Pikmin family

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All main types of Pikmin at the flower stage.

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Pikmin (ピクミン?) are a plant-animal life-form first encountered by Captain Olimar when his ship crash-lands on an uncharted planet in Pikmin. The Pikmin are loyal to their leaders, although their criteria for deciding a leader is unclear. Pikmin come in a number of different types, each indicating a unique set of attributes that better suit them to different environments. They are 1 inch tall from foot-to-tip and have a vaguely humanoid shape, allowing them to walk, run, carry and fight. Atop their head is a stem, topped with a leaf, bud, or flower, depending on their maturity.

Captain Olimar was noted in Pikmin to wonder, a bit uneasily, why the Pikmin don't attack him, and speculated that they might see him as a "parental figure". An idea commonly held by fans is that Olimar's helmet antenna resembles a Pikmin stem, and that the Pikmin see him as one of their own or as some kind of "super Pikmin". Although wild Pikmin have never been observed to follow a leader, this explanation seems to be the most probable, and is further evidenced by the fact that Pikmin will imitate Olimar while idle, such as by blowing imaginary whistles.

Biology[edit]

The skeletal structure of a Pikmin seen during its electrocution.

Although each species has different characteristics, all Pikmin, aside from Rock Pikmin, have the same general appearance: a humanoid body shape; large, bulb-shaped heads; two round eyes; two arms and two legs, each with three digits; a tall stem on which a single, five-petaled flower grows. Their limbs also serve as roots when buried in the ground. In fact, Olimar refers to their entire bodies, save the stems, as ambulatory root structures.[1]

The internal structures of Pikmin are a mystery, but certain things about them can be speculated. Since Pikmin never seem to eat anything, save nectar, they probably have a very simple digestive system, if any. As such, it's likely that Pikmin get a majority of their nutrients from food the Onions break down. Since the Onions are the center of Pikmin reproduction as well, it seems likely that Pikmin are incapable of sexual reproduction. However, in Pikmin, flowering Pikmin will sometimes drop seeds when slain in battle, suggesting that they may be able to reproduce asexually, but also that they do not have defined sexes and are hermaphrodites like many plants. Pikmin also have a skeletal system, as seen when electrocuted. Pikmin probably don't have any sort of lungs (however, the Blue Pikmin are observed to have gill structures), but their leaves, buds, and flowers appear to serve as their main means of respiration, since poison gas or water droplets collecting around them suffocates the Pikmin; inversely, walking in shallow water in which their leaf/bud/flower does not touch (as seen in the Shower Room) is fine. When killed, Pikmin disappear and a ghost flies into the air, sometimes after releasing a liquid of the same color as the Pikmin, possibly the Pikmin equivalent to hemolymph or blood.

While idle, the Pikmin's leaves and flowers glow that Pikmin's respective color; that, coupled with a cutscene at the end of Pikmin 2 would suggest that Pikmin are somehow bioluminescent, though what causes this and what function it might serve in the wild has never been explained.

They are able to carry (at least) ten times their own weight, as evidenced by the ability of Blue Pikmin to lift and toss heavy Purple Pikmin when they are drowning in water. Pikmin are also capable of speech and can even be heard saying English phrases like "Ok!" and "Yahoo!" after being plucked from the ground. When in a group they will sometimes sing parts of Ai no Uta. If left idle for a long time, Pikmin will moan at each other. From what is heard, it can be assumed that Pikmin language is very simple and primitive.

Stages[edit]

The three stages of Pikmin: leaf, bud, and flower.

Pikmin can be divided into three stages. In the first of these, the Pikmin will have a leaf on their stem. Leaf Pikmin are the slowest and least efficient at performing tasks. On the second stage, they will have a bud, and on the third and final one, a flower. The movement speed and task efficiency increases on each stage.

Pikmin can go up in stage in several ways. The most common way is by being fed nectar. Alternately, they may be left underground before being plucked, where they will gradually mature with time, or, in Pikmin 3, they can be sprayed. When knocked to the ground in battle, Pikmin have a chance of losing their maturity and decrease in stage. This is not the case in Pikmin 3, where they will never go down in stages.

