The Pikmin universe (ピクミン, Pikmin) refers to the Super Smash Bros. series' collection of characters, stages, and other properties that hail from Pikmin, the popular Nintendo series of colorful real-time strategy games. 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 universe within the Super Smash Bros. series beginning in Super Smash Bros. Brawl due to the inclusion of its main characters, Captain Olimar and the Pikmin, as team-based playable characters. Olimar and the Pikmin returned for Super Smash Bros. 4, while Alph, one of the three playable protagonists from Pikmin 3, made his SSB debut as an alternate costume for Olimar.
Prior to the launch of the Nintendo GameCube, Shigeru Miyamoto promoted the system's processing power by releasing a tech demo entitled Super Mario 128 at Nintendo's Space World trade show in August 2000, which demonstrated rapid generation techniques in order to display 128 separate Mario models on screen at once. Meanwhile, Miyamoto and his development team worked on an original project under the working title Adam and Eve, which was planned to be a game where one could watch the development and proliferation of two starting characters. Eventually, this idea was found to be far too lacking in interactivity for the player and was scrapped. But then, a completely new aesthetic was brought in and incorporated into a marriage between some of the concepts of Adam and Eve and the technicalities demonstrated by Super Mario 128. The now-familiar Pikmin series' characters, setting, and real-time strategy gameplay style were introduced to the Nintendo brand with the December 2001 release of Pikmin as a near-launch title for the GameCube. Incidentally, the name "Pikmin" was derived from Miyamoto's sheepdog, Pikku.
Pikmin received positive reception, both for its charming aesthetics and characters and for its unique spin on real-time strategy, and quickly earned a devoted fanbase. However, Japanese sales were not enthusiastic after the first week. In an attempt to stimulate sales, the virtual band Strawberry Flower was hired to write and perform an image song featured in Japanese commercials for the game. Ironically, the single, "Ai no Uta" ("Song of Love"), became incredibly popular and actually outsold the game it advertised, and it thus did its part to surge weekly sales of the game itself. This likely helped secure Pikmin's future status as an established Nintendo franchise, and the first sequel, Pikmin 2, was released in August 2004 for the GameCube. Pikmin 2 garnered near-universal acclaim from gaming publications and often makes appearances near the top of published lists of the best GameCube games released over the system's lifespan, due to its improvements over the original in many important aspects.
Despite the series' glowing track record and its status as a major Nintendo franchise being cemented with its protagonist Captain Olimar and its titular creatures appearing collectively as team-based playable characters in 2008's Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the Pikmin series would experience a nine-year hiatus that would only end with the August 2013 release of its third installment, Pikmin 3. Like its predecessors, Pikmin 3 was positively received and proved popular enough to receive downloadable content. A fourth installment of the series, Pikmin 4, was announced by Shigeru Miyamoto on September 7th, 2015, who stated that the game is "actually very close to completion. Pikmin teams are always working on the next one." However, there is currently no information in regard to when the game will be released, nor which platform will it be released on.
The Pikmin games are set on an uncharted planet called PNF-404, which appears to be a post-apocalyptic Earth. The player takes control of a visiting astronaut (the Hocotatian Captain Olimar in Pikmin and Pikmin 2 and the Koppaites Alph, Brittany, and Charlie in Pikmin 3) and is tasked to explore PNF-404's littered wilderness, take command over armies of native plant-like species that Olimar dubbed Pikmin, and securely retrieve important items to the home base. A cornucopia of hostile wildlife and environmental hazards does not make things easy for the player; oftentimes, they must willingly sacrifice their newfound friends by hurling them at large enemies so that they whittle the enemies' health down, and must rely on the harvesting of enemy carcasses (and naturally occurring pellets) to resow their Pikmin and pluck them up to replenish their standing forces. The different colors of Pikmin lend themselves to different on-the-spot battle strategies, and are also important to solving puzzles and opening up important pathways in the environment itself.
In Pikmin, Captain Olimar hails from the planet Hocotate and is taking a vacation on his spaceship, the S.S. Dolphin, in outer space when a comet hits his ship and causes him to crash land onto the uncharted planet, PNF-404. Due to oxygen being poisonous to Hocotatians, Olimar cannot breathe on PNF-404, which is further compounded by his life support system only lasting for thirty days. As a result, he is forced to use that time in order to befriend and take command of the native plant-like creatures he calls Pikmin to help him gather all the scattered pieces of the S.S. Dolphin so that he can make a return flight back home. Pikmin 2 takes place immediately after Olimar returns home, in which he finds that the company he works for, Hocotate Freight, is in severe debt. As a result, the company president sends Olimar and his co-worker Louie to scavenge valuable goods from PNF-404.
Pikmin 3 introduces the Koppaites, another space-faring alien race that is highly similar to the Hocotatians. The three new playable protagonists - Alph, Brittany, and Charlie - are Koppaites and arrive at PNF-404, where they enlist the aid of the Pikmin to help them harvest fruit seeds to save their starving homeworld, Koppai.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee
Pikmin, having been released right before Melee in Japan, 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.
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Some content of the Pikmin series from Brawl include: one playable character, a stage, some music, and a number of trophies.
On the final character select screen (after all characters are unlocked), Olimar joins the Kirby characters as part of the fifth column. These characters have "Gourmet Race" playing when their dark forms are fought in The Great Maze.
In Super Smash Bros. 4
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.
Main article: List of SSB4 trophies (Pikmin series)
This is a list of trophies from the Pikmin series.
In addition to the ones above, there are many more trophies in this version.
The Pikmin series and all of its previous characters and stages return for Ultimate.
Both Pikmin stages from the last two games return.
Games with elements from or in the Super Smash Bros. series
The White and Purple Pikmin introduced in this game are two of the Pikmin that Olimar can pick using his Pikmin Pluck move.
In addition, the spaceship Olimar and Louie use to fly in this game is part of Olimar's Final Smash, End of Day, and as a part of Olimar's on-screen appearance, as well as the inspiration for the Hocotate Bomb item in SSB4. Olimar's partner, Louie, was first introduced in this game and appears in SSBB and SSB4 as a trophy.
Iridescent Glint Beetles, which appeared in this game, reappear as enemies in Smash Run.
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.
Alph, one of the three main protagonists of this game, is also a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4. However, only appears as four of Captain Olimar's eight alternate costumes.
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