Mystery Dungeons (Japanese: 不思議のダンジョン mystery dungeon), commonly abbreviated to dungeons, are areas in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games. Dungeons are where rescues, jobs and other explorations take place, along with where Pokémon can be battled and recruited. Dungeons can be found pretty much anywhere in the Mystery Dungeon games. Dungeons are labyrinth-like structures with 3 to 99 floors that the player must traverse to complete missions and are home to many hostile Pokémon. They change layout every time they are entered, making it impossible to predict how to get through beforehand. Dungeons may also have a set type of weather effects that remain for a whole floor unless a weather changing move is performed.
To enter one, a player simply walks to the crossroads near their Team Base or Wigglytuff's Guild, and selects the dungeon they would like to visit from a pop-up menu. Some dungeons, such as Beach Cave and the Hidden Land, can be visited more directly. Some dungeons are also visited without the crossroads as part of the storyline. Visiting dungeons is required to advance the storyline, as new areas must be accessed through them.
Floors consist of multiple rooms that are interconnected by hallways. Using a One-Room Orb turns the whole floor into a single room. Each time a player visits a dungeon, its floor layout and the items inside it are randomized. Dungeons consist of multiple floors and waypoints, which can be traversed between by using stairs. Tiny Woods has the fewest floors with 3 (discounting the Explorer Maze of the Marowak Dojo which has one). The dungeons with the most floors have 99; they are Joyous Tower, Buried Relic, Purity Forest, Wish Cave, Silver Trench, Western Cave, Zero Isle South, Zero Isle Center, and Destiny Tower. To advance in the dungeon, players must find the stairs which take them to the next level. Wild Pokémon's levels increase as the player progresses through the dungeon's floors. Dungeons can also contain sleeping Pokémon, which do not move until attacked or a member of the player's party steps on a directly adjacent tile. Some Pokémon can only be found on specific floors, making it key to know which floors these Pokémon are on if one wants to recruit them.
Some dungeons feature floors that only contain a boss or bosses which the player must defeat. These bosses are commonly legendary Pokémon; however, they can be other Pokémon, such as Drowzee. Boss floors usually appear at the end of dungeons; however, in dungeons such as Buried Relic they appear between full floors, but still take a floor number. Some bosses can only be battled the first time the player explores the dungeon, as part of the storyline; other bosses appear until they are recruited (or every time if they cannot be recruited). Some bosses cannot be recruited the first time the player explores the dungeon. These bosses will have higher-than-usual HP. On these floors, Wonder Orbs cannot be used and the player cannot be rescued if they faint.
Treasure Floors are similar to boss chambers in that they usually only appear at the end of dungeons, but instead of containing a boss they simply contain an item or items. There is always a warp zone to allow the player to leave the dungeon (or proceed to the next floor if it is not the last floor).
A Golden Chamber replaces a specific floor in a dungeon when a taking a job to find a Golden Chamber. Golden Chambers all look exactly the same, and contain two Deluxe Boxes in the center which can only be accessed by crossing or removing the water, or moving through or destroying walls. These Deluxe Boxes will contain one of several rare items.
Treasure Memo floor
A Treasure Memo floor replaces a specific floor in a dungeon when a taking Treasure Memo job, which can only be found in bottles found on the Beach. Treasure Memo floors contain one Deluxe Box which will contain one of several rare items. There are 30 different possible layouts for Treasure Memo floors. To reach the Deluxe Box, the player must either cross or remove water, move through or destroy walls, use a Key, or any combination of the above depending on which layout the floor uses.
Outlaw Team floor
An Outlaw Team floor replaces a specific floor in a dungeon when a taking job to arrest an outlaw team. There are 5 different possible layouts for Outlaw Team floors. Like boss floors, Wonder Orbs cannot be used and the player cannot be rescued if they faint.
A Challenge Floor replaces a specific floor in a dungeon when accepting a Challenge Letter. There are 5 different layouts for standard Challenge Floors, but legendary challengers (Mewtwo, Raikou, Entei, Suicune, Jirachi) each have their own unique layout. Like boss floors, Wonder Orbs cannot be used and the player cannot be rescued if they faint.
The Secret Bazaar is a special floor that can only be accessed via Secret Stairs. It can appear in any dungeon in which the Secret Stairs do not lead to a Secret Room. It contains several different kinds of services. Secret Room A Secret Room is a special floor that can only be accessed via Secret Stairs. It only appears in Mystifying Forest, Mt. Travail, Marine Resort, Lake Afar, Happy Outlook, Mt. Mistral, Shimmer Hill, Lost Wilderness, Midnight Forest, and Zero Isle East.
