You wake up in a cave. You shoot your way out of the cave, so you can get to a village in another cave. Then you have to go to a different cave, followed by Well, it's aptly named.
You might just come for the fun, Mega Man -style gameplay, but the story is what you will end up staying for. The game thrusts you into the action with no explanations, forcing you to figure out the plot by yourself as you go. You play as Quote, a mysterious young man who finds his way to a village of bunny people called Mimigas, who are housing a team of scientists that came to study the caves. Meeting up with fellow humanoid Curly Brace and a selection of other characters, Quote must save the Mimingas and scientists from The Doctora rogue Mad Scientist who seized the magic helmet known as the Demon Crown and is trying to raise an army of robot soldiers and zombified Mimingas to Take Over the World.
This game was created entirely by one man in his spare time.
Daisuke Amaya wrote the scenario, drew the artwork and scenery, broken the sprites, deed all of the levels, composed all of the music, and programmed the entire game engine, all by himself over the course of five years. While fullscale development of the game lasted five years, Cave Story started being made five more years prior.
Daisuke made a game in five years and had people playtest it. When they were unsatified with his work, he took what he had and refined it over the course of the five years that most people know the game for. Let that sink in; Daisuke spent ten years of his life, a full decade creating this game, and released it for free. Truly, this man is a saint. Its breeding ground on the English-speaking Internet is here. While the story code for the game was never officially released, it's extremely easy to reverse engineer and disassemble. The game has also seen quite a few commercial re-releases over the curses - First on WiiWare, which added an updated graphics option, dubiously remastered music, multiple difficulty levels, the ability to play as Curly Brace, and a Boss Rush mode.
This version was then brought to DSiWare, Steam, the 3DS eShop, and Nintendo Switch, cave each version stacking on extra modes, levels, soundtracks, and tweaks along the way - the Nintendo Switch version in particular adds full widescreen support and Co-Op Multiplayer.
Pixel has gone on to create Kero Blasterwhich can be seen as a Spiritual Successor. The aptly named "First Cave" is the first area that the player will have to explore in Cave Story. It's a short and simple stage, but it can still teach new players a lot about the game mechanics, including jump and water physics, enemies' behavior and environmental hazards like the red spikes.
Example of: Noob Cave. Community Showcase More. Follow TV Tropes.
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Cave Story is a jumping-and-shooting action game. Explore the caves until you reach the ending. You can also save your game and continue from where you left off.
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Tropes to C. Ability Required to Proceed : In the first cave, the door that would allow you to proceed grows a monstrous red eye and prevents you from opening it. You will need to find and steal the Polar Star gun and blast the door open. Accidental Pervert : There's a hidden chest Where? Check the map and you'll find a hidden passage in Curly's house that yields her panties. They don't do anything in the original gamebut in the ports they unlock Curly Mode. Achievement Mockery : The Steam version of the game has an achievement for being killed by Toroko.
As in, the harmless little Mimiga who "attacks" by running back and forth waving a stick that only does 1 damage per hit. Action Girl : Curly Brace.
This game provides examples of:
Thanks to being a Robot Soldiershe's more than competent in battle. Momorin Sakamoto also fits the trope, but without being physically special in any way. This was done because her actual sprite always had blue hair. Adult Fear : There's a lot of it. The Sakamoto family mounted a scientific expedition to a remote place, only to have the medic who went with them turn out to be a complete sociopath who has no trouble killing anyone who gets in the way of his lust for power.
The Mimigas recently survived an attempted genocidewhich makes most of them quite willing to believe the Doctor when he tells them that the surface plans to attack them, and that only Red Flowers can save them. After Arthur's death, King devoted himself to protecting Arthur's little sister.
He failed. Curly Brace adopts four Mimigren and raises them as her own. They are taken from her and are never seen again.
