Pokemon Shining Pearl and its sister game Pokemon Brilliant Diamond are about, like all the mainline Pokemon games before them, catching them all. For many this is the literal point of the game, tracking down hidden Pokemon like Unknown and catching them all.
But one of the fascinating things about games like Pokemon Shining Pearl is that, while those introduced to it as their first Pokemon game may follow the regular route, many others play the game differently, creating their own type of challenge when it comes to the game.
One of those players who decided to make his own difficulty is Daniel Johnson. Some might think of the famous Nuzlocke challenge that involves permadeath and nicknaming every Pokemon, but Johnson went for something arguably even more difficult: beating the game with one Pokemon. While that’s alredy a tall ask, Johnson didn’t go for a starter evolution or other powerful choice; he beat the game with one Bidoof. And for the final touch: no healing items, so the locations of the best recovery items in Pokemon Shining Pearl became completely immaterial.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that items were out the window altogether. As anyone who has attempted this kind of run can attest, one of the biggest hindrances is not the inevitable type disadvantage, but the Pokemon’s statline. Bidoof is a very early and relatively weak Pokemon, and that base statline will always make it less powerful than higher evolutions, including its own evolution Bibarrel. That’s where stat-boosting items come into play, as they can power even a Bidoof through a lot of battles. The recently discovered item duplication glitch would have proved very useful on this run.
Despite the hardships, Johnson took his Bidoof, named it Masochist, and powered through the game over the course of 70 hours. There were a lot of deaths, but Masochist leveled up quickly, and by the end of the game was level 100.
This is, of course, not the only challenging way to play a Pokemon game, and players are encouraged to find a way of playing Pokemon that appeals to them. If they do decide to go on a Nuzlocke run, remember to save the Master Ball for the game’s legendary battle. Don’t waste that Master Ball on a Hoothoot, it might result in a team wipe when it’s time to fight Palkia.
Pokemon Shining Pearl and Brilliant Diamond are available for the Nintendo Switch.