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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Pikmin
Any Pikmin can be stored in any Onion, but until the Onion color of the Pikmin merges with it, it'll only make Pikmin of the Onions it's currently merged with.
Eh, just something I thought of to explain a way Purple and White Pikmin can be wrote back into the main story should DLC happen, considering their original home inside the Hocotate ship is kind of no longer an option...

The Onions are sentient, and can tell whether or not a being is hostile towards Pikmin by default.
That's the real reason why the Pikmin follow the captains, and not because their suits make them kind of look like Pikmin. It could be totally possible that a being can look completely different from a Pikmin yet the Onions would still allow the Pikmin to follow them if they're not hostile and can help them survive. As for the Puffstool and the Antennae Beetle, it could be that their spores and call disrupt the Pikmin's communication from the Onions, allowing them to take temporary control of them.

Hocotatians and Koppaites are actually the normal size of beings in the universe, and PNF-404 (and by extention, possibly humanity) are actually a land of giants.
Not just counting the fact that there's two species in the galaxy that are the exact same size in relation to the PNF-404, there's also the fact that Olimar works for a space shipping company, as well as heading for a vacation spot at the start of Pikmin one. This implies there are a lot more beings out there around the average size of a Hocotatian.

The Goolix, the Water Wraith, and 3's final boss are all the same creature at different ages in their life.
Besides the fact that they're all Blob Monsters, the first two are water based, while the form the Plasma Wraith takes at the start of the battle looks suspeciously like the Goolix. It's possible that, though Olimar could have possibly killed the Goolix in Pikmin 1 and killed the Water Wraith in Pikmin 2, maybe they can only be temporarly put out of commission. Afterall, at the end of the battle against the Plasm Wraith, what's left of it sulks off and is seen completely reformed in the ending to Pikmin 3. As for why the Plasm Wraith is gold and not water based, it's possible that he absorbed the gold plating from the ship, which somehow powered it up and allowed it to use all those elemental hazards.

Related to above:

The Plasm Wraith may have actually been the meteor of the first game.

Given the whole Umibozu theme, it's very likely the Plasm Wraith may have been after Olimar since the day he first got too close to the pikmin planet, it turned off his systems so he was unable to recognize the threat until he struck it, and has been stalking him since, getting ever more powerful in its intent to capture him.
  • Combining this with the above theory, the fact that the Goolix is located in the same level Olimar crashlanded a few days after the first really supports this.

Louie being stranded on PNF-404 (and in turn, the journey in the Wistful Wild) in Pikmin 2 is NOT Canon.
The Hocotate Freight Ship lacks its Gold Plating from repaying the President's debt from the All Devouring Loan Sharks when it crashes in Pikmin 3. In addition to this, Olimar states in his "At the Oak" video log that this is his THIRD visit to PNF-404. if traveling the Wistful Wild and rescuing Louie were indeed canon, then this would have been Olimar's FOUTRTH visit to PNF-404.

If there is a Pikmin 4, and it features the previous captains in it, Louie will pull a Face-Heel Turn.
Considering his antagonistic actions in Pikmin 3's story mode, it's likely that he'll go the full mile in the next game...

Purple and White Pikmin will only be useable in Pikmin 3's challenge mode.
Take a look at this screenshot. It's the day select screen from Pikmin 3, but if you notice under Alph and Brittany's icons you'll see icons that tell you how many Pikmin you have. Not counting the one that shows you how many Pikmin have died, you'll see that there are only five slots, and on the official Japanese Pikmin site on the page that explains the Pikmin's powers and abilities, you'll see they only detail the main three plus Rock and Winged Pikmin. This, combined with the only time's we've ever see Purple and White Pikmin is what can be assumed to be the Challenge Mode in the game, makes it highly likely that, along with Olimar, they have been Demoted to Extra and can't be used in the main story.
  • Confirmed by the Japanese site.

