TYPE CHAIN

HARDCORE NUZLOCKE

Only catch pokemon that have a type in common with your last catch.

The Type Chain Hardcore Nuzlocke follows the same ruleset as the Hardcore Nuzlocke Variant with one additional restriction: you can only catch pokemon who share a type with the last pokemon you have caught.

RULES

The Type Chain Nuzlocke occurs right from picking your starter, let’s use Pokemon HeartGold as an example.

If you choose Chikorita as your starter, the next valid encounter you have must be a Grass type. This is most likely to be a Bellsprout on Route 31 who is both Grass & Poison. Following the Bellsprout your next valid encounter could well be the Zubat in the caves to the north, as they share the Poison type.

As per standard Nuzlockes, you can only catch one Pokemon on each Route. A Route isn’t considered usable until you have types available to you that match pokemon on that route. You can use this to your advantage to control your encounters to a degree, and guarantee certain Pokemon.

For example, in Heart Gold, Route 29 doesn’t have valid encounters for us until we have either the Normal or Flying types available for our next catch. If we wait until we have Flying type for our next encounter, we can revisit this route to guarantee a Pidgey here in the day time or a Hoot Hoot at night.

If at any point in the chain you catch a pure Normal type Pokemon (i.e. not a dual type), you reset your chain and can catch anything as normal (following standard Nuzlocke rules). This of course means that the next available route you have an encounter, you must catch that Pokemon.

In-game trades are perfectly acceptable in Type Chain Nuzlockes and make it easier to gain access to new types. If we take the Bellsprout from our HeartGold example, you can trade this for an Onix in Violet City, unlocking the Rock & Ground types for your next encounter.

MY PLAY THROUGH

For our first playtest of the Type Chain HC Nuzlocke I decided to play through Heart Gold as its my favourite game to Nuzlocke. I like the level curve and my familiarity with the game will help us plan our encounters out.

MY PLAY THROUGH

For our first playtest of the Type Chain HC Nuzlocke I decided to play through Heart Gold as its my favourite game to Nuzlocke. I like the level curve and my familiarity with the game will help us plan our encounters out.

CHOOSING OUR STARTER

Immediately, we need to consider the type of our starter. The availability of grass/water/fire types in the early game is the biggest factor in this decision, as we don’t want to lock ourselves into very few encounters early.

Type distribution before Falkner

Looking at the distribution of all available Pokemon before Falkner we get the following types we can use from our starter:

Route 29
Route 30
Route 31
Violet Cave
Route 32
Route 46 (south)

So across all 6 areas we have access to, that’s 2 grass and 1 water pokemon we have available to us.

To prevent us going into the Falkner fight with a single Pokemon, I’m going to take Cyndaquil out of the equation.

Chikorita vs Totodile

Before we make direct comparisons between Totodile’s and Chikorita’s individual merits its important we identify which offers us the greater pool of early Pokemon.

Chikorita

Chikorita offers us 5 encounters beyond the starter – the clear winner here. As well as offering the same encounters compared to Totodile, with this route you get access to a pure Normal type which offers up the switch to Geodude/Wooper/Mareep at any time.

Totodile

Totodile only offers us 2 encounters that ends with Geodude. It’s a strong starting team that can definitely take on the first gym by itself but it struggles with Bellsprout Tower and is otherwise eclipsed by the choices Chikorita offers you.

#1 – Route to Falkner

Let’s get our Pokeballs unlocked and work through all possible encounters before taking on Falkner.

Unlock Pokeballs

We visit Mr. Pokemon’s house, take on our rival and get our first set of Pokeballs.

Catch Bellsprout

We head straight to Route 31 and catch our Bellsprout, meaning our next catch encounter must be either Poison type or Grass type.

  • Route 29

  • Route 30

  • Route 31

  • Violet Cave

  • Route 32

  • Route 46

Catch Zubat

With our available Poison type we have the option of either Zubat or Spinarak – with Zubat unlocking the Flying type I’ll be taking that one!

  • Route 29

  • Route 30

  • Route 31

  • Violet Cave

  • Route 32

  • Route 46

Catch Pidgey

Now we head back to route 30 to catch our Pidgey, unlocking the Normal type.

  • Route 29

  • Route 30

  • Route 31

  • Violet Cave

  • Route 32

  • Route 46

Catch Sentret/Rattata

Let’s head back to route 29 and catch one of the two available normal types to us, whichever comes first. In this case, we got Sentret.

  • Route 29

  • Route 30

  • Route 31

  • Violet Cave

  • Route 32

  • Route 46

Wildcard

Because of the rule stating Normals are wild, our opportunities for the next catch are really opened up to us. The best Pokemon left that we have available to us before Falkner are Wooper, Geodude and Mareep.

As both Mareep and Wooper are on the same route, we need to prioritise which we’ll take.

Wooper vs Mareep

While Wooper and Mareep and their evolutions are both excellent Pokemon, the available types must be explored carefully as we could end up in a bit of a tricky spot.

Mareep

20% chance to encounter in day, 10% chance at night

If we follow up our Sentret encounter with Mareep we are stuck with a pure Electric type for our next encounter which hinders our options dramatically – the next available Electric type isn’t until Route 38, a whole four gyms later.

To bypass this, we can make use of the Onix trade in Violet City. If we trade Bellsprout for Onix we open up two more types, Rock and Ground. With this we get access to Geodude for our Route 46 encounter and can go from there. The only problem is post Falkner we have Union Cave which is rife with Sandshrew, this forces us to take our Ground type encounter and then we’re stuck until the next Ground type in Ice Path after the 7th gym!

As well as all of this, there’s a chance we get stuck with a Hoppip anyway – a valid option but one that I won’t be exploring as we¬† have two Grass types already.

I think on the whole this route is very restrictive, so sadly we won’t be taking Mareep.

Wooper

0% chance to encounter in day, 35% chance at night

The Wooper option allows us to be flexible but puts us in a similar situation very quickly if we want to proceed with Geodude, trapping us into a Sandshrew or other Ground type going forward. It’s also worth saying the Wooper isn’t guaranteed – if we encounter any Pokemon we haven’t caught before we are forced to catch them under the wildcard rule, meaning we may well end up with a Mareep anyway.

Wooper Alternate

If we combine the above options, a third path becomes apparent. Rather than taking the Wildcard that Sentret offers us, we proceed with the Bellsprout -> Onix trade immediately, then catch our Geodude on Route 46, followed by Wooper on Route 32. This also eliminates the chance of us getting a Mareep when trying to go for Wooper at night.

Ending on a Water/Ground type will give us the chance to catch a Water type. However, we can’t enter Union cave as we run the risk of being forced into Sandshrew, so what do we do?

Trade Bellsprout for Onix

We’ll head over to Rudy and trade our Bellsprout for Onix unlocking the Rock and Ground types. This nicely sets up the encouner route we outlined above.

  • Route 29

  • Route 30

  • Route 31

  • Violet City

  • Violet Cave

  • Route 32

  • Route 46

Catch Geodude

Let’s head back over to Route 46 to catch the Geodude…

  • Route 29

  • Route 30

  • Route 31

  • Violet City

  • Violet Cave

  • Route 32

  • Route 46

And finally Wooper

…and that completes our encounters before Falkner.

  • Route 29

  • Route 30

  • Route 31

  • Violet City

  • Violet Cave

  • Route 32

  • Route 46

Violet City Gym

Now we have our encounters completed, it’s time to construct the team for Falkner!

OTHER NUZLOCKES

For other official Nuzlocke variants, check out the Nuzlocke University.

Nuzlocke University