The Overthinkerlocke Challenge, Chapter 4: The Struggle


We got through Mt. Moon!
We beat up some Team Rocket goons!
We… lost Bobross and Mercury 😦

As usual, the rules can be found here for some clarification, if required.

Our party at the outset of this episode is:

  • Sheldrake (Wartortle, M, lv18) – knows Tackle, Water Gun, Bubble, Withdraw. Best friend: Geoff. An aspiring academic, Sheldrake travels the land searching for knowledge of all kinds. Sheldrake is also overconfident right now.
  • Willow (Rattata, F, lvl12) – knows Tackle, Tail Whip, Quick Attack. Best friend: RuPaul. Chef by lineage, artist by nature. 
  • RuPaul (Butterfree, M, lvl11) – knows Tackle, String Shot, Harden, Confusion. Best friend: Bruce. RuPaul’s always been a Butterfree at heart, and now that’s the self he gets to show the world too.
  • Bruce (Spearow, M, lvl13) – knows Peck, Growl, Leer, Fury Attack. Best friend: Sheldrake. Bugs are friends, not food.
  • Geoff (Zubat, M, lvl10) – knows Leech Life, Astonish. Best friend: Willow. Fan of disability awareness and also golf.

We don’t have anyone in the PC right now either; this is our lot! I’m just hopeful that today we can get through the next part of our adventure without losing any of our friends, never mind making new ones!

We start this chapter in Cerulean City, having just been to the PC to release our friend Mercury. It’s a sad time for all of us, but we have to push on, and our first act in this new city is to wander around, speak to everyone we can find, and burn all our money buying useful items at the Pokémart. I’m not sure what to do here: go back and train a bit, head north to face more trainers, or have a go at the first Gym trainer here and see how we get on? I don’t have anyone with a type advantage against Water… but I figure I must be able to beat at least one of the trainers in Cerulean’s Gym, just to test the waters (ha!).

Pokemon - LeafGreen Version (Europe) (Rev 1)_01

We do indeed manage to overcome Swimmer Luis without toooo much difficulty. Sheldrake is our only ‘mon who’s close to Luis’s team in levels, but we make it work without falling into danger at any point. It may be a bit reckless, but the loss of Bobross and Mercury is motivating us to keep going! Let’s beat up Misty!

Pokemon - LeafGreen Version (Europe) (Rev 1)_02

Before we can get to Misty, though, there’s Picnicker Diane to overcome, and she boasts a level 19 Goldeen. We use Geoff the Zubat to confuse Goldeen with Supersonic, then switch out to Sheldrake, who’s the only one who can safely be out there.

Pokemon - LeafGreen Version (Europe) (Rev 1)_03He finishes off the fish; nothing dramatic, just trading hits. Diane was enough to make us rethink, though, and maybe we don’t want to go for Misty straight away. We retrace our steps a little bit first instead, heading towards Mount Moon to do a little bit of levelling up for safety. It’s dull, but might save us later!

I’m just sort of quietly getting people a bit of battling experience, maybe starting to get a little bit complacent, when suddenly some dumb Spearow lands a critical hit.

Pokemon - LeafGreen Version (Europe) (Rev 1)_05

Oh, I’m terrible at this. Not our Willow. This hurts, man.

I don’t want to do this, but I have no choice. My baby Willow succumbs to her injuries, and… it’s over. Another friend, gone. I really, er… I’m really learning the differences between ‘casual’ play and a Nuzlocke these last couple of chapters. You can’t get sloppy for a second, or your friends die. Geoff, who looked up to Willow and her cooking skill as well as her self-certainty and drive to fulfil her true self as an artist, is absolutely devastated. (Mechanically, of course, this means he won’t accept healing for a few battles, but since we’re just out with low-level wild ‘mons that doesn’t pose a real problem right now.) Everyone else is… losing trust in me. I’m not showing them that I deserve to be their Trainer right now, to be honest.

We go back to levelling up, more carefully this time. Everyone seems a bit unwilling to do what I’m telling them, and I can’t say I blame them. Nobody is gaining experience very quickly, and eventually (having barely strengthened themselves at all) my team demand that we go back to Misty, to finish the job Willow would have wanted us to do.

Ugh, this might be a problem. We are underlevelled, but there’s only one single patch of grass I’m able to access right now and it doesn’t contain ‘mons that are conducive to grinding at all – I was barely even noticing the EXP bar go up as I battled there – so this is really all we can do.

Sheldrake takes out Misty’s Staryu, but takes some hits in the process. Our only option is to switch him out to heal him, but that means leaving someone out and open to one hit from her Starmie. I stick Bruce out, hoping that he can take one punch.

Pokemon - LeafGreen Version (Europe) (Rev 1)_03

He can’t.

Bruce’s death means that nobody on my team will use their ‘favourite’ move for the rest of the battle, and also means RuPaul, who had Bruce as his best friend, won’t accept any healing for three battles. Sheldrake’s my only viable option here anyway, and fortunately he has Bite, which isn’t his favourite and is super-effective against the partially-Psychic-type Starmie.

Pokemon - LeafGreen Version (Europe) (Rev 1)_06

It’s close, but we pull through.

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Misty defeated, we say our goodbyes to Bruce. It sucks, but we’re almost used to saying goodbye now. Not that it gets any easier. We also picked up the Water Pulse TM from her, which we use on Sheldrake, and a bunch of cash that we use to buy more healing items.

Our only option now is to head north; we can use Cut freely now, but a) I don’t think we have the HM yet, though I could be wrong, and b) there’s a Slowpoke blocking the only Cut-able tree out of here. So north it is.

I think we’ll do that next time, though, don’t you?

Pokemon - LeafGreen Version (Europe) (Rev 1)_09

Chapter Closing Stats

Badges: 2

Pokémon gained: None

Pokémon lost: Willow, Bruce

Current team:

  • Sheldrake (Wartortle, M, lv20) – knows Water Pulse, Water Gun, Bubble, Withdraw. Best friend: Geoff. An aspiring academic, Sheldrake travels the land searching for knowledge of all kinds. Sheldrake is also overconfident right now.
  • RuPaul (Butterfree, M, lvl11) – knows Tackle, String Shot, Harden, Confusion. Best friend: Sheldrake. RuPaul’s always been a Butterfree at heart, and now that’s the self he gets to show the world too.
  • Geoff (Zubat, M, lvl13) – knows Leech Life, Astonish, Supersonic. Best friend: RuPaul. Fan of disability awareness and also golf.


  1. That’s the tricky thing about these older Pokemon titles – it always feels like you have to do a ton of grinding outside of the normal process of the game in order to reach the necessary level and progress. It’s hard for me to go backwards to them, personally (though I do love Fire Red/Leaf Green and Heart Gold/Soul Silver).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I may just be kind of bad at Pokemon games! I have played and completed at least one game in each generation, but it’s been a while since I played anything less recent so perhaps I’ve lost my skill, if it ever existed.

    I’m not expecting this run to last much longer… I think I remember what happens if I try to go north out of Cerulean, and I know I’m not ready if it’s the rival battle I suspect it is, but I think it would take such a long time to grind and be ready for him that it is… basically going to be impossible to get past him!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh yeah, that’s a tough fight. The fun thing about Nuzlockes, though, is breaking through when you’re sure you’ll get your butt kicked. I once managed to defeat the elite four and champion in X and Y with only two Pokemon – I was positive I wasn’t gonna beat that one!

    Liked by 1 person

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