Music in Hey! Pikmin
Almost all moments of Hey! Pikmin have some accompanying music to set the mood of the situation, from the menu the player is using to the cutscene they are watching to the area they are navigating through. The soundtrack for Hey! Pikmin was composed by Masato Kouda and Kento Hasegawa.
Plays in the title screen and saved game selection menu. This theme presents an ethereal electronic atmosphere, somewhat similar to The Distant Spring's theme from Pikmin. After some time, the synthesizers are joined by a harp ostinato and some simple hand percussion.
Plays in the sector selection menu, where the player spins the planet around and chooses which sector to go to. This theme draws on grand orchestral styles, opening with a strong melody on French horn, to emphasize the grand scale of the adventure across the planet, but it also features a constant layer of electronic sound effects, as if the sounds of the S.S. Dolphin II are playing in the background.
Plays in the Brilliant Garden's area selection menu, where the player can pick which area of the sector to play in. This wistful theme uses instruments with cute tone colors such as flute, xylophone, and harp to introduce the upcoming adventure in a peaceful way.
Plays in the Verdant Waterfront's area selection menu, where the player can pick which area of the sector to play in. A strong intro sets up this theme's firm rhythmic style. A simple melody is then exchanged between xylophone and a twangy plucked string instrument over a solid E chord. Later in the loop, dissonant scales in the background (very similar to those in the underground back side theme) change the feel considerably.
Plays in the Sparkling Labyrinth's area selection menu, where the player can pick which area of the sector to play in. This piece contains 3 distinct segments that are very different in style. The main thing holding them together is the steel drum, which is a fitting instrument for this sector's crystal theme.
Plays in the Ravaged Rustworks's area selection menu, where the player can pick which area of the sector to play in. This theme is a lush bossa nova, with a melody played by raindrop-like and whistle-like synthesizers, and guitar and strings providing a jazzy background.
Plays in the Leafswirl Lagoon's area selection menu, where the player can pick which area of the sector to play in. This beautiful theme in 3/4 time includes a calm melody played on panflute over a simple guitar line, and later a second section with a similar melody played by a Dallape accordion over a more full-sounding background. The resulting theme is fitting for an autumn landscape.
Plays in the Sweltering Parchlands's area selection menu, where the player can pick which area of the sector to play in. Compared to the earlier area selection themes, this one is much more synthetic, and contains more of an uncertain feel around it. A hopeful-sounding melody is undermined by higher-pitched synthesizers playing at odd times. This theme was reused in Pikmin Bloom as the badge viewer theme.
Plays in the Snowfall Field's area selection menu, where the player can pick which area of the sector to play in. This theme creates a snowy feeling without the use of sleigh bells, which is cleverly done with a mix of staccato notes and swelling long notes played on xylophone and strings, with plenty of space in between. The second half of the piece may be a reference to The Forest of Hope's theme from Pikmin.
Plays in the Lushlife Murk's area selection menu, where the player can pick which area of the sector to play in. This theme's strange synthesized sounds (plus a marimba) complement the poisonous swamp theme of the sector, without sounding too negative. The game may be nearing its end, but optimism remains.
Plays in the area results menu, when an area is cleared and the gathered Sparklium is tallied. This theme contains 2 prominent scalic melodies at the same time, one that goes up and up again, and one that goes up and down. These melodies are layered on top of a steady percussion part and a bassline that enters after some time. This theme was remixed in Pikmin Bloom as the Daily Lookback theme.
Plays during the Hey! Pikmin logs menu. This theme contains 2 sections; the first features a melody on xylophone and later panflute, with an accordion adding additional harmony. The second section is more full-sounding, with long string chords and a harp part joining the other instruments. This theme's mood is generally positive to fit the enemy and creature logs it accompanies. A large pizzicato bass section is also present, though it's barely audible when played on the 3DS's speakers, which may make this theme sound flatter than what might have been intended.
Plays during the Pikmin Park. Sparse percussive tones and a low fluttering panflute give this theme a "wild" feel that fits the style of the Pikmin Park well. The rhythm is similar to the Tropical Wilds theme from Pikmin 3.
Plays during the results screen of a Secret Spot, where the collected pellet or treasure is shown. This short loop moves between simple piano chords which are colored by a synth arpeggio playing the notes of the chord a fifth above. The resulting theme is more reflective than celebratory.
Plays during the results screen of a Sparklium Springs level, where the collected Sparklium is tallied up. This theme is the same as the Secret Spot results theme, but transposed up a minor third, and with a bright synth melody added. This creates a slightly more exciting texture.
