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Bryss' Hake & Fun Run Diary

Thread Description
Sometimes I play things and don't document it. It happens.

Master Bryss

zd zd
Hacker
Screenshotter
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
85
Caught
Jun 16, 2019
Messages
2,381
Location
Scotland
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
  1. Poison
  2. Steel
Pokédex Entry
Their body is made of an intricate and interconnected weave of their own puns.
Good morning internet, I'm Master Bryss, and it's no secret that I enjoy a good rum hake. Over the last six years, I've had the pleasure (and displeasure) of Nuzlocking a variety of fan-created efforts at a competent Pokemon game: Ruby Destiny Life of Guardians, Quartz, Marble, Dark Violet, Liquid Crystal, XY Naturia, you get the picture. I also covered some more work-in-progress hacks in the Super Bryss Hack-a-Thons (most of which have probably been abandoned by now). But there's a secret world of Bryss playing hakes. The hakes I play for 'fun.'

In addition, I might sometimes throw in a run report here for something I do that isn't meant for comprehensive documentation but still might be interesting. Obviously these runs aren't canon to Bryssverse.

In this thread, I'm going to report back on some of the best, worst, and mediocrest hakes I've played in private. I'm doing this for two reasons. One, it's nice for me to have a record. Two, it gives me an opportunity to give my opinion on hakes that people might want to try for themselves and give them some idea of what they might be getting themselves into. Thus, a Hake Diary.

Here's how it'll work: each post will be a mini review-cum-summary of a hack. I'll follow the format of:

Hake Name (self-explanatory)
Version Played: Most of the hakes I play are in some form of beta, this way you'll know if the hakesmith made a newer one after my review. I'll also try and include the year of release.
Hack of: The base game
Pokemon: The extent to which the in-game Pokemon are changed, both in terms of Pokedex contents and moves known. If the hake contains fakemon, this will be noted here too.
Mechanics: If the game mechanics have been changed, it will be noted.
Graphics: The extent of graphical modification, even if it's just a new player character.
Story: The extent of story changes if there are any.
Blind Nuzlocke Viability Score: Every hake will be reviewed on a five-point scale based on how viable it would be to complete a totally blind Nuzlocke using only the basic Nuzlocke rules. The rankings are as follows:

1: Totally viable. Provided that you take good care of your team, this hake provides a fair challenge.
2: Mostly viable. There might be a few spots of bother here and there where you might need to grind a bit more, or one or two Gyms that are a bit difficult without one specific counter.
3: Hit-and-miss. Your chances are about 50-50, whether down to an inconsistent level curve or badly-designed opposition.
4: If you don't include a bullshit clause you lose. There is at least one fight that the plot requires you to lose that happens after the first ten minutes of gameplay, at some point you are required to fight a legendary that's much higher levelled than you, illegal evolutions up the wazoo. If there's a few of these things, it could be a 3, but if there's loads? Definitely a 4. Most of the worst offenders I've played will be 4s.
5: This hake is impossible to Nuzlocke using vanilla conditions for technical reasons (e.g. you don't ever receive Poke Balls and therefore can't catch anything).

Once that's taken care of, some plain paragraphs elaborating on the hake, spoiler-free if possible. There will then also be a spoilered bit elaborating on the specific reasons why I scored it the way I did for the Blind Nuzlocke Viablity ranking.

99% of the hakes I've played are hakes of the first three generations. This is because later-gen hakes tend to just be gameplay changes and I honestly don't care for them as much. Sorry!

Gen I Hakes

Gen II Hakes

Kalos Crystal (2018)

Gen III Hakes
Stigma (2019)

Fun Runs
Rubí Omega Psychic Monolocke
 
Last edited:

Master Bryss

zd zd
Hacker
Screenshotter
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
85
Caught
Jun 16, 2019
Messages
2,381
Location
Scotland
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
  1. Poison
  2. Steel
Pokédex Entry
Their body is made of an intricate and interconnected weave of their own puns.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #2
Pokemon Kalos Crystal (Azure_Keys)
Version Played:
Final release (2018)
Hack of: Crystal
Pokemon: Exclusively Gen V and VI Pokemon. Some new moves have replaced older ones, giving them mostly accurate renditions of their standard movesets.
Mechanics: Whilst there is no split, Ghost and Dark have swapped over so the former is now the Special one.
Graphics: Only the Pokemon battle sprites have been changed.
Story: Vanilla Crystal
Blind Nuzlocke Viability Score: 1

Kalos Crystal is a simple but ambitious minor hake, built using the Crystal disassembly. It aims to implement the 'spirit' of GSC using Gen V Pokemon as substitutes for Gen I Pokemon and Gen VI as subs for Gen II. Thus, on routes that Rattata used to be found, Patrat/Lillipup is there instead, while Fletchling subs for Hoothoot. The later routes have improved variability though, so it's not all Watchog all the time.

Similarly, the teams used by Gym Leaders are reflective of their original teams. Whitney's ace, for example, is still a fairly tough one-stage Normal Pokemon that you'll need a plan for. This has not been slavishly adhered to, allowing Morty to actually have team viablity instead of a team of Litwick, two Lampent and a Chandelure.

The graphics used for the Pokemon are faithful to the GBC style for the most part instead of weirdly-shaded Chaos Rush devamps, which for me is a positive because I like the Gen II aesthetic. Some obviously had to be crushed into a small space, but it's not bad for the most part.

If you're not playing it blind, the hake comes with documentation for Pokemon profiles and locations, which TMs are included (sadly still one-use), and where to get evolutionary stones (more are found in the wild). Thus, anything you catch can easily be evaluated to see if you want to use it or not long-term.

I like this hack. Whilst it's basic, it's highly refreshing, even after having played the ball-crushingly ambitious XY Naturia. At least this game is actually stable. And lets you heal in battle.

The level curve of the game is more or less GSC. With typical grinding you should be fine. For context, my level range having beaten Pryce for Badge #7 (not Nuzlocking) tops out at 34.

Whitney's ace is in fact a Furfrou with Headbutt. Much like that couple with two of them in XY, it is not to be underestimated.
 
