Breathe even more life into Pokemon when Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire come out


We are just under a week away from the releases of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. While this may be the first time younger audience will get to experience the third generation of Pokémon, for some of us this will be a repeat playthrough of this generation. There will be a few extra bells and whistles like the improved graphics and the other new features that debuted in Pokémon X and Y.

So for those of you picking up Pokémon next week and feel like it’s becoming a bit stale or easy, try some of these challenging optional rule sets to ramp up the difficulty and possibly get you out of your Pokémon comfort zone (which now reading sounds like an amazing place to visit. Get on this, Nintendo!).


The most basic Nuzlocke rules are as follows and most of them apply to the other optional run types with key differences that will be noted.

  • Any Pokémon that faints is considered dead, and must be released
  • The player may only catch the first Pokémon encountered in each area, and none else. If the first Pokémon encountered faints or flees, there are no second chances. If the first encounter in the area is a Double Battle in dark grass, the player may choose which of the two Pokémon they would like to catch.
  • While not exactly a definite rule, the general consensus is that players must also nickname all of their Pokémon, for the sake of forming stronger emotional bonds.
  • Also not a definite rule, but the general consensus is that a black out/white out is considered to be “game over”, even if there are Pokémon left in the PC.
  • Strongly implied, though not explicitly mentioned in the comic, is the stipulation that the player can use only Pokémon they have captured themselves, meaning traded Pokémon, mystery gifts, etc., are prohibited. Trading and retrading the same Pokémon (for the purpose of evolving a Graveler, for example) is something of a gray area, and may fall under optional rules.
  • Also strongly implied is a prohibition against voluntarily resetting and reloading the game when things go wrong. Being able to do so would render all of the other rules pointless.
  • There are also other optional rules such as limiting the level of your Pokémon based on the gym leaders level, or limiting the purchase of Pokéballs, and items but these are extra.

Egg challengeTogepi

  • The only Pokémon you can use in combat are Hatched Pokémon and your Starter.
  • Traded Pokémon of any kind count as Non-Hatched (Yes, that means you can’t train received eggs. They can only be used for non-combat purposes.)
  • Hatched and Starter Pokémon must have nicknames, Non-Hatched Pokémon must not.
  • Switching to level up with shared experience may be freely done until level 10, Besides that, standard switching rules apply (e.g. you may use either Set or Shift).
  • Only one kind of each species may be Hatched at one time (So you could prepare seven Pichu eggs, but only one at a time can be hatched).

Wonder Run

  • Basically, when you start the game, catch 5 random Pokémon. Then, you Wonder Trade all of your Pokemon (including your starter). Whatever 6 you end up with, you keep.
  • Whenever a Pokémon faints in battle, you Wonder Trade it away for a new one. You aren’t allowed to catch any new Pokémon, except to use for HM’s . Any Pokémon you get gifted get thrown in the PC box, never to be used.
  • If that Pokémon you received in Wonder Trade is higher level than your strongest Pokémon, then you must send it back into Wonder Trade until you receive a Pokémon that is lower leveled than your strongest Pokémon. This is to make the run stay challenging.

Pokemon Gym Leader Kanto

Gym Leader Challenge

  • As a gym leader you must stick to ONE type, and your starter must be stored or release upon your first capture. a normal type may replace it if it evolves into or duals the type of your choice. (Dual types are allowed.)
  • Any Pokémon that faints outside of a Gym Leader, Elite 4, Champion, or Syndicate Leader’s battle is considered DEAD and must be released or stored and never re-used. However Pokémon that faint DURING a gym battle cannot be revived but can be re-used.
  • Throughout the game you can only use ONE TECHINICAL OR HIDDEN MACHINE that matches your type. All other attacks must be learned via level-up, Level 1 moves, or Evolution (Example being a Fire type “leader” using T.M. Flamethrower, cannot use any other TMs throughout the game, even other fire TMs)
  • Only ONE potion (Normal, Super, Hyper, or Max matching the current gym) per gym battle or trainer battle. Replace potions with Hyper potion or Full restore during elite four and champion, which the limit is changed to 2 to account for repeated use in some games by E4 and Champion.

Again these are the basic rules for a few of the many challenges out there in the world of Pokémon, and there are tons of variations that can be added into these other rules as well if you truly want to ramp up the difficulty.

Which of these modes sound like the most fun to you? I know I personally will be doing a Gym Leader challenge for next week’s launch. All that’s left now is for me to pick the type for my run.

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