Olimar, Louie, and the President will be playable in Pikmin 3.
Whether it's after the main plot of returning food to Koppai is wrapped up like how Louie was accidentally left behind in Pikmin 2, causing the President to take his place to find him, or a possibly an alternative DLC story line ala New Super Luigi U, considering you can control three captains at once in Pikmin 3, it would fit to have all of them to work together. I do remember someone at Nintendo saying that Olimar will make an appearance in Pikmin 3 in someway...
  • Olimar at the very least is playable in Challenge and Bingo Mode.

'Captain D' will be taking a more sinister role
In a recent interview, Miyamoto said you can use the game pad to switch between the three captains, and in the recent screenshots Captain D is noticeably absent. One could argue that he's been scrapped completely, but it would be a bit odd to scrap him completely when it was said he was one of the four playable cpatains at E3. As such, it could be possible his role was retcon'd into being the first true antagonist of the Pikmin series. (True, there is Black Hole Loan Sharks in Pikmin 2, but it was more of a background thing to give you a reason to collect the treasures. Capatain D would take a more proactive approach, constantly trying to sabotage your mission whenever he can...)
  • Jossed. Captain D doesn't make an appearance in the story, meaning he was scrapped. Though, another captain certainly pulls some antagonistic actions...

Olimar and Louie are missing!
And the new characters are a search team! Think about it, why wouldn't Olimar be present!
  • He's rich enough to retire after selling all those treasures?
    • Semi-Jossed. The Captains in Pikmin 3 aren't looking for Olimar and Louie, but rather trying to take back food to their starving planet. Though, Olimar and Louie's whereabouts during this are still unknown...

The pikmin you command are all the males.
The onions are the females.

Pikmin 3's trip to the Pikmin homeworld will be for religious or spiritual reasons
I've always seen Pikmin as something of a metaphor for war, where you are a nation, the Pikmin are your soldiers, and the wildlife is the opposing side. So far, the motivations for fighting with the Pikmin in the two games have matched up fairly nicely with two major motivations for waging war: survival and capitalism, respectively. What's another huge reason people have wars? Religion.

This could happen many different ways, but here's how I see it going down: Eventually, the President or Louie spills the beans about the Pikmin to someone, and the news spreads like wildfire. Some religious zealot hears about the Pikmin and decides that, as described, the Pikmin and their planet are close enough to her religion's version of heaven and angels that she decides she needs to go there. Realizing that the President of a major company probably has too many guards to threaten and that Louie is an incompetent pilot, she forces Olimar to take her there. Throughout the game, Olimar will be forced to help in her crusade to drive out the "demons" (wildlife) and find some MacGuffin she's convinced exists. After a while of being unable to find it, she goes crazy and abandons Olimar. The final boss would be a fight between Olimar's and her Pikmin armies, ala Pikmin 2 multiplayer. Needless to say, Pikmin 3 will be much Darker and Edgier than Pikmin 2.
  • Jossed, it's to avert a food-apocalypse.

There is massive corruption and/or oppression somewhere on Olimar's planet
As a corollary to the above, internal wars can be whipped up to due perceived injustices, and the new people in Pikmin 3 could have left Olimar's planet to escape some form of persecution or oppression. They could be using the Pikmin to build a new nation for themselves on a new planet, without seeing the irony. The final boss would be Olimar attempting to stop them from doing to the Pikmin what was once done to them.

The Pikmin follow Captains for religious purposes
  • In the first game's logs, Olimar finds it strange that Pikmin are born from the ground because life on his planet is born from the stars. He then wonders if they will eventually return to the ground when he dies since the stars are where he will eventually return to. Yes, Olimar is a star person, and that is why the Pikmin cannot help but stare at him. This is why the Pikmin are also too dumb to live. They are not especially smart but they will not actually run into instant death situations willingly if left to their own devices. But the drive to please the star person causes them to follow him into water, knowing they cannot swim, to neither fight nor run away when being devoured by predators without the star person's command.

