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Game Profile
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
Multiplatform
PUBLISHER:
Nintendo
DEVELOPER:
Nintendo
GENRE: Platformer
PLAYERS:   1
RELEASE DATE:
September 26, 1996
ESRB RATING:
Everyone
IN THE SERIES
Super Mario Maker

Super Mario Bros. 3DS

Super Mario All-Stars

Super Mario Galaxy 2

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

More in this Series
RELATED GAMES
Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario 64
 Written by John Scalzo  on May 20, 2010

Special: Because having multiple ways to turn into a whirling dervish of doom is the mark of a great character.


Nintendo will release Super Mario Galaxy 2 this weekend, adding the Cloud Flower, Rock Mushroom and the Drill to Mario's closet of power-ups.

This closet is bursting at the seams as Mario has donned a wide variety of suits and wielded a nearly endless supply of power-ups in his 30 year history. These ten are, without a doubt, the greatest:

10. Super Mushroom
First Appearance: Super Mario Bros.
Back before "Super" became just another adjective in the video game lexicon, adding the word to a game's title meant something special. And Mario's jump from being a part of the Mario Bros. to the Super Mario Bros. is no exception, all thanks to the Super Mushroom.

The single-screen gameplay of Mario Bros. was expanded into the magical world that would become known as the Mushroom Kingdom. To tame this mushroom-capped jungle, Mario and Luigi needed to be bigger than their previous shrimpy character designs allowed. In that way, the Super Mushroom could be seen as a metaphor for the entire game industry, leaving behind the simplistic nature of the arcades and the Atari 2600 for the wide open world of the NES.

Or, like Tom Hanks, it could be that everyone just wants to be big.



9. Fire Flower
First Appearance: Super Mario Bros.
While being "big" has always helped Mario, finding a Fire Flower makes him feel like a destructive force of nature. Flinging fire like a pitcher throws strikes is awe-inspiring when you're seven years old. Plus, the game's crude animation made it appear that Mario was breathing fire as he seemed to spit the fireballs out of his mouth.

8. Starman
First Appearance: Super Mario Bros.
If the Fire Flower makes players feel like a destructive force of nature, the Starman is great because it goes one better and actually turns Mario into one. The wiley old plumber even stole a page from Samus Aran's playbook and added a somersault to the Star's repetoire in Super Mario Bros. 3.

7. Lightning Bolt
First Appearance: Super Mario Kart
There are few things in life quite as satisfying as playing a multiplayer Mario Kart grand prix, firing off a Lightning Bolt and crushing your opponent. As their flattened kart floats slowly back to Earth, all you need to do is grin, because laughing at them would be unsportsmanlike.

6. Metal Cap
First (and only) Appearance: Super Mario 64
More or less the Starman of Super Mario 64, the Metal Cap gave Mario a silvery sheen and turned him into a Terminator-like creation that could run right through almost any enemy. The crunching sounds of machinery in the background only added to the greatness of the Metal Cap.

5. Hammer
First Appearance: Donkey Kong
When Mario attempted to topple the great ape in his first adventure he didn't have a Super Mushroom or a Fire Flower. But he did have one of the first power-ups to ever grace a video game screen: the Hammer! From the increased tempo in the music to the feeling of wielding raw destruction in your hands, the Hammer was a force to be reckoned with.

4. Hammer Bros. Suit
First (and only) Appearance:
Super Mario Bros. 3

If wielding a single Hammer could be awe-inspiring in Donkey Kong, then donning a Hammer Bros. Suit in Super Mario Bros. 3 was awesome-inspiring. Mario becomes a one-man wrecking crew as he fires an unlimited supply of hammers into the air. But he also discovers his inner-Superman with the suit's ability to absorb fireballs with nary a singed mustache in sight.

3. P-Wing
First (and only) Appearance: Super Mario Bros. 3
An old saying goes, "If man was meant to fly, god would have given him wings." Mario gets his own set of wings in Super Mario Bros. 3 and unlike the Raccoon Tail or the Cape, the P-Wing allows him to fly uninterrupted through an entire level. Taking a ride on Mario Air is practically required to beat some of the stages found in the absolutely maddening World 8. The P-Wing made completing levels so easy that members of the Mario team (including Shigeru Miyamoto) consider it an inspiration for the Super Guide feature found in Mario's latest adeventures.

2. Tanooki Suit
First (and Only) Appearance: Super Mario Bros. 3
The Tanooki Suit gets the edge over the P-Wing due to the fact that the Tanooki Suit can be combined with the P-Wing and because the "Statue Stomp" is one of Mario's coolest moves. Based on a creature from Japanese folklore known as a tanuki, the Tanooki Suit allows Mario to fly like a Super Leaf and allows him to transform into a stone statue. By jumping and transforming into a statue in mid-air, Mario can crush nearly any enemy in Super Mario Bros. 3. To paraphrase the words of one of 1989's greatest philosophers: I love the Tanooki Suit, it's so bad!

1. Kuribo's Shoe
First (and Only) Appearance: Super Mario Bros. 3
Kuribo's Shoe is the rarest item in the entire Mushroom Kingdom, appearing only once in Level 5-3 of Super Mario Bros. 3. The power-up is basically a giant sock that Goombas (Kuribo is the Japanese name for a Goomba) wear within the level. Stealing the Shoe will allow Mario to jump on top of hazards (like an entire garden of small Piranha Plants) and it also makes him look incredibly stylish.

OK, not really. But hopping around in Kuribo's Shoe is some of the most fun you can have in Super Mario Bros 3. And that's saying a lot... as the top four items in this countdown prove.



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