I believe this is all happening for a reason.
Nuzlocke Comics is a retelling of the author's playthrough of Pokémon Ruby, Pokémon FireRed, and Pokémon White. Seeking a new challenge, he decided to play the games with some additional rules.
- First, he is only allowed to capture the first Pokémon he encounters on a route or location. If he fails to do so, tough beans.
- Second, if a Pokémon faints, it is considered "dead" and released (Or boxed).
Through these rules, he found a new respect for Pokémon that he originally considered trash. The webcomic details his playthrough with more dramatic and comedic emphasis.
The comic itself has spawned many fan comics hosted on its site as well as becoming a popular Self-Imposed Challenge among the Pokémon fandom.
Apart from the name of the comic and the nickname of the author, the original set of the rules is also known as Nuzlocke. The fans are encouraged to do the same, and the most widely accepted rules are: the original two, with the exception to the first one that if you have caught the first pokemon you encounter on the location, you're allowed to safely ignore it (this is to prevent the party being overloaded by Com Mons), same with shinies (because they are so incredibly rare you may not even see one); and last, but not least, you should nickname everything.
- Anyone Can Die: Inherent in the After Action Report format.
- Apocalyptic Log: As in the games, Ruby finds one about the creation of Mewtwo, narrated by Gym Leader Blaine. Except he falls asleep during it.
- Arc Words: "It's all happening for a reason."
- Art Evolution: Compare any given recent chapter with the first one and dare to say there's no improvement.
- Art Shift: A trademark visual of the main comic (which sometimes appears in the fancomics) is pokemon randomly taking on the facial features of characters from different series, primarily Lost. The name Nuzlocke comes from one such instance.
- The Berserker: Buddy the Vileplume. Desmond the Mankey
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Mewtwo, Lampshaded.
- Big No: Used by the protagonist several times.
- Bittersweet Ending: Most end this way, or with a Downer Ending.
- Played straight in his Fire Red run, During the fight Mewtwo kills Sawyer and When Bruce finally defeats him, he and Ruby are caught in the explosion of energy, Afterwards Bruce is sent 40 years in the past and starts flying around, looking for Ruby. And then the last scene in the epilogue shows a blast of energy,in Nuvema Town.
- Black Comedy: Hilbert killed himself after Cheren and Bianca pushed him too far. They get over it quickly and adopt Ruby as their new BFF.
- Blood Knight: Desmond the Mankey, who interprets the words "weaken" and "catch" as "kill" and "rape".
- Misty really seems to enjoy battling, like Desmond. Fitting seeing as how she was the reason he died.
- Break the Cutie: Squirtle, along with Freudian Excuse.
- Butt Monkey: All the Pokemon Ruby keeps in is PC only.
- The Cameo: Most comics give a nod to others, often the original, but the original comic finally threw one in during Episode 26- the viewers of Ruby's battle include Hale, Robot, Nya, Kotone, Locke and a number of other popular forum comic leads.
- The end of episode 31 gives us another - Mewtwo has the names of many Nuzlocke trainers including the above, written on the wall of Cerulean Cave... And all of them are scored out, except Ruby, which is in the centre, enlarged.
- Cerebus Syndrome: A lot of runs tend to start out goofy and lighthearted, frequently with No Fourth Wall, and then get darker as the plot thickens and cute fuzzy things get killed.
- Creepy Child: Cheren and Bianca are so annoying they drive Hilbert to suicide. They are mostly unfazed when they find out, uttering only a quiet "oh darn" and lamenting that they now need to find a new best friend... To love forever.
- Curb Stomp Battle: Nearly all of Ruby's battles with Gary.
- Darker and Edgier: Naturally, making the Pokemon die instead of faints creates this. However, it can sometimes veer into parody given how over the top it is.
- And, as noted below, it's usually about equally dark with the Pokémon Special manga, so YMMV.
- Deadpan Snarker: Sawyer the Pidgeot(to) has shades of this.
- Didn't Think This Through: "What? It's really hot and everyone is dying? I don't understand...how could water be GOOD?"
- Disney Villain Death: Sawyer loves pulling this one on Team Rocket mooks. Hell, he does to the same mook twice.
- Downer Ending: Season 1. Which leads to...
- Driven to Suicide: After showing up in Hilbert's house at the beginning of White: Hard Mode Ruby finds a Suicide note where he says he had to get away from "Them". Then finds Hilbert's hanged corpse in the closet.
- Fantastic Racism: Ruby's new "friends" don't seem to think too well of Kanto.
- Fire-Forged Friends
- Follow the Leader: Many other players made their own comics of playthroughs with these same rules with one or two added ones. This became known as the Nuzlocke Challenge.
- Freudian Excuse: Parodied with Maxie, who wants to expand the land because a wave destroyed a sandcastle he made. Played a little more straight with Giovanni, who was constantly beat in battle by Professor Oak as a child and wants to prove himself.
