|First game||Pikmin (2001)|
|Created by||Shigeru Miyamoto|
|Voiced by||Kazumi Totaka (Pikmin 2)|
Captain Olimar (Japanese: キャプテン・オリマー Hepburn: Kyaputen Orimā?) is a anthropomorphic fictional character from Nintendo's Pikmin video game series created by Shigeru Miyamoto. He first appeared in the 2001 video game Pikmin, which led to the development of two additional games; one of them featuring the character as the protagonist.
Olimar also appears in other Nintendo games, being a playable character in Super Smash Bros. series. Reception to the character has been positive both for his appearance in Pikmin and Super Smash Bros. His replacement in the series third installment of Pikimin is also a subject of discussion.
Creation and design
|This section requires expansion. (July 2013)|
He was named after Mario; in Japanese, the name "Olimar" (オリマー) is "Mario" (マリオ) spelled backwards. Captain Olimar was a late addition in Pikmin; Shigeru Miyamoto said that since initially during the original development the Pikimin would be utilized as weapons to be shot by the player themselves, "it wouldn't be interesting enough" to have a player character.
Captain Olimar was introduced in the first installment of the series, Pikmin (2001), where he is a pilot who works for Hocotate Freight. During a travel, his cargo transport spacecraft, the S.S. Dolphin collides with a meteor and lands in a new planet. To manage to escape and go home, he uses the native species of anthropomorphic plants—the Pikmin—to help him find the 30 parts of his ship in the 30 days his life support systems can support him. In Pikmin 2 (2004), he returns from the Pikmin planet only to learn that Hocotate Freight is in severe debt. After discovering that some stuffs he has brought back from the Pikmin planet are extremely valuable, his boss sends him and a co-worker, Louie, to the planet to find more of it, in order to pay down the company's debt. Unlike in the previous titles, Olimar is not the main character in Pikmin 3 (2013), but he appears in the game through his journal entries that instruct the player how to use the Pikmin as well as the game mechanics, and in the multiplayer mode "Bingo Battle". Having fallen into debt once more, Hocotate Freight sends Olimar and Louie back to the Pikmin planet to search for more treasure. Player characters Alph, Brittany, and Charlie, who crash-landed on the planet shortly after Olimar, seek to locate him in order to retrieve a crucial piece of their ship, which he took mistaking it for treasure. The final level has the player characters attempt to rescue Olimar from the game's final boss, the Plasm Wraith.
Olimar has featured in two Super Smash Bros. games; in Melee he appears as a trophy, and in Brawl as a playable character, commanding his Pikmin to fight. On July 12, 2013, he and the Pikmin were confirmed to their third appearance in the series, returning in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. He also appears as a playable character in Pikmin Adventure, a minigame in Nintendo Land .
Writing for The Observer, Tom Chatfield listed Olimar as one of his favourite 10 video game characters, describing him as "an intriguing character". GameDaily ranked him as fifteenth out of their top 25 anti-heroes, noting that despite the fact that he is "a good-natured spaceman", he also enslaves a race of aliens and forces them to work. In 2007, IGN speculated that he could appear in the next Super Smash Bros. title, stating "[b]y far one of the most likely and most requested recent year heroes is Olimar". They later featured him in a list of characters they most wanted to see on the Wii.
The portrayal of Olimar in the Super Smash Bros. series has been praised. His announcement as a playable character was described by GamesRadar as "Best. Playable. Character. Announcement. Ever. [sic]". UGO Networks noted Olimar is the smallest character in Brawl, and they recommended Olimar for "experienced players". They remarked that he is "cool" because he "doesn't actually fight, instead using Pikmin to do the dirty work." IGN commented that "Olimar alone is a pretty wimpy little sucker, but together with his Pikmin, they’re a force to be reckoned with." Eurogamer's Tom Bramwell also noted his fight style, saying he is "particularly eye-catching", and that Olimar's Final Smash is his favourite in the game. On other hand, Thomas East from Official Nintendo Magazine ranked him fifth on his list of "Smash Bros characters who need to be dropped for Wii U and 3DS", stating he "is a bit useles" since he uses the Pikmin to fight for him.
His substitution as the main character in Pikmin 3 has been received both criticism and praise. Neoseeker described it as a "sad day indeed for Pikmin fans", while Yahoo! Voices qualified it as "more than a little disappointing", saying at least the game could have the option to change Alph, Brittany, and Charlie with Olimar, Louie, and the president from Pikmin 2. On the other hand, it was called "a welcome change after two games of Olimar's blank canvas" by Edge.
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Satoru Iwata: Next, I'd like to discuss more on Pikmin 3 for Wii U. In this game, instead of Olimar, who was the main character in the previous Pikmin titles, there are three new characters.
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- "Pikmin and Olimar — Super Smash Bros. Brawl Characters". UGO Networks. February 12, 2008. Retrieved July 7, 2013.
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- East, Thomas. "Smash Bros characters who need to be dropped for Wii U and 3DS". Nintendo Official Magazine. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
- Young, Rory (May 17, 2013). "Pikmin 3 replaces Olimar with Alph, Brittany and Captain Charlie, fresh and fruity details". Neoseeker. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
- "Pikmin 3 review". Edge. July 22, 2013. Retrieved July 31, 2013.