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The term hazard in the Pikmin games refers to anything that can endanger Pikmin, including the creatures, non-living traps, and other dangers on PNF-404. In general, hazards are merely concepts, not objects, i.e. a hazard is the potential danger, not the object that actually emits the danger. Pikmin 2 lists the existing hazards on its sunset menu screen. All types of hazards are listed below.
Hazards that suffocate the top of a Pikmin's stem – fire, water, and poison – will cause Pikmin to run around in panic. If they are not rescued after a few seconds, they succumb to the hazard and die. They can be saved by being whistled, although they can simply be bumped against by a leader in Pikmin 3. In Pikmin 2, if a Pikmin is under the effects of an ultra-spicy spray, stem-related hazards take half the normal amount of time to kill it.
- Main article: Fire.
Fire usually occurs as torrents of flame spat by fire geysers and some enemies, although there are also enemies that have fiery bodies. Only Red Pikmin, Bulbmin, and Glow Pikmin are immune to fire. Other Pikmin burn up, and leaders that aren't adequately protected will also take damage.
- Main article: Water.
The water hazard effect is sourced from pools of water, and water released by enemies. Pikmin that enter water bodies start to drown, but have a chance to survive if they are repeatedly whistled toward a shore. Pikmin hit by jets or globs of water panic and suffocate until whistled. Only Blue Pikmin, Glow Pikmin, and Bulbmin can safely travel in water or resist water-based hazards. Ice Pikmin have the ability to travel across the surface of a body of water, and even freeze it, but they will still panic when sprayed with water from enemies, such as the Watery Blowhog.
- Main article: Electricity.
Electricity is a dangerous hazard in Pikmin 2, but a non-fatal obstacle in Pikmin 3. Pikmin that get zapped in Pikmin 2 die instantaneously, while Pikmin in Pikmin 3 get stunned into a paralysis, until whistled back up. Pikmin 4's electricity stuns Pikmin, but if not whistled back in time, they will die unlike in Pikmin 3. Some enemies and obstacles emit electrical currents, and electric gates are constantly electrified. Only Yellow Pikmin, Bulbmin, and Glow Pikmin are immune to electric shocks. Leaders that aren't protected with shock-resistant equipment will be damaged and get knocked down to the ground.
- Main article: Poison.
Poison is hazardous gas that Pikmin cannot breathe. Gas pipes and some enemies emit clouds of poison. Only White Pikmin, Bulbmin, and Glow Pikmin can withstand poison. Since leaders are inside their spacesuits, poison does not affect them.
- Main article: Ice.
Ice, or icy mist, is a non-fatal hazard in Pikmin 4. Any Pikmin except Ice Pikmin and Glow Pikmin will be frozen solid when coming into contact with this mist. As they are left completely immobilized, they are easy prey for creatures until whistled. Oatchi can thaw himself out eventually, but the player character must mash the whistle button in order to escape.
- Main article: Crush.
Some obstacles and enemies can crush Pikmin and leaders. This is fatal for all Pikmin except Rock Pikmin and Winged Pikmin (though Winged Pikmin can still be crushed by the Quaggled Mireclops and the Plasm Wraith's crystal cubes). In Pikmin 4, Rock Pikmin will be smashed – and die – if crushed on top of a hard surface or while frozen.
- Main article: Stab.
Some enemies stab Pikmin, and most of the time, proceed to eat the stabbed Pikmin while it is helpless. In Hey! Pikmin, stabbing attacks kill right away. Rock Pikmin cannot be stabbed, and merely get bounced back by any such attack.
Waddlepuses, Peckish Aristocrabs, and Aristocrab Offspring, along side Bubble Geysers can release a stream of bubbles which trap Pikmin and leaders. Bubbles that catch anything pop after some time, and all bubbles pop if a thrown Pikmin hits them. In Pikmin 3, bubbles that catch leaders will also pop if the player mashes while controlling that leader. Also in Pikmin 3, Winged Pikmin can be told to charge at a bubble, but if too many of them charge it at once, the bubble will rise up to the sky at a quick speed.
Ice Pikmin are immune to bubbles as they freeze them and cause them to pop right away, and Purple Pikmin in Pikmin 4 pop their bubbles nearly instantly. Glow Pikmin pop bubbles upon contact, and Oatchi is too large to be caught in a bubble in the first place.
Although less common than the previously mentioned hazards, there are still many more that appear throughout the games.
- Main article: Bomb rock.
Bomb rocks explode, and any Pikmin caught in the blast will die. Leaders will also be severely hurt. In Pikmin and Pikmin 3, Pikmin can carry and throw bomb rocks at enemies, making explosions both a tool and a danger. In Pikmin 2, bomb rocks are mostly a threat to the player's group, and the attacks of a Gatling Groink or Man-at-Legs also count as explosive hazards.
- See more: Enemy.
Eating is a method of attack exclusive to enemies. It will instantly kill most Pikmin, with only two types having some kind of benefit: White Pikmin, which poison creatures when swallowed and Ice Pikmin, who can instantly add large amounts onto the freezing gauge on an enemy's health bar when swallowed.
