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The Pokémon Sword/Shield DaveLocke Challenge

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I have been playing Pokémon Sword/Shield using a set of self-imposed rules I call the “DaveLocke” challenge. You are probably familiar with the “NuzLocke” challenge rules. This is a variation of those rules.

I have chronicled my experience with images and commentary on another forum. But since that forum is private and has limited exposure, I decided to join Bulbapedia to see if this would be an appropriate place to post my chronicle.

Before I start posting, I wanted to first see if 1) this would be a welcome place to post this chronicle. Consider that playing this game with this self-imposed set of rules implies that I feel that it improves the experience. And others may not like that position.

Also 2) I want to make sure it’s okay to add lots of images to threads here. It looks like images are uploaded directly to Bulbapedia. Is there a way to use direct links to images so I don't have to make Bulbapedia host my images? The images are on my personal webspace and I can link to them directly.

Finally 3) which sub forum do you think would be most appropriate for this?


Please let me know of any other concerns or questions you may have.

Thank you.

DavelockeLogo.png
 
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hello and welcome to bulbagarden!!

you're free to post about your nuzlocke, but you'd have to do it in the bulbablogs section :>

and yes, you can click on the "insert image" icon and then click on the "by url" image (the little chain-looking image)
 
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Before I start posting, I wanted to first see if 1) this would be a welcome place to post this chronicle. Consider that playing this game with this self-imposed set of rules implies that I feel that it improves the experience. And others may not like that position.
Most likely yes. There are already several forums in the BulbaBlogs section that are like this. Here's an example of a playthrough thread in this vein.

Is there a way to use direct links to images so I don't have to make Bulbapedia host my images? The images are on my personal webspace and I can link to them directly.
There is the option to enter a link to put a photo in your post in the normal forum menu (select the insert image icon and then the hyprelink icon in that menu), however, I am not certain if that uploads the photos directly to Bulbapedia. I'm fairly certain you can post unlimited image links, in contrast to the ten or so upload limit.
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I think you can also upload photos to imgur and then post a specific link here, and that will ensure that Bulbapedia doesn't host the image. The process: upload images to imgur, select the "get share links" option, and then pick the BBC code (forums) option, which will give you a link that you can then post here. However, I do not think you can resize photos posted in this way so if you have a large image, be warned.
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Finally 3) which sub forum do you think would be most appropriate for this?
I'm no expert, but probably the BulbaBlogs section. There already are several threads dedicated to different playthroughs with varying rules in that subforum.
 
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Nuzlocke Challenge is a set of self-imposed rules to make Pokémon more challenging and dramatic.

What Brought This On?

After its lukewarm reception I wasn’t too interested in picking up Pokémon Sword/Shield. But after receiving it as a gift, it became a great opportunity to attempt another Nuzlocke run of a Pokémon game.

ButI ’ve had some bad experiences trying this in the past:
  • Grinding and grinding away levels just to avoid the heartbreaking death of a Pokémon .
  • Tediously growing berries for hours because I couldn’t buy items.
  • Rule uncertainties that added poisonous doubt (what officially counts as a “new” area?)

The Invention of “DaveLock”

So how can I keep the drama of Nuzlocke while avoiding these issues? I came up with a new rule set. Something so different from Nuzlocke that I have no choice but to call it the “DaveLocke” Challenge. It’s only 4 Rules that are short and easy to follow:

  1. Pokémon that faint in battle must be placed in a box called “Sanctuary.” These Pokémon are effectively out of the game and cannot be used again until post-credits when the challenge is over.
  2. You can catch any Pokémon you want, but you can only have up to 6 of them at a time. (If someone gives you a Pokémon then you can keep it, but still cannot catch any more until you have less than 6)
  3. You can use items, but you cannot buy items with money. You are only limited to using items you find (except Revives, of course). You can, and should, buy clothing.
  4. BIG CHANGE: You cannot fight wild Pokémon for Exp. Wild Pokémon must be avoided if possible unless you intend to catch them. You can only gain Exp from fighting trainers.

Why It Works
It’s Rule 4 there that has really transformed Nuzlocke into DaveLocke. You avoid the grind of Nuzlocke because you are now forbidden to grind. So far, fighting trainers only has kept my Pokémon at around the same level as the wild Pokémon in the area, which keeps the challenge way up.

This is what you want out of a “DaveLocke” run:
  • No tedious grinding,
  • Lots of drama,
  • But without the stress.

You’re going to lose Pokémon frequently. But that’s still fun because now you can catch a new Pokémon (and the fainted Pokémon is just put in the Sanctuary). So rather than using the same strong Pokémon with the same strong attack for 30 hours, the game is always changing and you must adapt to these changes.

