One of the most beloved features from the original Generation IV Pokémon games was the Underground, and it's back in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl as the Grand Underground. Beneath the Sinnoh region is a vast network of tunnels that stretch far and wide. In these tunnels, players can access content that gives the game a vast amount of replay value and a seemingly limitless amount of fun.
Players can gain access to this feature by traveling to Eterna City after obtaining their first Gym Badge. Here, players should find the Pokémon Center and enter the building directly to the right of it. Inside will be an older gentleman who goes by the name of "Underground Man." He will give the player the Explorer Kit, and from there, they can take the first steps on the journey to becoming a master spelunker.
The Basics of the Grand Underground
The Underground Man acts as a tutorial, so players should listen to him closely. He teaches the basics and rewards players with useful items. By using the Y button, players can leave the Underground at any time and see their underground map in full, too. Players will exit the Underground in the same spot they entered, meaning this feature can't be used to travel across the region.
There are six areas within the Underground's network. The first, and largest, can be accessed as soon as players venture underground from Eterna City. The other five areas can be entered from different parts of Sinnoh. To access the South-Western portion of the Underground, players must use their kits in the South-Western portion of the map, and so on.
Mining in the Grand Underground
The main thing players will want to do in the Grand Underground is mine. To start, players can use the R button to reveal golden sparkles in the wall at spots visible on the mini-map. While mining, players have access to two different tools. The smaller blue hammer will break rocks with precision, whereas the bigger red hammer allows players to smash multiple rocks in a plus shape.
As players mine, they'll see a crack form on the top portion of the screen starting on the right side; this represents the wall's health. Once the crack makes its way to the left side of the screen, the wall will cave in. The blue hammer impacts stability far less than the red, so bear that in mind when mining. Hitting any chunks of metal will decrease stability rapidly, so players should avoid striking metal whenever possible.
Finding Treasure in the Grand Underground
Players will dig up spheres and shards often, which can be traded with the Underground's hikers. However, it's the rarer treasure that gives mining so much replayability. Players can dig up fossils and resurrect them into Pokémon at the Mining Museum in Oreburgh City, as well as Odd Keystones, which will help players encounter the elusive Spiritomb. Players can also mine various typed Plates, which allow the Mythical Pokémon Arceus to change type. These Plates can be also be given to any Pokémon to boost attacks of the corresponding type.
Most evolution and weather stones can also be mined, though Shiny Stones are not available in the Grand Underground. Rare Bones and Nuggets can be mined and sold at any Poké Mart for profit. Mysterious Shards become obtainable after progressing further in the story and lead to encounters with Legendary Pokémon. Finally, players can unearth Pretty and Gorgeous Stone Boxes that contain Pokémon statues. Pretty Boxes will reward a regular statue, while Gorgeous Boxes will give a shiny statue with an emerald hue.
Creating a Secret Base in the Grand Underground
By using a Digger Drill, players can create a Secret Base anywhere in the Underground's tunnels. Players can decorate the inside of their base with statues found while mining. The base's size can be expanded by speaking to specific hikers and buying an upgrade.
Players should also note the orb at the entrance. Depending on the types of statues they place, players will gain a spawn boost for that type of Pokémon within the biome rooms. Shiny statues increase the boost more than regular statues. Interacting with the orb will inform players which type is boosted, and by how much, making it easier to find rare Pokémon.
Battling Wild Pokémon in the Grand Underground
The most significant addition to Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl's iteration of the Underground are Pokémon Hideaways. These are rooms within the Grand Underground where Pokémon wander freely, allowing players to hunt for specific Pokémon they need for their Pokédex and avoid those they don't want. The Pokémon available vary room by room depending on the biome. Hideaways also have common and rare spawns, and are affected by the player's Secret Base, meaning players looking for a rare Pokémon of a specific type should change their Secret Base accordingly.
The Grand Underground's Multiplayer Functions
When entering the Grand Underground, players will be asked if they want to play alone or with others locally or online. Choosing one of the latter options will allow the player to take part in co-operative mining and visit other players' Secret Bases. However, perhaps the most beneficial feature of co-op play is Diglett hunting. The x-out-of-40 bar beneath their mini-map represents how many Diglett or Dugtrio players have encountered, and the number is shared across the lobby. A Diglett is worth one, while a Dugtrio counts as three.
Once players reach 40, a whistle blows, and an on-screen prompt will state something good may happened. Though the game never says explicitly says it, this means the likelihood of finding a Gorgeous Box has increased, as have the chances of encountering shiny Pokémon in Biome Rooms. However, it only lasts four minutes, at which point the counter will reset to zero.
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