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“King of Speed”
Bullet Bills are missile-like projectiles with menacing looks and arms that appear in the Mario series. They are shot out of Bill Blasters, and are usually under Bowser's control, acting as enemies of Mario since their debut in Super Mario Bros.. Ever since Super Mario 64, Bullet Bills have had the ability to home in on Mario, also like a missile. These enemies can be found throughout many of the classic Mario games and in newer games, where they have increasingly been items, mostly in the Mario Kart series. Other games depict them as sentient being with emotions, and some talk in the cartoons.
Super Mario series
Super Mario Bros.
When the Mushroom Kingdom is overrun by Bowser in Super Mario Bros., Bullet Bills are Bowser's prime ammunition. Bullet Bills first appear in World 5-1. They are usually shot from a large cannon (the Bill Blaster), though are sometimes shot from off-screen, and fly in a straight line. The Bill Blasters are placed very strategically in almost all levels, being wherever Mario is. One of the most frustrating places where they are placed is flat on the ground, so even a normal-sized Mario has to jump to avoid them. To defeat a Bullet Bill, the player has to either jump on them, kick a Koopa Shell at them or use a Starman. They are immune to fireballs from Fire Mario.
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
Bullet Bills reappear in Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels when, once again, Bowser kidnaps Princess Peach. As most of the original enemies from Super Mario Bros. reappear in the remake, Bullet Bills do too. They can be defeated like their in Super Mario Bros., with a jump, Koopa Shell, or Starman, and are still immune to flames. The Blasters in The Lost Levels are even better-placed than in the other game; on levels with Bill Blasters, players have to watch where they jump very well.
Super Mario Bros. 3
Bullet Bills do not appear as much in Super Mario Bros. 3 as they did in previous games, mainly appearing in later worlds and on the bosses' Airships. They can be defeated with a Jump, Koopa Shell, Starman, Hammer, tail attack, or a Bob-omb (on certain levels). Fire Flowers still do not affect them. A new type of Bullet Bill appears in this game, the Missile Bill, which turns around and flies back towards Mario if it misses him the first time. They also appear in the remakes of this game: Super Mario All-Stars and Super Mario Advance 4.
Super Mario World
Bullet Bills once again make an appearance when Dinosaur Land is under the tyranny of Bowser. Though their appearances are scarce, their behavior changes slightly, as some levels feature areas where multiple Bullet Bills fly diagonally from four corners, and sometimes vertically shot bills appear, too. They are shot from Bill Blasters, or, in some levels, they are shot from random locations off-screen. Super Mario World also features the debuts of other subspecies of Bullet Bills such as Torpedo Ted, which are Bullet Bills that are launched from Skull Boxes underwater. The larger Banzai Bills also appear for the first time. Additionally, when the Special World is completed, all of the horizontally fired Bullet Bills turn into Pidgit Bills.
Super Mario 64 / Super Mario 64 DS
In their first 3D appearance, Bullet Bills are only found in one location in Super Mario 64; in the level Whomp's Fortress. After Mario defeats the Whomp King, a Bill Blaster appears at the top of the fortress. The Bullet Bills shot out home in on Mario and explode upon contact with him. Bullet Bills can not be defeated in this game. If Mario gets hit, he loses three wedges of health. Oddly enough, these Bullet Bills' faces resemble those of a Banzai Bill, but in the remake they look like the Bullet Bills from the other games.
In Super Mario 64 DS, there is another spot for Bullet Bills. It is at the base of Whomp's Fortress, directly opposite of where Mario starts. They also appear in Dire Dire Docks. They can now be defeated by a well-timed kick or a Super Mushroom, which sends them spinning backwards to eventually explode.
This is the first platforming Mario game where Bullet Bills cannot be jumped on.
Super Mario Sunshine
The appearance of Bullet Bills is greatly altered between Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. One of the major changes includes the fact that the Bullet Bills in this game are smiling, as opposed to the ones from Super Mario 64, which have an angry expression on their faces. In addition, the Bullet Bills in this game have an overall more robotic appearance, including a metallic exterior and google-eyes. In this game, Bullet Bills are fired from Cannons manned by Monty Moles at different points throughout the game, as well as by Bowser Jr. during the Mecha-Bowser boss fight and the final boss battle at the end of the game.
