I've done numerous challenges in the past, but never actually completed one. So I figured if I did one here, I would have some motivation to finish.
So without further ado, presenting:
The Mark of Fate: A Pokémon Y Nuzlocke
Standard Nuzlocke Rules
1. If your Pokémon faints, it is considered "dead"! This means you must either release the Pokémon or permanently box it if it faints. No exceptions! You may not use any revival items to bring them back, or reset your game. So be careful!
2. You can only capture/obtain the first Pokémon you encounter in a route/town. That first Pokémon you find is your only chance-- if you fail to catch it (for whatever reason), there are no do-overs. That's all you get for that route or town, so move on over to the next one! Gift Pokemon or In-Game trades count as the encounter for the location they occur.
3. You can only trade with other games for the sole-purpose of Trade Evolutions, such as Machoke to Machamp. In other words, you can only use Pokémon you legitimately catch/obtain within the game.
4. You must nickname every Pokémon you catch! This will increase your bond with them and give deaths a bigger impact.
1. Dupes Clause: If my first encounter on a route is a Pokemon that I have already caught/in the evolution line of a Pokemon I have already caught, it does not count as my encounter for that route.
2. Level Limit: None of my Pokemon can have a level exceeding that of the next gym leader's highest level Pokemon upon entering the gym. If one of my Pokemon has a level which is too high, it cannot be used in any battles in that gym.
3. Item Limit: I can only use a maximum of 3 consumable items (i.e. Potions, Fresh Waters, X Attacks) per battle.
4. Shiny Clause: If I encounter a wild shiny Pokemon, I am permitted to capture and use it regardless of whether or not it was my first encounter on that route.
5. HM Clause: I can have up to two HM slaves (that cannot be used in battle)
Well, that's it for now. I'll do the prologue later today, and Chapter 1 should be soon to follow. Stay tuned!
I always thought it was a rather boring name, to be honest. Rather on the nose. But the people who named the mark are long gone, and I doubt anyone cares enough to change it.
Despite the constant advances in science and technology you see on the news every day, people are still no closer to finding out what exactly the mark is or where it comes from than they were 500 years ago, when the first known Marks started to appear. Doctors and Professors have dedicated hours to analyzing the Mark, but if you ask me it's pointless. If we've gone this far without knowing, I doubt we ever will.
The Mark isn't a complete mystery, though. While its origin is unclear, its traits are known to all.
Number one. The Mark is present from birth, and takes the shape of a black X on the back of the afflicted person's right hand. It cannot be removed or washed off, and will remain there until death. It is not passed down genetically, and is present in around 0.0001% of babies.
Number two. Those afflicted with the Mark, or the Marked, are able to understand and communicate with all species of Pokemon. No one knows how, but they can understand exactly what Pokemon mean. This trait alone makes the Marked highly sought after in certain fields.
Number three. Any Pokemon that a Marked captures will gain the Mark.
So far, having the mark sounds like a pretty sweet deal, huh? Well, keep listening.
Number four. If a Marked Pokemon is defeated in battle, it's heart will fail and the Pokemon will die.
That's the big one. That's why there are a whole host of regulations surrounding any Marked who wish to become Pokemon Trainers. For example, they're only allowed to catch one Pokemon per area, to cut down on the number of Marked Pokemon.
The potential of death is what turns almost all of the Marked away from Pokemon training. They pursue other fields. But no matter how much they lie to themselves, all of the Marked were born to battle. When a person has the Mark, it goes hand in hand with a talent for battling, but most people would rather suppress this talent than face the consequences.
As I lie here on my bed with my eyes closed, thinking about the Mark, my train of thought is interrupted by my mother calling my name.
"Robin! Get up! You can't be late for your first day as a Pokemon Trainer!"
"Coming, mum," I reply with a groan. I open my eyes and throw off the covers, buzzing with excitement. Finally, I'm going to become a Trainer.
As I look in the mirror, I hesitate for a moment. Am I ready for this? Am I really ready to be a trainer?
And of course the most important question, as I look at the black X on my hand, am I ready to see my Pokemon die in battle and know that it my fault? That their life ended prematurely purely because of my selfish desire to become a trainer?
But I shake these thoughts from my head. The time for doubts has come and gone.
"Bye mum!" I yell as I rush out the door. I realise I haven't even had breakfast, but I'm too excited to worry about that now. Serena and Shauna must already be at the meeting point.
"Robin! Over here!"
