Archive for the Introductions category

Matt Holmes

Holmes’ Odyssey: Episode 0

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Hello there

I’m Matt Holmes, yet another poke’nerd who started reading the pickymon exploits and felt a great hankering to join in. A few messages back and forth with Dan and now here I am, ready to take on the challenge of completing Pokemon Red with just six monsters.

When I saw the first few posts on this blog go up I was quite smug. Despite having not played the game in over a decade I felt confident that if I were to try it myself I would be able to come up with a better, more unique strategy for the challenge. However as the days went by, some people started choosing Squirtle or even Charmander as their starting pokemon, people bought the Magikarp I was sure they would forget near Mt Moon and utilised TM’s I’d completely forgotten about, plus problems about HM’s and dark tunnels started emerging that I had never even considered.

So now I’m a bit nervous. I know I certainly won’t be the fastest to defeat Mewtwo, and my original plan turns out to be nowhere near as ingenuous or unique as I originally thought. So what’s my niche now? Because if there’s one thing I learnt from secondary school it’s that you need a niche, otherwise you’re just like every other smelly, spotty, four-eyed, brace-wearing, orthopedic shoe requiring, dyslexic, dysgraphic kid in the year (my teenage years were hard).

Hello ladies!

Eventually I decided to give myself a little extra challenge; on top of picking just 6, I will also only use pokemon that nobody else in the blog has used. This could very quickly prove to be quite tricky if I don’t start my run soon, but hopefully it will make the challenge that bit more interesting, not just for me, but you as well dear reader.

With that in mind, please feel free to join me, on Holmes’ Odyssey.


April Nash

Late to the party…

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  1. …But I’m here now!

I didn’t quite realise how involved I’d get in Pickymon. I’ve been a fan of the Pokémon franchise from the first time round – And continued to play the game boy games over the years following. I was *possibly* complaining that the new games were a bit predictable, a bit unchallenging. Basically a bit ‘spoon feed-y and could we have an option to just skip all the tutorials please?’ It just didn’t seem to give me the same satisfaction as the original Red/Blue games did way back when.

So on seeing Dan post links to pickymon I thought I’d just do it at the same-time-ish for funzies. (I’m an idiot) to say it hasn’t taken over a portion of my life is an understatement. I have Post-it notes / plans / reference charts on trying to figure out the best team (that I’d be happy with) that could get me through this game! IF I can make it work in a decent time!

I started sharing my progress on Twitter, Dan saw and here I am. Terrified of logging my mistakes and mis-steps. Hoping to draw pictures to distracts from me forgetting to take screen grabs.

This is already out of date now. Oh god.
This is already out of date now. Oh god.

I’ve just done the bit on the S.S. Anne, and I’ve got my first two badges. I have level 31 Bulbasaur called Spud, a freshly caught level 12 Mankey (went trigger happy and missed a chance to give him a name!) and then there’s Fish Stick the Magikarp…


Why yes. I've been on Grindr.
Why yes. I’ve been on Grindr.
You made me play the long game. You utter tease.
You made me play the long game you tease.

Hopefully this’ll pay off. Probably a bad choice to focus on levelling up before a gym solely about electric types… But we’ll see. It’s Mankey’s turn to sweat in repetitive grinding now…

I’ll see if I can find that post-it note…

Harriet Langley

You Bulba Believe It

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I’m Harriet and I haven’t played Pokemon Red since I was in single figures, and have more recent, fonder memories of its remake – Fire Red on the magical device that was the Gameboy Advance SP. Taking some inspiration from Game Grumps, my trainer is called ‘I NEVER’, because I need a couple of silly screengrabs to punctuate these posts.

Pokemon - Red Version (USA, Europe)_02


Jumping right it, I’m being strategic for the first time and not seizing the fire starter type (pyro might have been a better name…). ‘Brussel sprout’ wouldn’t fit in the name field, so ‘A sprout’ will have to do for my Bulbasaur. The first two gyms will be some easy wins, and while he wasn’t my go to first choice, there’s something endearing about the BULBous growth on my lil sprout.Pokemon - Red Version (USA, Europe)_06After some grinding to level 15, I thought I’d tackle the gym in Viridian City – I have terrible memories of grinding one pokemon and not bothering with gyms (10 year old Harriet wasn’t too savvy with the whole ‘beat the gyms and then the pokemon league’ aspect of pokemon). So rather than have my pokemon disobey me and face an embarrassing loss to the first gym, I made peace with grinding to level 15. Vine whipped and primed for battle, Brock was a total breeze! (It was no loop of trying to beat a gym with Charmander’s ember).

Pokemon - Red Version (USA, Europe)_08

The next Gym is a certain win, and now I have to put some thought into how I want to build my team. Usually by now I’d have a Ratatta, a Pidgey, and maybe a Weedle if I felt ‘extravagant’. The temptation to grab a Pikachu from Viridian Forrest was hard to ignore, but before I load my the emulator again I’m gonna have a long, hard, (so-boring-it’ll-never-become-an-anecdote) think about when to use the 5 catches I have. It goes against the completionest in me, and I won’t be checking in with Oak for him to berate me on my six caught pokemon, But while I decide on my catches, I’m going to continue laughing at my Rival’s name and all the screengrabs I can…well…grab of rival encounters!

