Video Game / Pikmin

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"Let's make a game based entirely around micromanagement.

Let's make a game where every moment must be spent efficiently or else it can't be completed at all; any wasted time means a growing anxiety of being able to finish. All your units must be fragile enough that a literal stray wind will severely debilitate them, and every enemy must be powerful enough to steamroll through and obliterate your entire squad in an instant if left unchecked. Let's make a game that forces you to spend several hours and superfluous effort to reach a goal that, if not reached correctly, will cease to exist.

Hell, while we're at it, let's put a time limit on the whole thing.

BUT WHY DO I LOVE IT SO MUCH."

Real-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 length, reliability, clever challenges, and unique style. Despite this, for whatever reason, the series hit a snag here. The series went on a hiatus with only the vaguest clues that it was still around, with Miyamoto giving rather vague hints to a third game in the series. In the meantime, fans had to contend with nine or so years of waiting before Pikmin 3 was revealed at E3 2011.

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, Brittany, 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, a component critical for getting 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 have business on the planet...

A fourth installment was suddenly and surprisingly announced to be "very close to completion" on September 7th, 2015, by Shigeru Miyamoto himself.

The official Japanese website for Pikmin 3 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, with Alph added as an alternate costume in Wii U and 3DS. 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.

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. They're Dweevils which have lit bomb rocks on their backs, and they actively chase after captains and Pikmin. Naturally, Pikmin 2 just loves spamming them in the cave areas, particularly in corners, dead ends, and near treasure items.
  • 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 explains a few things about the events that happened before Olimar crash landed on the planet. For example, it explains the reason Olimar didn't use the Nova Blaster to blow up the meteor that hit him: the path Olimar was travelling was one he had 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.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: Pikmin 3 added a few things to the series that dealt with some of the more annoying aspects of the previous games.
    • First off, the "go here" function. While Pikmin 2 had two captains, the closest thing it had to a "go here" function was the Napsack, which could only be used to carry a captain back to the ship at most. This made using the two captains effectively rather annoying. Pikmin 3's go here function allows you to remotely command a captain and his/her Pikmin to go somewhere without doing it manually, making multi-tasking far less straining.
    • Pikmin who are farming berries in Pikmin 3 will automatically head back to the berry plant to continue farming them, unlike in Pikmin 2 where they would wait at the ship until you manually guided them back to the plant. This makes building up sprays far easier and less of a chore to do.
    • In the first two games, items carried back to the ship would interrupt what you were doing to play a cutscene explaining said item, disrupting your concentration and possibly costing you Pikmin in the process. In Pikmin 3, this only happens with plot relevant items or suit upgrades, and fruit is only detailed at the end of the day, making such instances of this far less frequent.
  • 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, 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. The secret log videos which players can find also suggest that some of the more outlandish files and placement of the logs can be attributed to the faulty bargain priced equipment his boss provided, leaking or ejecting data files as he travels.
  • 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. Even though the Pikmin short movies released years later showed far more than one hundred Pikmin on screen at certain points.
  • 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.
  • Artificial Stupidity: While the Pikmin are generally easy to handle while under your control, and they get better about not getting distracted or rush into dangerous situations as the games go on, they're not exactly the brightest plant animal creatures in the gaming world... They'll gladly follow you into hazards that can one shot them, will often get distracted by such things like grass and pellet poseys while trying to run away from enemies, and will often attempt to take the most dangerous route back to the ship, even if there's a much quicker and safer route they could take.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • White Pikmin can poison enemies when eaten; aside from bosses, anything that doesn't die outright will be left in pretty bad shape. While this sounds useful, White Pikmin can only be made in Candypop Buds, not an Onion, and thus are too scarce to sacrifice en masse.
    • Bulbmin are immune to water, fire, electrical, and poisonous hazards. This makes them a really useful utility... but they can only be used in the caves they're found in. As a result, for better long-term use, they're usually the first ones to get converted to other Pikmin when a Candypop Bud is encountered. Similarly, the small Bulbmin, the ones you can control, will only spawn if there aren't already 100 Pikmin in the field. This means that either you have to have already lost Pikmin, something players generally try to avoid, to use them, or go into a cave with less than 100 Pikmin beforehand, which puts you at a minor handicap until you encounter them.
  • Baby Factory: Empress Bulblax.
