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|Games||Pikmin, Pikmin 2|
Pikmin is a strategy series that started on the Nintendo Gamecube in 2001. It has had only three official installments.
The series was created by Shigeru Miyamoto, who was inspired by observations of his garden. The first games star Captain Olimar, an employee of Hocotate Freight who is also intrigued with scientific studies. He travels through space and ends up stranded on a planet (implied to be Earth itself, but with Olimar being at a miniature scale), where he has to rely on the aid of tiny creatures known as Pikmin for survival. Playing as Olimar, the player must strategically gather and deploy Pikmin to accomplish objectives while trying to lose as few Pikmin as possible.
In the original Pikmin Olimar recruits the Pikmin, to find the missing pieces of his ship and escape the planet before his limited life support runs out. Though at the start of the game, the Pikmin are seen as the bottom of the food chain on the planet, by the time Olimar leaves they are able to take on the monstrous creatures of the planet on their own.
The second game was Pikmin 2, released in 2004. This added second character, Olimar's coworked Louie, and with it a two-player mode, along with various modifications of the gameplay. In this installment, Olimar and Louie were sent back to the strange planet to collect treasure to help Hocotate Freight get out of debt, while once more helping the Pikmin to rise up against predators.
Afterwards, the Pikmin series remained in limbo for several years as the third game was developed. It was originally planned for the Wii and announced in 2008, but Pikmin 3 was not released until 2013, as a Wii U game. This game features three new playable leaders: Alph, Brittany and Charlie, who crash-land on the planet from the first games (now known as PNF-404) while looking for food. They have to repair their ship and also seek out the characters from the first games while working with the Pikmin.
The Pikmin series has had representation in the Super Smash Bros. series. Super Smash Bros. Melee featured trophies for the Pikmin and Olimar. Starting in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Olimar was brought in as a playable fighter, with a stage based on the Pikmin world. He returned in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U, with Alph being available as an alternate costume for him. These games also featured items, trophies, enemies and musical tracks based on the Pikmin series.
The 2012 Wii U launch game Nintendo Land also had a mode based on Pikmin called Pikmin Adventure, wherein players could control Captain Olimar and Pikmin to navigate through special challenges.