Pikmin Were Meant To Be Weapons At A Certain Point
Instead of being helpful buddies, they were to be disposable bodies.
Pretty much everyone knows by now the story behind Pikmin: the game was inspired by creator Shigeru Miyamoto's interest in gardening at the time. But we're finally getting some additional, never before heard background info, courtesy of the Official Nintendo Magazine UK.
For starters, it's not like he and other game designers at Nintendo have full formed ideas that they then sit down and immediately hash out, as is. Far from it. As Miyamoto explains:
"There are a variety of different ways for us to create videogames. Sometimes from the very outset we have some clear-cut goals towards which we start working. On the other hand we have cases when we don't have any kind of clear-cut image as to what kind of game it will eventually be but rather we have a very vague image of whatever we would like to establish or realise."
Pikmin was one of the those ideas that needed a lot of tinkering around with:
"In the case of Pikmin 1 our original idea was how it would be nice if we would be able to see a bunch of small creatures doing something… Something like, they are protecting their own village and at the same time they are trying to grow and expand that village."
To be honest, it doesn't sound all that crazy different from the final game. But then there's this fairly significant detail:
"Later on we added the feature so that the player character [Olimar] will be there. But at the beginning I thought that it wouldn't be interesting enough because in that original development mode the Pikmin were used as if [they were] weapons. To be utilised, to be shot by the player themselves."
Quite the different kind of game that we ended up getting. Especially considering how a large part of the traditional Pikmin experience is trying one's best to keep every little guy alive. Imagine if you sent them to their deaths, willy-nilly, to protect your ass, and en masse? Still would have been cute though.