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In case you haven't played Emerald very much, this is what happens.
1. The player defeats Tate and Liza at the Mossdeep Gym.
2. Team Magma invades the Mossdeep Space Center.
3. The player defeats Tabitha and Maxie at the Mossdeep Space Center.
4. Steven gives the player the HM for dive.
5. The player dives to Seafloor Cavern and defeats Archie there.

I was wondering if anybody tried to trade in a Pokemon that knew dive before defeating Maxie. If I did that, could I beat the game without engaging in the battle? If not, what else would block me? It would be funny to see Magma grunts swarming the space center after Team Magma gets disbanded. Please don't question my curiosity.

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I'm almost completely sure it's not possible without cheating
Well, you need the Mind Badge to use Dive outside of battle. I'm not sure if that answers your question but I honestly can't remember this part, sigh. I feel old.
In typical Game Freak fashion, there is probably something blocking the way.
The battle happens after I get the badge. Read the question more carefully next time.
It might have been possible originally for a friend to trade you a pokemon with dive, I don't know how trades worked in gen 3 tbh
I have hidden a string comments of comments here as they became off-topic and unhelpful.

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I'm going to answer the question first: No, it is not possible. There is a grunt blocking the entrance to Seafloor Cavern, who tells you to go fight TEAM MAGMA.

Now, I'm gonna apologize. Apparently my PC has some virus and won't let me run OBS so I'm using images instead. Also, if these images lag the page too much, I'll remove them and leave links to them instead.

In your situation, you go to the Mossdeep Space Center first to fight team Magma without fighting Maxie.

I triggered the above cutscene first, entered the Mossdeep Space Center without fighting any of the minions and proceeded to the Seafloor Cavern:

As you can see, Team Aqua is already here and the Submarine they stole is sitting outside of the Seafloor Cavern still. Upon going to shore, however:

This grunt blocks the entrance to the Seafloor Cavern. It isn't a cutscene; he simply stands there giving dialogue hinting to go back and fight team Magma in Mossdeep. He faces North and turns South to face you when you talk to him.

This is all he says:
"Hey!
I remember your face!

If you're here, it must mean that you're about to mess with us again!

A punk like you, do you really think you can take on TEAM AQUA?

I'd say you're too early by about a trillion years!

You're a perfect fit for the likes of TEAM MAGMA!

Speaking of TEAM MAGMA, I hear they were spotted near MOSSDEEP.

That bunch of goons, they sure don't look good near the sea!"

If spoken to after this, the dialogue replays at "A punk like you..." to the end again.
He doesn't move until you defeat TEAM MAGMA in Mossdeep, so there is no avoiding the battle with Tabitha and Maxie without cheats.

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