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The Ruins of Alpha house an interesting Archaeological Site that is over 1,500 years old. It's being studied by scientists trying to unlock its secrets. What could the mysterious writing that covers the walls mean? Until you can use Surf or Strength, you won't be able to explore the entire area to find out.

Mysteries of the Ruins of Alph[edit]

There are four rooms in the Ruins of Alph, but for now, you'll only be able to get to one. Inside you'll find the first of four puzzles where you have to make a picture out of sliding tiles. Read the hint (Kabuto) on the right side of the stone tiles to help you slide the piece into position. Start with the corners, then the border, then finish with the inner pieces. When you solve the puzzle, a hole will open in the floor. You'll be dumped down to B1 where you'll fight the odd Pokémon called Unown.

Catch at least three or more differently shaped Unown and when you get back out, one of the scientists will take you back to the lab and alter your Pokédex to include the Unown Pokédex so you can keep track of all the variations you catch. Access that in the option screen of the regular Pokédex. They'll be listed in the order that you catch them in.

If you catch all 26, the scientists will let you print them out on your Game Boy Printer. But note that all 26 variations won't be available until you've solved the puzzles in all four of the rooms.

Collect them all and win[edit]

There are different versions of the Unown Pokémon. If you catch one of each and talk to the scientists, they'll let you print out the Unown on your Game Boy printer. But you won't be able to catch more than A to K now; You'll need to solve the other puzzles to get the rest.

Return later on for more puzzles[edit]

You can swim to one of the sliding puzzle rooms, but the other two will require exiting from special areas within Union Cave. The three new puzzles are much harder, since they're not symmetrical like the first one. Each one you solve releases more new Unown variations into the Ruins:

  • Southeast puzzle - forms S, T, U, V, W
  • Southwest puzzle - forms L, M, N, O, P, Q, R
  • Northwest puzzle - forms X, Y, Z

Natu, Smeargle and a Trainer[edit]

Psychic Nathan:

The thin strip of grass to the left of Psychic Nathan is one of the more overlooked Pokémon catching areas in the game. It's the only place that you can find either Natu or Smeargle, so don't leave without them.

To reach this place, go to the Union Cave and go one level down (ladder in the middle of the cave). Then go to the northwest corner of the cave and you will arrive. When you encounter a Smeargle, be careful not to kill it in one hit, as it is rare.

The New Alph Puzzles
As you'll discover in Crystal, there are many secrets beyond the four puzzle rooms. Each of the four rooms has two puzzles now. If you solve the sliding puzzle in the middle of the room, you'll be dumped into the basement level and more Unown variations will be released. You'll find a different cryptic inscription on the back wall of each room. Translate the inscription, and then use a related item, technique, or Pokémon. You'll gain access to an area with four items, and a large room with a piece of the Unown story written on the floor. Open the spoiler below to learn the secrets of each puzzle room.
The Unown glyph solutions

After you solve the first puzzle, enter the first room if you have an Escape Rope and go to where the scientist is staring at a wall and reading the word 'ESCAPE'. Use the Escape Rope in front of the area and it will take you back outside. Now go back in and it will open another room. It has four items: Berry, Psncureberry, EnergyPowder, and Heal Powder. Drop down into the first big hole, you can read the words that the Unown have spelled out:


You won't be able to reach the Second room until you beat Morty and learn Surf. Go to the tollbooth that leads to Route 32 and surf down and go right into a cave. Read the hint (Aerodactyl) and solve the puzzle. That releases Unowns S - W into the Ruins. Now after you catch a few of the Unowns again, if you really want them, make sure you have a Pokémon that knows Flash and go down to same room and go where the wall says 'LIGHT'. Use Flash to open another door to get these four items: Heal Powder, Energy Root, Gold Berry, and Moon Stone. Then fall down into the hole to read the second message.


After you get the Strength HM in Olivine City, go to the Union Cave by the Azalea entrance, then go up and to the left. Go up and into the Swift area. Surf up and beat the trainers, then take the upper path to the outside. Beat the trainer, catch Natu and Smeargle, then enter the cave. This time, the puzzle is that of the Omanyte, and solving it will send seven more Unown (L - R) into the Ruins. Leave by the traditional method. Now, go get a Water Stone. Check the lettering, and it reads WATER. Go to use the Stone, then cancel. The door will open, which hides a Stardust (sell item), Star Piece (sell item), Mysteryberry, and a Mystic Water. The third Unown message follows.


To reach the final puzzle, take the same path as you did to get to the Omanyte puzzle, but at the fork, go down and use Strength to clear the path. This leads to a ledge. Jump over and go left to the final puzzle. The puzzle is of Ho-oh, and will release the final three Unown (X - Z). Getting the last four items is not as easy. You'll need Ho-oh in your party before you attempt this (more info about catching Ho-Oh is at Pokémon Gold and Silver/Tin Tower). Go back to the Ho-oh puzzle room and check the back wall to find that the clue is HO-OH. Sense a theme yet? Switch Ho-oh so it's in the first slot in your party, then check it again. The wall will open up showing you the path to a Revival Herb, Charcoal, Gold Berry and a Mysterberry. Plus the mystery of the Unown will conclude with the final message.


Gold Version note: the Ho-Ho cave and Omanyte cave locations are switched.

#177 Natu
As cute as this little bird may be, this Psychic/Flying combo has nothing on Lugia as a fighter. Its stats are very mediocre, and it doesn't get many good attacks. And while Natu can Teleport you back to the last Pokémon Center you visited, it can't learn to Fly for real. Evolved form Xatu can, however.
#235 Smeargle
Shy Smeargle doesn't come out much, so you'll have to be patient to catch one. This novelty Pokémon learns only one move, Sketch, every 10 levels.

Sketch can be used to copy—permanently—the last attack used on Smeargle (it won't work versus humans). So with a lot of effort, you can set yo Smeargle with the best attacks in the game. While its stats are too low to do much with them, his true value lies on breeding him with other Pokemon in an effort to have them inherit the moves.

#201 Unown
The Unown are an English cipher: Each variation represents a letter that it (sort of) resembles, and can be used to decipher the words that appear under each entry in your Unown Pokédex. But what do the words mean? Are they instructions from an alien intelligence? The Unown have only one move, the mysterious, seemingly random Hidden Power. For obvious reasons, Unown should never be part of your team.