[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/PMD_EOS_9077.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350: Imagine a world where only Pokémon roam. Including YOU.]]

->''"Introducing the newest Pokémon ... ''YOU!''''"
-->--'''{{Tagline}},''' ''Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red/Blue Rescue Team.''

A Franchise/{{Pokemon}} themed entry in Spike Chunsoft's (originally Chunsoft's before the merger with Spike) ''Mystery Dungeon'' (''Fushigi no Dungeon'') {{Roguelike}} franchise. The games center around a world populated ''exclusively'' by Pokémon (with no humans to be seen), who live in towns and cities, run shops, and go on adventures in [[RandomlyGeneratedLevels randomly generated dungeons.]]

''Pokémon Mystery Dungeon'' as a whole is notable from the main series for two reasons, one being that it's the first entries in the entire Pokémon franchise to place special emphasis on CharacterDevelopment and a compelling StoryArc (as opposed to the series's usual quest ToBeAMaster and to GottaCatchThemAll), typically involving a human who [[FishOutOfTemporalWater awakens in the Pokémon's world]] to discover that they've somehow been transformed into a Pokémon themselves. They become best friends with another Pokémon, form an adventure team, and go on a QuestForIdentity over the course of many adventures, as clues about their MysteriousPast reveal that their ultimate destiny is nothing less than SaveTheWorldClimax from an imminent destruction.

The second reason this spinoff series is notable? Because it's the first time we get to hear exactly ''what'' the Pokémon are saying underneath all the PokemonSpeak we've come to expect.

The gameplay is what you would expect from a {{Roguelike}}, except with battle mechanics loosely resembling those of the main Pokémon series: All 700-plus individual species (which you can "recruit" to become members of your team), all [[ElementalRockPaperScissors 18 elemental types]], moves, abilities, and StandardStatusEffects from the main series show up in a manner better suited to the different nature of gameplay. The Pokémon themselves are represented faithfully with 8-directional walking and attacking sprites and dialogue portraits (an impressive feat in and of itself!).

The series comprises these installments:
* ''[[VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeonRescueTeam Red and Blue Rescue Team]]'' were released for the GameBoyAdvance and the NintendoDS in 2005. Like the main series, there were [[OneGameForThePriceOfTwo a few minor differences]] between the ''Red and Blue'' versions, but both were required for true OneHundredPercentCompletion [[note]]if one didn't have the proper Wonder Mail codes, which are available on {{GameFAQS}}[[/note]].
* ''[[VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeonExplorers Explorers of Time and Darkness]]'', another pair of games with minor differences between them, released in 2008 and featuring Pokémon from the fourth generation, a tighter StoryArc, and many tweaks to the underlying gameplay. An UpdatedRerelease, ''Explorers of Sky'', was released in 2009 with additional features, including bonus chapters focusing on side characters. The ''Explorers'' games have become somewhat notorious for the ''sheer amount'' of frightening situations that managed to [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar sneak past the radar]].
* ''[[http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Pok%C3%A9mon_Mystery_Dungeon_(WiiWare) Adventure Squad]]'': A third installment released [[NoExportForYou only in Japan]] for WiiWare in 2009, comprising three versions with elementally-themed starter Pokémon (Fire, Water, and Electric), with entirely 3D graphics, and a LighterAndSofter story involving Arceus. These games do not have a page here at the moment, which is why the external link is given. [[invoked]]
* ''[[VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeonGatesToInfinity Gates to Infinity]]'': The fourth installment in the series, released on the UsefulNotes/Nintendo3DS, with [[VideoGame3DLeap fully 3D graphics]]. Unlike previous installments, this game is a standalone title. It makes use of items called Magnagates, which are generated based on AugmentedReality minigames. It was released in Japan on November 23rd, 2012, while North America had their release on March 24, 2013, Europe on May 17, 2013, and Australia a day later on May 18.
* ''[[VideoGame/PokemonSuperMysteryDungeon Super Mystery Dungeon]]'': The fifth installment of the series, released for the UsefulNotes/Nintendo3DS on September 17, 2015 in Japan, November 20, 2015 in North America, February 19, 2016 in Europe, and February 20, a day later, in Australia. The choices for the two PlayerCharacters are the starters from all 6 gens from the main games plus [[SeriesMascot Pikachu]] and [[BreakoutCharacter Riolu]].

The first two installments also received their own manga adaptations and [[TheAnimeOfTheGame a few anime episodes based on them]]; the fourth also received an anime-style two-episode short episode.

----
!!The series as a whole provides examples of:

* AdventureGuild: Rescue teams, Explorer teams (explicitly so with Wigglytuff's Guild), adventurer teams, and the Expedition Society.
* AmbidextrousSprite: Averted; Pokémon with asymmetrical designs have different sprites for all eight directions.
* AndYourRewardIsClothes: More or less the benefit of evolving at Luminous Springs in ''Explorers of Time and Darkness''. Aside from a stat boost or two, you don't get to evolve until ''[[AwesomeButImpractical absolutely everything is over]]''. You might as well not bother, unless you want to tackle the more challenging dungeons.
* TheAnimeOfTheGame: In the form of a few one-off specials - ''Go-Getters out of the Gate!'', ''Explorers of Time and Darkness'', and ''Explorers of Sky: Beyond Time and Darkness''.
** Also, ''Ginji's Rescue Team'' and ''Blazing Exploration Team'', two six-chapter mangas by Makoto Mizobuchi based on the first two games. The latter has [[NoExportForYou not been translated]].
* ArbitraryHeadcountLimit: You're only allowed to bring 4 (3 in ''Super Mystery Dungeon'') Pokémon into dungeons, with some restricting you to just the player and partner due to story reasons. This is further complicated by the size category system preventing the player from taking more than one Pokémon considered "large" (such as Onix), which also reduces the maximum party size to 3 when one is in the party.
