Hoo boy. So this update comes with good news and bad news. Lets start with the good.

The Good News:

So remember how last update I said "Anyway, here's hoping the next one comes along a bit quicker."?..Well technically it did!

...not  by nearly as much as I would've hoped, however. I'm not going to spend too much time listing off excuses, but I will say that early on I realized my script for this episode wasn't fact lets talk about this Episode.

It's not the first episode of Hard-Mode to not follow Ruby I guess, but it's the first one in a while. Originally the script more closely followed the grunt character, Katelyn, before I realized there wasn't really enough there to carry an entire episode. I ended up mashing it up with a planned future flashback episode, and I think in the end it worked, but it was a real mess to plot the constant flashing backwards, forwards and sideways with this. So that set me back a bit...the rest really comes down to my general poor work ethic as of late. I work full time when I'm not working on this, and in all honesty I'm so drained after coming home from work that I find it hard to work on things. It would be cool if I could find a way to do this kind of thing full time, but right now I just don't see it in the cards.

Anyway, Hard-Mode is no stranger to throwing a few twists into the game plot to spice things up, but I might've gone a little too far this time? I'm kind of curious to see the reaction, but part of me is afraid this is the episode the comic jumps the shark. Let me know what you guys think of the reveal.

I'm excited that now that this is done with I can begin Christmas shopping and maybe actually play Pokemon Sun or Moon...and then I'll be in Japan for a week after Christmas! Should be a relaxing time.

As usual I will try to get the next Episode out sooner, but I know better than to make promises. There actually aren't that many left, believe it or not. We're almost at the end.

Speaking of endings...lets get to the bad news: Space Cat.

The Bad News: 

This actually happened back in April, but I've been holding onto the news waiting for the "right moment"...which would've been a few days before this update, but then it took me so long...

Tate is retiring from art, at least for now. Some of you may have guessed by the lack of Space Cat updates. It's a bummer, especially because we were pretty close to the end of Space Cat. I'm not sure what's going to happen to the comic, part of me can't see it continue with anything but Tate's art...but on the other hand it would be such a shame to fall short so close before the ending. Maybe I'll look for another artist to finish it off, but I don't know for sure right now.

I'll let Tate explain in his own words:

Hey Space Fans,

So I have some mixed news. Due to some personal real life junk, Space Cat as we know it is going to be put on hold for an indeterminate amount of time. It's a huge decision for me, and one I don't take lightly. But where I am at this stage right now doesn't leave any of the free time it takes to create a web comic on any kind of regular basis.

Space Cat has been one of the most fun things I've worked on, and I loved every minute of it. It was one of my first real gigs, and for a while it was my only real means of professional work. I can never fully communicate just how meaningful Space Cat has been for me, nor how grateful I am to you for reading it and leaving supportive comments and helpful critique. It's always going to hold a special place in my heart, and I'm going to try my best to come back to it when I get more time if that's possible.

My retiring from art is completely unrelated to Nuzlocke or Space Cat. I've been let go (once sacked and once dropped to make room for other artists) from two jobs in a row, and after my second bout of unemployment I realized I might be fighting a losing battle trying to become this artist I always wanted to be but never really was in my heart. I don't want to get too sappy or personal, but long story short I've been trying to live out the artistic dreams of my dad despite not being very visually creative myself. Kinda like that kid who gets into football or whatever to live out his coach-dad's dreams. I enjoy drawing, but the spark of genius and the natural talent I've seen in co-workers and friends has just never been there for me.

At the moment I'm wrapping up my first semester back at school (this time for a degree that might be actually useful) and as I thought there has been zero time for anything fun. Work full time plus classes is pretty draining, and when I get home it's either homework or sleep time.

I hope you can understand, Space Fans. I really do wish that once I'm out of school I can get back together with Nuzlocke and get the ball rolling again. We need to get to the the climax of the story, and boy is it a doozy!

Til next time, 

I won't lie it was rough getting this news, at the peak of this site I was launching Space Cat and Speedrun, and now they're both gone. Kind of like losing my babies.

Of course you might be seeing a few new projects from me in the near future (I'm nothing if not a procrastinator) but they're not all necessarily comics. 

