Mystery Dungeon game mechanics

From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Revision as of 18:49, 29 August 2010 by Samjohn95 (talk | contribs) (Base Stats: incorrect, and inclusive.)
Jump to: navigation, search

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team and Blue Rescue Team and its sequels are RPG games like the main series. However, due to the dungeon-crawling nature of Mystery Dungeon, some elements of Pokémon game mechanics are either left out or used differently.


There are a number of differences between the mechanics of Pokémon in Mystery Dungeon:

Base Stats

  • Effort values and Individual values are not part of the Mystery Dungeon. Instead, each Pokémon has a set of base stats, which increased by fixed amounts on level up. Statistics may further increase by the use of Gummis, vitamins, Sitrus Berries, and other similar items, and may be increased to any arbitrary amount.
  • Body size is a new Pokémon trait: each Pokémon has a fixed body size. When taking a team to a dungeon, the combined body size of the Pokémon may not exceed a certain amount (at most of any dungeon, 6). Note that certain dungeons may restrict this further, including the amount of Pokémon allowed in a dungeon.
  • Speed is no longer a statistic - it instead affects how many actions one can make in a turn (can be as fast as four moves per turn or as slow as once every two turns). A reduction of movement speed is considered to be a status ailment. Furthermore, Template:Type2 Pokémon will have increased movement speed in snowy weather (which itself is exclusive to Mystery Dungeon, not to be confused with Hail).
  • Stat changes from natures are not in Mystery Dungeon.
  • Pokémon with two abilities will have both (instead of just one). Some abilities may be different from those from the main games:
    • Trace will only activate when hit by an attack, and the copied ability is randomly chosen.
    • Some abilities have minor changes - Torrent, Blaze, Overgrow and Swarm will double Template:Type2, Template:Type2, Template:Type2 and Template:Type2 moves, respectively, at ¼ total HP.
    • Some abilities have changed to better accommodate the Mystery Dungeon environment - Intimidate reduces opposing Pokémon's Attack by 20%, while Huge Power will have a 1/3 chance of dealing 50% more damage.
    • Some have changed entirely due to the different mechanics involved - Speed Boost increases movement speed by one level every 250 turns, while Swift Swim uses the same attack twice in one turn during rain.
    • Truant only activates if a Wonder Orb or a special move is used.


  • Evolution is not done automatically - instead it must be manually triggered. This is explained in story mode as being effects of the world in danger. The ability to evolve Pokémon must be unlocked through the course of story mode (in Blue Rescue Team and Red Rescue Team, Rayquaza must be defeated, while the Wigglytuff Guild must be defeated in Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness). Most notably, evolution does not make a Pokémon instantly stronger, unlike the main games.
  • Because of the different evolution mechanic, certain Pokémon evolutions have been modified from the main games.
    • Pokémon requiring evolution by trade instead require a Link Cable.
    • Feebas requires a Beauty Scarf to evolve to Milotic.
    • Pokémon requiring evolution by happiness instead require that their IQ be sufficiently high (which differs depending on evolution).
    • Magneton and Nosepass require a Coronet Rock to evolve to Magnezone and Probopass, respectively.
    • Pokémon requiring daytime evolution instead require the Sun Ribbon.
    • Pokémon requiring nighttime evolution instead require the Lunar Ribbon.
    • Eevee will require a Mossy Rock to evolve into Leafeon, or an Icy Rock to evolve into Glaceon.


  • All Pokémon have standard attacks (Because of this, Shedinja may have more than one HP). However, they may have four special attacks. Special attacks may be linked together, wherein the linked moves are done in succession (in which case one PP is taken from each move).
  • Some attacks that do specific HP damage (like SonicBoom) have different set HP.
  • Transform only changes the form of the user. After using this move, all the user can use is its standard attack and Struggle.
  • There are two attacks specific to the Mystery Dungeon series: Wide Slash and Vacuum-Cut. No Pokémon learn either naturally, but many can learn them by TM.
  • In addition to the moves it learns, the tactics available to the team leader to direct its teammates is determined by its level.
  • The moves available to be relearned Link Shop (operated by Gulpin in Blue Rescue Team and Red Rescue Team and Electivire in Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness) are greatly expanded compared to the Move relearner in the main games - Pokémon may relearn moves from its previous forms up to the level in which evolution was performed.
  • Selfdestruct and Explosion will not necessarily knock out the user of the move. Instead, any team Pokémon within range (one tile for Selfdestruct, two for Explosion) will have their maximum HP cut in half, and any opposing Pokémon within range will receive 40 damage for Selfdestruct and 80 for Explosion. Note that Template:Type2s will receive half damage from these moves. Any items within range are destroyed, and any wall tiles in range are converted to floor tiles.


