Nuzlocke [Failed] Go For The Golden Mean! A Pokémon Gold Ancient Greece Time Warp and Nuzlocke Challenge

Since I can’t choose Totodile, which starter should I go with?

  • Chikorita

    Votes: 2 50.0%
  • Cyndaquil

    Votes: 2 50.0%

  • Total voters
    4
  • Poll closed .

Vivid Stardust

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Vivid Stardust: Seeing as nobody has done a challenge on Gold on the forums (no seriously, every Johto game has been covered except Gold), I’ll be doing a Time Warp Challenge on Gold. The naming theme is going to be philosophers. Y’all are about to find out just how nerdy I am.

~ Kilza ~: Wait, there are nerds on these forums? :thonkazurill:

Vivid Stardust: Kilza, I’m aware that all of us are nerds by virtue of signing up for a Pokémon themed forum. I am a specific kind of nerd, though, and I’m also majoring in philosophy. This challenge is going to be a nerd-out fest for me.

Welcome to Go For The Golden Mean! I’m your nerdy host, Vivid Stardust, and we are here to tell the story of Aristotle and his rival, Plato! I’m only half-joking. Those are the names I’ll be using for the characters. I’m going to be using the naming theme of philosophers and people who wrote philosophical writings, and y’all are going to learn a bit about philosophy!

I’m doing this on Gold for two reasons. One, nobody has done a challenge on Gold on this forum before, so I figured it’d be a good idea. Second, Aristotle talks a lot about the Golden Mean in his theory of ethics and how everyone should be in the middle, and he applies this to his political philosophy as well. (Legit, he thinks that the middle class is the best class, and says that it’s harder for the rich and the poor to be virtuous. I’m serious.) I figured that if I did this run on Gold, I could make a punny title. So I did. You’re welcome.

This will be a Time Warp Challenge, as well as a Nuzlocke! What is a Time Warp Challenge? I’m glad you asked!

Here’s the basic rules, copied from the thread on PokéCommunity:

You may only trade in order to evolve your Pokemon.
Legendary and Mythical Pokemon are not allowed.
Ultra Beasts are not allowed.
Hacking/cheating is not allowed.
[Emergency Supplies][For eras that ban the use of PokeMarts] You may buy Pokeballs for the purpose of catching HM buddies. You may purchase 10 Full Restores and 10 Max Revives prior to facing the Elite Four.
[Lucky Strike] You may use the Game Corner in any game in order to obtain Pokemon or TMs but you may only purchase 40% of the coins required for your desired prize. You must earn the rest by using the mini games provided by each Game Corner. [NOT applicable to Mobster Mania]
The challenge ends when you defeat the Champion in the game of your choice. [Defeat Red in all the Johto games, Steven in Emerald, AZ in X/Y]

I’m going to be doing an Ancient Greece Time Warp, since this challenge is themed around philosophers, and the main characters are named after Greek Philosophers. Here’s the specific ruleset for Ancient Greece (copied from the original thread, again):

Era Types:

Mandatory Pokemon:
Johto: Houndoom
Banned Types:

Era Rules: The threads of fate bind you. You must keep your starter in the first slot of your party the entire challenge and must not let it faint. (If your starter faints, return to your last save point).
Extra/ Johto game rules: After obtaining your 3rd badge/ completing your 3rd trial/ reaching Kanto, you may add
types to your team.

Y’all know how Nuzlockes work, but here’s the rules, just in case:

1. If a Pokémon faints, it is dead and must be released. As much as Kurzweil theorizes about practical immortality after the Singularity, we are in Ancient Greece, and therefore, philosophers are going to die.

Cheren Clause: Losing the very first rival battle does not mean a game over, because that’s silly. It’s a tackle fest, and the chance of winning/losing is not really based on skill.

2. You may only catch the first Pokémon you encounter on a route.

Dupes Clause: If I have previously caught the Pokémon I get as a first encounter, I can try again, twice. No more than that.

Gender Clause: If my first encounter is female or gender neutral, I get two more tries to get a male Pokémon.

Shiny Clause: If by sheer luck, I run into a shiny, I can automatically catch it and it automatically goes on my team, regardless of whether I’ve already gotten a catch on the route or not. This is also the only way for me to get a female or gender-neutral Pokémon. Edit: It is also the only way for me to get a Pokémon that isn’t on my list of types. I can’t get a shiny if it’s a banned type (or, I can, but I would have to box it immediately, and I wouldn’t be able to use it).

