Cave Story Wiki
Cave Story
Cave Story Title
Title sequence
Developer Studio Pixel
Publisher Studio Pixel
Platform PC, DSi, 3DS, Nintendo Switch, Wii, PSP, Xbox
Release Date December 20, 2004

Cave Story (洞窟物語 or Doukutsu Monogatari in Romaji) is a free action-adventure platform game for the PC. It was created by Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya over a five-year period and independently published in December 2004. The game was and continues to be met with near-universal critical acclaim, and many consider it to be the quintessential indie game, citing its one-man development team and influence on the gaming world.[1][2] Most text in the original Cave Story is Japanese, but a translation patch for the game is distributed by Aeon Genesis.

Cave Story has seen various official and unofficial ports to other video game platforms. With collaboration from Pixel, Nicalis released extended versions of the game to Nintendo's WiiWare and DSiWare services in 2010. A 3DS remake with a new 2.5D aesthetic was released in November 2011 along with Cave Story+, a remake for PC and Mac on Steam. One of the more recent releases was on the Nintendo 3DS eShop; this was, at the time, likely the last, as Pixel had stated that he wishes to avoid working with publishers in the future.[3]. However, the Nintendo Switch port was released on June 20th, 2017.[4] A Christmas celebration game for it was released with a really different gamestyle, Cave Story's Secret Santa, on December 10th, 2021. A comparison of all the official ports and remakes can be found at version differences.


The player controls Quote, an armed scouting robot who was sent to the Island ten years before the events of the game. After awakening in a cave with amnesia, he takes the Polar Star from the Hermit Gunsmith and falls into Mimiga Village. The townspeople tell Quote about a Doctor kidnapping Mimiga. Soon enough, the Doctor's minions Balrog and Misery arrive to take the Mimiga Toroko away, mistaking her for Sue Sakamoto. Quote first visits the Egg Corridor to find Sue, and then Bushlands to rescue her brother Kazuma. He then travels to the Sand Zone, where he finds his companion Curly Brace. Here, the witch Jenka explains the Doctor's plan to use red flowers to weaponize the Mimiga. Quote visits a storeroom in the Sand Zone to recover the flowers but finds that Toroko was forced to eat a red flower by the doctor, making her rabid.

After Quote defeats Rabid Toroko, Misery warps him to the Labyrinth along with Curly. After exploring the area, the two eventually come across the Core of the island and defeat it. Misery arrives at the last second to rescue the Core, claiming that the island will fall without it. After escaping the Labyrinth through the Waterway and climbing the Outer Wall, Quote arrives at the Plantation, where enslaved Mimigas are forced to grow red flowers. After meeting with Momorin Sakamoto and building a rocket, Quote reaches the Balcony, where he fights Misery, the Doctor, and the Undead Core in succession. At this point, if Quote has collected the Iron Bond, he will be able to enter the Blood Stained Sanctuary with Curly and defeat the true antagonist Ballos.


Main article: Endings
  • "Bad" ending: Quote leaves with Kazuma at the Outer Wall. They go on to live in the mountains, and the doctor takes over the world.
  • "Normal" ending: Quote fights Misery and the Doctor, and then destroys the island's Core. The island begins to collapse. Quote jumps off of the Island with Sue and is caught by Kazuma's Sky Dragon, and they escape as the island crashes into the surface world.
    • Mimiga Mask ending: An Easter Egg variant of the normal ending in which Quote wears Mimiga Mask until the end of the game. To trigger it, the player must ride the rocket up to the Last Cave without speaking to Momorin Sakamoto first.
  • "Best" ending: Quote defeats the Doctor and Core, as in the normal ending, and then descends into hell with Curly to fight Ballos. After Ballos is defeated, the island stops falling, and Balrog (now released from the Demon Crown's curse) flies away with Quote and Curly.


Cave Story contains heavy action, adventure, and platforming elements. As Quote, the player collects weapons and items while exploring a system of caves in the island and battling its inhabitants along the way (the game is also famous for its diverse cast of bosses). It is a sidescroller game with a linear story, but with re-visitable areas, some which must be revisited to obtain certain powerups, akin to Metroid. The game is linear, but the player is given many choices throughout the game that can lock you out of a certain weapon or even the best of the three major endings.


Game controls Keyboard Gamepad Wii Remote
Interact Down Down Down
Jump Z 2 2
Attack X 1 1
Switch Weapon Left A 4/7 A
Switch Weapon Right S 5/8 B
Inventory Q 6 +
Map System (When Obtained) W 3 -


  • On the show The Suite Life on Deck, in the episode "Going Bananas", Cave Story can be seen in the background of an arcade.
  • In the beta version, Balrog was a common enemy, and Quote was called Curly Brace.
  • Cave Story was largely inspired by video games Daisuke Amaya played in his youth, such as Metroid and Castlevania, both made in the year 1986.[citation needed]
  • It took Daisuke Amaya five years both to illustrate and compose the music for the game. He was highly talented and intelligent even as a child, and continued to use his skills while developing Ikachan. His creativity having been influenced by the early Japanese gaming industry, he later went on to release Kero Blaster in 2014.[citation needed]