Pikmin 3 will feature Olimar's son.
It's been hinted by Shigeru Miyamoto that the Pikmin series would be a trilogy. As such, most loose ends would have to be tied up by the end of Pikmin 3. As such, one reoccurring topic that comes up throughout Pikmin and Pikmin 2 is Olimar's son. In Pikmin 1, he occasionally remarks about how his son would love to visit the Pikmin planet, being adventurous like his father. Likewise, in Pikmin 2, Olimar's son actually messages Olimar and the group, complaining that he didn't get to come along with him during the expedition.

Since Miyamoto is known for creating games that often leave 100% happy endings, Pikmin 3 would be expected to leave all sides (save an antagonist) with a satisfactory ending. As such, his son wouldn't have his dream fulfilled unless he came along. Therefore, we can at least expect Olimar's son to see some screentime in Pikmin 3.
  • Jossed.

When you first take control of him in Pikmin 2, he seems to be able to easily control and order Pikmin despite never seeing them before; also, when Olimar leaves Louie behind, he is able to survive until help arrives. While we never see everything that he does, the local animals never seem to bother him and he was apparently hunting them all down just to see what they taste like. Also, when he's discovered, he's at the bottom of the longest hole in the game, sleeping on top of the final boss. Obviously, he's secretly a Beast Master.

Pikmin was specifically designed to train people for workplace management.
When you think of Olimar as "Manager" and the pikmin as his employees, it makes a scary amount of sense, and the game continually hints at this analogy (such as Olimar calling it "unacceptable" that the Pikmin do nothing when blocked by a barrier). There's a hard time limit for each day (directly relating to a work schedule) and a limit on the number of days you have to complete the ship (read: "deadline for the completion of the project"). Pikmin will do constructive tasks on their own if anything happens to be nearby, but require guidance and, dare I say it, management, to get any real work done. In combat, a few pikmin die, but a good player can minimize the losses and take down enemies more quickly (there's always employees that quit or need to be fired, but a good manager loses fewer employees and his employees work harder). And as always, if you're willing to invest the resources, you can get more pikmin (hiring for employees). But that's time (company resources!) NOT spent achieving the goal. Even the nectar is an aesop about employees needing proper nutrition to work their best.

With Pikmin 2, they followed a design plan guided less by the original training concept and more by the original game's reception. As a result, the training message is a lot less coherent.

  • Pikmin 3 could be a way of teaching teamwork or the importance of dividing tasks into groups, with individual department heads, to increase production.

In the third game, purple pikmin will be immune to something, too.
Two reasons:
  1. Yellow pikmin gained immunity to electricity in the second game...
  2. ...But they lost the ability to carry bomb rocks. (Purple pikmin may lose some weight next time...)
    • Jossed.

Pikmin are Time Lords.
It makes about as much sense as some of the other parts of the game.
  • That is probably the most strained Time Lord WMG I've seen.
  • And the Onions are their TARDIS
  • When a Pikmin dies, they are actually just reincarnated.

Pikmin takes place in the Mushroom Kingdom.
Pikmin must take place somewhere on Earth, due to the obvious Earth products in the second game. Since neither Pikmin nor any of their enemies obviously exist in real life, one possible interpretation is that Pikmin happens After the End, and whatever caused the end of the world also caused the mutations that lead to Pikmin and their ilk. But because everything you find seems to be in good condition (paper hasn't decayed at all, the food is still fresh, etc.), it can't have been long enough for mutations to happen.

However, there are tons of Nintendo products (obviously), and Nintendo is still a real company in the Mario universe. We can also make some assumptions that other real-world products exist there — in Paper Mario, junk mail is refered to as "spam," but the term "spam" for junk mail wouldn't exist without the food product Spam (and probably the Monty Python skit). Plus, there are several "Mario-Brand" products, like the Mario Paints — since Mario is a huge celebrity in the Mushroom Kingdom, he might have licensed his name/image out to various products.

