Music in Pikmin 2
To do: Add the missing internal names.
The music of Pikmin 2 accompanies every mode of the game, from themes during gameplay to scores of cutscenes and menus, in order to provide a more engaging and focally directed experience. Generally, the textural style of the music reflects either the game's new mission from Hocotate, the organic overworld of PNF-404, or the specific visual theme of a cave; by vastly varying its unique instrumentations, register, and rhythms. During gameplay, each piece of music sets the mood for the particular environment, and adapts dynamically to what tasks Pikmin are carrying out, the identity and condition of the controlled leader, and the time of day. Some tracks even adapt specifically to the actions of bosses. Between gameplay, pre-rendered cutscenes are scored with a large orchestra, and in-game cutscenes are scored with small ensembles. In general, compared with the music of the previous game, the soundtrack of Pikmin 2 is less melodically driven, and more atmospheric, although this iteration of the game contains quite a few leitmotifs, or musical gestures that become associated with characters or ideas.
The soundtrack to Pikmin 2 was composed by Hajime Wakai. It is not an official album, unlike Pikmin Worlds. All the compositions of this game consist wholly of synthesized sounds or samples attempting to mimic real instruments. Although compared with the previous game, the technology used to mimic these instruments is more advanced and can cover a wider collection and range.
- 1 Leitmotifs
- 2 Menus
- 3 Cutscenes
- 4 Areas
- 5 Caves
- 5.1 Snow 1
- 5.2 Snow 2
- 5.3 Soil 1
- 5.4 Rest
- 5.5 Fire
- 5.6 Soil 2
- 5.7 Metal 1
- 5.8 Metal 2
- 5.9 Soil 3
- 5.10 Concrete 1
- 5.11 Concrete 2
- 5.12 Electricity
- 5.13 Bulblax
- 5.14 Snagret
- 5.15 Yard
- 5.16 Metal 3
- 5.17 Snow 3
- 5.18 Tile 1
- 5.19 Tile 2
- 5.20 Toybox 1
- 5.21 Toybox 2
- 5.22 Giant Breadbug
- 5.23 Submerged Castle
- 5.24 Hole of Heroes
- 5.25 Key (Challenge Mode)
- 6 Bosses
- 7 2-Player Battle
- 8 Minor jingles
- 9 Trivia
- 10 See also
These are small gestures that reappear throughout the game suggesting ideas or setting moods.
As with the previous game, whether or not the menu themes of this game have strong, memorable melodies depends on how often the player will likely visit the menu. However, unlike the previous game, the melodies shine right from the beginning of the theme, rather than well into it.
- Main Menu
The main theme of the game. An oboe now shines through with the melody adapted from the figure used in the first game's main theme, and develops it briefly. After the accompaniment dies down to a glockenspiel, the track reverts to a loop of environmental noises until attraction mode is triggered or an option is selected.
|Saved game selection|
- Saved game selection
Heard while selecting a save file. This is the same track used for the save game selection in Pikmin; it still has the straight-ahead rhythm and suspended 4 harmonies that complement the idea of recording and selecting data.
|2-Player Battle menu|
Heard in the 2-Player Battle menu. This wartime-esque theme has a strong melody of fourth and fifths with fanfare-like arpeggiating trumpets to promote the imminent battle. As the theme progresses, the harmony gets more intense; from soft strings and glockenspiel, to stable horn intervals, to both plus bugling trumpets.
|Challenge Mode menu|
Heard in the Challenge Mode menu. This theme actually uses the same motif as the 2-Player Battle theme, disguised under a different rhythm in the accompaniment. Eventually the theme takes on its own identity under a new chord progression, and then the marimba becomes the center instrument for a time. Overall the register is higher and the instruments smaller; even the snare drum is a small piccolo snare. The piece keeps relatively the same intensity for its duration, as this mode is not about combat, but cooperation.
Heard in the options menu. This theme is entirely synthesized, with a melody not present until late in the track on a sine-wave-like lead (since the options menu is not likely to be frequented). Instead, most of the tune is a C drone in pad strings, an arpeggiating square wave, and quick, evolving chords on a flute-like synthesizer. This structure is a bit similar to the theme of The Forest Navel, but again, nothing in this theme is as prominent or developmental.
- High Scores
Heard in the high scores menu. This extremely subtle theme is a jazz waltz, complete with brushed swinging drums, a walking bass line, and a celeste playing a quaint, quiet, almost childish melody. This piece is definitely passive, but still provides a pleasant ambiance to viewing high scores.
Heard in the bonus menu of cinemas. This is a simple playful waltz played on steam calliope, an instrument that was usually reserved for circus acts or riverboats but could sometimes find itself at a theatre in the early 20th century. Eventually joined by accordion, electric bass, and a simple bass drum and snare kit, the tune becomes a sort of polka waltz. However, this polka section was probably not considered likely to be heard; not much time is spent in the Bonuses menu.
- Area selection
Heard in the area selection menu. This strong theme is a re-elaboration of the motifs in the main theme, mostly performed on flute. Booming contrast between the low basses, harmonies in mid-range horns and strings, and high flutes and celeste makes this one of the most orchestral loops in the game, which also earned it and the area selection theme in the first game an orchestral arrangement and performance in the "Symphonic Legends" orchestral game music concert.
- Piklopedia/Treasure hoard
Heard in the Piklopedia or treasure hoard. This quiet theme in 5/8 time signature has a low melody on fretless bass, enhancing its subtlety. As the theme goes on, the bass gets more ornamental in its style, but the piece mainly stays at one intensity level, so as not to distract from the articles to be read. This theme also contains instances of the "cymbalesque" synthesized instrument from the first game, used as complements to the harmony.
- Today's report
Heard after the Hocotate ship blasts off for the night and the results of the day are posted. This is the same end of day theme used in Pikmin, along with a similar background cutscene and menu. Once again, the natural environment below has been left temporarily, and as such the instrumentation changes to more synthetic pads, leads, and percussion. The piece works well as a theme to communicating with Hocotate.
- Cave results
Heard after a geyser is used to exit a cave. Militaristic snare drum is combined with cinematic strings and treasure-associated synthesizers to demonstrate that a mission is most certainly complete. It can either function as a celebration of victory if many treasures were salvaged, or an ironically didactic tune if the mission was aborted or if many Pikmin were lost. If the cave is completed in this menu, and the player waits for 3 minutes and 50 seconds, Totaka's song will be played in C. This only happens in the GameCube version of Pikmin 2.
|Debt completion results|
- Debt completion results
Heard after 10000 Pokos have been collected. This quiet theme on celeste and pad strings is a reprise of the day results theme, as though contemplating the final day's results. Again, as this is music for viewing statistics, it has little intensity to it and mostly stays out of the way of the menu.
|Treasure completion results|
- Treasure completion results
Heard after the story is complete. This theme begins as a regal fanfare not unlike the theme heard when the S.S. Dolphin is completely rebuilt, again signaling the end of the game. Then, as the final statistics are on screen, the fanfare dies down and resolves to the same quiet tune from the debt completion menu.
|Challenge Mode results|
- Challenge Mode results
Heard after a cave in Challenge Mode has been successfully exited. Using complex gestures in synthesized bass, marimba, and snare drum, this composition definitely conveys the relay of information. The melody, in a different meter and over a different harmonic progression, is the main motif from the "today's report" menu theme, again stating that this menu is the end of the challenge.
The cutscenes have widely different purposes and contexts, and so their scores have many different types of instruments and moods. The pre-rendered story cinemas of the game have a Hollywood-style sampled orchestra to score them, albeit not always using the full orchestra. In-game cutscenes have smaller ensembles with more specific or esoteric sounds to capture more specific moods and to subtly control the efficacy and meaning of the Hocotate ship's monologues.
- Attraction mode
Heard during the attraction mode if the main menu is left idle long enough. Very different from the first game's attraction mode theme, this theme is simply African drums and percussion along with a modal melody on a flute and a Pikmin making small noises to the beat. The entire track has a low pass filter, probably so as not to distract from the video. But the high register of the melody and Pikmin's voice convey the scale of the pre-rendered cutscenes very well.
- Opening cinema
Heard during the introduction cutscene, which plays upon starting a new game, or occasionally during attraction mode. This orchestral suite begins with the "Hocotatian motif" elaborated, until its regality is abruptly silenced by booming percussion as the S.S. Dolphin is struck by a meteor. A brief major turnaround in the strings recaps the events of Pikmin, and the S.S. Dolphin escapes to Hocotate, during which the motif returns triumphantly before faltering off into an augmented cliffhanger.
The next scene, in which the Dolphin approaches Hocotate, includes a simple background of suspended chords in the strings and a droning synthesizer, while horns play the motif one last time. The President's monologue about Hocotate Freight's debt has no score, to focus attention on the President's words. Then a brief tuba-like sound effect characterizes the spaceship that takes the S.S. Dolphin, and a series of string stabs drives in the severity of the company's debt. As Captain Olimar drops his souvenir, a flute dramatizes the its rolling to Louie's feet, and this augments into a brief arrhythmic section characterizing the characters' confusion over the bottle cap. When the Hocotate ship abducts it, short whole-tone runs in the strings build tension until a crash of cymbals reveals the artifact is worth 100 Pokos. A sort of word painting ensues as the debt is lifted by 100 Pokos, causing a melodic line to ascend up to a harp glissando.
