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A cave is a location in the underworld that is not inside a dungeon.

The "cave state" is represented in the game as a separate dungeon ID ($FF). You can end up inside of dungeon rooms while remaining in cave state by using major glitches.

When you're in cave state:

  • The Mirror will not warp you anywhere, but can instead be used to delete pushable blocks.
  • Dungeon prizes (getting a crystal or pendant for beating a boss) don't exist.
  • If you encounter a boss, it will drop a full heart container, possibly in place of the item it would usually drop. Picking up this full heart will prevent the boss from respawning.
  • You will have a lot of small keys and possibly a big key (see below).

Dungeons in cave state

In the Major Glitches ruleset, you can enter Palace of Darkness in cave state using Kiki Skip.

In the No Logic ruleset, you can straightforwardly bring cave state to:

Small keys

In normal gameplay, you will neither pick up or spend keys in cave state, but if you reach a dungeon room via a major glitch, you may interact with keys.

The number of small keys you have when you enter a cave is 255 ($FF, the largest number that can be stored in 8 bits). This signals to the game to hide the number of keys in the HUD. The first thing you should aim to do is spend a key to open a door, leaving you with 254 keys (which will show up as [glitchy red line]4 in the HUD).

If you pick up a small key that increases your key counter -- a key drop, a key in a chest in non-keysanity, or a "this dungeon" key in keysanity -- it will increase your temporary number of cave state keys. The worst case is that you have 255 keys and pick up another, which wraps around to 0. This leaves you with no cave state keys (until you re-enter cave state and have 255 again) and also uselessly removes the key you collected from the world.

After you pick up a key, the game caps your number of keys at 99. So if you have 254 or fewer keys and you gain a key, you will then have 99 keys, which is still more than enough. As long as you have spent a key, you'll be in no danger of overflowing to 0.

Big key

There is no "cave big key", but there are four big keys that can be used as the big key in cave state:

If you have any of these big keys, you can open big key doors and big chests in cave state.

If you pick up the big key of the dungeon you're in while in cave state (including the "big key of this dungeon" in keysanity), it will be useless. The big key it was intended to be will be gone. If you can't accomplish everything you'd need that key for, you may want to hard reset.