Let's make a game based entirely around micromanagement. Hell, while we're at it, let's put a time limit on the whole thing. BUT WHY DO I LOVE IT SO MUCHReal-Time Strategy at its quirkiest
, the Pikmin
series came about from a mix of the Super Mario 128
project, Shigeru Miyamoto
's childhood observations of insects at work, his hobby of gardening, and general RTS gameplay. The Pikmin
games lead players into a world where they must use the different kinds of plantlike creatures called "Pikmin" to defeat enemies, produce other Pikmin, collect treasures, and survive in a strange world with even stranger creatures.
The first game's basic storyline follows Captain Olimar as he crash-lands on a mysterious planet, destroying much of his ship in the process. The parts are scattered all over the region, leaving Olimar to command armies of Pikmin to get them back.
The twist? He has 30 days to do it, or he dies from the dangerous oxygen in the air! Sounds fun already, doesn't it? Enough people seemed to think so, and the game became a hit in the Nintendo community.
A sequel was soon created, Pikmin 2
, in which Olimar and his partner Louie
went back to the planet in search of the rare treasures it held, in an attempt to bring their company back out of debt. Pikmin 2
soon became even more critically acclaimed than its predecessor, gaining rave reviews for its improved timespan, reliability, clever challenges, and unique style.Pikmin 3
launched on July 13th, 2013 in Japan, followed by releases on July 26th in Europe, July 27th in Australia, and August 4th in North America. It was first shown at E3 2012, and introduces a system where the Gamepad can be used to have a quick look-around of the map. If you play with the Gamepad alone
, the game controls and looks more like a Real-Time Strategy
game. Interestingly enough, the player does not step into the shoes of Captain Olimar this time around, but rather three new pilots from the planet Koppai: Alph
, and Charlie
. The planet is currently suffering a massive food shortage, and in a desperate attempt at salvation the three fly to the Pikmin Planet (which they dub PNF-404) to collect fruit. However, an accident before landing scatters the trio and their cosmic drive key, the component needed to get back home. The three pilots, with the help of the Pikmin, must reunite, recover the drive key and gather enough fruit to save their race from extinction while dealing with a familiar pair of explorers that also seem to be looking around.The official Japanese website for the game can be found here, while the English version of the site can be found here.
The first two games have been ported to Wii as well, with enhanced Wii-mote controls. Olimar is also a playable character in the Super Smash Bros.
series beginning with Brawl
, and in Wii U and 3DS
, Alph is playable as an alternate costume. The series as a whole is represented in Nintendo Land
with its own subgame, Pikmin Adventure
, and is also referenced a few times here and there, like in WarioWare
. It even appears as animations used to represent the transferring of your data to the 3DS and Wii U!
Like many works of fiction, there is a dedicated wiki
to this series, namely Pikipedia
If this interview with Miyamoto
is speaking the truth, an Anime of the Game
is apparently in production, with Nintendo considering how to release it. Some animated shorts
hinted at during Pikmin 3's development have been released for the Wii U and 3DS eShop for around five US dollars, with the Wii U version being in HD, and the 3DS version being in 3D.
Compare to Overlord
, which has a similar but darker premise.
This series provides examples of:
- Action Bomb: Volatile Dweevils.
- After the End: It's strongly implied in the original the Pikmin planet is Earth. The second game doesn't waste any time and outright shows Africa and Europe clearly in the opening. Whether or not there's any humans left is up for debate. Also, in the sequel, two of the items you need to open new areas are halves of a globe. Finally, by the release of Pikmin 3, it's confirmed that the planet is Earth 250 million years in the future.
- All There in the Manual:
- The manual of the first game also explains a few things about the events that happened before Olimar crash landed on the planet. For example, it explains one of the major inconstancies as to why Olimar didn't use the nova blaster to blow up the meteor that hit him. The path Olimar was travelling was one he travelled many times before without problem, so he set his ship on auto-pilot to get some tea. By the time Olimar had realized what happened, it was already too late.
- The manual of the second game explains that the reason why the landscape in caves is (usually) randomly generated and why time above ground does not pass while you're in them. It's because of a strong magnetic field.
- Alliterative Name:
- The Hole of Heroes, the Dream Den, and the Cavern of Chaos of Pikmin 2. All three of these caves are in the area Wistful Wild.
- The Perplexing Pool.
- One treasure, the Eternal Emerald Eye.
- American Kirby Is Hardcore: The American version of Pikmin 2's boxart consists of Olimar throwing Pikmin onto a Hermit Crawmad, which is clearly trying to fight back. The PAL version (which is the current picture for the page) consists of a few Pikmin on a branch, one holding on and trying to climb up, and a couple holding berries. And a barely visible Bulborb in the background.
- Apocalypse How: Planet 'Koppai' seems to be facing a class one in the third game, due to a massive food shortage.
- Apocalyptic Log: Inverted. Though one can find several notes left behind from Olimar in Pikmin 3, Olimar left them there as helpful hints for anyone who experiences the situation he was in before in the first game. The first log you find in 3 where you learn Olimar is the one leaving the messages, it's a "tell my family I didn't make it" type of log, implying that it was actually an Apocalyptic Log. Not only do you learn he's alive later, but he's much more active than the logs lead you to believe, and that he's been just barely one step ahead of you the whole time.
- Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You can only have up to 100 Pikmin outside at any one time. In the second game, the ship speculates that this may be an evolutionary strategy developed by the onions: no matter what happens on the ground, only 100 Pikmin can be lost, so the species will never die out.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In Pikmin 3, Louie is guilty of stealing all the food supplies of the S.S. Drake... and Charlie's favorite rubber ducky.
- Baby Factory: Empress Bulblax.
- Background Music Override: Pikmin 2, normally, has the area or cave theme heard during gameplay, subtly remixing it when an enemy is close, or when the characters start retrieving a treasure, or when the player switches between characters. But all of that is subject to change in one of the caves, Submerged Castle. When the Waterwraith comes into scene, the cave's music is completely gone and replaced with a sinister theme, which will keep playing even if the characters approach a treasure or enemy, and no changes will occur during a character switch either. The only music that isn't overriden is the boss theme, which is heard when the Waterwraith can be challenged for a definitive battle.
- Badass Normal: Olimar can fight and kill a lot of the enemies by punching them to death, despite the fact that many of them are bigger than him. Granted, without the proper punching upgrade, it's probably going to take a while...
- Bee People: In Pikmin 2, it was revealed that Bulborbs have a social structure like this, though quite interestingly, it was also revealed that they are viviparous (give birth to live young).
- Big Eater:
- Louie. For every biological study entry that Olimar has for the Piklopedia, Louie has a recipe or cooking tip for each and every plant and animal you encounter. Olimar notes Louie's appetite in one of his logs and the hidden cutscene reveals that LOUIE was the one who ate the entire shipment of golden pikpik carrots. At one point in Pikmin 3, Louie steals all your juice.
- Koppaites are also this, though this is because their brains are wired in a way to where they can't decide if they're still hungry or not. Alph sites it as the main reason for the food crisis on Koppai.
- Bland-Name Product: Averted, as many of the treasures in Pikmin 2 use actual product names, including a Duracell battery, 7-Up and Dr. Pepper bottle caps, and Kiwi shoe polish.
- Bleak Level: Wistful Wild in Pikmin 2.
- Bonus Boss: The Smoky Progg, technically. It's optional, drops a 100-Pikmin sprouting pellet, and the poisonous trail it makes alone can kill Pikmin.
