In computing, a crash, sometimes also referred to as a freeze, happens when a piece of software stops working properly and can not continue running. This is usually because the code has tried to do something impossible, like trying to divide by zero, or read from an invalid memory position. Ideally, most software will be programmed in such a way that the final user can almost never cause the program to do something illegal, but some glitches or exploits can allow the user to do so. Games in the Pikmin series also have a few glitches, exploits, and hacks that allow the player to crash the game.
When a crash happens in a Pikmin game, it stops responding, and the player can do almost nothing except shut down the console and boot it back up. Crashes in Pikmin games are very rare, and the player will likely need to do them on purpose, but a corrupted or damaged game, system, or saved game data can all cause crashes. In this case, they should be replaced or repaired.
Besides crashing, some scenarios can also happen where the player is "softlocked". In these cases, the game continues playing and responding like normal, but it is in a state that does not allow the player to make any progress.
Ways to crash
The following are ways to make the games crash without using any hacks.
If the player's saved game data is corrupted, and the game attempts to repair it, the player can end up with save data that does not make any sense, and leaves the game in a state where many things can cause it to crash. An example would be to play on a day past day 30, and waiting for the day to end.
The following is a collection of known crashes in Pikmin.
|Crash||Basic description||Crash reason||Video|
|Smoky Progg crash||Guiding Smoky Progg deep into the opposite side of The Distant Spring may cause crashes when it attempts to pathfind back to the Onions.||Instruction at
The following is a collection of known crashes in Pikmin 2. For the ones where the crash handler can be summoned, the crash reason and the developer information are also included.
|Crash||Basic description||Crash reason||Assert information||Video|
|Treasure delivery crash||If the player pauses the game in the same frame as a treasure collection cutscene starts, and then chooses to quit the cave, the game will crash shortly after.||
|Breadbug or Glutton's Kitchen crashes||It is possible for the game to crash when the player is playing on Glutton's Kitchen, or when there are Breadbugs in the area. The reasons for this are not known, and sublevel 6 of the Glutton's Kitchen is the most likely to cause crashes.||Data storage interrupt exception||Twitch clip 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, YouTube video, 2, 3, Twitter video on Snack Pit, Twitter video on Dream Den (trace)|
||Twitch clip (crash handler), YouTube video on Snack Pit|
|Cavernous Abyss loading crash||For unknown reasons, the game can crash while trying to load Cavernous Abyss.||Twitch clip|
|Pileated Snagret fight crash||For unknown reasons, the game can crash while fighting a Pileated Snagret. It appears to happen when Purple Pikmin pound on the Pileated Snagret while it's reaching to peck a third Pikmin into its beak.||Assertion||
||YouTube video 1, 2, Twitch clip 1, 2|
|Ranging Bloyster fight crash||For unknown reasons, the game can crash while fighting a Ranging Bloyster. It appears to happen when Purple Pikmin pound on the Ranging Bloyster while it's close to dying.||Twitter clip|
|Choking Pikmin rescue crash||If a Pikmin is underwater and starts choking due to a Watery Blowhog's attack, the game will crash if a Blue Pikmin tries to grab it to rescue it.||Assertion||
|Petrified Volatile Dweevil suicide||In the Japanese version, using an ultra-bitter spray on a Volatile Dweevil that is about to explode will cause the game to crash.|
|Lockout skip crash||When performing the lockout skip glitch, there is a chance that the game will crash after the screen fades out of the treasure analysis scene.||Assertion||
|Onion discovery crash||When the player approaches the Red Onion with Louie for the first time, it produces a sprout. If there are already 100 Pikmin in the field, then the game tries to remove one, but there are some scenarios where a Pikmin cannot be removed. If all 100 Pikmin cannot be removed, then the Red Onion fails to produce the sprout, and the game crashes.||
|Cave extinction crash||If the player is inside a cave and chooses to delve deeper in the same frame as a Pikmin extinction occurs, the game will crash shortly after.||YouTube video|
