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First appearance Super Mario Land (1989)
Notable members
King Totomesu

Gao[1][2] are fire-breathing, sphinx-like enemies that are located within the borders of the Birabuto Kingdom in Super Mario Land. They stay in one place and shoot fireballs at Mario. These fireballs can even be shot backwards, and therefore Mario is not safe while they are on the screen. As with most enemies, they can be defeated after a single jump or Superball, awarding Mario with 800 points. King Totomesu is the ruler of the Gao. They are only seen towards the end of the stage in World 1-3, along with throughout the stage in World 1-1 on subsequent playthroughs. In appearance, they look like a mix between a pyramid sphinx and a lion. An enemy from the Chai Kingdom, Nyololin, has the same behavior.

In Super Mario Land manga, only two Gao appear towards the end of the pyramid stage, where they are chained to the ground. Using Mekakuribō's propeller-antennas, Mario flies over them without fighting them.


Super Mario Land[edit]

  • Instruction booklet: This stiff-bodied creature doesn't move. But it spits out fireballs aimed at Mario.
  • 3DS Virtual Console manual: This stiff creature doesn't move, but it spits out fireballs aimed at Mario.

Perfect Ban Mario Character Daijiten[edit]

種族 ビースト族
性格 ものぐさ
登場ゲーム ランド1

Tribe: Beast clan
Disposition: Lazy person
Game appearances: Land 1
Waiting for you to approach
A rare enemy character that stays still because of its heavy body. It does not move, but it will aim a fireball at Mario, so be careful. It may look scary, but it can be easily defeated by stepping on it or by using the Superball.


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ガオー[4]
Japanese onomatopoeia for a roaring sound
Dutch Gao[5] -
French Gao[6] -
German Gao -
Italian Gao[7] -
Spanish Gao -


  1. ^ Super Mario Land English instruction booklet, page 14.
  2. ^ M. Arakawa. Nintendo Game Boy Player's Guide. Page 5.
  3. ^ Shogakukan. 1994.「パーフェクト版 マリオキャラクター大事典」 (Perfect Ban Mario Character Daijiten), page 52.
  4. ^ Super Mario Land Japanese instruction booklet, page 16.
  5. ^ Club Nintendo (Netherlands) Classic, page 7.
  6. ^ Super Mario Land French instruction booklet, page 14.
  7. ^ Super Mario Bros. Enciclopedia, pag. 46