Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure

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This article is about the seventh console installment in the Dr. Mario series. For the key item from Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, see Miracle Cure.
Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure
Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure Logo
Developer Arika[1]
Nintendo SPD Group No. 2
Publisher Nintendo
Platform(s) Nintendo 3DS
Release date Japan May 31, 2015
USA June 11, 2015[2]
Europe June 11, 2015[3]
Australia June 11, 2015
HK June 11, 2015[4]
ROC June 11, 2015
South Korea May 26, 2016
Genre Puzzle
ESRB:E - Everyone
CERO:A - All ages
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer (local, online)
Nintendo 3DS:
Digital download
Nintendo 3DS:

Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure is the seventh main installment in the Dr. Mario series, released exclusively on the Nintendo eShop service for Nintendo 3DS in 2015. It was the final title in the Super Mario franchise to be released with Satoru Iwata as its executive producer before his death on July 11, 2015 (not counting posthumously-released titles).

Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure was eventually removed from the 3DS eShop after its discontinuation on March 27, 2023, making it no longer possible for players to purchase the game. However, players who purchased the title before this date can still play it as long as it is on their 3DS device. On April 8, 2024, Nintendo Network will be terminated, making the game no longer playable online.[5][6]


Basic gameplay of Dr. Mario mode

A new feature included only in Dr. Mario mode is the titular Miracle Cure. A Miracle Cure can be obtained by filling up a gauge that sits beside the bottle, and each Miracle Cure comes in the form of an item with a unique effect. Most Miracle Cures have a beneficial effect for the user, but certain Miracle Cures can only be found in vs. battles, where they can disrupt the opponent. When Miracle Cure is enabled, there is a gauge with one of the listed Miracle Cures below, and once it is filled, the next piece will be the designated Miracle Cure while the next Capsule will be put on hold until the Miracle Cure dropped. The gauge will gradually fill as time passes, and it will also fill when a capsule match is made, where it fills up faster the more viruses and/or capsules are cleared. Once the Miracle Cure is placed in the stage, the gauge will be empty and another Miracle Cure will be shown at the top of the gauge.

The single player mode consists of two types: Miracle Cure Laboratory, which is a collection of pre-designed stages, and Custom Clinic, which the player can configure the course settings and play. In Custom Clinic, there are three modes to choose from: Dr. Mario, which is the series' standard gameplay; Dr. Luigi, which is the "Operation L" gameplay mode as seen in Dr. Luigi; and Virus Buster (Germ Buster in UK), in which players must drag continuously falling capsules onto the Viruses. For the Dr. Mario and Dr. Luigi modes, Miracle Cure can be enabled or disabled, which changes if it is available in Vs. CPU mode; however, Classic is only available if Miracle Cure is off, whereas Endless is only available if Miracle Cure is on.

In Classic mode and Vs. CPU mode, the player can choose the starting level and speed in which the capsules fall. In Vs. CPU mode, the speed in which the capsules fall is also correlated to the CPU's difficulty, where it is Easy difficulty at Slow speed, Normal difficulty at Med (medium) speed, and Hard difficulty at High speed. For the Dr. Luigi's modes, selecting Slow and Med speeds will cause the L-capsules to have three pieces in one color and one in another, while selecting the Fast speed will cause the L-capsules to have two pieces in one color and two in another, both colors in one full capsule each. For Virus Buster, the player can choose the starting level and the difficulty, which is based on not only the speed in which capsules drop but also how soon the amount of capsules added to the stage are increased. Like the Retro Remedy mode in Dr. Luigi, the Dr. Mario modes allow a capsule in a narrow gap to have their colors switched.

In Virus Buster only, the starting stage can go past level 20 as long as the player reached it, and each difficulty has individual maximum levels. For Dr. Mario and Dr. Luigi, the maximum level is 20, and the level won't go beyond it, as beating it will only provide the option to play Level 20 again or to exit. Similar to every Dr. Mario game since Dr. Mario Online Rx, the score that the player obtained in the stage is not saved between levels, meaning that after eliminating all the viruses and proceeding to the next stage, the score is reset to zero, although the high score is still tracked. The minimum level is level 1, unlike previous games which has a minimum level of 0. The amount of viruses that the player starts with in Classic mode and Vs. CPU mode are the same as previous games regardless, meaning that for example, level 1 in Dr. Mario starts with 8 viruses and level 1 in Dr. Luigi starts with 5 viruses. However, for Virus Buster, the amount of viruses that the player starts with are 4, 5, and 6 for levels 1, 2, and 3, while the rest of the levels start with the same amount of viruses as in Dr. Mario Online Rx.

