Game icon for Pikmin 4 articles, from the September 13th, 2022 Nintendo Direct.

Pikmin 4

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Pikmin 4
The E 10+ box art.
North American game cover.
Japanese name ピクミン 4?
Rating ESRB rating: E 10+ PEGI rating: 3
Console Nintendo Switch
Developer Nintendo EPD
Publisher Nintendo
Genre Action/Adventure/Strategy
Players 1-2 players
Worldwide release date July 21st, 2023
Related games
Predecessor Pikmin 3

Pikmin 4 is the fourth main-series game in the Pikmin series, released in 2023 for the Nintendo Switch. The game sees the newest recruit of the Rescue Corps exploring the planet PNF-404, with the goal of rescuing Captain Olimar, the rest of the Rescue Corps, and other civilian castaways, while also collecting treasures and completing other missions. Elements new to the series include night expeditions, a companion character called Oatchi, and building structures with raw materials.

Plot[edit]

See also: Completion.

In the prologue, Captain Olimar, captain of the S.S. Dolphin, crash-lands on planet PNF-404. He discovers the Pikmin, and also the space dog Moss, who help him to recover the missing parts of his ship. In a playable section of the prologue, he finds the Interstellar Radio, which allows him to send out an SOS signal, in the hope that people on other planets receive the signal and are able to help.

The Rescue Corps, an organization dedicated to rescuing people, receives the signal, but their ship, the S.S. Shepherd, also crashes, scattering the 7 members of the mission in different locations. As a result, their newest recruit, a customizable player character, is sent in the S.S. Beagle to rescue the Rescue Corps, and doesn't crash. They find the space dog Oatchi and the communications operator Collin, then go into the Burrow of Beginnings to rescue the captain Shepherd. After this, they find the Pikmin and repair the S.S. Shepherd by collecting 3 nearby treasures, completing the first day on the planet.

After the first day, the player character visits various areas of the planet to collect treasures and find castaways, finding that there are civilian castaways as well as members of the Rescue Corps. They also encounter leaflings, strange creatures with leaves on their heads who always talk about Dandori, and who challenge the player with Dandori Challenges. One particular leafling with red leaves challenges the player to Dandori Battles. Collecting treasures gives the player Sparklium, and collecting enough of it allows access to more areas. After rescuing the Rescue Corps doctor Yonny, the player unlocks night expeditions, where they can get glow sap which has the ability to cure leaflings and also the ability to prevent turning into one. After collecting enough Sparklium and rescuing the entire Rescue Corps, the player gains access to the Hero's Hideaway, where the red leafling waits in a bunker for a final battle. Defeating it reveals that the leafing is in fact Olimar, and after curing him, the Rescue Corps completes their mission and is able to leave the planet, reaching the game's first ending.

Upon trying to leave the planet, they find that Oatchi does not like being in space, because of the leaf that sprouted on his tail halfway through the first part of the story. They return to the planet with the new goal of curing Oatchi, and hear that a veterinarian from the planet Koppai called Nelle is stranded on the planet. Upon landing in a new area, they see Louie and Moss run away with another Koppaite, Yorke. After rescuing Yorke by defeating Louie in a Dandori Battle, and rescuing Don Bergman elsewhere in the area, the player can visit the final area, where after defeating Louie in a final Dandori Battle and rescuing Nelle, they can access the final cave, the Cavern for a King, where Louie can be found riding the final boss, the Ancient Sirehound. When defeated, the boss drops its collar, the Gift of Friendship, which contains enough hair on it to create a cure for Oatchi, reaching the game's second ending.

Gameplay[edit]

Pikmin 4 is a 3D real-time strategy game, with gameplay divided into blocks of time called days. Each day is 15 minutes long and allows the player to explore 1 area. Within each area there are several caves, which are divided into multiple sublevels which are explored sequentially. While in a cave, the time of in-game day progresses at 1/6th the normal speed. Caves contain the majority of collectibles in the game. The player directly controls 2 characters, the player character and Oatchi, and can use these characters to indirectly control Pikmin. The player character and Oatchi have slightly different abilities. Both of them can have a squad of Pikmin, and can throw and whistle the Pikmin. The player character also has the ability to charge Pikmin and give them other commands (after a certain point), while Oatchi has the ability to rush at objects and jump over small ledges (after a certain point). The player character can also ride Oatchi, or have Oatchi in their squad. The Pikmin have the ability to carry collectibles and to fight hostile enemies. Pikmin can be killed by enemies, and the player character and Oatchi have a health bar which can be depleted by enemy attacks.