I turn to the direction where the shout came from, and see my two friends as well as two boys I haven't seen before sitting around a table. (When I say two friends, I mean they're my only two friends. Having a Mark doesn't exactly make you popular at school.)
The larger boy grins and introduces himself as Tierno and shakes my hand. His grip is strong, and whether he sees my Mark or not, it doesn't seem to bother him. The same can't be said for Trevor, the short boy with ginger hair. He shakes my hand too, but it's clear from his look that my Mark troubles him.
I can't blame him for that, though. It troubles me, too.
"Alright!" Shauna claps her hands, energetic as ever. "Now that we're all here, we can finally get our Pokemon!" Tierno nods, and puts a box on the table. He presses a button and it opens, exposing three Pokeballs inside.
"Alright," he says, "which one of you is going first?"
"How about you go first, Robin?" Serena suggests.
"Me? Well, why not?"
I open all three Pokeballs in turn, and a Chespin, Fennekin, and Froakie come out. As the Fennekin and Froakie notice my Mark, they become uneasy, but surprisingly, the Chespin leaps forward at the sight of it.
"You have the Mark? That means you can talk to Pokemon, right?" he says excitedly.
"Yeah," I say, caught off guard, " but doesn't it scare you? It means that your life is endangered just by coming with me." "Are you kidding? If I had a regular trainer, they'd just order me around, but with a Marked, I can talk to them! It's awesome!
"All right, then," I say, "why don't you come with me?" "Really?" The little Pokemon jumps up and down with excitement. "That sounds great!
"Okay, then," I say as I reach my hand out to the Pokemon. But just as he's about to touch it, I yank my hand back.
"If you come with me, you're risking your life. Ar-are you okay with that?"
The Chespin thinks for a moment, but then nods decisively. "Definitely. If I go with someone else, I won't have half as much fun as I will with you."
"Alright, little fella. What's your name?"
The little Pokemon puffs up his chest with pride. "My name is Chrom. What about you?"
"I'm Robin. Nice to meet you, Chrom." I extend my hand. Chrom takes it, and a black X appears on the back of his paw.
"Wow!" laughs Shauna. "You two are getting along great already! Well, I guess I'll take this adorable little Froakie."
"And that leaves me with Fennekin," says Serena. "We're gonna be great friends, little guy. I can feel it."
"All right then!" Tierno grins. "You guys are now officially Pokemon trainers!"
"Tierno," Trevor sighs, "Aren't you forgetting something?"
Tierno snaps his fingers. "Oh right, of course. Your Pokedexes!" He reaches into the box and procures three strange devices. "These are a relatively new invention by Professor Sycamore, one of the leading Pokemon Professors in Kalos. Basically, they analyse and store data about Pokemon you encounter or catch. He wants you to carry them with you and use them, so he can get some test data."
"So, can we get going now?" Shauna says, barely able to contain her excitement.
"Sure! Wait, one more thing." Tierno rummages through his bag and brings out an envelope. "Robin, this is a letter for your mum from Professor Sycamore."
"For my mum?" I say, confused. "Why?"
"Beats me," Tierno shrugs, "but you should give it to her before you set off. Anyway, that's all. I'll see you later." He and Trevor get up and head off towards Route 2.
"Well, I should get this to my mum. See you later, I guess."
"Wait!" I turn in surprise. Shauna grins. "Now that we both have Pokemon, let's have a battle!"
"A battle?" Chrom seems to like the idea, but I'm not so sure it's a good one. "Are you sure?"
"Of course! Don't worry, I'll go easy on you. Unless you're too scared..." "I don't think so!" Chrom grins. "C'mon, Robin, let's do it!"
"Well," I say with a smile, "I guess it would be fun."
"All right! Come on, Lil' Froakie! Let's do this!"
"Aww. We didn't even stand a chance!" Shauna sadly recalls Froakie to its Pokeball. "You're really good at battling, Robin!"
"I'm not that good," I laugh, "We just had the type advantage."
"Well, anyway, we need to get going. Serena, Trevor and Tierno have already left to go to Santalune City."
"You're right, but I think I'll do some training around Route 2 for a while after I give my mum the Professor's letter."
"Alright, I'll see you then!" She runs off in the direction of Santalune Forest, while I head back home.
I deliver the letter, and my mother waves us off. We go to Route 2, and almost immediately, a Bunnelby pops its head out of the grass. "Who are you?" he says. "Woah. You have a mark?"
