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 inside them. All enemies, including bosses, respawn between visits. However, in some caves such as the Frontier Cavern and the Hole of Beasts, Violet Candypop Bud and Ivory Candypop Bud do not appear once the player has twenty or more Purple Pikmin or White Pikmin; this is to stop the player from easily gathering large numbers of purples and whites. Time does not pass while the player is in a cave.
The holes in which you enter the caves are round, rocky mounds, with a small hole in them with wisps of steam coming out. Simply press (A) to enter it. Any Pikmin under your control will jump down with you, and any that are idle or working will return safely to their Onions. Once you enter a cave, there is no way to increase Pikmin population except if there are Bulbmin and/or Queen Candypop Buds.
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 you to find, and almost always one or more enemies. There are three types of sublevels. Every time you enter a sublevel, the game will save. So, if you reset the game while in a cave, you'll start over in the current sublevel you are on. The cave will always look slightly different when you restart the game.
Normal Sublevels usually have a few to many harmful enemies. These levels usually have most of the treasure in them.
Rest Sublevels either lack enemies or only have harmless enemies. A somewhat common exception to the "harmless enemy" rule is Doodlebugs or, in one case, Bulbmin. Rest levels have Pikmin-supporting items, such as nectar, Ultra-Bitter Spray, Ultra-Spicy Spray, or Candypop Buds. Usually these levels don't have treasure in them.
Boss Sublevels 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 this enemy, when defeated, often drops an item which upgrades Olimar/Louie's space suit or ship.
These are a number of different cave designs.
Common Cave DesignThe most commonly seen type of cave design that vary in size. Has plants, dirt floors and walls, and sometimes small pools of water. Rocks, Eggs, and Bomb Rocks will occasionally fall from the cave ceiling.
hazards are found on these types of design. Wogpoles will sometimes fall from the cave ceiling.
The rarest type of cave design. Only two sublevels have this design in the whole game. There is one in the Hole of Heroes and one in the Dream Den. There are many Shoots here. Both times you enter sublevels with this type of design, you will land on a giant tree stump with a root that, when you walk down it, leads to a small piece of land, since these types of levels are mostly water. Even though these level consist almost entirely of water, there are other hazardous enemies such as Fiery Blowhogs (keep in mind that there is not much where you can run and there is a Gatling Groink in the Dream Den swamp level). You may encounter Wogpoles, Water Dumples, Wollywogs, and Jellyfloats here.
Boss DesignThese cave designs are the designs that appear on sub-levels where you fight bosses. Each one is different, though they commonly have an "arena" where the boss is fought. Keep note that some Boss Sublevels have a Tile or Battlefield design.
Outside DesignThis type of design appears as if you are outside. These type of designs always have harmful enemies in them, say like Mitites. These types 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 outdoor level.
Garden DesignSlightly rare. These are rest areas with water not deep enough for Pikmin to drown in, and enemies such as Mamutas, Skitter Leafs, and Unmarked Spectralids. They sometimes have small pipes to connect areas.
Battlefield DesignThis type of sublevel is another common one that normally consists of Careening Dirigibugs, Gatling Groinks, or Lithopods. Bombs are the most common method of attack from enemies on these floors. Pikmin can die by being thrown off of the edges in these sublevels, so watch your aim. Certain enemies can also be guided off the edge as well. The first area that you can see a floor like this is the 1st sublevel of the White Flower Garden.
Toybox DesignThese 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 Captains. They sometimes can be covered with a large carpet that expands so far that the player cannot see how large it is.
Snow DesignA common sublevel design in the Valley of Repose, these sublevels are blanketed with snow. The floors are commonly littered with dying Figworts. Hairy Bulborbs and Snow Bulborbs are often present on these sublevels.
List of caves
- There is a glitch that can happen when proceeding to the next sublevel. In the animation where you jump into the hole, some pikmin may appear idle and won't jump in with you. Thankfully, these Pikmin that don't jump in will appear on the next sublevel.
- If a Pikmin is suffering from a hazard (excluding Bombs and Electricity ) and you choose to go to the next sublevel, the Pikmin will still have the suffering animation when jumping down the hole. Luckily, they will be fine on the next sublevel. Similarly, if they make that last cry, and then you advance to the next floor, they will be alive with that hazard on their head, but they will still count to the Pikmin lost count, even though they really didn't die.
- In an earlier version of Pikmin 2, you could leave caves with half of the collected treasure if you leave the cave through the pause menu. However, you lose all of your Pikmin if you do so.
- The Forest Navel may have been (and could perhaps be considered) the first cave explored by Olimar.
- Caves are once again present in Pikmin 3 but they no longer have sublevels like in Pikmin 2. The caves vary in size, but time still continues. Only during certain events can the time-limit be halted, this however, only appears once. Typically, these caverns hold great importance to the story, being either locations where you discover a new Pikmin type or where you fight a major boss.