Last edited:

Master Bryss

zd zd
Hacker
Screenshotter
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
85
Caught
Jun 16, 2019
Messages
2,381
Location
Scotland
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
  1. Poison
  2. Steel
Pokédex Entry
Their body is made of an intricate and interconnected weave of their own puns.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
Pokemon Stigma (Scarlet D. and Megacyber)
Version Played:
Beta 1.53 (2019). This goes up to the end of the story and is more or less complete.
Hack of: Fire Red
Pokemon: A mix from Gens I through V. No new attacks have been added, so many substitutions have been made to learnsets. A limited number of fakemon are present but are exclusively used by your enemies.
Mechanics: Vanilla, except that Poison no longer damages you outside of battle.
Graphics: The PCs, the villain team, and some other groups have custom sprites.
Story: The plot is entirely new, and set in a modified version of Kanto. The start point, and the order in which you visit locations, has changed.
Blind Nuzlocke Viability Score: 4

I believe in different tiers of bad hacks. Some are mechanically bad. Some have poor plot or graphics. Some are unnecessarily difficult. This is a blend of all of these, but not in a heavy amount. It's like a pinch of each was added for a perfect cocktail of just bad enough to be a bad hack.

Mechanically bad. New Pokemon that explicitly were designed for the physical-special split were added without the split. Some move substitutions are weird, like Thunder Punch Luxray since Fang wasn't available and Litwick just not getting a Fire move better than Fire Spin (also it still evolves at 41 and thus is extremely hard to use most of the game). Riolu is given to you as a gift, and is programmed to evolve by happiness during the day... except Fire Red has no internal clock so this evolution will never trigger. Some areas have glitches with events happening again. And the final city in the game is explicitly designed to look and feel like a glitchy mess, making it extremely confusing to navigate and an eyesore to look at. Even with vanilla graphics. Oh, and small thing: the nickname section for your starter is glitched so the name won't stick. There is no Name Rater I have found.

The plot. It's very much carved in the Snakewood vein, although with the exception of one(two) single recurring cameo Trainer(s) it is at least more internally consistent than that hake where you fight zombies then chefs then some old dude. Your 'friends' also kinda drop off the map towards the end with no idea of what happened to them. Your character also talks. Frequently. In a stereotypically snarky manner. Most of the time this results in badbutt, although there are a few moments where they basically say exactly what I would have said about the dialogue. Skyneeeeet!

The new sprites added suffer a lot from a lack of blacklining, or in the case of the villain team from too much black. This may actually be a deliberate design decision, in which case I submit the following response: eeeeew.

Uncessarily difficult. The first illegal evolution happens after Badge #2. There are Things I get into in the spoiler section that elaborate on some of the worst offenders thus far (I haven't cleared Badge 8 yet at time of writing). Wild Audino do alleviate grinding pains in some areas, and there is an Exp Share... somewhere I haven't found. Most of the difficulty is fake difficulty stemming from stunt bosses, but there's usually a lengthy grind montage between Badges. Also note that instead of slightly dropping and then rising after each leader, the next area starts immediately at the strength of leader's ace.

I don't like this hack but I don't hate hate it. I'd characterise it as mockable in the same frame as Snakewood or Awesome and its sequels. With some mechanical improvements it could edge into good gameplay-wise, but the plot... yeah, there's no saving that. But it's kind of endearing that way. Maybe? Is that true? Either way don't do it blind you'll scream.

PICK MAGBY OR ELEKID. Gible may seem tempting, but the split and Gible's poor moveset massively hampers its viablity. I think Magby is higher priority due to early Magnemite.

If you capture a Shinx, treasure it like gold dust because it deals with everything the clergy can throw at you except Bronzong with SE moves.

The first 6 Gyms all work like the Winstrate Family, forcing you to fight increasingly large Pokemon teams in one go with no heal breaks. You are literally advised by the game at Gym 6 to wipe to the leader, since beating all the Gym Trainers lets you start again directly at the leader without having to battle them all again.

If your team is cripplingly weak to Fighting remedy this before Mount Moon.

In order to avoid vast levels of backtracking, ensure you speak to every NPC to get the items for the trade quest. If you do not, the workload you're faced with when you reach Saffron will double, especially since Fly does not become available until around the point you obtain Strength.

In order to obtain the HM for Strength, you must battle a L70 Deoxys at a point where your team will likely be in the late 40s at best.

In Seafoam Islands, you must battle Ice Ghosts with Shadow Tag and Ice Beam. It is advisable to lead with something resistant to both of these types.

Gym #7's battle comes at you as a surprise after a lengthy cutscene. The ace is a L48 Metagross.

In the area based on Rock Tunnel, Trainer-owned Ghosts with Destiny Bond/Mean Look/Curse movesets that have high base Speed will appear in large numbers. They are all unavoidable.

Missingno is coming. I am afraid.
 
Last edited:

Master Bryss

zd zd
Hacker
Screenshotter
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
85
Caught
Jun 16, 2019
Messages
2,381
Location
Scotland
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
  1. Poison
  2. Steel
Pokédex Entry
Their body is made of an intricate and interconnected weave of their own puns.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
Rubí Omega Psychic Monolocke

I had a Christmas Day trip to Edinburgh to see the stage version of The Lion King, so decided to do another monolocke to pass the time. After all, the Steel monolocke of White 2 was an unfounded success. After settling on a game (Omega Ruby but in Spanish for funsies), I mulled over a few types before settling on Psychic, since it offered relatively broad diversity for the handful of options I would have. This post will be updated as more of the run is completed, since I only managed to make it to Lavaridge in the transit time I had on the trip itself. Here goes!

Rules are basically the same as the ones I used in Podcastlocke! and are as follows:

-Boilerplate monolocke rules: faints are death, only first Psychic per area.
-Dusty clause: Areas where there is no Psychic capture afford one Capture Token for use elsewhere.
-Legendary clause: Latios is usable, as is any Psychic gotten out of a wormhole.
-The run is considered complete on the conclusion of the Delta Episode. You must attempt to capture Deoxys, but will still win the run if capture would be impossible in the circumstances and Deoxys is defeated.

The run has now concluded! The full writeup in basic mode is below.