As the President gets the idea to send Captain Olimar and Louie to PNF-404, the Hocotatian motif returns, echoed throughout the orchestra as the intensity builds. Finally as the Hocotate ship blasts off this motif metamorphoses into the "success motif", this time focused on adventure. It develops to a climactic point as the ship warps through space and dodges a meteor, and then quiets down as a bell-like synthesizer and a horn section introduce PNF-404 with the Pikmin 2 motif".
- Near-crash landing
Heard after the opening cinema during a new game. This intro to PNF-404 begins with the Hocotatian motif as the ship flies in for a landing. The hits by tree branches are Mickey-moused, or synced exactly with the music. Specifically, they are synced with strings playing col legno, until a bell and chromatically descending flute match Louie's ejection from the ship. Chromatic english horn and xylophone score the struggle of the ship to regain balance, until it lands and the score ends on a whole-tone glissando from the harp, leaving the mood in limbo.
|Olimar meets Pikmin again|
- Olimar meets Pikmin again
Heard when Captain Olimar whistles the first 5 Red Pikmin to his side. A calm tonal acoustic guitar gives this score charm, while a marimba directly plays the Pikmin 2 motif, to first triumphantly introduce the Pikmin.
Heard any time the ship gives information to the player unrelated to any recent discovery. This seems to be the cutscene score on which all other ship dialog cutscene scores are based. The introduction during which the catalyst of the dialog occurs is a simple melody on marimba, sometimes accompanied by hand percussion in cutscenes farther from the ship. After the introduction, time freezes and the ship begins explaining. During this time, a looping texture plays, since the dialog can last indefinitely. Simple, background pad instruments and electronic percussion (plus hand percussion like castanets) connect the ship's character to the dialog and to the lesson this cutscene teaches.
- Louie awakens
Heard when control is first switched from Olimar to Louie. A simple yet uncertain theme without much melodic material addresses Louie's confusion about his surroundings. A handbell over a viola drone reinforces the wintry theme of the environment.
|New Onion sighted|
- New Onion sighted
Heard whenever an undiscovered Onion is within view. Pikmin-based cutscenes seemed to be limited to certain instruments, so that the cutscenes can group together. Again a marimba and acoustic guitar are prominent, and the Pikmin 2 motif is played again with flute highlights. A loop then occurs over the ship's dialog about Onions, using synthesized pad instruments and electronic percussion to connect the ship's character to the dialog. Yet these instruments are still playing the Pikmin 2 motif; again this is a Pikmin-based cutscene, even when the ship intervenes.
|New Pikmin type|
- New Pikmin type
Heard when a new type of Pikmin is discovered. This theme is quite multi-layered; it has marimba and trumpet playing a call and response of the Pikmin 2 motif, underneath which a celeste and english horn play polyrhythms. After all the instruments but the celeste relax into a held G major chord, the piece smoothly transitions to the same synthesized loop as the new Onion discovery cutscene (above), since the ship has begun its dialog.
|Found special treasure|
- Found special treasure
Heard whenever the Courage Reactor or any treasure from the Explorer's Friend Series is discovered, or when a concentrated drop of ultra-spicy spray and ultra-bitter spray is discovered. This theme plays the success motif in high piccolo and flute, while tubular bells and piano accent the rhythm, rather like in the end of day theme. Then the piece becomes another ship's dialog loop: a pad-based music bed with elements of the success motif mixed in on an oscillating synthesizer.
Heard when Olimar and Louie reunite, when Pikmin destroy their first gate, or whenever a clog is removed outside of a cave. This is the most recognizable rendition of the success motif, performed with a sizable ensemble of brass, woodwinds, and strings. Then the theme becomes the same loop as the special treasure discovery theme (above), if the ship says anything. The ship does not address a clog being removed.
- Collected treasure
Heard whenever a normal treasure or the first berry of one type is brought to the ship or research pod. This little orchestral iteration of the Hocotate motif is heard the most out of any iteration. It is followed by a small and high vibraphone gesture when the name of the treasure appears; this synchronization is broken if the cutscene is rushed by pressing / . Afterwards, another looping texture of synthesizers plays the main gesture of the end of day theme (below).
|End of day|
- End of day
Heard at the end of a regular day on which less than 15 treasures have been collected. This is a shortened version of the end of day theme from Pikmin. The melody begins right away, and the call-and-response between orchestra and vibraphone happens only once, instead of twice.
|End of day (great)|
- End of day (great)
Heard at the end of a day on which 15 or more treasures have been collected. This remix of the normal end of day theme adds a triumphant trumpet to the melody, shimmery vox synthesizers to the harmony, and timpani to the percussion.
|End of day (no treasure)|
- End of day (no treasure)
Heard at the end of a day on which no treasures have been collected. This skeleton of the end of day theme has a much less intense muted trumpet and accordion share the melody, and a marimba and bass extension (impossibly low) handle the otherwise complex harmonies of the normal tune. The untuned percussion remains the same, however.
- Pikmin extinction
Heard when all Pikmin have been lost, when all Pikmin that entered a cave have been lost, or when both leaders are knocked out. While arguably not as lamenting as the first game's extinction theme, this theme can still convey a feeling of guilt with Pikmin-cutscene-specific instruments such as acoustic guitar, and with a gradually decreasing tempo. The fact that the piece is short also aids its punctuation of a sad mood.
|Leader is down|
- Leader is down
Heard when a leader loses all of his health. A small discordant arpeggio between tubular bells, glockenspiel, and pizzicato basses interrupts the normal flow of gameplay, after which a synthesized bass improvises on an octatonic scale, and ends on D, which is not in the scale or in the harmony. The atonality of this small score drives home the realization that a grave error was made.
|End of day (Pikmin extinction/both leaders down)|
- End of day (Pikmin extinction/both leaders down)
Heard at the automatic end of a day on which a Pikmin extinction has occurred or both leaders have fallen. A vibraphone and organ bass play the end of day theme over A minor, which devolves into a descending cello line and ending. The only percussion instruments in this version of the theme are a soft tam-tam and one brief instance of crash cymbals.
- Peculiar discovery
Heard when a cave is discovered, when the additional sublevel or the geyser is discovered in the Emergence Cave, when Violet or Ivory Candypop Buds are discovered, or when a Burgeoning Spiderwort mold is discovered. This initial melody on flute is a small reference to a section late in the area selection theme. The loop that follows is unlike the usual ship's dialog textures, with an impossibly low celeste covering the bass and no dominating melody or motifs.
- Enter cave
Heard when a cave is entered. This daring mood gets an adventurous rendition of the Hocotate motif, through booming tuba and basses contrasting with the high, intrepid melody in trumpets.
- Cave floor
Heard when the leader(s) and Pikmin land on a sublevel. Again a subtle reference to the area selection theme in muted cellos and glockenspiel plays, along with some electronic percussion. The progression of the piece does not lead anywhere, allowing the mystery of the sublevel's structure to build tension.
- Sublevel introduction
Heard when a cave's interior is seen for the first time, or when a Challenge Mode sublevel is seen for the first time. This is a slower, weirder mix of the explanation theme, built mainly on intervals of fifths and on major 7 (omit 3) chords, rather than on triads. Instead of the multifaceted percussion in the explanation theme, a simple hi-hat is used; all to introduce cave gameplay, which is more confined and concentrated aesthetically and practically.
|Enter new sublevel|
- Enter new sublevel
Heard when the leader(s) and Pikmin enter the hole to a deeper sublevel. This is a reiteration of the cave entering theme, re-orchestrated for organ and a small string crescendo. It is less intense, since the surrounding environment is now a cave and not the overworld.
|Collected Spherical Atlas/Survey Chart/Prototype Detector/Five-man Napsack|
- Collected Spherical Atlas/Survey Chart/Prototype Detector/Five-man Napsack
Heard when the Spherical Atlas, Geographic Projection, Prototype Detector, or Five-man Napsack is collected. This is a more victorious, more heavily orchestrated version of the normal treasure collecting theme, with a horn section elaborating the Hocotatian motif to an unexpected A major resolution. Afterwards the normal treasure collection loop is played as the ship explains what other uses these treasures have.
- Exit cave
Heard when a geyser is used to exit a cave. A triumphant trumpet section plays the success motif, which ends in an ascending glissando on the harp, whisking the Pikmin and leaders out of the cave.
|Returned to surface|
- Returned to surface
Heard when the leader(s) and Pikmin return from a cave to the landing site. This quaint theme on pizzicato strings, DX electric piano, and muted cello presents a nice transition and reintroduction of the overworld, while its plagal cadence assures the player of the group's safety as they land unscathed.
|Emergence Cave exited|
- Emergence Cave exited
Heard when the leader(s) and Pikmin successfully return from the Emergence Cave for the first time. This unique explanation theme takes on a celebratory mood, with a small scalar buildup in strings to a resounding G major chord with guitar and tubular bells. The following looped texture highlights a gesture from the main theme, as mellow strings mold diatonic harmonies around it. This is the rarest of the ship's dialog themes.
|New area unlocked|
- New area unlocked
Heard in the area selection menu when a new area has been unlocked. This is simply a small anacrusis to the area selection theme, but as it adds layers and mounts melodic intervals over a snare drum roll, it makes the area selection theme, which is unchanged, seem more intense than usual.
|Landing in new area|
- Landing in new area
Heard before the first day in a new area begins. This is a slower, more evenly distributed variation of the Hocotate motif, played by a wind ensemble (brass and woodwinds). All the sounds blend well into a background, a theme easily streamed by the ear as the eye takes in a new environment.
|New spray type|
- New spray type
Heard when 10 berries of one type are collected. This slight variation on the special treasure collection theme uses synthesizer pads and leads for the initial melody, and stays closer to the original Hocotatian motif. The softened attack and release of these synthesized instruments makes the whole theme less harsh, and rounder, in keeping with the look of the new spray. Afterwards, the usual treasure loop repeats.
