The Armored Mawdad (ヨロヒイモムカデ?, lit.: "Armored Potato Centipede"; known in Europe and Australia as the Armoured Mawdad) is the first boss in the Story Mode of Pikmin 3, and one of the two main bosses of the Garden of Hope, the other being the Quaggled Mireclops. It is a massive, centipede-like beast with a multitude of small gecko-like legs, a large head, yellow eyes, a bluish-green underbelly, a gaping mouth, and large curved mandibles. The creature crawls about, trying to dodge the player's attacks, and is able to climb up the sides of walls as a means of avoiding combat and launching surprise attacks. Upon its death, the player is rewarded with the Data Glutton and the Firebreathing Feast.
“Structural flaw: flesh beneath shell
“Structural flaw: flesh beneath shell
“The crystal all over its body is one of the most beautiful things I've seen on this planet. How people would stare if I could make a space suit out of it! Though maybe they'd only be staring because I'd be in a translucent suit.”
“I'm so proud of my crew for managing to take this beast down without me! It's especially impressive because they did it without my combat training or steely fists. It's good to know I set such an example for them to live up to!”
“Best enjoyed fresh. If the legs aren't twitching when you put it on the grill, don't bother.”
Pikmin 3 website
“This extra-large creature can be found in hollowed-out trees. Its exoskeleton is made of crystal.”
Pikmin 3 Prima Guide
“The Armored Mawdad is located in the Garden of Hope. This creature is protected by the segmented armor covering its back. The Armored Mawdad uses its massive pincers to trap and devour any victims caught in its path.The Mawdad is surprisingly agile, so it's important to keep your squad moving. Use Rock Pikmin to break through the creature's armor, then use Red Pikmin to latch onto the exposed flesh.”
As its name implies, the Armored Mawdad cannot be damaged by most attacks. Its crystalline shell protects it from all attackers, and only Rock Pikmin can be used to destroy this shell. Each segment of the creature's body has its own piece of shell, and the pieces' ease of breaking corresponds to their size (e.g. the tail breaks fastest, head breaks slowest). When threatened, the Mawdad will shake any attacking Pikmin from it and attempt to scurry up the walls, where it cannot be damaged. Though the creature cannot be seen when it has climbed up the tree, its position will be given away by pieces of bark and other debris that fall from above.
Despite the creature's threatening size and appearance, its attacks are simple and easy to counter. The creature will charge and then snap its mandibles shut, trapping any Pikmin in front of it. It will consume its victims at a slow rate and can be stopped from eating any at all if enough Rock Pikmin are thrown at its shell, causing it to flinch. Moreover, its attacks can be made much easier to avoid if the Mawdad's mandibles are destroyed by Rock Pikmin.
This beast is the first challenge in Defeat Bosses! The player is given 8 minutes to defeat the Mawdad, and starts off with 30 Rock Pikmin on their party. Some Pikmin are spread throughout the arena idling, and in total, there are 50 Rock Pikmin and 50 Red Pikmin. The entrance/exit to the Armored Mawdad's den is blocked off by a "keep out" sign. Only Alph (player 1's starting leader) and Brittany (player 2's starting leader) are available in this challenge. Although it is impossible to obtain the Dodge Whistle by the time the boss is fought in story mode, the player is given the ability to dodge in this challenge.
The following table lists what medal the player gets according to the time they take:
In Pikmin 3, these are the world records for the challenge, as obtained from the in-game global rankings feature. The following scores were retrieved on December 8th, 2015. Since the in-game leaderboards have been compromised, it is impossible to obtain more up-to-date legitimate records from the game, though players may have obtained higher scores since.
In Pikmin 3 Deluxe, these are the world records for the challenge, as obtained from the in-game global rankings feature. The following scores were retrieved on June 27th, 2022.
The Armored Mawdad is almost constantly in motion, crawling around the stage in erratic patterns. When it gets a clear view of a group of Pikmin or the current leader, it will charge and trap the Pikmin with its massive mandibles. During this time, it will commence eating Pikmin (5 at a time) with its wide tongue, during which it will stop moving, allowing players an opportunity to throw Rock Pikmin at its crystalline armor to break it away. This will aggravate the boss and save the trapped Pikmin. The now-exposed flesh can be freely attacked with any other available Pikmin types. If it loses sight of the leaders or the Pikmin, it will briefly pause and look around for them before moving again.
