Pikmin (series)

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Pikmin
Pikmin logo.png
Logo used for the third game in the series
Genres Real-time strategy
Developers Nintendo
Publishers Nintendo
Creators Shigeru Miyamoto
Platforms GameCube, Wii, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS
First release Pikmin
December 2, 2001
Latest release Pikmin 3
August 4, 2013

Pikmin (ピクミン, Pikumin) is a series of real-time strategy video games created by Shigeru Miyamoto and published by Nintendo. The games focus on directing a horde of plant-like creatures called Pikmin in order to collect items by destroying obstacles, avoiding hazards and/or fighting fauna that are hazardous to both the player and the Pikmin.[1]

The series features three entries. Pikmin and Pikmin 2 were both released for the GameCube and later ported to the Wii as New Play Control! games, while Pikmin 2 was also re-released under the Nintendo Selects label. A third installment, Pikmin 3, was released for Wii U. The series' first spin-off and handheld entry, called Hey! Pikmin, was officially announced in a Nintendo Direct on September 1, 2016, and is due for release on the Nintendo 3DS on July 28, 2017.[2] Another mainline entry in the series has also been confirmed to be in development.[3]

Gameplay[edit]

Timeline of release years
2001 Pikmin
2002
2003
2004 Pikmin 2
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009 Pikmin (New Play Control!)
Pikmin 2 (New Play Control!)
2010
2011
2012
2013 Pikmin 3
2014
2015
2016
2017 Hey! Pikmin

The Pikmin games all focus on exploring a planet officially named PNF-404,[4] which is heavily implied to be Earth, and controlling a crowd of the titular Pikmin. Pikmin are intelligent, multicolored, plant-animal hybrids that willingly follow the orders of their leader. There have been multiple leaders over the course of the series, with the first and most notable being Captain Olimar, a tiny alien from the planet Hocotate introduced in Pikmin. Pikmin 2 features Louie and The President, Olimar's co-worker and boss, respectively, who are also playable leaders. Unlike the first two entires, Pikmin 3 features leaders from an entirely new alien species. In this case, the new leaders are Alph, Brittany, and Charlie, who hail from the planet Koppai and are very similar to the Hocotatians.[5] However, Olimar and Louie both appear as well, albeit in a non-playable capacity.

Pikmin are directed to perform a number of tasks, with the primary one being the retrieval of items integral to the mission of each game.[6] To do this, the player must direct the Pikmin to overcome obstacles and/or PNF-404's fauna.[1][6] However, because individual Pikmin are small and weak against most predators, and some are best suited for certain tasks, it is the responsibility of the player to direct the Pikmin appropriately in order to ensure successful retrievals of any items, avoid any hazards, and quickly tend to any obstacles and/or predators. Game time is divided into individual days, each of which consist of approximately 13 minutes, in which the player is encouraged to accomplish as much as possible before sunset.[6]

Pikmin appear in a variety of colors, which signify the Pikmin's abilities and resistance to environmental hazards. The number of Pikmin and their abilities have shifted over the course of the franchise, with Pikmin featuring only three colors: Red, Yellow, and Blue. Red Pikmin can resist fire, Blue Pikmin can move underwater thanks to their gills, and Yellow Pikmin can be thrown higher than other Pikmin, and are able to carry bomb rocks.[1] In Pikmin 2, Yellow Pikmin have lost their ability to carry bombs in exchange for being immune to electrical hazards, while two new colors are introduced: White Pikmin and Purple Pikmin. White Pikmin are the fastest, resistant to poisonous gases, capable of poisoning enemies, and capable of spotting objects buried underground. In comparison, Purple Pikmin are significantly stronger and heavier than the other types, which makes them excellent at inflicting damage and carrying heavy items.[7]

