Pikmin 4 will have a dog in it. Well, it’s not actually a dog, but we’ll get to that later. Either way, Oatchi is an all-new companion that resembles a dog, and will be helping us on our upcoming adventure. This good boy can swim, help us in battle, and clear obstacles for us; he’ll also help us rescue castaways, and will happily play a game of tug of war, much like any other canine.
The thing with Oatchi, however, is his appearance. At first glance, he’s an adorable, yellow puppy who’s just happy to be here and help out. Upon further inspection, you begin to notice that this cute canine companion is far from being an actual dog; he has no nose, hops around on two legs, and his tail consists of the fluffy seeds of a dandelion. It was only this morning when we realised that ‘hey, wait, that Pikmin 4 dog doesn’t have a nose,’ and so my deep dive into Oatchi began.
After referring to Oatchi as a dog since his reveal, the more that we have seen has only cemented that he actually isn’t a dog at all. His strange appearance paired with his canine features certainly arouse some confusion, so, what actually is Oatchi?
First things first, we decided to put a nose on Oatchi just to see how he’d look. My first nose of choice was borrowed from Scooby-Doo, before I then experimented with other noses because I couldn’t help myself. VG247’s Tom Orry is probably wondering what the hell I’ve been doing for the past hour; the answer is Photoshopping various noses onto Oatchi badly. It’s been fun.
And despite what humans may expect a dog to look like, Oatchi’s array of noses only made him look more peculiar, and I have concluded he is definitely better off without one. Though, that still doesn’t stop me from wondering what the hell this dog-like creature really is.
This is when I decided to get to the bottom of what our reliable companion actually is, and took myself on quite the dive learning Pikmin lore (with thanks to the Pikmin Fandom). Put it this way, I’m probably picking up Pikmin 4 after my expedition through wiki page after wiki page; this game sounds a little bit wacky, but it doesn’t look like there’s any shortage of things to do and discover.
Anyway, given Oatchi’s alien appearance and his dandelion tail, it seems as though this particular pup could be part of the Grub-dog family. This family consists of various species, including Bulborb, Bulblax, and plenty of other two-legged creatures. They’re mammal-like, reproduce, and in some cases, have fur.
Even with that in mind, Oatchi doesn’t quite look like a species of Grub-dog; he’s far too canine-like, really, and he has ears which are a rare sight to behold in Pikmin. Either way, this pup is definitely some sort of cross-breed between mammals and plants, much like the Pikmin themselves.
The only other canine companion that’s known of in Pikmin is Bulbie, Captain Olimar’s dog on the home-planet of Hocotate. Supposedly, the Grub-dog name actually comes from Olimar’s dog, Bulbie, looking like a Bulborb with its eye stalks. So maybe, just maybe, Oatchi’s appearance is something to do with Bulbie or Captain Olimar. Perhaps Oatchi ended up here on his search for life, or something along those lines. But still, exactly how has he ended up here on PNF-404?
Ultimately, Oatchi is a bit strange-looking. He’s adorable, however, and I would personally have him crush anyone who slanders him. I think the most likely outcome for this bizarre companion is that he is an alien from another planet. After all, there’s nobody else quite like him on PNF-404… except the castaway-kidnapping Green Oatchi with perkier ears and a leaf for a tail. He simply raises more questions, and I can only imagine Pikmin 4 will have more surprises in store.