Pikmin 3

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Pikmin 3
North American boxart
Japanese name ピクミン3
ESRB rating E10+
Console Wii U
Developer Nintendo EAD
Publisher Nintendo
Genre Real-time strategy
Release date
Japan July 13, 2013
North America August 4, 2013
Europe July 26, 2013
Australia July 27, 2013
Related games
Predecessor Pikmin 2

Pikmin 3 is the third game in the Pikmin series, that was released for the Wii U on July 13, 2013 in Japan,[1] on July 26, 2013 in Europe,[2], on July 27, 2013 in Australia,[3] and on August 4, 2013 in North America.[4] It was revealed at E3 2012 along with a gameplay presentation and several playable demos on the showcase floor.[5] Major new elements announced include Rock Pikmin, Winged Pikmin and three leaders. In the Nintendo Direct of May 17, 2013, it is shown that the storyline in entirely separate from Pikmin and Pikmin 2 and features three different captains: Alph, Brittany, and Charlie.


The three captains in Pikmin 3: Alph, Brittany, and Charlie.

On the Galactic Date 20XX Planet Koppai is facing a food shortage and desperately sends out SPEROs in search of edible matter. The last planet they search with SPERO #3 is PNF-404, and they detect an abundance of food and life. So three brave astronauts are sent to the planet to gather as much food as possible before the supply runs out in 100 days. The crew of the SS Drake consists of Alph, the ship's engineer, the botanist Brittany, and the captain, Charlie. During the descent, they crash land on PNF-404 and get separated, discovering the Pikmin. They reunite and find some fruit, and must use the Pikmin to retrieve it due to its gargantuan size. After the fruit is analyzed, it is turned into juice, which the leaders drink throughout the day. The seeds of the fruit are sent back to Koppai to grow the fruit there, in hopes of ending the food crisis.

Charlie crash lands in a snowy area, near some Yellow Pikmin. After finding his way into a cave, he battles off some small enemies, which can be assumed to be related to the Vehemoth Phosbat, until a real Vehemoth Phosbat is seen swooping by ominously. The Yellow Pikmin accompanying Charlie run off, and he shows a worried expression when he realizes the presence of his foe. Meanwhile, Alph is in a forest area, where three Red Pikmin are trying to reach the Onion. Alph can throw them up to it, which makes the Onion fall with the Pikmin's weight. Alph has also been separated from his communication tablet, known as the KopPad, which can be found on an out-of-reach ledge. After issuing some Pikmin to continue the half-made bridge, it can be reached, allowing the player to access the area's map using the GamePad. Some time later, after pushing a cardboard box out of the way, Alph is finally reunited with the trio's ship, the S.S. Drake, and the first day ends. [6]


The gameplay of Pikmin 3 is largely similar to that of the other two games in the series in that players use the Pikmin to accomplish tasks, and the five existing Pikmin types have been confirmed for the game. New gameplay elements include the Rock Pikmin, used to destroy the armor of enemies and other tough objects; the Winged Pikmin, which hover low above the ground; and new hazards such as ice and magma, which require new tactics to overcome. Pikmin have demonstrated new abilities not previously encountered, such as riding down a natural slide to gather materials and collecting stones from piles around the area to build bridges.

The Pikmin leaders in Pikmin 3 are able to throw other leaders (though at a lower angle than Pikmin), allowing for new puzzles. Throwing a leader has a similar effect to throwing a Pikmin: the thrown leader will perform possible actions in the surrounding area, such as picking buried Pikmin.

After completing a stage, the replay feature allows players to review their session using the GamePad and the television. The recorded game can be fast-forwarded, rewound or paused.

Another new feature allows the captains and Pikmin to quickly roll side to side. This is unlocked by obtaining the Dodge Whistle, which is found in the Distant Tundra.


Nintendo has made it possible to use a variety of different control schemes, all to fit the needs of the players. The player can use the Wii U GamePad, the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, or the Wii U Pro Controller. Each different controller has similar a format that allows for a smooth experience using any one.

Players can play using Wii Remote Plus- and Nunchuk-based controls similar to those of the New Play Control! titles, or using the Wii U GamePad controller. Pikmin 3 adds the ability to lock-on to a target. Shaking the Nunchuk while locked-on will make all Pikmin in the squad rush the target. This is effectively the replacement for player-controlled swarming, as swarming is no longer possible in Pikmin 3.

The GamePad acts as an overhead map and radar to track Pikmin movements in real time. It allows players to move the camera around the area freely by sliding a finger across the touch screen, making it possible to view obstacles from all sides and giving greater flexibility in commanding multiple groups of Pikmin.

Using the Wii U Pro Controller is similar to the GameCube Controls for Pikmin 2. The cursor is usually in front of the active captain, albeit further than past games, and has a much more sensitive movement. This can prove useful for many quick movements but can cause some difficulties with bosses.

When the cursor is moved over an obstacle, enemy or fruit, the target gains a blue glow, and some information is displayed. A button press zooms in the camera and displays its name. In this game, captains gain a new action: they can perform a sideways roll to move out of the way of danger. If the cursor is aimed at an object which the Pikmin can interact with, it turns into a target. The number of the Pikmin closest to you is displayed on the cursor.

