Pikmin is the first installment in the Pikmin series, released in 2001 as a launch title for the GameCube. The game is the first in the series chronologically, and sees Captain Olimar crash-landing on an unknown planet and collecting his missing ship parts in order to escape. The game introduces the main game mechanics of growing Pikmin, controlling the Pikmin as a group, taking down obstacles, carrying objects, and battling enemies. The game was also ported to the Wii with added motion controls, under the title New Play Control! Pikmin. Its sequel, Pikmin 2, was released three years later.
An exhausted pilot Captain Olimar, who is seeking rest from his everyday labor as a worker for Hocotate Freight, flies his spacecraft, the S.S. Dolphin, into outer space as an interstellar vacation. Suddenly, a meteor hurdles toward his direction and hits the Dolphin, resulting in the ship plummeting toward an Earth-like planet. During the fall, the Dolphin ignites, and its parts are released from the hull and scattered across the planet.
The next morning, Olimar regains consciousness on The Impact Site and turns around to find the hull of the Dolphin badly damaged, and lacking all of its parts. He notes that the oxygen on the planet, a harmful chemical element that inhabits it, is deadly to his body, and that his life-support systems can only function for 30 days. Upon realizing this, he decides to locate the missing parts of the Dolphin, hoping he can rebuild his ship and return to his home planet of Hocotate.
After exploring a bit, Olimar finds a dormant Onion. Upon approaching it, it springs to life, and out comes a seed. Upon plucking it and experimenting with the creature by throwing it, dismissing it, etc., he learns about the Pikmin and their abilities. With the help of the Red Pikmin he raises, Olimar recovers the Main Engine, which allows him to at least hover above the surface during the night, which he later learns is too dangerous.
Olimar and the Pikmin then discover a new area, The Forest of Hope and the Onion within: the Yellow Pikmin's Onion. In addition, he gradually learns more about the various enemies and quirks of the planet, and how to use each Pikmin type's abilities to their full potential. As he gathers more parts, he eventually manages to discover The Forest Navel, the Blue Pikmin, The Distant Spring, and The Final Trial. After defeating the Emperor Bulblax and recovering the final ship part, Olimar sails back to Hocotate.
There are three possible ways for Olimar's adventure to end, which depend on the ship parts the player can gather before the days run out. Videos of each ending can be found on the external links section of this article.
The canon ending is the best one; this is when all thirty ship parts are recovered within the thirty day time limit. After the Secret Safe is gathered, the camera zooms into the Dolphin and Captain Olimar jumps with joy. Then the scene darkens, becoming night, Olimar walks to his ship and stops to look at the Pikmin one last time. The Pikmin tilt their heads in curiosity. Olimar gives the Pikmin a short wave good-bye, to which the Pikmin tilt their heads in the opposite direction. With a sigh, Olimar looks down and shakes his head. He then boards the Dolphin and lifts off successfully, and the Pikmin attack a nearby Spotty Bulborb on their own. Next, the ship is seen flying away, with Onions of many, unseen colors following him. After the credits, the enemy reel is shown.
The average ending is when the time runs out, but Olimar manages to escape with the ship parts he collected. Out of the 30 parts, only 25 specific ones are necessary for the captain to return to Hocotate. The five optional parts are the Nova Blaster, the Space Float, the Massage Machine, the UV Lamp and the Secret Safe. With this ending, at the night of the final day, Captain Olimar walks towards the Dolphin and takes a quick glance back before entering the cockpit of his ship and attempting to blast off. He successfully flies off while three Pikmin (one red, one yellow, and one blue) look up into the sky with curiosity.
The bad ending takes place when Olimar does not manage to retrieve the 25 mandatory parts. On his last day, he realizes that time has run up and attempts to lift off. Immediately after taking off, the engine explodes and his ship crashes back onto the planet. The Pikmin carry his unconscious body to an Onion, making Olimar pop out as a Pikmin-like creature, having his normal head, but the sprout of a Pikmin with a black stem, and without his spacesuit helmet.
It is known that the best ending is the canon one, seeing as in Pikmin 2, Olimar has brought a souvenir home for his son, and the best ending is the only one where he would have time to pick one up. In addition, it's revealed that Olimar's wife eventually finds the Secret Safe during his absence, and that ship part can only be retrieved after all other 29 were. Naturally, the worst ending is not canon, as Olimar is known to return safely to Hocotate at the start of the second game.
Pikmin is a three-dimensional strategy-based game, in which the player is given control of Olimar, who in turn has control over the Pikmin that follow him. The whole point of the game is to find and collect as many of his lost ship parts as possible, up to the maximum of 30, in fewer than the 30 days Olimar has to live, so that he can escape the grasp of the planet before his life-support system fails. This is achieved by directing Pikmin to carry the parts to Olimar's ship. Approximately 15 minutes are spent on its surface each day; as nightfall approaches, he must gather stray and toiling Pikmin so that they don't fall victim to the voracious nocturnal predators, such as the Spotty Bulborb.
In Pikmin, players will face many obstacles in order to secure the parts required to rebuild the ship. This must be done with care, as many obstacles are hazardous to the Pikmin, such as water, fire and explosions. There are also other things that block the way, such as walls, bridges and gaps. Many different animal species on the planet hinder the progress of working Pikmin. However, the forces are limited; Olimar can only have up to 100 Pikmin out in the field and no more under any circumstances. The rest are stored in the Onions, considered by Olimar to be some sort of motherships for the species.