Pikmin 3 introduced two more types: the gray-colored Rock Pikmin, and the pink-colored Winged Pikmin. Rock Pikmin can break crystalline materials, cannot be crushed or impaled, and inflict the most damage out of all Pikmin types when thrown. In comparison, Winged Pikmin can fly freely, which enables them to recover elevated items and attack airborne enemies with ease.[1] In addition to making each type capable of carrying bomb rocks, Pikmin 3 also adjusted the abilities of Yellow, Blue, White, and Purple Pikmin. Yellow Pikmin are now tied with Rock Pikmin for the fastest digging speed; Blue Pikmin are now capable of swimming; White Pikmin are now tied with Winged Pikmin for the lowest attack strength, and slowest digging speed; Purple Pikmin are now tied with Red Pikmin for second highest attack strength, and second fastest digging speed.

Outside of coloration, all types of Pikmin share the same method of indicating their strength and swiftness: the stalk atop their heads will sport either a leaf, bud or flower, which develops when Pikmin are fed nectar or left planted in the ground for a certain amount of time.[1][6] By extension, all types of Pikmin are stored in their respective motherships, referred to as "Onions", for safety after sunset, as they are vulnerable to nocturnal predators. The Onions play a vital role in Pikmin reproduction: when any food, such as prey or pellets, is delivered to an Onion, it propagates seeds, which grow and are then plucked from the ground as fully developed Pikmin.[1] An Onion also serves as an incubator for all Pikmin of its respective color, housing potentially hundreds of Pikmin. The Onions travel alongside Olimar as he flies to different locations on the planet.

Games[edit]

Pikmin (2001)[edit]

Pikmin is the first game in the series, originally released in 2001. The game's plot focuses on Captain Olimar's predicament of having crash-landed on an unknown planet and befriending plant-animal creatures that he dubs as Pikmin. Olimar has to gather the missing pieces of his broken spaceship in order to escape, before his air supply completely runs out and he succumbs to the planet's oxygen-rich atmosphere, which is poisonous to his species.

Pikmin features three endings, which are dependent on the number of spaceship parts reclaimed. Reclaiming all thirty parts by the final day results in the best ending: Olimar waves goodbye to the Pikmin, who then proceed to defend themselves on their own at nighttime, while Onions of various colors observe his departure off as he looks back on the unknown planet before returning home. Reclaiming at least twenty-five parts by the final day results in the normal ending: Olimar quickly departs, while one of each type of Pikmin run toward his ship to watch him depart. Lastly, reclaiming under twenty-five parts by the final day results in the worst ending: Olimar crash-lands back onto the planet, succumbs to oxygen poisoning, and is taken by a number of Pikmin to be placed into an Onion, which converts him into a Pikmin-Hocotatian hybrid.[8]

Pikmin was ported to the Wii in 2009 as a New Play Control! title, which was then made available on the Wii U's Virtual Console service in North America in 2016.[9]

Pikmin 2 (2004)[edit]

Pikmin 2, originally released in 2004, takes place immediately following the events of Pikmin. When Olimar returns to his home planet Hocotate, he discovers that his employer, Hocotate Freight, has gone into severe debt. When the company's president discovers that the souvenir that Olimar has brought back with him is significantly valuable, he orders Olimar and Louie, another employee, to journey back to the Pikmin planet and gather treasure to pay off the debt.

The main objective of Pikmin 2 is to collect human waste that is referred to as treasure on Hocotate, including bottle caps and gadgets. The player controls both Olimar and Louie, alternating between the two characters in order to divide and accomplish more tasks during a single day. Unlike the first game, Pikmin 2 has no deadline, so the player can spend as many days as possible to collect all the treasure.