|Softlocked leader during treasure collection crash||If the player falls out of bounds by using the seesaw block glitch and lays down while falling, the leader will sometimes lose the light on his helmet. Then, the player must immediately switch leaders, start carrying a treasure, and let this leader die. The player will take control of the leader with the missing light again, but the screen will be glitched out. Once the treasure is collected, the game will crash.||Assertion||
|Pellet Posy crash||Some Pellet Posies will change colors to match what Pikmin the player has unlocked. If the player has not unlocked any Pikmin yet, the Pellet Posy has no color to switch to, so the game crashes. Pellet Posies in the Piklopedia can also cause this crash.||
||YouTube video 1, 2|
|Missing sprout crash||When the player approaches the Red Onion with Louie for the first time, a 20-second timer begins. If the timer finishes before Louie plucks the sprout, a cutscene plays that focuses on the sprout that the Red Onion produced, which is meant to inform the player on how to pluck the sprout. However, it is possible for no sprout to exist when this cutscene plays, which causes a crash.||Assertion||
|Missing paper bag crash||When 15 Pikmin are in the field for the first time, a 3-minute timer begins. If the timer finishes before the first paper bag is crushed, a cutscene plays that focuses on the 15-weight paper bag, which is meant to inform the player on how to crush it with weight. However, it is possible to be in a different area when the cutscene is meant to play, which causes a crash, since the 15-weight paper bag is not located in other areas.||
|Disabling a wrong cutscene timer crash||Certain actions in the game cause cutscene timers to be disabled. For example, plucking the first Red Pikmin disables the 20-second timer mentioned in the missing sprout crash description, and crushing the first paper bag disables the 3-minute timer mentioned in the missing paper bag crash description. However, it is possible to disable either timer while a different timer is counting down. This causes a crash. Note that letting Pikmin approach the player for the first time disables a 1-second timer, so this can also be involved in a crash.||Assertion||
|First treasure collected cave entrance crash||First, the player must enter Emergence Cave at the same time as the first aboveground treasure in Valley of Repose is being collected, as demonstrated here. This can be achieved with a day 1 extinction. A cutscene plays afterwards, but the cave menu stays on screen. If the player dismisses the cave menu by pressing / , then the game crashes shortly after. Also, if / is pressed, the player can get different crash logs depending on if they press / while the screen fades to black, or at the end of the screen fading to black.||
|Day end crash||For unknown reasons, it is possible for the game to crash when the player ends the day. The only known case so far happened after the player has left the Bulblax Kingdom, collected the Healing Cask, and finished the day.||Assertion||
||Twitch clip, 2|
|Valley of Repose entry crash||At times, the game can crash when entering the Valley of Repose in the area selection menu.||Twitch clip, 2, 3|
|Mamuta crash||The game can randomly crash on Frontier Cavern, sublevel 5, after a Mamuta is killed. The lock happens in the function
||Twitch clip, 2 (language warning)|
|Snitchbug crash||New Play Control! Pikmin 2 can randomly crash a short time after a Swooping Snitchbug catches a Pikmin.||Twitter video|
|Challenge Mode 10 seconds crash||In version 1.0.0 of Pikmin 2 (Nintendo Switch), if the player pauses the game when the timer in a Challenge Mode stage hits 10 exactly, the game will crash.|
- Cardboard box crash: The game can crash some seconds after the cardboard box at the start of the first day is pushed.
- Infinite dirt mound crash: By whistling Pikmin as soon as they dig something out of a dirt mound, for mounds with multiple objects, players can repeatedly extract the same object from the mound. Doing this with bridge fragments and having Pikmin carry excess fragments will cause unintended behaviors, and can result in a crash.
- Vehemoth Phosbat capture skip crash: By skipping the Vehemoth Phosbat capture in day 1, and obtaining Yellow Pikmin and Red Pikmin instead, the game will crash after the cutscene where Alph finds the S.S. Drake, triggered by leaving the day 1 cave segment in the Tropical Wilds.
- Formidable Oak backwards: Exclusively in Pikmin 3 Deluxe, if the player enters the Formidable Oak from the exit, starts the Plasm Wraith fight, and then goes through the entrance, they'll control two leaders at once. In this state, the game tends to crash.
