Released in August 2004, Pikmin 2 takes place right after Captain Olimar returns home from his adventure in Pikmin. His employer, Hocotate Freight, is in financial ruin and a small trinket that Olimar has brought back is worth a lot of pokos! The president quickly sends Olimar back to the pikmin planet along with his co-worker, Louie.
Category note: A best ending run requires collecting all 201 treasures.
Best "best ending" time (all treasures): 3:10 by Charles Griffin on 2009-09-25 done in 128 segments, appended together in 8 files, one for each day.
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- Everyone who runs SDA, as you wouldn't be seeing this run right now otherwise.
- Everyone who helped to create Anri-chan. It was great to have such an easy way to make HQ videos.
- flyby for being awesome.
- I_eat_tables for being the only person to finish verifying the run.
After watching Radix's "speedrun" again in early 2008, I saw that plenty of things could be improved. I already had experience running the game in the past, first doing an 8 Day completion, then doing a 45 Pikmin playthrough, so I decided to try to improve it. I started a practice run during April and May so that I would have a basic route for each area, then after getting a DVD Recorder for my birthday, I began the run. My initial goal was 20 minutes of improvement; after saving around 9 minutes on the first three days alone, I quickly found out that I would by far surpass that. The goal gradually increased as I progressed through the run; for a while, my goal was to save over 100 minutes (1:40:00). The final result? According to my timing*, the final run is 1:51:11 faster than the previous run.
The vast majority of the tricks and strategies in the run were discovered on my own. I haven't seen anyone attempt to speedrun this since Radix's original playthrough, and very little from his run could be reused for an improvement. This means that I had to do all of the planning and trick-finding on my own; due to this, I'm sure that there's tricks or time savers that I missed, but unfortunately it was unavoidable.
There was one specific goal I wanted the run to accomplish: An 8 Day completion. I've considered the possibility that putting off some things until a later day would save time (such as not completing some of Awakening Wood's caves until after I obtain the Rush Boots in Valley of Repose); however, I didn't seriously look into it, as I wanted to keep the run within 8 days. Besides, it's only a possibility; there's a good chance that doing so wouldn't end up saving time anyway.
The run started off progressing quickly, with me completing the first three Days (21 segments) in less than a week and a half. (In retrospect, I really regret spending so little time and effort on these days. So much, in fact, that I actually ended up redoing them near the end of the run, with far better results.) After that, came the beginning of Day 4... And the run came to a standstill for nearly two months. Admittedly, I didn't spend the entire time working on the segment, as this is when I completed my Sonic 1 15:05 run; still, I did put a decent amount of effort into it throughout this period. Things started picking up after the segment was over, though I did begin to spend more time on each individual segment after that point.
There wasn't a point in the run that stalled my progress like that for a while; some segments may have taken a week or two, but none were as bad as the two month gap. There was a decently long (~42 day) gap before Wistful Wild's main above ground segment, but that was because I wanted to take a break before taking on the longest segment in the run. Afterwards, Hole of Heroes was completed fairly quickly, and Dream Den looked like it would follow suit. My goal of completing the run before the end of June looked incredibly easy to reach.
Then I got to Dream Den 11.
I had planned out my spray usage for most of the end of the run; going into Dream Den, I had two spare bitter sprays that I could use if the need arose. Unfortunately, both of them were used before getting to DD11, which turned out to be enemy hell... Every potential layout I could come up with had a ton of enemies and several poison pipes blocking me from getting to the treasures and exit. I tried for a while, but was unable to come up with anything. Luckily, during this period, I was considering trying to improve the first three Days; it would be very easy to keep everything consistent within the run up to that point, and I wasn't happy with my original attempts at all. Since it appeared I wouldn't be progressing on DD11 for a while, I decided to put it off until after the redo was completed.
The redo took about two months and was finished around August 20th; then finally, over a month later on September 22nd, I managed an incredibly lucky layout on Dream Den 11 that had barely any enemies in the way. The rest of the run followed quickly: DD12 and 13 were done the next day, and the Titan Dweevil was defeated slightly after midnight on the day after that. After 16 months, the run finally came to a close... I'm incredibly happy with the finished product, and hope viewers enjoy it as well. Hopefully others will attempt this game in the future; despite my frustration at the randomness (especially caves), I still had an enjoyable time working on it throughout.
* SDA times runs differently than the way Radix timed his run back in 2004; due to this, if you were to compare the official SDA time for each run, there would be a bigger gap (about 20 minutes higher).
Pikmin are obviously important, considering the game is named after them. There are five colors in Pikmin 2, some of which are far more useful for speedrunning than others, but they must all be used at some point.