The Run
Gym 1: Named my PC Espera, which is both a psychic pun AND the imperative of the Spanish verb to wait, just to see if I could get a redundancy out of the dialogue somewhere. Obviously my pseudo-starter is Ralts on Route 102. To get to it, I pick Treecko as my starter to force Bruno to have Torchic. Given how friendly a rival he is, forcing him to be a Hau is justice. Besides, the true rival of this run is Blasco. Because the Dawn Stone is available very late and Gallade is a type redundancy, my Ralts will become Gardevoir regardless of gender, thus setting up an evolution-off. I'll win.

Name scheme for the mons is major arcana of the tarot, so my male Ralts is The Emperor. Master of mankind, ultimate psyker, praises be. Recite the Litany of Grinding to make levelling less tedious. Once Emperor learns Confusion, I am forced to ditch my starter, and the true monolocke begins... with me having to get to 11 before Petalburg Woods because I cannot pass the Equipo Magma grunt without Disarming Voice. I also have to Metal Gear past all the Ruta 102 Trainers after the Bug Catcher because I know one of them has Poochyena too. Fortunately for me, this is successful.

I grind to 16 for Petra, because I need to be able to survive Rock Tomb in low green from full to have a hope of pulling off the Double Team strategy I will need to win. This strategy proves highly effective, winning us the Stone Badge!


Gym 2: After another 1HKO of a Poochyena in the tunnel, my next catch awaits in Granite Cave. Maybe. I have as many attempts at it as I have capture tokens for all the areas I missed, excepting 101 because there I caught my HM slave, The Fool the Zigzagoon. An Abra sits in my penultimate ball, adding The Magician to my team. Even better, he's Timid! The Emperor, incidentally, is Brave, which isn't the best for the old speed tier but that's the nature of the beast.

Of course, because this is Omega Ruby I can't skip to Slateport yet, so Marcial is another solo effort by Emperor while Magician picks up shared experience (no rule forbidding its use since this is meant to be a fast run). It is not a difficult solo effort, even for a Ralts, as both his Pokemon fall easily.


Gym 3: Seashore House gives me my first real scare, as I bump into a Roughneck with a Carvanha. If Disarming Voice didn't knock it out in one hit, I'd have been stuffed without Quick Claw hax as Bite was full to low orange. I'm glad this isn't an Alpha Sapphire run because I'd be bricking it like all of the time. The Numel of Equipo Magma are much easier to deal with.

Before the second Bruno battle, both my Pokemon evolve! I can't evolve Magician any further until I return home and gain access to a second console for trades, though. It's plain sailing from there into Mauville... where I have Erico's Magneton and its Magnet Bomb to concern me. Grinding to 26 on the faster growing Magician and 25 on Emperor, the former learns Reflect, which might give me a shot.

In the battle, Magician was paralysed by Thunder Wave on the Magnemite straight away, and from thereon all Erico wanted to do was play Volt Switch tennis. Even after the barrier went down. Magneton could still do a decent chunk with that, but once the paralysis was cured I could prod with Psybeam between heals for a careful win. Not the battle I expected but I'll take it.

Alakazamite is available in the Market...


Gym 4: My first Mightyena of the run comes after Fiery Path courtesy of another Roughneck. By this stage I have Draining Kiss instead of Disarming Voice, which is a 2HKO through crosses fingers (Swagger you see). This is the worst thing between me and Meteor Falls, where The Sun brings the real party to three and gives us our first physical attacker! Rock Tomb is immediately bolted on (with Rock Slide learned a few levels later).

There's another Mightyena in the Multi Battle with Tabitha (who is called something else here but I forget) in the falls, but it reserves the worst of its ire for Bruno's Wailmer. Curiously he forgets to bring it to Mt Chimney. I know Magno will have one though, so this is the point where The Emperor reaches his full majesty as a Gardevoir. The Camerupt can barely scratch him, and The Sun battles through Confusion to finish the Golbat.

The area around Lavaridge is a bumper crop of catches. Two. There's two. Hierophant the (sadly) Own Tempo Spoink, and Temperance the Wynaut from an Egg. Because my Spoink doesn't have Thick Fat, Candela's Gym is a solo effort by The Sun, who just so happens to have the Nature that boosts their Sp. Def at the expense of their better Defence. This means that going into the Leader battle, The Sun (Nv. 28) has a Special Defence of 52 and a Defence of only 48. The former means that Overheat from the Torkoal, even with Dia Sol set up by the preceding Numel, barely does anything. Candela is therefore the second easiest Gym Leader thus far after Marcial.


Gym 5: Now that I have the Go-Goggles, The Tower the Baltoy becomes my sixth party member, but I haven't looked at their Nature or anything yet because I accidentally clicked the 'fast travel to Petalburg' option Bruno gives you and needed The Fool to get back to the desert. On the plus side, the levels I get from some of the Trainers I deliberately missed allow me to evolve Temperance into Wobbuffet.

Now seems like a good time for a halfway report on the team. We've got:

The Emperor: Gardevoir, Nv. 32, Psychic/Draining Kiss/Magical Leaf/Calm Mind
The Magician: Kadabra, Nv. 32, Psybeam/Disable/Thief/Reflect
The Sun: Solrock, Nv. 29, Rock Tomb/Rock Slide/Psychic/Fire Spin
The Hierophant: Spoink, Nv. 21, Psybeam/Magic Coat/Confuse Ray/Odour Sleuth
Temperance: Wobbuffet, Nv. 15, Counter/Mirror Coat/Encore/Safeguard
The Tower: Baltoy, Nv. 21, Rock Tomb/Psybeam/Heal Block/Ancient Power
(The Fool:) Zigzagoon, Nv. irrelevant, Cut/Rock Smash

There's currently an obvious gulf between the three I've been using in main battles and the other ones. For obvious reason, Temperance is always going to be a bit behind anyway, but we'll be replacing him with our next capture anyway. That won't happen until... Safari Zone, I think. Unless it takes me ages to find Natu and I get Meditite first. And all this is also assuming I bar myself from using Latios, which I might or might not. After all, I used Cobalion in the Steel monolocke of W2, but that run had more casualties than I've had thus far. There's time yet though...