Type Clause: If I run into a Pokémon that doesn’t have one of the types I need, I am allowed to try five more times to get a Pokémon of a type I can use. This is because I have four types I can use, and I really need Bellsprout before the first gym.

Additionally, I will be using the following extra rules:
- Due to the fact that we, for some reason, have not studied many female philosophers in my classes (and considering Aristotle’s...ahem...view on women, which will probably be brought up at some point because Aristotle said some really sexist things), all Pokémon must be male.

- The Nuzlocke Challenge doesn’t start until I get my PokéBalls.

With all of that out of the way, I’ll be posting the prologue later today! Mostly because I don’t want to risk messing up this intro post, and I need to do some homework. I hope you all enjoy this nerdy challenge!
 
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Rockie

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Oh man I used to study Philosophy and Ethics so this caught my attention immediately! I'm a fan of Aristotles ideals actually, so yknow, I'll be rooting for you heh.
Best of luck! I'll definitely be checking up with this challenge when you update.
 

Pendraflare

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Nice! I've made it no secret that I really enjoy the Time Warp challenge, and of the eras, Ancient Greece is a personal favorite of mine. I really like the Pokemon type selections, and the not being able to have your starter faint REALLY keeps you close to it.

HOWEVER, one thing that I think should be kept in mind is that even though this isn't obvious, it was specifically stated in the Time Warp thread on Pokecommunity (the very bottom of Page 2) that you do NOT need to have the starter in front when you're grinding other Pokemon, and it's only EXPLICITLY required when you take important battles like Gym Leaders, villainous teams, Elite Four + Champion, etcetera, mostly so the starter doesn't become overpowered and ram through the entire game. Just though you should be aware of that if you weren't. Thanks!
 

SkylarAlpha

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This looks interesting! One question though: the era rules state that if your starter faints, you return to the last save point. Taking into account the Nuzlocke Rules, what would you actually do in that situation?
 

Vivid Stardust

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Y’all really had to force me to choose, huh?

Since most people have used either Cyndaquil or Totodile in their Johto runs on here, I’m going to use Chikorita. It works out anyway because I have the perfect name for a Chikorita related to philosophers and people who wrote philosophical things.

Replies:

@RS Everest Honestly, compared to some of the other theories we had to look at in ethics and political philosophy so far, I have to admit that Aristotle’s theories are some of the ones I like the most. I definitely liked his theories the most in ethics, and his political philosophy, while highly idealistic, is a way better option than some of the other theories (like Machiavelli’s, for example). His political and ethical theories are mostly focused on being a good person, and I think that is way more feasible to accomplish. I don’t necessarily agree with everything he theorizes (cough Natural Slavery cough), but I think that if it was possible to live in an Aristotelian regime, it would work out well for everyone.

@Pendraflare I’ve been wanting to try a Time Warp since I found out about it, and I got even more excited to do one when you mentioned you wanted to do one as well! Also, thanks for the rules clarification! I’ll probably keep my starter in the front for most things, but being able to move the starter around for training does help.

@SkylarAlpha What I would probably do in that situation is go back to my last save point and release my starter. My first catch of the run would then become my “starter” for the purposes of the challenge.

Also, I realized in the middle of playing that there’s a ton of normal and bug type Pokémon on the first few routes, and I can’t use those types. I also can’t use the Zubat line, the Gastly line, or the Geodude line because Ground types are banned, and Poison, Flying, and Ghost types aren’t listed as allowed types. The only Pokémon I can catch this early that I can use is Bellsprout. Once I get onto Route 32, I can catch Pokémon that I can use (like Mareep and Hoppip), but I can’t go into the grass on Route 32 until I beat Faulkner. I have to beat Faulkner with grass types. And I’m going to have to beat Bugsy with a grass type as well (because I don’t know what my encounter will be). Welp. This run might end super early because of that. I added type clause to the rules, since otherwise I‘ll have to only use my starter early on.

Sorry for the wait, everyone! Here’s the first update. Updates will mostly be details about what happened, rather than a story. It’s way less work, and I think I’ll be more likely to finish it this way. Also, expect tangents about philosophers!


I started up Gold and put in the time. It’s a bit late where I am right now, so we might be getting some encounters we wouldn’t usually get. This is the story of Aristotle, as I mentioned! I could only put in Aristot, though. Silly character limit. Like many philosophers, he wrote about philosophy in multiple areas, but I’m mostly going to be focusing on his political and ethical philosophies. His theories tend to focus on virtue and the Golden Mean (nothing in excess, nothing in deficit).