* ArtificialStupidity
** If you run out of PP for a move, the game prevents you from selecting or using it; but if an AI Pokémon (partner, recruits, and opponents alike) run out of PP, they may continue attempting to use that move, wasting their turn. The "PP Checker" skill prevents this, but the ''Rescue Team'' games don't equip it by default (it must be learned).
** Disabling the "Course Checker" IQ skill can result in death by friendly fire if you're not careful. (But unlike "PP Checker," this one ''is'' equipped by default.)
** If for some reason a party member is separated from you, they'll happily wander off elsewhere in the dungeon, engaging other Pokémon in combat, level discrepancies or ElementalRockPaperScissors being considered irrelevant. You can tell them to "wait there" while you track them down, but you have no way of telling them "wrong way, turn around".
* TheAtoner:
** [[spoiler:Gengar]] in ''Red/Blue''
** [[spoiler:Drowzee, Armaldo, and, eventually, ''Dusknoir'']] in ''Time/Darkness/Sky''
** [[spoiler:Nuzleaf and Beheeyem]] in ''Super Mystery Dungeon''
* AutoRevive: Reviver Seeds will automatically revive a KO'd party member as long as you have one in the inventory.
* BadassAdorable: The player and partner are only cutesy first stage Pokémon, yet as the games go on they are eventually forced to fight (and beat) professional explorers, criminals, and [[OlympusMons Legendaries]].
* BagOfSharing: All team members have access to the same inventory regardless of their location on the floor; in ''Sky'', items and money placed in storage can even be exchanged to and from the optional "special episodes".
* BalefulPolymorph:
** The player character in most of the games is a human-turned-Pokémon.
** The Transfer Orb transforms an enemy Pokémon into a different species found in that dungeon.
** The Decoy Orb transforms an opponent into a Substitute Doll that other enemy Pokémon attack.
** The Itemizer Orb turns a Pokémon into an item.
* BallisticDiscount: {{Subverted|Trope}}. While you can steal from the dungeon-dwelling Kecleon merchants and use their items against them, they are so powerful that most items will barely do anything to them and they're guaranteed to KO you if you're not at or near the level cap.
* BattleThemeMusic: There is one for standard {{Boss Battle}}s, a second for {{Climax Boss}}es (and other legendary Pokémon), a third for Monster Houses. ''Explorers'' adds another for encountering Outlaw Pokémon, plus themes for the main antagonists.
* BigDamnHeroes: In ''Gates to Infinity'', when the Pawniard brothers summon two Galvantula and two Venipede to fight you, your partner, Dunsparce and Emolga, a surprise visit from Virizion, Gurdurr and the Timburr brothers initiates to gang up on them.
** Also, at Daybreak Ridge after defeating Toxicroak, Gigalith and Chandelure, just as two Excadrill and Salamence are about to gang up on you, [[spoiler:Hydreigon]] swoops in to save your character.
* BlessedWithSuck:
** The Run Away ability [[ScrewThisImOutOfHere will cause Pokémon to flee if they take enough damage]]. While this is useful for the player if it's on a enemy, it also affects party members. You can't stop them from ditching you in the middle of combat once they reach that threshold until they heal enough.
** Pokémon with the Illuminate ability (like Staryu, Chinchou, or Volbeat) will "blink" if they take damage during a turn, causing a hostile Pokémon to spawn somewhere on the floor. This includes damage from hostile weather or StandardStatusEffects.
** The Stall ability prevents hitting opponents unless they're next to the ability's owner.
%%* BloodlessCarnage: And how!
* BrutalBonusLevel: A surprisingly high number of them for the games' length.
* ButThouMust: In textbook fashion, most prompts for player input will result in only slightly altered dialogue leading to the same outcome, or require the player to go back and select the "correct" choice again.
** In ''Red/Blue'', there is are at least two points (When the player [[spoiler:is accused of being the human from the Ninetales curse]] and at [[spoiler:Mt. Freeze]]) where the player's only options are (literally) VisibleSilence.
** Near the end of ''Explorers of Sky'', while trying to explain that something feels wrong about the mysterious dreams, you're given a choice between "Something seems strange..." and "Something seems weird..."
** Taken to an extreme in ''Bidoof's Wish'' where Jirachi offers Bidoof a wish, and the player is given a ''slew'' of possible options (even [[TakeOverTheWorld World Domination]]), all leading to the same result -- Bidoof doesn't want to wish for it any more, and [[TakeAThirdOption wishes for something else]].
** Chimecho provides a LampshadeHanging in ''Sky'': "Even if you select a "No," you eventually have to select the "Yes," so it always ends up the same anyway..."
** Late in the ''Explorers'' games, during a major plot point a selection dialog pops up ... and there's ONLY ONE OPTION to pick from!
** It's also played straight in Gates to Infinity, though there is a point where you can get a NonStandardGameOver for picking a certain response.
* CharacterPortrait: In all of the games (Except for the Wii titles), with a surprising amount of different expressions. At least for the player, partner, and plot-important characters, anyway. ''[[http://www.spriters-resource.com/ds/pokemonmysterydungeon3explorersofsky/sheet/24968/]]''
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: The Wigglytuff in ''Explorers'' and ''Rescue Team''. They're separate Wigglytuff.
* ClimbingClimax: All four handheld ''Mystery Dungeon'' games end with a tower climb; the first one is the [[BubblyClouds Sky Tower]], the second is [[spoiler:Temporal Tower]], ''Gates to Infinity'' ends with [[spoiler:Glacier Palace - Great Spire]], and ''Super Mystery Dungeon'' ends with [[spoiler:the Tree of Life]].
* ContinuingIsPainful: Defeat means losing approximately half the items (randomly selected) in your active inventory and all of your money on hand (half in ''Explorers of Sky'').
* ContractualBossImmunity: Orb items explicitly cannot be used in boss battles due to "[[HandWave a strange power]]", though Seeds and StandardStatusEffects still generally can.
** While ''Gates to Infinity'' allows you to use Orbs on boss battles, it's still played straight in that the legendary Pokemon bosses are immune to status effects. Also, standard bosses recover from ailments far quicker then normal, and group bosses frequently possess an IQ skill that prevents more then one of them having a given status effect at the same time on top of this.
