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The xkcd Challenge

Discussion in 'Orange Islands' started by cantab, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. cantab

    cantab

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    The idea for this occurred to me as soon as I read the strip, but I was busy Nuzlocking Pearl at the time.

    Evolving
    [​IMG]
    Mouseover text: Biologists play reverse Pokémon, trying to avoid putting any one team member on the front lines long enough for the experience to cause evolution.

    The mouseover text is the inspiration here. The core rules of the xkcd challenge are as follows:

    * All Pokemon used must be capable of evolving by level.
    * When a Pokemon evolves, it must not battle again.
    * No pressing B to block evolution and no Everstones.


    I opted to try this in Crystal, thinking it's probably the easiest of games to do it in. So far:

    Show Hide
    Started with Cyndaquil.
    Falkner was easily beaten by Geodude, super-effective Mud Slaps were still pathetic against it.
    Cyndaquil almost soloed Bugsy, leaving his Scyther with just a sliver of HP before falling to Fury Cutter. Pidgey finished things off with Quick Attack. Both Cyndaquil and Pidgey evolved after the battle and consequently were quarantined (ie permaboxed.)
    Whitney's Clefairy got all the hax, KOing my lead with 5-hit DoubleSlap followed by Metronome-called Fissure, then Metronome-called Supersonic hit my next Pokemon. I switched to Geodude and KOed it. Against the infamous Miltank I was taking no chances and just went for the Selfdestruct.
    Morty I expected to be easy with two Confusion users and two ground types. Only problem was I forgot to stock up on Awakenings and his Gengar tore through my team with Hypnosis+Dream Eater. Some Pidgeotto Sand-Attacks brought me a bit of luck and I had to revive Geodude to finish it off with a couple of Magnitudes.

    Currently I have Psyduck, Cubone, Venonat, Pidgeotto, Geodude, and Bellsprout. Both Geodude and Bellsprout are one level off evolution so I won't have them for much longer. I feel well set for Chuck and Jasmine, but after that things look like they'll get difficult.


    Anyway I think it's a nice challenge. In common with Nuzlocke it makes you change your Pokemon around instead of just getting six and sticking with them. It encourages the use of Pokemon that evolve late, something normally seen as a drawback. It encourages low-level play which is always a good way to make an RPG more challenging. It's easy at the start but hard at the end, certainly better than being the other way round. Drawbacks, I suppose, are a possible shortage of viable late-game Pokemon, although you can Daycare a Pokemon to a high level to have it for one key battle. Also I suspect the difficulty level will be very dependent on the game chosen.

    I'm undecided on whether to allow happiness-based evolutions. They'd add more viable Pokemon, especially late game, and also throw in a bit of unpredictability. But they're also abusable if you do things like use herbal medicines, train by Sweet Scenting so you walk less steps, or in the extreme case trade it to another cart and back to reset the happiness. Prohibiting the abuses would lengthen the concise ruleset, so I reckon maybe leave it out of the core but have it as a common variant.

    Thoughts? Anyone joining me?
  2. TM13IceBeam

    TM13IceBeam

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    This will probably be very boring lategame, considering that if all Pokemon used must be capable of evolving by level, then the only viable ones are those that evolve really late: I'm not particularly a fan of trying to beat BW2 E4 with a team of Zweilous, or a group of underlevelled Pawniard/Rufflet/Vullabys. For that I wouldn't mind happiness-based evolutions, though some form of regulation is needed to prevent abuse.

    I can completely see RSE being a dick without happiness evolutions though, since most of the lategame Pokemon evolve in 1 level (Meditite, Makuhita and Loudred all meet the evolution threshold), and even with happiness evolutions you're going to have to bring in a team of Golbats for levelling purposes.

    This also got into my brain, but wouldn't it be possible to suicide upon enemies to prevent EXP gain and hence evolution?
  3. Alice in Strings

    Alice in Strings

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    Here's another dose of horror for you; this would be impossible in RBY because nothing in the game comes close to being near the E4's level before evolving.

    Suiciding wouldn't really help unless you went on a catching spree and permaboxed one Pokemon per battle in the late game? Remember, you have to keep at least one Pokemon alive to win a battle.
  4. TM13IceBeam

    TM13IceBeam

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    lolrevives?

    and RBY isn't impossible, considering that you can bring in a team of 6 Dragonairs. Albeit, this is Yellow-only (and Japanese Blue), but it still isn't that bad. RB itself though... fuck that
  5. Alice in Strings

    Alice in Strings

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    I guess there's also Rhyhorn, too, if that can even count. I also forgot you can fish up Dragonair in Yellow, so /shrug/.
  6. TM13IceBeam

    TM13IceBeam

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    Rhyhorn's pretty bro since it takes a whopping 20 levels to evolve from capture, meaning it'll be a mainstay for quite a while. You can bench it for Blaine and Giovanni and leave the job to Omanyte or something.

