Well, here’s your Bizarre News of the Week™. In a clip posted to Twitter through the last episode Keith and Krista podcastFormer Nintendo employees received a question from one of their Patreon supporters about whether they’ve ever played Pokemon’s “Nuzlocke run”.
This prompted the couple to tell a story in which they offered The Pokémon Company to play the role of Nazlok in the episode “Nintendo Minute”. Apparently, their offer was not only quickly rejected, but they were allegedly close to being fired, with The Pokémon Company stating that the Nuzlocke Challenge was “on the same level as a hack or a ROM”.
Naturally, this bombshell might come as a bit of a shock to those familiar with Nazlok’s ordeal. For the uninitiated, this is a self-contained set of community rules that must be followed when playing Pokémon. The two main rules include releasing any Pokémon that is rendered unconscious during battle as it must be considered “dead”, and that the player must Only catch the first Pokémon they encounter in each area. There are many additional rules that most players also follow, and you can read about them on the page Nuzlocke Challenge Page Bulbapedia.
Regardless of your familiarity with the Nuzlocke Challenge, our brief overview should make it clear what it is. No at the same level as hack or ROM; it is simply a set of self-imposed restrictions that take place within the basic parameters of the game. Indeed, Keith and Krista were visibly shocked by The Pokémon Company’s response and highlighted its unpredictability towards community offerings.
Since the release of the video Serebius webmaster Joe Merrick stated that he contacted The Pokémon Company about the claim, which confirmed that players are free to play Pokémon games in any way they see fit, as long as it remains within the scope of the game itself, stating that “we don’t have any issues with fans/creators playing games under Nazlok’s rules.”
While there is no doubt that Keith and Krista’s story is true, we suspect there may have been some misunderstanding regarding the definition of hacks and ROMs and their connection (or lack thereof) to the Nuzlocke Challenge. It’s possible that while The Pokémon Company doesn’t have any issues with the Nuzlocke Challenge per se, it may not be interested in having the challenge showcased through an official channel like Nintendo Minute. Regardless, Keith and Krista seemed to take the controversy in stride, posting a funny tweet last night:
What do you think of Keith and Krista’s statements? Are you a Nuzlocke Challenge fan? Let us know in the comments below.