In this game, a few specific sub-species of Bullet Bills appear aside from the normal black variety. These sub-species include Blue Bullet Bills, Crazy Bullet Bills, gold Bullet Bills and purple Missile Bills. Every Bullet Bill variety can be dispelled simply by spraying them with water from F.L.U.D.D., which causes them to instantly explode. Each type of Bullet Bill releases a few coins when squirted, though gold Bullet Bills release significantly more than the other varieties. The Missile Bills that home in on Mario after they are fired feature blinking red noses, as opposed to the Bullet Bills that home in on Mario in Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2, which have blinking red eyes instead. During the final Boss battle, there are blue and red-nosed Bullet Bills that will chase Mario.
New Super Mario Bros.
In New Super Mario Bros., Bullet Bills appear in various levels, and are, as usual, shot out of Bill Blasters. They appear in World 2-Castle, World 5-4, World 6-1, World 7-5, and World 8-1. If the player jumps on them, they are defeated. They also can be defeated by hitting them with a Shell, or using a Starman or Mega Mushroom, and are again immune to fireballs. Banzai Bills return, and now their source is confirmed. In World 5-4, they fly out from somewhere off-screen rather than being fired from Bill Blasters.
Super Mario Galaxy
Bullet Bills reappear in Super Mario Galaxy. After they have been fired, if they spot the player, their eyes will turn red and they will home in on Mario until they hit him, an obstacle or an enemy. This method can be used to break open cages and destroy fences. A gigantics, snifit-like robot named Megaleg has to be defeated this way. If they hit Mario, he is knocked down for a few seconds and loses a wedge of health. They are one of the most common enemies in the game, appearing in several galaxies. Torpedo Teds also appear and can be used the same way as Bullet Bills although they make a specific radar sound in order to tell the player how close they are. Banzai Bills also appear on Bowser's Galaxy Reactor, shot from Banzai Bill Blasters, but do not home in on the character.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Bullet Bills also appear in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, with their behavior from New Super Mario Bros.. Banzai Bills and Banzai Bill Blasters also reappear. This game also introduces a new sub-species, called the King Bill, which is indestructible and much bigger than even a Banzai Bill. Even though Bullet Bills are still fire-proof, they can be frozen by an iceball from Ice or Penguin Mario. Unlike other flying enemies, Bullet Bills could be picked up and thrown while frozen. Missile Bills also appear in this game, but instead of just turning around when they miss, they home-in on Mario, similar to the Bullet Bills from Super Mario Galaxy. They first appear in World 3 and have an important role in World 6 as Enemy Courses. They also appear in several levels of World 7. In World 5-5, Bullet Bills fly out from somewhere off-screen instead of being fired from Bill Blasters.
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Bullet Bills also appear in Super Mario Galaxy 2, the sequel to Super Mario Galaxy. Many of them retain their homing capabilities in this game, though some Bullet Bills in Bowser Jr.'s Fearsome Fleet and Bowser's Galaxy Generator fly straight and do not follow Mario whatsoever. In certain galaxies, Yoshi can use his tongue to capture an incoming Bullet Bill in his mouth for a short time, and then spit it back out at other incoming enemies or bosses. This plays an important role in the defeat of Megahammer in Bowser Jr.'s Fearsome Fleet, as the giant robot continuously fires multiple Bullet Bills at Mario every few seconds. The player must hit Megahammer with Bullet Bills a total of eight times in order to defeat it. Banzai Bills also re-appear, but Torpedo Teds do not.
