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Video Game / Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team

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The one where it all began, 10 years after it really began.

"Welcome! This is the portal that leads to the world of Pokémon!"

The first entry (or rather, entries) in the roguelike Pokémon spinoff series known as Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, Red Rescue Team and Blue Rescue Team were released for the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS (respectively) in 2006.

The story concerns the player character who awakens in a world inhabited exclusively by Pokémon, with no memories but their name and the subsequent discovery that they've inexplicably been transformed from a human into a Pokémon. Natural disasters (earthquakes, etc.) have been plaguing the land, and concerned citizens — er, Pokémon — have been banding together in "Rescue Teams" to help out Mons in need. The player quickly allies with another Pokémon to form a two-Mon rescue team of their own, while slowly piecing together clues about how and why they got here.


The games had two separate adaptations: a 20-minute anime special based on the start of the games called Mystery Dungeon: Team Go-Getters Out of the Gate! which featured the protagonist as a Squirtle and a one volume manga called Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Ginji's Rescue Team which featured the protagonist as a Torchic.

In the Pokémon Direct on the 9th of January, 2020, a Video Game Remake of the games for Nintendo Switch was announced, dubbed "Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX", including features from newer games, such as Mega Evolution, which released on March 6th of the same year. The trailer can be watched here.

Please note that certain tropes listed under Red Rescue Team and Blue Rescue Team also apply to Rescue Team DX.

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    Tropes used in Red Rescue Team and Blue Rescue Team 
  • 100% Completion: The game acknowledges recruiting all Pokémon in its Adventure Log.
  • Ability Required to Proceed: A few dungeons in the postgame can only be accessed via Hidden Machines, which in this game are rare items found on specific floors of dungeons. Once you have an HM, you can enter the HM-specific dungeon either by keeping it in your item bag (only takes up a single space, but can be lost if you faint) or by teaching its move to a Pokémon and taking it to the dungeon (prevents it from being lost, but may require you to take a specific team member in or erase a good move for the HM move).
  • Aborted Arc: After the Metapod rescue mission, Team Meanies' world domination plot isn't mentioned again.
  • Advanced Ancient Acropolis: The Aged Chamber and Ancient Relic friend zones seem to be located in the stone ruins of some advanced civilization - with fountains, detailed carvings on the walls, and even glowing sigils.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Unlike in future games, Pokémon's genders aren't shown when you fight them and most NPCs aren't referred to by gendered pronouns (others either use their name or occasionally use "it" or "they"/"them" instead). This made the move Attract into a very powerful move as Everyone Is Bi.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: In the postgame, the player is able to control anyone on their team. Anyone you recruited before or will recruit will be playable.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Almost all boss Pokémon found at the end a 99 floor dungeon have a 99.9 percent base rate of being recruited, meaning the player won't have to slog through the hour-long level again just because they got unlucky. The only exception to this is Mewtwo, who can't be recruited on the first battle but has the standard 99.9 chance on subsequent runs.
  • Apocalypse How: Near the end of the game, it is revealed that a falling star is hurtling towards the earth at an alarming speed. Something on the Planetary Scale (Class 4 - Class 6) is implied, with the shooting star threatening to wipe out all Pokémon.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Your party can only hold up to four Pokémon at any given time, with "large" Pokémon taking three slots. Additionally, you can only take three Pokémon into a dungeon at any given time, with the fourth slot being reserved for your escort clients or any Pokémon you recruit during the mission.
  • The Atoner: It's eventually revealed that the trainer who abandoned their Gardevoir was Gengar, and in the post-game, he's ready to try atoning for his sin and reversing Gardevoir's curse. This leads to an Escort Mission that involves taking Gengar to Ninetales to learn how to undo the curse, and then taking Gengar to the Murky Cave to find Gardevoir and prove Gengar's change of heart to undo Gardevoir's curse.
  • Back from the Dead: After the explosion from Rayquaza's destruction of the falling star, the player character and their partner are killed. But both are brought back to life by Gengar, who pretends to drag the player character off to 'the dark world' but actually saves them.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: Team Meanies has Gengar (big), Medicham (thin) and Ekans (short).
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Jirachi and Celebi. If you can even manage to get down to them— both at the bottom of grueling level 1 dungeons— you've practically already mastered the game.
  • Breather Episode:
    • Uproar Forest and its main mission come up right after the lengthy Plot Tunnel that is the fugitives arc. It has the much lower stakes of helping Wynaut and Wobbuffet deal with a gang of Mankeys, followed by them remodeling the player's home.
    • The mission that unlocks Howling Forest tends to show up right after the remodel is finished. While it's optional, it falls under this as well, since it's a lighthearted subplot that recruits Smeargle, who can repaint the base's flag.
  • Brick Joke: Upon entering Silent Chasm for the first time, Jumpluff states there is a terrifying monster deep within, which causes your Partner to fake a stomachache, clearly expecting you to fake one as well (if you don't, they're upset at you for not getting the hint). Regardless of which you choose, before the next mission, when Alakazam states how dangerous Mt. Thunder is you can fake a stomachache as well, which your Partner jokes to Alakazam, "My friend does this a lot, kind of embarrassing".
  • Broken Bridge: Sky Tower is the only main-game dungeon that can't be revisited immediately, since it's extremely high in the air; the first visit is only possible because of the Teleport Gem. Once you have the Fly HM, it can be returned to freely (unless the HM is lost).
  • Brutal Bonus Level: The post-game dungeons Wish Cave, Joyous Tower, and Purity Forest all have 99 floors and reset your level to one. Purity Forest takes it a step further and destroys any items in your bag when you enter. It also resets your IQ to zero, taking away all of your skills, and prevents you from bringing in any teammates to help. The game calls it a test of wits and intelligence rather than power, but it fails to mention the colossal amount of luck involved.