There are three stages of Pikmin: leaf (120 speed), bud (140) and flower (170) (comparatively, captains run at 160 normally and 205 with the Rush Boots). In order to get flower Pikmin, you must either leave a Pikmin sprout in the ground for several minutes, or use nectar puddles. Since this is a speedrun, I obviously never have time to do the former.
The five Pikmin colors and their abilities are:
Reds are immune to fire. This is mostly useless; the only places I take advantage of this are Hole of Beasts 3 and two Fiery Bulblaxes. They also have 15 attack (compared to the normal 10), but are outclassed by the purple's 20. I only focus on reds at the beginning of the run, when I have few other Pikmin to use; later on their main use is just candypop fodder.
Yellows are immune to electricity, so they're needed to knock down electric fences. They are also thrown higher that other types, but every above ground treasure that is supposed to require this can be obtained through other means; however, I still found a use for it on Glutton's Kitchen 2 and Bulblax Kingdom 2. These abilities also make yellows useful for defeating the Titan Dweevil quickly.
Blues can breathe in water. In a lot of places, you can sequence break across water with other Pikmin; however, blues are still necessary for treasures that require being carried across water and for breaking open drains. They're very important on Days 6 and 7, but are barely used for Day 8.
Whites are immune to poison, so they're required for most gates and bridges that have poison chutes inside of them. They are also the only type able to start digging up underground treasures. Most importantly, though, is their speed; they run at 1.2x the speed of other Pikmin, and are the only ones capable of keeping up once I get the Rush Boots. Their speed is even more pronounced when carrying back treasure; even leaf whites carry treasures faster than flowers of other types. As such, I use whites for carrying treasures whenever possible.
Purples have 20 attack. They also cause a decent amount of extra damage (around 50?) when they fall on top of an enemy, and have a chance of stunning the enemy when doing so. For smaller enemies, they also have a slight homing ability. This makes them incredibly useful for just about every combat-related situation in the entire game.
Purples also count as 10 Pikmin when carrying treasure; this means I can throw very few purples onto a treasure early on, and have them carry it back while I'm busy with other tasks. Unfortunately, purples are also the slowest type, so I avoid them when possible if I need to get a treasure back quickly.
Sprays (and spray management) are incredibly important throughout the run. I have to initially collect berries from Burgeoning Spiderworts in order to obtain the sprays; this is slow, but afterward I can quickly collect them from spray puddles. There are two types of sprays, spicy and bitter:
Ultra-Spicy Spray: This increases Pikmin's speed to 190 (flowered Whites actually slow down). This is most helpful with purples, especially after obtaining the Rush Boots. Spicy sprays also approximately double Pikmin's attack speed, in exchange for reds and purples losing their increased attack strength. There is one unfortunate side affect, though: Pikmin will drown in half the time, making most tricks involving non-blues quickly crossing water impossible.
The increased speed works different when Pikmin are carrying back a treasure. If the Pikmin are flowered, their speed is not altered at all; however, if the Pikmin are leaves or buds, their speed is increased to the exact same speed as flower Pikmin. This increased speed also does not go away when the spicy spray wears off, as long as they continue to carry the treasure. This is especially useful for carrying back the Doomsday Apparatus, as a lot of the purples at that point are leaves.
Ultra-Bitter Spray: This petrifies enemies for around 8-9 seconds. Normal enemies' defenses are decreased, but the defense of bosses is increased. When you defeat a petrified enemy, its body is immediately destroyed; this has the benefit of skipping a boss's dying animation. Enemies also drop puddles of nectar or sprays; normal enemies drop one, while bosses drop 5.
Through a glitch, it is possible to collect two sprays from each spray puddle; by having a captain run at a spray, then switching to the other captain right before touching it, you can get both captains to collect the spray and have it count twice. Combined with the several sprays I manipulate from bosses, this usually ensures I have enough sprays throughout the run.
The Doomsday Apparatus is a treasure located near the landing site in Wistful Wild. It has a weight of 1000, meaning that I need to obtain 100 purple Pikmin throughout the game in order to be able to carry it. Fortunately, there happen to be 23 violet candypops, meaning I could get up to 115 purples, slightly more than enough to carry it back!
...Unfortunately, eight of them don't appear when I already have 20 or more purples. This means you cannot get at least four of them...which means that you can only get up to 95 purples if you only visit each cave once, so one cave will have to be revisited for the extra five purples.