"I sure do. I'm Robin. What's your name?" "I'm Vaike. And who's that weird looking guy?" "Excuse me?" Chrom replies indignantly. "I'll show you who's weird!"
"Calm down, Chrom. I'm sure he didn't mean anything by it. Anyway, Vaike, want to come with us?"
The Bunnelby thinks for a second, then smiles. "Sure. If you can beat me!"
Chrom laughs. "Oh, you're on!" He slams into the Bunnelby, who promptly collapses. "He-Hey! No fair! I wasn't ready!"
"Sorry, Vaike, but we won. Guess that means you're coming with us." "Hmph. Well, at least you're not as weak as you look. That's not saying much, by the way. I should come with you just to keep you safe."
"Heh, well, both of you are pretty weak at the moment. Let's head back home to rest up, and then we can keep training."
After our 7th visit home to restore our energy, Chrom stops me. "Alright, enough is enough. We're not going to get anything done if we head back home after every battle!" "Yeah, Chrom's right. For once, that is."
"But what if you get hurt? I can't take any chances." "Look, I understand you want to keep us safe, but we're wasting so much time! The others must have beaten the Santalune city gym by now!"
I sigh. "Alright, fine. We've trained a lot here anyway. Let's go to Santalune Forest."
Soon after entering the forest, a Pansage pokes its head out. I catch it, and it introduces itself as Stahl. It doesn't seem to bothered by the fact that I'm marked. In fact, he doesn't seem to be bothered by anything apart from his stomach. "I'm hungry," he complains for what feels like the hundredth time.
"You just ate!" I say, exasperated. "And I don't have any food left now, you'll have to wait. Anyway, you're a Grass type, can't you just eat leaves or something?" "Excuse me! That's very offensive." The green monkey crosses his arms in anger. "Not all Grass Pokemon eat plants, you know."
"Well, whatever you eat, can you just wait for a while? Once we get to the Pokemon Centre we'll get you something to eat, alright?" "Fine, I guess I can wait." "Heh, you might want to lay off eating there buddy." The mischievous bunny pats Stahl's stomach. "Can you even see your feet with a belly that big? If you keep that up, you'll end up looking like Chrom!" "Alright, punk, that's it." Chrom leaps at Vaike and the two end up rolling around on the ground. Meanwhile Stahl's belly rumbles, and he groans.
"I swear," I say, sighing, "sometimes I think letting you guys die might not be such a bad idea."
The fight is interrupted by a Fletchling popping out of the grass. "Umm," he says, looking at Vaike and Chrom, "is this a bad time?"
"Don't worry, they're always like that. I'm Robin. Who're you?" "Me? Name's Gaius. Say, you wouldn't happen to have any sweets, would ya?"
"Sweets? Well," I say as I rummage through my bag, "I have this." I hold out a chocolate bar. "Hey! You told me you ran out of food!"
"Well, I was saving this!" I reply defensively.
The Fletchling stares at the chocolate bar. "Mmm. Hey, how about you give that to me, and then I'll come with you? Besides, looking at the Pokemon you have with you, you could probably use my help."
"I guess you can have a bit. But not all of it, it's my favourite." I break of a chunk and throw it to the bird. Stahl looks at me angrily and so I break off another chunk and hand it to him. "Oh yeah, that's good. Alright then. What's the plan?"
"Well, we're just training right now. We'll be heading to the Santalune City Gym later."
Around an hour or so later, everyone on the team has got a lot stronger and is exhausted. "Now can we go eat?" Stahl begs.
"Ok, let's just do one more battle." "Alright." Right on cue, a wild Fletchling pops out of the grass. Stahl's tired, but he grins and taunts the wild Pokemon. "Come on then. We haven't got all day."
Stahl swipes at the Fletchling, who prepares to slam into him. However, the bird seems to be glowing, and when he hits Stahl, it sends him reeling.
"Stahl! Are you okay?"
He gets up slowly. "I'm fine. Don't worry, I've got this. He just got lucky, that's all."
"Stahl, are you sure you don't need a potion or anything? You seem pretty hurt..." "Seriously, I'm all good." He goes in for another swipe. It connects, but the Fletchling doesn't fall yet. It readies itself to tackle Stahl once more, and once again glows. On impact, Stahl is sent flying backwards.
But this time, he doesn't get up.
