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Jaxis are feline creatures found throughout the Sand Kingdom in Super Mario Odyssey. They are instrumental in the acquisition of several Power Moons and otherwise serve as quick transports for the vast desert. They only become accessible after completing the mission "Showdown on the Inverted Pyramid" or by talking to the Jaxi in the Jaxi Ruins. Upon talking to one for the first time, it asks Mario if he wants a ride for 30 Coins, which Mario can either accept or deny. The player is only charged once.
Jaxis have lived in Tostarena since ancient times. In addition to the rideable Jaxis found in the Sand Kingdom, giant stone versions of the creatures can be found among the ruins. These "statues" are actually living Jaxis in some kind of unanimated state. A Jaxi found on the Inverted Pyramid used to be one of these unanimated statues, suggesting they can go in and out of these states at will.
As soon as Mario jumps onto a Jaxi's back, it takes off running at its full speed. The player can control the Jaxi with the left control stick, brake by pressing , and dismount by pressing . However, the Jaxi's speed makes it difficult to control, with the Jaxi sliding whenever the player makes a turn, though the player can turn quickly by braking while turning. Any breakable objects or small enemies the Jaxi runs into are knocked over or defeated. Mario can also ride Jaxis safely over poison. If the player falls down a pit while riding a Jaxi, the Jaxi returns to the spot the player found it.
Concept and creation
Jaxis are likely based off of komainu, Japanese lion statues that protect shrines and temples from evil. Numerous tales exist about normally stoic komainu statues suddenly coming to life, similar to Jaxis. Notably, the first stone Jaxis encountered in the ruins are before a large gate reminiscent of a torii, which are traditionally guarded by a pair of komainu in Japan. The design of the Jaxis is reflective of various jaguar deities from ancient Mesoamerica, such as Tezcatlipoca. The name "Jaxi" is likely a portmanteau combining jaguar and taxi.
Names in other languages