Emergence Cave is easily the best choice for doing so. It:
1. Is a very short walk from the start of the area, and the candypops are found on sublevel 2;
2. Allows me to immediately start carrying back the Spherical Atlas when you revisit EC2, instead of having to backtrack after plucking the horrendously slow leaf purples;
3. Lets me access White Flower Garden on Day 3 before entering Hole of Beasts.
I also get an extra 9, instead of 5, in order to speed some things up later on (mainly crushing Day 3's paper bag). Note that I cannot get up to 20, as then two of the candypops in Hole of Beasts will not appear.
It's possible to glitch inside of the scales that are found in Awakening Wood and Perplexing Pool; in order to do so, you must have the scale rise up under the captain, and have a treasure return to the ship at the exact same time. If done correctly, the captain's position will not change, but the scale will be moved to the top, meaning you are now inside of it. Walking into certain parts of the walls around the scale will allow you to walk and fall out of bounds.
When you fall out of bounds, you're warped back near the ship. This has one use that I know of: There is a small wall behind the ship in Perplexing Pool that you can land on. After landing on this wall, I'm able to walk over and fall into the area with the Onion Replica, and later cross over the top of the gate and get to the Shower Room.
The very first time I land in an area, the Pikmin have to work to unfurl each section of a bridge individually. However, every subsequent time I visit the area (either by ending the day and coming back, or entering and exiting a cave), the rest of the bridge instantly unfurls after the first part is completed. Obviously, having the bridge instantly unfurl is preferable. The only time in the run where I slowly construct a bridge is on Day 4.
(Note that if an enemy starts to deconstruct a bridge, it is reverted back to slowly unfurling until you reenter the area again. This does not happen until Day 11, though, so it's never seen in the run.)
Day 1: Valley of Repose 1
Day 2: Valley of Repose 2
- Emergence Cave (1)
- Emergence Cave (2)
Day 3: Awakening Wood 1
- White Flower Garden
- Hole of Beasts
Day 4: Perplexing Pool 1
- Glutton's Kitchen
Day 5: Awakening Wood 2
- Snagret Hole
- Bulblax Kingdom
Day 6: Valley of Repose 3
- Frontier Cavern
- Subterranean Complex
Day 7: Perplexing Pool 2
- Shower Room
- Citadel of Spiders
- Submerged Castle
Day 8: Wistful Wild
- Cavern of Chaos
- Hole of Heroes
- Dream Den
The first five days are predetermined. I need to get a new Pikmin type each day, and to do so, I need to visit the areas in this order. For Day 6, I have a choice between VoR and PP, both with advantages and disadvantages.
If you do Perplexing Pool first:
- Most enemies killed on Day 4 will not have reappeared yet.
- You will have the Pluckaphone and Mega Tweeter for Valley of Repose.
If you do Valley of Repose first:
- You will have the Rocket Fist and Rush Boots for Perplexing Pool.
- You can grow more blues and whites before getting to PP.
As far as I know, the Rush Boots alone far outweigh any advantage that doing PP first could give; the Rocket Fist and extra Pikmin are just a bonus.
Wistful Wild could technically be done on Day 7, but there is not a single advantage and several disadvantages for doing so.
This day has three unskippable cutscenes: The first is when I first land in the area, which is never skippable, while the other two involve the creation of a Pikmin sprout. Otherwise, as this is just a tutorial, the day is fairly linear.
This is the best strategy for the beginning that I could come up with. I considered leaving one of the far pellet posies, but the loss of two Pikmin would cost time later on. Once I get the Pikmin on the gate, I barely manage to get all of the carcasses/pellets back and Pikmin plucked before the gate is destroyed.
I ignore the treasures my first time through Emergence Cave; it'd be far slower as I only have 18 Pikmin, and I would be forced to exit through the geyser in order to keep any of the treasure. Instead, I collect everything during my second trip through when I have all of my Pikmin with me.
I go into White Flower Garden first instead of Hole of Beasts; it's faster to walk from the poison gate to HoB at the end of the day instead of having to make an extra trip from the ship to WFG, and lets me have some whites to help in HoB. On WFG3, it was fastest to ignore one of the candypops at first in order to get the whites to start digging up the treasure sooner (however, ignoring two candypops was several seconds slower, as they did not dig up the treasure as quickly).
Back above ground, I spend time growing reds while the poison wall is being destroyed; these almost cover my need for reds throughout the entire run. I ended up being 1 short, so I had to make up for it later on.
Once that's all done, I knock down the poison gate blocking the path behind WFG, and construct the first bridge to the Snagret Hole. However, it's faster to not actually visit these areas until Day 5, when I have yellows.
