When you find all 66 pieces of fruit in Pikmin 3 and talk with the crew before the next day, Alph says that they have found every piece of fruit on the planet. Wait, what? There's no way they've looked through the whole planet for fruit. The areas are likely only a few square feet out of each continent, and we don't even see half the globe!
And then you think about it a bit more and the Fridge Horror creeps in as the question changes from "What about the fruit in the other hemisphere?" to "Why is there no fruit — no fruit at all — on an entire half of the planet?"
Why in the name of God do Olimar and Louie's spacesuits have an "auto-sleep" function? What the hell kind of purpose is that supposed to serve? If it weren't for that, they wouldn't have needed rescuing so much!
My guess? Poorly implemented stasis. It saves energy so they can get through dangerous situations, like a monster's digestive system, without starving to death, etc. In practice... it doesn't turn out so well, as is the habit of Hocotatian technology.
Koppaites breathe oxygen. Hocotatians breathe something else and are killed by oxygen. When Louie is in the Drake, his helmet is off. Why is he not dead?
May creep into Fridge Horror, especially after the implications of the final boss of the second game: just how Hocotatian is he anymore...?
If the Pikmin are really capable of all the things that they do, don't you think that they would have taken over the entire planet by now? Why aren't they the dominant species? Who got them to do what they do in the first place? If you try to judge Olimar, it would look like he was abusing and sending Pikmin to die for his own survival. But then think about what they became. When you first find Pikmin, they were underground. This is because they are the prey of EVERYTHING, and without the ability to fight back, they had almost gone extinct (which is why there is only ONE Pikmin in every Onion). But then Olimar came along and changed everything. He showed them that through numbers and hard work, they could accomplish anything. That is why in the ending, they are seen fighting off the Bulborb. They finally learned HOW to beat them.
Fridge Horror: Olimar helps the Pikmin to reach the top of the food chain? Hooray! The natural order has been completely screwed up. Imagine the devastation to the environment if prey suddenly became predators in real life.
They did, they are called humans. Although Pikmin were near extinction when Olimar found them, it was implied that they were intelligent. Although it's not sure what would happen with them becoming the "superior race" of the planet, it is completely possible it could be something similar to what happened with humans.
Except the Pikmin aren't really at the top of the food chain, at least not while on their own. Most of the tactics that Olimar uses involve throwing the Pikmin. Without him around, they would have to use inferior tactics, like swarming. Swarming is effective on some enemies, especially in large enough numbers, but is nearly suicidal against other enemies. This could explain why in Pikmin 2, the Onions are found with five Pikmin. It's more than the one that each of them were found with in the first game, but it's not the potentially hundred or more that you left them with.
The Pikmin are capable of jumping outside of normal gameplay (as shown by the first game's good ending, the positions of the yellow Pikmin in 2, and the lilly pads in 3), and thus could use most of the same tactics that the player uses, but probably just aren't smart enough to fight nearly effectively as they do with a leader.
It also makes you wonder why the enemies will attack the captains, but only actually EAT the Pikmin. Then you remember the concept of the guys. The captains are humanoid and the Pikmin are plants. All the predators are herbivores.
I don't know about this... Have you seen some of the things those monsters eat? Pieces of space ships aren't usually part of a vegetarian diet.
Also, spacesuits don't agree with the diets of most of the creatures.
Most creatures don't know how to tell a spacesuit from flesh, just plants from animals.
It's possible that the predatory animal's intention is to eat Olimar, but they want to pull off his space suit first. Similar to how one might pull the exoskeleton off of a lobster. Olimar's suit however, is rather sturdy and even if it is damaged, he can just be beamed back to his ship.
