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Pufftups are underwater enemies which appear in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. They resemble real life pufferfish, due to their primary method of defense as well as appearance. Pufftups have small and smooth round bodies, narrowing abruptly towards their tail fins. They are able to inflate themselves to a much larger size; in their normal state, Pufftups are approximately the size of the Kongs. They feature golden skin coloration and display stressed looks. They also feature an underbite, and their mouths are framed by two thick lips.
As stated earlier, Pufftups can inflate themselves, growing in size and revealing numerous spikes on the surface of their bodies as a result. The Kongs cannot perform a corkscrew attack on a swollen Pufftup, as they risk getting damaged by the enemy's spikes. Upon getting stung by the spikes, the Kongs lose a single heart from their health meter, bringing them closer to losing a life. During this inflated state, Pufftups are only vulnerable to Cranky's cane swipe, which defeats them.
Pufftups frequently inflate themselves as means of defense. When deflated, their spikes are retracted, enabling the Kongs to attack the fish enemies anyhow – this includes attacking with a corkscrew. However, simply coming into contact with a shrunken Pufftup is harmful for the primate heroes. Pufftups swell and shrink at irregular times, as they swim from side to side and traverse a certain small distance underwater.
Pufftups inhabit the waters of Sea Breeze Cove, and can be encountered in Amiss Abyss, Irate Eight, and Shoal Atoll, three levels of this world. Their species name is a compound of the phrasal verb, "puffed up", which refers to something inflated with air. Another enemy species from the Donkey Kong games, the Puftup, has an almost identical name. It is possible that the more recently introduced Pufftups reference them.