The Nuzlocke Challenge is an increased difficulty run of any Pokémon game. Originating from the author (known in the comic as "Ruby" and as the username "Nuzlocke")'s comics posted on 4chan's /v/ board, the Nuzlocke Challenge has become a popular trend and has been attempted by many other fans of the Pokémon series of games.
The name comes from a Nuzleaf from the user Nuzlocke's comic bearing a likeness to John Locke from the television series Lost. The name was dubbed by the users of /v/ that were the initial audience of the comic.
The Nuzlocke Challenge was originally two basic rules: you may only catch the first Pokémon on a route, and if a Pokémon faints, it is dead and is unable to battle for the rest of the challenge. As explained in Nuzlocke's "What is the Nuzlocke Challenge?" comic, the purpose of this is for the thrill of the adventure, to use new Pokémon that are normally neglected, and to care deeply for the player's Pokémon, knowing that any second could be one Pokemon in the party's last.
As the series grew more popular and more people did their own Nuzlocke Challenges, some opted to use additional rules. Here are some of the popular rules employed in fan runs:
- All the use of the Poké Marts and other stores within the game, or not using them at all.
- All the use of the Pokémon Centers, or not using them at all.
- Limiting/preventing the use of items, or sometimes just healing items.
- Randomizer Nuzlocke Challenge: Each Pokémon on each route is random.
- Limiting the amount of Poké Balls the player is given. Sometimes, the player can only use the first five he or she is given.
- Dupes Clause: If the first Pokémon that appears is one that the player has already caught, the player can find a new Pokémon in that Route.
- Nicknaming your Pokémon, whether it be on a theme or just random names.
- Monotype Nuzlocke Challenge: Using only one type of Pokémon.
- Limiting what Pokémon can or can't be caught and used. Legendary Pokémon, pseudo-legendary Pokémon and starter Pokémon are mostly affected by this.
- Only moves that the Pokémon learns by increasing its level can be learned. Hidden Machine moves can be learned as well.
- Anti-Grinding: You cannot battle wild Pokémon unless you are forced to do so.
- Team Challenge: You must pick your entire team beforehand (including a starter is up to you), and you can only catch those six Pokémon. Optionally, if you fail to catch a Pokémon on the list, you can remove it from the list and replace it with a new Pokémon. (Coined by RGK)
- Limiting the Pokémon that you can catch to that Generation. (ex: In Ruby, you could not catch a Marill, as it is not part of the new generation.)
However, in any Nuzlocke Challenge attempted, the two original rules must be followed.
InfluenceThe original Nuzlocke Challenge inspired many other Pokemon players to document their own Nuzlocke Challenge runs in many different formats.
Text-Based Nuzlocke Challenge
Some Nuzlocke Challenges are written or typed and shared on the Nuzlocke Forums.
Screenshot Nuzlocke Challenge
This type of Nuzlocke Challenge uses screenshots from the game the run it is based on and posts small captions under them, mostly for commentary purposes. They are shared on the Nuzlocke Forums.
Comic Nuzlocke ChallengeThe original and most popular form of the Nuzlocke Challenge, some users will draw their progress through the game the run is based on. They are shared on the Nuzlocke Forums and are displayed on the Nuzlocke Challenge website's "Fan Comics" page.
Video Nuzlocke Challenge
This type of cock Nuzlocke Challenge run shows the game it is based on recorded using a capture device, then posted on a video sharing site on the Internet.