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A Pikmin extinction occurs when the player does not have any more Pikmin of a given type. There are two types of extinction: a partial one, which is declared when all Pikmin of one type are lost, and a total one, which happens when there are no Pikmin left whatsoever. Pikmin can become extinct by being killed, being swapped for a different type with Candypop Buds, or by being left behind at sunset.
To counter an extinction, the affected Onion(s) spit out a single seed of the same type, with the exact rules for this depending on the game and the type of extinction. Alternatively, if possible, the player can also choose to start the next day on an area that has some sprouts of lost types and use those. Regardless, the player must then regrow the corresponding armies from scratch, and if they do not treat these lone Pikmin with care, they will be easy prey to all manner of enemies, which can quickly end in another extinction.
In Pikmin and Pikmin 2, losing all Pikmin of a given type makes it very hard, but possible, to create more in the same day. If there are still other Pikmin when this occurs, the day will go on, but if not, a total extinction is declared instead. In order to create more Pikmin in the same day, the player can use Candypop Buds or the ability of White and Purple Pikmin to carry items to randomly picked Onions. If they are unable to create any, and have to end the day, the affected Onions will spew out a single seed at the start of the next day.
In Pikmin 2, if all Pikmin the player brought in a cave are lost, a Pikmin extinction is declared, even if it is only local. The leader(s) are returned to the surface, and, provided they still have Pikmin in the area or Onions, can continue on with the day. Otherwise, a total extinction takes place straight afterwards. In the event that the player loses all Pikmin of one type while inside a cave, they will be able to continue through the cave, if they still have other types. When they return to the surface, the game will act as if it were a landing on a new day, which will make the Onion of that type spit a new seed, and the ship erroneously declare that all the Pikmin of that type were lost yesterday, despite it being the same day. In this game, White Pikmin and Purple Pikmin are not affected by partial extinctions, given their unique method of birth.
In Pikmin 3, if all of a certain type of Pikmin is lost, the Onion will immediately create a new Pikmin of that type. This will even happen if there are sprouts of the same type in a different area. If this loss happens via sunset, then the Onion will spit out seeds for the affected Pikmin at the morning of the next day. In Pikmin 4, only Pikmin types that the main Onion has merged with can respawn new Pikmin if all of that type is lost; any Pikmin type that is fully lost without their Onion type fused will result in it being permanently lost until more are found within caves. If all Glow Pikmin are lost during a night expedition, the Lumiknoll will spawn five new ones.
Caves in Pikmin 4 treat Pikmin extinctions similarly to Pikmin 2, however, if all of one type of Pikmin is lost, a partial extinction is declared, and the game will prompt the player to rewind to a previous time before they had lost the Pikmin type. However, the player may also choose to continue without that type, although in most cases progression will be made more difficult if not impossible.
Regardless of game, if the player lands on an area that has sprouts of extinct types, the respective Onions will not spit out any seeds, and the player must use those sprouts instead. Leaving sprouts behind at the end of the day works just the same as if the last Pikmin of those type have been left to be eaten by the predators of the night, except there is no actual abandonment taking place.
In Pikmin and Pikmin 2, if the player loses every one of their Pikmin in a single day, that day will end immediately, a sad cutscene will play, and on the following day, each Onion will produce a single seed, provided that there are no sprouts of the corresponding Pikmin type in the area the player chooses to land in. Other than that, the processes and rules are similar to partial extinctions. A total extinction can still be declared even if there are Pikmin sprouts in other areas.
It is impossible to obtain a total extinction during the day in Pikmin 3 and Pikmin 4, since the Onion instantly shoots a seed whenever a type goes extinct. Even trying to wipe out all Pikmin at once with a bomb rock, for instance, will still make the Onion go through the partial extinction progress for each type, one at a time. Losing all Pikmin during the sunset is possible, and will simply act the same as if several sunset partial extinctions have taken place, with the added detail that Alph will write down on the voyage log that the crew is now without any Pikmin. Losing all Pikmin in Dandori Challenges won't result in a failure, although the Leafling will notify the player that they are out of Pikmin.
