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Pikmin 3 prerelease information

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Notes: It'd probably make more sense to organize this page chronologically by version than by type of content.

The leaf texture used in Pikmin 2's Challenge Mode menu. (Used on Pikipedia in the {{stub}} template.)

This article is a stub. You can help Pikipedia by expanding it.
Suggestions: Add unused content that hints to cut enemies, areas, etc. (i.e. exclude obvious debugging content). Additionally, important information in this video should be noted.

Pikmin 3, like other Pikmin games, went through several iterations that never made it to the public. Some of these had content that was changed or removed before the final release. Because the exact versions in which these tidbits appear is not known, their name is not given here, but fans usually call these "beta", "alpha", or "pre-alpha" versions.

In addition, there is unused content inside the disc that also hints at what type of content was meant to be in the final release, at one point.



In a prototype version, Alph had smaller eyes and pupils.


In a prototype version, Brittany's suit was yellow, both in-game and on concept art. In the final version, her suit was changed to pink. Her original concept art also lacked glasses, which she has in the final game.

Character D[edit]

Concept art of the leaders in Pikmin 3, showing a "Character D" who isn't present in the final game.
The unused character "D" (leftmost) as shown at E3 2012.

There was one character that never made it into the game in any footage whatsoever, and was scrapped early in development. He was shown off at E3 2012 in a bit of concept art, and all that was underneath him was the letter "D". With an interview with Shigeru Miyamoto[source needed], he stated that there were three leaders playable in the game, suggesting Character D was scrapped early on, since he was never shown in any footage. Since Alph, Brittany, and Charlie all had the first letter of their name under their art at E3 2012, it is speculated by fans that the character's final name was meant to be Drake, keeping in line with the military alphabet theme, but this name was eventually moved to the game's ship, the S.S. Drake. A possible reason for the scrap could've been due to the fact that controlling and switching between four leaders would have been considered too chaotic.

Red character[edit]

Cropped version of File:Leaders E3 2012 screenshot.png to focus only on the red character.
A front view of this red character.

In some footage, it is possible to see an unknown leader that wears a red-accented spacesuit and looks similar to Alph but with brown-yellow hair rather than blue.

Rock Pikmin[edit]

In the earliest footage shown of Pikmin 3, Rock Pikmin had a slightly different appearance, with slightly darker coloration and dark-colored limbs. They also made different sounds that sounded like lower-pitched versions of common Pikmin sounds. Each Rock Pikmin was also shaped slightly differently (e.g. some were shorter but wider). This made them seem more like real rocks, but the feature was eventually removed in the final game. Also something to note, Rock Pikmin in the E3 demo have blue bulbs on their heads, instead of purple like the final game. Winged Pikmin also have blue flowers, as seen on the E3 presentation.

Winged Pikmin[edit]

As referenced by their internal name and seen in concept art, Winged Pikmin were originally going to be orange, as opposed to the final main color of pink.


Bulbmin were probably considered to be in the game, based on concept art and their model's presense in the game files. It was likely scrapped early in development though, as its appearance is identical to Bulbmin in Pikmin 2.[1]

2014 Nintendo Game Seminar notebook concept art[edit]

A page of a notebook handed out at the 2014 Nintendo Game Seminar, featuring concept art for several Pikmin type-related ideas, including ones not making it into any of the games.
The page in question, featuring several unused and unfinalized ideas.

A notebook handed out in the 2014 Nintendo game seminar featured several concepts of ideas for Pikmin types, mostly unused ones, presumably for Pikmin 3.[2][3] It includes art, as well as notes in Japanese. The following can be noted:

