The Electric Cottonade (デンキワタボウシ?, lit.: "Electric Wataboushi") is a boss in Hey! Pikmin. It is the boss battle in Flashes of Fear, being the fourth boss fight in the game. Two versions of the creature show up: the main, mature Electric Cottonade, which the player is tasked to defeat, and eight young Electric Cottonades, which cannot be harmed. The children look like balls of cotton with simple eye stalks, and can shoot arcs of electricity towards the floor. The adult looks more similar to gray cotton candy with bulbous eyes on stalks, and can shoot balls of electricity at the floor, as well as suck up Pikmin and Captain Olimar through its tube-like mouth.
When the creature starts battling, it is surrounded by young Cottonades, making it completely invulnerable, since Pikmin thrown at the child Cottonades will always bounce back. It begins by chasing Olimar left and right, and when it passes above him, it stands in place, and orders the bottommost child Cottonade to shoot electricty into the ground directly below the parent. After this attack, it again chases Olimar and goes for a second shot of electricity. It will also decide to zap electricity if it cannot reach Olimar, which can happen if the captain is one of the very far edges of the arena, hugging the wall.
After having shot electricity twice, it will fly around for some seconds, lower a bit to the ground, and disperse the group of children. There will be two directly above, below, to the left, and to the right of the parent. The two Cottonades below will each shoot electricity to the floor below them. After some seconds of this, the electrical attacks stop, the children hug the parent again, and the cycle restarts.
While the children are away from the parent, it is vulnerable to attack. When the children close in to protect it again, any Pikmin that were holding on will be knocked to the floor. If it managed to knock any on the floor, it will follow up by sucking up the floor under it. The suction is too weak to do anything for the first few seconds, but after a while, approximately when the creature starts moving, it will be able to such up both Pikmin (up to four) as well as Captain Olimar. If it does inhale Olimar, it will spit him back out onto the floor, and the captain will take damage upon landing. The Electric Cottonade will also move left and right, covering around three quarters of the screen in total, leaving the far edges safe. Eventually, it stops sucking and the cycle restarts.
When the boss's health reaches two thirds, it will stop the attack right away and knock the Pikmin down instantly. From here on out, its attack pattern will be different. When it finishes the two electricity strikes, it will move horizontally to the center of the arena, stay there, and shoot out two balls of electricity at the floor, each reaching one end of the arena. It launches a volley of 5 balls on each side, with each new pair closing in the angle very slightly, forcing the player to retreat to the center. When these balls hit the ground, they cause that spot of the floor to spark, which causes damage to Olimar. Still at the center of the arena, when it disperses the children, it will also do so in a different pattern: three below, one on each side, and three above. In addition, the three below continuously attack with their electricity, and after some seconds, the two on the sides attack as well, but only with a quick burst.
When the boss's health reaches a third of health, it will once again regroup with the children right away and knock the Pikmin to the floor instantly. While its health is at lower than one third, the pattern changes once more: when the children are dispersed, they use the same formation as when its health is at two thirds or less, but the side children zap the floor once, move further outward, and zap again, before the entire family regroups.
At the start of the battle, when you have to avoid its two shots of electricity, you can stand in place, let it come to you, and get out of the way when it stops, you can just stay near a wall for the two attacks, or, to speed things up, you can get under it, dodge the electricity, stay close, and as soon as it's done, go under it again to lure the second attack out quickly.
Before its health reaches two thirds, when it disperses its children, go diagonally down left or down right to where the boss is, so that you can stay away from the young ones that will shoot electricity, and so that you can have a clear opening between the sideways Cottonades and the bottom ones for you to throw Pikmin into. Throw as many as you can. If you leave the Pikmin there, they will get knocked down and the sucking phase will begin. Simply run to the opposite end of the arena, or if it's in the center, run to one of the walls. If you call the Pikmin before the children close in, a new cycle begins right away.
If you knocked its health to two thirds, it will go to the center when it's done firing the two electrical attacks, and force you to join it at the center with its electrical balls. Do so, and once the sparks on the floor disappear, you can once again go to a spot where you get a clear shot between the child Cottonades. Remember that the sideways ones will shoot down, though, so avoid staying under them.
With the health down to the last third, the strategy is roughly the same, except that after the side Cottonades shoot once, they'll move out a bit and shoot again. You should have enough time to get out of the way and move away from the edges of the arena. Everywhere else in the arena is safe when the side Cottonades begin to move, since the bottom ones will have stopped by then.
Hey! Pikmin logs
“A rare creature that attacks together with its family. The children build up electricity around the parent and use it to stun their prey. The parent then sucks up the stunned prey through its straw-like mouth. It's an amazing display of teamwork! Like seeing my wife and daughter at work bargaining with a shopkeeper...”
The "electric" part of its name is probably referring to its children's electric properties and its attacks. "Cottonade" isn't a real word, although it does have a real word in it, "cotton". This is most likely referring both the adult and children's fluffy cotton-like appearance.
Names in other languages