Main article: Recruitment

Instead of catching Pokémon, Pokémon may be recruited - to recruit a Pokémon, the team leader must be adjacent to a Pokémon when it is knocked out, and must also be the one that knocks that Pokémon out. Recruitment rates are different for each Pokémon, and may depend on other factors such as the level of the team leader and the presence of items. Some dungeons may prevent recruitment, while some Pokémon may be recruited by special means.


This game series introduces level 1 Pokémon, despite having not experienced this situation until the introduction of Generation IV. This may occur for wild Pokémon or guest Pokémon, and from the sequel, new Pokémon who ask to join after a mission is done. Evolved Pokémon may also be encountered at lower levels than normally possible.

Pokémon of type Ghost, as well as Darkrai, can walk through walls. While on a wall tile, they cannot be attacked but can attack their foes. However, their belly empties at a rate of 5 per step.

Status ailments

Main article: Status ailments in Mystery Dungeon
  • Mystery Dungeon introduces its own series of status ailments, in which any number may occur at once. These range from the conventional statuses (paralysis, poison, etc.) to main game "pseudo-statuses" (confusion, attraction, flinching - here called cringing, etc.). Statuses may be inflicted to account for two-turn attacks (SolarBeam, Sky Attack, etc), or moves involving lowered priority (Counter, Endure, Vital Throw, etc), or moves whose effects last multiple turns (Mist, Safeguard, Charge, Perish Song, Taunt, Encore, etc).
  • Status durations may also differ between Mystery Dungeon and the main series - most notable is that paralysis, Leg Hold (affected from Arena Trap or Magnet Pull), and most other statuses are temporary. Burn and poison remain permanent. Also, Pokémon may be affected with both sleep and paralysis, and, similar to the TCG, other status ailments may replace previous ones. For instance, a poisoned Pokémon may be paralyzed.
  • Pokémon will never attack themselves during confusion. However, they may move in a random direction or attack in a random direction (including hitting teammates). Note that confusion does not affect thrown items.


Main article: Damage modification (Mystery Dungeon)
  • Type affinity has been changed. Most notably, super-effective attacks will only deal 40% more damage (compared to double damage in the main games), not-effective attacks will deal 70% damage (instead of 50% as in the main games), and immunities (coined "ineffective attacks" here) deal 50% damage. However, as in the main games, Pokémon may be immune to certain status ailments based on its type (for example, Arbok remains immune to Toxic). Note that the effects of abilities remain unchanged - for example, Template:Type2 attacks will still do no damage against Pokémon with Levitate.
  • The damage bonus that critical hits provide is only 50%, compared to double damage in the main games.
  • Each move has an inherent critical hit rate, which may be modified with items (Scope Lens) or IQ abilities (Type-Advantage Master). Focus Energy ensures that the next special move will be a critical hit.
  • Defeating a Pokémon without using special moves only gain half the normal experience, while defeating a Pokémon using linked moves will gain 50% more experience. Note that an opposing Pokémon using moves on itself counts for the purposes of the experience bonus, but using special moves that miss the opponent (or hit but do no damage) does not.
  • If an enemy were to faint by means other than the party attacking it (such as by the effects of a sandstorm), the members of the party will not gain experience points.


  • The Oran and Sitrus Berries play slightly different roles. Oran heals 100 HP, while Sitrus heals all HP, no matter how much the player has. Sitrus can also increase the player's total HP by 2 if eaten at full health.
  • The element of hunger and IQ led to Food and Gummis, respectively.
  • The only human-made items are Max Elixirs and TMs. The other items are Wonder Orbs and Scarves.

Toss items

Main article: Toss items

It has been touched upon in the Safari Zone and the Bug-Catching Contest, where the player is able to toss bait or throw a rock. However, in this game, throwing items result in damage. The toss items are:

  • Cacnea Spike
  • Corsola Twig
  • Geo Pebble
  • Gold Fang
  • Gold Thorn
  • Gravelerock
  • Iron Thorn
  • Rare Fossil
  • Silver Spike
  • Stick
  • Unown Stones

The player is able to stock up to 99 of that toss item in one item space in contrast to other items, where the player may have more than 1 of the same item, but each of that item takes up an extra space. This does not apply to Unown Stones.