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YMMV / Pokémon Mystery Dungeon

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This is the page for Pokémon Mystery Dungeon subjectives.


  • 8.8:
    • The fans were not happy about some review scores, particularly the 3/10 Game Informer gave Blue Rescue Team.
    • Of particular note is IGN's 4.9 rating of Explorers of Sky, even lower than their score of Explorers of Time/Darkness. It's certainly not helped by Explorers of Sky being seen as the best installment in the series by many PMD fans.
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  • Adaptation Displacement: Many assume these games were the start of the Mystery Dungeon series. Others know that Shiren the Wanderer came first, with a Japan-exclusive Super Famicom release — but even that wasn't the first one. That was Torneko no Daibōken: Fushigi no Dungeon, a Dragon Quest spinoff starring Torneko Taloon.
  • Annoying Video-Game Helper: AI teammates often embrace this trope with both hands, especially with low IQ stats. Reviving an entire room of petrified enemies with an ill-timed Growl attack, for example.
  • Critical Dissonance: Of the critic-hated, player-loved kind. The story is generally agreed to be better than the supporting gameplay. Not the same case for Japanese critics though, at least ones from Famitsu.
  • Cult Classic: The entire series. Not as widely played as the main series games, but beloved with a devoted fanbase of their own. Particularly applies to Explorers.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Pokémon with multi-hit moves in general. Octillery is probably the best individual example of the trope—it packs Bullet Seed, which hits multiple times from a distance, among other things.
    • Any enemy with moves that hit an entire room. Nidoqueen with Earth Power and Ledian with Silver Wind WILL make you tear your hair out.
    • As well as any enemy that knows Perish Song. Unless you have a Heal Seed handy, you are pretty much done for if it hits you.
  • Enjoy the Story, Skip the Game: Many people, even fans, believe the series' gameplay to be So Okay, It's Average at best, but play the game solely for the story.
  • Epileptic Trees: The Decrepit Lab is solid evidence that there used to be humans in the world where Red/Blue Rescue Team takes place. The unanswered question is... what happened to them? Theories include:
    • Human civilization suffered an extinctionary catastrophe thousands of years ago and the story of Red/Blue Rescue Team takes place in an "After Humanity" era where Pokémon have become capable of intelligent speech.
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    • Humans have permanently departed from the planet in a massive Space Exodus, leaving behind their infrastructure as the only evidence of their former presence.
    • Humans still exist in the world but the location that the story of Red/Blue Rescue Team takes place is largely unknown and inaccessible to them. The Decrepit Lab is possibly evidence to a failed attempt at colonization or just a remote research station that met with disaster.
    • Since Mewtwo was created by humans, he might be the only Pokémon in the series who has some knowledge and history about them. But it remains an unexplored Plot Hole since no one bothers to ask and he never says anything about it.
  • Fake Difficulty: Since the beginning of the series, in some later dungeons, it's possible to run into Monster Houses, which house tons of very powerful enemies that are hard to dispatch without being killed. Overcoming one wastes a lot of resources. You're probably better off resetting if you encounter one, because it's ridiculously frustrating to take on and not fun.
  • Fanon: The protagonists' speculated ages in human years:
    • Rescue Team: Late teens. (15-19)
    • Explorers: Mid teens. (13-18)
    • Gates: Early 20s. (20-25)
    • Super: Older child. (8-13)
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Unlike the main Pokémon series, "movement speed" actually provides a Haste effect, giving the user multiple turns in a row. It wears off quickly, but a quickened Pokémon can inflict a lot of damage if they also know attacks capable of hitting an entire room. This goes double in Monster Houses, where an enemy Pokémon using "Agility" can increase all enemies to double/triple/quadruple turns.
    • Multi-Hit attacks (Bullet Seed, Fury Swipes/Attack, Pin Missile). Due to the damage calculation in the Mystery Dungeon games being much different than the mainstream titles, these moves now hit as hard as most other attacks each individual hit. Bullet Seed in earlier games, in particular, had the advantage in that, as it deals damage in a straight line, it could potentially KO multiple Pokémon in the same turn. This is made worse for the fact that the STAB bonus from the mainstream titles is also implemented in the Mystery Dungeon games, meaning with the right Pokémon (A Treecko with Bullet Seed and the Concentrator skill for instance), this can be quite lethal.
