From Pikmin Fanon
This article relates to the official games. See Pikipedia's "cave" article for more official information.
For comparable locations, see tower and dungeon.

Caves are underground environments accessed from the areas their entrances are located in. Although they tend to house many dangers, exploring caves is crucial as they are where a bulk of treasures are found and even where some Pikmin are discovered. Each cave consists of one or more generally cramped sublevels that limit movement to only a few possible paths, and progress is made through caves by delving into the hole to the next sublevel, starting from the first sublevel. When the active leader prepares to delve into a hole, the other leaders will follow behind alongside that leader's Pikmin, and Pikmin that do not enter for any reason will return safely to their Onions. As the Onions are inaccessible underground, the only ways of getting more Pikmin are through candypop buds or wild Pikmin. Pikmin sprouts will remain in a sublevel they were buried in and be lost forever if not plucked before advancing. Every cave has at least one exit point somewhere within, with the final sublevel always having one alongside a final challenge; leaving through such an exit point allows leaders to keep what they collected up to that point. After completing a cave, usually by clearing it of valuables, a colored flag will appear by its entrance.

In Pikmin 2, sublevels are randomly generated but may occasionally inadvertently have a static layout. Caves are entered from distinct, rocky holes in the ground and exited using escape geysers. The confirmation notice before entering a cave will display the hazards within the cave. Entering a cave is not possible without Pikmin. All of a cave's contents will reappear on every visit, except for collected treasures. Time does not pass in the current area while in a cave. The 100 Pikmin limit also persists. Exiting a cave will lead back to the current area's landing site. A cave expedition will be aborted if all leaders are downed, which also immediately ends the day, or all Pikmin with them die. Aborting a cave expedition in any way will also surrender anything that had been collected during it.

In Pikmin 4, sublevels have static layouts and may also contain castaways and Flarlic in addition to their previous contents. Caves are entered from black tubes with colored lids and exited using fans. The color of the lid indicates what type of cave the pipe leads to: cyan for normal caves, gray for Dandori Challenges, and orange for Dandori Battles. The two-part confirmation notice before entering a cave allows selecting a previously-visited sublevel to land on as well as which Pikmin should join the leaders inside. In some sublevels, Oatchi will land in a place separate from the Rescue Officer and their Pikmin, forcing them to reunite. Entering a cave without Pikmin is possible but ultimately pointless. Enemies, objects, and wild Pikmin will remain as they were for a few days after leaving, positions included, until the cave is cleared, at which point the only thing to reappear in subsequent visits would be enemies. Time passes in the current area, but at one-sixth the normal speed, but will stop at sunset. Although only so many Pikmin can be brought into a cave in terms of number and type, there is no limit to either in the cave itself. If a cave is exited with surplus Pikmin, any extra will simply be deposited into the Onion. Most exit points lead back to the cave's entrance, but some caves have several exit points, which may lead to different parts of the current area. Entering the exit hole allows essentially progressing through a cave in reverse until reaching the initial entrance on the first sublevel. A cave expedition will be aborted if all leaders are downed. Collected objects will only be retained if the expedition is aborted by choice, not by circumstance. Dandori Challenge and Dandori Battle caves are treated differently than ordinary caves, as they should be, with one such difference being that Pikmin accompanying the active leader will refuse to leap in with them.

In fanon games

Below this point is where users place their version of caves.

In Pikmin 2... Again?

What if it was another story...?
This article or section pertains to Pikmin 2... Again?, a fanon game created by Blower Pot.

Caves return in Pikmin 2... Again?. They are similar to those in Pikmin 4, having lidded pipes as entrances, and static layouts that are more difficult than before. Cave entrances are black with colored lids, which are neatly painted cyan for normal caves, lazily painted purple for Cosmicaptain challenges, and, in caves exclusively, blue for normal sublevels and red for alternate sublevels. The player can choose which Pikmin types to bring in with them and how many, including glow sparkles, and some Pikmin types may be recommended for a particular cave or even not allowed in. One such example of a cave not permitting a Pikmin type is Flooded Castle, which only Blue Pikmin and Glow Pikmin are allowed to enter due to the entrance being in a water body. The entrances to the Deep Aquarium's flooded sublevels are unique in that they resemble circular drain covers. Holes in the Nightmare Den and the Final Challenge make the Pikmin and leaders go up in the cave rather than deeper, as the proceeding sublevel would otherwise be flooded, and additionally, Pikmin left behind in those will then be brought to the next non-flooded sublevel.

