Man there's nothing like the feeling of commanding a squadron of Pikmin, is there? Over the course of two games, Nintendo's too-cute strategy franchise has given you armies of multicolored plant creatures to mess around with. The little guys are so helpful and adorable that it tends to feel really bad when some of them die. Well, Shigeru Miyamoto has revealed that, once upon a time Pikmin were originally supposed to be weapons for the player to use.
In an interview on Official Nintendo Magazine UK, the legendary Nintendo designer says that the concepts for Pikmin 1 started off in very vague fashion:
…Our original idea was how it would be nice if we would be able to see a bunch of small creatures doing something," said Miyamoto. "Something like, they are protecting their own village and at the same time they are trying to grow and expand that village."
Later on we added the feature so that the player character 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
Along the way, the titular characters and their world seemed to have grown a lot more personality. They are still technically assets that you use to accomplish goals. But you generally feel more warmly towards them than to, say, an ammo clip.