The Sandbelching Meerslug (オオスナフラシ?, lit.: "Giant Sand Rainer") is a boss in Pikmin 3 and the third major boss encountered in Story Mode, at the Tropical Wilds. It is a light brown amphibian-like creature resembling a lamprey, with very small eyes, thick purple lips and two rows of large sharp teeth. Further down its body, it gets wider and harbors spike-like protrusions. It is one of the largest bosses in the Pikmin series to date.
Upon attempting to dig up the Folded Data Glutton buried in the center of the arena, the Meerslug appears from beneath the sand, eats the device, and begins to attack the leaders and the Pikmin. It tunnels beneath the side, causing waves of sand to appear across the surface, which signifies its location. It will try to trap and eat Pikmin by creating a sinkhole in the sand that sucks them in. The eating attack it performs at the bottom of its sinkhole does the most damage to leaders out of any attack in the game, taking out 30% of a leader's health in a single chomp. It can also spit balls of sand, which can plant Pikmin. These planted Pikmin can still be eaten by the Meerslug. Upon its defeat, it will spit out the Folded Data Glutton as well as the Crimson Banquet, which breaks into pieces upon hitting the ground.
Recovering its corpse can prove to be a difficult task at times. Due to the game's physics, it is possible for the creature to flail intensely, and at times, it can get stuck inside a wall, unable to be carried.
“Structural flaw: weak hide
“Structural flaw: weak hide
“I try to get close and it just hides in its dumb, sandy hole. So I move away and it still hides behind those sand balls it's always tossing around. What's it got against me, huh?!”
“I try to get close and it just hides in its stupid sandy hole. So I move away and it still hides behind those sand balls it's always chucking around. What's it got against me, eh?!”
“The area where we found this creature was practically a paradise. I still want to go back there and swim around in the sand with my rubber ducky. Maybe the crew would let me do it if I called it a training exercise.”
“These are crowd-pleasers! Soak overnight to remove remaining sand. Slice cleaned meat into thick pieces and place on grill. Then apply a generous coating of barbecue sauce and cook until sticky and crispy.”
Pikmin 3 Prima Guide
“The Sandbelching Meerslug is located in the Tropical Wilds. This creature has two basic attacks. While burrowed in the sand, the Sandbelching Meerslug creates a large pit that traps victims until they can be devoured. When the creature emerges from the sand, it attacks its targets by spitting large projectiles.
When the Sandbelching Meerslug emerges from the sand, send a large squad of Pikmin charging in to attack. When the creature takes enough damage, it's launched into the air and temporarily incapacitated.
When the Sandbelching Meerslug creates a large pit, you can either avoid the attack or toss a Bomb Rock into the creature's mouth to temporarily incapacitate the creature.Whenever you manage to incapacitate the Sandbelching Meerslug, send your Pikmin charging in to deal heavy damage.”
The Sandbelching Meerslug moves quickly and does not show itself while on the move. Due to its enormous size, however, it can easily be seen burrowing just below the layer of sand in its arena. It will chase any leaders or Pikmin down and then follow up by emerging from the sand, where it will spit sand balls, and at the same time be left vulnerable, or burrow deeper into the sand and create a sinkhole to bring Pikmin down to its mouth, where they are eaten at a considerable rate. When damaged enough or fed a bomb rock, the Meerslug will be forced from the ground and lay as a massive target for all Pikmin for a moment. Afterwards, it will burrow back into the ground and repeat its attacks.
The Meerslug has a few basic attacks, but has many ways of executing them. It will either create a sinkhole to draw in and eat any Pikmin, including those which are buried, or shoot boulders of sand (hence its name) to bury the Pikmin. As its health gets lower, the attacks get more dangerous:
The Sandbelching Meerslug is the third opponent in Defeat Bosses!, and the player is given 13 minutes to kill it. The entrance/exit to the sandy arena is blocked off by a "keep out" sign. The player starts with Alph (player 1's starting leader), Brittany (player 2's starting leader), and Charlie. Their order in Pikmin 3 is Alph, Brittany, Charlie, and in Pikmin 3 Deluxe the order is Brittany, Charlie, Alph. The player also starts with 20 Red, 20 Rock, and 10 Yellow Pikmin that have to be recalled due to the Meerslug's introduction. Dotted around the arena are buried bud and flower Pikmin. Behind the start are Reds in groups of 10 and 5. The south side of the arena has 5 Reds and 10 Rocks, as well as two bomb rocks on a ledge outside of the arena. On the far side from the entrance is a group of 10 Reds, and to the north is 5 Rocks and 5 Yellows, for a total of 50 Red, 35 Rock, and 15 Yellow Pikmin. The dirt mounds that originally contained the Meerslug's Data Files now have 5 bomb rocks (north) and 3 bombs rocks (southwest).