* ConvectionSchmonvection: [[ZigZaggedTrope Zig-Zagged]]. Standing next to lava incurs no penalties, but Pokémon that are flying/levitating over it will still get inflicted with a [[StandardStatusEffects Burn]] unless they're a Fire-type.
* CrapsaccharineWorld: Sure the world looks pretty and colorful but what about the natural disasters/distortions time that are [[HatePlague turning mons against each other]] or what about [[spoiler:the embodiment of nightmares who puts children into everlasting nightmares for his own amusement and is attempting to turn the world into a world of darkness?]]
** Ironically, even though ''Darkness/Time/Sky'' seems fairly kiddish at face value, it is often viewed as the grittiest and darkest Pokemon game ever made.
** Same with ''Gates to Infinity'', except ''[[UpToEleven EVEN DARKER]]''.
* CriticalExistenceFailure: The end of both ''Red/Blue'' and ''Explorers''.
* CurbStompBattle: Boss battles can range from very easy to very difficult depending on the player's strategy and (for some cases) the boss's own AIRoulette; for example, combining a StandardStatusEffect such as Confusion with ElementalRockPaperScissors can result in defeating the boss without giving it a chance to even fight back.
* CursedWithAwesome: Your character is a human turned into a Pokémon. Why become a human when you can do things like shooting fire from your HANDS?
** Somewhat averted in the first game though. [[spoiler:The LaserGuidedAmnesia was the real curse, not the transformation]]. The player agreed to both but shows no problems with being a Pokémon. The player can choose whether or not he/she wants to become a human again. Of course, [[spoiler:your choice is irrelevant at the end of the game. The player character wisely decides that ThePowerOfFriendship and various other awesome powers is more valuable than life on the boring human world which he/she has no memory of anyway.]]
*** Played straight in the next game where [[spoiler:Darkrai's attempt to kill Grovyle led to the PC getting turned into a Pokémon]]. On the other hand, the player is never particularly bothered by whether or not he/she can ever become human again.
*** In ''Gates To Infinity'', [[spoiler: your character ends up being able to travel between both worlds at will]].
* DarkerAndEdgier: In general, the ''Pokemon Mystery Dungeon'' games are the darkest games in the ''Pokémon'' franchise. ''Blue and Red Rescue Team'' might be lighter but it has its moments too.
* DarkIsEvil:
** ''Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky'' Zig-Zags this trope and DarkIsNotEvil all over the place.
** ''Gates of Infinity'' involves a big scary Hydreigon who is shown chasing an innocent-looking Munna. [[spoiler:Opposite to the above example, this turns into a case of Dark Is NOT Evil when we discover Hydreigon is the friendly and polite BigGood, while Munna is the ManipulativeBastard servant of the BigBad.]]
* DefeatMeansFriendship: The most common way to recruit other Pokémon into your team is by beating them while dungeon crawling. The chance that they'll ask to join you is usually random.
%%* DiagonalSpeedBoost
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: The player character and their partner will eventually have to fight and defeat Legendary Pokémon [[spoiler:and maybe an EldritchAbomination]] in every game.
* DifficultySpike: ''Explorers'' is pretty easy up until you [[spoiler:make your way to the Hidden Land and Temporal Tower]]. Afterwards, it can get [[NintendoHard downright cruel]].
** Before that, we have Quicksand Pit, which can be cruel with constant sandstorms caused by Hippopotas and ''Tyranitar''. If you're playing as a Normal-type Pokémon, Dark Hill will be living hell.
** [[spoiler:Sky Tower]] in ''Red/Blue Rescue Team'' can be pretty rough going, too. Stupid ghost-types and their dumb attacking through walls on earlier floors, Idiotic Aerodactyl and their moronic Supersonics and Agilities further up... and let's not get into the post-game dungeons.
*** In the ''Explorers'' games, escort missions are hard enough since the escort is usually massively weak. So imagine when you have to escort one of them through a 30+ lvl dungeon, facing Pokemon that can use Discharge or Silver Wind all the way from the other end of the screen every turn, or damaging weather that can wear down weak escort Pokémon... even worse is the fact that the player has no access to tactics/move commands for escorts. If the team leader steps on a Warp Trap and becomes separated from the escort... good luck.
** In ''Gates to Infinity'' [[spoiler: the spike starts with Glacier Palace's Eastern Spire, and it keeps on spiking upwards until you reach Kyurem.]]
* DisappearsIntoLight: [[spoiler:The player character]] does this after completing the main arc in the first three games (''Rescue Team'', ''Explorers'', and ''Gates to Infinity'') games, albeit for slightly different reasons. In ''Super Mystery Dungeon'', it's instead [[spoiler: the partner]].
* DisproportionateRetribution: Don't try to steal from Kecleon in ''Red/Blue Rescue Team'' unless you're very sure you can get away with it. Because when he knocks you out, every item in your bag is replaced with Plain seeds.
* EasilyAngeredShopkeeper: Kecleon running a DungeonShop will attack you if you all you did was fail to have enough money to pay for their wares.
* EasterEgg: In games past ''Red/Blue Rescue Team'', try running around your partner a lot. [[spoiler:They get dizzy and fall over.]]
* ElementalRockPaperScissors: More or less similar to the main series during gameplay. It is specifically hinted at during Sunflora's special mission in ''Sky'', where she is warned that Spring Cave is likely to contain Fire-type Pokémon [[note]] Ironically, not only are there no Fire-type Pokémon in Spring Cave, but 2/3 of the Pokémon there are actually ''weak'' to Sunflora's attacks[[/note]], and her type disadvantage against the outlaw Haunter [[spoiler:(plural).]]
* EscortMission: A frequent form other missions can take, not helped in any way by the client's [[GlassCannon lower level]] or the inability to give them tactical commands in case they get separated.
* EvilIsDeathlyCold: [[spoiler:Kyurem]] in ''Gates to Infinity''.
* FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler:Dusknoir]] in ''Explorers'' and [[spoiler:Munna]] in ''Gates to Infinity''.
* FakeDifficulty: In the first game, after a certain point the enemies in the dungeons just won't be able to damage your characters enough (since you can raise your stats with gummies very fast), so the game fills the dungeons with traps and present enemies that instead of going for direct damage, will try to use OHKO moves or poison you so you'll have to rush to the stairs.
** The second one just runs wild with it. In the ultimate challenges, you're reduced to Lv. 1, have all your IQ skills removed, cannot bring items, and the dungeons are 99 floors long with the highest trap density, and the latter floors are covered with enemies that can kill you indirectly with ease. Add this to the fact that there are only a handful of Pokémon that are effectively usable while at Lv. 1, and you'll realize that not only you won't be able to use your favorites in those challenges as those are effectively [[LuckBasedMission luck based missions]].
* FantasyWorldMap: Displayed primarily in conjunction with the dungeon-select menu.
* FireBreathingDiner: Blast Seeds, if eaten. They can alternatively be thrown, causing them to explode on impact.
* FishOutOfTemporalWater: The player. Well, not ''temporal'' water, [[spoiler:except in ''Explorers''.]] Averted in the [=WiiWare=] games.
* FixedDamageAttack: Quite a few attacks, even more than those of the main series (Dragon Rage, Night Shade, etc.).
** Geo Pebbles and Gravelerocks inflict a fixed 10 or 20 points damage, while throwing or knocking enemy Pokémon around inflicts a fixed 4 points.
** Selfdestruct and Explosion inflict a fixed 40 or 80 points on hostile Pokémon.
* FriendlyFireproof: Many (but ''not all'') moves that target an entire room will conveniently damage only opposing Pokémon. On the other hand, moves that inflict damage on a "straight line of sight" will damage the first thing they hit, friend or foe alike.
* FunnyAnimal: Mirroring any examples from the main Pokémon series.
* FunWithAcronyms: ''Gates to Infinity'' gives us the Helping Adventurous Pokemon Prosper Institute - or "HAPPI" for short.
** Team ACT stands for Alakazam, Charizard, and Tyranitar. (The Japanese Version is Team FLB)
* GameplayAndStorySegregation: At one point in ''Gates'', the abovementioned HAPPI's rules force one member of your team to stay behind while the rest journey. This is treated like it has to be one of the core team, ignoring the potentially ''dozens'' of random noncharacterized Pokemon you've recruited from dungeons.
* GenderNeutralWriting: The main characters of the game can be of ambiguous gender, so [=NPCs=] never use gendered pronouns when the HelloInsertNameHere would suffice.
* GetBackHereBoss: Certain outlaws will [[OhCrap freak out when they see your exploration team]]. One slightly notable example is Abra, whose response is to use the one move he knows, Teleport, making you have to search for him first. Thankfully, he won't Teleport again when you do find him.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: The X-Eye seed's effects are described as making one cross-eyed. It's actually a hallucinogen.
* GlassCannon: The ComMons tend to be like this.
* {{Greed}}: Some of the characters seem quite obsessed with treasure.
* GrievousHarmWithABody: Hurl Orbs, Strength, and Fling pick up one hostile Pokémon and toss it towards another, inflicting damage on both.
* GuideDangIt: 99% of the items are found randomly in the dungeons, so it's kinda hard to figure out where you can get what as the item might just not spawn whatsoever. For instance, a certain evolutionary item is found only in a certain dungeon, and ONLY in a Kecleon Shop, which might or might not appear in the dungeon. And even then, the Kecleon Shop may not have the item.
** The games' introductory quiz assigns the player a specific starter based on whichever personality type it declares as a result. If you want your player to be a ''specific'' Pokémon, the fastest way is to consult a guide for how each question affects your quiz results, and pick answers accordingly. (On the other hand, you can pick your partner's species directly.)
*** The sheer number of possible personality types and questions means that even answering optimally, it may be [[LuckBasedMission impossible]] to get the Pokémon you want if you get the wrong quiz loadout!
* HatePlague: According to the characters, it is the natural disasters/distortions in time that are turning mons hostile.
** The Bittercold in ''Gates of Infinity'' is more of a plague ''caused'' by hate (well, despair, actually, but it doesn't seem to make much of a difference). But it also causes despair...
* HealThyself: Oran Berries, available from the start of the game, heal the user by 100 HP, despite healing by only 10 HP in the main series. Or'''e'''n Berries, on the other hand, cause you to [[PoisonMushroom lose 10 HP]].
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler:Gengar]] in ''Red/Blue'', [[spoiler:Dusknoir]] in ''Sky'', and [[spoiler:Munna]] in ''Gates to Infinity''.
** Also, [[spoiler:the Sableye stick with Dusknoir no matter his allegiance.]]
* HeroAntagonist: [[spoiler:Team ACT]] in ''Red/Blue''.
** In ''Time/Darkness/Sky'', [[spoiler:Palkia just wants to stop spacial distortions from warping the world. Too bad Darkrai manipulated him into thinking ''you'' were the cause of it.]]
* HelloInsertNameHere: The player and partner, and to a lesser extent the "nicknames" of recruited Pokémon.
* HelloNurse: In ''Gates To Infinity'', this happens when the player sees Virizion for the first time. Yes, she's a frickin' Legendary. But the majority of males in Post Town seem to all have a crush on her, even though she's legendary. 'She's out of your league' INDEED.
** Even though every male in Post Town have a crush on Virizion, they all [[spoiler:have been rejected. However, Virizion joins the player and partner's team after defeating the two Paniward and their goons.]]
* HeroicMime: Played with. The player can read the [[InnerMonologue protagonist's thoughts]], but when he or she actually speaks to the other characters, all that occurs is a HyperactiveSprite and ParrotExposition from the other Pokémon.
** ''Explorers'' averts it precisely once after completing the main story arc: [[spoiler:The player actually gets to say goodbye to his partner right before the changes in history erase him from the timestream.]]
