Challenge Pokémon without catching Pokémon: Fire Red



As you may know, the Pokémon fandom is very creative. They have made a lot of different challenges to increase the replay value of the games, such as the Nuzlocke and its variants. I've always liked these type of ideas where you restrict yourself to make a game more difficult, so I decided to try to overcome a Pokémon Fire Red run with Hardcore Nuzlocke rules, adding a little extra: No catching wild Pokémon.


- If a Pokémon faints, it is considered dead and must be permaboxed.
- No catching wild Pokémon.
- Species Clause.
- I can only get one Pokémon per route.
- Every Pokemon obtained must be nicknamed.
- No items in battle (held items are allowed).
- Do not level past the level of the next Gym leader or final Elite 4 member.
- Play on "Set" battle mode.
- If I whiteout, I lose the challenge.


For the ones asking how it is possible to beat the game without actually catching wild Pokémon, I will use gifted or purchasable creatures during the run. This means I actually have access to these options and their evolutionary line:


Route 4:

Celadon City:

Silph S.A. :

Celadon Game Corner:

Cinnabar City:
These are all the Pokémon in the main campaign that can be obtained without catching them. Notably, the 3 starters reduces to only 1, Celadon City and the Celadon Game Corner are considered as the same route, and I can only get one fossil. This means I can have a 5 member team if everything goes well. Once cleared this, let's get to the first attempt.

Attempt 1#

I started the run knowing one thing: I had to chose Bulbasaur, and that Bulbasaur needed to get the right nature so we can get pass the first battle with the rival. I know this may seems like a dumb thing, but I'm going to explain it later.


So I named the my character "Trabuco", named my rival "Roberto", and went straight into action.


I named the Bulbasaur "Choco", and he had a Bold nature, which lowers his Attack but raises his Defense. This could be useful against Roberto's Charmander, as it allows "Choco" to tank hits more effectively.


This resulted in a attempt to lower Charamander's Attack with Growl, so my Bulbasaur could win. Charmander hits me with a crit, making me lose at my first attempt.

Attempt 4#
I had to lose 3 attempts so Bulbasaur could finally get the Nature and the Stats to win this single battle. Why was this happening? Well, let me explain.




Charmander is clearly faster and hits harder than Bulbasaur. This means that, to our dear Choco to win this battle, he needs to be faster than Charmander, and hit hard enough to get rid of Roberto's starter before we whiteout.


Thankfully, Choco got an Adamant nature, which increseases Attack and decreases Special Attack, allowing him to hit as hard as possible. The Special Attack drop may cause some issues, but we can just train him with effort values.


My mon outsped Charmander, and was able to finish him.

From here, things went pretty good. Nothing interesting happened until we got to Viridian Forest. There, I avoided the trainers so I could train my future Magikarp later. I did fight wild Caterpies so I could get effort values on HP. We got to Pewter City and swept Brock without any problems.


Now, I got really scaried by that girl.


That girl had a Pidgey with Gust. I ran into her by accident, and her Pidgey tried to finish Choco. The grass phrog used Leech Seed until the Pidgey fainted, and the other Pokémon of her team, who I believe was a Rattata, wasn't a problem. I had to battle one or two trainers, and avoided the other ones, allowing Choco to gain enough XP to finally evolve.


And, finally got to my second encounter: Phish.


Then, I went back to fight all the trainers I avoided before so I could train Phish. That included the rival battle next to the Pokémon League. I beat Roberto, and saved my game there. The next level cap is 21, so I'm allowed to evolve Phish into Gyarados, but for now, the team looks like this:


Stay tuned for the next episode!
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Hey, this is interesting!! Hope you're able to finish it.

I have a question: if you happened to get the Celadon Game Corner Abra would you be able to trade it for the Route 2 Mr. Mime or is that against the rules (since it's technically neither a gift nor a purchase)? Good luck either way!
Hey, this is interesting!! Hope you're able to finish it.

I have a question: if you happened to get the Celadon Game Corner Abra would you be able to trade it for the Route 2 Mr. Mime or is that against the rules (since it's technically neither a gift nor a purchase)? Good luck either way!
Hey! Thank you very much!
I've seen that some Nuzlocke players don't use the in-game trades, so I won't use them either.

Well, the difference between the first episode and this is huge, and I mean it.

I present you, THE RUN KILLERS:

Hello everyone, here I am with an update of the challenge. In the last part, everything was pretty standard, a few whiteouts in the first battle, but nothing strange. That completely changed in this episode. Let's see why.