  • Background Music Override: Pikmin 2's Submerged Castle features this. When the Waterwraith drops in to attack on the early floors, the cave's music halts and is replaced with a very tense theme until you escape down to the next floor.
  • 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...
  • Bag of Spilling: In one of the secret logs from Pikmin 3, Olimar, after watching Louie get attacked by an electric creature, laments that they didn't hold onto the electric-resistant material they used to upgrade their suits in Pikmin 2.
  • Beak Attack: The Burrowing Snagret — a creature with the body of a snake and the head of a bird — uses its largenote  beak to scoop up multiple Pikmin at once and eat them. There is also the Pileated Snagret, a footed variation of it.
  • 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 on the planet's fauna and flora, Louie has a recipe or cooking tip. 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 such that they can't decide if they're still hungry or not. Alph cites 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. It's autumnal and features moody, "wistful" background music.
  • Bonus Boss: The Smoky Progg in Pikmin. It's optional, drops a pearl worth 100 Pikmin if defeated, and the poisonous trail it makes alone can kill Pikmin.
  • Book Ends: Most of the areas in Pikmin 2 are the areas from the first game, but after time has changed them. The Wistful Wild is what's become of both the Impact Site and Final Trial. The entrance to the final dungeon is located where Olimar found his first ship piece, the Main 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:
    • The edge of the Forest Navel in Pikmin features an endless black expanse. Any Pikmin who accidentally fall in will not be coming back out.
    • Several caverns in Pikmin 2 feature rusty metal platforms fastened above an endless chasm. 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 will 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 other Pikmin from drowning, 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. Pikmin 3 improved them somewhat by granting them increased vertical mobility while underwater, allowing them to swim up to enemies instead of having to be thrown.
    • 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 finds an actual onion as a treasure in Pikmin 2, he names it the "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 a level themed after a Christmas party taking place in someone's house.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: The protagonists of Pikmin 3, although Brittany is more pink than red.
  • Clam Trap: The Pearly Clam Clamp is a clam that opens its mouth when the Pikmin attack the pearl it is protecting (or in one case, the Radiation Canopy, one of the pieces of Captain Olimar's ship, The Dolphin). If the Pikmin aren't called back fast enough, the Pearly Clam Clamp will close its mouth over them and eat them, even doing so after they've recovered its pearl. The pearl it guards can produce 50 Pikmin when brought back to one of the Onions.
  • 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 no longer capable 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 its protective hair once the hair on its joints are gone, at which point it'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. Winged and Rock Pikmin are not named after their color, but are represented with pink and gray respectively.
    • Dweevils in the second game are also color-coded based on which elemental power they have.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: All but two bosses in the third game have a "damage threshold" which prevents Pikmin from killing them in one cycle. This is especially obvious with the Scornet Maestro; you can see its health wheel go down when swarmed by Pikmin... only for the wheel to stop a quarter-way through for no logical reason.
  • 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 a sizeable amount of Purple Pikmin, which outclass them in combat. Additionally, fire hazards, the only other claim to fame Red Pikmin have, are easier to brute-force with the incorrect Pikmin color than other elemental hazards are. That being said, their faster speed over their Purple counterparts makes them important for fast-moving bosses such as the Segmented Crawbster.
  • 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: A single Pikmin deals pitiable damage to enemies, but it adds up considerably when they attack as a group.
  • Death from Above: In some of the later dungeons, bomb rocks, falling boulders, and even enemies can fall out of nowhere. It's usually a good idea to have a captain scout out the cavern's dead-ends and narrow corridors before bringing your army through.
  • 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, despite now being treated like a full boss. You'll fight multiples of them later on, including several at once! 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!
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • In Pikmin 2, 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. On rusty metal stages with bottomless pits, if there are any Dweevils around, you can goad one into picking you up and there's a chance it might walk over the low walls with you on its back. In the rare event that this happens, the captain is simply teleported back onto the stage no worse for wear (The Dweevil isn't so lucky, though).
    • The Submerged Castle was programmed so that only Blue Pikmin can enter. Even if you manage to move some non-Blue Pikmin out of bounds near the cave, whistle them back into your party, and access the cavern's entrance before they re-enter the playing field and fall into the water, only the Blue Pikmin will actually enter the cave with you.
    • Olimar's logbook in the first game is based on what happens in-game (such as what enemies you fought, or events such as Pikmin extinction). However, it also has a full set of entries in case absolutely 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.
