The Pikmin universe (ピクミン, Pikmin) refers to the Smash Bros. series' collection of characters, stages, and other properties that hail from the popular Nintendo series of colorful real-time strategy games, Pikmin. The series was personally developed by Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto and is one of the Nintendo GameCube's notable standout franchises. The series, which contributed minor content in Super Smash Bros. Melee, was established as a major franchise in Super Smash Bros. Brawl with the inclusion of its main characters, Captain Olimar and the Pikmin, as a playable character entity (registered as "Pikmin & Olimar"), who also made a playable appearance in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, alongside fellow captain from Pikmin 3, Alph, as an alternate costume for Olimar.
When Nintendo and Shigeru Miyamoto were in the testing stages of the Nintendo GameCube, one of their aims was to project the system's processing power as part of the system's appeal, which was how the Space World tech demo depicting 128 simultaneous separate Marios (titled "Super Mario 128") came to be. They wanted to have a physical game that would achieve this aim, so Miyamoto brought together the development teams for Yoshi's Story and 1080 Snowboarding to start developing a game whose working title was Adam & Eve. The original plans for this title was to have the player start out with two characters resembling spheres with eyes and noses, and the player essentially plays God as he watches and influences the characters' development and increasing numbers. But this was found to have a general lack of actual gameplay, so the game moved in a completely different thematic and gameplay direction to eventually become the familiar Pikmin characters and setup (the name "Pikmin", incidentally, came from the name of Miyamoto's sheepdog, Pikku).
Pikmin was released in North America in December 2001 early in the GameCube's lifespan, right before the release of Super Smash Bros. Melee, and it garnered favorable reviews for being a completely fresh new game to accompany a system's recent launch. It got accolades for its charming characters and story, effective graphics and audio, and gameplay comprising a unique blend of strategy and action, though it was far from perfect; It is very short, and it is a timed game which the player must complete in 30 in-game "days". Issues were also found with aspects of the control scheme which made some parts slow and contributed to accidental harm and death. These issues were fully addressed in the hit sequel Pikmin 2 for GameCube in 2004, where there was no overall timer to limit a far larger game experience with expanded depth, as well as a functional multiplayer mode. The game scored near-universally strong reviews and remains one of the GameCube's standout titles.
The general gameplay behind both current games in the series is a blend of light strategy and light action in which the player plays as a tiny astronaut named Captain Olimar (as well as his partner Louie in the second game) who ends up on an Earth-like planet and befriends swarms of even smaller ant-like plant creatures called Pikmin. Both games task the player to grow platoons of Pikmin and have them follow Olimar around each environment, completing tasks and solving puzzles in order to bring back to your "home base" game-critical objects such as pieces to your rocket, and wild animals such as the Bulborbs will attack and try to eat the Pikmin if they are disturbed. Strategy manifests in deciding how many of which colors and ranks of Pikmin should comprise Olimar's army, because each Pikmin individual has special traits based on its body color, and different Pikmin types in your army will help you achieve different goals and solve different puzzles in each stage. An enemy creature is generally defeated by Olimar throwing Pikmin at it so that they will automatically attack it to lower its health meter to zero, with boss monsters requiring more elaborate methods of attacks such as setting off bombs, and once the enemy is defeated the Pikmin can carry its body back to base and "cash it in" for new seeds to sprout new Pikmin and replenish your forces.