Also, look at the Bulborbs! They've got mushroom spots! EVERYTHING looks like 'shrooms in the Mario universe.
  • One problem with this theory — eyes. Everything in the Mushroom Kingdom has eyes, and I mean everything. Where are the hills' eyes, the rocks' eyes, the trees' eyes...?
    • They're too high up for Olimar to notice.
  • Olimar is about the same size as Mario.
    • Wrong! Maybe so in SSBB, but Mario is about two feet tall when he's small; however, Olimar is about the same size as (or even smaller than) a Double A battery.
  • Confirmed, Pikmin can be found in Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour at the expected size.

The Pikmin lifecycle is Pikmin > Candypop Bud > Onion.
Pikmin come from seeds produced by a Pikmin Onion. A "queen" Pikmin is born, or a Pikmin must reach a certain age to become a Candypop Bud. When the time is right, the Pikmin reburrows itself into the ground and metamorphoses into a flower known as a Candypop Bud. The Candypop Bud must then be pollinated by ambulatory Pikmin entering it and changing color. Once pollinated, the flower withers and a Pikmin Onion starts to grow amongst its roots. The Onion matures and burrows itself out of the ground by sprouting propellers, and the Onion starts to produce Pikmin seeds of its own.

Pikmin takes place in future Earth.
Main supporting fact: the presence of oxygen and earthly junk (cardboard boxes, etc.). Pikmin and all the other strange creatures are the result of another millions of years of evolution. Olimar is, of course, a few milimeters tall, that's why all the junk seems to be so big to him. The whole game takes place at the garden of a human being (or whatever substituted humanity in the future), but everything occurs in a scale so small nobody even notices.
  • The second game makes this just about canon.

Pikmin takes place in Shigeru Miyamoto's garden.
Why not?
  • Considering where Mr. Miyamoto got the inspiration, I think you may be on to something. They must have some pretty funky carrots in Japan, though.

In addition, the bird's-eye-view perspective of the game is Miyamoto's child-self looking through a magnifying glass.
At the end of Pikmin 3, the pikmin and Olimar will acknowledge this and start waving at him.

A form of pikmin normally takes the role that Olimar holds.
How do pikmin know what to do when Olimar commands them? Why do pikmin hold Olimar in some special regard? How do pikmin survive on their own when it seems they're nearly helpless without Olimar? (They can't even pluck each other from the ground!) Finally, how come the onions lie dormant until Olimar comes around? Obviously, there exists a leader pikmin of some kind that directs other pikmin and adds to its army by going around to different onions. The "commander" pikmin probably would look similar to Olimar and use commands similar to them. Olimar wasn't just confused with any old pikmin, but a pikmin leader.
  • And this Leader Pikmin will be finally shown in Pikmin 3. Maybe even as a Final Boss. Imagine the epicness of fighting an enemy that also uses Pikmins the same way you do!
  • Given that in the Nonstandard Game Over in Pikmin 1, Olimar is in fact directly transformed into a pikmin, this is very, very likely. (It isn't revealed whether he ever makes it out of the ground, though.) Most likely, this special "leader" pikmin is born when the corpse of an intelligent creature (in this case, Olimar) is fed to the onion.

The Toadmin are actually their own, individual species, and Puffstools act as a sort of "Candypop Bud" to them.
A later game will show that Toadmin are not just made by puffstool spores. Look, why else would spores have a very, very specific effect to one species? This can be shaken off, but after a day, it becomes permanent, seeing as Pikmin hit by them vanish. After that, the original Toadmin drag them off into their equivalent of Onions.

Not only is the Pikmin-planet earth; it's Earth after a nuclear war.
Notice how Olimar's Geiger-counter is TICKING when the Pikmin bring it back to the ship. It's reacting to the nuclear-infested environment. The Pikmin and all the other strange creatures are mutant lifeforms that took over the planet after all other animals perished in the nuclear war.
  • To be fair, just because the Geiger-counter is ticking so much doesn't mean there is nuclear fallout all around Olimar on the Pikmin-planet. For all we know, Olimar's Geiger-counter is just on its most sensitive setting. It's noteworthy that Olimar doesn't care about of how much noise it makes.