Each cave has a particular visual and musical theme associated with it that not only gives it a signature appearance and mood. Some visual themes also give sublevels exclusive features, such as minecarts in the stone theme. Caves generally have unique music, but the Underground Greengarden plays the Serene Cave of Plants in the jungle theme instead of the usual Vine Ground.

Regular caves involve ordinary exploration through a subterranean environment. Cosmicaptain challenges face the leaders with a challenge presented by the Cosmicaptain themself to advance in their expedition. Alternate sublevels are alternative routes through a cave that are initially blocked by amethyst locks, preventing access until the cave is revisited, and even then may only allow certain Pikmin types in, as their entrances may be surrounded by fire or water. Alternate sublevels are even more difficult than ordinary sublevels, often containing more dangerous enemies and complex puzzles, but give stickers as rewards for completing them, and eventually the Needle of Legend, which is needed to access the post-ending.

There are many visual themes, but all return. Below is a list of new sublevel themes:

  • Jungle: like the soil theme, but has vines on the walls.
  • Dark jungle: similar to the jungle theme, but the vines are replaced with wither tar.
  • Circus: exclusive to Ominous Underground's 9th and final sublevel, it is a dark circus on a circus platform.
  • Dancefloor: resembles a typical 80's dancefloor. It is exclusive to the final sublevel of the Banger Disco.
  • Pool: a pool table. Plumpinches can smack the pool balls, which can crush Pikmin they roll over.
  • Sand: the theme of all sublevels in the Flooded Castle, it is similar to the ones from Pikmin 2's Submerged Castle and Pikmin 4's Engulfed Castle.
  • Powered: the theme of all sublevels in the Blackout Facility. It is mostly metal-themed but with a gauge somewhere in the area that steadily depletes, indicating remaining power on the sublevel, and the sublevel blacks out when the gauge empties. Windows prevent Pikmin from falling into the surrounding pit, which is especially useful during a blackout.
  • Kitchen: a kitchen setting.
  • Stone: the caves are made out of stone and have some cave elements, such as mine carts.

In Pikmin 44

Pikmin 44 icon.png
P44 logo.png
This article or section pertains to Pikmin 44, a fanon game created by PurpleHeadache.
Pikmin 44 icon.png

Caves return in Pikmin 44. They are similar to the caves in Pikmin 4, having static layouts instead of random generation like Pikmin 2. There are 30 caves total, with 6 in each area except for Twisting Treetops and Molten Crater, having only 4 each. Every cave features a boss on the final sublevel similar to Pikmin 2, with the exception of the first cave, Cave of New Landings. Caves can be entered via a blue curb box and exited via a large fan, like in Pikmin 4. Upon visiting the opening of a cave for the first time, a page of Olimar's log will appear on-screen, describing the cave and its unique features. After this is another page listing the various hazards found within the cave. The player will then be able to decide for themselves which Pikmin types they will bring into the cave before clicking a button to begin exploration. Every sublevel has its own theme, including visuals and music.

A list of sublevel themes and caves that use them are as follows:

In Pikmin V

Pikmin V icon.png
Pikmin V banner.png
This article or section presents information pertaining to Pikmin V, a fanon game created by En Passant.
Pikmin V icon.png

Caves in Pikmin V function very differently than in Pikmin 2. Each one has a static layout, evolving on the concept of the Formidable Oak, with a series of themed puzzles, often utilizing planning, that stand in the way of progress and treasure collection. Every area except Overlook Hill, and standard underground areas, has exactly one cave in it. The cave is not separate from the area it is located in, meaning time does not stop while inside it, and not all leaders must enter the cave. However, a cave still can not be exited once entered; instead, the head of the Hocotate Hauler will detach to permanently collect any treasures within. The Hauler only has one intake, so entering a cave will prevent treasures from being collected at the landing site; the Pikmin will act as if their path is blocked once they reach the point where their treasure should be sucked up. When the S.S. Drake is recovered, this ceases to be an issue, as it takes over that duty while the Hauler Head is away.