When Olimar crash-landed on the surface of the Impact Site, the Dolphin made said landing due to being struck by a stray meteor. Later in the Forest of Hope, it's revealed one of Olimar's ship parts is the Nova Blaster, and Olimar's description of it explained that it's powerful enough to blast through stars. note Nova Blaster - "This emits a dazzling burst of light capable of destroying almost anything! I'm not exactly sure about this, but the promotional brochure claims that its blasts can travel in the currents of space-time, smashing through stars and into the rifts of space. This is a weapon of such incredible destructive force that it can blast stars into tiny pieces... It has a strange allure." Why, then, didn't Olimar use such a powerful weapon against the meteor before it could strike the Dolphin and lead to him being stranded in the first place? What's more, the Nova Blaster is not a vital part of the Dolphin, hinting that if he can't get every piece back, it's not important enough to fly off without searching for it, putting him at risk of repeating the same incident that made him stranded the first time around.note Luckily, Pikmin 2 confirmed not only did Olimar gain all 30 parts within the 30 days canonically, but wasn't struck by another meteor in his return home. Why? Because it can't. Olimar was hinted in his description given of other parts that he is actually very gullible when buying parts for the Dolphin, which led him to buy parts such as a large bolt that is supposed to be extraordinary without any real clue what makes it so extraordinary from every other (possibly cheaper) bolts note Extraordinary Bolt - "I bought this incredible bolt because the salesman told me it is of extraordinary quality that is indiscernible to the average person. Exactly what makes it so extraordinary is a secret. But just look at it! Extraordinary! This bolt's bolt holds the kind of value that only a true connoisseur can understand.", parts he either never did any research on how they work that he has because he's told they were necessary note Geiger Counter - "Every spaceship needs one of these, but I don't actually know what it's for. Every once in a while, it goes wild and lets out a lot of noise, but I never pay much attention to it, so it doesn't do me much good. I really should read that instruction manual one of these days! This noisy gauge is always letting of [sic] spontaneous clicks and buzzes. It can be kind of annoying.", parts he doesn't understand even with research note Analog Computer - "This computer conveys the kind of vague data that falls outside the range of ones and zeros. Actually, to be honest, it's a little bit too vague, so it isn't very helpful.", parts he doesn't understand in general note Gluon Drive - "Using the quark-binding metaphysical properties of gluons, this device... Well, it's... very scientific, and I don't fully understand it myself, but it was very expensive... I have no idea how this works, but it means the Dolphin will again lift off with its characteristic roar!", or had been cheated on otherwise trying to install the parts in the first place note Zicronium Rotor - "This is made from rust-proof zirconium, which is particularly suited to making spaceship parts. I had to pay a lot extra to have this installed, and I suspect the mechanic overcharged me.". Either the Nova Blaster doesn't actually work, or if it did, it doesn't work with as much power as its advertisement had led it to believe. Olimar knew this, which was why he didn't think to use it against the meteor, and why he's not above abandoning the part if he's unable to recover all 30 of them in time despite how likely it is for a repeat incident.
Or, it is possible that the Nova Blaster is too powerful to use against an asteroid without getting himself or the entire planet caught in the blast. He may not be able to set the Blaster to a lower setting, which may why he doesn't consider it important enough to warrant going out of his way to get it. After all, a blaster that can smash through stars is just a bit overkill for a tiny little asteroid, right?
Actually, in the back story provided in the original manual for the first game, Olimar had his ship set to auto-pilot and was getting some tea while that was happening. It was also implied that Olimar had traveled that path many times before, so it could be presumed that Olimar was so use to traveling that path that he didn't expect a random meteorite to hit him, and thus when it was about to happen, it caught him by surprise and he didn't have enough time to activate the Nova Blaster.
There's a cool little theory. In Pikmin 1, Olimar crashes to PNF-404 when a meteor crashes into him, and his Guard Satellite didn't detect it. At the Impact Site, a few days later, he discovers the Goolix, a gelatinous creature. When it dies, it doesn't leave behind a corpse. It just kind of disappears. The final boss of Pikmin, the Emperor Bulblax, disappears when it dies too, more on this later. In Pikmin 2, the Water Wraith is another gelatinous creature, whom disappears when defeated. No corpse, or ghost. By the end of Pikmin 2, we find that Louie had been abducted by the Titan Dweevil, and guess who disappears into a blue mist as they are defeated too? Yes, the Titan Dweevil leaves behind no ghost, nor a corpse. Just Louie and some assimilated weapons. That leaves Pikmin 3, where Olimar has been abducted by the Plasm Wraith, another gelatinous creature, who had a strange fondness for Olimar. We see it survives it's encounter with our beloved captains, as well. Ever heard of the Umibōzu? It's an old Japanese folk lore creature, that capsizes ships, and kills the captains. There are even some stories about the captains loving treasure, and the Umibōzu stealing that away. They can shapeshift as well. It is also said that if a captain survives the encounter, the Umibozu will hunt him down and kill him another day. The theory is essentially, that the Amibouzu, which is what the Waterwraith AND Plasm Wraith are named in Japan, crashed Olimar's ship, and captures him, because Olimar got away the first two times. I believe there's more to it as well, but that would require a little more study...
One problem with this thoery that made it a bit hard to believe, as stated the Umibozu will track down the captains and kill them if they get away in the first encounter. If this is the case, then why is it the Plasma Wraith is shown caring for Olimar instead of killing him when it had the chance? However, though that is one major contradiction to this thoery, I did come up with my own explaination for why it does this instead of killing Olimar.
At the start of the game, it's mentioned that something went wrong that caused the Drake's crash. Even in the ending cutscene, it's still left up to the imagination as to why it happened or what caused it. Maybe the Umibōzu caused it to crash like it did Olimar's ship, and tried to take the Cosmic Key Drive because it was the most precious 'treasure' the Koppai crew had, as it allowed them to return to their home planet. However, Olimar ended up getting to it first, and because of that the Plasm Wraith captures him.