- Funny Background Event: Look very closely in the stands of Kanto's stadium after Ruby defeats Lorelei. One of the signs reads "UPDATE FASTER."
- In the news broadcast after Ruby beats Bruno, the newsticker at the bottom reads "Scientists yet to find slower source than Nuzlocke.com."
- Go Out with a Smile: Buddy, who knows he won't be able to survive the next turn, but that his death will buy Ruby time to heal.
- Desmond as well, seeing as he knew he did enough damage on Misty's Starmie for Ruby to take it out with his next Pokemon.
- Grimmification: For Pokémon.
- Depending on the Writer, most of the runs really are no darker than the Pokémon Special manga series.
- Harder Than Hard: Especially when you add even more rules, such as never using items or never using Pokemon Centers.
- Heel Face Turn: Gary's Blastoise seems to be pulling one off.
- Heel Realization: After Ruby defeats Mewtwo and seemingly dies in the energy blast, Giovanni finds a photo of Ruby and his Sceptile. Overcome with guilt, he turns himself in to the police and confesses everything.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Several of Ruby's pokemon give their lives to keep him safe in the more dangerous battles.
- Hulk Speak: Bruno.
- Hypocritical Humor: Erika only collects beautiful pokemon.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: "I guess that makes you my "WING MAN."
- Ironic Echo: "... That would be breaking the rules."
Giovanni: Wait, what rules?!
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ruby himself.
- Mood Whiplash: Many of the runs will poke fun at exaggerated character traits of trainers and general Fridge Logic, then hit you with a tragic death scene immediately after.
- My Own Grandpa: Sort of. The reason Norman prefers pokemon to family is because Bruce flew past his window as a child while HIS father was attempting to say that family was more important. Because of this, Ruby turned out the way he did, and would eventually end up taking the Nuzlocke challange, resulting in the events of the Ruby and Fire Red comic, which caused him to attempt to attack Mewtwo with Bruce, causing the rift in the space-time continuum that made Bruce go into the past.
- Repeated AGAIN with the same pokemon in the last part of the epilouge: Bruce flys around more, and his faaaar past self sees him... and comments on how that will be him. If only he knew...
- Mythology Gag: In Epilouge 6, Blastoise finds Mew inside of a truck.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Part 31 reveals that the Legendary Birds were keeping Mewtwo's power in check and Ruby was being manipulated by Mewtwo to kill them by talking through an illusion of his Nuzleaf. Also Bruce's request during the fight with Gary was the reason Buddy, Doakes, and Blamo died. And remember Team Rocket's efforts to steal and take over? Turns out that they were researching ways of finally stopping Mewtwo before he got free and Ruby ruined their efforts. Oops.
- In a more humorous version, the reason Norman considers Pokémon above his own family? Bruce flew past his window as a child while looking for Ruby in the past.
- Nobody Calls Me Chicken: In season 3 Cheren implies Ruby isn't up for the challenge to get him to participate in the Unova leage.
- Oh Crap: CRITICAL HIT!
- Pyrrhic Victory: Yeah, Ruby beat Gary, but Bruce and Sawyer are the only survivors. Pony, Blamo, Doakes, and Buddy are all dead.
- Finale also counts, He thwarted Mewtwo's plan to escape from the cave But He and Bruce get separated by the explosion while Sawyer dies in the fight.
- The Lancer: Sceptile in season 1, Sawyer in season 2.
- The Merch: Lampshaded in the comic "Nuzlocke Sells Out".
- The Obi-Wan: Nuzleaf.
- The Man Behind the Man: Mewtwo, who seems to have created the spirit of Nuzleaf as a psychic projection.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: The comic is based on the author's actual experiences in the game.
- Retirony: Poor Loudred was just one level away from evolving.
- Running Gag: Ralph: "Man,they don't pay enough..."
- Rule of Funny: Apparently, the only reason Nuzlocke made Ruby pick Oshawott as his starter in White.
- Self-Imposed Challenge: The idea behind the comic.
- Sequel Hook: Used in most instances where a writer does multiple runs, to justify using the same character.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Lieutenant Surge.
- There are many, many Lost references throughout the comic. The author himself admits to being "a huge fan of ABC’s show LOST, to the point of obsession." The name of the comic itself consists of a Shout-Out to Lost (Nuzleaf + John Locke).
- The Fire Red arc also has a few references to The Dark Knight.
- When Groudon is unleashed upon Hoenn, it cries "Ah! After ten thousand years I'm free! Time to conquer Earth!"
- "Good Ruby" is likely a reference to Hank Hill's infant half-brother "Good Hank".
- In the background of one of the Fire Red epilogue comics, The Creation Of Adam is done with Arceus.
- Shut UP, Hannibal: After Surge kills his Kadabra and launches into a speech about how fighting makes them both feel more alive, Ruby cuts him off.
- Spam Attack: MAGNITUDE
- "Destiny Red" consists of a pokemon with a type advantage spamming an attack they get STAB from.
