Red Shell

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Red Shell
Red Shell in Mario Kart 8
First appearance Super Mario Bros. (1985)
Latest appearance Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. (2020)
“Throw a red shell, and it will zero in on the enemy!”
Penguin, Super Mario Galaxy

Red Shells are red Koopa Troopa shells that first appeared in Super Mario Bros. Although not their first specific use, they were worn by Koopa Troopas. Unlike the green-shelled Koopa Troopas, they did not fall off cliffs and simply turned around when reaching a ledge. They are the second most common shell, after Green Shells.


Super Mario series[edit]

Super Mario Bros. / Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels[edit]

SMB Redshell.png

The Red Shell's first appearance was in Super Mario Bros. They are found being worn by Koopa Troopas. Red-shelled Koopa Troopas appeared later than green-shelled Koopa Troopas. Despite their different color, they act in the same manner as Green Shells. Once tossed, it will continue until jumped on or dropped down a cliff. This may prove as a valuable projectile, defeating most enemies, but may damage the player when it is touched while moving. Red shells remain red even in underground levels (and in all level environments for that matter, including underwater levels as seen in The Lost Levels).

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels returned Red Shells along with Green Shells. Little or nothing was changed about the behavior of Red Shells in this game from Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario Bros. 2[edit]

Turtle Shell

Turtle Shells,[1] or simply shells,[2] are the only type of shells in Super Mario Bros. 2. They are found in grass rather than on Koopa Troopas. The player can throw it at enemies just like the vegetables in the game. It will continue sliding forward until it hits a wall and disintegrates. It is possible, with some difficulty, to actually ride the shells by getting on top of it. They replaced the blackface head-like objects known as "Big Face" (ビッグフェイス[3]) from Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic to avoid perceived racism. Super Mario Advance makes them larger and take longer to grab. They are also more similar to regular Koopa Shells, as they rebound off walls instead of disappearing, and hurt the player if they touch the shell's sides; a heart also appears for each enemy it defeats.

Super Mario Bros. 3[edit]

Red Shells returned in Super Mario Bros. 3. They acted in the exact same manner as in Super Mario Bros., except they could now be carried and thrown, rather than just kicked.

Super Mario World[edit]

In Super Mario World, Yoshi can spit out fire while in possession of the Red Shell. Red Yoshi can use this ability from any shell color. Also, Red Shells can only be obtained by stomping a Koopa Troopa out of its shell, making it become a Beach Koopa. If a Beach Koopa returns to its shell, it once again gains possession of the red shell.

New Super Mario Bros.[edit]

Red Shells appear once again in New Super Mario Bros. Again, they are only obtained by defeating Red Koopa Troopas who hold the shell. No change has occurred between New Super Mario Bros. and in Super Mario Bros. regarding functions.

Super Mario Galaxy[edit]

Red Shells reappear in Super Mario Galaxy as an offensive weapon. Like the Green Shells in the game, Mario can only hold the Red Shell, not ride it. If Mario throws a Red Shell near an enemy, it will home in on that enemy until it hits something. Underwater, it allows Mario to swim faster and with greater ease. It can also be thrown at underwater creatures and home in on them as well. The other variety of shell that appear in Super Mario Galaxy are Gold Shells, which act like Red Shells when thrown.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii[edit]

Red Shells reappear in New Super Mario Bros. Wii as a projectile. Little or no change has occurred between the game and its predecessor regarding functions.

New Super Mario Bros. 2[edit]

Red Shells appear again in New Super Mario Bros. 2, once again as a throwable weapon. Nothing major has changed, though if the player runs through a Gold Ring and there is a Red Koopa Troopa in the area, they will turn Golden, as does their shell. Once thrown, the shell produces a trail of coins behind it.

New Super Mario Bros. U / New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe[edit]

Red Shells appear again in New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, where they act in the same way as in the previous games, Giant Red Shells also appear.

Super Mario 3D World[edit]

Red Shells appear in Super Mario 3D World not as a item, but as a color swap for the Green Shell when Mario is inside it. Other colors include Pink Shells and Blue Shells. They also appear in the second Boom Boom battle, where Boom Boom summons them to attack Mario while he uses his spin attack.

