Some types of enemies are larger or stronger than most, and appear less frequently, often in prominent places. These are known as bosses (巨大生物?, lit.: "Huge Creature"), and normally only one or two of each type appear in the entire game. Given that battles against them are usually more complex, the rewards tend to be more significant, such as a large number of Pikmin seeds, Pokos, or an important story-related item.
The definition of a "boss" seems to change with each game. In Pikmin, the game seldom makes a distinction between a boss and a regular enemy. In Pikmin 2, bosses are given different slots on the Piklopedia and a specific musical theme, with some having unique ones. In Pikmin 3, bosses are clearly identified as such by the game itself, and are divided between main bosses and mini-bosses, with both having unique musical themes and the former having even having unique cutscenes. They need to be defeated to progress with the story. Hey! Pikmin also has bosses with unique cutscenes and music, and defeating them is necessary to advance to the next sector.
Bosses in Pikmin
In Pikmin, bosses are only defined within the game's internal files, and it is never explicitly stated in the game which enemies are bosses. The following four enemies are categorized as bosses:
Oddly, Candypop Buds, geysers, and Iridescent Flint Beetles are also technically bosses, though this is likely due to their unique nature as enemies. As a result, approaching a Candypop Bud or a geyser will change the music to the enemy battle variant.
Four other enemies are often considered bosses by fans due to their rare appearances and boss-like level of difficulty, even though there is nothing in the game that technically distinguishes them:
Bosses in Pikmin 2
In Pikmin 2, there are twelve bosses, all of which exclusively use a special musical theme when fighting against them. Three use their own unique theme, specifically: the Titan Dweevil, the Waterwraith, and the Giant Breadbug. They also appear in a larger bubble on the Piklopedia's listing. These bosses are usually found in caves, with at least one being found on the final floor presented as the final challenge (save for the Emergence Cave). When first defeated, many reward the player with a piece of gear for defeating them. Some bosses can be also found in specific spots in the overworld areas. The following are listed in Piklopedia order, which is roughly the order they are intended to be encountered in:
There are no mini-bosses in this game, though the Burrowing Snagret and Emperor Bulblax have literal mini variations with lower HP, which appear in places where they aren't fought as final bosses of a cave. The Empress Bulblax also has a lesser variation with lower HP and fewer attacks than the "primary" version. Late in the game, earlier bosses are sometimes rebattled and act as mini-bosses of a cave, such as in the Hole of Heroes. Additionally, the Fiery Bulblax, which may have originally been intended as a boss, is occasionally considered a mini-boss by fans, as it is a relatively difficult enemy.
Bosses in Pikmin 3
In Pikmin 3, the six main bosses are clearly labeled by the game, and their battles are considerably larger and more complex than with most other enemies. Most are fought within special arenas separated from each of their area's main sections and all have special cutscenes for encountering and defeating them. They normally have clearly defined vulnerability and invulnerability phases, commonly attacking during the latter. Since these bosses are meant to be fought with clear phases, the game may sometimes lock their health to a certain point, and only let the Pikmin damage it further after it moves on to the next stage. Main bosses will not restore their health as the days go by, and their corpses will also last until the next day, but not any longer. Every one that is defeated drops an important object to the progression of the story, thus the game often pushes players toward fighting them as their next objective. These bosses can be re-fought in special Mission Mode stages. The following is a list of bosses in this game:
- Armored Mawdad
- Vehemoth Phosbat
- Sandbelching Meerslug
- Scornet Maestro
- Quaggled Mireclops
- Plasm Wraith
Mini-bosses in Pikmin 3
While other games may have what can be considered such, Pikmin 3 is the first to distinctly define mini-bosses by using a different music theme – a remastered version of the boss theme from Pikmin 2. Unlike the main bosses, their health will be reset at the start of a new day, and their corpses last only for the day they were defeated on. In Story mode, these do not give out something plot-critical when defeated, and instead drop a fruit. The following are mini-bosses in Pikmin 3:
- Shaggy Long Legs (in white and purple variants)
- Burrowing Snagret
- Bug-Eyed Crawmad
- Baldy Long Legs (exclusive to Side Stories and Mission Mode)
In addition, the Calcified Crushblat, Peckish Aristocrab, and Medusal Slurker are sometimes considered mini-bosses by fans due to their difficulty, rare appearances, and the fact that they protect a fruit or drop one when defeated, but they do not have the mini-boss theme.
Pikmin 3 Deluxe
Along with all the bosses from the Wii U version returning, the final day of Olimar's Comeback, The Ship Restored, has a unique boss fight against golden variants of the Baldy Long Legs and Shaggy Long Legs (the latter with larger feet). This fight has unique battle music. While this fight isn't much different from either of their normal variants, they warrant distinction as their fight comes with a unique boss theme.
