Playing with Power: Super Mario Bros 3 Power-Ups

Super Mario games have a rich history of unique and fun power-ups, with Super Mario Bros 3 really kicking that trend off with some of my favorite Mario suits.

If asked to rank my favorite Mario games, Super Mario Bros 3 would be right at the top. It’s a great game with fun environments and worlds, the game’s look and design, new (at the time) enemies, GOOMBA’S SHOE, the warp whistle, power-up suits and so many other things to explore. And it introduced some of my favorite Nintendo characters — the Koopalings. I genuinely love this game. It’s one of the first video games I remember ever playing, along with Tetris, Super Mario Bros and Duck Hunt.

I’d be lying if I said at least a small part of my original adoration for SMB3 wasn’t due to Mario’s design and how he looked in the power-up suits.

Mario as a frog and a flying raccoon and a tanooki looks completely adorable — these little costumes combined with the game’s original graphics are so cute!

Now I didn’t rank these based on how they look; if I did that, this list would be pretty different. These are ranked completely based on how useful they’ve been to me in my playthroughs of SMB3. Descriptions per the Mario Wiki.

6. Fire Mario Fire_Mario_SMB3.PNG

After utilizing a Fire Flower, Mario will turn into Fire Mario, giving him the ability to defeat enemies by shooting fireballs at them.

5. Raccoon Mario Raccoon_Mario_SMB3.PNG

After using the Super Leaf, Mario will transform into Raccoon Mario. In this state, Mario can tail whip most enemies and blocks, slow his falls, and fly for a short period of time after gaining enough speed.

4. Frog Mario Frog_Mario_SMB3.PNG

Mario will turn into Frog Mario after retrieving the Frog Suit. The Frog Suit allows Mario to swim much easier, but impedes his movement on land drastically.

3. Hammer Mario Hammer_Mario_SMB3.PNG

Upon obtaining the Hammer Suit, Mario will turn into Hammer Mario. In this state, Mario can defeat enemies by throwing hammers, and can shield himself from fireballs by using his shell, but cannot slide down hills.

2. Tanooki Mario Tanooki_Mario_SMB3.PNG

After obtaining the Tanooki Suit, Mario transforms into Tanooki Mario. Along with the abilities to glide, fly, and attack with his tail, Mario can turn into a statue to confuse his enemies for a short period of time.

1. P-Wing MarioPWingSMB3.gif

The P-Wing not only grants the Raccoon form’s abilities, but also allows for indefinite flight for one level and adds a large “P” on Mario’s chest (on the map only). In levels, Mario appears as Raccoon Mario, but the Power Meter will be completely filled until Mario gets damaged or completes the level. After a level is cleared with this form, Mario will transform back into normal Raccoon Mario.

Even though it’s almost completely useless outside of water levels, the Frog Suit is definitely my favorite, closely followed by the Tanooki Suit. But the P-Wing has saved me many lives on levels that I was really struggling with.

What’s your favorite Mario power-up, either from SMB 3 or any other Mario game? Let me know in the comments!

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