A Mushroom is a common power-up (or, in some cases, power-down) in the Mario universe.
The Super Mushroom is a power-up from the Mario series of video games. It is, traditionally, about the size of "regular" Mario, and has a white stalk below a red and white (originally red and orange) spotted cap. Originally, it was shaped after a common mushroom, but since Super Mario Bros. 2 it gained a more cartoonish shape, with an almost-spheric cap and a stubby stalk.
It first appeared in Super Mario Bros. for the NES/Famicom, and the powers it grants the player lent itself to the game's title. (In Super Mario Bros. only, these mushrooms were called "Magic Mushrooms".) It emerges from flashing blocks marked with a '?' when they are bumped from below (a convention carried over from Mario Bros., where bumping platforms was the main form of attack). Upon emerging, it then begins to slide to the right (this was later changed for Super Mario Bros. 3, where, depending on what side of the block was hit, the mushroom would head toward the opposite side.) If the player touches it, "regular" Mario becomes Super Mario: (which, in NSMB, has been finally proven to be his normal size) he doubles in size and is able to take an extra hit. Furthermore, Super Mario can break bricks, whereas regular Mario can't. If Super Mario comes across a Super Mushroom the game will instead give a secondary item, such as a fire flower or leaf. These allow him to gain better powers, such as the ability to shoot bouncing fireballs as Fire Mario and the ability to fly and glide as Caped Mario. In Super Mario World, Super Mushrooms would also allow Mario to break Spin Blocks with the spin jump, an important tool for certain levels.
In some Mario games, the Super Mushroom heals Mario and friends, such as in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Paper Mario, and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. It gives the player a short boost of speed (and defensive shield for a fraction of a second) in the Mario Kart series of racing games. In Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the Super Mushroom causes the player's character to become Giant.
Shigeru Miyamoto stated in an interview that the Super Mushroom was created by chance. The first sketches of Mario turned out to be too big, for which they were forced to shrink them. Then the development team thought it would be interesting to have Mario grow and shrink by eating a magic mushroom, just like Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. In the novel, Alice eats pieces of mushroom to change her size. This concept is explored further in New Super Mario Bros., with Mini Mushrooms that shrink Mario into an even smaller size than he usually starts out in, and Mega Mushrooms that turn Mario into a colossal giant.
Because the Mushroom is the most basic power-up, without which other powers can't be granted, it is occasionally used in the Mario series to denote basic rewards or easier skill levels. Winning three consecutive Mushroom cards from the slot-machine goal boxes at the end of each level in Super Mario Bros. 3 will earn the player two extra lives, whereas winning three consecutive Fire Flower cards earns three extra lives, and winning three consecutive Starman cards will earn them five. In Mario Kart games, the first (and easiest) tracks belong to the Mushroom Cup.
The Super Mushroom makes a cameo appearance in the Nintendo game Metroid Prime Hunters for the Nintendo DS, on the top of a mushroom-like creature. It also appears in Nintendogs as an item in the category sports named a rubber mushroom in the Super Mario Bros. style (yellow cap with red spots and white stalk). It even appears in Animal Crossing Wild World, as a gift from Nintendo on WiFi day. It also makes a cameo in World of Warcraft as a picture of a mushroom with a red and white cap and eye-like slits that represents some items.
The Super Mushroom reappeared in Super Mario Galaxy, along with other classic power-ups such as the Fire Flower and the Starman. This is the item's first original 3D Mario platform game appearance (the Super Mushroom was an item in the remake of Super Mario 64 for the NDS, where it grows the players character for some seconds). However the effect is not the same, much like its RPG roles, the Super Mushroom restores Mario's health as opposed to increasing his size.
The Super Mushroom also appears in the Super Smash Bros. series as both an item and as the symbol for Mario, Luigi, Peach, Bowser, and Dr. Mario.
1-up Mushrooms are common items that appear in the Super Mario Bros. games. These mushrooms have green caps with white spots (originally orange caps with green spots). When Mario picks up one of these mushrooms, he will be given an extra try to beat the level (also known in video game terms as an extra man, an extra life, or a 1-up).
