Pikmin are a half-plant, half-animal species of creatures from the Pikmin series. They average at 1 inch (3.3 centimeters) tall up to their stems, eat nectar (which matures them into flower Pikmin) and breathe oxygen. They also weigh 1 gram (0.0353 ounces).
During his journey, Olimar finds these indigenous creatures in their dwellings, which he names Onions. Pikmin have three stages of growth: leaf, bud and flower, adding more strength, endurance, and speed with each form.
Pikmin left in the ground as seeds will gradually mature, though this process can be accelerated through the consumption of nectar found throughout the planet. Both Pikmin and Pikmin 2 feature rather lengthy descriptions of Olimar's discoveries regarding the creatures that he and the Pikmin find and defeat, sometimes in slightly humorous pseudo-scientific style. They can also be called Pikmin Family.
Olimar uses the Pikmin to defeat enemies, notably their most abundant natural enemy, the Bulborbs, carry objects, demolish walls, push large boxes, and to construct various objects to get around more easily.
The number of Pikmin, regardless of color, in the field cannot exceed 100, though at one point, during the development of Pikmin 2, it was stated that the player can have more than 100 Pikmin on the field. Future info on this was not given, so it can be said that developers silently dropped that feature and set the limit back to 100 before the release of the second game.
Pikmin in the field are defined as those actively following a Captain, idly awaiting orders above ground, and those planted in the ground. Additional Pikmin over the 100-Pikmin limit are stored in the Onions. Interestingly, the Pikmin appear to have the voice of Yoshi, which would make their voice actor also Kazumi Totaka.
A Pikmin's lifecycle can be extremely short or quite long depending on how well the player manipulates his Pikmin army. The following will concentrate on the normal life cycle of a Pikmin.
A Pikmin will begin life when a group of other Pikmin send a pellet or an opponent up an onion (see below), once they do so, Pikmin seeds will be ejected and then planted into the ground, and almost automatically a stem will sprout from the ground. The only way they can begin life is if someone, notably Olimar or Louie, plucks them from the ground. If they get plucked right away, then they'll have a leaf at the top of their stem, though if they're in the ground for a long time, they'll go through three stages: leaf, bud and flower, with the latter being their most mature stage.
After being plucked, the Pikmin instantly become attached to the one who dug him up. They'll follow this commander around and do whatever the captain wishes, even if it involves a certain death. The way the commander takes care of them will determine how long they'll live.
Pikmin die most commonly by being engulfed by enemies. Pikmin are not very strong, and when attacked it's almost a certain death. Once they do, their "soul" will visibly be released, though this is basically to tell the player that one of his Pikmin has been killed off.
All Pikmin but the Blue ones die from being in or even just touching water, if they are in the water long enough. If their captain calls them all back fast enough, they will live, but there are many places where they will be stuck if they fall in the water. In both Pikmin 1 & 2, the blue Pikmin can act as lifeguards and save the drowning Pikmin.
White Pikmin are immune to poison, Yellow Pikmin are immune to electric shocks and Red Pikmin are immune to fire. All other Pikmin will panic and soon die when exposed to these substances but can be saved if called back quickly by their captain.
Species of Pikmin
There is a multitude of different Pikmin types, with each interestingly possessing their own unique abilities. The first game introduced a total of three, which are arguably the most dominant of the known variations. These three were the red, yellow, and blue Pikmin. Along with each having special powers, each also feature their own unique facial features as well.
Pikmin 2 added two more unique types - purple and white. These two Pikmin could only be found in the underground segments of the game. Because of this, it was much more demanding to keep a healthy army of white or purple Pikmin, partially because they couldn't reproduce as the others could. The only way to come in possession of these two were to throw other types of Pikmin into special flowers, which were rare. There are two special types of Pikmin, namely Bulbmin, and Mushroom Pikmin. There is also Pikmar, when Olimar is brought to the onion after the bad ending of Pikmin, is a combination of Olimar and a Pikmin. Pikmin 3 introduced Winged Pikmin and Rock Pikmin.
Main article: Red Pikmin
Red Pikmin are considered the most populous type of Pikmin in the game. They're the first variety that you'll find in all of the games, and they hold the ability to withstand fire. They also have the most powerful attacks of the original game (1.5x multiplier), surpassed by the ultra-powerful purples (3x multiplier) which were introduced in the second instalment. Their unique facial feature is their pointy nose.
Main article: Yellow Pikmin
Yellow Pikmin are capable of being thrown higher than any other in the games and can also pick up bomb rocks and set them next to adversaries or potent walls. They also gained a new ability in Pikmin 2 - immunity to electric attacks. However, they lost the ability to pick up bomb rocks. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, they're actually capable of delivering electric shocks through their opponents. Their facial feature is having two large ears.
