No, Nintendo Doesn’t Hate Pokémon Nuzlocke Challenges

A recent podcast episode featuring ex-The Pokémon Company International staff members Kit and Krysta had them speak about their experiences working with the partially Nintendo-owned company and discussed the companies thoughts on external tools being used on the Pokémon games for features such as Randomised Nuzlocke challenges, ROM hacks and/or cheating. It appears that The Pokémon Company view vanilla Nuzlocke challenges as on par with these external modifications of the game.

For those not in the know, a Nuzlocke is a self-imposed challenge in any mainline Pokémon game in which you must catch the first Pokémon on every route and when they faint you cannot revive them. Their corpses are repatriated to the nearest Pokémon Centre where their souls are released into the abyss. This challenge has been around for a very long time and is mostly used by players who find the core games to be too easy and would like higher stakes and a more emotionally-gripping experience for their story run.

The viral Tweet that spread this information across the internet

What this appears to be is a miscommunication or a misunderstanding from either the representatives they had spoken to within the company, or from themselves, as a randomised Nuzlocke requires external modifications which TPCi would not approve of, whereas a standard run is just a self-imposed limitation that’s easily done within the perimeters of the unmodified copies. Joe Merrick, webmaster and highly trusted member of the Pokémon community reached out to the Pokémon Company to confirm these suspicions and many others have come forward to speak about their experience. The facts have been confirmed: Nintendo does not hate Nuzlocke challenges.

This small miscommunication has developed into a misinformation campaign that has seen sensationalist headlines from gaming journalists that have propagated ill will for Nintendo in the community. In their haste to capitalise on the negativity that seems to exponentially grow from this subset of Nintendo fans, they have failed to do their due diligence as members of the press and check all available sources first.

Joe Merrick’s response to the video

There is no doubt at all that Nintendo have had very strange responses to content creators that feature their games. There are a lot of odd rules and requirements to be an advertising partner, and these are worth discussing. However, misunderstandings like this can spread and cause unwarranted vitriol amongst communities to the point where a vocal minority will verbally attack members of the company. This just goes to show that we are all responsible for the information we decide to share as “fact” and more care needs to be taken when sharing these nuggets from an unconfirmed source. To paraphrase a certain genetically modified monster, it’s not the circumstances of our birth, but what we do with our capacity for rational thought that determines who we are.

Video game completionist and 3D platformer connoisseur, Riley is a fan of the whimsical frenzy of bright and colourful characters to bless us in the late 90's. Their favourite game's are Spyro, Persona 5 and Super Mario Sunshine.

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