- Book Ends: Most of the areas in Pikmin 2 are the areas from Pikmin 1, but after time has changed them. The Wistful Wild is what's become of the Impact Site and Final Trial. The entrance to the final dungeon is located where Olimar found his first ship piece, the engine, in the first game, and the landing site is where the Emperor Bulblax was fought.
- Boss in Mook Clothing: The Beady Long Legs and Emperor Bulblax are the only "true" bosses in the first, but the three Burrowing Snagrets, Puffstool, Armored Cannon Beetles, and aforementioned Smoky Progg qualify for this. The Snagret got promoted to full boss in the second game, then got demoted to miniboss in the third.
- Boss Rush: Hole of Heroes in Pikmin 2, which has you facing off against just about every previous boss in the game. Oddly, this isn't the final dungeon, and the Very Definitely Final Dungeon itself has no bosses other than the final one.
- Bottomless Pits: Many cave sublevels are rusty metal platforms that somehow float in the middle of these. They're the most difficult and annoying type of sublevel to navigate, because if you accidentally throw any Pikmin over the edge (which is very easy to do), or they are tossed over by enemies, they die.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Mushroom Pikmin. Even worse is that the spores that brainwashed them will also eventually kill them, unless the Puffstool responsible for the infection is killed first.
- Brick Joke: In Pikmin 3, Charlie's favorite rubber duck went "AWOL" around the same time Louie stole the ship's food supply. When Louie was brought back to the ship, the ship reported that Louie had the rubber ducky on him. The fact that Charlie took the theft of the rubber ducky seriously makes the scene funny.
- Butt Monkey:
- Blue Pikmin. Having no other special skill other than simply being able to enter water and rescue drowning pikminnote , they are often seen as the most expendable color of Pikmin. Worse still, there are droves of highly dangerous and/or annoying water-based enemies, such as the Water Dumple and Yellow Wollywog, that exist for the sole purpose of making the lives of Blue Pikmin overseers miserable. They're also the only ones you can take into the Submerged Castle. And if that wasn't bad enough, Blue Pikmin are statistically more likely to be eaten by enemies than the other colors of Pikmin.
- Charlie in Pikmin 3 also qualifies, as Alph and Brittany constantly interrupt his speeches as if they don't even realize he's talking, and Brittany even mentions giving him the smallest shares of food.
- Button Mashing: Throwing multiple Pikmin onto an enemy very fast needs a good jamming of the A button.
- Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp":
- While the treasures you find in the second game may be the most mundane of objects for us players, they have the most convoluted names in-game. Only averted with The Key, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- A rubber duck's head is called the "Paradoxical Enigma".
- Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit":
- Olimar thinks the Bulborbs resemble his family's pet, Bulbie. Which he calls a dog.
- The Pikmin are so named because they resemble Pikpik carrots to him, and their nests are referred to as "onions" because they resemble Hocotate's onions. When Olimar found an actual onion as a treasure in Pikmin 2, it's labeled as an "Onion Replica".
- Call Back: Despite there only being three games in the series so far, there are a few between them. Notably, in Pikmin 1, in order for Olimar to get his first ship part, he needs to make enough Pikmin to push a cardboard box out of the way. In order for Alph to reach the ship after crash-landing in Pikmin 3, he needs to do the exact same thing.
- Christmas Episode: The 'Round 3' DLC for Pikmin includes two levels like this for collect the treasure and fight the beast, respectively. The entire level consist of a Christmas party taking place in someones house.
- Chromatic Arrangement: The protagonists of Pikmin 3, although Brittany is more pink than red.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Goolix, Armored Cannon Beetle, Pearly Clamclamp, Smoky Progg, and Puffstool were the only enemies not carried over between Pikmin 1 and Pikmin 2. None of them return in Pikmin 3 either. The Armored Cannon Beetle did get three different larva based enemies to carry on its name, however.
- Clipped Wing Angel: Pikmin 2 has two bosses that do this:
- The Waterwraith is completely invincible until you reach the final floor of its dungeon, where you acquire the type of Pikmin needed to defeat it. Once you deplete its health enough, you hear the "boss victory" music start up... until it gets back up off the ground and runs around panicking, completely vulnerable and incapable of hurting you or your Pikmin. At this point, you hear a very freaky version of the boss music that resembles Psycho Strings, and you have to chase after it and kill it to beat the dungeon properly.
- In order to beat the final boss, the Titan Dweevil, you have to knock four weapons/treasures off of it. After knocking off all four, its exoskeleton crumbles, and you're left to beat on the defenseless, fleshy, squirming monster as the music builds towards a climax until it melts and frees Louie.
- Shaggy Long Legs, a miniboss from the third game, loses his protective hair once the hair on his joints are gone, at which point he's as simple as an average Beady Long Legs.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Louie, who, on a planet of giant, man-eating beasts, spends most of his time thinking of ways to cook them.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The different Pikmin species each have a different color.
- Convection Schmonvection: Justified, all playable characters are wearing space suits, and Red Pikmin can withstand fire. It should be noted that before upgrading the space suits, the captains still take damage from being hit directly with flames. Presumably it's not enough to burn through the suit, but the heat is still dangerous.
- Cool Starship: Olimar's old starship, the S.S. Dolphin, is one of these. On the other hand, the Hocotate Ship in Pikmin 2 is a piece of junk. Of course, after you collect enough Pokos to pay off the company's debt, the Hocotate ship gets quite the spiffy upgrade.
- Crutch Character: The Red Pikmin in the second game are pretty useful until you get the Purple Pikmin. They get even less useful once you got the other Pikmin types. And most fire hazards they can take out are easily avoided/destroyed with the other Pikmin types. That said, they aren't completely useless, though.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory:
- If you're used to the New Play Control versions of the first two games, this is bound to come up in Pikmin 3. Dismiss is moved from C to shaking the Nunchuck, switch the Pikmin you're throwing is moved from B to C, and Swarming was removed entireley.
- The Pro Controller's control scheme is also mapped differently compared to the original GameCube version's control scheme, despite the similar controllers.
- Darker and Edgier / Lighter and Softer: Zig-Zagged. The first game is noticeably dark, with Olimar racing against the clock to survive, and has a general alien feel to it. Pikmin 2, while having the All-Devouring Black Hole Loan Sharks, is much more laid back and lax about taking your time, and being in constant contact with Olimar/Louie/Prez's family and friends negates a lot of the alien feel of the first game. The third game seems goes back into darker territory with a pseudo-time limit being reintroduced and the backstory being about the captains trying to prevent their planet from experiencing an Apocalypse How.
- Deadpan Snarker: The Hocotate Ship's AI. Some of the Olimar's treasure hoard journal entries even talk about trying to shut it up or at least convince it to lighten up.
- Deadly Gas: Oxygen for Hoctatians. Played with with Koppaites, who can breathe oxygen, but the oxygen levels on PNF-404 are three times higher than what they're use to, so it would still really mess with them if they didn't have their space suits on.
- Death By A Thousand Cuts: You can take out all enemies with a single Pikmin. But given the pathetic damage an individual Pikmin gives out, it takes ages.
- Death from Above: In some of the later dungeons, bomb rocks, falling boulders, and even enemies can fall out of nowhere. However, they fall from preset locations, usually in areas where some reward (such as a treasure, egg, or candypop bud) is, so you can just run through the sublevel with a captain and deploy them safely.
- Certain bosses, such as all types of Long Legs besides the Man-at-Legs. And the Waterwraith.
