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Amps are small electrified metal balls that have appeared as enemies throughout the Mario franchise. Their name stems from "ampere" (often shortened to "amp"), the standard unit of measurement for the flow of electrical currents. They made their first appearance in Super Mario 64.
Super Mario series
Super Mario 64 / Super Mario 64 DS
Amps are featured in several levels throughout Super Mario 64 and its remake, Super Mario 64 DS. Amps orbit objects and platforms, and if Mario, Yoshi, Luigi, or Wario comes into contact with one of them, he will be shocked and lose one wedge of health. They cannot be defeated in this game, and they can be found in Bowser in the Dark World, Shifting Sand Land, Vanish Cap Under the Moat, Wet-Dry World, Snowman's Land, Bowser in the Fire Sea, Tick Tock Clock, Rainbow Ride, and Bowser in the Sky. While being electrocuted, the player character flashes and becomes immobile for about one second.
Exclusively in the Nintendo 64 version, in the pyramid of Shifting Sand Land, there are two Amps that, instead of circling around objects, come out of walls in a circular pattern, thus circling nothing. These are made into standard circling Amps in the DS version.
New Super Mario Bros.
Amps reappear as uncommon enemies in New Super Mario Bros., in World 3-, World 4- and World 7-. In this game, they appear mostly in groups, and if Mario comes in contact with one, he will be shocked. They can only be defeated with a Mega Mushroom, Koopa Shell or Starman. Amps lose their electricity for a moment if they shock Mario or Luigi, except for ones on fences, which disappear after shocking the player.
Super Mario Galaxy
Amps can also be found in many areas of Super Mario Galaxy, including the Space Junk Galaxy, the Battlerock Galaxy, the Buoy Base Galaxy, the Toy Time Galaxy, and the Dreadnought Galaxy. They have different faces, as their eyes and mouth are both bright red. There are also other Amps that are large, faceless balls, called Big Amps. Similar to Super Mario 64, Amps cannot be defeated. However, the second player can freeze them in place. They also appear in the Bubble Blast Galaxy where they move in groups of two.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Amps also appear in New Super Mario Bros. Wii as rare enemies, behaving as they did in New Super Mario Bros. Only six of them appear in the first half of World 3-. They can be defeated by freezing them with ice balls from an Ice Flower or Penguin Suit and then Ground Pounding them, touching them with a character using a Super Star, or by having a frozen enemy thrown at them. The player(s) must dodge the Amps to reach the Red Coins.
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Amps reappear in Super Mario Galaxy 2, behaving and appearing the same way they did in the predecessor. However, they can now be defeated by using a Rainbow Star. They appear in Sky Station Galaxy, Spin-Dig Galaxy, and Space Storm Galaxy.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
New Super Mario Bros. U
Amps and Big Amps reappear in New Super Mario Bros. U, appearing only in Snake Block Tower and in Ludwig's Clockwork Castle. They behave like in the predecessor. There is also a new, similar enemy known as Bowser Stunners that conduct electricity with each other. They are one of the few enemies that do not reappear in New Super Luigi U.
Mario Party series
Amps appear in various games in the Mario Party series, either serving as obstacles in minigames or as usable items.
Mario Party 3
Amps make their first appearance in the Mario Party series in Mario Party 3, where they appear as the main obstacles in Motor Rooter. Indicated by shockwaves on the central map, these Amps form an electrical current that covers the path except for one tile, and they slow down players that are hit by them and their electrical currents. Players can avoid them by changing lanes to an area that is not covered with electricity.
Mario Party 4
Mario Party 4 features the Sparky Sticker, which is a sticker of an Amp that players can deploy on the ground to serve as a trap. Once deployed, it blends with the spaces, hiding until a player passes over it. When players pass over it, they lose ten coins as well as the effect of a Mini Mushroom and Mega Mushroom.
Mario Party 5
Amps are the main obstacles in Shock Absorbers in Mario Party 5, where touching one loses the minigame. Players are trapped in a small arena where there are multiple Amps that move around. As in Mario Party 3, these Amps can also form a line of electricity, where their indication to perform this attack happens when they stop in place and begin to emit electricity. Amps on the borders of the course form a permanent barrier of electricity.
Mario Party 6
Amps appear in Mario Party 6 as the Zap Orb. Once a player passes over a set Zap Orb, they would lose five coins for each space they moved beyond it for the rest of their turn. Amps are the main enemy in the Circuit Maximus mini-game, where players need to make a lap around a circular course, where the number of Amps progressively gets bigger the more rooms players pass through. Some Amps are stationary while other Amps are moving obstacles.