Mario Kart series[edit]

Item roulette sprite of a Red Shell from Super Mario Kart
The Red Shell, as it appears in Mario Kart Wii

In the Mario Kart series, Red Shells (or Torpedo Shells[4]) have the ability to home in on the opponent whose rank is one higher than the user's. Red shells can be picked up in sets of one or three. Similarly to in Super Mario Bros. 2, Red Shells break on walls when they hit them. When the triple variant is used, three Red Shells rotate around the driver's kart upon usage, (all games except Mario Kart: Double Dash!!) protecting them from Bananas and other shells. If the driver collides with another driver using Triple Red Shells, they will be hit by one, and if the other driver also has another set of Triple Green Shells or Triple Red Shells, both drivers lose their shells. Triple Red Shells are not used in Mario Kart DS Wi-Fi mode because items cannot be equipped in that mode. In nearly every game of the Mario Kart series, Triple Red Shells were a player exclusive item until Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The only exception is in Mario Kart 7, where, if the item settings are set to Shells Only, the AI is able to use Triple Red Shells. In Mario Kart DS, the AI can receive Triple Red Shells through stealing from the player using Boo.

Red Shells make their first appearance in the Mario Kart series in Super Mario Kart. In this game, they travel straight towards the racer in front of the user, homing in on them without following the road. In this game, unlike Green Shells they can not be dropped behind the user and must be thrown forward.

In Mario Kart 64, single Red Shells are obtainable from 1st to 5th place. Similarly to in Super Mario Kart, Red Shells can only be thrown forward in this game, however they will follow the road to hit the racer ahead of the user rather than travelling in the straightest line possible. Also, exclusive to this game, Fake Item Boxes can be used to block incoming Red Shells.

In Mario Kart: Super Circuit, single Red Shells can be laid behind the player and act as a land mine, chasing after the first kart that passes by, even the user.

In Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, the Triple Red Shells are a Special item exclusive to Koopa Troopa and Paratroopa (and Petey Piranha and King Boo, due to their ability to have any special item). Also, in Double Dash!!, the three shells are carried in their hands rather than circling around the kart. When the kart is hit by an item, they are left with a single shell.

In Mario Kart DS and Mario Kart Wii, red shells may hit the kart on the side, rather than behind them, even if the kart was dragging an item behind them. Also in Mario Kart Wii, if a player was hit and a Red Shell was thrown at them, the shell will slow down so it can hit the player. In Mario Kart DS, single Red Shells are obtainable from 2nd to 6th place, while in Mario Kart Wii, they are obtainable from 1st to 8th place.

In Mario Kart 7 onwards, Red Shells are able to trail in the sky, and enter launcher passages (such as Barrel Cannons) to pursue flying racers. This is unlike in older Mario Kart games, where Red Shells, just like Green Shells, fall when thrown in the air, and disappear when they go into launching areas. In Mario Kart 7, they are obtainable from 1st to 5th place.

In Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, they follow the same rules as in past installments and can also come in singles or triples. However, Red Shells travel slower in the Deluxe version when they lock onto their target, allowing players to outrun them in 200cc. Triple Red Shells can also appear for AI in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

In Mario Kart Tour, Red Shells appear again. However, only the single variant is available.

The following gliders in Mario Kart Tour increase the chance of getting Red Shells and points for hitting racers with one.

Special skill Normal Super High-End
Red Shell from Mario Kart Tour.
Red Shell Plus
+20 points +30 points
Peach ParasolOilpaper Umbrella from Mario Kart Tour Strawberry Crêpe from Mario Kart TourRoyal Parachute from Mario Kart TourCrimson Crane from Mario Kart TourHeart Balloons from Mario Kart TourChocolate Donut from Mario Kart TourYoshi's Egg Hanafuda from Mario Kart TourBoo Hanafuda from Mario Kart TourJumping Mario Hanafuda from Mario Kart Tour

Mario Tennis series[edit]

Red Shells appear in the games Mario Tennis for the Nintendo 64 and Mario Power Tennis for the Nintendo GameCube and Wii. These staples can be used during an Item Battle match, which can be obtained when the player hits an Item Box with the ball over the net. If the player hits the ball after receiving the item, a Red Shell comes out and chases the opponent. In Mario Tennis Open for the Nintendo 3DS, a Red Shell is the emblem for the Shell Cup and appears on its trophy. A tennis racket, a uniform, wristbands, and shoes are designed based on this item and are available for Miis to use.

