Starmen are powerful items in the Mario series. In most games, they grant Mario (or any of his friends like Luigi, Toad, Peach, or even Koopa) temporary invincibility. However, they do not protect Mario from falling down a bottomless pit or getting crushed. They are found in 2D and 3D Mario games, including Super Mario Land and Super Mario Galaxy; and in the Super Smash Bros. games.
Many Mario games, including the Super Mario Bros. series and the Mario Kart series, use Stars (AKA Invincibility Stars, Starmen, Super Stars). After picking up a Star, the user becomes temporarily invulnerable to all damage, except those of lava, deep water, falling, etc. Any projectiles or enemies that come into contact with the user of the Star while it is activated are either destroyed, damaged, or spun out (depending on the type of enemy and what game it is). The Star also increases the speed of the user substantially. The Star is undoubtedly one of the most powerful items in the Mario series. Most side scrolling Mario games feature Stars to grant temporary invincibility, including Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, Super Mario Land, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, New Super Mario Bros., and New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
Although traditional Stars did not appear in Super Mario Galaxy, an item known as the Rainbow Star was introduced, and could also grant Mario temporary invincibility by transforming him into Rainbow Mario.
Stars were used differently in Yoshi's Island when they were smiley faced, with blue shoes. They can be found by the player by defeating certain enemies and hitting some ? Clouds. They were used when Baby Mario fell off a Yoshi's back. The Stars would somehow make a bubble around the screaming infant, protecting him from the evil Toadies until the power of the Stars ran out. Every Star collected would add one second to the Star meter, and collecting thirty of them was essential to get a Perfect on a level. Also, "Super Stars" found only in a few levels (they looked like an ordinary Starman, but with no eyes) would seal the Yoshi in a huge egg, and Baby Mario would become invincible, and somehow sport a Cape, which allowed him to glide long distances. After a certain amount of time, the Yoshi would return to normal and Baby Mario once again would seat himself on his back, losing his cape and invulnerability. There are also packs of Stars that come in ten or twenty.
A Star from Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. Stars have made very few appearances in the Mario RPG series. Perhaps their only appearance as an item was in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, where Mario could occasionally find the rare item and use it to defeat enemies on the overworld (without having to go into battle with them). Doing this would, quite helpfully, still earn Mario Experience Points. Stars, despite being such rare items in the RPGs, are briefly mentioned in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, where they are said to be an ingredient of Invincishrooms, and in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, in which a camera-wielding Lakitu near the Glitz Pit remarks, "Stars make you invincible?". During the Mario Kart series, Stars give the character invincibility for a short time. Any item that hits the character using the star will be destroyed.
Stars appear in the Super Smash Bros. series as well. If a player touches a Star, they become invincible, allowing them to attack the foe, without worrying about damage. However, unlike the actual Mario games, the player is not able to hurt them just by touching them.
A Starman is a rare item in the Mario Kart series. When you're behind in a race these miracles will appear and if you get one you will be temporarily invincible. Your speed will also increase helping you catch up with other drivers. If you make impact with another kart they will be knocked over. While the Starman is a useful item, it is usually only given to characters who are in sixth place and below when they contact the item box.
In Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, the rear character will be knocked off the kart. Upbeat music will play as you use it, and your kart will flash rainbow (or yellow if in Double Dash!!).
Also in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! a Star is seen with a smiling mouth. Also a truck in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! in Mushroom Bridge and Mushroom City has "Star Travel" written on it. Its license plate is STR.
Storing the Star can be a good defensive tactic as well, firing it off when incoming shells and POW blocks are on the verge of impact. The Star's speed boost makes it a viable means of reaching off-road ramps and shortcuts too though. See the Circuit Guide later on for specific locations of these.
- If you collide with the boat in DK's Jungle Parkway in Mario Kart 64 while you have a Star, you will still get hit before plunging into the water. This also applies to the Boo item.
- This item lasts the longest amount of time in Mario Kart 64 (effect remains about a second after the blinking stops) and lasts the shortest amount of time in Mario Kart: Super Circuit (the song barely starts its third repetition).
- If you hit a Bullet Bill with a Star, the Bullet Bill will be pushed aside.
- In Mario Kart DS an item box in DK Pass will always give you a Star, Mushroom or Triple Mushroom. In the Mario Kart series, it made the user invincible for a short period of time. During use, it lets the user smash through other players.
| Power-ups in the Super Mario Bros. series |
Super Mushroom | Mini Mushroom | Mega Mushroom | Poison Mushroom | Boo Mushroom