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Pikmin is a real-time strategy game from Nintendo. It was one of the first titles available for the Nintendo GameCube, and one of Shigeru Miyamoto's new intellectual properties, based on his hobby of gardening. The game stars Captain Olimar and his army of tiny little Pikmin, which are multicolored, plant-headed animals. The game has a series of levels/maps where it is your objective to recruit/grow Pikmin to accomplish tasks such as gathering objects, navigating terrain, or defeating monsters & enemies.
Pikmin stars a space explorer from the planet Hocotate, Captain Olimar, the playable character. His ship (known as the S.S. Dolphin, a possible reference to the GameCube's codename) crash lands on Earth, where as it turns out, he's only a few inches tall. His ship is in pieces and scattered around the foreign land. He had a time limit of 30 days to rebuild his spaceship and leave, before he died of the "poisonous atmosphere".
Luckily, he finds Pikmin. By planting their seeds into the ground, he they grow into various types of Pikmin, which he can then command to move objects (such as those pikmin seeds), fight enemies, or destroy obstacles. Olimar names them "pikmin" based on how much they look like "Pikpik" brand carrots on his homeworld.
Unlike other RTS games where you control each individual unit, here you control Olimar and control the Pikmin as a crowd. Olimar can do a slight headbutt attack, but if he dies, then it is game over. This is why it's best to use your Pikmin to fight, since they're expendable.
Pikmin are made by dragging any colored pellets into the "Onion", a weird watering can/pikmin structure. From it, Pikmin are planted into the ground below, which will soon bloom into Full Pikmin. Olimar can pick them out at any time, but the longer he lets them bloom (as indicated by the flower on their head), the better they will be. There can only be 100 maximum Pikmin on the field. There are also 3 types of Pikmin based on their color:
- Red Pikmin, which are immune to fire and strong attackers. They have noses.
- Yellow Pikmin, which can be thrown farther and can pick up bomb-rocks. They have ears.
- Blue Pikmin, which can traverse water. They have mouths.
Using these abilities, Olimar is to pick up parts of his ship scattered around different maps. You'll also be picking up various items you would find on the ground, such as pieces of trash. He has until nightfall before he either has to leave, or get eaten by the monsters that come out at night. Players also have the option of saving all their Pikmin into their onion. Any that are left behind on the surface (planted Pikmin won't die) are shown being eaten by the predators as The Dolphin flies off to a safe place.
According to an interview with Shigeru Miyamoto in the June/July 2002 issue of Nickelodeon Magazine, the tiny creatures featured in the game, called 'Pikmin', are named after Miyamoto's shetland sheepdog, Pikku.
During the Game Developers Conference 2007, Miyamoto mentioned that most of the elements of Mario 128 were incorporated into the Pikmin game.
- The Impact Site
- The Impact Site is the first area visited in the game. Players arrive here when they start the game, where Olimar has crashed his ship, the Dolphin. Players learn basic gameplay here, discover the Red Pikmin, and how to use them. Later on, rare enemies like the mamuta and goolix show up here.
- The Forest of Hope
- The Forest of Hope is the second area of the game, unlocked after the Main Engine is retrieved from The Impact Site on Day 1. It is also the first place where there is actual combat. In this area, Yellow Pikmin, bomb rocks, and enemies are discovered.
- The Forest Navel
- The Forest Navel is the third area of the game, unlocked after five parts have been retrieved. In this region, there are Blue Pikmin, water, and new enemies. Unlike the other gardenlike areas, it appears to be in a dark cave. A boss if fought in this area.
- The Distant Spring
- The Distant Spring is the fourth area in the game. Largely a water area, players find that blue Pikmin will be invaluable here. Ten of the thirty parts are found here. It is also the home of the hidden boss called Smoky Progg until after Day 15.
- The Final Trial
- The Final Trial is the last stage in Pikmin, obtainable once Olimar has 29 spaceship parts. The only treasure has been consumed by an Emperor Bulblax and is completely optional, since it is not a required part to finish the game.