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Dandori Battles are special caves in Pikmin 4. While accessed from the areas in Story Mode, they function more like an alternative game mode, similar to 2-Player Battle in Pikmin 2 and Bingo Battle in Pikmin 3. There is also a mode in the title screen that allows players to do Dandori Battles without any relation to Story Mode.
In Dandori Battles, the player (marked with blue) competes against their opponent (marked with red) to see who can earn the most points, which are noted with a symbol resembling the letter D: . Carrying treasures, pellets and enemies to the player's designated Onion earns the player points based on their weight, so that, for example, a Bulborb is worth 10 points while a pile of gold nuggets is worth as many points as its number of fragments. The player with the most points when the timer runs out is declared the winner. Both participants will use the same type of Pikmin. Unlike other game modes, Onions in a Dandori Battle produce live Pikmin that do not go through the sprout stage.
In Story Mode, the Pikmin used are not the player character's, but rather are given to them at the start of the battle for that battle only. Anything collected is also not carried over after the battle. Each stage is ranked with a "Dandori Level" of 1 to 5, indicating the level of difficulty.
For the purpose of the game's overarching mission, the player must compete in Dandori Battles and win in order to be rewarded with a castaway that their opponent took possession of. Once that happens, the cave is closed and cannot be re-entered. However, after rescuing Corgwin these battles can be replayed from the Rescue Command Post. To reach the main story's conclusion, the player must earn a bronze or higher on all 6 matches.
The player can earn medals based on how their score compares to their opponent. Only a bronze medal is required to win the battle, which involves simply having more points than the opponent, but silver, gold, and platinum medals can also be earned based on the size of the lead the player has upon the battle's end.
- Bronze: Win the battle (by at least 1 point).
- Silver: Win by at least 30 points.
- Gold: Win by at least 60 points.
- Platinum: Win by at least 100 points.
Dandori Battle mode
Dandori Battle mode is a mode selectable from the title screen. Here, the player can challenge a second player or a CPU to a round of Dandori Battle. When challenging the CPU player, it is also possible for two players to team up.
In addition to any of the created player characters from the game's save files, Shepherd and Collin are playable as well. Olimar and Louie can be unlocked as opponents after reaching certain points in any file of the main story. If a Dandori Battle is played before creating a character on any save file, only Collin and Shepherd are playable.
The same 6 maps from Story mode are available to play on, however they must all be unlocked by playing on the stage before it at least once (similar to Bingo Battle). Levels are unlocked simply by finishing a battle, regardless of who wins. This also happens if the battle is retried and then aborted(?). In order to unlock a map, no matter what the current Story Mode progress is, the previous map must be completed first. For example, completing Trial Run twice does not unlock Dandori Castle.
In this mode, the shortcut buttons are fixed to the defaults, and are mostly unbound except for the following (sideways Joy-Con does not have any bound shortcuts):
List of stages
- Trial Run
- Battle in a Box (unlockable)
- Dandori Castle (unlockable)
- Leafy Showdown (unlockable)
- Hot Sandy Duel (unlockable)
- Final Battle (unlockable)
There is 1 Dandori Battle cave per area in Story Mode, but each stage is played sequentially and not tied to the area they are entered from. Below is a list of every Dandori Battle cave entrance available and how to access them.
- Sun-Speckled Terrace: near the third base, Meandering Slope, where a bridge must be built to access the ledge it's on.
- Blossoming Arcadia: near the first base, Fragrant Ravine, on top of a large box toward the center river.
- Serene Shores: near the first base, Blossoming Dunes, surrounded by water.
- Hero's Hideaway: found within a safe, needing the Courage Emblem, the Power Emblem, and the Wisdom Emblem's randomized numbers to unlock.
- Giant's Hearth: near the third base, surrounded by shallow water and a low ledge.
- Primordial Thicket: found on a ledge after a row of mushrooms Oatchi can jump across.