Anyway, Aristotle leaves his room, gets his PokéGear from his mom, and heads over to Professor Elm’s lab. Elm tells him that Mr. Pokémon wanted to see Elm, but Elm is way too busy to walk all the way over there. Aristotle gets a Chikorita, and his name is Aquinas! Thomas Aquinas wrote the Summa Theologica, and while he was technically a clergyman, he was also a philosopher. His theory on law is laid out in the Summa Theologica, and he believes in what he calls the Natural Law, which is the participation in the Eternal Law by the “rational creature” (as in humans). Yeah, there’s a lot of layers to Aquinas’ theories of law that I don’t want to get into right now. The Natural Law involves four “self-evident” precepts based on human nature (or at least, Aquinas’ view of human nature). I figured that someone whose theories heavily involve “nature” would be a perfect fit for a Chikorita!

Aristotle gets Elm’s phone number (What professor actually gives out their phone number, though?) and heads over to Mr. Pokémon’s house. Since we haven’t gotten PokéBalls yet, there’s not much to discuss on Route 29, and you can’t get PokéBalls in Cherrygrove City, either, so I literally can’t catch anything until I get past Gold’s intro. And people say the newer games have long intros.... I did get some potions, just in case. Aristotle went through the tutorial with the old man in Cherrygrove, and he got the Map Card, which is nice. After that, Aristotle goes onto Route 30. I’ve been fighting the wild Pokémon to get a slight head start on training, and a lot of the Pokémon are difficult to fight for some reason? Even though they’re level 2 or 3 and Aquinas is level 5/6, they’re causing a bit of trouble, even though Aquinas has decent stats.

Finally, Aristotle gets to Mr. Pokémon’s house and gets the Mystery Egg from him. I’m sad we don’t get to use Togepi due to the Ancient Greece rules. We also meet Professor Oak, and he gives Aristotle a Pokédex. After that, we get a call from Professor Elm, and he tells us to get back to the lab ASAP.

Here comes the rival battle! I actually don’t like the super rude rivals. I think rivals like Cheren and Hugh, where they’re friendly, but still looking to be the best and be stronger than you are the best types of rivals. Not that rivals like Bianca and Hau are bad, I just like rivals that are trying to aim for the top and actually pose a challenge. Aquinas is one level above my rival’s starter, and that makes it easier to win against him.

When I get back to the lab, the police are there looking for information about the guy Aristotle battled. And that red haired boy’s name is...Plato! Plato is a Greek philosopher who’s probably best known for his book The Republic. He’s the guy who said that poets and writers don’t belong in the ideal city because their work has no value, burned the books of a rival so nobody would know who the rival was when he came to town, and theorized about simulations and delusions vs reality before sci-fi and Cyberpunk even became a thing (if you’ve ever heard of Plato’s cave, that’s a discussion of reality versus simulation). Plato, along with Aristotle, is just one of those guys that comes up a lot. As for why Plato is the rival, well, let’s just say that Aristotle’s Politics has an entire chapter that is at least partly focused on bashing on Plato’s The Republic. Yeah. Rivals.

I can’t catch anything until Route 31 unless I run into a Shiny, so I decided to train. My plan is to get three levels above Faulkner’s ace before I go into the gym. I got Aquinas to level 9.

I get onto Route 31, and my first encounter is Caterpie. That’s type Clause 1. (Also female, so I wouldn’t have been able to catch it anyway.) Try 2: Pidgey. Crap. Try 3: Female Pidgey. Try 4: Female Caterpie. Try 5: Female Caterpie. Try 6: Metapod.

Oh. You’ve gotta be kidding me. I have to solo Faulkner with a Chikorita?! At least I’m not using a level limit.

Time to get Aquinas to level 13 so we have a chance of beating Faulkner! I’m just grateful that Aquinas seems to be super tanky. (Fun fact: I ran into two Bellsprouts right after I ran out of chances. Both female, but still. This game is taunting me.) Aquinas went up to level 11, then Aristotle went to take down Sprout Tower. It was a lot of Bellsprouts, so nothing too hard. At the top of Sprout Tower, Plato shows up again, but he disappears before there’s a chance to talk to him. Also, I ran into a Pokémon (Rattata) right in front of the Elder. I didn’t realize that was a thing. Anyway, beating everyone in Sprout Tower got Aquinas to level 15. Overkill? Maybe. But I really need to beat Faulkner. It also means that Aquinas gets to learn Poison Powder!


Aristotle heals Aquinas, and then it’s time to face the gym! Oh boy....