  • But Thou Must!: Some dialogue selections can lead to amusing exchanges or foreshadowing (for example, the player character can claim that they know how to fly to space - but can only do it when their partner isn't looking). Overall though, the dialogue tree has zero impact on the actual plot. Selecting the wrong option will often just cause game to repeat the same question over and over.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Medicham of Team Meanies proudly declares that their ultimate goal is world domination. They're only a rescue team to better their image; every mission gives them more money and influence in the eyes of society.
  • Character Portrait: The protagonist and their partner have over a dozen emotive portraits, and most background characters have at least one.
  • Colony Drop: Near the end of the main story, it is revealed that a large falling star is threatening the planet.
  • Commonplace Rare: Some Pokémon that were Com Mons in Generation 3 main games are not so common here. For example, Pidgey and Magikarp can be recruited only (the latter won't appear in Red Rescue Team at all until it's unlocked) in specific dungeons, where they spawn with an average rate of 1.50% and 2.13%, respectively.note  Pidgey is actually seen in the very first dungeon, but the game prevents anyone from being recruited in Tiny Woods, so it's a long time before you fight ones that can be recruited.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: Wonder Orbs simply fail to work during boss battles.
  • Cosmetic Award: Rescue Team Ranks. It's purely cosmetic, as you don't get any rewards for increasing a rank.
  • Covers Always Lie: The covers have the various members of both Team Meanies and Team ACT surrounding what appears to be the main characters. In the game, Team ACT are good guys while Team Meanies are Card Carrying Villains, and while Team ACT pursues the rescue team during the fugitives arc, it's as the result of a ploy from Gengar. Also, for some reason, one member is swapped out for the member of the other team on each box—it features Gengar being in Team ACT (which would make it Team AGT) and Charizard in Team Meanies. The remade cover art for DX removes the red eyes from Alakazam and Tyranitar and repositions everyone so that they look less imposing.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Defeating Pokémon in dungeons will occasionally cause them to join your party. In the post-game where you can select which character to play as, this results in Defeat Means Playable.
  • Demoted to Extra: Groudon and Rayquaza serve as some of the last bosses in the main story, but the other Generation III box legendary, Kyogre, is just one of the first post-game bosses and has no story importance.
    • Absol gets hit with this pretty much immediately after they are recruited, despite their introduction (and character portrait) hinting that they will be a significant part of the story in some way.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • After getting Rayquaza to destroy the falling star, if you had recruited Pokémon that survived the boss battle, either by luck or Reviver Seeds, your Partner asks what became of them, whereupon Xatu will say that they're safe. If you didn't have anyone besides the two of you (period, or left alive), these lines won't play.
    • In "The Mystery of the Mirage Pokémon", Spinda will ask what the mirage Pokémon is. If the player has Ho-Oh as the team leader, Spinda will have special dialogue in reaction to finding out that the mirage Pokémon is in front of it.
      • Similarly, Bellsprout has special dialogue if you have Chansey as team leader.
    • If you manage to receive a Job that requires you to go to a dungeon that has yet to be unlocked (only possible through Wonder Mail), the game will produce unique text remarking that the request is possibly outdated.
    • If you go out of your way to have Absol faint during the fugitive arc, there's a special message due to the unusual circumstances, though it doesn't count as a failure and you can continue on.
  • Dialogue Tree: The player gets frequent two-option choices while talking to other characters, though they never change the course of the story and just give different reactions.
  • Disc-One Nuke / Infinity -1 Sword: Bullet Seed is possibly the most broken attack in the early stages of the game. It gives the user 2-5 hits in a row of a standard Grass-type attack while working at a distance in a straight line. This makes most boss fights an absolute joke, even though most of the game's bosses resist or double-resist Grass-type attacks, just due to the sheer damage output. It’s obtainable pretty much as soon as you start getting TM’s, roughly around the time of the fourth dungeon (for shops and rescue rewards; it's available as of the sixth dungeon as a random drop, which is still pretty early). And that’s even if you don’t use Wonder Mail to just generate it as a custom rescue reward, which you can do right after the completion of the second dungeon. While there are better attacks available late-game or to certain evolution lines, Bullet Seed is prolific, easily obtainable, and exceptionally powerful while being available to many of the game's starter and partner Pokémon.
    • Bulbasaur stands out even among the Grass-type starters for a couple reasons. First, it learns Sleep Powder and Leech Seed early on, two moves that can be exceptionally helpful against both early-game enemies and bosses alike. Second, the large number of resistances that its secondary Poison typing give it are really helpful against early-game opponents, as well as the complete immunity to the Poison status. Thirdly, it learns the aformentioned Bullet Seed while also getting Razor Leaf, making Bulbasaur a tremendous threat at a distance. As a bonus, Grass/Poison Pokémon have above-average IQ gains from every type of gummi in the original Red and Blue Rescue Team, making it much easier to grind IQ for Bulbasaur than any other starter or partner Pokémon.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: It is possible to earn statues of various Generation IV Pokémon that had yet to be released as Rescue Team preceded Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. Lucario is even revered as the greatest Rescue Team leader in existence. The Playable Epilogue also has a random event where you can encounter a Munchlax and get a Munch Belt.
  • Early Game Hell: The difficulty changes depending on the combination of you and your partner, but due to the game using Generation 3's movesets, a player who chose Cubone as their starter wouldn't learn any attacking moves until level 9 (Bone Club) and the first boss of the game nullifies Ground-type damage.
    • Similarly, if you start as a Psyduck, you won't get a STAB Water-type move until level 50, and its only damaging moves until then are Scratch (Normal-type is super effective against nothing) and Confusion (the only bosses weak to Psychic-type are Team Meanies's Ekans and the Mankeys fought near the end of the game).
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • You aren't able to freely recruit Pokémon in this game, unlike later ones. Instead, you have to purchase their Friend Areas from Wigglytuff or acquire them otherwise, allowing Pokémon who live in that area to be recruited so they can move into there. The later Mystery Dungeon games let you recruit Pokémon freely, accessing them through a menu instead of Friend Areas.