  • An early design for Rock Pikmin differing from the final.
  • A blob-shaped "light blue" Pikmin type, described as moving slowly and fixing structures with mucus.[4]
  • An early design for Winged Pikmin, featuring them walking outside of a hazard and colored orange.
  • A slim "green" Pikmin type, which could be connected together to form a bridge, and also described as "parasitic" and "farming". This is widely known as the Bean Pikmin, and once had planned to be in Pikmin 4, but were scrapped.
  • A "black" Pikmin type shaped like a hairball, described as having evolved to suit cold climates.
  • A Pikmin type with a carapace for a head.
  • A Pikmin type shaped like a seed, described as being able to stick to walls, not latching on to enemies, making a lot of seeds, and being small and weak.
  • A hairy, Purple Pikmin-like "brown" Pikmin type, described as being big and strong, efficient at building, and difficult to grow (requiring 10 pellets to grow 1 seed).
  • A Pikmin type shaped like a ghost, which probably became the Glow Pikmin.
  • A Bulbmin.
  • A concept for a Candypop Bud-like flower.
  • A Spotty Bulbear with a leaf sticking out of it, similar to Bulbmin. It can be seen in two drawings, both times following Olimar with Pikmin on its back, and in one of them traveling in the water. This idea was later reworked into Oatchi.


Main article: Unused content in Pikmin 3#Unused enemies.

There are unused files inside the game for a handful of enemies, both new and returning. These got removed for reasons unknown. Many of these, such as the returning enemies from Pikmin 2 are heavily unfinished, and some do not even spawn.

Moreover, while in the final version of Pikmin 3 a Whiptongue Bulborb releases any Pikmin caught in its tongue if it is hit in the eye, in the E3 trailer of the game, it is seen eating the Pikmin before flinching.



In an early build of the game, the lock-on feature would cause the camera to enter a tilt-shift mode to focus only on the creature, which would be highlighted in blue. A simlar effect would appear in Pikmin 3 Deluxe. The name of said creature was then displayed in simple blue text above it. This was greatly changed for the final game, in which the scene is covered by a vignette effect, and the name is displayed in a box in the lower right corner, surrounded by Koppaite text. With the update released on May 29th, 2014, the lock-on mechanic featured two new images on the left side of the screen. One shows which control makes the Pikmin charge, and the other shows how to cancel the lock-on.


The shorter whistle radius from an earlier version of Pikmin 3.
A red character whistling.

Originally, the whistle in Pikmin 3 had a smaller radius than in the past two games, and lasted for a shorter length of time. This was later changed to be slightly larger and longer, and included the ability for the whistle to call Winged Pikmin by raising off the floor after fully expanding to create a cylindrical beam of light.

Throwing leaders[edit]

Brittany plucks Red Pikmin on a high ledge, in an early version of Pikmin 3.
Brittany is higher than Alph, her starting point.
Early E3 2012 screenshot of Alph throwing Brittany and her Red Pikmin to a tree stump.
Alph throws Brittany to another tree stump.

In the early footage shown of the game, the leaders were first shown to have the ability to toss one another to access new locations. At this point in development, the leaders were thrown much higher than they are in the final game. This change was most likely made to rid the game of some areas where players could easily break the barriers.


  • In the 2012 demo of Pikmin 3, the Insect Condo was shown as one of the fruits returning from Pikmin 2. In this footage, it required only 8 Pikmin to carry it, as opposed to the 10 required in the final game.
  • In the E3 2012 demo, the Medusal Slurker required 7 Pikmin to carry, while in the final game, it can be carried by 6.
  • In the E3 2012 demo, the Whiptongue Bulborb required 10 Pikmin to carry, while in the final game, it needs 12 Pikmin.


  • In the 2012 demo for Pikmin 3, the Golden Sunseed was referred to as the "Combustion Berry", sharing the same name as a fruit treasure that appeared in Pikmin 2.
  • In early footage, the Pyroclasmic Slooch was one of the first new enemies revealed, and its name was instead "Pyroplasmic Slooch", a one letter difference from its current name.
  • Crystal walls were originally called "Crystallized Walls".
  • According to the Koppaite text visible when the Formidable Oak is highlighted, its name is patterned after The Final Trial. However, the two names are not similar in the slightest, nor are their Japanese names – the Formidable Oak is 哀しき獣の塔? (lit.: "Tower of the Wretched Beast"), and The Final Trial is 最後の試練? (lit.: "Final Trial"). This indicates that, earlier in development, the Formidable Oak had a different English and/or Japanese name.
  • In an early screenshot, the KopPad can be seen in a video call. Its frame is visible, and the Koppaite text on it spells out 'P' in Koppaite text 'P' in Koppaite text 'A' in Koppaite text 'D' in Koppaite text ("PPAD"). For the final game, the frame was changed to say 'G' in Koppaite text 'P' in Koppaite text 'A' in Koppaite text 'D' in Koppaite text ("GPAD") instead, which is the KopPad's Japanese name. In addition, the Koppaite text on the final game's lock-on mode contains the sentence "Simple dictionary in the PIPAD". This could also be an early name for the KopPad, or just a Romanization of "PPAD".

