Revisiting Pokémon Pearl: The Kingslocke

As we all know, Timey Diamond and Spacey Pearl are coming out in a little over a month, with Legends: Arceus following early next year.  I feel like revisiting Sinnoh, so I want to do a playthrough of the original Pearl version – but not just any playthrough.  I think it’s time to revisit the dumbest Pokémon challenge run ever devised: the Kingslocke.

This is a challenge run I created with basically two aims in mind:

  • That it be more forgiving than a Nuzlocke, with mostly temporary penalties and consequences, as well as fewer unwinnable scenarios, but also…
  • That it be absolutely bat-fµ¢£ insane and require the player to rethink their party and strategy constantly.

In pursuit of these goals, Jim the Editor and I developed a challenge ruleset where the player would regularly draw from a normal deck of playing cards, with each card changing the rules.  The effects of the different cards are very loosely based on a popular drinking game that we call “Circle of Death” in New Zealand (because, at least in our version, the cards are arranged in a big circle around a vessel in the middle of the table), but which is more commonly known in America as “Kings” or “King’s Cup,” hence the name “Kingslocke.” You don’t have to drink to play with these rules, but to be honest you probably should.

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Pearl Kingslocke: Episode 2

Rules here.

We’ve drawn several cards now – a 5, a 2, a Page and a 6 – but the 2 and the Page both tell you to do things immediately, so we don’t have to keep thinking about them after drawing them.  The 5 applies an ongoing restriction, but it’s the opposite of the restriction applied by the 6, which overwrites it.  That means the 6 is the only card we have to keep track of at the moment.

I think Tippi’s ready for her big solo debut.

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Pearl Kingslocke: Episode 4

Rules here.

When we left off, I had just drawn the 10 of Swords, necessitating a pause so a commenter could give their own suggestions for changing the rules of this game.  The first commenter on the scene was Pedro Luiz Cunha Marchi, who made these requests:

So, the simple consequence first: the Six of Cups is off the board; I can use male Pokémon again.  The boys, as they say, are back in town.

A little bit more complicated: my Geodude, Andi Site, will no longer face the Knight’s Challenge on route 207, but on the next route with trainers.  The next place we’re going is the Ravaged Path, the small cave area that divides the southern and northern parts of route 204, but there are no trainers there.  After that, there’s the upland half of route 204, which leads north to Floaroma Town.  We’ve already drawn a card when we entered the lowland half of route 204, and fought the trainers there, but the northern part has more trainers and higher-level wild Pokémon, and they’re divided by story progression.  I think there’s a reasonable argument for treating it as a new area, same as the lower level of Oreburgh Gate.

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Pearl Kingslocke: Episode 5

Rules here.

When we last left off, I was taking a quick training break.  The team now stands thus:

I wanted to train the boys a little bit higher, but with limited Pokémon Centre visits, there’s only so much potions can do; they don’t restore PP (and I’m even running out of money for potions).

The last card I drew was the Ten of Cups, meaning someone else gets to make a new rule for me, and today’s lucky winner is Matt, who offers the following:

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Pearl Kingslocke: Episode 6

Rules here.

Here we are: Eterna City.  There are several things we have to do here before moving on.  To leave southward, we have to travel on Cycling Road, which requires a bicycle.  To the east is Mount Coronet, the towering spine of the Sinnoh region.  There are tunnels through the mountain to Celestic Town and Snowpoint City, but I need out-of-battle access to Strength to use them, which we won’t have for a while.  To move on, we have to defeat both Eterna City’s gym leader, Gardenia, and the commander in charge of Team Galactic’s base here, Jupiter.

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Pearl Kingslocke: Episode 9

Big rules here, little rules down there, let’s go.

So… I know I caught Blinkerbel specifically for the memes, but god Chingling is awful.  Fortunately, she picks up Confusion at level 14.

The good news is, the Old Chateau – full of Gastly who are weak to both Confusion and Lick, and prone to finishing themselves off with Curse once damaged – is a really good place to train for both Blinkerbel and Madame Malheur, with Karpe Doom watching from the back with an Exp. Share.

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