Stay tuned if you're still out there Nuzfans, and thanks to everyone who's still reading.


Where abouts in Japan are you going??
I liked it doesn't mean the ending didn't confuse the hell out of me. Why was Bruce in flashback of N's mom?
@Combatmagi I dunno, but it seems sp00py. I guess we'll just have to find out NEXT TIME ON YEARLY UPDATES: THE WEBCOMIC!!!

It's good to be back.
I simply love your work Nuz, if this web comic took 1 year per update i wouldn't even mind in the slightest. This comic is honestly the highlight of my day sometimes, i even reread it sometimes (i sure hope this doesn't sound like im pressure you into continuing this web series). If your reading this Nuz, hope your having a nice Holiday (would say Christmas but i have no idea what you celebrate haha)
Thanks Nuzlocke!
Thanks for the update
Ending wasn't too out there, don't think you jumped the shark at all. Just looking forward to more, I too reread the whole thing from time to time.
It's good to hear from you, Nuzlocke!

That's too bad about Space Cat. (I hope things get better for you, Nate!)

Sun and Moon are lots of fun to play; Game Freak really stepped up their game this time, so I definitely recommend them.

Thank you for updating!!!
*Tate, not Nate
Damn, autocorrect!

As always, love the comics, Nuzlocke. And good luck Tate.

Stylin' Scarecrow
The new stuff was fine, you showed clearly when the time jumps were made and to which point in time, and the reveal didn't feel out of place.
Sad about Space Cat, it was my favourite comic here, but I understand why it had to be cancelled until further notice.
Nice to hear some info about that instead of being left in silence.
Well that got intense...
Definitely worth it, can't wait to see where the comic
goes from here!
Thank You
I've been having a rough day, and this comic is the only thing to brighten it so far. Thank you for your work, Nuzlocke. It was well worth the wait.
The Prophet
You did good, Nuz. You did good.
Long Version: I appreciate skipping through most of the tomfoolery in Chargestone Cave
and everything between there and the tower (don't want to get bogged
down by another Ferris wheel, amirite?), but at the same time, it's kinda
strange (to me and me alone, judging by the comments so far) that the fight
with N doesn't even get acknowledged in a single panel. Oh well.

Short Version: Flashback is funny, plot reveal is solid, abridged version of events
is unexpected but good.

We're a patient group, Nuz, but don't be afraid to post a few updates
throughout the year just telling us how you're doing, maybe post a
comment or two-thousand down here too. We don't need an update to the
comic each time as long as you're still getting a wee bit done at a time, dig?
The Prophet
Sheeeeiiiit, I totally forgot how to format these comments.
Well, not sure if that awkward spacing makes it more or less difficult to
read, but there it is.
Respect for you and for the work you do.
Always reading, never stopping.
He has cometh back from the dead!
Please make it only half a year this time.
Have you considered making a Patreon? I know a few content creators and most of them say it's usually better than having a simple donate button.
Dude, we're just happy to get updates at all. It's good to see Ruby's getting somewhere...even if "somewhere" is "beaten to unconsciousness in Chargestone Cave." My sorta reveal.

As for the reveal...I'm unsure if I understand it? Will have to go back and read it, but maybe it's too subtle.
I thought this was a great page! The only thing I was semi curious about was Ruby's transition from Chargestone cave to Celestial Tower. Will future pages go into detail on the catches for those areas, or how Ruby got away from the ninjas? Or was that just a little slap tick thrown in there?
That ending. O shit.
I thought it flowed pretty well, myself - You made it clear which parts took place in the past and which ones took place in the present, and generally managed to specify which sections took place when without any problems, at least on my end!
As far as the content itself goes, it was great as always! Especially the finger joke. God, it's so accurate, too. Having some backstory for Isis is nice, too, as you could probably tell by my opening comment! I like her hair. Now I'm wondering how she ended up a Yamask. She seemed fairly young, and visibly she seemed healthy, unless I missed something. A tragic accident, perhaps? Either way, looking forward to more!
With regards to Space Cat, it's unfortunate, but I understand where Tate's coming from, even if I did personally think he had a really nice style with a lot of potential. Art is hard, man. Best of luck to him in his future endeavors! Hopefully one day when things even out we'll be able to see Space Cat reach its conclusion :0c
So...Isis is Ghetsis's wife (or girlfriend, either one) who died in the last 20 years, because Yanmasks are literally ghosts. She must also be connected to Ruby in some way, because you can see Bruce. This must be Bruce because Bruce went 20 years into the past, and Isis died in the last 20 years. It all adds up. What also could possibly prove this, which may be wrong, is that the place Bruce is standing sure looks like the cliff that Bruce and Ruby were talking on right before they fought Gary, a.k.a the end of Episode 28 of Fire-Red. He could have gone back to remember or something like that.
Ethan J
Yes! You're finally back! Nuz has returned to us! Oh, thank you Nuzleaf!

