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Video Game / Pikmin 2

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Pikmin 2 is the second installment in the Pikmin series, released for the Nintendo GameCube in April 29, 2004 in Japan, August 30, 2004 in North America, October 8, 2004 in Europe and November 4, 2004 in Australia.

Following the events of the first game, Olimar returns to Hocotate to find Hocotate Freight up to its eyeballs in debt and inches from bankruptcy. As luck would have it, however, the bottlecap he brought back from the Pikmin's planet turns out to be worth a considerable amount of money and, to save the company, he's sent back to the planet in search of the rare treasures it's now known to hold, alongside the junior employee Luie and a sapient ship.

The game features a number of changes from its predecessor. The object-collecting mechanic is expended upon; instead of thirty ship parts, Olimar and his team must track down a total of two hundred and one treasures. The player also has access to multiple captains — first Olimar and Luie, and later the President of Hocotate Freight — which additionally allowed the game to feature a multiplayer mode. Three additional types of Pikmin are also added to the game — heavy, strong and slow Purple Pikmin; White Pikmin who are immune to poison, toxic themselves and swift diggers; and the rare Bulbmin who are immune to all elemental hazards.


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, however, the series hit a snag here and 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, broken only the release of a Wii port in 2009. This state lasted for nine years before Pikmin 3 was revealed at E3 2011.


This game provides examples of:

  • Alliterative Name:
    • The Hole of Heroes, the Dream Den, and the Cavern of Chaos. All three of these caves are in the area Wistful Wild.
    • The Perplexing Pool.
    • One treasure, the Eternal Emerald Eye.
  • All There in the Manual: The manual explains 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.
  • All the Worlds are a Stage: The last main area is the Wistful Wild, and its three dungeon caves are amalgamations of the themes seen in several previous caves over the course of the game. The second cave (Hole of Heroes) combines this with Boss Rush, as it brings back several bosses as well. The surface area of Wistful Wild itself invokes Nostalgia Level instead, being a fusion between Impact Site and Final Trial from the first game.
  • 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 European/Australian boxart 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.
  • Background Music Override: When the Waterwraith drops in to attack on the early floors of the Submerged Castle, the cave's music halts and is replaced with a very tense theme until you escape down to the next floor.
  • Bleak Level: The Wistful Wild is autumnal and features moody, "wistful" background music.
  • Bookends: Most of the areas here 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 Rush: The Hole of Heroes 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: Several caverns feature rusted metal platforms fastened above an endless chasm. If you throw any Pikmin over the edge (which is very easy to accidentally do), or they are tossed over by enemies, they will die. On the plus side, you can goad enemies into walking over the edge as well, which will instantly kill them. If they have a treasure, then it will simply reappear on the ground nearby.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": While the treasures you find may be the most mundane of objects for us players, they have very convoluted names in-game — a rubber duck's head, for instance, is called the Paradoxical Enigma. Only averted with the Key, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: Two bosses 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.
  • 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.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • Holding 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 is 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.
    • Queen Candypop Buds and "multicolored" Pellet Poseys normally cycle between red, yellow, and blue, or red and yellow if Blue Pikmin have not been obtained. If a glitch is used to get Blue Pikmin before Yellow Pikmin, they will only cycle between red and blue without Yellows, which is impossible to see in normal gameplay.
  • Disc-One Nuke: Purple Pikmin. 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 it is on 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.
  • 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.
  • Down the Drain:
    • Almost literally — a few dungeon sublevels (not to mention one entire dungeon, appropriately named "Shower Room") look like a partially flooded bathroom.
    • The two-player level Tile Lands and the Giant's Bath in Challenge Mode are of the same design.
  • Easter Egg:
    • 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 three minutes and fifty seconds on the treasure collected screen after getting treasure from a cave and Totaka's song will play. It also plays by waiting on the screen that shows when entering a cave/sublevel without a memory card.
    • Pressing the Z button while viewing the Piklopedia will petrify whatever enemy you're looking at.
  • Extended Gameplay: The 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.
  • Flawless Victory: Challenge Mode denotes the levels you've completed without losing any Pikmin. Getting this on all 30 Challenge levels unlocks a hidden cutscene.
  • Food Porn: Louie's detailed descriptions of how to cook the various enemies and plants in the Piklopedia can get extremely in-depth and detailed.
  • Forest of Perpetual Autumn: The Wistful Wild is an eerie forest region with decaying flora that merges the mainlands of the Impact Site and the Final Trial from the first game. Four of the five treasures found aboveground (a pinecone, a chestnut, a mushroom and an acorn) are all the kind of flora you'd expect to find littering the forest floor in autumn.
  • 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 at how his love of those carrots got Hocotate Freight into debt in the first place.
  • Fungi Are Plants: The large patches of white fungus that can be found growing over and covering berry-producing plants in certain areas of the game are referred to by the ship as a "moldlike botanical entity", and it also reports that it can detect "other plant life" suffocating beneath it.
  • Fun with Acronyms: One of the treasures 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.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: There are 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.
  • Guide Dang It!: The Ujadani, tiny mite-like creatures that release gigantic amounts of nectar and sprays when attacked, 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.
  • Heroic Mime: Captain Olimar and Louie never speak, 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.
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: Although humans don't show up, one of the treasures 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.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • One of the treasures is 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).
  • Inexplicably Preserved Dungeon Meat: Some of the treasures are various foodstuffs that are surprisingly edible, to the point that Olimar and Louie keep sneaking bites of many of them. With Louie it's plausible, but you'd think Olimar would show more caution about eating something he found in a cave, and on another planet to boot.
  • Infinity +1 Element: Bulbmin, only found in a few dungeons, are "extra Pikmin" with middle-of-the-road 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.)
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • One of the treasures is a console controller d-pad. The treasure log says that the Pikmin carrying it looked a little dazzled.
    • In the description of the Aquatic Mine, Olimar mentions in his notes that he feels the presence of a guiding hand.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Louie is 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.
  • Mini-Dungeon: Challenge Mode is about exploring thirty miniature caves, most of which are only one to three floors deep. Collector's Room has the most floors at seven, but those floors are bite-sized even by Challenge Mode standards. The Emergence Cave in the story proper is only two floors deep as well and the only cave without a boss.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • The beginning of the game has Olimar finally managing to return home, having successfully repaired his ship and returned to his planet in one piece. And almost immediately, his ship is repossessed by the company. Ouch.
    • 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 eerie tone that hints that you're not alone. And you're not.
  • Noodle Incident: When you find the Broken Food Master (American English)/Divine Cooking Tool (British English) in the European/Australian version, 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."
  • Not the Intended Use: If you find a drop of spray (red or purple), it is possible to get two 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 two doses of spray instead of one.note 
  • Only Mostly Dead: The Gatling Groink and Spotty Bulbear 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 Pikmin 3, notably.
  • Product Placement: The 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 American version, but a pack of French Haribo Tagada sweets in the European/Australian version.
  • Prolonged Video Game Sequel: The original Pikmin has players collect thirty ship parts on a thirty-day timer. Even inexperienced players can get multiple parts in one day, and the days are short enough that you can generally beat the whole game in one day if you put some effort into it. However, Pikmin 2 is significantly longer than the first game as there are 201 collectible treasures, new underground cavern levels, new game modes, new Pikmin types, and a new captain, Louie.
  • Randomly Generated Levels: The 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.
  • Replay Mode: The game has an Extras mode where the cutscenes unlocked in the main game, including the credits, can be seen again at any time. There is a special slot reserved for an exclusive cutscene that will only be available after full completion of Challenge Mode.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: The various treasures. 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.
  • Reviving Enemy: Spotty Bulbears and Gatling Groinks slowly recover health and get back up after being defeated if they aren't taken back to the ship first.
  • Shout-Out: 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  The Justice Alloy treasure bears a resemblance to the main mechs from the Mazinger Z series. It's name, and that of the Metal Suit Z, may be in reference to the material that is used to construct these robots, Super-Alloy Z.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The Valley of Repose is a snow-covered street crossing, with snowdrifts forming the terrain and snowmen, leafless trees and dying grasses as decoration, although besides the snow the only other wintery elements are a few Christmas-themed treasures in the Frontier Cavern.
  • Snowy Sleigh Bells: The shivery Valley Of Repose theme is rhythmed by sleigh bells.
  • Stalked by the Bell: On each of the first four floors of the Submerged Castle, you have an invisible five-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.
  • Stop Motion: Most of the game's concept art, including the box art, uses a claymation style.
  • Suspicious Videogame Generosity: There are often traps in the caves, of which include explosives and falling rocks, but these nasty things are more often than not triggered in dead ends with treasure or nectar in them. God forbid you leave your Pikmin unattended. In fact, it will happen so often in the late game that most players will expect it to happen every time and take extreme precautions.
  • Taken for Granite: Ultra-Bitter Spray petrifies enemies it's used on. Killing them while they are like this leaves no corpse to retrieve, but may drop nectars or sprays (including more Bitter Spray). In addition, Ultra-Bitter Spray can even halt the rampaging Waterwraith temporarily, giving you precious extra time to reach the next floor.
  • Toilet Humor: The Ultra-Spicy Spray is activated by farting on your Pikmin, and the Ultra-Bitter Spray is activated by burping on your enemies.
  • Too Awesome to Use:
    • Purple Pikmin to some, due to most bosses in the game requiring quick movement or a Pikmin immunity to beat. Doesn't help they can only be found underground and can't be made with an Onion, and the fact that you need 100 of these guys to get a treasure late game often means most people won't want to risk losing them so they won't have to do as much grinding for them late game.
    • White Pikmin, when eaten by enemies, release a poison that knock off a large chunk of their health. However, most players prefer not to lose too many whites — although technically, to beat the game, only one is needed to dig up buried treasure and disarm toxic vents, if you're ultra-patient.
    • Ultra-Bitter Spray. Although it can immobilize enemies and even make some of the toughest bosses a complete joke, it is much rarer to come by in comparison to Ultra Spicy Spray, and the berry plants needed to farm them are often in inconvenient locations. As such, most players will only ever use them if there's absolutely no other way out.
  • Updated Re-release: New Play Control! Pikmin 2, released for the Wii, irons out bugs, tweaks controls, and improves graphics, audio and other technical details.
  • Uncommon Time: The Piklopedia theme is in 5/4.
  • Variable Mix:
    • The game 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 two since there's a variation of every song for when you play as Louie/President, and for above-ground themes multiply by two again to account for the sunset variations of every song.
    • The boss music 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.
  • 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, which doesn't have an oxygen atmosphere, can they even survive outside of the hold? Are they left behind?