The S.S. Dolphin is the ship that Captain Olimar crashes on the planet of the Pikmin in the game of the same name as the species. After the crash-landing, Olimar realizes that thirty of the ship's parts are scattered across the land. The player must then gather an army of Pikmin to find the pieces of the Dolphin and bring it back to the broken ship. There are only thirty days to find all the parts because Olimar's space helmet cannot supply him with his needed air for more than that long. Once the player finds all of the needed parts of the ship, he/she is free to go back to their home planet.
In Pikmin 2 the repaired S.S. Dolphin was immediately carried off in order to pay off the massive debt for Captain Olimar's company, Hocotate Freight. Inside, he and Louie, and well as the President of Hocotate Freight at one point, travel using the Hocotate Ship.
In Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii, the Dolphin makes a short cameo in the Space Junk Galaxy, though it has been enlarged. In Animal Crossing: City Folk, Nintendo distributed a miniature S.S. Dolphin item through Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection from July 20th to August 3rd in 2009.
- The Dolphin is named after the codename of the GameCube.