Rules and Regulations for In-Game Challenges

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Rules and Regulations for In-Game Challenges

Let's be honest here, once you've played through the same game multiple times it can get really boring to play it again. If you're looking for a way to add a bit of spice to your playthroughs, this is the place for you! Here we have a list of different challenges you can use to make your adventures more interesting, along with the rules for each of them. If you want your challenge to be added to the Hall of Fame, you need to follow these rules. (Credit for compiling these back on Azurilland goes to shhmew!)

Here are the Universal Challenge Rules, or rules that apply to all challenges:

  1. You can always catch up to two HM buddy Pokemon if you need to. This prevents you from getting stuck because your actual team can't use HM moves. Just be sure that your HM buddies aren't being used in battle!

  2. You can combine multiple challenges if you feel so inclined. Some challenges go better with others, though, so make sure that you can still follow all of the rules involved!

  3. No hacking or cheating! If you want to have your challenge added to the Hall of Fame, you need to leave your Action Replays out of this.

  4. You can't change the rules of your challenge partway through. This means that if you start a Nuzlocke and your favorite Pokemon dies, you can't change it to a Monotype and enter the Hall of Fame. You can always give up on your challenge and finish your playthrough, but it won't be elligible to be entered in the Hall of Fame.

  5. This is not an official rule per say, but using Legendary Pokemon (or possibly Mega Evolutions), Pokemon Amie, Super Training, or the Experience Share can take away from your challenge. This is up to user discretion (and depends a lot on which game/challenge you're doing), but it's reccomended that you keep these to a minimum.

  6. Have fun! The whole point of a challenge is to enjoy yourself. Don't stress, and remember that the ultimate goal here is to get you to enjoy playing a Pokemon game in a new way.
Optional Restrictions

These aren't necessary rules for your challenge to make it to the Hall of Fame, but if you want to make your playthrough even more challenging you're free to use these additional rules.

  • No using healing items in battles- you can only heal in Pokemon Centers.

  • Conversely to the above restriction, you cannot use the Pokemon Center to heal. A variation of this rule is that you can only use the Pokemon Center to heal a certain amount of times.

  • Changing the battle style to "Set" so you can't switch out easily.

  • Using a level limit, meaning that your Pokemon can't be higher leveled than the next Gym Leader's (or other important trainer's) strongest Pokemon.

  • Most challenges have some sort of clauses, or exceptions to the rules. If you want to make your playthrough even more rough, you can choose to ignore these clauses to add some difficulty.

  • Any other restrictions you'd like to use! The sky's the limit.
Now that we're through all of that, here are the rules of the most common challenge types we see here on Marriland:
The Nuzlocke Challenge is one of the most well-known and popular challenges that people play on Pokemon games. Nuzlockes can be rough, but they'll send you through an amazing adventure!

Rules:
  1. If your Pokemon faints, it has "died" and can no longer be used in battle. After a Pokemon "dies", you must either place them in the box permanently or release them. Revival items cannot be used to bring them back, and you can't reset your game either.

  2. You can only catch the first Pokemon you encounter in an area. This means that if you run into a Pikipek on Route 1, that is the only Pokemon you can catch for that route. If you aren't able to catch it, your encounter for that location is used up.
    • Bodies of water count as the route or town they're in. If you encounter a Magikarp by fishing on Route 204 and it's your first encounter for that route, you can't catch something from the grass or other areas on Route 204 anymore.

    • Trades and gift Pokemon count as encounters for the areas they happen in.

    • You can choose how you want to handle encounters before you receive Pokeballs, as well as areas like the Safari Zone.
  3. You can only trade with other games to activate Trade Evolutions. This means that you can only use Pokemon you can actually catch/obtain in your game. In-game trades and gift Pokemon are up to your own judgement.

  4. You MUST nickname every Pokemon you catch! This makes the Pokemon more personal- which causes deaths to have an even bigger impact.
The Nuzlocke Challenge also has some clauses, or exceptions to the rules:
  1. Dupes Clause: If your first encounter in an area is a Pokemon you have already caught, that encounter doesn't count. This also applies to Pokemon that belong to an evolutionary family you have already caught. This way you don't get a team full of Pidgeys or Bidoof.

  2. Shiny Clause: If you encounter a Shiny Pokemon, you are allowed to catch it. You can choose to replace a Pokemon you already have with it, or just trade it to a different game if you don't want to use it in your challenge.
Another thing to bring up is game freezing. If your game freezes before you were able to save, but some of your Pokemon died, what do you do? Here are a few options:
  1. When you resume your game, immediately release the Pokemon.