Another new control feature makes use of the GamePad as a map. The player can scroll through the entire area while the game is automatically paused. This map can also be used to make a captain walk at a decreased speed to a specified location without the player having to take control of the character.

New enemies

  • Arachnode: A spider-like creature that constructs a web, which traps anything that gets caught in it.
  • Armored Mawdad: a large armored millipede-like creature with pincers around its mouth that it uses to capture Pikmin before using its tongue to eat them. It can be defeated by breaking its armor with Rock Pikmin. It is the boss of the Garden of Hope.
  • Arctic Cannon Beetle Larva: A snowy variety of Lithopod that shoots snowballs, instead of boulders.
  • Baldy Long Legs: An Arachnorb similar in appearance to the Beady Long Legs, except its feet are larger.
  • Bearded Amprat: A rodent with an electric defense, that must be defeated by Yellow Pikmin.
  • Bugeyed Crawmad: A large Crawmad that has an elongated body and eyes situated on dangling eyestalks.
  • Calcified Crushblat: A frog-like creature that can protect itself with a crystalline shell.
  • Dessicated Skitter Leaf: Skitter Leaf-like enemies that look like dead leaves, with smaller, usually concealed leaf-like limbs for moving around. Unlike the Skitter Leaf, they can harm the Pikmin.
  • Joustmite: A ground-based enemy in similar appearance to the Cloaking Burrow-nit. It attacks similarly, but has a fleshy weak spot hanging out of its rear. Flying variations, called Flighty Joustmites, appear as well.
  • Medusal Slurker: a Jellyfloat-like creature that attacks in the same way.
  • Necterous Dandelfly: A flying caterpillar-like creature with dragonfly like wings and a curled, butterfly-like proboscis.
  • Peckish Aristocrab: A large fiddler crab enemy with an oversized claw that it uses to grab Pikmin with to eat them. It moves the claw around to block thrown Pikmin, and can expel bubbles which trap Pikmin and captains and float away, popping after a while and dropping anything they contain.
  • Plasm Wraith: a Waterwraith-like enemy that is golden in appearance which abducts Captain Olimar. It is the final boss of Pikmin 3.
  • Puckering Blinnow: A fish enemy that swims very quickly.
  • Pyroclasmic Slooch: a magma slug that attacks by licking up Pikmin with its tongue.
  • Quaggled Mireclops: An Arachnorb-like boss with four hooved legs supporting its enormous body. It is the second boss of the Garden of Hope.
  • Sandbelching Meerslug: A worm-like boss that hides in the sand and uses it to attack the Pikmin. It is the boss of the Tropical Wilds.
  • Scornet: Flying bee-like enemies that defend the Scornet Maestro.
  • Scornet Maestro: A flying bee-like boss that abducts Louie and controls the Scornets using its harp-like beak. It is the boss of the Twilight River.
  • Shaggy Long Legs: An Arachnorb that is covered in hair.
  • Skeeterskate: 3-legged water strider-like bugs that can skate across the surface of water and hold water in a bulb on their back which is used to attack and then must be refilled somehow.
  • Skutterchuck: A Dweevil-like creature that keeps a crystal on its back to defend and camouflage itself; this can be destroyed with Rock Pikmin to expose the creature.
  • Sputtlefish: A transparent squid-like enemy that lives underwater and releases poison.
  • Swarming Sheargrub: A type of Mandiblard that is quicker than other species and drinks nectar.
  • Vehemoth Phosbat: A large bat-like enemy that attacks by creating a tornado to suck Pikmin in. It is decorated with many coloured lights, and can become invisible by turning these off. It is the boss of the Distant Tundra.
  • Waddlepus: A starfish-like enemy that uses bubbles to trap Pikmin, similar in fashion to the Peckish Aristocrab.
  • Whiptongue Bulborb: a white Bulborb that can snatch up Pikmin with its incredibly long tongue.
  • Flying butterfly-like creatures that look a little different to Unmarked Spectralids; they stop and rest on Bulborbs' backs, much like how Unmarked Spectralids did in the Piklopedia in the second game.

New obstacles

  • Dirt Wall: A wall that appears like a sandcastle wall, and shows darker dirt when broken down.
  • Crystal Wall: A wall of crystal that Rock Pikmin can break.
  • Bamboo Gate: A gate Winged Pikmin can lift and must stay on it for Pikmin and Captains to pass.
  • Crystal Nodule: large crystals that Rock Pikmin can break. They may have items inside.
  • Spotcap: small mushrooms that block areas and can be broken by any Pikmin. They are destroyed instantly if Pikmin are thrown on top of them, similar in fashion to Dwarf Bulborbs.
  • Kingcap: a large Spotcap.
  • Fragments: piles of pieces used to make bridges. A number above the pile shows how many pieces remain.
  • Wire: Unfinished wire that Yellow Pikmin can connect to and finish, turning lights on inside of caves.
  • Lily pads that captains and the Pikmin can stand on.
  • A clipboard or cabinet-like structure that can be raised up and opened by Winged Pikmin.
  • Boulders that Pikmin can push to roll down hills and break walls.
  • Rectangular cans that can be weighed down similar to Scales.