Up Next….The Journey Begins!
 
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The Journey Begins! Gym Badge Acquired


I’ve been lazy about writing these so I’m currently getting the eighth badge. I have to use my memory and screenshots to recollect how it all began…


I went with Grookey as my starter.























My second Pokemon was this Chewtle








And this Nickit from the Slumbering Weald I think





And also this Yamper















Somewhere along the line, Roscoe evolved.











In the Wilds I tried my first Dynomax fight and caught that Pokemon. I don’t think I’ll be doing these any more during this run. They’re too unpredictable.





Outside of the Wilds and before the big gym fight, I grabbed this Galarian Meowth
















Time for the Grass Gym badge, a fight against Milo.










Dynamx fight with Roscoe!







Grass badge acquired. Things are going pretty smoothly so far with Roscoe, Halsted, Clark, Montrose, Southport and Ogden. Do you think I’ll lose any of these Pokemon before the end or will the Sanctuary remain empty? What if I told you I will lose every single one of them…


Up Next Water Badge…
 
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A Slight Struggle… Water Badge Acquired!






Soon after the leaving the Grass Gym, I visited the Pokémon nursery and they gave me a free Pokémon.






I already had six Pokémon. So I couldn’t use this one right away. But soon I experienced my first loss…









But I had a few Pokémon evolve.










At this point Roscoe, Halsted and Montrose were my strongest Pokémon. So I was ready to take on the Water Gym Leader
















We won. But I lost another one.










Yamper wants to evolve too, but I like him how he is. Besides, we’re still doing okay right?


Next… Fire Badge!
 
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The Losses Start… Fire Badge Acquired




Took a break here to have dinner with Chariman Rose. The plot of this game is a real snooze but that’s okay. It doesn’t get in the way much.





Had to go through this cave to get to Motostoke. In the cave I ran into my most hated wild Pokémon. Stunfisk. The pain these things caused me in previous Nuzlocke challenges came rushing back. I hate those ugly jerks.









This is where things start to get heavy. The characters in the game even warn you that a lot of trainers give up after the struggle to get the fire badge.





But outside the cave, I found maybe my favorite Pokémon of all time. Sudowoodo! Is he wood? No! Rock! And with great defense!






Some business with Marnie and a run in with Team Yell











It was probably around here that I lost my third best Pokémon.





Now onto the Fire Gym!


I almost decided to catch one of these Vulpixes I ran into but it didn’t work out. The way XP share works in this game I miss out by not having a full party.





Now onto Kabu!





My most powerful and starter, Roscoe, is grass. But Damen has no problems with Kabu’s fire types.





Good thing I got Halsted here. Water and Rock type.









Now onto a Gigantamax battle! With Kabu’s Sizzlipede and my Halsted









It was a tough fight. I won…





...but I lost Halsted. My second best Pokémon










So that’s where we are now. Fire badge acquired but I’m down to 4 Pokémon. I lost my second and third best Pokémon and we’re down to four. My Yamper, Clark, still wants to evolve but I still want to keep him the way he is.





But I’m making a big mistake. What happens next episode almost killed the entire loss.


Up next… Devastating Losses for the Ghost Badge!
 
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I like the images and the way you tell the story :giggle: But I'd like to hear more details about the deaths, like what moves caused them.
 
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I like the images and the way you tell the story :giggle: But I'd like to hear more details about the deaths, like what moves caused them.
Unfortunately, I just don't remember! I started writing all this after I was nearly finished so I don't remember all the details. But I just got a wireless keyboard to use with my Switch so I intend to live Tweet the next run.
 
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Unforgettable Loss… Ghost Badge Acquired!


After getting the Fire Badge it was time to go back through the Wild Area on the way to Hammerlocke.



The Wild Area was a good chance to pick up two new Pokémonto complete my party. As I mentioned before, I realized that I was missing out on XP by not having a full party.










At this point I started to camp more. Since I can’t fight Wild Pokémonfor XP and I can’t buy healing items, camping was a great way to do both while further bonding with my Pokémon.








Finding new Pokémonin the Wild Area was dangerous as you can run into high level Pokémon. With a limited supply of Pokedolls to escape from dangerous battles, I picked up who I could and took off.





I made it to Motostoke and here is where I nearly quit the game. There is a cafe where you can challenge the cafe owner to a battle. I figured this would be a way to get easy XP since I can only battle trainers. But in a double battle, he sent out level 37 faerie types, one was an Alcremie.


I don’t know what kind of type mix up was happening, but I was having trouble damaging them at all.


My Sudowoodo. One of my favorites...