- Ruby loves using Blast Burn.
- The Stoner: Erika.
- That Came Out Wrong: "Okay, Buddy... suck 'em dry."
- The Power of Friendship
- Too Dumb to Live: "GODDAMMIT RALPH!"
- Took a Level in Badass: Buddy, quite literally. He started out as a hippie-like Oddish, but then Ruby shoved a Rare Candy, Leaf Stone, and a couple TMs down his throat...
- Wham! Episode: Episode 31... Oooh, boy. Okay, some people guessed Nuzlocke was evil/pulling the strings for Mewtwo, but the names crossed out was a special touch.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: One of Ruby's biggest reasons for taking the challenge is to impress his father, Norman, who always valued "Good-Ruby" the Slakoth/Vigoroth over him.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Every one of Ruby's Pokemon that dies from Poison.
- Juliet the Spearow.
- The Medicham he caught before the Elite Four.
- Hugo the Snorlax, Keith the Hitmonlee, and the Unnamed Eevee and Ryhorn in a more humous exsample as Ruby leaves them in the box and gave the Eevee away and Hugo was only used once to move some boulders.
- A rare human example would be Hilbert.
- Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Ruby wonders this about Hilbert... Until he looks in the closet.
- You Should Have Died Instead: Appears rather often.
Tropes seen in Hale's Emerald/Bern's Platinum Hard Mode:
- Book Ends: "War... War never changes."
- Freudian Excuse: One is provided for May's behavior.
- Hypocritical Humor: The gate attendant at Amity Park refuses to let Bern take most of her Pokemon in. She proceeds to win a contest with Benzene and throw him/her/it at the attendant.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Not only between pokemon, but between trainers as well.
- Sequel Hook: One of the few multi-run comics that didn't use an obvious hook, with his Platinum run starring a different protagonist.
- Shrinking Violet: The heroine of Platinum, Bern, starts out as this.
- Shout-Out: May's extreme expressions are reminiscent of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.
- Towards the end of the first storyline comes a huge homage to Neon Genesis Evangelion.
- Hale's comic also shouts out Fate/stay night (the classic "Are you my Master?" scene) and even Kuso Miso Technique.
- In the sequel, Bern's name may be a reference to Umineko no Naku Koro ni, though her personality isn't the same.
- Part 5 of Bern's Platinum run has her catching (FINALLY) a male Shellos. The next scene is a Gender Flipped parody of one from Green Lantern, where Hal Jordan greets their newest recruit (a girl).
- If characters named Mitch and Stella plus an abuser named Stanley aren't enough, then an obvious homage to the Skyward Scream makes it pretty clear Platinum is taking a couple cues from A Streetcar Named Desire.
- Stupid Sexy Flanders: Upon seeing Juan for the first time, Hale becomes completely aware of why he has so many fangirls.
- Yandere: May. This is also Deconstructed over the course of the strip as it shows why she's so psychotically possessive of Hale. She gets better.
Tropes seen in Robotv7's Nuzlocke Challenges:
- Bittersweet Ending: His first run ends with only three pokemon left alive, and he gets called out on the cost of his quest.
- Downer Ending: His Sapphire run. By the way, since Robot quit Nuzlocke forums, the last chapter was drawn by This Guy.
- Jerkass: Robot himself.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Skeets seems to be channeling the inherent fury of the Red Lanterns whenever one of his allies dies.
- Shout-Out: His comic is built upon references to The Protomen and Blackest Night.
- His Wingull, Pchooooo, is a reference to the PCHOOOOO code in Homestuck
- What the Hell, Hero?: During the climax of his first run, leading directly into his Sapphire run.
Tropes seen in Freddy's Nuzlocke Adventures:
- Badass: Several of his pokemon, but props must be given to Connery, who survives a WEEZING SELF-DESTRUCTING.
- Not really, he dug a hole to avoid the Weezing Self-destruct attack.
- Call Back: Frequent throughout his Blue Run.
- Gamer Chick: Erika's all-female gym is depicted as a very snide, prideful group of these. His pokemon defeat them by going into Sincerity Mode and paying them compliments, and the ensuing Logic Bomb makes their heads explode.
- Head Pet: Nibbles.
- Multiple Head Case: Pierre.
- Smoking Is Cool: Connery.
- Where Are They Now? Epilogue: Used at the end of his first run, with the twist of making the cast out as Animated Actors. Does not appear to be canon, as seen by Brotodile's cameo in his second run. The Blue run also makes use of this trope as well, and it is every bit as hilarious and probably non-canon as the first.
Nyachan's Nuzlocke Challenges provide examples of:
- Bittersweet Ending: Notably, the prologue to Sapphire is used to make Pearl's resolution less of a Downer Ending.
- It may doesn't count a bittersweet ending,but in her Sapphire run,she became the champion at the cost of the life of Alice and Palladion.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Cynthia's Garchomp defeats Palkia. In one hit. Granted, that is a Pokemon with a reputation as a Physical God among players, but it was up against a freaking Anthropomorphic Personification.