    • This is the only game where boss battles give you experience points.
    • This is the only game in the series without Treasure Boxes, though the remake adds them as Random Drops.
    • All the other games have a final boss that is unique to the subseries in some way: Explorers has Primal Dialga, Gates to Infinity has the Bittercold, and Super has Dark Matter. Rescue Team only has a normal Rayquaza as its final boss who isn't even the Big Bad - that's an ordinary Gengar.
    • While Hidden Machines appear in other games, they are only necessary for entering dungeons in Rescue Team.
    • Pokémon Trainers are mentioned. Later games would have fewer references to the main series.
  • Easily Condemned: Gengar accuses you of being the human that touched Ninetales' tail, which is said to curse the individual and bring about the end of the world. Said accusation suddenly makes everyone want try to hunt you down and kill you, despite the accusation coming from a shady individual, and your team doing nothing but good throughout the entire game.
  • Easter Egg: As shown as the page image, if you stand the two game boxes on top of each other (GBA being on the bottom) it shows that the two images connect as one large image.
  • Empty Levels: Some Pokémon have level ups where they get nothing but +1 to HP (including Shedinja, who always gets +0 HP, meaning it straight up gets nothing for some of the level ups).
  • Escape Rope: The ever-valuable Escape Orb allows you to instantly exit a dungeon while keeping the loot you've gathered along the way.
  • Event Flag: Usually major events in the plot are triggered by doing a certain number of missions.
  • Everyone Is Bi: Genders are largely missing in the original game (though your Player Character is still identified as the gender you choose), since the Mystery Dungeon subseries didn't need it for a major system like breeding. Thus, anything that inflicts infatuation works on every Pokémon.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Early Japanese versions of Blue Rescue Team had a bug that could potentially erase saved data off of any inserted GBA game that wasn't Red Rescue Team.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: If you talk to the Kecleon brothers after clearing your name and saving the world, they will say they will try getting better wares. This is kinda true, as their shop stock does change, though the first milestone is actually before they say this - if you talk to them just before you tell your partner you're ready to become fugitives, you'll notice the shop stock has already changed.
  • Gender-Neutral Writing: The game almost always avoids referring to you or your partner by gendered pronouns. Usually, they use your name instead of a pronoun.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!: Gengar says "To heck with it" at one point.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: Not a requirement, but it is nonetheless possible to recruit every Pokémon from the first three generations. For the original games, this is only possible by exchanging data between the two versions or using Wonder Mail to get a few exclusive species.
  • Green Hill Zone: Tiny Woods is the first dungeon in the game, and functions as a tutorial level. It's only three floors long and has no bosses.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: Both your character and partner can be named, as well as your Rescue Team. In DX, all of these names can be changed on the main menu, and you can also nickname any recruited Pokémon after exiting a dungeon.
  • Hub City: Pokémon Square, a small town that holds main necessities like the Kecleon Shop, Felicity Bank, and Kangaskhan Storage, as well as a few townsfolk who gain different dialogue throughout the story.
  • Humanity's Wake: The game is highly ambiguous about where the humans are (Gardevoir had a trainer once and the other Pokémon understand the concept of humans, but humans are not seen and the story implies the protagonist might be from another universe). Certain areas such as the "Ruins" friend zone implies the series takes place centuries after humans died out.
  • Hyperactive Sprite: The Pokémon sprites all have short animations that play even while standing still.
  • I Choose to Stay: While the player is given the opportunity to return to the human world and their original form after saving the world, they ultimately decline, preferring to stay in the Pokémon world.
  • Idiosyncratic Cover Art: The two boxarts form a scene together; Blue's shows a rescue team looking into a chasm, while Red's shows a group of Pokémon trapped underground.
  • I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You!: Postgame, Ekans reveals the existence of the Wish Cave by telling the player that he doesn't know anything about making wishes come true.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Shiftry is introduced as a Rescue Team leader who only cares about missions that pay well - he only accepts Jumpluff's job request because Alakazam pressures him into it. But when the mission suddenly turns dangerous and he is seriously injured, he still prioritizes Jumpluff's safety and cautions the payer character to leave him behind to save themselves.
    • Post-game, Gengar ultimately turns into this. He may be a petty Card-Carrying Villain, but he after saving the player at the end of the game, he wants to make amends for what he did as a human.
  • Journey to the Sky: Sky Tower, the final destination, is a tower floating in the sky and is made up of clouds. It has a total of 34 floors, of which the last nine comprise the Sky Tower Summit. The heroes need to head there and reach the highest floor to request help from Rayquaza, one of the Olympus Mons, in stopping a meteor from destroying the planet, for which they have to defeat it in battle. The first arrival can be done with the Teleport Gem, but in the postgame, the object is damaged so the tower can only be reached with the Fly ability (this is no longer necessary in the game's remake).
  • Last Lousy Point: Besides the obvious pick of Kecleon, there are some Pokemon that take very long to encounter or recruit, or take extra effort to evolve (or in case of Blissey, all of that at once, as it's hard to recruit Chansey, let alone find it, and then you have to evolve it).
  • Lethal Lava Land: Magma Cavern, the domain of Groudon, is populated with Ground and Fire-types and has lava flowing everywhere. Only Fire-types can cross it safely as others will get burned.
  • Lost Woods: Sinister Woods, Uproar Forest, Howling Forest, and Purity Forest are all deep dungeons that qualify for this - featuring large trees, strong Pokémon, and sometimes the use of the darkness mechanic.
  • Make a Wish: If you beat Jirachi at the bottom of Wish Cave and turn down its recruit request, you can use the Wish Stone to make a wish.
    • Lots of Money: Jirachi gives you 10,000 to 18,000 Poke.
    • Lots of Items: Jirachi gives you a bunch of items from Wish Cave.