However, it's unable to get it off his person. It may have actually attempted to kill Olimar shortly after, but before it could it starts to sense the Koppai crew feveriously searching for Olimar, holding him in such high importance because he has the drive key that the Umibōzu starts to consider him as a 'treasure' in regards to the Koppaites, and thus starts to treat him as such. After all, Olimar was apparentally still searching around the planet while the Koppai crew was sense he planted some upgrades there shortly after Charlie landed, so we don't know the exact time Olimar got capture, which might have gave the Plasm Wraith enough time to reconsider killing him.
Eh, I'm sure there's probably a better explaination for why the Plasm Wraith didn't kill Olimar when it had the chance, but that's the best I got.
When you find the Hocotate ship in Pikmin 3, the gold plating is gone. As you may know, Hocotate Frieght is in debt once again. So why is the gold plating gone? Because Shacho sold the gold plating to pay off part of the debt!
At first fear of night seems silly since the predators at the end of the day are the same ones you have been dragging to the onions already. More Bulbors are awake but the stronger Buborb types do not sleep during the day anyway and likely would be going to seep right now. But then, Pikmin 3 introduces the Vehemoth Phosbat, which is practically invincible in the dark and shown to have a large brood. Now all the sudden nighttime seems more dangerous.
In Pikmin 2, some players felt bad sending Pikmin to their death over something that wasn't a life-or-death matter like last game, where Olimar had to get off Earth before his Life-Support gave out. But, later in the game you get e-mails from your boss about how he's on the run from the All Devouring Black Hole Loan Sharks. If repaying the debt wasn't a matter of life and death before it certainly is at that point!
Not to mention you have to get Louie back after you repaid the debt.
Why do the Pikmin follow the captains? If one looks closely at the Pikmin closer to them, they're looking at the light from the antenna. The Pikmin are like cats that want to follow a laser pointer!
Oxygen is poisonous to Olimar, presumably because of his Bizarre Alien Biology. Pikmin are part plant, and therefore probably photosynthesize. Photosynthesis converts carbon dioxide into oxygen. The Pikmin were unwittingly killing him, bit by bit.
Uh... he has a spacesuit. The oxygen emitted by the Pikmin isn't going to kill him any faster than the oxygen already present in the planet's atmosphere.
However, this goes straight back to fridge horror when Olimar return back to his planet after paying off the dept, Purple and White Pikmin in toll a board the ships hull. If we're to assume that it's actually carbon dioxide Hocotatians breath...
Pikmin is already unnerving on its own, but then let it sink in that the Pikmin planet is strongly implied to be, and most likely is, Earth in the future. Now take into account that when you don't collect the necessary ship parts in the first game, Olimar dies, but is turned into a Pikmin by the other Pikmin. Considering that, and the fact that there are some very recognizable items that can be found on the planet, it makes you wonder if the first Pikmin in existence might really have been some form of reincarnated human beings...
How is this supposed to be scary? Doesn't seem that bad to me.
Given that Pikmin are practically on the bottom of the food chain, I find it quite frightening.
Ai no Uta, the theme used in a bunch of the Japanese Pikmin commercials, doesn't make this any better. The lyrics are most likely sung from the point of view of some Pikmin. The song is about being plucked from the ground, fighting for Olimar, and then being eaten. Oh, and apparently Olimar doesn't even have to care about the Pikmin. According to this song, they're pretty much throwaway.
Fridge Brilliance: Namida Ga Afureda made up for it. It told us that Olimar really DOES care for his Pikmin, he just didn't know how to phrase it. Now in Pikmin 2, there's no time limit. He now has all the time he needs to tell them his thanks!
In the first game, the fact that if all your Pikmin die, then they become extinct strongly suggests that the Single Red, Yellow, and Blue Pikmin you find are the last, in not a few of the last of their kind.
Made worse if it happens inagame, since the extinction of a Pikmin color in-game will cause the onion to sprout a new seed the next day. The Pikmin actually WERE extinct until Olimar reactivated the onions.
How does a Pikmin that gets dragged back to a Breadbug's nest die?
Maybe they just can't climb back out, and the game marks them as dead because there's no way for them to return to play?
It gets eaten. That's it. Not so horrifying, you see it daily in the game.
In the first game, Dwarf Bulbears only appear on day 16 and afterwards. At first, it apparently means it would be a good idea to kill as many Spotty Bulbears as possible before then... but then the very likely possibility that they are pregnant hits home.
Not matter what you do, at the start of every sequel, you find that the Pikmin are back down to the bottom of the food chain; most onions only have one seed and in the case of Pikmin 3 you have to save several onions after they've been stuck. It's possible that they've become over reliant on space-travelers telling them what to do to survive.
Given the state of the Pikmin prior to the first game, that is to say, extinct, it's safe to say that they're no worse off for the intervention of the captains, and were no more self-reliant before than they are now.
One of the treasures in Pikmin 2 is the directional pad of a NES or Gameboy. What unholy force is present on the planet that can actually destroy Nintendo hardware?
PNF-404 is Earth millions of years later. The only remnants of civilization left are items from early 2000 or so, like batteries, globes and pieces from Nintendo controllers. Which means that whatever caused the humans to go extinct happened very recently today.