- Downer Ending: All her pokemon die against Roxanne in the Sapphire run...only to reveal it was an April Fools Joke.
- Ship Tease: Between Lily and Gary.
- Spin Offspring: The Sapphire run.
- Shout-Out: As a rule addendum in the Sapphire run, all Pokemon caught will be named after Personae
- Theme Naming: All of the pokémon caught in the Pearl run are named after spices or other flavourings.
- Time Skip: Between Pearl and Sapphire.
- Tsundere: Gary develops into one.
Tropes seen in Petty's Nuzlocke Run:
- Anti-Villain: Gary.
- Art Evolution: "This is proof that anyone can improve something they never expected/intended to."
- Art Shift: Petty puts animated videos on YouTube for the more touching moments of the run, including the epilogue.
- Bifauxnen: Locke dresses and looks like the male player character, with flippy hair.
- Big Bad: Giovanni, at least in the LG comic. Unless the HG comic turns out to be very different from the game, the same character will probably end up as the Big Bad there too.
- Curb Stomp Battle: Lulu versus the entire Fighting Dojo, and later all of Bruno's pokemon. Also, Athena versus Silver's Chikorita.
- The first thing that Weston (a Togepi) does upon being hatched in the HG comic? It completely obliterates a Onix with Metronome. The move it got? Judgement. Locke is understandably left speechless.
- Darker and Edgier: Compare the earlier chapters to the later chapters.
- Determinator: Both Locke and Gary
- Happily Adopted: How happily? Spuds Jr. evolved to Togetic straight out of the egg and started kicking some ass alongside his family.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Odette does this for Barb.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Gary has shades of this. Despite the fact that he beats Locke to every gym and even beats the League before her he just never achieves his real goal, even losing his arm when he tries to capture Mewtwo. And, of course, the only reason he tried was an attempt to get strong enough to defeat Locke.
- Lethal Joke Character: Lulu the Butterfree. Lulu never got boxed and survived the Elite Four. Now do you think Butterfrees are useless?
- And by "survived the Elite Four", we mean ate Bruno's Fighting-types for lunch.
- And Agatha's Poison-Types, as well.
- And by "survived the Elite Four", we mean ate Bruno's Fighting-types for lunch.
- Mundane Utility: Rick the Voltorb/Electrode doubles as a music player. Each chapter he appears in also comes with "Rick's Playlist" featuring a relevant song.
- Official Couple: Spuds and Barb, who are also a Battle Couple. With the adoption of Spuds Jr. thrown into the mix, they've shot straight to Badass Family status.
- Rule of Cool: Spoken word for word when Junior appears to have hatched as a Togetic.
- Shy Blue Girl: Barb
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The in-universe explanation for the death of Broseph the Graveler. In real life this happened due to a tragic misclick.
- Time Skip: Officially stated to happen between LeafGreen and HeartGold, with three years between the two. In the meantime, Locke's trainer's license expired.
- Took a Level in Badass: Barb again, especially when she evolves into Nidoqueen.
- Trolling Creator: On April 1st of 2012, Petty claims to be ending the comic because she just doesn't have time anymore. (This after her updates have been getting less and less frequent for months.) Oh Petty, you sure are a stinker.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Simon the Dewgong, who appeared and died in the Sevii Islands update. He had a grand total of one panel.
- And perhaps more importantly, Vinny the Magneton, who had a huge fanbase after his first appearance and then promptly died to a cheap crit the very next comic.
- Janice the Spearow, Locke's first casualty, died a few panels after she was captured.
- Broseph the Graveler who appeared in a few panels and self-destructed himself.
- And now subverted as Broseph's BACK as of HeartGold- or a part of him is, as exploding apparently just makes more Geodude. Who knew?
- The first death of HeartGold: Tilly the Rattata, killed in the panel immediately after being named. Yikes.
- Worthless Yellow Rocks: Barb's "paper collection".
Tropes seen in Saber's Nuzlocke run:
- Action Girl: Candace the player character, Whitney, and her girl posse.
- After the End: It's called "Apocalypse Johto". 'nuff said.
- Anti-Hero: Candace.
- Anti-Villain: Silver, deconstructed when his methods are called out by Giovanni.
- Apocalypse How: Wild Pokemon everywhere suddenly become murderously violent and begin attacking tame Pokémon and humans. Calamity ensues. At least Class 0, possibly Class 1 depending on how widespread the change is.
- The Apunkalypse: Some well-known characters are completely unrecognizable for their post-apocalypse makeovers.
- Art Shift: Every time Candace sees a Kimono Girl, the Girl occupies a single page drawn in a Japanese woodcut-based style. Which only enhances the creepiness.
- Badass Abnormal: Candace
- Badass Boast: Whitney would like to give Team Rocket a little reminder...