The second stage Pikmin have buds on their stems. In factors of speed and power, these are just between leaf and flower Pikmin. In Pikmin, if a flower Pikmin is shaken off, it will revert to a bud, and the bud will revert to a leaf in the same scenario. In Pikmin 2, however, flower Pikmin revert to leaf Pikmin immediately. Like flower Pikmin, buds can be received when leaf Pikmin are allowed to stay in the ground for a certain amount of time.

Known types[edit]

These are the types of Pikmin encountered encountered so far in the Pikmin games.

Red Pikmin[edit]

Three Red Pikmin.

Red Pikmin were the first species of Pikmin discovered. Their unique physical feature is their thorn-like noses. These Pikmin are fireproof and have the second-strongest attack power, bested only by Purple Pikmin, but only in Pikmin 2. In Pikmin 3, Purples seem to have a lower attack stat than Reds, putting the Reds on top.

Yellow Pikmin[edit]

Yellow Pikmin have large ears. Their ears seem to catch wind currents, so they soar much higher when thrown, and they were discovered in Pikmin 2 to be shockproof.

As electrical hazards were not present during the development of Pikmin, Yellow Pikmin were found to be somewhat lacking in usefulness, as the ability to be thrown high was not that important in general. As a result, Yellow Pikmin became the only Pikmin capable of carrying bomb-rocks, an ability originally designed for all Pikmin types. With carriable bomb-rocks absent in Pikmin 2, the electrical resistance was added, and for Pikmin 3, all types of Pikmin types became able to carry bomb-rocks.

Blue Pikmin[edit]

Blue Pikmin have what appear to be mouths, but are actually gills. These Pikmin, unlike the others, can survive in water and are resistant to water-based attacks. If thrown into water or standing idle, they will save any nearby drowning Pikmin by throwing them back to land.

Purple Pikmin[edit]

Purple Pikmin are bulkier and larger than normal Pikmin, and have several wiry hairs growing out of their heads. These Pikmin can cause damage simply by being tossed on enemies (which may also stun the foes), and will actually scoot their bodies in the air to try and land on the enemy if not tossed directly above it. They can also pick up and weigh down objects with the force of 10 Pikmin, but move more slowly, even at the flower stage. In Pikmin 3, their only characteristics are their slow speed and 10-Pikmin carrying strength. Purple Pikmin have magenta flowers, and do not have an Onion.

White Pikmin[edit]

White Pikmin are smaller than normal Pikmin and have red eyes. These Pikmin are resistant to poison, and they seem to also be naturally poisonous, as enemies take heavy damage when they ingest White Pikmin. Their eyes seem to make it possible for them to detect things buried underground and begin to dig them up. These Pikmin are also the fastest, and carry objects much quicker than other Pikmin. In Pikmin 3, their only special traits are their faster speed and ability to poison enemies by being ingested. Like Purple Pikmin, White Pikmin have pink flowers and lack an Onion.

Rock Pikmin[edit]

Rock Pikmin first appear in Pikmin 3. Unlike most Pikmin types, they do not have a humanoid appearance, but rather are shaped like an irregular hunk of rock and have indigo flowers. Rock Pikmin are capable of causing damage to certain types of hard obstacles and enemies that cannot be damaged by other Pikmin. They are immune to being crushed and to skewer attacks. Rock Pikmin do the highest damage to an enemy if thrown, but cannot latch onto enemies and deal less damage when regularly attacking.

Winged Pikmin[edit]

Winged Pikmin first appear in Pikmin 3 alongside Rock Pikmin. They are pink with large blue eyes, which are similar to those of White Pikmin, and have indigo flowers like Rock Pikmin. They possess insect-like wings, and have the ability to hover over obstacles and carry objects over water. Their attack is slightly weaker than other Pikmin and will fly upwards when thrown; however, Winged Pikmin have the same throwing height as Red Pikmin, but can reach higher places if ordered to charge. Winged Pikmin are immune to most ground-based attacks and enemies. However, if knocked onto the ground and stunned, they become vulnerable to said attacks.