Super Mario 3D Land
Bullet Bills reappear as enemies in Super Mario 3D Land. Similar to 2D Mario games, Stomping on one will defeat it instantly, making this the first 3D Mario game in which this is possible, as will boomerang hits. After Mario tail whips a Bullet Bill when he is in a Tanooki Suit, it will change its angle after a spin and keep flying. Some Bullet Bills have Tanooki tails and are called Tail Bullet Bills. Like in the other 2D games, Bullet Bills are impervious to fireballs in this game.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
Bullet Bills appear in New Super Mario Bros. 2, with the same appearance they have in past games and fly in a straight line. When Mario or Luigi touches a Gold Ring, Bullet Bills will become golden (similar to Bullet Bills in Yoshi's Story) and leave a trail of coins behind them. Jumping on the Bullet Bills themselves will discontinue the production of anymore coins. In addition to horizontally flying Bullet Bills, diagonally flying ones from Super Mario World can be found in the Coin Rush-exclusive course pack Coin Challenge Pack B.
New Super Mario Bros. U
Bullet Bills appear in New Super Mario Bros. U. They act just like they did in past installments. However, the Bullet Bills produce a red smoky flare, similar to their behavior in Super Mario 3D Land. In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, the Bullet Bills only ejected puffy cloud smoke. Bullet Bills also appear in the battle against Roy Koopa. He holds a Bill Blaster and shoots Bullet Bills at the players as his battle strategy. Torpedo Teds from Super Mario World also reappear.
Super Mario Land series
Super Mario Land
Although the Bullet Bill doesn't appear in Super Mario Land, a sub-species called Bullet Biff does appear. Bullet Biffs look like ordinary Bullet Bills with an added feature of a rocket.
Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
Bullet Bills are commonly found in the Mario Zone in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins. Bullet Bills act much like the previous Bullet Bills in other games. They fly in a straight direction and are shot by Bill Blasters. Mario can get rid of them by jumping on them or just dodging them, letting them fly off-screen. Torpedo Teds also make their second appearance in this game.
The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!
Bullet Bills make only one appearance in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, in the series finale of the show, "Robo Koopa", although Bullet Bill-like projectiles with faces are fired by a Snifit in the earlier episode "On Her Majesty's Sewer Service".
The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3
In The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, Bullet Bills make a small appearance in the episode "Mush-Rumors", where they are fired from the Doomship alongside other munitions during the Koopa family's attack on a group of "aliens", who were actually a family of lost humans.
Nintendo Comics System
In the Nintendo Comics System story "The Kingdom Enquirer", several Bullet Bills (depicted as being able to talk) appear among the various monsters pestering Toad (who had become a reporter) for an interview. A later story, entitled "Bowser Knows Best", also features Bullet Bills, who the Koopalings hitch a ride on in order to chase down Princess Toadstool, who had previously escaped their clutches.
Super Mario Adventures
In Nintendo Power's Super Mario Adventures comic, a Bullet Bill makes a relatively small appearance; after accidentally activating a Bill Blaster after knocking Luigi off it, Mario is blasted by a Bullet Bill, which he ends-up riding straight into the Koopaling's Tower, where he is captured by Bowser's forces.
Super Mario Bros. film
In the 1993 Super Mario Bros. film, miniature, non-explosive Bullet Bills (though they resemble more Banzai Bills) appear as the power source of the Thwomp Stomper boots used by Mario, Luigi and Big Bertha; a neon sign advertising a bar called "Bullet Bill's" can also be seen prominently displayed in Dinohattan throughout the film.
Bullet Bills are an enemy in Yoshi's Safari. They are present in a few levels. They come at Mario head on and are shot down with one hit from the Super Scope. The bill blasters are not visible, the bill's come from somewhere off screen. In this game the Bills come at the player head on, a perspective rarely seen of them.
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
Bullet Bills chronologically first appear in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. The Bullet Bills in this game are colored green instead of black, and feature facial expressions as well. This game also introduces Bouncing Bullet Bills, which bounce and ricochet off walls after being fired. The Game Boy Advance version also added Biting Bullet Bills that home in on Yoshi upon being shot out of their cannons.
The Bills in this game can be defeated by any way most enemies can be defeated. If Yoshi catches a Bill with his tongue, it can be spit out and flies away from Yoshi like it has been shot out of a cannon, or Yoshi can eat one to produce an egg.
