My Johto Nuzlocke #1 – New Bark Embarkment

Heart Gold and Soul Silver by Jiayi

I always said I’d never do a Nuzlocke run. Then I started watching other people do it and bit the bullet. In the early hours of this morning, I completed my first ever run on Pokémon Blue. The sense of achievement was almost overwhelming. And I wanted more.

That’s why I’m here with a new adventure in Johto. On the back of RBY’s success on the Virtual Console, Nintendo re-released Gold and Silver on 22nd September. Gen 2 is easily my favourite of all the generations. It came at a time when I had lost my own Gameboy and Pokémon Blue cartridge. Game Freak introduced night and day, a post-game storyline, 100 new Pokémon, and everything in colour. I lived in America at the time so I got the chance to play it before my peers back in the UK. It coincided with my first ever visit to Toys ‘R Us (a childhood dream) and I’d spend as much time as I could on the display GBC unit. When my birthday came around, my parents got me a new Game Boy Color and Pokémon Silver. I cried and hugged them. My cousins came to visit for Thanksgiving and we played all day and night. It was a happy moment in an otherwise tumultuous period of my life.

Fast forward 17 years and while the troubles exist in a different context, the games remain having evolved like the creatures they depict. I have Sun & Moon but they don’t capture my imagination like Gold, Silver, and Crystal did. Their appearance on the Virtual Console has offered a portal back to childhood and something to concentrate on. The success of my Gen 1 Nuzlocke has spurred me on to do it on Silver, a decision as soon as I downloaded it. This series will tell the story of that Johto journey.

This morning, I embarked on my quest. I decided not to pick my starter at random; no one is parting me with Totodile (“Croc”). I called myself Virgil, after the main character from Static Shock. I followed the storyline as normal – walking to Mr Pokémon’s house, getting the Mystery Egg, Pokédex from Professor Oak, and getting interrupted by my rival (who I named Ivan, after the antagonist form Static Shock). After showing the Egg to Elm, I got my Pokéballs from his aide and the Nuzlocke began. My first encounter was a Lv 2 Pidgey which I caught and named “Nesquik” (after a wrapper I saw in my bin). My second was a Weedle, now named Messi (he’s on a poster on my wall). I’m holding out for a Geodude from Rock Tunnel. I’ve wanted a legit Golem for a long time and now I have that opportunity.

Join me next time to find out how I’ve got on.

(photo courtesy of Jiayi)

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