Fireball (obstacle)

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It has been requested that this article be rewritten and expanded to include more information. Reason: Appearance in Super Mario Bros. Wonder (tagged on October 29, 2023)

This article is about the Mario Bros. enemy. For other uses, see Fireball (disambiguation).
Sprite of a red fireball from Mario Bros.Sprite of a green fireball from Mario Bros.
First appearance Mario Bros. (1983)
Latest appearance WarioWare: Move It! (2023)

Though often used by Mario, Bowser, and other characters as means of attack, fireballs (alternatively fire balls[1] or Fire Balls[2]), also called Discs,[3] Fires,[4] or swirls,[5] are sometimes encountered as standalone obstacles. Their first appearance in the Super Mario franchise, Mario Bros., is also the first time they were depicted as independent enemies.


Mario Bros. series[edit]

Mario Bros.[edit]

Mario dodges fireballs.
Mario dodging fireballs in Mario Bros.

In Mario Bros., fireballs are unique enemies in that they cannot cross the left or right edge of the screen and come out on the other side. Together with Icicles, they are also the only enemies that can harm players hiding behind the bottom pipes.

If the player takes too long to clear a phase, a fireball will appear to impede the player. Fireballs come in red and green varieties. The red fireballs are slower and bounce diagonally all around the stage. If they hit one side of the screen, they ricochet off the side and keep going until making a full circuit of the screen after which they will disappear and respawn as a faster opponent. The quicker green fireballs[6] move horizontally from one side of the screen to the other where it will disappear until respawning elsewhere. It has a pattern of two small wavy bounces and one long bounce. Typically, the green fireballs spawn on a row where a player is located. To destroy fireballs, the player has to bump them from below while they are touching the floor, or use a POW Block. Fireballs respawn as faster enemies a few moments after being destroyed. There can be a maximum of four fireballs, two of each color, on screen at any one time.

Mario and Luigi in Battle Mode, with coins and Fireballs erupting from a pipe fountain, in Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)
Fireball bonus stage in Super Mario Bros. 3

In the Atari 2600 port, only the green type appears and it looks orange. It flies straight forward very quickly. In the Atari 5200 port, the orange fireball takes the place of the red one while the green one is replaced by the gold fireball. In the PC-8001 port, there is only one red fireball and it can travel through the wraparound screen. In the Commodore 64 port, there is a single red fireball but it behaves like the green fireball from the arcade version. In the Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum ports, the single fireball will float to the bottom floor as if it was affected by gravity and just roll around continuously. In the Atari 7800 port, the red type is called the orange fireball but it looks purplish. In the Atari 8-bit port, the red and green types are replaced by orange and blue respectively.

In the 1983 NES port of the game, fireballs are significantly smaller, making them easier to avoid. They were restored to their correct size by the 1988 FDS port and 1993 NES port.

In Super Mario Bros. 3, there is a two-player minigame that has fireballs in it but both types share the red sprite. In addition, there is a bonus stage in which fireballs are shot out of a pipe. In its Super Mario All-Stars version, the in-game battle mode also has both fireballs using the red sprite, while the Battle Game in the main menu replaces the sprites with Boos. The Boos that replaced red fireballs can go through the wraparound screen.

Fireballs appear in Luigi Bros., an additional game featured in Super Mario 3D World. Like the other enemies in Luigi Bros., fireballs behave in the same way as the 1983 NES port of Mario Bros., which this game is based on.

Mario Bros. Special[edit]

Fireballs also appear in Mario Bros. Special. Both types are invincible. The green ones appear only in trampoline stages and have a sharper angle to their turn with a pattern of alternating broad and narrow waves. The red ones appear only in conveyor belt stages and patrol a narrow range.

Punch Ball Mario Bros.[edit]

In Punch Ball Mario Bros., there are invincible fireballs that look red but act like the green ones in the original game. They have a simpler wave pattern.

Mario Clash[edit]

Sprite of a Fire from Mario Clash

In Mario Clash, fireballs are named simply Fire and behave like the green type from Mario Bros. but with a simpler wave pattern. They can be destroyed with a Turtle Shell.

VS. Wrecking Crew / Wrecking Crew[edit]

Sprite of a fireball in VS. Wrecking Crew Fireball from Wrecking Crew

In VS. Wrecking Crew and Wrecking Crew, a red fireball will appear if too much time is spent in one place. It behaves like the green fireballs of Mario Bros. but with a simpler wavy pattern. Careful positioning can allow the fireball to fly harmlessly over Mario or Luigi's head. The in-game manual of the Arcade Archives release of VS. Wrecking Crew classifies fireballs as characters.[7]

Super Mario series[edit]

Super Mario 64 / Super Mario 64 DS[edit]

In Super Mario 64, fireballs are very common obstacles that appear as both standalone objects and enemy projectiles. Stationary ones light torches in the Mushroom Castle and Hazy Maze Cave, and they are shot out in large groups by the volcano in Lethal Lava Land. They can also be shot by flame throwers, Fly Guys, Small Piranhas, Piranha Flowers, and Bowser, with some staying still and others chasing Mario. In Super Mario 64 DS, stationary ones also light small bonfires at Cool, Cool Mountain and Snowman's Land, and they can be eaten by Yoshi for fire breath.