For Endless mode, there are no settings to select, meaning that just selecting Endless starts the game. There are no levels in Endless, so the player will keep playing in the same stage for as long as possible. In regards to the Dr. Luigi mode, the two capsules in each L-capsule piece are each like-colored, similar to when selecting the Fast capsule speed. A minor difference is that in Endless, viruses will stay in the status screen even though all viruses of that color are currently absent, which is unlike Dr. Mario 64's endless mode where the virus of that color will be temporarily gone if all like-colored viruses are currently absent (they will reappear if any of that colored virus appears again). At certain points in Endless, the objects in the stage will be pushed upwards from the bottom, which is signaled ahead of time based on a countdown and a number (between 1 and 4) of rows at the top. The countdown is based on the amount of capsule or miracle cures placed on the stage. Also, if all viruses in the stage are eliminated, the stage will be pushed up automatically to provide new viruses. If an object goes past the top due to being pushed, the game ends.

Unlike past Dr. Mario games, the music that plays in the stage cannot be chosen, nor can it be turned off. In fact, the music is random between levels, and is randomly chosen between Fever and Chill in the Dr. Mario mode, between Drowsy and Dizzy in the Dr. Luigi mode, or between a slower and calmer version of either Fever or Chill in Virus Buster. In this game, there are no intermissions between levels unlike previous Dr. Mario games (except Dr. Mario 64) where completing a level between 5, 10, 15, or 20 would provide a short intermission between levels, nor are there any credits after beating level 20 at High speed.

After every 30 minutes as soon as gameplay ended, there will be a message in which the player is advised to take a break.


This game features online and local multiplayer. When playing locally, there are two options: Local Play, which allows two players with a copy of this game to play, and Download Play, in which the other player must connect to the system via 3DS Download Play to play with the player who owns the game. For the latter option, only the host can set up the game settings while the other player has to wait. In the multiplayer mode, there are three options: Dr. Mario, Dr. Luigi, and Virus Buster. For the former two, Miracle Cure can be enabled or disabled, and there are options on selecting the virus level and capsule drop speed; also, unlike the Vs. CPU mode, neither player is represented by Dr. Mario or Dr. Luigi.

In the multiplayer's Virus Buster, there are two modes: Battle and Co-op. For Battle, the two players compete with each other in Virus Buster to clear their side of the board the fastest, and if one of the players won three times out of five, indicated by the amount of stars earned, they win. Unlike Classic modes, performing a combo does not disrupt the opponent. The Level and the Difficulty are also random, meaning that respectively, the starting amount of viruses and the intervals in which capsules fall are different each time a match is played. For Co-op, both players are tasked to eliminate all the viruses by working together. Each player can only drag one capsule at a time, and a capsule cannot be dragged by both players. In terms of difficulty, the amount of capsules the player starts with is increased from the start compared to the other Virus Buster modes. For the virus level in Co-op, the amount of viruses in which the player starts with are 19 viruses in Easy, 29 in Normal, and 39 in Hard. Co-op also keeps track of the amount of time and the amount of viruses each player eliminated.


The menu can be controlled by using the touch screen, provided that the menu items are in the bottom screen. One case where the menu cannot be controlled with the touch screen is when the menu appears in the top screen, namely during the pause menu in the Dr. Mario and Dr. Luigi modes. Virus Buster is only controlled with the touch screen and requires the device to be rotated to the left or right depending on the writing hand (this can be changed in the options menu), whereas the other modes are controlled with buttons. For the button controls, the controls are listed below.


  • Circle Pad / +Control Pad: Select item
  • A Button: Confirm
  • B Button: Cancel / Go back
  • L Button / R Button: Switch menus

During stages[edit]

  • Circle Pad / +Control Pad (left/right): Move capsule
  • Circle Pad / +Control Pad (down): Drop capsule down
  • Circle Pad / +Control Pad (up): Quick drop capsule (requires enabling Quick Drop in options to do so)
  • A Button: Rotates capsule clockwise
  • B Button: Rotates capsule counterclockwise
  • Start Button / Select Button: Pause game, and display pause menu

Miracle cures[edit]

This is a list of miracle cures that can appear when Miracle Cure is enabled. Much like capsules, miracle cures that are not exclusive to vs. battles are affected by gravity, meaning that any miracle cures that appear in the beginning of the stage will drop if any viruses mid-air are eliminated below them.