    • Friend Area: Jirachi gives you immediate access to a Friend Area you don't already own.
    • More Power: Jirachi gives you a bunch of Joy Seeds and Drinks.
    • Something Good?: Jirachi raises your Rescue Rank, and if not that, gives you a free Pokémon you don't already have, and if you have both, gives you Poké.
  • Marathon Level: Several post-game dungeons have 99 Floors, such as Buried Relic, Silver Trench, and Purity Forest.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: While the possible consequences of this are generally ignored, the game drops a few small hints here and there:
    • The game manual's introduction of the setting intones that not only does the player get turned into a Pokémon, but that their "thoughts and feelings" also become "more like a Pokémon".
    • When first introduced to their rescue team base, the player is excited, but immediately questions whether the feeling is truly theirs, or the results of being turned into a Pokémon.
    • In the postgame, Lombre comments that he doesn't want to evolve into a Ludiculo if it means his personality will change from serious to carefree.
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members: You can play as any of the 16 Pokémon available via the personality quiz, but your partner choices are limited to the three elemental starter trios and Pikachu, and you can't pick anyone with the same typing as you (someone playing as Psyduck can't pick Squirtle, Totodile, or Mudkip, for example).
  • Mythology Gag: You may recruit Pokémon that, in the main series, can only evolve by trading. In this case, you can evolve them by offering a Link Cable.
  • Never Say "Die": Many euphemisms are used instead, despite the fact part of the plot has Pokémon trying to kill you.
    • Another instance that flew over a lot of people's heads was the fact that after Rayquaza destroys the meteor the player remarks that they were swallowed by the star's explosion and that they're now adrift as a spirit, ie. they were actually killed by the explosion and are in the afterlife until Gengar saves them.
  • Noob Cave: Thunderwave Cave is the second dungeon in the game. It has no boss, is only slightly longer than Tiny Woods, and contains (slightly more advanced) tutorials.
  • Not Quite Dead: Despite the fact that flashbacks heavily imply she was killed, the postgame eventually reveals that the Gardevoir from the Ninetales legend is actually sealed within an ancient ruin.
  • Not So Above It All: Your partner is commonly painted as being a Pokémon who is willing to do good things for the sake of doing them; however, when Wynaut and Wobuffet reward you with a peeled Chestnut for your work, the partner is a bit disappointed at first.
  • Obviously Evil: Team Meanies. Probably invoked; with a name like that, who would suspect that world domination was a goal?
  • One Game for the Price of Two: As per the standard, although Rescue Team does it a little bit differently since both games were released on different consoles. In addition to version-exclusive Pokémon, Blue has some exclusive features that Red did not get, such as the Unknown Dungeon and being able to import a party from Red Rescue Team as a Makuhita Dojo fight.
  • Password Save: The game includes an intricate password system called "Wonder Mail", allowing you to get special job requests otherwise not obtainable through normal gameplay. The most common of these are typically rescue requests from other players, which can be generated in the event of a full party wipe and sent to another player to give them the opportunity to rescue you, with the sender granted a revival on a successful rescue and the receiver getting rewards. Special codes were also released through official media, granting access to three "secret" dungeons and unique items and Pokémon. However, through gratuitous datamining, fans were able to figure out how the Wonder Mail password generation system works, giving rise to the so-called "Wonder Mail generator", a topic of hot debate among fans as it can be used to generate any job request with virtually any condition (such as beating Tiny Woods) and any possible reward (such as Rainbow Gummies or Legendary Pokémon).
  • Playable Epilogue: There is a wealth of post-game content unlocked after saving the world, including several new dungeons, Legendary Pokémon to recruit, and the most difficult levels in the game.
  • Player Headquarters: The Rescue Team base.
  • Player Personality Quiz: The game opens with a personality quiz that determines which Pokémon your main character becomes.
  • Plot Tunnel: This game starts the subseries tradition of a "dungeon run" around the midway point of the game, where you have to go through several new dungeons in a row without a way to stop at town to shift team members or complete optional missions, and only being able to shop within dungeons. In this case, it happens when you and your partner have to go on the run after Gengar tries to turn Pokémon Square's residents against you, with four dungeons and two bosses to defeat before returning to the normal routine. The game provides Kangaskhan Rocks for storage access and some repeatable grinding dungeons to make things easier.
  • Prophecy Twist: Ninetales predicted that when a certain human was reborn as a Pokémon, the world would be put in danger. However, she never said he was the cause, nor that the two events had any relation to each other besides happening at the same time.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: Selecting your gender at the end of the personality quiz affects which personality corresponds to which Player Character Pokémon, and some of the choices are gender-exclusive. However, the rest of the game doesn't address the player's gender at all, and gender is not a mechanic.
  • Purple Is the New Black: The Black Gummi sprite is actually a dull purple.
  • Randomly Generated Levels: Although the dungeons have a set number of floors, the layout of those floors is randomly generated. The items and Pokemon there are also randomly generated, although they tend to be drawn from a specific pool depending on the dungeon.
  • Rare Random Drop: Item drops aren't much of a thing in the Mystery Dungeon games, but some of the rare recruitable Pokémon fill the same role.
    • Kecleon has the lowest base recruit rate in the game, at -33.9%. To even have a shot at catching him, you need a Pokémon at maximum level that is holding the Friend Bow, and even then, its recruitment rate only tops at .1% from the combined bonuses. Not to mention that you have to steal from one to force it into fighting, they respawn endlessly in droves and are hellbent murderers, and Escape Orbs are rendered useless... so if you are lucky enough to recruit one, you're still in for a hard time getting your new friend out of this mess. note 
    • Blastoise, Feraligatr, and Swampert can count as well, as they also have a -33.9% recruit rate as the only fully-evolved starters to be recruitable, and only spawn in the later floors of Western Cave. Whether this is easier or harder than evolving their previous forms is up to the player.