Yoshi franchise[edit]


Sprite of a Red Shell, when the player clears Level 4 of B-Type game, from the NES version of Yoshi.

A Red Shell makes a small appearance in the NES version of Yoshi, after the player clears level 4 of the B-Type game, rewarding the player 400 points.

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island / Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3[edit]

Unlike the main stream Mario games, Koopa Troopas appear in rarer cases in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. A Red Koopa Shell could be used by spitting it out, but it cannot be used for making eggs.

Yoshi's Island DS[edit]

Just like its preceding game, Koopa Troopas wearing the red shell are a rare find in Yoshi's Island DS. They are used in the exact same manner as in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island.

Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

Red Shells also appeared in the Super Smash Bros. series. They were in both Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee. Unlike the Green Shell, which went in a straight path until it fell off, the Red Shell will stay on one platform, and slide back and forth hitting anyone who steps on that platform (including the user). They disappear over time, however. The Red Shell is absent from Super Smash Bros. Brawl onward.

Paper Mario: Sticker Star[edit]

Red Shells appear in Paper Mario: Sticker Star as the shiny variant of Green Shells. Also, every Paratroopa in the game has a Red Shell on its back.

Mario & Luigi series[edit]

Red Shell
Red shell pit.pngRed Shell as it appears in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team.
BP/SP/CP Needed 4 (DT)
3 (PJ)­
Location Mushrise Park (DT)
Peach's Castle (PJ)­
Price 80­
First Appearance Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time­
Latest Appearance Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam­
Dream Team Description Use the A Button for Mario and the B Button for Luigi, and kick that shell!

Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time[edit]

In Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, the Red Shell is a Bros. Item that is used as a weapon against enemies. When the item is chosen, one of the brothers will kick the Shell towards the foe. It will then bounce off the enemy, cause damage, and come to the other player. After each kick, the shell starts moving faster along the ground. Unlike with the Green Shell, which is only capable of dealing 16 hits, the brothers can then repeat this indefinitely until the player misses a kick or all the enemies are defeated during the attack. Also unlike the Green Shell, the Red Shell will move on and target another enemy if the chosen enemy is defeated. When the adult and baby Mario brothers fight together, the babies can sit over the shell and spin upon hitting the enemy, causing extra damage to the foe.

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team[edit]

3D Red Shell in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team

The Red Shell reappears as the first of Mario's Bros. Attacks in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, under the name 3D Red Shell and it costs 4 BP to be used. The Attack Pieces to obtain the 3D Red Shell are found in Mushrise Park, which are required to all be collected to proceed through the game. It can only target enemies on the ground. The 3D Red Shell is more focused on enemies than its counterpart used by Luigi.

Upon using the attack, Mario and Luigi will run into the foreground, where Mario will take out a Red Shell and kick it at one of the enemies. Luigi will kick the Red Shell back at the enemies after it rebounds off the enemy towards him, and Mario will do the same, this repeating three more times. After the Red Shell hits nine times, Luigi will then kick the Red Shell towards Mario, who blasts it at one of the enemies, ending the attack. If all enemies are defeated before the attack ends, it will end prematurely.

Striking three, five, nine and ten times with the Red Shell will yield an "OK!", "Good!", "Great!" and "Excellent!" rating respectively.

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam[edit]

3D Red Shell in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam

The 3D Red Shell returns in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, functioning the same as it did in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team. However, the move is now available from the beginning of the game, costs 3 BP instead of 4, and the attack now damages enemies considerably more, at the cost of being shortened to six hits rather than ten hits. The speed of both the shell and the Bros. moving forward has also been increased.

Striking one, three, five and six times with the Red Shell will yield an "OK!", "Good!", "Great!" and "Excellent!" rating respectively.

Mario Party series[edit]

Mario Party 3[edit]

A Red Shell appears in Mario Party 3 in the minigame Ridiculous Relay. The first player in the group rows it using an oar.

Mario Party 9[edit]

Red Shells appear in Mario Party 9 in the Goomba Bowling minigame. They are thrown by the players at the Goombas.