For miracle cures that appear exclusively in vs. battles, all of them are indicated by a sphere with an exclamation mark, in which it could be any one of the three available miracle cures. Those miracle cures will instantly activate as soon as the gauge is full, and will affect the opponent where they will take effect after the opponent places their current capsule, after which the actual effect is revealed. Each of them lasts for a short time, where their expiry are indicated by when the appropriate icon blinks and a blinking sound is played.

Image Name Description
A Capsule Blaster R from Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure Capsule Blaster R Clears all red capsules.
A Capsule Blaster Y from Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure Capsule Blaster Y Clears all yellow capsules.
A Capsule Blaster B from Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure Capsule Blaster B Clears all blue capsules.
A Capsule Blaster Z from Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure Capsule Blaster Z Clears all capsules.
A Virus Blaster R from Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure Virus Blaster R Clears all red viruses.
A Virus Blaster Y from Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure Virus Blaster Y Clears all yellow viruses.
A Virus Blaster B from Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure Virus Blaster B Clears all blue viruses.
A Horizontal Zapper from Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure Horizontal Zapper Clears everything in its row.
A Vertical Zapper from Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure Vertical Zapper Clears everything in its column.
A +Zapper from Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure +Zapper Clears everything in both its row and its column.
An Exploder from Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure Exploder Clears everything in the indicated area that surrounds it.
A Reverser from Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure Reverser Exclusive to vs. battles. Inverts the left and right controls on +Control Pad for a short time.
A Locker from Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure Locker Exclusive to vs. battles. Makes it impossible to rotate capsules for a short time.
A Booster from Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure Booster Exclusive to vs. battles. Makes capsules drop faster for a short time.

Miracle Cure Laboratory stages[edit]


See also: List of Miracle Cure Laboratory Training stages
  • 1: Intro to Dr. Mario
  • 2: Intro to Dr. Luigi
  • 3: Advanced L-Capsules
  • 4: Blasting Capsules
  • 5: Z-Blasting Capsules
  • 6: Blasting Viruses
  • 7: Zap Attacks
  • 8: Explosive Treatments
  • 9: Miracle Cure Combos
  • 10: Shocking Sabotages


See also: List of Miracle Cure Laboratory Basic stages
  • 1: On Call with Dr. Mario
  • 2: On Call with Dr. Luigi
  • 3: Mushroom Medic
  • 4: Fire Flower First Aid
  • 5: Efficient Treatment
  • 6: Chain Training
  • 7: Step It Up
  • 8: Rainbow Riot
  • 9: Step It Up 2
  • 10: Rainy-Day Remedy
  • 11: Head-to-Head Challenge
  • 12: Head-to-Head Challenge 2
  • 13: One-Move Medication
  • 14: Four-Move Medication
  • 15: Rapid Remedy
  • 16: Pot Luck
  • 17: Rapid Remedy 2
  • 18: Two-Move Medication
  • 19: Be the Best!
  • 20: Be the Best! 2


See also: List of Miracle Cure Laboratory Advanced stages
  • 1: Coin Collector
  • 2: Bottled Bottle
  • 3: Grin and Bear It
  • 4: Mining for Miracles
  • 5: Virus Valley
  • 6: Harmonic Healing
  • 7: Superstar Science
  • 8: Vertical Zapper Zinger
  • 9: Exploderama
  • 10: Musical Mayhem
  • 11: P Switch Pushover
  • 12: Rainbow Road
  • 13: Three-Move Medication
  • 14: Zap to Zilch
  • 15: A Heartfelt Battle
  • 16: Vertical Zapper Dropper
  • 17: Strawberry Crop
  • 18: Leave No Leftovers
  • 19: Miraculous Recovery
  • 20: Arch Nemesis
  • 21: Butterfly Buster
  • 22: The Hidden Heart
  • 23: Ten-Chain Champ
  • 24: Buried Treasure
  • 25: Speedy Treatment
  • 26: Controlled Demolition
  • 27: Zap the Left, Blast the Rest
  • 28: Stair Builder
  • 29: Red and Blue Maze
  • 30: Royal Radiance

Nintendo 3DS eShop description[edit]