Like its predecessor, Pikmin 2 was ported to the Wii in 2009 as a New Play Control! title, which was then made available on the Wii U's Virtual Console service in Europe in 2016.[10]

Pikmin 3 (2013)[edit]

Shigeru Miyamoto first hinted about the possibilities of a new Pikmin game in a July 2007 interview with IGN, saying "I certainly don't think we've seen the last of Pikmin. I definitely would like to do something with them, and I think the Wii interface in particular is very well suited to that franchise."[11] A later CNET.com interview in April 2008 reported that "For now, Miyamoto looks ahead to other projects for the Wii, mentioning his desire to continue the Pikmin series."[12]

A new Pikmin game was eventually confirmed at E3 2008 during Nintendo's developer roundtable, in which Miyamoto stated that his team were working on a new entry in the series.[13][14] However, details concerning gameplay and development were left unmentioned.[15] In an interview with Nintendo's Official Latin American Magazine, Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed that Pikmin 3 is going to be on the Wii. He also stated that the Wii's controls were "working well" with the game.[16]

The announcement in October 2008 of a re-release of the first two Pikmin games on the Wii with updated motion controls,[17] raised concerns about whether Pikmin 3 was in fact in development. However, in a subsequent interview with IGN, it was made clear that the re-releases of Pikmin and Pikmin 2 under the New Play Control! brand were separate from Pikmin 3.[18] The game was not shown at E3 2009, 2010, or 2011, but Miyamoto confirmed in June 2010 that the game was indeed still in development.[19][20]

At Miyamoto's roundtable discussion at E3 2011, Miyamoto stated that Pikmin 3 development was moved to Wii U, the Wii successor.[21] He felt that the HD graphics for the next system and its special screen-based controller would work better for it.

On April 15, 2012, Miyamoto said in a Spanish interview that a new Pikmin game and a new New Super Mario Bros. game will both be showcased for the Wii U at E3 2012. He also added the comment "Anyone who played the original Pikmin games will enjoy playing it."[22]

On June 5, 2012, at Nintendo's E3 press conference, Pikmin 3 was officially announced and featured a trailer that revealed the inclusion of the new Rock Pikmin.[23] Six days later, a second trailer was released that revealed the new Winged Pikmin and other aspects of the game.[24] Although originally intended to be released within the Wii U's launch window,[25] Pikmin 3 was delayed and instead released in mid-2013.[26]

Hey! Pikmin (2017)[edit]

A Nintendo 3DS entry in the series was officially announced in a Nintendo Direct in September 2016 as a side-scrolling action game due for release in 2017.[2][27] In a Nintendo Direct in April 2017, the game's title was announced as Hey! Pikmin and its release date was announced to be July 28, 2017.[28] For the first time in the series, the game will not be developed internally by Nintendo, as Arzest is developing the game.[29]

Untitled Pikmin game[edit]

On November 6, 2014, Miyamoto stated during a Q&A of his recently released Pikmin short films that "Continually launching campaigns after the release of software will lay the groundwork for the next iteration of Pikmin in the future. And needless to say, we want it to be one of the motivations for potential consumers to purchase Wii U. We are making a variety of different efforts."[30]

On January 6, 2015, Miyamoto gave further confirmation that the Pikmin franchise would be receiving more games in the future, stating "I still have a lot of ideas about what I want to do with Pikmin, but nothing's decided yet in terms of anything else. But of course, we will continue to make Pikmin games."[31] On September 7, 2015, Miyamoto confirmed in an interview with Eurogamer that the next Pikmin game was in development, and was "very close to completion."[32]

During E3 2016, Miyamoto gave further updates, stating "Yes, you are right, and we're working on [the next Pikmin]. So, you know, when we're in development we have to create a list of priorities and it has been hard to kind of fit that into that list, but we're hopefully starting to see that on the list now."[33]

At E3 2017, Miyamoto reconfirmed that the next installment in the series is still currently under development, stating that "it is progressing."[34]

Characters[edit]

The main protagonist of the series is Captain Olimar, an employee of the Hocotate Freight Company, who flies a ship known as the S.S. Dolphin, a reference to the GameCube's developmental code name. He has a wife, son and daughter. Pikmin 2 introduces Louie, a co-worker of Olimar, who places the Hocotate Freight Company in debt after losing a shipment of gold pikpik carrots to a "ravenous space bunny". The names "Olimar" and "Louie" are based on Mario and Luigi, who were also created by Shigeru Miyamoto.

