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The Most Bizarre Ways Gamers Have Beaten Pokemon Games

"Pokémon" is easily one of the biggest properties in the video game industry, but it has a relatively simple formula. New trainers are given their choice of starter Pokémon from their local professor before setting out on a journey to battle trainers, collect badges and catch 'em all. There are now eight generations of "Pokémon" games spanning from 1998's "Red" and "Blue" to the critically acclaimed "Pokémon Sword/Shield" from 2019. 

Some Pokéfans who grew up with the series still love exploring new regions and capturing new Pokémon, but aren't satisfied with the challenge level of games that are, ultimately, made to be accessible. A few hardcore fans have come up with self-imposed rules to increase the games' difficulty, as well as some truly bizarre methods of beating them.

Twitch has been a popular platform for this kind of game modification as it allows players to share their unique methods of play with their viewers. You can see a lot of that same creativity in the unique ways that streamers have found to play "GTA 5," as well. Here are a few of the strangest ways to play "Pokémon" that people have come up with.

PokeTips beat Pokemon Red with only MissingNo

MissingNo is a "glitch type" Pokémon from "Pokémon Red," "Blue," and "Yellow" which can take multiple forms, depending on which game you're playing and how you've entered your character's name. Finding it is also how you enact an "item duplication glitch," which oddly multiplies the seventh item in your inventory. It usually isn't ranked among the most powerful Pokémon, even though it has a surprisingly massive attack stat — partially because it has 0 Defense, and partially because many fans don't count it as a Pokémon at all.

YouTuber PokeTips made a video chronicling his victory in an emulated copy of "Pokemon Red" using only the creature he referred to as "the glitchy boy." He outlined three rules for the challenge: he could only use MissingNo in battle, he was not allowed any stat-enhancing "X" items, and he could not take advantage of any other glitches.

PokeTips used a cheat code to get a level 3 version of the infamous "missing" Pokémon at the beginning of the game, which was the only cheat he used for the entire campaign. He had to slowly grind it all the way up to level 100 in order to take on the Elite Four and the rival he named "YouTube", but MissingNo made it into the Hall of Fame in the end.

Twitch Plays Pokemon

TwitchPlaysPokemon is a Twitch Channel that was rigged so that commands typed into the streaming platform's chat would control the game being streamed. So, if a viewer types "a" into the stream's chat, then the "a button" input would be triggered in-game. The first campaign was a playthrough of "Pokémon Red" that was started back in 2014. The chaotic input of thousands of commands made navigating the Kanto region a challenge, but viewers managed to do it after more than 390 hours, according to CNET.

There were around 100,000 viewers when the channel finally made its way to the Elite Four, and over a million users ended up inputting commands across the entire run. This feat was inducted into the "Guinness Book of World Records" for the "most users to input a command to play a live streamed game." That's certainly a gaming record that isn't likely to be broken any time soon.

The channel has since played through dozens of other "Pokémon" titles, though it's never quite hit those same massive numbers again.

GameChamp3k beats Pokemon Blue without taking a single point of damage

Twitch streamer GameChamp3k played through the entire campaign of "Pokémon Blue" without any of their Pokémon ever taking a single hit. GameChamp3000's rules for the playthrough were as follows: First, they had to defeat the entirety of "Pokemon Blue" on official hardware without any Pokémon taking a single point of damage. Although status ailments were considered permissible, taking damage from one was not, and self-damaging moves like "Selfdestruct" were not allowed in the playthrough. The player had to collect all eight badges and defeat the Elite Four. Finally, while saving was allowed, the player was not allowed to spam save states; one hit meant game over.

So just how did GameChamp3k achieve this herculean feat? They started by reloading the game dozens of times, until they managed to get a battle against their rival's starter Pokémon in which his Squirtle only used Tail Whip, a move which lowers defense but does no damage. After that, they caught a Rattata and relied heavily on moves high-speed and high-accuracy moves like Quick Attack and Swift. They then leveled to the point where they could one-shot every opponent — by defeating hundreds of Metapod and Kakuna, which can be found in the early areas of the game and have no attacks.

This seems to have inspired fellow Twitch streamer/YouTuber SmallAnt, who did a similar run on "Pokemon Platinum."

Rudiesm won three simultaneous Nuzlocke runs on different Pokemon games with a single controller

You may have heard of the Nuzlocke Challenge at some point. Created by Nick Franco and named after his webcomic series, the Nuzlocke Challenge is a self-imposed ruleset that is designed to greatly increase the challenge level of any "Pokémon” game. There are two basic rules: You may only capture the first Pokémon you encounter in each new area. Also, if a Pokémon faints, you must consider it dead and release it.

Rudeism is another Twitch streamer/YouTuber whose slogan is "I play games wrong." He enjoys creating custom controllers and unique play-methods, like when he beat "Hades" using a pomegranate or when he played "Untitled Goose Game" with a motion-controlled goose suit.

Back in 2018, Rudeism wired "Pokémon Red," "Silver," and "Sapphire" to a single controller. Every button he pushed was applied to all three games simultaneously. He then proceeded to stream himself playing the campaigns of all three — using Nuzlocke Challenge rules.

Impossible, you say? Not only did Rudeism win all three games, he managed to defeat the last three enemy Pokémon with a single button press!

That time some fish beat Pokemon Sapphire

This next one is just about a simple completed game of "Pokémon Sapphire." There were no fancy rules or restrictions on this playthrough, so you may be wondering what made it special? Well, in this case, the "player" was a group of fish!

The operators of Mutekimaru Channel on YouTube placed a chart with all of the game's control and directional buttons featured on it behind a glass fish tank. Using a laser, they tracked each fish's location on the other side. The laser was then used to automatically input the commands based on where the fish was in relation to the chart. The fish "played" the game in shifts and were routinely swapped out in order to keep them healthy.

According to a tweet by Mutekimaru Channel, it took roughly 3,195 hours for these water-breathing gamers to defeat Steven Stone and win the entire campaign, but they did it.

In the past, gamers have compared TwitchPlaysPokemon to the Infinite Monkey Theorem, which posits that an endless number of monkeys hitting keys at random for an infinite amount of time would eventually be able to recreate Shakespeare's writing. Some Reddit users have criticized the comparison because TwitchPlaysPokemon, while chaotic, was composed of people who knew how to play the game. Do these fish know, too? If they do, they aren't telling.