American English version

Puzzle fans, here's your fix: the ultimate Dr. Mario game—on the go! Play classic-style, Dr. Luigi-style, or in Virus Buster mode, using new power-ups called Miracle Cures that will have you and your friends wiping out those pesky viruses like the doc himself. Dr. Mario is back with a new arsenal of treatments. In the Miracle Cure Laboratory, you'll take on preset challenges with normal, two-sided pills and L-shaped pills. To aid your recovery, you'll fill a special gauge to earn Miracle Cures that will help alleviate your ailments. Pop in powerful Blasters to disinfect a section of the bottle, or apply cleverly placed Zappers to wipe out entire rows or columns. Then, self-perscribe some Miracle Cure power-ups in endless Dr. Mario or Dr. Luigi game modes to balance out your intake. A caution from the doctor: challenging your friends locally or online may be habit forming.

British English version

If you're itching for puzzle fun, we've got the perfect perscription - Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure, only for Nintendo 3DS family systems! Both Dr. Mario and Dr. Luigi are on call to deal with an outbreak of troublesome viruses in loads of modes filled with classic Dr. Mario mayhem. When viruses strike, matching colours in the only remedy!


Release Reviewer, Publication Score Comment
Nintendo 3DS Marcel van Duyn, Nintendo Life 8/10 "Featuring three different game modes from throughout the franchise's history, as well as preset scenarios to clear and online multiplayer, this is easily the most packed Dr. Mario game yet. There's a ton of different ways to play, so if you don't fancy Miracle Cure or Dr. Luigi, for example, you can easily leave them untouched and still have a lot to do. Those that are into head-to-head battles will find the online mode quite entertaining as well."
Nintendo 3DS Chris Carter, Destructoid 9/10 "When all is said and done though, there really isn't a whole lot to Miracle Cure if you aren't going to play multiplayer with a friend who shares your passion. I really wish Nintendo showed a bit more effort when it comes to solo play, as the standard "missions" aren't cutting it. I would kill to see a new storyline (like Dr. Mario 64) incorporated into the franchise, one that unites both Mario and Luigi against a common foe. For now, there's only so much pill-dropping that I can take. If you're a Dr. Mario junkie, you can probably pull the trigger on Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure just to see what the fuss is about in regards to the power-ups. For everyone else, just stick with Dr. Luigi until Nintendo decides to overhaul the formula a bit more."
Nintendo 3DS Jason Venter, GameSpot 7/10 "Considering how long Dr. Mario has been around, the modifications here serve as a pleasant surprise and manage to inject a fresh element into a puzzling experience that is by now a bit long in the tooth. Even without the new content, Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure is a worthwhile addition to the serious puzzle fan's gaming library. It just doesn't offer enough that's new compared to Dr. Luigi to warrant a glowing recommendation if you already invested in that other recent release."
Compiler Platform / Score
Metacritic 69
GameRankings 70.53%


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese Dr. Mario ギャクテン!特効薬 & 細菌撲滅
Dokutā Mario Gyakuten! Tokkōyaku & Saikin Bokumetsu
Dr. Mario: Reversal! Miracle Cure & Virus Buster


  • In South Korea, this game was released as an exclusive bundle game of Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam. It was only downloadable from May 26 to August 31, 2016.[7]
  • This game's 3D effect is limited to the title screen, as every other part of this game is strictly in 2D, even with the 3D slider on.
  • Mario and Luigi have different irises in this game, unlike other games: Dr. Mario has smaller irises than Dr. Luigi's, and unlike his brother's, they do not reflect light.


  1. ^ Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure. Nintendo UK. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  2. ^ Nintendo (Nintendo of America). (June 1, 2015.) Nintendo Direct Micro 6.1.2015. YouTube. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
  3. ^ Post by Nintendo UK on Twitter. (June 1, 2015.) Retrieved June 1, 2015.
  4. ^ Nintendo. 能夠下載的軟體. Nintendo. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  5. ^ @NintendoAmerica (October 4, 2023). As of early April 2024, online play and other functionality that uses online communication will end service for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software. Thank you very much for your continued support of our products.. Twitter. Retrieved February 17, 2024.
  6. ^ @NintendoAmerica (January 23, 2024). Update: as of 4/8, online play and other functionality that uses online communication will end service for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software. Thank you very much for your continued support of our products.. Twitter. Retrieved February 17, 2024.
  7. ^ Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure, Nintendo of Korea