    • 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, or for defeating the Quaggled Mireclops but failing to actually bring Louie back to the ship afterward.
    • 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.
    • Even though there's no possible way you should have that many Pikmin by that point, as there's only enough pellets to make twenty five Pikmin max on the first day of Pikmin 1, the Main Engine ship part does have a maximum Pikmin carrying cap like the other ship parts, being capped off at forty.
  • 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.
    • Present in the first game's bad ending, where Olimar dies and the Pikmin bring him to the Onion, converting him into a Pikmin. The only problem with this plan is that there doesn't seem to be ANY way to pull him out.
  • Difficulty by Region: Despite being notable for its speed running community, Pikmin 3 has a lot of off things added in the North American version that discourages speed running game, such as adding invisible walls to certain areas if you attempt to do it out of sequence, or making it so the bosses stop taking damage after a certain amount during each phase of their fight, for example, being able to take out one third of the Scornet Maestro health only each time you knock it down, or being unable to flat out kill the Mawdad until it gets at least one attack in. As said, all these are not present in the Japanese / PAL versions of the game, meaning it's flatout impossible to get the same time attack scores people who have those versions of the game do.
  • Disc One Nuke: Purple Pikmin in 2. Early on their sheer power and ability to stun enemies will completely steamroll a lot of early game enemies. However, by the time you get to Bulblax Kingdom note  they begin to fall behind for several reasons. Their lack of speed becomes more and more apparent against enemies that are far quicker and easier to aggro, and many enemies are far larger than early game enemies or flying up in the air (or both) which makes pulling off the Purple's stun attacks far harder than early game enemies. note  In addition, the game starts to get more spam happy with instant-kill hazards such as explosions and crushing, so being able to swiftly get away with your Pikmin is key. While they're still a good late game attack force, they're nowhere near as abusive as they are early on.
  • 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.
  • Distracted By The Shiny: The Ranging Bloyster is attracted to glowy things, such as the lights on the captains' antennae.
  • 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: Pikmin 3 received three level packs for Mission Mode. The first pack includes five new Gather Treasure missions, remixing the five maps already in the game. The second includes five new Battle Enemies missions, but used remixed story maps instead of the Mission Mode maps. The last pack added five new missions for both types, using five entirely new maps. The first map in each pack is free, while the other four are paid content.
  • 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 Koppaites 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 (naturally) the moment they laid eyes on him.
  • Dummied Out:
    • The first game contains quite a few unused elements in its code, including bizarre things like models of Mario and a goomba and a rock-like enemy that spits out smaller rocks, as well as a moon texture (which is unused as you are never allowed to play after sundown.)
    • The second game contains a ton of unused cave levels and floor layouts, seed values for enemies that are never found above ground (and thus can never be taken to an Onion to sprout more Pikmin), some unused treasures and old treasure textures, and cutscenes for the various Onions activating (which are unused, as unlike the first game, all of the Onions are already active when you find them). A lot of treasures with either retextured or completely changed for different region versions of the game, especially in the case of licensed products (as many EU and US players would be unfamiliar with most of the original Japanese products).
  • 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.
  • Earth That Was: Earth is clearly in the far future and yet there are no humans to be found with no clues as to why. Though the environment is lethal to the protagonists of the games, it still seems like it would be perfectly habitable for humans and that they would see some form of human presence while rocketing around the world. Pikmin 3 confirms that the game is set in the extreme far future, so far that Earth's continents have rearranged themselves (the first level, the "Tropical Wilds", is located in Antarctica), so it's unlikely that humanity as we know it would have continued that long, or we simply abandoned Earth and found a new planet to call home.
  • 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.
  • Eating the Enemy
    • This how the grand majority of Pikmin enemies will deal with your horde. Bulborbs, with their gigantic maws, are the most iconic devourer of Pikmin and can gobble down several at a time.
    • In return, the grand majority of enemies in the series once beaten will leave behind some form of carcass that your Pikmin can carry back to their Onions to to produce Pikmin seeds.
  • Elemental Powers: The Pikmin play around with this. Red Pikmin and Blue Pikmin resist fire and water respectively, but cannot actually utilize it. Yellow Pikmin resist electricity and can safely conduct it through their bodies, but do not utilize it for any offensive capabilities. White Pikmin resist poison and are poisonous themselves, playing it straight. Also playing the trope straight are the various Dweevil enemies, which spew out elemental attacks when threatened.
  • 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.
  • Enemy Roll Call: The first game has all the enemies mentioned by name in the credits.
  • 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, and it's up and running instead of rusted out like the metal chambers from ''Pikmin 2. It features conveyor belts and switches that the three captains need to work together to get around.