Let me break this down for you. I'm Whitney. I'm a Gym Leader. One of the best. And I don't remember granting ANY of you permission to set foot in my city.
- Badass Bookworm: Professor Elm faces down a swarm of mad Spearow the first day of the change to buy Candace time to escape, and lies to her that he'll be okay.
- Whitney of all people turns out to have done her homework on Team Rocket, to the point of being able to analyze Giovanni's plans to his face, though even she was caught off-guard by Silver.
- Took a Level in Badass: Everybody who survived the change was basically forced to grind levels in badass until it leaked out of their ears. Or die.
- Candace deserves special mention.
- Badass Bookworm: Professor Elm faces down a swarm of mad Spearow the first day of the change to buy Candace time to escape, and lies to her that he'll be okay.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted, Candace gets a lot of really horrible-looking scars and keeps them. (contains spoilers)
- As of the end of Volume 2, about half of Candace's body is covered in scar tissue. She's down to her underwear for a scene to show it off.
- Biological Mashup: Missingno is this. Amongst the few recognizable parts are a Poliwrath, Machoke, Staryu, and Shuckle. It gains more parts after absorbing other Pokemon.
- Bunny Ears Gym Leader: Whitney is introduced in a flashback chatting with her junior trainers about Elesa's outfit in a fashion show. Then the change hits and the mad pokemon attack... Let's Get Dangerous! In the present day, she's still overseeing the defense of Goldenrod City, and is apparently beating the hell out of Team Rocket.
- Character Development: Several characters are shown having changed drastically after the pokemon became dangerous. Some unexpected characters have cracked, taken levels in badass, or started playing hopscotch with the Moral Event Horizon.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Chuck is introduced giving a flying kick to a giant Corsola. He lost all his Pokémon and his wife in the aftermath of the change and the creation of Missingno and has been defending Cianwood by hand (and foot) ever since.
- Cowardly Lion: Falkner develops into one.
- Darker and Edgier: Manages to be more dark than many of the other runs simply by setting it at the end of the world, then going from there.
- Deadpan Snarker:
Whitney: You know, in all the research I did on Team Rocket and Giovanni... I never figured out where exactly he gets geniuses like you to work for him.
- Death by Adaptation: About half of Johto if you're using the Gym Leaders and totaled cities as a baseline. Casualty count in Kanto is unknown at present.
- Determinator: Definitely Candace.
I'm going to stop the end of the world. And no one is going to get in my way.
- Silver turns out to be this as well, albeit by different means.
- Doomed Hometown: The prologue shows the destruction of New Bark Town.
- Due to the Dead: Candace has her first ever loss, Hellacross the Heracross, tattooed on her left shoulder.
- In Blackthorn City, we get a closeup (spoilers) revealing that she's similarly honored all her other dead Pokemon. (Visible tattoos, counterclockwise from top: Hellacross, Alastor the Gastly, Watchwing the Noctowl, Clutch the Exeggcute; not visible but implied: Flashpoint the Flaaffy, Crucible the Ninetales)
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Jasmine evacuated her people to the Lighthouse when Olivine City flooded, but couldn't make it in herself and was swept away and drowned outside. She was the only casualty in Olivine.
- In the Prologue, Elm's Cyndaquil evolved twice before she eventually succumbed to the swarm.
- Egopolis: Azalea Town is renamed to Bugsy Town, in honor of its 'defender'. It gets changed back once the tyrant falls.
- Eldritch Abomination: Missingno definitely fits the bill, as does the thing that ate Silver's Gengar.
- The thing that ate Silver's Gengar is now known to be Lugia, which had been dormant in Candace's unconscious, and is now awakening. It also created the illusory Kimono Girls.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Giovanni is more concerned with rebuilding Johto than anything else, and is not pleased with where his son's vendetta towards Candace leads.
- Fastball Special: Before it evolved and became too large for it, Candace was fond of doing this with her Totodile.
- Lampshaded when Candace mentions this to Whitney and Whitney refuses to believe Riptide was ever that small (at the time they're having the discussion, he's about the size of a small office building).
- Fan Nickname: Riptide Missile!
- And now it's been switched around and Riptide threw Candace!
- From Nobody to Nightmare / Not So Harmless: The "Bugsy Town" arc does this for (Lord) Bugsy, Kakuna, Metapod, and Slowpoke. At Goldenrod City, we see a wild Abra Teleport a man's head off. In tender, loving detail.
- Also, Silver/Seviper, who went from a Rival we barely saw, much less took seriously, to the HEAD OF TEAM ROCKET.
- Fan Nickname: The aforementioned Riptide Missile. Candace has also been referred to as Candy and Zangoose, and Silver/Seviper is portmanteau'd into Silviper by some.
- Gray and Gray Morality: Not only are Candace's actions getting more and more violent, but Silver has stated that his goal is to save Johto. He likely doesn't even realize this is also Candace's goal, since he thinks she's insane.