Pokemon - Red Version (USA, Europe)_07

Mike Darch

Turbo Nerd Mike wants to fight!

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I am Mike, just your average turbo nerd from Leicester!

I played the original Pokemon Red when I was a kid and was just blown away by the idea of exploring & traveling a massive in-game world customising a monster posse to my own design. I never finished the original without cheating or any subsequent Pokemon games as I could never bring myself to grind the final distance sadly. I dig the premise of this challenge and I hold no illusion to being able to take first place as I consider myself pretty pants overall at the game. I was way more into the hilarious original anime and the goody friendship idea it was always going on about. I’ve never bothered trying to catch them all and the ones I did capture where just the raddest ones with the most personality.

In my Picky playthrough I think I am gonna do a more story driven RP style blog following the adventures of HANK RIKER! A Pokemon trainer at the washed up age of 29 trying to get his life back together. When he was younger he was a driven poketrainer who would go to any length to be the best. Unfortunately like most of the youth from Kanto the task ultimately broke him. Now unemployed and living with his mother, Hank finds himself forced once again to travel the world on a path of redemption, as he tries to figure out what it really means to be a champion.

Critics are already calling it “A POKEMONMasterpiece!”

I plan to take some creative liberties with the universe because I have always envisioned the game universe to kind of be a lil’ post apocalyptic what with all the wild children cockfighting for money in the streets. It might be garbage but I at least aim to take down the elite 4 trash and crush Mewtwo once and for all! I am ALARMED at the remarkable progress people have made at the end of day 1 I already have a lot of ground to catch up! But I am loving reading through how everyone else is approaching this. Its gonna be cool to see what everyone’s teams are going to be at the end of the game!



And so it starts….

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I believe it was christmas of 1999 when i first got my very own copy of pokemon blue and an awesome see through purple gameboy color to play it on. We were far from a rich family so such an extravagant gift amazed 14 year old me and my old man being the savvy guy he is got me a rechargable battery pack to go with it. I dont know how many hours i put into that game but i took that gameboy everywhere so it was a hell of a lot. My first starter was bulbasaur (screw you charizard fanboys) mostly because razor leaf is an awesome move.

I’ve played every main game to date and loved them all so doing this was a no brainer. Going on this journey again is great and getting to see how everyone else does is going to be fun, so…..let the games begin


SB reporting for gaming duty!

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Hello world.  I’m Sarah-Beth – also known as SB. I’m a queer feminist  zinester living in Coventry.  Aside from gaming, I like coffee, vegan snacks, cats, reading and writing zines and taking naps. 

So here is my big confession *deep breath*… I’ve never played any of the Pokémon games!  I know, I know! I was at sixth form when the first game came out and needed my money to keep my car on the road and myself stocked with Kenickie and Bis 7” and gig tickets, rather than games.

I’ve always had a soft spot for the anime though. I loved Team Rocket and Meowth.  in fact the first thing I did on January 1st 2000 was wake up in a hotel room in Cardiff and watch Pokémon on a tiny TV while my pals slept on the floor.

Prior to Pokémon Go coming out, I had been playing Niantic’s previous release (Ingress) for a year or so and really enjoyed using it as a motivator for getting out of the house.  PG’s release has reignited a love for Pokémon and for that reason, I decided to sign up for this project.

So what can you expect from my posts? I guess primarily you’ll get observations, floundering and first impressions of the game from a complete newbie. I imagine I am going to have a fairly steep learning curve but I’ll also be trying to make some decent choices over which Pokémon to have in my squad (and not just letting myself pick the most kawaii ones)


Jesus, this was difficult!

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Apologies to Dan for me taking an age to write anything.  Between figuring out Gameboy emulators and what the hell a Gravatar is I think I’ve finally got all this sorted (probably not but I can live in hope).

Right before Dan suggested this I randomly found my old Gameboy with Pokemon Red in it…and started playing where I’d left off probably 6 or 7 years ago.  Turns out I had caught some pretty awesome Pokemon…not sure it’ll work this time.

I am pretty impressed that people seem to be going in to this with a game plan.  I’m not so I’ll probably fuck this up pretty quick.  In fact I just lost to Gary in our first battle (fucking Bulbasaur!).


Oh and about me…I’m quite odd.  I’m fine with this.


Hi, I’m Dan.

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I’m the one that took Ham’s idea of a limited-catch run of Pokémon and ran with it all the way to Namecheap, where I registered this domain name.