The player must complete the battles in the first three areas in any order to unlock Hero's Hideaway. From there, each area's Dandori Battle cave will need to be completed to unlock the next area (or in the Primordial Thicket's case, the Cavern for a King). While the first 3 stages can be played in any of the first 3 areas, the player can only enter Leafy Showdown in Hero's Hideaway, Hot Sandy Duel in Giant's Hearth, and Final Battle in Primordial Thicket.
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A player can obtain items by touching capsules that appear around the arena. These can then be used by pressing . A player can only hold one item at once; if they touch a capsule while already holding an item, the capsule's item will replace the old one.
|Pikmin||Adds ten Pikmin to the player's party (only adds the same Pikmin type used in the battle).|
|Glow Pikmin||Adds five Glow Pikmin to the player's party.|
|Lightning||Causes lightning to strike at the opponent, and stuns all enemies in the arena.|
|Mine||Gives the player a Mine.|
|Trackonator||Gives the player a Trackonator.|
|Ink||Makes a ink drop fall at the opponent, non-lethally scattering their Pikmin and respective dog.|
|Boulders||Makes boulders fall at the opponent's location.|
|Teleport||Warps the opponent to a random location on the map.|
|Ultra-spicy spray||Uses the effects of the Ultra-Spicy Spray.|
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The Sneak Bomb is a special item. In Story Mode, they are introduced in Leafy Showdown and reappear in all stages afterward. In Dandori Battle mode, they can be toggled for any stage. Only one will appear near the middle of a match, spawning by itself as opposed to inside a capsule. It resembles a bomb rock, but is larger, sits on a wooden platform, and cannot be armed by subjecting the bomb to physical stress. It must be carried to the opponent's Onion, at which point it will explode and cause them to lose points. The number of points lost to a Sneak Bomb depends on how high the affected player's score was, but the loss will never be greater than 100 points.
The points lost to a Sneak Bomb will be ejected as Dandorium weights, which can be brought back to either Onion. These weights are solid and bronze-colored, with each one featuring a numerical label that indicates its weight.
If the Sneak Bomb goes inside of the Onion of a player with 0 points, a Dandorium weight of 5 pops out and the targeted player's points stay at 0. Additionally, no matter how high the target score, the player whose Onion was detonated will not lose more than 100 points.
Sneak Bombs weigh 5 units with a maximum carrier count of 10. They have a unique Radar Map icon.
During a battle, there will always be a value multiplier on one or two treasure types or enemy species, which are then referred to as Bonus Finds. The multiplier ranges from ×2 to ×5 and can occasionally be different for the two teams. For a practical example, a Sunseed Berry weighs 3 units and therefore has a usual value of 3. As a Bonus Find, its value may be multiplied by 2 for the blue team and 3 for the red team. It still weighs 3 units, but it will now grant 6 points to the blue team or 9 points to the red team depending on who gets it to their Onion first. The Golden Sniffer and Dandorium weights can never become Bonus Finds.
In Story Mode, the Bonus Find feature is introduced in Battle in a Box and applies to all later stages. It can be toggled for any stage in Dandori Battle mode.
In Story Mode, if the player fails to earn a bronze medal, Dingo will offer to complete the challenge for them. If the player selects "Get Help" from the following menu, he will proceed to do so (shown with a blank screen, text boxes, and random sound effects), and the victory cutscene will play like normal as if the player had completed it themselves.
This feature is only available if Dingo has been rescued, and if the player goes through with his assistance, the player will not be awarded any medals until they replay it themselves. The exception is Leafy Showdown, which must be cleared manually.
- All treasures in Dandori Battles are returning fruits from Pikmin 3. The only exception to this is the Golden Sniffer, which is an altered version of the Tremendous Sniffer, another fruit from Pikmin 3.
Names in other languages
|French||Duel Dandori||Dandori duel|
|Italian||Battaglia Dandori||Dandori battle|
|Spanish||Batalla Dandori||Dandori battle|
|Portuguese||Batalha Dandori||Dandori Battle|