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In the fanbase, a challenge run is where a player attempts to complete a game, or part thereof, with a special goal or rules. Most of these type of runs are not implemented or recognized by the game, and as such, give no in-game reward for completing them. For the most part, these runs apply only to the main story mode.
Reasons to undergo these challenges vary between players, but commonly, these type of runs help bring new goals to an otherwise finished game. For some of these challenges, there is also a sense of competition, with players attempting to outdo each other's records. Finally, given the amount of skill necessary to perform these runs – as well as the diverse tricks and glitches involved – these runs commonly entertain other fans too. The other side of performing the runs is investigating and studying ways to push their limits even further, with the discovery of new strategies or tricks.
In order to complete some of them, players have to abuse glitches and use advanced techniques, such as throwing Pikmin faster. Some rules may disallow glitch exploitation, however. Because of the random nature of some of the game mechanics, some runs might contain more luck than others, and the player may end up achieving their goal more efficiently than if they had bad luck.
Professional challenge runners usually compete amongst themselves and practice constantly. In order to verify that new records are broken, players need to provide some sort of evidence, normally video footage. In recent years, players stream themselves playing for live audiences. For runs that complete the game, either to the end credits, or with full completion, players might choose to do so in a single sitting, with no cuts – a "single-segment" run – or be allowed to reset and retry parts of the game – a "segmented" run.
There are special runs in which tools are used to overcome human limitations, like reflexes or accuracy, and execute the runs with near-perfect outcomes. Such playthroughs are commonly known as tool-assisted superplays.
- 1 Speedrun
- 2 Low day
- 3 Low Pikmin count
- 4 Zero death
- 5 100%
- 6 Low%
- 7 Specific rules
- 8 Other challenges
- 9 See also
- 10 External links
- 11 References
A speedrun is where one attempts to complete the game or a goal as fast as possible. Normally, especially in the Pikmin series, a well defined plan needs to exist, and players use their skills in order to follow it as quickly as possible. In the Pikmin games, to achieve maximum efficiency, and hence, maximum speed, it is important to plan what each Pikmin should do, where the player needs to go, etc., in order to maximize productivity and ensure that minimal time is wasted. Naturally, more casual runs could forgo advanced techniques and plans, and approach the playthrough with improvisation in mind.
Some secondary goals may be dropped for the sake of speed, like skipping otherwise mandatory sections of the game. Several types of speedrun exist, with differing goals and rules. An "any%" speedrun is only focused on reaching a "real" ending as fast as possible, without caring for how many goals are completed, though a "100% run" aims to achieve full completion as fast as possible.
Although speedruns are normally judged using real time, some Pikmin 2 speedruns may only take into account the time written by the game on the high scores menu. The game only begins counting time when when a saved game is loaded, and writes the time when it is saved. Because the time it saves is only saved with the granularity of a minute, if a player saves the game within one minute of loading it and then loads the newly-saved save game, the timer will keep the same number of minutes on record and assume no time has passed. This means the final result may not match the real time the playthrough took, and can be abused to get times as low as 30 minutes for an all-treasure completion.
The following tricks are useful for speedrunning Pikmin games:
- Some glitches can be abused to speed up tasks or skip parts of the game.
- Using some throwing tricks to speed up throwing makes the mechanic more efficient.
- Using some carrying tricks to speed up the way objects are carried.
- With the help of some plucking tricks and strategies, less time is wasted pulling Pikmin from the ground.
- Using some cutscene tricks to speed up cutscenes.
- Depending on the run's goal, it may be faster to refuse saving whenever asked, as the process of writing the game's progress adds play time.
- Should a Pikmin trip down and fall, the player can dismiss the group to make the Pikmin instantly get up and go to its position. All Pikmin can then be whistled and the journey may continue.
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The following are the world records for various types of speedruns. Note that, unless otherwise noted, these times are for real-time runs, not in-game timer runs or tool-assisted speedruns. The runs are split by category, and different regions of a game may have different timing methods, tools, or glitches, which all affect a player's speed; these differences are further explained on the region page.
