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Here is the page about Pikmin Onions. If you were looking for the treasure in the Perplexing Pool, see Onion Replica.

The Master Onion.

Onions are the large, round life forms that act as nests for the Pikmin. There are five known types of Onion nests, each with unique coloration corresponding to either Red, Yellow, Blue, Rock, and Winged Pikmin, and only one of each has ever been seen. As of Pikmin 2, subterranean species such as Purple Pikmin, White Pikmin, and Bulbmin do not have Onions.

In Pikmin 3, all discovered onions merge at nighttime after they are discovered, and become a single, universal Onion, greatly simplifying the management of Pikmin types at the beginning of each day.

Some Onions require light, as in Pikmin 3: the Yellow Onion did not activate until a nearby light source was turned on, even when approached. It also appears that the Onions in Pikmin 3 are much more malleable than their Pikmin and Pikmin 2 counterparts in regards to which Pikmin species they will hold. In Pikmin 3, if an Onion is discovered, their Pikmin can also be accommodated by the bigger Onion at the landing site before they fuse the at end of the day.


Pikmin and Pikmin 2

These bulbous plant-hives have brightly colored bodies with a black and white band across the midsection. On the top, there is a big flower, resembling the flowers that Pikmin have. There are concentric circles on the ground in the Onion landing spots in each area, which are never referred to in-game. Three stilt-like legs suspend the Onions out of the reach of hungry predators and provide access to the inside for Pikmin. In Pikmin, Olimar states that he inspected the Onion's legs, and saw they were covered with tiny little hairs, possibly to help the Pikmin climb out.

In the first Pikmin, Onions have different appearances before they are discovered. They are darker in coloration, have no flowers on top, and are partly buried. When Captain Olimar approaches them, they explode with color, and the flower blooms and spins rapidly, pulling out the legs.

Pikmin 3

In Pikmin 3, Onions appear as small, berry-like objects with three black-metallic "joints." Out of these joints come 3, glowing root-like legs which allow the Onion to stand. At night, the legs completely retract and blue flames burst out of the "joints", allowing the Onion to lift off into the night sky.

When multiple Onions are discovered, they fuse to become an even larger universal Onion that swirls different colors, depending on the type of Pikmin it holds. When all 5 Pikmin types in the game are discovered, the Onion swells up into a more traditional Onion-like shape. Standing underneath it brings up an "Onion GUI" that allows the player to pick the type and amount of Pikmin they'd like to bring out onto the field. Holding the Z button while pulling out Pikmin will pull out Pikmin equally for all types.

The new Onions also display their characteristic element upon activation, with the exception being the Red Onion.

Upon Activation:

Yellow - Generates Electricity

Blue - Leaks Water

Pink - Flaps Petals Erratically

Grey- Glistens from the light, much like the Rock Pikmin do when a bright light hits their bodies.

Red- Falls off a branch Worthlessly


During the daytime Pikmin hunt and bring food, such as pellets or enemy carcasses, to The Onion, which in turn produces new Pikmin seeds. If there are fewer than 100 Pikmin on the field, the seeds are ejected and take root in the ground, but if not they are stored inside the Onion, along with any other Pikmin not on the field. In the first two games, when night falls and all the Pikmin have returned, the Onion folds its legs and lifts off from the ground, presumably using its flower petals like rotor blades to propel itself into the low atmosphere, where it hovers until daybreak. In Pikmin 3, when it's ready to lift off, it retracts its legs back into its base and lifts off through a jet coming from the same chute it absorbs pellets and enemies the Pikmin gather. If an Onion loses all of its Pikmin, or if no Pikmin are capable of returning, it will produce a single seed the following day to prevent extinction.

When the Onions were first discovered in Pikmin, they were dormant. They had a dark grayish color, were flowerless, and their legs were buried in the ground until Olimar came upon them, at which point they sprang to life and spat out a single seed. It is not known exactly what triggers this hibernation, though a loss of Pikmin or food shortage may prompt the Onion to become dormant until conditions improve.

This behavior was examined yet again in Pikmin 3, where all Onions are found dormant. However, it seems that Onion dormancy does not hinder their awareness, as the Red Onion and Pink Onions are seen struggling to dislodge themselves from the traps they are found in. The Winged and Blue Pikmin species seemed to have been entirely extinct by the point the game began, as they are the only two species who's Onions had to sprout more of when they were reactivated. It is unknown exactly what triggers dormancy in Onions, since the Red, Yellow, and Grey Onions were all found inactive despite the presence of their Pikmin still somewhere on the field.