Cutscenes and comments
In order to highlight the importance of an extinction, as well as the Onion's behavior to counteract an extinction, some cutscenes and comments from the characters can take place.
In Pikmin and Pikmin 2, when a total extinction takes place, everything stops, and a cutscene takes place. It shows the leaders looking around and realizing that their entire army has been lost, with the words "Pikmin extinction!" on-screen. They then head for their ship and lift off in sadness.
When an Onion from an extinct type spits out seeds, a cutscene takes place that focuses on the Onion, and then Captain Olimar, the Hocotate ship, or one of the Koppaites[source needed] comment on it, in each of the three games respectively. This cutscene can also happen on the day following the first total extinction instead. In Pikmin, Olimar will only comment the first time it happens, but comments will be made every time in the other games.
In Pikmin, the following is Olimar's voyage log entry on the first day a total extinction occurs:
In Pikmin, on the night after an Onion spits some Pikmin out for the first time, Captain Olimar writes the following:
In Pikmin 3, the first time all Pikmin are left behind over sunset, Alph will write the following on the voyage log, in the North American version:
In Pikmin 4, the cutscene is rather similar to that of Pikmin and Pikmin 2, however, it will now play for partial extinctions as well as total extinctions, with the player character and Oatchi if the player is riding him. The on-screen message is also changed to "All <pikmin type> Pikmin lost!" for partial extinctions and "All Pikmin lost!" for total extinctions. If a partial extinction occurs on land or if any type of extinction occurs inside caves, the player will be prompted to either continue or rewind to a past state after a response from Collin. However, total extinctions will result in the following response from Shepherd:
After this, the player is shown the Onion, spitting out seeds for each type of Pikmin that is connected to the Onion. Collin will then respond as follows:
In other game modes
In 2-Player Battle and Bingo Battle, a Pikmin extinction is another way for a player to win. Should any player lose all of their Pikmin, a Pikmin extinction is declared, and the other wins. This is not a usual way to win, but falling boulders, bomb rocks, Volatile Dweevils and mines can cause massive damage for unaware leaders.
Interestingly, in 2-Player Battle, a Pikmin extinction occurs if one player has one Pikmin left and it is killed by the opposing player's Pikmin, despite the fact that a Pikmin is always reborn at the player's Onion if it is killed by another Pikmin. The same does not occur in Bingo Battle, and the counter will briefly show that the leader has 0 out of 0 Pikmin, before the recently-killed Pikmin is reborn.
Pikmin limit conflict
There may be times where an Onion will want to eject a seed because of an extinction, but doing so would put more Pikmin on the field than the allowed limit. Each game has a specific way of handling this scenario.
Extinctions on day 1
Normally, day 1 serves as a tutorial for each game, so the developers tried to avoid the possibility that the player could lose their Pikmin on day 1. Nonetheless, day 1 extinctions can be performed in all 3 main games.
In Pikmin, this is achieved by walking to an out of bounds section below the white gate by the Red Onion. Then, this white gate must be destroyed by the Pikmin the player has obtained. Lastly, the player must long throw all of their Pikmin past the wall and hope that they drown in the water. However, if there are Pikmin that stay out of the water, there is no way to obtain them (except in "New Play Control!", where they can be whistled from afar), and the player is softlocked. If all of the player's Red Pikmin die, an extinction occurs. Alternatively, the player can kill just the first Pikmin: one can make it carry the easternmost pellet, and then squeeze between it and the opening at the top of the tree trunk from which the Pikmin falls. After squeezing, they can call the Pikmin to them, walk on top of the rim of the trunk, grab the Pikmin when it is close enough, and walk along the out of bounds section until they reach the water.
