- This article relates to the official games. See Pikipedia's "sunset" article for more official information.
Sunset is an event that occurs at the end of each in-game day. When sunset arrives, all leaders and Pikmin must retreat into the ship and Onions, and spend the night in low orbit, due to the fact that many predators become active at night. Pikmin will be considered safe, and therefore survive the night, if they are in a leader's group, close to an Onion, or buried. Any other Pikmin will be left behind on the surface and will be eaten by predators.
In fanon games
Below this point is where users place their version of sunset.
In Pikmin 2... Again?
This article or section pertains to Pikmin 2... Again?, a fanon game created by Darryl Omg.
In Pikmin: Wide World
This article or section presents information pertaining to Pikmin: Wide World, a fanon game created by Cheepy-Cheepy.
Sunset is an event that occurs at the end of each in-game day in Pikmin: Wide World, and it begins one-and-a-half real-time minutes before the end of an in-game day. When sunset begins, a message appears on-screen alerting leaders to gather their Pikmin and finish up the day's current tasks. The area's music also becomes calmer and quieter. Additionally, the Master Onion and any other Onions will display a ring of light around themselves that indicates the zone in which Pikmin will automatically enter their Onion. Needless to say, an Onion must be in an active state for its appropriately-colored Pikmin to be able to enter it. Small swarms of Twilight Spectralids may also appear once sunset begins, and they will remain until the next day begins.
The heads-up display will also change to include a counter that tracks how many Pikmin are currently in danger of being left behind, and a counter that tracks what specific Pikmin types are in danger of being left behind can be viewed from the HocoPad's radar screen. Additionally, dots on the radar screen representing Pikmin in danger will blink and pulsate so that they are more easily seen. Pikmin can only enter an Onion that matches their type or has their color incorporated into it.
As the day comes to a close, a countdown starting from ten will begin, and slowly count down to zero, the day ending immediately afterward unless the day is manually ended before then. The Pikmin counters on the heads-up display and on the HocoPad's radar screen will flash red to illustrate the importance of Pikmin possibly being left behind. The on-screen text about gathering Pikmin and finishing tasks will also change color the longer the timer counts down. After the timer reaches zero, the traditional end-of-the-day cutscene will begin, accompanied by its music. It sees the leaders walking up to the day's landing site, any Pikmin in their group accompanying them. They look around before dismissing their Pikmin into the Master Onion, and the PikHold if it was obtained. The leaders then board the Dolphin Lander after every Pikmin has entered their appropriate lodging. The Dolphin Lander, the Master Onion, and any other active Onions present then blast off into the night sky as hungry beasts close in on their position. The only exception to this is when Captain Olimar is abducted by the Plasm Wraith in Ancient Metalworks. Any Onions discovered during the day merge with the Master Onion as they proceed into orbit. While in orbit, the Pikmin in the Master Onion and the Pikmin in the PikHold exchange knowledge between one another, but not between vessels, and the leaders talk amongst themselves and drink the day's ration of juice. Additionally, if enough progress has been made in an area, a leader will gaze out the window, reflecting on themselves or their actions, and then catch sight of a potential new area to land in.
Pikmin that are left behind at the end of the day may perish, being messily devoured by nocturnal creatures, unless they are Captmin, parasitic Pikmin hosts, or Alien Pikmin. Captmin and parasitic Pikmin hosts hide to survive the night, and creatures do not eat Alien Pikmin because they are an invasive species. Pikmin that are transformed into Mushroom Pikmin and are left behind are counted as Pikmin deaths, but Mushroom Pikmin that are found naturally do not. Other Pikmin that are left behind overnight may survive if they are able to find refuge under vegetation and are lucky enough to avoid the vicious predators hunting them. They can be found in their hiding spots the next day. Pikmin are considered safe if they are in a leader's group, idling within the vicinity of a leader, at the day's landing site, or in an Onion's safe zone. Pikmin that are buried are also considered safe but will remain where they are until they are plucked from the ground.
Additionally, once enough progress is made in Story Mode, leaders can choose to stay on the surface of PNF-404 past sunset, and they can stay until quarterway into the night. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as by accepting the Dolphin Lander's offer to stay past sundown, or by toggling the option to stay past sundown in the Dolphin Lander's menus. Eventually, after a few sunsets, she will stop asking, notifying the leaders they may let her know if they wish to stay after sunset by interacting with her. No matter the method used, the Dolphin Lander will tell the leaders to stay safe and be careful. At night, enemies that were active during the day will return to their nests or territories to sleep or hide. Likewise, enemies that were dormant during the day, either because they were sleeping or hiding, will begin to hunt for food. Some enemies are active during all times. Although moonlight is present, the most potent illumination is cast by the leaders' beacons, Onions, the Dolphin Lander, and enemies and vegetation that produce light. Idle Pikmin also glow faintly in the dark, making finding any stray Pikmin easy. Many nocturnal enemies are attracted to light, making navigation dangerous and necessitating extreme caution. The Dolphin Lander will initially be unwilling to allow leaders to stay on the surface past sundown, but once they become experienced enough, she will come to trust they can take care of themselves.