After a small bit of grinding to bring my levels closer together, The Sun (Nv. 34) is sent to battle Norman. I picked up the Blue Flute from Route 113, which is fortunate because the first Slaking did nothing but Yawn and Encore me. After shrugging off the last dregs of Encore on the Vigoroth, we get a real challenge in the second Slaking. It does about half our health with Feint Attack, and Swagger deals a quarter in confuse damage. There is a close call where The Sun starts at 75%, drops to 24 PS from Feint Attack and then pulls through with a Rock Tomb to gain speed advantage over the foe. If that had gone the other way, I'd have been doing the rest of the run in darkness. With the MO for Surf obtained, it's time to move on.


Gym 6: Fool comes back to take me over a small body of water... and is immediately subbed for Hermit the Latios that I'm definitely using (but not Mega Latios). Hermit because of the circumstances in which he was found, incidentally. Levitate made the Cortina fight less of a bother. That isn't a typo, I'm pretty sure it's just what Courtney becomes in Spanish.

The Weather Institite and Bruno are pretty dull, to be honest. Unfortunately, Fortree Gym is less so. The final Bird Keeper before Winona is in possession of a Dodrio with Pursuit, a fact I plain forgot about slash assumed would be out of the moveset by then. This costs me Tower, just before evolution would have happened. Bollocks.

Winona takes a minute owing to Altaria's Cotton Guard, but run standout The Sun forces Dragon Breath as an offence so it balances out. After a while, we get an uncontroversial win. Hierophant, now a Grumpig, does stellar work with Power Gem too.

The Team's Hidden Powers are appraised as follows: Steel for Emperor not learned, Flying for Magician learned, Ground for Hierophant learned, Fire for The Sun learned, Dragon for Hermit not learned. Hermit does now have Grass Knot though for coverage reasons. Or a change.

Tower ended up as Adamant by the way.


Gym 7: I get a whole bunch of catches in this section! Three. I get three catches, and they are my final two catches of the run. First stop is the Safari Zone, where I somehow skip over Natu and end up with a Xatu encounter! Fortunately, the ball holds, so we're joined by, umm, Wheel of Fortune, since I was in the passenger seat of a car at the time and couldn't remember another major arcana that could have been thematically appropriate for Xatu. He's Adamant like Tower was, which is... unideal, but I could always teach him Fly and have access to easier backtracking before Latios Jet becomes a thing.

I forgot that you have to traverse the inside of Mt. Pyre to get to the outside in the remake, which means a lot of battles against Hex Maniacs and pesky things like Sableye. Nothing I could possibly catch would resist Ghost, even if I'd allowed myself the Special Demo Version's shiny Beldum as an alternative starter (and the joy I'd have had with tha- oh wait it does know Hold Back doesn't it? Maybe it wouldn't have been so bad. If it turns out I actually CAN still get that Beldum and it's not a one-per-demo deal) thanks to Gen VI altering the type chart. Wait never mind it was a wi-fi event. There haven't been any slip ups so far, but I'm staying vigilant.

Strength (Timid) and The Devil (+Sp Atk -Def) are our final catches at Monte Pirico. The Medichamite is also found around here, so that's bolted on immediately in advance of whenever evolution happens. I forgot how much Magmaplot happens in this section, so there's a lot of that. It isn't tough, but the five-Poochyena fight just before Carola (I remembered Courtney's Spanish name!) actually takes Hermit to half health. They got switched in by Roar and I didn't want to faff with switches given they were all Nivel 18 and all knew Roar.

Vito and Leti are fought as a matched pair by Sun and Emperor. Everything in this fight is 45, which scares me because it means the curve is catching up again, but the Solrock goes down turn one and the Lunatone can't effectively oppose me. That Shadow Ball TM comes in handy.


Gym 8: Magno, now equipped with Megagafas (which is all one word and it's great), gives us quite a workout in Caverna Abisal. I tried a Calm Mind sweep but the Mightyena's Scary Face meant that his Weezing outsped Emperor and exploded for most of his health. I ended up swapping to Sun for Crobat and then Hermit for the Camerupt to match Mega for Mega (so much for not using Mega Latios...) and even then I took big damage. No deaths, but that Explosion was frightening.

Obviously Primal Reversion Groudon is my next big target, but I have a plan for this: use its own power against it! You like the sun? You get The Sun. With the help of the Earthquake TM and Levitate, the fight was a breeze after the terror of the first Eruption taking me to 50%.

I don't have an obvious answer to Plubio so opt to Calm Mind sweep with Emperor. This works fine once I get past the Luvdisc and its gauntlet of toss a coin probabilities in Attract and Confusion.


League: At Ever Grande, I make the final team call: Emperor, Sun, Hierophant, Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Strength. Hierophant is 38 to Emperor's 50 now, so grinding is inevitable.

There is a Scare when the first Cooltrainer of Vic Road pulls out Rhyperior with Stone Edge, but a lucky Grass Knot from Hermit, who avoided a KO range critical on the switch, takes the brick beast out. A later scare comes from a Froslass, which I have few options for but manage to brute-force with Mega Latios. Blasco's Mega-off between Gardevoir and Gallade... doesn't come to pass because I don't have Gardevoirite, but unsurprisingly I win thanks to Calm Mind.

At this point, I do some backtracking to grab some important TMs (Return and Thunderbolt) and a few Heart Scales to re-jig some movesets. OH, AND GARDEVOIRITE. At last, I have Mega Emperor on the team, nodding back to the blog mascot I had from back in the 40k blog days (the Medabot of the same name, for reference).

My final team going into League is:

The Emperor: Gardevoir, Nv. 56, Moonblast/Shadow Ball/Thunderbolt/Calm Mind, holding Gardevoirite.
The Sun: Solrock, Nv. 58, Rock Slide/Psychic/Earthquake/Flamethrower
The Hierophant: Grumpig, Nv. 54, Psyshock/Hidden Power Ground/Power Gem/Calm Mind
Strength: Medicham, Nv. 53, Brick Break/Zen Headbutt/Bulk Up/Return, holding Medichamite
Wheel of Fortune: Xatu, Nv. 54, Psychic/Fly/Steel Wing/Calm Mind
The Hermit: Latios, Nv. 55, Psychic/Dragon Breath/Grass Knot/Surf, holding Latiosite

At this point, The Sun will always be the highest levelled member due to that mad growth rate. It's only getting worse.