The story of the two games is centered on Captain Olimar. Olimar is a space captain for the interstellar delivery company Hocotate Freight, and is very small compared to the surroundings of the Pikmin's world, generally considered to be around the size of a quarter. The Pikmin are about the size of a dime. In the first Pikmin, Olimar is flying his spaceship (named the Dolphin, which was the code-name for the Nintendo GameCube while it was in developement) through space when a meteor causes him to crash-land on an uncharted planet. The ship badly damaged, Olimar discovers the Pikmin as he surveys the area he landed in. He quickly learns that the Pikmin obey the commands of whoever plucks them out of the ground, and realizes he can use them to recover the missing parts of his crashed ship. Olimar has only thirty days to put his 30 space ship pieces back together before his life-support system runs out, which would kill Olimar, since the planet's atmosphere contains oxygen, which is poisonous to him. It is never stated what the atmosphere of Olimar's home planet, Hocotate is comprised of, and the only part of the planet Hocotate that is seen is the landscape around the Hocotate Freight Company headquarters, which appears dry and desert-like. However, this does not necessarily imply the whole planet looks this way, as in one of Olimar's journal entries in Pikmin 2 states that the natural scenery of Hocotate is beautiful. Eventually Olimar is successful in repairing his rocket and returns home. In Pikmin 2, which takes place immediately after Pikmin, Olimar returns home to find Hocotate Freight Company in serious debt, after new employee Louie lost a valuable shipment of Golden Pik Pik Carrots, and the President of the company must take out a huge loan to cover the losses. It is up to Olimar and Louie to return to the Pikmin Planet and collect various treasures that the Hocotate Ship deems to be valuable. These treasures include odd objects, such as marbles, bottle caps, a Duracell battery, a Dannon Yogurt lid, and even pieces of R.O.B. (which the ship names "Remembered Old Buddy"). Louie himself becomes an aspect of the main story when, after the two collect enough treasure to repay the debt, he is left behind as Olimar returns to Hocotate. Olimar and the President go back to find Louie (as well as the remaining treasure).
Pikmin is a more "modern" Nintendo franchise in the same vein as Animal Crossing. Since both Pikmin games thus far have been very successful (partially due to Pikmin cameo in Super Smash Bros. Melee), the whimsical series has a strong fanbase and was one of the franchises many fans hoped to appear in a primary role in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The Pikmin & Olimar are now a playable character in the game. Also indicative of the series' popularity is the formation of a Japanese band named Strawberry Flower, who have composed singles for Pikmin commercials (one of the singles, "Ai No Uta", meaning "Song of Love", was an unexpected hit that sold more than the first Pikmin game itself), and each band member represents one of the five colors of Pikmin. On 2012 E3, a video of Pikmin 3 was showed, for the upcoming platform WII U.
List of Games in the Pikmin franchise
- Pikmin (2001, Nintendo GameCube; 2008, Nintendo Wii)
- Pikmin 2 (2004, Nintendo GameCube; 2009, Nintendo Wii)
- Pikmin 3 (2013, Nintendo Wii U)
- Hey! Pikmin (2017, Nintendo 3DS
Pikmin, having been released right before Melee, cameos as a pair of collectible trophies, but is not a full-fledged universe. However, in fact, the original Pikmin is the only title in existence that Melee actually features connectivity with; the Captain Olimar trophy is acquired only if there is Pikmin save data on the same Memory Card with Melee saved data.
- Captain Olimar
Some content of the Pikmin series from Brawl include: one playable character, a stage, some music, and a decent amount of trophies.
- Olimar: The protagonist of the Pikmin series, Captain Olimar has been greatly graphically enhanced, like the other characters of Super Smash Bros. Brawl. However, he's quite weak on his own—without Pikmin, he can't even do a Smash Attack. All his special moves involve the Pikmin that he plucks from the ground. There are five different types: Red (which have high attack power, burning properties in their attacks), and immunity to all fire-based attacks), Yellow (with a slightly larger range of attack, making it easier to hit opponents with, travel in slight arcs when thrown, and have electrical properties in their attacks, as well as being immune to electrical attacks), Blue (which are stronger when thrown and slightly more durable than average, and the only Pikmin type that can enter water without dying), Purple (which are heavy and do not fly far, slow, have high attack power, and slam into opponents instead of latching on to them), and White (which are light and quick, as well as poisonous to opponents when latched on). He can have up to six different Pikmin at once. He can use them to attack and latch on to opponents, draining their health, use them as a life-saving Tether Recovery, and call them back if separated. He can also alter their order by whistling. Whichever Pikmin is following him first is the one he will use first in combat.
On the final character select screen (after all characters are unlocked), Olimar joins the Kirby characters as part of the fifth column.