  2. Play through the game normally until where your Pokemon died, and then release/box it like you did before.

  3. Restart from your last save and continue like it didn't happen. This option treats it like a second chance for your Pokemon, but not all people would agree if it's fair.
This challenge (created by Marriland himself!) puts a spin on the original Nuzlocke challenge. Because of this, it's a good idea to read through the Nuzlocke Challenge rules before reading this. You can also watch this video where Marriland himself explains the challenge.

Rules:
  1. Pokemon that faint are considered dead. This is the same rule that applies in a Nuzlocke Challenge. Any fainted Pokemon must either be released or boxed forever.

  2. You can only catch the first Pokemon you encounter on a route. However, in this challenge there's a bit of a twist! You need to be sure that your team ends up with 3 male and 3 female Pokemon. You also need to have an even number of male and female Pokemon at all times (see rule #4 for more information about this). Because of this, if your starter is male, the next Pokemon you catch needs to be female. No male encounters count until you've caught a female. This pattern repeats until you have a full team of 6 Pokemon. Once you have your full team, gender no longer matters and your first encounter on a route is the only encounter for that route, just like in a Nuzlocke.

  3. Because genderless Pokemon cannot be paired up, they cannot be used in a Wedlocke. As such, running into a genderless Pokemon never counts as your encounter for that route.

  4. Pokemon that are "paired up" become partners, and fight in pairs. When in battle, you can't switch to any Pokemon in a different pair.
    • Once a male and a female are paired, they cannot be unpaired until one of them dies or is released. If a Pokémon does lose its partner in battle (or you choose to release it), it can gain a new one of the opposite gender either from the Wild (in a new route) or your PC Boxes.

    • If a Pokémon on your team faints, you have to switch into that Pokemon's partner. They want revenge!

    • In Double or Triple battles, there can be exceptions. Just do whatever feels right in these circumstances.

    • If your Pokémon gets switched out forcefully, you must use that new pair for the remainder of the fight.
  5. You cannot put any of your Pokemon into the PC! If you want to place a new Pokemon on your team when you already have six party members, you either need to release a Pokemon or have one of them die in battle.
    • There are a few times when you can make an exception, such as for HM moves or to receive a Pokemon. In these situations, you can deposit a Pokemon- but it cannot battle, and needs to be switched out as soon as you are able.
  6. Just like in a Nuzlocke, all of your Pokemon must be nicknamed. Gotta build up those bonds!
Clauses:
  • All Clauses from Nuzlockes can be used in a Wedlocke.

  • Gay/lesbian variant: A Wedlocke is meant to be restricting by making you pair things together based on random things like gender. However, if you want to do same-sex couples, there are a few way to accommodate that. One possibility is to tie sexuality to natures- meaning that if your Pokemon has one nature it needs a partner of the same sex, and if it has the other it needs a partner of the opposite sex. You could also do an all-male or all-female variant of the challenge.
A Wonderlocke is a pretty random and crazy variation of the Nuzlocke challenge that uses Wonder Trade to give you a completely unexpected team.

Rules:
  1. All of the rules in a Nuzlocke apply. If your Pokemon faints it's dead, you can only catch the first Pokemon you encounter, etc. Be sure to read the Nuzlocke rules if you haven't already!

  2. As soon as you catch a new Pokemon, you need to trade it away using the Wonder Trade feature. This can be accessed using the PSS in Gen 6 and the Festival Plaza in Gen 7 (as soon as you've unlocked it).

  3. You cannot use Pokemon Amie or Super training. The only exception to this is if you want to evolve an Eevee into Sylveon.

  4. The EXP Share should be left off during story progression, and only turned on for grinding. You might want to consider leaving it off completely- since all your Pokemon are traded, they'll be getting an experience boost anyways!
Clauses:
  • Dupes Clause: Since the first Pokemon you encounter on a route will always be traded away, it always counts (even if you've caught it before). However, if you get a Pokemon from a Wonder Trade that you already have, you can Wonder Trade it again to get something new.

  • Shiny Clause: The shiny clause is pretty much the same as the one from the Nuzlocke challenge. If you encounter a shiny Pokemon, you can catch it and use it if you wish. It does not have to be wonder traded, and if it dies you can just box it and not use it in your challenge instead of releasing it.
A very possible and generally easier challenge is the Scramble Challenge! Your team will be chosen for you by other people, leaving you to use Pokemon you may not have used before. Be prepared for anything!

Rules:
  1. You can only use Pokemon that other members choose for you. You can't say no, unless the Pokemon they give you is on the "banned" list.