New Pikmin

Rock Pikmin
Rock Pikmin are basically rocks that have a Pikmin stem, legs, and arms. This allows them to break hard materials when thrown that other Pikmin types cannot, such as Crystal Nodules and the armor of the Armored Mawdad, and makes them immune to crushing attacks such as those of Skutterchucks and Armored Cannon Beetle Larva. In Challenge Mode, they are found in Medusal Slurkers, but it is unknown whether the same holds for Story Mode; in either case, the existence of grey Pellets allows them to be grown like any other Pikmin type.
Winged Pikmin
Appearing pink in color with large blue insect-like eyes, the Winged Pikmin are unique in that they have wings. This enables them to fly over hazards and carry objects through the air with ease. While it has not been explicitly stated, the Winged Pikmin have a pink pellet that they can carry, so it is assumed that they have an Onion.


  • Distant Tundra: A snowy area where Charlie lands in and the Yellow Pikmin are discovered.
  • Tropical Wilds: Where Alph lands, and where the Red Pikmin are met.
  • Garden of Hope: A forest area where Brittany lands in and the Rock Pikmin are freed. Blue Pikmin are also discovered later in the game.
  • Twilight River: A river in autumn. Winged Pikmin are found here.
  • Formidable Oak: The final area, and home to the game's final boss, the Plasm Wraith.

Other modes

Pikmin 3 offers two modes other than the Story Mode. In Mission Mode, there are three sub-modes: Collect the Fruit, Defeat Enemies, and Battle Bosses.

Bingo Battle is a game that can be played 1v1 or 2v2. The players have a bingo card, and have to make a Bingo by collecting objects with their Pikmin. Certain objects are only found once, but some can be found multiple times.

Other elements

  • Common Glowcaps can be found mostly buried beneath the ground. If a captain touches one of these, it emerges, rising to full height and shedding light on the nearby area. The game features very dark areas, making these useful plants.
  • Pikmin 3 seems to feature updated graphics that are different from the first and second game, which seemed to have a very similar style of graphics. In Pikmin 3, there is much more texture, an example of which being that a Bulborb's spots seem to raise off the said Bulborb's back, rather than simply being markings on the back akin to the ladybug. Everything appears much glossier, and Pikmin stems seem to glow slightly.
  • During the game, players will be able to take screenshots of the game from the Pikmins' point of view. Players can then post these screenshots onto Miiverse to share with other players.
The fused red and grey Onion.
  • Pikmin share a single artificial-looking Onion, which changes between all available colors.
  • It seems that captains now have in-game dialogue, as opposed to being limited to their notes. In a recent screenshot captain Alph can be seen saying "What was that?", after spotting a Red Pikmin.


Pikmin 3 was first announced during E3 2008,[7] where Shigeru Miyamoto said, when asked about the Pikmin series, "We're making Pikmin." Nothing else about the Pikmin game in development was revealed, however. On 24th July 2008, Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed in an interview, "[the Nintendo development teams] are all working on new Mario, Zelda and Pikmin projects".

The game was originally made for Game Boy Advance, and later Nintendo 3DS, but Shigeru Miyamoto wasn't happy that either of these consoles allowed for the type of game he wanted to produce.[8] At some point it was planned for the Wii[9], but this was changed with Nintendo's announcement of the Wii U at E3 2011, where Pikmin 3 was confirmed for the new console.[10]

The announcement of the New Play Control! Pikmin games[11] raised questions as to the feasibility of a Pikmin 3; following, in an IGN interview, it was made clear that the re-releases of Pikmin and Pikmin 2 are separate from Pikmin 3:[12]

Following Pikmin 3's release in Europe and Australia, the developers have been considering adding downloadable content to the game.[13]



  1. Pikmin 3's official website
  2. Get the latest on upcoming and future titles with Nintendo Direct @E3!
  3. New Adventures in the Super Mario, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Luigi, Pokémon and Pikmin Franchises All Coming This Year for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS
  4. 2013 - Pikmin 3 Out in August
  5. E3 2012 Presentation
  6. Pikmin 3 Direct on the 26th of June, 2013
  7. 2008 - Pikmin 3 announced - Joystiq
  8. Miyamoto: 'We created Pikmin on 3DS and GBA' - Official Nintendo Magazine
  9. 2008 - Pikmin 3 confirmed to be on Wii - MyWii
  10. E3 2011 - Pikmin 3 will now be on Wii U - IGN
  11. New Play Control! Pikmin - CVG
  12. Cammie Dunaway: "It's not the Pikmin that Mr. Miyamoto referred to, no. Mr. Miyamoto referred to a new Pikmin, as opposed to the classics that are being re-released on Wii." (Pikmin 3 confirmed - IGN)
  13. Pikmin 3 DLC - Wii U Daily