Red Onion

A Red Onion.

The Red Onion is the first Onion to be discovered in all three games. In Pikmin, the Red Onion is found at The Impact Site, dormant in the ground not far from where the S.S. Dolphin crashed. Once awakened, it will release a single Red Pikmin seed which Olimar can use to harvest nearby red Pellet Posies and spawn enough Pikmin to retrieve the Main Engine. In Pikmin 2, Louie finds this Onion in the Valley of Repose when he falls out of The Ship's cockpit and gets lost. In Pikmin 3 the Red Onion is discovered when Alph comes upon it caught in a branch at Tropical Wilds.

Yellow Onion

A Yellow Onion.

The Yellow Onion is the second Onion that the player comes across in Pikmin and Pikmin 2, and the third type found in Pikmin 3. In Pikmin, it is found dormant in The Forest of Hope amidst several yellow Pellet Posies and free-standing yellow pellets. In Pikmin 2, the Yellow Onion is located in the Perplexing Pool behind a poison gate protected by a Fiery Bulblax, so White Pikmin and Red Pikmin are required to reach it. There are a few yellow Pellet Posies nearby which will not regrow once they've been harvested. In Pikmin 3 the Yellow Onion is discovered by Brittany in a cave in the Distant Tundra after the S.S. Drake crashed into a tree branch and she got flung out of the ship.

Blue Onion

A Blue Onion.

In Pikmin, it can be found in The Forest Navel in a pool near the landing site and is the third Onion the player discovers. Several blue Pellet Posies are in the immediate vicinity, as well as a free-standing blue 5 pellet. In Pikmin 2, the blue Onion is located in the Awakening Wood; although it can be seen relatively early in the game, it lies behind an electric gate, meaning that Yellow Pikmin from the Perplexing Pool is required to access it. A small pool blocks the only direct path up to the gate, so the Pikmin must be thrown onto a nearby ledge (while taking care not to disturb the Cloaking Burrow-nit lying in wait there). The Captain can then walk around through some water to reach them, and order them to defeat the beast and demolish the gate, allowing him to find the game's first 5 Blue Pikmin. In Pikmin 3 the blue onion is located at the Garden of Hope and can only be accessed after defeating the Scornet Maestro at Twilight River; said area becomes available after Louie escapes the S.S. Drake. The Onion is stuck in a pool of water and must be freed by Winged Pikmin.

For some unknown reason, in Pikmin and Pikmin 2 when landing in an area, the blue onion seems to hover a bit before landing, therefore landing slower than the Red Onion and Yellow Onion.

Gray Onion

The Gray Onion.

The Gray Onion is the Onion that holds the Rock Pikmin. It can be found in the Garden of Hope, right in the cave next to the area in which Brittany was being held. A Medusal Slurker guards the Crystal holding the Gray Onion, and it is holding 6 Rock Pikmin inside of it. Near the Gray Onion, there are 3 Crystals, 2 of which hold 1-Pellets, and the last of which holds a Data File explaining how carrying works with multiple types of Pikmin holding the object. The Medusal Slurker can also be carried back to the Onion. Once the day ends, the Gray Onion fuses with the Red Onion to form the first phase of the Master Onion.

Pink Onion

The Pink Onion.

The Pink Onion is home to the Winged Pikmin. Upon reaching the Twilight River and walking around, the player will get a cutscene explaining that the Pink Onion is trapped in an Arachnode web. However, the Onion is located across the River, and a rather large bridge must be built across it to reach the other shore. Once the Onion is freed from the Arachnode web, it will spit out 1 Winged Pikmin. Near the Onion are many Flukeweeds, which hold 1-Pellets, 5-Pellets, Nectar Eggs, and Female Sheargrubs underneath them. There is also a glitch that allows the player to reach the other shore without the need to build the bridge, though building it is recommended as it will help with carrying back objects. Once the day ends, the Pink onion will fuse with the Master Onion. 

Master Onion

The Master Onion's completed form.