  2. Any Pokemon can be chosen, except for the following: Magikarp, Unown, Beldum, Feebas, Togepi, Sunkern, Ditto, Wobbuffet, Wynaut, Cosmog, and Cosmoem. Evolutions for these Pokemon may be chosen, though. Unevolved Pokemon can also be chosen, meaning that if someone gives you a Grotle you won't be able to evolve it into Torterra!

  3. You can't use multiple Pokemon from the same evolution family. If one person gives you a Treecko, you can't use Sceptile in that chalenge.

  4. To increase variety, one person can only choose up to two Pokemon for your team. This stops one member from choosing your entire lineup, and makes it more fun for other people to get involved.

  5. If you aren't able to catch a Pokemon that's been given to you (or if it's only available in the late game), you may trade over an egg of that Pokemon so you can use it earlier. It should be an egg so you don't get the trade EXP bonus when it hatches. If you aren't able to obtain an egg yourself, you can either request on in our Trading Forums or turn down the recommendation.

  6. You can use your starter Pokemon until you're able to obtain one of the Pokemon that was chosen from you. No other Pokemon can be used, and as soon as you get your hands on one of your chosen Pokemon, you need to box or release your starter.
Have you ever wanted to be like a gym leader and play through a game with only one type? This challenge might be right for you!

Rules:
  1. Once you choose a type, you need to stick with it for the whole playthrough!

  2. You can't use two Pokemon from the same evolution family. If you use Poliwhirl, you can't also use Poliwrath, etc.

  3. This is less of a rule, but be sure that the type you choose is realistic for the game you choose. For example, Sinnoh has a lack of fire types, so doing a fire monotype in Diamond might not be the best decision.

  4. If a Pokemon is not currently the type you chose but will be in the future, you can still use it. This means that if you're doing a fire monotype, you could use Fletchling because it will become a fire type when it's fully evolved.

  5. Dual types are allowed!

  6. If your starter isn't viable for you to use, you can use it until you're able to catch a Pokemon for the type you chose. After you catch that Pokemon, your starter needs to be put away and not used again.

  7. You are allowed up to two trades total for your challenge. This includes trading eggs or Pokemon you normally couldn't get and in-game trades. You may evolve a Pokemon via trade as many times as you would like.
This challenge is really simple, but it can also be incredibly challenging! Are you ready to take on the world with a single Pokemon?

Rules:
  1. You may choose one Pokemon to use in this challenge. Once you choose that Pokemon, you may use no other Pokemon in battle, all the way until you defeat the champion. You are allowed multiple HM slaves if you need them, since your single Pokemon can't learn all of the HM moves (and to be honest, those moves aren't that great- you want to save the four moves you get).

  2. You must obtain this Pokemon before the third badge. You can trade it in or catch it yourself, but you cannot use any other Pokemon after you've reached the third gym badge. What's the point in a challenge that only starts halfway through?
 
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seaturtle

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Here are some less common challenges that are still used sometimes. If you have any other challenges you'd like to recommend, post them here! If they're popular enough, they may be added to this thread.

Have you ever wanted to play as a character from the anime, manga, or games? Well this is a way for you to do that! In a character challenge, you use a character's Pokemon team to play through a game.

Rules:
  1. You can only use Pokemon that the character you chose uses. If your character has a Turtwig but doesn't evolve it, you'll be using a Turtwig too! HM buddies are still allowed, though.

  2. If you need to trade Pokemon to make your team work, you can. Just remember to do it as an egg- the EXP boost can give you an unfair advantage otherwise!

  3. If your character has nicknames for their Pokemon, you need to use them too! If they don't have nicknames, it's up to you if you want to nickname them.

  4. You need to name yourself after the character you chose.

  5. No combining multiple characters- that defeats the purpose of the challenge in the first place!

  6. Like all challenges, once you start you need to finish it with the same rules. No switching your character partway through!
This challenge is pretty easy to understand- you play through the game without evolving any Pokemon! It can be really challenging, but it can also be a ton of fun!

Rules:
  1. You can NOT evolve any of your Pokemon- get ready to mash that B button! No using Mega Evolution, either.

  2. If you catch a Pokemon that has already evolved (e.g. Trumbeak) that's totally fine. You just aren't allowed to evolve any Pokemon yourself.

  3. Similarly, Pokemon that don't evolve can be used again. As long as you haven't evolved it, it's fair game!

  4. No legendaries- even though they don't evolve, using them defeats the purpose of doing this challenge in the first place.
 