Now not only do I get more of this awesome comic(this issue in particular being my favorite in White Hard Mode so far), but all of the people whining about you having a fucking life other than this can finally shut up now! It's 2 great things for the price of one!

Oh, and while you're here, can you fix the protag captcha? At first it was fun back when we didn't know if it was just broken or not and typed random shit in the box, but now it's just annoying.
The good news is great, and the bad news is upsetting, but I suppose that's how it goes, isn't it?

If it's going to take you a year between posts, I obviously wouldn't expect this to become a personal blog of daily activities in the meantime, but I'd still like to hear something every once in a while. I was pretty sure this comic was dead and almost stopped checking on it. I'd love to hear from you every month or so, even if you don't have any content.
Damn, so Ruby doesn't have a sister.
Also Nuz, no this is nowhere near to jumping the shark for a webcomic. We wanted some explanations and you provided them in one weird big conglomerate episode. It's weird though, don't think I'm letting you off the hook for that.
Speaking of conglomerate, I really like all the side shots and weird scenes of Ruby not being the focus of attention. I mean he still is because its who he is (an asshole trying to be the center of attention, but just broken and skilled enough that you grow to love his sarcastic, narcissistic little ass) , but its even funnier seeing it from the Plasma Grunts perspective. You know, good characterization and all that shit.

Anyways, I'm just glad for an update i guess.
Nuz, this was amazing. Please, if you're not sure about making more on the pages like this, a lot of people would really seem to like it. Myself included.
Sorry to hear about Space Cat, but I feel like I can sorta relate to what's going on there. Good luck, Tate!
Just remember to do what you feel is best, and will make you happy. Thanks so much for all you do. This comic helps me and so many others, and I'll be happy if you update every year, week, decade, month, whatever.
Have a good time in Japan, buddy. Don't get beaten up by ninjas.
Guy with an opinion
Really cool twist, quite impressive, it's obvious that you put a lot of thought into the plot and this episode. I'll understand if it takes a long time to post more episodes.

One thing about the comics that "jumped the shark" for me was that usually all the characters are psychos and if they are normal then Ruby acts like a jerk to them for comedic effect.

There was still some good Ruby/comedy action this comic but my fear is that serious characters will draw away from most of the humor that was in the comics since the beginning.
Daaaaaang. What a bummer about Space Cat. Good luck Tate! wish you all the best.

As for the Nuz: I'm excited for the update. Thanks for the time and hard work. I appreciate you~
Can you please fix the protagonist captcha? The guys at the forums have launched an entire mission just to find out that the hash translates to "ruby" yet it won't work.
I'm a comic artist, I might be able to take over for Space Cat

Also, I really like the update. Ignore my spam from earlier, I was super excited for this update, and I really liked that it tried (and I think succeeded at) something new. Keep it up, Nuz.

Also, please post on the site more often, just so we know you're alive. We care about you, man.
Why i can t read the episode 11?I click it and send me to the comic but only shows me the episode 10 and when i click to the next is blank.If someone know why let me know.Btw rill good work with this Pokemon comic is fun and original keep going
Good stuff, Nuzlocke.
I don't think this was a "jump the shark" moment at the end. It's a damn interesting twist. If it were something like "Ruby is actually the second coming of Arceus, or poké-jesus," that'd something else entirely.

(Actually, now that I think about it, that'd be pretty damn hilarious.)
It was worth the wait, and I'm happy that your not dead.