Bulbmin[edit]

Bulbmin are a combination of a parasitic Pikmin and a juvenile Bulborb. They are immune to all natural hazards thanks to the Bulborb's anatomy. Although they can carry objects and flower as normal Pikmin do, they are unable to leave the caves in which they are found. The actual appearance of the parasitic Pikmin alone is unknown.

Mushroom Pikmin[edit]

Mushroom Pikmin, or "Puffmin", are not a separate species, but rather the result of allowing Pikmin to be exposed to the spore cloud attack from a Puffstool. Pikmin affected by the cloud turn purple, grow mushrooms on their heads and turn against Olimar and other unaffected Pikmin. Mushroom Pikmin can be cured by shaking them off Olimar, by attacking one with an unaffected Pikmin, by defeating the Puffstool, or simply waiting for the effect to wear off. Both Mushroom Pikmin and the Puffstool are found only in Pikmin.

Mushroom Pikmin can sometimes turn against the Puffstool due to a certain glitch, and can sometimes even be controlled by Olimar, depending on exactly how the glitch is carried out.

Undiscovered species[edit]

Warning: the following article or section contains spoilers.

If the player gathers every ship part in the first Pikmin game, they will see several different colors of Onions on the ending cutscene. These include purple, orange, black, pink, green, and cyan. Although Purple Pikmin are discovered in Pikmin 2, they were introduced without an Onion, and pink, Winged ones are later discovered in Pikmin 3. Therefore, it is currently unknown whether the rest of these colors will appear in future games, or if they exist solely to add aesthetic value to the ending cinematic.

Extinction[edit]

Pikmin extinction occurs when every single Pikmin is lost. The day ends straight away, and on the following day, the Onions each produce a single seed.

In Pikmin, the following is Olimar's journal entry on the first day extinction occurs: The Pikmin have all perished because of my own carelessness. I am an utter disgrace as a leader... How can I continue to collect parts without them? Still the Onions join me in low orbit, as if this Pikmin extinction had never happened. I shan't sleep tonight...

Habits[edit]

An idle Pikmin.

Pikmin following leaders are prone to stumbling every now and then, and occasionally fall over completely, in the first two Pikmin games. This happens much more frequently in Pikmin, and, further complicated by a mass of 100 Pikmin walking together, can sometimes pose a serious problem, reducing general maneuverability. In Pikmin 2, Pikmin trip much less frequently, but still stumble often if directed to switch positions suddenly. During a retreat from a beast, a Pikmin that trips is likely to be eaten or squashed by the creature; this is especially aggravating during zero-death runs. Sometimes, it may be hard to notice if a Pikmin trips, leading to lone Pikmin becoming separated from the group.

Pikmin can be seen interacting with each other when idle. These actions include grooming each other, communicating in high pitched whimpers, waving, and playing abstract games. In Pikmin 2, if 20 of each type Pikmin is called into one group, they will hum a portion of the song Ai no Uta. This suggests that they have a highly developed and friendly social structure. Pikmin will also watch captains move around when stationary, indicating that they are very curious creatures, and can be seen to mimic the idle motions of those leaders. All idle Pikmin have a natural tendency to perform nearby tasks, such as, for Blue Pikmin, running into water to save drowning Pikmin, even if it is infested with enemies.

In Pikmin, if Pikmin are told to go in an Onion, they will follow a path to go there if they cannot make it in a straight line.[2] This behavior is rarely seen, given that the area layouts seldom allow Pikmin to be unable to enter the Onion from a straight walk while also being under the control of a leader that is close enough to the Onion's beam. It is currently unknown if Pikmin exhibit this behavior in Pikmin 2 or Pikmin 3.

Naming[edit]

To do: Find a source for "pick me".
Care to do so?

Captain Olimar named these creatures "Pikmin" because of their resemblance to a vegetable he eats in Hocotate, the pikpik carrots. The word "Pikmin" is never written with a lowercase "P", and the plural is still written as "Pikmin". Interestingly, some parts of some games do not capitalize the word that defines the type of Pikmin, but capitalize the word "Pikmin" itself, whereas others might capitalize both words. For instance, Olimar's voyage log may write "red Pikmin",[3] while Alph and Brittany's dialogues might have the text "Red Pikmin".[4].

