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Night expedition

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A screenshot from Pikmin 4 showing the nighttime gameplay.
Gameplay during a night expedition.

Night expeditions are a type of activity that the player character is in charge of in Pikmin 4. These expeditions take place at night, when some of the creatures of PNF-404 are more dangerous and can enter a frenzied state. Because most Pikmin are diurnal creatures, they and the Onions are not available at night, and instead the player has Glow Pikmin and Lumiknolls at their disposal. All carriable objects vanish at night, and caves (including Dandori Challenges and Dandori Battles) cannot be entered. Night expeditions are necessary because rescued leaflings need glow sap in order to be restored back to normal, something that can only be obtained from Lumiknolls at dawn. Hence, the gameplay during night expeditions focuses on protecting the Lumiknolls throughout the night, considering that their light attracts the frenzied creatures and makes them attack.

The medication is managed and created by Yonny, the Rescue Corps doctor, so night expeditions are only available after he is rescued and after at least one leafling has been rescued as well. At the Rescue Command Post, the player can talk to him in order to dedicate the day to a night expedition, instead of typical diurnal area exploration with Collin.

Locations[edit]

Each night expedition takes place at one of the previously-visited bases of a previously-explored area. After talking to Yonny and choosing to go on a night expedition, a menu will appear allowing the player to choose where to land. Within this menu, the player can know if a given location has already been cleared, the location's danger level, and a comment by Yonny about the sorts of challenges that await them. Locations that have already been cleared can be redone at will, but the player will not obtain any glow sap. Once the player is ready to go, the game will cut to sunset where the player departs from the Rescue Command Post, arriving at the chosen location at the start of the night.

The first two expeditions forcefully take place in the Sun-Speckled Terrace, at the Ancient Arches and Rugged Scaffold bases respectively. After beating the first two expeditions, you can do every expedition unlocked in any order.

Areas and bases that have not been visited will not appear in the selection of choices. The following locations exist:

Area Base Lumiknolls Starting Glow Pikmin Danger
Sun-Speckled Terrace Ancient Arches 1 10 1/5
Rugged Scaffold 1 10 1/5
Meandering Slope 1 10 2/5
Blossoming Arcadia Fragrant Ravine 1 10 1/5
Sunwashed Plateau 1 15 1/5
Misshapen Pond 2 10 2/5
Serene Shores Blossoming Dunes 1 10 1/5
Water's Edge 2 10 2/5
The Sand Keep 1 50 3/5
Hero's Hideaway Stargazer's Spot 2 10 2/5
Feasting Center 1 10 3/5
Foot of the Stairs 1 15 4/5
Giant's Hearth Line of Logs 2 10 3/5
Abandoned Throne 1 10 4/5
Primordial Thicket The Sylvan Gate 1 10 4/5
Autumnal Gully 2 10 5/5

Gameplay[edit]

When the night begins, the player will land at the chosen base, but then be placed next to a Lumiknoll, from which Glow Pikmin will come out and join the player's squad. Depending on the location, there may one or two Lumiknolls. During the first part of the night, the player can find glow pellets and task the Glow Pikmin to bring them back to a Lumiknoll. They can also work on obstacles or wipe out enemies, though it is recommended to focus on growing the Pikmin army instead.

Eventually, some of the creatures will enter a frenzied state where their eyes will glow red. In this state, they beeline towards a Lumiknoll or Tricknoll and once they get close enough, they will attack it with the intent to destroy it. These enemies can be distracted by Pikmin on their way to a Lumiknoll. After a few seconds, some other enemies in the area will go through the same, and the process repeats for all enemies.

A night lasts exactly four minutes, or 240 seconds. The countdown to sunrise lasts 30 seconds, the same amount of time as a typical day in Pikmin 4. However, the red zone to indicate the incoming sunrise is actually one minute, instead of a minute and a half.

Throughout this entire process, the player must divide their attention between protecting Lumiknolls, covering all routes of attack, wiping out enemies, and trying to keep their Pikmin numbers up by harvesting more glow pellets. Enemies do not leave corpses at night, but some tougher ones do drop differently sized piles of glow pellets upon death. An unusual case is the Puffy Blowhog, which drops 5 Glow Pellets in Blossoming Arcadia but none in Serene Shores. This makes it the only enemy to drop different amounts of Glow Pellets depending on the area.

The player's objective during a night expedition is to either wipe out all of the enemies, or survive until dawn. If a Lumiknoll is destroyed, the night expedition ends right away and the player will have to retry at a later day. The player can choose to retry if this is the case. If the player suffers a Pikmin extinction, the Lumiknoll will spawn 5 Glow Pikmin.

Around the area the player can also find Tricknolls. They start off deactivated, but approaching with a character or a Pikmin is enough to make them light up and become activated. Once activated, they serve as a drop-off point for glow pellets, and also serve as a target for frenzied enemies. While having a Tricknoll be destroyed by enemies does not result in a failure, and can even be encouraged in order to lure enemies away from a Lumiknoll, the player will lose out on a convenient drop-off point for collected glow pellets.