  • Everything Fades:
    • Averted with most enemies. After dying, they leave behind carcasses that can be retrieved by your Pikmin to serve as food for producing new Pikmin. Your Pikmin themselves, however, play the trope straight as they die and turn into little Pikmin ghosties with the most mournful sound ever.
    • Played straight with the enemies in The Very Definitely Final Dungeon of Pikmin 3. In this case, they're not actually real creatures but fascimiles made out of the Plasm Wraith's gelatinous body, and as such disintegrate back into ooze when 'killed'.
  • 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 its side, sending them out against Olimar.
    • Antenna Beetles can steal Pikmin with their version of a whistle, but only distract the Pikmin rather than turn them against you.
    • The Scornet Maestro boss commands its own swarm of up to a hundred Scornets, which are small flying insects similar in size and strength to your Pikmin.
  • Extended Gameplay: The second game ends when you get 10,000 Pokos to pay off the debt, but you can return to the planet after the credits roll 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 realize they're essentially eating rocks. How do animals that eat carrot-like creatures become instantly adept at eating rocks?
  • Eye Scream: In Pikmin 3, you can have your Pikmin attack the eyes of Bulborbs to stun them and disrupt their attacking pattern. Useful if one is chomping down on your Pikmin. The Bug-Eye Crawmad must also be attacked in the eyes in order to flip it over and expose its soft belly.
  • Final-Exam Boss:
    • The Titan Dweevil in Pikmin 2. It uses weaponry representing all four of the game's elemental hazards, putting your command of each color Pikmin to the test (Except Purple Pikmin, but you'll definitely want them for the previous floors).
    • 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 attacks with elemental hazards similarly to the Titan Dweevil, and can fly into the air (mandating the use of Winged Pikmin to bring it back down).
  • Flawless Victory: Pikmin 2's Challenge Mode denotes the levels you've completed 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 the second game Olimar and Louie kept sneaking bites of all the edible treasure, many of which were meat. The President of Hocotate Freight was also the only one shown to be rather greedy when it came to the planet's treasure. In Pikmin 3, the Koppaites talk about Hocotatians as if they're all treasure-loving vegetarians, but it's unclear if this is grounded in fact or simply stereotyping.
  • Flunky Boss: Empress Bulblax constantly births Bulborb Larvae to harass you, 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 look good enough to eat, and the ones with rough exteriors (like kiwis) are split open to show the juicy innards. 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 and had a childhood hobby of eating bugs. The latter foreshadows his cooking notes in the Piklopedia and the former hints how his love of those carrots got Hocotate Freight into debt in the first place.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Averted in a few places.
    • Woe is he who misuses Bomb Rocks. This is one reason why there was much rejoicing when they were removed for Pikmin 2. The controls were fairly inaccurate, so accidentally having a Pikmin drop a Bomb Rock at the wrong time was frustratingly common. They return in Pikmin 3, but are scarcer and easier to use.
    • 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, Wollywogs can now crush other enemies with their jumps.
  • 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.
    • Mixed with Pun, PNF-404 is actually a punny title: "Planet not found: Error 404".
  • 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 immediately respawn near where they fell. It also featured way more bottomless pits, making this very necessary.
  • Game Mod: Pikmin 2.5. A hack of Pikmin 2 which adds a new dungeon, the Horror Room. The dungeon includes new enemies (a golden Bulborb and a golden Dwarf Bulborb) and treasures (actually beta treasures left in the game's code). However it borders on Kaizo Mario World levels of difficulty as the floors contain many, many boss enemies bunched together to make one hell of a dungeon. The best way to play it is on either a modded Wii or Wii U, as playing it on a Dolphin emulator has almost unplayable levels of lag. Even then, the mod has Loads and Loads of Loading due to the sprawling levels and enemies, clocking in at almost 3-4 minutes of waiting time. Watch a playthrough here.
  • 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! Olimar notes that without alien presence, Pikmin seem to be at the bottom of the planets food chain.
  • Gasshole: The Doodlebug flatulates with every move it makes, and this can poison your Pikmin.
  • 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 racing against the clock. The second game added Dungeon Crawling and more in-depth boss fights, and the third adds even more Real-Time Strategy elements and larger maps to explore.
  • 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. They'll also attempt to cultivate your captains, though, and are unintentionally disruptive to Pikmin carrying goods through their territory, so it's probably best to eliminate them once you get what you want from them.
  • Ghibli Hills: Several of 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. Even the Hocotate Ship's AI freaks out at its sudden and unexpected appearance.
  • 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 can slam down pretty hard onto any enemy, dishing out high damage and stunning them. Certain enemies (Dwarf Bulborbs, Sheargrubs, and Skitterleafs, for example) can be stomped on by any Pikmin with a precise throw, often providing a one-hit kill.