Humanity is still around, though perhaps in not as great a number.
Notice how fresh some of the food-based treasures are. Olimar and Co. just hasn't covered enough ground to see any humans yet. It seems a little weird that Olimar and Co. would miss an entire civilization, but considering how ill-equipped they were the second time around...
  • Also consider the sizes involved. The entire thing could take place in an isolated corner of a large park, and they wouldn't know. Maybe Olimar simply isn't looking out the window during takeoff and landing?
  • Notable is the freshly cooked fried egg in the Glutton's Kitchen cavern in Pikmin 2, as well as the child's bootie still smelling terrible, as remarked by everyone in the game.

Olimar's people are the descendants of humanity.
In the last days of civilization, humanity sent a colony ship off. The planet it found had very high gravity and a toxic atmosphere. Through genetic modification, they were able to get a society up and running. Eventually, because of a clerical error in the filing of the archives, the knowledge of where they came from is slowly lost. When they finally discover their home planet they don't realise it. This is further evidenced by the fact that Olimar looks basically similar to a human, and would also explain why he can run around so fast, and why he can throw the pikmin so far and so quickly with such little effort.
  • High gravity and small size can make a strain of humanity shorter, yes, but Olimar is the size of a quarter. An inch or two. Waaaay smaller than those could account for.
    • How so? It was never specified just how much higher the gravity was, and these people would have been genetically engineered to be small, not evolved naturally.
      • Because, apart from anything else, if the gravity was strong enough for people to need to be the size of a quarter, it'd be instantly fatal to anything that lives. Also, the human body wouldn't work if reduced to that size, there simply isn't enough space for most of the important systems. You need an entirely separate biology to work on that scale, down to a completely different eye structure.
      • Got me there. I completely forgot the size lower limit.
      • Couldn't they become shorter and then make that the norm, planet hop again, become even shorter, etc.? Why wouldn't the adaptation work several times consecutively?

Wollywogs Eat Pikmin
What we see as just the beast jumping and crushing pikmin is in reality the Wollywog turning the pikmin into a fine paste to eat via osmosis. A fact that supports this idea is that we don't see its mouth. Wollywogs only have eyes. So how else can they eat? I also say that they must love eating White Pikmin the most because it'll in theory give them the posion power as well. Hell, the Yellow Wollywogs remind me of posion frogs when I look at them.

Much of the wildlife in pikmin are invasive species or imported pets
Specifically, from other planets. Between the present and the events of Pikmin, humanity established trade with other planets. However, occasionally little bugs can find their way into the cargo holds of ships, and there is always the occasional person who says "I want a pet that can shoot fire!" or "That beady long legs thing looks so cool! I'm gonna buy one and keep it in a terrarium!"

Remember, most of the creatures would be the size of a rat or chihuahua at most, so what would be a devastating monster to Olimar wouldn't be all that dangerous to us. They would, however, be dangerous to the local wildlife. Plus, there are zoos, so even if a beetle that shoots boulders or a tiny elephant that shoots fire would be too dangerous to keep as a pet, it would be quite a curiosity for a zoo to keep.

Evidence? Quite a few of the creatures Olimar encounters have things like silicon-based biology, or don't exactly neatly fit into our traditional classification. Creatures like those would take a very long time to evolve naturally, but the fact that so much on future Earth remains unchanged (many of our relics are still in pretty good condition, don't you think?) points to a much smaller timescale. Pikmin are almost certainly among one of the non-native species, hence their unique biology and why they're having such a hard time surviving.
  • This is a good one because there is already one space faring civilization visiting Earth, why not another? It also makes Olimar's upheaval of the natural order less jarring, the natural order has already been overturned! Finally, it opens up the possibility of putting Pikmin in the same setting as another Nintendo game. The Wonderful 101 seems to be able to fit into the same time scale and would explain why people are not particularly concerned with all these tiny invaders; they're too busy dealing with larger ones and explains why Glutton's Kitchen is buried.

Pikmin are actually a kind of miniature Pokémon.
They have similar names and they are just as obedient as Pokémon, their bigger relatives.
  • This reminds me of a Pikmin-inspired Pokémon I saw on deviantART. And I also wonder what this means for the other beings Olimar runs into? Are they Pokemon as well?