  • Save Point: Normally you are able to save your game after missions or when sleeping in your bed. Kangaskhan Rocks provide additional save points in areas where the plot prevents you from returning to town.
  • Saving the World: The main conflict of the main game involves saving the Pokémon world from being desroyed by natural disasters and eventually a meteorite.
  • Scenery Porn: Not just cutscene scenery, but also the Friend Areas are really well detailed, with good art and atmosphere.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Desert Region is a desert-themed dungeon populated by Ground-types and often has Sandstorms, which deal 3 damage to non-Ground, Rock, and Steel-types every 10 steps.
  • Shoplift and Die: God help you if you try to take an item from a Kecleon shop. Unfortunately, it's the only way to recruit Kecleon, assuming you're lucky enough.
  • Shout-Out: One question in the personality quiz asks for your response if a hand pops out of your toilet.
  • Silent Protagonist: The protagonist never speaks to anyone outside of dialogue choices and some implied talking. Unlike most cases, they get a lot of internal dialogue.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Frosty Forest and Mt. Freeze are both ice-based dungeons with lots of snow and ice-type Pokémon.
  • So What Do We Do Now?: The main arc's ending, with all the disasters having been solved by that point. Fortunately for the rescue team, more events keep popping up in the postgame.
  • Terrain Sculpting: One of the very last IQ skills lets you walk through anything. This means you can walk straight through walls, which breaks them in the process and carves a path through solid rock, and unlike Mobile Scarf or Ghost-types' innate ability, this does not increase Belly consumption rate.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: A high level Pokémon can inflict these on early enemies; unlike the main series, the game explicitly tells you how much damage you did. If you do more than 999, the little number by the target gives up and just becomes a red 999; the message log will still properly display dealt damage, showing that, with proper preparation, it is possible to reach 5-digit damage.
  • Timed Mission: Sort of. Spending too many turns on a floor will cause an ominous message indicating an incoming storm to appear. Spend more turns, and eventually a massive gust of wind will cause your team to get swept out of the dungeon, which has the same effect as fainting.
  • Under the Sea: Stormy Sea, Far-Off Sea, Grand Sea, and Silver Trench are all undersea dungeons. They're mostly populated with Water-types and have water tiles scattered everywhere.
  • The Unfought: Team ACT is never fought by your team, as the attempted battle at Mt. Freeze starts in a cutscene and gets interrupted and defused quickly. The team also doesn't get a post-game battle in Makuhita Dojo, unlike most other NPC rescue teams.
  • Vague Age: No playable character has their age stated. It's implied the protagonist and their partner are Kid Heroes but that doesn't say much.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can choose to keep the apples that Munchlax drops instead of returning them. You'll gain an Apple in your inventory, but the game will call you out for this because you made Munchlax cry.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After you help Gengar lift the curse on Gardevoir, neither he or Team Meanies are seen again.
  • Yet Another Stupid Death: The game has more than two dozen failure messages, some of which require you to really get out of your way to see them.
  • You Are Worth Hell: In a postgame event, Latios is so desperate to locate his younger sister Latias in Pitfall Valley that he doesn't care if he becomes lost forever in it himself, so long as the two of them are together; bonus points for the place being called Hell Valley in Japanese. About the only thing stopping him is that you tracked down and defeated him in battle first.
  • You Have Researched Breathing:
    • Things like "not stepping on visible traps" and "not trying to use moves that are out of PP" - are special skills that your partner can only learn once their IQ is high enough.
    • In the main games, evolution is a natural and common part of most Pokémon's lives. Even if it doesn't happen to them, they've likely seen it occur to another Pokémon. In these games, however, evolution cannot be unlocked until post-game. That would be fine if not for the lack of understanding of the concept by NPCs. The partner and several others have never heard of it (even Metapod, who is a stage two Pokémon).
      • Somewhat justified in a missable NPC conversation at the beginning of the game. If the player speaks to Lombre in the town square, Lombre mentions that Pokémon used to evolve but for some reason they don't anymore, and that it's been awhile since anybody evolved. Perhaps your partner and some of the other Pokémon who don't know about evolution are too young to remember? After all, it's never stated exactly how old Lombre is. He might be one of the few older Pokémon that still remember evolution. The game implies that evolution stopped happening due to the natural disasters, so after the player averts the end of the world, it could be that Pokémon are finally able to evolve again. Although that still doesn't explain Metapod...
  • Zerg Rush: Monster Houses drop a whole bunch of hostile Pokémon in the room you're in. Bottlenecking them by walking back the way you came is generally a good idea to clear house, but if you brought a partner with you, expect for them to get hammered on the way back.

    Tropes used in Rescue Team DX

  • Adaptational Early Appearance:
    • In the original game, Makuhita doesn't appear and open up his dojo until after Diglett is rescued from Mt. Steel. In DX, the Dojo is open as soon as Pokémon Square is available.
    • Diglett first shows up at the top of Mt. Steel in the original game. DX gives him an introductory cutscene beforehand (about a day before he gets stuck there), mainly so he can inadvertently open up a shortcut to the Pelipper Post Office.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • Frosty Grotto had its name changed to "Heart of the Frosty Forest".
    • Similarly, Mt. Freeze Summit was changed to "Mt. Freeze Peak".
    • Iron Thorns had their name changed to Iron Spikes, to fit better with Silver Spikes.
    • The Patsy Band was renamed to the Nullification Bandana.
  • Adapted Out:
    • For the first time in the series, DX removes standard attacks entirely; pressing the A button has the game pick a move to attack with. The game instead uses Move Ranks from Gates to Infinity to enhance your capability to continue fighting in longer dungeons. However, your allies can still use this attack and enemy Pokémon can likewise still attack you this way.