** In Red/Blue, it's averted several times, actually: the hero speaks during the dream sequences, [[spoiler:at the end of the main story as well]], and after a level-up. (Though the dream sequences may be a borderline example.)
** However, in the aftergame, if you are in a dungeon and playing as another character (such as your partner or a recruited Pokémon) and you speak to your player character, the only response is "...".
** ''Gates to Infinity'' averts this a lot of times, as the player does get a few lines of (non-soliloquy) dialogue, though it's mostly just short "what was that?" types of responses whenever an NPC introduces a new term. Even so, HyperactiveSprite and ParrotExposition still apply.
* HeroicSacrifice
** The Ninetales legend in the ''Rescue Team'' games, where a Gardevoir took the Ninetales's curse herself to save her human trainer.
** ''Explorers of Time''/''Darkness'' has no less than ''three'', with one of the Special Episodes in ''Sky'' adding a fourth.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Officially, the player and partner are merely friends who work together on the same team. This doesn't stop the {{Shipping}} fandom from numerous pairings of HoYay, LesYay, (etc.) between them, but that aside....
** That or ensure that their [[HoYay player and partner]] [[AvertedTrope are opposite genders]].
*** LesYay is much less common than HoYay or straight pairings (for female player characters, anyway), given how most of the available partners are male by default.
* HitPoints: But at least (in most conditions) they regenerate automatically.
* HubLevel: Pokémon Square, Treasure Town, and Post Town. Each is frequently the only non-dungeon location in their respective game.
* IdleAnimation: A variety of Pokémon. Poochyena's animation, for example, depicts the Pokémon barking, and Alakazam's is to levitate in place.
** HyperactiveSprite: A variety of other Pokémon don't have a distinct IdleAnimation.
* InjuredPlayerCharacterStage: In ''Explorers of Sky'', during the special episode that focuses on Sunflora, she is on fire and has the Burn status during one of the boss battles.
* InnerMonologue: All of the player's lines are either this or ParrotExposition from other characters, save for a few scenes where they actually talk directly -- which is usually reserved for dreams and other places where no other Pokémon are around.
** Averted a lot of times in ''Gates to Infinity'', as the player character talks directly much more compared to previous games.
* ItsAllUpstairsFromHere: Most of the outdoor dungeons, and the towers.
* KidHero: Every player and partner are completely unevolved. They still somehow manage to defeat Legendaries and can [[CurbstompBattle curbstomp some of them,]] [[RandomNumberGod if the RNG is nice to them.]] Super Mystery Dungeon makes this a plot point.
* {{Knockback}}: Blowback Orbs (and the moves Roar and Whirlwind) specifically send a foe flying across the room, causing them to take damage if they hit a wall or opposing Pokémon.
* LampshadeHanging: Happens with some frequency. To give one example:
--> '''Armaldo:''' [The boss of a dungeon] probably won't listen to what you have to say. You'll likely be attacked often.
--> '''Igglybuff:''' Dungeon bosses don't have much patience, do they?
* LargeHam: Dugtrio, Palkia, and Spiritomb probably all count.
* LaserGuidedAmnesia
** The main character in both ''Rescue Team'' and ''Explorers'' wakes up knowing absolutely nothing beyond their name, and the fact that they used to be a human. In the former, this is revealed to be because [[spoiler:the player specifically requested it, to prove ''to themselves'' whether they really were TheChosenOne]].
** Also in ''Red/Blue'', the final postgame mission involves rescuing Gardevoir, who requests LaserGuidedAmnesia so she won't have to remember her human trainer.
** Likewise, Uxie in ''Time/Darkness/Sky'' has power over memories, so the player assumes Uxie might have something to do with their forgotten memories. [[spoiler:Nope, but it was worth a shot asking.]]
** Unknown whether this is the case in ''Gates to Infinity'' - the player doesn't seem to have amnesia about who they are, they just don't think about their human past at all.
* LastChanceHitPoint: As with the main series, the "Endure" technique allows the holder to retain 1 HP if an attack would otherwise KO them. (Curiously, in ''Rescue Team'' and ''Explorers'' it lasts for several turns, making the user almost invincible until it wears off). In ''Gates to Infinity'', the "Sturdy" skill (a standard feature of some species) allows the user to retain 1 HP after attack if their LifeMeter was full before taking a hit, and it's available as a "team skill". There is also the "Tough" team skill which provides a random chance of this at all times.
* LevelDrain: Doom Seeds cause you to lose one level.
* TheLoad: Almost any Pokémon in an escort mission. They're typically underleveled (escorts in ''Rescue Team'' especially are always Level 1, even if they want to explore a high-level dungeon), with bad stats and moves, suicidally aggressive AI, and won't hesitate to waste every single one of your Reviver Seeds (remember, they kick in automatically) if given the chance. It's probably the number one reason many players AVOID escort missions entirely. Thank ''God'' they're no longer present in ''Gates to Infinity''.
** ''Explorers'' is the biggest offender, requiring you to face the Dark-type TrueFinalBoss with an underleveled Psychic-type in tow.
* LuckBasedMission: The Lv.1/0 IQ/No items dungeons, especially in ''Time/Darkness/Sky''. The game might not spawn enough HP/PP recovery items, you might start in a trap-filled room (or worse, a Monster House), some enemies in the late floors are nigh unkillable... really, skill is required, but if the luck isn't on your side, you WON'T complete those dungeons. On the flip side, not being allowed to take items into a dungeon means you have (literally) nothing to lose for attempting to crawl them.
* MadeOfIron: Aside from the BloodlessCarnage, every single character seems capable of TakingTheBullet with little more than short-term unconsciousness as a result.
* ManualLeaderAIParty: The player only directly controls the lead Pokémon.
* MarathonLevel: The 50- and 99- floor dungeons.
* MoodWhiplash: Especially in ''Explorers''.
* MushroomSamba: X-Eye Seeds.
