one of the worst times of my life. I think that's one of the best gifts you can give someone.

 

**********

 

Now, I want to hear about YOUR first Nuzlocke. How did you learn about it, what convinced you to try it, when did you start, how did it go, what did you catch, did it change the way you see the franchise, as much or as little detail as you want to give me.

 

Thanks for reading the whole thing if you did guys, I appreciate it as always. I hope you were able to take something out of this. After all, what's the point of writing anything if no one can learn from it?

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The destructor has gone

November 9, 2011 at 7:58 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Xelakian
Member
Posts: 486

My first legitimate attempt at a Nuzlocke was my Lawful Good run found here. I had just moved to a new city after graduating high school. I had no social outlet. I had no friends in the area. I was essentially just waiting to head to boot camp. All I did was sit on my ass all day surfing the net. So I decided to buckle down and do this thing for real.


And so began what has been christened the unluckiest run ever. The first half dozen times I tried to start I wiped to my rival or shortly thereafter. My Pokemon were getting slaughtered left and right. I had to pass up the only Shiny I'd ever encountered in the wild. I had played Pokemon up until that point very casually, content to win with an underleveled party using type advantage only. Suddenly I was plunged head first into the meta game, forced to use every trick, every advantage, every oversight to my advantage. Around Fuschia City I began to grow complacent, knowing how badass my party was. I was taking more risks, sending mons against enemies they had no business fighting. Around Cinnabar I was almost forced to reset half my party.


My Nuzlocke run did a lot to change the game for me. When I picked up White, I freaked the fuck out about one of my Pokemon fainting before realizing I could just bring it to the Pokemon Center. It does funny things to you. You begin to care about pixels and formulas. You find yourself using potions when you wouldn't ordinarily need to. You delve into the meta without realizing it...


...the Nuzlocke really is the way the game was meant to be played.

--

Friend Code: 1006-1639-8826

November 14, 2011 at 8:34 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Crimson DESTR0YA
Administrator
Posts: 1888

As someone who followed ^his run from the beginning, I can back up the claim that it was the unluckiest run ever. The RIP List just grew... and grew... and grew... The fallen outweighed the living 3:1, I'd say.


Also, for turning down a shiny, I respect you in a way I have respected no one before, and so should all players of teh Pokemans. Still can't believe you did that, man.

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The destructor has gone

November 14, 2011 at 11:06 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Vesicant Lemur
Member
Posts: 98

I first heard about Nuzlocke from Sir Nick here, and that's also when I was introduced to this site I believe. My memory's quite hazy.


It was during the summer and I had absolutely nothing to do except surf the internet and occasionally make the futile effort of finding a job. Put out a good 20 applications in a 2 month period and only ever recieved 2 calls. Both rejections.


I read through some other runs on here before trying my own to see what others were doing, both in how they played the game and how they narrated it. I have to admit, I know little to nothing about the Pokemon meta-game and I haven't had much practice doing a serious narration, so I decided to try a more light-hearted comedy-based story.


It was amazing how quickly I fell in love with my team. It felt like being a kid again. Right up until they died. It hurt a lot more than I thought it would, but motivated me to go even further.


I agree that this is how the game is meant to be played. The danger of permantly losing a friend you've had so many victories with, poured so much time and effort into training, makes the game feel real.

--

Life is Absurd. Chill out. Don't give a fuck.

November 14, 2011 at 11:45 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Crimson DESTR0YA
Administrator
Posts: 1888

If I remember correctly, Lemur, wasn't your first a Ruby run in the winter? Yeah... Your narration was hilarious, and you got buttraped by Wattson like I did, only you scraped enough together to actually keep going and you progressed pretty far with a kick-ass Solrock. Eventually though Solrock got to be too powerful and you got to that shitty part of the Gen 3 games and you boredquit, much to the disappointment of me and the other ~2 people here.

...

My memory is NEVER hazy. Buahaha.

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The destructor has gone

November 15, 2011 at 12:00 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Vesicant Lemur
Member
Posts: 98

Just read through it again and you're right, it was winter. My memory is absolute shit.

Reading it almost made me want to try another one, but I know I have neither the time nor dedication for it right now. Have a few other narrative ideas bouncing around in my head right now though, so maybe this weekend I'll try out something different.

--

Life is Absurd. Chill out. Don't give a fuck.

November 15, 2011 at 12:11 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Crimson DESTR0YA
Administrator
Posts: 1888

Gah, then I had to go back and re-read that run, and man, I forgot just how great it was! You have definitely got to try another one as soon as you get the chance. Of course, I'd love to see what some of these new ideas of yours are, too... But at some point, Ruby Run v2.0. Please.

--

The destructor has gone

November 15, 2011 at 12:31 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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