    • The game also removes IQ like Gates and Super did. Instead of outright deleting the mechanic, however, the entire system has been streamlined; Gummies have been simplified down to just two Gummies that are equally effective on all Pokémon and boost stats like the original Gummies, while the IQ effects have been converted into "Rare Qualities" that recruited Pokémon have a chance of having or can be taught to your Pokémon with Gummies.
  • Always Accurate Attack: Apart from the regular "Sure Hit" moves, two Rare Qualities provide this trait. "Narrow Focus" gives all attacks perfect accuracy when used in a corridor, and "Rapid Bull's-Eye" gives perfect accuracy to all moves that hit multiple times, even moves that hit twice thanks to Swift Swim or Chlorophyll.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Being a remake brings about several quality of life changes that were absent by virtue of being the first installment. In addition to bringing some features from the predecessors, it added...
    • The starters have updated movesets that incorporate a number of egg moves. These include Cubone getting Brutal Swing (alleviating its original Early Game Hell issues), Pikachu getting Grass Knot so that it can take down Ground-types, Chikorita getting Ancient Power for Flying-types, Treecko getting Dragon Breath, and Totodile getting Ice Fang for Grass-types. And if you ever delete these moves, they can be relearned at Gulpin's Link Shop.
    • Auto movement, which automatically charts a path for you, whether you want to explore the floor or beeline for the stairs, reducing the slog from constantly doing directional inputs. Your team will automatically stop right before encountering an enemy, though.
    • IQ has been removed, with its more basic quality of life bonuses such as avoiding visible traps and not wasting PP on ineffective moves or to inflict a status the enemy already has being enabled by default, and some of the more high-level and unique ones, like making recruitment easier or not setting off invisible traps, have been turned into rare qualities that can be learned via Gummi and are shared with the entire team.
    • "Useful Shortcuts", a customizable quick menu on the ZR button, allowing players to quickly skip over the main Menu screen to access frequently-used options.
    • Opening Treasure Boxes the moment you safely leave the dungeon you found them in, as Rescue Team initially lacked such a feature. The need for appraisal shops is gone as a result.
    • Returning from Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, it is now possible to change the names of the player, the partner, and the Rescue Team via the main menu. In the original, this was not possible (except for Shedinja, due to the unique way you obtain it), meaning that all names were final once decided.
    • There are now Wonder Orbs to summon services normally available in Pokémon Town to your position in the dungeon, making it easier to ditch unneeded money or summon extra Pokémon to your side.
    • Also returning from Super, if you don't like the Pokémon picked for you at the end of the personality quiz, you can say so and the game will let you pick the Pokémon you want. On top of alleviating the Guide Dang It! to get a desired starter, this also allows you to start as a Pokémon that was gender-locked in the originals, like Machop and Cyndaquil only being available if you said you're a boy. In addition, every Pokémon that can be a partner can also be a starter, and vice versa, whereas before, there were a handful that could only be one or the other; the only caveat is that you still can't pick a partner that's the same type as you.
    • The level-to-1 99 floor dungeons now set the team's starting level at 5.
    • Western Cavern is now a 20 floor dungeon (previously one of the Marathon Levels at 99). Mewtwo can also be recruited on the first visit now instead of having to beat it again.
    • Uproar Forest previously had 10 floors in the original game. Now, it has been cut down to 4 floors, allowing quick escape with the picked up chestnuts.
    • You no longer need to have the moves that used to be HMs to access some of the postgame dungeons.
    • We Cannot Go On Without You is averted. If the player gets knocked out and isn't revived, the partner becomes the leader for the rest of the dungeon. If the partner gets knocked out afterward and you have a third party member with you, that third member becomes the leader. You also start with the ability to send teams of any three for non-story missions and change who you're controlling as the leader mid-dungeon, both of which were locked to the post-game in the originals.
    • If you choose to remain in a dungeon after being rescued by another player, you'll be given three Tiny Reviver Seeds for free to help you get through the rest of the mission.
    • Linked moves are not unlinked if any of the involved moves runs out of PP, and they can still be used even in that situation (and still get the "always critical" and "type steamrolling" bonus if the user is Awakened).
    • All evolutionary items in the original games have been consolidated into a single item called Evolution Crystals, which are found uncommonly in post-game dungeons and certain treasure rooms.
    • The Music Box and Wishing Stone are now key items that are permanently part of your team once obtained and no longer take up inventory space. This prevents you from losing either of them as opposed to the originals, as in the latter's case, it's highly likely that you would lose it if you get KO'd in Wish Cave, and in the former's case, the Music Box would simply poof out of existence if you ever used it from your storage.
    • In the rare event that you run completely out of Reviver Seeds and Revive All Orbs in both your backpack and Kangaskhan Storage, you will gain temporary access to a "secret" dungeon called Illusory Grotto. This dungeon has a random floor count and random Pokémon, and will give you large amounts of items. Incidentally, it's also the only dungeon where you can get Invitations from Treasure Boxes.
    • In the original game, asking for a wish from Jirachi means that Jirachi won't join the Rescue Team, forcing you to slog through the entire 99 floor dungeon again in the event that you brought a Wish Stone and made a wish. In DX, you can get a wish and recruit Jirachi at the same time. In addition, items you get from Jirachi are automatically sent to storage, whereas in the originals you had to pick them up and Jirachi would oftentimes give you more than you could carry. Plus, thanks to the Wishing Stone now being a key item, you can now get extra wishes on repeat visits, in which case Jirachi temporarily returns to grant your wish.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: DX only allows three Pokémon to enter a dungeon like Super, but allows up to 8 maximum while inside a dungeon, giving you at least five additional slots for recruits.
  • Art Evolution: The backgrounds and environments used have a new storybook-style aesthetic to them, similar to some of the illustrations from the original game.
  • Artificial Brilliance:
    • In post-game dungeons, if Shedinja is found in the dungeon, expect to see a lot of enemy Pokémon knocking them out to gain the Awakened status. This is particularly notable in Darknight Relic, where Banette and Sableye can do this to Mega Evolve.
