A Podoboo from Mario Sports Mix
|First appearance||Super Mario Bros. (1985)|
|Latest appearance||Mario Party Superstars (2021)|
- “Fire EVERYWHERE!”
- —Podoboo, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Podoboos (sometimes called Sparkies or even Fire Bubbles) are living fireballs that emerge from lava. They are commonly depicted as a large fireball with two black eyes or also as only a large fireball. Podoboos mainly appear in the Mario platformers but occasionally appear in several Mario sub-series, such as the Mario Party series, the Mario Kart series, and the Paper Mario series. In most games, Podoboos are nearly invincible, only being able to be destroyed by using a Star, Gold Flower, Hammer Suit, Penguin Suit, or an Ice Flower.
Super Mario series
Super Mario Bros.
Podoboos first appeared in Super Mario Bros., as simple fire balls that would jump out of the lava in simple patterns in an attempt to burn Mario whenever the plumber tried to jump over them. In this game, they are invincible, and only appear in Castles.
Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels
In Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels, Podoboos reappear and act as they did in Super Mario Bros., and are still only found in Castles.
Super Mario Bros. 3
Like many other enemies from the previous games, they appeared in Super Mario Bros. 3. Also, in World 5-Fortress 2, there are some Podoboos that can stay suspended in the air for a short while when they jump out, then they come back to the lava. Podoboos can be defeated with the Hammer Suit or a Star.
Super Mario World
In Super Mario World Podoboos were referred to as Fire Bubbles, in the player's guide for the game. It is also the first time Podoboos are shown to have eyes. They again appear in castle levels, where they act the same as in their previous appearances — they simply jump out of the lava in an attempt to burn Mario. However, some are now found outside the lava at all times, bouncing around the rooms of castles. These Podoboos are called Zigzag Podoboos. This behavior is similar to Boo Buddy Snakes in Ghost Houses and the red Fireballs found in the Mario Bros. game.
Super Mario 64 / Super Mario 64 DS
In Super Mario 64 and its remake, Podoboos are rare, only appearing in Lethal Lava Land. They jump out of the lava horizontally and bounce on the bridges, then they come back to the lava. They are indestructible, and if Mario touches one, it causes him to uncontrollably run and lose three wedges of health, like all other fiery enemies or obstacles. In the battle with Bowser in Bowser in the Sky, he spits some green fireballs that turn into Podoboos which immediately bounce towards Mario. They disappear after a few seconds. In the remake, Yoshi can eat a Podoboo, causing him to spit out fire, similar to his ability in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island.
New Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Galaxy
Though Podoboos themselves do not appear in Super Mario Galaxy, a sub-species called the Lava Bouncer does. This sub-species acts in a similar pattern to regular Podoboos, but instead bounce along the ground, rather than jumping upwards from various pits.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Podoboos appear in many boss castles, acting like they did in New Super Mario Bros.. They could commonly be found in World 8 as an enemy. They have eyes in this game, having a similar appearance to the Super Mario World Podoboos. Additionally, the Podoboos can be defeated by using an Ice Flower's or Penguin Suit's Ice Balls, or by running into one while using a Star. They first appear in Roy's Castle in World 2 right at the beginning; they continue to appear in the castles of World 5, World 6 and World 8. They are also found as enemies in the World 8 Enemy Course. As of this game, Podoboos will do a flip before landing back in the lava, and resemble a roundish jellyfish/octopus rather than just a fireball.
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Podoboos reappeared in the game Super Mario Galaxy 2, appearing as obstacles in galaxies with lava, as well as in Bowser's galaxies. Just as in previous installments, Podoboos jump out of the lava trying to hit Mario (or Luigi, as the case may be). Also, in Bowser's Gravity Gauntlet, in a place in which there are many lava pits, there are Podoboos that jump from one lava pit into another nearby lava pit. The Lava Bouncers from the first Super Mario Galaxy also appear in this game.