- Distant Planet: Based off The Forest of Hope and The Awakening Wood from Pikmin and Pikmin 2 respectively. Technically, all the fighters will be under an inch tall when they are fighting on this stage. The stage has a slope on the left hand side, three leaves in the center which act as platforms, and another larger platform beneath the leaves, which is bouncy. A gigantic Bulborb appears at the right hand side of the stage, serving as both a platform and stage hazard. It occasionally rains, and the slope on the left hand side becomes a hazard as water gushes down it. Characters can also pick up pellets that fall from Pellet Posies and throw them into Onions that appear on the stage to get items.
- Main Theme (Pikmin) - Taken directly from the original Pikmin, it is the title screen music from said game. It is used on the Distant Planet stage.
- World Map (Pikmin 2) - A remixed song featuring elements of both the map screens of Pikmin and Pikmin 2. It is the theme of the Distant Planet stage.
- Stage Clear/Title (Pikmin) - A medley of both the End of Day music from Pikmin, as well as a remix of the title screen theme. It is used on the Distant Planet stage. This song is also played during Olimar's Classic Mode credits.
- Forest of Hope - Taken directly from the original Pikmin, this was the background music to the Forest of Hope, the second area that Olimar could explore. It is used on the Distant Planet stage.
- Ai no Uta - A promotional image song performed by the Japanese band Strawberry Flower that was used in commercials for the original game. It is used on the Distant Planet stage.
- Ai no Uta (French version) - A French version of the previously mentioned image song. It is used on the Distant Planet stage.
- Tane no Uta - Similar to Ai no Uta, this was an image song performed by the Japanese band Strawberry Flower that was used in commercials for the second title, Pikmin 2. It is used on the Distant Planet stage.
- Environmental Noises - Not an actual song, per se, but basic environmental noises giving the impression of being in a vast wilderness. It is used on the Distant Planet stage.
- Olimar's victory theme - The tune the Pikmin hum in Pikmin 2 when all the treasure has been acquired in an area.
- Captain Olimar
- End of Day
- Red Pikmin
- Yellow Pikmin
- Blue Pikmin
- Purple Pikmin
- White Pikmin
- The President
- Hocotate Ship
- Creeping Chrysanthemum
- Red Bulborb
- Empress Bulblax
- Fiery Blowhog
- Careening Dirigibug
- Burrowing Snagret
- Iridescent Flint Beetle
- Swooping Snitchbug
- Blue Pellet
- Blue Pikmin
- Crimson Candypop Bud
- Olimar & Louie's Ship
- Olimar's Daughter
- Reclining Red Pikmin
- Red Pikmin
- Red Pellet
- The President
- Yellow Pellet
- Yellow Pikmin
The Pikmin series also offers a stage for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, as well as the return of Olimar as a playable character.
- Olimar: Olimar returns as a playable character for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, using all five Pikmin he used in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Though, this time he can only have three Pikmin follow him at once rather than six, and instead of plucking Pikmin at random, pluck them in a fixed order of red, yellow, blue, white, and purple. Olimar also has a new recovery move using Winged Pikmin to carry him, which covers less distance the more Pikmin Olimar has with him.
- Alph: Four of Olimar's alternate costumes switch him with Alph, the first playable captain from Pikmin 3. In order to use the same base model as Olimar, Alph is a bit taller than he normally is in Pikmin 3.
- Peckish Aristocrab: A large enemy from Pikmin 3. It appears on the Garden of Hope stage and moves across the stage. Any fighter that touches it will receive damage and will be knocked back. At 80% or above, the Aristocrab has the potential to KO most fighters that it hits. It also destroys the Climbing Stick and the pot on the stage. If the bridge in the center of the stage is out, it will fall down the gap in the stage. It can enter from either side of the stage, and the camera will pan out slightly when it is about to come. Bubbles will appear on the side of the stage where the Aristocrab appears.