Elite 1, Sixto! This is the field test of Mega Medicham, who Bulk Up sweeps here with ease after Mightyena's Swagger happens and negative effects are dispelled with a Cura Total.

Elite 2, Fatima! The plan for this one is a Calm Mind sweep with Mega Emperor. Unfortunately, during the setup phase I get a Curse put on him, and the second Banette adds Toxic to the mix. I swap out at Sableye to Hermit, who can tank a Shadow Claw easily... but the Sableye also has Foul Play. In the same turn that I Full Restore Emperor, I lose Hermit (who isn't dead because they're needed for the Eon Flute to work but this is very much battle retirement). The rest of the battle is fine.

Elite 3, Nivea! I was originally going to try and use Hierophant here, but Glalie's Crunch made me re-think and go for Strength again. This works out, even when the two(!!) Froslass come out and I get super paranoid because of what Acerola's one did in Spanish Sun. Zen Headbutt sinks the Ghosts, everything else goes to a boosted Brick Break.

Elite 4, Dracon! I mean, I have Mega Emperor. Moonblast be good. No issues.

Finally, we have Maximo. After careful consideration, I decide that trying to set up with Emperor is risky, especially when my entire strategy for Delta Episode relies on him. Thus, it is Strength who takes the 'let's set up again hurr durr' mantle here. Aside from Toxic and Spikes, Skarmory is willing to accomodate me here, but I do end up having to heal again on Aggron because of Sturdy and the chip damage from earlier Aerial Aces. Mega Metagross is sunk in a single hit, no issues with speed ties here thanks to Mega Medicham's decent legwork.

We've entered the Hall of Fame! But the run's not over yet...


Delta Episode: Given that Emperor is still alive, Tristana isn't a threat. Tristana is Zinnia's Spanish name. She comes with the title of Cronista (so more Chronologist than Lorekeeper) and a Whismur called Felicia. At some point, I also buy the TM for Thunder Wave and over-write Shadow Ball on Emperor for it, since we have two captures to make to end the run.

After many, many moments of 'wait how does the Delta Episode go again?,' we reach Sky Pillar with little incident. I have to catch Rayquaza to advance the plot, but we'll be swapping it out of battle as soon as it appears. Even with this additional step, Tristana's full team is unthreatening. What wasn't unthreatening... was Rayquaza itself. Dragon Dance buffs accrued whilst trying to get it in the Ball costs us The Sun, despite its resistance to two of Ray's attacks.

The time has come at last to venture into space and take on Deoxys. We don't even have access to Mega Emperor for this since I have to use Mega Ray to get into space in the first place. Incidentally, Ray has been designated The Star even though it's... not even an HM slave, it's just a plot necessity. The plan is simple: swap Ray for Two of Cups the actual HM slave so I get a clean switch into Emperor, accrue Calm Mind buffs to survive a Hyper Beam from a Deoxys 15 levels above me, paralyse, wait for Cosmic Power to make its defences stable, lob Balls. Simple enough. And you know what?

On the fourth Ultra Ball, it even works.

Victory! Overall, the run took me 2 months and 11 days (Jan 4th to Mar 15), and had three deaths (to a Bird Keeper in Winona's Gym, Phoebe, and Rayquaza). So a bit less brutal than the Steel monolocke was. Most challenging section was probably trying to get a plan together for Wattson's Magneton. A decent challenge. Wonder what type is next...
 
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Master Bryss

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  2. Steel
Pokédex Entry
Their body is made of an intricate and interconnected weave of their own puns.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
Final Fantasy XIII-2 'Nuzlocke' Run

I unironically enjoy Final Fantasy XIII-2 (please don't send me letters about it). Anyone who's read Time & Space is fully aware of this. This year I decided I would finally finish out the trilogy by playing Lightning Returns, but before that, there is this. Someone on the old forums actually attempted this back in 2012 but never got too far in. The ruleset I'll be using is a little different to that one, though.

Rules
1(1):
I can only use the first monster I acquire in each Historia Crux area in my battle party, plus my two 'starter' monsters. These monsters are to be given an adornment and a random nickname from the game's pre-approved nickname list (player-inputted names don't exist in this game).
1(2): Other monsters acquired can be levelled and infused into my battle monsters as normal.
1(3): Safari Zone clause: each of the Steppe's various weather patterns is a distinct area for capture purposes.
2(1): If a monster is KO'd during a battle, at the end of the battle I must release or infuse it.
2(2): Your monster party members share a HP meter which works proportionately (so all your monsters will have X% of their HP at any given time and all three will be considered KO'd if one of them is). If I switch to different monster in order to cast Raise or use a Phoenix Down, that monster is not considered dead.
3: Battles the player is not supposed to win do not count for the purposes of Rule 2.
4: I cannot use DLC 'monsters' (except Sazh because he's Escape's favourite character and I can't catch a break).
5: Crystals aquired by Moogle Throw count as 'gift' monsters.
6: The run ends when the credits roll for the first time.

This is a quick note run for me, so I will assume familiarity with the mechanics of this game (or of Final Fantasy XIII at least).

Early Game: New Bodhum 3AF to Yaschas Massif 10AF
Time and memory, frozen in crystal...

After defeating the tutorial prologue, we're thrust into the New Bodhum segment where you learn to control your actual playable humans, Serah and Noel. For their character development I'll be using the 'optimum' method that emphasises their best offensive stat (so all magic all the time for Serah and then strength for Noel until I run out of strength bonuses, at which point I'll decide what to do based on if I need a human Sentinel or not.) After taking care of business here, we move to Bresha Ruins 5AF, where the actual run starts.

At the point the game introduces the Paradigm Pack to you, you are thrust into a battle with two monsters, a Cait Sith and a Zwerg Scandroid, that you are guaranteed to capture. If I were being cruel I'd force a choice here, but I have no idea how hard this run will actually be so I'm going to let myself have both of them. Especially since Paradigm Pack monsters can only be one of the game's six battlefield roles.

Starters: Erin the Cait Sith (MED, Late Bloomer), Unger the Zwerg Droid (RAV, Well-Grown)

Erin will be serviceable... eventually. Cait Sith's stat growths are hideously low until late in its development track. For now though, she's our only Medic since neither human gets it until a few Crystarium stages from now. Unger is a Thunder-focused Ravager who will mostly keep up for now. In addition to these starters, we can now go back and get a catch from New Bodhum.