There are 3 primary types of collectibles:

  • Treasures are common real-world objects, and are worth some amount of Sparklium. To unlock additional areas, a certain amount of Sparklium must be collected.
  • Rescues are alien characters, some of which are found as castaways and some of which are found as leaflings. Rescuing a castaway or curing a leafling will reveal who that character is and give some biographical information about them. While castaways and leaflings are found in specific locations, the character assigned to each one is not fixed, such that the order castaways are found and leaflings are cured will always be the same. Finding certain characters is necessary to advance the story to beat the game, so a certain number of castaways and leaflings must be found and cured.
  • Onions allow the player to grow Pikmin more easily. They include Onions for different Pikmin types, as well as Flarlic which increases the amount of Pikmin that can be outside at a time.

Structurally, Pikmin 4 is mostly non-linear, letting the player visit caves and collect treasures in any order. While the order of areas is fixed, the things a player does in an area to unlock the next one are mostly not fixed. Uniquely for a Pikmin game, there is no set order of unlocking Pikmin types, as they can be unlocked in multiple orders. Wild Pikmin can be found in caves, allowing a player to unlock a type before finding its Onion. However, the player cannot grow more of a type using the Onion until they have found that type's Onion. Areas and caves have various obstacles in them, some of which require a specific Pikmin type to clear, but the Pikmin type needed to destroy an obstacle can always be found somewhere in that area. Only 3 Pikmin types can be outside in an area at a time, and only 3 can be brought into a cave, though finding Wild Pikmin can increase the number of types the player can use in a cave. Each area and cave has a set of recommended types for the player to use.

In between days, the player visits the Rescue Command Post, a special hub area with no enemies or time limit. Here the characters rescued over the story appear, and can be talked to. Most characters can give the player missions, which challenge the player to do a specific task, and upon completing the mission, they get a reward. These rewards are usually raw materials, which are a special collectible. Primarily found in areas and caves, raw materials can be used to build clay structures, and can be used to buy gear to upgrade the player's abilities. The player character has a tablet, which displays various information about the story and the current state of the game.

Pikmin 4 is primarily a single-player game, but a second player can assist the main player in Co-op Mode, where they can throw items into areas using a reticle called the Pebble Pitcher.

Dandori Challenge[edit]

Main article: Dandori Challenge.

Dandori Challenges are a special type of cave that feature a standalone treasure-collecting mission, with the goal being to collect all the treasures in the stage by the end of the time limit. They function similarly to Challenge Mode from Pikmin 2 and Mission Mode from Pikmin 3, but are incorporated into the main story.

Dandori Battle[edit]

Main article: Dandori Battle.

Dandori Battles are a special type of cave that feature a 1-on-1 battle between the player character and a computer-controlled opponent, with the goal being to score more Dandori points (which are gained by inserting things into your onion) than the opponent by the end of the time limit. They are incorporated into the main story and completing them is required to beat the game, but there is also a standalone Dandori Battle mode accessed from the title screen, which allows battles between 2 players.

Night expedition[edit]

Main article: Night expedition.

Night expeditions are a special activity the player can do, where they visit an area at night instead of during the day. During the night, there are different enemies and they are more aggressive. These expeditions have a tower-defense style of gameplay, where the player must use Glow Pikmin to defend a Lumiknoll from the enemies. There are multiple night expeditions that can be attempted in each area.

Olimar's Shipwreck Tale[edit]

Main article: Olimar's Shipwreck Tale.

Olimar's Shipwreck Tale is an alternate story mode that is unlocked after the player rescues Captain Olimar. In this mode, the player controls Olimar and the space dog Moss to collect the 30 ship parts of the S.S. Dolphin within a 15-day limit, where each day is 11 minutes long. The mode is a reference to Pikmin, and only the original 3 Pikmin types from that game appear.