- Ultra-spicy spray
Heard when the ultra-spicy spray is used for the first time. This instrumental variation on the normal success theme adds a dulcimer-sounding synthesizer and synth bass to the mix; their odd textures warp the general sound of the success motif, matching the unexpectedness of the Pikmin's new strength. Afterwards, the usual success loop plays.
- Flower Pikmin
Heard when a Pikmin drinks nectar for the first time, regardless if flower Pikmin already exist due to time spent as a seed. This happy rendition of the Pikmin 2 motif mixed with the "success" motif features both the chipper natural instruments played during a Pikmin type discovery and the stranger synthesizers played during the ultra-spicy cutscene, all evenly distributed across odd rhythmic patterns. Eventually the intro ends on a C suspended chord that plays the Pikmin's new strength. The strength of this theme is subtler than the ultra-spicy theme, since the strength of a flower Pikmin is subtler than the strength of a Pikmin under the effects of ultra-spicy spray. Afterwards, the success loop plays, instead of a Pikmin 2 motif loop.
- Suffering Pikmin
Heard when a Pikmin is suffering from fire, jets of water, or poison for the first time (after 2 seconds of suffering), when an enemy consumes White Pikmin for the first time, and when Louie is discovered in the Dream Den. The Pikmin 2 motif is mentioned here, but the brass instruments trying to play it seem to fail and squeak arbitrarily. Meanwhile a dissonant marimba and percussive tubular bell form the rhythm underneath. After this chaotic intro, the ship addresses how to save the suffering Pikmin over a distressed pad loop. An oboe plays arpeggios of the harmony's minor major ninth chord, while the pad strings are predominantly minor, a tense turn from the usual ship's dialog loop.
|Collected special treasure|
- Collected special treasure
Heard when any treasure in the Explorer's Friend Series after the Five-man Napsack is collected (besides The Key). Another remix of the treasure collection theme, this time beginning on the highest key of G major rather than F or D major. The horns are less elaborate and stick closer to the original motif, and the bass drum and cymbals are generally louder and more spacious. The change in special treasure themes was probably brought about because, after the White Flower Garden, the remaining caves of the game were designed to be completed in any order. After the intro, the normal treasure collection loop plays.
|Collected The Key|
- Collected The Key
Heard when The Key is collected. A unique rendition of the treasure collection theme replaces horns and woodwinds with a harpsichord and the dulcimer-esque instrument from the ultra-spicy spray theme. The strange unexpected sound of this theme reflects the strange unexpected effects of The Key.
|Debt milestone reached|
- Debt milestone reached
Heard above ground when any 10% increment of the debt is paid off, excepting 100%. Muted horns make a rightful fanfare of the Hocotatian theme, accented by crash cymbals and a timpani roll. The fanfare is made even more effective since gameplay is stopped for it.
- Waterwraith appears
Heard when the Waterwraith first appears on a sublevel of the Submerged Castle other than the final sublevel. This cutscene begins with the normal boss battle intro, but then lapses into a looping music bed as the ship warns of the Waterwraith's threat. This bed contains echoing textures of dissonant marimba, percussive underpinnings from a gong and bell, and most importantly, atonal drones from a double bass with extension. The combined effect sounds quite alien, like the mood set by the Waterwraith.
|100% debt recovered/collected every treasure|
- 100% debt recovered/collected every treasure
Heard above ground when 100% of the debt is paid off, or when every treasure in the game is collected. This fanfare begins like the debt milestone theme, but eschews the Hocotatian motif for an even more victorious arpeggio of A major. Along with a more active cymbal and timpani is a chime from tubular bells, further enhancing the gravity of this particular milestone.
|Debt recovered cinema|
- Debt recovered cinema
Heard immediately after 100% of the debt is recognized as paid off. This pre-rendered cinema brings back the full Hollywood orchestra to score it. It begins with a triumphant, almost memorial rendition of the "success" motif, with the texture growing thinner and thinner as the goal of the story switches from collecting treasure to returning to Hocotate. As such, in the following scene, the Hocotatian motif is heard in brass over a quiet but intense ostinato high in the strings and marimba. As the ship gets closer, this texture is silenced by a dramatic major 7th run in piccolo. The piccolo returns to play the ship's spinning propeller, and another run is heard as Captain Olimar looks back at PNF-404. Tubular bells and harmonies in the horns disguise an inverted iteration of the Pikmin 2 motif, while Olimar seems regretful to leave. The cut back to Olimar's expression is accented by a large crash of E minor, but the progression is cut short when Olimar realizes Louie is missing. Louie's empty seat briefly scored by a lone vibraphone arpeggiating F♯ major (still over the key of D), the whole orchestra cuts back in with a crash and flourish as the ship warps back to Hocotate. Panning back to PNF-404, the excitement of the orchestra recedes with another iteration of the Hocotatian motif and one final run through the piccolo. The piccolo subsides all commotion, and one last slow iteration of the Hocotatian theme in D with trumpets and vibraphone directs the player's attention back to Louie, stranded on the planet.
- Staff Credits
Heard after the debt recovery cinema. This ensemble piece features some of the most well-rendered instrument samples in the game; as the composition stands out from the rest of the game, this piece probably had a considerable amount of work done on it alone. The main figure is a descending arpeggio of a major 9th chord, heard first in a pizzicato string quartet, and then throughout the rest of the piece on the main instrument, piano. As the idea develops, a string section fills in harmonies behind the piano, and the chord progression swirls around G♯/A♭. After the development slows down (at around 1:08), the texture changes to a B♭ minor 7th turn with an accent on the offbeat. The main theme of the waltz returns after an elaboration of that turn, and as the texture thins out with a ritardando, the piece ends with the established motif halfway completed, leaving Louie's fate ambiguous as the cutscene fades to black.
|Goal completion cinema|
- Goal completion cinema
Heard when the player decides to return to PNF-404 and search for Louie. This score is more about the humorous President than the search for Louie, as evidenced by the quirky effects the orchestra uses. Hocotate Freight's triumph is scored by a tuba playing the Hocotatian motif, and as the President gets the idea to return to PNF-404 for more treasure, the rhythmic figures and registers mount like they did when the President was first inspired in the opening cinema. However, when the President turns to address Louie, the orchestra abruptly stops with a comic muted trumpet fall. Afterwards, a small ensemble of horns, piano, and rudimentary snare drum build the small tension for the conclusion that the President will accompany Olimar instead.
|Treasure completion cinema|
- Treasure completion cinema
Heard immediately after every treasure in the game is collected. After an unexpected view of the ship's engine blasting off, a quiet scene ensues in which the ship is ascending, to a slow, mournful rendition of the end of day theme in violins. The final note transitions to scoring the strange occurrence of lights on the planet's surface, using pad synthesizers, handbell, and echoes of a Pikmin group singing along to the Pikmin 2 motif, until natural instruments return in a resolution when Olimar realizes the Onions have accompanied him. Pentatonic glissandos on the harp play the red Onion's movement in particular. The Hocotatian motif returns when the ship reappears, with its pilot now overjoyed. As the ship rises above the atmosphere, returning to Hocotate, one last development of the success motif returns with full orchestra, jingle bells, and a choir-like pad, until a fade to the surface of PNF-404, with a drone-like harmony in violins and violas as cellos and celeste calmly salute the Pikmin 2 motif a final time in C, the end of which signals the end of the game.
|Louie's Dark Secret|
- Louie's Dark Secret
Heard in a cinema unlocked when every challenge in Challenge Mode is perfectly completed. This score is exactly the attraction mode theme from the first game. This choice is comical because although Louie's dark secret is rather vexing, the music is cheerful and simplistic, which makes the whole cinema appear jocular or even teasing.
|Challenge Mode intro|
- Challenge Mode intro
Heard in the few seconds before a Challenge Mode stage begins. This small but very abstract electronic sound is designed to build the tension and excitement for a new challenge. In the background, a heartbeat-like sound can be heard. The final sub-drop at the end of the sound synchronizes to the "Go!" message when gameplay begins.
|Time up (Challenge Mode)|
- Time up (Challenge Mode)
Heard when time runs out in a Challenge Mode stage. This small jingle features two synthesized noises: one plays an altered minor cadence to accent the "Time Up" message; the other echoes this gesture in a loop afterwards. However, the game immediately returns to the Challenge Mode menu after the message is displayed, so this second loop is left unheard.