|All ship parts||Single-segment||Japan||0:57:52||"iid01"||YouTube video||October 26th, 2016||Finishes in 6 days, with no deaths.|
|All ship parts||Single-segment||US||1:09:32||"theurbandear"||Twitch video||December 24th, 2016||Finishes in 8 days.|
|All ship parts||Single-segment||Europe||1:11:08||"Mokaygee"||YouTube video||January 13th, 2017||Finishes in 6 days.|
New Play Control! Pikmin
|All ship parts||Single-segment||Japan||59:41||"Noa moa"||YouTube video||August 5th, 2016||Finishes in 6 days.|
|Debt repayment||Single-segment||US||1:55:07||"scrap651"||YouTube video||August 20th, 2016||Finishes in 5 days.|
|Debt repayment||Single-segment||Europe||1:59:01||"Ice Cube"||YouTube video||May 8th, 2016||Finishes in 5 days.|
|Debt repayment||Single-segment||Japan||1:46:24||"iid01"||YouTube video||December 17th, 2016||Finishes in 8 days.|
|All treasures||Single-segment||US||4:42:40||"Ghostly"||YouTube video||October 15th, 2016||Finishes in 8 days.|
|All treasures||Segmented||US||3:??:??||Charles "Miles" Griffin||Speed Demos Archive page||September 25th, 2009||In-game timer shows 3 hours and 10 minutes.|
|All treasures||Single-segment||Japan||4:16:44||"iid01"||YouTube video||December 29th, 2016||Finishes in 10 days.|
New Play Control! Pikmin 2
|Plasm Wraith||Single-segment||EU||2.0.0||0:50:26||"Ice Cube"||YouTube video||October 31st, 2016||Finishes in 7 days.|
|All fruit and Plasm Wraith||Single-segment||EU||2.0.0||1:31:36||"Ice Cube"||YouTube video||August 9th, 2015||Finishes in 10 days.|
A low day run is a type of challenge run where a player aims to complete a Pikmin game in as few in-game days as possible. This is normally tied to a speedrun, but not necessarily so, as not only can the strategies be different between the two (sometimes resulting in a different day total), but this challenge also imposes no real limit on time. For instance, given that day time does not pass in caves in Pikmin 2, a player attempting a low day run does not need to worry about speed while underground, as long as they do not deviate from the day's plans.
The following are links to articles detailing low day runs:
- Pikmin: 6 day run to obtain all thirty ship parts.
- Pikmin 2: 7 day run to obtain all 201 treasures, and it takes 4 days within that run to repay the debt. In New Play Control! Pikmin 2, Blue Pikmin cannot be whistled without first getting Yellow Pikmin. However, a series of glitches can still be used to obtain Blue Pikmin on day 3, making a 7 day run possible.
- Pikmin 3: 10 day run to obtain all fruits, 7 day run to reach the credits.
Low Pikmin count
Some challenges require the player to complete the game with the lowest number of Pikmin possible.
The following are links to articles detailing low Pikmin challenges:
- Pikmin: 50 Pikmin challenge to reach the credits or get a 100% completion with 50 Pikmin.
- Pikmin 2: 101 Pikmin challenge to get a 100% completion with 101 Pikmin. The debt can be cleared with as little as 35 by using light treasures and the respawning enemies in caves, but to even reach the first cave, 35 Pikmin are needed to crush the main paper bag on day 2. Also see the Emergence Cave challenge below.
- Pikmin 3: 42 Pikmin challenge to reach the credits or get a 100% completion with 42 Pikmin.
A zero death challenge is when a player attempts to complete a game without a single one of their Pikmin perishing. All games keep track of the number of Pikmin deaths for each file. Using Candypop Buds does not count towards this number. Others challenges are often done in conjunction with this one, either because their rules specifically require no Pikmin to die, or because Pikmin deaths may mean a small delay in having to grow some more.
A 100% playthrough is when the player completes all secondary goals in the game on top of the normal completion. It's normally considered that a "100% run" is a playthrough in which all recordable goals are obtained. For the Pikmin games, the most basic form of a 100% run is to collect all of the main collectibles in the game, and not just the ones that give the main characters a good result and end up with the game's credits. More hardcore definitions of 100% would include all Piklopedia entries or data files, for instance. There is nothing in the Pikmin games that can only be obtained on specific times, and will require the player to start a new run to obtain – anything can be obtained at any time, provided there are enough days left. The Smoky Progg can be missed, but nothing is stored in record for its encounter or defeat.
The most basic form of these type of runs are acknowledged by the game, where the player gets all collectibles: doing so will usually give a different ending from the usual one. Although upgrades in Pikmin 3 are not necessary for the game to give out the best ending, they are usually included in most 100% playthroughs.
A low% challenge is when a game is completed using the minimum number of collectibles possible and still obtain a normal ending. In Pikmin, this challenge only requires the player to collect the 25 mandatory ship parts and ignore the 5 optional ones.
