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Pokémon ‘IronMon’ streams are the best thing on Twitch right now - The Verge

I can’t stop watching Twitch streamers tackle the "IronMon" randomizer challenge in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, which makes the classic games brutally difficult. I’m particularly obsessed with Kaizo IronMon.

For the past two weeks, every time I hop onto Twitch, I’ve found myself browsing through Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen streams so I can watch people play the classic games in perhaps the most difficult ways possible.

If you’ve played through a mainline Pokémon title before, you’ve probably been able to get through the game without too much trouble. I’m pretty sure all of my friends growing up experienced some variation of just letting their starter carry them to becoming the Pokémon champion. But there’s a community of players making the games dramatically more challenging by applying some form of what the community calls “IronMon” rulesets.

The gist of IronMon is that it’s a really hard randomizer. The pokémon you encounter, their moves, and the items you pick up are randomized, while the pokémon you fight in the wild or those owned by trainers have increased levels. Yes, this means that your starter pokémon will be random, too, so you won’t just pick between Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle. According to the rules, you even can’t peek at which pokémon are available to make your choice; you just have to walk up to a pokéball and accept what you get. (Though streamers often check the other pokéballs after they’ve already decided which one they’ll pick to see what they might be missing out on.)

IronMon challenges are kind of like Nuzlocke runs but even harder. The standard IronMon rules, to me, sound like an already mind-boggling level of difficulty — what if my starter is a weak Metapod? But the challenge doesn’t stop there. If your pokémon faints, you must release it or put it back in storage, meaning you can never use it again. And on Twitch, I tend to drift to watching a harder version of the challenge, dubbed Kaizo IronMon, where players must battle with a single pokémon. If that pokémon faints, the run starts all the way over.

If you’re interested in reading all the rules, you can check them out here (and learn about an even harder IronMon ruleset, survival), but I really recommend just popping onto Twitch and checking out some streams.

Post ID: 86179550-b12f-44a4-ad94-62a0568047c6
Rating: 1
Updated: 22 hours ago
New York, New York

Seattle, Washington
Member since Feb 2021

Posted in categories:
Arts & Culture U.S.

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