Super Mario Galaxy / Super Mario Galaxy 2[edit]

In Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2, fireballs move in circular patterns, either through the air or coming out of lava, appearing as an arc. They appear in places like the Freezeflame Galaxy, the Melty Molten Galaxy, the lava pool in the Freezy Flake Galaxy, and the Melty Monster Galaxy. Unlike most depictions, these fireballs have long, burning tails. A small, rolling variety can be spawned by Magikoopas, and in the former game, is in fact the only object generic Magikoopas can spawn in gameplay with their main attack. Kamella also uses this and Koopa Shells during her fights, and becomes more likely to summon fireballs as she takes damage.

Mario Power Tennis[edit]

A green fireball in Mario Power Tennis

The green variants of Fireballs based on their Mario Bros. sprites appear in Mario Power Tennis in the minigame Coin Collectors as obstacles bouncing around the court. If a player comes into contact with one, it stuns them for three seconds as the defeated sound effect from the original game plays.

Donkey Kong Jungle Beat[edit]

In Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, fireballs appear as common lava obstacles starting with Grim Volcano, usually leaping from magma similar to Lava Bubbles. They may travel straight or in arcs.

WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase[edit]

A green fire in WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase

A green fire appears in WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase using a recolored fireball sprite from Super Mario Bros. It appears in 18-Volt's boss microgame Dustpan as an obstacle that roams on the stage and must be avoided.

Donkey Kong Country series[edit]

Donkey Kong Country Returns / Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D[edit]

Fireballs in Hot Rocket in Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
Several fireballs soar past Donkey Kong on his Rocket Barrel in Donkey Kong Country Returns

In Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, fireballs appear as hazards during a short section of Hot Rocket.[8] They come out from behind and fly across the screen, destroying the Kongs' Rocket Barrel and causing them to lose a life if they come into contact. However, if avoided, fireballs simply fly past them. Fireballs cannot be stopped or destroyed. At one point, a fireball crashes into a chunk of rock falling from the ceiling, destroying it and revealing a Puzzle Piece.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze[edit]

Fireballs falling from trees in Scorch 'n' Torch in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Two fireballs raining down in front of Donkey Kong in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Fireballs reappear in Scorch 'n' Torch, a level from Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. They drop from baobab canopies at regular intervals and fall into pits below. They damage the Kongs upon contact and can only be destroyed using Water Sacks.


Perfect Ban Mario Character Daijiten[edit]

種族しゅぞく ゴーストぞく
性格せいかく 勝気
登場とうじょうゲーム ブラザー、クルー

Tribe: Ghost clan
Disposition: Unyielding spirit
Game appearances: Bros., Crew
Sudden appearance of a small fireball
Unlike the fireballs thrown by Mario, these fireballs suddenly appear from the beginning and cross the screen. If it hits you, you will be burned to a crisp, so move to another floor or jump to avoid it.


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ファイアボール[10][9]


French (NOE) Boule de Feu[13] Fire Ball
German Feuerball[13] Fireball
Italian Sfera di fuoco[13]
Palla di fuoco (NES Remix)
Fire ball
Spanish (NOE) Bola de fuego[13] Fire Ball


  1. ^ Mario Bros. NES instruction booklet, page 8.
  2. ^ Williams, Drew. Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3 Player's Guide. Page 4.
  3. ^ Instruction manual for Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, and ZX Spectrum ports.
  4. ^ Mario Clash English instruction booklet, pages 18 and 22.
  5. ^ Nintendo Power Advance V.1, page 40.
  6. ^ Mario Bros. Atari 7800 game manual, Scoring page.
  7. ^ Arcade Archives VS. Wrecking Crew in-game manual, page 7.
  8. ^ "As some fireballs come at you from behind, try to fly in the middle." Knight, Michael. Donkey Kong Country Returns Prima Official Game Guide. Page 140.
  9. ^ a b Perfect Ban Mario Character Daijiten, page 180.
  10. ^ Wrecking Crew Famicom instruction booklet, page 5.
  11. ^ Mario Clash Japanese instruction booklet, pages 16 and 20.
  12. ^ Wrecking Crew '98 physical release manual, page 15.
  13. ^ a b c d Super Mario Advance European instruction booklet, pages 38, 58, 98, and 118. Retrieved April 6, 2019.