Time to finally try out that baby Melvina




Okay… the Ralts I just picked up is psychic. Maybe that’s strong against Faerie…





Then, the unthinkable happened. Roscoe. My first Pokémon. Who didn’t even evolve to his final form…





At this point I figured the run was over. But I decided to go ahead and finish losing the battle with a Pancham who can cause zero damage and a little electric Yamper.


We ended up winning. But now I was down to 2 Pokémon. Should I continue?


I went back to the Wilds to try to capture that Hawlucha I saw, one of my favorite Pokémon. But it was on too high a level. I realized that it was too risky to capture Pokémonin the Wilds. I’ll be back for this Hawlucha someday though.


I went on to Route 6 to at least see what was waiting for me. Very tough trainers and wild Pokémon. That little Yamper who I didn’t allow to evolve was now my best Pokémon. And it was useless against all the ground types here.


I managed to capture one, slowly building back my team:





At the same time, Clark the Yamper gained a level and I thought now it was time to let it evolve.





Next Wild PokémonI found was another electric type. Clark the Yamper was already a strong electric type but I didn’t have much choice.





I made it to Stow-On-Side but still needed to build up my roster if there was any hope on taking on the gym leader.





Slowly I was building back my team. But the trainers here were merciless. Every battle was life and death. Irving could not last.





I needed to prepare as best as possible to prevent further losses. That’s when I saw how I could use a Sun Stone on Addison. No reason to wait, I need every advantage.





Oh but remember how I complained about having two electric types? Not for long!





So now I’ve lost all my good Pokémon. The best one left is Addison who just joined not long ago. My original crew is entirely wiped out.






I still needed Pokémonthat weren’t ground or electricity to get through this. There’s a pond on Route 6, maybe I can catch a fish?





Okay, a Magikarp. Hope it evolves soon. I still need two more to complete my party.










Never thought I’d be happy to have a Magikarp and Dugtrio. But Dig is a good ability and it wasn’t long before Broadway evolved.









Now we’re back in business with a strong Electric, strong Water, a ghost, decent ground. Time to finally take on the Alister for the Ghost Badge.













As you can see I pulled Ridgeway out at the end for the Gigantomax battle. He was doing well but ultimately sacrificed himself to get that Ghost Badge







Wow, what a rollercoaster of emotions. At times I was devastated and other times I was cheering. I really think these DaveLocke rules are working. Losing a Pokémonis sad but it’s fun to pick up a new one. You think the old ones are irreplaceable and the new ones are ugly, but you grow to appreciate the newcomes and they end up filling that void left behind by the fallen.

 
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RIP All of them.

You should have decided that the Alcremie battle didn't count, because it's unfairly overleveled.

I hope you remembered you could evolve Yamask right away.
 
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I was pretty sure that Yamask could evolve, it looks like an incomplete evolution. But I had no idea how to evolve it. I am not allowed access to Bulbapedia or online info during this run.

And I should have considered the risk of battling unknown trainers. These are the dangers with a blind run. But it all made the journey more interesting in the end.
 
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Things Are Looking Up… Faerie Badge Acquired!


At this point in this experimental challenge I’ve decided that it’s a success. Every battle is a meaningful challenge, there are dramatic highs and lows. This is the most fun I’ve ever had with Pokémon.





Anyway, moving on after getting that Ghost Badge… I lost my Dugtrio, Ridgemont, against Alister so now I can get a new Pokémon. Well, I remember someone who would have turned my fossils into a Pokémonon Route 6. Now let’s see what she’ll make for me.






What is this ugly thing? This is the worst looking PokémonI’ve ever seen. But a water/dragon type? Could be very useful, so welcome to the team.


Anyway, I’m on my way through this glowing mushroom forest. Things are going very well. I have to say that Addison has become a powerhouse. This is for one big reason - Parabolic Charge. This electric type move will heal half the damage inflicted, and even works on multiple targets. Also, Volt Switch - this makes it easy to switch out Pokémonwhile still causing damage, which is good for experience building.






So Addison is the best followed by Devon, the Yamaks, and Broadway, the Gyrados. Speaking of Broadway, we just lost him…



I remember exactly what happened. I was in a Double Battle and Addison and Devon went out. I was going to to do Parabolic Charge because even though it hits everyone, it doesn’t do any damage to Devon because he’s Ground Type. So I lock in Parabolic Charge. Now what move will Devon do? Well he doesn’t seem very useful in this fight, so I decided to swap him out with Broadway. I tell Broadway to use some water attack.


Then it hits me! Addison’s Parabolic Charge is going to hit Broadway now because I swapped out Devon! And since he’s water type, it’s super effective and now he’s gone.









So I get to pick out a new Pokémonfrom this mushroom forest. How about this nanny Pokémonthing?






I finally make it to this faerie town.