The areas of Pikmin 2 have very dynamic themes, more so than any other game in the series. Normally the themes are minimalistic, atmospheric, and with little to no percussion, so as not to detract from gameplay. But parameters such as the time of day, Pikmin count, condition of the leaders, and the leaders' actions affect what extra tracks or changes are added to the music, making the music enhance the gameplay. Specifically, these parameters are:
- Enemy mix: If the active leader is near an enemy, a unique repetitious instrument or mix will be added to the music suggesting alarm or caution.
- Combat mix: If the active leader is noticed by an enemy or is engaging an enemy, a unique drum or percussion track will be added to the music.
- Task mix: If the active leader is near Pikmin carrying out a task such as breaking down a gate or building a bridge, a unique complement to the music will be added. This can vary greatly from theme to theme.
- Treasure mix: If the active leader is near Pikmin carrying a treasure (only treasure works, no other carried items trigger this), both the task mix and a new instrument complementing the melody (or main instrument) will be added to the music.
- Spiderwort mix: If the active leader is near a Burgeoning Spiderwort, slow strings or pad synthesizers will add harmony to the music.
- Sunset version: When the sunset warning occurs, the music will change to a calmer, thinner remix on music box alone. This is the only parameter to completely replace the music; all the other parameters still apply to this sunset theme.
- If the active leader is Captain Olimar, the rhythm of the theme is straight-ahead, exactly on beat. If the active leader is Louie or The President, the rhythm is swung, even if the time signature is irregular.
- If the active leader's HP is less than 50%, the music's tempo will be slowed to 70%.
- If the active leader takes damage, the music is garbled momentarily.
- If the active leader's group of Pikmin started out at more than 9 but dwindled to 9 or less due to deaths, the main instrument will skip notes in the theme.
The emboldened instrument names are considered the main instruments.
Valley of Repose
|Valley of Repose|
The Valley of Repose features what is technically a very slow waltz on handbells, in which the melody is hidden under complex harmonies. The theme plays on the wintry environment, but unlike the first area's theme in Pikmin, it does not seem to address learning the gameplay of controlling Pikmin. The theme thus becomes more of a background piece, an enhancement to the visual landscape, until the player returns to the Valley of Repose to explore beyond the water obstacle.
- Main version: Harp, handbells, sleigh bells, and pizzicato cello.
- Enemy mix: Synthesizer resembling a mini concertina.
- Combat mix: Timpani, crash cymbals, and hi-hat, tom-tom set.
- Task mix: Bamboo marimba.
- Treasure mix: Bamboo marimba and mandolin.
- Sunset version: Solo music box.
This area has no Burgeoning Spiderworts, so there is no Spiderwort mix.
At the beginning of the first day, no music plays in the area. After Louie first plucks a Red Pikmin, the area theme plays, but as Olimar's sunset version (independent of leader). After the two leaders are reunited, the main theme plays as normal and switches depending on leader.
The Awakening Wood vastly contrasts the distant textures of the Valley of Repose. A brass march is put first and foremost, representing the commanding and organizing of Pikmin, and less about the scenery; even the complements to the music help this theme. However, the thin, minimalistic textures and high-registered bridge of this piece do help convey the small scale of the area.
- Main version: Oboe, horn section, muted trumpets, cornet, marimba, and violins.
- Enemy mix: Bell-like synthesizer.
- Combat mix: Crash cymbals, splash cymbal, cowbell, tabla (bass), and various metal drums or parts struck with sticks.
- Task mix: Tubas, timpani, and cellos.
- Treasure mix: Piccolo, tubas, timpani, and cellos.
- Spiderwort mix: Pad violins.
- Sunset version: Solo music box.
The Perplexing Pool returns to supplementing the scenery and less of the gameplay by itself. The texture beneath the melody is repetitious and ethereal, and combined with the melody the regular theme lacks much low register. However, the piano's hard attack in the melody keeps the theme from getting too distant.
- Main version: Acoustic guitar (chorus effect), piano, organ-like synthesizer, bell synthesizer, and triangle.
- Enemy mix: Xylophone.
- Combat mix: Bass drum, timbales, shaker, ride cymbal (bell), and crash cymbal.
- Task mix: Acoustic guitar and fretless bass.
- Treasure mix: Steel drum, acoustic guitar, and fretless bass.
- Spiderwort mix: Pad violas.
- Sunset version: Solo music box.
The Wistful Wild has a wistful march for its theme, if anything representing the struggle the leaders are going through to rescue Louie. The drone in C, the acoustic guitar rhythms, and the sarod resemble The Forest Navel's theme, but without percussion and with a somber cello melody this theme becomes less exploratory. The theme is almost threatening, to warn the player of the more dangerous fauna present in this area.
- Main version: Quena (or other end-blown flute), bassoon (or other double-reed bass woodwind), acoustic guitar ensemble, sarod, and solo cello.
- Enemy mix: Chiptune synthesizer.
- Combat mix: TImpani, metallic snare drum, and hi-hat, although all these instruments are processed.
- Task mix: Piano, hi-hat, and pizzicato double bass.
- Treasure mix: Accordion, piano, celeste, hi-hat, and pizzicato double bass.
- Spiderwort mix: Pad sopranos.
- Sunset version: Solo music box.
The 14 caves of the main game and the 30 caves of Challenge Mode use a total of 24 different compositions (plus a default 25th in Challenge Mode) for their sublevels (not including sublevels set exclusively for boss battles). The cave themes are different from the area themes in that they are minimalistic and randomly generated, to reflect the more minimalistic and random layout of cave floors. Specifically, normal cave themes have very few instruments playing at once, and the main instruments either have preset rhythms and select randomly from a pitch set, or (more usually) have preset samples that play on randomly selected beats. That being said, the music will still dynamically add mixes to reflect parameters in gameplay. These parameters are the same as the area themes, but since there are no Burgeoning Spiderworts underground and since the day does not progress, there are no Spiderwort mixes or Sunset versions of these themes. The selection of a cave theme for a certain sublevel seems to depend on the design and content of the sublevel, although this happens more noticeably with some themes than with others; in Challenge Mode this is even less of a priority.
The list of themes below is in a reasonable main-game order: Emergence Cave, Hole of Beasts, White Flower Garden, Citadel of Spiders, Bulblax Kingdom, Snagret Hole, Subterranean Complex, Frontier Cavern, Shower Room, Glutton's Kitchen, Submerged Castle, Cavern of Chaos, Hole of Heroes, Dream Den. It should be noted that any names for these themes are conjectural; the themes in this list draw influence from the internal names but are primarily named according to the dominant sublevel design with which they are associated. Also, the recordings of these themes are recordings of single iterations; the themes are random and will not play the same way twice in-game.
|Caves||Emergence Cave sublevel 1|
|Challenge Mode levels||Cave of Pain sublevel 1|
A simple composition in which one electric piano-esque instrument alternates between randomized 4-voice arpeggios of E and B (with a 3-voice arpeggio every 4th time). This minimal texture works alongside the minimal look of snow-based sublevels that use few colors. This composition also introduces a randomized bell-piano sort of sound that will alert the player to enemies in a few caves.
- Main version: Electric piano.
- Enemy mix: Randomized bell-piano.
- Combat mix: Tabla drums.
- Task mix: Bass drum and hi-hat.
- Treasure mix: Bass drum, hi-hat, and bell-like ring.
|Caves||Emergence Cave sublevel 2, Subterranean Complex sublevel 1, Frontier Cavern sublevel 3|
|Challenge Mode levels||Abduction Den sublevel 1|
Although this piece has a randomized sine-wave instrument, the main texture is very rigid each iteration. Its use of fifth intervals gives the piece an added sense of stability since the fifth is a perfect fifth.
- Main version: Shakers of various sizes, zills, pizzicato strings, and sine-wave.
- Enemy mix: Randomized bell-piano.
- Combat mix: Low tabla drums.
- Task mix: Thumb piano.
- Treasure mix: Thumb piano and saw-wave synthesizer.
|Caves||Hole of Beasts sublevel 1, Bulblax Kingdom sublevel 4, Frontier Cavern sublevel 7, Cavern of Chaos sublevel 3, Dream Den sublevel 11|
|Challenge Mode levels||Explorer's Cave sublevel 2, Cryptic Cavern sublevel 2, Collector's Room sublevel 5|
The first cave theme in the game to regularly include an exclusive percussion rhythm. This piece also introduces the concept of randomizing measures of music rather than individual pitches; one can notice that the main instrument and the bass instrument repeat their own gestures, albeit in a random order.
- Main version: Cor anglais, egg shaker, and pizzicato basses.
- Enemy mix: Piano.
- Combat mix: Drum kit.
- Task mix: Synth bass.
- Treasure mix: Synth bass and decaying sawtooth synthesizer.
|Caves||Hole of Beasts sublevel 2, White Flower Garden sublevel 3, Subterranean Complex sublevels 4 and 8, Frontier Cavern sublevel 5, Shower Room sublevel 4, Cavern of Chaos sublevel 5, Hole of Heroes sublevels 5, 8, and 12, Dream Den sublevel 9|
|Challenge Mode levels||None|
Heard in any rest sublevel. This music is probably the most random in the game; although the pitches are mostly chosen out of the diatonic D-major scale (with the occasional A♯/B♭), their order is random and their timing is random. Although enemies can appear on rest sublevels, they do not trigger any additions to the theme. The only addition made is when a treasure is being carried in a rest sublevel, such as the Brute Knuckles or the Lost Gyro Block.