Content[edit]

Pikmin[edit]

Pikmin 4 has 9 Pikmin types, including 7 returning types from previous games, and 2 new types: Ice Pikmin and Glow Pikmin.

  • Red Pikmin are the first type obtained and are resistant to fire and have a higher attack power.
  • Yellow Pikmin are resistant to electricity, can be thrown higher and dig faster than other pikmin.
  • Blue Pikmin can survive in water, which other types cannot.
  • Ice Pikmin, one of the new types, are resistant to ice, are able to freeze enemies and water bodies and can float throught water zones.
  • Rock Pikmin can break crystal obstacles, have a powerful attack when thrown directly at an enemy and they are inmune to spikes and being crushed.
  • Winged Pikmin can fly over gaps and reach high-up items.
  • Purple Pikmin can carry the strength of 10 Pikmin and are powerful in combat, but are slow.
  • White Pikmin are resistant to poison and are faster than other types.
  • Glow Pikmin, one of the new types, can only be used in night expeditions or caves, are resistant to all elemental hazards, they teleport to the player when they aren't fighting or transporting anything and they can fuse into a light ball that stunts any near enemy.

Areas[edit]

Pikmin 4 has 6 main areas, plus a special tutorial and hub area, the Rescue Command Post. Within each area, there are multiple caves.

Treasures[edit]

See: List of Pikmin 4 treasures

Pikmin 4 has a large number of treasures, forming most of the collectibles in the game. There is a Treasure Catalog which lists all the treasures and has notes on them from multiple characters. Unlike in Pikmin 2, there can be multiple instances of a single type of treasure.

Enemies[edit]

See: Enemies in Pikmin 4

Pikmin 4 has more types of enemies than any other Pikmin game. There is a Piklopedia that has notes on all the enemy species from multiple characters. Every type of enemy has a unique musical layer that is played on top of the area music when the player is close to it, a feature unique to this game.

Plants and fungi[edit]

See: Vegetation in Pikmin 4

Pikmin 4 features a wide variety of decorative vegetation.

Characters[edit]

See: Castaway
See: Leafling

Pikmin 4 features a large number of characters, more than any other game in the series. Almost all of the characters are non-playable. The main character, which is the only one the player controls in the main story (along with Oatchi), is a customizable character.

Controls[edit]

See: Controls in Pikmin 4

In single-player mode, the player can either use a pair of Joy-Con, or a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. In 2-player mode, either player can use a pair of Joy-Con or a Pro Controller, or player 1 can use a single horizontal Joy-Con and player 2 can use a single vertical Joy-Con.

Lists[edit]

Quotes[edit]

See: Rescue Journal
See: Voyage Log
See: Piklopedia
See: Treasure Catalog

Soundtrack[edit]

See: Music in Pikmin 4

References to other series[edit]

See: References to other series in Pikmin 4

Easter eggs and secrets[edit]

See: Easter eggs in Pikmin 4

Mistakes[edit]

See: Mistakes in Pikmin 4

Glitches[edit]

See: Glitches in Pikmin 4

Unused content[edit]

See: Unused content in Pikmin 4

Other information[edit]

  • Game size: 10.36 GB.
  • Supported play modes: TV (1 or 2 players), tabletop (1 or 2 players), and handheld (1 player).
  • Supported controllers: two Joy-Cons, single Joy-Con (only when playing in multiplayer), and Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. When playing in multiplayer with single Joy-Cons, player 1 holds the controller horizontally and player 2 holds the controller vertically.[1]
  • Supported languages: Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Traditional Chinese.[2]

History[edit]

The image shown after the Pikmin 4 announcement trailer in the 9.13.2022 Nintendo Direct.
The first released image of the game, shown in the September 2022 Nintendo Direct.

Pre-announcement[edit]

Before Pikmin 4's official announcement in 2022, various pieces of information about the game were shared by Pikmin series creator Shigeru Miyamoto. This information was sparse and sometimes contradictory, and the lack of official statements by Nintendo made it difficult to work out what was actually happening with Pikmin 4. It is possible that some of these statements were referring to Hey! Pikmin.

