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Boulders are large rocks found throughout various Mario games, usually serving as obstacles.
Super Mario series
Super Mario World
Boulders first appear in Super Mario World, where they are dug up by Diggin' Chucks as a form of attack. They continuously bounce on the ground in one direction (turning the other way when they bump into a wall) until they are hit by Cape Mario's attack or sink into lava.
Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
Super Mario 64 / Super Mario 64 DS
Boulders also appear in Super Mario 64 and Super Mario 64 DS within the course, Hazy Maze Cave. They are found in a large area, endlessly rolling down a slope and then falling into a pit. If Mario tries to climb the slope, the boulders deliberately roll in his direction, so Mario has to dodge them. Hazy Maze Cave has a mission called "Watch for Rolling Rocks", where the goal is for Mario to avoid the boulders and grab the Power Star on a nearby corner. In Super Mario 64 DS, the Power Star is obtained differently: Mario, Luigi, or Wario must grow from a mushroom and break three boulders to reveal the Power Star. Alternatively, Wario can break the boulders by punching them.
Super Mario Galaxy
In Super Mario Galaxy, boulders roll on open or closed circuits, coming out infinitely out of tunnels in the former case and falling into an abyss afterwards. If Mario touches them, he is knocked away and loses one wedge of his Health Meter. Boulders are semi-common obstacles that appear in several galaxies, including the Good Egg Galaxy and the Honeyhive Galaxy. They can be destroyed if Mario spins their weak spot, a circular red area. They can also be destroyed if Rainbow Mario collides with them, a rubbery bulb is knocked into them, or if the second player uses their Star Cursor to hold one in place, allowing a second boulder to collide with it, destroying both boulders. Upon destruction, boulders leave a large amount of Star Bits. Boulders in this game have some subtle size differentiation in different levels, though one in the underground section of the Dusty Dune Galaxy is especially large.
Super Mario Galaxy 2
In Super Mario Galaxy 2, Boulders reappear in the Boulder Bowl Galaxy, a galaxy which is appropriately centered around Boulders, as well as the Rock Mushroom. This time, the boulders can also be destroyed by Rock Mario. The boss of this galaxy, Rollodillo, attacks in the same way as a Boulder, and can only be defeated by using Rock Mario. Sorbetti, the boss of the Freezy Flake Galaxy, also uses a similar strategy during the boss battle.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
Boulders make their next sidescroller appearance in New Super Mario Bros. 2. They appear in World 3-5, which is an underwater level. They are common obstacles here but they are also necessary to obtain several Star Coins as they are enclosed in blocks that cannot be broken by Mario. Boulders can be destroyed using a Super Star, an Invincibility Leaf, or a Gold Flower.
Super Mario Odyssey
Boulders appear again in Super Mario Odyssey. One appears in the Wooded Kingdom, taking the form of a large oblong rock that can be captured by Cappy and slowly moved to make way to an entrance. Many rolling boulders also appear during the platforming part where Mario captures Bowser in the Moon Kingdom as well as an optional area on the Darker Side of the Moon. These round boulders can be destroyed by ramming into them as a Chargin' Chuck or by clawing them as Bowser, although they do not produce any items. Additionally, during the first battle against Bowser in the Cloud Kingdom, Bowser would occasionally attack Mario by throwing brick-like boulders at him (the second battle in the Moon Kingdom replaces the brick boulders with burning Bowser shells).
Mario Kart series
Boulders reappear once more in Mario Kart Wii in DK Mountain, which appears as a retro course.
Boulders appear in Mario Kart 8 and its enhanced port, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, as an obstacle in Bowser's Castle. They resemble their Super Mario Galaxy counterparts in texture, but without the red jeweled side. Millstones similar to boulders appear in Thwomp Ruins.
Rolling rocks appear in Mario Kart Tour as an obstacle in 3DS Rock Rock Mountain.
Donkey Kong franchise
Donkey Kong Land
Boulders are present as obstacles in Mountain Mayhem and Landslide Leap, two levels from Donkey Kong Land. They periodically fall down from holes in the background wall, bouncing briefly on any platform they fall onto. They will damage the Kongs upon contact and are completely indestructible, even against Rambi the Rhino.
Donkey Kong 64
In Donkey Kong 64, Boulders appear as stationary obstacles, often appearing on various pads, which require them to be moved before the pads could be used. However, only Chunky Kong can lift them. Boulders also serve as weights, and are sometimes needed to keep various switches pressed down. In this game, they are dark green in color.
DK: Jungle Climber
Boulders also appear in some cave levels of DK: Jungle Climber, starting in Cool Cool Cave. These boulders have many pegs on them, and Donkey Kong can spin the boulder either left or right, based on which side he is spinning from it. Boulders are required for reaching high areas, including peg boards or ledges.
Wario Land series
Wario Land II
In Wario Land II, boulders fall from holes in the walls of underground areas, appearing only in Avoid the rocks! and The Final Battle!!. Small ones can be held and thrown to defeat enemies or Enemy Blocks, and large ones squash Wario into Flat Wario.
Wario Land 3
Wario Land 4
In Wario Land 4, Iwao produce boulders from the ground and throw them at Wario to attack him. These boulders roll on the ground until they hit a wall or fall into lava and will damage Wario if they hit him. They cannot be destroyed, only avoided. There are also small, holdable boulders from the previous games, working as before, that appear in several levels.
Wario Land: Shake It!
In Wario Land: Shake It!, boulders appear as obstacles in volcano-related courses. In Mt. Lava Lava, there are enormous boulders held in place either by Hard Blocks or Bomb Blocks. When Wario destroys these, the boulders immediately start chasing him down a path, destroying every enemy and block in its path. If a boulder catches up to Wario, he will remain stuck to its surface and move along with it until the boulder stops somewhere and flings Wario forward due to the momentum. In Sneak Peak, there are small boulders that can also pick up Wario as they roll, but can be jumped on to reach a higher area. They endlessly come out of openings in walls and roll on the ground until they fall into lava.
Wario: Master of Disguise
In Wario: Master of Disguise, boulders are generated by Poobah the Pharaoh from his nostrils as part of his first attack phase. When they land on the ground, boulders remain still for a moment before they start rolling towards Wario, breaking when they hit a wall. They will hurt Wario on contact, but can be destroyed by jumping on them.
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