- Main version: Bass sine-wave, slightly chorused sine-waves, and resonating modulating sine-waves (resembling singing bowls).
- Treasure mix: Cutoff-modulating sawtooth-waves.
|Caves||Hole of Beasts sublevel 3, Citadel of Spiders sublevel 2, Dream Den sublevel 10|
|Challenge Mode levels||Concrete Maze sublevel 1, Collector's Room sublevel 1|
Loosely named for the majority of sublevels in the main game with an abundance of fire hazards. The cave themes get more experimental with this rhythmic bed over which one instrument can improvise random pitches. The main instrument still plays to a specific timing, however; each two measures the note density increases from 1 to 2 to 3-5, and then resets. A noticeable factor in this composition is the echo in the normal version, giving the sublevel ambiance a sense of depth. The treasure mix in this piece does not complement the melody but the rhythm. Instead, the combat mix adds harmony to the melody.
- Main version: Muted trumpet and tabla drums.
- Enemy mix: Synth bass and conga.
- Combat mix: Processed drum kit and organ.
- Task mix: Agogô bells and shaker.
- Treasure mix: Tonewheel organ, agogô bells, and shaker.
|Caves||Hole of Beasts sublevel 4|
|Challenge Mode levels||Hot House sublevel 2, Cryptic Cavern sublevel 4, Cave of Snarls sublevel 1, Emperor's Realm sublevels 2 and 4|
This composition has a large ensemble for a cave theme, but only occurs once in the main game. This composition again contains random orders of non-random gestures; the melody is diatonic (B♭ minor scale), but still experimental in its low register. The treasure mix adds the instrument that will play the melody to the Wistful Wild's theme.
- Main version: Trumpets, gliding tuba-like synthesizer, decaying sawtooth synthesizer, bass drum, and pizzicato violas.
- Enemy mix: Organ-like synthesizer.
- Combat mix: Timpani, snare drum, and tom-toms.
- Task mix: Tonewheel organ and brushed snare drum.
- Treasure mix: Quena, tonewheel organ, and brushed snare drum.
|Caves||White Flower Garden sublevel 1, Snagret Hole sublevel 4, Subterranean Complex sublevels 3 and 5, Dream Den sublevel 4|
|Challenge Mode levels||Brawny Abyss sublevel 1|
Sometimes a soundtrack can become background to a complex scene precisely by making itself too complex for a listener to stream all of it; this composition is a good example, where attention actually gets diverted to gameplay. This especially occurs in sublevels after the White Flower Garden, but the theme occurs in White Flower Garden because it is always associated with a metal-themed sublevel (although metal-themed sublevels do not always use it).
- Main version: Bass extension of a marimba, various metal pipes (such as on a glockenspiel) hit with hard felt mallets, organ-like synthesizer, bongos, and cowbell.
- Enemy mix: Electric-guitar-like synthesizer.
- Combat mix: Gated timpani, gated splash cymbal, gated metal sheet struck with sticks, and conga played with mallets.
- Task mix: Muted bass drum, muted anvil, drum machine snare, and pizzicato violins and violas.
- Treasure mix: Muted bass drum, muted anvil, drum machine snare, chorus synthesizer, and pizzicato violins and violas.
|Caves||White Flower Garden sublevel 2, Subterranean Complex sublevels 2 and 7, Cavern of Chaos sublevel 2, Dream Den sublevel 3 and 5|
|Challenge Mode levels||Brawny Abyss sublevel 2, Cave of Snarls sublevel 2, Secret Testing Range sublevel 2*|
A much more subtle piece than the previous metal-themed cave piece, this swirling texture has a more somber mood to it (especially thanks to the low tubular bells), perhaps playing the rust on the metal rather than its labyrinthine structure.
*There is a slightly altered version of this theme (with the internal name
cavemetal_05_0.cnd) that plays only in the second sublevel of the Secret Testing Range. Its structure and gestures are identical to the usual theme, but the chorused acoustic guitar has a filter on it that makes it sound more like a vocal synthesizer.
- Main version: Chorused acoustic guitar, tubular bells, timpani (the side of the drum is struck with a mallet), sound effect (a hollow metal impact), and pad strings.
- Enemy mix: Electronic organ.
- Combat mix: Timpani, hi-hat, and cajón, all with echo.
- Task mix: Vibraphone and piano.
- Treasure mix: Vibraphone, piano, and harpsichord.
|Caves||White Flower Garden sublevel 4, Bulblax Kingdom sublevels 2 and 3, Frontier Cavern sublevel 6|
|Challenge Mode levels||Trampled Garden sublevel 1, Emperor's Realm sublevel 3|
Seems to favor sublevels with many mushrooms, whether they are treasures or just scenery. The pinging texture uses the same instrument used for several themes in the first game. Again the melody has an experimentally low register, and plays in randomized yet complex gestures.
- Main version: Synth bass, ping-like synthesizer, and pizzicato cellos.
- Enemy mix: Electric-guitar-like synthesizer.
- Combat mix: Drum kit, with focus on toms.
- Task mix: Piano and bongos played with sticks.
- Treasure mix: Chorus-like bell synthesizer, piano, and bongos played with sticks.
|Caves||Citadel of Spiders sublevel 1, Dream Den sublevel 7|
|Challenge Mode levels||Explorer's Cave sublevel 1, Concrete Maze sublevel 3, Collector's Room sublevel 4, Rumbling Grotto sublevel 1|
Caves often tend to include more purposely synthetic-sounding instruments, since the landscape is likewise more unfamiliar than general area terrain. Although instruments in cave themes may sound like a particular natural instrument, there are timbres that distinguish this instrument as synthesized. For example, the main instrument here mimics a trombone, but still has enough differences in attack and cutoff to be an independent sound. It should also be noted that the bass instrument is the same used in "Snow 2".
- Main version: Trombone-like synthesizer, resonating synthesizer, filtered bass drum, shaker, pizzicato strings.
- Enemy mix: Randomized bell-piano.
- Combat mix: Quickly echoing talking drum or djembe.
- Task mix: Bass drum and bongo.
- Treasure mix: Bell-like synthesizer, bass drum, and bongo.
|Caves||Citadel of Spiders sublevel 3, Frontier Cavern sublevel 4, Cavern of Chaos sublevel 7, Hole of Heroes sublevel 3, Dream Den sublevel 8|
|Challenge Mode levels||Novice Training's two sublevels, Green Hole sublevel 1, Cryptic Cavern sublevel 5, Concrete Maze sublevel 2, Collector's Room sublevel 7, Dweevil Nest sublevel 1, Breeding Ground sublevel 2|
A very generalizable instrumentation leads to this piece being one of the most used across the caves. Its minimal context allows it to sound in G major or E minor depending on its random order of gestures. Playing these gestures is a melodic instrument somewhat resembling a Pikmin's voice.
- Main version: Synth bass, Pikmin-esque synthesizer, congas, and gonkagui struck with a stick.
- Enemy mix: Thumb piano.
- Combat mix: Drum kit.
- Task mix: Axatse or bead-filled shaker.
- Treasure mix: Toy-piano-like synthesizer and axatse.
|Caves||Citadel of Spiders sublevel 4, Cavern of Chaos sublevel 6, Hole of Heroes sublevel 2, Dream Den sublevel 6|
|Challenge Mode levels||Red Chasm sublevel 1, Cryptic Cavern sublevel 3, Hazard Training sublevel 1, Rumbling Grotto sublevel 2, Sniper Room sublevel 1|
Very loosely appears to favor Anode Beetles and electrical wires, but not so in Challenge Mode. Again the melodic instrument appears to resemble a real-life instrument (a cello), and small artifacts of white noise and its manner of switching between notes distinguish it from a cello. A pulse is implied in this piece, but a meter to organize that pulse is not as definable, especially when the percussion is randomly ordered.
- Main version: Bass guitar, barrel drum, steel drum (unpitched), bongos, congas struck with mallets, and cello.
- Enemy mix: Bass clarinet.
- Combat mix: Drum kit and chime-like synthesizer.
- Task mix: Sand-filled shaker.
- Treasure mix: Rotary organ-like synthesizer and sand-filled shaker.
|Caves||Bulblax Kingdom sublevels 1, 5, and 6|
|Challenge Mode levels||Emperor's Realm sublevels 1 and 5|
In the main game, this is exclusive to the Bulblax Kingdom, now suggesting war with the Emperor Bulblax using very militaristic instrumentation and rhythm. Only the horn gestures are randomized in this piece, keeping it very rigid but still variable.
- Main version: Horn, tubular bells, and snare drum.
- Enemy mix: Timpani.
- Combat mix: Bass drum and crash cymbals.
- Task mix: Strings (violins, violas, cellos, and basses).
- Treasure mix: Horn (playing a harmony to the melodic horn) and strings.
|Caves||Snagret Hole sublevels 1, 3, and 6|
|Challenge Mode levels||Twilight Garden sublevel 1, Hidden Garden sublevel 1|
In the main game, this is exclusive to the Snagret Hole, although it has the same key (A minor) and similar tempo to the "Bulblax" theme. The instrumentation is very loose and in the game very quiet, and more randomness is allowed in the melody and minimal harmony.
