Nuzlocke runs were born out of the necessity from the powers that be behind the Pokemon series refusing to let their games grow as their original audiences have. Pokemon Black and White 2 are the only main-line Pokemon games to have any level of difficulty changes. Whilst those difficulty options were pretty lean, they were at least something. The problem is, games before and games since lack this feature or any real challenge whatsoever – that’s where a Nuzlocke run comes in.
The Nuzlocke challenge is a set of self-imposed rules to a playthrough that are designed to challenged the seasoned veteran player of the series. Not only do they provide a challenge to the player, but they also encourage the use of Pokemon that normally wouldn’t make it into a lot of people’s favourite line-up of six.
The original creator of the Nuzlocke challenge is Nick Franco, a dedicated Pokemon player and a talented comic artist. The Nuzlocke name comes from the Seedot and Nuzleaf that featured in his original comic that outlined the rules and interest of the challenge. Their name, combined with John Locke’s character from the ‘Lost’ television show, created ‘Nuzlocke’.
The comic and Nick’s challenge filled a gap that had been missing in the Pokemon community for years – a challenge. A way for veteran players to connect with each-other over their meaningful losses and triumphs whilst enduring a Nuzlocke challenge.
We can see from Nick’s original design that the basic rules of the Nuzlocke are pretty simple, despite some variants requiring a bit more complexity and dedication.
Rule 1 – If a Pokemon loses all of it’s HP and faints, it is considered dead. Depending on the player, the deceased Pokemon will either be ‘boxed’ permanently, or they will have to be released. Either way, they cannot be used again in any circumstance.
Rule 2 – Only the first encounter on each route or area can be caught. This extra challenge forces the player to use Pokemon they wouldn’t normally, and it makes each encounter and death significant as the player can simply ‘run-out’ of usable Pokemon and therefore fail the Nuzlocke run.
Variants and Optional Extra Rules:
- It is generally accepted that the player will nickname each Pokemon they capture to give them some personality, and make the fear of losing them to the ‘perma-death’ rule even more significant.
- Pokemon gained through methods other than the first encounter are generally excluded and not usable for Nuzlocke challenges. This includes trading, event gifts, gifted Pokemon, egg gifts, etc.
- Save scumming renders the runs pointless, and is therefore usually just accepted as a non-practice. Perma-death or first encounter rules mean little if the player can reset their game.
The Problem With Nuzlocke Challenges
The key issue with the Nuzlocke challenge is that all these rules are self imposed. They have never been officially supported in any Pokemon game whether it be main-line or spin off. Meaning if they player is simply unaware that the challenge exists, or doesn’t have the self-discipline to follow the guidelines, they are simply without an option for a challenging experience.
Without an audience, the player has a lack of accountability to follow the Nuzlocke challenge. Without this, difficulty isn’t set in stone.
How Coromon Solves This Problem
The way that Coromon solves this problem is twofold. First their game doesn’t have a lack of difficulty options that lead to the necessity of the Nuzlocke challenge, as there are four quite varied difficulty options. The second is that the option for a Nuzlocke challenge that is enforced by the game itself is present in Coromon natively through some of it’s difficulties.
Like I mentioned, Coromon has four different difficulties settings:
Easy – Full heals your Coromon when they level up, Coromon will be able to be revived if they are defated in battle.
Normal – Coromon will not be healed on level up, elsewise the game is unchanged.
Hard – Random encounters cannot be fled from, and Coromon that are defeated are released, making you unable to use them again for the entirety of the playthrough.
Insane – All of the hard mode rules are active, and only the first Coromon from each area may be caught.
With these difficult modes, Coromon is infinitely more accessible than it’s competitors. Players who are inexperienced or unfamiliar with the genre can get a leg up through the level up healing with Easy mode. Those that want a strict ‘Nuzlocke’ experience can select the Insane difficult mode and have the Nuzlocke be imposed by the game itself. Those who want a challenge somewhere in between, have the Hard mode option also. The game is flexible to your preference.
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