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Ukikis[1] (initially spelled Ukkikis[2]), originally known as Grinders[3] and sometimes simply referred to as monkeys,[4] are a species of primate found in the Mario and Yoshi franchises.

History

Yoshi series

Grinders first appear in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island and its remake, Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3. They usually show up in jungle stages and attack Yoshi in a variety of ways, including spitting seeds and grabbing Baby Mario; when hit, they turn a darker shade of brown and run away. Some Grinders drop bombs, and were named Short Fuses in the strategy guide.[5] Others drop Needlenoses, and were named Seedy Sallies. Some Grinders are harmless and simply run around the stage, acting as a source of eggs; others swing in long chains. Fleeing Grinders jump onto vines and climb them as high as possible, jumping off and running if a Yoshi gets too close. Grinders can also swim slowly in water. Grinders can be stunned with eggs or a stomp, after which Yoshi can defeat them by eating them or running over them while they are unconscious. However, they are difficult to eat while running because of their speed. Grinders cannot be defeated while in water, as stunning them instead causes them to "flail" in place. A larger Grinder that wears a red tie and attacks by throwing barrels (a clear reference to Donkey Kong) was planned, possibly as a boss, but is not implemented in any way in the final release, though its graphics can be found unused.

Tetris Attack

A Grinder appears in Tetris Attack alongside Poochy in every mode as one of Yoshi's opponents. Due to a spell cast by Bowser and Kamek that brainwashed them, they tried to stop Yoshi on his adventure to stop Bowser. Once the Grinder is defeated, he and Poochy are freed from the spell and are unlocked as playable characters, though Poochy is used for the icon and the sound effects during gameplay.

Yoshi's Island DS

Ukikis make a reappearance in Yoshi's Island DS. One of them kidnaps Baby Peach at the beginning of the level Baby DK, the Jungle King!, which is the only level that they appear in. They are all harmless, but are still difficult to catch due to their agility. If a Yoshi goes near them, they immediately run away or climb away on nearby vines, though they usually stop once they make it off-screen. They can be stunned by jumping on top of them or by throwing eggs at them. They can be defeated by eating them, or by taking a second hit while they are stunned. Ukikis can be viewed in the Land Enemies exhibit in the Island Museum.

Yoshi's New Island

They once again appear in Yoshi's New Island. In this game, Ukikis cannot be eaten (though they can still be defeated by other means, such as a ground-pound), and are prominent in the stages Ukiki Jammin' and Ukiki Trouble in Clawdaddy Cove, though they also appear in other levels of World 3, including Rise of the Nasty Nep-Enuts, Harry Hedgehog's Labyrinth, and Ride the Blarggwich. They remain almost entirely unchanged from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island

Yoshi's Woolly World/Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World

Yarn-like versions of Ukikis appear in Yoshi's Woolly World and Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World, where they resemble their in-game sprites from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, instead of their artwork from said game like most appearances. Once again, they cannot be eaten, but can be defeated via other means. Seedy Sally and Short Fuse types also appear in this game.

Yoshi's Crafted World

Ukikis return in Yoshi's Crafted World where they are seen in two levels: Jumping to Victory and Bombs Away on Pirate Island. They behave like in previous games and are often seen on vines. Short Fuses return and a new kind of Ukiki that tosses down Yoshi Eggs appears. This marks the first time that Seedy Sallies do not appear. A Kong-like Ukiki known as Uckykong makes an appearance, as well as a blue variant called Snow Ucky Kong. Unlike previously, spitting them out on water can defeat them.

Super Mario series

Super Mario 64/Super Mario 64 DS

In Super Mario 64, two Ukkikis inhabit the course Tall, Tall Mountain. One can be seen following Mario around and doing tricks. However, if Mario grabs him, he will steal Mario's Cap and wear it. To get it back, Mario has to grab him again; this is made difficult by the fact that Ukkiki now runs away from Mario and jumps over him if he gets cornered. In the second mission of Tall, Tall Mountain, Mario has to catch a different Ukkiki on the very top of the mountain. This one tries to run away from Mario, rather than bother or chase him. When caught, the monkey will promise to give Mario something really good if Mario lets him go. If the player accepts, the Ukkiki will make its way down to the monkey cage (which has the course's Power Star) and jump on it, making it accessible for Mario to collect. This Ukkiki only appears when the second mission is selected.

The two Ukkikis reappear in Tall, Tall Mountain in the remake Super Mario 64 DS, with the same roles as in the original game. Their design now resembles their artwork from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island and replaces the Super Mario 64 design as their standard appearance for further games. With the introduction of different playable characters in Super Mario 64 DS, Ukkiki is also given an additional role during gameplay. If any character is wearing another character's Cap, Ukkiki will take it. This will cause the disguised character to transform back to their normal selves. An in-game glitch allows Wario to pick up Ukkiki with the Metal Cap. Using this method, it is also possible to carry Ukkiki into the water. If Yoshi eats him, he will tell Yoshi that he will give him a stomachache, but Yoshi can eat the other Ukkiki and spit him out for the Power Star.

Mario Party series

Mario Party 4

In Mario Party 4, Ukikis make an appearance, keeping their look from Super Mario 64. They appear on Koopa's Seaside Soiree, on two junctions on either side of the board. Once a player reaches it, an Ukiki tosses a banana peel that the player immediately slips on. They are forced to continue in whichever direction they slipped in. Ukikis also appear in the minigame Tree Stomp, in which they throw banana peels at players, cheering if one of them slips. They occasionally throw a golden banana that makes any player who picks it up move faster for a while.

