Caves | From Familiarization to True Complexity
In every Pokémon game caves have been something of a common sight. We've fumbled through the dark corridors trying to find our way out or find our way to something unique and special.
While I was playing Blue, I realized, like Mt. Moon, I was breezing through Dark Tunnel. I had come to the conclusion that I was just overly familiar with the cave. On the other hand I also thought it just might be easy.
It made me think though. I played SoulSilver recently and found traversing Whirl Islands and Victory Road to be incredibly complex and it seemed the more modern games Caves were certainly harder.
What changed? To those who played Blue and Red the first time, to our young minds, was Mt. Moon and the Dark Tunnel difficult? Has it been really been very simple from the beginning?
Because the tunnels and caves for future generation seem increasingly difficult, even for remakes.
How do you feel about the Cave alterations between Gen 1 to Gen 5 and how do you feel about Caves in general?
The first few times I played RGBY, I found Mt Moon to be quite challenging for my young mind. I always got to the wrong side of the cave and made wrong turns, but one way or another I always thankfully managed to get out. It gradually got easier the more I travelled through it.
The newer caves are agreeably quite complex. They involve strategies in order to get from one part of the cave to the next, either by using Strength, Rock Climb, Rock Smash or Waterfall. Sometimes there were ledges that were jumped when they were not supposed to be jumped to access further depths of the caves, bringing you back to the start. But despite all of this, I really enjoyed these complexities. It makes cave-traversing fun and full of adventure (although admittedly quite frustrating at times). That's what makes caves such great additions to the games!
I agree that caves have definitely become harder to get throon h as the generations have passed but that was always likely to be the case.
Like synerjee said, I had some trouble with Mt. Moon initially but after going in there numerous times to collect different items/Pokemon, I quickly became accustomed to it and it wasn't a problem.
Even Rock Tunnel wasn't a problem. I did use Flash the first time through it (just caught a random Oddish to learn it) but didn't need it again after that as the layout was really simple.
Out of all the games I've played, I'd say that Victory Road on Black 2 is the part-cave that I've had most trouble with. The main thing that annoyed me was the fact that I kept jumping over the wrong ledge which in turn kept bringing me back to the start of the ruins -_-
I can't remember, I think Rock Tunnel was the one in RBY that needed Flash. I never wanted to go all the way through Diglett Cave to get it, so I learned my way through it in the dark. For all subsequent games though, Flash was either readily available or the cave was lit and it wasn't too bad. The only ones I remember struggling with were Dewford Cave, because the Flash radius was terrible, and Twist Mountain (if that counts, not really I guess) since it was so complex.
I've only played from Gen III...and I think caves in Emerald were definitely the hardest - Dewford Cave and Victory Road are quite confusing due to the poor Flash radius.
In LeafGreen I found Mount Moon to be ok, Victory Road to be decent but Rock Tunnel was really hard - although that might have been because I didn't have Flash.
But recently I've found all the aforementioned caves much easier. I'd say the Gen IV and V ones are a bit harder - Victory Road in Black stands out - Sinnoh and Johto Victory Road maps are fairly easy to navigate. Mount Mortar always gets me a bit too, but tbh the hardest cave to navigate is probably Cerulean Cave. It's fairly simple in principle - a few ladders and a rock maze, but it's very confusing in practicality. In Gen III it's hard, and I somehow find it even harder in Gen IV.
The hardest caves for me were any of the caves in the Gen2 games that needed Flash. But only if I didn't have it on me.
In Gen1, if you look carefully you can see the outline of walls and ladders.
In Gen3 and above, you have a small circle of light around you, big enough to make use of.
But in Gen2? You only see the light from cave exits, and any sprites. Nothing else.
Excluding Caves-that-need-Flash-when-you-don't-use-it though, the hardest caves for me are usually the ones you have to go through post-game. So many alternate paths, usually leading to dead-ends.
And all those bats... so many bats...
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