Bosses in Pikmin 4
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Unlike the three games prior, Pikmin 4's definition of a boss is unclear and inconsistent. The best way to define them is by the music cue that commonly accompanies them when they are encountered. However, some enemies use two different themes for different encounters. For instance, a Sovereign Bulblax uses a major boss cue at the bottom of the Subterranean Swarm and within the Cavern for a King, but uses a minor boss drumbeat when encountered in the Giant's Hearth.
In terms of progression, none of these bosses are specifically required to be defeated other than the Ancient Sirehound to complete the story. Many of them house castaways, either inside of them or behind numbered gates, requiring the boss to be defeated to rescue them. Boss battles being part of progression (seen in Pikmin 3) is instead replaced with Dandori Battles against Olimar and Louie, all of which are required to complete the game's story.
Because of all this, the bottom classification is mostly conjecture and not finalized.
Major Bosses in Pikmin 4
Bosses in Pikmin 4 are defined by the dramatic sting that begins and ends their unique battle themes, similar in tone to the boss themes of Pikmin 2 and Pikmin 3. This also includes enemies that have completely unique battle themes that do not include any element of the sting, specifically the Giant Breadbug and Ancient Sirehound.
Minor Bosses in Pikmin 4
These are bosses that are typically fought above ground or at the bottom of short caves. They are typically accompanied by a drumline cadence.
Tough Enemy encounters in Pikmin 4
Sometimes, a tougher enemy acts as a boss in easier caves or a mini-boss partway through of a cave. They typically use a slower battle theme in these instances. These are not particularly bosses on the same level as the ones above, and are more situational encounters.
Bosses in Olimar's Shipwreck Tale
In Olimar's Shipwreck Tale, all large enemy encounters use the same one theme – another rendition of the boss theme from Pikmin 2. Because of this, we can easily define what is a boss and what isn't in this side mode.
Numbered Gate Battles
Since the concept of a boss in Pikmin 4 seems to be more defined by the setting rather than the enemy fought, it is helpful to instead look at all the scenarios that the game presents as a "boss battle" using characteristics seen in previous games. As stated above, this has typically been based on how the music changes, the type of rewards dropped, if there's a large arena for the fight, or if it is the final sublevel of the cave.
Notably, numbered gates are a type of blockade exclusive to caves, introduced in Pikmin 4, which display a number of enemies that must be defeated in order to open. Outside of Dandori Challenges and the Trial of the Sage Leaf, this feature consistently appears to be associated with encounters with a single tough enemy, as the number is most frequently "01". When the number is higher, it is usually multiple enemies not truly considered bosses but still pose a boss-like level of difficulty given the conditions. Most often, the boss will drop a castaway and the gate will open to allow access to a treasure or vice-versa. This tends to make the battle a requirement for progress similar to boss battles in Pikmin 3, while other encounters with the same boss can be less difficult or skipped altogether.
The following is a list of these numbered gate battles that debatably can be considered bosses along with their rewards.
|Drafty Gallery||4||Puffy Blowhog||Drops castaway, opens numbered gate to Sphere of Family|
|Secluded Courtyard||4||Foolix||Drops castaway, opens numbered gate to Expression Hider|
|Kingdom of Beasts||3||Empress Bulblax||Drops castaway, opens numbered gate to Disk of Joyous Wisdom × 3|
|Kingdom of Beasts||6||Emperor Bulblax × 2||Drops castaway, opens numbered gate to Ancient Statue Head|
|Seafloor Resort||4||Masterhop||Drops Greed-Inducement Device, opens numbered gate to castaway.|
|Subzero Sauna||3||Arctic Cannon Beetle||Drops castaway, opens numbered gate to Contemplation Station.|
|Below-Grade Discotheque||5||Groovy Long Legs||Drops Amplified Amplifier, opens numbered gate to castaway.|
|Engulfed Castle||5||Waterwraith||Drops Glinty Circular Disc, opens numbered gate to castaway.|
|Doppelgänger's Den||4||Gildemander||Drops Thrill-Ride Track, opens numbered gate to castaway.|
|Frozen Inferno||4||Snowfake Fluttertail||Drops Shattering Lance, opens numbered gate to castaway.|
|Plunder Palace||3||Porquillion||Drops castaway, opens numbered gate to next sublevel.|
