Part 70: Sunrise, Sunset (aka the "I'm Really Old" reference) (Solar Cave)
We're actually indulging in a tiny bit of sequence breaking by visiting the Solar Cave, because this dungeon doesn't technically become available immediately post-credits; you have to trigger the Stormy Sea plot event to gain access to it. We'll see that bit of plot when we go to our first dungeon that requires the Dive HM, though, and there's no plot to be had in the dungeon itself, just lots of recruiting and treasure-hunting.
The first several levels of the Solar Cave are small, bright levels, occupied by Psychic Pokémon and the occasional trap.
This trap, for instance, which slows the victim.
Or this one, which releases sleeping gas. (Fortunately, it doesn't keep Churchill from following Jake down the stairs.)
Oh, and keys. Keys are at least potentially available on every floor, making our key-finding efforts in the Desert region embarrassingly futile. By the time we're done here, we have seven keys in storage.
Solar Cave is also the only place to go if you want Sun Stones. We wind up with four in storage, plenty more than the two we'll eventually need.
We can also turn up Moon Stones here, and while there are other places to get them, this is the best spot for them. We wind up with four of them as well, but we'll want five in all sooner or later.
Starting at the seventh floor, things start getting a bit darker and ruin-like...
...and darker still at floor 13. Still, the dungeon never gets dark in the 'can't see enemies' sense.
We came to Solar Cave for two reasons, and we satisfy the first here. Jacques the Mr. Mime (thanks, Adexia!) is the first of our new recruits. He joins us at level 29.
A moment later, we recruit Mentok the Abra (thanks, Myrmadon!) Catching an Abra is somewhat less annoying in PMD than it is in the mainline games; yes, they still only know Teleport, but since they can't actually leave the level with it, you can wear them down if you aren't, for some reason, strong enough to one-shot them. At level 16, he's ready to evolve into a Kadabra right away, and in fact we can evolve him into an Alakazam-- once we have a Link Cable. Link Cables are used for evolving Pokémon; if you have to trade a Pokémon to evolve it in the mainline Pokémon games, you use this item in this game. (Pokémon that have to be traded while holding an item have to use a Link Cable and that item to evolve in this game.)
On our second trip (of six; there were... certain difficulties getting all the missions done), we recruit Geraldine the Girafarig (thanks, Rooreelooo!)...
...and Lunesta the Drowzee (thanks, Orfeo!) Lunesta joins us at level 35, ready to evolve, so we send her off to the Luminous Cave straight away to become a Hypno.
The very first thing we do on visit three is recruit Kiwi the Natu (thanks again, Orfeo!)
And before we even leave the floor, we recruit Beecuz the Wynaut (thanks, OrangeSoda!), who promptly gets taken to the Luminous Cave to become a full-fledged Wobbuffet.
The other reason we came to the Solar Cave is treasure. In this vault, on level 10, we find...
...a Link Cable. If we didn't have the HM Dive, though, we'd find it here-- so if we lose it for some reason, we can pick it up again. Since we've got the Link Cable, we go ahead and evolve Mentok again.
Incidentally, I ran into an odd AI glitch here. I couldn't persuade Jacques to leave the doorway no matter what tactic I assigned him. Eventually I had to just push into him, and since he can't walk on water, he got warped to a random location on the level. We were safely reunited, though.
We find another Link Cable in this vault on level 15. (Note that we don't need to be able to cross water to get this one.) Here we'd find the HM Waterfall, if someone hadn't already given us one in a Wonder Mail mission.
And on level 20? Another Link Cable, though this one we only have to cross water to get. This is where we'd get the Surf HM if we didn't already have it.
Of course, we can't go anywhere without finding Pokémon who need our help. OrangeSoda needs a rescue-- again-- and rewards Team Hugs with 800 Poké and a Water Stone.
We missed Zemyla on the first two visits to the Solar Cave (the first time due to carelessness, the second time because we left early with some new recruits), but better late than never; we get a Frustration TM, a Max Elixir, and a brown gummi.
Soledad the Banette gave us a terrible time rescuing him, mainly because he kept hiding deep in walls where we couldn't even find him, much less rescue him. On our fifth try, though, we finally track him down, being rewarded for our efforts by Crow the Sneasel with a Metal Coat, a Light Screen TM, and a clear gummi.
Orfeo wanted us to find the Toxic TM, which has a chance of showing up in the Solar Cave. We didn't find it, but we had one in storage, so we turned it over in exchange for a white gummi, a silver gummi, and a Power Band.
For some reason, Pool Watcher thinks he's overweight and wants us to find him a Hunger Seed. They're reasonably common in the Solar Cave, and supplying one gets us 1000 Poké and a clear gummi.
Sabrina rewards us for a safe lift home with 1000 Poké and a Moon Stone.
Solar Rock Django thanks us for showing him the exit with a Solarbeam TM, a blue gummi, and a Power Band.
Finally, Sid the Eevee and Makoto the Mightyena reward us for reuniting them with 1000 Poké and the Fly HM, which we need to return to Sky Tower. All the trips we made also lead to many levels gained; Jake goes from level 41 to level 45, Churchill goes from level 12 to level 24 and evolves to Breloom while he's at it, Mentok goes from level 16 to level 17, and Kiwi goes from level 20 to level 23. All in all, a very productive set of dungeon runs!
Team Hugs's newest members:
Team Hugs's upgraded members:
Next time on Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: the beginning of the Legendary Hamsters plot arc!