Main article: Blue Pikmin
Blue Pikmin are the last Pikmin you find all three games. They're the only species of Pikmin in the game that have gills, allowing them to breathe underwater, though they also have the ability to breathe above water as well. Because of this, they're immune to water-based attacks that some enemies are capable of performing. Blue Pikmin also function as lifeguards, meaning that they will throw drowning Pikmin out of the water on to land. However, this ability was removed in Pikmin 3.
Main article: Purple Pikmin
Purple Pikmin were first found by Captain Olimar and Louie in an underground cavern. Here, they tossed red Pikmin into a purple flower, which caused purple seeds to spew out. When they plucked the seedlings, a Purple Pikmin was released. Purple Pikmin are three times stronger than any other type of Pikmin and can carry 10 times as much as one. Physically, they are the most different from the other colors, though because of their weight, they are also the slowest. It also has another special quality that, if thrown at a large enemy, the foe will be temporarily stunned, leaving valuable time to attack. Also, it can one-hit kill small enemies such as dwarf bulborbs. They are stored in the Ship's hull.
Main article: White Pikmin
White Pikmin are smaller than normal Pikmin and have big red eyes. These Pikmin are resistant to poison. They also seem to have poison within themselves, as enemies take damage when they ingest White Pikmin. Their eyes make it possible for them to detect things buried underground. These Pikmin are also the fastest and carry objects much quicker than other Pikmin. Unlike the original red, yellow and blue Pikmin, white Pikmin have pink flowers. Like the purple Pikmin, they are stored in the ship's hull.
Main article: Bulbmin
Bulbmin are a strange species that were introduced in Pikmin 2. They're very rare, though nevertheless are loyal to Olimar and Louie just as the others are. They're basically a combination of a young Bulborb and a Pikmin, though they can only be found underground, and cannot be taken back to the surface. At first, they'll stay with their parents, though once you kill the older Bulbmin, her young will join your party if there are 90 or less Pikmin in your army at the time. Bulbmin can resist any element.
Main article: Mushroom Pikmin
Mushroom Pikmin are a special type of Pikmin only appearing in the game Pikmin. They can only be seen if the Puffstool sprays Pikmin with its spores. These Pikmin are hostile and try to hurt Olimar and your other Pikmin. There is a glitch to make them follow Olimar and his commands, to make them seem like a helpful type of Pikmin. Depending on what Pikmin they were before they got sprayed the get there ability. Like if a blue flower pikmin gets sprayed, the mushroom pikmin will be able to withstand water, and run fast.
Main Article: Rock Pikmin
Rock Pikmin are a new species introduced in Pikmin 3. They can be used to break glass objects, enemies, and walls. They are more effective when thrown as they cannot latch on.
Main Article: Winged Pikmin
Winged Pikmin are a new type of Pikmin introduced in Pikmin 3. Also, they have Lavender/Purple flowers on their stems just like the new Rock Pikmin; They also have two big blue compound eyes, much like the White Pikmin who have red compound eyes, and last but not least they have a pair of semi-transparent white wings on the backs. When fighting ground enemies they will do less damage than all other types of Pikmin, but when fighting in the air they excel. They are very good for sending objects places as they are not limited by paths, instead taking the straightest course between two places.
Main Article: Onion
Red, yellow, and blue Pikmin live in nests called onions. In the beginning of a day, all of the Pikmin can be found inside of these nests, and Olimar and Louie have the ability to call as many as you want out. In the end of the day, all three onions will go out into space alongside Olimar's ship. Other onions appear at The Happy Ending in Pikmin, There are Five Pink Onions, Four Black Onions, Two Cyan Onions, One Green Onion, One Orange Onion, and One Purple Onion.
In Pikmin 3 the red, yellow, blue, winged, and rock Pikmin all share an onion. When discovering different onions they will merge at the end of the day to create a bigger more colorful onion. The colors of the onions in Pikmin 3 are red, yellow, blue, pink, and black.
Pikmin are also able to reproduce by using the onions. They can do so if they bring pellets or defeated enemies to the ship, which will cause a set amount of Pikmin seeds to spew out. White and Purple Pikmin don't have their own onions, but will rather rest in the ship.
While a Pikmin is by itself, it's not very effective and the things that it is capable of doing is very limited. It would not be wise to send a Pikmin into battle alone, suggesting that if you're heading into an engagement, you should have not only a well built army, though an equally creative battle strategy. For example, if you're approaching a sleeping Bulborb, then it'd be best to head around it and launch a surprise attack on its back. However, if you're heading into another army of enemies, it can sometimes be best to just send all of the Pikmin in without composing a plan. Using the C-Stick can usually lead to victory if you lead them to the enemies you wish to defeat.