Super Mario 3D Land
Podoboos return in Super Mario 3D Land, where they mainly appear in castle stages, and, like in previous games, they act as obstacles that jump out of the lava in order to hit Mario or Luigi. In this game, Podoboos can only be defeated while the Bros. are under the effects of a Star or an Invincibility Leaf.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
Podoboos reappear in New Super Mario Bros. 2, again inhabiting castles, and attacking in the same way. However, this time, Podoboos have the capability of jumping out of lava pits in a diagonal pattern.
New Super Mario Bros. U
New Super Luigi U
Podoboos make a return in New Super Luigi U, where they have the same abilities in the original game, New Super Mario Bros. U. However, a sideways flying variation appears, which leap from one lava pool to another.
Super Mario 3D World / Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury
Podoboos reappear in Super Mario 3D World where they act just like they did in Super Mario 3D Land. Returning from Super Princess Peach are the Blue Podoboos that also appear in levels with blue lava.
Super Mario Maker / Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS / Super Mario Maker 2
Podoboos reappear in Super Mario Maker and Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS. They can be set to come out of Warp Pipes and ? Blocks, or be produced by Bill Blasters and Lakitus. Giving one wings will make it fly diagonally like the Zigzag Podoboos from Super Mario World. Additionally, while under the effects of a Big Mushroom, Podoboos seem to resemble Lava Drops from Yoshi series games. In these games, Podoboos are referred to as Lava Bubbles. Similarly, the Blurp is referred to as the Cheep Cheep.
Super Mario Run
Vertically leaping Podoboos appear in Castle levels in Super Mario Run. Otherwise indestructible, they can only be defeated when the player is under the effect of a Star. Each supplies players with a +3 coin bonus when in Toad Rally. A subspecies called Poison Podoboo also appears. Instead of leaping from lava, this creature leaps out from poisonous swamps.
Super Mario Odyssey
Podoboos reappear in Super Mario Odyssey, where they are found in the Luncheon Kingdom, the Lost Kingdom, the Mushroom Kingdom, and the Darker Side. Their eye color does not change when they are captured by Mario; they instead gain his nose, eyebrows, and mustache. When being controlled by Mario and Cappy, Mario can only travel through lava. When in lava, Mario can jump by pressing , and dash by pressing Left Stick and . If Mario jumps on a Magmato, a puddle of lava is formed, allowing Mario to traverse on the ground. Jumping in pots causes them to heat up, releasing a Power Moon. Touching the ground while controlling a Podoboo causes it to disappear. Podoboos also appear in an 8-bit section in the Cloud Kingdom. There are also objects seen in the Luncheon Kingdom and the Darker Side known as lava cannons that will launch Mario to another area of the kingdom when jumped into as a Podoboo.
Super Mario Bros.: Peach-hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen!
Podoboos make a brief appearance in Super Mario Bros.: Peach-hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen!, when the Goombas pull a switch which sends Mario and Kibidango onto platforms that move up and down over lava; it is at this point where Podoboos began attacking them both, trying to knock the heroes into the lava below. Fortunately for Mario and Kibidango, Luigi accidentally breaks a hole in the ceiling while looking for Coins; the room above is filled with water, so the hole that Luigi creates starts a flood in the area, presumably killing the Podoboos.
Nintendo Adventure Books
Some Podoboos appear in the Magma Pits in Koopa Capers, hopping in and out of a lava pool Luigi can try and cross using protruding rocks as stepping stones. If Luigi decides to wait before jumping, he will make it, but if he jumps immediately, he will only pass the first three Podoboos, and collide with the fourth, who notably speaks, taunting Luigi by responding to his "I'm pretty hot stuff!" remark with "Not as hot as me."
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
Podoboos appear in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island and its remake Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3. They share the same behavioral patterns as in Super Mario World. In this game, Podoboos can be eaten by Yoshis, giving them the power of the Super Red Watermelon: the ability to spit fire.
Yoshi's Island DS
Podoboos appear once more in Yoshi's Island DS. They act identically to their role in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. Unlike most enemies, to get them in the Island Museum just simply encountering them, egg-throwing isn't required for these foes.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
- Main article: Sparky
|Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars Enemy|
In Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars,similar Podoboos (called Sparkies) can be encountered in the Pipe Vault, harassing Mario and others by blocking their path through the sewer system. In battle, they hover in the air.
