Ruberto "Ruby" Normanson is the protagonist of the Pokémon: Hard Mode series, the original Nuzlocke Comic by Nuzlocke.
Appearance, Backstory, and PersonalityEdit
Ruby is portrayed as a young man in a red shirt and jeans, and (more notably), the distinctive hat worn by the male protagonist of Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire.
When Pokémon: Hard Mode first started, Ruby didn't have very much in the way of personality. The first appearance of any sort of motivation was when he challenged his father, Gym Leader Norman. Ruby revealed that the entire reason he began his Pokémon journey was to gain the approval of his father. However, even after Ruby defeats Norman and wins the Balance Badge, the Gym Leader still shows little emotion toward his own son. Because Ruby believes that he needs to make the deaths of his Pokémon happen for a reason, he continues his journey to become the Champion of the Hoenn League anyway.
Ruby is consistantly shown as an extremely motivated individual, unwilling to give up even after the greatest losses. His desire to prove himself as a Trainer comes from neglect by his Slakoth-loving father.
Despite his overall good nature, Ruby is easily annoyed by in-game NPCs, and has even been known to punch out characters that he especially hates (Maxie in the Ruby chapter, Gary Oak in FireRed, and a Team Plasma Grunt in White).
With his Pokémon, however, Ruby is usually amicable, as long as he doesn't determine the Pokémon to be beneath his standards (most notably Luke the Oshawott in White, though Ruby ended up choosing him as his starter anyway). He even gave his final FireRed team the option of backing out of the challenge before the Elite Four battle, in case they did not want to risk being killed. Ruby almost always experesses extreme grief when his Pokémon are killed, being driven to tears after nearly every death.
Relationship with NuzleafEdit
(Warning: this section contains spoilers for the FireRed arc!) Quite possibly Ruby's favorite Pokémon, the Seedot/Nuzleaf that was his first catch in the Ruby chapter has acted as a motivator, a friend, and a source of advice for Ruby throughout his career. Even after Nuzleaf's death to Wattson's Voltorb, Ruby kept the Pokémon at the front of his memory, and used his feelings toward Nuzleaf, as well as the rest of his fallen Ruby Pokémon, as his final motivation to fight Steven's Metagross with Sceptile. Ruby remembered especially clearly the first line that Seedot said in the comic: "I believe this is all happening for a reason."
However, Ruby's grief over his loss of the Hoenn League Challenge in the Ruby chapter, and his blind loyalty to everything Nuzleaf says, nearly caused the destruction of mankind in FireRed. The legendary Pokémon Mewtwo, after latching on to Ruby's mind and learning his weaknesses, created an ethereal version of Nuzleaf that only Ruby could see. Mewtwo, through this illusion of Nuzleaf, motivated Ruby to try challenging the League again, this time in Kanto. Along the way, Mewtwo tricked Ruby into hunting down and killing Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres, as well as incapacitating Mew. This allowed Mewtwo to escape his imprisonment in Cerulean Cave and pursue his dream of killing all humans and ruling the world.
However, even though the version of Nuzleaf that Ruby saw during FireRed was created by Mewtwo, he did meet the ACTUAL spirit of Nuzleaf while unconcious. Nuzleaf told Ruby that he has no regrets about the past, and that he still believes that "it all happened for a reason".
Most recently, in the White chapter, Nuzleaf appears as Ruby's 'concience'. Nervously, Ruby asks this version of Nuzleaf if he is another illusion by a legendary Psychic-type. Nuzleaf denies it.
Pokémon League ChallengesEdit
Ruby has attempted to become the Pokémon League Champion of three different regions, with varying success, and for differing reasons.
RUBY CHAPTER: The Nuzlocke Challenge that started it all. A less professionally-drawn Ruby began his first League Challenge to earn the approval of his father. However, he eventually continued for less selfish reasons, instead hoping to make the deaths of his fallen Pokémon have some purpose. This 'run' is unique in that not only is it the original Nuzlocke, but it is also the first FAILED run too, because Ruby's team wiped at the Champion battle, and he chose not to retrain Pokémon that he had left in the box.
