Day 7 - the Distant Spring

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Summary

This day was beastly hard. It is hard to do, and it was really hard to figure out a good method for.

I get the Interstellar Radio, Massage Machine, Repair-Type Bolt, Gluon Drive and the UV Lamp.

Here's a video showing how it's done:

Footage of all of the days together is available here.

The most I've bred on this day is 60 Pikmin.

Challenges

There are a lot of dangerous monsters on this level. The trick do doing it safely is to find clever ways of avoiding most of them. For those that cannot be avoided I try to kill them at the beginning of the day, so that an unfortunate death only wastes a couple of minutes, instead of fifteen.

At any point in this day a Swooping Snitchbug may pop up. In most cases I will kill the Swooping Snitchbug as soon as possible, but occasionally it is better to ignore him. The Snitchbug is a wildcard that makes this level inherently unpredictable.

Difficulty

This day was the hardest day to do for the first time. The tricks I learned make it a lot easier, but the Snitchbugs and other complications make this probably the trickiest day in the Perfect Pikmin challenge. I recently spent a couple of hours and dozens of retries trying to do this day again, and I hadn't yet made it. 90-95% of the time I lose a few Pikmin in the first three minutes, killing the Spotty Bulbears (that's why I do them first). On the rare times that I do that perfectly I have to race to finish the rest without running out of time.

Minor technique improvements since then have improved my success percentage - but it's still very low.