The first of these mentions was on November 6th, 2014, when Miyamoto was being interviewed on the recently-released Pikmin Short Movies, during which he said Continually launching campaigns after the release of software will lay the groundwork for the next iteration of "Pikmin" in the future. And needless to say, we want it to be one of the motivations for potential consumers to purchase Wii U. We are making a variety of different efforts., indicating the possibility of another Pikmin game on the Wii U.[3] Not long after, Miyamoto also mentioned wanting to make more Pikmin games in an interview with Smosh Games.[4]

On September 7th, 2015, Eurogamer unveiled that, in an exclusive interview, Miyamoto had confirmed the development of Pikmin 4, and claimed that it's actually very close to completion. Pikmin teams are always working on the next one.[5] In the same article, Eurogamer also revealed a separate statement from a Nintendo representative, which said We can confirm that Pikmin 4 is in development but that is all we can confirm at present. It is not known if the "Pikmin 4" mentioned in that quote is the actual name for the game that Nintendo used, whether it's a placeholder name or not, or if it's just the result of the quote's English translation.[note 1][note 2][6]

In interviews in 2015 and 2016, Miyamoto mentioned wanting to make more Pikmin and Star Fox games.[7] When asked about characters he wanted to develop further at an Apple Store event, he said Yeah, I always wanted Fox McCloud to be a bit more popular than he is. But I think one more would be Pikmin. So I think these two, I'll need to put some more energy into.[8]

On July 7th, 2016, Gamerant interviewed Miyamoto and asked him about the status of the game's development and why there hadn't been any news in the past few months. To this, he replied Yes, you are right, and we're working on [Pikmin 4]. So, you know, when we're in development we have to create a list of priorities and it has been hard to kind of fit that into that list, but we're hopefully starting to see that on the list now.[9]

A second Eurogamer interview with Miyamoto about Pikmin 4 was conducted at E3 2017, during which he stated I've been told not to share anything about this from PR, but I can tell you it is progressing.[10] This was the last time Pikmin 4 was mentioned before its official announcement.

Pre-release[edit]

Pikmin 4 was officially announced in a Nintendo Direct presentation on September 13th, 2022.[11] This announcement was in a section presented by Shigeru Miyamoto, which also promoted Pikmin Bloom and the upcoming Mario movie. A short trailer was shown, featuring a few scenes in a garden-like area and announcing a release window of 2023. Miyamoto provided some more basic details of the game after the trailer, and also showed off a new Pikmin T-shirt design based on the game's logo, which was made available to buy shortly afterwards.

On February 8th, 2023, a Nintendo Direct presentation announced the release date for the game in a new trailer.[12] This trailer showed various short clips of gameplay and cutscenes. A new type of Pikmin was revealed, Ice Pikmin, demonstrating the ability to freeze enemies when eaten and freeze small bodies of water when enough are thrown into them. The trailer then revealed Oatchi, showed treasures to be the main collectible, and hinted at the return of caves from Pikmin 2. The end of the trailer gave a first view of night gameplay.

On June 2nd, 2023, a news article was published on the Nintendo News channel on the Nintendo Switch news application in some regions, which described the plot of the game as "On a distant planet, the Rescue Corps needs a new hero - you!".[source needed]

On June 6th, 2023, a third trailer was published that revealed the basic plot of the game: Captain Olimar had crashed once again, and the Rescue Corps sent to retrieve him also crashed, leaving the player to rescue them all. This trailer showed the player character to be customizable, a first for the Pikmin series.[13] Accompanying this trailer was a major update to the game's Japanese website, which included some plot information and new screenshots.

On June 20th, 2023, Pikmin 4 download cards were released in Japan. These cards featured new screenshots, including one that took place inside a house, and one that seemed to show the game's battle mode.[14][15]

On June 21st, 2023, another trailer was released as part of a Nintendo Direct presentation.[16] This trailer featured a more detailed look at the gameplay, and explained some of the game's new features. The goal of the game was revealed to be to collect treasures to power the Rescue Corps' ship, the S.S. Shepherd. The trailer showed the indoor area first seen on the download card. It also featured a closer look at caves, revealing their larger size and emphasis on puzzles. Dandori Battle mode was shown, as well as the Rescue Command Post. Finally, the night gameplay was revealed to be a tower defense-style challenge using a brand new type of Pikmin, the Glow Pikmin. This trailer was accompanied by the launch of the US and EU websites for the game, the "Pikmin Garden" Japanese website, as well as brand new websites for each region that focus on the series as a whole, which include the Pikmin comic.