On HoB2, I only get 6 Pikmin, to make up for the 4 extra I got in Emergence Cave. This seemed like the best place to do so, as there is nothing to multitask while plucking the Pikmin here. Against Empress Bulblax, I need to wait a few seconds for most of my Pikmin to be grouped together, or else she will shake them off instead of struggling.
At the end of the day, I use the nectar source nearby to flower my new purples. In retrospect, it might have been better to put that off until Day 4, but considering the amount of trouble I had with it, I'm glad I didn't give myself another thing to worry about there...
I don't do Citadel of Spiders on this day, instead putting it off until Day 7, as then I'll have the Rush Boots and more Whites.
I get both the Gherkin Gate and Impediment Scourge using purples instead of yellows, which saves a decent amount of time. It took 5 throws to get the Purples up to the Gherkin Gate; I usually reset after 4, but the attempt was faster than usual up to that point (good thing I didn't). I stop the Impediment Scourge from getting to the ship so that I can do the scale glitch on Day 7. The Gherkin Gate was an accident, though; I accidentally threw reds instead of purples at it near the end, so it was unable to move towards the ship. When I am on the way to Glutton's Kitchen, I lose two purples... Apparently they got caught on something off-screen.
On GK2, the fastest layout involves the treasures being high up, so this is one of the few times in the run that I use the yellows's ability to be thrown higher. On GK4, I reset until the Bulbears drop 2 bitter sprays, then glitch to get 4; this is the first of many times I do this trick throughout the run. On GK6, bitter-spraying the Giant Breadbug allows you to instantly swarm and defeat it, but unfortunately it doesn't drop any nectar or sprays when defeated.
I want to have 80 flowered blues by the time I reach Day 7; to do so, I use the three queen candypops in Snagret Hole for an extra 27, then harvest more between Snagret Hole and Bulblax Kingdom.
I do SH first since there's already a captain up on the ledge, then walk to BK while waiting for the blues to return all of the carcasses and pellets back later on in the day.
While the yellows are destroying the first electric gate, I sequence break and get purples on the Air Brake, allowing me to skip the puzzle and never bring blues to that area. After destroying the first electric gate, I take 24 yellows over to knock down the other one, as I can only bring up to 76 Pikmin into Snagret Hole in order to get the full amount of Pikmin from the queen candypops.
For the Pileated Snagret, there's a different method that's slightly faster and uses less sprays; unfortunately, I didn't find it until long after this segment was completed.
BK2 is the only other time in the run where I use the yellow's higher throwing to reach a treasure faster. BK4 seems somewhat slow; unfortunately, I can't complete it very quickly considering I have to grow 10 more purples here. Emperor Bulblax is very easy to defeat, so I put most of my focus on breaking the gate down behind him.
I do Frontier Cavern before Subterranean Complex, so that I can get the Rush Boots as soon as possible.
My original plan was to grow 10 blues and flower them, but as I finished Day 5 with 71 flowered, I instead only needed to grow 9. This meant that I could have 91 other Pikmin out instead of 90, which was surprisingly helpful. (I couldn't have just withdrawn the blues later to flower them, as all of the already-flowered blues would take precedent when withdrawing.)
I need to put more than enough Pikmin onto the two buried treasures; only having one purple and white on each would make them take too long to dig up and carry back.
Once the crown starts moving, the timing for the rest of the first segment is pretty much fixed: I need the crown to reach the ledge by the start, or else I won't be able to collect it quickly later on in the day. I ended the segment at just about the exact right time here.
In retrospect, I'm not sure whether it was a good idea to get so many sprays on FC1 instead of elsewhere; focusing on them seemed to waste a lot of time. However, I'm not really sure what could possibly be a better alternative. For FC4-FC8, I was forced to record using a composite cable instead of S-Video, which unfortunately (at least on the HQ video) leads to a pretty noticeable drop in quality. On FC8, it's a huge pain to get through all of the bulborb larva without any Pikmin dying, and then I needed to worry about spray drops... For the Empress herself, the quick kill doesn't work as she has more health and starts out awake, so a bitter spray is required to defeat her in one round.
I take only 84 Pikmin into Subterranean Complex, as I'm getting 16 from the queen candypops on sublevel 8. On the way there I use a spicy spray on my Pikmin, so they can mostly keep up with Olimar's faster running speed.
SC4 is the fastest segment in the run: I just run straight to the exit, which starts right next to me. It was far more annoying than it looks, as in several hours of attempts, I only had the exit appear right next to me twice...
On SC8, I need to make sure I get an extra red from the queen candypops, as it turned out I was 1 short of the amount of reds I needed. On SC9, I lost some time getting sprays, but like on FC1, I'm not sure what a better alternative would be.
What?!? You lost him?
