In this epic tale, you’ll step into the shoes of Quote, an amnesiac soldier, as you stumble upon a hidden city of creatures known as Mimigas. These innocent beings are in grave danger, preyed upon by an evil doctor who abducts them for his sinister experiments.
Amidst the chaos, legends of heroes and the hope for the return of Dragons keep their spirits alive.
A Landmark in Indie Gaming
Cave Story, also known as 洞窟物語 (Dōkutsu Monogatari) in Japanese, made its debut in 2004 as a Metroidvania platform-adventure game for Microsoft Windows. Its creation spanned over five years, with Japanese independent developer Daisuke “Pixel” Amaya dedicating his free time to its development.
Drawing inspiration from games like Metroid and Castlevania, Cave Story offers 2D platform mechanics and captivates players with its compelling characters, rich setting, intricate story, and engaging gameplay. Many hail Cave Story as the quintessential indie game, thanks to its development by a one-person team and its profound influence on the gaming industry.
The Birth of Cave Story
Cave Story, quite possibly the most renowned independent game of all time, offers a truly original narrative wrapped in personality, mystery, and action-packed fun. Designed by the critically acclaimed independent developer, Daisuke Amaya, also known as Pixel, this game immerses you in a unique world inhabited by the curious Mimigas, rabbit-like creatures who live freely.
You awaken in a dark cave with no recollection of who you are, where you come from, or why you find yourself in this peculiar place. As you stumble upon the village of the Mimigas, you discover that these once carefree creatures are now in grave danger at the hands of a mad scientist.
The fate of the Mimigas rests solely on the shoulders of a silent young boy, burdened by amnesia and unable to recall even his own name.
Meeting the Unlikely Heroes
As the story unfolds, Quote crosses paths with Sue, a stranger to the Mimigas who holds crucial information about the mysterious Dragon Eggs. Unfortunately, the nefarious doctor has his sights set on Sue, and she becomes his next target.
“Enjoy the adventure, unveil secrets, and conquer the challenges that lie within the depths of the cave.”
Run, Jump, Shoot, Fly, and Explore
Prepare to run, jump, shoot, fly, and explore your way through a massive action-packed adventure reminiscent of classic 8 and 16-bit games.
Take control and uncover the wellspring of power within this world, confront the deranged villain, and save the Mimigas!
The Journey of Quote
Cave Story revolves around Quote, a robot who awakens with amnesia and embarks on an exploration of cavernous regions to uncover his lost memories and escape from the cave. As Quote progresses, he unlocks new areas by enhancing his weapons through the acquisition of triangular experience crystals and solving intricate platforming puzzles.
Along the way, he engages with non-player characters scattered throughout the game world to gain insight into the world and its inhabitants.
Mastering the Art of Gameplay
Cave Story boasts simple yet effective controls for movement, running, jumping, and shooting. The heads-up display keeps players informed about their equipped weapon, weapon level, and current health status. Yellow triangles represent experience points, which enhance weapon capabilities when collected.
Players control the on-screen character directly, using either a keyboard or gamepad. Progression involves navigating platform game puzzles and confronting enemies with the equipped weapon.
The ability to toggle between multiple weapons at any time adds depth to the gameplay. Defeating enemies sometimes yields yellow triangular objects that grant experience points to weapons when collected. Weapons can be improved up to level three, but sustaining damage causes them to lose experience and levels.
The game world offers health and missile capacity upgrades to be discovered.
A World Within the Caverns
Cave Story’s captivating tale unfolds within the labyrinthine interior of a floating island. This land is inhabited by the Mimiga, a sentient, rabbit-like species. However, the peaceful Mimiga are thrown into a violent frenzy when they consume a particular type of red flower that grows on the island.
The island also harbors the enigmatic Demon Crown, a powerful artifact with immense magical abilities. A battalion of robot soldiers embarks on a military expedition to the floating island, with the intent of harnessing the Demon Crown’s power for surface wars.
These robots, in their relentless search for the crown, indiscriminately slaughter the Mimiga. In a desperate bid for survival, the Mimiga resort to consuming the red flowers themselves.
An Unfolding Saga
As the player character awakens in a cave with no memory of his arrival, he stumbles upon a Mimiga village, where the Doctor is persecuting these innocent creatures. The Doctor’s minions, Misery and Balrog, are in pursuit of Sue Sakamoto, a girl who has been transformed into a Mimiga.
Failing to locate Sue, they mistakenly abduct Toroko, another Mimiga. Sue discovers the Sky Dragon’s egg in the Egg Corridor, which could potentially provide an escape from the floating island if hatched. In her attempt to rescue her brother, Kazuma, King, the leader of Mimiga Village, captures Sue and holds her accountable for Toroko’s abduction.