- Degraded Boss:
- The Snagret in Pikmin 2. In the first game, it was a very large, tough, and scary enemy, but in the sequel it's much smaller and weaker. One is used as the boss of an early dungeon. You'll fight multiples of them later on, including several at once! They still get "boss encounter" music, though. It's even less of a threat in Pikmin 3 thanks to the Winged Pikmin being able to just fly to its head and potentially kill it in seconds, although this time it's treated as a mini boss.
- There's also the Emperor Bulblax. In the first game, it was the final boss. It returns in Pikmin 2, though, like the Snagret, it's much smaller and weaker, and can be killed very quickly with about 20 purple Pikmin. Later on, you even encounter three Emperor Bulblaxes at once!
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything:
- Holding down X (c in the Wii version) lets your captain lie down on the ground, and be picked up by Pikmin. Dweevils can pick up anything Pikmin can to use as disguises/shields. Combine these two mechanics with the chance that a Dweevil may walk over the low walls and fall off the side of the stage, and you get a falling captain... who then gets sent back onto the stage. The Dweevil isn't so lucky, though.
- The Submerged Castle was programmed so that only Blue Pikmin can enter. Even if you somehow get other colored Pikmin into your group, only the blue ones will enter. Even if you hack and make it possible for other Pikmin to safely traverse water, the game will actually tell you that only Blue Pikmin can enter.
- Olimar's logbook in the first game is based on what happens ingame (such as what enemies you fought or events such as Pikmins extinction). However, it also has a full set of entries in case nothing happens, some of which can only be seen if the player never leaves the Impact Site and picks "Go to sunset" immediately upon entering it.
- Similarly, the third game has a rather large list of plot related logs that seem to account for the day ending at any point. Such as a unique log for finding the data file on the path to the Armored Mawdad but not getting to the actual boss.
- Attempting to use Sequence Breaking glitches without getting certain critical points in the third game (such as trying to enter the Sandbelching Meerslug's arena without rescuing Charlie, getting Blue Pikmin prior to Louie stealing the juice, or trying to fight the Quaggled Mireclops without rescuing the Blue Onion) will result in the game placing Invisible Walls to prevent you from going further.
- Didn't Think This Through: One of the reasons Koppai is having a massive food shortage is because of a general lack of planning for the future.
- Disney Death: In the first game, there's a glitch that can happen at sunset where Olimar will be teleported to the ship as the end of day cutscene plays, but the Pikmin following him will not. Though you won't lose the Pikmin, and if they're close enough you actually can see them racing towards the Onions in the last few seconds of the cutscene, it still can induce a massive Oh, Crap moment in many new players. It happened to Chuggaaconroy, for example.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The President tells Olimar that if his debt can't be paid off in time, the debt collectors will bury him in Hocotate Swamp.
- Downloadable Content: Three DLC packs for Pikmin 3, so far. Each consists of four Mission Mode levels (A fifth is given for free just by updating). The first is Gather Treasure maps 5-10, which are each remixes of the original 1-5. The second is Battle Enemies 5-10, which instead remix the actual maps from the story mode into battle arenas. The third pack contains 5 Gather Treasure missions and 5 Battle Enemies missions, taking place in 5 entirely new levels.
- Down the Drain:
- Almost literally in Pikmin 2 — a few dungeon sublevels (not to mention one entire dungeon, appropriately named "Shower Room") look like a partially flooded bathroom.
- The 2-Player level Tile Lands and the Giant's Bath in Challenge Mode are of the same design.
- Dramatic Irony: In Pikmin 3, the Koppaians think that the Hoctotatian that stole all their food is Captain Olimar. Anyone who knows anything about the previous game knows it's actually Louie the moment they laid eyes on him.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The first game has a more "lonely" atmosphere, especially given as how there is only one player character. Also, Pikmin turns a pale shade of their color when idle in the first game — something not repeated in either following game for whatever reason.
- Easter Egg:
- Pikmin 2:
- Having 100 Red Pikmin following you will make them hum the Luigi's Mansion theme. This also happens if you are in a dungeon sublevel and have collected all the treasure on that sublevel.
- If you get twenty of each Pikmin type into a group, they'll hum Ai No Uta instead of their basic marching song (which in turn sounds like the title screen music).
- Wait a while on the treasure collected screen after getting treasure from a cave and Totaka's song will play.]
- Pressing the Z button while viewing the Piklopedia will petrify whatever enemy you're looking at.
- Pikmin 3:
- If you get twenty of all the Pikmin types available in the main story mode following you, they'll hum the title screen song to Pikmin 2.
- Also in Pikmin 3, you can find several 'cave' drawings of the Pikmin doing various task in out of the way places in each region. Whether they're just Easter Eggs or implying that the Pikmin are more advanced than they appear, only time will tell.
- Elemental Powers: Inverted by the Pikmin, which have resistances to certain elements but not control of them (the exception being White Pikmin). Dweevils play this straight, however, as do Pikmin themselves in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but the blue and purple still have no element. Rock Pikmin in Pikmin 3 are an odd case where they're immune to crushing impacts and piercing attacks rather than a solid element, and Winged Pikmin subvert this trope by flying over hazards, but aren't immune to them.
- Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: While there are elements, there are only a few direct examples of this. For instance, leading a Fiery Bulblax into water will cool it off for Blue Pikmin to attack.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Smoky Progg in the first game, Waterwraith in the second, and the final boss of Pikmin 3.
- Escort Mission: Escorting various things back to your base is one of the main gameplay elements, but there's one huge example that outshines all the rest: the Formidable Oak from the third game, in which you go up to the top, have Pikmin carry Olimar, and then guide him along a different route back to base while fighting enemies and solving puzzles. And while this is happening, the Mama Bear Eldritch Abomination known as the Plasm Wraith stalks Olimar in an attempt to reclaim him. Once you get back to base, the Plasm Wraith goes One Winged Angel and absorbs Olimar to initiate the Final Boss fight.
- Eternal Engine: The 'Round Three' DLC for Pikmin 3 includes a level type like this for both collect the treasure and battle the beast. Besides a general mechanical feel, there are also conveyor belts the three captains need to work together to get around.
- Everything Fades:
- Averted. The bodies of most dead enemies lay around until taken away, and only disappear if you leave the region. (In fact, you're supposed to recycle their corpses for Pikmin food...) Your Pikmin, however, play the trope straight as they die and turn into little Pikmin ghosties with the most mournful sound ever.
- Played straight in The Very Definitely Final Dungeon of Pikmin 3. Justified in that the creatures aren't actually the normal ones you face in-game, and are instead made of the same goop the Final Boss is made of.
- Everything Trying to Kill You:
- Pikmin seem to be on the very bottom of the food chain. After all, they are part plant. However, even monsters that don't eat Pikmin still inexplicably want to kill them...
- The Captains, too. Everything wants to eat, stomp, squash, or otherwise slaughter them just as much as the Pikmin.
- Evil Counterpart: One in each game:
- The Puffstool uses spores to take Pikmin and convert them to his side, sending them out against Olimar.
- Antenna Beetles can steal Pikmin with their version of a whistle.
- The Scornet Maestro commands a swarm of up to a hundred Scornets, each of which is a One-Hit-Point Wonder.
- Extended Gameplay: The second game ends when you get 10,000 Pokos, but you can return to the planet to find Louie and the rest of the treasure, which includes exploring a new level and eventually getting a 100% Completion ending.
- Extreme Omnivore:
- Breadbugs drag any treasure, edible or not, to their hole to eat. The Giant Breadbug even ate an eraser. Of course, most enemies that hold a treasure would qualify as well. Louie is also known for eating things he shouldn't.
