Pikmin were originally meant to be used as weapons in Nintendo's Pikmin series, according to the game's creator Shigeru Miyamoto.
Speaking in an interview with Official Nintendo Magazine UK, the designer said that in the early stages of the game's design, the developers thought to use Pikmin as the player's weapon.
"In the case of Pikmin 1 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 utilized, to be shot by the player themselves."
Pikmin 3 will release in the Wii U in Q2 of 2013.