A Jaxi is an animated feline statue found throughout the Sand Kingdom in Super Mario Odyssey. Mario can ride a Jaxi by jumping on its back; the first time it is encountered, it must be paid 30 coins to use it, but this fee has to be paid only once, and Mario can call it at any Jaxi Stand free of charge afterwards. It becomes accessible only after the player completes the mission Showdown on the Inverted Pyramid or talks to it on the Jaxi Ruins. It is instrumental in the acquisition of several Power Moons and serves as quick transportation through the vast desert.
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 , brake by pressing , and dismount by pressing . However, the Jaxi's speed makes it difficult to control, and it slides whenever the player makes a turn, though the player can turn more quickly by braking while turning. Any breakable objects or small enemies the Jaxi runs into are knocked over or defeated, and it can run on poison without being damaged. If Mario falls down a pit while riding a Jaxi, the Jaxi returns to the spot where 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