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Exploring the Cave

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Exploring the Cave
Sample of "Exploring the Cave" from Kirby's Return to Dream Land.
Debut appearance Kirby's Return to Dream Land (2011)
Last appearance Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe (2023)
Composer(s) Hirokazu Ando[1]
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"Exploring the Cave" is a theme from Kirby's Return to Dream Land and Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe that plays primarily in cave areas. It was composed by Hirokazu Ando.[1]


The adventure continues in a cave.

"Exploring the Cave" is a resolute theme in Mixolydian C and 4/4. It begins with a simple yet unorthodox springy accompaniment I-V-IV-I progression. The brisk synth melody consists of a slowly descending ornamented scale with a long main tones and short supporting notes. After an intermission where the percussion switches up, the melody is repeated an octave below by an organ. A trombone then takes over with a new, distinctly rising melody derived from the intonations of the first. A quiet and fast counterpoint based on the original melody plays as the new motif develops. The motion comes to a halt as the bassline holds the dominant. The trombone and more brass build up a large and tense dominant chord as the original percussion and a cymbal tremolo add to the climax. This eventually resolves in the tonic with a loud crash, and the track loops from the intro.

Game appearances[edit]

Kirby's Return to Dream Land / Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe[edit]

In Kirby's Return to Dream Land and its remake, "Exploring the Cave" plays in the cave-like areas of the first, third, fourth stages of Cookie Country, Onion Ocean - Stage 2, and White Wafers - Stage 3. It can be found as track 7 in the Sound Test and track 5 in the remake's Jukebox.

The melody of "Exploring the Cave" is also recurring in other tracks such as "The Birthplace of Steel" and "Underworld", and to some extent "Crow in the Shadows" and "Halcandra: A New Enemy" and the latter's variant's subsequent usage in "Return to Dream Land".


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese どうくつたんけん
dōkutsu tanken
Cave Expedition
This name was originally given to "Crystal Dungeons" on the Kirby Wii Music Selection CD.
Traditional Chinese 洞窟探險
dòng kū tàn xiǎn
Cave Expedition
Simplified Chinese 洞窟探险
dòng kū tàn xiǎn
Dutch Grotverkenning Cave exploration
French Exploration de la grotte Cave exploration
German Höhlenerforschung Cave exploration
Italian Esplorazione speleologica Speleological exploration
Korean 동굴 탐험
dong-gul tamheom
Cave Expedition
Brazilian Portuguese Explorando a caverna Exploring the cave
Spanish Expedición subterránea Underground expedition