Sue entrusts the player with the task of rescuing Kazuma from Grasstown. After liberating Kazuma, the player encounters Professor Booster, who reveals the Doctor’s sinister plan to use the red flowers on Mimigas to create an army and conquer the surface world. Booster dispatches the player to the Sand Zone to eradicate the red flowers before the Doctor seizes them.
During this journey, the player encounters Curly Brace, a female robot with no memory of her past, and Jenka, an elderly witch who happens to be Misery’s mother and the guardian of the red flowers.
Jenka identifies the player character as a “surface-dwelling soldier,” one of many sent to the island to annihilate the Mimiga. Balrog manages to steal the key to the warehouse housing the red flowers from Jenka, who urges the player to thwart their plans.
Before the player can reach the warehouse, however, the Doctor forces Toroko to ingest a red flower, leading to a fatal injury for King. The player is left to confront the enraged and rabid Toroko, who ultimately succumbs to her injuries.
Struggles and Redemption
As punishment for interfering with the Doctor’s designs, Misery banishes the player to the Labyrinth, a treacherous place deep within the island. Here, the player encounters Curly Brace, who is also confined to the Labyrinth, and the two form an alliance to escape.
Balrog unexpectedly aids their escape by helping them move a massive boulder blocking the exit, revealing a previously hidden benevolent side. The duo ultimately locates and vanquishes the Core, a magical being that sustains the island’s levitation. However, the Doctor intervenes to preserve the Core, preventing the island from plummeting to the ground. Depending on specific conditions, the player may have the opportunity to rescue Curly Brace, who sacrifices her air tank to save the player character.
Upon returning to Mimiga Village, the player discovers that the Doctor has captured the Mimiga.
In the now-devastated Egg Corridor, Kazuma presents the player with a choice: escape the island alongside him using a Sky Dragon, resulting in an alternate ending where the Doctor conquers the surface world while the player and Kazuma hide in the mountains.
Alternatively, the player may confront the Doctor and destroy the island’s Core, restoring the Mimiga to their normal state. To reach the Plantation, where the Doctor enslaves the Mimiga to cultivate red flowers, the player scales the island’s outer wall.
The Doctor’s minions apprehend the player, imprisoning them alongside Sue. While Sue is taken away before the player awakens, her letter sheds light on the Doctor’s past involvement in a research expedition, which included Sue’s family and Professor Booster.
The Doctor’s betrayal occurred when he obtained the Demon Crown, leading to the expedition’s downfall. Sue directs the player to find her mother, who might possess a plan to thwart the Doctor.
If the player previously rescued Curly Brace and discovered an item to restore her memories, they unveil valuable information. Curly recalls the player character’s name, Quote, and reveals that they were not the killer robots responsible for the past Mimiga slaughter.
Instead, they were sent to prevent the Demon Crown from falling into the wrong hands.
Quote ultimately finds Sue’s mother, Momorin, who is constructing a rocket to reach the island’s pinnacle, where the Doctor resides. After assisting Momorin in completing the rocket, Quote confronts Misery and the Doctor.
The Doctor has transformed the essence of the red flowers into a crystal, granting him immortality even after Quote defeats him. The Doctor’s spirit merges with the island’s Core, but Quote successfully obliterates both, causing the island to begin descending toward the Earth.
Unless the player has rescued Curly, restored her memories, and obtained the Booster v2.0 from Professor Booster, Sue guides the player to leap off the island. They are rescued by Kazuma and his Sky Dragon, while Momorin, her assistant Itoh, and the captured Mimiga escape via a helicopter, leaving the rest of the island’s inhabitants to their fate.
Uncover Hidden Secrets
For players who have fulfilled specific criteria, the journey continues into the Blood-Stained Sanctuary, a bonus stage where Curly can be located and rescued. Here, the imprisoned Ballos, the creator of the Demon Crown and Jenka’s younger brother, awaits. Ballos, a powerful wizard driven to madness by torture inflicted by a jealous king, was sealed deep within the island by his sister.
At some point, Misery coerced him into crafting the Demon Crown, leading to a curse that bound her and Balrog to serve whoever possessed the crown. Narration hints that the Demon Crown will regenerate upon destruction, with its true power only waning upon Ballos’s death, necessitating Quote and Curly’s intervention.
Cave Story is a metroidvania platformer where an amnesiac soldier, Quote, must save the innocent Mimigas from the clutches of an evil doctor while uncovering his own mysterious past.
With Curly Brace’s assistance, Quote confronts Ballos, putting an end to the source of negative energy causing the island’s descent and saving its inhabitants.
Balrog intervenes to rescue both before Ballos’s collapsing prison crushes them. Quote, Curly Brace, and Balrog depart the island, ready to embrace a peaceful life.
Play Cave Story Online
Cave Story offers an unforgettable gaming experience accessible both on the web and on mobile and tablet devices. Dive into the captivating story and explore this remarkable world and play Cave Story online!