SAF

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Speaking of challenge ideas, I do have one, but it's still unknown whether it has been taken by someone else or not. This challenge is called String Hexalocke (a.k.a. String Hexad-locke / Sextet-locke, as sextet and hexad are the same thing). A string sextet in real life is a group of six people playing string instruments, especially from the violin family. This challenge tries to emulate the typical string sextet which consists of two violins, two violas, and two cellos.

Rules:

1. Only first encounter per area can be caught.
  • Exception: in the case of Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee, only first catch per area can be used instead. Subsequent catches are only allowed for grinding due to the game mechanics and they must be released ASAP.
  • Dupes clause is recommended here, but with another exception in Let's Go: since your starter can't evolve, a second Pikachu/Eevee (depending on your game) counts for the first encounter, but a third one no longer counts.
2. You must name everything useable (as mentioned in rule #1).

3. Just like the real-life string sextet, the maximum capacity of your party is six: 2 violinists (violin players), 2 violists (viola players), and 2 cellists (cello players). And no, this isn't a Wedlocke, so you're allowed to shuffle the members around as long as they don't break the formation. As for which Pokemon is which, see here:

  • The types used in this classification can be either primary or secondary or Shuffle-style (for Pokemon types in Pokemon Shuffle, go check it out here). Whichever you use, just be consistent throughout the whole game.
  • Groupings may change depending on evolution (e.g. Eevee) or item-induced type change (e.g. Arceus and Silvally) or form change (e.g. Oricorio).
  • That being said, unless you either play Let's Go Eevee or randomize your game, your starter is guaranteed to be a violinist. Eevee will be a violist instead and your starting instrument for randomizers matches whatever Pokemon you get.
  • This is why I recommend dupes clause; you don't want to get too many violists from catching too many local birds and/or rodents, do you? :winkazurill: (no viola jokes intended for orchestral musicians out there, don't worry :winkazurill:)
  • Let's say you already have a Cyndaquil (violinist #1), an Eevee (violist #1), a Zigzagoon (violist #2), and a Geodude (cellist #1). Your next encounter turned out to be a Caterpie (another violist). Since the available slots are violinist #2 and cellist #2, you can't use the newly-caught Caterpie without boxing either the Eevee or the Zigzagoon.
  • And then the very same Eevee from before evolves into a Jolteon. Due to the evolution, the Eevee/Jolteon switches its viola for a violin, thus allowing the Caterpie from before filling in the empty violist #1 slot (assuming the violinist #2 slot was empty prior to Eevee's evolution).

4. A Pokemon breaks its instrument upon fainting. If that happens, it must be retired. (this is basically the "death" rule in a regular Nuzlocke, just worded differently)
  • Exception: Said Pokemon gets a new instrument (read: revived) when auto-heal ensues with no access to PC box (perhaps in a cutscene or something).
5. Gifts and eggs given by NPCs may or may not be used. Just do how you see fit.

6. Shiny and legendary Pokemon can be considered as virtuosos, so they can be caught regardless of rule #1. However, only a virtuoso per instrument can be in the party at the same time (total up to 3 virtuosos).
  • Optional: The legendary part may be omitted, thus making this rule a limited shiny clause.
  • Example: If you happened to have a shiny Slurpuff as the violist virtuoso in your party, you can't use Xerneas (another violist virtuoso) alongside the shiny Slurpuff. Yveltal still can be used though, because it's a cellist virtuoso, not violist.
7. HM buddies can be caught only if you absolutely have to. Their placement must follow rule #3 and must not be used for battles if they break rule #1 and/or #4.

8. All these rules only kick in after receiving your first Pokeballs.
  • Exception: rule #3, it kicks in as soon as you get your starter instead
How does it sound? Is it a good challenge?
 
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Neb

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Casual Soul Link
This challenge is a more casual alternative to the Soul Link. Feel free to tell me what you all think!

You and one other person are “linked” and must work together to beat the game.

1. Any Pokémon your partner catches is one you must use too. This includes starters, event Pokémon, and legendaries.

2. If one Pokémon is put into the PC, you must put yours in as well.

3. If your partner’s Pokémon faints, you have to let yours faint too.

4. If one of you gets ahead, you must wait for the other to catch up.
 

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Elitocke - An Elite Beat Agents variant of the Idolocke challenge.

Rules:

1. Decide the difficulty of the Elite Beat Agents section of the challenge. You can either do the songs on Normal or Hard difficulty.

