For the Duck’s first foray into spoopiness, I shall be discussing some of the spookier aspects of a series near and dear to my heart, Pikmin. Frankly, Pikmin is a perfect example of spoopiness because it manages to exude a mixture of both cute and horrifying all at once! Sure, the Pikmin themselves are adorable, but the many ways they can die is anything but. And one way is to succumb to the various beasties of their miniature world, with two of the creepiest being the Smoky Progg and the Waterwraith.
The Smoky Progg appears in the Distant Spring of the first game. There is this large egg that you can break open and out emerges a large frog-like creature that emits a deadly fog. While Olimar speculates that this creature might be a mutated Mamuta, one thing is for certain, its incorporeal appearance and glowing eyes make it a rather unsettling creature to encounter. Now, I’ve never defeated the Smoky Progg myself, but I did watch someone do so online, and upon death, it appears to collapse into a yellow shroud of smoke. So that’s…not creepy at all. Fortunately, the Smoky Progg is really not so terrible if you don’t intend on defeating it. Why, what I like to do is just crack open its egg right before nightfall and casually walk away, as it’s not exactly fast. And then when the next morning arrives, there won’t be any sign that the thing ever even existed. With that big round body and little beady eyes, you could almost say it’s…cute, right? Yeah, when it’s not suffocating your Pikmin in a cloud of poisonous gas, it’s quite cute indeed! Ha ha, yeah…
And then we have the Waterwraith, found in the Submerged Castle of Pikmin 2. I haven’t played this game in quite some time, so I can’t recall all the details, but I do remember my initial reaction to this bizarre abomination. One of utter shock and horror as this thing literally dropped from the ceiling without one ounce of warning and began its reign of unprovoked chaos, uttering all manner of unholy noises as it did so. Your ship even describes it as having a “physical form anchored in another dimension”, which did little to ease my anxiety. To make matters worse, the Waterwraith is invincible, at least for the time being, so all you can do is hug the wall and wait for it to pass or else be crushed by its mighty rollers.
As terrifying as this monstrosity is, it’s also kind of ridiculous when you really think about it. It appears as a transparent, humanoid blob that gets around using…rolling pins attached to its arms and legs. I mean, what the heck is this stupid thing even supposed to be? Like, why the rollers? I can’t help but see them as rolling pins, leading me to believe this abomination against all that is good and decent in the world would be just as adept at rolling out pie crusts as it is at crushing Pikmin to dust. Fortunately, we eventually get the chance to enact sweet revenge once we’re able to use the hefty Purple Pikmin to force it to take on a physical form. Not so tough without those rolling pins, are you?
Despite its superficial cuteness, Pikmin is a game with an astonishing amount of violence and all sorts of horrors.
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