The primary way to control Pikmin is to throw them at targets, although they can also be issued to them. By gathering resources back into the Onions, new seeds will pop out, which increase the supply of Pikmin. The creatures can also mature with the likes of nectar.
In addition to the regular story mode, there is an alternate game mode where players are challenged to grow the most Pikmin they can in a single day, with slightly different rules from the norm. The best results are kept in record.
Pikmin are the plant/animal hybrids that are discovered by Captain Olimar when he crash-landed on the planet. The Pikmin willingly follow his orders and imitate his movements, despite whatever fate may await them. Each species of Pikmin has weaknesses and strengths and all Pikmin must be used in cooperation in order to collect all of the missing ship parts. These are the types of Pikmin encountered in this game.
Red Pikmin are the first type of Pikmin encountered by Captain Olimar, at The Impact Site. They are used to retrieve the Main Engine, since they are the only Pikmin he has at the time. Red Pikmin are resistant to fire and are the strongest of all the Pikmin found in the game. Besides their color, they can also distinguished from other Pikmin types with their pointed nose-like growth.
Yellow Pikmin are the second Pikmin discovered by Olimar, found in the The Forest of Hope. Yellow Pikmin are the only Pikmin with the ability to carry bomb-rocks (in this game), and can be thrown higher than normal. The Yellow Pikmin's defining physical characteristic is their large ears.
Blue Pikmin are the third and last kind of Pikmin found in the game. They are located in The Forest Navel. Blue Pikmin are the only species of Pikmin that can move around in bodies of water, thanks to their gills. When non-blue Pikmin fall in the water, blue Pikmin will run to them and throw them out of the water, saving their lives.
The explorable area of the planet is split into five different areas. After 1, 5, 12 and 29 ship parts are recovered, the S.S. Dolphin receives an upgrade, which allows it to fly to an additional area. The following list of areas is ordered from the first one unlocked to the last.
Ship parts are what the player needs to collect in order to advance with the game. There are thirty in total, and they can upgrade the S.S. Dolphin once certain amounts of parts are recovered. Each ship part is unique, and five of them are not mandatory for Olimar to succeed in his escape.
There are a number of creatures in the planet that are enemies to the Pikmin. They are mostly predators, although almost all of them can be killed by large armies of Pikmin.
Plants and fungi
A few decorative plants and fungi exist in each area. Most of them are plants in the real world.
Players control the game with a GameCube controller. In-game, they take control of Olimar, and if he has any Pikmin on his group, he can control them to some degree by shifting the group's position, dismissing them, or throwing them. The player is also given some control over the camera.
Easter eggs and secrets
During development of the GameCube, a tech demo was created that showed off multiple Marios, under the title Super Mario 128. This demo demonstrated the console's ability to have several dozens of individual objects on-screen at once. This concept was later recycled and lead to the creation of Pikmin.
While experimenting with the idea for a game, Nintendo came up with a concept of a god game. According to an interview with Shigeru Miyamoto, it would feature the player character as a god, looking over two humans – then called Adam and Eve – that would develop by themselves. They would multiply over time, and depending on the player's decisions, the characters could do things such as fight, or nest and have children. Eventually, it was deemed too uninteractive, and Pikmin were added. Soon after, the whole idea was scrapped, and development for Pikmin began. The Spotty Bulborb, which originated as a mammoth-like creature in that game, was re-used for Pikmin.
The first reveal of the Pikmin project came in E3 2001, where Shigeru Miyamoto played the game live. By that point, the general mechanics resembled the final product, but several assets, resources and quirks were different.
The game was released on October 26th, 2001 in Japan, December 2nd, 2001 in North America, and June 14th, 2002 in Europe and Australia. In North America, the game was originally planned to release as a GameCube launch title on November 11th, 2001[source needed], however it was delayed for unknown reasons and was released on December 2nd instead.
The game was officially released in different parts of the world at different times. It also had some re-releases with different packaging and usually different prices. However, there are three versions of the software, listed below. Each physical release can have the Japanese, American, or European game disc inside. The Japanese version of the game is only available in Japanese, while the American version is available in English, American Spanish, and Canadian French, and the European version of the game is available in English, European French, German, Italian, and European Spanish.
Below is a complete list of all known releases of Pikmin, including the box art, release locations, and product information.
The first version of the game, the "Japanese version", was released for the GameCube in Japan, in October of 2001. Throughout the next months, the localization team of Nintendo of America changed the game for release in North America. Finally, later, Nintendo of Europe made their own tweaks, and released that version in Europe and Oceania. Although these three regions received a different version each, the differences between them are minor. The biggest one is that the Japanese version uses Japanese text, while the others use English or European-language text. Not much changes between the US and the European versions, but it became possible to skip the sunset cutscene in the European version.
Below is a complete list of all of the different software versions of the game.
Pikmin received mostly positive reviews. Sites like IGN and GameSpot gave it scores close to 90%, praising its uniqueness and visuals, but complaining about the camera. On its first week, it sold over 100,000 copies, although the numbers started decreasing in the following weeks. Ai no Uta helped boost sales, but became an unexpected hit, even surpassing the sales for the game itself.
Connections to other games
This is the first game in the series, both in terms of releases, and in terms of plot timeline. The story of Pikmin 2 takes place directly after Olimar's return from his adventure in Pikmin. Other than that, Pikmin is alluded to in other games of the series, whenever Olimar's first voyage and original discovery of the Pikmin are referred.
Names in other languages