Not only Power-Ups does mean for Mario: "Special Ability", but a life gauge as well. When Small Mario, Mario occasionally dies when touching foes. Being Super Mario, however, he can be hit another time, since when hitting the first time, Mario will turn back into Small Mario.
Another Power-Up can make Mario set his "life gauge" to three; Touching another foe when being powered-up another time makes Mario back into Small Mario. The only other Power-Ups known in Super Mario Bros. are Fire Mario and Invincible Mario. That last one seems to be supreme, but the effect lasts for a short time. In the beginning, Fire Mario also turns back into Small Mario. In addition, the Fire Flower (that turns Mario into Fire Mario) let turn Small Mario into Super Mario back then.
In 3-dimensional games, Mario already had a life gauge. In Super Mario 64, Mario had eight health points in his gauge before losing a life. This also counts in Super Mario Sunshine. In Super Mario Galaxy, Mario was going to have eight health pints, but he has three now. However, you can temporarily raise it to 6 until you go down to 3 HP with a special mushroom. About Power-Ups, Mario had three in SM64, more then five in SMG, but zero in SMS, but he could change FLUDD's nozzle. Most Power-Ups in these games were temporary, but only three of the 3D game Power-Ups were not. These include Bee Mario, Boo Mario and Spring Mario. The temporary ones were Wing Mario, Metal Mario, Vanish Mario, Flying Mario, Rainbow Mario, Fire Mario (which wasn't in side-scrollers) and Ice Mario (Frozen Mario in New Super Mario Bros. Omega, which wasn't temporary there).
Every Power-Up is categorized in types; but only in side-scrollers. Here are the types in side-scrollers:
- Tiny - Mario's small, and leaps a risk to die.
- Basic - There's actually one type in it: Super Mario.
- Ability - Mario has mostly one ability here.
- Temporary - It's so great that it would be unfair or unbeatable if it isn't temporary. Use this item wisely.
- Suit - Mario has more than one ability, and the item needed is always a suit.
Power-Ups for Other Characters
Mario can use a lot of Power-Ups, but Luigi, his brother, can use the same Power-Ups. The same counts for the Toads, Princess Peach, Waluigi and Birdo. Yoshi is also able to use some of these, but he also has a set of his own. Wario is able to use a lot too, but in the Wario Land series, he relies on his own transformations, which are activated by several enemies and creatures instead.
It is perhaps possible that enemies in the Super Mario series use Power-Ups as well. The Heligoomba might be the solution of an ordinary Goomba using a Propeller Mushroom, and the Super Koopa on a Beach Koopa using a Cape Feather.