Treasures are the main collectible items in Pikmin 2, where they must be retrieved in order to repay Hocotate Freight's debt, and in Hey! Pikmin, where they help refuel the S.S. Dolphin II's Sparklium supply. These objects are usually day-to-day accessories used by real world humans, but to the alien explorers of the Pikmin series, they seem like valuable treasures. The concept of a treasure also exists in Pikmin 3, but only in Mission Mode, where fruits and other valuable collectibles are all referred to as "treasure".
In Pikmin 2
In Pikmin 2, each treasure is worth a certain amount of Pokos, much more than enemy corpses. As such, collecting them is important to repaying the debt. Because they are so important, treasures above ground can be commonly found behind some challenge that must be overcome in order to collect it. Underground treasures are usually easier to reach, but because of the caves' cramped nature, it might be hard to retrieve some treasures without first killing enemies that are in the way. A cave must first be exited successfully before the Poko amount of the collected treasures within is counted and they are considered "collected".
In total, there are 201 unique treasures to collect, with some returning in Pikmin 3 as fruits, bearing the same name. Treasures are normally objects found in the real world, but given ridiculous names and descriptions by the clueless Captain Olimar and his ship. Because some items are directly taken from the real world, culture differences are bound to happen. Because of this, some treasures change in appearance, name, value or index number between versions of the game. That said, there is a total of × 26,985 worth in treasures in the US version, × 26,885 in the European version, and × 26,181 in the Japanese version.
In both above-ground areas and caves, most treasures are out in the open, but they can also be found inside of enemies and buried in the ground. Whether a treasure is buried or not depends on the treasure itself, meaning that if the same buried treasure appears in a different game mode or the game files are changed to make it appear elsewhere, then those appearances will be underground as well.
Every time a treasure is collected, a cutscene plays, as explained here.
In Hey! Pikmin
Although it is possible to collect Sparklium from seeds, treasures are the main source of Sparklium since they are worth much more. Each area has some number of treasures, usually 3, and some areas are dedicated exclusively to the collection of a special treasure. To collect one, Captain Olimar must touch it, so if he cannot reach one, the Pikmin will have to carry it to him instead. Treasures are normally found out in the open, but can be inside certain enemies as well. The most valuable treasures are found in bosses at the end of each sector.
List of treasures
The Treasure Hoard is an in-game menu in Pikmin 2 that lists all collected treasures. In this screen, the player is able to learn a treasure's value in Pokos, read Olimar and the ship's notes and sales pitch, and see a dynamic view around the object using a free camera mode.
The Treasure Gauge is an Exploration Kit upgrade in Pikmin 2. With it, a needle appears on-screen, and the closer the current leader gets close to a treasure, buried or not, the more to the right the needle turns, and the louder it beeps. When there are no more treasures in a sublevel, the icon on the screen will become grayscale.
There is a mechanic in Pikmin 2 that can change the weight of some treasures inside strong enemies. If after defeating the beast, the player does not have enough Pikmin to carry the treasure, its weight will decrease to match the number of Pikmin, to a minimum of 1. Each Purple Pikmin counts as 1, despite having the carrying strength of 10.
This mechanic prevents the scenario where the player fights against a tough enemy until the end, but can't claim the reward because they are short on Pikmin. The change happens when the treasure pops out of the beast, which means that this feature can be triggered either if the player brings too few Pikmin with them to the sublevel, or if too many Pikmin die in battle. It also means that if the player loses Pikmin after the battle, they risk being unable to carry the reward back.
The following list contains every treasure possessing this property:
The very first treasure that is used to repay the debt in Pikmin 2 is not acknowledged in-game, and is only seen in the opening cutscene. It is a bottle cap that Olimar brings in his hand as a souvenir to his son. When he drops it after hearing the debt's total amount, the Hocotate ship beams it up and knocks down × 100 from the debt total, turning it into a round × 10000. It is a small white bottle cap, smaller than collectible ones seen in-game, and is slightly bent. Although very hard to see, due to the way it faces from the camera, the face is cyan, has a red border with the white words "SHIZAKIPIKI SODA" written twice, and has a red star in the center. This is a fictional brand, with "piki" being short for Pikmin.
Some treasures in Pikmin 2 are branded objects from brands that exist in the real world, and are the only example of product placement in the Pikmin games.
Some Pikmin 2 treasures change in name, location and appearance in the different versions of the game, but are all defined by specific internal icon names. There are 201 icons shared across the three versions, though many change which treasure they are assigned to. This table was created in order to help compare the different icons for each treasure, by its internal name.
Names in other languages