Pikmin (JP) is a strategic video game released on the GameCube in 2001. It was created by Shigeru Miyamoto who claims he was influenced by gardening - a hobby he had recently been interested in. The game has the star character, Captain Olimar, crash landing on an unknown planet (seemingly Earth). 30 of the parts of his ship had scattered across the land, and all seems hopeless as his energy tank alerts him that he only has 30 days left. Upon traversing this unexplored world he comes across an odd creature who alone is worthless. Quickly it spawns more through through its Onion, and out popped more of these creatures which Olimar called Pikmin due to their similarity to Pik Pik carrots. As an army, however, they are a powerful force to be reckoned with. They are able to plow through hordes of opposing forces and lift increasingly heavy objects, such as the ever important parts of Olimar's ship. With the help of these newly discovered creatures Olimar manages to fix his ship and fly back to his planet.
In the game, the player controls Captain Olimar. He's a plucky character who controls an entire army of Pikmin. Pikmin are creatures that can be plucked from the ground. After being plucked they'll follow whomever rooted them, commanding their every order. In all there are three types of Pikmin.
The red ones won't be engulfed in flames and thus can withstand locales overpowered by fire. They're also the strongest of the bunch. Blue ones are appropriately adapted to water and won't drown like the other two will. Their ability is required while taking on areas with an abundance of water and water based enemies. In addition, if there is a blue Pikmin near a drowning one, it will try to throw it out and give some more time for olimar to call the drowning pikmin back onto land. Yellow ones are highly agile and can be thrown much farther and higher than any other color. Another special ability they possess is being able to wield bomb rocks, which are required in taking down specific types of rocks and are equally as powerful against dangerous enemies. Be sure to call the yellow ones back after you've tossed them with a bomb rock in hand, however, as they're not capable of withstanding the ensuing blast. In all, the player can have a total of 100 Pikmin out at one time. It is not required to have a certain amount of one color.
Pikmin can be reproduced by causing other Pikmin to send downed enemies and pellets to the onions. The Pikmin will send the object to their similarly colored object. If its a group, the color with the most dominant amount of Pikmin will send it to their onion. After they've been sucked into the onion, Pikmin seeds will be ejected from the top of the onion and then planted. Within a few seconds the top will pop out, and can then be pulled and added to your army. If the army is already at its full capacity, then they'll stay in the onion for another time. The amount of seeds that shoot out depend on what is sent into the onion.
With your army you can control them by using the c-stick. This will also command them to perform specific tasks such as picking up objects and attacking an enemy. For the latter it is suggested that you actually toss the Pikmin onto the backs of the enemies, preferably a surprise attack. Pikmin will inevitably die - more can always be generated however, and as emotional as it may be the player is required to keep on fighting as not to loose more Pikmin. The death of a Pikmin can be observed when a specific, distinguishable sound is made which is subsequently followed by the spirit being released, signified by a ghost-like figure.
New Play Control! Pikmin
- Main article: New Play Control! Pikmin
In 2008, Nintendo announced that they would release a host of GameCube titles remade for the Wii titled New Play Control!. The games would feature updated controls and other slight tweaks to make the game a bit better. For New Play Control! Pikmin, which was initially released in Japan on December 25, 2008, they added I.R. controls for pointing. They also included a save system that allowed the player to go back to every previous day they had played. The game would later be released in Europe on February 6, 2009 and in America on March 9, 2009.
In the beginning stages of development, the idea of using creatures that resemble plants wasn't even thought of. It was initially called Adam and Eve, as the game would start out with two characters that would gradually expand in size. The characters' appearance was simple so that they could display a lot of them at once. According to Shigefumi Hino, they had a ball for a body, and eyes and noses. According to Shigeru Miyamoto, the initial idea of the game was just to watch the characters' life, make them perform certain actions such as making them love each other or making them fight each other. Overall the concept was similar to a God game. Though the problem with this was that they could not come up with a goal for the player. Plus, the designers wanted to become more involved with controlling the characters, which gave rise to the C-Stick controls. Following this they came up with the idea of tossing the creatures.
Regarding the whistle which brings the Pikmin back to Olimar, Miyamoto said it was simply just his wish to have it in there. He felt it was like a teacher calling his or her children back to the school when they're playing outside. After the whistle concept was made, it was taken out for a while though eventually Miyamoto brought it back feeling that people around the world would recognize its purpose.
With the enemies in the game, the people in charged asked the designers to create what they feel would be unique. They wanted some creatures that weren't too inspired by real creatures, and some that were. The Bulborb was the only enemy that remained from the primitive man concept that they originally had. According to them the Bulborb took the place of a Mammoth. They said that initially the creatures they created weren't frightening, though they made them more scary when they gave them the ability to eat Pikmin. One creature, once it ate a Pikmin, had the Pikmin's leg hanging out of its mouth, though they thought it was too gruesome and removed it from the game.
After its release, a sequel was made about 3 years later with the name Pikmin 2. It featured two new types of Pikmin and a new partner in the form of Captain Louie and, during one portion of the game, the President of Hocotate Freight. Pikmin was recreated for the Wii under the name New Play Control! Pikmin. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, a trophy of Captain Olimar and another one of the Pikmin could be obtained. In the Wii video game Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Captain Olimar and his Pikmin appeared as a playable character, and a stage from the game was also present. The Pikmin series has been represented twice in the WarioWare series, once in WarioWare: Smooth Moves and another in WarioWare D.I.Y. It should be noted that the series representation in Smooth Moves was more of a reference to Pikmin 2 than the original game. In D.I.Y., the player was required to throw a Red Pikmin on a ledge containing nectar. In Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, Pikmin would leap from a field of flowers when the golf ball went over them, while in Nintendogs a picture of a Bulborb appeared in the background of the shop. Pikmin 3 was released on the Wii U, and there has recently been confirmation that a Pikmin 4 is very far in development.