A few of you old enough might remember the fringe phenomena called Game of Thrones that reigned supreme over our collective lives for the last 9 years until a few months ago. One couldn't walk the streets without hearing the name Khaleesi, people would lose jobs and friends over the mere mention of spoilers, and the entire internet went mad over which candy or coffee brand had accidently made its way into Westros. To celebrate the end of this show and television sensation, a Nuzlocker by the name of Spectacles who specializes in the creation of the wackiest rulesets you have ever seen, decided to make her own version of Westros, but to make it even better: by adding pokemon into the brew of course!
As if the Nuzlocke rules weren't hard enough, Spectacles decided to add an entire tome of rules for her to follow as she makes her way through Randomized HeartGold. These rules include events that add a lot of gameplay and story depth, as well as special traits, religions and so much more to each and every pokemon she encounters. Although this run claims to be a screenshot run, it combines so many different media, rules and features that giving it a single label would miss much of its uniqueness. On the surface the run follows the comments of Spectacles as she plays the game using her massive ruleset as Orys of house Baratheon, recruiting the pokemon of the different houses into her castle as she goes, and vanquishing foes from various factions as she carves her place into Westerohto. But if you look deeper, the run actually uses this game to tell a fascinating story about an alternate version of Westros with its own intrigues and personal journeys, and in which the game of thrones is played not only in the battlefield, the royal chambers and the dark castle corridors, but in another realm called "The Beast Realm" which some of the characters of this world use to train, fight, and follow their unique fates in.Allow me to introduce myself.
I am Spectacles of House Nuzlocke, the First of Her Name, Creator of the Castlocke and the ‘Throneslocke’, Protector of Sinnoh, Mother of Charizards, the Taker of Self-Imposed Challenges, the Unseeing (without visual aids), and Follower of Rules.
When you play the Game of Thrones, you win…or you die.
Yeah, same goes for nuzlockes.
So let’s mash them both together, shall we?
Welcome to Westerohto, everyone! …And no, I didn’t choose Heart Gold just to make that pun…
Orys of house Baratheon, the protagonist of our story and a merry and battle-experienced Snubbul in his Beast Realm form, might seem at first as your classical hero, but he is far more than that. True, he is brave, kind and just, but on the other hand he has his own obvious mortal weaknesses, and is struggling to act according to his inner moral compass in a land where power and violence are often what's expected of you if you want to survive. Although he is the head of house Baratheon and much of the story is focused on him, the plot includes many other interesting characters that have joined Orys's cause, each with their own ambitious and desires. And through some of them, as Spectacles knows how to do well in her runs, she sometimes adds a little touch of humor.My explanation for this is something called “The Beast Realm”. These people of Westeros have a chance of being blessed with “the mark of the beast”, which allows them to enter this mysterious realm, that is the Pokemon world, in the form of a monster- almost like a warg. This is considered an honorable and sacred journey, and whoever beats the champion of the beast realm will surely conquer Westeros as well. So in-game battles and such occur in The Beast Realm, and ruleset-specific happenings such as events take place in Westeros. So while Human Orys is at Storm’s End, Snubbull Orys is travelling through Johto.
Before Orys could attempt to form a response to that, two Greyjoy bannersmen lead a young girl off the boat and escorted her to Orys and Preston.
“Lord Baratheon,” one of the bannersmen said, “We present Sendriss Storm of the Iron Islands.”
The girl smiled meekly, and said in a small voice, “Hi, Papa.”
Orys swallowed nervously and inclined his head, but found no words.
Preston broke the silence. “Are you sure she’s half Baratheon? She’s so… tiny!”
Sendriss blushed. “W-well, I didn’t do any training or fighting at Pyke… But I think I can still be of help to you.”
She removed her right shoe, and lifted a leg to expose the bottom of her foot to reveal the Mark of the Beast. “I got lucky that it was in a hard-to-see place… Mama doesn’t know. She…she wanted me to tell you she’s coming for you, Papa. And she’s got more people on her side this time.”
You will notice most of the run follows both the explanation of the behind the scene mechanisms that triggers these events and affect the games as well as the story outcomes of these events. Through this you can really see how the imagination of Spectacles works as she tailors these RNG driven events into her own story.Preston leans into Orys’s ear.
“Psst. Orys. Don’t….recruit….this….man.”
“Preston, what are you talking about?”
“I don’t trust him. Just look at those waddle-feet.”
“Shh! Trust me on this, m’lord. I have a 6th scent for this stuff.”
“Don’t you mean-”
“Look, m’lord! Look at his eyes…”
“Orys, those are the eyes of a killer.”
…………YEAHHHH I killed another encounter. Low census at Storm’s End I guess… *sigh*
The characters we meet in this world are not only those that follow Orys after his return to Westerohto from beyond the narrow sea, but also the members of the great houses that take part in the complicated diplomacy of this world, including the many possible allies and enemies of house Baratheon. Much like the game of thrones books and show, we follow the story from the different perspectives of very different people, from simple kitchen boys, to ambitious bastard heirs, and mighty lords and queens. And each and every one of these characters has their own story to tell, their own lineage which they try to bring glory to, and their own struggle in this world. Spectacles created a detailed backstory and biography to almost every one of them, as well as generated an entire family tree for every house that explains their origins. The world that she presents in this run through her story doesn't only feel like it is alive, it actually is as it generates itself as the run progresses with the world beyond the protagonists' view constantly changing.The Return to Storm’s End
So, it’s time to pretend like Orys was never here, have someone “send word” to him to come back to Storm’s End, and have him wait a suitable amount of time and then announce his return. This would take two event periods, so there is a 75% chance of 2 events happening during this waiting period.
…But anything can happen during those two events, and Orys is in no position to handle an ill-fated RNG roll.
“Grandfather…Save your ravens. I return to Storm’s End tonight.”
Preston stares questioningly at his friend. “But that’s gonna look really suspicious if you come back the same day your father dies on a hunting trip.”
“Oh, it’ll be more than suspicious, Preston. If I am truly meant to rule Storm’s End, my home, it should be known how I came to take it. If my people are truly faithful, they will accept me as their true Lord without conflict.”
So if you are interested in knowing the fate of Orys, his companions, and who will end up sitting on the Iron Throne of Westerohto, come hear the tale of GoT-ta Catch 'em All!. The story is still unfolding as we speak.
If you have a run you'd like to see featured, do contact one of us Featurers! Or how about you head on to the Feature a Fan Run section and give some love to one of the runs you think are worthy of a feature? We are coming to the end of the year and the extravagnza can almost been seen in the horizon! And after that of course, more features to come. See you all next time!