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This article is about the move in the Paper Mario series. For the boss in Virtual Boy Wario Land, see Guard (boss). For the bee enemy in Donkey Kong 3 also referred to as "Guard", see Buzzbee.
Mario guarding in Paper Mario
“That's how it's done! A successful block! That'll reduce the damage you take.”
Action Toad, Paper Mario: Color Splash

Guard (also known as block) is a defensive move used in various Super Mario role-playing games. It is mainly used in battle to reduce the damage of attacks, occasionally preventing any damage from being taken.


Super Mario RPG: Legend of ths Seven Stars[edit]

In Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Mario and his party members (Mallow, Geno, Bowser and Peach) can guard against enemy attacks if the player presses A Button as the attack connects. Depending on the timing, they can take reduced damage or no damage at all. Mortal blows that are imperfectly guarded leave the character at 1 HP. Some attacks, mainly magic attacks such as Flame Wall and Static E!, are not able to be blocked.

The remake makes some magic attacks blockable (mainly those that only target a single character), as well as adding a notice for unblockable attacks. Guarding also adds to the chain number that grants boosts the higher it gets, though it does not prevent status effects. Any perfect guards will produce a barrier in front of the guarding character and play a distinct sound effect.

Paper Mario series[edit]

Paper Mario[edit]

In Paper Mario, by pressing A Button within 3/30ths of a second (3 frames) before an attack's impact, the player can reduce the damage that Mario takes by 1, or, if the attack is targeting a Partner, nullify all damage. Guarding also nullifies any status effects otherwise inflicted by enemies. When a guard is completed successfully, the yellow text "NICE" will appear above the guarding character. By equipping the Dodge Master Badge, the amount of time before impact that the player has to successfully guard increases to 5/30ths of a second (5 frames). Equipping one or more Damage Dodge Badges will further decrease the amount of damage that Mario takes by one extra point per equipped Badge.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door[edit]

In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, guarding works similarly to the way it does in Paper Mario. By pressing A Button within 8/60ths of a second (8 frames)[1] before an enemy's attack hits, the damage that Mario or his partner receives will be reduced by 1. Guarding will also negate almost every status effect linked to the attack, such as Poison (the only exception is immobilization[citation needed], which only three enemies in the series can inflict without an item). When a guard is completed successfully, the blue text "NICE" will appear above the guarding character. By equipping Damage Dodge badges, guarding will negate one additional point of damage per equipped badge. Two Simplifier badges or one Unsimplifier badge will respectively increase or decrease the window to guard by 1/60th of a second. Guarding reduces damage even against piercing attacks.

Should an attack target both Mario and his partner, the player only has to successfully guard the first hit; whoever gets hit second will automatically take whatever defensive action (Guard, Superguard, or neither) the first did. Because of this, there is a bug where the player cannot control what the second target does if the attack misses the first target — the second target's action will match whatever the last defensive action was for the previous attack.

Items used by enemies cannot be guarded against.

There exists a much stronger version of the guard, called the Superguard, which blocks all damage and status effects, while also damaging any enemies that attack Mario or his partner directly. Performing a superguard requires much tighter timing than a regular guard.

Paper Mario: Sticker Star / Paper Mario: Color Splash / Paper Mario: The Origami King[edit]

In Paper Mario: Sticker Star, Paper Mario: Color Splash, and Paper Mario: The Origami King, pressing A Button shortly before an attack's impact will reduce the damage that Mario receives. Doing so results in blue text that says "Block!" ("BLOCK!" in the former game) appearing.

Mario & Luigi series[edit]

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions and Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey have a defensive move called Emergency Block and Emergency Guard, respectively, which players can use by pressing and holding X Button (in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions) or Y Button (in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey) if they are having trouble avoiding damage in a particular situation. Like in the Paper Mario games, the Emergency Block/Guard can reduce damage taken by Mario and Luigi, and Paper Mario in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam. However, it does not prevent status effects.


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ガード

French Esquive d'urgence[2]
Emergency dodge
Italian Difesa
Spanish (NOE) Defensa (Thousand-Year Door)[3]
Bloqueo (Sticker Star, Color Splash, and Origami King)[4][5][6]
Bloqueo resignado (Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey)[7]
Resigned Block