Once it has started to lose armor, it will crawl faster and begin to evade the Pikmin by crawling up the walls of the arena. It will then crawl around off-screen for a moment before coming back down to charge at the Pikmin once again. When it is out of view, the player can still be made wary of its location by either looking at the KopPad's map, or by paying attention to where small chips of wood are falling from the ceiling.
If the player can land a successful hit on its mandibles, they will break, rendering it harder for the Mawdad to capture and eat Pikmin. If a Pikmin latches onto one of its eyes, the Mawdad will become extremely agitated and aimlessly careen through the arena until the Pikmin is thrown off, and even ramming its head into walls in an attempt to shake the Pikmin off.
An alternate strategy is to wait until the Mawdad is charging, then throw Brittany into its path. The Mawdad will lick once, then focus on Brittany and proceed to eat her, this will take much longer than eating Pikmin. While Brittany is being eaten, throw as many Rock Pikmin as you can at its tail to break the crystalline armor off. If you fail to break its tail on the first try, whistle Brittany back and repeat the strategy. Once the armor is off, use the same strategy but throw Red Pikmin at the exposed tail to do boosted damage to the Mawdad. During the repeated execution of this strategy, Brittany will likely be knocked out, but at that point you should have enough damage done to the Mawdad to simply bait it with some Pikmin and kill it with more Reds. Do not break the mandibles, as this will result in Brittany attempting to escape the Mawdad's clutches, and will mess up your aim at the Mawdad. This strategy will not work during Mission Mode, as the Armored Mawdad will easily incapacitate Brittany after capturing her three times, causing you to fail the mission. Though in Story Mode, this is highly recommended, as you will probably no longer need Brittany for the area, and is faster and safer than the normal method.
A much simpler way to defeat the Mawdad quicker and with little trouble is to immediately run to the side as soon as the battle begins. The boss will charge forward only to catch nothing, and will then stop for a few seconds before crawling around again. During this time, quickly throw as many Rock Pikmin as you can at the tip of its tail, and it should easily break off. This will aggravate the Mawdad and make it climb up the wall. When it comes back down to charge, move out of the way and quickly run behind it. Before it starts moving again, swarm or dismiss all of your Red Pikmin onto its tail. If enough grab onto its tail, the boss' health will rapidly drain and it can be killed with one hit from a Rock Pikmin, or maybe even a punch, as soon as it descends from the wall.
This is much easier in Mission Mode, as it is possible to dodge. However, it is still easily doable without said powerup.
In speedruns, this strategy is particularly useful, and it's even faster if the player waits for the boss to stand still on the wall for a few seconds. Sometimes, the Mawdad will run around the arena a bit before stopping, and sometimes it will stop immediately. It's best to just wait for it to stop, as this will maximize the time the Pikmin stay stuck on the tail. This can be used to defeat the boss in under thirty seconds.
Another strategy is to gather all Pikmin, throw a Rock Pikmin in its path at the start, throw two Rock Pikmin at the tail piece so it's ready to shatter the first time, and as soon as the Rock Pikmin dies, start throwing Rock Pikmin to completely break the tail piece. After that, the Pikmin can be ordered to charge at the tail, and the boss should go down without climbing the wall once.
The word "Mawdad" could be made up, but it could also be a combination between "maw", meaning "jaw", and "crawdad". Due to localization, in Europe and Oceania, the word "Armored" is spelled as "Armoured". In Japan, this boss is known as ヨロヒイモムカデ?, which is made up of the words ヨロヒ? (lit.: "Armor"), イモ?, lit.: "Potato" and ムカデ? (lit.: "Centipede").
The scientific name, Tuberclipeum rex, contains the well known species name "rex", which is Latin for "king", commonly associated with the Tyrannosaurus Rex (or T-Rex). This implies it is the "king" of the Mawdad family.
Internally, this enemy is called
Names in other languages