In Yoshi's Story, Bullet Bills follow the same pattern as in other games. However, this game introduces tongues for the mechanical irritants. The Bill Blasters of this game are slightly different in appearance and the Bullet Bills are golden in this game.
Yoshi's Island DS
Bullet Bills reappear in Yoshi's Island DS. They are the same as in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, but they are black instead of green just like in the previous Mario games.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
In Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Snifits and Big Berthas use Bullet Bills as a way to attack. This game also introduces Magnums, an alternate variety of Bullet Bills. Smithy uses Magnums as a way to attack. Magnums can defeat Mario or one of his partners with one hit.
Paper Mario series
Normal Bullet Bills are in Paper Mario when, once again, Bowser kidnaps Peach. These attack by ramming into Mario, defeating themselves but causing a lot of damage to Mario. There is an infinite supply shot from Bill Blasters. They can be found in the Koopa Bros. Fortress, right before the Koopa Bros. were fought.
Gold Bullet Bills known as Bombshell Bills are also introduced in Paper Mario and are shot from Bombshell Bill Blasters. They are found in Bowser's Castle. These attack the same way as the Bullet Bills from this game, but have more HP, do more damage, and have 1 defense.
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Bullet Bills appear as enemies in the Pirate's Grotto, where they are once again shot by Bill Blasters. Bombshell Bills and their Blasters also appear in the Palace of Shadow. Bullet Bills home in on Mario to damage him, destroying themselves by doing so. Because of this, they also die if they miss or are Superguarded. Bombshell Bills also reappear in this game.
Super Paper Mario
Bullet Bills only appear once in the Bitlands at Bowser's Castle in Super Paper Mario. There are two Bullet Bill Blasters mounted on each of the fortresses that continuously shoot them; however, if the player returns to the chapter after completing it, there is only one; the other is mounted on the fortress that gets destroyed. A simple stomp destroys them. The player can also use Thoreau to pick up the Bullet Bill and throw it at the Bill Blaster.
Paper Mario: Sticker Star
Like with the previous game, Bullet Bills only appear in one level , Bowser Jr.'s Flotilla, in World 6. In this level, there are two Bullet Bill Blasters mounted at the platforms on the airship's exterior. However, unlike previous iterations, they cannot be battled; instead, they fly at Mario and damage him upon contact. They can be defeated by hammering them or jumping on them.
Game & Watch series
Mario Party series
Mario Party 3
In Mario Party 3, Bullet Bills are only featured in the minigame Crazy Cogs. The solo player must rotate the cog the three players are standing on so that they hit the three players as they continuously bombard the cog.
Mario Party 5
Bullet Bills appear in Mario Party 5 in the form of the Bullet Bill Capsule. It can either be thrown on a space or used for five coins. When used, the player continues their turn as normal, but riding a Bullet Bill. Any opponents he or she passes during this time have 30 coins stolen from them.
Bullet Bills also appears in the minigame Bill Blasters. The minigame involves players shooting the bullets at each other in order to eliminate the other players. Random Ride also features Bullet Bills being shot at the players during the race; they end up eliminating at least one of them.
Mario Party 6
In Mario Party 6, the Bullet Bill Orb returns with the same effect. However, the user only steals 20 coins from opponents. They are also featured in the minigame Jump the Gun, which involves one player shooting Bullet Bills at targets to form a platform for his or her partner. Bullet Bills are also used in Shoot Yer Mouth Off; saying 4, 8, or 9 causes the solo player to shoot a Bullet Bill to try and eliminate the other three. Additionally, the "Bullet Bill" voice command for the minigame Verbal Assault can be bought at the Star Bank; using it fires a Bullet Bill that homes in on one of the three players. The Magma Flow path in Star Sprint also has Bullet Bills being shot at the player.
Mario Party Advance
A Bullet Bill appears in Mario Party Advance as a track and field athlete at the Mushroom Stadium. The Bullet Bill's quest involves challenging him to a race. When the player defeats him, Bullet Bill gives him or her the Gaddget Mini Soccer.