These mushrooms appear in frequent Mario games, and are used for the same purpose in each game. They have also become used to represent advancement or gain in computer pop culture. The sound the game makes when Mario grabs the 1-up Mushroom has also become entrenched in pop culture, referenced by video-game players, alongside the sound made when Link picks up an item in a Zelda game.
The 1-up Mushroom has also accumulated another connotation since the dominance of next-gen consoles like the PlayStation and the Xbox. It has come to represent identification with old school video gamers, a category of gamers who disavow the mainstreaming characteristics of next-generation game designers, licensors, and distributors, who have been accused of ignoring the fan base for the masses. Thus, the 1-up Mushroom is now part of an 8/16-bit lexicon that illustrates disapproval and resistance towards a perceived betrayal by the gaming industry and the standards by which 8 and 16-bit games should be judged. Shigeru Miyamoto wore a shirt at E3 2005 featuring the 1-up mushroom and text below it reading "1-up". These mushrooms are also known to appear in a wide variety of clothing and items. Some of these items include: shirts (and other forms of clothing), video-game console skins, and lanyards.
The Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2 (also known as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels) features Poison Mushrooms, which have the same effect as being touched by an enemy. It was originally a brown palette swap of the typically red Super Mushroom, but in enhanced remakes of the game, it was given a different sprite, with the spotted cap being replaced by one with a skull pattern. The only games since The Lost Levels to have Poison Mushrooms as items are Super Mario Kart, Luigi's Mansion, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Super Paper Mario, Mario Hoops 3 on 3, and some Mario Party games. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Poison Mushrooms bear a very close resemblance to Super Mushrooms, but are darker and have "angry" eyes, causing the player to shrink in size. In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Poison Mushrooms are known simply as "Poison Shrooms" and are small, green mushrooms (they have no eyes) with purple spots. They are made by having Zess T. mix you up a Slow Shroom and Inky sauce, or a Slow Shroom and a Point Swap; a similar method is used in Super Paper Mario, and if eaten, they will poison Mario, causing his Heart Points to slowly drop. (In the latter, they are randomly dropped by Cursyas.) In the Mario Party series, they are called Cursed Mushrooms, are purple, and limit the maximum roll on the dice block to 3 or 5, depending on the game and situation. In the original Mario Party, finding a Poison Mushroom caused a player to miss a turn.
In Mario Party 6 and Mario Party 7, there are also Slow Shrooms. These blue mushrooms will make the players dice block roll slower than usual, making it easier for the player to get a number that they please. Slow Shrooms are also found in Paper Mario games.
Golden Mushrooms in the Mario Party series let players hit 3 dice blocks in one turn. In the Mario Kart series, the Golden Mushroom gives the player an unlimited amount of boosts for a short time. It is usually only available to racers in low positions, or in the case of Mario Kart: Double Dash!! only to gamers playing as Toad and Toadette as it was their special item. Or Petey Piranha and King Boo, as they could use all special items. In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, the Golden Mushroom is an object which completely restores health points and Bros. points, which can only be acquired by defeating Fawful in the penultimate battle, and some side-quests and secret places. In Mario vs. Donkey Kong, they give the player five lives.
The Ultra Mushroom is worth even more points than the Mushroom and Super Mushroom (and is therefore even rarer and more expensive than they are). In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Ultra Mushrooms were items that restored 50 HP, and cost 200 coins at the store in the Rogueport Sewers.
The Max Mushroom, found in Super Mario RPG ,Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, and Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, offers the HP of a character to be raised up to the maximum amount possible. It is very rare and very expensive, but it is useful for some of the battles, particularly the final battle.
Reverse Mushrooms appear in Mario Party 3, and make players move backwards instead of forwards. Mushrooms with question marks on them appeared in the Battle Game in the Super Mario All Stars version of Super Mario Bros. 3, and would make the two players either switch positions, and, if one player was "super" and the other player was "regular", it would make them switch sizes.