My love affair with Pokémon began twenty whole years ago. I’d been following the pre-launch campaign of Red and Blue with fascination, and a friend and I had each agreed to buy one. I’d chosen Red, and I was so anxious to play it I bought an American import copy because it was out there before the UK. I had a whole week to train up and plough through the game ahead of my friend, while he waited for the UK release to buy Blue.

The day of UK release came, he bought Blue, I bought a link cable, and we set about to do our first trade – except we couldn’t. The UK and US versions of the game were incompatible, and I had accidentally condemned us to lonely playthroughs. I tried to take my copy back to the store, where I, as a snivelling 10-year-old, utterly failed to get my way. My dad, a man incensed by the unfair fleecing of a small child, walked into the store and came back 15 minutes later with a new copy of the game and two comic books. In that moment he was a hero in a way yet to be surpassed in my life.

I’m looking forward to this. Let’s ‘mon!


Entry 0: WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?

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Hi there! I’m Ham, and I guess I’m the person to blame for this idea in the first place. It started with a simple tweet about a Pokémon challenge different from the “Nuzlocke” ones, which Dan latched onto and began developing with Charles. After the rules were more solid, Dan looped me in, and here we are! I actually have never played Red or Blue, and it has been forever since I played Yellow so I have no memory of the Kanto region!

I’m pretty excited about this. I’ve played Nuzlocke games before (and am keeping track of all the dead Pokémon throughout, to eventually release a huge list), as well as the Wonder Trade Challenge, and another challenge I thought up called “Neverlution” (can never evolve Pokémon), but that’s always just been for me. I’ve never been part of a GROUP doing the same challenge with the same game, so this is all new for me!

As far as Pokémon goes, I was a huge fan when I was younger. I remember being super-into the trading cards and the figurines, and watching the show, but I was a little late to the games. My first was Yellow, but I remember that Gold and Silver had just come out when I got it (my Gameboy wasn’t good enough to run the next generation). Next I had Silver, and after that I kind of lost interest for quite a few years. THEN when X and Y came out and I got a 2DS for my birthday, I got into it again, and even got some preowned copies of a few of the games that I’d missed over the years.

Now, I’m playing several games on and off at the same time. I’ve got two different challenges going in Y and Alpha Sapphire, and a normal game in Omega Ruby. And now Pickymon! Geez, soon I’m not going to have time to do anything else.

Anyway, I don’t really have a set plan for this run, other than making sure I don’t get myself stuck by filling up all my slots with Pokémon who can’t learn the HMs I need to actually finish the game. Those HMs are: Cut, Surf, Flash, and Strength. Fly would also be good, but that one is optional. Actually I think Flash is technically optional too, but it would take forever to get through the caves without it. By the looks of things a lot of the other participants are aiming to start with bulbasaur, so just to be different I’ll choose either squirtle or charmander. Either are pretty good, and can learn some HMs if necessary.

Since I’m juggling other commitments at the moment, I’m going to aim to play for at least 30 minutes each day if I can, hopefully more. I’ll update this blog when something interesting happens.

Alright LET’S DO THIS!


The Path of Least Resistance (or Why I Will Be Picking Bulbasaur, Just Like Everyone Else)

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In the days when I was young, before I became the jaded wreck of a man who stands before you today, I had a dream. What I wanted, gentle reader, was to be the very best, like no one ever was. To catch them all was my real test and to train them was my cause. That’s the thing about Pokemon. You’ve got to catch them all.

I’d played video games before, of course. Sonic the Hedgehog on my Mega Drive. Monkey Island on the Amiga at my child minder’s house. Presumably another, hilarious, example, in accordance with the rule of 3s. But regardless of how much I enjoyed smashing Dr Robotnik and trading insults with the sword master, I never quite got around to completing any of the games I played. Whether this had been due to a lack of competence, perseverance or interest, everything was about to change when my brother and I were each given a Game Boy Colour and a first generation Pokemon game.

Through a series of what felt like ingenious and convoluted trades, we each acquired all three all starting Pokemon and obsessively went about filling every last slot in Professor Oak’s pokedex, collecting the 8 gym badges and defeating the Elite Four. And then that was finished and my time in Kanto came to an end. I must have clocked over a hundred hours on that game, but I could never bring myself to put that amount of time into any game again. I still enjoyed playing them from time to time, but post-Pokemon Red, the vast majority of my games remained unfinished.

Given all of that, I seem to be spectacularly poorly suited to the Pickymon project. The idea of deliberately leaving the Pokedex incomplete and Pokemon uncaptured goes against my obsessive collector instincts. The idea of putting in the hours to finish a video game, particularly when I’ve already done it before, seems optimistic at best. Trying to do so under artificially imposed restrictions? Very unlikely.

And yet, here I am, about to embark on my first Pokequest in a couple of decades, reading up on which high powered Pokemon are available early in the game and which ones can learn which essential moves. I can’t promise that I’ll make it through to the end of the project, but I can promise that if I do, I will have done so in the least imaginative way possible, taking the path of least resistance at all times. Sorry, but I told you right at the beginning- I’m a jaded wreck of a man.