- Enemies in Pikmin 3 become this when you realise they're essentially eating rocks. How do animals that eat carrot-like creatures become instantly adept at eating rocks? (Maybe the rocks are actually chocolate?)
- Eye Scream: In Pikmin 3, you can have your Pikmin attack the eyes of Bulborbs to blind them and render them incapable of attacking.
- Final Exam Boss:
- The Titan Dweevil in Pikmin 2. It IS possible to fight the Titan Dweevil with one-hundred Yellow Pikmin. Electricity is the only attack that kills Pikmin instantly, the other ones make your Pikmin suffer for a while before dying. If you can call your Pikmin back, they'll live.
- The final level of Pikmin 3 forces you to travel (while being chased) multiple environments requiring the use of all the skills of your Pikmin. The boss itself defends itself in a way that you can only attack it if you've got every different type of Pikmin at your command (even in the case of Pink Pikmin when it floats higher in the air).
- Flawless Victory: 2's Challenge Mode awards you for completing the level without losing any Pikmin. Getting this on all 30 Challenge levels unlocks a hidden cutscene.
- Flanderization: Pikmin 3 manages to do this to an entire planet. In the first two games, the only vegetables Hocotatiens were shown eating were Pikpik carrots, and in two Olimar and Louie kept sneaking bites of all the edible treasure, most of which were meat. The President of Hocotate Freight was also the only one shown to be rather greedy when it came to the planets treasure. In Pikmin 3, suddenly all Hocotatiens are treasure hunting obsessed vegetarians. the former of the two being a major reason Olimar was captured by the final boss.
- Flunky Boss / Explosive Breeder: Empress Bulblax, excluding the one in the Hole of Beasts.
- Food Porn:
- Louie's detailed descriptions of how to cook the various enemies and plants in the Piklopedia in Pikmin 2.
- The fruit in Pikmin 3 looks good enough to eat. The game even lets you spin the fruit around to view it from any angle.
- Foreshadowing: In an e-mail from Louie's grandmother, she reveals he loves Pikpik carrots. His love of these carrots got Hocotate Freight into debt in the first place.
- Friendly Fireproof: Averted.
- Woe is he who misuses his Yellow Pikmin's Bomb Rocks. This is one reason why there was much rejoicing when it was removed for the sequel. The controls were fairly inaccurate, so accidentally having a Pikmin drop a bomb rock at the wrong time was frustratingly common. Enemies also avert this. As such, Decorated Cannon Beetles can be more of a blessing than a hazard in densely populated enemy areas.
- In Pikmin 3. If a Wollywog lands on or relatively close to an enemy, they'll either break their armor (such as the Peckish Aristocrab's claw) or kill them outright.
- Fun with Acronyms: One of the treasures of Pikmin 2 is the head of an R.O.B (Robotic Operating Buddy), an accessory for the NES system. Olimar calls it the Remembered Old Buddy instead.
- Game-Breaking Bug: In the original, it was possible to drop the Libra down a bottomless pit, rendering it Lost Forever and the game Unwinnable. The second game fixed this by having fallen treasures respawn near where they fell. It also featured more bottomless pits, making this necessary.
- Gang Up on the Human: Despite taking place on its own planet with its own ecosystem, with creatures of many different shapes, sizes, and such, the creatures of the Pikmin planet will only ever go after the captains and their Pikmin, even when it would make more logical sense to go after each other. Sometimes this results in three completely different species of enemies attacking your group at once!
- Gasshole: The Doodlebug.
- Genre-Busting: Most people don't bother trying to classify the genre of the games, as they blend a lot.
- Genre Shift: The first game was primarily a variant on a Real-Time Strategy game focused on exploration and elaborate boss battles. The second game added Dungeon Crawling in addition to the overworld exploration, and the third seems to add even more Real-Time Strategy elements.
- Gentle Giant: The enormous Mamuta creatures, with their weird, asymmetrical bodies and strange, loping gaits, are actually benevolent. They purposefully cultivate Pikmin, and will turn all of your Pikmin into flower Pikmin for you, even if you don't exactly want them to. You can attack them, but... You're not that mean, are you? However, approach one without Pikmin, and he'll attack you without provocation, making it not gentle, although some might say that Olimar and Louie COULD be mistaken for a Pikmin.
- Ghibli Hills: The outdoor stages are serene, almost pristine wooded areas, with soft sunlight and fitting ambient music.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The Waterwraith in the Submerged Castle.
- Glass Cannon:
- Anode Dweevils have the smallest health of the Dweevil family, but it has the one element that instantly kills any Pikmin that aren't yellow, or Bulbmin.
- The Bulborb Larva are infamous for this. They're very small and have so little health that one punch from a captain will kill them immediately, but their bite is insanely deadly. It will hurt the captains pretty bad, and will instantly kill any Pikmin. Made worse by the fact that they always come in large swarms.
- Goomba Stomp: Purple Pikmin and Rock Pikmin. Or any Pikmin if you have good aim, but only on small Bulborbs (mimics included).
- Gotta Catch Them All: The first game has 30 ship parts, of which you only need the 25 critical parts and can get 5 optional ones for the best ending. The second game has 200 treasures; to beat the game, you only need however many are necessary to raise 10,000 Pokos, but can return to get the rest and a second ending. The third game has 66 fruits, however you might only need some of the fruit to produce enough juice to survive; otherwise it's Game Over once you run out of juice.
- The Great Repair: The first game focuses on the repair of Olimar's ship.
- Guide Dang It: The Ujadani, tiny mite-like creatures that release gigantic amounts of nectar and sprays when attacked. They aren't even mentioned in the official strategy guide, and the game doesn't acknowledge them in its encyclopedia. In fact, the name is only known from a Japan only E-Reader card. They only appear every 30 days starting from Day 31 in the final area around the entrance of The Hole of Heroes, the Boss Rush dungeon. The only way to ever see them is to happen to be at that specific place by chance.
- Helpful Mook:
- The Mamuta — see above for details.
- Cannon Beetle Larva can be this unintentionally. You can very easily have their cannonball boulders kill off enemies you don't want to risk losing Pikmin against.
- Yellow Wollywogs in Pikmin 3 are similar to the Cannon Beetles, as they can break off the armor of certain enemies and/or kill them outright if they land on one.
- The aforementioned Ujadani.
- Heroic Mime: Captain Olimar (and Louie) in Pikmin 2 only, as the Ship's AI takes over the exposition duties. However, you can at least view Olimar's (and eventually, Louie's) commentary on recovered treasures and lifeforms encountered.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Mechanically, one of the purposes of White Pikmin — any enemy short of a boss that eats one will be killed outright, while bosses will be significantly damaged or weakened. You can potentially avoid much greater casualties by deliberately sacrificing them, but it only works on enemies that actually eat Pikmin.
- Hero of Another Story: In Pikmin 3, while the Koppaites are running around collecting seeds for their people, Olimar and Louie were running around collecting treasure for Hocotate Freight, which is once again in debt.
- He Was Right There All Along: The Beady Long Legs, Raging Long Legs, and Shaggy Long Legs drop from above. The Titan Dweevil, Snagret, Emperor Bulblax, Sandbelching Meerslug, and Bugeyed Crawmad all come up from underground. The Vehemoth Phosbat hides in the darkness.
- Holler Button: Just Whistle to summon your Pikmin back to you.
- Humans Are Cthulhu: Although humans don't show up, one of the treasures in Pikmin 2 is a set of dentures they name "Behemoth Jaw". Olimar says in his notes he can't even begin to conceive the existence of a creature with teeth that massive, and hopes he never has to face something of that size.