* NeverSayDie: Pokémon don't "kill" other Pokémon, they "get rid of" them. (Sometimes "for good"....)
** Also in situations where one would bring up death, they avoid actually mentioning it. Usually with lots of ellipsis and question marks. For example "Is he....?"
* NoHeroDiscount: Even after [[spoiler:saving the world ''twice'']], Kecleon ''still'' doesn't give discounts.
* NothingIsScarier: If you spend too much time on one floor, an "Unseen Force" will slowly start getting closer and then blow you out of the dungeon on the very last turn. The intentions and identity of the "Unseen Force" are never explained which leaves everything about it to the player's imagination.
* OneCurseLimit: A variation in ''Gates to Infinity'': The "Prevention" Team Skill means that if one Pokémon on your team gets a status ailment, nobody else on the same team can get afflicted by it at the same time.
* OneGameForThePriceOfTwo:
** Just like the main series, there are only subtle differences in item and Pokémon appearance rates. (Additionally, the ''Rescue Team'' games are on differing systems, which means there are a few touchscreen features in ''Blue'' that aren't in ''Red'', and Pokémon can be traded between them with just one system.)
** Interestingly, ''Sky'' actually includes all the Pokémon from ''both'' Time/Darkness, along with all its other bonus features, averting the main series' trend of the [[UpdatedRerelease third version]] strategically omitting enough Pokémon to 'force' trading with past versions.
** ''Adventure Squads'' makes it One Game For the Price of ''Three'', with each game having 133 Pokémon exclusive to it (or in Stormy's case, 13''5''), and a completely different set of dungeons.
** Starting with ''Gates to Infinity'' though, this seems to have been a process that was dropped, as both it and ''Super Mystery Dungeon'' have no counterpart game.
* OneSteveLimit: Thanks to the SpeciesSurname, rarely does the player encounter more than one NPC of a given species. {{Lampshaded}} in ''Explorers'' after [[spoiler:Teddiursa]] evolves and finds others are having trouble telling them apart from their already evolved buddy.
** There are two Timburr in ''Gates to Infinity'', though... and both are addressed the same way.
* [[OneManArmy One Mon Army]]: A single character is able to plow through dozens of enemies, especially if they are a lower level than him/her.
** By the time you reach level 80, the enemies are practically unable to so much as ''touch'' you.
* PlayableEpilogue: Just like the main series, the game isn't over after the credits roll; there are still more missions and new dungeons (even some more story progression) waiting for the player to wrap up. And, of course, the quest to [[GottaCatchThemAll recruit 'em all]] truly begins at that point.
* PlayerExclusiveMechanic: All Pokemon--playable and enemy--share the same set of mechanics. One advantage player characters have is the ability to collect items in their Bag.
* PlayerPersonalityQuiz: Appears in the first two games. Gender is also a factor; for instance, in the ''Explorers'' series, a Brave male becomes [[ShockAndAwe Pikachu]] while a Brave female ends up as [[PlayingWithFire Charmander]], and certain ones are only available to one gender.
** ''Adventure Squads'' averts this by letting the player pick their hero and partner from the starting roster for each squad, with preset genders for each character. ''Gates'' averts this, letting you outright pick your player and partner characters (and their gender in the Japanese versions.) ''Super'' plays with this; while the quiz is back, you can pick something else if you want.
* PlotHole: It is never explained how the Mons know what a "human" is when there aren't any humans around. (Though the Ruins friend zone in the ''Rescue Team'' games seems to hint at a case of HumanitysWake.)
** In ''Gates,'' the partner claims that humans show up in Fairy Tales. Still does little to clear this up.
* PragmaticAdaptation: Most of the game's mechanics carry over from the main video game series, but some get reworked:
** Because gender isn't recognized outside of cutscenes, moves that require a specific gender work on all Pokemon (even Pokemon that are officially genderless). Rivalry gets reworked to trigger on typing rather than gender.
** Stats don't get modified upon evolution, so species with DivergentCharacterEvolution don't actually diverge. For instance, Gallade still focuses on high special attack while being a physical attacker in the main series.
** Happiness is not a mechanic, so Frustration and Return use other metrics to scale their power--IQ or Connections, depending on the game.
** False Swipe is useful in the original games, where HPToOne is optimal for catching Pokemon, but the ''Mystery Dungeon'' series does not allow the player to collect Pokemon that way. ''Gates to Infinity'' changes the mechanic to increase the chance of recruiting a Pokemon by knocking it out with this move... but then ''Super Mystery Dungeon'' is forced to reverse the change due to the lack of a recruiting feature.
** The player's team always moves before the enemy, so moves that depend on speed such as Vital Throw, Payback, or Quash have different effects instead.
** Moves that use the mechanic of switching in a battle have different effects. Pursuit receives a damage boost on a status condition instead. Ally Switch, Baton Pass, and After You switch Pokemon locations, and the latter two moves give the switched Pokemon a stat boost.
* PurelyAestheticGender: The player's species and/or gender has no meaningful impact in the events of the StoryArc whatsoever. In actual gameplay, it has no effect beyond whether gender-based moves and abilities (Attract, Rivalry, etc.) will work on a given Mon, as only a few species (like the Nidoran) have any notable differences between their males and females.
* QuestForIdentity: The player in both games.
* RandomEncounters: While the dungeons generally rely on wandering opponents inside dungeons, later dungeons occasionally toss in "monster houses" where a [[ZergRush swarm of Pokémon]] drop in on the player for a surprise attack. OhCrap indeed.
* RandomlyGeneratedLevels: As one would expect from a {{Roguelike}}. ''Gates to Infinity'' takes it up a notch with "Magnagates" - focus the 3DS's outer camera on a round object and the game will generate an entire dungeon from it.
* RankInflation: Mission can be ranked anywhere from E to A, followed by S and *1 through *9; although how far it goes depends on the game.
* RareCandy: Joy Seeds. There are also the same vitamins as the main series, and Sitrus Berries can increase a Mon's maximum HP if taken at full health. Ultra-rare Golden Seeds boost you up ''five'' levels!