Plays during the game over screen of a standard area, where the player can choose to retry the stage or return to the area selection menu of the sector they are on. This also includes the segment with the brief cutscene showing Captain Olimar being beamed up to the S.S. Dolphin II. The cutscene section contains a silly melody, and the main part is a slow march with dissonant chords and a melody that emphasizes the comic nature of Olimar's failure.
Plays during the "Try again?" menu of a Secret Spot, where the player can choose to retry the challenge or return to the area selection menu of the sector they are on, which can be reached by letting Olimar be killed. This slow march uses a rough yet mellow synthesizer to play a silly melody that mocks Olimar for his failure. This comic nature is only added to by the use of a slide whistle that plays with the cymbal.
Plays during the options menu. If the player adjusts the music volume, the effect takes place right away, so the player can use this song to figure out how loud the music volume is. This very electronic theme uses several synthesizer layers with heavy reverb and other effects, creating a technical feel that's fitting for the options menu.
Plays during most of the S.S. Dolphin II update cutscenes, for all scenes that aren't the ship talking about having discovered a boss battle area, since the Inside the S.S. Dolphin II - boss found track plays in those situations. A bright introductory bar heralds the arrival of good news, and following that, a joyful melody on a saw synthesizer plays over a major chord progression.
Plays during the S.S. Dolphin II update cutscenes where the ship reveals that it found a boss battle area. A slow progression of tight and dissonant chords plays on high strings, while a chromatic and low-pitched piano and pizzicato string melody plays underneath, creating a highly threatening tone. Within the high string texture, there is a beeping alarm-like synthesizer, repeatedly playing the same note.
Plays during the credits sequence.
Unlike in previous Pikmin games, the music in areas does not change dynamically based on what is happening in the game, and is constant throughout each scene of gameplay. However, most areas have 2 themes: one for the front side, and one for the back side, with one version fading out and the other version fading in when a doorway is entered. Front side themes are the primary themes of the areas, and contain diverse musical textures. In contrast, back side themes are much more sparse and ambient, and are only loosely based on the corresponding front side theme.
Plays during the "front" side of most areas in the Brilliant Garden: First Expedition, Mushroom Valley, Back-and-Forth Road, and Cherrystone Pass. It also plays in the tutorial area after the crash-landing. This theme sets a great introduction for the small scale and cute tone of the game, with high-pitched instruments playing a calming tune in the lydian mode. Throughout its several sections, instruments such as vibraphone, harp, clarinet, guitar, bright synthesizer, shaker, and clave come together in various combinations to make textures that exemplify the beauty of nature.
Plays during the same areas as Brilliant Garden area, but during the "back side", accessible by entering a doorway. This theme has a very different tone to the front side, being made up almost entirely of low-pitched breathy synthesizers, slowly moving between two chords, as various percussive and melodic fragments quietly appear and disappear. The resulting tone is ominous, but not threatening.
Plays during the "front" side of most areas in the Verdant Waterfront: Foaming Lake, The Shallow End, and Treacherous Currents. A constant sound of bubbles plays quietly beneath the rest of the theme here, demonstrating the watery style of this piece. The melody in part of the piece is played on detuned bottle-like percussion, and watery metal hits form much of the background percussion elsewhere.
Plays during the same areas as Verdant Waterfront area, but during the "back side", accessible by entering a doorway. This theme evokes the feeling of being deep underwater, with sound effects that descend into low pitches, atonal synthesizer melodies, and various synthetic click sounds.
Plays during the "front" side of most areas in the Sparkling Labyrinth: Crystal Tunnels, Echo Cavern, and The Burning Sky. The central pattern of this theme is a tresillo rhythm in the key of D, played on a synthesizer with the same sort of gravelly tone as a Rock Pikmin's voice, tying the theme of this sector to the Pikmin type it introduces. The melodies in the piece often have a delay effect, which matches the often enclosed nature of the areas in this sector, and the hard materials the walls are made out of.
Plays during the same areas as Sparkling Labyrinth area, but during the "back side", accessible by entering a doorway. Heavy reverb or delay is on almost every sound in this theme, as if the sound is reflecting off the crystalline walls in the area. Various instruments come in and out throughout the loop, playing short and usually atonal melodies.
Plays during the "front" side of most areas in the Ravaged Rustworks: The Lonely Tower, Steel Pipe Forest, and Pollution Pool. The Ravaged Rustworks are filled with the abandoned relics of human construction, and this theme plays into that, creating a tone of resilient desolation with its guitar arpeggios, open melodies, and colorful chords. The theme may be in a major key, but there is sadness behind the beautiful harmonies.
Plays during the same areas as Ravaged Rustworks area, but during the "back side", accessible by entering a doorway. Various metallic chords, tinkling noises, and unpitched percussion fill the first half of the theme, with plenty of space between every note. The second half of the theme has a melody and bass note, but the melody never leads anywhere.
