Mario franchise strategy guide/Items/Starman

The Starman is a power-up from the Mario series of video games. It is a flashing star, traditionally about the size of "regular" Mario, that grants the player about 15 seconds of invincibility when touched (however, if Mario falls into a pit or lava, gets flattened by a platform in a scrolling screen level, or if time runs out, he still loses a life).

Mario appearancesEdit

When touched, the music will change, and in Super Mario Bros. 3 and New Super Mario Bros., Mario's jumping animation becomes a somersault. The Starman debuted in Super Mario Bros., and is so named because it has a pair of small eyes, as if the topmost point of the star were its head. In New Super Mario Bros. the Starman also gives the player the ability to run much faster. A similar star power-up appeared in the game Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island called the Super Star, which replaced the Super Feather as the power-up for Caped Mario (Superstar Mario). This gave Mario a cape, the ability to float, the ability to run up walls, and invincibility. In the Nintendo DS game Yoshi Touch & Go it gave the ability to throw stars like Mario's fireballs.

Because of the highly valued invincibility it grants, the Starman and stars in general are used by the Mario series to denote special areas, rewards, and secrets. For example, in Super Mario Bros. 3, three consecutive star cards earned from the roulette goal boxes at the end of each level would grant the player five extra lives, whereas three consecutive flower cards would grant only three, and three consecutive mushroom cards granted a mere two. In Super Mario World, secret levels lined Star Road, a location which isn't marked on the main map of the game. Winning the Star Cup in a Mario Kart game will unlock hidden tracks. Super Mario RPG was subtitled "Legend of the Seven Stars." In Super Mario 64 and Super Mario 64 DS, it is necessary to collect all 120/150 power stars (30 were added to Super Mario 64 DS) to fully complete the game. Power stars are also a collectible in Super Mario Galaxy, with 121 to be had. In New Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario 64 DS, there are a few casino-like minigames (mainly card games). In the game similar to Poker, the Star is the card of highest value.

In Super Mario Galaxy, there is a power up similar to the Starman called a Rainbow Star. It grants temporary invincibility, super speed, and a glittery rainbow-like appearance, and a special song (different from the Starman song found in other Super Mario Bros. games) plays while it is in effect.

Other appearancesEdit

The Starman also provides invincibility to players in the Super Smash Bros. series of fighting games, where it played the same role as in a Mario game, with the difference that merely touching your enemies when invincible will not affect them.

In the Mario Kart series, the Starman (found in item boxes on the track) increases the speed of the kart and also makes it impervious to opponents’ attacks, while knocking any karts in its path out of the way. It does not render a kart invulnerable to lava, water, pits, or similar pitfalls; instead, it allows the player to run over grass, sand, dirt, or other terrain which would normally slow the player down, with no speed reduction whatsoever.

In Super Paper Mario there is a similar power-up called a Mega Star which, when the character touches it, transforms the current character into a giant 8-bit version, rendering him/her invincible temporarily. Humorously, a lone Koopa is seen using this item later in the game.

In the three Mario cartoon series made by DIC Entertainment, Starmen make frequent appearances and, as well as being used by Mario and Luigi, are occasionally used by other characters, such as Toad and Princess Peach. Oddly, in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, Starmen were portrayed as having the same effects as Fire Flowers on Mario and Luigi.