In Mario Party 4 there are Mini Mushrooms that make characters smaller. With this they can fit through special pipes, although the player's dice block is limited to rolls between 1 and 5. In New Super Mario Bros., they make Mario or Luigi very small, thus weakening their gravitational pull and allowing them to jump even higher. The Mini Mushroom also allows Mario or Luigi to run across water without sinking, enter special Mini Warp Pipes, and, at the end of some castles, take shortcuts to different worlds than the one they would normally go to. Note that the Mini Mushroom looks like the Slow Shroom in Mario Party 7. In the 1994 Game Boy version of Donkey Kong Mini Mushrooms appear in several levels as well, usually thrown by Donkey Kong Jr.
Mega Mushrooms in Mario Party 4 made characters bigger and allowed the player to roll two dice blocks from 1-10 and steal 10 coins from other characters that are passed in the duration of the turn. However, the user is also forced to skip board events, like buying items or stars. In New Super Mario Bros. for Nintendo DS, Mega Mushrooms cause Mario or Luigi to grow to the size of the entire screen for a limited amount of time, destroying anything in their path including warp pipes, enemies, blocks, and even the end-level flagpoles. It also allows the player to kill a boss by walking into him. The megameter is featured at the top of the screen and is filled up by destroying the various objects. When the effect ends, 1-Up Mushrooms are awarded based on the portion of the meter that has been filled. If the meter is completely full, the player is awarded five 1-Up Mushrooms. The Mega Mushroom has the same color scheme of the original Super Mushroom from Super Mario Bros.
Mega Mushrooms are also present in Super Mario 64 DS, where they look more like traditional Super Mushrooms, but make the player much larger and able to destroy some otherwise indestructable obstacles and enemies, such as Thwomps, most pipes and bosses.
Super Mega Mushrooms
Super Mega Mushrooms are also used the Nintendo GameCube game Mario Party 4. The character grows bigger, and they allow a character to roll three dice. With each dice, there is a chance to make 1-10 moves on the board (Which can total up to 30 moves on the board). When using the Super Mega Mushroom, other players can be walked over, and the user takes ten coins from them. However, like Mega Mushrooms,the user is also forced to skip board events.
Life Shrooms (RPG)
Life Shrooms first appeared in the Nintendo 64 game Paper Mario, as an item that restored 10 HP when Mario reached 0 HP. Life Shrooms appeared again in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and Super Paper Mario. They served the same purpose in these games, except that they could be used on Mario's partners as well.
Life Mushroom (Galaxy)
In Super Mario Galaxy, these increase Mario's maximum health to 6, as well as restoring him to full health. If, however, Mario's health drops below 4, the effect is lost and Mario's maximum health will return to 3.
Triple Mushrooms are just three Mushrooms. By using them in the Mario Kart series, you can get a boost three times. Also in Mario Party 7, Toad and Toadette can both get Triple Mushrooms. They get to use two dice blocks for three turns, instead of the usual one dice block.
Bee Mushrooms appeared in the Wii platform game Super Mario Galaxy. Touching it turns Mario into a bee and allows him to hover in the air for a short time. However, if Mario comes into contact with water while in bee form, he will turn back into normal Mario.
Boo Mushrooms appeared in the Wii platform game Super Mario Galaxy. Touching it turns Mario into a Boo ghost and allows him to hover in the air, turn invisible, and travel through walls. However, if Mario comes into contact with light or water while in Boo form, he will turn back into normal Mario.
Spring Mushrooms appeared in Super Mario Galaxy. This envelopes Mario in a giant spring, making him bounce around. Timed presses of the jump button makes him bounce really high. The effect is lost if he is hit or activates a Launch Star or touches water.
This mushroom is only in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga and although having no use for the game, it served as a plot item by poisoning Mario when he attempts to eat it, sending Luigi on a quest to find the cure. In the game, it is stated that invincshrooms are a mixture of 1-Up mushrooms and Stars.
Block mushrooms were rarely found in the US/PAL version of Super Mario Bros. 2 - it was simply an object to be thrown.
Notes and references
- ↑ O'Connell, Patricia (November 7, 2005). "Meet Mario's Papa". BusinessWeek online. http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_45/b3958127.htm. Retrieved 2005-11-26.
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