  • 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 201 treasures; to beat the game, you only need however many are necessary to raise 10,000 Pokos, but you can return to get the rest and a second ending. The third game has 66 fruits and awards you a better ending for finding them all, but to finish the game you only need as much fruit juice as you need days to find the Cosmic Drive Key.
  • 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 — just about 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 are running around collecting treasure for Hocotate Freight, which is once again in debt.
  • He Was Right There All Along: Most of the games' bosses either drop down on you from above, tunnel up from underground, or were an innocuous environmental piece until you got close.
  • 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 Olimar names "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 Earth in the far future, in a state where humans are extinct.
  • 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 be caught by them as many times as you like (or don't like).
  • Implacable Man:
    • The Waterwraith, combined with Stalked by the Bell. Its one weakness is Purple Pikmin, which can't be used in the cavern until the final floor, where you have a proper fight with the Waterwraith.
    • The Plasm Wraith keeps chasing you throughout the Formidable Oak, and even when you beat it in battle, it's still alive and well by the time the ending starts.
  • 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.
  • Insurmountable Waist High Fence: Found throughout the games, but justified by the fact that Hocotatians are less than two inches tall.
  • 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.
  • King Koopa Copy: The Final Boss of the first game is the Emperor Bulblax, a giant-sized green Bulborb with a sludgy texture and mushrooms in its back capable of eating Pikmin with its large, purple tongue. Though it doesn't breath fire, it shares other attacks from Bowser like Ground Pound (first game only) and Pikmin-scaring roars (second game only).
  • 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. However, after he gets left behind on the planet, he survives on his own without any Pikmin, gets all the way to the bottom of the Dream Den, and even manages to not 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 were once the Trope Namer.
  • Living Gasbag: Jellyfloats and Medusal Slurkers are essentially hovering jellyfish that suck up their prey rather than sting it.
  • MacGuffin: The Cosmic Drive Key in Pikmin 3. The plot revolves around tracking the thing down so the Koppaites can return home.
  • 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 but reduced speed.
  • 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-Boss: Pikmin 3 has the Shaggy Long Legs, Burrowing Snagret and the Bug-Eyed Crawmad, which are a lot simpler than the game's proper boss battles.
  • 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. The Emergence Cave in the story proper is only two floors deep as well.
  • 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. Fun times for all.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters:
    • The Snagrets. Bird heads, snake bodies, and a single bird foot.
    • The Rock Pikmin take this Up to Eleven, being plant, animal, and mineral.
  • Monster Compendium: The Piklopedia in Pikmin 2. 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 no enemies or hazards, and you would practically have to be trying to get Pikmin killed in the level. Until you find a way up onto the pizza, where you have to face off against a sudden miniboss fight against 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 if they don't think to duck behind some cover.
  • 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. Or would that make them herbivorous?
  • 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 dying of oxygen poisoning, and the Pikmin turning his body into a strange Pikmin/Olimar hybrid. 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, 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.
  • Nerf: Punching suffered this in Pikmin 3. In the first game, it provided a way for Olimar to attack without his Pikmin, and in the second game it was even more useful with a second captain and the Rocket Fist upgrade. Not only does the third game not allow you to attack with multiple captains anymore, but the punches are harder to land and do less damage than a single Pikmin.
  • 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. Both sequels make the time limit more forgiving, by removing outright it from 2 and implementing it dynamically in 3.
  • 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.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The Formidable Oak area in Pikmin 3 is not an oak or even a tree at all. It takes place on a termite mound in the middle of a desert.
  • 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', which is basically a compressed Forest Navel. The Collect Treasures version not only features Red, Yellow, and Blue Pikmin, it even has a Baldy Long Legs in the exact same room where the Beady Long Legs was fought in the first game!
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The Final Trial from the first game certainly tries to invoke this. There is only one enemy total in the stage (the final boss), and the average player will be spending an in-game day trying to clear the obstacles reach the creature's lair. This whole time, the player will encounter nothing else while the game plays very unnerving music which gives the vibe that there's something sinister in this peaceful setting with them.
  • 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 Humanity!: 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. 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 in Pikmin 2 will slowly regain health after being 'killed'. If you let their health get back to full before you convert them into Pikmin food or money, they'll get back up and attack your team again. The Bulbear doesn't do this in the Pikmin 3, 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). Brittany also mentions that Hocotatians are renowned for being greedy treasure hunters.