Things have been going relatively well so I’m worried about what’s going to happen at this gym.


















Faerie badge acquired! And no more losses thanks to Addison who continues to dominate.






 
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They succeeded in making them freaky looking! Don't worry, I will come to appreciate Fairfield.
 
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Addison Makes It All Too Easy… Ice Badge Acquired!


After acquiring the Faerie Badge I was out of the woods. But now Hop wanted to fight and I wasn’t afraid of that little turd.





Oh darn





Well Cornelia didn’t last long. Too bad but at least I can finally check out that “strange Pokémon” that they keep telling me is at Wedgehurst station.






It was a Slowpoke.





Now it’s on to the next route and on our way to the Ice Gym.








At some point North evolves. He’s not much to look at but he’s my third best Pokémonright now. And I’ll need guys like him if something ever happens to Addison.











Addison keeps getting stronger and stronger. We can’t seem to lose now and the game is becoming too easy.


We finally make it to this nice icy town here.








There’s a guy here who will teach a very powerful Dragon type move to a Dragon Pokémon. Well the only Dragon PokémonI have is dopey looking Fairfield. He’s not quite ready to be a big fighter but this will certainly give him a boost.





Now it’s on to the gym.










The ice mazes were annoying. But at least we didn’t lose anybody. Now it’s time to take on this trainer with her big coat here.













Gigantamax battle! Addison versus Lapras!







And with that, the Ice Badge is acquired. No sweat thanks to Addison.





In the party Pokémonimages like the one below, I always line up my Pokémonfrom best to worst.

 
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Addison Is a Godémon… Dark Badge Acquired!


Off to get a bite to eat after the big win for the ice badge.







Next is big icy, watery section. I remember other Pokémongames with vast seas where you fight endless Tentacruels so this was a nice difference.










I can’t remember exactly what happened but I lost my second best Pokémon, Devon. I was probably fooling around and experimenting rather than letting Addison blast through everyone. Devon was a good Pokémonand I was always curious to see what he could evolve into. Now I’ll never know.






But you know what this means? I can finally get that Hawlucha in the Wilds. I’m strong enough to capture it.













Then there was another accident. My fossil-come-to-life, Fairfield bit the dust.





Now I need another good Pokémon. Back to the Wilds!





Maybe this Mincinno?





This thing looks tough. And maybe psychic or something.






This one is strong, but I accidentally killed it.





I couldn’t possibly catch a Level 60 Haxorus could I?





Whoah I did it!


Okay enough fooling around. Time to get that dark badge.


While in the Wilds I traded in Watts to get the Thunder ™. Now I can teach that to Addison and make him even stronger.











No problem. The game is too easy now with Addison.



Edit: Some of the images aren't working when viewing the post. You can see them in the preview though. I wonder if there's some kind of image limits to threads.
 
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Adios Addison… Dragon Badge Acquired!


I don’t think there is much waiting between the Dark Badge and Dragon Badge so we went back to Hammerlocke to the Dragon Gym.





I think I missed telling you when I got this Mudsdale from the Wilds. So I’m going to add him now. He’ll be with me until the end.





I had a real bad feeling going in. They really hyped up the gym leader here.







Soon we were face to face:











And just like that I lost the invincible Addison. I can’t even remember how it happened, only that it was no surprise at the time. He was simply overwhelmed in a double’s match. I’m not too upset though, he deserved to retire





Now just a dynamax battle with my Slowpoke.








She didn’t make it. But we got that badge.








That’s all the badges. Next I take this big bad lvl 60 Haxorus and his friends to the Championship League.

 
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The Road To Champion… Part One!






My team was down a few so I needed to do some recruiting. I decided to pick up that Snorlax always wandering around the wilds.






Then I picked up this other little guy on the snowy route to the league championship












It wasn’t long before he evolved too. I needed all the help I could get.





Unfortunately, the road here was not easy. And there were a lot of losses along the way. First it was North, my oldest Pokémon.

















I settled on her.





Then I lost Cicero, my Hawlucha to just some Abomasnow.




How sad. I needed to find a fighting type to replace him.







I chose this guy because of his high level and his constant dancing.












One more loss before hitting the championship. I never did figure out how to get Lawrence to evolve





I picked this snow bug thing to replace him. Why? This thing isn’t strong. What does it do? How does it evolve?





So with the team I had, I started the final competition























We had made it through the first day’s challenges. But we had some losses along the way.






It’s hard to tell from this entry. But California quickly became my favorite Pokémon. But he didn’t last.











Up next… the stunning conclusion!
 
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The images didn't worked on mobile but they work fine on PC.

Yay, Hitmontop!! Through looking at that giant dead list I'm not sure if I should be happy or not.
 
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