Another main character in Pikmin 2 is the President of Hocotate Freight, a large man that runs the company and keeps debt collectors away. The president is forced to sell the Dolphin, and it is replaced by an unnamed ship that is able to speak, name and value the treasure on the planet.

In Pikmin 3, three new characters succeed Olimar as playable leaders: Alph the engineer, Brittany the botanist, and Captain Charlie.[4] All three characters hail from Koppai, a planet whose inhabitants are very similar to the Hocotations, and they interact with each other through in-game dialogue. While not playable during the game's story, Olimar and Louie both appear later in the game's story and become integral to its plot, while Olimar's expedition logs are later discovered by the crew and offer helpful advice regarding PNF-404.[35]

After becoming stranded on the unknown planet in Pikmin, Olimar becomes acquainted with the species of plant-like beings that he names "Pikmin" because they resemble the "Pikpik" brand of carrots on his home planet of Hocotate. They are small, brightly colored creatures who are each as tall as an American dime. They follow any command: from attacking enemies and defending Olimar to retrieving large artifacts. Pikmin are generally very weak, unless they are used in hordes, as the Pikmin are excellent at working together. Pikmin speak with strange, foreign squeaking noises. Simple commands can, however, be communicated to them by the use of a whistle or any other device capable of producing high-pitched noises.

Pikmin come in several colors, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. In Pikmin, there are three types of Pikmin: Red Pikmin, who are better in combat and can withstand extreme heat and fire; Yellow Pikmin, who can be thrown higher, can use bomb rocks (Pikmin only), and are immune to electricity (Pikmin 2 and Pikmin 3); and Blue Pikmin, which have gills and can walk in water (or get splashed with water-based attacks) without drowning.[1] In Pikmin 2, two new species of Pikmin were introduced: Purple and White Pikmin. Purple Pikmin move slower than normal Pikmin, but have ten times the strength and weight of other Pikmin, giving them the ability to pick up much heavier objects and attack and destroy obstacles and other enemies with fewer numbers. They also sometimes stun enemies when they land near or on them.[1] White Pikmin, who, when ingested by enemies, damage the enemy through being toxic. White Pikmin themselves are immune to poison, can locate buried treasure with their special eyes, and can run faster than other Pikmin.[1] Also introduced is a kind of parasitic Pikmin/Bulborb hybrid called Bulbmin, Bulborbs that have been infected by parasitic Pikmin, that follow Olimar after their leader is killed. They are immune to all hazards (save explosions, being eaten, being crushed, and pits), and will not leave the caves in which they are found with Olimar. The only way to "keep" them is if they are transformed into other Pikmin species with Candypop Buds.

Pikmin 3 introduced two new species of Pikmin. The gray-colored Rock Pikmin look like small rocks and can smash through glass, crystals, ice, and the carapaces of large creatures. These Pikmin can also survive crushing attacks from boulders and enemies. Rock Pikmin also cause more initial damage when thrown at an enemy, though they are unable to latch onto them.[1] The second species introduced in this game are the pink-colored Winged Pikmin. These Pikmin are the tiniest species of Pikmin and hover using wings in the air. They can fly over hazards such as water and pits, and can carry items in the air.[1]

Reception[edit]

Aggregate review scores
Game GameRankings Metacritic
Pikmin
(GCN) 87%[36]
(Wii) 79%[37]
(GCN) 89[38]
(Wii) 77[37]
Pikmin 2
(GCN) 89%[39]
(Wii) 84%[40]
(GCN) 90[41]
Pikmin 3
(Wii U) 87%[42]
(Wii U) 87[43]

Appearances in other media[edit]

