Small Mario (formerly referred to as Regular Mario or just simply Mario) is the weakest form of the player character in the main Super Mario games. This form does not have any special abilities, and it also does not take any power-ups to assume this form, unlike other forms. Super Mario turns into Small Mario when he is hit by an enemy or obstacle. The player almost always starts the game off in this form (Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario 3D Land, Super Mario 3D World, and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker are notable exceptions).
One hit from any enemy in Small Mario form will cause him to lose a life. His actual size depends on the game. Usually, before being able to assume even stronger forms, Small Mario first must become Super Mario by eating a Super Mushroom. There are exceptions, however, such as the green ! Blocks in Super Mario World. In Super Mario Bros., if Small Mario gets a Fire Flower, the Fire Flower will only turn him into Super Mario, but this was changed in later games so that grabbing the Fire Flower will still turn him into Fire Mario.
In Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Super Mario or Fire Mario can also become Small Mario by touching a Poison Mushroom. Being Small Mario can sometimes be useful; in some games, like Super Mario Land, there are small crevices that can be reached only with Small Mario.
In Super Mario Bros. 2, Mario, Luigi, Toad and Princess Toadstool start out each life in Super form with two hit points, regardless of what their form was upon defeat or exiting the previous level. By finding the two Mushrooms hidden in Subspace, Mario can extend his maximum hit points to four; also upon the Mushroom's collection, the character always regains full health. In Super Mario Advance, however, the Small form persists between levels and is the starting form for each life (as in the other 2D Mario games), and the maximum hit points per level is five, due to an added Mushroom per level.
This form also appears in most other 2D Super Mario games with the same effects.
Bowser was also turned small in the ending of Super Mario Galaxy 2, possibly as a side effect of using the power of the Grand Star's to make himself giant. When in this form, he could be jumped on by Mario and Yoshi, and could be hit by Yoshi's tongue.
In Super Mario 3D Land, Small Mario makes its 3D Super Mario debut. In this form, Mario loses his cap, making this form similar to Wario's Small form, as seen in Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 (unless the player collects the maximum amount of lives (1,110 lives), which makes Super Mario lose the cap instead). He also has a higher-pitched voice. However, like in Super Mario Bros. 2, Mario starts out each life in his Super form. Additionally, in Super Mario 3D World, Peach, Toad, Rosalina, and Captain Toad can also get affected by this transformation, which works as it does in Super Mario 3D Land. As such, Peach and Rosalina's hair gets shorter, and the Toads' cap colors are reversed.
Small Captain Toad and Small Toadette appear in Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, just like in Super Mario 3D World (including the reversal of cap colors and higher-pitched voices). However, the Small form does not persist between levels; every level is started in Super form, regardless of what form the previous level was finished in.
A similar form appeared in Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door as Tiny. This state could be inflicted by Hammer Bros. in the original, X-Naut PhDs and Bonetail in the sequel, or using a Mini Mr. Mini (or Yoshi Kid using Mini-Egg) in the sequel.
In The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, there was no Small Mario. Regular Mario was Mario's weakest form. Mario could become Super Mario (actually Fire Mario) by using a Fire Flower, Starman or some other source of power. The concept of Super Mario was dropped for The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World, which followed the physics of their respective games more closely.
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