Power-Ups allow Mario to take another hit and to gain new abilities he would otherwise not have. In the sidescrolling 2D games, Mario's life gauge tends to be more important than his abilities, although these power-ups do give him distinct advantages such as being able to fly and shoot projectiles.
In the 3D games, Mario has 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 points, but he has three now. However, you can temporarily raise it to 6 until you go down to 3 HP with a Life Mushroom.
The usual power-ups are typically more sparse in the 3D titles. Mario had three in Super Mario 64, more then five in Super Mario Galaxy, but zero in Super Mario Sunshine, although 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 and Ice Mario.
Super Mario Odyssey introduces Cappy, a new friend for Mario that lets him "Capture" various targets ranging from enemies to items like Binoculars. Anything without a hat that Cappy can sit upon comfortably can be Captured and allow Mario to take control of them.
Power-Up typesEvery Power-Up is categorized in types; but only in side-scrollers. Here are the types in side-scrollers:
- Tiny - Mario's small, and can only take one hit before he croaks, giving him a great risk to die.
- Basic - Mario can take only two hits in sidescrollers, but can usually take more in the 3D titles. This is considered Mario's base form and sometimes called "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 his unique power-ups as well as some of Mario's, as well as us Reactions in the later entries of Wario Land series. He has his own page on his own transformations and power-ups.
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.