Cave entry is initiated with a prompt that displays the cave's name, the number of treasures within and how many are collected, and which types of Pikmin are recommended for use. This happens once per day; the prompt is also viewable any time after the cave's discovery through overhead mode. Once inside of the cave, interacting with the Hauler Head will prompt escaping with only the active squad. The Head will return to the cave if there is still a leader inside, but stray Pikmin can be left behind. Unlike the Research Pod, the Hauler Head will refuse to store carcasses long-term: exiting the cave with anyone will cause it to spit out all collected spoils at the cave's entrance despite taking the group to the landing site with it, and it will destroy them if an exit is not made by the end of the day. The Head also serves as a safe zone separate from its body when sunset arrives.

Lastly, at the end of each cave is a Pikmin 2-style miniboss that contains an upgrade-providing treasure. The only exception is the required story boss in the Deep Palace.

Warning: the following text contains major spoilers for endgame content 
The final cave in the game, the Distortion Hole, also breaks these rules. It does not appear until the end of the game when the plot opens it up, and it uniquely does randomly generate, and in real time. Every five real-world minutes, any room in the cave that has over 50% of its enemies killed will regenerate with a new layout and enemies. The whole cave also re-randomizes at the start of each day. There are no treasures to collect, only a single key item whose extraction will complete the game.

In Pikmin: Redemption

Nuvola warning.png
WraithOmniverseLogo.png PR Logo.png
This article or section presents information pertaining to Pikmin: Redemption, created by Sir Pikmin.
Nuvola warning.png
It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Pikmin: Redemption.
Reason: Or literally anywhere that would be appropriate, like in the article of the area the cave is in.

The Nightmare Den is the only nightmare cave that didn't get cut during beta testing for the game to be able to get an E10+ rating. It is comparable to the Dream Den from Pikmin 2.

In Pikmin: Sinister Incinerator

Nuvola warning.png
This article or section presents information pertaining to Pikmin: Sinister Incinerator, a fanon game created by Portal-Kombat.
Nuvola warning.png

In Pikmin: Sinister Incinerator, Dark caves are similar to ordinary caves, but are unique from other types of caves in that they each contain an abundance of dark fog at its entrance and a single dark spore on its final sublevel. Upon defeat, a boss holding a Dark Spore will spit it up, and it can then be collected as a treasure. A Dark Spore will lose the corruptive influence it had upon being absorbed by the Research Pod. There is one dark cave in each area, save for the Portal, which has only one dungeon. Dark caves are generally the farthest from the landing site and take the longest to reach. They are the deepest in their respective area.

In Pikmin: Wide World

Pikmin Wide World icon.png
"It's a jungle out there!"
This article or section presents information pertaining to Pikmin: Wide World, a fanon game created by Cheepy-Cheepy.
Pikmin Wide World icon.png

Caves make a return from Pikmin 2 and appear in Pikmin: Wide World, serving the same purpose as they did in the past. Caves are underground areas that can be accessed from various holes in the ground of certain regions of aboveground areas, and generally contain just as many treasures and fruits as they do enemies and hazards. Plants are also often found in caves, matching the theme of the sublevel they are on. Various objects and enemies may also fall from the ceilings of caves. A cave variant known as dens can be found and consist of one to two tranquil sublevels. To create a more realistic atmosphere, all sublevel themes feature occasional patches of dirt, sand, or snow, depending on the cave's location. The primary sources of light in caves is usually a leader's beacon, although some enemies and plants may also produce light. The hole to the next sublevel cannot be entered until the area around it and the path to it from the Lander Pod are secured; dangerous enemies close to it or near the path to it must be defeated and most nearby hazards must be neutralized. All caves can be exited using an escape geyser that is present on the bottommost sublevel, although escape geysers may also be found on tranquil sublevels. Some escape geysers must be activated by having Pikmin attack them before they may be used. The contents of a cave do not reappear for seven days after collection.

