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New Pokémon
Silver Gold Crystal

Pokemon 095Onix.pngOnix
Pokemon 118Goldeen.pngGoldeen

Return with Surf:
Pokemon 131Lapras.pngLapras

Pokemon 027Sandshrew.pngSandshrew
Pokemon 095Onix.pngOnix
Pokemon 118Goldeen.pngGoldeen

Return with Surf:
Pokemon 131Lapras.pngLapras

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
Pokemon GSC Hiker.png
Hiker Daniel: Pokebuck.png352
  • Onix (lvl. 11, 252 EXP)
Pokemon GSC Pokemaniac.png
Pokémaniac Larry: Pokebuck.png600
Pokemon GSC Hiker.png
Hiker Russell: Pokebuck.png256
Pokemon GSC Firebreather.png
Firebreather Ray: Pokebuck.png432
Pokemon GSC Firebreather.png
Firebreather Bill: Pokebuck.png288 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.

Pokemon GSC Hiker.png
Hiker Leonard: Pokebuck.png800
Pokemon GSC Cooltrainer♂.png
Cooltrainer Nick: Pokebuck.png1248
Pokemon GSC Hiker.png
Hiker Phillip: Pokebuck.png736
Pokemon GSC Cooltrainer♀.png
Cooltrainer Gwen: Pokebuck.png1056
Pokemon GSC Pokemaniac.png
Pokémaniac Andrew: Pokebuck.png1440
Pokemon GSC Cooltrainer♀.png
Cooltrainer Emma: Pokebuck.png1344
Pokemon GSC Pokemaniac.png
Pokémaniac Calvin: Pokebuck.png1560 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 encounters
Gold Silver Crystal
Morn Day Night Morn Day Night Morn Day Night
Pokemon 027Sandshrew.pngSandshrew 20% 20% 20% N/A N/A N/A 10% 20% N/A
Pokemon 019Rattata.pngRattata 25% 25% 25% 30% 30% 30% 20% 20% 50%
Pokemon 074Geodude.pngGeodude 20% 20% 20% 35% 35% 35% 30% 30% 15%
Pokemon 095Onix.pngOnix 10% 10% 10% 10% 10% 10% 10% 10% 10%
Pokemon 041Zubat.pngZubat 25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 30% 20% 15%
Pokemon 194Wooper.pngWooper N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 10%
Union Cave Fishing (Level 1)
Old Rod Good Rod Super Rod
Pokemon 129Magikarp.pngMagikarp 80% 20% 20%
Pokemon 118Goldeen.pngGoldeen 20% 80% 75%
Pokemon 119Seaking.pngSeaking N/A N/A 5%
Pokemon 120Staryu.pngStaryu N/A N/A N/A
Union Cave Fishing (Level 3)
Old Rod Good Rod Super Rod
Pokemon 098Krabby.pngKrabby N/A N/A 70%
Pokemon 099Kingler.pngKingler N/A N/A 10%
Pokemon 222Corsola.pngCorsola N/A N/A 20%
Union Cave Surfing
Pokemon 072Tentacool.pngTentacool 40% 40% N/A
Pokemon 073Tentacruel.pngTentacruel 20% 20% N/A
Pokemon 194Wooper.pngWooper N/A N/A 20%
Pokemon 195Quagsire.pngQuagsire 40% 40% 80%
#27 Sandshrew #118 Goldeen
Pokemon 027Sandshrew.png
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. Sandshrew is a bit better in Gold/Silver/Crystal than it was in Red/Blue/Yellow, since it learns most of its attacks earlier and has a few new ones. But it still doesn't learn any Ground attacks, which is annoying since it's a purely Ground-type Pokémon, and suffers many weaknesses to popular types because of it. But if you haven't had a chance to catch a Phanpy, this is a decent second choice.
Pokemon 118Goldeen.png
Goldeen's 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 15 (it used to be level 45). This move, combined with a couple of X Accuracy items, could wipe out a legion of opponents if you get lucky. Teach it Surf and Waterfall early (with HM's), and Goldeen's not half bad.
#131 Lapras
Pokemon 131Lapras.png
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. Since the latter two types are popular with the Elite Four, Lapras is great later in the game. It's just too bad that it now can't learn Hydro Pump until Level 57.