Although I wanted to have 80 flowered blues by the time I got here, I didn't have a strategy fully planned out, so I wasn't sure exactly how many I would need. Luckily, it turned out that the best strategy I found required exactly 80: no more, no less. It was nice to have it work out so well like that.
Once I have blues and yellows working on the gates, I use the Impediment Scourge to activate the scale glitch. I need to have both captains glitch under the scale; one needs to go to the area with the Onion Replica, while the other needs to run to the Shower Room.
When I get to the Onion Replica, I need to dismiss the blues a certain distance from the treasure: if they're too far away they won't grab it, but if they're too close, the white will grab it later on and will drown when it reaches the water. I have no idea why.
When on the way back to the blues on the gate, I throw a single purple onto the Swooping Snitchbug on the path. It's impossible for it to shake off purples, even just one, so this ensures it's dead by the time the blues carry the Massage Girdle across its path. I get to the blues with nearly perfect timing; the gate is falling right as I arrive.
This is easily the fastest solution to the block puzzle, and only involves the use of one captain. After swarming the remaining blues on the Withering Blowhog, I distract the Hermit Crawmad, so it cannot attack the blues on the Massage Girdle when they pass. I noticed slightly after this point that I was missing a Pikmin, but luckily I found it very quickly.
Crossing over the top of the gate as Olimar is a lot harder than it looks. Most of the boundary is surrounded by invisible walls, so I have to stick close to the inside of the level when heading towards the Shower Room.
Against the Ranging Bloyster, it will slowly start to attack if you don't use a bitter spray, so using it early makes things far easier.
For Beady Long Legs, if you're really lucky, you can throw purples at the main body at such an angle that you do stun damage, but I've only managed to do it once; it was far too annoying to worry about on top of getting sprays and the Diamond's location.
The Waterwraith is ridiculously easy. For the first phase, I just stun it then swarm the rollers. In the second phase, after catching up and stunning it, I leave most of my Pikmin to attack it on their own while I worry about growing more purples. I just wish that the rest of Submerged Castle was this pathetic.
I'm forced to go into Cavern of Chaos first thing for more purples, as I only have 95 at this point. This also means that the bridge leading to the Impact Site will unfurl quickly, so I would probably do CoC first thing anyway. I do Hole of Heroes second, as Olimar is already up there at the end of the main above ground segment. As a bonus, this means that I get to do Dream Den and the Titan Dweevil to finish off the run.
On CoC2, I let the cutscene when a Pikmin is on fire activate on purpose, so I don't have to prevent it when taking out other Fiery Bulblaxes with this method in the run. On CoC4, be sure to pay close attention to my spray count when I'm collecting them... It was such a nice surprise considering I really wanted to get 4 spicy sprays here.
On CoC7, the Puffy Blowhog with a treasure started behind a gate, but it conveniently decided to float over it. After defeating the Segmented Crawbster, two spicy sprays dropped in the exact same location, which made them very easy to collect.
The dumbbell section is incredibly painful.
While trying to manipulate the Groink, I'm watching the Withering Blowhog in the background, and I shift the camera angle when it gets close to the Orange Bulborb. As long as it never appears on camera again, it will stay in that position, making it very easy to take both it and the Orange Bulborb out at the same time.
Before I can get hit up by the Decorated Cannon Beetle, I need to wait for it to get close enough to the wall, which is why I stop and mess with the camera from a distance; if you get too close, you'll get its attention, which will stop it from moving. It usually took far longer to get into position than it did in this attempt.
After the dumbbell reaches the ship, I make sure to use the spicy spray before any of the yellows are under my control. If not, they would still be sprayed when I try to cross the water with them, making all of them die horrible, gruesome deaths.
On HoH4, I get to use the Pileated Snagret method I missed out on on Day 5. On HoH7, I have to call back the Pikmin midway, as I don't have enough to kill it in one go since most of them are breaking down the wall. On HoH11, the Empress, like in Frontier Cavern, is impossible to kill quickly due to it having more health/starting awake. Against the Raging Long Legs, I need to wait a few seconds before I begin to attack it, or else it will shake the Pikmin off and begin its fast stomping.
Above ground, on the way to Dream Den, I get the Pikmin stuck on the edge of the demolished gate so that they do not get eaten by the Orange Bulborb when I pass by.
The best Titan Dweevil pattern is "Electric or Poison / Fire / Electric" for the first three attacks. If the first attack is fire, then the Monster Pump will be moved out of reach; if the second attack is electric, then the Comedy Bomb will move around when I'm trying to attack it; and obviously I don't want to attack the Flare Cannon while it's being used.
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