(Also, Escape is obsessed with the fact that Cait Sith lives in a pot in this instalment.)

New Bodhum 3AF: Olivia the Gorgonopsid (COM, Late Bloomer)

Another late bloomer, but again serviceable for now. Also our first dog. If you consider a Gorgonopsid a 'dog.' With three monsters now in our Pack, we can begin advancing the plot again in Bresha Ruins, where...

Bresha Ruins 5AF: Paris the Nekton (RAV, Late Bloomer)

...we can get a disappointing tiny Ravager. Blizzard is its starting move, so we at least cover a new element. I won't be keeping track of all my catches but will mention relevant infusions where I can. Paris is benched for now, and we proceed to defeat the boss of the Ruins with little difficulty.

We next move to Yaschas Massif 10AF, where currently awful Behemoths hide in shadows and will TPK anyone who tries to go at them without overgrinding. Our catch will therefore be something else. Specifically...

Yaschas Massif 10AF: Hendrick the Urudimmu (COM, Well Grown)

Another dog! Hendrick is Well Grown so will outpace Olivia in the short term, thus necessitating a replacement. Unfortunately, this doesn't last. Because I am an idiot who forgot to buy Wound Potions (Wound being a 'reduce max HP for battle duration' type deal), the Massif's swipe-happy boss is a real test of my current Medics' ability to keep up, and it's a test they fail. Hendrick is KO'd by a vicious claw, bringing me back down to four usable monsters. I infuse Hendrick into Olivia, who gains a nice Strength +16% passive from him.

At this stage, I decide to actually level Paris a bit (this being done with items), and it turns out the Nekton has solid early growth compared to other Late Bloomers so for now it's actually a bit better than Unger. Our Pack at the end of this early bit is therefore Erin, Paris, and Olivia (and really only Paris is seeing use because of its 1000 odd HP compared to 500-600 on other monsters and 750 on humans.

The run continues...
Second Quarter: Sunleth Waterscape 300 AF to Academia 400AF
This is the point where the game lets you slide between two concurrent plotlines until you solve everything in both of them. Despite the title of this section suggesting otherwise, I actually begin with Oerba 400AF and its slide into spacetime oblivion. While most of the monsters here are of the uncatchable Cie'th variety, there are...

Oerba 200AF: Edonis the Clione (SYN, Late Bloomer)

A palette swap of Paris except it's a Synergist with access to a few buffs over time. I currently don't have the proper materials to level it, so a firm reserve. This section mostly serves to introduce you to the connect-the-dots puzzles that make up the least annoying third of the spacetime anomaly sections... except I forgot where the third one was so I'll be coming back here after I slither about the Waterscape for a while.

Sunleth Waterscape 300AF: Walt the Miniflan (COM, Late Bloomer)

Inevitably, my catch for the flan-infested Waterscape is a tiny goo ball. Walt is actually much better than Olivia at the moment, so the swap is made and I can finally stop using exclusively Paris in my paradigms. A stressful but death-free battle with His Royal Ripeness occurs (I have not yet remembered to purchase Wound Potions because I am dummy), after which we get our introduction to Moogle Throw and the joys that it brings to all. To the Steppe, via the Colosseum and our first creepy Void Beyond segment!

Archylte Steppe (Sand): Diedrich the Chocobo (COM, Late Bloomer)

A Chocobo! I'm shocked it's not a goblin but none of them wanted to sit. Now we have a racer on our hands for if I want to enter the hellish world of that side game later. As I mentioned in the rules, I'm allowing myself a catch in each weather pattern of the Steppe (except Storm seems to have nothing but Cie'th). Thus, after we change up...

Yaschas Massif 1XAF: Crumpet the Spiranthes (MED, Well Grown)

...we go somewhere else that's available to us. Crumpet outclasses Erin for now, so we have a monster Medic again. By this time, I have unlocked all of Serah and Noel's roles, allowing me to use Serah as a Saboteur for more flexible paradigming and Noel... still mostly as a Commando but sometimes as an okay Sentinel. Not much else to say about 1X, except that I can't do half the quests here yet for strength reasons.

Back to the Steppe!

Archylte Steppe (Sun): Laurence the Cactrot (MED, Late Bloomer)

A Flowering Cactuar! This is a surprise. I'll be saving my rain catch because Escape wants to try for a second potcat. Which means I have to battle that pesky Faeryl that's causing the Waterscape bother in the ...past? Future? Unclear because the Steppe's timezone is listed as questionable AF.

I think I went into the Faeryl battle underlevelled, because its relentless stream of attacks forced me into Combat Clinic (SEN-MED-MED) on multiple occasions. Thanks to Wound Potions nobody died, but this is a miracle because Crumpet got real close sometimes. With the power of 'Walt outclasses both my humans in both offences,' I win the battle, but owch. Lesson learned.

The Mutantomato that now lives in the Waterscape is a far easier battle, leading to more Void Beyond fun and the unlocking of the casino. This also means the Heads or Tails DLC episode is playable, so...

Serendipity: Sazh the Sazh (SYN, Well Grown)

I guess he's my catch for the otherwise monster-free casino. Wew. This is what I get for letting Escape find out about Chocolina's true nature. After this though, NO DLC MONSTERS.

Bresha Ruins 300AF: Brett the Munckin (COM, Early Peaker)

At this point I decide to go for my Bresha Ruins 300AF catch, which can only be Munchkin because going to the areas where Circuitron spawn is death. Brett is our first Early Peaker (tops at L20) of the run, and boy does he show it. With about 600 Strength to his name, Brett is a massive physical facebeater that will destroy many things. For now.

Academia 400AF: Ike the Koboldroid Yin (RAV, Well Grown)

I hate the Academia 400AF segment. The music overrides, the encounters are relentless and unfun, and... okay so it is nice to be able to fight Zenobia properly after she got one-shotted in XIII. And I need to backtrack to the map lady for side quest purposes after finishing the plot segment. At this point, Unger is back in the team because their growth outpaces Paris at the present time, but this Koboldroid may take over afterwards.