    • The AI will also intentionally use moves that are super effective, and make sure to take advantage of range.
      • If a Pokémon has no moves that are super effective, they'll prioritise moves like Fake Out and Bite - which can cause flinch. Bosses are not immune to this.
    • The AI takes type-modifying effects into account. For example, a Mega Altaria will treat Normal-type moves as Fairy-type moves (thanks to Pixilate) when it comes to the AI, or the automatic move selection from the A button.
  • Artificial Stupidity: In spite of its improvements, the AI can still fall into a few stupid traps:
    • Some moves like Earthquake will hit the entire room - thus they are effective even if they are nowhere near the enemy. Unfortunately, the AI doesn't seem to realize this and will, if anything, only use Earthquake when the enemy is right in front of them.
    • Allied Pokémon generally prioritize using moves over positioning themselves closer to the enemy. You can go into tactics to change it to your liking, though - setting them on "Follow me" will make them less likely to use moves, or you can even set them to not use moves altogether. If you have a new recruit that knows an attack that can hit all foes in a room, they will become obsessed with it as soon as a foe is within sight.
    • AI Pokémon are not aware Friendly Fireproof is not always a thing. This can be easily exploited if there's an enemy Pokémon with Magnitude or Earthquake in a Monster House - let that Pokémon use the move once or twice, and almost every other enemy will be knocked out, leaving with you dealing with an Awakened Pokémon and a few stragglers. Of course, this can also work against you if an AI Pokémon is Confused or Blinded, which makes the actual Friendly Fireproof moves no longer so.
  • Blessed with Suck: The Apple trap can turn any item into a Big Apple. Sounds great considering Big Apples fill 100 Belly... but they can turn anything into Big Apples, even Reviver Seeds or other very valuable items.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The Narrow Focus Rare Quality is anything but flashy; it just gives perfect accuracy to all moves used while in corridors, but it also means extremely powerful moves like Hydro Pump, Guillotine or Perish Song can be used with no drawbacks whatsoever.
    • The Small Stomach Rare Quality makes all items that can fill your Belly fill it fully, which is invaluable for the various Marathon Levels in the postgame.
  • Bowdlerize: In the original game, when the player is accused of being the human in the Ninetales story who had abandoned Gardevoir to her fate, Lombre tries to strike at the player and partner. In the remake, Lombre does not do this.
  • The Bus Came Back:
  • Call-Forward: Referencing Explorers, you can recruit a Shiny Celebi after fulfilling certain conditions.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Here, many actions are accompanied with short speech bubbles above the Pokémon indicating its thoughts or actions. In the case of battle, allied Pokémon will shout the names of the moves they're using as they attack.
  • Character Portrait: Taken a step further by adding portraits for every available Pokémon.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
    • Coupled with Artificial Stupidity. Your allies don't seem to realise that moves like Magnitude or Earthquake can hit enemies indirectly (without even facing them). However, enemy Pokémon are free to spam them.
    • Also done in your favour - it's difficult to rotate your Pokémon diagonally - something has to be in the way for it to think you want to rotate your Pokémon. However, computers can easily do this without the game interpreting it as a movement.
    • Invoked with Kecleon - but this is Video Game Cruelty Punishment.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity:
    • Averted - moves that can inflict flinch (such as Bite and Fake Out) are very useful, since they can even work on bosses.
    • Played straight in terms of most other statuses such as Sleep or Petrify - bosses will simply shake off the status in a turn or two.
  • Developers' Foresight: The Wigglytuff Orb can be used in a dungeon to contact Wigglytuff's Camp Corner, allowing you to purchase Camps while in a dungeon. However, if you've already bought all the camps available, using the Wigglytuff Orb instead summons Wigglytuff itself as an AI-controlled ally Pokémon instead of simply wasting the Orb.
  • Enlightened Self-Interest: In addition to the standard rescue missions of the game, helping other players through Rescue Missions rewards a great deal of items and money, while helping ensure that the other player can get through the rest of the dungeon safely (or at least escape).
  • Flunky Boss: Deoxys periodically spawns three mirage clones of itself (One of each of its three special forms) during its boss fight.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • Averting Secret A.I. Moves, recruiting Rayquaza and teaching it Hyper Beam will allow it to use its special variant of Hyper Beam that it uses against you in its boss fight and during a cutscene at the end of the game. In fact, all large Pokémon that are taught Hyper Beam will use it in the same way.
    • Unlike in Super, Kyogre and Groudon can now use Primal Reversion when controlled by the player, not just as bosses.
  • Guide Dang It!: Want to recruit Riolu or Lucario? You need to have an Ultra rank, and that will give you the chance of one appearing in a Mystery House (which requires tickets from the Kecleon shop to enter, and the Mystery House itself spawns randomly in post-game dungeons). Good luck!
  • Guilt-Based Gaming:
    • Selecting the option to delete your save (through the in-game menu, instead of the Nintendo Switch's system settings menu) will result in your character's avatar looking heartbroken as you go through the confirmation prompts.
    • Saying good-bye to (read: dismissing) a team member from their Rescue Camp has them make a similar face.
  • Interface Spoiler: The Keyword List section has a list of all major keywords in the game, regardless of whether or not you have encountered them. Some of the keywords have blatant hints towards content only seen in the postgame, such as Delta Stream, Primordial Sea, and Desolate Land, the signature Abilities of Mega Rayquaza, Primal Kyogre, and Primal Groudon respectively.
  • Lazy Backup: Downplayed. The remakes add the option to rescue yourself, allowing you to assemble a team of backups to fish your primary team out of trouble should they wipe (the primary team then resumes the mission from the point of rescue). If the B team fails, however—even if you have enough recruits to rescue them—the entire mission is a bust.
  • Leaked Experience: Like in Gates to Infinity, members that aren't currently on your team get experience points.
