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Crossroads Comics #137-Severance: A Randomized Pokémon Platinum Nuzlocke

It’s Tuesday which means it’s time for Crossroads Comics!

This week we’re taking a look at Severance: A Randomized Pokémon Platinum Nuzlocke by Winterspheonix. Severance (as I’ll be calling it for the rest of the article) is a very unique nuzlocke comic that was recently recommended to me. It was a short but very enjoyable binge that left me desperate for more due to several factors, all of which I’ll be going into more detail about below. In summary though, it has a unique ruleset, it has a randomizer factor, and extremely interesting worldbuilding. All of these factors make up the recipe for a very interesting story and I have thoroughly enjoyed thus far. So let’s delve into the ingredients!

First, the unique ruleset of this nuzlocke already sets it apart from many of the other nuzlockes that I’ve read. For those unfamiliar, a Nuzlocke is a set of self imposed rules that players use to make Pokémon games harder. There are three basic rules that every challenge is required to have: 1) You can only catch the first Pokémon you encounter on each route, 2) If a Pokémon faints it’s considered dead and can no longer be used, and 3) All Pokémon must be nicknamed. It’s not uncommon for players and creators to modify these rules to their liking, with some of the more common examples being no item usage in battle, playing on set mode, or the shiny clause which allows players to catch a shiny even if it isn’t their first encounter.

However, in some cases, players will take it a step further and create a very unique ruleset that gets its own title. For example, a Wedlocke is a type of nuzlocke with the additional ruleset that as Pokémon are caught, they are put into pairs. These pairs were then the only Pokémon that could switch in for each other and thus only two Pokémon were able to be used in battle unless one of the pairs was killed off. These custom nuzlockes come in all shapes in sizes with other examples including the Zombielocke, Egglocke, Chesslocke, and Wonderlocke, to name a few.

So why is Severance‘s ruleset unique? Well for me personally, it was a type of custom nuzlocke that I had never heard of before, and it’s definitely among the lesser known rule sets because when I tried to research it a bit more I couldn’t find much on it. But to me, that’s part of what makes Severance so interesting. It’s a type of nuzlocke that few have probably ever heard of so from the get go it’s already shaking things up for most readers. In addition, the ruleset its intense in its own right, telling us this isn’t going to be some cakewalk of a nuzlocke. Severance is looking to be a right bloodbath with how the ruleset is set up, and I am looking forward to it.

The ruleset is as follows:
1. One Pokémon per area (dupes clause with a 3 attempt mark and a shiny clause permitted)
2. If a Pokémon faints, then it’s dead
3. Nickname all Pokémon
4. Use of the PC is not permitted, limiting your team to only your active party as available Pokémon. Any Pokémon in the PC is considered dead. And yes this does include Pokémon automatically transferred into the PC after you catch a full team.
5. If you willingly place a team member in your PC, you cannot use it anymore, it is also dead. The only exception is if you have to get a gift pokemon to progress the story, you may swap out a pokemon out in order to do this, but if you choose to use the gift pokemon then it is dead. Shiny Pokémon or those with Pokérus CAN be put in the PC without dying though.
6. Egg Pokémon are banned, due to the fact its mainly a dead weight until you get it high enough level.
7. TMs and EXP shares are banned from this challenge, as they are both computers. HMs are allowed since you need them to progress through the story.
8. Steel and Electric type Pokémon are banned, adding one to your party will effectively kill your entire team, meaning you’d be played a monotype challenge.
9. As per monotype rules, if you add a mix of electric or steel, the same with will occur as it does in Rule 8, unless it is a electric/steel typing. (As per monotype, you need to have one of the typings only and it can be primary or secondary)
10. Legendary Pokémon are banned
11. Traded/gift Pokémon are not allowed
12. No items are allowed to be used in battle.

This right here is one of the toughest Nuzlocke sets I’ve ever seen, and I love it. It’s effectively a combination of a bunch of different additional rules like the Notepad clause, no items in battle, etc. and creates something truly truly difficult. And the best part is, the author integrates it into the worldbuilding very well, which we’ll go over later.

