Distant Tundra (迷いの雪原?, lit.: "Tundra of Bewilderment") is the third area in Pikmin 3. The overall layout of the level is a flat, snowy environment with small areas containing exposed grass and dirt. The level is divided by a small river that cuts through the middle. The landing site is near the river. Captain Charlie crash lands here, but is later rescued by Alph and Brittany. There are 16 fruits that can be found here, with a total of 22 cups of juice (11 on Ultra-Spicy difficulty).
After the crash in the prologue, the scene goes to Captain Charlie, who landed on this area. The player takes control of him for a bit as he discovers Yellow Pikmin, but this section of the game stops when he enters a cave and defeats some Phosbats, as an unknown creature – later revealed to be the Vehemoth Phosbat – ambushes him.
Later on in the story, when Alph and Brittany first reunite, and when they land on the Distant Tundra for the first time, the S.S. Drake flies too low to the ground and hits a rock, accidentally ejecting Brittany into the cave below. In this cave, she discovers the Yellow Pikmin and their Onion. Upon using the new Yellow Pikmin to open an entry to the outside, she discovers that she and Alph are separated by a river, which must be overcome by two bridges, which each leader must help each other build. Until the player reunites the two leaders, Brittany will not be able to return to the Drake at the end of the day and will go unfed until reunited.
Eventually, the two explorers make it to the area in which Charlie had crash landed. Any obstacles that Charlie destroyed on the first day will not reappear. They make it into the cave in which he was captured, light it up, and the Vehemoth Phosbat retreats. They begin to fight the boss, and upon defeating it, rescue Charlie, unlocking him as a playable leader.
The Distant Tundra is a large wintery landscape, with most of the terrain covered in snow and ice. Its structure is quite complex, mostly due to the assortment of walls, ramps, twists and turns in the terrain. Regardless, most parts are quite open. In addition, there is a large amount of water throughout the stage. Because of the cold climate, many enemies that cannot be found in other areas are found here, such as the Bearded Amprat or the Arctic Cannon Larva.
The main portion of the area is quite big, and is split in two due to the river that crosses the middle. On the following list, all but the first two sections refer to a different sub-area, meaning that there is a transition when they are entered or left.
The southern half of the main area is where the landing site is. The site is circular with an exit to the south, and a eastern ramp leading to the river's shoreline. From the south exit, there is a perpendicular path that splits in two when going east: one end dips down and leads to the shore, the other has a bridge that leads to higher ground, where the Dodge Whistle can be reached with a nearby Bouncy Mushroom.
On the aforementioned path split, when taking the dipping path, it's possible to go under the bridge on the other path, and enter a room with Pyroclasmic Slooches. This room is surrounded by high walls from other parts of the stage. To the east, there is a bit of terrain near the Dodge Whistle. Leaders and Pikmin can be thrown to the portion at the south of the room, which has a chain of Bouncy Mushrooms that in turn provide access to the western ledge. That ledge has a pathway that shrinks further down to the west until the Zest Bomb – the purpose is to make it harder to dodge the Arctic Cannon Larva's snowballs.
The center of this half of the area is a bit open, and leads to the river's shore on the west. This shore has a protrusion that points to a similar, smaller protrusion on the other side; this allows the leaders to swap Pikmin. From the center, there are two ways to reach the eastern portion: through a one-way slide in the middle or a curving long path to the north. This semi-open zone has a vase in the middle and a ledge to a slide that takes one back to the southern half of the area; a leader must be thrown by another to get here. A bit more to the east is a ledge with a Face Wrinkler.
The northwestern corner of the main area consists of three high steps. The first is crossed with a geyser, and the second can be overcome with another geyser or by taking the eastern path. Up at the top, there is an inlet of land at the north, with a tunnel blocked by an iron ball facing the south; one leader must throw another in order to get here. To the northwest of the topmost high step is a slide that goes all the way to the bottom.
To note is that the river cannot be crossed from one shore to the other right away, given that there are two underwater gates in the river itself blocking access.
This section starts at a dead end, and is mostly linear, with slight zigzagging. Midway through, it splits into two, with the northern exit leading to the Spotty Bulbear cave, but blocked off by a crystal, and the eastern path leading to the large wooden bridge.
This large, wooden bridge provides a path between Charlie's crash site and the cave section that leads into the Vehemoth Phosbat's den. The camera in this sub-area faces to the side, and the only movement possible is two-dimensional.
This cave segment is mostly linear, but has a gap that can only be overcome with Bloominous Stemples. The exit on the other side leads to the boss' arena.
The arena is quite large and open. Electrodes are scattered about the southeastern wall. To the southwest is a slightly raised ledge that also has an electrode. To the northeast is a small cliff and an incline, and to the northwest is a large battery on a raised platform, accessible with a bridge. There is an exit that leads into a path on the main area near the Dodge Whistle.
This is where Brittany crash lands on the first day on this area. The main portion of the cave is roughly circular and is where the Yellow Pikmin are first found. To the west is a small room with two halves of a Disguised Delicacy inside a crystal, and to the east is an incline that leads further down. On this level, there is an exit, blocked off by stone bricks. A slide on the top level also leads here, and the iron ball on top of it is needed to clear the blockade. Finally, at the start, there is also a path to the Shaggy Long Legs's arena, but a leader can only get here if tossed by another.