FireRed CHAPTER: After the failure of his Hoenn challenge, Ruby became the laughingstock of Littleroot Town. He is reported to run through the town, ranting and raving about how he needs to win the championship, that it is his 'destiny'. Everybody in Hoenn knows about his defeat, and even his friend May pushes him away because of his mental state. One day, while Ruby is sitting in his underwear feeling sorry for himself, a vision of his beloved Nuzleaf appears to him, and tells him that he must take the challenge again, but in a different region (Kanto) and under a different name (Red). Ruby travels to Kanto by unknown means, receives a starter from Professor Oak, and sets out on his second journey.
Team Rocket and Mewtwo plot notwithstanding, Ruby was successful at his goal this time around, defeating the Champion with two Pokémon remaining. However, a powerful Psychic-type attack incapacitates everybody at the award ceremony, and Ruby flies off to defeat the source. While confronting Mewtwo, Ruby is sucked into a tear in space-time and is transported halfway across the world, and several years later. Because of this, Ruby was never officialy crowned the Champion of Kanto, and nobody has any idea where he vanished to.
WHITE CHAPTER: Showing utter disregard for the plot of this game, Ruby grabs an Oshawott and sets out to become the Champion of Unova. As he explains to Nuzleaf, his motivation this time around is to make a name for himself in Unova, so his friends and family can potentially find out where he is and he can be reunited with them. The White chapter is still ongoing, with Ruby having received five Gym Badges at this point.
Ruby has captured many Pokémon throughout his journey, though he has restricted himself to only catching the first encounter on each new Route, Town, or Cave he visits.
Treeko/Grovyle/Sceptile: Ruby's starter Pokémon in this game, and also his final death, to Steven's Metagross.
Seedot/Nuzleaf: Ruby's first catch, modeled after John Locke from the TV series Lost. Died to Wattson's Self-Destructing Voltorb, but was never forgotten, and made a few flashbacks in the Hoenn arc, and was a main character in the Kanto arc, via Psychic illusion from Mewtwo. (Nuzleaf+Locke was the basis for the term 'Nuzlocke Challenge'.)
Silcoon/Beautifly: 'Another piece of shit' that Ruby grew attatched to. Poisoned by a Wurmple and died en route to the Pokémon center.
Zigzagoon: Died protecting the weak Whismur from a Poochyena
Whismur/Loudred: Intitially hated by Ruby for causing the death of Zigzagoon, he regained his masters' love because of his immunity to Supersonic attacks. Died to Maxie's Crobat.
Makuhita/Hariyama: Ruby's favorite Pokemon. Died to Steven's Armaldo in the final battle.
'Gulliver' the Wingull/Pelipper: A valuable member of Ruby's team. Sacrificed himself to save Ruby while battling Groudon. Sceptile got revenge and killed the legendary Pokémon.
'Mr. Humpy' the Numel/Camerupt: A female Numel, despite her name. Died to Drake's Salamence, because Ruby was not confident in Katie to defeat the Dragon-type.
Absol: A 'Shadow ballin!' Absol modeled after Soulja Boy, that Ruby found 'So Cool'. Died while setting up a Perish Song on Steven's Metagross.
'Benjamin' the Magicarp: A pokemon who wanted to be on the team, like 'Timmy'
'Timmy' the Tentacool: A pokemon who wanted to be on the team, like 'Benjamin'
'Katie' the Spheal/Sealo/Walerin: Initially a 'derp' that Ruby only added to his team because he needed somebody that could use the Rock Smash and Dive HMs. However, Katie proved her strength by defeating Maxie's higher leveled Crobat, after it killed her friend Loudred. Like Absol before and Sceptile after, she died to Steven's Metagross's Earthquake.
'Dogen' the Medicham: A philosophical member of the team to replace Gulliver, and the final known catch in the Ruby chapter. He was also Ruby's first Elite Four loss, being one-hit-killed by a Sheer Cold from Glacia's Walerin.
'Bruce' the Charmander/Charmeleon/Charizard: Ruby's starter in FireRed, and based off of the superhero Batman (with Batman's alter ego, Bruce Wayne, implied to be the Charmander's namesake). Conversely, Gary's Blastoise is often compared to Batman's nemisis, The Joker. Bruce survived all the way through the game up until the defeat of Mewtwo, where he is sent back in time and separated from Ruby. The last we see of Bruce, he is flying around Kanto searching for his Trainer.
'Desmond' the Mankey: A mentally-unhinged Mankey that often mishears Ruby's commands and brutally kills potential catches. He died while fighting Misty's Starmie.