|Plunder Palace||5||Giant Breadbug × 2||One carries castaway and drops Disk of Angry Wisdom × 3, defeating both opens numbered gate to cave exit.|
|Ultimate Testing Range||5||Man-at-Legs||Drops castaway, opens numbered gate to Winged Freedom Sculpture.|
|Cradle of the Beast||3||Empress Bulblax (with Bulborb Larva)||Drops Stately Rubber Cutie × 5, opens numbered gate to castaway.|
|The Mud Pit||3||Bug-Eyed Crawmad||Drops castaway, opens numbered gate to cave exit.|
|Subterranean Swarm||5||Sovereign Bulblax||Drops castaway, opens numbered gate to Sweet Stumble-Not.|
|Cavern for a King||1||Toxstool||Drops Sticky Jewel, opens numbered gate to next sublevel (other enemies do not need to be defeated).|
|Cavern for a King||2||Jumbo Bulborb||Drops Uniquely You Goo, opens numbered gate to next sublevel (other enemies must be defeated).|
|Cavern for a King||3||Burrowing Snagret × 3||One drops Talisman of Life (Phoenix), defeating all opens numbered gate to next sublevel.|
|Cavern for a King||4||Arctic Cannon Beetle||Drops Orbital Communication Sphere × 3, opens numbered gate to next sublevel (other enemies do not need to be defeated).|
|Cavern for a King||5||Emperor Bulblax × 3||One drops Tremendous Sniffer, defeating all opens numbered gate to next sublevel.|
|Cavern for a King||7||Blizzarding Blowhog and Titan Blowhog||Respectively drop S.S. Peppermint and S.S. Berry, defeating both opens numbered gate to next sublevel.|
|Cavern for a King||8||Crusted Rumpup||Drops Dapper Blob, opens numbered gate to next sublevel.|
|Cavern for a King||9||Man-at-Legs||Drops Bright Sword × 2 and Heroic Sword × 2, opens numbered gate to next sublevel.|
|Cavern for a King||10||Smoky Progg||Drops Wayward Moon, opens numbered gate to next sublevel.|
|Cavern for a King||11||Bloomcap Bloyster × 3||Drop Disk of Amusing Wisdom, Disk of Sorrowful Wisdom, and Neon Goo, defeating all opens numbered gate to next sublevel.|
|Cavern for a King||13||Gildemander||Drops Mysterious Carriage, opens numbered gate to next sublevel.|
|Cavern for a King||14||Horned Cannon Beetle||Drops Foolish Fruit, opens numbered gate to next sublevel (other enemies must be defeated).|
|Cavern for a King||15||Baldy Long Legs||Drops Trap Lid × 10, opens numbered gate to next sublevel.|
|Cavern for a King||16||Waterwraith × 2||One drops Connection Detector, defeating both opens numbered gate to next sublevel.|
|Cavern for a King||17||Empress Bulblax (with Bulborb Larva)||Drops Fire-Breathing Feast, opens numbered gate to next sublevel.|
|Cavern for a King||18||Sovereign Bulblax||Drops Don't-See-It Specs, opens numbered gate to next sublevel.|
|Cavern for a King||20||Ancient Sirehound||Drops castaway and Gift of Friendship. There is no numbered gate, but completing the fight is necessary for progression.|
Bosses in Hey! Pikmin
Hey! Pikmin has 9 enemies that are clearly bosses. They are fought on the final area of each sector, and have their own cutscenes and music themes. They all drop a large treasure when defeated, which needs to be collected before the S.S. Dolphin II unlocks a new sector to visit. When fighting bosses, the player must exploit their movements and actions to find an opening, where they can finally strike. Since the bosses need to be fought in a minimum number of cycles, the game will lock the creature's health and won't allow the Pikmin to cause any further damage until the next cycle is entered. The following are bosses in Hey! Pikmin, ordered by sector:
- Long Water Dumple
- Electric Cottonade
- Queen Shearwig
- Fiery Blowhog
- Luring Slurker
- Emperor Bulblax
- Berserk Leech Hydroe
- Main article: Music.
When fighting bosses, the music of the area or cave is changed to a different theme that lasts for as long as all bosses in the vicinity are alive. In Pikmin, this is only the case for the Beady Long Legs and the Emperor Bulblax, with each one having their own theme. In Pikmin 2, a global boss theme exists, and plays whenever a living boss is nearby. This theme changes dynamically with the events happening in the fight. The following bosses have their own specific boss themes: Waterwraith, Giant Breadbug, and Titan Dweevil. In Pikmin 3, two boss themes exist – one for the major bosses and another for the mini-bosses. The exceptions to this are the Vehemoth Phosbat and the Plasm Wraith, which have their own themes. The mini-boss theme is a remastered version of the Pikmin 2 boss music. In Hey! Pikmin, each boss has a unique musical theme, and these themes do not dynamically change.
Names in other languages
|French (NoE)||Créature géante||Giant creature|
|Spanish||Ser colosal||Colossal being|
This article was a featured article from February 1st, 2018 to April 2nd, 2018.