Plays during the "front" side of the following areas in the Leafswirl Lagoon: Fragrant Forest, Downpour Thicket, and Gale-Force Glen. Diverse synthetic tones, a flute, and some hand percussion make up most of the instruments in this highly syncopated theme. There are lots of large jumps between notes, and there are very few low notes in the piece, fitting with the airy theme of the Leafswirl Lagoon.
Plays during the same areas as Leafswirl Lagoon area, but during the "back side", accessible by entering a doorway. This theme prominently features an atonal melody line made of minor thirds and seconds, as well as a variety of alien-sounding pitchless textures.
Plays during the "front" side of the following areas in the Leafswirl Lagoon: Valley of the Breeze and Bed of Fallen Leaves. This theme in septuple meter creates a dark tone through its subtle percussion and chord layers, and the way it stays on chords for long periods of time. A syncopated bassline and a whistled melody produce an ominous and airy feeling that fits the precise flying-based gameplay of these levels.
Plays during the same areas as Leafswirl Lagoon area 2, but during the "back side", accessible by entering a doorway. Unlike most back side themes, this one approaches tonality in many of its melodic fragments, but most of these fragments are in different keys. Each one plays after the previous one with little connection between them.
Plays during the "front" side of the following areas in the Sweltering Parchlands: Scorched Earth/Charred Plains and Barriers of Flame. This theme captures the burnt nature of the areas it plays in with its wispy background chords and textures, but the melody and other foreground parts tell a different story, moving between chords in a more hopeful progression. The song also prominently features a delayed synthesizer pattern in the second half of most bars.
Plays during the same areas as Sweltering Parchlands area, but during the "back side", accessible by entering a doorway. This theme creates tension throughout, with quick and sudden descending synthesizer lines that repeat louder an octave up each time. In other parts of the piece, ominous bass notes dominate the texture. This helps warn the player about the fire in the area.
Plays during the "front" side of the following areas in the Snowfall Field: Freezing Wasteland and Frozen Hazard. Wispy high-pitched noises are constantly in the background of this theme, evoking a feeling of coldness. The melodies and harmonies of this piece are also mostly made of high notes, and use synthetic tone colors that sound as if they are glistening off the snow.
Plays during the same areas as Snowfall Field area, but during the "back side", accessible by entering a doorway. This theme uses the same kinds of wispy tone colors as the corresponding front side theme, but subverts this by playing most of its atonal melodies with a low-pitched mellow saw synthesizer.
Plays during the "front" side of most areas in the Lushlife Murk: Scourge of the Skies, Septic Swamp, and Burning Bog. As the game nears its end, the music doesn't get more threatening, but instead builds a calm ambience that simultaneously draws attention to the deadly nature of the area. Most of the theme moves between two chords, outlined by arpeggiated kalimba-like synthesizers, while other sections are based around a string section playing more colorful chords.
Plays during the same areas as Lushlife Murk area, but during the "back side", accessible by entering a doorway. This theme, unlike the rest of the back side themes, is not atonal, instead using a variety of complex chords in a slow ambient theme, punctuated by quick bursts of percussion and short melodies with heavy delay.
Plays during the "front side" of most areas that take place underground: Cavern of Confusion, Serene Stream, Glowing Bloom Pond, Springpetal Cave, The Hollow Sky, Space of Silence, Drenchnozzle Den, Lights in the Darkness, Terror Trench, Below the Ice, Ordeal of Flame, and Peculiar Rockfall. This theme starts with a high-pitched ostinato that sounds like water falling from the ceiling of a cave, over a low drone that plays for most of the piece. The piano that comes in later plays an expressive chord progression that always stays strictly in time with the percussion and the other layers that gradually come in. The piece's B-section replaces the sixteenth-note rhythms with a triplet pattern that stays in the same key, but moves between different chords.
Plays during the same areas as Underground area, but during the "back side", accessible by entering a doorway. Unlike most of the back side themes, this one has a slow melody throughout most of it, that gradually builds over a 2-chord loop and a bass drone. Later there is a staccato synthesizer playing scales, a frequent inclusion in back side themes.
Plays during the "front side" of the Sizzling Precipice. This theme makes heavy use of 2:3 polyrhythms, with some instruments dividing the bar of 6/8 in 4 and some dividing it in 6. The first half of the theme is based around some jazzy electric piano chords, while the second half features a sliding melody in the upper register.
Plays during the "back side" of the Sizzling Precipice, accessible by entering a doorway. This theme contains very diverse textures for its instruments, which come in and out in short bursts like in most other back side themes. Some of these bursts feature alternating notes that are quite similar to those in the Leafswirl Lagoon area theme.