Mario Strikers series[edit]

Red Shell icon in Super Mario Strikers

In the Mario Strikers series, the item works very similarly to the Green Shells, which are also found in the games, however, they differ slightly in appearance and effect. They are red, and instead of moving in one direction, they home in on the opposing players. Every time this item is collected, normally is obtained in a group of three. This allows it to home in on three opposing players, however, one will not get hit. These can be used when trying to perform a Super Strike, a Mega Strike, or a Skillshot. There is also a very small chance that the shells might miss the opposing team members, and start bouncing around the stage like a Green Shell. The giant variety of this shell also appeared in the games. It can be useful for clearing room for a Super Strike or Mega Strike.

Mario & Sonic series[edit]

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games[edit]

Red Shells appear in the Dream Race event in the Nintendo DS version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games. The shells function similarly to those in the Mario Kart series, homing in on an opponent and causing them to lose speed if they are hit, although their effect can be blocked if the player is using a Shield. The shells also appear in Dream Long Jump, where they also cause the player to lose height, though can additionally be blocked by using a Starman. They also appear in the Dream Canoe event with a similar function, although if a character is hit by one three of their coins are stolen by the player who threw the item. They come in sets of three, and can be jumped over or have their effect blocked by using a Starman item.

Red Shells perform an almost identical function in Dream Race in the Wii version, where they once again appear as items that can be thrown forward and home in on opponents, causing them to lose speed when hit, and can be dodged by either using a Starman, invincibility from a Chaos Emerald or by jumping over them. Red Shells also appear as items in Dream Platform, where they will home in on an opponent and will additionally destroy any Brick Blocks between it and the target, and can be blocked by using a Barrier.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games[edit]

In the Nintendo DS version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, Red Shells appear as items in Ski Cross Racing, Rocket Ski Jumping and Extreme Snowboarding, where they can be thrown forwards or backwards and will home in on the opponent closest to the player in the direction it is thrown. Being hit by a Red Shell causes the character to lose speed and Rings in Ski Cross Racing, but can be blocked using a Barrier or Super Star, whereas in Rocket Ski Jumping they will lose speed, height and energy, but can block the Red Shell using Super Stars and Barriers. In Extreme Snowboarding, the character is only knocked over when hit, but can block them using Super Stars and Barriers.

In the Wii version, Red Shells appear as items in Dream Alpine, Dream Ski Cross, Dream Snowboard Cross, Dream Short Track and Dream Bobsleigh, where they will home in on the opponent in front of the play and will knock them over when hit, causing them to lose speed, but can be defended against using Shields and Super Stars. Red Shells also appear as an item in the Individual version of Dream Ski Jumping, where they will home in on an opponent and cause them to lose height, speed, 10 points and a Bonus panel if they are hit, but can be defended against using a Barrier. Red Shells also appear as items in Dream Curling, where they turn the curling stone into a Red Shell when used, which homes in on the pins when thrown until it comes to a standstill. In the Individual and Team versions of Dream Gliding, Red Shells home in on the nearest opposing character and will knock them out of the sky if hit.

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games[edit]

In the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Red Shells appear as an item in several London Party minigames.

In the Nintendo 3DS version, although Red Shells do not physically appear one appears with a Green Shell on a badge that can be obtained from the badge machine.

Mario Sports Mix[edit]

Red Shells also appear in Mario Sports Mix. When used normally, they'll chase after an opponent, and temporarily knock out anyone in their path. When combined with a ball/puck, the object will do a curved path at high speeds. The curve can occasionally throw off opposing players.

Appearances in other media[edit]

In Monopoly Gamer, a Red Shell face is on the "Power-Up Die". A player who rolls the Red Shell normally can force any other player on the board to drop three Coins on their current space, which can be picked up by the next player who passes over or lands on that space. Some characters have a "Power-Up Boost" that enhances or changes this power.

In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Triple Red Shells appear as special furniture that can be obtained randomly from fortune cookies. When interacted with, they continuously play the Red Shell alarm from Mario Kart DS. In Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, a single Red Shell can be obtained as a reward for catching five Eep Cheeps in Fishing Tourney #12, which began on March 14, 2019 as part of the Super Mario crossover event for Mario Day.


Super Mario series[edit]

Super Mario Bros. 2[edit]

  • Wii Virtual Console manual bio: "Throw these at your enemies."

