Back in November of 2011, SuperPhillip Central celebrated the launch of Super Mario 3D Land on Nintendo 3DS with a list of my favorite Mario power-ups and suits. It's nearly two years later, and we would like to return to that idea, in anticipation for Super Mario 3D World. The latest power-up in the series will turn Mario into Meow-rio with the Cat Suit. Who knows-- maybe that suit will be on a future version of this list! As for now, here is SuperPhillip Central's top ten Mario series suits and power-ups. There's been so many excellent transformations for the portly plumber. We've compiled our picks for the cream of the power-up and suit crop.
10) Cape Mario
Super Mario World might not have had a multitude of new power-ups (in fact it just had this one), but the one it did have was pretty incredible. With the Cape Feather, Mario and Luigi could wear flowing yellow capes that when they dashed off the ground, they could fly high in the air. The cape could be used as a parachute, allowing skilled players to stay airborne for the entirety of a level-- essentially zooming high above dangers! Of course, why would you want to do that when the levels of Super Mario World are so fun to play normally?
9) Cloud Mario
Super Mario Galaxy 2 is one of SuperPhillip Central's favorite games of all time. The power-up we're using the represent this game is exclusive to Galaxy 2. It's the Cloud Flower, allowing Mario to transform into Cloud Mario. With this suit, Mario can summon a total of three clouds (with a shake of the Wii Remote by the player), which serve as platforms. These cloud platforms can be blown by gusts of wind and disappear after a few moments. It's an absolute blast making death-defying long jumps, summoning clouds to save yourself from your demise.
8) Frog Mario
Super Mario Bros. 3 is one of Mario fans' all time favorite Mario titles, and the power-ups introduced to the series via the game is but one reason why. Number eight on our list is the Frog Suit, turning an otherwise awkward swimming plumber into an amphibious swimming champion. Mario or Luigi's mobility underwater is greatly improved, allowing for more accurate swimming and better movement. On land, however, the Frog Suit isn't as useful, slowing down the plumbers significantly. Still, they look so adorable clad in green!
7) Boomerang Mario
With a Boomerang Flower, Mario can transform into Boomerang Mario. This suit from Super Mario 3D Land, which will also be making an appearance in Super Mario 3D World, allows Mario to act like a Boomerang Brother, chucking boomerangs at foes. Expert players can toss a boomerang, and leap over it each time it passes to have the weapon continually swing behind and in front of Mario. This is great for picking up easy 1-ups. Plus, Mario just looks absolutely awesome decked out in this blue suit.
6) Penguin Mario
New Super Mario Bros. Wii introduced the Penguin Suit into the Mario series. Penguin Mario has two different abilities to it. Mario can launch ice balls from his fist, which will freeze most enemies solid, allowing him to pick them up and chuck them at other foes. Penguin Mario can also slide on his belly, speeding through levels, rushing through enemies, and making players like us totally giddy. This latter ability allows Mario to slide under low-hanging ceilings, granting him access to otherwise unreachable areas. With two times the usefulness, the Penguin Suit is an invaluable addition to Mario's arsenal, especially on ice.
5) Propeller Mario
The other suit introduced in New Super Mario Bros. Wii is Propeller Suit, transforming Mario through picking up a Propeller Cap. This unique suit allows the player to send Mario soaring high into the air through a shake of the Wii Remote. This is perfect for reaching high platforms or Star Coins that are otherwise out of reach for normal Mario. After the propeller on his cap launches Mario into the sky, it slowly spins around, moving Mario slowly down to the ground.
4) Squirrel Mario
New Super Mario Bros. U, a Wii U launch title, gave players a new suit to be entertained by, and if you're like us, then yes, you were very entertained by the one and only Squirrel Suit. Picking up a special acorn turned Mario and friends into squirrel versions of themselves, able to glide across large distances, have a burst of upwards mobility (once per flight), and perch upon walls. It doesn't hurt that Mario and the gang look absolutely suave in their new squirrel digs. The Squirrel Suit is a suit that doesn't break the game it is featured in, but allows players a stylish and incredibly enjoyable way to traverse levels.
3) Hammer Mario
Super Mario Bros. 3 had a bounty of awesome suits, and the Hammer Suit was no exception, giving Mario the power to chuck hammers like he was giving them away to enemies like candy. Unfortunately for enemies, though, unlike candy, hammers actually hurt when they're tossed at you. Hammer Mario could even use the shell on his back to block attacks from foes by entering a ducking pose. It's just a shame that the Hammer Suit was so rare in Super Mario Bros. 3 and has only appeared in that game and its remakes.
2) Tanooki Mario
The final suit representing Super Mario Bros. 3, the Tanooki Suit was prominently featured in Super Mario 3D Land, having enemies even donning Tanooki tails. In both Super Mario Bros. 3 and in the latter half of worlds in Super Mario 3D Land, the suit could turn Mario into a statue, making him completely invulnerable to enemy attacks. Besides that usefulness, in Super Mario Bros. 3 the suit gave Mario the power of flight and some extra control when landing through flapping the suit's tail to slowly float to the ground. If you thought Super Mario 3D Land was a breeze, perhaps try a no-Tanooki-Suit run. You will definitely feel the challenge!
1) Wing Cap Mario
Our favorite Mario power-up is one that floored us way back in 1996. It's Wing Cap Mario from Super Mario 64 and its Nintendo DS launch remake, Super Mario 64 DS. It was gratifying and gave us an immense sense of freedom to soar above levels in a 3D space, throwing caution to the wind, zooming up and down through the glorious blue skies. Even though there was a limit to how long you could wear Mario's special cap, the absolute joy we received through our times of flight gives Wing Cap Mario the number one spot on our countdown this time around.
There's so many other interesting power-ups and suits throughout Mario's illustrious career in gaming. There's Bee Mario, Fire Mario, Shell Mario, Metal Mario, Mini Mario, and so much more. Which ones are your favorites? Let the SPC community know in the comments section below.