Lately I’ve been interested in the idea of creating new games within existing games. Using a game to create an entirely new game, system or narrative. So every day this week I’m going to present a new way you can use or play a classic game.
First up is the simplest and least altered; a Pokemon challenge similar to the famous Nuzlocke Challenge. The Jofflocke Challenge is based on a simple idea: the world of Pokemon is irrefutably corrupt. It is a world where sapient beings are enslaved and the humans with the most money and power have free reign to tear through the environment of anyone they want. The children of privilege even enslave and abuse the legendary powers that govern the basic needs of millions of people and entire ecosystems just for their sick games. The world is heading towards ecological catastrophe, and you are going to save it.
You’ve seen numerous “teams” try to fight this system, but every Team Rocket/Plasma/Flare has shown itself to be just another neo-capitalist con job. They are just as enmeshed in privilege as the Gyms and Elite Four. Their only concern has been leaning in and putting themselves into position on top of the existing system. True radical change will not come from these teams, so you’re finding a better way.
You will battle through the Pokemon League, not to become its Master but to dismantle it. You will do so by showing the world a new way to partner with Pokemon. Every time you beat a gym, consider it shut down. When you defeat the Elite Four and the Champion, consider them disbarred permanently.
The rules are as follows:
- A pokeball is a temporary contract, and a pokemon has the right to decline. You may only attempt to capture a pokemon once. If it breaks free from the ball, respect that choice.
- You may only challenge a gym or dungeon with pokemon from that area. For example, the Elite Four may only be challenged with pokemon caught on Victory Road.
- Pokemon are not your permanent servants. You may only keep a pokemon for as long as you are within one area’s distance from where you captured it. For example, if doing this challenge in Pokemon Red, a Pikachu captured in Viridian Forest but be set free before you leave Pewter City.
- Every Pokemon must still be given a nickname. This is just to make you feel a little bit worse every time you release one.
- The only exception are pokemon that have no ecological niche in your region. Your starter, for example, has no ability to survive in the wild or would disrupt the entire ecosystem. You may elect not to release these pokemon. Any gift pokemon you receive that have a niche must be set free in the appropriate area. For a harder challenge, even these pokemon must be released into a compatible ecosystem and are not permanent party members.
- Pokemon may not be traded either in game or online. What, are you TRYING to spread diseases and invasive species?
- Legendary pokemon may not be captured. They govern the basic needs of millions. Any legendary pokemon forced upon you by the story must be set free as soon as possible.
- Reviving an extinct species is horribly irresponsible and dangerous. They could easily cause irreparable harm to whatever ecosystem they were released to. You may not revive any fossil pokemon. If the game forces you to, you must stick them in a box forever and feel very, very bad about it.
- Pokemon are wild animals/plants with varying degrees of sapience. If you are attacked by one it is ok to defend yourself. Even if you just walk back and forth along a route for hours it is not your fault if you keep getting attacked and need to fight back. There, that takes care of justifying the need to grind.
- Ignore the game text. You may have fooled the Professor and their precious League into thinking you are another kool aid-drinking pokemaniac, but you are just infiltrating their ranks to more easily destroy the system.