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New Pokémon
Silver Gold Crystal

Onix
Goldeen

Return with Surf:
Lapras

Sandshrew
Onix
Goldeen

Return with Surf:
Lapras

When you first visit Union Cave, you probably won't be able to use Surf and Strength, which you need to use to get around the entire cave. You will be able to explore the first floor and the middle portion of the first basement. Talk to everyone you see. Some people have very interesting information.

Level 1[edit]

Union Cave level 1
Trainers found
Trainers
Hiker Daniel: 352
  • Onix (lvl. 11, 252 EXP)
Pokémaniac Larry: 600
Hiker Russell: 256
Firebreather Ray: 432
Firebreather Bill: 288 Items
  • X Attack
  • Great Ball
  • Potion
  • Awakening

Catch a Sandshrew[edit]

If you have not had a chance to catch a Phanpy (in crystal only), catch a Sandshrew, which is also a great ground type Pokémon. Unfortunately, he does not learn any ground-type attacks by leveling - it will need TMs. Mud-Slap, Dig (which can be picked up later) and Earthquake are good choices.

Take a short detour for TM 39 (Swift)[edit]

This cave is pretty simple: just head south, fighting the trainers when you must and picking up items where you can. But if you have the fortitude to handle a short detour, take the stairs on the high ledge to the left. You won't get far in the basement, but you can easily get to TM 39. It contains Swift, a strong Normal attack that always hits and can be learned by most Pokémon.

Level 2[edit]

Union Cave level 2

Take the back doors to the ruins[edit]

If you're planning to continue your exploration of the Ruins of Alph, make sure to go through the two exits near the top of Level 2 (you'll need to have Surf to reach them). Each one leads to a different part of the Ruins of Alph that is otherwise inaccessible.

Trainers
Hiker Leonard: 800
Cooltrainer Nick: 1248
Hiker Phillip: 736
Cooltrainer Gwen: 1056
Pokémaniac Andrew: 1440
Cooltrainer Emma: 1344
Pokémaniac Calvin: 1560 Items
  • X Defend
  • TM39 (Swift)
  • Elixer
  • Hyper Potion

Level 3[edit]

Union Cave level 3

You'll need Surf to reach Level 2 and 3.

It is a good idea to come back here as soon as you have been given Surf in Ecruteak City. You will want to catch Lapras as soon as possible to start leveling it up. Or you can wait until after you obtain Fly.

Lapras Fridays[edit]

No one knows why Lapras only comes out on Friday, but it never misses one. It's resilient as well as punctual; if you accidentaly K.O. one, another will still return next week. Still, you probably don't want to wait (after all, Lapras is one of the best Pokémon in the game), so fight carefully and use Heavy Balls if you have them. Make sure you only have 5 Pokémon in your party when going to catch Lapras!

To catch one, head southwest of Level 1 to the bottom of the cave and use Surf to cross the small patch of water then go down the ladder. Head to the east and surf the patch of water and down the ladder. On this floor Surf south, then west. Walk south until the final large patch of water. Surf to the east and find Lapras chilling out, it will be around level 20. Save before the battle to ensure its capture.

You can use Gastly/Haunter/Gengar with Hypnosis and TM50(Nightmare) or instead of that combo you can use Night Shade if your Pokémon has low level. Your Bellsprout/Weepinbell you caught early game may be a good option, with Sleep Powder and grass attacks. Butterfree with Sleep Powder and confusion may also work.

Pokémon Found[edit]

Union Cave Level 1 encounters
Gold Silver Crystal
Morn Day Night Morn Day Night Morn Day Night
Sandshrew 30% 30% 30% N/A N/A N/A 30% 30% N/A
Rattata 10% 10% 10% 40% 40% 40% 10% 10% 40%
Geodude 30% 30% 30% 30% 30% 30% 30% 30% 30%
Onix 5% 5% 5% 5% 5% 5% 5% 5% 5%
Zubat 25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 5%
Wooper N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 20%
Union Cave Level 1 & 2 Fishing
Old Rod Good Rod Super Rod
Magikarp 85% 35% 20%
Goldeen 15% 65% 70%
Seaking N/A N/A 10%
Union Cave Level 3 Fishing
Old Rod Good Rod Super Rod
Magikarp 85% 35% N/A
Krabby 15% 55% 60%
Staryu N/A 10% 30%
Corsola N/A 10% 30%
Kingler N/A N/A 10%

Fishing Note: Staryu only at Night, Corsola only during Day

Union Cave Level 1 & 2 Surfing
GOLD SILV CRYS
Wooper 60% 60% 60%
Quagsire 40% 40% 40%
Union Cave Level 3 Surfing
GOLD SILV CRYS
Tentacool 60% 60% 60%
Tentacruel 10% 10% 10%
Quagsire 30% 30% 30%
#27 Sandshrew #118 Goldeen
Only Gold and Crystal players can catch a Sandshrew here, but Silver players needn't despair: They can buy one at the Goldenrod Game Corner.

Pure Ground type Sandshrew is a bit better in Gen 2 But it still doesn't learn any Physical Ground attacks naturally other than Sand-Attack. Learns Normal type moves such as Scratch then Slash at level 23 and Swift at level 30 and Fury Swipes at level 37.

Can be taught HM 01 Cut and HM 04 Strength as well as TM 08 Rock Smash and TMs Dig, Earthquake and Mud-Slap. But if you haven't had a chance to catch a Phanpy, this is a decent second choice. Evolves at level 22 into Sandslash who gets more Attack and Defense stats and some HP also.

Pure Water type Goldeen's best stat is Physical Attack closely followed by Speed and Defense. A bit more interesting than it was in Red/Blue/Yellow. It now learns Horn Drill, an attack that K.O.'s any Pokémon instantly 30% of the time, at level 43. This move, combined with a couple of X Accuracy items, could wipe out a legion of opponents if you get lucky.

It learns plenty of Normal type moves such as hard hitting Horn Attack at level 15, Fury Attack and Flail. However the first and only Water type move it learns is at level 38 which is Waterfall, so teach it some moves like HM 03 Surf, and Goldeen's not half bad. However it cannot learn the Whirlpool HM so this holds it back. Evolves at level 33 into Seaking and gets massive improvement to stats across the board, with Attack stat becoming pretty good.

#131 Lapras
It's a lot of trouble getting to this guy, but it's worth it. Lapras has a ton of HP, a meaty Special Attack score, and generally good scores in all the other departments. It's half Ice (and half Water) which makes it great against Grass, Ground, Flying, and Dragon-types. However being level 20 means it no longer has Water Gun and thus no water based attacks until it learns Hydro Pump at Level 57.

Gets its first Ice type move Ice Beam at level 36 which hits very hard. Best to teach it something earlier like Icy Wind or Blizzard from TMs. Since it is an Ice type it has a big advantage over Dragon types and Flying types which are popular with the some of Elite Four, Lapras is great later in the game.

Can learn HM 03 Surf HM 04 Strength and HM 06 Whirlpool but not the third Water type HM.