With tears in my eyes, I send out Gaius. His eyes widen in shock when he sees his comrade lying on the ground, but he determinedly tackles the opposing Pokemon, who finally collapses. And just like that, I've lost my first Pokemon.
After resting up at the Pokemon Centre, we head to Route 22 for some more training. "Can't we just go to the gym instead?" Vaike whines.
"Sorry, but after what happened to Stahl, I'm not taking any chances. We're not challenging the gym until I'm sure that you can handle it." "Fine," he says, but he's clearly not happy about it.
Once we get to Route 22, we encounter and defeat some Bunnelbys, and then a Riolu pops out of the grass. "Who're you?" he says, with suspicion in his eyes.
"My name's Robin, and this is Chrom," I reply, gesturing to the Chespin at my feet. I then point to the others in turn. "That's Vaike, and that's Gaius." "Hmph. My name is Frederick." He doesn't seem very impressed. "I've always wanted to have a trainer, but you don't strike me as someone... strong enough."
"Then how about I prove you wrong? Chrom, think you can do it?" "Of course!" He grins as he prepares to fight. "Hey, Vaike? You clearly don't know how, so sit back watch while I show you a real battle, okay?" "Heh. This should be interesting. Come on then!" "With pleasure." Chrom sends vines at his opponent, knocking him back. Frederick responds with a tackle, but Chrom brushes it off easily.
"All right, once more!"
The vines attack the Riolu again, who seems quite weakened. Seizing the chance, I throw a Pokeball. It shakes once, twice, but then Frederick breaks out. "Nice try, but it's going to take more than that." He's resilient, I'll give him that. Despite the hits he's taken he seems just as determined as ever.
"Chrom, just take the hits for now. If you attack him again, you'll probably take him out." "Aww." He's disappointed, but he obliges, taking two more hits while I throw a couple more Pokeballs, neither of which work.
"Hah! Is this all you have to offer?"
"This is really starting to annoy me," I mutter under my breath. Pokeballs clearly aren't working, so I take out one of my two Great balls. This should do the trick.
The ball shakes once. Twice. Three times.
And Frederick breaks out.
"Are you kidding me? Alright Chrom, try hitting him lightly."
For a second, I think the hit has defeated Frederick, but he gets up, his legs shaking.
"Alright, that's enough." I throw the second Great Ball, and this time, it works. I sigh in relief. We train up a bit longer, and then go rest. After that, it's time for the gym.
"Alright guys," I say to the team, "this is it. We beat all the other trainers, and now it's time to take on the Gym Leader, Viola. "Who are you going to use?" The excitement makes Chrom's voice waver.
"Well, this is the bug type gym, so Gaius has the type advantage because he's flying type. I'm going to send out Vaike first though, so he gets a share of the experience. He's been lagging behind a bit." "I have not!" Vaike retorts angrily. "I'm just not using my full power so Chrom and the others don't get jealous of how strong I am."
"Well, whatever it is, you're going out first, but then I'll switch you out for Gaius. Frederick, I'll switch you in if Gaius is having trouble." "What about me?" Chrom asks expectantly.
"Sorry, but you're on Cheerleader duty." "What?" The Chespin is clearly appalled. "But I'm the strongest of us all!"
"Well yeah, that's the problem," I explain, wincing. "You see, you have to be within a certain level to fight this gym. When we were training, you accidentally overdid it. You're 1 level ahead of the limit. Sorry, bud." "Damn it." Chrom hangs his head. "Well, you better use me for the next gym!"
"Of course. Anyway, that's the plan. Let's get going."
We head up to Viola's platform. "Ah! A challenger!" she says. "Good good, I haven't had a good battle in ages! Let's see if you're up to it."
"I hope so," is all I can say.
As the battle starts, she sends out a Surskit while I start with Vaike. However, I immediately switch him out into Gaius, who gets hit by a Bubble.
"Alright Gaius, use Peck." He's faster than the enemy, but the Surskit hits him first with a Quick Attack. One more Peck finished the job, and Viola's first Pokemon falls.
Viola laughs. "Not bad, not bad at all. But it's not over," she says, sending out a Vivillon.
"Alright Gaius, you've got this. Just keep hitting him with Peck." Gaius nods, but this new Pokemon is fast, and so hits Gaius with an Infestation before the Fletchling can peck it. The attack almost brings Gaius down, but he stays up.
"Gaius!" I yell, concerned. "Are you alright?" "I'm all good," he manages, gasping for air. "This guy is good, but it'll take more than that to beat me." This time, when he pecks, he seems to glow just like the wild Fletchling that killed Stahl, and the hit does massive damage. However, the infestation damages him again, almost taking him out.
