Discover more from Erica Drayton Writes
The GenderLocke Nuzlocke Challenge
When I first watched a gamer on Twitch doing a nuzlocke challenge I couldn’t understand why someone would want to self-impose rules to make the Pokemon games harder to play. I personally find them the right level of difficult, and in most cases, harder than I like. I’ve always approached the Pokemon games from a place of simply wanting to catch all of the Pokemon and that’s it. But recently, my understanding of the challenge and the fact that I could make up whatever rules I wanted, changed how I felt about participating in one myself.
What is a nuzlocke challenge?
In the simplest of definitions, a nuzlocke challenge is a set of rules that are set before starting a Pokemon, intended to make the game either harder to play or longer to get through or both. A couple common rules across many of the nuzlockes I’ve seen:
You can only catch one Pokemon per route. An added difficulty is it has to be the first new Pokemon you encounter.
When a Pokemon faints then it has to be released or boxed and never used again in play.
What makes the genderlocke different from all other nuzlockes?
I can up with doing a genderlocke because I was already doing something similar when I was playing Pokemon SwSh. With every new game I decided to refine the rules slightly till I think I got them just right. It all started when I was trying to breed Eevee’s so I could have all of the Eevee-lutions. I noticed the percentage of getting a male vs female was skewed to male. Same for all starters. I know there is a “reason” for why the game is coded this way but it immediately made me want to have an all female Eevee team. This quickly morphed into doing this for all Pokemon. And hence the following rules were created:
All Pokemon captures must be female unless the Pokemon is 100% male or genderless.
Exception: Intention is to breed Pokemon to get all female team (ex. starters).
When encounters are male they must be fainted (unless captured) as this will assist with leveling up.
If encounter is with a Pokemon that has any chance of being female the first capture must be female (ex. Eevee)
To get evolutions breeding can be used as an option.
All female team must be used for gym battles.
Exception is starter for first set of gyms until Ditto and breeding ability is available in-game.
Why do a nuzlocke challenge?
Many people do it because they find the regular game to be boring to play. After 25+ years of the same concept it can get boring. Personally, I don’t find the actual game play to be boring but I do like the challenge I’ve given myself to have an all female team with each Gen game which is what I ultimately will set out to do. If you find the games boring you might consider taking the rules you like from other challenges in order to make your own. You don’t have to follow any that already exist if you don’t want to. At the end of the day you’re the one playing the game and no one can tell you how to do it.
How am I tracking my progress with this challenge?
This is where things get a little complicated to track and I’m still working on the best way to do it. I want to have a Living Dex. A Living Dex means I have a Pokemon at each of its evolutions. If I were doing just a regular Dex I would need just one Pokemon and level that up so it registers in my Pokedex and that’s it. But I like the idea of having each evolution. For example, I would have a Pichu, a Pikachu, and a Raichu in a Pokeball. What adds a new layer of complication is to have a Pikachu from each Gen game. So I would essentially have 9 different Pikachu’s to cover all 9 Gens that are currently out. Of course I would only need 8 Pichu’s as this Pokemon wasn’t available until Gen 2.
I have a HOME spreadsheet that I created in Google Sheets that you can check out here and copy if you like. I’m constantly updating it and refining it to make it better and I’m currently working on creating one within Notion that will hopefully be a better way of tracking. We’ll see. In 2023 I hope to start finishing some of the older gen games and transferring those Pokemon into Home where I’m going to organize them either by National Dex or by Gens. Either way, by wanting to complete a Living Dex per game it means I’ll need every bit of the 6k Pokemon that Home allows me to have there.
How you can create your own challenge?
First I would suggest checking out Nuzlocke Variants which lists all of the Nuzlockes that are most popular along with the rules.
Pick the rules you like, or just pick a challenge, and then play.
Remember the key here is that you are putting these challenges on yourself and if you no longer find them exciting and instead become frustrated by them, then you can stop doing the challenge. No one will (or should) care if you decide to not follow through on a challenge within your own game. However, if you choose to put yourself on Twitch to do a Nuzlocke Challenge and forfeit or try to circumvent your own rules, don’t be surprised if viewers take issue with it. That’s just how it is. I prefer to keep my Nuzlocke challenge off stream because how I choose to follow my own rules is my own choice and I don’t need backseat drivers on my game play.