Plays during Over Wintry Mountains. This track appears in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and is called such in that game. This fast-paced theme features heavy use of chromatically rising or falling notes, in melodies, chord progressions, and background elements, creating tension in a silly way, which fits with the level's theme of rapidly sliding down a mountain.
Plays during Olimar's Madcap Ride. This entirely electronic theme with no percussion features a slow melody soaring over complex chord progressions, fitting with the level's theme of riding on slow-moving Adult Centipares.
Plays in all boss battle areas, including Fragment of Hope, in the section that takes place before the boss is actually encountered and fought. The player is unlikely to hear this theme for more than a few seconds, but even right at the start, tense string chords and dissonant xylophone arpeggios set a strong theme of tension. Later on, there are some unexpected harmonic shifts in an exchange between the strings and a bassoon.
Plays during a Secret Spot. This theme encourages completing the puzzle as quickly as possible, through creating constantly rising tension. This is done with lots of chromaticism, as the most common chord movement is a semitone rise upwards, and almost every part has plenty of contrast between neighboring notes. This reaches a climax when the piece breaks its pattern of chord resolution to modulate to a higher key, accompanied by a change to brighter synthesizer tones.
Plays during a Sparklium Springs area. This incredibly synthesizer-dominated piece uses many different electronic sounds and fast rhythms to create an exciting texture that fits the minigame well. The pop-style chords and melodies leave no time for hesitation or reflection – the goal is to get the Sparklium as quickly as possible.
Plays during the fight against the Bulborb.
Plays during the fight against the Armurk.
Plays during the fight against the Queen Shearwig.
Plays during the fight against the Fiery Blowhog.
Plays during the fight against the Luring Slurker.
Plays during the fight against the Emperor Bulblax.
Plays during the fight against the Berserk Leech Hydroe during its buried form.
Plays during the fight against the Berserk Leech Hydroe during its quadruped form.
Plays at each area's starting cutscene, when the S.S. Dolphin II's pod drops Captain Olimar into the area. This takes place after the loading screen, and before the player takes control of Olimar. A string section and xylophone play a descending sequence of bright chords, ending on a held chord that a harp plays arpeggios over, which leaves a slight suspenseful feel that is resolved when the area music starts playing afterwards.
Plays during the cutscene at the exit of each area, where the S.S. Dolphin II's pod beams up Captain Olimar and whatever Pikmin he brought along. The jingle starts with a drum roll as the Pikmin line up, and then as they celebrate, a joyful fanfare on percussion and brass instruments plays, with an A-C-A chord progression.
Plays during the cutscene that takes place when the player collects a treasure (or Sparklium Seed) dropped by a boss (except the Emperor Bulblax), and the S.S. Dolphin II's pod beams up Captain Olimar, any living Pikmin, and the treasure. This is a more triumphant version of the regular Area clear music, with a shorter drum roll and a larger set of orchestral instruments playing the fanfare (which uses an A-Eb-A chord progression instead of A-C-A).
Plays in the same context as Boss defeated, but exclusively in The Last Lair. This fanfare is very different from the others, featuring orchestral strings playing a chromatic melody over triumphant chords, in a way slightly similar to the Level Complete theme from Pikmin that plays when the Emperor Bulblax's ship part is collected.
Plays during the area results menu if a notification about a log category being completed shows up. This jingle cuts off the Results theme, and when it's over, the latter continues. This simple fanfare with a common C-D-E chord progression features an interesting countermelody outlining each chord.
Plays when a Secret Spot level is introduced, after the loading screen, and before the "Start!" message. The arpeggiated chords and scales in the jingle effectively state to the player that a puzzle is about to occur.
Plays during the short cutscene where Captain Olimar and the Pikmin celebrate having collected the pellet or amiibo treasure at a Secret Spot. This simple fanfare with a common G-A-B chord progression features an interesting synthesizer tone playing a short melody.
Plays when Captain Olimar loses all of his health and the screen fades to black, in a Secret Spot. Using instruments commonly associated with sad musical themes, this jingle sets up a chord resolution and then doesn't resolve it, to emphasize the failure of Olimar.
Plays when a Sparklium Springs challenge starts, after the loading screen, and before the "Ready..." message. This unusual-sounding fanfare features bright synthesizer tones reminiscent of those in the main Sparklium Springs theme, playing a sequence of quite diverse chords.
Plays during the short cutscene where Captain Olimar and the Pikmin celebrate having finished a Sparklium Springs challenge. This is a very traditional video game fanfare, featuring brass instruments playing ascending chords and a harp playing glissandi.
Plays when the player finds a stash of Sparklium Seeds at the Pikmin Park, whether it's from cleaning up a piece of clutter or by having found it in the open after everything is clean. This brief jingle features a quick and exciting melody on flute and glockenspiel, played over some quiet chords.