Every cave sublevel in Pikmin: Wide World utilizes one of several themes, some returning from Pikmin 2. Although themes are usually consistent for the entirety of a cave, some can vary. Some themes can also be mixed. They usually match the environment in which the cave's entrance was discovered. The following is a list of cave themes appearing in Pikmin: Wide World, organized by alphabetical order:

  • Concrete: Features concrete floors and walls, with patches of dirt, sand, or snow between slabs of concrete. Enemies cannot burrow into the concrete. Pipes, rebar, and large chunks of concrete serve as indestructible obstacles.
  • Dirt: A very basic and simple cave theme that possesses dirt floors and walls. Rocks and pieces of wood are occasionally present to make up portions of the floors and walls, and also to serve indestructible obstacles.
  • Metal: A special theme which has two subtypes that can be used together. The first, which returns from Pikmin 2, is named metal walkways: it has low walls, which makes it possible to throw Pikmin to their demise. The second is entirely new and is named metal interior: it resembles a typical cave in that it has high walls. Both subtypes are composed entirely of metal and feature patches and piles of colored sand. Mechanical enemies are common in this cave theme, and much like with the stone theme, enemies cannot burrow into the hard metal.
  • Nature: The spiritual successor the Pikmin 2's garden theme. Many plants and fungi cover the sublevel floor. Mud is frequent in this theme.
  • Sand: Features sand and sandstone, which comprises the floor and walls, respectively. Water is a frequent hazard in this theme.
  • Snow: Very similar to the dirt theme, but has snow covering the floor and walls. This cave theme is only ever encountered in Frigid Tundra, and only on the first few sublevels of a cave before it transitions into the soil theme. Rocks are sometimes present in these caves to break up the monotony of the dirt.
  • Stone: Has smooth stone comprised much of the sublevel's surfaces, but depending on where the sublevel's cave is located, can also contain trace amounts of dirt, sand, or snow. Enemies are unable to burrow into the hard rock. Stalagmites, stalactites, and columns of stone serve as indestructible obstacles.
  • Tiles: Small colored tiles cover nearly the whole sublevel. Water is a frequent hazard in this theme. Enemies cannot burrow into the tiles. Piles of dirt, sand, or snow may also appear and serve much the same purpose as the metal theme's colored sand.
  • Wood: Lumber is frequent in the sublevel and some pieces may serve as indestructible obstacles. Wood makes up much of the sublevel's floors and walls. Enemies may burrow into wood even though it is a hard surface type.

Sublevels may also have one or more modifiers that drastically change how they are navigated:

  • Flooded: Water covers a majority of the sublevel and very little dry land is available as a result. A clog is usually present, either blocking the hole to the next sublevel or located elsewhere. Destroying it will drain most of the water from the current sublevel. The clog does not need to be removed if enough of the land around the hole to the next sublevel is dry.
  • Dark: Visibility is abnormally low, and light sources are less effective than normal.

In addition to having themes they are styled around, four different sublevel classifications exist in Pikmin: Wide World that are based off of the number and type of enemies it houses:

  • Tranquil sublevels, also known as rest sublevels in larger caves, are sublevels that are usually devoid of enemies and hazards. Non-Pikmin-endangering obstacles may also be present. If any enemies are present, they are either harmless or easy to kill. Tranquil sublevels contain few treasures and fruits, but are worth exploring regardless as they may contain eggs, Candypop Buds, or other useful items. Tranquil sublevels compose most of the single-sublevel dens found throughout the game.
  • Perilous sublevels contain several dangers, of which are posed by enemies, hazards, and some obstacles, and have roughly equal amounts of each. Perilous sublevels are as rewarding as they are dangerous, also housing several treasures and fruits.
  • Infested sublevels contain massive quantities of enemies and may additionally be home to a few bosses. The number of enemies present in this sublevel type strongly outweighs the number of obstacles and fruits present, if there are any present in the sublevel. Infested sublevels are the most rewarding treasure-wise.
  • Boss sublevels are, as the name would imply, where the cave's boss lurks. Although some hazards and obstacles may be present on boss sublevels, they are generally devoid of enemies. Sometimes this type of sublevel may contain very few enemies that are scattered around the area.