- Main version: Pan flute, acoustic guitar, and cajón.
- Enemy mix: Jaw harp samples.
- Combat mix: Frame drum and tambourine.
- Task mix: Caxixi.
- Treasure mix: Pan flute (playing a harmony to the melodic pan flute) and caxixi.
|Caves||Snagret Hole sublevel 2, Hole of Heroes sublevel 1, Dream Den sublevel 1|
|Challenge Mode levels||Creator's Garden sublevel 1, Three Color Training sublevel 1, Breeding Ground sublevel 1|
This theme can only ever be heard in sublevels that have themes outside in daylight. The melodic instrument is very bright, which complements this design theme; but the percussion is minimal, which still enforces the idea of being somewhere with less overall substance than a regular area above ground.
- Main version: Temple blocks, ceramic drum, zills, and violin-like synthesizer.
- Enemy mix: Some idiophone comprised of pitched gongs (but with low resonance); perhaps a muted kulintang, or just arranged and tuned metal parts.
- Combat mix: Bass drum and choked cymbal.
- Task mix: Bones (although their tone is very dry; it is possibly intended that they sound plastic).
- Treasure mix: Hammered dulcimer, bones, and drumsticks.
|Caves||Subterranean Complex sublevel 6*, Snagret Hole sublevel 5, Cavern of Chaos sublevel 1*|
|Challenge Mode levels||Collector's Room sublevel 3, Secret Testing Range sublevel 1|
Again, a metal theme appears to be overcomplicating itself purposely to direct attention to gameplay. This time however, the majority of instruments are metal, and there are fewer instruments overall allowing the randomness of the melody to be more pronounced.
*The sixth sublevel of the Subterranean Complex and the first sublevel of the Cavern of Chaos plays a tune very similar to Metal 3, only with a slightly altered melody and the different internal name
cavemetal_10_4.cnd. The normal track's melody uses the atonal group A♭, A, B♭, B, C, D♭, D, E♭, E, F, meaning only G is unused. The melody in the Subterranean Complex sublevel 6/Cavern of Chaos sublevel 1 uses A♭, A, B♭, B, D♭, D, E♭, G. It is unknown why this only slightly altered track is exclusive to these sublevels.
- Main version: Cimbalom, impossibly low celeste, and waterphone.
- Enemy mix: Synth brass.
- Combat mix: Bass drum, hi-hat, splash cymbal, and assorted metal parts struck with either drumsticks or punk sticks.
- Task mix: Echoing cimbalom and synth bass.
- Treasure mix: Chorus-like synthesizer, echoing cimbalom, and synth bass.
|Caves||Frontier Cavern sublevels 1 and 2|
|Challenge Mode levels||Hot House sublevel 1|
In the main game, this theme is exclusive to the Frontier Cavern. It is the only waltz in the soundtrack to caves, but its waltz rhythm is rigidly defined by a strict harmony in harp-like synthesizer. The structure is also very rigid, consisting of a randomly selected gesture from the flute, and a randomly selected response from harpsichord.
- Main version: Medieval-style recorder, harp, and harpsichord.
- Enemy mix: Hang, or other tuned steel shell.
- Combat mix: Talking drum, bell cymbal, and caxixi.
- Task mix: Muted bongo and granite blocks.
- Treasure mix: Glockenspiel, muted bongo, and granite blocks.
|Caves||Shower Room sublevels 1 and 5, Cavern of Chaos sublevel 8, Hole of Heroes sublevel 9, Dream Den sublevel 13|
|Challenge Mode levels||Green Hole sublevel 2, Collector's Room sublevels 2 and 6, Cavernous Abyss sublevel 1, Hazard Training sublevel 2, The Giant's Bath sublevel 2, Subterranean Lair sublevel 1, Breeding Ground sublevel 3, Bully Den sublevel 1|
This interesting piece is tied with Concrete 2 for most popular, and is only heard in tile-themed sublevels. This piece actually uses water drop samples as percussion, and not only steady percussion but a randomized percussion solo, as though the drop samples are a pitched instrument. Meanwhile the melody is based off of random tri-tones, the interval made by splitting the octave in half.
- Main version: Vibraphone, steel drum, DX electric piano, drop sound effect synthesizer, and water drop foley samples.
- Enemy mix: The discordant vibraphone's volume is simply increased.
- Combat mix: Processed drum kit.
- Task mix: Flute-like synthesizer, taiko drum, and scratching (the scratching sounds like a rubber or ribbed surface).
- Treasure mix: A sawtooth synthesizer replaces the steel drum, and the task mix continues.
|Caves||Shower Room sublevels 2, 3, and 6, Cavern of Chaos sublevel 9, Dream Den sublevel 12|
|Challenge Mode levels||The Giant's Bath sublevel 1|
The rarer of the tile-themed compositions, this cave theme is in 7/8 time signature. An electric piano plays a steady gesture to define this rhythm, but random notes are sustained. The melody this time is quite noticeable since the general texture is easy to follow and repeats often the same way.
- Main version: Electric piano and automatic wah synthesizer.
- Enemy mix: Detuned synthesizer, playing the electric piano gesture at a different time and transposition.
- Combat mix: Drum kit.
- Task mix: Harpsichord-like synthesizer, doubling the electric piano.
- Treasure mix: Harpsichord-like synthesizer and filtered sawtooth synthesizer.
|Caves||Glutton's Kitchen sublevels 1, 3, and 5, Dream Den sublevel 2|
|Challenge Mode levels||Lost Toy Box sublevel 1, Cryptic Cavern sublevel 1|
In the main game, this theme only occurs in room-based sublevels with wooden block layouts. The music is once again intentionally overcomplicated, and this time the multiple colors used in the music complement the unusual and toy-based landscape. Although the texture is thin, the ensemble for this theme is rather sizeable, for a cave theme.
- Main version: Toy trumpet, celeste, xylophone, bamboo marimba, and taiko drum.
- Enemy mix: High celeste.
- Combat mix: Bass drum, snare drum, tenor drum, crash cymbals, and triangle.
- Task mix: Accordion, granite blocks, and claves.
- Treasure mix: Muted trumpet, accordion, granite blocks, and claves.
|Caves||Glutton's Kitchen sublevels 2 and 4*|
|Challenge Mode levels||Lost Toy Box sublevel 2|
This simple theme only plays in toy-based sublevels, particularly in one layout with a wooden toy railroad. The theme itself sounds toylike, and takes a much more chipper, less atonal mood than other themes in the game, or even in the Glutton's Kitchen. The organ gestures are randomly selected, but each gesture is so similar that the general melody easily becomes recognizable.
*There is a slightly altered version of this theme (with the internal name
new_08_1.cnd) that plays only in the fourth sublevel of the Glutton's Kitchen. Its structure and gestures are identical to the usual theme, except the anvil sound effect has been distorted through a very fast cutoff modulation filter.
- Main version: Electronic organ, drum machine congas, and a panned anvil sound.
- Enemy mix: Jaw harp samples.
- Combat mix: Drum machine bass drum and hi-hat.
- Task mix: Tambourine.
- Treasure mix: Chiptune sawtooth wave and tambourine.
|Caves||Glutton's Kitchen sublevel 6|
|Challenge Mode levels||Snack Pit sublevel 1|
Heard in any sublevel containing a Giant Breadbug. Technically this is a boss theme since it is unique to the Giant Breadbug boss battle, but it functions like a cave theme in its randomness, and the player determines the changes in the music rather than the boss. Although the rhythms and structure of the theme are stable, the pitches selected to fill those rhythms are very random, across most of the instruments in the ensemble.
- Main version: Baritone saxophone, xylophone, modified piano, splash cymbal, agogô, and a sound effect resembling a Pikmin ready to be thrown.
- Enemy mix: Modified clavinet.
- Combat mix: Drum machine bass and cymbals, playing slightly off-beat.
- Task mix: N/A
- Treasure mix: Filtered square-wave synthesizer and drum machine congas.
|Caves||Submerged Castle sublevels 1, 2, 3, and 4|
|Challenge Mode levels||None|
The normal cave theme in the Submerged Castle is unique. It occurs in sublevels 1-4, and it does not follow the usual parameters that dynamically change cave music. It does not have any auxiliary mixes for combatting enemies or collecting treasure, and it does not change meter or tempo depending on leader or their HP. It is also not random or similar to other cave themes; it is a loop of an irregular rhythm on what resembles a brake drum and half-diminished or dissonant harmonies between male and female voice synthesizers. Given the context of dynamic cave themes that are random but based on diatonic scales and regular rhythms, this theme is very unnerving in its irregularity. It immediately conveys that something is amiss with this particular cave.
Hole of Heroes
|Hole of Heroes|
|Caves||Hole of Heroes sublevel 6|
|Challenge Mode levels||None|
This theme, tied with Toybox 3 for rarest in the game, is very similar to "Tile 2", with a mostly synthesized ensemble and an irregular time signature conveyed by one repeating gesture. Although the scenery of the sublevel, an underground submerged stump, does help this particular synthetic theme feel more organic. Interestingly, the task mix is the tabla from "Fire", which (along with the groove of enemy and combat mix) superimposes a 4/4 rhythm on the irregular gesture in celeste.