Super Smash Bros. series
Pikmin have appeared alongside Captain Olimar and Alph in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a playable character. The symbiotic relationship remains as it did in the video games, as the two dissimilar organisms will certainly require the help of each other in order to survive. Each color of Pikmin from Pikmin 2 is in the game that Olimar is capable of plucking from the ground. Each have their own special abilities as well, reflecting that of the abilities they could perform in the games.
Some of the attacks, however, are unique, and some aren't included. For example, it seems as if Blue Pikmin aren't capable of withstanding water attacks and that Yellow Pikmin aren't immune to electrical attacks. Nevertheless, they do each have special abilities. If Olimar and the Pikmin fall into water on any stage with it, only the blue Pikmin will live. All the rest die in the water. Once back on land, though, you can pluck them back out of the ground.
These strange beings are part plant, part animal. They spend most of their time buried in the earth, but they will befriend whoever plucks them, as evidenced by their devotion to Captain Olimar. Each Pikmin has a leaf on its head that grows into a bud and finally a flower. Like a flower, the life of a Pikmin is both fragile and beautiful. - Melee
A type of Pikmin--which are odd beings who grow like plants yet are as mobile as animals. Red ones are heat and fire resistant and are strong attackers, which makes them valuable when facing dangerous foes. Purple Pikmin are also tough fighters, but since it's difficult to increase their numbers, red Pikmin are easier to manage. Red Pikmin have distinct pointed noses. - Red Pikmin, Brawl
A type of Pikmin, which are curious creatures that follow and obey the person who picks them. If you take advantage of this trait, you can get them to help Capt. Olimar and Louie. The blue Pikmin are at home in water and cannot drown. Need to retrieve an object underwater or cross a water hazard to disarm a trap? Blue Pikmin are just the allies you need. - Blue Pikmin, Brawl
A type of Pikmin. Take a nutrient-rich pellet to a flying saucer known as an Onion, and it will produce the mysterious beings known as Pikmin. Yellow ones fly higher than other Pikmin when tossed by Olimar or Louie. Unlike other Pikmin, they're also highly resistant to electricity, which makes them invaluable when battling enemies like anode dweevils. - Yellow Pikmin, Brawl
A type of Pikmin. White Pikmin are resistant to poisons and are themselves toxic to creatures that eat them. Their low weight makes them very speedy, and they can also dig up buried items. White and purple Pikmin do not live inside Onions, so you must change other Pikmin into them by tossing them into ivory candypop buds and violet candypop buds. - White Pikmin, Brawl
A type of Pikmin, much heavier and slower than other Pikmin. When thrown, they impact with such force that they may kill or stun enemies. They're also incredibly strong--one of them can carry an item that normally would require ten Pikmin. While they're more powerful fighters than their red cousins, their slow speed hampers their effectiveness. - Purple Pikmin, Brawl
The Pikmin species, or the series as a whole have appeared in even more games than the ones listed above, though their appearance is minor and are just considered cameos.
- Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour - In this game, if the golf ball rolls into a flower patch, you'll see red, yellow, and blue Pikmin fly into the air, suggesting that Pikmin actually live on the planet that the Mario series takes place. Of course, it could be nothing more than a reference.
- WarioWare: Smooth Moves - In one of the micro games you take control of an Empress Bulbax. Your goal in this mini-game is to squash all of the Pikmin.
- Animal Crossing: Wild World - In this game there is a Pikmin item, that when touched will cause it to make a noise.
- Nintendogs - In the background of the shop you can see a poster of a Bulborb.
- The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker - The Three goddess statues resemble Pikmin. Din has a long nose, Nayru has a mouth, and Farore has large ears.
- Super Mario Galaxy - In the "Space Junk" Galaxy, Louie's ship appears as an abandoned ship, that you're able to walk on.
- Animal Crossing: City Folk - In this game, there's the same Pikmin item that appeared in Animal Crossing: Wild World, as well as an DLC exclusive Red Pikmin hat, to celebrate the release of New Play Control! Pikmin. You can also get a blue Pikmin hat (which can only get obtained by cheating) or a Pikmin garden.
- WarioWare D.I.Y. - In one of the microgames, you control Olimar and try to throw a red Pikmin into some nectar.
- Nintendo 3DS - when you transfer DSiWare, Pikmin will run across the screen, picking up data and moving it. Also, one of the six AR Cards, has a blue, red and yellow Pikmin on it. In your streetpass Mii Plaza there is a red, blue and yellow Pikmin hat for your mii, as well as a Puzzle swap or two based on Pikmin.
- Wii U - When performing a system transfer from your Wii to Wii U, Pikmin will carry your data from the Wii to it's new destination.
- Nintendo Land - There is an attraction called Pikmin Adventure in which one Mii can play as captain Olimar and four others can play as Pikmin themselves.