On June 26th, 2023, various video game journalists and news sites like IGN[17] and Hobby Consolas[18] published videos showcasing gameplay of the game, giving firsthand accounts of how the game played and its new mechanics. Nintendo also published a short trailer for the game introducing viewers to the Pikmin on the Play Nintendo YouTube channel.[19]

Just before the game's release, some of the developers of Pikmin 4 gave a series of 3 interviews about the development of the game and the series.[20][21][22] In these interviews, they talked about how they attempted to combine elements of Pikmin and Pikmin 2 to create a better Pikmin game. Initially they experimented with the idea of controlling a Bulborb, or being able to ride various creatures, but it became difficult to make a coherent game from that idea. Instead, Oatchi was added, as a character the player could ride that had the abilities of a leader and a Pikmin. The concept of Dandori was a major focus of development, with the game being designed to allow for different playstyles, and the Rewind Time feature was added to make it easier to retry after making mistakes. They decided to incorporate the Mission Mode and versus modes from previous games into the main story, in the form of Dandori Challenges and Dandori Battles, to let the player clear these as they progress. Another change from previous games was bringing the camera closer to the ground, to create a better sense of scale for the world.

Demo[edit]

On June 28th, 2023, a demo for the game was released. In it, players can play the first part of Story Mode with one or two players. The demo contains the tutorial and the first area, the Sun-Speckled Terrace. Once the player has accumulated Icon that represents Sparklium on the wiki, based on the icon found in Pikmin 4. × 1500 and the day ends, they are shown a notification telling them of the end of the demo, and then taken to a screen advertising the final game, with a button to return to the title screen, and another to access the eShop. If the player selects their saved game file again, they can still explore the Rescue Command Post and use its features, but will be prevented from continuing to the next area or landing in the previous one. It is still possible to select a different saved game file or even delete that demo-end file.

The title screen naturally includes the word "Demo" under the logo, and has an extra option, "Nintendo eShop", that when pressed, prompts the player to open the eShop's page for Pikmin 4. The Dandori Battle option exists, but choosing it will simply inform the player of their availability in the full version.

Any progress made in the demo can carry over to the final game. Collecting also gives the player some bonuses: they will obtain 5 Bomb Rocks in the full game and an Oatchi-Rider outfit for their Mii in Pikmin Bloom through My Nintendo. For the latter, a "Send Confirmation" button will appear on the title screen.

Due to it being a demo, a lot of the final content is absent from the game's files entirely. With some Sparklium-farming techniques, it is possible to see the game react to some of the missing content, since the developers never expected a player to be able to reach it from within the demo's limits. This applies to the demonstration video for the Rush Boots in Russ's lab.[23]

Post-release[edit]

A minor update to the game was released on September 27th, 2023, which fixed some bugs and added a loading screen progress bar.

At The Game Awards 2023, Pikmin 4 was nominated for the "Best Family" award,[24] and won the "Best Sim / Strategy" award.[25]

Connections to other games[edit]

See: Canon

Pikmin 4 does not fit neatly into the timeline established by the previous 3 games, as its story contradicts several major details from Pikmin, Pikmin 2, and Pikmin 3. Olimar's Shipwreck Tale is a retelling of the story of Pikmin, though with many details changed. Events from Pikmin 2 and Pikmin 3 are referenced as if they are hypothetical future events.

Credits[edit]

See: Pikmin 4 credits

Gallery[edit]

See more: Category:Pikmin 4 images.

Videos[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • Pikmin 4 is the first main-series Pikmin game to be available in Brazilian, Portuguese, and Dutch.
  • Pikmin 4 uses the Unreal Engine.[14][15]
  • The gap between the releases of Pikmin 3 and Pikmin 4 was 10 years, the longest gap between release dates of any consecutive main-series Pikmin games.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Flag of Japan Japanese ピクミン4?
Pikumin 4
Pikmin 4
Flag of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Chinese
(traditional)
皮克敏4
Píkèmǐn 4
Pikmin 4
Flag of the Netherlands Dutch Pikmin 4 -
Flag of France French Pikmin 4 -
Flag of Germany German Pikmin 4 -
Flag of Italy Italian Pikmin 4 -
Flag of South Korea Korean 피크민 4
pikeumin 4
Pikmin 4
Flag of Brazil Portuguese Pikmin 4 -
Flag of Spain Spanish Pikmin 4 -