Mario Party 5

In Mario Party 5, they appear in the minigame Chimp Chase, in which four variants of Ukikis make an appearance: gray, blue, red, and very rare gold ones. Besides a difference in appearance, they all behave the same. In the minigame, baby Ukikis are running around, and they have to be grabbed and delivered to the adult Ukiki that is colored correspondingly to it. Delivering a baby to the wrong adult makes them scream, paralyzing the player who delivered the baby and freezing all of the baby Ukikis of the same color. Golden baby Ukikis occasionally appear, running much faster than the others, and not only can they be delivered to any adult, but they are also worth more than the others. An Ukiki Capsule also appears; using it, whether by throwing it onto a space and landing on it or used directly on the player for ten Coins, summons an Ukiki that randomly selects another player and throws all of their capsules onto random board spaces.

Mario Party 6

In Mario Party 6, Ukikis appear in Castaway Bay hosting a special Coin-collecting minigame. They also appear in various minigames such as Snow Brawl, where they act as allies to the solitary player, and Strawberry Shortfuse, where they deliver plates with either cakes or explosives. They also appear in the Memory Quiz, the Variety Quiz, the Comparison Quiz, and the Counting Quiz of Speak Up.

Mario Party Advance

Two Ukiki characters appear in Mario Party Advance: Ukiki, the mayor of the Jungle Area, and Akiki, Ukiki's niece. The two of them live in the Ukiki House. Generic Ukikis also appear in the minigame See Monkey?, which involves saving ten Ukikis from drowning in a lake while the player rides in a boat. Once the player come into contact with an Ukiki, they are given a lifebuoy and get attached to the boat. The minigame is failed if any of the Ukikis are missed once the time limit runs out.

Mario Party 7

In Mario Party 7, Ukikis appear as the main hazard in the Apes of Wrath minigame, as well as in the background of the forest-themed Duel minigames. They also cameo in the background of the Minigame Cruise, cleaning Peach's Cruiser. As of this game, Ukikis began to consistently appear in their Yoshi's Island design.

Mario Party 8

In Mario Party 8, Ukikis appear in DK's Treetop Temple, where they are summoned if a player lands on an Event Space. They roll down the stage on barrels, knocking over anyone in their path and taking ten coins from them. Mechanical Ukikis appear in the minigame Flip the Chimp, with each player controlling an Ukiki; they have to make their Ukiki climb to the top of a tree while avoiding falling coconuts. They also appear in the battle minigame Snipe for the Picking, where two Ukikis are seen turning cranks in the introductory cutscene, and in the duel minigame Cardiators on the "2" card and the "6" card. If the "2" card is chosen, a single Ukiki attacks the opposing player for two damage, and if the "6" card is chosen, three Ukikis attack the opposing player for six damage.

Mario Party: The Top 100

Ukikis return in Mario Party: The Top 100, in the minigame Strawberry Shortfuse from Mario Party 6, and have the same role.

Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix

Ukikis appear in Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix in the Banana Storm minigame. They can drop bananas, which Mario or Luigi collects, and Spiny Eggs, which stun Mario or Luigi.

Other appearances

Grinders appear in Game & Watch Gallery 3 as enemies in the modernized Greenhouse minigame.

Ukikis have made appearances in several games, including Mario Power Tennis, Mario Superstar Baseball, Mario Super Sluggers, and Mario Strikers Charged, as members of the audience, though they do nothing but cheer. The name "Ukiki" also appears on the scoreboard in Mario Golf for the Nintendo 64 and Mario Golf for the Game Boy Color. If the player gets a Pin Shot in the Nintendo 64 version, they will see an Ukiki climbing down the flagpole.

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, an Ukiki makes an appearance as a spirit.

Game appearances

Titles Description Release Date(s) Systems/Formats
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island Enemy 1995 SNES
Super Mario 64 NPC/Enemy 1996 Nintendo 64
Tetris Attack Side-character with Poochy. 1996 SNES
Mario Golf NPC; Name appears on score board 1999 Nintendo 64
Game & Watch Gallery 3 Enemy in Modern Greenhouse 1999 Game Boy Color
Mario Golf Name appears on score board 1999 Game Boy Color
Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3 (enhanced port) Enemy 2002 Game Boy Advance
Mario Party 4 NPC 2002 Nintendo GameCube
Mario Party 5 NPC 2003 Nintendo GameCube
Mario Party 6 NPC 2004 Nintendo GameCube
Mario Power Tennis NPC 2004 Nintendo GameCube
Super Mario 64 DS (remake) NPC/Enemy 2004 Nintendo DS
Mario Party Advance NPC 2005 Game Boy Advance
Yoshi Touch & Go Enemy 2005 Nintendo DS
Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix NPC 2005 Nintendo GameCube
Mario Superstar Baseball NPC 2005 Nintendo GameCube
Mario Party 7 NPC 2005 Nintendo GameCube
Yoshi's Island DS Enemy 2006 Nintendo DS
Mario Party 8 NPC 2007 Wii
Mario Strikers Charged NPC 2007 Wii
Mario Super Sluggers NPC 2008 Wii
Yoshi's New Island Enemy 2014 Nintendo 3DS
Yoshi's Woolly World Enemy 2015 Wii U
Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World (port) Enemy 2017 Nintendo 3DS
Mario Party: The Top 100 NPC 2017 Nintendo 3DS
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Spirit 2018 Nintendo Switch
Yoshi's Crafted World Enemy 2019 Nintendo Switch

References

  1. As renamed in Yoshi's New Island, Yoshi's Woolly World, and various Mario games.
  2. Super Mario 64 Player's Guide, pgs. 9, 101-103
  3. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island Nintendo Player's Guide, page 127, and Tetris Attack.
  4. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island stage titles, Yoshi's Island DS World 2 introduction, and various Mario games.
  5. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island Nintendo Player's Guide. Page 128.
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