- Humanity's Wake: Word of God states that the planet the games takes place in is in the state where humans are extinct. In addition, the planet's heavily implied to be Planet Earth itself (even when it was redesigned in Pikmin 3 to look different, although you now need scientific knowledge to know that it's Planet Earth in the future).
- Hypocritical Humor:
- In the second game, you find a rubber duck's head called the "Paradoxical Enigma", and Olimar writes about it as if it were a mind-opening work of art. Later in the game, you find a full version of the same rubber duck: it's called the "Rubber Ugly", and Olimar can't believe how ugly it is.
- Olimar notes that only an idiot of a captain will allow a Bumbling Snitchbug to catch them. Despite this, Olimar can get caught several times.
- Implacable Man:
- The Waterwraith, combined with Stalked by the Bell. Its one weakness is Purple Pikmin, which aren't obtained until the last floor of its dungeon.
- The Plasm Wraith keeps chasing you throughout the Formidable Oak, and even when you beat it in battle, it's still alive.
- Inexplicably Preserved Dungeon Meat: The series takes place on Earth 250 million years in the future (as confirmed by 3) and has a suspicious lack of humans, but some of the treasures in 2 are various foodstuffs that are surprisingly edible (to the point that Olimar and Louie keep sneaking bites of many of them.)
- Infinity+1 Element:
- Bulbmin, only found in a few dungeons, are "extra Pikmin" with Mario-esque attack and speed... but resistance to every element. You can only use them in the dungeon they appear in, though. (You can convert them to other Pikmin with Candypop Buds to take them with you, but you get perfectly ordinary Pikmin of those specimens.)
- On the enemy's side, explosions serve as a sort of "fifth element"; no Pikmin, not even Bulbmin, can survive it, and only the most dangerous enemies have access to it. Bomb rocks also destroy the other elemental hazard generators.
- Interface Spoiler: Averted in the third game. Not only does tallying up the fruit of the first four areas match up with the total number given of 66 because Formidable Oak doesn't have fruit, but the boss rush menu only lists five slots prior to beating the Plasm Wraith. So the existance of the final boss and its location is kept secret, and if anything the game hints that the Quaggled Mireclops is the final boss up until you actually kill it.
- In-Universe Game Clock: 20-minute days in the second game, 13 in the first game.
- It Can't Be Helped: Song of Love has this as its premise. It's all about how the Pikmin go through Hell for their leader, Olimar, yet despite the fact that it's very likely they'll die ignobly, "We don't ask that you love us". The song's single actually outsold the game itself because of how it resonated with the Salaryman public.
- Jerkass: The Hocotate Ship. It forcibly ejects people from the cabin, whines about storing specimens, lies about treasures (both to Olimar and potential customers), is cowardly about entering one of the dungeons, and constantly chastises Olimar.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The ship urges the captains to rest now and then and whenever Louie is found after being lost, asks after his life signs, and seems concerned about his safety.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
- One of the treasure in Pikmin 2 is a console controller D-Pad. The treasure log says that the Pikmin carrying it looked a little dazzled.
- There are quite a few instances of this in Pikmin 2. Another example is for Aquatic Mine, another treasure. Olimar mentions in his notes that he feels the presence of a guiding hand.
- Let's Get Dangerous: Louie. He's sort of an idiot who tries to eat everything (And we do mean everything) However, after he gets left behind, he survives on his own, gets all the way to the bottom of the Dream Den, and even manages to not even be harmed by a beast with four dangerous weapons. The ship even remarks that the desire of man is something to be feared.
- Letter Motif: The protagonists of Pikmin 3 are named Alph, Brittany, and Charlie, while their ship is named Drake.
- Lilliputians: If one wants to get specific, the first game's manual pegs Olimar to be around the size of a quarter, and a Pikmin to be slightly shorter.
- The Load: Some of Olimar's journals in the third game suggest that Louie has changed from being a substandard klutz to being an absolutely useless, unwilling, and selfish coward between the games. It really doesn't help his case that when the three captains save him, he runs off with all of their food.
- Loan Shark: The All-Devouring Black Hole Loan Sharks are the main reason you head back to the Pikmin Planet in Pikmin 2, and the former Trope Namer.
- Living Gasbag: Jellyfloats and Medusal Slurkers are essentially hovering jellyfish that suck up their prey rather than sting it.
- Macro Zone: The setting, due to the small size of the captains and the Pikmin.
- Married to the Job: Olimar is clearly very devoted to his family back on Hocotate. Though it's clear that he's also very devoted to the company he works for, and some emails he receives from his wife and children show that the amount of time he's spending away from home are taking a bit of a toll on them.
- Mighty Glacier: Purple Pikmin, due to their overall strength in comparison to the Pikmin types.
- A Million Is a Statistic: The night after you let your first Pikmin die, Olimar's journal entry will be depressed and frightened of his mistake. Later on, when Pikmins might start dying in droves, Olimar won't even comment on the matter.
- Mini-Dungeon: The entirety of Challenge Mode in Pikmin 2 is about exploring 30 miniature caves, most of which are only 1-3 floors deep, and derive from the Story Mode caves whose depths range from 5 to 15 floors except the Emergency Cave, which is a Noob Cave and thus another mini-dungeon.
- Misguided Missile: The rocks that the Decorated Cannon Beetle shoots are highly magnetic, causing them to home in on your captain. Run around to the other side of a beetle after it launches a rock. We'll wait.
- Mix-and-Match Critters:
- The Snagrets. Bird heads, snake bodies, and in the case of the Pileated Snagret, a single bird foot.
- The Rock Pikmin take this Up to Eleven, being plant, animal, and mineral.
- Monster Compendium: The Piklopedia. Comes with view of the enemy in its habitat, scientific notes/names, and eventually cooking recipes.
- Mood Whiplash:
- Going from the relaxing summer area that is the Perplexing Pool to the Submerged Castle. Unlike the other caves, Submerged Castle has unique music — an errie tone that hints that you're not alone. And you're not.
- The Collect Treasure version of Fortress of Festivity is an adorable Christmas-themed level where you finally get to use all seven main types of Pikmin. There are, for the most part, no enemies or hazards, and you would practically have to be trying to get Pikmin killed in the level. Then after figuring out the pathway to the pizza, you have to face off against a sudden miniboss fight in the form of a Bug-Eyed Crawmad. Which isn't too hard if you know how to fight one and have gotten enough of the Pikmin from the stage, but still, it's quite a contrast from the peaceful atmosphere of the rest of the area.
- More Dakka: The Man-at-Legs has a machine gun that fires explosive rounds on its underside, which is its main method of attack. Unlike most other enemies in Pikmin 2, which often rely on Instant Death Radius or slow-to-recharge ranged attacks, it can attack and kill Pikmin even if they're scattered and at a distance from it with a single attack action. An unaware player can easily suffer a Total Party Kill.
- More Predators Than Prey: Most enemies on the Pikmin planet seem to be carnivorous, and the only thing any of them ever seem to eat are, of course, Pikmin.
- Multiple Endings:
- In the first Pikmin, the bad ending involves attempting to fly away without all 25 required ship parts, which results in the Dolphin crashing, Olimar being knocked unconscious, his Pikmin carrying him to their Onion and turning him into a freakish Pikmin/Olimar hybrid (known as "Olimin" or "Pikmar" in Fanon, and no evidence that he is ever picked. In the good ending (received through 100% Completion), Olimar bids the Pikmin farewell before hopping on to his ship, and the Onions follow him into low orbit as a show of gratitude (as they are now able to handle enemies on their own, as shown in a scene shortly before that). In the neutral ending, obtained by having all 25 required Ship Parts but missing the Nova Blaster, Space Float, Massage Machine, UV Lamp, and/or Secret Safe, Olimar makes a hasty jump into his ship before his life support dies, and the Pikmin are left to fend for themselves.