"Ooh! Now, you are strong! This is getting very interesting!" Viola's smile has only widened since the battle began.
"Gaius, you seem pretty beat up, so I'm switching you out."
"I don't think so." The gym leader wags her finger at me, like a teacher telling off a pupil. "Any Pokemon that's been infested cannot be switched out until the battle is over."
"What? But then... Gaius can't fight for much longer..." "Psst." I look down at Vaike, who gives me a red bottle. "Use this. It's a Super Potion."
"Thanks Vaike, but where did you get this?"
The Bunnelby looks around, refusing to meet my eye. "That's, uh, classified. Look, do you want to save Gaius or not?"
"Fair enough." I use the Potion, and Gaius immediately looks rejuvenated. He's back at full strength. The Vivillon hits him in the meantime, and the infestation damages him once again.
"Alright Gaius, let's do this. Keep pecking him."
"You got it." The Vivillon hits him twice more, and he returns each one with a ferocious peck. Both Pokemon are now severely weakened, and it looks like the next hit will decide it all.
"You did well, little Fletchling, but I'm afraid this is over. Vivillon is too fast for you."
"I don't think so." Now that victory is within out grasp, I smile. "Gaius, Quick Attack!" Gaius moves so fast that he's scarcely a blur, and the Vivillon collapses. We've won.
"Yes!" I punch the air. "Great job, Gaius! You're getting loads of sweets after this!" After the battle, Gaius is so exhausted that he can barely talk, so I return him to his Pokeball.
"Well, Robin, you were a lot stronger than I thought." Viola walks over and hands me the a badge. "Here. This is the Bug Badge, the first of 8 badges you need to collect to challenge the Pokemon League. And take this as well." She hands me a disc. "This is the TM for Infestation, the move Vivillon used in our battle. You can use it to teach any eligible Pokemon that move."
"Now, you must be headed to Lumiose City now, correct? Well, say hello to my sister, Alexa, would you? She should be able to show you around." With that, she waves us off, and we head back to the Pokemon Centre, tired, hungry, and triumphant.
Chrom the Male Chespin
Hasty Nature (+Spe, -Def)
Chespin is one of my favourite Pokemon, and he's been an absolute beast so far. Hopefully that will continue.
Vaike the Male Bunnelby
Careful Nature (+SpD, -SpA)
I've never really been a fan of Bunnelby, but Vaike has been surprisingly good in battle. Also, his Pickup is AMAZING. That alone makes him really useful.
Gaius the Male Fletchling
Careful Nature (+SpD, -SpA)
Also been really good so far. Straight up solo'd Viola, and I have high hopes for him in the future. Never used a Talonflame before outside of Showdown, so should be fun if he survives that long.
Frederick the Male Riolu
Lax Nature (+Def, -SpD)
I'm hyped as hell that I managed to score a Riolu on Route 22 when I was expecting something like a Dunsparce. Honestly, he's been pretty weak as of yet, but once he gets some STAB moves he should be pretty good.
Stahl the Male Pansage
Died to: A wild Fletchling getting two critical Tackles in a row.
I'll be honest, I really don't care about this death. Pansage is straight up terrible. The only thing that really annoys me is how he died (2 crits in a row) and how much effort I had to put into levelling him for nothing.
Well, that took ages to write. I'll probably keep future chapters shorter so I don't burn myself out. Obviously sad we had our first death so soon, but eh, Pansage is pretty bad. Getting a Riolu was awesome, even though he was an absolute pain in the ass to catch. Overall, going pretty well so far!
That Riolu will definitely be a help against Grant coming up, if you can get it to evolve soon, heck you could even get a Lucario before you even go to Lumiose City if you seriously wanted xP And yeah the first death early on does stink, though you already have a Grass-type so I wouldn't be too disappointed either. There are a lot of Pokémon to potentially use in these games so we'll have to see what you end up with in time!
I know the elemental monkeys are no one's first choice, but I wouldn't sleep on them the next time you get them. ;P I can't actually speak for Pansage, but I've had a good experience with Pansear, and a Simipour gave me a lot of trouble in Black. That being said, there are certainly worse Pokemon to lose. A shame about how it happened, though!
The backstory with The Mark is pretty interesting. I'm looking forward to seeing how things play out from here! Good luck! C: