- This article is about the real world locations in which games are released. For the areas in the Pikmin series, see Areas.
Due to the different cultures and languages in the world, some aspects of the Pikmin games had to be changed in each region. These changes are most pronounced in Pikmin 2, where the in-game treasures are actual items in the real word, and due to the cultural differences, not all players would recognize the objects and brands existing in the original Japanese version of the game.
There are three main game release regions: Japan, United States of America, and Europe. The Pikmin games are released all over the world, but there are only three main versions for each, one focused on each region.
The headquarters of Nintendo EAD, the Pikmin game developers, are located in Kyoto, Japan. As such, the development of each game is done in Japanese and consequentially, the first version to be developed is the Japanese one. Either shortly before release or after, the game is then sent to be localized for the United States (by Nintendo Treehouse) and Europe. More than just a translation of the Japanese game, some graphics, sounds, scripts or objects may be altered in order to fit the culture of the region.
This holds true for the Pikmin games. For all three main titles, the Japanese version is developed first, and content is then altered to suit the American and European consumer base. The Australian version uses the European changes.
Commonly, the words "NTSC" and "PAL" are used to describe the different regional versions of the game. These terms are, however, partially incorrect, as the words themselves refer to the color encoding systems used for analogue television. In order to play a specific version of a game, the television must match the color encoding. This has since been discredited for the Wii U onward with the use of HDMI cables. For the most part, the US uses the NTSC system and Europe and Australia use the PAL system. The boxart of the European and Australian versions of the Pikmin games also contains the word "PAL" next to the Nintendo logo, as do most GameCube and Wii games. These factors helped popularize the use of the terms "NTSC" and "PAL" to categorize the game regions, inadequate as they may be.
Other common names and terms for the region versions of a game are:
- Japanese: J, JAP, JP, NTSC-J.
- United States: U, US, USA, NTSC, NA (North America).
- Europe: E, EU, EUR, PAL.
- Australia: A, AU, AUS, O, OC, PAL.
This article or section is a short summary on the regional differences in the games.
In order for the games to be enjoyed in several places along the world, the in-game text is written in a different language, depending on the version that's being played. The Japanese version of the Pikmin games has Japanese text, the US version has English text, and the European version has the ability to choose between English, Spanish, Italian, French and German. Another common change between versions is the boxart: the front normally contains a logo in Japanese or English, and the back contains text in Japanese, English, or the aforementioned European languages.
It's also quite normal for the English used in the European version to be British English, but this isn't always the case (the European name for the Armored Cannon Beetle Larva is the same in Pikmin 2, but the first word is localized as "Armoured" in Pikmin 3) – even the same game can alternate between American and British spelling.
Other types of changes can exist for several reasons. One persistent difference that became standard for the European version of Pikmin games, starting on New Play Control! Pikmin, was the rename of Wollywogs, Yellow Wollywogs and Wogpoles to Wollyhops, Yellow Wollyhops and Wolpoles, respectively. The reason for this change is likely due to Nintendo assuming that British players would find the term "wog" offensive. Regardless, the enemy reel in New Play Control! Pikmin was not updated to reflect this.
In the case of Pikmin, it was decided before the European GameCube release that skipping the sunset cutscene by pressing would be convenient, so that feature was added for that version of the game. All regional versions of New Play Control! Pikmin also allow skipping the cutscene. In addition, the Japanese version contains an option in the options menu that allows the player to toggle between a "child" mode and an "adult" mode; the former makes the text easier to read. Finally, the Secret Safe requires 85 Pikmin to carry it in the Japanese version, and 40 Pikmin in the other versions.
Due to the need to support 50 Hz displays, Pikmin runs at a slower framerate in the European version, running at only 25 frames per second in-game, as opposed to the 30 frames per second framerate of the other regions (which use 60 Hz displays). Due to the game running slower and events taking longer, some cutscene songs were extended for this version. Support for 60 Hz displays in the European version was only added in New Play Control! Pikmin.
In the Japanese version of New Play Control! Pikmin, an exclusive fifth attract mode movie is present. The European and Korean versions of New Play Control! Pikmin also correct most of the sped-up enemy sounds that the Wii version of the game has, but made some Onion sound effects sped up.
There are a couple of differences that were first introduced in revision 1.02 of the Japanese version, meaning that for these points, revision 1.01 of the Japanese version is different from the US version, the European version, and revision 1.02 of the Japanese version:
- The sunset cutscene softlock was fixed.
- Players in The Impact Site cannot go from the cardboard box's top to the left side rim of the tree trunk, but this became possible in revision 1.02.
- If the player whistles several Pikmin together, the Pikmin counter for the Pikmin in the group will instantly jump from the old number to the final number, in revision 1.02. Revision 1.01 and all versions after 1.02 have the number run up gradually.
|Comparison between the Japanese, US and European icons for denchi_2_red.|
During development, Pikmin 2 needed more than just a translation, so that the in-game treasures would reflect items familiar to each region's culture. An example would be the treasure with the internal name
denchi_2_red: in the Japanese version, this corresponds to a red battery of the Japanese brand "National Hi-Top". During localization for the US, it was likely decided that there were too many batteries in the game, and that the American players would not recognize the brand, so this treasure was instead replaced with a lid of Ragú pasta sauce. For the European version, it was assumed that European players would not recognize the Ragú sauce brand, so the treasure was replaced with a PscHitt! lid. The differences between the game's treasures are better detailed on the treasure article.
While most treasure changes in Pikmin 2 come in the form of including items that are familiar to the players on each region, there are a few changes that have been enforced due to potential controversies. One of the most noteworthy examples is Pikmin 2 is the Arboreal Frippery: in the Japanese version, Olimar's notes hint at it actually being a marijuana leaf. In the US, this reference was removed, but the leaf's green color was kept. Finally, in the European version, the leaf changed color entirely, in order to remove any and all similarities to the drug. The reason for these changes comes from each region's views on drug-related themes.
Other differences in Pikmin 2 also exist, for varying reasons:
- At times, treasures are changed not because of cultural differences, but presumably, because they were deemed too uninteresting. For example, the treasure with the internal name
kan_b_goldis a simple popsicle stick in the Japanese version, and was changed to a tube of lipstick for the following versions.
- In the Japanese version, e-Reader support exists, which had been removed for the other two releases.
- In the Japanese version, the "Hocotate" in Hocotate Transportation Company is written as "Hokotate", which is the way it is written in Japanese.
- In the Japanese version, the intro cutscene lacks The President's face next to the money counter after the Hocotate ship counts the value of the bottle cap.
- In the Japanese version of New Play Control! Pikmin 2 exclusively, there is an extra attraction mode cutscene with Ai no Uta as the song.
- The Nintendo logo when the game is booted up is blue in the Japanese version, and red everywhere else, as is the norm with some Nintendo games.
- The Silencer's value was changed from 666 Pokos in the Japanese version to 670 in the other versions, in order to remove the relation to the number of the Beast from the biblical book of Revelation.
- The sign on the landing site of the Wistful Wild is a stop sign in the Japanese version, as stop signs are triangular. This was changed to a Yield sign in the other releases, so that the triangular shape would not be changed.
- In the Japanese version, the Beady Long Legs' feet can be damaged by any Pikmin type. In all other versions, only a Purple Pikmin's stomp can inflict damage.
- The Spherical Atlas and Geographic Projection have their models rotated in each version. For the Spherical Atlas, this makes it so that the version's region is shown on-camera by default.
- Sometimes, glitches are discovered after a certain release, but before another. If possible, they are fixed before the new release. This happens with the following:
- The Decorative Goo's appearance in the Treasure Hoard depends on the region, where it can show up floating in mid-air, or without a shadow. Details can be found here.
- If the Volatile Dweevil on the Piklopedia is petrified just before exploding, that causes a freeze in the Japanese version, but kills the creature in the overseas releases.
- In the US and European versions, the Wistful Wild sunset theme's melody was changed to use flutes instead of a music box. This only lasts for one loop though, before the game uses the music box like in the Japanese version. Interestingly, none of the New Play Control! versions of the game have this melody change, and they all use the music box like the Japanese GameCube version.
- On the saved game selection menu, there are two labels explaining what / do. The buttons are represented with the normal letters "X" and "Y" inside bubbles in the Japanese version, while the US and European versions use the GameCube button icons. For the New Play Control! Pikmin 2 versions, the and icons are similar between all versions, but a bit simpler in the Japanese version.
- In the Japanese version, a wild Pikmin can be sent to its Onion if there are 100 Pikmin on the field and the game needs to spawn a new sprout from an extinct type. In the US and European versions, wild Pikmin are not eligible to be removed from the field in this scenario.
- Text differences:
- The word "monstrous" in the Flare Cannon's entry in Olimar's journal is written that way in the US version, but misspelled as "monsterous" in the European version. The same happens in the Wii release, except the two regions have the words swapped.
- The ship's dialog on the Brute Knuckles was fixed for the European release to correctly call the Exploration Kit item "Rocket Fist", instead of "Rocket Punch". This change only exists in the GameCube version, since the Wii release uses the correct "Rocket Fist" in all regions.
- Olimar's journal entry for the Fleeting Art Form does not have a space between the word "out" and the word "The", in the US version of the Wii release. The European version, as well as all GameCube releases, do not have this typo.
- The US Wii version of Olimar's journal on the Patience Tester uses the same low-quality text as the Permanent Container in the GameCube version.
- The Activity Arouser is called "Activity Booster" in the European Wii version.
- The Frigid Series is called "Frozen Series" in the European Wii version.
- The Lustrous Element's entry in Olimar's journal calls Hocotate "Hokotate" twice, in the European GameCube version.
- Olimar's journal on the Utter Scrap uses the text "I was able to open up some new areas for exploration" in the European Wii version exclusively, and uses "to exploration" instead in all other versions.
- Olimar's journal entry for the Vorpal Platter writes "could effortlessly sheer through the armor plating" in all versions except the Wii European one. That one uses the correct word "shear".
- Louie's notes on the Ranging Bloyster contain the text "an herb". However, the Wii European version changes that to "a herb".
- Olimar's notes on the Orange Bulborb say "with deep orange body" in all versions but the Wii European release, which writes "with a deep orange body" instead.
- The scientific name of the Dwarf Red Bulborb is Pansarus pseudoculii russus in all versions of Pikmin 2 except for the Wii European release, which uses two 'o's in the species name. Since all other breadbug mimics use two 'o's, the single-o'd spelling is presumably a typo.
- Olimar's notes on the Glowstem have the misspelling "resemblence" in all versions but the European Wii release, which uses the correct "resemblance".
- In the European version of Pikmin 2, the rules for 2-Player Battle say, for the boulder item: "Boulder drops on opponent". The US version, as well as all GameCube versions, say "Boulders drop on opponent" instead.
- The on-screen message when the player enters the final level of a cave says "FINAL LEVEL!" in the European region of the New Play Control! version. In the other two regions it mirrors the GameCube version by saying "FINAL FLOOR!" instead. The sublevel indicator in the HUD has the same difference, saying "FINAL LEVEL" or "FINAL FLOOR" respectively.
While not regional differences, it is worth noting that some treasure notes are of considerably lower quality than all other treasures, exclusively in the European version. This is due to numerous typos and rather confusing English. These problems were later spotted by Nintendo, and some were resolved for the New Play Control! release, in the form of typo fixes and full rewrites. For a list of such treasures, see this category.
Like in Pikmin, Pikmin 2 also has an option in the Japanese version to swap between katakana/hiragana and kanji.
The European version supports both 50 Hz and 60 Hz displays in both the GameCube and New Play Control! releases. Unlike in Pikmin, while the game still runs at 25 frames per second on 50 Hz displays (instead of 30), the gameplay is adjusted in order to be at the same speed.
As a Wii U game, Pikmin 3 does not have completely different editions between regions. There are no differences in objects and mechanics between regions, for example. Regional differences still exist, however, in the form of language differences. Various pieces of text, such as voyage logs, character dialog, and fruit notes have to be translated into each language, and various differences in meaning were introduced in each translation. There are separate American English and British/Australian English versions, and besides spelling differences (e.g. "Armored Mawdad" / "Armoured Mawdad"), there are a few things given different names (e.g. "Check-in" / "Talk", "cosmic-drive key" / "cosmic drive key"), and the personality of the Koppaites are slightly different between them. Some of these differences between English dialects were removed in Pikmin 3 Deluxe, which replaced some British/Australian English text with American English text.
Besides that, the following differences exist:
- In the pause menu of Pikmin 3, the text for the day end notification that states how many Pikmin will be left behind does not include a number in the English text in the US and European versions, but it does include a number in other languages.
- Obtaining a platinum rating in a Side Story will make the President in the results screen give a comment using a shocked expression in the Japanese version, but not in the English versions. This is the only use of this shocked icon in the game.
Hey! Pikmin does not have significantly different editions between regions, and instead has multiple sets of text files and game assets that are substituted depending on the 3DS's language setting. The game is available in Japanese, American English, European English, American Spanish, European Spanish, Canadian French, European French, German, Italian, and Korean. While these settings primarily change text, there is one known model difference between different versions: the Revenge Fantasy treasure is a cartridge of the NES game Ice Climber, and uses the different Japanese and American cartridge designs in the different regions.
Text differences between the two English versions of the game are common in treasure and enemy descriptions, but some things have entirely different names between the versions. This includes one area (Scorched Earth in the American version is Charred Plains in the European version), two sections of the Pikmin Park, and the following treasures:
|American English||Colossus in Suspenders||Electric-Lime Hairdo||Incomprehensible Life-Form||Metamorphocistern||Sloshy Nostalgia||Grown-Up Dynamo||Attitude Adjuster||Evidence Pulverizer||Quantum Traveler||Constitution Gate||Single's Seesaw||Consolation Prize||Un-Damaging Javelin||Life-Form Prototype|
|European English||Dungareed Colossus||Electric Lime Hairdo||Incomprehensible Life Form||Metamorphosis Tank||Concentrated Nostalgia||Grown-Up Cell||Rift Ripper||Evidence Pulveriser||Quantum Travaller||Attractive Gate||Single's See-Saw||Blues Eradicator||Lefty-Loosey Lance||Life Form Prototype|
Pikmin Bloom does not have regional differences besides language differences. As the app is a location-based game, it uses real-world geographic data, and hence the app is only available in regions where there is sufficient geographic information in Niantic's database for the game to be playable. An official list of regions where the game is available to download and play can be found at https://niantic.helpshift.com/hc/en/23-pikmin-bloom/faq/3056-availability-by-country-region/.
- The Cutting Room Floor's article on Pikmin, which details regional differences amongst other things
- The Cutting Room Floor's article on Pikmin 2's regional differences
- The Cutting Room Floor's article on Hey! Pikmin's regional differences