Hocotate (ホコタテ?) is the home planet of some of the leaders in the Pikmin franchise, particularly Captain Olimar and his family, as well as Louie. Life on planet Hocotate appears to be similar to that of Earth's, though with some key differences.
In Pikmin 2, it is a dull red-colored planet that possesses a pair of two intersecting planetary rings. In Hey! Pikmin, although it still has rings, it has a brighter blue and green color scheme with white clouds – looking rather more like Earth. These clouds can also be seen from the planet's surface in Pikmin 2. Its exact location in the universe has yet to be specified, though it most likely takes place in a different star system from ours, as an incredibly bright star can be seen behind it. It is also said to be quite close to Koppai. In Olimar's voyage log, he explains that his family is probably gazing up at the planet's "pale red moon". This moon, along with a grayish moon can be seen in the endings of Pikmin 2 and Hey! Pikmin. Again Hey! Pikmin depicts them with much brighter colors, with the gray moon now being blue (possibly implying water is there) with white clouds. Stars are visible from the planet's surface during the daytime, indicating a very transparent atmosphere. It is known that the concentration of oxygen on PNF-404 is toxic to Hocotatians, so it is unlikely they have the same amount as on Earth.
The green and blue coloring of the planet in Hey! Pikmin likely indicates it is covered with plant life and water. However, what is seen on its surface indicates at least part of the planet is desert-like, though the President notes a location known as the "Hocotate Swamp". Hocotate Freight appears to be in or near a built-up area, which suggests that at least some of Hocotate may be densely populated. Olimar's wife mentions "hot springs" in one of her letters, indicating that geothermally heated water exists in the planet's crust. Olimar's family also mentions a beach, suggesting that the planet has at least one ocean.
The atmosphere of Hocotate is known to be different from PNF-404 and Koppai, as oxygen is known to be extremely poisonous to its dominant life form, the Hocotatian. The planet shows some signs of flora growing on its surface, including vegetables such as Pikpik carrots, which the planet is famous for, according to Brittany. Also according to the Koppaites, a Hocotatian's diet consists mainly of vegetables, although meat consumption is not unusual. It is unknown what gases are used to cultivate these foods. These foods consist of the Hocotatian versions of potatoes, avocados, limes, and lemons (for flavoring) as they're mentioned in his cooking tips. Interestingly, these plants can be found as treasures and fruits on PNF-404, although the food they're referring to is likely different from these. A fruit not found in Pikmin 3 that Olimar mentions is tangerines, which he even says to be his favorite fruit. Mayonnaise also seems to be frequently used in Hocotatian meals, indicating that many other ingredients exist there as well. Olimar recognizing treasures in the Sweet Tooth Series as sugary treats means that similar desserts must exist on his home planet. Supporting this, Louie mentions dark chocolate and applying sugar in another one of his notes. Olimar also misidentifies a metal nut for a "Metal Bagel" missing poppy seeds, meaning Hocotatian-sized bagels are common food there. Olimar even reveals in a log that Hocotate has an abundance of food, though this may just be in contrast to PNF-404's and the Hey! Pikmin planet's food supplies.
Bulbie, Olimar's pet, is known to be similar to a Bulborb, and its species take on a role similar to Earthling dogs. The President mentions trees, edible grass, and wild animals, apparently covered with hair. A few exotic green plants with twisting, vine like branches can be seen in Pikmin 2's intro as well.
Louie hints that chickens, pigs, and sheep are life-forms on the planet that are regularly eaten. Cheese is also mentioned repeatedly, indicating that dairy producing animals live there. Hocotatian bears seem to exist as well, based on the name of the Fossilized Ursidae and Olimar's notes on the Flying Spotted Jellyfloat.Olimar mentions mice, as well as bothersome mosquitoes and flies that are regularly swatted off there. He also mentions fish and jellyfish, that likely live in Hocotate's visible oceans. Even carnivorous dinosaurs are said to have once roamed on Hocotate. It isn't completely clear if these creatures are from their own planet, or a different one. They still seem familiar to Hocotatians though, so it's safe to assume they're found on Hocotate.
Whether any of these life forms actually look like their counterparts on Earth or look wildly different is also unknown, given that Bulbie is mentioned to be a dog, yet is said to resemble a Bulborb more than an Earthling dog.
Hocotatians are apparently the dominant species of the planet Hocotate. They are first referred to as "Hocotatians" in the Hocotate ship's announcement of the Massive Receptacle Series, and are then called by this name frequently in Pikmin 3. They are about the size of a nickel (~2cm, ~0.7in), and appear to be more advanced than humans, and have superior, or at least equal intelligence. They are capable of efficient extraterrestrial exploration and interaction, and use devices far beyond the current technology of humans. Their primary means of communication is speech, and they are able to read and write. It's also possible that they may be related to the Koppaite because they share a similar appearance and speak the same language. On the logo for Hocotate Freight, the letters look very similar to the English alphabet. If Hocotatians and Koppaites can indeed speak the same language, Koppaite text may be an alternate form of writing, like Chinese characters, that the Hocotatians do not use.