There will be a hug command in Pikmin 3.
Because such a thing would just be the cutest thing, wouldn't it? And very heartwarming as well.
  • That's not too far-fetched, actually. There was a hug button in the wii remake of "A boy and his blob" that didn't do anything but look cute. I'm not saying it's likely, but it's not impossible.
  • Reminds me of the hug gesture in Portal 2.
    • Jossed.

Louie is from Earth.
After being stranded on Earth when Olimar happens to forget him, he seems to be able to cope very well on his own. Louie's Notes (recipes for cooking every enemy in Pikmin 2) include ingredients which are from Earth — some of which are treasures which the captains find and Olimar has no idea what they are and therefore would not be on Hocotate. Also notable is that Louie cooperates and supposedly controls the creatures native to 'Earth' very well.

The next Pikmin game will involve colonization.
Considering all the resources on the Pikmin planet that the Hocotatians will collect, I can imagine that a future trip will bring a colony to the planet.

Pikmin aren't slaves to Olimar. Olimar is a slave to the Pikmin...
...because he has a Bulbmin parasite in his brain. The bad end was the parasite speeding its growth to save Olimar because he's far too useful for the pikmin to let him die.

The Smoky Progg is not a mutated infant Mamuta.
It is a perfectly normal infant Waterwraith.
  • Mind blown.
  • No, it is a perfectly normal Mamuta! It buries Pikmin so its young will have an easier time catching them when it hatches.

Pikmin are not slaves to Olimar, it's a trade-off.
This may just be a personal Alternate Character Interpretation, but at the good end of Pikmin 1, it shows the Pikmin using the skills Olimar has taught them to survive. Despite the way some people interpret Ai no Uta, the Pikmin follow Olimar because each time he teaches them better survival skills (Cooperation, Strength in Numbers), the line in the song about "You don't have to love us" is them absolving Olimar of any casualties along them way because he has helped them get stronger. Now, whether or not one day Olimar will... outlive his usefulness remains to be seen.

The 100 Pikmin only thing is not just a gameplay limitation, it's a Pikmin survival tactic.
Same troper as above. When Everything Is Trying to Kill You, it is wise not to travel in easily eaten groups of thousands. Maybe after Pikmin 2, they have learned enough to get more accomplished with more Pikmin. In theory, they can wipe out almost any other species of creature on their world. Imagine a world where Pikmin have consumed the rest of the food chain... be afraid, be very afraid.

Hocotatians are just heads.
Look at this image. Can you see any of their bodies? Nope. Perhaps Hocotatians are just heads, and those 'clothes' are robots of some sort? This theory is supported by the President in Pikmin 2, when he goes to the Distant Planet. Does he wear a full spacesuit, as Olimar and Louie do? No. He puts a helmet on. That wouldn't normally work...unless the head is his entire body.
  • Sure, you can see the President's hands. But maybe those are part of the robot. Maybe they're just tendrils of some sort.

The Pikmin operate on a Hive Mind with the Onions as their central "brain".
The reason the Pikmin are willing to fight and die for Olimar despite having done virtually nothing for them is because the Onions are using him as the Pikmin's leader; the Pikmin pick this up as they are shot out as seeds. The 100-Pikmin headcount limit is so the Onions aren't overwhelmed with having to control too many of them at once. The Pikmin's...head-extension-thing with a plant on the end acts as a sort of antennae for receiving commands from the Onion; "higher ranked" plants let the Pikmin receive commands more quickly and therefore be able to act on them faster (which is why flower Pikmin are able to run so much faster than leaf or bud Pikmin).

The Onions don't allow more than 100 Pikmin onto the field due to survival reasons.
Say the Onion housed 300 Pikmin. And say, outside, there was a natural disaster taking place, or the place was getting overrun by predators. If the Onion allowed all the Pikmin to come out, this could easily lead to an extinction. Purple Pikmin and White Pikmin don't have Onions, but maybe they can sense how many other Pikmin are on the field at the moment.