Ways to softlock
Although not proper crashes, some glitches, exploits, or hacks could make the game be responsive and keep playing, but make the player unable to make any progress, and essentially, get stuck. The solution in these cases is usually to reset the console or shut the game down and turn it back on.
- Cardboard box cutscene softlock: Throwing the tenth Pikmin at the cardboard box in day 1, and then whistling some Pikmin back just as they were about to start pushing it will result in the pushing cutscene to start, but since there aren't enough Pikmin to do so, it won't move. The game will not advance until the box reaches the destination, and so the gameplay cannot continue.
- Sunset cutscene softlock: Exclusively in the Japanese version of the GameCube original, pausing the game, choosing to skip to the sunset, and mashing may result in the game being unable to progress the cutscene.
Although not exactly a softlock, it is also possible for some ship parts to disappear forever, and make the game impossible to complete, unless the player restarts the story. The Libra is the most famous example of this. In addition, the player can also fail to recover enough ship parts in time, and find themselves in a situation where it is impossible to get at least the mandatory 25 parts before day 30, making it impossible to beat the game on that saved game file.
- Debt update softlock: If a treasure is recovered at the same time that a debt repayment update message cutscene starts, the game will enter the treasure analysis cutscene, but with some important aspects missing, like the ability to close the cutscene.
- Ghost bag softlock: If the "you appear lost" cutscene plays and finishes while the paper bag on day 1 is being crushed, the paper bag will end up in a permanent "crushing" state, meaning Olimar and Louie can never be reunited.
- Violet Candypop Bud softlock: It is possible to pluck a Purple Pikmin and immediately pause and escape Emergence Cave, which skips unlocking Purple Pikmin, but lets the player keep the plucked Pikmin. If this process is repeated for 20 Purple Pikmin, then the Violet Candypop Buds no longer spawn in Emergence Cave. This is because they have a maximum Pikmin requirement. These 20 Purple Pikmin also happen to be stuck inside the ship. Therefore, the player has no way of obtaining Purple Pikmin anymore, so the Spherical Atlas becomes unobtainable, which means that Awakening Wood can never be visited.
- Louie locked softlock: It is possible to kill the Dwarf Red Bulborb on day 1 without the game giving the player the ability to switch to Louie. On the New Play Control! version, this causes a softlock. However, on the GameCube original version, there is a glitch that allows the player to end the day via an extinction, so the player is not softlocked in this case.
- Stuck with less than 15 Pikmin on day 1: It is possible for Olimar to throw some of his Pikmin out of bounds on day 1 on the GameCube version. If he throws at least 2 Pikmin out of bounds after Louie approaches the Red Onion, but before the paper bag is crushed, then both leaders can never be reunited. It is also possible that the last pellet given to the Red Onion will not produce seeds if a cutscene is played at a particular time. Either way, the player is unable to end day 1, since the Pikmin on Louie's side cannot die.
- Stuck beyond the paper bag on day 1: By utilizing the swarming technique, it is possible for the player to put a flowered Red Pikmin beyond the 35-weight paper bag on day 1. Then, if the player throws the other Pikmin out of bounds, which is only possible on the GameCube version, then the flowered red will be permanently stuck, and the player will be unable to end day 1.
- Extended damage state glitch: If the player enters the Onion menu at the same time another leader gets hit by a boulder, he will repeatedly get crushed by it over time. If he loses all of his health in this way, and the player closes the Onion menu, the menu will be dismissed correctly, but then the game will softlock; only the music will keep playing.
There is also a minor softlock, the spray nectar softlock, but this can be solved by having an enemy attack the leaders, or by having the day end, either with the natural time progression, or by using the pause menu.
- Early Shaggy Long Legs softlock: If the player performs the Early Shaggy Long Legs glitch, then they can let some Pikmin die (by drowning, for example). If enough Pikmin die, then the player can never have enough Pikmin to push the iron ball, meaning they are stuck in the Brittany tutorial until they reset.