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members: Downplayed. The main character can not have a partner of the same type as them, but all the possible starters can still be recruited as normal Rescue Team members, though many of them are not available until late in the campaign or even the postgame.
  • Nerf:
    • The infamously powerful Terrain Walker/Super Mobile IQ Skills were reincarnated as the "Forge a Path" Rare Quality. Unlike them, Forge a Path induces a Hunger penalty when used, much like Ghost-types and the Mobile Scarf, and it doesn't come packaged with walking on any tile.
    • Additionally, the Pass Scarf got nerfed so that it cannot pass attacks back to the attacker.
    • Compared to the original game, but adapted from newer Mystery Dungeon games, multi-hit attacks like Bullet Seed or Pin Missile cannot damage multiple enemies in a single turn, as Pokémon won't be knocked out until all attacks are hit.
    • Slight, but Jirachi's "Something good!" wish no longer includes Kecleon in the list of Pokémon that can join your rescue team. He'll have to be recruited the old-fashioned way (either from stealing, or found in Joyous Tower).
    • Powder Snow used to hit all enemies in the room in the original, but the remake nerfs its range to only the enemy in front. Blizzard retains its "hits all enemies" range, however.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: The remastering of the game’s music makes the choir instrumentals sound like this, most notably in the Mt. Thunder theme.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: The updated Makuhita Dojo. Unlike before, where you scavenge a short dungeon for EXP, the new version now sends you to a single-floor dungeon consisting exclusively of Pokémon weak to the lead Pokémon's main Type, and the player is given a set amount of real-time seconds to grind as fast as possible. The quality of Dojo Ticket used also determines the amount of time given and the EXP and Move EXP boost given while inside the Dojo dungeon.
  • Piñata Enemy:
    • Enemy Abra are guaranteed to drop a Max Ether when defeated.
    • Tough Foes will always drop a Deluxe Box when defeated, in addition to a large amount of EXP.
  • Player Personality Quiz: The feature returns, incorporating the feature from Super Mystery Dungeon allowing you to simply pick your starter if you didn't like what the quiz gave you.
  • Promoted to Playable:
    • Weavile, Lucario, Mime Jr., Bonsly, and Munchlax are now recruitable after being just statues and a cameo at the time the original games were released. Other fourth generation evolutionary relatives and Sylveon are also made available in this game.
    • Relative to Super, Primal Kyogre and Primal Groudon, which used to be enemy-exclusive.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: DX has gender as a mechanic, as gender differences weren’t until the next generation. However, it is made less important for the questionnaire, since any Pokémon can be selected regardless of it. Gender is also more separated from the player themselves, as the game asks if they want to play as a boy or girl rather than if they are one.
  • Redemption Demotion: As per the series standard, the Legendaries lose their buffed HP upon being recruited, and in their rematches, their upgraded moveset such as Zapdos' Rain Dance + Thunder combo, which guarantees the latter attack to hit when it rains.
  • Retraux:
    • In the Friend Camps, Pokémon are represented by their sprites from the original games (or Explorers in the case of fourth generation Pokémon). As the only Pokémon to be introduced after the Mystery Dungeon series had already switched to models, Sylveon has had new sprites made for it.
    • Apart from the rearrangements of the original game's music, which keep the retro instruments while adding a few more, there is a Gates to Infinity medley track (used in a few dungeons) that applies the same instruments to the original tracks.
    • While there is a new Internet option for accepting Friend Rescues, the old Password method still exists (albeit with a somewhat different format than the original).
  • Save Scumming: Discouraged by the fact that the game auto-saves pretty much every time something signifigant happens (you can shut off the game during a boss fight and boot it back up to find you're right where you left off), but a facsimile is doable by turning off automatic cloud saves and just manually uploading and downloading them.
  • Scissors Cuts Rock: Just like the Type Bulldozer Emera from Super, the Steamroller Rare Quality makes all moves that would be resisted or would deal no damage to the target Pokémon (either due to its typing or ability) deal neutral damage. It does not work against Shedinja, however.
  • Shoot the Medic First: In the second half of Northwind Field, Delibird will randomly warp near the enemy to heal them with Present, a move that usually has a random chance to hurt its target, but it's never the case here. As more than one Delibird can spawn and heal their allies, they must be defeated first to prevent them from healing them.
  • Super Mode: The Empowerment Seed, a consumable item that temporarily invokes the Awakened status on the Pokémon that consumes it. If the Pokémon that ate the Empowerment Seed is capable of Mega Evolution, they will go Mega instead, or enter Primal Reversion in the case of Groudon and Kyogre. Since Mega Evolutions no longer go Berserk after a certain number of turns, they revert to normal when inflicted with a bad status condition instead. Besides the Empowerment Seed, enemy Pokémon can attain the status if they knock out a Pokémon, friend or foe. note 
  • Timed Mission: The new Makuhita Dojo involves being dropped into a dungeon with a set amount of real-time seconds to hammer as many Pokémon as possible. All the Pokémon in the dungeon are weak to your Pokémon's main typing, and you have doubled Travel Speed, infinite revives, and unlimited PP.
  • Turns Red: Kyogre, as well as Groudon in the rematch will undergo Primal Reversion halfway through their fights, and Rayquaza in the rematch and Mewtwo will Mega Evolve halfway through their fights.
  • Video Game Remake: Along with enhanced graphics, it adds quality-of-life features introduced in later Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games and features content from main series games released since the original Rescue Team, such as Mega Evolution and new moves from games all the way up to Pokémon Sun and Moon, despite being a Gen VIII game.
  • Video Game Time: Much like the original games, the story does not progress unless you make the decision to do so. You spend a hundred days doing jobs in Thunderwave Cave early on, and poor little Diglett is still begging to be rescued.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX


Pokemon Mystery Dungeon DX

Whatever you do, do NOT steal from Kecleon. (Footage by Majora's Puppet)

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Main / ShopliftAndDie

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