Treasure! Treasure! Treasure! Money! Money! Money! Money!
—The Research Pod, Pikmin 2.
When underground in caves, the Hocotate Ship dispatches its nose cone, known as the Research Pod, and sends it down to support Olimar and Louie/the President on their underground expedition. Anything that the Pikmin pick up will be carried to the Pod and stored in its hull until the player exits the cavern. On leaving a cave via a geyser, the treasure worth of these is added to the total.
If the player chooses to leave by selecting the option in the pause menu, the Pod will dispose of all treasures and creatures that were collected and return to the surface with the captains and Pikmin. This also happens automatically if all Pikmin die or both captains suffer too much damage, and cannot be stopped without resetting the game. The discarded treasures will be returned to the sublevels they were found in.
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