Mario Party Advance
A notable Amp appears in Mario Party Advance, gambling in Town Game Room B. Generic Amps also appear in the minigames Amplifried, Cloud Climb, and Broom Zoom as hazards, where they continuously emit electricity that harms the player. In Amplifried, they serve as the main obstacles, where the main goal of the game is to avoid them. Their attack pattern in this minigame is somewhat similar to their appearance in Shock Absorbers from Mario Party 5, where they can move around and form electrical currents. As the minigame goes on, they move faster and form more electrical lines. In Cloud Climb and Broom Zoom, Amps are stationary obstacles, and touching them impedes the players' progress rather than defeats the players.
Mario Party 7
Amps once again return in Mario Party 7, still in the form of the Zap Orb, which has the same effect as before. However, the player loses three coins for every space instead of five.
Mario Party 8
Mario Party: Island Tour
Amps appear in Mario Party: Island Tour in the minigame Amp My Style, where they serve as obstacles for the players. In this minigame, a line of them forms an electrical barrier around the player, and these Amps can change positions to emit different shapes. Players who touch Amps and their electricity are eliminated. Amps are featured as one of the many enemy tiles in the minigames Match Faker and Tap Dash, where players can tap them if the game instructs the players to do so. Amps also can appear as a constellation in the minigame Starring Artist, where players need to redraw their constellation by connecting stars with their stylus.
Mario Party 10
In Bowser's Wicked Wheel, a minigame from Mario Party 10, two pairs of Amps form electrical bonds at the left and right sides of the running wheel. The characters need to keep running on the wheel as Bowser rotates without touching these bonds, otherwise they are kicked out. Big Amps also appear in the minigame Kamek's Rocket Rampage, where if the player comes in contact with one, they lose two points and are stunned for one second.
Mario Party: Star Rush
Amps appear as obstacles in the minigame Corkscrew Climb in Mario Party: Star Rush. Players need to jump over them as they automatically ascend a tower. If a player touches the Amp, the player is knocked out and sent to the back of the line of players. They also appear in the minigame Jewel Janitors, dropping down periodically and briefly stunning any players that touch them. Additionally, they are the main obstacles of a mode named Challenge Tower, where they are hidden and if a player touches them, the player receives a game over. The tower's spaces light up in accordance to the number of Amps adjacent to the space, and Amps are never found directly next to each other.
Super Mario Party
Mario Party Superstars
Amps appear in Mario Party Superstars, where they return in Motor Rooter from Mario Party 3.
Mario Sports Superstars
Amps appear in Mario Sports Superstars as obstacles in boss battles with the Big Yellow Magikoopa in the Road to Superstar mode. Big Yellow Magikoopa can spawn them and toss them straight towards the cards.
Dr. Mario World
Amps appear in Dr. Mario World as assistants. Their body is now silver like in their debut appearance in Super Mario 64, while still having their modern eyes from Super Mario 64 DS onwards. In both stage mode and versus mode, their effect is to transform an object, mainly a virus, into an exploder when the stage starts, where the chance of activation is higher at higher levels (20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, and 100% from levels 1 to 5 respectively).
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit
Amps make their Mario Kart series debut in Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit as gate features in Lightning Lagoon, Glazed Gardens, and Windswept Prairie, zapping any drivers that make contact with them along with having their speed greatly reduced for a short period of time.
Mario Golf: Super Rush
While Amps themselves do not appear in Mario Golf: Super Rush, there are Trick Golf items based on them known as Amp Balls. They emit a shock that cause multiple zones within its range to be knocked out, granting the player points on the zone that their golf ball landed on, with a Dead-Aim Bonus being rewarded if all zones were knocked out even if the player's golf ball did not land on those zones.
Appearance and traits
Amps originally sported white "cross-popping" veins, joyful red eyes, and rounded white lips with a pure red mouth. This appearance was last used in Mario Party Advance. Since Super Mario 64 DS, their usual appearance has been changed a bit. They now have wider yellow eyes and a larger mouth. They now have a red tongue and dark red interior being visible inside the mouth. They also became black rather than grayish and sport no angry veins. In Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2, they have an appearance similar to their debut, but with a black body, larger features, and no veins. Since Dr. Mario World, they have become silver again, but keep all other updates to their design from Super Mario 64 DS.
Profiles and statistics
Mario Party: Star Rush
Dr. Mario World
Names in other languages