From the Super Mario Wiki
Pionpis are strange, Jiangshi-like enemies found in Super Mario Land. They are based on a mythical vampire and zombie-like creature supposedly originating from China. Found in the Chai Kingdom, they will constantly try to jump on Mario. They can be temporarily stopped by being jumped on, which will also award Mario with 800 points. However, Pionpis will come back in a darker color and will be a little faster after each resurrection. Mario does not gain any more points if he jumps on them afterwards. To actually destroy them, Mario had to lure them off the level or shoot them with two superballs.
They are similar to Dry Bones, being an undead enemy that soon resurrects upon being squashed. Their behaviour after resurrection is similar to the enemies of the original Mario Bros., which also changed colour and became faster after they were flipped over and righted themselves.
In the Super Mario Land comics published by Valiant Comics, a Pionpi was shown to be Tatanga's second-in-command. In the issue "Team Play", this Pionpi leads Tatanga's invasion of the Great Wall of China and is also the only one of Tatanga's Elite Squadron to protest Herman Smirch's joining of Tatanga's forces.
A revived "zombie" Pionpi
Names in other languages
|From pyonpyon, a mimetic word for hopping.