What to do

  1. Take out one hundred blue Pikmin. On this watery world they are the safest kind, and I do not find that they are much less capable than their red brethren. If you prepared well on previous days then at least ninety of them should be flowers, so you shouldn't need to waste time on nectar.
  2. Immediately - without waiting for all the blue Pikmin to get out - chase after and kill the Puffy Blowhog. This is a great time saver, since it takes quite a while for a hundred Pikmin to come out and you might as well be doing something. The main trick is to keep Puffy away from the Spotty Bulbears, so stay between him and them. If you're feeling ambitious, chase Puffy towards the Onions so that when you kill him you can quickly convert his pellets into more Pikmin.
  3. Now you have to kill the two Spotty Bulbears. This cannot be done with 100% safety, and it has to be done quickly. If it doesn't work, then at least you haven't wasted much time. The trick is to hit them from behind. This is hard with the second Bulbear, but try to steer your Pikmin as much behind as possible while approaching from the side.
  4. Your Pikmin have probably had a few petals knocked off by all the fighting, but it doesn't matter. Don't waste time on nectar, you'll need that time later.
  5. Head past your ship and towards the far end of the bridge that lies near the massage machine. As you come onto that sandbar you will awake three Shearwigs. Kill all three of them. If you leave one alive, it will slowly eat your bridge building Pikmin. If you're feeling greedy, put Pikmin on them for later eating. It only takes on Pikmin to carry them back, and they're worth four. Yum - nutritious. If one of the Shearwig bodies is heading back immediately and going near the Wollywogs then you probably need to toss a second Pikmin on it, to keep it moving fast enough to be safe.
  6. Take seventy to eighty Pikmin (you must have at least seventy), leaving the rest to build the bridge. Head towards the bulb that holds the Smokey Progg and leave your Pikmin near there. Olimar should go on and kill one of the Water Dumples and then go back for the Pikmin and kill the other two.
  7. Now you need to kill the Puffy Blowhog. It is very important to kill him in the right place. If he is too far to the right (as you approach him initially) then you may have to fight extra Water Dumples, and your Pikmin will take the Interstellar Radio back along the wrong route, forcing encounters with still more Water Dumples. Force him to the left, and kill him there. There is a large area where it is safe to kill him, so don't worry about it too much.
  8. Put forty Pikmin on carrying back the Interstellar Radio. They will carry it past two Yellow Wollywogs, but they will be going so fast that the Yellow Wollywogs can't hurt them. Put the other thirty to forty on the Massage Machine. It may take a while for it to get back because the bridge is still being built. That's okay. Note that you don't kill the Spotty Bulbear near the massage machine. That would just be silly. When the bridge does get finished, the massage machine will automatically resume moving, picking up a few of the bridge workers to speed things along.
  9. While Olimar waits for the Radio to return he should go past the Yellow Wollywogs in the water and then lure the Yellow Wollywog on land (on the Massage Machine's path back to the ship) off to the left two jumps. This helps avoid any unfortunate accidents with the massage machine or any stragglers. This is very important.
  10. When the Interstellar Radio gets back to the ship, take the forty Pikmin off to get the Repair Type Bolt. Throw them up on to the ledge, then walk them around to the part. Note that if you stand too close to the ledge you will not be able to throw onto it effectively. If you have trouble getting them to pick up the bolt, try dismissing them when they are near it and they should grab it.
  11. While they are carrying the Bolt back, the Massage Machine should be returning also. Pick up any stray Pikmin from the bridge or anywhere else, and go back to the Onions.
  12. Put about fourteen blues back in the Onion, then take the other 86 off to the double bridges. Drop them off to the left of the near half of the bridge, then lead the nearby Yellow Wollywog away from the bridges, beyond the wall. Two hops away seems to be sufficient for him to leave your Pikmin alone.
  13. Now put about twenty Pikmin on the first half of the bridge, and take the others to the other half. Approach it on the left - to make sure the Yellow Wollywog doesn't cause trouble. I find that an overhead view makes it easier to deal with the Shearwigs. Once all three are dead, put the rest of your blues on building the bridge. Again, you can assign one Pikmin to carry each of the Shearwigs back, for snacking later.
  14. Go get fourteen yellows (enough to get your numbers up to one hundred, so that any food that gets taken back to the Onions won't require you to start picking flowers) and go get the bomb rocks that are stored near where the Massage Machine was. You should get eight to ten bomb rocks.
  15. Bring those bomb rocks back and use them to blow up the black wall near the Onions. If you only have eight bomb rocks you will not quite succeed. It is important to do this immediately, to minimize the risk should a Swooping Snitchbug come along. Having a perfect day ruined by having a Snitch steal a Pikmin carrying a vital bomb rock is quite distressing.
  16. Go back towards the double bridges, which should be completed now. Drop off your yellows and get the blues carrying back the part. If you're greedy, hold about fifteen of the blues back and use them to carry the nearby Bulbear body back to the Onions. Then get the four bomb rocks stored nearby and throw them at the nearby white wall - saving one for the wall near the Onions if necessary. You will not knock down the white wall, but it is critical that you do at least two bomb rocks of damage to it, and five is better.
  17. When you finish bomb rocking, head back to the Onions. Put all of your blues away, to keep them safe from Snitchbugs. You will not be needing them anymore today.
  18. From this point on you don't have enough Pikmin to be able to fend off an attack by a Swooping Snitchbug. If one shows up you can try dodging it, or you can try plucking the flowers that it plants. Once your tasks are done and you have plucked any flowers planted by Snitchbugs you can always Go to Sunset to avoid future run-ins with him in the final seconds.
  19. Take your yellows through the knocked down wall near the Onions (or any nearby passages that are equivalent) and walk past the first Bulbear and the Blowhog to the ramp near the second Bulbear. Kill no one. It is too dangerous and time consuming. Avoid the nectar grass (go to the left of it), and throw the yellows onto the ramp. This is the fastest and most reliable way of getting them all on it.
  20. Walk up the ramp, whistle for your yellow Pikmin and walk them along the walkway.
  21. When you get to the first dead end, walk down it and then throw your Pikmin up at the end. This is the easiest way of getting them around difficult corners.
  22. You may need to repeat that process for the second dead end, or you may find you can guide them more easily out of the second dead end.
  23. Use your C-stick to keep the yellows on the ledge while you throw ten or eleven up to the UV Lamp.
  24. Take the remaining three of four to get bomb rocks down towards the water near the Pilots Seat. You need at least two bomb rocks.
  25. Take the bomb rocks and knock down the wall that blocks the exit to the Armored Cannot Beetle's lair.
  26. If you get that wall knocked down, and if the part gets back, and if at the end of the day all Pikmin are either back at the ship or with you (doesn't count if they're pulling up nectar grass - watch for that) then you are done for the day.
Congratulations.

The final stage of this day - knocking down the last wall - is surprisingly dangerous. Many times I have had a snitchbug steal my Pikmin - and kill them - at the end of an otherwise perfect day. Or my Pikmin have wandered into nectar with half a second remaining - thus putting themselves in the 'left-behind' category.

Therefore, I have investigated the possibility of postponing this part of the day to day 8. I'm sure it works, but I haven't actually tried it. The idea would be to take a couple of yellows along (easy enough) with the blues when heading out for the Zirconium Rotor. When you put many blues on knocking down the wall to the Zirconium Rotor, toss the yellows over the black wall (that you've probably knocked partially down). Then you can grab them later when the Rotor and Seat are on their way back, and blow up the wall. It's still risky, but perhaps less so, and certainly earlier in the day, and on a day where time pressures should be less severe.

On to day 8.

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