Winged Pikmin (羽ピクミン?) are a Pikmin type that first appears in Pikmin 3. They are pink with large blue eyes, their bodies are striped in darker pink, and they have lavender flowers like Rock Pikmin. Their name comes from the transparent wings on their backs, which allows them to be airborne most of the time. This is particularly useful in combat and while carrying. Like other main Pikmin types, they are produced in an Onion, and appear in all of the game's modes, but the color of their buds and flowers is lavender, like the Rock Pikmin.
Traits and abilities
As their name implies, Winged Pikmin are capable of flight, and are constantly airborne. Winged Pikmin can also carry objects into the air, enabling them to take shortcuts, but they carry objects slower than other Pikmin types. Winged Pikmin behave differently when they carry objects alongside other Pikmin.
Due to their constant airborne status, they can follow leaders more smoothly, as they can fly over obtrusions on the terrain, over water, or over pits. There are a few disadvantages, however. It's harder for them to take down small Pellet Posies (but still possible, with careful aim or by throwing from below), and if their leader is underwater they cannot be thrown at all. They are also weaker than other Pikmin types in terms of attack power, but the fact that they can fly makes fighting airborne enemies and specific weakpoints in larger enemies more convenient. Contrary to popular belief, Winged Pikmin do not cause more damage to flying enemies.
Interestingly, Winged Pikmin cannot be crushed, except by the crystal cubes released from the final boss. Whenever they get hit by an attack that would crush regular Pikmin, Winged Pikmin are merely thrown backwards.
It's possible for a Winged Pikmin to walk on the ground like any other Pikmin instead of flying. This can happen while building a bridge, digging, drinking nectar, going back to the Onion, pushing an obstacle such as an iron ball, attacking a gate, after being thrown away by an attack (if they are not called back and can't find an enemy to attack), after being inked or set ablaze (they will either fly or run), or when rescued from drowning (if the player whistles the Pikmin, it will fly, but if the Pikmin manages to escape alone, it will set foot on ground). They will also set foot on ground after sliding or using a geyser (in which case they will stay on ground until their leader moves).
Winged Pikmin are discovered in the Twilight River. Across a river from where the leaders land is an Arachnode web, with a Winged Onion trapped in it. Scattered across the area are blue fragments for a large blue bridge, which leads to the opposite shore. Destroying the Arachnode that owns the trap will free the Winged Onion from its grasp. After doing so, it will release a single Winged Pikmin seed, allowing more Pikmin to be propagated. The ideal way to do this is with the flukeweeds in the Onion's site, and through Pellet Posies on the other sides of small ponds, which both demonstrate the Pikmin's ability to fly. The Winged Pikmin are later used in the area to allow lily pads to flow to the second half of the area. As with other Onions, the Winged Onion merges with the main Onion at the end of the day.
Winged Pikmin must be used for the collection of the following fruits and the completion of the following tasks. There are no known exploits or ways for other Pikmin to complete these goals.
Winged Pikmin are recommended for the following tasks, but are not strictly mandatory.
Because carrier Winged Pikmin are in constant flight, they have unique carrying properties that differ from the other Pikmin types.
When carrying an object, Winged Pikmin will fly with it through the air, making it difficult to call them back with the ground whistle. Instead, they must be called by holding / / , which will eventually summon a cylindrical beam of light that will call the Winged Pikmin, or by simpling whistling while aiming at the object they are carrying. As stated, Winged Pikmin are capable of flying over obstacles, but are considerably slow whilst carrying. This can cause traffic in groups of Pikmin trying to return spoils to base, as Winged Pikmin slowly carrying an object in the front of the line will cause the rest of the Pikmin to get held up behind them.
If multiple types of Pikmin are carrying something that a Winged Pikmin is also carrying, the Winged Pikmin will carry it closer to the ground and will not fly with it. However, if the number of Winged Pikmin carrying is the number of Pikmin required to lift the object, they will lift it into the air, causing any ground-based Pikmin trying to carry the object to let go, or to cling on for a few seconds before falling off.
Due to this behavior, and combined with the fact that idle Pikmin are prone to assisting nearby Pikmin who are carrying an item, idle Winged Pikmin are known to "steal" spoils from other types of Pikmin by unintentionally snatching them away from the other Pikmin as they try to fly with it.
In the Super Smash Bros. series
Winged Pikmin appear in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U as a trophy and as part of one of Olimar's moves: "Winged Pikmin". This is Olimar's main recovery method, and when used, two Winged Pikmin instantly spawn and grab Olimar, carrying him upwards. Olimar will also carry any Pikmin that were in his party prior to the start of the move, but the more Pikmin that are being carried, the harder the Winged Pikmin have to fly, and the less distance they cover before giving up.
Names in other languages