In Pikmin 3, Onions fuse together at the end of the day to form a larger, universal "Master Onion" that holds all Pikmin types.  The Master Onion seems to have a clear sphere of some material (that seems to also stretch) with fluid inside that each Pikmin color seems to live inside the particular color of their type. The more Pikmin types it holds, the more colors it displays on its surface, along with a more elaborate striped pattern on its midsection. Aside from its appearance, it functions the same as a normal Onion from the previous two games. By pressing Z on the Onion menu, an equal amount of each type of Pikmin currently discovered will come out of the Onion. This explains why there is only one landing zone compared to the previous game which had three landing zones.

Team Onion

In Bingo Battle, Each team has their own onion. The color depends on the team's color and their Pikmin. These onions were dyed Light-Blue or Pinkish-Red, depending on the team.

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Mario utilizing the Onion's function.

In Brawl, the 3 original Onions appear as a trophy and on the "Distant Planet" stage. Here, when a pellet is thrown into one, an item is ejected. More items appear if the pellet and Onion have the same color, similar to the way it works in the Pikmin games. The Onions can also be hit, and will eventually fly away if hit too much. If they are undisturbed, they'll still eventually fly away.


The Onion also has a randomly occurring trophy. The description reads:

"Items considered to be the places where Pikmin is born. As to the actual biology of the process, much is still unclear. Onions absorb the prey that Pikmin capture and uses it to produce new Pikmin. In addition, Onions can take in Pikmin and later release them. These organisms are crowned with distinctive propeller- like sets of leaves that spin around, enabling them to fly."

2-P Battle and Bingo Battle

In Pikmin 2 the red and blue onions appear as bases in 2-P battle. Here they act slightly differently: They are underground, they can't store extra Pikmin and captains cannot take Pikmin out or put them in. They also spit out the same amount of Pikmin lost to enemy Pikmin without nutrients. In Pikmin 2, Player 1 gets a Red Onion, while Player 2 gets a Blue Onion. In Pikmin 3, Player 1 gets a Cyan Onion that pulses yellow, and Player 2 gets a Pink Onion that pulses orange. The same functions apply: they cannot store Pikmin and captains cannot withdraw Pikmin. If Pikmin is lost to the enemy's Pikmin, the Onion will spit out the same number of seeds as Pikmin lost. 




Pikmin 2 - Blue Onion Boot Up (Unused cutscene)

The unused cutscene of the Blue Onion sprouting in Pikmin 2.

  • When Captain Olimar first came upon the Red Onion in Pikmin, he was knocked over by one of the legs as it sprang out of the ground. When he finds the other two later on in the game, he is a little more cautious and backs away.
  • The coding in Pikmin 2 revealed that the Onions were originally planned to have a "booting up" cutscene, just as they did in the first game. The cutscene was complete with its own animation, music, and dialogue.
    • The only flaw is the light coming out is still visible even when the Onion is dormant.
  • In the first Pikmin game, by pressing down on the D-pad, (2 for New Play Control!) Captain Olimar will lay down, and 4 Pikmin can carry him to their Onion. When Olimar is abducted by the Onion, he bounces off the Onion, and fireworks come out of the flower instead of Pikmin seeds.
  • During story mode of Pikmin 3, Onions are discovered as perfectly round and small, but when they fuse together, they swell up into a bulbous shape reminiscent of the original Onion designs.
  • The Master Onion could be a result of evolutionary change so Pikmin colonies require less space.
  • The Onions in Pikmin 3 appear to be more mechanical in appearance than their previous incarnations.
  • If the player looks up at the Master Onion in Pikmin 3 with the KopPad, one can see what appear to be solar panel-like cells on its petals.
  • Alph mentions in a log entry that the swirling colors of the Master Onion may actually be the Pikmin themselves, stored in a simpler, fluid form for easier storage.
  • Olimar mentions that there is a vegetable called an onion on Hocotate.
  • The Onion can hold 10,000 of each Pikmin type.
  • The Onion seen in Hey! Pikmin has the colors purple and white on it implying that Purple and White Pikmin have Onions.
    • The fact that the swirling colors in the onion are implied to be Pikmin it's self, it would mean that white and purple Pikmin do in fact appear in Hey! Pikmin.
    • At the final end of Pikmin 2, you can see 3 golden colored onions surrounding The Hocotate Ship, but briefly after they fly away.