Hocotate

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Hocotate, when viewed from space.

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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.

Geography[edit]

Hocotate Freight's yard and surrounding architecture; note the clouds in the background.

It is a red-colored planet that possesses a pair of two intersecting planetary rings. 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. In Olimar's voyage log, he explains that his family is probably gazing up at the planet's "pale red moon". Stars are visible from the planet's surface during the daytime, indicating a transparent atmosphere.

From what can be seen, at least part of the planet is desert-like, though the President notes a location known as the "Hocotate Swamp".[1] 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.

Life[edit]

A plant growing near the Hocotate Freight sign.

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. 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[2], edible grass[3], and wild animals, apparently covered with hair.[4] A few exotic green plants with twisting, vine like branches can be seen in Pikmin 2's intro as well.

Louie hints that chickens[5] and sheep[6] are life-forms on the planet that are regularly eaten. Olimar mentions that there are bothersome mosquitoes[7] and flies[8] that are regularly swatted off there. He also mentions carnivorous dinosaurs may have roamed on Hocotate.[9] 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 these mentioned life forms actually look like their counterparts on Earth or look wildly different is also unknown.

Hocotatians[edit]

A variety of Hocotatians, including The President, Louie, and Olimar.

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.[10] 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.

Technology[edit]

Advanced technology[edit]

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), 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.

Science[edit]

In Olimar's notes on the Common Glowcap, he mentions a chemical element called "Hocotatium 111", saying it is the reason for the plant's luminescence. However, Olimar's notes in Pikmin 2 strangely say that the technology behind a light bulb (the Stellar Orb) and a match (the Flame of Tomorrow) is completely unknown to his people.

Some Hocotatians also seem to study in a degree of paleontology, the study of fossil remains and plants.[11] This is later supported in Hey! Pikmin, where Olimar mentions dinosaurs. 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 PNF-404.[12] This may suggest Hocotatians have explored other planets where they have found alien remnants.

Transportation[edit]

Hocotations also have knowledge of some simple transportation, such as bicycles.[13] Another log also reveals that he has rode some kind vehicle with his wife, although it is unclear what it is.[14] However, it seems like the vehicle he is speaking of has two wheels, 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.[15]

Astrology[edit]

Hocotatians also seem to believe in astrology, and in a similar way to humans on Earth, given that Olimar mentions the Libra and Sagittarius star signs on the respective ship parts' monologues.

Government[edit]

Hocotate is shown to be commercialized; it makes use of the Poko, a small coin that resembles those from the Mario series. Items from the Pikmin Planet 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 on some occasions, 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.

Naming[edit]

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[edit]

Language Name Meaning Notes
Flag of Japan.svg Japanese ホコタテ星? Hokotate planet; see above
Flag of the Netherlands.svg Dutch Planeet Hocotate Planet Hocotate
Flag of France.svg French La planète Hocotate The planet Hocotate
Flag of Germany.svg German Planet Hocotate -
Flag of Italy.svg Italian Pianeta Hocotate Planet Hocotate
Flag of South Korea.svg Korean 호코타테 행성
hokotate haengseong
Planet Hocotate
Flag of Spain.svg Spanish Planeta Hocotate Planet Hocotate
Flag of Russia.svg Russian Хокотатэ
Khokotate
Hocotate From Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Gallery[edit]

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The planet as it appears in Hey! Pikmin's ending sequence.
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See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^
    I have a regrettable message. I have been caught. If I don't pay off the company debt right away, I'm to be buried in Hocotate Swamp. It's bleak here... Hurry! – The President in a letter
  2. ^
    Today, I tried building a small room at the top of a tree. It reminded me of my younger days, when I lived in a little shed. Those memories help make this bearable.The President in mail
  3. ^
    I found some tasty grass today. It was the first time in a while that I could eat until I was full. I've become one heck of a grass and root chef... Maybe I'll write a book.The President in mail
  4. ^
    Some wild animals are nesting under the bridge now. They think I'm their pal or something. My stylish suits are covered with hair. I'm pitiful... but at least they're warm...The President in mail
  5. ^
    Inedible. Tastes like chicken.Louie in Louie's notes on the Mamuta
  6. ^
    Sun-dry the leaves for several days, then grind them with a mortar and pestle. The resulting herb grants an aromatic, earthy flavor to mutton and poultry dishes.Louie in Louie's notes on the Fiddlehead
  7. ^
    This seems to be a gentle, flower-loving creature, but if angered, it is fierce. Its mighty open-handed smack... It reminds me of the time back home when a mosquito landed on my head, and my wife tried to get it...Captain Olimar in Olimar's monologues in Pikmin
  8. ^
    Its wide frame and solid construction make it perfect for smacking down pesky flies. Oh! Is an abundance of this tool the reason I haven't seen any normal-sized flies on this planet?Captain Olimar in Olimar's notes on the Flysmacker
  9. ^
    What a find! This should rock the field of xenoarchaeology to its core! Everyone thinks of dinosaurs as vicious predators, but these teeth clearly indicate a plant-eating creature. The S.S. Dolphin II has no record of this species, so that means I discovered it! That means they'll name it after me in the textbooks, right? The Olimasaurus... No, the Olimaceratops... No, wait...Captain Olimar in Olimar's notes on the Herbivore Molars
  10. ^
    To make matters worse, my atmospheric sensors indicate this planet's environment contains high levels of poisonous oxygen.Captain Olimar in Olimar's monologues in Pikmin
  11. ^
    You've collected the Paleontology Series! Who knows what beasts left these behind? – The Hocotate ship in his announcement for the Paleontology Series.
  12. ^
    What a find! This should rock the field of xenoarchaeology to its core! Everyone thinks of dinosaurs as vicious predators, but these teeth clearly indicate a plant-eating creature. The S.S. Dolphin II has no record of this species, so that means I discovered it! That means they'll name it after me in the textbooks, right? The Olimasaurus... No, the Olimaceratops... No, wait...Captain Olimar in Olimar's notes on the Herbivore Molars
  13. ^
    I returned to the landing site after today's exlporation and found the Pikmin clearing weeds and pulling up stones! Their diligence is a constant surprise. Maybe I'm just a good leader? Anyway, I found this object that looks like a useless bicycle. Throw it on the Sparklium pile, I suppose.Captain Olimar in His notes on the Ornamental Cycle
  14. ^
    This must be a two-wheel vehicle. Or half of a full one. It does remind me of riding along with my dear wife—just the two of us, singing a song, happy together. Much like being with Pikmin!Captain Olimar in his notes on the Dual Wheeler
  15. ^
    My daughter said she wanted to be treated like her mom, so I got her a fancy dress. She said, "No, like MOM!" so I bought her a toy car to drive. She threw a fit. I couldn't tell where I was going wrong. When I mentioned it to my wife, she laughed and said, "She wanted you to give her a hug." Just like me to get the simplest things all twisted up!Captain Olimar in his notes on the Twisty Pick
  16. ^ YouTube video of the Hey! PIKMIN Lift-Off Trailer