- Main version: Celeste, synth bass, and chorused synth brass lead.
- Enemy mix: Electric piano and clavinet.
- Combat mix: Processed drum kit.
- Task mix: Tabla drums.
- Treasure mix: resonating and modulating synthesizer (that doubles the repeating gesture, not the melody) and tabla drums.
Key (Challenge Mode)
|Key (Challenge Mode)|
|Challenge Mode levels||All|
No matter what sublevel is being explored in Challenge Mode, collecting The Key will yield this theme (unless the leaders are still actively engaging a boss, in which case the theme is heard when the boss is defeated). Although the random organ and trumpet gestures can convey many different chord progressions on their own, the steady piano playing A♭ keeps the progression of the whole piece sounding like a suspended D♭ progression. There is no resolution to D♭, so this theme actually gives the player a sense of tension to continue on to the next sublevel or the end of the cave, augmented by the ticking clock, of course.
- Main version: Trumpets, piano, tonewheel organ, and talking drum beaten with a stick.
- Enemy mix: Horn section.
- Combat mix: Bass drum, hi-hat, and tom-toms.
- Task mix: Bassoon, congas, and bongos.
- Treasure mix: Bassoon, congas, bongos, and very soft violins.
The bosses of Pikmin 2 have powerful engaging themes to enhance the experience of battling them. Most bosses share a common theme, but a few bosses featuring a twist in combat have unique themes. All boss themes (expect the Giant Breadbug's theme) are dynamic based on the boss's actions, but rather than adding mixes to a constant boss theme, attacks are stressed by musical stingers that synchronize to the attack to the best degree of the theme's rhythm.
If a boss battle is triggered in the overworld, the boss theme will only play if the active leader is near the boss. If multiple bosses are present in a cave's sublevel, the boss theme will not play its usual ending until all bosses are defeated; defeating one boss will merely stop the boss theme until the next boss is triggered.
Common boss battle
|Common boss battle|
Most of the bosses in Pikmin 2 share this common theme, which stays in the F phrygian mode and aeolian mode modes, with a high B♭ constantly voiced in violins. Its instrumentation is orchestral but very brass-heavy, with grand gestures usually occurring contrapuntally between high trumpets and low horns. A modal melody generally trying to stay in background to the fight is played in cellos, violas, and trumpets, with an organ-like sound providing subtle dissonant harmony not unlike the harmony of the Airship theme of Super Mario Bros. 3. The whole theme is in 5/8 time signature, pounded in by a bass drum and militaristic snare drum.
The common boss theme has various cues used to accent boss attacks and moves. After any of these cues are heard (besides the ending cue), the normal boss theme resets in a smooth transition. This table details which boss moves trigger which cues in the theme.
|Attack preparation||Long attack||Short attack||Special move|
|Empress Bulblax||Shaking Pikmin off||Rolling|
|Burrowing / Pileated Snagret||Unearthing||Burrowing|
|Beady Long Legs||Shaking Pikmin off|
|Emperor Bulblax||Swiping tongue||Jumping|
|Man-at-Legs||Firing||Shaking Pikmin off|
|Ranging Bloyster||Swiping tongues||Shaking Pikmin off|
|Raging Long Legs||Shaking Pikmin off||Stomping|
A stinger plays when a boss emerges or deals a short powerful attack. They are all a short rendition of the pattern in the long attack loop, but using a different scale degree of the F Phrygian scale. One stinger plays per short attack; they advance in the repeating order of 1, 2, 3, 4. They are also global: if there are two bosses on one sublevel, and one boss activates "Short Attack 1", the next short attack from either boss, even if one of them is killed, will activate "Short Attack 2". However, the order resets between areas/sublevels.
This loop is shortly heard when some bosses are preparing a particularly long and recognizable attack.
This loop accents a long or continuous boss attack, normally the characteristic attack of the boss.
This cue plays when a boss performs a special move, not an attack but a means of shaking off Pikmin.
This final cue plays as a boss falls, which is why all bosses have long death animations. The final chord is a Picardy third.
- Waterwraith attacks
When the Waterwraith appears in the Submerged Castle on sublevels 1-4, the music changes drastically. In 5/4 time signature and including a full string section and brass stabs, the soundtrack is reminiscent of thriller soundtracks with #9 chords and tri-tones in the bass. The music now conveys a great intensity and sense of urgency, and is not dynamic since there is no way to attack the Waterwraith at that time.
- Waterwraith vulnerable
When the Waterwraith appears on the Submerged Castle's final sublevel, the normal boss theme plays as long as the Waterwraith has its rollers; the special attack cue chimes in whenever the Waterwraith shakes Pikmin off. But when the rollers are defeated, a false turn from the "boss defeated" cue becomes a remix of the boss theme in B♭, with horn squeaks and a parody of the original melody signaling that the threat of this boss has been nullified. The Waterwraith's defensive shake even has a unique cue during this time.
The final boss in the game, the Titan Dweevil, has more unique boss themes and cues than any other boss in the entire Pikmin series. This reflects its many different attacks and states as the player battles it. The themes are based off of the treasures the Titan Dweevil is wielding, from the number of treasures present to the particular one in use. The boss also has its own unique attack preparation cue, defense cue, and "defeated" cue.
|Main battle (4 treasures)|
- Main battle (4 treasures)
Heard when the Titan Dweevil first emerges, with all four treasures it can use to attack. A full orchestra attacks with punctualism: a scoring technique with unexpected stabs of dissonant material separated by near silence. This theme is the most dissonant in the game, featuring the most complex harmonies and a confusing arrhythmic feel to stress the might and utter scariness the boss conveys. This first iteration of the boss theme stresses contrast between the high trumpets and violins screeching the punctual stabs and low horn drones contrasting both the established register and durations. However, the piece begins with these sparse interjections of music mainly to accent the Titan Dweevil's shock value; once the player removes a treasure, the music becomes more focused on engaging the boss in combat.
|Main battle (3 treasures)|
- Main battle (3 treasures)
Heard after one treasure is removed from the Titan Dweevil. While the same theme plays, a new mix of instruments is added: an organ and steady percussion, reminiscent of the final boss theme of the first game, as well as a small trill on xylophone. These instruments play rather steadily throughout the piece, stabilizing the structure and allowing some constant harmony to be discerned. The high texture of the organ and xylophone play to the Pikmin and leaders belittled by the boss; in essence this new mix of the boss theme is now on the player's side, but with the dissonant boss theme still looming underneath.
|Main battle (2 treasures)|
- Main battle (2 treasures)
Heard after two treasures are removed from the Titan Dweevil. Now the main boss theme is changed; the melody is more evenly distributed and coherent in the strings and brass, as though the Titan Dweevil commands less fright and more of an evened battle. The previous mix is replaced by a piano, harp, and bass drum, still playing steadily and backing up the player. The piano is actually playing the original disconnected melody, as though this small piano texture is all that reminds of the Titan Dweevil's shock value.
|Main battle (1 treasure)|
- Main battle (1 treasure)
Heard when three treasures are removed from the Titan Dweevil. Now that the Titan Dweevil's true and alien-looking body is becoming visible, the music accents its odd look with an odd synthesized bass and tom drums that only remotely fit in with the established texture. The percussion and even the bass still play steadily though, giving power to the battle in which a strong strategy has now developed.
|Main battle (no treasures)|
- Main battle (no treasures)
Heard when all treasures are removed from the Titan Dweevil. With the four threats removed, the music takes on a much more rhythmic and structurally coherent development of the original theme. The synthesized bass now provides steady rhythm and tension, and the whole ambiance seems to want to resolve somewhere major. When the Titan Dweevil attempts to throw Pikmin off its body, a unique cue is heard that only increases the tension of defeating the boss.
|Titan Dweevil attack preparation|
- Titan Dweevil attack preparation
Heard when the Titan Dweevil prepares to use a treasure to attack. This small cue builds an extreme amount of tension, through incomprehensible bass harmony playing a steady rhythm and dissonant violins rising. Tonally, this small cue leads best into the Flare Cannon attack, as the harmony is most completely "resolved" by the beginning chord of the Flare Cannon's theme.
|Monster Pump attack|
- Monster Pump attack
Heard when the Titan Dweevil uses the Monster Pump. A piano and brass skip around their registers inciting the tension of the offensive boss, while an arpeggiating harp over a major 7 chord plays the flow of water. The final fifth-based harmony of this attack leads well back into the main boss theme; after the climb of the attack theme, the boss theme is only a half-step down.
|Shock Therapist attack|
- Shock Therapist attack
Heard when the Titan Dweevil uses the Shock Therapist. A flourishing gesture in an augmented harmony accents the unexpectedness of the strange objects that launch from this treasure, while a crash of cymbals and blast of timpani amplify the surprise of their electric conductivity. The theme is the same for all uses of the Shock Therapist, so seeing as how the nodes activate faster after the treasure took considerable damage, synchronization to the attack works best when the weapon has taken little or no damage from Pikmin.
|Comedy Bomb attack|
- Comedy Bomb attack
Heard when the Titan Dweevil uses the Comedy Bomb. While the waltz-like ascending gesture in strings gives the attack theme a particular airiness, as though it is floating up like gas, the synthesized bass and melodic instrument give this theme a warped sound, emphasizing the gas's toxicity.
|Flare Cannon attack|
- Flare Cannon attack
Heard when the Titan Dweevil uses the Flare Cannon. Perhaps the biggest release of tension out of all the Titan Dweevil's themes, this huge sound features two very dissonant harmonies covering a broad range of registers, although the second harmony is less complex than the first. Worsening the mood of the attack are two Psycho-esque rips in the strings, and a pounding rhythm in bass drum playing the homogenous distribution and devastation of the erupting flame.
|Titan Dweevil defeated|
- Titan Dweevil defeated
Heard when the Titan Dweevil is defeated. This sudden thinning of texture brings the well-established boss theme and ambiance to an abrupt halt. The tense but teleological theme when the Dweevil has no more treasures is not fully resolved by this cue, meaning the tension is not completely gone. Rather it sustained in a violin line arpeggiated a C augmented 7 chord and ending on a held B, which simply fades to niente. Briefly (although this would barely be heard over the sound effects in-game), one can hear clicking where the string sample ends and loops.