Areas and missions[edit]

One early screenshot of the game shows the snow pile with an iron ball that resembles the President. On top of this pile lies a Cupid's Grenade that is not in this location in the final game. It is likely that the Cupid's Grenade behind the sculpture is where this one was moved, as it is the closest to the earlier location.

In the Nintendo Direct on April 17th, 2013, it's possible to see a Swooping Snitchbug in the Tropical Wilds. In the final game, the Swooping Snitchbug is placed somewhere else in the map, and in this part of the area, a Bulborb and three Dwarf Bulborbs appear after day 1.

It should also be noted that some Mission Mode areas contained certain types of Pikmin that are no longer available in these maps today.


  • The idea for a different end of day theme depending on how profitable the day was, like in Pikmin 2, might have been considered, seeing as how there are unused files for a "happy" and a "sad" version of the Pikmin 3 song.

Other changes[edit]

Title screen[edit]

In an early version of the title screen, the logo contained a "3" made of violet flowers, to resemble the flowers of the Rock and Winged Pikmin. In the final game, these flowers were changed to orange, possibly to represent ultra-spicy spray. In addition, the earliest footage of the game showed that it was originally much dimmer than the final version, although this was possibly due to the fact that the lighting engine wasn't complete at the time it was shown.


In the earliest footage of Pikmin 3, crystals were much more opaque. In the final game, they were changed to be transparent.

HUD elements[edit]

  • In the Nintendo Direct on May 17th, 2013, the juice counter was seen for the first time. However, unlike the final version, which has an orange colored juice in the bottle, this version has a silver colored juice.
  • In the May 17th, 2013 Nintendo Direct, the pause menu was shown. The last option says "To Ship's Log", which was later changed to "To Earlier Day" in the final game. In addition, the menu received some minor appearance tweaks, mostly on the "Wiimote Plus.png Back" label.
  • In the first trailer of Pikmin 3, it's possible to see the early design used for the Mission Mode timer. The figures used for it look a bit different and they are in a blue rectangle, in the final version.
  • It's possible to see a previous version of the Collect Treasure! counter in the E3 2012 trailer of Pikmin 3. The design of the medals and figures look a bit different from that of the final version.
  • In the E3 2012 trailer, it's possible to see an early version of the Pikmin counter.
  • In E3 2012 images that contain the radar, it is possible to see that the colors of the terrain are much less saturated and harder to tell apart.
  • In the E3 2012 footage, the font used for the number of standby Pikmin that appears next to the cursor is in italics, unlike the final version.
  • The original version of the "DF Craft Sumi" typeface was still being used during E3 2012. In the final version of the game, this font was modified.

There is also gameplay of an unknown build of the game that takes place in Tropical Forest, but the HUD's positioning is different from anything in the final game or other demos of Pikmin 3. Particularly: the health meter for the current leader is next to the left edge of the screen, a bit above the center, and the Pikmin counter is at the bottom of the screen, centered horizontally. There is one recorded image of the gameplay, but it's not clear if this is single-player gameplay, or if it is the left screen in co-op mode.

Appearance changes[edit]

An early E3 2012 screenshot of Pikmin building a bridge out of blue fragments.
An early bridge.
  • In an earlier version shown at E3 2012, blue bridge fragments had a different appearence, looking less shiny and more aged.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ YouTube video explaining the Bulbmin model (at 05:34)
  2. ^ Tweet by クラウン on Twitter, published on June 13th, 2016, retrieved on October 17th, 2022
  3. ^ Tweet by クラウン on Twitter, published on June 13th, 2016, retrieved on October 17th, 2022
  4. ^ Tweet by SleepyBakes on Twitter, published on May 7th, 2021, retrieved on December 31st, 2021