Ps. I love you, 3000% homo
Jack of Dragons
Man it is so good to have this comic back. Normally I just jump straight to the forum since it's been quite for so long. I almost missed it but the text change jumped me back to reality. Also, no Nuz, that was not a leap of faith and it still made decent since. The addition of Bruce also gave it enough intrigue to keep people holding on for however long. It's good to have you back.

PS After a long time of Google giving me the finger I finally Have my Storylocke back up and running. Look for Untold Adventures half way down the Challenge Run page.
When I found out there was a new comic for Pokemon Hard mode I was like Holy shit about time.
@Jack Glad to see you on here again Jack! How've you been? Is Untold Adventures coming along okay?
Welp, this is my first time commenting on the site since I started reading this about three years ago. I just want to say thank you to both you Nuzlocke, and to Tate for everything you guys have given us. Best luck to Tate on whatever you end up doing next, thanks for what you've given us so far. It's been a wild ride
Nuzlock, no worries man. Do what you need to do for you, not us. Whenever you get around to it, some of us will still be here because you make one fucking good webcomic and I'll keep checking in on the site and your twitter every week, whether there's a comic or not
Hey Nuz, if you're looking for a way to be able to do this full time (or at least free up more time to be able to do this), you could try a Patreon. Let your fans fund this project. I'm sure there are plenty of people willing to chip in so that we can see the adventures of Ruby continue!

Shame about Tate. I wish him the best in his university life and hope he'll continue to do whatever makes him happiest! However and whenever Space Cat returns, I'll be ready!
First of all, good to hear about you Nuz.

Second, I really liked this episode. It got a little darker than the previous episodes, but still liked it very much. Definitely worth the wait. It seems something good also happens in 2016.

Third, it's a shame to hear about Space Cat. Really wanted to see how it ends. I wouldn't mind you or a new artist finishing it, leaving it unfinished at this point would be a bigger shame.

Fourth, I guess you know this already, but keep it up man, and don't worry about us. Like The Prophet already said, we are a patient bunch.
Nuz, welcome back and thanks for the update! If once a year is what we get, I'll still be checking in because there's only one Nuzlocke.

Tate, best of luck and don't give up! People love your creations, and you will shine when you feel ready. Aside from that, keep at the academia--we believe in you.
An Old Anon
Holy cow, Christmas came early! I wasn't expecting this update till at least the 24th.

Anyways, thanks for the update to go with this awesome strip.

And best of luck to you, Tate.
While it's sad that Space Cat won't be updated (hopefully not permanently)... WOW! That chapter of Hard-Mode was worth the wait! :)
Aww, that's a shame to see Tate have to leave and have Space Cat unfinished. Still, best of luck to his future endeavors! Also, holy fuck that was a surprisingly intense strip
Holy... I would have never seen it coming
Hey Nuz, been following since Hoenn region and it's been amazing, your side story is pure genius man. Speedrun had this huge potential that inspired me. I also kind of started Space Cat but drifted away a long time and I have no friggin idea what's up with it.

Just gotta say that I'm grateful towards you, for entertaining us with these great things.

When you talked about another artist for Space Cat, I thought 'maybe I could do that'. I don't really thing I'm that good at art or that constant (although I've never procrastinated something for over a year, which I guess is something) but we could test that If you'd want to.

Best of wishes to you man.
The twist was fine. Didn't feel too simple or too forced. Glad to hear from you again, Nuz. Great comic, hope life works out for ya and see you in a year!
You should start a patreon.
Not nebby
Glad to see an update, but don't worry we can wait.

But.... Ghetsis leader of Team Plasma
Isis Mother of N
Grunts have to dye hair orange
Isis Orange hair and is dead

...... Pew
HE LIVES !!! #remebernuzpet
Hey, great chapter of Hard Mode, Nuz! Sorry to hear about Space Cat. I didn't follow it, personally, but it's always sad to see a project like that shelved.