Secondly, I adore that this a randomizer. This is more of a personal thing than anything else but I love to do randomizer nuzlockes. It’s probably the most common type of run I do. However, you don’t see them as comics very often due to the fact that it can be difficult to explain the randomizer factor in the story. Severance gets around this though with its randomizer settings limiting the Pokémon that appear in respective areas to similar strength as the ones that would normally appear there. This helps to sort of mitigate the chaos of what could occur if something was fully randomized. It also helps that some of the early catches are Pokémon like Zubat, which are fairly commonplace anyway so nothing has seemed too random or out of place. And once again, to a degree Severance explains this in its worldbuilding as well, which is very nice.

Speaking of, finally, the worldbuilding in Severance so far has been fantastic!! It’s not uncommon for nuzlocke comics to integrate the ruleset into the worldbuilding, but often times this can be as simple as certain laws being in place to aid in conservative efforts or other small tweaks. With Severance‘s ruleset, however, it’s not quite that simple. As a result, the world that Severance takes place in revolves entirely around this ruleset and the randomization factor, making for a very interesting story.

Severance takes place in a semi-dystopia type setting. The so-called PC virus has infected the world and made it unsafe to use those systems at the risk of infecting the Pokémon you’re trying to store there. Additionally, while Electric and Steel types are somewhat immune to the virus, they’re not totally immune, leaving them in a zombie-like state. Also while it hasn’t been outright stated, I felt like it was somewhat implied that the reason there’s a lot of non-native Pokémon running around is that people mass-released Pokémon from the PC in order to save them from the virus, which is a very nice touch. And this isn’t even getting into the raiders and other aspects of the setting that really do well to give the readers a sense of just how much the world has been turned upside by this catastrophic event. For only being fifteen pages in, this story has some elaborate worldbuilding that it does extremely well to establish naturally as the story progresses and I can’t wait to see what all else there is past Oreburgh.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how interesting of a story Severance is. Like we haven’t even gotten into the characters, in which I feel like it’s worth mentioning that Tala tied for second place in the category of Best Main Character in the Nuzlocke Extravaganze, nor have I even touched on the art style, which is also extremely cool and makes great use of lighting and effects to convey tone. All in all Severance makes for a very enjoyable short binge. It’s got a darker more mature tone but I like that because it really fits with how tough the ruleset is and I can’t wait to see how each aspect plays out in the long run.

You can check out Severance on Deviantart, so be sure to give it a read because it’s really really good.

Also there’s no ComicFury Comics category this week because ComicFury went down before I could pull the comics. So to make up for it, the Deviantart and Off-site Comics sections are somewhat beefier than usual.

Until next time, see ya!

Crossroads Comics
PMD: Explorers of Life He lived! Hooray!
Pokémon Rising Shadows Grenith why are you spying?
Pokémon: Shadow of the Sun Poor guy seems a lot worse for wear.
Renegade’s Redemption Sometimes you gotta reinforce that no means no.
The Spaced Out Rangers What will he do now?

Deviantart Comics
Champion’s Mercy Well at least no one died.
Change of Pace A peaceful resolution, albeit a temporary one.
Explorers of Shadows Evolution time!!
Milos from Home I don’t like that look on his face.
Pokémon Explorers Comic Yes do give Hec ideas.
PMD: Hanging in the Balance What a cute little story!
PMD: On Borrowed Time Cue Malachi exploding.
PMD: Mystic Island Well that can’t be good.
PMD: Rescue Rangers It was in this moment he knew he had screwed up.
TC-96 Teenage Huey is still adorable.
Trick of the Night Morning stretch!
Until Then So many emotions flying around.
Yet Another PMD Comic She has a point.

Off-site Comics
Ask Hollow Mask All very good points indeed.
Ask Mew Love is truly beautiful!
Ask the Poke Clan Red Velvet is good stuff.
Ask Savel Well at least we can take solace in that.
Ask the Traveller All stitched up and ready to go!
Ask Team Plushy Discount candy is always good.
Ask Willow Leafeon She’s just so adorable!
Cain and Mabel A new challenger approaches.
Chiaki’s Sapphire Nuzlocke The battle is finally over. But at what cost?
Interlude Break Spicy chocolate sounds interesting.
It was a Dark and Story Night More spicy candy???
Lil Char and the Gang Book it! Scram!

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