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This article is about the platforming objects found in many games. For the item in Mario's Time Machine, see Ladder (item).
Wario climbing a Ladder
Wario climbing a ladder in Wario Land 4

Ladders in the Super Mario franchise commonly appear as inanimate objects that the player can climb to progress in a level, an area, or a stage.


Donkey Kong[edit]

This is a picture of a ladder.
Mario next to a ladder in Donkey Kong

Ladders in Donkey Kong serve as a connection between two platforms throughout the stages. In 25 m, Mario has to use them in order to get to the top and to avoid barrels and Fireballs, however, barrels can occasionally roll down the ladders and the Fireballs can climb up them as well. Some of the ladders are broken; Mario cannot climb these. He also cannot climb any ladders if he is carrying a hammer. Some of the ladders in the 50 m stage extend and retract. Mario can only climb those up completely if they are fully open.

In the Game Boy version, Ladders appear in several varieties. The static and extending ladders return in several of the later levels. Mario can only climb a ladder if he stands on solid ground, which is an important element in some levels, where he first has to place a road or jump on an icicle to have a platform to stand on from which he can climb the ladder. Another important element in the game's puzzles are ladders than can be placed by Mario himself, also known as Arrow Blocks.[1] If Mario jumps against one such vertical-facing block in the game, the game freezes and the player has to place the ladder in any free point of the level. The ladder will then extend itself upwards and downwards as far as it can. The ladder is timed, and disappears after the time has passed. This timer indicated with a music that starts playing as soon as the ladder is placed and gets faster gradually. The timer can be reset if Mario places another ladder within the first ladder's time limit, or any other placeable objects such as roads, Jump Stands, and blocks. After disappearing, the ladder can then be placed with the same block again.

VS. Wrecking Crew / Wrecking Crew[edit]

Ladder tile from Wrecking Crew

Ladders reappear in VS. Wrecking Crew and Wrecking Crew, where they serve the same purpose they did in Donkey Kong. The enemies, Eggplant Men, Gotchawrenches, and Foreman Spike, can climb ladders. Ladder walls also appears in this game, and must be destroyed.

Super Mario series[edit]

Super Mario Bros. 2[edit]

Ladders in Super Mario Bros. 2 function similarly to beanstalks and chains.

Super Mario Bros. 3[edit]

Mario and Luigi in Battle Mode, with coins hidden beneath kickable blue ? Blocks
Mario on a ladder in the bonus round

Ladders in Super Mario Bros. 3 are used by Mario and Luigi in a bonus round of the 2-Player battle mode to find coins hidden in blue ? Blocks.

Super Mario Land[edit]

A ladder in Super Mario Land appears in the bonus game, where it and Mario will move between the different platforms until the player presses A Button. Mario will then move along the platform, but if he comes across a ladder, Mario will move up or down it onto another platform, collecting a different reward.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii[edit]

Sprite of a ladder from New Super Mario Bros. Wii
A rope ladder sprite

Ladders in New Super Mario Bros. Wii are made of ropes. They appear only in World 2-4, and are pushed up while strong gusts blow, making them unusable.

New Super Mario Bros. U / New Super Luigi U / New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe[edit]

Ladders in New Super Mario Bros. U, New Super Luigi U, and their Nintendo Switch version, function identically as in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. They appear in the level The Mighty Cannonship in New Super Mario Bros. U and in both Slippery Rope Ladders and Broozers and Barrels in New Super Luigi U.

Luigi's Mansion[edit]

Ladders in Luigi's Mansion and its Nintendo 3DS version are interactive objects that can be climbed by Luigi, except for one in Professor E. Gadd's Lab, which is only part of the background. The first interactive ladder appears in Courtyard, where it takes Luigi down to the Bottom of the Well. The second is attached to the bunk bed in The Twins' Room. The third and fourth ladders are both on the Roof.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong series[edit]

Mario vs. Donkey Kong[edit]

Ladders in Mario vs. Donkey Kong and its remake are objects functionally similar to those in the Game Boy version of Donkey Kong. Ladders appear in various levels in the game, some featuring colored ladders that require pressing a Color Switch of their color to be used, otherwise they appear with a dotted outline and cannot be climbed on. Ladders cannot be climbed by Mini-Marios at all, and may require using other objects in the level to catch up with the player should they use a ladder.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis[edit]

Ladders in Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis are interactive objects on the Roof and in DK's Hideout, and there are two retractable ladders on the Roof similar to those in 50m of the original Donkey Kong arcade game.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem![edit]

Ladders in Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem! appear in the form of Blue Ladders, which cause Mini Marios to immediately climb or descend it.

Super Paper Mario[edit]

Various ladders in Super Paper Mario.
Various ladders in Super Paper Mario.

Ladders in Super Paper Mario take on a zigzagging design and are colored either black, yellow, or white. They are found in various areas, typically appearing out of specific blocks when hit. Ladders with more standard designs are found in Yold Ruins and the Floro Caverns, while a blockier variant is used in The Bitlands. Bowser is unable to climb up ladders, most likely due to his size. If he tries, he struggles and mutters, "Can't climb this!"

Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

SmashWiki article: Ladder (stage element)

Ladders in the Super Smash Bros. series are interactive objects in a few Super Mario-themed stages. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Ladders appear in two Super Mario stages: 75 m and Rumble Falls. In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, ladders reappear on 75 m and a Wrecking Crew stage of the same name, though as ladder walls, which can be destroyed if they are attacked. In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Ladders appear in the same two stages representing the Super Mario franchise as in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.

Mario Party series[edit]

Ladders in the Mario Party series are interactive objects in a few minigames, including Mad Ladders in Mario Party: Island Tour and Mega Goomba's Ladder Leap in Mario Party 10.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker[edit]

Ladders in Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and its Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS ports are objects that Captain Toad and Toadette can climb, and the returning levels from Super Mario 3D World add ladders since Captain Toad and Toadette cannot jump.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ハシゴ[2] / はしご[3]
Futsū no hashigo

Usual ladder

Dutch Ladder[5]
French Échelle
Italian Scala (a pioli)
Muro scalabile (Wrecking Crew; NES Remix)
Climbable wall
Spanish Escalera


  1. ^ June 1994. Nintendo Power Volume 61. Nintendo of America (American English). Page 81-82.
  2. ^ Nintendo. レッキングクルー (Rekkingu Kurū) instruction booklet. Nintendo (Japanese). Page 5.
  3. ^ Nintendo (1994). ゲームボーイ ドンキーコング (Gēmu Bōi Donkī Kongu) instruction booklet. Nintendo (Japanese). Page 12 and 18.
  4. ^ Nintendo (1998). Wrecking Crew '98 manual. Nintendo (Japanese). Page 14.
  5. ^ Game Boy Donkey Kong Dutch Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console digital manual, tab 13: "Voorwerpen".