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Reviews Comments: Funny, sad, and far better than it has any right to be Nuzlocke Comics whole series review by Dominus Temporis

I was familiar with the concept of the Nuzlocke run for a time, but until recently I didn't know about the comic. Thanks to the short form the comic is in, it didn't take long to browse the archives, but it's worth going back and reading it over, and taking longer to think about it. Why?

It's hard to explain, but there's just something right about the way it's done. The art is simplistic (it gets better as time goes on), and the story jumps around a bit, but yet it's still very effective. I think it's not so much the comic itself as the message it conveys: what if Pokemon were real? And what if they could die? The original run was set up for the sake of a challenge and became something more: it allowed the author to value Pokemon he didn't before, and he became far more emotionally invested in them. Although the comic is quite often hilarious (the Lost references are a bit lost on me, but there is a great Power Rangers one when Groudon awakens), the deaths of beloved characters are also genuinely sad, and it manages to strike a balance that makes the comic more memorable as a result.

Nuzlocke Comics is basically the antithesis of Stop Having Fun Guys. When you care about your Pokemon and become attached to them, that's pretty much the polar opposite of the hardcore competitive mindset, which sees their team members as means to an end, and that end is winning. But that's not the point of the games, and somehow this comic subtly reminds us of the fact that we're supposed to view our Mons as friends and valued partners, not tools. Call me sentimental, but I think that far outranks the humor content of the strip.

Also, if you have the time whilst on the site, I heartily recommend checking out the fan comic section as well. Robot and Hale, in particular, have excellent comics that have the same quality as the original without feeling like knockoffs. Robot's plot seems to be influenced from Green Lantern's Blackest Night storyline, much more evident later on in the series, and Hale's is genuinely good but worth reading for Crazy May alone.

Even with the fanmade strips, the archive won't take more than a couple hours to zip through. Even if you read it solely for the humor/entertainment value, odds are you'll still come away with a little something more.


  • SweetMadness
  • 5th Aug 10
Agreed. It really changes the way you see the To Be A Master journey, and encourages the players to connect more with their Mons, imagine their own stories, and appreciate the titles on a level different from the Metagame.
  • pyr0h1tman8
  • 24th Oct 11


Sorry, couldn't resist.
  • eveil
  • 24th Oct 11
If I viewed Mons as friends, I wouldn't stuff them into small little capsules, ready to serve my whims, and have them fight others for sport. Nor would I be trying to make any friends by kidnapping them via beating them up and trapping them inside little capsules.
  • MrMissMrsRandom
  • 15th Jan 12
Then go and play Pokemon Ranger instead if your so against it.
  • BigKlingy
  • 7th Nov 14
As a competitive player myself, I actually really disagree with what you said about this being "polar opposite of the hardcore competitive mindset". I actually get really attached to my Pokemon when I EV train them and use them in Wi Fi or tournament battles, it's part of the reason I hate playing on Simulators like Pokemon Online, as they reduce Pokemon to just random bits of data you create in seconds. The fact that you have to put effort into raising Pokemon to get them the right stats really helps me bond with them. Then again I don't really care about winning as much as having fun with the teams I put together.

I actually find it really unsettling that the only way to be reminded "of the fact that we're supposed to view our Mons as friends and valued partners, not tools" is through introducing the risk of death, but I won't say any more.

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