In battle, a Sparky attacks by spinning its body into one of Mario's party members. A Sparky can also use the special attack Drain, which allows the flame creature to shoot a small fire orb at a party member. Needless to say, fire magic is ineffective against Sparkies. However, despite being made of fire, Mario can surprisingly use jump attacks on Sparkies. Sparkies typically fight in groups of one to three.
Although most Sparkies live in the Pipe Vault, they were first seen in Bowser's Keep during Mario's initial rescue attempt. However, these Sparkies did not attack; they merely jumped out of the lava as Mario walked by.
Paper Mario: Sticker Star
|Paper Mario: Sticker Star Enemy|
|Location(s)||Bowser's Sky Castle|
Podoboos also make their Paper Mario debut in Paper Mario: Sticker Star for the Nintendo 3DS replacing the Lava Bubbles from previous installments. However, they only appear in the stage Bowser's Sky Castle, during the third phase of the Bowser battle. As soon as Mario approaches Bowser in a lava-filled area of the final hallway, the Podoboos can be seen jumping up and down in the lava. When it is Bowser's turn to attack, he lifts his pointer finger in the air, and ten Podoboos are sent towards Mario. They each deal two points of damage to Mario. Only the first Podoboo can be blocked, but Mario is helpless against the nine that follow. However, they have a weakness.
The only way to harm the Podoboos is with a Thing Sticker with cold or freezing properties. An example of one such sticker is the Refrigerator. After using the chilly Sticker, the Podoboos are frozen. Using a wind Thing Sticker like the Fan make Bowser and the Podoboos fly in the air. Bowser falls, and all 10 Podoboos will fall on Bowser doing 10 damage each. However, more Podoboos will spawn after a few turns. In this game, the Podoboos more closely resemble their visual appearances in Mario platformers, as opposed to that of previous Paper Mario games.
Paper Mario: Color Splash
Podoboos return in Paper Mario: Color Splash. They have three forms: a "normal" version, a black paint version known as Black Podoboo, and an 8-bit version, the latter of which is only shown in the course dedicated to Super Mario Bros. 3, Green Energy Plant. In Redpepper Volcano, a Snifit can be seen teaching a Fire Bro how to aim his fireballs, using a Podoboo as a target.
Outside battle, normal Podoboos come out from lava, chase Mario and after some seconds come back to the lava if they don't make it to hit him.
Paper Mario: The Origami King
Mario Party series
In the minigame. Hot Rope Jump, players are required to Jump over a rope made up of many Podoboos. Contestants must jump over the flaming rope twenty times. If one fails to do so, they will lose fifteen coins — five of those coins will be given to each opposing player. If all players complete the minigame successfully, everyone will receive ten coins.
Mario Party 2
The Hot Rope Jump minigame returns in Mario Party 2. This time, contestants start by jumping over slow, blue Podoboos five times. After five jumps, the Podoboos turn orange and move more swiftly. The rope will keep twirling until only one contestant remains. The winning contestant gains ten coins.
Mario Party 3
In this game, Podoboos appear in the battle minigame, All Fired Up. Here the player must avoid them in an attempt to be the last one standing; this is the only way to win the minigame. They also appear as obstacles in Treadmill Grill, and are targets in Hyper Hydrants.
Mario Party 5
In the minigame, Heat Stroke, Podoboos would land on the platforms the three players were on, making it more difficult for them.
Mario Party 6
In the minigame, Daft Rafts, Podoboos act as obstacles on some of the rafts. They appear only during the nighttime, in groups.
Mario Party Advance
Mario Party 8
In Mario Party 8, the minigame Lava or Leave 'Em requires contestants to dodge a Podoboos that splits into many other Podoboos. Also, when the player lands on a Bowser Space in Goomba's Booty Boardwalk, Bowser appears and surrounds the player with three Podoboos. The player will have to jump in order to avoid them as they move towards the center (in an attempt to burn the player); the player must continue to do this for ten seconds. The Podoboos only try to hurt the player three times. If the player touches one, they will lose ten Coins (therefore, the maximum number of coins that can be lost is thirty Coins).