The first Lumiknoll will always be accompanied by a blue beacon right next to it, similar to the ones the player can place down with the Survey Drone. If there is a second Lumiknoll, that one will be accompanied by an orange beacon. A Lumiknoll's health appears at the top of the HUD so the player can always keep track of its state. To further help the player understand what is going on, a mini-radar exists on the bottom-right corner of the HUD. This mini-radar, as well as the main radar, highlight the location of Lumiknolls, enemies, and particularly frenzied enemies (alongside their direction). Lumiknolls and frenzied enemies also appear as colored silhouettes if they're behind terrain. As enemies get closer to a Lumiknoll, the music becomes more alarming and sinister, taking on a harrowing melody if any is actively under attack.

Some later missions feature one or more large eggs in various locations around the map. If left alone, each egg with eventually hatch a Smoky Progg, who will begin to head for the nearest Luminkoll (or Tricknoll on rare occasions). They are a significantly greater threat than many other enemies encountered during night missions, as they have higher health and create gloom, a hazard Glow Pikmin are not immune to and will die instantly from. These eggs can be broken before they hatch, which will instantly kill the Smoky Progg and leave behind a large pile of glow pellets.

Since gameplay during night expeditions takes place in the exact same locations the player explores during the day, the state of any obstacles will be reflected between the day and the night. Obstacles may be cleared both in day and night expeditions, and some obstacles may hinder the enemies as well as the leaders. If no open route exists to allow an enemy to reach a Lumiknoll or Tricknoll, it will not turn aggressive throughout the entire night- even if it is in a location the player can reach. If enemies may reach a Tricknoll but not a Lumiknoll, they will turn aggressive, destroy the Tricknoll, and then return to a docile state while retaining their red eyes and glowing red radar icons. Glow Pikmin that cannot return glow pellets to the Lumiknoll because of the presence of an obstacle will mill around the obstacle until it is cleared, just as daytime Pikmin would.

During night expeditions, the player is able to order Oatchi or the player character to go to a Lumiknoll. In Oatchi's case, he will actively circle around the Lumiknoll and attack any nearby enemies.

Glow Pikmin[edit]

Main article: Glow Pikmin.

The player only has Glow Pikmin available during night expeditions. They are born when glow pellets are delivered to a Lumiknoll or Tricknoll, with every 3 generating 1 Glow Pikmin. When idle, they instantly teleport from their position to the player's squad, and they also instantly change squads when the player swaps leaders, allowing the player to focus on defending rather than rallying. They behave mostly like regular Pikmin, and can still be eaten, but they are invulnerable to fire, electricity, water, and poison. By holding down the charge button, the player can unite them into what is known as a glowmob, and then unleash them in an explosive blast that can stun multiple enemies in its area of effect. The player can also create more Glow Pikmin by throwing Glow Seeds.

Expedition details[edit]

Disclaimer: This data assumes that the Player can have more than 100 Glow Pikmin out on the map.

