The S.S. Dolphin (SS Dolphin in the European version of Pikmin 3) is the delivery ship that belongs to Captain Olimar in the first Pikmin game. It is wrecked when it collides with a comet during a flight to a vacation spot and thirty of its pieces are end up scattered around the five areas of the Pikmin planet; Pikmin involves the collection of these using the Pikmin.
In Pikmin, if the player presses / while Olimar is on top of the ship's ring of light, his spacesuit's health will be fully replenished, and he will comment on the number of parts he has left to recover. This cannot be done after the sunset warning timer reaches the number 4.
The ship has a total of thirty known parts. Their retrieval is necessary in order to complete the game, and they can be found in all areas. Five of the parts are optional.
To do: Should we mention the Dolphin's involvement in Pikmin 3's plot? Isn't it too much of a spoiler?
- The S.S. Dolphin's name is a reference to the GameCube's development codename, the Dolphin. It could also be a reference to a yacht named SS Delphine.
- The two lights on the front of the ship change colors with the amount of progress Olimar has made in repairing it. The lights are off when he first crashes at The Impact Site. They are red when The Forest of Hope is accessible, yellow when The Forest Navel is accessible, green for The Distant Spring, blue for The Final Trial and purple when the Secret Safe is returned.
- The S.S. Dolphin makes a cameo in Animal Crossing: City Folk as a piece of furniture distributed by Nintendo from July 20th to August 3rd to celebrate the Apollo moon landing. It also makes an appearance in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, as a fortune cookie prize.
- When viewed from above, the nose of the ship looks like a Poké Ball.
- The S.S. Dolphin may have a personality of its own, as Olimar's notes on the Analog Computer state that the Dolphin is quick to anger.
- “Curse this stupid ship! It may once have been a top-of-the-line vessel, but the way it criticises my piloting skills really gets on my nerves. I can't wait to get my beloved old SS Dolphin back! I need to find plenty of valuable treasure and pay that debt off as soon as possible!” – European version of Olimar's Log entry #1