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Pikmin (species)

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Pikmin are a collective group of fictional half-plant, half-animal creatures from the video game series Pikmin. Individual Pikmin species are differentiated by their colors. A typical individual Pikmin creature measures 1 cm (0.4 inches) in height and weighs 1 gram (0.0353 ounces). Pikmin have 3 stages of growth: leaf, bud and flower. Each stage of growth grants Pikmin additional strength, endurance, and speed. Pikmin left in the ground as seeds will gradually mature; those consuming a special nectar will instantly mature into Flower Pikmin.

In the game series, Captain Olimar and his allies find these indigenous creatures throughout their adventures. Pikmin can be ordered to defeat enemies, carry objects, break down gates, push large boxes, and construct various structures.[1] An absolute limit of one hundred Pikmin can be on the field at one time.[1] Pikmin on the field are defined as those actively following a Captain, idly awaiting orders above ground, those planted in the ground, and Pikmin on the field not yet discovered by the player.[1] Additional Pikmin over the 100-Pikmin limit are stored in the Pikmin Onions, or their mothership.

Original Pikmin

In the first game, the Pikmin come in Red, Blue, and Yellow species, each with their own advantages and weaknesses.[2] These Pikmin are bred by way of Pellets or slain animals.[3] Aside from color, each Pikmin also has one unique facial feature.

Red Pikmin

Red Pikmin (Pikminicus rufusia) are resistant to fire[2]. Aside from Purple Pikmin (introduced in Pikmin 2), Red Pikmin are the strongest fighters. They can bring down almost any hostile creature in which they engage into battle. They can safely snuff out fire-based hazards, such as flame-spewing geysers in the underground sections. In both Pikmin games, the Red Pikmin are the first to be found. Red Pikmin are identified by a pointed nose.

Yellow Pikmin

Yellow Pikmin (Pikminicus aurumia) are the lightest Pikmin. They can be thrown at a height twice that of the others. This advantage allows players to collect treasures located in high ledges and attack airborne enemies more easily. In Pikmin 2, Yellow Pikmin are granted immunity to electricity, which allows Yellow Pikmin to be saved from the effects of almost any hazard in the game. Explosions, maiming, and predation are still fatal to Yellow Pikmin as they are to all others. Yellow Pikmin are the only species that possesses ears.


Yellow Pikmin are able to carry explosive items called Bomb-Rocks in the original Pikmin,[2] wielding them as weapons. They lose this ability in Pikmin 2, where they are granted immunity to electricity instead.

In the first game, small clusters of these explosives are found in cans and under skulls. In Pikmin 2, Bomb-Rocks are larger and exist only as hazards. A Bomb-Rock's countdown, indicated by a standard enemy health meter, can be triggered by any type of attack. In the multi-player mode of Pikmin 2, Captain Olimar and Louie can carry Bomb-Rocks themselves.

Blue Pikmin

Blue Pikmin (Pikminicus cobaltium) are the only amphibious Pikmin.[2] When not under Olimar's command, the blue Pikmin can also save drowning Pikmin (of any other color) by tossing them to dry land. Unlike the other two species, Blue Pikmin possess a mouth with slightly visible gills.


Found only in the first Pikmin game, Toadmin are Pikmin infested with a Puffstool's spores. Toadmin immediately become hostile towards Olimar and attack him. If Olimar fights them off, they will return to normal. Toadmin are identified by their purple color and a small mushroom sprouting from their heads. This effect is temporary, and will wear off on its own over time. Along with the Toadmin, the Puffstool enemy appears only in the first game.

New species in Pikmin 2

In Pikmin 2, two new species of Pikmin are introduced. They have no Onions of their own; they live inside Olimar's spaceship. They are bred by throwing Pikmin into Candypop Buds (a specialized type of flower in the game, only found in underground areas) of the corresponding color to produce these new Pikmin seeds. The buds and flowers of the two new Pikmin species are pink, as opposed to white of the original species.