- The third game gives different endings depending on how much fruit you get, with the best leaving a whopping three Sequel Hooks.
- Never Say "Die":
- In the first game, Olimar is determined to repair his ship and escape the Pikmin planet's "toxic" (to his people) atmosphere, "or expire trying".
- In the second game: "Are your life functions fading?"
- Finally averted in the third game. However, dead Pikmin are still referenced as "perished".
Brittany: This place is absolutely freezing! If we stay too long, I'm afraid we're going to die of exposure.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Smoky Progg is (supposedly) the direct result of a Pikmin attack breaking a normally peaceful Mamuta's egg before its time for it to hatch.
- Nintendo Hard: As mentioned in the page quote, the first game can be pretty brutal, especially with the 30-day time limit that discourages exploration. Fortunately, the time limit's removed in the second game, and the third game extends it each time a fruit is collected; both games make it a lot more forgiving (though no less challenging).
- No Biological Sex: The Pikmin. Like many plants in Real Life, they seem to be asexual creatures; the only way they reproduce is by providing organic nutrients to their respective "Onions".
- No Casualties Run: Some players' goal in all three games is to achieve this, sometimes in the fastest possible time. The second game's Challenge Mode levels also require this for a Perfect! flower, with every level being perfected unlocking a bonus video.
- Noob Cave: The Impact Site in the first game, which is also an abundant source of Pikmin pellets for mass reproduction to come back to later in the game. Pikmin 2 has the Emergence Cave, which plays this trope more straight.
- Noodle Incident: When you find the Broken Food Master(NTSC)/Divine Cooking Tool(PAL) in the PAL version of Pikmin 2, part of Olimar's description is "I did try and be creative at cooking once before... but there are some things that are better left forgotten."
- Nostalgia Level: The 'round three' DLC for Pikmin 3 contains this in the form of the 'Forgotten Cove', whose layout is basically a miniature Forest Navel with some minor details taken out. The Collect Treasures version not only features the Red, Yellow, and Blue Pikmin, but it even has a bald Shaggy Long Legs in the exact same room where the Beady Long Legs was fought in the first game!
- Not the Intended Use: In Pikmin 2, if you find a drop of spray (red or purple), it is possible to get 2 doses out of one drop by getting both your captains close to the droplet, and pushing the inactive captain with the active captain. The inactive captain will start to collect it, and if you get the active captain to start collecting it as well, you will get 2 doses of spray instead of one.note
- Oh, the Pikminanity!: exclaimed by Captain Charlie when Pikmin are in danger of being killed by enemies.
- Once per Episode: Each game so far has had a Blob Monster (Goolix, Waterwraith, and Plasm Wraith), a new Bulborb type (Spotty Bulborb and Spotty Bulbear, Hairy and Orange Bulborbs, and Whiptongue Bulborb), and some sort of enemy counterpart to the player characters (Puffstool, Antenna Beetle, and Scornet Maestro).
- One-Hit Kill: Bomb rocks, crushing, Bulborb Larva, the Smoky Progg's poisonous smoke and electricity (the last one isn't lethal to yellow Pikmin and Bulbmin, and thankfully in Pikmin 3 it was demoted to only stunning non-Yellows).
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: The Pikmin. They have great offensive capabilities when they work together as a group, but possess absolutely no defense whatsoever. Pretty much every hazard is instantly, or at least very quickly fatal to them.
- The Bulborb larvae. Just one punch from a captain will kill them, but their bite is instantly fatal to Pikmin, and will take a good chunk out of the captains' health if you aren't careful.
- Only Mostly Dead:
- If one of the leaders in the second and third games runs out of health, you'll see them lying on the ground in front of the ship, unmoving for the rest of the day until you leave, in which they get back up and board the ship.
- The Gatling Groink and Spotty Bulbear enemies will die, but slowly regain health as their bodies lay there. If you let their health get back to full before you take them to get turned into Pikmin food or money, they'll get back up and attack your team again. The Bulbear doesn't do this in the third game, however.
- One-Winged Angel: The Plasm Wraith starts out as a small humanoid, turns into a gelatinous mass, then turns into a Goolix-like creature, and finally assumes a proper fighting form as a larger version of the humanoid.
- Planet of Hats: The residents of Koppai are all Big Eaters, which is part of the reason they're in the situation they're in (the other being a lack of foresight for said gluttonous habits). Brittney also mentions after learning the one leaving behind logs for you is Olimar, she mentions that Hocotatians are renowned for being greedy treasure hunters.
- Plant People: The Pikmin, naturally.
- Plot Coupons: Ship parts in Pikmin, treasures in Pikmin 2, and fruit in Pikmin 3.
- Plot Tailored to the Party: You won't get too far unless you utilize all of the Pikmins' strengths efficiently.
- Poison Mushroom: A living example: the Doodlebug. Looks similar to the Iridescent Glint Beetle, but actually leaves small clouds of poison lying around as you follow it, instead. Bonus points for literally being poison. Ironically, though, the prize the Doodlebug gives out is better than its brothers'.
- Poisonous Pikmin: The White Pikmin, who are resistant to poison and will poison enemies that eat them. Those not aiming for a No Casualties Run can try defeating a boss in this manner.
- Product Placement: The second game is full of it, with many of the "treasures" being things like Duracell batteries and Vlasic pickle jar lids. Although more than for advertisement, the products are there to drive the point home that the Pikmin's home planet is Earth.
- Puzzle Boss: All of them. The third game takes it Up to Eleven, with the Vehemoth Phosbat being the most notable. What were boss material in the previous games are now miniboss material.
- Ragnarok-Proofing: With the various "treasures" in the second game. Some (but not all) electrical devices are still functional, metal objects may be rusted but are all still in pretty good shape, and all the food items still look perfectly fresh (and are still totally edible and tasty, according to Olimar's notes), despite having sat in a cave or out in the open for who knows how long.
- Randomly Generated Levels: Pikmin 2's caves are mostly this, though there are a few floors that have specific layouts that can't change. They always contain the same monsters and treasure, but rearranged.
- Real-Time Strategy: More or less.
- Replay Mode: The second game has an Extras mode where the cutscenes unlocked in the main game, including the credits, can be seen again anytime. There is a special slot reserved for an exclusive cutscene that will only be available after full completion of Challenge Mode. Pikmin 3 adds a boss replay mode within Missions to challenge the unlocked bosses again, this time with a time limit and some of the Pikmin in need of being seized from the ground for extra challenge.
- Reviving Enemy: Spotty Bulbears and Gatling Groinks in the second game will slowly recover health and get back up after being defeated if they aren't taken back to the ship first. The Plasm Wraith in Pikmin 3 is effectively immortal no matter how many times you splatter it. You win by prying Olimar away from it and escaping, not by killing it.
- Riddle for the Ages: Just what is the Waterwraith? Where did it come from, and what does it want? Pikmin 3 answers some questions but raises even more.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Pikmin. Some of the enemies as well (until they start attacking you and your Pikmin).
- Ruins of the Modern Age: There was some of this in the first game, but it especially stands out in the second - many areas explored on the Pikmin planet have recognizable remains of human constructions, such as metal pipes and ceramic tiles.
