The jetpack (ホバー?) is one of the features of Captain Olimar's spacesuit, exclusive to Hey! Pikmin. With it, he can glide through the air, which allows him to cross gaps, reach higher platforms, or bypass enemies, but it can only be used for a limited time each flight. It is activated or deactivated by tapping its button on the bottom-right corner of the bottom screen, though it can also be deactivated by pressing / downwards, or by pressing . Activating the jetpack will also order any non-Winged Pikmin that are following the player to stand in place, similarly to the dismissal mechanic from the previous games, though Pikmin in this state do not take care of tasks, and are not considered "idle" like they would be if abandoned and left to die.
Availability and upgrades
This feature is not available from the start of the game, but it becomes available fairly early into the first area. In it, Olimar finds a hole in a wall that can be entered, but is on a floating ledge. The S.S. Dolphin II suggests that Olimar should try using his jetpack to reach it. It's only at this point that the jetpack becomes unlocked, from here on out. Interestingly, if First Expedition is skipped before this point, the game still gives the player the jetpack.
When the player reaches 14,000 Sparklium, the ship upgrades the jetpack, making it last 5 seconds for each flight instead of 2.5. At 22,000 Sparklium, the ship installs the jetpack's final upgrade, letting it fly for even longer: 8 whole seconds. Installing the upgrades does not use up the Sparklium supply.
When activated, Olimar jumps upwards, around his height, the backpack's thrusters start, and he begins floating in place. From this point, it is possible to move left and right without changing altitude. A gauge will appear above Olimar, indicating how much time he has left for this flight. It lasts 2.5 seconds in its initial state, 5 seconds after the first upgrade (at × 14,000, and 8 seconds on the second upgrade (at × 22,000). If the time runs out, or if the player deactivates the jetpack, Olimar will fall straight down. After landing, the timer resets, and the jetpack can be used again as needed.
If Olimar bangs against a low ceiling during the jump up, that means that there isn't enough room, and the jetpack isn't activated. Some ceilings that aren't very low will still work (like the starting point on Secret Spot 29, for instance). It will also fail if the player tries to use it while on a floor that's rising up. When Olimar falls down and lands, he goes through an animation where he bounces on the ground a bit. During this somewhat lengthy animation, the player cannot move him. However, if the player enters a door, lands on water, or uses the whistle, the animation can be canceled, and the player can take control much sooner. In addition, if the player grabs a vine during flight, or flies into a slope going uphill, there is no landing with a "thud", so the animation doesn't even happen in the first place. Finally, when jumping up to reach a go-through platform above, if the platform is at the right height, Olimar will make the jump, and at the peak, instantly go into the standing stance, completely skipping any landing animation.
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