Catching ‘em All #1 - Who, What, Where & Why?

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    I’ve been thinking of doing something like this for a while but Brandon Play’s Pokémon has given me the push I needed to give it a go. To start documenting my Pokémon journey and the ludicrous mission I’ve given myself, actually catching ‘em all as the tag line goes.

    Before we get into the nitty gritty, when I say catching ‘em all I don’t mean just having a complete PokéDex. I mean having one copy of each and every Pokémon there is to get stored in my PC within a single Pokémon game or in Pokémon Bank. Every Pokémon, even Legendaries and Mythics, all obtained legitimately and each with a “cool” nickname.

    So what made me want to do this?

    Well, when Pokémon Sun & Moon were announced alongside the Virtual Console releases of Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow I turned to my wife and said, “Another Gen of Pokémon! There is going to be over 800 different Pokémon by the end of the year! How the hell are you meant to catch them all?!”

    And that was it.

    The seed had been planted.

    A month or so later I was playing Pokémon Yellow on my 3DS and realised that with a bit of work I could catch all the Pokémon within that game (minus the ones obtained via Player Trades) without too much effort. I then remembered about these versions of the original games linking into Sun & Moon via Pokémon Bank and how I already had a load of Pokémon sitting within my copy of Pokémon X. So “Actually, I've got a bunch of Pokémon already!” quickly turned into “Well I’m already part way there so I might as well actually obtain every single Pokémon.”

    Thus the mission was given and the rules set in stone. I was indeed going to catch ‘em all!

    Seeing as I will be playing pretty much one or two games from each Generation of Pokémon titles I am also going to use this journey as an excuse to don my Game Designer’s Cap. To really look at what it is about this franchise that keeps me coming back. Iteration after iteration (with a slight one Gen break, more info on this another time!), game after game, weird Pokémon design after weird Pokémon design. There is something in the DNA of these games that has kept me coming back to them for pretty much all of my life. I want to figure out what that something is. Also all of this means I get to write about one of my favourite series of games, at length on a semi-regular basis.

    It's going to be awesome!
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    But dear reader what can you do apart from reading my ramblings about Pokémon? For starters please, please, please give me feedback if you can! If you have a question about any of the Rules I've set for myself or suggestions for more let me know. I'm also always happy to talk Pokémon so ask away!

    Also FYI I’m planning on a fairly fast pace of posts to begin with seeing as I am already part way through this undertaking. Once I catch up to where I am currently expect things to slow down a bit. I am only one man and I lead a busy life!

    So let us get started with the full breakdown of the Rules I will be using during my mission.

    The Rules
    Over the many years I’ve been playing Pokémon I’ve developed some…habits when it comes to playing each title I get my hands on. These rules are in part derived from those habits. There are also some new mandates I’ve given myself to make things a bit more interesting and rewarding.

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    The Ten Commandments

    1. You are limited to owning one game out of every pair of Pokémon titles.
    2. You must catch as many Pokémon as you can within the games you own before resorting to Trading.
    3. All Pokémon Trades with other players must be conducted in person.
    4. EXP Share is the devil and can only be used after the the End Game state has been reached.
    5. All Pokémon must be given a Cool Nickname.
    6. The Pokémon you have are the ones you love.
    7. Fully explore each Pokémon title you play including its sub-systems, mechanics and mini-games.
    8. Online wikis and guide books are allowed to be used for the gathering of information on how to obtain Pokémon and their learnable moves.
    9. Only play one Pokémon title at a time until the End Game state has been reached.
    10. Have fun!

    Exceptions and Clarifications

    • Rule 1
    • Clarification 1a: Tie-In games are permitted, especially if they grant you Pokémon in the mainline games.
    • Rule 3
      • Clarification 3a: Pokémon Trades must be of equal or greater value for both parties involved. No trading an army of Pidgeys for the rarest of Pokémon.
      • Exception 3a: I am hoping I never have to break this rule but I am expecting to be flexible with it. We will see! But do not be alarmed if this rule disappears or changes over time.
      • Exception 3b: Wonder Trading is allowed but Pokémon of rare or better value must be offered up to the Wonder Trade gods. Nobody likes people who flood Wonder Trade with Weedles.
    • Rule 5
      • Clarification 5a: If traded from another player that player has to have Nicknamed the Pokémon.
      • Clarification 5b: If a Pokémon does not have a Nickname and it cannot be changed in-game a new Pokémon has to be bred from the original to obtain a Nicknamable version of it.
      • Clarification 5c: Cool is a relative term especially when it comes to naming Pokémon. Just have fun with it.
      • Exception 5a: The only Pokémon that are allowed to retain their default names are Pokémon obtained through official distributions that cannot be bred to obtain new versions of.
    • Rule 6
      • Clarification 6a: This means no intentional EV Levelling, Nature Stat Block looking up and Egg Group Breeding.
      • Exception 6a: Mini-Games such as Super Training in Pokémon X & Y are allowed to be used per the terms of Rule 7.
    • Rule 9
      • Clarification 9a: You should have only one active story playthrough happening at a given time but the End Game (Post Credits) and filling out the PokéDex sections for each title can be tackled at any time and concurrent with other End Games if wanted.
      • Exception 9a: If you are in the middle of a story playthrough of a Pokémon title when Pokémon Sun & Moon are released it may be halted or played simultaneously with the copy of Sun or Moon you own.

    That’s it for now, so far I’ve finished Pokémon X and Yellow. With my current focus being playing through Pokémon SoulSilver. All of which I will go into the details of another time.

    For now though thanks for reading and wish me luck!

    Next Time: My History With Pokémon.

  • Nice post! I love the detail that went into the Ten Commandments. I might tackle something similar soon.

  • That's awesome! Over the past year I've also been working on completing the Pokedex. I don't have quite as many restrictions as you've put on yourself, but I am getting them all legitimately. A living dex is also preferred so I can more easily transfer them up to each subsequent generation. Good luck to you!

  • Good luck with this! I completed the national Dex back in 5th gen, which took a loooooooong time, but it was very satisfying. When sixth gen came around, getting all the new Pokemon was pretty easy due to the smaller number of them.

    It also took several hours to make a "living Pokedex" in my Pokemon Bank, but I did it! By the way, if anyone needs help with certain Pokemon, I can help as best as I can. That includes event legends.