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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Pokémon Shield Playthrough Notes IV

You know the drill, more thoughts on Pokémon: Shield Version. I’ve now beaten gyms 5 and 6, and am hanging out in the neighbourhood of the snowbound city of Circhester. Cir- how do you pronounce that? Sir-chester, Kir-chester, Chir-chester? Just… however you think it’s pronounced, assume that I’m pronouncing it wrong.

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Pokémon Shield Playthrough Notes I

…well, here goes nothing.

As I have previously intimated, I’m not going to write a narrative playthrough journal of Shield, as I did for White 2, X and Moon, because while those are extremely fun and I genuinely like a lot of my writing for them (particularly in the Moon one, where I got carried away and fabricated an entire romance subplot with a random Team Skull grunt), they take a lot of time, and I think there are other aspects of this game that should be higher priority. But I can hardly leave my loyal readers without the benefit of my piercing insights into every aspect of this game’s features and story as they develop over the course of my playthrough, so instead we’re gonna have a more bullet-point-style approach, like I did when I played Alpha Sapphire. It goes without saying, of course, that here be spoilers, although I might do a short spoiler-free review thingy of the whole game at the end for anyone who still isn’t sure whether this game is for them, if that’s of interest to anyone (Sword and Shield are so polarising that it feels like 98% of the Pokémon community is already divided into “most perfect games ever!!!” or “betrayal of the series, the fans and basic human decency” so maybe there’s no point in that, but… well, it’s a possibility). If you already don’t intend to play this game and don’t care about spoilers, or if you’re already ahead of me, then read on – here we go!

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