The following table lists what medal the player gets according to the time they take:
In Pikmin 3, these are the world records for the challenge, as obtained from the in-game global rankings feature. The following scores were retrieved on December 9th, 2015. Since the in-game leaderboards have been compromised, it is impossible to obtain more up-to-date legitimate records from the game, though players may have obtained higher scores since.
In Pikmin 3 Deluxe, these are the world records for the challenge, as obtained from the in-game global rankings feature. The following scores were retrieved on June 27th, 2022.
The Sandbelching Meerslug has two basic attacks, but has many different ways to execute them. As its health gets lower, the attacks get more dangerous.
There are three ways it can make a sinkhole:
It can also attack by shooting sand:
If Pikmin holding bomb rocks are buried, the bomb rock will instantly go off. As such, it may be wise to keep your bomb rock Pikmin with another leader.
When it emerges from the ground, it attacks by spitting large clumps of sand to bury its prey, hence its name. If Pikmin are hit by the clumps of sand, they will be buried back in the ground. Beware, as this enemy is exceptional in that not only can it bury your Pikmin, but it can kill them while they are underground too as sprouts that get sucked in are devoured as if they were free running Pikmin. Try to have another leader pluck the buried Pikmin while the active one continues the fight.
After its health wheel is in the yellow, it will move quickly in a circling fashion before creating a sinkhole that affects the whole arena, so it is highly recommended to retreat to the stone area where you entered from. After this, it will return to normal speed, but the holes it creates will have walls, meaning the Pikmin can no longer escape. It will also begin shooting sand balls with less intervals between them. However, when it does this, it needs a bit more time than normal to lump up the sand, leaving an optimal time to swarm it.
It is possible to immobilize the enemy by overwhelming it with Pikmin. This causes it to shoot out of the ground and lie on the floor for short while, leaving it vulnerable to further assaults. The best way to perform this is to use the charge command (throwing Pikmin doesn't work well here; if you can't get enough Pikmin to attack it at once, it will simply shake them off). Be sure to get very close to it before doing this, otherwise, the shifting sand will make the Pikmin lose their target and stop halfway towards it, leaving them under idle status and highly vulnerable to getting buried under sand balls.
Bomb rocks can also be thrown into the creature's mouth whilst it is creating a vortex to cause damage. This also causes it to jump out of the sand, which makes it the only of getting your Pikmin army to safety should you and your Pikmin be caught in its deep wall sinkhole. Therefore, it's highly recommended that you harvest all the bomb rocks in the arena before starting the fight. When you use the charge command, Pikmin holding bomb rocks will gather in their own group away from the action and when a Pikmin with a bomb rock is thrown into the creature's sinkhole, it'll drop the rock and run out of the hole without even needing to be whistled. This means that there's almost no drawbacks in getting the bomb rocks early.
Upon defeat, it expels another cellphone, albeit more modern in appearance than the one dropped by the Armored Mawdad, and a relatively small watermelon, which bursts into smaller pieces after being expelled.
This is a much quicker way to attack the Meerslug at any point. Rather than using bomb rocks to force the beast out of its hole, an alternate strategy is to swarm its lips with a large number of Red Pikmin. When the swarming Pikmin reach its lips, one will get trapped in its mouth, allowing all the others to attack while the boss is busy. If most of the Pikmin attack it at once, it will be forced out of the ground and become vulnerable, saving the trapped Pikmin in the process.
Using this strategy, the boss can be attacked at the same time that it is trying to attack, allowing for it to be defeated in under two minutes. However, this strategy is very dangerous, as if the Pikmin charge in a line to attack the Meerslug's lips, they will not deal enough damage in time to save the trapped Pikmin, who will then be eaten. It is advised that your Red Pikmin are flowered before battle so they don't lag behind when trying to charge.
Another strategy is to skip a cycle by forcing the boss to eat multiple bombs at once. This can skip up to 2 cycles.
Names in other languages