- Heroic BSOD: Falkner has one after his father is killed in the change, and Candace slaps him out of it. Candace herself has one after killing Morty and is comforted by Whitney.
- And now it looks like Whitney's having one after losing control of Crucible the Ninetales.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Lord Bugsy gets a Poison Sting to the head by his own mad Kakuna.
- This turns out to be Foreshadowing: tame Pokemon that grow too powerful succumb to the change and attack their own trainers.
- Humanoid Abomination: The Kimono Girls. Eventually revealed to be a psychic projection by Lugia, channeled by Candace, which is now awakening.
- Frostbite the Jynx is a milder example, since she's not so much hostile as just (deliberately) creepy.
- Human Popsicle: To what extent is unknown, but seemingly a lot of things in Mahogany Town.
- Hypocrite: Chuck. When he recognizes Candace, he tells her to "get the hell of my island" as he thinks of her as a threat... but he completely fails to do the same for someone who was genuinely insane and dangerous, Eusine.
- The leader of Team Rocket turns out to be massively hypocritcal, claiming that Candace must be killed because she's become something monsterous, and yet going out of his way to try and make her suffer.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: Candace's boots.
- In-Series Nickname: Candycane and Zangoose for Candace, Seviper for Silver.
- Made of Iron: Candace, with hints of Iron Woobie. Seriously, would you keep going after this?
Five cracked ribs, a dislocated shoulder, a sprained wrist, three severe perforations causing nerve damage along my left forearm, countless lacerations, massive blood loss, and the lingering effects of a near-fatal dose of Pokémon venom.
- Many Spirits Inside of One / Powers Via Possession: Morty, driven insane and filled with evil spirits from the destruction of Ecruteak City. Candace eventually gives him/them a Mercy Kill, though Silver apparently captured a surviving Gengar.
- The Missingno: Extra emphasis on that "the" right there.
- Man Behind the Man: Silver/Seviper is this to Giovanni.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Chuck stupidly puts Missingno's pokeball in a spot where anyone can just grab it and release it... which crazy!Eusine does. Much destruction ensues.
- Clair evolves her Seadra into Kingdra... and it becomes too powerful for her to control.
- Only One Name: As of Blackthorn City, averted for Candace Ogawa.
- Pokemon Motif: Team Rocket's ominous warnings about Candace compare her to a Zangoose, and the scarred side of her face roughly corresponds to a Zangoose's Facial Markings. Turns out their boss Silver has the code name "Seviper", Zangoose's biological enemy.
- Power Born of Madness: The changed Pokemon are not only violently aggressive, but tremendously more dangerous. Pryce's Dewgong flash-froze all of Mahogany Town when he lost control.
- Candace also has some of this... enough to bare-handedly strangle a Weavile.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Most of the remaining Gym Leaders seem to be reasonable, with the obvious exception of Lord Bugsy. Surprisingly, Giovanni is also pretty reasonable once he wises up to Silver's vendetta.
- Relationship Upgrade: Whitney's "Shut Up" Kiss to Candace causes them to become an item. At the end of Volume 2, they break up.
- Shout-Out: At least two to Star Wars, due to the author being a massive Star Wars geek (even his nickname, SABERinBLUE, is derived from Star Wars). Candace's Forretress has the nickname Death Star, and the title of chapter 4 is A Wretched Hive Badge.
- New Bark Town's destruction by Spearow seems oddly reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds.
- "Shut Up" Kiss: Whitney delivers one to Candace during her Heroic BSOD.
- Standard Female Grab Area: Justified; the grabber is Scyther.
- She Who Fights Monster Pokemon: Candace is arguably as wild as the changed-over Pokemon by now, including killing Seviper's Weavile with her bare hands.
- Silver's hatred of her makes him cold, calculating and uncaring about who else gets hurt in the course of his revenge upon her.
- Story and Gameplay Segregation: The storyline of the comic differs tremendously from the actual gameplay of the Soul Silver game. Word of God is that cutscenes involving Ethan are awkward to play, since Ethan died with New Bark Town in the comic's storyline.
- Word of God also says the author lost their notes on what happened in game a while back. No one would have noticed had it not been pointed out.
- Time Skip: Every time Candace takes an attack that seems like it should kill her, the storyline skips a couple of months while she recovers. As of Blackthorn City, three or four years have passed since the change happened.
- Unknown Rival: As much of a Jerkass the rival is, Candace is more concerned with how his Chikorita fled from New Bark. Compared to that (and the whole Apocalypse thing), he's hardly worth her time. Until he takes over Team Rocket.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Candace gives several, but the first is to Elm's Chikorita, who fled instead of trying to defend New Bark.
- Candace also gets a few. Her siccing of Death Star on Jasmine Tower earns her one from Preston, for example.
- Giovanni himself gets in on this when he calls out his own son, whose personal vendetta leads to the deaths of many of their men.