In Pikmin 2 this is achieved by holding a Pikmin, walking up to one of the walls near the ship, turning around such that the Pikmin is held inside the wall, and throwing the Pikmin. Note that this step does not work on "New Play Control!" due to how the throwing mechanics were changed. This will make it go inside the wall, and from there, it can be whistled and ordered to go further into the terrain. Eventually, there will no longer be floor, and the Pikmin will fall to its death when it reaches the pit. Doing this with all the Pikmin that have joined the player up to that point will cause an extinction, and skip the rest of the events of day 1.
In Pikmin 3, there are a few known ways to kill Pikmin on the first day. With Captain Charlie, the player can hug a nook in the wall before the first row of Spotcaps, turn around, and hold and release Pikmin such that they are inside the nook. The floor there is fake, so the Pikmin fall through and die. As for Alph's segment, given unknown circumstances, Pikmin can fall through the dirt wall encountered on that day, go through the terrain, and fall into the pit. A more reliable way involves holding a Pikmin, walking to a corner, hugging the ledge that stops the player from returning to the pool Alph landed on, making Alph face away from the corner, and whistling such that Alph releases the Pikmin. With the right execution, the Pikmin will be dropped inside the wall. From there, the Pikmin simply falls into the pit and dies.
- Through the use of a glitch in Pikmin 2, it's possible to have the game instantly declare a Pikmin extinction the second a cave is entered. It involves tricking the game into letting the leaders inside a cave with 0 Pikmin, which requires going in and dismissing the Pikmin at the exact same time.
- If the player obtains a total extinction on day 30 in Pikmin, the ending cutscene will still show some Pikmin.
- A total extinction in the Mission Mode of Pikmin 3 yields a message reading "Pikmin extinct!" (in the US version) or "Pikmin extinction!" (European version). All of the Pikmin souls surrounding the text will only be of Pikmin available in the stage.
- In Pikmin 4, there is a glitch where the game will declare a Pikmin extinction out of nowhere.
Names in other languages
|Spanish (NoA)||¡ Extinción de los Pikmin !
Los Pikmin se han extinguido.
¡Extinción de los pikmin!
|Pikmin extinction !
The Pikmin have gone extinct.
|Used in New Play Control! Pikmin.|
Used in New Play Control! Pikmin 2.
Used in Pikmin 3.
- “When the Pikmin become extinct, the Onion releases a single seed. How does the Onion know that the Pikmin have all been lost? I do not understand this mechanism, but I have no time to try to decipher its riddle. I must do all I can to protect the lone Pikmin. And, of course, I must prevent such an extinction from ever happening again!” – Captain Olimar in a monolog
- “Disaster averted! All your Pikmin were wiped out yesterday, but their Onion just released a seed! If Pikmin were machines, they could simply be repaired, but... This single Pikmin is a precious rarity. I advise you to take better care of it.” – the Hocotate ship in a dialog
- YouTube video of a Pikmin day 1 extinction
- YouTube video of a Pikmin day 1 extinction with one Pikmin, published on July 1st, 2020, retrieved on July 2nd, 2020
- YouTube video of a Pikmin 2 day 1 extinction
- YouTube video of a Pikmin being killed on day 1 in Pikmin 3, published on December 12th, 2016, retrieved on January 19th, 2020
- YouTube video of a total extinction on day 30
- YouTube video of Pikmin 2, showing what happens when a total extinction occurs but one Pikmin is still alive, thanks to a glitch
|Types||Red Pikmin • Yellow Pikmin • Blue Pikmin • Purple Pikmin • White Pikmin|
Rock Pikmin • Winged Pikmin • Ice Pikmin • Bulbmin • Glow Pikmin
|Biology||Candypop Bud • Idle • Maturity • Onion • Flarlic • Pellet|
Pikmin extinction • Trip • Sprout • Seedling • Soul • Squad
|Abilities||Carry • Dig • Dodge • Fight • Hide|
|Controls||Charge • Dismiss • Swarm • Pluck • Throw • Whistle|
|Other||Decor Pikmin • Leafling • Mushroom Pikmin • Pikpik carrot|