The Hocotate Ship will be refurbished and be called the S.S. Revolution in the third game
Remember how the S.S. Dolphin was a Mythology Gag about the Gamecube's codename in development? I think the Hocotate Ship will either be refurbished with new parts and be called the Revolution in reference to the Wii's codename in development.
  • Wouldn't calling it the S.S. Cafe make more sense?
    • By the time of the above writing, Pikmin 3 wasn't confirmed for the Wii U.
      • Jossed. It's actually in worse condition than it was in two because of Mireclops...

There will be new Pikmin introduced in Pikmin 3, complete with new immunities and hazards.
One of my guesses would be a green or pink Pikmin, and maybe a new hazard would be ice which would freeze Pikmin that aren't immune.
  • Assuming that frozen Pikmin does become a hazard, it could even give the red Pikmin another utility by making them capable of thawing their already-frozen brethren (in a similar fashion to how blues can rescue those who are drowning). They'd probably still need to be possible to freeze, however.
  • Look up Rock Pikmin. That is all.
    • Confirmed. We have both Rockmin who are immune to crushing, and Winged Pikmin that can fly over hazards.

The delay between Pikmin 2 and 3 is due to Hocotate Freight Company attempting to keep the Pikmin planet a secret.
After all, if word got out that there was a world filled with countless, valuable treasures and native wildlife that appear to easily imprint upon and accept strangers as their leader, allowing them to freely exploit them in their goodie-gathering... The results probably wouldn't be too good for anyone involved. For starters — and this is most important to Olimar's boss — they wouldn't be the only ones getting money from it anymore. Thus, to try and deflect any suspicion about a company that was previously floundering becoming too rich too quickly, they've attempted to pace themselves and cut back on further trips... until the time is right to revisit their secret treasure trove.

...and this will lead right into the plot of Pikmin 3.
When someone else does find out about the Pikmin planet, they send yet more expeditions to the Pikmin planet to harvest treasure and wildlife; only unlike Olimar (relatively speaking,) they do so with little concern for their impact on the planet's ecosystem, causing many species to become endangered as their numbers are ravaged by cultivated Pikmin squads. When the President hears about this, he asks Olimar to go back to the Pikmin planet to drive out the poachers and establish a nature reserve, as a way of repaying the planet for all the riches it's given them.
  • Jossed.

Humans are still around plenty; Olimar just happens to land in some very fortuitous locations.
At least, in Pikmin 2. The Valley of Repose? It's the parking lot of a college that's gone on vacation for winter. There are still a few snowmen made by bored college kids lying around, and they've been pretty careless with their trash (see the Utter Scrap). But for the most part, nobody's around much, so they don't see Olimar. The Awakening Wood? It's the backyard of an unsold house. It's fallen into disrepair a little, but the original owner left their pots and attempts at fencing up. The Perplexing Pool? That's another nearby house, only that one's a summer home for a rich family. They've let their fountains crumble a little, but they still occasionally visit (they just never look outside). Haven't come up with a good one for the Wistful Wild yet, though.
  • Wistful Wild could be out in the wilderness near a family's cabin. It's just that the family has not visited in a long time. Their children left behind some of their toys, after all.

There will be a Chuggaaconroy story about Steve in the 3rd game.
You can never be sure.

Alternatively...
There will be a function to name the different colors/stages of Pikmin. The default name for Red Leafs will be Steve.
  • Jossed.

Related to an above WMG, Pikmin are a species of Grass-type Pokémon in a distant future where all other Pokémon are extinct.
The different colors are its forms, which have different secondary types (red is Fire, yellow Electric, blue Water, white Poison, and purple Dragon). They're called Pikmin because the proper word "Pokémon" was lost and changed for some reason over time.