'Sawyer' the Pidgey/Pidgeotto/Pidgeot: One of Ruby's first catches in FireRed. He stayed with Ruby all the way past the Elite Four, where he and Bruce were the only survivors of the battle against Champion Gary. However, after doing major damage to the legendary, he was killed in the battle against Mewtwo.
'Whiskers' the Rattata: The first death in FireRed: Hard Mode, Rattata died almost immediately after joining the team, from poisoning, on the way to the Pokémon Center. This death is eerily similar to Beautifly's in Ruby: Hard Mode, and Ruby is struck hard by the loss.
Abra/Kadabra: A valuable member of Ruby's team, killed by Lt. Surge's Raichu.
Meowth: One of Ruby's favorite Pokémon, who avenged Desmond when he died to Misty. He also beat Gary's Kadabra, but was killed by Gary's Wartortle in Pokémon Tower immediatley after. His spirit later appeared to help Ruby remove Team Rocket from the Tower, after Ruby was able to see ghosts with the Silph Scope.
'Juliet' the Spearow: A Spearow that Sawyer fell madly in love with. She was killed extremely quickly when Ruby did not remove her from an encounter with a powerful Dugtrio (he forgot that Dugtrio's Arena Trap ability did not affect Flying-types). This made Sawyer angry, and he refused to help Ruby challenge the next gym. Which is just as well, it being an Electric-type gym...
'Doakes' the Diglett/Dugtrio: A Diglett that enjoys spamming the Magnitude attack, with often less than impressive results, but he was still a valuable member of the team. He died against Gary's Arcanine in the championship battle after failing to kill it with his new Earthquake.
'Miss Hissy' the Ekans/Arbok: Caught alongside Blamo, she died by a lucky critical hit from Koga's Muk, the final death before the Elite four battle.
'Blamo' the Voltorb/Electrode: A poweful Electrode that had many impressive wins, beating Sabrina, Moltres, Lorelei's Lapras, and Lance's Flying types. He defeats half of Oak's team in the championship battle, and moves on to battle Gary's Blastoise. He breaks Blastoise's teeth with Light Screen, and nearly faints it with Thunder, but Blastoise manages to get the KO with Hyro Pump.
'Buddy' the Oddish/Vileplume: Initially a hippie-style character who did not even know any damaging attacks. With a little "help" from Ruby, Buddy became a total badass with a katana in one hand and a gun in the other, and even completley skipped the Gloom stage. Although Buddy did well in the Elite Four, Ruby decided to use him to take a hit against Gary's Arcanine in order for him to heal Blamo. Sadly, Buddy was OHKO'ed by Flametrower, and Ruby, remembering the death of his Sceptile, is brought to tears.
Eevee: Box fodder that Ruby recieved, and then promptly sold to pay off gambling debts.
'Hurley' the Snorlax: A foul-tempered Snorlax that Ruby awoke using a Poké Flute. After being captured, Hurley expressed interest in being on the team, but Ruby shoved him in the PC Box, only bringing him out when he needed a Strength-user to reach Moltres. Like the rest of Ruby's Boxed Pokémon, Hurley was released after Ruby defeated the Elite Four and Gary.
'Alexi' the Rhyhorn: A Rhyhorn that Ruby captured in the Safari Zone to help him escape the dangerous jungle. Much to his chagrin, the Poké Ball containing Alexi was instantly teleported to the Box, and he never used her. She was released after Ruby defeated Gary.
'Pony' the Horsea/Seadra: Ruby fished up this Pokémon before going to battle Zapdos, and she quickly proved herself as a capable battler, beating Giovanni and Blaine with no trouble, and proving pivotal in the battle against Lance's team of dragons. However, her Ice Beam was not powerful enough to defeat Lance's Dragonite, and she was killed.
'Keith' the Hitmonlee: Ruby's reward for defeating the Fighting Dojo in Saffron City, in lieu of a Gym Badge. He was boxed, and then released after Ruby defeated Gary.
'Quackette' the Psyduck: A derp 'mon that Ruby captured. Boxed and then released after the Elite Four.
'Sean' the Lapras: A Lapras that Ruby found inside Silph Co. with a 'Free!' sign around his neck. Boxed and then released after the Elite Four, and was used as the other release Pokemon's method of transportation to reach the Sevii Islands.
Judy: A Tangela that Ruby absentmindedly captured on his way to Cinnabar Island. Released after the Elite Four Battle.