    Unfortunately, bugger evolves at L42, so it's not standing a chance in E4.
  7. Alice in Strings

    Alice in Strings

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    For some reason, I thought it evolved at 55. Oh well...
  8. cantab

    cantab

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    In RBY you should benefit from the poor AI. Also you could employ paralysis then OHKO moves, though it's haxxy and would probably take retries to win with.
  9. Its_A_Random

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    I was intrigued when I first opened this thread, & after scanning, I thought this is definitely not something for beginners. I mean, in most games, you will often be very under-levelled come the E4, & when you factor potential evolutions, it is pretty easy to find yourself frustrated with having to grind far more often than a Nuzlocke.

    That said, there is a pretty easy loophole trainers can easily exploit, particularly in the earlier games: Every time a Pokémon levels up, & it is about to evolve, make said Pokémon faint before the battle is done. Apparently, Pokémon do not evolve when fainted, assuming level by evolution, which pretty much allows you to use certain key Pokémon for far longer than expected. Of course, this only works with trainer battles, but if you play it right, you can keep your key Pokémon in your party long enough to take on key match-ups, boosting your chances of getting through the game faster.

    Nonetheless, I am intrigued at how this thread will unfold.
  10. Golden Gyarados

    Golden Gyarados

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    Another potential loophole in Gen I and II at least is the Daycare - just like trading a Pokemon resets happiness, leaving a Pokemon in the Daycare, taking one step, and taking it out resets the experience points for that level. Whenever you get close to leveling up, just drop it off at the Daycare for a second.

    That being said, assuming one "plays by the rules," I think this looks fun.
  11. cantab

    cantab

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    I'd forgotten about that. Combined with Daycaring up to a high level it would let you get a super-levelled Pokemon that you could keep on using.

    Perhaps a fourth rule, "No deliberately reducing a Pokemon's EXP or friendship.", would close said loophole and also open up the happiness evolvers for use.

    Then again Daycare alone, if you cycle for stupidly long, would get you level 99 mons that will last quite a while before hitting 100. I'm not keen on outright banning Daycare because I feel that used sensibly it'll add interest. Of course there's no rule against crazy grinding in a Nuzlocke either.
  12. cantab

    cantab

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    Quick update

    Chuck wasn't too difficult despite Game Freak's trolling by giving out Fly after you've beaten the fighting Gym Leader!
    Jasmine likewise wasn't hard. I took out her first Magnemite with Cubone, her Steelix KOed Cubone but fell to Psyduck's Surfs. I tried my own Magnemite against her second one but lost that matchup, wearing it down with my other Pokemon for the win. Against both Jasmine and Chuck I was to an extent relying on superior numbers.
    Just beaten Pryce, he was easier than I expected partly due to lower levels than Jasmine. My Venonat beat his Seel and poisoned his Dewgong, Psyduck nearly beat Dewgong and would have but for recieving a crit; Pidgeotto finished it with Quick Attack. Pryce's Piloswine made me regret letting Psyduck get KOed as it took out Pidgeotto and Cubone, leaving me with Magnemite who proceeded to win the match by Sonicboom spam coupled with a bit of Supersonic. Silly Pryce, not teaching Piloswine a ground move.
    No more Pokemon have evolved, but everyone bar Pidgeotto's only one or two levels off. I'll definitely be needing some new Pokemon soon, trouble is there's practically nothing that evolves later than level 30ish.
  13. Zabel Zarock

    Zabel Zarock

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    This sounds interesting indeed but its gonna be a challenge.

    By the sounds of it pokemon who have to evolve via trading and possibly evolution stones will be the most useful of the bunch as well as some late game pokemon as well.

    I might give this a try sometime in the future.
  14. cantab

    cantab

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    Stone evolvers and trade evolvers are outright banned though, as are Pokemon that don't evolve at all. Otherwise it would just boil down to using those Pokemon which would make it a rather different challenge.
  15. Shiny Magikarp

    Shiny Magikarp

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    I should really try this. Especially if I add the standard Nuzlocke Rules into the mix.
    And G/S/C is the easiest, benefiting form badly skilled trainers and the fact Lance's highest is only 50.
  16. Zabel Zarock

    Zabel Zarock

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    Good point.

    So much for using Haunter. ;A;
  17. Mario With Lasers

    Mario With Lasers BUT THERE ARE DREAMS THAT CANNOT BEEEEEEEE
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    I have a two-year old Black save where I can only use NFEs (which means I can go as far as a Swadloon, but not dumb Leavanny). I think it makes the challenge not that absurdly hard for any generation and leaves no room for loopholes; I mean, go ahead and use Scraggy, man, tell me how will it fare against Ghetsis's Hydreigon.