I entered the Mt. Moon willing to train Phish, but a girl, named Iris, who had a Clefairy, had other plans. I ran into her by accident. I opened with Phish, and inmediately replaced her with Choco, but the girl's Clefairy used Sing. I just had to wait until Choco woke up, but it didn't happen at fast as it should, leaving Ivysaur's life bar in red. At that moment, Phish just had Splash, so she couldn't even attempt to defeat a wild Pokémon. So I had to change to Phish, and made a sacrifice. So long, Phish.


I thought I could just continue the run with Choco, but I was wrong. Yes, I won Misty's badge, but the next rival battle was the end of the fourth attempt.


He has a Pidgeotto with Gust and a Charmander with Ember, so having 2 Pokémon with supereffective moves and resistance to Grass type was not ideal for me. Choco defeated Pidgeotto, but couldn't make it pass Charmander.


That was the end of attempt 4.

Attempt #6 & #7

Both times, I chose Charmander, and named her Daenerys. I wanted to see if it was more effective. In the #6, I couldn't get pass Brock, but in the #7, Daenerys managed to beat Onix. This part was either very stressful, because I had to calculate how much damage would Daenerys do with Metal Claw at a certain level considering her individual values, and pretty cool, because it made me think much more than playing the normal games. Also, I had to play with the level cap, and train Charmander so she would level up after killing Geodude.


After missing a couple of Rock Tombs, Daenerys could defeat Onix. From here, everything was looking good, maybe it was a good idea to use Charmander after all. Well, because of the level cap of Misty's gym, my starter couldn't pass the level 21, and the difference between Charmander and Bulbasaur, is that the former needs to be at level 14 to have a chance against Onix, while Saur can defeat it once it learned Vine Whip, at level 10. This was a problem, because Charmander was closer to the level cap than a Bulbasaur could be, meaning that I couldn't get to train Magikarp to level 20, when it evolves to Gyarados, because Daenerys would simply pass level 21. Gyarados was my only chance to beat Misty. I figured this out when it was too late.


I whitedout to Starmie, and had to start again.

Attempt #8

I chose Bulbasaur again, and had the same problem with Roberto before the breach. Although Magikarp was alive, I rushed, didn't train Magikarp, and tried to defeat Roberto with my Ivysaur. I whitedout, again. But the next time, I would take the team to do the thing in the right way.

Attempt #9

At this point, I learned my lesson. I chose Bulbasaur, named her Choco, and everything went right. I swept the first 2 leaders, and evolved Magikarp into Gyarados after like 1 hour of grinding.


I taught Phish Waterpulse, and totally humiliated Roberto with my now Gyarados. Next gym leader is Lt. Surge, but I understood that I have to prepare for every battle from now on.


Stay tuned for the next episode!
Hello everyone. I'm back with another episode of this series. I have to inform that I whitedout because of a big mistake of mine. Remember when I said that I would prepare for every battle? Well, in my preparation for Lt. Surge Gym battle, I overleveled Choco, meaning that I could just use Phish, a 4 times electric-weak Pokémon, in an electric Gym. My chances to win that battle were low, really low. I equiped Phish with a Sitrus Berry, taught her Nature Power, and went straight to action.


He opened the battle with Voltorb. Phish used Nature Power, making a ton of damage. Voltorb hit her with a strong Shock Wave, but Gyarados standed and recovered health with the Sitrus Berry. Lt. Surge used a heal item, but Gyarados finished Voltorb with 2 more moves. Then, Pikachu comes out, and get OHKO by a powerful attack from Phish. But then, Raichu came in to crush our dreams. Phish outsped Raichu, but didn't killed him, and died to a Shock Wave. This is how I wasted 2 hours of my life.


Attempt #10
Lost to a random trainer lol.

Attempt #11

This was the run. I felt it.

After 10 failed attempts, I was starting to think that this was worthless. But, anyways, I tried another time. I chose Bulbasaur, and named him Choco, again. I figured out that, skipping the non-mandatory battles, and just doing the required ones, I was able to get to Brock with a Vine Whip. This was huge, because it allowed me to optimize my run until I got to Magikarp. Once I got to the Pokémon Center in Route 4, I got another Magikarp, and again, named her "Phish", and trained her to level 20 so she could evolve. This was the most mentally exhausting part of the run so far, because Magikarp had to reach level 15 to get Tackle, and then went all the way back to the route next to the Pokémon League, to train Phish's Ev's with Pokémon she could kill. After another hour of pure grinding, she finally evolved into a Gyarados. Again, I humiliated Misty and Roberto, and got to Lt. Surge again, but this time, I wouldn't forget about the level cap. I won the battle.