Pikmin are blind.
Consider this: Pikmin will mindlessly follow Olimar into danger, immediately rush towards any enemy or treasure nearby when idle, and when directed by Olimar into, say, an electrified gate, will try to break it down without question, even if this would be suicidal for their color. Why do they do this? Because they can't see what they're doing! They follow Olimar because he can see in the light that Pikmin eyes are not accustomed to. A flaming Pikmin won't try to douse itself in the water because IT CAN'T SEE THE WATER. They don't avoid hazards on their own because they rely on Olimar to guide them away from danger because they have no idea where the danger is!

New Colors for Pikmin 3 will be green and orange.
That's what I'm guessing, at least. If the new Pikmin colors (if any) appear in Pikmin 3, orange and green are all they need for a complete rainbow of Pikmin.
  • Before Pikmin 2 was announced, I had a dream that orange Pikmin would appear in Pikmin 3 (I can't remember what happened in my dream-version of Pikmin 2) and would be able to burrow underground so you could go in underground areas. While that did end up being the case in Pikmin 2, I wonder if the part of my dream with orange Pikmin in the 3rd installment will come true... (Granted, my dream sequence did go all the way to Pikmin 8 where it was pretty much Antartica, but still)
    • Jossed. They're Pink and (technically) dark gray.

The Pikmin planet is actually the same planet that the Avatarverse takes place.
Just look at the various lifeforms that are found there: A lot of them are Mix and Match Critters and plenty of them are capable of wielding the elements (The Blowhog family itself can wield fire, water, and air).

In each game, the flower color of the newest types is hinting at a color of a Pikmin in the next game.
The primary Pikmin introduced in the first game had white flowers, and 2 introduced White Pikmin. Said type and Purple Pikmin had pink flowers, and 3 brings in pink Winged Pikmin. Going to the logical conclusion, the fourth game would include an indigo-colored Pikmin.

The pink Pikmin with wings we see in the first trailer...
...will be able to be thrown farther than other Pikmin, just like how yellow Pikmin can be thrown higher than others.
  • Jossed. They have the same throw length and hight as normal Pikmin. Though their flight allows them to reach higher up areas that even Yellow Pikmin can't reach.

The planet is Earth, but reimagined
The Pikmin games are based on Olimar's memoir, chronicling how he crashed on an uncharted planet, cultivated strange life forms and fought others even stranger, repaired his ship, escaped, and later returned to collect treasures. The treasures look exactly like they do to us, since most are probably in a museum or owned by private collectors, but the Pikmin and the enemies had to be pieced together from what little Olimar wrote about them. That is why they are so dissimilar to earth wildlife. What Earth creatures the beasts represent is up for grabs, however.

The Pikmin are a hive mind and the Onion is the "queen"
The Onions are the only individuals, the only things that are sentient, and the Pikmin are just limbs they control. The Onions all royally screw up and almost die, but they sense Olimar's leadership skills and let him use their Pikmin for his own needs while learning from his actions on how to effectively use the Pikmin to survive and thrive. It still hurts the Onion when one of its Pikmin dies, but Olimar never actually caused any deaths and the Onions are better off for it anyway.

Louie was insane with hunger for most of the third game.
It's certainly known that Louie likes to eat a lot. After being stuck with olimar for too long and running low on food he started to prioritize food more and more until he simply too hungry to think about anything else. In fact his only lines in the game is just him yelling FOOD! over and over.

Potential Pikmin 3 DLC storyline.
After the events of the main game, the S.S. Drake arrives at Hocotate Freight. After Olimar & co. explain everything, the president reminds Olimar and Louie that the company is still in debt, and he can't afford a replacement ship. Charlie gets an idea, and the Koppaites take Olimar and Louie back to Koppai, where Olimar and Louie get a new ship to return to PNF-404 in, this time accompanied by the scrapped fourth captain. The three captains and the Pikmin (which may include the Purple and White variations) thus begin their search for treasure (and food for Louie).

Louie is at least part Koppai-ian
Granted, I'm not sure how, and I have no proof other than his Big Eater qualities, but it would certainly explain why and how he could consume so much, and why he is so different in demeanor than his Hocotate-ian compatriots
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