Purple Pikmin

Purple Pikmin (Pikminicus puniceus) are burly, massive, and very strong. When thrown, they shake the ground, stunning enemies nearby and, in some cases, even killing them. A Purple Pikmin possesses the strength of ten regular Pikmin. Because they are so heavy, a single purple Pikmin can weigh down airborne enemies, causing them to fall onto the ground where they are then vulnerable to attack. They are the strongest and the slowest of the Pikmin. Purple Pikmin are the only Pikmin with hairlike growths on their bodies.

White Pikmin

White Pikmin (Pikminicus niveus) are tiny, extremely swift, and immune to poison. They are poisonous themselves; any creature that eats them will suffer damage. Because they are immune to poison, White Pikmin can safely approach poison-producing hazards, such as pipes sticking out of the ground. In addition to enhanced movement speed, enabling them to keep up with any Captain with a speed upgrade, they can carry objects back to the landing zone faster than any others. White Pikmin have large, red, jewel-like eyes, which enables them to locate and dig up buried treasures; no other Pikmin has this ability.


Bulbmin (Parasiticus pikminicus) are actually parasitic Pikmin that have taken over the bodies of Red Bulborbs. They have a leaf sprouting from their backs. They are encountered only in Pikmin 2 in underground caves. The mother will attack Pikmin; its children, usually numbering ten, will not. If one hundred Pikmin are already in the field, the young Bulbmin will not appear. Once the mother Bulbmin is killed, its miniature Bulbmin children panic until Captain Olimar calls them. They cannot leave the cave where they are encountered. Bulbmin can be matured into Flower Bulbmin by feeding them nectar. They can be thrown into Candypop Buds, transforming them into regular Pikmin. They are immune to all hazards, except explosions and being eaten. They have no special abilities, and are particularly weak in battle. Dismissed Bulbmin glow green, and are shown as green spots on the radar screen.

Basic Pikmin abilities

Although Pikmin have special color-specific attributes, all Pikmin are capable of performing certain basic tasks. These tasks are vital to retrieving ship parts or treasure. Often, several of these tasks must be completed to retrieve one object.

Building Bridges
Pikmin can build bridges. [1] Piles of sticks can be found in certain areas. When ordered, the Pikmin construct a bridge from this pile of sticks. Some indigenous creatures, such as Sheargrubs and Shearwigs, will undo bridges over time. These bridges can be rebuilt, however.
Carrying Objects
All Pikmin can carry objects, such as the carcasses of defeated creatures, Pellets (aids in Pikmin breeding), treasure, and ship parts.[1] Because of the very small size of Pikmin, almost all objects require multiple Pikmin to carry them. Ship parts in the first Pikmin game and treasures in Pikmin 2 come in a wide range of weights. Pikmin use Pellets and the carcasses of defeated creatures to increase their numbers. The color of the majority of Pikmin carrying an object dictates its destination Onion.[3] For example, a Pellet carried by 7 Blue Pikmin and 6 Red Pikmin will ultimately be carried to the Blue Onion. Because White and Purple Pikmin have no Onion, they carry items to a random Onion. Ship parts, treasures, and (in Pikmin 2) berries are always carried to the ship. In Pikmin 2, any nearby Pikmin can carry a Captain back to the landing zone with the acquisition of a special item.
Breaking Down Gates
In some places, walls or gates block the path. Gates can be destroyed with an army of Pikmin;[1] the Pikmin attack the gate until it collapses. Stone gates are stronger than wooden gates, and darker-colored gates are more resilient than lighter-colored ones, whether they are wood or stone. In the first Pikmin game, if a gate is made of stone, it can be collapsed with only Bomb-Rocks, thrown by Yellow Pikmin.[4] Bomb-Rocks can also be used to quickly collapse a wooden gate. Stone gates do not exist in Pikmin 2; electrified gates take their place. Like stone gates, they require yellow Pikmin to be destroyed, since they are fatal to any other species of Pikmin on contact. In Pikmin 2, some gates have poison-emitting pipes nearby. Only White Pikmin can approach these gates.
All Pikmin are capable of battling hostile indigenous creatures.[1] Each species of Pikmin have different attack strengths and specialized roles in battle. An element of strategy comes into play, as players assess their battle situations and utilize the correct Pikmin in order to maximize effectiveness. In Pikmin 2, Pikmin battle effectiveness can be increased by use of the Ultra-Spicy Spray, which temporarily increases the attack strength and attack speed of all Pikmin under the player's control.
Extracting Nectar
All Pikmin are capable of extracting nectar from different sources. Nectar can be extracted from patches of rock (rock sugar) or from small patches of grass. Pikmin within the proximity of these nectar sources will automatically work on them, extracting nectar droplets in the process.
All Pikmin can open up geysers blocked by stone deep underground as well as breaking stones to drain pools of water (although underwater stones would only be accessible by Blue Pikmin). In Pikmin 2, only White Pikmin can excavate buried treasures. However, once a treasure has been exposed enough by the White Pikmin, any other Pikmin can assist in the excavation of that treasure, speeding up the process.

