There’s plenty of things to do outside of the main quest in Pokemon Diamond/Pearl. Here are the sidequests you enjoy before you complete the main game (by defeating the Elite Four). There are some really cool items and pokemon you can only obtain through these sidequests, including three Legendaries, so they’re well worth your time!
Wandering Cave, Part 1
WHEN CAN YOU ACCESS IT? After you get the bike by throwing Team Galactic out of Eterna City.
WHAT DO YOU NEED? the Cut skill, the Flash skill
The Wandering Cave is located south of Eterna City, underneath the giant bridge that is the bike trail. Going into the cave, you’ll notice that everything is dark. While you’re free to stumble around in the inky blackness, using the Flash TM skill will illuminate the caverns enough for you to get some idea of where you’re headed. There are a few items (both hidden and visible) to be found, as well as several trainer encounters. At the end of the cave, you’ll find Mira, who is lost and needs help getting out. While you take her back to the cave’s entrance, you’ll be in a similar situation as you were with Cheryl in Eterna Forest. This sidequest really doesn’t yield anything super-interesting, besides another opportunity for easy Pokemon training. Since the cave itself is a maze and the encounter rate is quite high, going in here might be more annoying than beneficial for some. You’re perfectly free to skip it and return when your Pokemon can easily wipe the floor with any of the wild beasties in here.
Wandering Cave, Part 2
WHEN CAN YOU ACCESS IT? After getting the bike, but you’ll need the Strength skill to actually get anywhere
WHAT DO YOU NEED? The Strength skill, the bike, Pokeballs
The entrance to the second part of the Wandering Cave is to the left of the first entrance, and is obscured by the bike trail hanging above it. When you enter, you’ll find another dark room with several boulders that can be pushed out of the way with Strength. Don’t worry about using Flash at all, you won’t need it.
In the basement, there are several items to be had by using your bike to jump off ramps to reach otherwise inaccessible areas. The real treasures here, though, are rare, wild Gibles. Gibles are Dragon/Ground critters who can evolve into fearsome Gabites and Gachomps. It may take some meandering before you encounter one, but they’re more than worth the trouble.
Eterna Forest Manor
WHEN CAN YOU ACCESS IT? After getting the Cut skill
WHAT DO YOU NEED? Nothing else
Oooh, spooky. This dilapidated mansion has an air of creepiness around it, making it a perfect nesting ground for Ghost-type pokemon. Ghastly is abundant, and you can snag a whole bunch of the little creeps here if you want. If you have one of the GBA Pokemon games, try plugging it in before going inside for the chance to encounter some additional Ghost-type favorites.
WHEN CAN YOU ACCESS IT? Anytime after you first visit Solaceon town
WHAT DO YOU NEED?: The Item Finder at the ready
This sidequest’s pretty short, but there’s some fun stuff to do here. The wild pokemon that live here are the 28 varieties of Unown, and there are also messages in the ruins written in Unown-script that you can have fun decoding. This place has a lot of apparent dead ends, but keep that Item Finder out – what looks like an empty room may actually contain fabulous treasure. All in all, the ruins are a worthy and enjoyable little excursion.
WHEN CAN YOU ACCESS IT? Anytime after getting the Surf skill
WHAT DO YOU NEED? Nothing else
This is a pretty short sidequest you can access from Route 205, consisting of a maze, a few trainer fights, and some item collection. The maze part can be kind of tough. Fortunately, we’ve got the solution ready for you! Check out the movie below to see now only how to reach the end of the maze, but recover all the items scattered about.
WHEN CAN YOU ACCESS IT?: After completing the Canalave Gym
WHAT DO YOU NEED? Nothing else
You might opt to leave an empty space in your Poke-roster for this one. Take the Ferry in Canalave after completing the Gym to reach Iron Mountain. The cave at Iron Mountain has most of the typical cave-dwelling pokemon in it, though every now and then you might run into a Steelix. Partway through the cave, you’ll run into Riley (a trainer so awesome that even his HAT has hair-spikes). He acts the same way as Cheryl and Mira, fighting alongside you in double battles and healing your pokemon after every fight. His poke of choice is Lucario, who can smash many of the Rock-types that lurk here with its swift fighting skills. With Riley at your side, you can explore the Iron Cave thoroughly, collecting treasures and battling trainers, without having to worry about the health of your pokemon. Eventually, you’ll run into some Team Galactic goons and do battle with them. Send them packing and Riley will offer you a mysterious Pokemon egg. Carry it with you for approximately 6000 steps to hatch Lucario’s pre-evolution, Riolu! This is the only Riolu you’ll be given in the game, so take good care of it!
The Legendary Trio
WHEN CAN YOU ACCESS IT?: Anytime after you beat/capture Dialga (Diamond) or Palkia (Pearl)
WHAT DO YOU NEED?: High-level Pokemon, the Surf skill, a ton of Ultra and Dusk balls, and a hell of a lot of patience
The legendary Psychic trio of Azelf, Uxie, and Mesprit have been freed, and they’re up for you to capture! They each reside in a cave in the middle of a lake. Azelf is in a cave at Lake Valor, Uxie is hanging around Lake Acuity, and Mesprit is in Lake Verity (but not for long).
When you get into a battle with these three, be prepared for a struggle. They’re Psychic-type Pokemon, and strong ones at that. Their weaknesses are Ghost, Dark, and Bug attacks, so start with one of those off the bat to knock out a good amount of its HP.
With Uxie and Azelf, you’ll want to chip away at its HP as much as possible before trying to capture it. Ghost-type pokemon are a good choice for holding them at bay since they are strong against Psychic attacks and impervious to Normal strikes, but you’ll still need to keep tabs on the health of your pokes. Once you’ve got their HP down to a sliver, start throwing pokeballs at them. They are extremely difficult to contain, so it will probably take many tries before you snag them. Ultra Balls have a higher chance to trap them than other. Dusk Balls are also very effective with Azelf and Uxie, since they’re fought in caves.
Mesprit is a bit trickier. You can go to the cave where it dwells, but you’ll only see an image of it. The Professor’s assistant will then pop in to tell you that Mesprit is on the lose, and you’ll need to use the map on your Poketch to keep tabs on its location. Making the chase difficult is Mesprit’s ability to travel long distances in a short amount of time. If you wind up in the exact area it is hanging around in, simply run among the grass patches or Surf along the water to trigger an enemy encounter, where you’re very likely to meet it. Try to hit it with Paralyze, Ice, or Sleep status conditions – otherwise, it’ll probably flee the first opportunity it gets. It retains all damage and status conditions it suffered in previous encounters in the next matchup, so every time you run into it, things will be a bit easier. Still, Mesprit is definitely one of the most difficult pokes to catch in all of D/P.
Check out our exclusive movie to see us capture this trio!