Ex-Nintendo Employees Say Pokemon Company Compared Nuzlocke Runs to ROM Hacks

Kit & Krysta, a YouTube duo previously employed by Nintendo that worked on the Nintendo Minute show, have said that The Pokemon Company once said Nuzlocke runs in Pokemon games are on the same level as using ROM hacks. Nuzlocke runs, for the uninitiated, are special rules that Pokemon fans impose upon themselves for a greater challenge.

In Nuzlocke runs, if a Pokemon faints, they have to be released into the wild. Additionally, players are only allowed to catch the first wild Pokemon they encounter in any given area. Needless to say, this makes Pokemon games significantly more challenging than they would be otherwise. It can also lead to plenty of intense and exciting moments, which is why many Pokemon franchise content creators tackle the Nuzlocke Challenge for their videos.


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It seems Kit & Krysta once pitched a Pokemon Nuzlocke Challenge video for Nintendo Minute, but the idea was rejected. According to the duo, The Pokemon Company said Nuzlocke runs were on the same level as using ROM hacks. This controversial claim caught the attention of Joe Merrick, webmaster of Pokemon site Serebii, who reached out to The Pokemon Company for clarification on the matter.

Merrick says that The Pokemon Company stated it does not have any issues with fans/creators playing Pokemon games using Nuzlocke rules. However, it seems safe to assume, based on Kit & Krysta’s account, that The Pokemon Company does not necessarily want those making content for official Nintendo videos like Nintendo Minute to partake in Nuzlocke runs. And while we do not have any official reason as to why that is, there seems to be one obvious answer.

Pokemon that faint in Nuzlocke Challenge runs are considered to be “dead,” which stands in stark contrast to Pokemon‘s family-friendly image. While the Pokemon franchise has dealt with serious themes like death, and the Pokemon manga has plenty of disturbing moments especially, it makes sense that The Pokemon Company would want to avoid giving an official stamp of approval to fan-made rules with dark undertones like the Nuzlocke Challenge by featuring it in a Nintendo Minute video.

Nintendo Minute, for the uninitiated, was a web-series hosted on Nintendo’s official YouTube channel that produced over 400 episodes over the course of eight years. It featured a wide variety of Nintendo content, ranging from gameplay previews to interviews with some of the company’s most famous developers. Nintendo Minute’s eight-year run came to an unexpected end in December 2021.

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