A Jaxi is a feline animated statue found throughout the Sand Kingdom in Super Mario Odyssey. It is instrumental in the acquisition of several Power Moons and otherwise serve as a quick transport for the vast desert. It only becomes 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 thirty coins, which Mario can either accept or deny. Mario 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 Mario falls down a pit while riding a Jaxi, the Jaxi returns to the spot Mario found it.
Concept and creation
Jaxis are based on jaguars and sphinxes, and their name in many languages is a portmanteau of jaguar and taxi. This is reflective of various jaguar deities from ancient Mesoamerica, such as Tezcatlipoca. Jaxis may also be inspired by komainu, Japanese lion statues that are believed to 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.
Names in other languages