* RecurringRiff: A few tracks, the "Danger!" theme for example, are used throughout the series.
* RegeneratingHealth: Team members gradually regenerate HP as you move around the dungeons. Holding A+B at the same time causes your HP to regenerate faster, if only by standing in place and fast-forwarding time. Poisoning (and certain weather conditions) inhibit this, though, and certain IQ skills can increase the rate.
* RequiredPartyMember: The player character and their partner are required in all dungeons until the post-game content is unlocked.
* {{Retcon}}: ''VideoGame/PokemonSuperMysteryDungeon'' confirms all the previous games take place in the same world.
* {{Roguelike}}: To cater to the younger demographic, though, it's actually a fair bit easier than most Roguelikes. At least, until the end credits roll, then the [[DifficultySpike kid-gloves come off]]. In Super Mystery Dungeon, the spike seems to be there ''[[NintendoHard right from the start]]''.
* SavePoint: "Kangaskhan Rocks" found during some of the longer expeditions. Some even allow access to the player's item storage, and they also double as a checkpoint if the player is defeated.
** The ones found outside dungeons are usually the ones with item storage access; the ones used as dungeon checkpoints don't.
** In ''Gates To Infinity'', Kangaskhan Storages and their mini versions Kangaskhan Rocks were all replaced by "Deposit Boxes", which also allow money to be deposited.
* ScratchDamage: Most commonly seen when revisiting low-level dungeons on optional missions.
* SecretAIMoves: Bosses tend to be at a higher level (with the corresponding stats and attacks) before you recruit them. Depending on the game, they might also be able to nullify an attack or recover from status conditions more quickly, which recruited Pokemon can't do.
* SequelDifficultySpike: In a variety of ways, but notably with regard to [[RandomEncounters Monster Houses]]: The first Monster Houses in the ''Rescue Team'' games would be seen in late-game dungeons like Uproar Forest or the Magma Cavern, but in the ''Explorers'' games they can occur as early as Amp Plains halfway through the StoryArc.
** ''Explorers of Sky'' spikes even earlier than ''Time/Darkness'' thanks to the special episodes and the change of bosses at Amp Plains.
* ShopliftAndDie: You can occasionally find Kecleon running a DungeonShop. If you take an item from his shop without paying or destroy it, he'll attack you until you leave the floor.
* SlidingScaleOfSillinessVersusSeriousness: The ''Pokémon Mystery Dungeon'' series has gone up and down like a yoyo. The ''Rescue Team'' mixed both to a great effect, ''Explorers'' is more serious and dark, ''Adventure Squad'' played a big silly fun, and ''Gates to Infinity'' is set to be a lighter shade of seriousness than ''Explorers''.
* SpeciesSurname: Most [=NPCs=] are named after their respective Pokémon species (only the player and partner, plus recruited Mons, are assigned actual names).
* StandardStatusEffects: In addition to the ones from the main series (poison, burn, paralysis, sleep, freeze, confusion, etc.), there is also "fear" (Pokémon flees battle), "petrify" (full paralysis until struck by an enemy attack), "slow", "cringe" (lose one turn), and so on.
* SuspendSave: Inside dungeons.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: Rumored about Kecleon, one of the merchants: "He wouldn't get free items in dungeons and sell them at a higher price..."
* SuspiciousVideogameGenerosity: If you see more than one or two items in the same room from a distance, it's likely to be either a Kecleon Shop (good) or a Monster House (bad or very bad). Luckily for you, ''Gates'' gives Kecleon Shops a different floor color so you can identify them.
* TalkingAnimal: Invoked by the player at the start of the game when they realize the first voice talking to them belongs to a Pokémon instead of a human.
* TakeYourTime: Indeed, although if the player is defeated in a boss battle, both the partner ''and'' boss will acknowledge that the player is back "again" for a rematch.
** In ''Explorers of Darkness/Time/Sky'', you must save the Temporal Tower from collapsing, causing time to freeze. But when you attempt to climb the tower, you might end up find yourself underleveled. Thankfully, you can just go back to Treasure Town and complete several jobs to level up your Party and the condition of the Tower will not have changed at all.
** Averted in ''Super Mystery Dungeon'' - If there's a story mission available, you're forced to do it.
* TechPoints: Eating Gummis increases the user's "IQ", allowing them to learn and equip new (mostly passive) skills, such as healing quicker from status problems or walking on water/lava.
* TrappedInAnotherWorld: And in another body, too!
* TreasureRoom: The last room in a dungeon is usually this. There are even some hidden stairs that lead to a room full of riches.
** ''Explorers of Darkness/Time/Sky'' introduces escort jobs where you must help the client find a room that is covered in gold but only contains two chests.
** DragonHoard: ''Gates of Infinity'' introduces Detours that contain very rare Deluxe Boxes but are blocked by a door or some kind of fog. If you manage to open the door/remove the fog, you will find yourself beset by Braviary or some other fully evolved Pokemon that will just '''wreck your party''' if you enter into the detour at an insufficient level.
* UnidentifiedItems: Wild Pokémon in dungeons may drop Treasure Boxes when defeated; these boxes come in various colors but the only way to know (and use) what's inside them is to take them to a specialized Pokémon back in town after leaving the dungeon. Until then, they do occupy space in your inventory, but if the dungeon includes a floor with a SavePoint, you can transfer them to your item storage so you don't have to keep lugging them around.
* UniversalPoison: As in the main series. It blocks the usual HP regeneration while inflicting damage. It wears off when you find the stairs to the next floor, but whether your Pokémon will survive long enough to get there is another matter.
* UselessUsefulSpell: Like the main series, most StandardStatusEffects are equally effective against enemy Mons (and even bosses) as they are against you. Unlike the main series, there are numerous other skills that qualify....
** False Swipe's ability to deal damage while never KO'ing the target was useful in the main series where Mons had to be captured alive. Not so much here, where you must KO a Pokémon to have a chance of recruiting it to your party.
