While the Pikmin are plain adorable, it isn't all fun and games, bad things will happen.
- Ever heard the song Ai no Uta? The one that sounds "cute" and "calming"? Yeah...that's only if you don't know what the words actually mean. You can hear a fairly literal English cover here. The lyrics are a complete Player Punch to the gut, especially the last line, "...but we won't ask you to love us."
- The song is just more heartbreaking/heartwarming as you analyze it. The Pikmin are doing this all because they care so much about Olimar and want to help him. So badly that they'll put themselves into danger, fully knowing that some of them will die, just to help Olimar. And they want nothing in return, not even Olimar's love. And they even strive to try harder. The Pikmin are the most selfless creatures ever, and they don't even ask for recognition.
- The counterpart to the above song, Namida Ga Afureta, is just as heartbreaking. Translated to 'Tears Overflowing', the song is in Olimar's point of view, who regretted that he could never truly express his gratitude and love to the Pikmin he owed his rescue to at the end of the first game.
- If you let yourself get attached to them, a single Pikmin death can be this.
- When a Pikmin dies its soul floats away with a depressing half moan half wail.
- Did you forget any Pikmin out in the field at the end of the day? If so, you're treated to cutscene of the left behind Pikmin being chased and eaten by the area's predators. Or even more heartbreaking, the remaining Pikmin desperately trying to make it back to the ship as it takes off without them... and it becomes worse in the third game, where they are given unique cries in panic when this happens.
- Bulbmin. Sure, they're part nightmare fuel, but think about it. You kill their leader and then they turn to you. You use them along with your trusted allies, and they get you out of tight spots...then, you abandon them when you leave, and they just look up at you and frantically swarm the geyser... what happens to them?
- That is, unless you throw them into a Candypop Bud and change them into a Pikmin you can bring above ground.
- Pikmin Extinction. This occurs when you lose every single Pikmin you have and having none left in the Onion. Hundreds of little plant creatures... and you're responsible for them all dying. Feel bad yet? Olimar certainly does:
"The Pikmin have all perished because of my own carelessness. I am an utter disgrace as a leader... How can I continue to collect parts without them? Still the Onions join me in low orbit, as if this Pikmin extinction had never happened. I shan't sleep tonight..."
- The credits to the first Pikmin, arguably.
- The third game's credits could also qualify, especially for one who grew up with the first two Pikmin games.
- Some of Olimar's Voyage Logs.
"I wonder if I shall ever be able to escape from this world. How much suffering must I endure before I can finally see my family back home again? Still... When my heart grows too heavy, I take comfort in my efforts. I will get home... or I will expire trying."
"I have been stranded on this planet for some time, and I have grown used to my life here. At times, I even find it quite bearable. I know that as soon as I return, I'll once again be subjected to daily ridicule by my despicable boss... If only I could be a Pikmin... NO!!! I must not think such thoughts! I have a family! I will not give up! Ever!"
- Day 24:
"At this point, I no longer care what happens. Surely, not even a last-minute push can guarantee my success. Now that I think about it, my wife always said that I gave up too easily... what does she know, anyway?! When did she become a licensed psychiatrist? ...now I am upset. I guess I will just go to sleep early tonight."
- Day 25:
"I suppose I have done well to get by without much motivation. I have made it this far without any hope."
- Day 28:
"I am so very tired."
- If you have less than 25 parts by day 30, Olimar manages one sentence:
- If you lose a large amount of Pikmin in 3, Captain Charlie may make a diary where he holds a moment of silence, then says that watching a soldier perish is something that you'll never get used to, but you have to carry on anyway.
- The Golden Ending of the first Pikmin can be pretty emotional, watching Olimar bid the Pikmin farewell as they look on sadly.
- Think Olimar gaining control of the Pikmin ruined their lives? This fan video might make you think again. It begins with a large crowd of Pikmin together simply relaxing, messing around, or even falling in love. Then a mass of Bulborbs attacks and drives them away. It only goes downhill from there. Sheargrubs eat some, a group of four is cut in half when a Snitchbug carries two away, and it's cut down to only a pair of Pikmin. Music begins playing as they finally find nectar, implying that things might start going another direction... before a Burrowing Snagret eats one of them. The last Pikmin runs in panic, finally resting to look up at the night sky all alone and think back about all of the previous tragedies. Wait, night? When the creatures get more active? It finds itself surrounded by a number of predators, before the camera zooms out to reveal a certain crashed ship. It's very slightly implied that the race somehow survived to make the Onions Olimar would later find and use to help rebuild them, but still, damn.
- After spending the whole second game with the Jerk with a Heart of Gold Hocotate ship, it was pretty jarring to see it broken and silent in the ground in Pikmin 3. One can only hope they eventually dug it out and repaired it.
- Brittany's notes on the Tremendous Sniffer (a pear). She at first compares the texture to her Aunt Bea, and likens the fruit's shape to that of her aunt's nose. After a brief tangent about her aunt's nose...
Brittany: I miss my aunt. I want to go home.
- Let's talk about Emperor Bulblax for a bit. He's the final boss of the first Pikmin game, and any attempts to throw troops at him result in them harmlessly bouncing off. So how do you kill him? Well, there are a bunch of bomb rocks, and a yellow flower nearby... If you hadn't guessed yet, the way to beat him is giving your yellow Pikmin bomb rocks, and then throwing them at the Bulblax to eat. It's not a very sad moment if you don't care about your Pikmin, but if you do, it's unbearable. It is possible for the Yellow Pikmin to throw the bomb rock before the Bulblax can eat them, but it requires very good timing.
- The Dolphin. Olimar prizes her dearly and helped design her. During a delivery the Dolphin is cast into the atmosphere of PNF-404, breaking apart and plummeting to the surface. Olimar and the Pikmin spend weeks frantically searching for the Dolphin's scattered parts, toiling to tear down walls, build bridges, battle enormous beasts, recover the parts, and carry them back to the stricken ship. In the process dozens or even hundreds of Pikmin are eaten, crushed, buried, drowned, and burned alive as they dutifully soldier on without protest. A month later the Dolphin is finally reassembled and repaired, returning Olimar home safely... Only for the ship to be unceremoniously repossessed by loan sharks due to financial incompetence and a co-worker who can't stop devouring everything in sight. Even worse is that these blunders force Olimar to return to the Death World he spent the last 30 days on.