- Running Gag: The secret videos of Pikmin 3 have Olimar explaining what he has been doing while Louie fails miserably in battle a short distance from him. The exception is the report that foreshadows their encounter with the game's final boss.
- Salaryman: Concerning Captain Olimar's perpetual struggle to balance out his long hours spent on the job, alongside spending time with his family. Also, as noted above, the song Ai No Uta outsold the first game, since it appealed to salarymen. It later became one of the songs on the Pikmin stage in SuperSmashBrosBrawl in both the original Japanese, AND in French.
- Scunthorpe Problem: Wistful Wild.
- Seasonal Baggage: Downplayed in Pikmin 2 and 3. In both games, each of the four seasons is present within one particular area, rather than all seasons appearing in a cyclic fashion through all areas. In the second game, Valley of Repose is set in winter, Awakening Wood is set in spring, Perplexing Pool is set in summer, and Wistful Wild is set in autumn. The third game has it like this: Tropical Wilds (summer), Garden of Hope (spring), Distant Tundra (winter) and Twilight River (autumn).
- Self-Imposed Challenge:
- "ARRRG! It killed a measly one of my Pikmin! Now I have to reset and do it all over again!" (This becomes game-imposed for the Challenge Mode in Pikmin 2.)
- Also, trying to collect all your ship parts in fewer days than you did before.
- The pinnacle challenge of each game is a minimum-days run, each game having a theoretical minimum days possible (Without abusing glitches to acquire other Pikmin types early). Pikmin 1's is 6 days, Pikmin 2's is 8 days, and Pikmin 3's is 10 days, all just barely possible (Though 3 requires many time-saving exploits due to how large each level is).
- Sequel Difficulty Drop: Pikmin 2 is this primarily due to the removal of the 30-day limit and most of the treasures being found in caves in which the sundown timer freezes, thus removing the need for frantic micromanagement. The enemies have also been made less threatening, even returning threats such as the Wollywog and Beady Long Legs. This was a conscious decision, as the team wanted it to be a less stressful experience.
- Sequel Hook: Pikmin 3 ends with this: a comet-like object falls into the distance while the pikmin see it and run to check it out. Also, while the Drake is taking off, the Plasm Wraith can be clearly seen roaring at it, fully regenerated. Getting all fruit raises the possibility that the SS Drake's initial crash was not an accident. And after that, if you try to play again, you can read a final ship log revealing that Louie has gone missing again.
- Sequel Reset: According to Olimar's expedition logs in Pikmin 3, Hocotate Freight's latest venture left them in debt again. This is why Olimar and Louie are back on PNF-404 during the events of the game.
- In his description for the Guard Satellite, Olimar states that it has protected him from space pirates.
- In Japanese script Olimar is a Sdrawkcab Name of Mario. Louie = Luigi is not as clever, but seems thematically appropriate for Olimar's second fiddle.
- Also, in the second game, several items are shout outs to other games, like a tube of paint with Mario Paint on it, R.O.B.'s head, the key from Super Mario World, and even a Nintendo brand ace of spades card.note
- Many players noticed that the Poko symbol looks a lot like the coins from Super Mario Bros.. The Mario games later returned the favor in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, where Chapter 2 has Mario leading a swarm of tiny creatures around to aid him.
- Pikmin 3 references several NES games in its intro cutscene. In the scene where the three main characters are shown departing their home planet for PNF-404, the walking sound effect from Mario Bros. plays (the cutscene is a computer visualization of the game's backstory). When their ship malfunctions and they're forced to eject, the Duck Hunt Dog's laugh can be heard.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The Valley of Repose in the second game and several dungeons within. The Distant Tundra and Silver Lake in the third game also counts.
- Soft Water: In Pikmin 3, Alph manages to fall from the planet's atmosphere, yet is only slightly dazed because he landed in a pool of water. Granted, Charlie also manages to survive the fall by landing in a pile of snow, and Brittany lands on solid rock and is no worse for wear, so it's possible that Koppaites are just naturally Made of Iron.
- Space Jews: The Hocotatians, due to their large noses and love of treasure.
- Speaking Simlish: How the in-game speech is represented in Pikmin 3, subtitled so that we can understand them. Justified due to the fact that the game averts Aliens Speaking English.
- Stalked by the Bell: The Submerged Castle. On each of the first four floors, you have an invisible (5-minute) timer that, when it runs out, the Waterwraith drops down and pursues you. Mercifully, you can exploit a weakness in its AI that prevents it from reaching you in certain corners, though it may get you if you're not careful.
- Stone Wall: Similar to how Anode Dweevils are Glass Cannons, Munge Dweevils have the most health but the least dangerous attack (it's the only Dweevil that is always harmless to captains; the breathing filters in their space suits make them immune to poison, so they can be punched to death with no problems).
- The Strength Of Ten Pikmin: The Purple Pikmin have the power of ten Pikmin, and as such are useful for carrying objects that would normally take loads of other kinds of Pikmin. On the other hand, they move very slowly when carrying these objects on their own. note
- Stuff Blowing Up: Mission 15 of Battle Enemies! encourages you to use Bomb Rocks to dispatch every enemy on the map besides Snitchbugs and Skeeterskates, rather than fight them head on with your Pikmin. If you do it right, at the end you even get to blast an entire Baldy Long Legs to bits with ten simultaneous Bomb Rock explosions!
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: Only Blue Pikmin can swim. The other types do flounder around for a while before drowning. If you call them, they can possibly flounder on over to the bank and survive. Or you can disband your Blues, who will then act as lifeguards and throw any drowning Pikmin onto dry land. The captains can also go underwater just fine, but this might be due to the fact that all of them wear space helmets.
- Surprise Creepy: Of the more subtle variety, once you've had a chance to sit down and reflect on what you're doing to the Pikmin.
- Taken for Granite: Ultra-Bitter Spray does this to your enemies. Killing them while they are like this leaves no corpse to retrieve, but may drop nectars or sprays (Possibly even more Bitter Spray!). And if these benefits weren't enough, Ultra-Bitter Spray can even halt the rampaging Waterwraith temporarily, giving you precious extra time to reach the next floor.
- Technicolor Toxin: Poison gas in the second game is purple, as are Munge Dweevils, so you can tell them apart from the other 3 species. The third game, oddly, uses either an inky black (for aquatic enemies) or a neon pink (for the Vehemoth Phosbat) for poison, which basically carries the same effect. The first game has the Smoky Progg, which leaves a trail of instant death green sludge that seems to be a completely different type of toxin than the ones encountered in later games.
- Theme Naming: Alph, Brittany, and Charlie is similar to the American mililtary phonetic alphabet (which goes, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie.)
- This Loser Is You: Olimar's journal entry for the Bumbling Snitchbug, an enemy that swoops down, grabs you (not your Pikmin) and slams you into the ground, implies that only leaders (that's you) that are in some way dumb or incompetent can possibly be caught by it.
- Three Plus Two
- Timed Mission: The entirety of the first and third games. The original Pikmin is about Olimar trying to escape the planet before his air supply runs out, while Pikmin 3 is about Alph, Brittany, and Charlie working to save their dying home planet of Koppai by using food from the Pikmin's planet as a resource. Specifically, they're taking the seeds of the fruit back to their planet to cultivate. The fruit they find on the planet is turned into juice that is used to sustain themselves in their search. If they run out of juice, they'll be forced to cut their trip short and return to their home planet. Adding up all the obtainable fruit they have 99 days.