Threats to Pikmin

Pikmin are small, fragile creatures; an individual Pikmin creature is easily killed. Many hazards to Pikmin are present on the planet.

Pikmin are prey to many hostile creatures in both games. Any creatures that can attack with their mouths can eat Pikmin. The Bulborb, the natural enemy of the Pikmin, is one of the most notorious Pikmin predators. Large enemies can devour many Pikmin quickly. Some enemies take time devouring or digesting Pikmin. If the enemy is killed quickly enough, the player might be able to save those Pikmin from death.
Physical Hazards
Some large creatures, in addition to preying upon Pikmin, can run over, step upon, and jump onto Pikmin, crushing and instantly killing them. Several kinds of hostile creatures can attack with projectiles and stingers to the same effect. In Pikmin 2, boulders may fall on Pikmin accompanied by a whistling sound and shadows, and can squash pikmin. They fall in random places in some caves when a Captain walks there, or when a large creature, such as an Empress Bulblax or the Segmented Crawbster, collides forcefully into a wall.
Being Left Behind at Sunset
Leaving Pikmin on the planet at nightfall behind is lethal, as the nocturnal predators will eat them alive.[5] The only Pikmin that will survive in the field overnight are those still planted in the ground or close to the landing site. Players may use the radar to find idle Pikmin once they acquire it.[5] Players can witness any Pikmin left behind being devoured by the local fauna as the Captains' ship and the Pikmin Onions take off at nightfall.
Water Hazards
Bodies of water are found in many areas, both in underground caverns and on the planet's surface. Water is used as a means of attack by hostile creatures in Pikmin 2. Only Blue Pikmin and Bulbmin can safely enter the water;[2] all others will panic, thrashing in the water for a short period of time before finally drowning. Non-Blue Pikmin in the water can be saved by either calling them with a Captain's whistle, which entices them to swim to safety, or idle Blue Pikmin near the drowning victims. Non-Blue Pikmin hit by a water-based attack will have water-droplets formed around their heads, causing them to panic. They can be saved by calling them with the Captain's whistle.
Only Red Pikmin and Bulbmin are immune to fire[2]. Unlike water, fire kills Pikmin quickly (although in Pikmin 2 the player is given about 7 seconds to save them). Orange vents on the ground in some places (which are destructible in Pikmin 2) intermittently spew flames over a small area. Some enemies use fire as a means of attack. Non-Red Pikmin on fire can be saved by the whistle.
The only explosives in the Pikmin series are spherical boulders called Bomb-Rocks. Any Pikmin caught in a Bomb-Rock's blast radius will die immediately. Pikmin in the outer edges of a Bomb-Rock's damage radius will only be thrown back. In underground sections, Bomb-Rocks may be carried and activated by enemies, found scattered on the ground, or fall from a height next to the player and trigger on landing. An airborne hostile creature in Pikmin 2, the Careening Dirigibug, actually manufactures Bomb-Rocks, using them as weapons. The Gatling Groink, a hostile creature in Pikmin 2, utilizes explosive projectiles in an artillery fashion. Direct hits by a Gatling Groink's attacks will kill Pikmin; other times, they and the Captains are knocked back by the shockwaves of the explosive weapons. No Pikmin type is immune to explosions.
In Pikmin 2, some enemies and objects emit poisonous purple gas that adversely affects all but White Pikmin and Bulbmin. Poisoned Pikmin panic and scatter. They can be saved by calling them with the whistle. Poison gas is generated continuously by small pipes sticking out of the ground, and some enemies use poison as a means of attack. In Pikmin, Pikmin exposed to the Smoky Proggs' acidic trail are immediately killed. This substance appears as a thick black smoke that rapidly disappears behind this creature found only in Pikmin.
This hazard is present only in Pikmin 2. Any non-yellow Pikmin that touches anything that is discharging electricity will die instantly. Broken wires, found underground, produce arcing electricity intermittently. A type of gate is continually electrified. Only Yellow Pikmin and Bulbmin can approach and attack this type of gate. Some enemies utilize electricity as a form of attack.
Distraction and Subversion
In the first Pikmin game, a mushroom-shaped enemy called a Puffstool releases spores when threatened. Pikmin caught in the spore cloud turn purple, grow mushroom caps, and turn hostile towards Captain Olimar. These defective Pikmin are called Toadmin and will recover quickly. In Pikmin 2, Antenna Beetles are able to emit a mesmerizing sound, which temporarily assumes control of the Pikmin in its proximity. Although these Pikmin are not harmed by the sound, they will follow the Beetle for a while and often wander into other hazards. Small clumps of rocks and patches of grass (appearing in both Pikmin games) can distract Pikmin. Whenever they approach these distractions, Pikmin will instinctively try to extract the nectar that lies within them.
In Pikmin 2, Pikmin may become overwhelmed by certain external stimuli and scamper around in disarray. Either the loud roar of an Emperor Bulblax or the scent of Mitites can cause this. Pikmin will scatter, abandoning any orders assigned, running around uncontrollably. Panicked Pikmin are more likely to fall victim to other hazards. Pikmin are recovered from this panic by whistling.
On the Pikmin planet, there are creatures that can plant Pikmin back into the ground. This does not kill the Pikmin; it is more of a nuisance to the player. The Pikmin can be pulled back up by the Captains; the only detrimental effect of this re-planting is the loss of the Pikmin's flower or bud. When a Mamuta re-plants Pikmin, they instantly bloom into flowers. When underground, any Pikmin left planted in the ground when the player continues to the next sublevel are lost, counting as battle casualties.[6]

