Cave

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Pikmin 2 icon.png
Some Pikmin jumping in a cave.
A completed cave.

Caves are the underground areas in Pikmin 2, of which 14 exist in all. Although there is a large overworld, most treasures are found in these caves, so most of the time playing the game is spent down them. All enemies, including bosses, respawn between visits - the only exceptions to this are Violet Candypop Buds and Ivory Candypop Buds, which, in some caves such as Frontier Cavern and Hole of Beasts, do not appear once the player has 20 or more Purple Pikmin or White Pikmin already.

The time of day does not pass while the player is in a cave, and their floors are generated randomly each time, but follow a specific layout scheme. According to earlier versions of the game, this is because the space-time continuum was warped due to the cave's geomagnetic radiation field.[1] The final version's instruction manual simplifies this and simply calls it "a powerful magnetic field".[2][3]

Caves are entered though holes. To enter one, the player must press GCN A.png / Wiimote A.png while near it. If the other leader is alive, it'll instantly join the party, regardless of distance. Any Pikmin under the current leader's control will jump down with them, and any that are idle, working, or on an idle leader's group will return safely to their Onions. Once the player enters a cave, there is no way to increase Pikmin population save for Bulbmin and/or Queen Candypop Buds. It is not possible to enter a cave without Pikmin.

Inside a cave, if both leaders lose all their health or all Pikmin die, the research pod will cancel the expedition, losing the collected treasures in the process, and then bring them to the overworld. A mission can also be aborted manually by using the pause menu.

The music in caves is significantly more minimal than the music in outside areas, and in Pikmin 2, cave music is also randomly generated following a specific layout, like the terrain.

Pikmin and Pikmin 3 do not have caves like the ones in Pikmin 2, but have underground locations regardless. Pikmin has The Forest Navel while some areas in Pikmin 3 have sections inside caverns.

Sublevels[edit]

The caves are split into several sublevels. The shortest cave has two sublevels and the longest has fifteen. Each sublevel usually has at least one treasure for the player to find, and almost always one or more enemies. To enter a new sublevel, GCN A.png / Wiimote A.png must be pressed near a hole; all Pikmin and live leaders will fall down the hole, and planted Pikmin will remain. This is also true for the exit geysers that allow exiting the cave safely.

Every time a sublevel is entered, the game is saved, so if the player turns the game off and then back on, they'll start over in the same sublevel, but with a different layout, if it's not fixed. Sublevels can be roughly categorized into three types:

Normal levels usually have a few harmful enemies, and sometimes don't have any treasure.

Rest levels either lack enemies or only have harmless enemies (exceptions being Doodlebugs and Bulbmin). Rest levels have Pikmin-supporting items, such as nectar, ultra-bitter spray, ultra-spicy spray, or Candypop Buds. These levels usually lack treasures, and feature a special musical ambience.

Boss levels are usually the final level of a cave. The only cave without a boss level is the Emergence Cave, and the one with the most is the Hole of Heroes. They hold one large boss enemy (although in some rare circumstances there may be up to three) and maybe a few normal enemies, and the boss, when defeated, often drops an item which upgrades the leaders' space suits or ship.

Hole[edit]

The hole used to go down to the next sublevel. These look the same as entrances to caves above ground.

To enter a cave, the leaders and Pikmin must dive into a hole. To go from one sublevel to the next, they must also go down a similar hole.

The holes are round, rocky mounds, with a small hole in them. On the cave entrance hole, if the dungeon still has uncollected treasure, wisps of steam will come out, and the screen will become foggy when the hole is approached. Inside a cave, the hole to a next sublevel will always contain steam, but will not fog the screen.

To enter a hole, the player must simply press GCN A.png / Wiimote A.png when their leader is close to it.

Floor designs[edit]

Each cave floor is comprised of several units, organized in a random fashion, but commonly following a theme. The following is a list of existing themes, judging from the naming scheme of the units' internal game files.