This cave is made up of two sections. The starting one has exits leading to the northwest of the main area and to the branch on Charlie's crash site. There are Pyroclasmic Slooches, water puddles and fire geysers, as well as a small gap that can be covered with open Bloominous Stemples.
The main entrance is through the Yellow Pikmin cave, but it is possible to access this sub-area through the east end of the river, underwater, although a bamboo gate needs to be lifted. This arena only has two parts: one bit of solid terrain, and one lake; the boss walks back and forth between the two.
Plants and fungi
Upon first landing in the Distant Tundra, Brittany will fall out of the ship and into a cave. This cave is where Yellow Pikmin are discovered. 3 Pikmin are planted in the ground next to the dormant Onion; pluck them and throw them at the electrode to unlock the Onion. To leave the cave, at least 20 Yellow Pikmin must be grown to push down an iron ball. There are five 1-pellets and two 5-pellets in the cave, and no enemies present, so this can be done easily; it is recommended to grow all 25 Pikmin possible.
Upon leaving the cave, the proper part of the day will start. Alph and Brittany are on opposite sides of a large river, and a double bridge must be built to connect them. Brittany will not be able to board the ship until the bridge is built. Both leaders have access to 2 piles of fragments, and all these fragments must be carried to the double bridge to build it. Due to the placement of obstacles, leaders cannot cross the river, but Pikmin can, at a dedicated throwing point northwest of the landing site. You'll need to visit this spot with both leaders to exchange Pikmin.
On Alph's side of the river, there are 2 piles of blue bridge fragments. To access the first, destroy the electric gate next to the landing site with the new Yellow Pikmin, then walk through it, defeat the Fiery Blowhog, walk to the right, and collect the pile of 30 fragments. The second pile is at a lower level. To access it, either destroy the crystal next to the electric gate and drop down, or open up the tunnel southeast of the landing site. Destroy the crystal wall underneath a natural bridge, and you'll find an arena-like area. Defeat the Pyroclasmic Slooches, and collect the pile of 20 fragments. To note is that if you haven't opened the tunnel, the Pikmin will walk past 2 Joustmites and a Bearded Amprat; it is recommended to defeat those enemies first.
On Brittany's side of the river, there are 2 piles of orange bridge fragments. To access the first, go east from the site where you first exit the cave. Destroy the crystal with Rock Pikmin, and ride the Bouncy Mushroom to the site of the 20 bridge fragments. Before the Pikmin start carrying them, destroy another crystal next to where you land; if this crystal is not destroyed, the Pikmin will take a dangerous past past 2 Joustmites. The second pile is the most time-consuming pile to get. Destroy the electric gate to the west of the cave exit, and go through it. Destroy the crystals blocking the geysers and ride them upwards with a large squad. You will arrive at a Whiptongue Bulborb. Defeat it, and behind it you'll find the other pile of 30 bridge fragments.
After completing the bridge, send both leaders to the site of Brittany's second pile. If you walk east from there (and defeat the Arctic Cannon Larva), you'll find a ledge with a buried Cupid's Grenade. Throw a leader and 20 Pikmin up the ledge. Switch to that leader and use the 20 Pikmin to push down an iron ball. This will open up a path to a cave. Go through this cave, avoiding the fire hazards. Walk out the other side, and destroy the crystal in front of you. You've just arrived at Charlie's crash site. Turn left and walk across the bridge, and you'll arrive in another cave. Throw 10 Yellow Pikmin at the electrode to cause Bloominous Stemples to bloom, allowing you to walk to the other side of the room.
In the next room, you'll find the boss of the area, the Vehemoth Phosbat. See Vehemoth Phosbat#Strategy to see how to defeat it. After defeating the boss, you'll unlock Captain Charlie, thereby completing the story segment of the Distant Tundra. To carry the boss and its fruit back to the base, go to the exit opposite the one you entered, and push down a paper bag to form a ramp to access the main part of the area.
In terms of speed completion, Distant Tundra is one of the toughest ones. You first have a choice of growing 25 or 20 Yellow Pikmin. Then, Brittany should rush the electric gate. Meanwhile, Alph should be putting maximum focus on getting the Dodge Whistle. Alph should then throw 3 Rock Pikmin and 25 Red Pikmin over to Brittany. She should then grab all the Pikmin. As Alph, use Go Here! back to where you found the Dodge Whistle. Brittany should climb up to where the Whiptongue Bulborb is and kill it. Throw all of your Pikmin up the ledge. Then you should dodge roll on the slope and walk up. This is the hardest glitch in the game. Once succeeded, you should be up the ledge. Then grab your Pikmin and walk over to where the iron ball is but do not step down. Throw 20 Yellow Pikmin from the left side of the iron ball. If done correctly, the cave should open. Continue as normal until you get to the Vehemoth Phosbat. When you get there, go to the paper bag is and whistle Alph – walk through the loading zone, and Alph should warp. Fight the boss however you feel like.
In other game modes
Names in other languages