Pikmin in other media
Elements from the Pikmin series have appeared in several other Nintendo games. The Super Smash Bros. series in particular is well-known for having references and content of multitudes of Nintendo series and, more recently, those of other companies. Regardless, Pikmin content has made its way into other games and forms of media, be it with content directly taken from the franchise, or references.
Animal Crossing series
Animal Crossing: Wild World
In Animal Crossing: Wild World, there is an item called "Pikmin". When touched, it says the word "Pikmin", sounding similar to the sound that plays at the start of either Pikmin game. There is also a character named Gulliver, whose story shares similarities with the plot of Pikmin. The player can hit him with a slingshot and make him crash, after which his ship parts need collecting. His ship is named the "Porpoise 5000", which is clearly a reference to the S.S. Dolphin.
Animal Crossing: City Folk
In Animal Crossing: City Folk, Gulliver and the same items reappear, as well as a DLC-exclusive Red Pikmin hat, to commemorate the release of New Play Control! Pikmin, and a to-scale model of the S.S. Dolphin, to celebrate the 40th year anniversary of the Apollo 11's successful landing on the moon.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, the S.S. Dolphin, Pikmin and Red Pikmin Hat items reappear, and two new items are added: the Blue Pikmin hat and the Yellow Pikmin hat. All of these items are received through fortune cookies.
Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour
In Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, if the player hits the ball into a flower bed, the three Pikmin types from the first game will fly out.
Donkey Konga 2
The Red Pikmin, Yellow Pikmin, and Blue Pikmin, as well as a Red Bulborb cameo as collectible badges in Donkey Konga 2. Each character's appearance on the badge is a headshot of their clay artwork from Pikmin 2. The player can obtain one of these badges by winning a mini-game, then playing a Concentration-based mini-game, "Match That Badge!" If the player flips over two identical panels of a character, including the Pikmin or Bulborb, they earn a badge of that character. If the player reaches a high score in a mini-game, they can apply a badge to their new score.
Mario Kart 8
In Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the Olimar amiibo or the Pikmin amiibo will unlock an Olimar-styled suit for the Mii character, with the body of the costume resembling Olimar's spacesuit, and the helmet being designed to look like a space helmet. On the back of the helmet is a Red Pikmin hanging on.
Mario Kart Wii
Super Mario Galaxy
In Super Mario Galaxy's Space Junk Galaxy, there is a ship that bears great resemblance to the Hocotate ship in Pikmin 2. It serves no purpose other than as a planetoid, and hence, part of the level. It is not a precise recreation, and the main features that allow a connection to be drawn are the colors, three fins and two bubble-shaped cockpit windows. That said, during E3 2006, a booth had an early demo version of Super Mario Galaxy with a Nintendo representative explaining the game and demo. In footage from GameSpot, the representative can be heard saying “There are some familiar faces in this demo actually: in one area you can actually go to Olimar and Louie's ship from Pikmin 2, and you can run around on it and it's just floating around in space.”, confirming that the reference is intended.
Super Mario Maker
In Super Mario Maker, players can spawn and collect a Mystery Mushroom on Super Mario Bros.-themed levels, that transforms Mario into a different character. Two of the costumes are from the Pikmin series: Captain Olimar and a trio consisting of the three main Pikmin. In the latter, the three Pikmin are next to each other, in the order yellow (flower), blue (bud), red (leaf), when facing the right.
Captain Olimar's costume is available by scanning an Olimar amiibo, or by getting it randomly, while the Pikmin costume is purely random. Each character costume also has sounds and sprites that reference the original series. The following table lists the references for the two Pikmin costumes. Both costumes use the standard Super Mario Bros. Starman theme.
In addition, there are also some minor Pikmin 3 audio references. By touching the "K" in the title screen's "MAKER", an effect imitating an old movie is applied, and pressing the letter again will play a sci-fi "click" sound and remove the effect. The sound is the same sound that plays when a player touches the Go Here! button while it is grayed out. When the rocket button is held down when editing a course, a small animation is played that represents the stage being cleared, and is accompanied by a random sound. One of the possible sounds is a whimsical rocket whir, very similar to the sound the S.S. Drake makes when the cosmic-drive key is engaged.
Super Mario Odyssey
The flowers that decorate some floors, especially those in the Wooded Kingdom, bear a striking resemblance to Chaenostoma cordatum, the Pikmin flower. Besides looking similar, they also trail in a similar way to the real-world plant. The flowers that make up the flower roads in the Wooded Kingdom also look like Chaenostoma cordatum, but the leafs and trail are not as similar.
Additionally, a boss in the game called the Mechawiggler heavily resembles pinchipedes, bosses in Pikmin Adventure. Both have mechanical segments with purple spherical weak points, flip themselves over when attacked, and overall look like centipedes.
Super Smash Bros. series
Super Smash Bros. Melee
Of Super Smash Bros. Melee's nearly 300 trophies, two are based on Pikmin. One features a group of standing red, blue and yellow Pikmin, while the other is a trophy of Captain Olimar that can only be obtained if there is a Pikmin save on the memory card. Interestingly, Melee came out before Pikmin did.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Smash Bros. Brawl is the third installment in Nintendo's cross-series 3D fighting game. Captain Olimar debuts as a playable character (referred to as Pikmin & Olimar) and his home stage is Distant Planet, a stage based on PNF-404, particularly Awakening Wood. There are 21 trophies and 16 stickers from the Pikmin series in this game.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U
Olimar returns as a playable character in the fourth entry of the Super Smash Bros. franchise. Alph also appears as four of his alternate skins. In the 3DS version, Distant Planet returns as a stage; in the Wii U version, the Garden of Hope appears as a new stage instead.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Olimar returns as a playable character, with Alph as four of his alternative skins. Both the Distant Planet and the Garden of Hope stages are available. Many characters from the Pikmin series are in Ultimate as spirits. A full list of them can be seen here.
WarioWare: Smooth Moves
The Empress Bulblax makes a cameo appearance in the game WarioWare: Smooth Moves, wherein the player must tilt the Wii Remote to roll the beast from side to side in an endeavor to squash Pikmin. This mini-game is called "Pikmin 2", and the music is the theme played on the demo screens in Pikmin. The same music is also used as the "Louie's Dark Secret" theme in Pikmin 2. The level background resembles the last floor of the Frontier Cavern (which also has an Empress Bulblax as the boss in that sublevel), and is likely to be the same location.
Pikmin is a microgame in WarioWare: D.I.Y., made by 9-Volt. A target goes across the screen and the player must tap the touchscreen when it reaches the nectar, thus throwing the Pikmin towards it. If the player misses, the Pikmin will fall into the water, its spirit will come out, and the game will end in in a loss. If the Pikmin reaches the nectar, it will flower and the player will win.
The same Pikmin microgame that appears in WarioWare: Smooth Moves, titled "Pikmin 2", re-appears in WarioWare Gold, which is a compilation of past microgames. The microgame is mostly the same, but the Pikmin are larger and more animated, and there are few of them. This is likely so that the Pikmin are more visible on the Nintendo 3DS's screen.
In addition, in one game mode, Wario can make crude drawings of amiibo characters. The Captain Olimar amiibo and the Pikmin amiibo are compatible for this mode. Olimar's drawing shows him posing like in the amiibo, as well as the Red Pikmin and Blue Pikmin with him. The Pikmin amiibo results in a drawing without the terrain pieces, and just the Pikmin all at the same level, although the Rock Pikmin is missing.
Other game series
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy +
Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash
In Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, a "Pikmin" Figure is unlocked by scanning the Olimar amiibo in the Chibi-Capsule machine.
Kid Icarus: Uprising
Kirby: Planet Robobot
A Red Bulborb toy is found in all versions of Nintendogs on a shelf in the second-hand shop. It is only part of the pre-rendered background shots and can not be obtained as an actual item for the dogs to interact with.
Nintendo Badge Arcade
Pikmin content appears as badges in Nintendo Badge Arcade. A small variety of images exist, including Captain Olimar, an Onion, and Pikmin. They have the same style as the decoration on the side of Pikmin's boxart, and the prologue recap in the instruction manual.
The house activity for the Nintendo Labo contains a few Pikmin references. The symbol for the Pikmin series, as seen in the Super Smash Bros. games, can show up as a pattern in the wrapper of a piece of candy, or in the base of a cupcake. A strawberry can also be obtained, and its model and textures look remarkably similar to the ones used for the Sunseed Berry in Pikmin 3.
Nintendo Land includes a "Pikmin Adventure" mini-game, in which players play cooperatively as Miis dressed as Olimar or Pikmin to defeat a number of enemies over multiple levels.
One of the random events involves some of the planet's lifeforms being described similar to Pikmin. The title for this event is called "Nimkip", or "Pikmin" backwards. The text reads:
“<Planet> is populated by tiny, colorful lifeforms that straddle the divide between flora and fauna. They lack any serious evolutionary potential, but their group coordination and great strength relative to their size is impressive. Science Officer <name> has taken a shine to them, admitting a particular soft spot for "the red ones".”
Additionally, one of the random system names is "Olimar".
Yoshi's Woolly World
In Yoshi's Woolly World and Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World, the Olimar amiibo unlocks an Olimar-styled Yoshi. The Yoshi is stylized to look like Olimar, and the spikes on the back of its head have the same color as the first three Pikmin.
In the Nintendo 3DS built-in app AR Games, a Red, Yellow, and Blue Pikmin appear on an AR card.
In the Wii U one, first they carry the content across the land and onto an odd ship. Sometimes, a Pikmin will not make it onto the ship, so the ship has to reopen. Then it travels from the metaphorical Wii planet to the metaphorical Wii U planet, that looks like the sun. They then continue to carry their data to the memory core of the Wii U. None of the Pikmin types are from Pikmin 3, and there are no leaders to be seen.
In the Nintendo 3DS Mii Plaza minigame Find Mii, one of the obtainable items for the player's Mii is the Pikmin Hat. This is similar to the Pikmin Hat in the Animal Crossing series, as mentioned above.
In another minigame named Puzzle Swap, there are Pikmin-themed puzzles. The first one features one of each of the three original types surrounded by Seeding Dandelions, and it is a 15-piece puzzle that does not require Streetpass exclusive-puzzle pieces. The other ones are based off of scenes from the Pikmin Short Movies.
The Amazing World of Gumball
The Amazing World of Gumball is a cartoon series that occasionally references video game content. In the episode The Fury, in a retelling scene for a fighting tournament, a creature with a very strong resemblance to a Peckish Aristocrab can be seen.
Mad is a TV series by Warner Bros. with short animated parodies of pop culture. Pikmin is the subject of one skit, titled Pikmin Pest B Gone. It spoofs the typical TV infomercials, and in it, a farmer is distressed about his crops being constantly attacked. The narrator suggests the use of a product called "Pikmin Pest B Gone", which is essentially Captain Olimar on the S.S. Dolphin and a group of Pikmin along with an Onion. The narrator explains how the shipment may take 3 to 5 light-years to arrive, referencing the distance between Hocotate and Earth, and how the Pikmin can attack crop pests and grow in number after bringing back their bodies. The rate at which the Pikmin grow leaves the farmer worried about a new infestation – the Pikmin themselves. The narrator announces that there's a side-product called "Pikmin Pikmin B Gone", which is basically Olimar releasing Red Bulborbs from the S.S. Dolphin to bring down the Pikmin population. Now that the farmer is faced with an infestation of Bulborbs, the narrator suggests using "Pikmin B Gone B Gone". This product takes on the form of a blue S.S. Dolphin, but before he can explain what this is, the farmer decides it is best to just get rid of Olimar instead. He then grabs the Hocotatian and kicks him away.
Steven Universe is a cartoon series that often references video games and anime. In the season 4 short Steven Reacts, a number of game cases can be seen in the background behind Steven. The design of their covers, the logo on them, and the large "GAME" text printed on is similar to GameCube cases. One of games is titled "Pikemen 2", a clear reference to Pikmin 2.
Nintendo Monopoly (2010 edition)
The title card for chapter 42, in volume 5 of the Sgt. Frog manga features Fuyuki in an Olimar-like spacesuit, and three members of the Keroro Platoon behind him, repeated several times over, and dressed similarly to Pikmin. Kururu resembles a Yellow Pikmin, due to the ears, while Keroro and Giroro resemble Red Pikmin and Blue Pikmin, though it's impossible to tell which is which. Atop the "stems", instead of a leaf, bud, or flower, they have a swirl, star, and skull, representative of the three Keroro Platoon members. Fuyuki's suit has the text "Kiyufu", which is his name with the syllables in reverse order, possibly alluring to how Olimar's Japanese name, オリマー?, is just the reversed anagram of マリオ?, Mario.
Steven Universe BOOM! Studios comic
The main page for the Storytime issue of the Steven Universe comic made by BOOM! Studios shows Steven playing a console game that resembles a Pikmin game. On the TV screen, there is a dark-skinned man in a spacesuit throwing a creature that looks like a Yellow Pikmin, except it has a pointy nose like a Red Pikmin. At the top of the screen, there is also some HUD element with bars and a sun icon, most likely the Sun Meter.
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga has unused sprites and conversation strings for a few Nintendo characters who were initially meant to appear in the café as cameos. The sprites contain Captain Olimar and a group consisting of the three basic Pikmin types. In the unused dialog, Olimar would speak to himself about the smell of the new coffee Mario (who he would call "Marlio", an anagram of "Olimar") holds, and attempt to attack Luigi, after seeing him as an enemy. Olimar was then meant to give Mario and Luigi the UV Lamp as a gift, but in the final game, this present was turned into the Cobalt Necktie.
The Pikmin and Captain Olimar were planned to have a significant role in the unreleased GameCube title, Stage Debut.
