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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 Onionless
- 8 Specific rules
- 9 Other challenges
- 10 See also
- 11 External links
- 12 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 20 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.
- In Pikmin 2, because the game disables button inputs for a few seconds after a cutscene finishes, but doesn't disable the leader movement, it is slightly faster to throw a Pikmin at a new cave entrance. The Pikmin being close will trigger the cutscene, and the player can then walk up to the cave, exhausting the button lockout time in the meantime. If they find the cave with a leader, they will have to wait for the button lockout to be able to press the button to enter the cave.
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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||0:56:27||"iid01"||YouTube video||February 21st, 2018||Finishes in 6 days.|
|All ship parts||Single-segment||US||0:58:27||"Mokaygee"||YouTube video||May 2nd, 2017||Finishes in 6 days.|
|All ship parts||Single-segment||Europe||1:07:28||"Mokaygee"||YouTube video||March 18th, 2017||Finishes in 6 days.|
|Low Pikmin (50), all ship parts||Single-segment||US||1:29:08||"Mokaygee"||YouTube video||March 5th, 2017||Finishes in 9 days with 50 Pikmin.|
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||1:39:21||"Ice Cube"||Twitch video||December 1st, 2018||Finishes in 8 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||1:44:35||"keisen"||YouTube video||March 8th, 2018||Finishes in 8 days.|
|All treasures||Single-segment||US||4:13:15||"Ghostly"||YouTube video||November 26th, 2017||Finishes in 10 days.|
|All treasures||Segmented||US||3:10:??||Charles "Miles" Griffin||Speed Demos Archive page||September 25th, 2009||In-game timer shows 3 hours and 10 minutes.|
|All treasures||Single-segment||Japan||3:49:05||"iid01"||YouTube video||November 29th, 2018||Finishes in 10 days.|
New Play Control! Pikmin 2
|Plasm Wraith||Single-segment||US||2.0.0||0:48:03||"JHawk"||YouTube video||October 22nd, 2018||Finishes in 7 days.|
|Plasm Wraith||Single-segment||EU||2.0.0||0:49:07||"Ice Cube"||YouTube video||May 5th, 2018||Finishes in 7 days.|
|All fruit and Plasm Wraith||Single-segment||EU||2.0.0||1:28:51||"Ice Cube"||YouTube video||May 26th, 2018||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: 6 day run to obtain all 201 treasures, 3 day run to reach the credits.
- 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 2: 37 Pikmin challenge to collect all the treasures except for the Doomsday Apparatus with only 37 Pikmin. 35 are initially required plus only one Yellow and Blue Pikmin whistled away from the group they're found in. This allows for a full run, without the tedious task of growing 100 Purple Pikmin, but with the added challenge of having less Pikmin to work with.
- 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 using the Emergence Cave as a primary source of money, and without entering any other area in the game. Because enemies in caves respawn and are worth a small amount of Pokos, it is possible to eventually complete the game using just the first cave.
In a normal playthrough, the Courage Reactor must be collected on day 1 before the game can proceed, but by causing an extinction on day 1 due to a glitch, even that treasure can be skipped. The rest of the run depends on repeatedly harvesting the 11 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 and any other partitioned fruit to make 3 bottles, giving the player just enough juice to reach the end of the game by day 7.
An Onionless playthrough is when the player must never withdraw Pikmin out of an Onion (including the Hocotate ship in Pikmin 2). This means that when Pikmin enter an Onion, they will never be seen again in the playthrough, and the player effectively starts with 0 Pikmin when landing in a new area. In all 3 games, a handful of glitches are required in order to complete the challenge.
In this game, Onionless playthroughs are considered more interesting with the additional rule that no Pikmin deaths are allowed. Such playthroughs are abbreviated as DLOL, which stands for Deathless Onionless. Right away, an out of bounds glitch is required in The Forest of Hope in order to reach the Yellow Onion, since Red Pikmin cannot be withdrawn from the Red Onion. The player must complete the entire area with just Yellow Pikmin, which is possible with various glitches. In The Forest Navel, the player must approach the Blue Onion right away and grow an entire army from 1 Blue Pikmin sprout. Candypop Buds must be used to make other Pikmin types, and so that the player has 0 Blue Pikmin when arriving in The Distant Spring. This way, the Blue Onion will make a sprout in The Distant Spring, and the player can once again grow an army in order to complete this map. Lastly, the player must obtain 15 Pikmin in The Final Trial, but they only start with 1 Blue Pikmin sprout (if they arrive with 0 Blue Pikmin). The only way to obtain the required number of Pikmin is to throw the Blue Pikmin into a Candypop Bud of a different color, and repeat the process 15 times so that the Blue Onion makes a total of 15 sprouts. Then, the player can kill the Emperor Bulblax, and harvest its five 5-pellets in order to have 40 Pikmin to carry the Secret Safe (note that the Secret Safe weighs 85 in the Japanese version, so this challenge is not possible to complete in this version).
A full playthrough has been completed by "Mokaygee" in 23 in-game days. 23 days is believed to be the lowest number of days needed to complete this challenge, but there is some speculation that a 22-day completion is possible by completing The Forest of Hope in 1 day, though doing this may be too difficult for a human to execute.
- Pikmin 2
There are a few obstacles in an Onionless playthrough in this game. First of all, the Red Onion must produce a sprout on day 2, and when arriving in Awakening Wood. Otherwise, the player will be unable to obtain Pikmin for the rest of the playthrough. In order to start day 2 with 0 Red Pikmin, a glitch called "day 1 extinction" is required. Also, in order to arrive in Awakening Wood with 0 Red Pikmin, all of the player's Red Pikmin must be killed, or converted to Purple Pikmin. Lastly, the player must grow 100 Purple Pikmin in 1 day in order to collect Doomsday Apparatus. Doing this is not hard, it simply requires the player to visit Cavern of Chaos 20 times, which is tedious, but doable.
A full playthrough has been completed by "Grassdigger" in 7 in-game days.. A handful of glitches were utilized in order to complete the challenge in just 7 days, including the "rest skip" glitch. Unfortunately, a 6 day run does not seem possible under Onionless restrictions, as Awakening Wood simply takes too much time to complete. Note that the player who completed the challenge had 1 death during the playthrough. However, it's actually possible to do a Deathless Onionless playthrough, thanks to a different glitch. Unfortunately, a Deathless Onionless playthrough currently requires 8 days to complete, as 1 more day is needed in Valley of Repose in order to obtain enough Pikmin to crush the 35-weight paper bag. No one has completed a Deathless Onionless playthrough of Pikmin 2 yet.
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 23 minute result, though 3 more minutes have been saved since then
- YouTube video of a completed 37 Pikmin run in 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 an out of bounds glitch in The Forest of Hope
- Playlist of an Onionless Pikmin playthrough on YouTube
- YouTube video of day 1 extinction
- Playlist of an Onionless Pikmin 2 playthrough on YouTube
- YouTube video of the rest skip glitch
- YouTube video of Day 1 Extinction with 0 deaths
- 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