The 2-Player Battle mode in Pikmin 2 is considered non-canonical, and as such the music does not reflect the normal compositional style in the main game. Instead, the overarching theme of 2-Player Battle is a quirky, tonal, and subtly bellicose theme with many instruments and a generally frivolous air. Generally, the music of this mode suggesting friendly combat is much more accessible than the main game's unfriendly combat, in order to accommodate for any skill level of the players.
- Battle loading
Heard when a 2-Player battle is loading. A simple xylophone playing major thirds over a diminished 7 pattern builds small tension for the battle as the rules are read, almost like a small clock ticking up to the battle start.
- Battle start
Heard when a 2-Player battle begins. A brass section, timpani, and crash cymbals play a fanfare for opening the battle, but rather than sounding militaristic, the brass section sounds like jazz brass playing big band hits. This drives home the lighthearted triviality of the battle, yet still builds enough tension to prepare the two players for competition.
- Battle theme
This theme, using minimal instrument textures at once and a singular key of E major, keeps its overall mood relatively soft-spoken and low. Militaristic percussion keep the rhythm steady, while multiple different instruments provide small sections of melody, from contrabassoon to music box (with audible ticking) to pizzicato strings to horns and clarinets. Otherwise the melody is rather subdued, and becomes contextual rather than melodic; the percussion is more important to this composition, keeping the rhythm of the battle fluent. Although the compositional style is different, this theme will still adapt to changes in the game using added mixes. These mixes differ depending on which player is experiencing a certain parameter, meaning two versions the same mix can play at once.
- Cupid's Grenade
Heard when either player has a Pikmin carrying a Cupid's Grenade back to their Onion. This playful mix adds a straight-rhythm tuba for Captain Olimar, or a swinging bass clarinet for Louie. Both of them superimpose E minor over the theme's E major, making them seem comical, while their low register makes the roulette wheel seem underhanded.
- Pikmin combatting
Heard when both sides' Pikmin are attacking each other, or attacking leaders. A hard bass drum and crash cymbal add intensity to the mix as combat engages. The music does not vary based on leader, however.
|Three yellow marbles collected|
- Three yellow marbles collected
Heard when one side has collected three yellow marbles, meaning only one more is needed to win. This mix adds a small group of Pikmin chanting either "O-ri-ma!" or "Ru-i!". The Pikmin chanting for Olimar can be heard coming from the left speaker, and Louie from the right speaker. Both can be heard at once if both sides each have three marbles.
A 2-Player battle can end eight different ways, and although an overarching victory theme plays, it has eight different possible directions based on this. These eight possibilities are: one player wins, Olimar loses due to extinction, Olimar loses due to damage, Louie loses due to extinction, Louie loses due to damage, draw by simultaneous marble-collection, draw by simultaneous extinction, and draw by simultaneous damage.
- Player wins
Heard when one side fulfills a win condition. With a flourish of the Hocotatian motif in strings and brass, the theme concludes in a resounding resolution of G major. Pikmin chant the name of whichever leader won the battle, while a simple march concludes the battle. This background march remains the same for all battle ending themes, but in the spirit of the game, Olimar's march is straight rhythm and Louie's march is swung.
|Pikmin extinction default|
- Pikmin extinction default
Heard when the opposing side loses all Pikmin. Muted trumpet and synthesizer play the melody to a regular Pikmin extinction in the main game, except much more lightheartedly. A little chromatic ornament leads back to the default march. Louie's Pikmin extinction victory is also swung.
|Leader damage default|
- Leader damage default
Heard when the opposing leader takes too much damage and falls. Muted trumpet and a dissonant blast of trombone play a frivolous version of the "leader down" gesture from the main game, again leading into the default march. Louie's damage victory is also swung.
- Marble draw
Heard in the instance that both sides fulfill a marble-related win condition simultaneously. A stripped-down version of the normal victory theme plays on solo xylophone over pizzicato bass, leading into the default march without chanting Pikmin.
|Pikmin extinction draw|
- Pikmin extinction draw
Heard in the instance that both sides simultaneously lose all their Pikmin. A stripped-down version of the normal Pikmin extinction default theme plays on solo xylophone and tam-tam. In this condition, both Pikmin chants are heard, although Louie's chant interestingly sounds more interrogative and soft-spoken.
|Leader damage draw|
- Leader damage draw
Heard in the instance that both leaders take too much damage and fall. A stripped-down version of the normal leader damage default theme plays on xylophone, tam-tam, and organ. In this condition, both Pikmin chants are heard, although Louie's chant interestingly sounds more interrogative and soft-spoken.
These small jingles indicate specific in-game events, but do not interrupt gameplay itself.
- Final Floor!
Heard after gameplay begins on the final sublevel of a cave. This drastically intense jingle immediately builds tension about what could lie on the final floor. The jingle is mostly synthesized bass jumping up intervals and stepping down half-steps, which makes it bear a slight, uncanny, and perhaps intended resemblance to part of the underground theme in Super Mario Bros..
- Group move
Heard when the player directs Pikmin using group move. Like the first game's group move jingle, this jingle has a bugle call structure reminiscent of the assembly call. However, unlike the first game, this jingle has three sections instead of two, and while the first section is tonal and coherent, the latter two sections take radical turns into atonal patterns. The end of the third section eventually brings the melodic line back to the beginning key, so that the loop can begin again. The current leader determines the key and instrument of the jingle. For Captain Olimar, an oboe plays the jingle in E. For Louie, a clarinet plays the jingle in G. For the President, a low bassoon plays the jingle in F.
All monologues in the game are introduced with a four-note jingle of C♯, A, B, E. The key never changes, but depending on who is giving the monologue, the instrument playing the jingle changes. Olimar's notes and Olimar's journal begin with Olimar's instrument, the oboe. Louie's notes begin with a clarinet. The ship's dialogs and sales pitches begin with a synthesized bell. Mail from the President or the the President's wife begins with bassoon. Any mail from Olimar's family or Louie's family and any spam mail begins with a sine-wave-like instrument.
- Obstacle removed
Heard when an obstacle, such as a gate or bridge, is overcome. This jingle is very similar to the first game's obstacle jingle in that its structure resembles the charge fanfare. However, the last note is different from the previous game: it is a non-diatonic #4 scale degree, making the whole jingle sound odd and even comical, since the expected ending gets slightly bent.
- Daytime chimes
The Sun Meter makes various noises at quarterly increments throughout any day. At a quarter and three fourths through the day, the Sun Meter will briefly jump with a handbell ringing sound, to accent the significant amount of time that has passed. At noon, the handbell and a chime on tubular bells plays, rather like a church bell in a clock tower. Close to sunset, the HUD will display the message to gather stray Pikmin, accented by Olimar's whistle sound and a tubular bell playing a chime similar to the Westminster Quarters half-hour chime, which in Japanese schools represents the beginning or end of a period. The handbell sound also signals 30 increments left on the time meter in Challenge Mode.
- Pellet Posy flower
Heard when a Pellet Posy grows into a flower and pellet. A small square wave can be heard playing a C dominant 7 arpeggiation, no matter what size or color the pellet becomes. This chipper jingle adds character to the Pellet Posy, making it a more vibrant flower and not just a gameplay tool.
- When any size group of Pikmin is following a leader above ground, the group will chant three grunts as though singing a marching chant. When any size group of Pikmin is following a leader below ground, the group will sing or hum the Pikmin 2 motif. When specifically 20 of each type of Pikmin are following a leader, the group of 100 will sing or hum Ai no Uta, the song featured in the commercial for the first game.
- When a Lesser Spotted Jellyfloat is idling, it seems to hum a randomized tune from the C minor 7 scale. This is most likely just a small secret.
- Although Anode Beetles are enemies and activate the enemy mix when nearby, they do not trigger the combat mix until they are charging up or discharging with another Anode Beetle, or unless Pikmin flip them over and attack them.
- Individual notes in cave music are played in real-time, as evidenced by the fact that sustained sounds will carry over into the beginnings of cutscenes.
- Although the main game music is global and does not exist in the physical game world, the music's volume will decrease when the camera is at ground level, suggesting the idea that the camera and source of music are a finite distance from the leaders.
This article was a featured article from August 1st, 2015 to October 1st, 2015.