Advanced Movement Technique : On the ground, your speed oscillates rather than staying capped at a maximum, but once you go airborne, your horizontal speed stays constant until you touch the ground again—so you can travel slightly faster with a lot of carefully timed jumps than with walking. Later in the game, you get a machine gun that can recoil you upwards if you fire downwards. This allows speedrunners to avoid having to touch the floor for even longer.
So for them, Cave Story becomes a game about dodging the floor as much as you can with whatever you have. Damage boosting is a really precise trick where you hit certain enemies at just the right angle so that it will bounce you horizontally faster than you can walk.
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And of course, you maintain that speed boost even longer if you stay in the air. It is mostly used in Tool Assisted Speedruns though, because of how precise it is to pull off. Fortunately, there is one spot where speedrunners could pull it off, and that is in the Reservoir section of Mimiga Village.
Even then, it is really difficult, and most runners don't even get the boost. With the Booster 2.
You can also preserve your momentum by boosting horizontally adjacent to the top of the block, and then jump once you can jump on top of the block. If you have both the machine gun and the Booster 2. Then you can jump once you are on the ground and you will get the same speed if you just kept boosting forward. Then you can use the recoil from the machine gun to go upwards in the air while you still have the speed.
A fast way to get to maximum falling speed without wasting fuel from the Booster 2. The Booster 2. Boosting downwards for a long time is the same speed as boosting downwards for a very short amount of time. Affably Evil : Balrog. As it turns out, he doesn't even want to be evil. He has no choice due to the Demon Crown's influence. The writing on the player character's hat only mentioned once, by someone who doesn't understand what it says is revealed in Pixel's artwork from the Beta version of the game.
It doesn't seem to have an explanation.
Unlockable - steam achievements
And that's all there is —in spite of many clues hinting at a large, interconnected backstory, Pixel has said of everything beyond what's shown in the game: "It is up to the player to decide". Almost Dead Guy : There's a Robot Soldier in the Core chamber that live just long enough to warn the player of a powerful entity that killed his team. Professor Booster becomes this in the Labyrinth.
Always Check Behind the Chair : There's plenty of hidden stories in this game: Easter Eggsbroken pathways, weapons you can't get by simply progressing the story, and so on. Ambidextrous Sprite : Averted with Balloswhose curse eye is always red while his left eye is always white. Malco does fall for this trope, though. American Kirby Is Hardcore : Zigzagged ; cave the Japanese version of Cave Story 3D 's box art is a lot more cutesy than the North American versionit is the latter that came out first, and both versions actually avert Covers Always Lie by depicting a cave scene and representing different aspects of the actual game, with the Japanese version being more of a Call-Back to the original game's art style, and the North American version placing more emphasis on the context of the game.
Amnesiac Dissonance : Quote and Curly think they are combat robots from a past war who helped kill countless Mimigas. The guilt they feel over this provokes them to help the Mimigas avoid another genocide. However, when Curly's memory returns, she remembers that their original mission was to destroy the Demon Crown, and that they didn't kill any Mimigas in the process, ultimately subverting this trope. Androids Are People, Too : Zett, an elderly Mimiga in the Plantation who clearly remembers the war with the surfacerecounts that among the robots, there were some that "understood speech".
He then voices his belief that those particular machines had souls. Later, when Misery holds Sue hostageand Mister Traveler backs off, she admits surprise that a machine can care for another. Traveler" were reversed?
Traveler's" shoes unlike him, she's not a Silent Protagonist while he remains silent apart from one brief moment with Curly providing the rest of the dialog for him. Antepiece : The game heavily relies on this to teach new players various game mechanics they would encounter throughout the game. Even the room the player starts in is deed to allow them to get a feel for the in-game jumping mechanics and the fact that it's possible to drown within the game.
Anyone Can Die : If you haven't played the game yet, be warned that it's nowhere near as cute and innocent as it looks. Wargenocidesociopathyand Character Death including several children are all major tropes in this story. Curly Brace gets special mention here. In actual gameplay she is invinciblebut she has no Plot Armor.