Gaos are fire-breathing, sphinx-like enemies that are located within the borders of the Birabuto Kingdom inSuper Mario Land. They stay in one place and shoot fireballs at Mario. These fireballs can even be shot backwards, and therefore Mario is not safe while they are on the screen. As with most enemies, they can be defeated after a single jump or superball, awarding Mario with 400 points. King Totomesu is the ruler of the Gaos. They are only seen towards the end of the stage in Level 1-3 or throughout the stage in Level 1-1 on hard mode. In appearance, they look like a mix between a pyramid sphinx and a lion.
Gaos make their first appearance in years in Lets-a-go, Mario - mainly in the Pharaoh Area. They also have more abilities. They sometimes sit and breathe fire, though to distinguish them from the idle Bowser Statues, they usually move, jump, and even slash at the players, along with breathing fire. There are also Ice Gaos, which are the same, except they breathe a close-range stream of ice.