Emergence Cave challenge
An Emergence Cave challenge is a challenge where a player repays the debt in Pikmin 2 collecting only the Courage Reactor and using nothing but the Emergence Cave as a source of money. Because enemies respawn and are worth a small amount of Pokos, it is possible to eventually complete the game using just the cave. The Courage Reactor must be collected on day 1 before the game can proceed. The rest of the run depends on repeatedly harvesting Snow Bulborbs for × 2 each, resulting in at least 413 run-throughs of the cave if the Utter Scrap, Citrus Lump, Quenching Emblem, and Spherical Atlas are collected as well.
With this, it is possible to unlock the Wistful Wild at the same time the Perplexing Pool is unlocked. The area selection screen will only unlock the Wistful Wild when it unlocks the Perplexing Pool, meaning that the Geographic Projection must be collected before the Wistful Wild can be entered. If the Spherical Atlas is collected in the same trip that the debt is repaid, the cutscene where the ship announces that they must head to the new area plays first, and the cutscene for the debt completion plays right afterwards, still on the same day.
This run has been completed in 13 days with the additional treasures collected.
No fruit challenge
In Pikmin 3, a no fruit playthrough is when one completes the game without collecting any whole fruit, only parts. The simplest way to do this is to execute the procedures for a normal 7 day speedrun, but only collect parts of the Crimson Banquet from the Sandbelching Meerslug on day 4, giving the player just enough juice to reach the end of the game by day 7.
In order to vary the traditional game rules, some players enforce their own rules. Given the complexity of the game mechanics, several of these rules can be made up and combined, with the following being the most common ones:
- Pacifist: except where mandatory, enemy deaths must be avoided. Pikmin can be sustained using the likes of pellets.
- Full deaths: the opposite of pacifist; a player attempts to kill every enemy they come across with, and in the case of caves, every enemy of every sublevel.
- No Pikmin attacks: except when mandatory, Pikmin should not be used to defeat enemies. Other ways to kill enemies include punches, bomb rocks and luring them into abysses.
- No sprays: sprays may not be created and/or used.
- No flowers: Pikmin must not reach flower stage. Sometimes, bud stage is equally prohibited.
- No glitches: glitches may not be used. Normally used in conjunction with other runs that benefit greatly from glitch exploits.
- No upgrades: players do not obtain any optional upgrades.
- Low Piklopedia: players avoid filling up the Piklopedia by minimizing encounters with the fauna and flora in Pikmin 2.
- Specific Pikmin number
Some challenges may require the player to obtain a specific number of Pikmin by the end of the game. This could either be the lowest amount possible (see low Pikmin count above), the highest amount possible before the days are over, or a specific count for specific types, like 0 Blue Pikmin. In addition, these playthroughs could also aim to complete a cave with the lowest amount of Pikmin of each type that one can bring to it.
- Fastest game over
This challenge run requires the player to reach a game over or a bad ending in the fastest way possible. In the case of Pikmin 2, where a game over is not possible, a Pikmin extinction is often a suitable substitute.
- Battle Bingo
Although similar to Bingo Battle in nature and name, this type of run requires two or more players to complete tasks on a made-up bingo card. The first player to form a Bingo wins. A common rule is to have a "missile" destroy a randomly picked square, and invalidate it for both cards; this usually happens every 5 minutes.
- Low score
For Challenge Mode in Pikmin 2, a player may attempt to obtain the lowest score possible on a level, while still finishing it successfully. Because The Key is worth 100 Pokos, and each Poko is worth 10 points, the lowest amount of points possible in Pokos is equal to the number of sublevels times 1000. To complete the level, at least 1 Pikmin must be left alive, and seeing as each Pikmin is worth 10 points, the minimal amount of points from Pikmin is 10. Finally, if the player uses the geyser on the last sublevel when the timer shows "0" (possible for a brief moment), they will receive no time bonus. Since all time in the caves cumulatively adds up, holes in each non-final sublevel can be entered with any amount of time left.
- YouTube video of a low in-game time run of Pikmin 2, with a 30 minute result
- YouTube video showing glitches that make it possible for a 7 day run in New Play Control! Pikmin 2
- YouTube video of a player completing the Emergence Cave challenge
- YouTube video of a no fruit run of Pikmin 3
- YouTube video of a player playing through the Bulblax Kingdom blindfolded
- YouTube video of a player completing Cavern of Chaos with the least amount of Pikmin: 20 Reds, 5 Whites, 5 Blues