- You Will Be Assimilated: This is a major part of Missingno's schtick, as it turns out. It gains parts and abilities from eating them whole- as in the case of Candace's Noctowl or Eusine's Electrode- or even just parts of them. Poor Beelzebub.
Tropes seen in Kynim's Nuzlocke Runs:
- Abusive Parents: Bianca's dad, who is misogynist and emotionally abusive to Bianca, and mentioned to be physically abusive to her mother. Upon hearing about the latter, Elesa escorts Bianca to the police station to report him to Social Services.
- Heroic Sacrifice
- Diamond Run: Tyrus saves Annie during Fantina.
- White Run: Walter, Peter, and Freddy help Nina escape a Throh in Pinwheel forest, at the expense of their lives.
- Keet: Zach, especially as an Oshawott.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Jordan is coined to be a "difficult" team member
- Interspecies Romance: Amongst Nina's Pokemon, Laila the Petilil is totally dere for Zack the Dewott, Jojo the Darumakka and Rex/Rey the Sandile are pretty flirty Childhood Friends, and Jordan the Zebstrika has a soft spot for sweet Mimi, a Swoobat.
- Parental Substitute: In all of the runs thus far, there has always been at least one team member who acts like a father/mother figure
- Diamond Run: Killigan the Quagsire
- White Run: Walter the Herdier, and later replaced due to sudden death Jojo the Darumakka
- Possible Spin Offspring: It has been speculated that Nina is Kynim's daughter.
- Gets a little more interesting with the recent reveal that there's some bad blood between Nina and her mother.
- Confirmed that Nina and her mother did fight prior to the nuzlocke events.
- Gets a little more interesting with the recent reveal that there's some bad blood between Nina and her mother.
- Sassy Gay Friend and Camp Gay: Haisi in Diamond Run and in White Run, Burgh/Arti
- Ship Tease: Most notable in the White Run, where everything is shipped.
- Laila is a Tsundere for Zach.
- Jordan seems to have a soft spot for Mimi.
- And in the Diamond run, Gohan and Shakti were totally not an item, according to the artist's notes on the omake comic featuring them. Tyrus's affections for Annie, however, were eventually reciprocated, as were Kynim's for Roark.
- The White run's Q&A session included asking Nina whether she was more interested in Cheren or N. Hilarity ensued.
- Shout-Out: Too many to list.
- Team Gaga in the Diamond run still stands out.
- Stalker with a Crush: Lucas in the Diamond run, for Kynim. "How do you know my clothing sizes?!" Eventually Haisi hooks up with Lucas instead.
- In the White Run, the role is given to N. Lampshaded in the credits, where he's billed as "Creepy Stalker", and in the Valentine's Day omake:
Roses are red,
- Latest update seems to confirm that N fosters a crush on Nina, which he doesn't know how to express.
- Stay in the Kitchen: Bianca's father is a real piece of work, and some of this has rubbed off on poor Bianca, especially at the beginning of the White run.
- Byron's misogyny is played for laughs in the Diamond run, especially once Kynim gives him a taste of his own medicine and orders him to make her a sandwich after the fight.
- Stealth Pun: Bianca speaks and behaves like she's from the Deep South, especially in the beginning. She's a Southern Bel.
- Unknown Rival: In the Nuzlocke forums, the White run's N earned an award for "Best Extra". Enough said.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Kiki the Patrat and Peter the Pidove.
Nessa's Emerald Nuzlocke Challenge:
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Jormundgar's closer to 80 feet, actually, fitting her namesake, but all of Nessa's Pokemon are way bigger than the pokedex entries for them. All of them except Thorn (a Lairon) are taller than Nessa, who is herself not particularly short at 5'11". In Jory's case, it's a bit of a problem-- because of her size, she's rarely let out of her pokeball.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Jormundgar has a Docile nature, but when push comes to shove... well, she's a Gyarados.
- Cheerful Child: Solveig as a Swablu. Might still be, since she's still quite young chronologically.
- Jerkass: Fenrir was not very friendly at first. He eventually mellows out... a little.
- Magikarp Power: Fenrir was partnered with Jormundgar the Magikarp so he'd get a taste of this and learn not to bully other Pokemon. By the time Jory evolved, he'd bullied her into an Unstoppable Rage, and the lesson almost killed him.
- My Greatest Failure: Alhildr's death seems to be this for Nessa.
- Mysterious Past: Eysafjall, who is a Team Magma escapee, and to a lesser degree Nessa herself. The latter eventually gives a summary of her background.
- The Pollyanna: Solveig, so very much.
- The Power of Friendship: Lampshaded and defied by Fenrir during the Q&A session when asked what the most important thing he's learned on the journey is. Instead, he considers "Don't annoy Magikarps" his most important lesson.
- Put on a Bus: Vermundr was released into the wild during Beautifly mating season so he could raise a family.
- The Bus Came Back after the battle with Winona. Turns out he got rejected by the wild Beautifly for having been trained by a human, then had an encounter with the Salamence that killed Solveig's mother.
