Can you beat any Pokemon game using one, and only one pokemon?

Wren

Adept Trainer
Rainbow Rocket Grunt
Join Date
Nov 1, 2018
Posts
381
I've been noticing a lot of these types of videos on YouTube where people try to get through a specific version using only a specific pokemon in battle, often using some sort of randomizer to alter a starter into that pokemon.

Most of the people doing these challenges have other pokemon in their teams that know HMs, but I'm curious if it's possible to do these challenges with strictly one pokemon, meaning the one pokemon you have has all the HM moves. If it is possible, how many pokemon can complete this challenge?

I think this would make some games impossible, like Black and White, because catching Reshiram or Zekrom is mandatory for story progression. I'm not sure if you would want to count Platinum too, because you automatically get a Togepi egg from Cynthia, which means your party will have more than one pokemon for a brief instant.

There are many HMs that may or may not be mandatory. Gen 1 has no move deleter to get rid of any of them, but it does have the benefit of having only five HMs, at least two of which that aren't mandatory (not sure about Strength). Cut is necessary to get the Thunderbadge, and Surf is necessary to get to Cinnabar island. The pokemon that can complete RBY under these conditions are Lickitung, Mew, the Krabby line, and (if Strength is not necessary) the Tentacool line.

Does anyone know about the other generations? I was just sort of curious, but I'm kinda trying to avoid all the drama on reddit so I posted this here.
 

Deva

"Regular" Trainer
Rainbow Rocket Grunt
Join Date
Nov 1, 2018
Posts
436
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US Eastern Time
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IGN
Deva
Forces a Generation 1 starter on you in X/Y. (Saw no way to refuse, anyways.) Remembers very few required HM locations. Needs Surf and Strength for Victory Road. Cannot recall ever needing Cut, Fly, or Waterfall.

Shoves Lunala or Solgaleo at you in Sun/Moon. Became optional in Ultra, however. Clears it without HMs otherwise, obviously.

Cannot escape a free Latios/Latias in Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire. Searched for required HMs. Claimed Surf, Dive, Waterfall, Strength, and Rock Smash to be mandatory. Covers those with Gyarados, at minimum. Should not need all of them simultaneously.
 
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Solar

Loog Noog Supreme
Staff Emeritus
Rainbow Rocket Grunt
Join Date
Oct 23, 2018
Posts
455
In RSE Hoenn you can do this with Swampert, Wailord, Gyarados, Crawdaunt, and Wailrein. At least that's off the top of my head. The only essential HM's in Hoenn to proceed in the game are Rock Smash, Strength, Surf, Dive, and Waterfall. So those strong beefy water types are the only way you can go. Sadly you won't be able to fly, but that's always optional. Cut is also completely optional in Hoenn.

Very close candidates are Tropius and Linoone. Tropius can learn everything but the water HM's, and Linoone can learn Surf but not Dive or Waterfall.
 
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