After winning the badge, I went straight to Lavander Town. I had to do the Rock Tonnel without Flash, and almost quitted. Now, with 2 new encounters, things looked pretty good. The level cap was 29, but both Choco and Phish were not the most effective Pokémon against Ericka's gym. So, I had to add the next Pokémon: Abra. Named him Psyco.


Thankfully, Abra got a plus Speed nature. I left Psyco in the daycare, and rode my bike until he got to level 16. I evolved him into a powerful Kadabra.


But things didn't stop there. I traded Psyco so I could get an Alakazam.


The team was looking good.


I swept through Ericka's gym with Psyco, but got scared that her Vileplum didn't die to a single Psybeam. Well, didn't matter, because I changed to Phish and she finished the work. After that, I went to the dojo to get the next encounter. I forgot to mention that there is the dojo encounter. I could choose between Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan.


Although Psyco was powerful, I was like underleveled by 10 levels compared to the strongest Pokémon in the dojo.


Anyways, I defeated the dojo master or whatever that NPC is called, and got my Hitmonlee. Named him Accordion.


His nature was bad, but well, nothing to do about that, just train him in Speed Ev's. Then, I did the Rocket Hideout mission, got the Silph Scope, went to the Lavander tower, and fought Roberto. I didn't remember that fight, so it caught me by suprise. I defeated him and did that entire Marowak thing. While doing this, Choco evolved into Venusaur.


I had to defeat Snorlax, and almost killed Accordion, but fortunely, that didn't happen. Then, I went to the Poison Gym to defeat Koga. With Psyco, it was a GG ez. Got the HM that contained Surf, and taught it to Gyarados. Went to Cinnabar Island to revive the Old Ambar, and named the Aerodactyl "Chicken Joe". The team now looks pretty solid.


Stay tuned for the next episode!
Hey everyone!

I invite y'all to suggest the best sets for the members of the team!

For example, proposing Venusaur to have Sleep Powder, Leech Seed, Sunny Day and Solar Beam is an example. I will be reading you. :)



formerly green_typhlosion
For Aerodactyl it's dependent on its ability. I've found Pressure abuse to be quite fun. Substitute, Protect, Fly, Double Team. Awfully gimmicky but hilarious when you can drain the opponent of PP extremely quickly. Otherwise it's a great flinch fisher. Bite and Rock Slide both can incapacitate the opponent.

Alakazam sucks without the elemental punches but honestly Psychic is enough to get by on. Slap on Shock Wave, Calm Mind, and Recover and it's an absolute nuke. Can set up on a surprising amount.

EDIT: For Hitmonlee, Hi Jump Kick + Mind Reader - give it Secret Power or Mega Punch/Kick, and Rock Tomb since Aerodactyl is a better candidate for the Rock Slide tutor. Gyarados can use Surf and Strength and Earthquake. Give it an Ice move too; it can't use Special moves brilliantly, but it's not like it learns much else unless you get lucky and yours is able to use HP Flying.
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Hello everyone. I'm here with another update of this challenge. In the last part, the team got its fifth member, the one and only: Chicken Joe.
After training him in Attack and Speed Ev's, I started leveling him up to a decent level. Then, I entered the next dungeon of the game: Silph S.A. I would like to say that Chicken Joe did a good job here, but honestly, it was difficult for him, since most of the Pokémon of the Team Rocket were Voltorbs, Magnemites, and Flying or Rock resistants, so the other team members had to take the job. After like half an hour of walking around without finding Giovanni, I just searched up the fastest way to do it (Idk why I didn't search it before lol). In my way to Giovanni, I encountered Roberto, and his team at this point was very dangerous, because, but fortunely, his Alakazam just had Future Sight as its attacking move.


After an Ez battle, I recieved Lapras, and named her Nesi.


Then, I defeated Sabrina. Phish almost died, but fortunely didn't.


I trained my team to defeat Blane. It was an easy battle.


After that, I went to the Sevii Islands. Prior to that, I farmed Mini Mushrooms stealing them from wild Paras at the MT. Moon, because there is the Move-Reminder, and this is the only time during the main campaign where you can visit him. The most notable thing of the entire journey to the archipielago, was the fact that Choco relearned Sleep Powder.


I went back to Kanto to sweep Giovanni's Gym with Nesi.


I had the last battle with Roberto before the Pokémon League.


And left the game there. In the next episode, I will be saying the moveset of every member of my team. Shotout to Green Typhlosion for giving me ideas for the sets.

Stay tuned for the last episode!


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