Coming up to the 50% mark of the plot, I feel like I have a broad range of COM and RAV that I can use to see me through this. My one death so far was primarily due to my own overconfidence (and Faeryl nearly cost me dear too). I'll need to catch and infuse some Sentinels to grab Curaja for my main Medics soon though, otherwise my healing is going to start to suffer.

At this point, I allowed myself to catch all the Improved Moogle Throw monsters currently available to me. Their use (looking at you Chichu) will depend on how desperate I am later. For now, they all have names that will be disclosed later, if they are needed.
Third Quarter: The Bits Before The Depressing Bit
Now that I'm a bit tougher and I've looked up how to get back over there because my memory did a derp, it's time for my rain catch from the Steppe.

Archylte Steppe (Rain): Nostro the Mewmao (SYN, Well-Grown)

Exactly what Escape wanted, another potcat! Of course, Sazh the Sazh is here now so he probably won't see much use. The next part of the plot is the Augusta Tower leg, so off to 300AF to do the small quest there that lets me do the 'main' one.

Augusta Tower 300AF: Warlock the Flanborg (COM, Well-Grown)

More of a magic Commando so the name is appropriate, but won't see much use I think. Much like these lower floors of Murder AI Tower. Oops, spoilers. We grab the key here then it's off to...

Augusta Tower 200AF: Liam the Orion (COM, Early Peaker)

Another bloody Early Peaker Commando! What I'd given for a Flanitor here (one of the game's best Medics). Or indeed in 300AF, it's catchable in both areas. This tower is infamous for its 'to complete the Bestiary fight four times' boss, Proto fal'Cie Adam. Three of those times are consecutive battles, with a fourth being a postgame Paradox Scope battle. But three on the bounce is exactly risky enough... and indeed it cost me Crumpet, my Medic. This is partially on me, as Crumpet's HP wasn't looking too hot for this point in the game, buuut it still stings, and forces me into using the humans only for Medics for the rest of the game given how rare MED and SEN are for me. The cactus Medics exist I guess, but I need Magic materials to make them any good at it.

Now that this is dealt with, I can proceed to Academia 4XXAF, where the prologue to The Depressing Bit actually is. Before that though, we can grab a load of reserve catches using some of our Wild Artefacts to go through non-plot-essential Gates. Montage!

Yaschas Massif 110AF Boo the Ahriman (SAB, Late Bloomer)
Yaschas Massif 100AF: Clifford the Chunerpeton (COM, Well Grown)
Oerba 300AF Tristan the Pink Lily (RAV, Well-Grown)
Vile Peaks 200AF: Jessy the Viking (SAB, Early Peaker)
Sunleth Waterscape 400AF: Triumph the Flandit (SEN, Late Bloomer)

A SEN! It'll be blown out the water in a second, though. Tristan the Pink Lily actually replaces Unger due to having all four elements on tap from the word go and much better stats. As such, Academia beckons...

Academia 4XXAF: Casanova the Silver Chocobo (SEN, Well-Grown)

This is a bit of a cheat again, I'll admit. Silver Chocobo is one of the Moogle Throw monsters, and it's great for both chocobo racing and for SEN business. But also he's got a yellow bow tie on thanks to Adornments and his name is Casanova. Instant winner. Now that I have him, Sazh, Tristan, and a bunch of serviceable COMs, I think I have this sewn up.
Fourth Quarter: The Depressing Bit
I'm going to spare you the plot details, but this section of the game is very linear and if you accidentally trigger it again by rewinding Academia 4XX and using the Gate there, you have to do the whole thing again before you can re-open 4XX. I hate this.

Void Beyond ???AF: Jared the Chelicerata (SAB, Late Bloomer)
New Bodhum 0X AF: Bond the Plueston (RAV, Well-Grown)
New Bodhum 700AF: Abyss the Pantopoda (SAB, Well-Grown)

The only catches you can really get in the properly Voidy bits are rift beasts, so that's what I get. More selection is available in the Dying World (which you do before New Bodhum 700AF but I wanted to lump all the reserves together), including...

A Dying World 700AF: Zed the Apotamkin (RAV, Early Peaker)

New best RAV! At least until Tristan outgrows him, but Zed will take us to end game even if with Potent materials he peaks at around 3600 health. All that remains is a bit more grinding before we tackle the end of the plot.
Fifth Quarter: The End of the Story
A few more Wild Artefact Gates are now open for us.

Vile Peaks 10AF: Boom the Cryohedron (RAV, Early Peaker)
Bresha Ruins 100AF: Caligula the Tempest (RAV, Early Peaker)
Oerba 400AF: Ian the Zahgnal (RAV, Well-Grown)

Two Bomb-type monsters and a Behemoth (which could have been a potcat but alas, RNG) take us into the final area where we can get a catch. Academia 500AF. Platform. Hell.

Academia 500AF: Portly the Yeoman (COM, Early Peaker)

Another Brett, so much so the game tried to name him Brett before I retried for a unique name. Portly has more health than Brett so is default Commando now. Also, Yeomen come in hordes of 5-7, so this is essentially Ultimate Rattata as late-game catches go and the most common thing I could have had.

By carefully avoiding the more awful battles, we take a team of Zed, Sazh, and Casanova into the final battles, which are four consecutive battles against opponents who attack quickly, relentlessly, and without quarter. Lots of HP to low percents attacks and my best Medic, Serah, has no group-healing skills. Can I get through this with no casualties?

...Yes. Because I'm good at this game.

Having come to the end of this little experiment, I can say the following to anyone who wants to attempt something similar:

1: Without significantly restricting how you're allowed to develop your human characters, this is not difficult with a few Early Peakers in the right place. I'm not sure this was challenging enough, since my only two deaths were me either forgetting to buy Wound Potion or not keeping up with the HP curve.

2: The above applies even with miminal use of Infusions.

3: If you add in the optional stuff you'll probably have a higher body count.

4: HP Curve. Watch it. If your monsters are 2000 HP below your humans, this may spell trouble. Especially against foes with long strings of hits against a single target that do 2000+ damage.

5: Choco-boco-lina!

That's all for now. Who knows what's next?
 