Back onto Hard Mode, though. I love it. I'm hooked, I have been for quite a while now, and I know I'm not alone in that! Here's hoping the next chapter can come just a little sooner than this one (I NEED to know what comes next!).
Only took you almost a year
Thanks for the update, see ya next year!

p.s. If you need a bit of extra cash 'incentive' to continue updating the comics, start a patreon or kickstarter. Just an idea.
I hope the story ends with N winning and releasing all Pokemon. I mean, Ruby lost to Steven. What's wrong with losing to N? N is only doing the right thing. Pokemon need to be liberated.
The comic just randomly pops into my mind, come to check on it and boom... New episode.
Hey man i found this comic a year or two back and have read and reread them several times. They make me laugh and hit me right in my heart every time i red. I love all the work and i can't wait for more! Don't feel too pressured my dude! We are very patient and we would just love to hear something from you from time to time. No pressure!
Love you guys
Dude. Just go to patreon. People here love your work and want to support you.
Dat Boi
This update was fire! Good jub Nuz.

RIP Space Cat tho
That ending wasn't very surprising.
It was a bit confusing for me, maybe I didn't understand it. Well, it's good that Nuz made a post anyways.
Welcome back Nuzlock.

Your webcomic is still one of my favorites of all time. "Growing up" with you has been a pleasure: from early high school til now graduating college. I've sort of gotten out of playing the pokemon games now (time and money constraints), but reading the nuzlock comics brings me back to the good days.

Best wishes in the continuation of Ruby's adventure!
I hope you post more of your art. I don't know if I like it but for some reason I can't stop reading. You're a respectable writer and I look forward to you're future works.
Eyyy Merry Christmas all!
Merry Christmas, everybody! To celebrate the day, I'm going to be in the chat of AuSLove on Twitch on and off sending out rareball Nihilego I caught through a lucky misclick yesterday morning before work! They are cloned, but are otherwise entirely legitimate - I figure it's a good way to welcome everybody getting Sun and Moon for Christmas! Feel free to hop in and trade along with the timer in the chat to try and grab one, or some of the other Pokémon chat members and AuS are sending out :0c And whether I see you there or not, I hope you have a happy holidays!
Holy shit its an update. I may or may not have lost faith in the comic and just checked it for the first time in like 3 months or so.
Also, Merry Christmas and all that.
Merry Christmas! Thanks for the update, Nuz!
Ho ho happy new year
2016 is finally fucking dead! Huzzah!
omg we actually made it. gg 2016. Try toning it down a bit this year pls. Keen for this years nuz update. This episode was pretty interesting tbh
Thank god 2016 didn't kill nuz
Duuude. I know that I'm loving the Unova story right now, but I really can't wait for Ruby to go to Alola.

Too many jokes to be made. Cursing to be had.

A lot of him being confused really. And Charizard PTSD.

Here's to seeing Alola in 2038!

Wouldn't it be great if it was Bruce that flew him around Alola?

I think you meant *3*038

Also, did nuz fix the captcha? We all know that Ruby is the protagonist...

Let's find out.


Oh well.
Holy shit guys... This place didn't become a mess! Good job lads.
I said it once about Isis i'll say it again.....
Store Clerk
Holy shit I didn't realize this dude was still alive
Fucking lord Nuz, I love it.
>inb4 Nuz drops this shit and ditches the comic for another year.
hey!!! i just wanted to say that it's super awesome to see you're still updating and i don't think this is jumpin' the shark at all! pokemon games are kinda notoriously low on plot so it's always fun to see people's reintepretations of them, and i'm glad you're still workin' on it. slow updates are a ok! keep u the good work!
Nathan E
I love how your art is steadily improving with each comic. hope you can keep it up.

I also want to ask if you would be cool with it if I name my videogame's hard mode difficulty after your comic series? I was thinking of calling it ether Nuzlock or Locked mode and it would have similar conditions to your Hard mode rules. Were once you lose a monster it is lost forever.

If you want to see the game the demo of it here:
I found the episode surrounding Isis very interesting and I love the way you used Yamask's mask to reveal the person she once was.
I wonder where Isis fits in with Bruce, however, I am even more alarmed by the image of the man's arm holding the TV cord....
The ED caused by that surgery may be either temporary or permanent. However, it is important to have the doctor's opinion first before taking these oral medications since these could have gloomy effects about the body.
RIP no updates in 1 whole year :(

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