Bullet Bills also appear in the minigame Bill Bounce. The minigame involves the player attempting to jump on Bullet Bills to earn enough points in the allotted time. Hitting one temporarily stuns the player, and jumping on several consecutively earns the player more points.
Mario Party 7
Bullet Bills appear in Mario Party 7 in the minigame Wheel of Woe. By saying their name, two Bullet Bills are shot out of blasters on each side of the room in an attempt to eliminate the other three players. Bullet Bills also appear in StratosFEAR! serving as obstacles to three players while the remaining one moves a mushroom up and down by commanding it. Bullet Bills appear in the minigame Helipopper to hamper with a player's progress.
Mario Party 8
In Mario Party 8, there is an item called Bullet Candy that appears only in Bowser's Warped Orbit. It transforms the player's bottom half into the end of a Bullet Bill and allows them to hit three Dice Blocks (similar to Thrice Candy). For every opponent the player runs in to, he or she steals one Star from them.
Bullet Bills appear as obstacles in the Sick and Twisted and Thrash 'n' Crash minigames as obstacles that must be avoided; if not, the player is eliminated. Also, during the second stage of the final minigame Superstar Showdown, two cannons attach themselves to Bowser's Clown Car; these cannons fire Bullet Bills at the player. Also, a helicopter which resembles a Bullet Bill appears in the mini-game Gun the Runner; it holds the three players trying to eliminate the solo player. Finally, the duel minigame Cardiators features a card with a trio of Bullet Bills on it; selecting this card fires three Bullet Bills at the opposing player and inflicts nine damage upon them.
Mario Party 9
In Mario Party 9, Bullet Bills, along with Missile Bills, appear in the minigame Billistics, the name being a pun on their name and "ballistics". The game involves the players attempting to dodge several Bullet Bills. The players also pilot Bullet Bills along a path in the minigame Speeding Bullets.
Bullet Bills also have a constellation that can be bought in the Museum, named "Straight Shot."
Super Smash Bros. series
Super Smash Bros. Melee
A Banzai Bill is also found in Super Smash Bros. Melee. The missile falls from the sky and crashes into Princess Peach's Castle, causing an explosion which damages the characters. Another Banzai Bill can be seen in the background of the Yoshi's Island stage.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Bullet Bills appear in a few stages of The Subspace Emissary, the adventure mode. They are seen flying straight from right to left, as they traditionally did in Mario platformers. Their size has been increased as well. Bullet Bills are affiliated with Bowser's forces and the Subspace Army. They cannot be stomped on like in the other games. In a cutscene, silver Bullet Bills are seen pursuing Diddy Kong and Donkey Kong, which explode after being defeated by the Kongs' attacks. Bullet Bills do sometimes home in on the character, and can be temporarily deflected.
An interesting thing about Bullet Bills is that unlike in its other appearances, in this game, Bullet Bills are vulnerable to fireballs.
Mario & Luigi series
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Bullet Bills and Bill Blasters return as enemies at Stardust Fields. These ones, fought the same way as in Paper Mario, launch and destroy themselves, causing Mario or Luigi lots of damage. The game also features a new subspecies called the Sniper Bill, a large Bullet Bill that uses a Super Scope as a weapon which fires a smaller Bullet Bill. It is found in Bowser's Castle. In this game landing on a Bullet Bill after jumping causes no damage.
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
In Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, sub-species of Shy Guy called Boom Guys and Elite Boom Guys carry Bill Blasters on their head. They run up to the Mario bros. and shoot out a Bullet Bill to harm them. Sometimes the cannon lets out a little puff before firing the Bullet Bill.
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story
Bullet Bills make yet another appearance in the game Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story. They are shot out of cannons manned by Air Cannons. When shot, the Bullet Bills may turn invisible and attack one of the Mario Brothers. The player has to know when to dodge it when this happens.
