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Submarine Explorer 1 inside the Seafloor Cavern in Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald
The Submarine Explorer 1 (Japanese: かいえん １ごう Kaien No. 1) is a submarine built at Stern's Shipyard in Slateport City.
In the games
Team MagmaROR or Team AquaSEAS try to steal the submarine's plansRSE or key componentsORAS twice before the submarine can be built.
After the submarine is completed, Stern reveals that its purpose is to explore the Seafloor Cavern, an underwater cavern on Route 128. However, Team MagmaROR or Team AquaSEAS end up stealing the finished product in Slateport City and taking it to the cavern themselves.
In Generation III, the only time the submarine is visible is when it is parked in the entrance of the Seafloor Cavern while the villainous team is inside. In Generation VI, the submarine gets more screentime, being showcased during the theft in Slateport, the preparations at Team Magma HideoutOR or Team Aqua HideoutAS, and parking inside the Seafloor Cavern. In these games, the submarine is also modified by the villainous team after it is stolen. It is modeled to look like a CameruptOR or SharpedoAS and is equipped with a special drill designed to break the seal blocking the entrance to the Seafloor Cavern.
Inside the Seafloor Cavern, one of the grunts remarks that the submarine is "brutal as a ride" because of its small size. The submarine is not seen again after the player clears the villainous team from the Seafloor Cavern.
In the manga
In the Pokémon Adventures manga
The submarine (background) and its "heart"
In Pokémon Adventures, two parts of the Submarine Explorer 1 (named the S.S. Kaien 1 in the Chuang Yi translation) are featured: the submarine's "heart", manufactured by the Devon Corporation; and the submarine itself, designed by Captain Stern. Team Aqua steal the submarine's heart in Mowing Down Ludicolo, which enables the submarine to travel deep underwater, while Team Magma steal the submarine itself in Slugging It Out With Slugma II. This eventually leads to the two team leaders forming a pact to join forces temporarily in Walrein and Camerupt, and heading to the Seafloor Cavern together with the complete submarine in Always Keep Whiscash on You for Emergencies. Later, in No Armaldo Is an Island, the submarine breaks apart due to being sent deep underwater without its heart component, and the wreckage floats to the surface. This is the last that is seen of the submarine.
Ruby was in the submarine when Team Magma stole it. He escaped via an escape pod and ended up at the river on Route 119.