- Bulborb: Red Bulborbs appear as large enemies in Smash Run. Like other large enemies, it has many devastating moves and takes many hits to take down. Its main attacks consist of running toward the fighter, snapping their jaws towards the fighter, and jumping up and hitting the fighter with their head if they are below them. In addition, the Bulborb has an attack where it can attack a fighter from behind. Arguably the easiest way to deal with it is to attack it from above periodically, and counter if possible.
- Iridescent Glint Beetle: Iridescent Glint Beetles appear as enemies in Smash Run. They are even rarer than Souflees, and usually are only found in specified bonus rooms. Iridescent Glint Beetles do not present any harm, and when hit, will drop gold. It can be hit about 4-5 times before scuttling back underground. Iridescent Glint Beetles also appear in Smash Tour, and any player that bumps into them will get some extra fighters. In Smash Tour, they usually appear 2 at a time.
Wii U Version
- Garden of Hope: Set in the second area in Pikmin 3 in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U only. The layout of the stage is mostly the same, aside from the waterfall. It consists of two large platforms, a Climbing Stick, a pot, and a set of Elevator Platforms on the side, which function as scales. A small bridge appears to connect the two large platforms. Fighters can destroy the pot and the Climbing Stick, and can stand on top of both. Wild Pikmin will come onto the stage to fix any damage done, such as rebuilding the bridge and the pot. Fighters can get stuck in the pot if they stand in the middle while Pikmin are rebuilding it. The Peckish Aristocrab is a major stage hazard here, and a Bulborb will appear in the background.
- Hocotate Bomb: A miniature version of a Hocotate Ship, that, similarly to End of Day, launches upwards and comes back crashing down, creating an large explosion that damages anyone nearby. It can fly up if thrown by a player, but can also fly up if it is attacked. If it was thrown, it will not harm the one who threw it. It can also take fighters up with it, similar to Mega Man's up air. If it gets attacked enough, it will immediately explode.
- Main Theme (Pikmin): Taken directly from Brawl. This plays on Distant Planet in the 3DS version and on Garden of Hope in the Wii U Verson.
- Forest of Hope: Taken directly from Brawl, and used on the Garden of Hope stage.
- Stage Clear / Title (Pikmin): Taken directly from Brawl, and used on the Garden of Hope stage.
- Environmental Noises: Taken directly from Brawl, and used on the Garden of Hope stage.
- World Map (Pikmin 2): Taken directly from Brawl, and used on the Garden of Hope stage.
- Stage Select (Pikmin 2): This piece is an orchestrated remix of the stage select music from Pikmin 2, but, despite the name, also features parts from the World Map theme from the original Pikmin.
- Garden of Hope: Taken directly from Pikmin 3 where it plays in the Garden of Hope stage.
- Mission Mode: A remix of the theme that plays in Mission Mode in Pikmin 3, featuring singing Pikmin.
- Victory! Pikmin Series: Taken directly from Brawl, this flourish is a small excerpt of the title theme of Pikmin.
Wii U Version
- Red Bulborb
- Rock Pikmin
- Smoky Progg
- Main Theme (Pikmin)
Games with elements from or in the Super Smash Bros. series
- Olimar appears as a trophy.
- Pikmin appear as a trophy.
- The main character, Captain Olimar, is a playable character in Brawl alongside the Pikmin
- Distant Planet appears as a stage, and incorporates elements of the Forest of Hope from Pikmin, along with the Onions and Bulborb enemies.
- Various Songs are also taken from this game, such as the Forest of Hope, the main theme from the game, and a remix of the main theme incorporating the Stage Clear tune.
- There are numerous trophies from the series.
- Olimar's Final Smash, End of Day, reflects the feature in the game of when Olimar had to leave the planet at the end of each day to avoid him and the Pikmin being eaten.
In addition, the space ship Olimar and Louie use to fly in this game is part of Pikmin & Olimar's Final Smash, End of Day. Olimar's partner, Louie, was first introduced in this game and appears in SSBB as a trophy.
Olimar uses his appearance from Pikmin 3 in Super Smash Bros. 4, and the second area in the game, the Garden of Hope, appears as a stage in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Winged Pikmin also debuted in this game.