That's right, we're going there. We've decided to give the rundown on the 10 best power-ups found in the Super Mario Bros. series. This list is scripture, yet is in no particular order. If you disagree, or have a better suggestion, leave a comment below. Odds are we'll ignore it (that whole scripture thing), but hey, at least you tried. Onward then with the best Mario power-ups!
Picture this: A fat Italian plumber riding a green dinosaur hatched fully grown from an egg decides he needs a boost of speed. What does he do? Clearly. He forces the dinosaur to jam a flaming hot chili pepper down his throat. Yoshi, now struck with a case of Megasoreass, is left with only one option: run for his life. Mario? He just rides the wave; like having sex with a fat chick.
First Appearance: Super Mario Bros. 3
This one actually requires a bit of Japanese mythical history to fully understand. We’ll try to break it down to basics. First? In the game, Mario or Luigi wore the suit pretty much like they wore the Raccoon Tail. The Tanooki Suit granted the user flight, sweet. But, by pressing down on the D-Pad and B at the same time, users could turn into statues and be invulnerable and undetected by enemies.
The Japanese lore? Tanuki is a common name for a raccoon dog. However, the name also translates to folklore. There, the Tanuki is a mischievous mythical beast that represents all kinds of good fortune. They are said to have carried a staff that allowed them to shape-shift. In more contemporary terms, Tanuki statues exists all over Japan. Do a Google image search, see for yourselves. Just know that these statues normally feature enormous testicles. No, I’m not kidding. Enjoy.
Anyone who doesn’t consider Yoshi a power-up is a fool, we say. The little green dinosaur that could not only gives you extra life to work with, but he also gives you a longer reach to attack enemies with and longer jumps that look downright adorable. The character was first introduced in Super Mario World and has since become a franchise staple. Seriously, it was a big deal when Yoshi made his powered up return in Super Mario Galaxy 2. And when it comes down to it, try to name another power-up in Mario’s arsenal with booties cuter than Yoshi’s. Impossible!
First Appearance: Super Mario Bros. 3
You can straight up jump into a giant shoe and hop all over the damn place. It doesn’t make any sense, but it doesn’t need to either. This shoe has a wind-up tool on the side, no idea why. Mario or Luigi would see a shoe either alone or piloted by a Goomba, they’d commandeer that shit and hop all over bad guys, spike pits and those weird clam plants. Clam plants? Yeah, Mario’s crazy.
First Appearance: Super Mario World
Now here was a power-up that gave Mario or Luigi one of the most effectively used skills in gaming during Super Mario World’s era. We’re talking the SNES here, in case you didn’t know… for some weird reason.
Basically, the feather gave our hero a cape. And the cape did the impossible; it made a fat man look amazing. Mario strapped on his yellow sheet and took to the skies. Oh, sure, it made more sense than the raccoon tail… but here we had a man capable of buoying his way to new heights. When he wanted to land? Just press down on the D-pad and slam face first into the earth. Effective.
Technically, the Super Mushroom made it’s first appearance in Mario Party 4. But the Mario Party series wore out its welcome after number 2, so we’re not including it on this list because of that game. Instead, the Super Mushroom made a triumphant return in New Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo DS. The Super Mushroom, as you would expect, turned Mario (or Luigi) gigantic and allowed him to trample the Mushroom Kingdom like some kind of Italian Godzilla wearing overalls. That’s a terrifying image, no doubt. Anything that was in the way — be it enemies, blocks, warp pipes and even level-ending flagpoles — didn’t stand a chance when one of those plumber boys was hopped up on Super Mushroom. Essentially, the feeling you get from a Super Mushroom is comparable to being loaded up on Four Loko. And apparently the Mario Bros. like the taste, as the Super Mushroom has stuck around ever since, only its name has been changed to the Mega Mushroom for future titles. The Mario Bros. are big fans of alliteration.
The Fire Flower was one of three original powers seen in the first Mario title, Super Mario Bros.. And since that appearance, it’s never left the series. The Fire Flower is incredibly important to the mythos of Mario games because it was the first power-up that gave Mario a projectile weapon to use against all those pesky Koopas and Goombas. Honestly, I’m surprised Bowser even bothers Mario anymore. The little plump plumber can eat a flower and then be able to throw fireballs. That’s not natural, in the slightest. If I was one of Bowser’s minions, I would tell him to pound sand and walk the other way. Especially if I was a Goomba, what chance does a mushroom with an underbite have against that?
One of the reasons we love the Hammer Suit so much is because it makes Mario look like a special needs child. As if that man needed anything else stacked up against him. He’s already pudgy as hell, and can’t get anything but a peck on the cheek from that prude princess. But even if the Hammer Suit makes Mario look like a mentally-challenged Tron fanatic, the fact of the matter is it still grants him a pretty sick talent: the ability to throw an infinite supply of makeshift hammers! This comes in handy during those long-range pissing matches that Mario and Bowser constantly see themselves in. Unfortunately for Mario, fireball beats makeshift hammer most of the time.
Much like the Super Mushroom, we wont credit Mario Party 4 with making anything awesome. This mushroom’s first genuine appearance happened in New Super Mario Bros. for the DS. You ate the fungus, and you shrunk to tiny proportions. That granted you longer jumps, faster speed, access to hidden areas, a bit of a glide and, oh, the ability to run on water.
It made you Jesus. Boom.
Remember when we mentioned Mario looking mentally handicapped in the Hammer Suit? Yup, then comes along the Penguin Suit from New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Instantly we think of a pedophile trying to trick parents into giving him candy on Halloween. But the joke’s on them, as the Penguin Suit actually grants Mario a number of sweet-ass abilities. For starters, Mario can throw snowballs when in the Penguin Suit, freezing enemies and turning them into platforms for jumping. Also, the gigantic web footing of the suit gives Mario better traction on ice, as well as allows Mario to swim faster underwater. All and all, the Penguin Suit carries with it enough perks to justify the occasional visit from Chris Hansen.