In WarioWare: Twisted!, Bullet Bills make appearances with their Super Mario Bros. 3 sprites in the microgame Super Mario Bros. 3-Lift, a Super Mario Bros. 3-based microgame found in 9-Volt and 18-Volt's stage, where they appear as one of the enemies that the player has to avoid. They also make cameos in WarioWare: Touched! in two microgames: in the Super Mario Bros. microgame, where in the third level, when the player defeats all the enemies, Mario appear riding in a Bullet Bill instead of in a Lakitu's Cloud, and in the microgame Clawing for More, where they appear as one of the sprites that can appear when the player grabs the ball.
Mario Power Tennis
In Mario Power Tennis, in a minigame, they are fired by a Mecha Bowser 2.0.
Mario Baseball series
Mario Superstar Baseball
Bullet Bills are a special item in the Challenge Mode of Mario Superstar Baseball. When bought, it will allow Bowser to use his Power Shot, the Killer Ball, in a Challenge Mode game. The Bullet Bill is also Bowser and Bowser Jr.'s Power Shot. While pitching, when fired, a Bullet Bill will be launched at the batter. It will go slow at first, but when it gets close to the batter, it will fly in a loop. then zoom pass the batter. It can still be hit, however. While batting, when Bowser or Bowser Jr. hit the ball, they will launch a Bullet Bill across the field which, if caught, will push the catcher really far back. It stops working when it hits the ground. Bowser Jr.'s Bullet Bill wears a bandanna.
Mario Super Sluggers
Bullet Bills make a prominent appearance in Mario Super Sluggers. Bowser uses it as his pitching special. Also, a Bullet Bill made a small, yet extremely important cameo in the ending movie. When Mario and Donkey Kong are blasting Bob-ombs out of Mario Stadium, Wario and Waluigi shove a Bullet Bill into the Bob-omb cannon. Mario, too scared to move, watches in horror as it blasts toward him. Bowser comes out of nowhere, and smashes it back at the Warios, blasting them into the air. Bullet Bills also may occasionally pop up and fly around the outfield at Bowser Jr. Playroom, stunning players.
Super Princess Peach
When Bowser kidnaps Mario and Luigi and takes them to Vibe Island, Bullet Bills once again reappear. In Super Princess Peach, they can be defeated with a stomp, as usual. However, in this game, Bill Blasters do not appear; Bullet Bills come from somewhere off-screen. There is also a more dangerous type of Bullet Bills, known as Mad Bullet Bills, which are red and fly very fast. Banzai Bills and Torpedo Teds also appear with variations called Mad Banzai Bills and Glad Torpedo Teds, respectively.
Mario Kart series
In the games Mario Kart DS, Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7, the player can collect Bullet Bills as items. After activating the Bullet Bill, the player's entire kart will transform into a giant Bullet Bill, which will automatically rocket down the track, knocking over any enemies or projectiles in the player's way, similarly to the Chain Chomp from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. It will only last for a limited time, which increases the farther behind the player is in the race, and can only be received by the racers in 6th-8th place in Mario Kart DS, and 8th-12th place in Mario Kart Wii.
It has been greatly praised due to its ability to rocket the player around the course, knocking any player it comes across without having to steer. However, this item can be a disadvantage at times. For example, when racing on many of the trickier, narrower courses, the Bullet Bill can occasionally steer the player right up to the edge of the track, just before it wears off. This can often lead to the player falling into an abyss.
Bullet Bills are also an obstacle in the Airship Fortress track in Mario Kart DS, but are replaced with Banzai Bills in Mario Kart 7. Bowser Jr.'s kart in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! takes the form of a Bullet Bill and is called the Bullet Blaster. There is also a bike for small-sized characters in Mario Kart Wii called the Bullet Bike, which also resembles a Bullet Bill.
Mario Strikers Charged
A Bullet Bill makes a short appearance in Mario Strikers Charged. It appears as the Skillshot of Shy Guy known as Bullet Bill Blast. Upon fully charged the Metal Ball, Shy Guy summons a Bullet Bill, whom rides on it while holding the ball, going directly to the Goalkeeper to knock him out in a explosion for a score.
The Legend of Zelda series
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