Pokémon Gen 1 Challenges

Before the Christmas break, I ordered Football Manager 2018 to be delivered via a non-league football club (whom shall not be named) to play over the Christmas break in the rare moments when I’m not working or hanging out with friends and family. Unfortunately, the game didn’t come in time and is now sitting at my flat in the Midlands while I’m back down South. Now, I’ve had an excellent break, but I felt I needed a game for it. So I borrowed/stole the 3DS from my partner and started playing Pokémon Red. A classic, one of my all-time favourites.

Now, as I was setting off to come back home for the break I sat at the train station on my phone running out of battery desperately seeking a challenge for Pokémon Gen 1. I found various forum posts and some great ideas. However, at that time I run out of battery so just played a vanilla game. So for your benefit here are the top 5 challenges I could find, all in one place – in case you’re on low battery!

The Nuzlocke Challenge:


I’m going to go ahead and assume 90-99% of Pokémon fans have heard of this one, but it’s here anyway for a) those who haven’t and b) because it’s a classic.

If you haven’t heard of this, the Nuzlocke challenge comes from a comic series that I strongly suggest you check out before embarking on this quest. But for those who just want to dive straight in, here are the rules:

  • If your Pokemon faint, them Mons are dead (so you must release from the PC)
  • You can only catch the first Pokemon you encounter in each area, if you fail, no second chances.
  • A blackout means a game over – Pokemon the roguelike.

There are a bunch of additional rules you can tag on if you feel inclined but that’s the basis, maybe you can tag on more after you complete it.

The GYM Leader Challenge


When I used to play Pokemon as a kid I used to wonder why Gym leaders always used one type of Pokemon when it was clearly far from the best strategy but when I thought about the Pokemon world I thought it made some sense. The sense I saw in it was that people would likely “specialise” in a type and that always led me to think what type would I specialise in… probably water, Squirtle is the best starter don’t @ me.  The rules here are simple:

  • Use one type.
  • No duplicates.
  • Dual types are allowed.
  • If you want to play with a type that isn’t immediately available then you can use your starter to get there.
  • A single trade is allowed.

From this post on Azurilland, there are a few slightly different rules that I felt could be slightly amended. For example, only one trade being allowed to help you start the game with rarer types (i.e. psychic, ice) and not banning Dragon and Ghost despite their rareness.

Which type would you choose by the way? If it was real life, fire types seem way too high a risk…

No Pokecenter & PokeMart Challenge


Exactly what it says on the tin. You can’t use Pokecenters and you can’t use PokeMarts. The first time I heard of this challenge I thought nothing of it, you get a few Pokeballs at the start if used well you could grab yourself some handy Pokemon, you could level up your starter to be untouchable. But then I thought, with no healing training will slowly whittle your Pokemon down, and what happens when you die? Back to Pallet town?!? And what about Antidote, how many can you find! Then I realised the depth and challenge here and chose not to do it. But for those masochists amongst you here are the rules:

  • No Pokecentres
  • No Pokemarts
  • No trading

Simple right? I just had a think about it, you get one antidote at the start I think… then all then all those Weedles… better start with Bulbasaur.

The Low Tier Challenge


Those of you who are familiar with competitive Pokemon will have heard of the concept of tiers, or the idea that all Pokemon are born equal, but some Pokemon are more equal than others. That’s where this challenge comes from. Smogon compiled a list of the most effective Pokemon for a run through of the Gen 1 Pokemon games. Your challenge should you choose to accept is to complete a run through using nothing but low tier Pokemon from their list, and of course. Here are the rules:

  • Only low tier Pokemon (list below).
  • No trade
  • No TM’s

This is probably one of the easier challenges in my opinion, but here is the list for you to make your own mind up: Aerodactyl, Caterpie, Chansey, Cubone, Ditto, Dratini, Ekans, Farfetch’d, Grimer, Growlithe (in Yellow, not R&B), Hitmonchan, Kangaskhan, Koffing, Lapras, Lickitung, Machop, Magmar, Moltres, Onix, Paras, Pidgey, Pinsir, Ponyta, Porygon, Psyduck (yellow), Rhyhorn, Scyther, Tangela, Tauros, Venonat, Vulpix, Weedle, Zubat.

There are some good Pokemon there, but the point of the tier is that they are not ideally suited for an efficient run so may arrive in-game at awkward times or are just inconvenient to obtain.

The Youngster Joey Challenge


He might not be from this generation but that doesn’t mean he can’t be in spirit. The Youngster Joey Challenge involves you essentially roleplaying Youngster Joey. You must use Joey’s favourite Pokemon for the whole game, and he better be in the higher percentages of them. That Pokemon is of course Rattata. The rules are:

  • Use only Rattata (other Pokemon can be used for HM slaves but not in battle).
  • Rattata cannot evolve, so no Raticate
  • Rattata can learn any applicable TM or HM
  • Whilst completing GYM battles or the Elite Four you must ONLY have Rattata with you
  • And of course no trading, you have all you need.

This is a real challenge and will require a truly special Rattata. Oh, and of course you’ve got to call yourself Joey at the start. If you completed the game with all the rules but weren’t called Joey you’ve just wasted your time, good job.


So, there it is, 5 Pokemon challenges for generation 1 (although all are applicable to other versions also). What do you think? Do you have any specific challenges? Have you managed to complete any of the above? Would you be insane enough to try? Let us know below.


3 thoughts on “Pokémon Gen 1 Challenges

    1. Joe Post author

      Hi, thanks for the comment! I usually get emotionally invested in my starter too and just can’t let them go.

      And thank you for the nomination! I have been a too busy to write recently but this is definitely incentive to return! I will check it out later 🙂

      Liked by 1 person


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