In the main games of the series, areas are large locations that need to be explored over the course of days. There is initially a single area available, and others are unlocked throughout the progression of the game by completing certain objectives. For instance, to access to the Perplexing Pool in Pikmin 2, a specific treasure, the Geographic Projection, must be collected. At the start of each day, a menu is presented to the player, where they can choose which area to explore in.
In Hey! Pikmin, areas are organized into groups called sectors. Each area is like a level in a platformer game. It's traveled from start to finish, and at the the end, the area is over, and the player advances to the next one. That said, it is still possible to replay areas and collect treasures or use alternative exits that have been missed. The Pikmin Park can also be accessed from the sector selection screen. Each sector has a proper name, but in some places, it is referred to with a number. Each sector includes four normal areas, a secret one, a boss area, four Secret Spots, and a Sparklium Spring, with the exception of the last sector, which is made of only one area.
The following is a list of areas in the Pikmin series:
Though not thoroughly confirmed, it's been heavily implied that some areas in Pikmin 2 are in fact from Pikmin, albeit changed. The Awakening Wood has the same layout as The Forest of Hope. It has been implied by Olimar that these are the same location, as read on his journal about the Geographic Projection.
Likewise, the Perplexing Pool shares the same layout as The Distant Spring. The Wistful Wild is a bit different, as it consists of both The Impact Site and The Final Trial. The Valley of Repose is not a remade version of The Forest Navel or any other area from the first Pikmin game and is completely new.
All areas in Pikmin 3 are original, while the forest shown in the title screen is almost the same as the west wing of the Awakening Wood. This is best seen with a model viewer, because of the water and angles. This comparison is detailed here. The Mission Mode stage Forgotten Cove, is a remade version of the The Forest Navel.
Normally, in Hey! Pikmin, exploration of each area starts at one point and ends in another, and when an area is finished, the one whose letter comes next in the alphabet becomes available. But some areas have a secret exit, usually behind some hidden path or challenge. If the player finds the S.S. Dolphin II's pod at the secret exit, it will comment on how it found an extra area with some Sparklium, and will recommend Captain Olimar to go check it out. At the area selection menu the path that opens connects to an "X" area, instead of the next letter of the alphabet. When this alternative area is completed, it leads to the letter after the area that the player skipped, meaning that regardless of the player taking the regular path or the secret exit, they will have to complete the same number of areas to reach the sector's boss. The following is a list of areas with secret exits, and where they end up.
Above ground, terrain varies between Pikmin games. It has no real impact on the gameplay, but it does change the atmosphere and the different types of enemies that may be encountered.
Most areas in Pikmin have natural surfaces such as sand, soil and wood.
In Pikmin 2, the player will find a vast array of different types of terrain.
In Hey! Pikmin, the player can find a pretty large variety of environments. Each sector of the game features a unique environment, which serves to set the ambience. However, some areas vary from the atmosphere of the sector where they're located.
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