During the development of Pikmin, the name "Pikmin" was invented as a combination of the words "Pick" and "Me". The game was named after the Pikmin, and naturally, the two share the same name. Internally, Pikmin are also sometimes referred to as "piki", as proven by the term "piki park" in animtest, and by the folder /dataDir/pikis in Pikmin's internal files. In earlier versions of the game, a Pikmin would be referred to as a "pikmin", with a lowercase "p". The plural would also be "pikmins".[5]

In Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit]

The Pikmin appear as a trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee.

Pikmin Trophy - SSBM.jpg Description:
These strange beings are part plant, part animal. They spend most of their time buried in the earth, but they will befriend whoever plucks them, as evidenced by their devotion to Captain Olimar. Each Pikmin has a leaf on its head that grows into a bud and finally a flower. Like a flower, the life of a Pikmin is both fragile and beautiful.
Pikmin
12/01
How to obtain: Random appearance. Type: Other

Gallery[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • Winged Pikmin have dark stripes on their bodies which make them resemble bees. This color pattern makes their bodies non-monochromatic, a trait uncommon in most Pikmin types. White Pikmin also seem to have this trait to a certain extent, as they exhibit a purplish tint at the ends of their limbs.
  • Originally, Red Pikmin and Blue Pikmin were able to hold bomb-rocks along with the Yellow Pikmin. Nintendo EAD eventually scrapped the idea (most likely due to Yellow Pikmin not having use of their high throw ability often), however, it resurfaces in the third game.
  • The first five members of the Pikmin family (from Pikmin to Pikmin 2, not including Mushroom Pikmin or Bulbmin) appear in the Wii to Wii U data transfer app, in which they "carry" the software from the Wii SD card to the Wii U console.
  • Pikmin resemble a legend about the mandrake plant, a plant whose roots can sometimes resemble a human body. The legend says that if one uproots a mandrake plant, it will be their servant. However, it is also said that if picked, it will emit a scream powerful enough to kill its picker, so it was recommended to form a strategy for picking it, like tying it to a dog.
  • Each of the first 5 Pikmin in Pikmin 2 represent the 5 common senses:
  • In addition to this, the Onion-owning Pikmin seem to correspond with the Elements of Nature:
    • Red: Fire
    • Blue: Water
    • Rock: Earth
    • Winged: Air
    • Yellow: Aether
  • In Pikmin 3, Rock, Winged and Yellow Pikmin have their own voice, different from the other types of Pikmin.
  • Despite their flowers being lavender in-game, the flowers of Winged and Rock Pikmin are blue in some early concept art.
  • In WarioWare: D.I.Y., there is a microgame in which a Pikmin must be thrown across water, into a puddle of nectar.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Portuguese (Portugal) Pikmin

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Like Pikmin, the creeping chrysanthemum is a member of a group of creatures with ambulatory root structures. This creature is known as a "mimic," but because it is actually a form of plant, this label is not entirely accurate. For unknown reasons, the creeping chrysanthemum's mimicry does not fool Pikmin, perhaps because they share a similar heritage. It relies on preying upon other creatures to provide sustenance, so it has no need of leaves for photosynthesis. Generally speaking, the role of plants within an ecosystem is as a producer species, and thus plants are generally found at the bottom of the food pyramid. However, on this strange planet the line between producer plants and consumer plants is blurred.
    Olimar's notes on the Creeping Chrysanthemum
  2. YouTube video showing the Pikmin following a path in order to enter the Onion.
  3. "Fire should be a natural enemy of the Pikmin, but on closer examination, I've found red Pikmin to be impervious to it. It is fascinating. The reds continue through the flames, completely oblivious to any Pikmin burning around them..." – the fire hazard in Olimar's voyage log
  4. "Come to think of it, Alph, you've been with the Red Pikmin since crash-landing here, right?" – Brittany talking to Alph about Red Pikmin, in the European region of Pikmin 3
  5. E3 2000 Tech Demo Show Off