- Toilet Humor:
- In Pikmin 2, Olimar or Louie activate the potions by burping or farting.
- The Doodlebug's primary attack is farting out noxious gas.
- Too Dumb to Live: All Pikmin will follow you wherever you go, even if it's not exactly a good idea for them to do so. Only Blue Pikmin can swim, but all of your Pikmin will follow you into the water, for instance. Certain enemies can be tricked into marching off the side of the level in the rusty metal levels. This is a good way to dispose of Bulbears and Fiery Bulblaxes, especially since any treasure that they may have had respawns near where they fell. Pikmin will also carry treasure into any deadly hazard if they think it's the fastest route. They also, if left to their own devices, attack invulnerable, deadly, immobile objects that wouldn't otherwise be a threat. If you disband/pick your Pikmin near a corpse/enemy/treasure/hazardous object or they're idle near one or get steered too close to one by you they'll carry/attack it no matter where/what it is. They'll never save you or your other Pikmin from an enemy or dodge an attack unless you tell 'em to. It's subtly implied in the original game and heavily implied in one of its Japanese promos that the Pikmin were on the road to extinction because of this... until they picked up enough survival skills from following Olimar to manage to not get killed by virtually any creature or natural hazard they encountered.
- Turns Red: Every major boss from the third game changes up a little at some point when its health gets low:
- Armored Mawdad: Starts crawling high enough on the tree stump that it goes out of view.
- Vehemoth Phosbat: A while into the first phase, it opens a bunch of pods that sprout out Phosbats.
- Sandbelching Meerslug: Its pits can either be larger, have "walls" in them, or both.
- Scornet Maestro: Adds one formation when its health reaches one point, another when it gets even lower. The first is that its Scornets form a "wall" divided into five rows, and each rows darts out. The second is where the Scornets begin circling the Captains, requiring use of Pikmin to break up the circle enough to get through.
- Quaggled Mireclopes: While standing, it may get down and start clawing its way across the arena. While knocked down, its tongue now swoops around in a full 360 degrees instead of the small arc around it like before.
- Plasm Wraith: Begins flying, and starts spitting out three elemental plasms at the same time instead of one.
- Updated Re-release: the "New Play Control!" Wii versions of the first two games.
- Underground Monkey: Several, though the differences often range beyond color and ability. Typically you see alternate-elemental forms of certain enemies, or ones that are just plain tougher such as the cave-dwelling Wollywogs.
- Unique Enemy: Several. The first has the Mamuta, Goolix, Pearly Clamclamp, Breadbug, and Smoky Progg. The second has the Toady Bloyster, which shows up less than its boss variant. The third has the Calcified Crushblat, and the Spotty Bulbear and the Puffy Blowhog have both been demoted to this. Note that the Challenge/Mission Mode of the games is less sparse about these enemies.
- Variable Mix:
- Pikmin 2 has a very deep set of this. Themes can vary greatly. The captain's health affects the tempo and the amount of Pikmin lost within a cave will cause the song to lose instruments. In addition, there are variants on the themes when carrying treasures and when fighting enemies. Multiply the level themes by 2 since there's a variation of every song for when you play as Louie/President, and for above-ground themes multiply by 2 again to account for the sunset variations of every song.
- The boss music in Pikmin 2 also seamlessly changes depending on what's going on during the fight — the boss moving around, the boss attacking, the boss being beat on by Pikmin, and a finale to the song that always seems to fit the music regardless of when it changes. The Titan Dweevil actually has different segments of music when it uses each of its weapons, and different music depending on how many weapons it has left.
- In series tradition, Pikmin 3 carries this trope over with the main theme of each world. There's a 'battle mix' when fighting an enemy, and a 'carrying' theme for when you're carrying something back. Similarly, the 'big boss' theme has a few variations as well, with the main theme, a mix for when the boss is on the attack, a distraught jingle for when you lose Pikmin to it, and a victorious theme for when the captains and Pikmin gain the upper hand.
- The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Final Trial in the first game. In the second game, the Wistful Wild is the Very Definitely Final Region, and the Dream Den is the Very Definitely Final Dungeon. In Pikmin 3, the final area in the game is a huge termite mound (referred to as an oak stump in English, for some reason) of all things. Luckily, no actual termite-based enemies appear in it. The name of said area? Tower of the Sorrowful Beast... (Formidable Oak in English)
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Want to drown, electrocute, burn, poison or let pikmin get eaten up by predators? Go ahead. You monster.
- Voodoo Shark: The (apparently) standard note spaceman's suit had been redesigned in Pikmin 3 to include a visible whistle embedded within the space helmet. While this does explain how they're able to whistle while still wearing their helmets, it brings another question on how the characters can still breathe despite the fact that the whistle itself makes a hole in their helmets (and thus, should logically be suffocating).
- War for Fun and Profit: Many people have this opinion of the second game. Profit, yes, but not fun, though; it's paying back the Loan Sharks. Then later, it's saving your lost friend. If you keep playing after that, it becomes just for fun, but that's what games are for.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: The Armored Mawdad in Pikmin 3 will close down and leisurely munch away at your entire army if you don't know how to manage your captain's movements and the strengths and weakness of the two types you have. And unlike the enemies you encounter before, it's fast.
- Water Is Blue: Averted for the actual water, but almost anything associated with water but not aquatic itself (Watery Blowhogs, Caustic Dweevils, the Blue Pikmin themselves, etc) is blue.
- Weaponized Offspring: After the first encounter with the Empress Bulbax in Pikmin 2, sequential encounters will have it lay Bulborb larvae throughout the battle to attack you. The Vehemoth Phosbat in Pikmin 3 activates pods scattered around its arena in which baby Phosbats come out of.
- We Have Reserves: You can have an unlimited number of Pikmin in the onions and ship.
- We Need a Distraction: The ability to switch between two captains allows for the use of one to lure away monsters into a convenient position for a Zerg Rush led by the other captain. This is pretty much required for the Ranging Bloyster in the second game which deliberately goes after the active captain, though just spamming the captain switch button even as a single group will also leave it too confused to fight back. The Scornet Maestro in the third game is another boss that only goes after the active captain, though unlike the Bloyster, this isn't required.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Purple and White Pikmin are kept in the ship's hold because they have no Onion. It isn't explained what happens to them when the Captains leave the planet. Are they taken back to Hocotate? If they are taken to Hocotate, it's not an oxygen atmosphere, can they even survive outside of the hold? Are they left behind?
- What the Hell, Player?: It is possible to make the Pikmin extinct, but it probably won't happen unless you do it intentionally. If you do manage to kill them all, you get a depressing "Pikmin Extinction" cutscene followed by Olimar beating himself up in his journal for letting it happen. It won't end the game, but you are forced to start over with just a single seed. It's still possible to cause an extinction in Pikmin 3, however the Onion simply produces a single seed and acts like nothing happened.
- When You Coming Home, Dad?: Olimar's son and daughter ask him this repeatedly, almost word for word, in their emails.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Pikmin will freak out at the sight (or apparently, scent) of Mitites. Except Purple Pikmin. Which just so happen to be the best tools for crushing Mitites all at once.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: According to its journal entry, the Man-at-Legs has no need for the gun mounted on it, since it has no natural enemies, leading to the rumor that the gun controls the creature.
- You Bastard: Ai no Uta is a song dedicated to this.
Uprooted, we'll gather and be thrown to our deaths
But we won't ask you to love us.
- Zerg Rush: The Pikmin's main mode of attack (excepting bomb rocks in the first and third games); you can even up the efficiency of said Rush by directing the Pikmin swarm.