An unnamed Kabuto that Ruby got from the Dome Fossil on Mt. Moon. We only know about it because of when Ruby showed Giovanni when asked what he did with his fossil.
'Luke' the Oshawott/Dewott: Ruby's White starter. Initially he thought Luke was 'by far the stupidest starter' of all time. However, the real life Nuzlocke decided to choose Oshawott anyway, simply because it had humor potential. Luke has real love for his master, though Ruby is initially annoyed by the Oshawott. Luke is alive at present, and has evolved into a Dewott, beginning to show his true power. When Pauly died, Luke got upset.
'Vincent' the Lillipup/Herdier: Ruby's first catch in White. Vincent insulted Ruby and Luke as soon as he laid eyes on them, but joined the team after a swift beating by Luke. Vincent continued to travel with them, but is often cynical and prickly toward other members of the team. Despite this, Ruby has labelled Vincent as his favorite out of all his White Pokémon (much to Luke's chagrin). Ruby evolved him into a Herdier before challenging Leader Lenora. Ruby later accidentally entered Vincent into the Nimbasa Fashion Show, much to his chagrin. "It. Was. Elegant!"
'Señor Fluf' the Purrloin: A weak Purrloin that acted as Ruby's second catch, Fluf was absolutely terrible at battling, nearly being killed in almost every fight that Ruby sent him into. It got so bad that Ruby even taught Fluf the Cut HM, effectively making him the only HM slave on the team. However, in a battle against N, the Purrloin proved himself worthy of respect by taking down a Pidove that had killed Hank was about to kill Luke from behind. Fluf got cocky and was then attacked by N's Tympole. He died in Ruby's arms. He was known as "Fluf" because Pokémon names had a ten-character limit, but was referred to as "Fluff" a few times.
'Hank' the Pansear: A flame-spewing monkey that assisted Ruby in defeating Striaton City's Gym Leader. He was also used by Ruby (as "Red Team") to steal a package from Professor Fennel (which ended up simply containing the HM for Cut). However, he died against N's Pidove during a battle in Nacrene City.
'Lucy' the Pidove: A Pidove that Ruby caught outside Nacrene City. Was later boxed and when Victini was caught, Ruby went to the PC to tell Lucy that he would not be using her anymore, causing Lucy to go insane inside the box. Even when she was given the offer to rejoin due to Pauly's death, she expresses sadness that Pauly was dead, but turns down the spot due to it interrupting her card game with Tang and Barby.
'Jenny' the Woobat/Swoobat: The Pokémon that Ruby caught inside Wellspring Cave. She evolved in the Desert Resort, and is still on his team now.
'Pauly' the Timburr: A Pokémon Ruby caught outside Pinwheel Forest. He aided in the capture of Victini, and spent most of his time outside of his Pokeball. He was killed after he took a critical hit by N's Darumaka, which pushed him off the ferris wheel, but a ballistic Luke killed the Darumaka with Pauly's own wood beam in tribute to him. He was mistakenly referred to as "Paulie" a few times.
'Princess' the Petilil/Lilligant: A Petilil that joined the team in Pinwheel forest after complimenting Ruby's hat. The two proceeded to have a kawaii-off, which Princess won. She was used in battle briefly once, but hasn't made any appearances since, not even in the Box. Ruby was going to use her in the Nimbasa Fashion Show, but accidentally used Vincent. It later evolved sometime before the battle with Clay.
Victini: The first legendary Ruby caught. It and Ruby seem to hate each other, after Victini claiming that it's potential wasn't being used properly. Although it obeys Ruby, it is rebellious and still tends to argue with him, although it is happy and obedient when it faces a worthy opponent, like N's Sigilyph, and boasts whenever he beats the powerful foe.
'Tang' the Darumaka: A Pokémon Ruby caught on Route 4. It has had no major role so far in the comic. It was playing cards with Lucy.
'Barby' the Maractus: A Pokémon Ruby caught in the Desert Resort. It has had no major role so far in the comic. It played cards with Lucy.
'Isis' the Yanmask: A Pokémon Ruby caught in Relic Castle. Despite Ruby never meeting her, she knows his name from a television interview in Relic Castle. (For some reason there is a TV in the Relic Castle) After seeing Ruby, she says "I... sis....". Ruby thinks this is what she wants to be named, thus, naming her just that. However, it seems that she was cut off from finishing her sentence. Some suggest that she was about to say she is Ruby's sister.