The Puffstool (ボケナメコ?, lit.: "Stupid Nameko") is an enemy in Pikmin that appears to be a huge walking fungus, strongly resembling a red-capped bolete. It has twin antennae, a red-capped mushroom head and a tender yellow torso which is vulnerable to swarming. Only minimal details of the creature's biology of the game are supplied. The Puffstool is one of the enemies with which the crushing glitch happens fairly regularly; the frequency increased in the Wii version of the game.
The Puffstool will try to run when attacked, but its legs are clearly not made for sprinting and it trips easily, landing on its head with feet in the air. Since the cap is invulnerable to Pikmin attacks (but not Olimar's punch), one must throw the Pikmin onto its undersection once it's on the ground. After a few seconds, the Puffstool will right itself up and blow out a purplish cloud of spores which cause a strange change in nearby Pikmin, which the Puffstool acts as a leader for. Affected Pikmin turn purple, grow small brown mushroom caps on their stalks, and become aggressive. These Pikmin are known as Mushroom Pikmin.
“Many consider this walking fungus a delicacy.”
Olimar's voyage log
“This creature's cap is elastic, negating any Pikmin attacks. Attacking its lower torso works better, but the puffstool lets out spores that turn the Pikmin into mushrooms, which then attack me! They return to normal when shaken off.”
Pikmin Guide Book
“Red Sporovids seem to have developed higher functions than other fungi, as evidenced by the protruding reproductive organs on their caps. These organs act much like a flower would on a normal plant. This species appears to be able to separate for a short time from the fungal colony to which it belongs. This occurs when the mushroom cap has reached a certain size and the spore sac is full. It will then sever its connection to the colony to walk around a limited area to spread the spores. This walking form can no longer absorb nutrients from the colony, but if the released spores contact another living creature, spore-encased fungal filaments will begin an explosive cycle of reproduction within the host, taking over its central nervous system. The host will be controlled by the Red Sporovid within its area of activity. Edible, considered a delicacy. Referred to as "punchstool" in some locales.”
To quickly dispatch the Puffstool, the player should bring about 80 Red Pikmin into its arena. First swarm its legs with about 30 Pikmin. Be careful when swarming, because although the Puffstool flipping around won't harm Pikmin, there is a chance that the crushing glitch may happen. Don't throw the Pikmin, as they'll just bounce off of its cap and return to the group. It will try to run away, but flip over, legs flailing. In this state it can be killed by throwing all remaining Pikmin on top. It will die, and appear to deflate, leaving its cap, which can be carried by 10 Pikmin to their Onion.
To minimize the risk of losing Pikmin, it is recommended to attack only with the leader. Furthermore, the Puffstool has no attacks that could harm Olimar. Note, however, that this may consume a fair amount of time, and as the sporing habits of the Puffstool are fully predictable, having Pikmin turned into Mushroom Pikmin is usually not a problem for competent players. Should you run the risk of being attacked, however, just run away until the spore cloud dissipates.
It is also possible to drop some bomb-rocks on its feet, but because it is always running this can be hard, unless the creature is cornered. A successful explosion should sap away a quarter of its health.
A single Puffstool can be found in The Forest Navel, where it holds the Omega Stabilizer. Once defeated, its cap can be returned to an Onion where it will produce 30 Pikmin seeds. Two Puffstools can also be found in The Distant Spring in Challenge Mode. According to the early screenshot to the right, a Puffstool would have appeared in The Forest of Hope on the plateau overlooking the small body of water where the trio of Burrowing Snagrets are in the final game.
The name "Puffstool" is a combination of "puff", referring to how it blows out spores, and "toadstool" (mushroom), referring to its appearance. The "puff" can also come from the name "puffball" which is given to any fungi in the division Basidiomycota. Its Japanese name is ボケナメコ?, which translates to "Stupid Nameko". A nameko is a type of mushroom, and the adjective stupid is because of its appearance and behavior, mostly over how it trips when running away. Internally, the enemy is known as
While not entirely official, its scientific name is Aspergilla podronis. Podronis may refer to the pods some fungus releases through gases, much like the Puffstool does to infect Pikmin.
Names in other languages