Hocotatians bare multiple resemblances to humans, including expressing human-like emotions. Physically, Hocotatians have a humanoid shape, the main differences being a larger head-to-body ratio, much larger noses, and different eyes, as explained in the next paragraph. Their respiratory system also works differently from humans. While oxygen is one of the keys to human survival, it is incredibly toxic to the Hocotatians. Unfortunately, PNF-404's atmosphere contains high amounts of oxygen, thus prohibiting its exploration without the aid of spacesuits.
The shape of Hocotatian eyes changes to show emotions and to accommodate their normally-invisible eyebrows. In a "neutral" state, the pupil is heavily dilated and stretched horizontally, giving their eyes the appearance of being entirely black, which leads some people to think they are actually closed. When surprised, the Hocotatian's pupils shrink and expose their irises, making them more closely resemble humans' eyes. This can be seen most notably with Louie in some cutscenes in Pikmin 2: in the opening cutscene, when Louie sees the souvenir and hears the ship's analysis, as well as in the cutscene where he sees the first Red Pikmin sprout, his "normal" eyes can be seen, and his eyebrows pop out too. The Pikmin 2 cutscene shown after completing the debt shows the pupil expanding gradually, instead of instantly. In the Super Smash Bros. series, Olimar's eyes will pop out when he is hit by a strong attack.
Some Hocotatians, mostly Olimar's family besides himself, often have curved eyes in arch shapes, displaying joy. The President is seen with a similar expression too, in the mail from Pikmin 2. The near-opposite goes for sad emotions, wheres their eyes droop down like an upside-down arch.
Lots of the technology is shown to be very advanced, with particles such as gluons in use (evidenced by the Gluon Drive ship part in Pikmin), a source of endless energy (the Eternal Fuel Dynamo), some sort of machine with the ability to control "parallel dimensions" (mentioned in the ship's dialog after collecting The Key) and a weapon that can destroy objects as large as stars (the Nova Blaster). Some of these mentioned ship part capabilities might be exaggerations, however.
In his notes on the Common Glowcap, he mentions that the plant's luminescence is caused by a chemical element called "Hocotatium 111" approaching critical mass. This implies that the plant is using nuclear fission to produce light. No element with an atomic mass of 111 is capable of sustaining a nuclear fission chain reaction, so the element is unrealistic. There are several isotopes with an atomic mass of 111, and the synthetic element roentgenium has an atomic number of 111, but none of these elements could luminesce in the way shown in the Common Glowcap.
Strangely, Olimar's notes in Pikmin 2 say that the technology behind a light bulb (the Stellar Orb) and a match (the Flame of Tomorrow) is completely unknown to his people. This is probably a mistake.
Some Hocotatians also seem to study in a degree of paleontology, the study of fossil remains and plants. This is later supported in Hey! Pikmin, where Olimar mentions dinosaur remains. It is not completely clear that there are paleontologists on Hocotate, or another planet. However, since all treasures in Pikmin 2 are to be sold back on Hocotate, it is most likely that Hocotatian paleontologists are the audience they are targeting. A similar field of science is xenoarcheology, the study of extraterrestrial and alien remains. It is mentioned in Hey! Pikmin, when Olimar finds remains that he mistakes for alien life on the planet in that game. This may suggest Hocotatians have explored other planets where they have found alien remnants. Botany also seems to be a study on Hocotate based on the ship's announcement for the Xenoflora Series.
Hocotatians also have knowledge of some simple transportation, such as bicycles. Another log reveals that he has rode some kind of vehicle with his wife, although it is unclear what it is. However, it seems like the vehicle he is speaking of is a bycicle, as the seemingly two-wheeled treasure he picked up reminds him of the ride. In another one of Olimar’s notes, he mentions a toy car, so it can be assumed that actual cars exist on Hocotate as well. Another treasure reminds Olimar of a jet with passenger seating, meaning that airplane flight is common there.
Along with the toy mentioned previously, movies and video games seem to be common things used for recreation. Additionally, nearly the entire Dream Series is meant to be sold to Hocotate as toys, such as the Favorite Gyro Block, which is targeted for toy makers. It is likely there are factories that help produce these toys.
Hocotate is shown to be commercialized; it makes use of the Poko, a small coin that resembles those from the Mario series. Items from PNF-404 are considered extremely valuable treasures worth a particularly large amount of Pokos, which enables Olimar and Louie to pay off their company's debt of 10,100 Pokos. For comparison, 100 Pokos is "more than a year's salary". A Mayor of Hocotate is alluded in Olimar's notes once, though his status in Hocotatian government is unknown.
"Happy Hocotate Savings and Loan" is a Hocotate company with which the President attempts to take out a loan in Pikmin 2 to cover for the lost shipment of golden Pikpik carrots. It is later revealed in one of his letters to Olimar that, instead, he has accidentally taken out a loan with the company just next door, the "All-Devouring Black Hole Loan Sharks", which forces him to go into hiding.
The name "Hocotate" actually comes from Nintendo of Japan's headquarters' address: 11-1, Kamitoba-hokotate-cho. While it has never been pronounced in English in canon media, it has been pronounced in several official sources.
Names in other languages