- Main article: Pit.
Pits are bottomless chasms outside the boundaries of every sublevel of every cave, as well as the bottomless pit in The Forest Navel. If Pikmin are thrown over the edge of the level or leave its walls or floor by a glitch, they fall to their deaths. Enemies can be killed by this as well, a strategy that can be used to one's advantage. In Pikmin 4, Winged Pikmin will not die if they are thrown off of the edge of a sublevel in a cave, but may occasionally die if they were knocked off the edge by an enemy. Glow Pikmin are completely immune to pits.
- See more: Blowhog family.
Wind is a rare hazard only used by the Puffy Blowhog, Icy Blowhog, and Withering Blowhog when they blow away leaders and their Pikmin. It will temporarily stun both, though Purple Pikmin are immune to it in Pikmin 2 and Pikmin 4.
In a similar but opposite effect, some enemies such as Jellyfloats and the Arctic Cannon Beetle attack by inhaling with a windy vortex which can trap or harm leaders and Pikmin. Leaders can become immune to both inhalation and exhalation wind by equipping the Brace Boots.
- See more: Mushroom Pikmin.
At the end of the day, all Pikmin not in the landing area, in a leader's group, or planted in the ground will be eaten by aggressive nocturnal beasts. During the liftoff cutscene at sunset, Pikmin seen running from enemies indicate the type (and after Pikmin, the number) of Pikmin left behind. Enemies can also be killed during this cutscene by White Pikmin or other enemies, or frozen by Ice Pikmin.
- Main article: Panic.
Panic is a hazard that causes Pikmin to run around in a frenzy, but will eventually fade away and not cause any damage to the Pikmin. It can also be solved immediately by calling a panicked Pikmin with the whistle. Panic has taken many different forms throughout the series, and is sourced from many enemies. In Pikmin 2, Purple Pikmin are immune to standard panic. In Pikmin 4, Oatchi is not (and cannot become) immune to panic like with most other hazards.
Webs are hazards that cause a Pikmin to become stuck. A Pikmin can eventually be freed from a web by whistling to it. So far, Arachnodes are the only enemy to create hazardous webs. If a Pikmin is caught on a web, the Arachnode will attempt to eat it. If the Arachnode is killed, the web will disappear. Winged Pikmin are especially prone to being caught, as they cannot walk under the web like other Pikmin.
In Pikmin 4, mud is an environmental hazard seen only in the Primordial Thicket, both above and below ground. Similar to water, it can inhabit large pools and be frozen with Ice Pikmin or Ice Blasts. Unlike water, leaders and Blue Pikmin are not naturally immune to it. Shallow mud can be traversed by all Pikmin types and leaders, with the only side effect being a reduced movement speed. The Gunk Busters upgrade allows leaders to walk through shallow mud unhindered.
Deep mud will cause leaders and non-Glow Pikmin to drown, but (like water) can still be whistled back to shore before they fully submerge and die. Ice Pikmin can float on top of deep mud, unless in a panicked state or shot with mud, in which they will drown like normal pikmin. Winged Pikmin will always fly above it.
While only seen in the Primordial Thicket in the main story mode, the Ice-Cross Course Dandori Challenge contains a pool of shallow mud in the center (which the leafling recommends freezing with Ice Pikmin) and puddles of shallow mud are present in the Blossoming Arcadia where some water would be in the Olimar's Shipwreck Tale version of the area.
In Pikmin 4, the Puffstool and the Groovy Long Legs can spray a purple gas that will confuse Pikmin, causing them to gather around the enemy and jump around in a daze. In this state, the Pikmin will have their stems clouded by the gas, and will be unresponsive to the player's whistle. In Olimar's notes on the Groovy Long Legs in the Piklopedia, he claims this phenomenon is known as the "Endless Dance", while he and Dalmo claim the same phenomenon is called "confusion" in the Puffstool's entry. The only way to free a Pikmin from confusion is to kill the enemy that caused it or to have the Pikmin knocked down.
Before the safe is opened and the entrance to Leafy Showdown is found, Moss will roam the floors of Hero's Hideaway and attempt to collect any Pikmin she finds. If she manages to whistle the player's Pikmin, they will jump on her back as she carries them off. The Pikmin will similarly have a purple gas around their stems, and be unwhistleable. To free the Pikmin, the player must damage Moss enough until she starts to run away, which will make her drop the Pikmin.
Gloom is an otherworldly type of element that instantly kills Pikmin on contact, regardless of their invulnerabilities, and can also damage leaders. It goes unnamed in Pikmin, and comes only in the form of the gray and green gas left behind by the Smoky Progg. In Pikmin 4, it gets named in a loading screen tip and is colored red and black. Here, it is used by the Smoky Progg and the Ancient Sirehound. Unlike poison, no Pikmin or leader is immune to it, including White Pikmin.
- In appearance and name, gloom resembles the gloom in another Nintendo game, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, which was launched a few months before Pikmin 4.
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