Enemy Pellets dropped
Albino Dwarf Bulborb 00
Bulborb 05
Jumbo Bulborb 15
Bulborb Larva nest 00
Desiccated Skitter Leaf 00
Joustmite 00
Puffy Blowhog 05 (Arcadia) / None (Shores)
Tusked Blowhog 00
Shearwig 00
Water Dumple 00
Toady Bloyster 05
Whiptongue Bulborb 05
Flighty Joustmite 00
Frosty Bulborb 05
Smoky Progg 25
Male Sheargrub 00
Dwarf Bulbear 00
Emperor Bulblax 25
Fiery Bulblax 15
Pyroclasmic Slooch 00
Spotty Bulbear 15
Baldy Long Legs 25
Moldy Dwarf Bulborb 00
Moldy Slooch 00
Area Enemies Pellet piles Total glow pellets, Pikmin, and Seeds
Ancient Arches Albino Dwarf Bulborb x24, Bulborb 20 Piles (5x5, 9x10, 1x15, 3x20, 2x30) 255 Pellets, 85 Pikmin, 17 Seeds
Rugged Scaffold Bulborb x5, Jumbo Bulborb 17 Piles (6x10, 5x15, 3x20, 1x30, 2x40) 315 Pellets, 105 Pikmin, 21 Seeds
Meandering Slope Bulborb, Bulborb Larva Nest x4, Jumbo Bulborb 21 Piles (1x5, 13x10, 5x15, 2x20) 270 Pellets, 90 Pikmin, 18 Seeds
Fragrant Ravine Desiccated Skitter Leaf x16, Joustmite x4 30 Piles (2x5, 15x10, 7x15, 5x20, 1x30) 395 Pellets, 131⅔ Pikmin, 26⅓ Seeds
Sunwashed Plateau Desiccated Skitter Leaf x12, Joustmite x4, Puffy Blowhog x2 19 Piles (9x10, 5x15, 4x20, 1x30) 255 Pellets, 85 Pikmin, 17 Seeds
Misshapen Pond Bulborb Larva Nest x2, Joustmite x5, Tusked Blowhog x3 13 Piles (6x10, 5x15, 2x20) 145 Pellets, 48⅓ Pikmin, 9⅔ Seeds
Blossoming Dunes Puffy Blowhog x4, Shearwig x14, Water Dumple x18 16 Piles (4x10, 8x15, 2x20, 1x30, 1x40) 270 Pellets, 90 Pikmin, 18 Seeds
Water's Edge Toady Bloyster x5, Water Dumple x8, Whiptongue Bulborb x5 27 Piles (2x5, 12x10, 7x15, 5x20, 1x30) 415 Pellets, 138⅓ Pikmin, 27⅔ Seeds
The Sand Keep Toady Bloyster x3, Water Dumple x36, Whiptongue Bulborb x4 16 Piles (4x5, 8x10, 3x15, 1x20) 200 Pellets, 66⅔ Pikmin, 13⅓ Seeds
Stargazer's Spot Albino Dwarf Bulborb x18, Flighty Joustmite x5, Shearwig x11 19 Piles (3x5, 7x10, 7x15, 1x20, 1x25) 235 Pellets, 78⅓ Pikmin, 15⅔ Seeds
Feasting Center Frosty Bulborb x6, Shearwig x7, Smoky Progg, Tusked Blowhog x3 20 Piles (3x5, 11x10, 3x15, 2x20, 1x25) 290 Pellets, 96⅔ Pikmin, 19⅓ Seeds
Foot of the Stairs Frosty Bulborb x2, Jumbo Bulborb x2, Male Sheargrub x26, Smoky Progg x2 16 Piles (2x5, 10x10, 3x15, 1x25) 270 Pellets, 90 Pikmin, 18 Seeds
Line of Logs Dwarf Bulbear x6, Emperor Bulblax x2, Fiery Bulblax x3, Pyroclasmic Slooch x7, Spotty Bulbear x3 21 Piles (14x10, 3x15, 3x20, 1x25) 410 Pellets, 136⅔ Pikmin, 27⅓ Seeds
Abandoned Throne Baldy Long Legs, Desiccated Skitter Leaf x10, Pyroclasmic Slooch x4 21 Piles (1x5, 5x10, 10x15, 2x20, 3x30) 360 Pellets, 120 Pikmin, 24 Seeds
The Sylvan Gate Bulborb Larva Nest x2, Dwarf Bulbear x9, Moldy Dwarf Bulborb x3, Smoky Progg x2, Spotty Bulbear x4 28 Piles (9x5, 10x10, 5x15, 3x20, 1x30) 390 Pellets, 130 Pikmin, 26 Seeds
Autumnal Gully Baldy Long Legs, Emperor Bulblax x3, Moldy Dwarf Bulborb x13, Moldy Slooch x5, Smoky Progg x2 20 Piles (1x5, 14x10, 4x15, 1x20) 375 Pellets, 125 Pikmin, 25 Seeds

Rewards[edit]

When a night expedition is successfully completed, the player will receive a glob of glow sap, one glob per surviving Lumiknoll. This in turn gets transformed into one dose of medicine per glob. In the morning, Yonny will administer any available doses to any leaflings in wait. In addition, the player will receive Glow Seeds for every five Glow Pikmin remaining in their squad (rounded up), for a minimum of one Glow Seed. Failing a mission still gives the player Glow Seeds accordingly.

Glow sap will not be obtained if the player is finishing a location that they already cleared in the past, but they will still receive Glow Seeds. Since they will still be received if the mission fails, a player can easily farm Glow Seeds this way by prioritizing collection of glow pellets. Certain maps like ones with Bulborb Larvae and The Sand Keep Mission are easy to grind, because the Larva maps are easily defendable with Oatchi alone, and The Sand Keep immediately gives the Player 50 Glow Pikmin.

When an expedition ends, the game will show a menu listing how many creatures were defeated and how many there were in total, though this has no impact on gameplay.

Trivia[edit]

  • An owl can be heard hooting during the first minutes of a night expedition, but it goes silent as the creatures become more aggressive.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Flag of Japan Japanese 夜の探索?
Yoru no Tansaku
Night Search
Flag of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Chinese
(traditional)
晚上的探索
Wǎnshàng de Tànsuǒ
Night Search
Flag of the Netherlands Dutch Nachtexpeditie Night expedition
Flag of France French Expédition de nuit Night expedition
Flag of Germany German Nachtexpedition Night expedition
Flag of Italy Italian Esplorazione notturna Nocturnal exploration
Flag of South Korea Korean 야간 탐색
yagan tamsaeg
Night Search
Flag of Brazil Portuguese Expedição noturna Nocturnal expedition
Flag of Spain Spanish Expedición nocturna Nocturnal expedition

See also[edit]