- Shout-Out: For a training montage, Thorn performs an adaptation on "I'll Make A Man Out Of You". The writer admits it's not Thorn's usual style, but she couldn't leave it out.
- Solveig joins the party after trying to nest in Fenrir's back fur, like Pussyfoot in Feed the Kitty.
- Soprano and Gravel: Several fans have said they want Solveig and Thorn to perform a duet. The writer has admitted that this would be awesome, but is unlikely to happen.
- Strange Syntax Speaker: As a Marshstomp, like Yoda, Gismundr talked.
- Theme Naming: Nordic names. Leads to a lot of Awesome McCoolname and the odd fan going "Wait, how do you pronounce that?"
- Unwitting Pawn: Nessa eventually catches on that she's being used, but still doesn't know what for.
- Vocal Dissonance: Thorn as a tiny wild Aron used his thundering voice to frighten others away from sections of the cave that seemed likely to collapse. He also sings (metal, of course).
Other fancomics include examples of:
- A Father to His Men: Oftentimes, though not always, Nuzlocke pokemon will be fiercely loyal to their trainers, even by pokemon standards.
- Ambiguous Gender: A few protagonists are this, but it is widely used in Para's Nuzlocke to the point where one of the most asked questions of the author is "What is Para's gender?"
- A God Am I: In Landwalker's Nuzlocke Comic, Archie intends to use the red orb to gain the power of Kyogre and essentially become a Physical God. Complete with quoting Bible verses.
- Oh, and then Watchmen.
- May sasses back to the Bible verses with a few of her own. "You're not the only one who's ever read the Bible."
- Oh, and then Watchmen.
- Bittersweet Ending: Kai's run ends with all her Pokemon apparently alive. They leave her while she sleeps, noting that it would be too dangerous for her to follow them. It ends as a Shout-Out to Inception.
- Crossover - Occasionally, the authors will let each other's characters appear in the comics, sometimes going as far as Shipping them with each other.
- Also, Amastroph's and Petty's comics include 'mon cameos from Pokémon Quartz.
- Death by Adaptation: Almost every nuzlocke comic have Gary's Raticate dead.
- Depending on the Writer: What is Nuzlocke? Does the term have any meaning within the world itself? Is it a Self-Imposed Challenge, a curse, or simply an unnamed rule of the world?
- Can trainers understand what their pokemon are saying? If so, how? Can only some of their pokemon communicate with them, via human speech or telepathy, or can all of them speak freely?
- Gender Bender: Ara, the artist, is a guy. Mouthing off in response to the "are you a boy/girl" question got him turned into a girl at the beginning of his Pearl run. However, when Ara turns "back" into a guy for his Black run, he looks more like a genderbent version of girl!Ara than he does like actual Ara, which has confused some people into thinking the girl form is correct and the first genderbend was just a joke.
- Green Thumb: It's common for Red/Blue/Fire Red/Leaf Green Nuzlockers to choose Bulbasaur as their starter. In the comic, it may be justified as the character thinking it's cute or favoring grass types in general, but strategically speaking, it is the best to start with when you want to make a run with as few casualties as possible, since it has a type advantage against the first two gyms. And its Poison typing gives it an immunity to poisoning.
- Subverted HARD in Gold/Silver/Crystal/HG/SS runs. You'll be hard-pressed to find a Nuzlocke that has a player choosing Chikorita. The poor grass type has a type disadvantage against BOTH the first two gyms. Really, if you counted, Cyndaquil is by-and-large the most popular starter for Johto with Totodile as a close second. Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald nuzlockers usually prefer Torchic and Mudkip (the latter for its memetic status). However, the aversion to grass types isn't as egregious in Gen 3 as it is in Johto.
- Heroic Mime: In Land-walker's Yellow Nuzlocke Comic, Red actually has a justification for not speaking.
- One Pidgey Limit: Some comics will have a "Dupe Clause" in the rules, which will allow them to catch another Pokemon on the route if they already have one from a previous route. For plot and gameplay purposes, it makes sense to not have three or four of the same Pokemon.
- Perspective Flip: Blue: The Other Guy's Story flips the roles of The Hero and The Rival.
- Playing with Fire: Fire-types tend to be popular starters outside of the first gen and remakes thereof. Especially in Sinnoh, where decent Fire-types are rare otherwise and quite handy.
- Rocks Fall Everybody Dies: Amastroph's Platinum run ends with Dlelewhoop the Kricketune murdering everybody and becoming Dennis (Genesect), destroyer of worlds.
- Tomato in the Mirror: In Colonel Darren's Time and Space Journey comes The Reveal that this version of Darren is a Gengar, created by Giratina to replace his fallen champion after Cyrus found himself in a Stable Time Loop and murdered his infant adversary.
- Wham! Line: From Kotone's Nuzlocke adventure Earlier today... I died, didn't I?