    • Petrify or Foe-Seal Orbs render Monster Houses pretty much trivial: they freeze every enemy in the room until attacked, letting you mop them up one by one and gather the sweet loot. What's more, your A.I. team is smart enough not to attack any enemy under the effect, so you don't have to worry about them ruining it and dooming you.
    • The X-Ray specs mean that you'll never be surprised in dungeons where visibility is at a premium (essentially all the time mid-to-late game.) It tells you exactly where all the enemies and items are on the floor which drops massive hints as to what might be in there. A ton of treasure but no visible Pokémon? That's a monster house. A bunch of items with only a single enemy in the middle? That's an item shop. A yellow dot on the map when you and your partner are together? That's the Pokémon you need to rescue, deliver an item to, escort your guest to. This essentially blows side missions wide open and makes escort missions more bearable.
    • Smeargle and its Power Copying can trivialize any challenge in every game, if you can assemble the right moveset. Smeargle's Necessary Drawback in the main series games has always been rather lackluster stats, but these games only have a universal hard cap on stat boosts, meaning Smeargle can be just as strong as your average Olympus Mons if you shove enough Rare Candies down its throat.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Pretty much anything that can inflict Poison status, attack from a distance (most Water-type attacks have ranged capability), or from within walls (the Ghost types).
    • Doom Seeds: You better pray that an enemy 'mon doesn't throw these at you...
    • Spinarak, a mon that can cause the aforementioned poison along with a slow, causing it to go twice as much as you.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The Koffing-Skuntank-Zubat trio from Explorers is referred to as Team Skull, a name that would later be used for the street gang from Pokémon Sun and Moon. Gladion, who serves as the enforcer for Sun and Moon's Team Skull, has a battle theme whose beginning sounds extremely similar to that of "Runaway, Fugitives" from Rescue Team.
  • More Popular Spin-Off: While not for the Pokémon franchise itself, PMD is definitely the most well-known series in the Mystery Dungeon franchise, to the point many are unaware the Mystery Dungeon franchise even includes games like Chocobo's Dungeon and/or Shiren the Wanderer, the game that started the franchise in the first place.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The jingle that plays when you recruit a new team member. Especially if it's a legendary Pokémon.
  • Nintendo Hard: Especially the bonus dungeons, some of which totally empty your inventory and level you down to 1. It's because of this that Purity Forest and Zero Isle South are many players' favorite dungeons.
  • Older Than They Think: Shiny Pokémon and evolving mid-dungeon are features that were introduced in Adventure Squad. Since they're Japan-exclusive titles, most people don't know this.
  • Popular with Furries: While Pokémon already has a good following in the Furry Fandom, this series receives heavy attention from it due to the Pokémon being the viewpoint characters rather than the humans.
  • Signature Scene: The ending of Explorers where the hero dies is widely considered the saddest moment in the whole series by many fans. Unlike the ending to Rescue Team, the hero isn't simply returning to their own world; they're being erased from existence.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • Adventure Squads has taken flack for being Lighter and Softer than Rescue Team and Explorers, particularly as that included having a much lighter plot.
    • Gates to Infinity has also been hit with this since the Japanese demo was first released. For details, see its entry below.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Pretty much any Escort Mission you do will include this. You can't assign tactics to them if they get separated, and in Red/Blue Rescue Team the escorted Pokémon was almost always at Level 1, making it easy for enemy Pokémon to KO them. To put it nicely, these are the guys who tend to waste all your Heal Seeds and Reviver Seeds for doing annoyingly stupid things like wandering off and walking into lava/fire. Explorers was just a little bit nicer in the levels department, but your clients are still under-leveled.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Gates to Infinity is having a very hard time following the Explorers games, mostly for "not having a deep enough plot", and the fact that there is a lot less post-credits content compared to the other two games.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?:
    • The very existence of this page.
    • Regarding this trope in general, some fans feel that Mystery Dungeon spinoff series tried too hard to be Darker and Edgier without adding aspects of explicit violence, swear words and other adult things in order to appeal to young players.
  • The Woobie: The Partner in both endings.


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