The trainers in the gym were relatively easy. I healed between each battle. Finally, I fought Faulkner.

Gym Battle VS Faulkner!

He has two Pokémon: Pidgey and Pidgeotto. Poison Powder didn’t affect his Pidgey for some reason, so Aquinas had to just Tackle the bird to death. Pidgeotto was level 9 (do you see what I mean by overkill?) but Poison Powder worked on him! Nice! Gust hurt, but not as much as it would have if Aquinas was at a lower level. After that, I had Aquinas Tackle. I healed Aquinas after that, and then Aquinas finished Pidgeotto off with one last Tackle! Yes! We did it! We had to get to level 15, but STILL! We won against Faulkner with only a Chikorita! Aquinas levelled up to 16, and he evolved into Bayleef! That’s where I’ll stop for today.

Aquinas the Bayleef
Male, Level 16
Attack 29/Defense 32/Specal Attack 29/Special Defense 34/Speed 26
Moves: Tackle, Poison Powder, Razor Leaf, Reflect

None!

Thank you for reading! In the next update, I should be taking on Bugsy!
 

Vivid Stardust

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sigh

Here’s the next update!

Aristotle gets called by Professor Elm about the mystery egg that we can’t use. Naturally, Aristotle picks the egg up at the Pokémon Center, and he promptly puts it into the PC.

We go onto Route 32. It’s nighttime. Oh no. Let’s hope that I can get either Bellsprout or Mareep in the first six encounters....

First encounter: ! It’s Mareep! But it’s a female Mareep! No! Noooooo! Two more tries to get a guy.

We fight a trainer really quickly, and then we continue to try for an encounter.

Second Try: Bellsprout! But also a girl! No! Gender Clause 2. Third Try: Rattata. Type Clause 1. Fourth Try: Rattata Type Clause 2. Fifth Try: Wooper Type Clause 3. Sixth Try: Mareep! Please! Nooooooo! Female again! So I guess we aren’t getting an encounter here!

After training on Route 32 for a bit, Aristotle heads into Union Cave. I can’t catch anything in there because there’s no Pokémon with types I can use. There’s something I can catch on Route 33 (Hoppip), but I can’t get it at night, which is when I’m playing right now, so I’m not going to attempt to catch anything right now. Everything goes down quickly because Aquinas is high leveled.

Aristotle got to Azalea Town and talked to Kurt. Kurt ran off to the Slowpoke Well, and Aristotle follows him. Time to fight Team Rocket with a Bayleef! I also can’t catch anything in the Slowpoke Well because there’s no Pokémon of the types I can use in there. That goes pretty well. Also, the female Rocket Grunt sprites are cute. Kurt gives me some Lure Balls afterwards.

Well, I guess I should go through the gym trainers, then. The one nice thing about using Aquinas is that he doesn’t get affected by Poison Powder!

Time to fight Bugsy! Aquinas is at level 21.

Gym Battle VS Bugsy!

Bugsy has three Pokémon. He sends out Metapod first, but Aquinas knocks him out easily. Next comes Kakuna! He poisons Aquinas, but that’s probably going to be okay. Aquinas knocked out Kakuna, and Bugsy sent out Scyther. I use the Super Potion I found earlier in the Slowpoke Well, and then I have to heal again. I feel like we’re going to lose...

Yep. Scyther crits Aquinas. He dies. Welp. That’s the end of this run.

Yep, so I failed. I’m surprised I got this far, to be honest! I’m really sorry that I couldn’t do better, but to be fair, this was going to be a difficult run regardless. My awful luck didn’t help.

I’m hoping that I can do better in my other runs! I still had fun with this run, so it’s okay!
 

The Griddler

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I'm so sorry to hear that this run got cut short so quickly. I hope that you come back to this concept sometime in the future and give it another try, as I thought the premise was quite interesting and the Time Warp challenge is definitely one of the more interesting and unique ones out there.
 

Vivid Stardust

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I definitely want to try a Time Warp again in the future, and I want to try a challenge on a Gen Two game again too! I have so many ideas for Time Warps, and I’m planning on doing a Time Warp for the Marriplays run of Black 2/White 2 whenever that starts. I’m probably going to just try to do non-Nuzlocke Challenges (other than “After The Rain”) for a while and try to finish some challenges and my casual runs before I try anything too hard or complicated again. I just have the worst luck sometimes!

Thank you all for reading this run and reading my rants on the Discord channel, by the way! This was just a wild ride, and Aquinas shall forever be remembered.
 
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