Super Mario Maker[edit]

  • Play Nintendo: "Many creative course designers have made elaborate set-ups where Mario races a shell along a parallel path to the finish."[5]

Mario Kart series[edit]

Super Mario Kart[edit]

  • Wii Virtual Console manual bio: "Fire a red shell, which will home in on the kart in front of you. It will not bounce off walls."

Mario Kart: Super Circuit[edit]

  • 3DS Virtual Console manual bio: "If you shoot it out ahead of you, it will chase down the kart in front of you. If it hits, it will cause the vehicle to crash."

Mario Kart 7[edit]

  • Physical game manual bio: "Homes in on the closest kart in front of you and knocks it over."
  • Digital instruction manual bio: "Red Shells home in on the closest kart in front of you. if they hit it, the kart will flip over. Hold L Button or X Button to equip a Red Shell, and then release L Button or X Button to throw it."
  • North American website bio: "Hone in on your nearest foe with this heat-seeking shell. If you're close enough, a hit is practically guaranteed."

Mario Kart 8[edit]

  • Instruction manual bio: "Red Shells lock on to and pursue the vehicle in front of you, knocking over the first driver they hit."

Mario Kart Tour[edit]

  • Tips & Tricks: "Homes in on a kart in front of you and crashes whatever it hits. Keep it behind your kart to protect yourself from a single attack."
  • Mario Kart Tour Twitter: "Item introduction: Red Shell
    Hones in automatically on a kart in front of you and crashes whatever it hits. This item is great for catching up to or overtaking an opponent. On the other hand, it sure can be scary when you're the one in the crosshairs! #MarioKartTour

Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Melee trophy[edit]

Name Image Game Description
Red Shell Red Shell Super Mario Bros.
Throw a Red Shell, and it will home in on random characters and send them flying straight up. Red Shells moving around the surface are dangerous to all players, but they may also present attack chances for players with good timing and strategy. Red Shells won't leave the platform they're on once they start moving.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl sticker[edit]

Name Image Artwork from Effect in The Subspace Emissary
Triple Red Shells A Sticker of Triple Red Shells in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Mario Kart Double Dash!! Launch Resistance +21

Mario & Luigi series[edit]

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team[edit]

  • Instruction manual bio: "Kick a shell back and forth off the enemy to deal damage. Kick with A Button for Mario and B Button for Luigi."

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam[edit]

  • Instruction manual bio: "The brothers take turns kicking a red shell, dealing high damage to a single enemy."


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Red Shell.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese アカこうら
Aka Kōra
こうら[7] / [8]
Aka no Kōra
Red Shell


Red Shell
Chinese (Simplified) 红龟壳
Hónɡ Guīké
Red Shell
Chinese (Traditional) 紅龜殼
Hónɡ Guīké
Red Shell
Dutch Rood Schild Red Shell
French Carapace rouge Red Shell
German Roter Panzer Red Shell
Italian Guscio rosso
Conchiglia (Super Mario Advance instruction booklet)
Red shell
Korean 빨강등껍질
Red Shell
Portuguese (NOA) Casco vermelho Red Shell
Portuguese (NOE) Carapaça Vermelha Red Shell
Romanian Carapace Koopa (McDonald's Romania 2017 promotionMedia:McDonaldsRomania2017Banner.jpg) Koopa Shell (refers to the red variety)
Russian Красный панцирь
Krasnyy pantsir'
Red Shell
Spanish Caparazón rojo
Caparazón rojo 3D (Mario & Luigi: Dream Team)
Red Shell
3D Red Shell


Red Shell coverage on other NIWA wikis:
  1. ^ Nintendo Power Volume 1, page 9.
  2. ^ Super Mario All-Stars instruction booklet, page 20.
  3. ^ Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic instruction booklet, page 24.
  4. ^ Nintendo Magazine System (AU) Issue #49, page 39.
  5. ^ How to Use Shells in Super Mario Maker. Play Nintendo. December 14, 2015, 21:25:38 UTC snapshot via Wayback Machine. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
  6. ^ mariokarttourEN (August 30, 2019). Twitter. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  7. ^ Super Mario USA instruction booklet, page 20.
  8. ^ Super Mario Collection instrucion booklet.