Olimar is a playable character in the Wii title, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and its sequel, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. He commands the Pikmin in battle and, like in the Pikmin series, he is almost entirely dependent on them. Olimar is able to pluck new Pikmin from the ground at any time unless he has the maximum number of Pikmin allowed; he can command up to six in Brawl, and three in 3DS/Wii U. The Pikmin, as in the Pikmin series, are fragile and can be defeated easily, but new ones can be plucked from the stage immediately after. Olimar's Final Smash, a signature one-use technique, shows him getting into his Hocotate Spaceship and flying off into the sky, while Red Bulborbs damage the other players on the ground. The ship then plummets to the ground and causes an explosion, dealing damage and knockback to opposing players as Olimar is ejected from it. Super Smash Bros. Brawl also features a playable stage called Distant Planet, based on the general setting of the Pikmin's home planet featured in the first three Pikmin titles. The same stage returns in the 3DS version, while the Wii U version has a new Pikmin stage called Garden of Hope, which is based on the area of the same name in Pikmin 3.[44] Alph from Pikmin 3 also appears as an alternate costume for Olimar, although he merely functions as an aesthetic alternative, rather than a distinct alternative in regards to gameplay.

In the Nintendo 3DS built-in application AR Games, a Red, Yellow, and Blue Pikmin appear on an AR card. Pikmin also make a cameo during the process of transferring downloadable content from a Nintendo DSi to a 3DS, with various types of Pikmin carrying the data over. A similar animation occurs when transferring save data and other information from a Wii to an SD card using the Wii U Transfer application, and a second animation, picking up where the first one leaves off, appears when completing the transfer from the SD card to a Wii U.

Nintendo Land includes the series in a team attraction titled Pikmin Adventure, where players' Miis fight robotic versions of familiar Pikmin foes. Pikmin Adventure utilizes the Wii U Gamepad and Wii Remote; the former controls Olimar, whereas the latter allows other players to play as Pikmin.

Short films[edit]

On November 5, 2014, three short animated Pikmin films were released on the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS eShop, after being shown at the Tokyo International Film Festival. The short films, "The Night Juicer", "Treasure in a Bottle", and "Occupational Hazards", each feature Captain Olimar and groups of Pikmin. To commemorate the films, puzzles related to them were made available in the Puzzle Swap game mode of StreetPass Mii Plaza.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Pikmin 3 for Wii U - Pikminology". 
  2. ^ a b "Pikmin 3DS Revealed!". 
  3. ^ "Miyamoto Updates Fans On Status of Pikmin 4". Eurogamer.net. July 6, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Official Site - Pikmin 3 for Wii U". pikmin3.nintendo.com. Retrieved 2016-11-19. 
  5. ^ "Pikmin 3 for Wii U - The Story". 
  6. ^ a b c d "Pikmin for Wii U - Explorer's Guide". 
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  8. ^ "Endings - Pikmin Wiki Guide - IGN". 
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  12. ^ Bakalar, Jeff (April 18, 2008). "Up close with Shigeru Miyamoto and 'Wii Fit'". CNET.com. Retrieved June 3, 2009. 
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  18. ^ Casamassina, Matt (October 2, 2008). "Interview: Cammie Dunaway". IGN. Retrieved June 3, 2009. 
  19. ^ Scullion, Chris (June 3, 2009). "E3: Miyamoto Discusses Pikmin 3". Official Nintendo Magazine. Nintendo. Retrieved June 3, 2009. 
  20. ^ Harris, Craig (June 17, 2010). "E3 2010: Shigeru Miyamoto Likes Donkey Kong Country After All". IGN. Retrieved June 18, 2010. 
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  34. ^ Phillips, Tom (2017-06-14). "Miyamoto: Pikmin 4 still "progressing"". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2017-06-14. 
  35. ^ "Miyamoto reveals the secret behind Pikmin 3's hidden memos". 
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  37. ^ a b "New Play Control! Pikmin for Wii". GameRankings. 2009-03-09. Retrieved 2013-10-17. 
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External links[edit]