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Of note is the fact that the URL for the Eurogamer interview's page starts with "2014-07-20". Since the URLs of all news article pages on eurogamer.net begin with the article's publication date, this could possibly mean that the article was meant to be revealed shortly after the interview, but was held until September of 2015. The article for the second Eurogamer interview states that this interview took place in July 2015.
  2. ^ Also of note is that Pikmin 4 uses the game engine Unreal Engine 4. However, in 2015, Nintendo did not have access to Unreal Engine 4 on any of their console hardware, as support for the engine only started in 2017. It's unknown if this indicates a development reset happened during development, Pikmin 4 was ported from a different engine to Unreal Engine 4, or if "Pikmin 4" in this context referred to a different game, such as Hey! Pikmin or a cancelled spinoff.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Product information for Pikmin 4 on the Japanese Pikmin 4 website, retrieved on April 11th, 2023
  2. ^ Pikmin 4 for Nintendo Switch on Nintendo Official Site, published on February 8th, 2023, retrieved on February 9th, 2023
  3. ^ Miyamoto Hints That Pikmin 4 Could Be In Development on My Nintendo News, published on November 6th, 2014
  4. ^ YouTube video of the interview with Smosh Games in which Shigeru Miyamoto talks about developing Pikmin games (at 04:35), published on January 6th, 2015
  5. ^ Pikmin 4 in development and "very close to completion" on Eurogamer, published on September 7th, 2015
  6. ^ Unreal Engine 4.15 Released on the Unreal Engine official website, published on February 15th, 2017
  7. ^ YouTube video of an interview of Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka by YOGSCAST Kim (at 11:55), published on September 8th, 2015
  8. ^ Miyamoto Confirms Star Fox and Pikmin Will Continue on Gamer Splash!, published on December 11th, 2016
  9. ^ Miyamoto Updates Fans On Status of Pikmin 4 on Gamerant, published on July 6th, 2016
  10. ^ Miyamoto: Pikmin 4 still "progressing" on Eurogamer, published on June 14th, 2017, retrieved on June 14th, 2017
  11. ^ YouTube video of the Nintendo Direct on September 13th, 2022, published on September 13th, 2022, retrieved on September 14th, 2022
  12. ^ YouTube video of the Nintendo Direct on February 8th, 2023, published on February 8th, 2023, retrieved on February 8th, 2023
  13. ^ YouTube video of the character creator trailer, published on June 6th, 2023, retrieved on June 6th, 2023
  14. ^ a b Tweet by Tokyo Game Life on Twitter, published on June 20th, 2023, retrieved on June 20th, 2023
  15. ^ a b Tweet by Genki✨ on Twitter, published on June 20th, 2023, retrieved on June 20th, 2023
  16. ^ YouTube video of the Nintendo Direct on June 21st, 2023, published on June 21st, 2023
  17. ^ YouTube video of IGN playing a preview build of the game, published on June 26th, 2023
  18. ^ YouTube video of Hobby Consolas playing a preview build of the game, published on June 26th, 2023
  19. ^ YouTube video of the "Pikmin on Nintendo Switch" trailer, published on June 26th, 2023
  20. ^ Ask the Developer Vol. 10, Pikmin 4—Part 1 on Nintendo News, published on July 18th, 2023
  21. ^ Ask the Developer Vol. 10, Pikmin 4—Part 2 on Nintendo News, published on July 19th, 2023
  22. ^ Ask the Developer Vol. 10, Pikmin 4—Part 3 on Nintendo News, published on July 20th, 2023
  23. ^ YouTube video of a player completing the demo with over Icon that represents Sparklium on the wiki, based on the icon found in Pikmin 4. × 5000, published on July 8th, 2023, retrieved on July 8th, 2023
  24. ^ Best Family 2023 on The Game Awards, retrieved on December 12th, 2023
  25. ^ Best Sim / Strategy 2023 on The Game Awards, retrieved on December 12th, 2023