Turtwig, Piplup, Manaphy and Cresselia in a room Rooms are rectangular-shaped areas that players may traverse through. They may contain Pokémon, items, Poké, stairs, Kecleon Shops, or all of the above. Other tiles may also be present within a room. Monster Houses and traps appear randomly in rooms of dungeons that are unlocked later in the game. When a player arrives at a floor, they always appear in a room. In dungeons like Beach Cave, where visibility is limited, the room the player is in will be completely illuminated. All actions in the room can be seen from any point. The hallways leading out of the room can also be seen, and the first tile of each hallway leading from the room is illuminated by the room. When a room is entered, everything in it is recorded on the floor map. Special floors like boss floors will only contain one room which makes up the whole floor, and is not the size of a regular floor. Treasure Chambers Some dungeons may also contain locked doors that can only be opened with keys. These locked chambers usually contain HMs or evolution items.
Hallways are long and narrow areas that connect rooms to each other. They are typically one tile wide, which prevents Pokémon from passing one another without destructing the walls and creating more space or being able to pass through walls. Since the space in hallways is very narrow, items will not spawn in hallways, but can be placed there. Traps also will not appear in hallways, and traps cannot be created here by moves like Spikes. In dungeons like Beach Cave, where visibility is limited, an illuminated circle will appear around the player, allowing them to see one tile in each direction more clearly. If a teammate is battling a wild Pokémon, only the teammate will appear on-screen until the wild Pokémon is in the circle. Hallways are recorded on the floor map only as the player traverses it, and only objects within one tile in any direction are recorded without the use of a Luminous Orb.
Waypoints are one-room, mezzanine-like floors that connect one part of a dungeon to a deeper part. Waypoints in a dungeon usually indicate that a boss will be present at the end; however, that is not always the case. Waypoints often connect dungeons to a "deeper" or "peak" of the dungeon. A waypoint usually contains a Kangaskhan Rock (only Aegis Cave waypoint lacks one), most of which have only the saving function available; however, some waypoints such as the Crystal Cave/Crystal Crossing waypoint allow item storage as well. Waypoints also have the option of returning to Treasure Town or Pokémon Square, or to the entrance of the dungeon in Special Episodes, or when the player is a fugitive, on the guild expedition, or in the future.
An exploration team cannot enter a dungeon if it has more than six body stars.
Dungeons may place restrictions on an exploration team in order for them to enter it. Possible restrictions are: All team members are temporarily reduced to level 1 (their level is restored when they leave the dungeon). Only a certain number of Pokémon may enter. If this restriction exists, it is usually in the form of only allowing the team leader, or team leader and one teammate to enter. Only the original team leader and original team partner may enter. Only a certain number of items may be brought into the dungeon. Excess items are lost if they are brought in. Items may not be brought into the dungeon (excludes held items in Red Rescue Team and Blue Rescue Team). Any items brought into the dungeon are lost if this restriction applies. Poké may not be brought into the dungeon. Any Poké brought into the dungeon is lost if this restriction applies. Pokémon cannot be recruited in the dungeon.
Exploring a dungeon usually counts as one day in a game; however, there are a few notable exceptions (such as fleeing through Lapis Cave, Mt. Blaze, Frosty Forest and Mt. Freeze as a fugitive; climbing Sky Peak; and exploring Mt. Horn, Foggy Forest and Steam Cave on the Wigglytuff Guild's expedition).
Explorers or rescue teams sometimes faint in dungeons. If the leader, original partner (before beating the game,) or any client Pokémon faints and is not revived, the entire team is transported out of the dungeon. All of the team's Poké is lost, along with anywhere between half and all of the team's items (exactly which ones are randomly decided). The team is also kicked out and treated as fainted if they stay too long by taking too many steps on any one floor, getting three "warnings" beforehand.
Training mazes are a second, much less common type of dungeon that can only be found in the Makuhita Dojo and Marowak Dojo. While their floors, items and Pokémon are randomized every time they are visited, there are a few special things about them. They otherwise are the same as standard dungeons. Traveling through training mazes does not count as an in-game day, unlike other dungeons. If a player faints in a training maze, items and money that were collected inside them are kept rather than lost.
All dungeons contain wild Pokémon, which appear randomly. Each dungeon has its own unique set of Pokémon, which is based on the area in which the dungeon is located. Most Pokémon found in dungeons fit a theme, usually a type theme. The levels of the Pokémon in the dungeon get higher as the player enters dungeons unlocked later in the game.
All floors are mostly covered by ordinary ground. Normal or ordinary ground tiles may be covered with aesthetic effects, such as grass or rocky terrain, and may be traversed by any Pokémon. Traveling across normal tiles does not produce any side effects, even if they do appear to have extremely rocky terrain. However, this terrain does affect Secret Power, Nature Power, and Camouflage. Special terrain that only certain Pokémon can cross also exist. They are water, lava, pit, and wall. Traps and Secret Stairs sometimes appear hidden on the floor.
Demo mystery dungeons
There are six mystery dungeons that are only accessible in the demo of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky sent via DS Download Play. These six dungeons are Little Plains, Mt. Clear, Challenge River, Trial Forest, Guiding Sea, and Hidden Shopkeeper Village. The demo can be downloaded from a Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky game or the Nintendo Channel.
The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series is not the only series to have a Mystery Dungeon game, though it is the most popular. Other series in the Mystery Dungeon line include the Final Fantasy Chocobo series and the Dragon Quest series.