2. If a Pokémon faints, it’s “off the band.”

3. Choose whether you want to make an Elite Beat Agent Team or an Elite Beat Diva Team. If you went with Agents, only catch the first male Pokémon on a route. If you went with Diva, you can only catch the first female Pokémon in an area. Genderless wild Pokémon or Pokémon of the opposite sex chosen do not count as an encounter.

4. Give every Pokémon a nickname, preferably an “agent” sounding name like Bond.

4. Shiny clause, gender clause, and dupes clause are all in effect.

5. The Challenge does not start until you get Pokéballs.

6. When you catch a Pokémon is must be put into an audition. To do this, you must play a song of your preferred difficulty on Elite Beat Agents. Your final rank on any song determines the chances of whether you keep the Pokémon or not.

D rank: 10%


C rank: 30%


B rank: 50%


A rank: 70%


S rank: 90%


7. Once you’ve added three Pokémon, they are officially a band. You can only switch around between the three members, and if one faints, one of the other two must fight. It’s like a Wedlocke pair.

8. As long as there are bands in the PC or Daycare, the challenge can continue. Even if you get a white out.
 
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I've always wondered this, but would Randomizer challenges be acceptable? I feel like running one would be so dope.

EDIT: Thundawave told me it was cool so expect some crazy stuff soon perhaps. 8)
 
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SAF

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I've always wondered this, but would Randomizer challenges be acceptable? I feel like running one would be so dope.
I think randomizers should be acceptable. I mean, you've already seen some threads in the Challenge Runs forum having this "Randomizer" tag, right?
 

Solar

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I think randomizers should be acceptable. I mean, you've already seen some threads in the Challenge Runs forum having this "Randomizer" tag, right?
Correct! Randomizers are just fine, as long as you don't promote/link any kind of emulation or illegal shenanigans and are cool about it! :happyazurill:
 
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Gamoholic

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Here's a couple of optional rules for the Nuzlocke that i thought of.

1. Pokemon must be added to the Party in the order that they're caught. i.e. the first 6 you catch are your party until one faints and then you add the 7th caught pokemon to party etc. - I'm using this in my run.

2. Every time you want to catch a Pokemon, roll a dice. To catch it you must roll equal or higher to the slot number in your party it will fill. i.e. 2+ for your second pokemon, 5+ for your 5th. Pokemon considered dead reduce that count.
 

Vivid Stardust

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I have an idea!

I love Nuzlockes, but they’re...kinda difficult for me (hence why I’ve never finished one yet). I’m sure I’m not the only one who struggles with them, either! However, I think that one of the important aspects to the Nuzlocke challenge is that it can be failed (unlike the majority of other challenges out there), and I think a failure condition is important for a challenge that tries to actually be challenging. Having stakes is important! I wanted to create a challenge that was easier than the Nuzlocke but was still challenging. This is called the mixtape challenge because I basically mashed together some rules and ideas from various challenges and combined them into this one! I’ll be trying this one out so y’all can see how it works!

Mixtape Challenge Rules

1: If you wipe, you have failed the challenge.

1a: Cheren Clause: Due to how the first rival battle usually goes (ie Tackle Fest), if you lose to your rival in the first battle of the game (Cheren and Bianca both count as your rival for BW), the game is not over, and you can keep going!

2: You can only use three Pokémon types total! You must choose three of the 18 types available at the start of your challenge and only catch Pokémon of those types. Note that dual types are okay, even if the Pokémon doesn’t get the right type until evolving. So if you’re doing Flying as one of your types, you can use the Charizard line.

2a: You can only choose one out of Fire, Grass, Water, Normal, and Flying. This is because Grass, Water, Normal, and Flying are all really common, and it’s not fair to choose three of the most common types. Also, it’s not fair to have access to 2/3 sides of the Fire/Water/Grass triad.

2b: Less of a rule and more of a recommendation, but please make sure you have a decent selection of Pokémon with the three types you chose!

3: You can only catch one Pokémon per route. Note that you do NOT have to catch the first Pokémon you run into.

3a: Shiny Clause: If you run into a shiny, you can catch it and use it, even if it’s not one of the types you chose at the start or you already caught a Pokémon on that route. Shiny Pokémon are cool!

4: You cannot use revives. What? You thought you could get through this challenge by spamming revives? Think again! Besides, you can use Pokémon Centers all you want!

5: You cannot use items during gym battles! Held items are okay, though!

6: You win the challenge when you beat the champion in most games (this means Ghetsis in BW by the way). The only exceptions are the Johto games, where you need to beat Red too, and X/Y, where you need to beat Az.

7: Have fun!
 
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