  • Planimal: Various creatures. Aside from the Pikmin, there are the Creeping Chrysanthemums, Bulbmin, Pellet Posies, and Candypop Buds.
  • Plant Aliens: Averted, since the Pikmin live in distant-future Earth.
  • Plant Mooks: 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 Person: 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. This even leads to some of the treasures being different depending on the version, so as to be more relatable. The Drone Supplies, for example, is a container of Underwood deviled ham in the US version, but a pack of French Haribo Tagada sweets in the European version.
  • Puzzle Boss: Many 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 put together using predesigned rooms arranged randomly, with enough corridors to connect them all, and the placement of enemies, treasures, the exit, and other features are all randomized as well. There are a few floors that have static layouts, however, such as most boss floors.
  • Real-Time Strategy: About the most accurate genre it can be sorted into, if any.
  • 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 Mission Mode 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.
  • Sailor Earth: Good lord, the sheer amount of fanon Pikmin created on a daily basis rivals the number of Pikmin you can grow throughout a playthrough. It helps that the Pikmin have a pretty blank template to go off of. Just pick a color that hasn't been made official yet, give it some unique body feature no other Pikmin has, and then give it any power or immunity you want.
  • 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 Super Smash Bros. Brawl 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, for the most part. The 30-day time limit is excised completely, much of the gameplay takes place underground where there's no day timer, and many returning enemies are slower or less powerful than they were in the first game. 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.
  • Shout-Out:
    • 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.
  • Skewed Priorities: In Pikmin 2, Louie seems to be more interested in what the planet's creatures taste like, rather than how to avoid being killed by them.
  • 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 count.
  • 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 or don't hit lethal terminal velocity with their suits at the gravity level.
  • 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. Some words such as "Pikmin" and the characters' names are enunciated, however.
  • Speed Run:
    • The Pikmin series has a very notable and active speed running community based around the games, even outside of the challenge runs. One of the most famous challenges in the Pikmin series is trying to beat the games in the very bare minimum days required. In Pikmin 1, the bare minimum number of days you can do the game without cheating or abusing glitches is 9 days. In Pikmin 2, it's 8, and in Pikmin 3, depending on whether you're going for all fruit or not, it's either 7 or 10.
    • This is taken Up to Eleven with Pikmin 1, where it is possible to beat the game in only 6 days. However, it requires abusing several glitches and bugs to get into areas you're not suppose to, and being near absolute perfect when it comes to making effective use of all your Pikmin, in addition to getting every single ship part in nearly all the areas in a single day, even when you don't have the required Pikmin to get it! A Japanese YouTuber also combined this with the other famous No Death Run challenge, calling it the "Perfect Pikmin" challenge. It is a sight that really needs to be seen to be believed.
  • 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. You cannot even slow it down, let alone defeat it, so you have to either make a break for the next floor or try to keep it distracted while you gather the remaining treasures.
  • Stone Wall:
    • Inversely to how Anode Dweevils are Glass Cannons, Munge Dweevils have the most health but the least dangerous attack; your captains are naturally immune to poison gas due to their suits, and poisoned Pikmin move more predictably than burning Pikmin.
    • The bramble/dirt walls found above ground are mostly harmless, but they can take far more damage than the generic enemy can. Even the most fragile walls have more health than a Raging Long Legs.
  • The Strength of Ten Men: The Purple Pikmin literally have the power of ten Pikmin when it comes to carrying objects, and as such are useful for heavy lifting tasks 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  Their formidable strength is required to lift a very heavy treasure found in Wistful Wild.
  • Stop Motion: Most of Pikmin 2's concept art, including the box art, uses a claymation style.
  • 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. That, and Submerged Castle, which can be outright terrifying to those who didn't know about it beforehand.
  • 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, that's Game Over. Adding up all the obtainable fruit they have 99 days.
  • Toilet Humor: 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.
  • Trilogy Creep: Originally, Miyamoto stated he wanted Pikmin to be a trilogy. However, merely two years after 3's release, he confirmed a Pikmin 4 was close to completion.
  • 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 Caring Potential: Zero death runs, which are quite difficult to do in any of the games - sometimes it's not for the challenge, but because some players just can't bear having any of their adorable little friends die on them.
  • 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 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 speculation 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.

Alternative Title(s): Pikmin 3, Pikmin 2

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Videogame/Pikmin