Concrete walls
This design features plants, sandy floors, and concrete walls. Eggs and bomb-rocks will occasionally fall from the cave ceiling.
Garden
This type of design appears as if the party is outside. These type of designs always have harmful enemies in them, save Mitites, and can be found in caves such as the Snagret Hole and in Challenge Mode. The second to last level in Challenge mode, the Sniper Room, is the only nighttime garden level.
Metal
This design has metal floors and low walls, making it possible to throw Pikmin and ward some enemies out of bounds. It frequently contains Careening Dirigibugs, Gatling Groinks, or Lithopods, with bomb-rocks appearing on occasion. The first area with a floor like this is the first sublevel of the White Flower Garden.
Snow
A common sublevel design in the Valley of Repose, these sublevels are blanketed with snow, and have stone – and occasionally brick – walls. The floors are commonly littered with dying Figworts. Hairy Bulborbs and Snow Bulborbs are often present here.
Soil
This theme represents a very basic type of cave, with soil floors and stone walls.
Toybox
These cave designs are in caves such as Glutton's Kitchen and the Dream Den. These levels are often filled with giant toys and treasures that are used for food, entertainment, and office supplies. The borders of the sublevels are smaller toys that Pikmin and enemies can cross, but not leaders. They sometimes can be covered with a large carpet that stretch for the entirety of the floor.
Tiles
Tiles cover nearly the whole sub-level and many hazards are found on these types of design. Wogpoles will sometimes fall from the cave ceiling.

List of caves[edit]

Valley of Repose
Awakening Wood
Perplexing Pool
Wistful Wild

Oddities[edit]

Cave entrance leader mixup[edit]

When entering the first sublevel of a cave, the game may or may not switch the player's active leader. This does not happen when the player goes from one sublevel to the next, making it mysterious as to why the leader changes seemingly randomly when going to the first sublevel.

In reality, this happens because of a simple glitch. In order to decide what leader to turn active whenever a sublevel is entered (be it the first or not), the game reads a variable in memory. This variable is also saved onto the save game data and loaded from it. It is set whenever the player goes from one sublevel to the next, which explains why, when the next sublevel is loaded, the game selects the correct leader. However, this variable never gets set when the cave itself is entered. This means that when the first sublevel is finished loading, the game reads the variable, and uses an outdated value, last updated when a sublevel hole was entered. This glitch was not fixed for the New Play Control! rerelease.

It can also be noted that Challenge Mode uses a different behavior, without a glitch, and that the default value of the variable is 0, meaning that at the start of the game, before the player goes from one sublevel to the next, the game will make Olimar the active leader when entering a cave.

Hole entrance grunt mixup[edit]

When entering a cave or sublevel hole, each leader grunts as he jumps. However, the first leader to jump will always make Olimar's sound effect, and the one behind will always make Louie's, regardless of the existing leaders and their order. The only exception is if the second leader is fallen, at which point only the first leader will grunt, still with Olimar's voice.

Technical discrepancies[edit]

To do: Add examples of {f002} and {f014} being weird.
Care to do so?

Even though the cave and sublevel information is present in human-readable format within the game's files, some of their settings appear to make no sense, as the values in the files don't match up to what happens in-game. The following assumed discrepancies have been noted:

  • Property {f002} (敵最大数, meaning "Maximum number of enemies") of a sublevel indicates the maximum number of enemies (plants, hazards and other things included) that can appear. This value, however, doesn't always seem to make sense. The same applies to property {f014} (キャップ最大数, meaning "Maximum number of dead ends").
  • The objects in a cave's sublevel are specified in a list, with the number of instances after the object's name. This number is quite erratic, often deviating from any sort of pattern. This can even lead to numbers that appear to indicate the existence of at least some objects of a certain type, when in fact, none appear. An example of this would be the first floor of Hazard Training, which claims to have "11" eggs, but has none. There is another property, connected to all objects, named "type", but even that property's values don't follow any pattern. Examples of erratic numbers include:
  • Property {f013} (隠し床, meaning "Hidden floor") of a sublevel indicates whether there's ground under the cave units or if it should be simulated. This is due to the fact that toybox and garden levels' units do not contain ground. However, sublevel 3 of Snagret Hole has this value set to 1 as well, despite the fact that soil-type units always have a ground.
  • Sublevel 8 of the Dream Den, sublevels 1 and 2 of the Hot House and sublevels 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 of the Collector's Room all have their property {f00A} (VRBOX, the "skybox" model) set to "vrbox". Both sublevels of the Green Hole have that property set to "f010". Both of these values are invalid, and the game defaults to having no "skybox".
    • In addition, the folder that contains the models for the skyboxes, /user/Kando/map/vrbox/ also contains a file for a "meck" skybox, meck.szs. This skybox is not used in the game, and it contains no model or any other file, just an empty folder.
  • The final sublevels of the Subterranean Complex, the Hole of Beasts and the Bulblax Kingdom all have property {f010} (階段を壊す岩で隠す(0=オフ 1=オン)) set to 1. This property decides whether the hole to the next sublevel should be clogged or not. The oddity here is that the final sublevel does not have a hole.
  • The final sublevels in the Cave of Pain, Red Chasm, Collector's Room and the Breeding Ground all have property {f007} (帰還噴水(1=あり)) set to 0. This property decides whether a level contains an escape geyser or not. Naturally, all final sublevels contain one in-game, so the fact that these sublevels have that property set to 0 is a mystery.

Glitches[edit]

The following article or section is in need of assistance from someone who plays Pikmin 2.
Particularly: Confirm the glitch where the Pikmin don't jump down and remain idle. If confirmed, add it to the glitches page.

  • Cave hole glitch: It is possible for a leader to end up inside the cave hole's geometry, if he's placed on the hole's spawning point before it spawns.
  • Cave death count glitch: If a Pikmin is suffering from a hazard and the player chooses to go to the next sublevel, the Pikmin will still have the suffering animation when jumping down the hole. If they made that last cry, they will nevertheless be alive on the next sublevel, but the total Pikmin lost count will increase.
  • Fake Pikmin extinction: By entering a cave and dismissing at the same time, the game will let the player enter the cave with no Pikmin. It then instantly announces a Pikmin extinction.
  • There is a glitch that can happen when proceeding to the next sublevel. In the animation where everybody jumps into the hole, some Pikmin may appear idle and won't jump in. Thankfully, these Pikmin that don't jump in will appear on the next sublevel.

Trivia[edit]

If the hole to the next sublevel spawns right next to the edge, leaders and Pikmin can climb it and fall off.
  • Leaving a cave will always make the game switch to Captain Olimar, regardless of whatever leader the player had active before leaving.
  • In an earlier version of Pikmin 2, the player could leave caves with half of the collected treasure if they leave through the pause menu. However, all Pikmin would be lost in doing so.[4]
  • The fanfare that plays when jumping into the first sublevel of a cave is played again on organ during the fanfare that plays when a deeper sublevel is entered.
  • On the Subterranean Complex's third sublevel, and possibly similar levels too, it is possible for the sublevel's hole to spawn on the zigzagging path instead of dead end or somewhere in the open. Since this place is so tight, it spawns a bit on the edge, and makes it possible for leaders or Pikmin to climb up the hole's mound and fall off the stage.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. A geomagnetic radiation field underground must have warped the space-time continuum. / Even my record of the terrain has been erased.
    Proto:Pikmin 2/Cutscene Text on The Cutting Room Floor
  2. Because of a powerful magnetic field deep under the surface, time does not pass underground.
    – Explanation in page 25 of the manual
  3. The powerful magnetic field between the surface and underground can have peculiar, unexpected results. You can't rely merely on your memory, as familiar areas can often appear foreign.
    – Explanation in page 26 of the manual
  4. Escape without your Pikmin? (Retain 1/2 of treasure found.)
    Pikmin 2/Early English Script on The Cutting Room Floor
  5. YouTube video of a hole close to the edge (at 56:42)