    I think this would be acceptable flavour-wise too. If biologists could always abort evolution in their test specimen, I'm sure they would...
  18. cantab

    cantab

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    I did a Leaf Green run with no evolving, ended up with a team of Squirtle, Pikachu, Abra, and Cubone. (Middle evos were allowed, I just never felt I needed any more Pokemon). But I just ground them up to level 65 to beat the E4.

    Challenge accepted. Well, it'll be Iris's one in White 2, but same difference.
  19. Its_A_Random

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    Ehhh, I decided to do one of these challenges on White. Just the standard rules, no happiness Pokémon though.

    Started with Tepig, went through to Route 2 fine, then caught a Lillipup & a Patrat. Then got to Striaton, beat Cheren, & the trainers in Dreamyard, before doing the gym with Lv10's. The trainers were easy, but Cress was not. Lillipup handled Cress' Lillipup fine, but Panpour proved to be a headache. Took out Lillipup, then used Work Up to 2HKO Tepig. Then Patrat came in...

    Patrat used Bide!
    Panpour used Water Gun (12 DMG)!
    Patrat is storing energy!
    Panpour used Water Gun (12 DMG)!
    Patrat unleashed Energy (48 DMG)!
    Panpour Fainted!
    Random wins!

    So yeah, with Patrat having 32 HP, I managed to win the first gym without any grinding. Whee! I then did the Dreamyard after catching a second Patrat as a HM Slave. Killed the Grunts there, & then decided to call it a day.

    Currently have a Lv11 Lillipup, a Lv12 Tepig, & a Lv12 Patrat. Oh, the Cut slave as well. This is just the start, but there is still a long way to go...
  20. TM13IceBeam

    TM13IceBeam

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    I'm really not sure if BW1 is possible since you don't have "I-evolve-at-Level-fucking-64" Zweilous in the wild and the latest you get is Pawniard iirc which evolves at 52. The best is probably having a Fraxure DD rape everything, but it's going to be long... :/

    edit: ...nvm, checked. The highest is Larvesta which evolves at 59. Have fun training that thing from Lv1 though. >.>"

    Edit2: @OP what about Pokemon who evolve by learning a certain move (e.g. BW2 Piloswine)? you can always not teach them the move (in that example Piloswine needs move relearner for it), but they need to level up to evolve anyway :X
  21. cantab

    cantab

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    It's meant to be level up only, so not including the level up with move, level up in location, or level up with friendship ones. Though you could perhaps use the level up with move ones on the basis that you must learn the move in question when you can, (and if it's past that move you have to go to the relearner) thereby just making it like a level up evolver.

    EDIT:
    This doesn't seem to hold in Crystal. In the battle against Silver in the Goldenrod Basement my Magnemite levelled up then was KOed, yet still evolved afterwards - and was unKOed and left with 15 HP! He was paralyzed before being knocked out, don't know if that makes any difference.
  22. cantab

    cantab

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    Update time:

    After I'd beaten Pryce I went to Goldenrod to kick some Rocket butt. No major issues there, but once I'd done it almost the entire team I'd beaten Pryce with had evolved, so it was time to put together a new team with Clair in mind. Then I needed a Blizzard TM, and even with speed-up playing Card Flip enough to earn the coins sucked majorly. (Could have used my money, but I might need that more later). I trained my team some, beat the wise trio and caught Suicune, and trained some more, putting each member two levels off evolution.

    So I went against Clair with:
    Venonat Lv 30. My old one, the only Pokemon to go against both Pryce and Clair.
    Koffing Lv33. I'd started training him against the Rockets in Goldenrod, impressed with his bulk and the ever-useful Selfdestruct.
    Magnemite Lv 28. A new one.
    Horsea Lv 30. She got the hard-won Blizzard TM.
    Psyduck Lv 31. A new one, chosen considering how well the previous had performed. Bred with Hypnosis, but had to make do with Ice Punch rather than Blizzard.
    Pidgeotto Lv 34. Again, a new one.

    Well, so far five battles and five losses :( I can beat the Dragonairs but not without several sacrifices and then I'm crushed by her Kingdra who OHKOs almost everyone. Maybe I'll try pumping someone full of X Items.

    Update: Beat Clair. Lead with Psyduck, slept her Dragonair and bunged him an X Speed and a bunch of X Specials, healing any damage he took with items, then swept her three Dragonairs. Kingdra still outsped and KOed with Hyper Beam, I sent out Koffing to Selfdestruct but it didn't KO and Clair healed the damage; in retrospect I should have given Koffing the Pink Bow. Paralyzed Kingdra with Magnemite then took it down with Pidgeotto's Sand Attack abuse, Pidgeotto being my only Pokemon that could survive one of Kingdra's attacks.

    Not what I'd call an honourable victory, but a win's a win.

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