*** ''Gates to Infinity'' fixed this by changing the effect to increasing recruit rate if you KO a Mon with this move.
** Item-grabbing moves such as "Thief" or "Covet" are rarely worthwhile since enemy Pokémon can only carry one item at a time, and they just drop it when KO'ed anyway. [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard On the other hand]], ''you'' have a large inventory that enemy Mons can steal from ... but at least they still drop the stolen item when defeated. Except for the moves "Pluck" and "Bug Bite", which not only steal a food item (like Oran Berries and Reviver Seeds) from your inventory, but ''use it up'' at the same time.
** "Sleep" is a generally effective status effect early on, but becomes less so in the late game due to moves (like Uproar) or IQ skills ("Nonsleeper") that prevent it.
** "Transform" doesn't copy the opponent's moveset, so the user (e.g. Ditto) must resort to using [[EmergencyWeapon Struggle]], which has a low attack power and generates recoil damage. ''Super Mystery Dungeon'' fixes it to be just like the main games, with the added bonus of confusing the target's teammates.
** "Worry Seed" gives the target "Sleepless" status. In the main series, this suppresses the target's normal Ability, but here, it is just an added (not to mention positive) status effect -- in other words, you should be using it on your team members, not enemy Mons. Ironically, this doesn't stop the AI from [[ArtificialStupidity attempting to "attack" you with it]].
** Inverted with "Selfdestruct" and "Explosion", which inflict fixed damage on hostile Pokémon and 50 percent damage on the player's team, regardless of whether it is used by the player or a hostile Pokémon. Meaning that a hostile Pokémon will suffer a KO after one or two uses, while the player can use it almost indefinitely (thanks to RegeneratingHealth and [[AutoRevive Reviver Seeds]]).
* VendorTrash: Gold Ribbons and Lost Loot exist to be sold for massive money (and if you do this in a DungeonShop, you can steal it back again for free, save for the EasilyAngeredShopkeeper).
* VideoGameTime: Venturing through a Dungeon is one day. But the plot doesn't progress until you take a mission that is relevant to the story.
* ViewersAreGoldfish: Prepare for a ''lot'' of flashbacks whenever the player character recalls a previous event, even if the flashback was just from the ''previous cutscene''. It seems to happen more often in ''Explorers'' than ''Rescue Team''.
** ''Gates of Infinity'' is much better with flashbacks too.
* VileVillainSaccharineShow: Averted in the first game, due to it not having a specific BigBad, but played straight in the second onward.
* ViolenceIsTheOnlyOption: Expect to hear something like "he's not listening to reason" any time you reach the final floor of the latest dungeon.
* WalkOnWater: All Water-type Pokémon can cross bodies of water during dungeon crawls. Other species have (or can learn) this ability as well (and a similar rule applies to Fire-type Pokémon crossing lava).
** And then it takes it to its logical extreme, with the IQ ability Absolute Mover, it not only allows any typed Pokémon to cross any terrain type normally not crossable unless you're a flying, fire, or water type, but it also allows you to move through the walls.
** Any Flying-Type or any Pokémon with the ability Levitate can cross lava and water as well.
*** Although if you cross lava without being protected from burns in some manner...
* WalletOfHolding: Your inventory space may be limited, but your money stash (not counting the bank) sure is not. Note that as of ''Gates to Infinity'' your wallet is limited to 9,999 Pokés, making the Deposit Box a necessity.
* WaterfallIntoTheAbyss: The second games has the floating island where Fogbound Lake is located.
* WeBuyAnything: But the prices you get for resale are extremely low - like 10%(!) of its retail purchase price.
* WeCannotGoOnWithoutYou: If either the player or their partner Mon are knocked out in a dungeon, the mission is immediately over. (After the credits roll, this is reduced to whomever the player designates as the party leader.)
* WhamLine: Many of them, mostly in ''Explorers''.
%%* WhatMeasureIsANonCute
* WizardNeedsFoodBadly: The Belly meter. This was completely removed in ''Gates'' (save for three post-game dungeons which are clearly labeled as such.) The familiar Apples saw a return there.
* WorldOfFunnyAnimals: Unlike in other ''Pokémon'' games, this game series takes place in a world populated entirely by Pokémon and no humans, though the main character was originally a human him/herself.
* WouldHurtAChild: Like the main series, there is no gameplay distinction between "baby" Pokémon (like Caterpie or Azurill) and adults when it comes to fighting. You're free to knock 'em all out.
* XMeetsY: ''{{Pokemon}}'' meets ''VideoGame/ShirenTheWanderer'' with bits of ''Franchise/MetalGear'' elements.
* YouAllLookFamiliar: Somewhat lessened by a [[OneSteveLimit One Species Limit]], but still shows up occasionally.

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!!''Adventure Squads'' also contains examples of:
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: Blazing Squad is comprised of primarily red/orange/yellow/brown pokemon, Stormy Squad is all blue, and Light Squad is all yellow save for the light blue Shinx and Pachirisu.
* [[FireIceLightning Fire, Water, Lightning]]: Blazing Squad, Stormy Squad and Light Squad are comprised primarily of that respective type.
* LighterAndSofter: In ''Time/Darkness/Sky'', the main plot is to [[spoiler: find the time gears before the BadFuture arrives and the world is put into hell]]. In ''Adventure Squad'', the main plot is finding some cookies in a dungeon so your town will stop fighting over a piece of chocolate.
* PaletteSwap: 36 pokemon have Shiny counterparts that can be discovered and recruited. Notably, they have one advantage over their normally colored cousins: their HungerMeter goes up to ''200'' instead of the typical 100.
* RuleOfThree: In addition to there being three versions, each team has three pokemon in the starting roster who aren't the dominant type:
** [[PlayingWithFire Blazing Squad]] has Eevee, Teddiursa and Buneary.
** [[MakingASplash Stormy Squad]] has Phanpy, Wynaut and Riolu.
** [[ShockAndAwe Light Squad]] has Meowth, Psyduck and Togepi.

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