Part 67: Look at Altering Cave and LaughMini Notes: Altering Cave
Easily found on Route 103, or on Outcast Island in the depths of Six Island, you might wonder what the hell the Altering Cave is for, since there's nothing but Zubat there. Is it Japanese exclusive e-Reader content? Japanese exclusive Mystery Gift? Well, what the Altering Cave was supposed to do was give you some exclusive Johto Pokemon that had yet to be obtained in any way up to that point. But that's not how it went down, mainly due to Pokemon Colosseum being released two months before FRLG and made those rare unobtainable Pokemon, uh, obtainable.
You would've been able to use Mystery Gift at a Wonder Spot hosted by Nintendo to change (or, heh, alter) the Pokemon you could encounter at Altering Cave. These never took place, since you could only do one Pokemon at a time and as online trading wasn't a thing, it would've been very difficult for anyone who didn't attend these events to actually get these Pokemon. Well, not that that's stopped GF doing dumb events, but these are just regular Pokemon that could all be found in Pokemon Colosseum (or their evolutions in the case of Mareep for international audiences, Pineco, Teddiursa and Houndour), so it made them pretty pointless.
Not only that, these Mystery Gifts would've still left some Johto Pokemon lines completely unobtainable until Emerald, such as the Hoothoot line, Sudowoodo, the Sunkern line and Miltank. All of these Pokemon can also be obtained in Colosseum, so it makes the Altering Cave completely needless in making more Johto Pokemon available, so understandably, they dropped the whole thing and included the Altering Cave Pokemon, along with the other aforementioned Pokemon in Emerald in some form, either through the Safari Zone extension, or found at the Battle Frontier in Sudowoodo and Smeargle's case. And that's the exciting story of Altering Cave, a shitty event made redundant by an excellent game before the game it was supposed to be in even came out.