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So upon extremely patient and repeated instructions from Dan… I still don’t have emulator working.
I either have a teeny tiny version that doesn’t let me change the screen size:


or a MASSIVE version that ALSO doesn’t let me change the screen size

gba big

Needless to say….

It’s not going well.



SB reporting for gaming duty!

Introductions No Comment

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!

Introductions, Player Updates 2 Comments

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.


Dan’s PokéRun: Episode 1

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Let’s start by clearing something up: Professor Oak totally comes to you in a dream, right? The first thing you see in Pokémon Red is Professor Oak, talking to you like you’re not from this world and he’s never met you – he asks your name, and then can’t remember his own Grandson’s name, letting you name him whatever you want – a sacred duty that you must perform with the utmost sincerity.


This is a very serious playthrough.


So next thing you know, you wake up in your bedroom, go downstairs, and your mother says that Professor Oak has been looking for you. Which means he’s been looking for you hard enough to invade your dreams like some doddery Freddie Kreuger. That’s weird, right? Even weirder is how you can’t find him until you try to leave town, then he’s right there on your tail in an instant. He doesn’t mention that he’s been trying to find you – he almost seems confused that he’s decided to give you a Pokémon of your own.

You choose your pokémon – Bulbasaur, natch – and then you have to fight your rival. The aim of this battle is simply to win and get that sweet, sweet XP.


69 XP. Nice.


You may be wondering why I have named my Bulbasaur Kanye. This will become apparent.

The first thing the game has you do is a fetch quest, because all of these goddamn RPGs have fetch quests. You walk to Viridian City, go into the PokéMart, and a guy you’ve never met decides to entrust you with a package that’s addressed to Professor Oak because… You tell him you’re from the same town? That’s pretty loose security on that postal service there, Kanto. Even worse, the package is revealed to be a custom PokéBall – now I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing that shit ain’t cheap.

Here’s where Oak gives you and your rival a PokéDex – a catalogue of all of the world’s pokémon that would have been the Professor’s life work, except now he’s too old so he entrusts this massive and lethally dangerous undertaking to two children. Smart.

Anyway, after this I breeze on through Viridian City to get to Viridian Forest, an area full of bugs and trainers spoiling for a fight. I’ve spent some time in here levelling up Kanye and looking for a couple of specific pokémon I’d like for my team early on.

Oh, and why did I name my Starter Kanye?


Because no one 'mon should have all that power.
Because no one ‘mon should have all that power.

Hi, I’m Dan.

Introductions No Comment

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 1: An Adventure Begins!

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It’s the beginning of a brand new adventure! Our hero Ham ventured forth in the world of Pokémon, with only his squirtle, “Lil Squirt” for company.

Lil Squirt

Oh, and he has a rival too, but he’s nobody important.


(Hahaha, classic!)

After training Lil Squirt up to level 9, and debating whether it was worth catching every single Pokémon they came across, Ham and Lil Squirt ended up at Viridian City with no additional members of their team.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit more eventful!


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.


Apologies and Pessimism: the charleswrites story

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Hello. I’m Charles, and this is partly my fault.

You might call me an enabler. My partner in crime in creating Pickymon, by which I mean the guy who’s done all of the legwork while I claim the glory of being an admin in the Facebook group, is Dan Wallbank. Dan is a marvel of modern media production – a musician, comedian, quiz host, occasional poet and increasingly prolific podcaster. Dan is also predisposed to taking ridiculous ideas and running with them, as evidenced by the ludicrous and wonderful realisation of Instant Nostalgia, his podcast that exists purely to review itself.

So, when a man called Ham suggested a Pokémon run with minimal catches permitted, and Dan replied suggesting making it even harder, I did what any good friend supporting an addict would do, and laughed along while letting him forget about it.

Just kidding, I’m a prick.

And so here we are. Dan is in like twenty bands, hosts two podcasts, and has a full-time job at the same place as me, allowing me to peer pressure him by email 8 hours a day and Facebook message for the other 16. And I’ve made him do this. I’m sorry.

I mean, I’m not, but I recognise that this makes me a jerk, at least.

So! Pokémon! Red was my first Pokémon game, and I feel like I know it inside out, to the point where I’ve been able to flag up several potentially HUGE hazards to our game – such as the fact that Lapras, who’s decent but far from perfect in battle, is just LYING AROUND ON THE FLOOR, and if you pick it up, you’re stuck with it ’til the end. Ditto Hitmonlee/chan and any of the old fossils. I could’ve not pointed them out and let people trip over them hilariously, but I didn’t. So maybe I’m not the worst person in the world.

So yeah, I feel like I’m pretty comfortable with Red, and have a decent idea of how my super six is going to come together. As such, you can look forward to me forgetting my type strengths, taking a thousand wrong turns per dungeon, and completely fudging my HM distribution. Like England and football, I have a questionable hand in the creation of this spectacle, and I expect to quickly slip into mediocrity with the occasional display of straight-up ineptitude. Enjoy the ride!


Picking the Predetermined Perfect Pokemon To Pulverise the Puny comPetition

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Hello, dear reader, I am Reuben and I’m very pleased to make your acquaintance. Unless I know you, in which case it’s nice to see you again. Unless I know you and don’t like you in which case, well… I suppose you aren’t reading this. For those who won’t know me, I’m a freelance writer, occasional comedian and general nuisance. ‘m super excited to be involved in this project as it gives me the opportunity to engage in my favourite activity, searching through databases for minute details and spending far too long thinking about unimportant information.

The original Pokemon Red was my first favourite game, and I’m looking forward immensely to getting my teeth into it again. As a child I memorised a vast amount of information pertaining to theoriginal 150 pokemon, it’ll be a challenge seeing how much I can dredge up from the base of my mind for this project. I’m intending to plan my team as effectively as I can, decide on the Pokemon I want ahead of time and then make sure I’ll have each one of my six to directly neutralise every gym leader I’ll come into contact with. There’s also the knwoledge that I’ll have to give each of my pokemon the HM’s required to complete the game. So my current plan is as follows

Starter: Bulbasaur, because it’s cute and I can teach it Cut

Pidgey/Pidgeotto/Pidgeot: useful, learns fly, has cool hair

Magikarp/Garydos: partially because it’s powerful, partially because being he first kid in my school to figure out that the apparently useless Magikarp has a secret evolution was one of my proudest childhood memories

Flareon: It’s a dog that’s on fire that looks like an ice cream. Nuff Said

Rhydon: super tough, super strong, ground type will come in handy

Slot six is currently unassigned, because not only am I a pedant, I’m also a renegade who plays by his own rules. and also by the rules of the game, because of the aforementioned pedantry.

Let’s get this show on the road boys and girls. It’s time to bring the metaphorical noise!