Mario Party 9
Mario Party: Island Tour
Mario Party 10
Mario Party: Star Rush
Mario Party: The Top 100
Mario Party Superstars
Podoboos return in Mario Party Superstars in the returning minigame Hot Rope Jump with the same rules as Mario Party 2. Once again contestants must jump over the Podoboos 20 times and the game will continue until either one contestant remains or the Podoboos have been jumped over 20 times.
Mario Golf (Nintendo 64)
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions
Podoboos return in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions behaving the same as they did in the original. They once again only appear in Bowser's Castle however this time, they now have eyes.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong series
Mario vs. Donkey Kong
Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis
Mario Superstar Baseball
A sub-species of Podoboos called Fiery Bubbles reappear in this game, but only in Bowser's Castle. First they would jump out of the lava pond and then they would land on the player and cause them to lose the ball. The players themselves would catch on fire and run around for a second, disallowing control over them.
Mario Kart series
Mario Kart DS features Podoboo as well. Most of them are located in Desert Hills, being shot down by Angry Sun. Podoboos appear as enemies in the Grumble Volcano course of Mario Kart Wii, and on various Bowser's Castle courses throughout the entire series. While in most courses, they jump out of lava and then fall back down, at Grumble Volcano, the large pieces of rock from the volcano hit the ground to become massive Podoboos. In the Mario Kart Wii remake of Desert Hills, Podoboos return.
Super Princess Peach
In Super Princess Peach, they could be encountered in Fury Volcano and Bowser's Villa where they behave in the same manner as in previous games. There is also a blue variant of the fiery enemies called the Blue Podoboo. These ones appear in torches with blue fire in Bowser's Villa, and when Princess Peach approaches a torch, a blue Podoboo appears and slowly chases after her (Peach must lead them to the unlit torches). The reason why they appear is to light unlit torches to open up doorways.
Mario Sports Mix
- Trouble Bug - Donkey Kong
- Lava Bubble - Paper Mario
- Hot Foot - Super Mario Bros. 3
- Fire Snake - Super Mario Bros. 3
- Fireball - Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
- Pyrosphere - Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
- Lava Ghost - Yoshi's Story
- Fiery Bubble - Mario Superstar Baseball
- Ember - Paper Mario
- Phantom Ember - Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
- Fire Elemental Ghost - Luigi's Mansion
- Li'l Cinder - Super Mario Galaxy
|Super Mario Galaxy
Super Mario Galaxy 2
|ObjectData/FireBubble.arc||FireBubble||Fire Bubble; applied to the games' blue variant.|
|Super Mario Galaxy 2||SystemData/ObjNameTable.arc/ObjNameTable.tbl||溶岩バブル (Yōgan Baburu)||Lava Bubble; applied to the game's red variant.|
Names in other languages
Lava Bubble (The Legend of Zelda series)
|Fire Spark Monster|
Fire Bubble (since Super Mario Maker 2)
|Dutch||Lava Bubble||Lava Bubble|
Bulle de lave
From "Podoboo" and "ectoplasm" (Super Mario Galaxy)
|From the German word Hitzkopf|
From Lava and blub(b) (a bubbling sound) (first three Paper Mario games)
Bolla di Lava
|Podoboo (Super Mario Bros.)|
From fiamma (flame) (most games)
Lava Bubble (Super Mario World, Mario Sports Mix)
|Portuguese (Brazil)||Bolha de lava||Lava Bubble|
|Portuguese (Europe)||Bolha de Lava||Lava Bubble|
|Spanish||Bola de Fuego
|Spanish (Americas)||Burbuja de lava||Lava Bubble|
|Spanish (Europe)||Gota de Lava
Lava Bubble (Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door)
- Podoboos are among the only enemies who debut in Super Mario Bros. that have a pair of eyes in some games but not in others.