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Master Bryss

zd zd
Hacker
Screenshotter
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
85
Caught
Jun 16, 2019
Messages
2,381
Location
Scotland
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
  1. Poison
  2. Steel
Pokédex Entry
Their body is made of an intricate and interconnected weave of their own puns.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
Pokemon Fool's Gold (Fool's Gold Team)
Version Played:
1.2.2
Hack of: Crystal
Pokemon: The original 251 from Crystal. However, all of them have been significantly altered with new typings, learnsets, and in some cases evolution methods.
Mechanics: A physical/special split has been added, as well as a few newer moves. TMs are resuable.
Graphics: As mentioned above, every Pokemon gets a redesign to go with their new types. A few other incidental changes have been made to reflect this, including the Ruins of Alph puzzles which is a nice touch.
Story: No changes to the 'main' story, but some new areas have been added that have their own 'mini-plots', sort of.
Blind Nuzlocke Viability Score: 2

The essential concept of Fool's Gold is to do a 'regional form' for every Pokemon in Johto. When embarking on a full overhaul like this, the inevitable judging 'score' comes down to three things: aesthetics, mechanics, and 'linkage,' that is to say the extent to which the aesthetic and the mechanics connect. This is... problematic, because aesthetics are very obviously a matter of personal taste, which means that I can't say anything universally true here. But here's my two pence anyway.

Aesthetics: Easily the most 'hit or miss' part of this hake for me. Some of the redesigns, like Porygon, Mareep, and Togepi/tic, are good. Some of them, like Chansey, are mediocre but not anything I have strong feelings about. And some of them... looking at you entire Zubat line, most of the Ghost types, quite a few of the Poison types... some of them are not nice to look at. At all.

I think part of this is that we now have a notion of what a regional form is meant to look like: it has a distinct typing from the original and it can be identified as a diversion of the original look. Where Fool's Gold follows that line, the results are generally good. Porygon, for example, is a Normal/Water rubber duck, which is a take on its basic aesthetic and a clever reference to the 'rubber duck test' in programming. Zubat, on the other hand, is a flying eyeball with tentacles. If that had been shown to me without a name attached, I'd never have twigged it was Zubat. I did stick with it to see if perhaps it gained more of a resemblance to its source material on evolution, but all it did was keep doubling down on the eyeball thing.

Now, that isn't to say there aren't cases where there's a big aesthetic break and it works. Lapras is a bipedal hydra now, for example. But it at least uses its original head as part of the spriting. All that was saved of Magikarp, now a Ground-type lamprey, was the idea that it has whiskers. (This one does improve on evolution.) There are also designs that bear zero resemblance to the original that I like, such as the Abra line being sentient hieroglyphs (until Alakazam, which more resembles the original) and Unown being weird rocky data vaults.

Overall, I think there are more hits than misses (favourites are hard but I think it's Porygon and the creepy take on the Larvitar line), but the misses are bad misses. But that's a personal thing. If you like sentient bacteria and weird wispy tentacles, good on you. At least they're all better than the redesigns in The Hack That Shall Not Be Named.

Side note: Gligar can't be the Gargoyle Pokemon. Gargoyles have to have a water feature (it gargles, it's in the name!). Otherwise, what you have is a grotesque. And if that Dratini doesn't evolve into some kind of Professor Dragonite with a labcoat instead of what I think you're going for, we may have a problem. (Update: it didn't. I wasn't impressed.)

Mechanics: This is stronger. All the new movesets make sense for the typing and create clear niches for each Pokemon without too much tweaking of the base stats. Some decisions I find a bit weird, like the cannon Pokemon Bellsprout learning T-Bolt before it evolves rather than a mid-range Electric move to go with its clear 'replacement Remoraid' angle. Nothing so far has felt particularly 'broken,' in a sense that it could carry me through the entire game on its own, nor has anything felt too underpowered besides a few 'please evolve soon' moments (although because the TMs are unchanged from vanilla aside from being reusable I struggled a bit to find good moves for my Porygon beside Surf, Ice Beam being non-existent).

Linkage: I've not been completely blindsided yet by a Pokemon knowing a move that doesn't 'fit' it. I think that's good enough?

If it feels like I've spent more time on the subjective part, that's probably because it's what you're looking at the most. I'm keeping going partly out of a desire to see all the redesigns, but also because I feel like I'm being decently challenged by everything so far.

Having now finished, I was sort of disappointed by the end. This isn't to do with the League teams, which are decent enough, but rather because the entire League was bumped a bit but the leadup battles to Victory Road and the rival were the same as ever levels-wise. I went into the League with a team of entirely Level 48s plus Tyranitar and was fine, but it was a bit of a shock to see the end bump when nothing else got it.

Overall this hake is... fine? It's a solid alternative take on Johto even if I don't vibe with some of the aesthetic choices. At the very least I think it's worth trying to see if you like it.


This is borderline between 1 and 2 but I'm leaning towards 2 if I don't allow myself to use decimals (otherwise a solid 1.5). This is mostly because sometimes you meet a new Pokemon for the first time in a Trainer battle and it can take you by surprise (one loss to a Gym ace and one to Pursuit). While the typings can be mostly intuited based on design, some I found strange (especially Kangashkhan, which leans hard towards its primary Rock typing but doesn't scream Dark). Also, prepare for weird teams without some 'mainstream' types.

In the new area, there's a Trainer with a Level 21 Lapras that knows Dragon Rage and Confuse Ray, and it will destroy you given enough time. Body Slam is also on the set of the one I caught at Level 25. This is a particular danger worth noting.

The curve is essentially Johto as it was in Gen II, although Falkner's been jacked up a teeny bit. The new areas I've been in so far have been within it so far, although some sections are weird in that the wild Pokemon are higher-levelled than the Trainers. This hopefully reduces the need to do 'excess' grinding for Chuck and Jasmine. Lance tops out at 55. I have yet to do Kanto and may never do it since I have other hakes to try.

I don't think any one starter is preferred over any other, which is a plus. It's a Flying-Fighting-Ice trio (so two commons and a rare like the classic trio), which means the Johto gyms score 2-3-2 for advantage and 2-2-2 for disadvantage. It's actually a bit more nuanced than that because e.g., Whitney's ace is part-Flying, but on a basic metric Chikorita scores 'better' than it's seen to be in GSC.
 
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