Super Mario Galaxy 2
During Super Mario Galaxy 2's development, Donkey Kong and Pikmin cameos were proposed but they were turned down by Shigeru Miyamoto. He explained that there has to be a functional reason to include characters of a certain type in a game and that the overall design of the Pikmin, being thin and tall, don't fit in the Mario universe where enemies are short and easy to stomp on.
The following is a list of spotted potential references to the Pikmin series, but whose veracity is debatable. For most of these cases, only a few characteristics of the referenced material matches the Pikmin world equivalent – not enough to completely assume that there is a full reference.
Densetsu no Starfy R
The manga based on the The Legendary Starfy series (specifically, it is loosely based on Densetsu no Starfy 4) features a possible reference to Captain Olimar in chapter seven, Tenkai-koku, Game-Ou Ketteisen. At the end of the chapter, Starfy's best friend Moe is playing a game for the Famicom. According to the cartridge it is known as "Orima Brothers" (オリマブラザーズ?), based on the game Mario Bros.. However, this may have only been a play on "Mario" in reverse, rather than Captain Olimar. Additionally, Captain Olimar's Japanese name (オリマー?) is spelled differently, in that it has a long vowel mark elongating the "ma".
Don't Starve franchise
The survival-game franchise Don't Starve features a character named Wormwood, a humanoid plant brought to life from magic. While boasting the appearance of a leaf Pikmin, he also has a blooming mechanic similar to Pikmin, growing a bulb and eventually a flower, which increases his running speed.
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
Punis are creatures in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. They follow Mario around, a bit like the Pikmin follow a leader. He can have up to 101 of them, and although the Pikmin games also have a limit of Pikmin in the hundreds, it is not 101, but rather 100 Pikmin. Some platforms need a number of Punis on top of them to press down, which can be compared to the paper bags in Pikmin 2. Some Punis also have spheres on top of stems on their heads, that are reminiscent of both a Pikmin's stem, and the antenna and light on leader heads.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies
In one scene, there is a series of storefronts with spooky decorations. One of the signs in the scene reads "Yokai Tofu" and the other "Cat's Tail Noodles", both using a font very similar to Pikmin's font.
The third generation of Pokémon introduced a grass/dark-type Pokémon named Nuzleaf. It has similar characteristics to Red Pikmin, having a pointed nose and a leaf on its head, and its "shiny" form has a red face and "trousers". Its highest stat is attack, and its ability, Chlorophyll, boosts a Pokémon's speed while it is sunny in battle, similar to how Pikmin grow flowers that boost speed after being buried for some time.
The sixth generation of Pokémon introduced a bug/flying-type Pokémon named Vivillon, that has several wing patterns, and the Fancy Pattern which was distributed via the Nintendo Network from July 8th to July 31st, 2014, has each wing contain three different colored flowers; a white, a red, and a lavender flower. This is a possible reference to the Pikmin's flower colors from all three games: white flowers for Red, Yellow and Blue Pikmin, magenta for Purple and White Pikmin, and lavender for Rock and Winged Pikmin.
ROBLOX has a gear called the "Gravity Coil". This gear is a blue spring and bears a resemblance to the Gravity Jumper in both name and design.
The Binding of Issac: Wrath of the Lamb
The Binding of Issac: Wrath of the Lamb features a boss and a boss re-skin known as "Daddy Long Legs" and "Triachnid", respectively. Both bosses act extremely similar to the Beady Long Legs, where it attacks by smashing with its feet and its head must be attacked. Both of their death animations are also very similar. The series is known to reference many Nintendo franchises.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, when an insect is killed, the ghost that floats up is similar to a Pikmin's spirit. In addition, Bertie and Luv's daughter bears a resemblance to Captain Olimar.
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
There is an enemy in The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap called the Puffstool. It is physically very similar to the Puffstool from Pikmin, having a red cap, yellow body, two legs, and even being a similar size due to being Minish-sized. However, the two have different names in Japanese, making the reference likely unintended by the original developers.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker the three goddess statues resemble Red, Yellow, and Blue Pikmin. The statues all have a pole sticking out of their head (resembling a stem) and the Din statue has a nose, the Farore statue has ears, and the Nayru statue has a crack where the mouth should be.
Wii Fit U
In the minigame "Puzzle Squash", there are blocks of different colors that appear to mirror the colors of the Pikmin in the first two games. In the Beginner difficulty, the blocks appear in red, yellow, and blue. In the Advanced difficulty, they appear in red, yellow, blue, purple, and white.
Yoshi's Island DS
The game Ziggurat has an enemy called "zombie carrot". It attacks in large groups, similar to how Pikmin attack in groups, and are carrot-shaped.