Other Appearances

Pikmin, as well as some enemy creatures, have made cameo appearances in at least two other Nintendo GameCube games, two Wii games, and one Nintendo DS game:

  • Super Smash Bros. Melee - Both Pikmin and Captain Olimar appear as collectible trophies within Super Smash Bros. Melee. However, in order to acquire the latter, the player must have a saved data file of Pikmin on the same memory card (as that of their save file for Super Smash Bros. Melee).
  • Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour - Whenever a player hits a ball into the flowers, Pikmin can be seen sent flying from the site of impact.
  • WarioWare: Smooth Moves - One of the microgames within WarioWare: Smooth Moves involves the player using the Wii Remote to roll a gigantic Empress Bulblax over a varying number of Pikmin.
  • Animal Crossing: Wild World - Within Animal Crossing: Wild World, it is possible to obtain Pikmin as an item for the player's house. When touched, they make a noise.
  • Super Smash Brothers Brawl - Captain Olimar and pikmin have been confirmed as playable characters for the game, and a Bulborb trophy has been seen in a screenshot for the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
  • Nintendogs - in the shop, a red Bulborb toy is shown in the mass of toys and gifts not readily achievable.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 "Pikmin Behavior Pikmin Instruction Booklet, Page 14-15. Nintendo of America Inc, 2001
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Different Colors, Different Skills" Pikmin Instruction Booklet, page 19. Nintendo of America Inc, 2001
  3. 3.0 3.1 Nintendo of America Inc: "How to Make More Pikmin" Pikmin Instruction Booklet, page 16 & 17
  4. "Pikmin Q&A" Pikmin Instruction Booklet, page 25. Nintendo of America Inc, 2001
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Olimar's Monitor" Pikmin Instruction Booklet, page 24. Nintendo of America Inc, 2001
  6. "Subterranean Q&A" Pikmin 2 Instruction Booklet, page 33. Nintendo of America Inc, 2004

External links

  • Pikipedia A wiki dedicated to everything about Pikmin.

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