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Cave of the Past

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Cave of the Past
さいていこく The Nether-World Realm

Cave of the Past
The Cave of the Past, as seen in EarthBound.
Cave of the Past
The Cave of the Past, before traveling through time to fight Giygas.

Connected areas
Lost Underworld
The Place

The Cliff That Time Forgot

The Cave of the Past[1] (also referred to as the Tunnel of the Past[2]) is the final location in EarthBound, and is where Ness and his friends fight Giygas. Appearance wise, the dungeon is a range of narrow plateaus above a thick layer of fog— while in the past it also appears monochromatic in color. Ness and his friends are required to travel many years into the past to access the Cave of the Past via the Phase Distorter, however due to travelling across time for a long distance, life is destroyed in the proccess. As such, the party is transformed into robots in order to safely travel to the past.

The music for the Cave of the Past before traveling back in time is derived from the song All You Need Is Love by The Beatles, specifically the section based on La Marseillaise. The music after traveling back in time instead is an ominous variation on Deirdre by The Beach Boys.[3]


The Cave of the Past is technically first accessible from the Lost Underworld, where only a small cliff can be explored. Most of the area cannot be explored until the party use the Phase Distorter from Saturn Valley where a brief portion can be explored, but it cannot be fully explored until traveling to the past. Once in the past, the full dungeon can be explored, with different segments being accessible via warping spheres. It begins on the lower right corner then goes west, followed by a straight path northeast. It then becomes straight path north for a short time, then turns west making a u-turn east to the first warp sphere.

In this segment, a Magic Butterfly regularly spawns. This segment is short and makes a wide u-turn east, then west to the second warping sphere. The last section continues west then turns north to the entrance to where Giygas resides. This section is notably the only part of the dungeon where the Bionic Kraken, which has a 1/128 chance to drop the Gutsy bat, can spawn.

While in the present, the dungeon's layout is actually the same—however, a section of the starting plateau is missing preventing access to the rest of the dungeon. While walking as robots, the sound of metalic footsteps can be heard. This area serves as a point of no return after traveling through the Phase Distorter in Saturn Valley.

As it is the final location, Exit Mice cannot be used here, although a glitch in Mother 1+2 subverts this.

Role in EarthBound

Ness and company can briefly glimpse the area from an entrance in the Lost Underworld, but cannot do anything at the time. They later arrive here via the second version of the Phase Distorter, after retrieving the Zexonyte for Dr. Andonuts.

Once the party arrives from Saturn Valley, they are greeted by the Star Master, who promptly teaches Poo how to use PSI Starstorm Ω before departing. They then discover the destroyed, first Phase Distorter and the Mr. Saturn who was kidnapped in it by Pokey. It is at this point that Dr. Andonuts arrives with the final Phase Distorter to send the party back in time as robots to confront Giygas.

The Cave of the Past is then navigated by teleporting between strange spheres, until the party reaches the Devil's Machine where the final boss fight takes place. Giygas is revealed to be inside the Devil's Machine, once Porky turns it off, Giygas is released. As he cannot be defeated with brute strength, Paula offers a prayer, causing a chain of prayers from the people met on Earth. The combined prayers resulted in Giygas's defeat. The heros are then returned to the present day on Earth.


Item Location
Horn of life.jpg Horn of life Inside the broken Phase Distorter before traveling back in time
Legendary bat.jpg Legendary bat Before the first warp sphere


Sprite Enemy name Notes
EB Diamond Shaped Enemy sprite.png Bionic Kraken 1/128 chance of dropping a Gutsy bat
EB Diamond Shaped Enemy sprite.png Final Starman 4/128 chance of dropping a PSI caramel
EB Diamond Shaped Enemy sprite.png Ghost of Starman 1/128 chance of dropping a Goddess ribbon
EB Diamond Shaped Enemy sprite.png Nuclear Reactor Robot Explodes upon defeat; 16/128 chance of dropping a Super bomb
EB Diamond Shaped Enemy sprite.png Squatter Demon 2/128 chance of dropping a Horn of life
EB Diamond Shaped Enemy sprite.png Ultimate Octobot 16/128 chance of dropping a PSI caramel
EB Diamond Shaped Enemy sprite.png Wild 'n Wooly Shambler 8/128 chance of dropping a Multi bottle rocket
Heavily Armed Pokey Heavily Armed Pokey Boss
GiygasOverworld.png Giygas Final boss


Locations in EarthBound

Cities and towns
OnettTwosonThreedFourside (Moonside) • Happy Happy VillageSaturn Valley
Areas of interest
Ness's houseOnett Public LibraryBeak PointBurglin ParkPunk-SurePolestar PreschoolPeaceful Rest ValleyChaos TheaterGrapefruit FallsBelch's BaseDusty Dunes DesertGold MineMonkey CaveTopolla TheaterMonotoli Building


WintersSnow Wood Boarding HouseBrick Road MazeLake TessStonehengeSummersScaraba Cultural MuseumTotoStoic Club


DalaamMuScarabaPyramidDungeon ManDeep DarknessTenda Village

Special locations
Lost UnderworldMagicantSea of EdenCave of the Past

Giant StepLilliput StepsMilky WellRainy CircleMagnet HillPink CloudLumine HallFire Spring