The classic Gameboy Pokémon games are comfort food that players return to again and again. But because most Pokémon games have no difficulty options and are full of static, unskippable battles, what should be a trip down nostalgia lane often grinds to a boring halt. The path to becoming a region’s champion isn’t very hard when you’ve memorized the exact team compositions of each opponent standing between you and the title of Pokémon Champion.

Tired of the same old same, seasoned trainers are taking matters into their own hands and randomizing their Pokemon adventures. They use tools like the Universal Pokemon Randomizer to remix ROMs into brand new versions of the classic games, then play them on PC emulators (through a more complicated method, some even modify Pokémon Sword and Shield on the Nintendo Switch). While these aren’t bootleg versions or hacks of the games with entirely new plots, these randomizers inject a powerful sense of unpredictability that makes playthroughs more difficult and exciting.





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