- Day 1 Charlie softlock: By hugging against a nook in the wall before the first row of Spotcaps, grabbing Pikmin, and releasing them inside the nook, the player can kill them one by one, since the nook proper does not have a floor. If the player kills them all before opening up the second row of Spotcaps, they will be unable to proceed.
- Day 1 Alph softlock: It is possible to throw Pikmin out of bounds on day 1. If the player kills just a couple of Red Pikmin before the cardboard box is pushed, then they are stuck on the wrong side of the box forever, unless they reset.
- Quick day start softlock: At the start of a day, if the player mashes fast enough in order to start the day as quickly as possible, the game will lock in the brief cutscene that shows the S.S. Drake and the Onion descending to the planet.
- Collecting a data file at the same time a cutscene begins can result in the game opening the data file after the cutscene, but its image will be empty, and the game will be softlocked.
- Having a controller disconnection right before the results screen on day 1 can cause the game to show a data file after the reconnection and the day's results, and then stay stuck at a black screen.
- Black screen lock: Losing all Pikmin for the first time in a saved game at the same time that Olimar falls into a pit will result in the game staying stuck on a faded-out black screen. Only the music will keep playing.
- Walking animation lock: Touching a treasure at the same time the Pikmin begin to lift it up will result in Olimar walking in place. It is possible to pause and quit the area that way, however.
The following article or section is in need of assistance from someone who plays New Play Control! Pikmin 2.
In Pikmin 2 for the GameCube, if the game crashes, the player might be able to input a development button combination in order to get a crash handler screen to pop up. The code should be pressed one button at a time, and with ample time between each button press:
This was used by the developers to help figure out what went wrong when the game crashed during development. Because the core game itself is frozen, the handler writes the debugging data directly onto the framebuffer, and as a result, is a bit choppy and slow. When the crash handler is opened, it begins by scrolling down the entire report, line by line, and the user can only control it after it reaches the end. and scroll the report up and down, while goes to the start and goes to the bottom.
The first few lines contain the most important information about the crash. Some crashes cause a general exception to be raised within the code, and the exception is specified in the crash handler. Other times, the developers foresaw that certain logic could run incorrectly, and added some assertions to better help them understand what went wrong, in the times where that did happen. In these cases, "user halt" is given as the crash reason, and some custom information written down by the developers is included at the top of the entire report.
The rest of the report is filled with miscellaneous memory locations and their state when the crash happened. Because the code map file in the game's data has been overwritten with garbage in the final release, the handler will be unable to decode some of the addresses in the report and will often simply show "no information".
The Interactive Multi Game Demo Disc Version 17 has a Pikmin 2 demo with an intact code map file. This means that if the player crashes the game there, the crash handler will be able to accurately show what points of the code the game was running when the crash happened. Because of the state of the system and how large the map file is, converting the memory locations can take several seconds.
- Twitter video on Twitter, published on August 12th, 2020, retrieved on August 12th, 2020
- YouTube video of the ghost bag softlock
- YouTube video of the Violet Candypop Bud softlock
- YouTube video of the Louie locked softlock
- YouTube video of a day 1 extinction
- YouTube video of a player stuck with less than 15 Pikmin on day 1
- YouTube video of the Red Onion not producing seeds on day 1
- YouTube video of a Red Pikmin beyond the paper bag on day 1
- YouTube video of a Red Pikmin stuck beyond the paper bag on day 1
- YouTube video of Pikmin being killed on day 1
- YouTube video of Pikmin 3 Deluxe becoming softlocked after the player collects a data file at the same time the nectar cutscene starts
- Twitch clip on Twitch, published on April 4th, 2022, retrieved on April 4th, 2022
- YouTube video of the crash handler in action
- YouTube video of the crash handler in the Interactive Multi Game Demo Disc Version 17, published on August 7th, 2018, retrieved on December 14th, 2018
|Glitches||Pikmin • Pikmin 2 • Pikmin 3 • Pikmin 4 • Hey! Pikmin • Pikmin Bloom|
Pikipedia's glitch notes
|Other anomalies||Crash • Mistake • Out of bounds • Path oversights • Sequence break|