The Blockhead (「答選坊」?; Tōsenbō) is a recurring demon in Ōkami. It takes the form of a wall and need to be destroyed by dotting specific parts of its body in a certain order to progress.
All the Blockheads take the appearance of an old Japanese plaster wall with cracks and cobwebs on it. The cracks form a smiling mouth, and above that mouth are two holes that act as "eyes" for the Blockhead. The body of the Blockhead is a wall of a dull gray color, its foundation is comprised of carved rectangular bricks on the side and round cobblestones at the center. Atop the wall is a gray tile roof, and on each of the two sides of the wall are an arm with scrawny muscle; the right hand holds a staff of red lacquered wood with what seems like a lantern atop it.
Blockhead was first encountered in Tsuta Ruins, where Amaterasu needed to destroy him to progress through the area. A second Blockhead could be found and defeated in Kusa Village, opening a cave with a treasure chest and two wilted Clovers. A third was found on Oni Island. By the time Amaterasu encountered her second the Blockhead race have given her the nickname "The White Demon of Death" as she is the only being known to have defeated a Blockhead. The final and most difficult Blockhead, Blockhead Grande, could be encountered in a Divine spring under Kamui. He, like the one in Kusa Village, did not need to be defeated but opened the way to some treasure, including a Stray Bead, if he was.
Spoilers end here.
Blockhead must be hit with a headbutt. A series of glowing dots will appear on the Blockhead in a specific order (matched to an invisible 4x4 grid on the Blockhead's face) and then disappear. The number of dots increases with each Blockhead. Amaterasu must then use her Celestial Brush and dot the places where the dots appeared in the order they appeared. The blockhead will then crumble. However, if tthe player fails, the Blockhead will gloat and cause a shower of rocks to fall on a small area in front of them which can be dodged by jumping away from the Blockhead. They will not use their rock attack unless Amaterasu fails to destroy them. Every time Ammy headbutts the Blockhead, the pattern will be different.
The two most effective methods to defeating blockhead require external help. With a video camera, record and slowly play back the pattern of dots. Then in the Celestial Brush screen, take the time to ensure all the dots are accurately placed. Another effective strategy is to use a dry erase marker to quickly number the location and order the dots appear on the television screen, but do not attempt to do this with high definition or matte screens. This method is highly effective on all but Blockhead Grande, whose 8 different dot locations appear too quickly for this to be done properly, so recording the sequence of the dots with a video camera is more preferred.
If the player does not activate brush mode fairly quickly after the weak points are shown, Blockhead will move straight to gloating, but if the brush mode button is held the player can effectively pause the game. The normal pause function and fan menu are both disabled here, though in the PS3 version the game can be force-paused by pressing the PS button to bring up the XMB menu.
Oni Island's Blockhead
The Blockhead at Oni Island is the only mandatory one that can be skipped by using a certain trick. At the lower level of the room where the final race with Tobi is housed on the second level, look at the platform that is across the room from Tobi's; on the wall on it is a crack that has to be destroyed with a Cherry Bomb. Double jump so that the crack is visible, then use a Cherry Bomb to destroy it. Behind it is a space with a Konohana Blossom within; use Vine to reach there. Use Power Slash on the line of pots on the platform on the left to destroy them, then jump onto that platform to reach where Tobi is. Going down the corridor outside, and it can be seen that now Amaterasu is behind the Blockhead without having to destroy it.
Tsuta Ruins: At the bottom of the room to the left of the antechamber; blocking the passage between these two rooms.
Kusa Village: On an alcove accessible from the watching guard's tower; blocking a cave with several clovers within.
Oni Island: On the corridor outside of the room whose second level houses the final race with Tobi; preventing access to the second level.
The Blockhead is based on the nurikabe from Japanese folklore.
Most humans can only memorise 6 points of data in 3 seconds, but Blockhead Grande requires 8. The feeling like gears slipping in one's head while trying to remember the points is a result of attempting something the brain physically cannot do. Most people will only be able to beat Blockhead Grande when a significant number of the early points form a distinct shape.