Lava in a sub-area of Super Mario Odyssey
|First appearance||Super Mario Bros. (1985)|
|Latest appearance||Super Mario Bros. Wonder (2023)|
Lava, also known as magma, is a common hazard in the Super Mario franchise, especially inside castles. Depending on the game, contact with lava either results in Mario losing some health (as seen in most 3D Super Mario platformer games and Paper Mario), or even losing a life (as seen from most 2D Super Mario platformer games). Super Stars or similar power-ups do not protect the player from lava. The effect lava has on Bowser varies as well, ranging from not affecting him to turning him into Dry Bowser to defeating him.
Super Mario series
Super Mario Bros.
Lava makes its debut in Super Mario Bros., where it appears in the castle level of each world. If Mario or Luigi falls into the lava, he instantly loses a life. At the end of the level, Mario or Luigi must destroy the bridge that either Bowser or an impostor is standing on, causing him to fall into the lava.
Due to the graphical limitations of the NES at the time, the "lava" uses the water tiles but with different values assigned to the palette; it is also only a background object (proven by characters falling through the lava and not losing a life the moment they touch it). In the Super Mario All-Stars version, lava has a boiling animation and Mario falls behind it.
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
Lava reappears in Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, where it has the same appearance and purpose as it did in Super Mario Bros. Lava can appear in other types of levels as well. In the Super Mario All-Stars version, the secret area in World 1-2 leading to a Warp Zone leading to World 4 has all of the water pits replaced with lava.
Super Mario Bros. 3
In Super Mario Bros. 3, lava occasionally appears in the Fortress levels in some worlds, usually appearing at the bottom of the level but sometimes appearing on the ceilings. Mario and Luigi always lose a life if they touch lava; however, they are unaffected when touching the lava on the ceiling in World 5's second fortress.
Super Mario World
In Super Mario World, lava appears in fortress and castle levels as well as certain underground levels. Once again, Mario or Luigi will instantly lose a life if they fall into the lava. In certain caves, there is a brighter color of lava which frequently has Skull Rafts on it; these rafts are the only way to complete these levels. If Yoshi, a power-up, or an enemy falls into the lava, it slowly sinks into the lava and eventually disappears; if Mario is riding Yoshi at the time, he will lose a life (although a glitch allows Yoshi to stand on slanted lava slopes). There is also chocolate lava (or possibly boiling hot mud or tar) found in Chocolate Fortress and Chocolate Island 4, which functions the same as normal lava, to match the theme of Chocolate Island (a reference to hot chocolate or hot cocoa).
This is the first game to introduce a new color of lava other than red or orange.
Super Mario 64 / Super Mario 64 DS
In Super Mario 64, lava covers much of Lethal Lava Land and Bowser in the Fire Sea. This lava releases Sparkies and Firesnake-like clumps of fire. Unlike in the 2D Super Mario games, when any character touches lava, he jumps into the air and rapidly loses three wedges of health (or four and a half wedges if Mario, Luigi, or Wario has no cap). Both lava stages feature enemies referred to as Bullies that try to knock Mario into lava, although Mario can jump on them or punch them to knock them into lava for coins.
Super Mario Sunshine
In Super Mario Sunshine, lava is found only in Corona Mountain. It covers the entire bottom of the stage, and serves as a major stage hazard in that level. If Mario touches the lava, he instantly loses a life.
Another substance known as burning goop serves a similar function throughout Pianta Village, and is referred to as lava in the Prima strategy guide for the game. This "lava", which was painted by Shadow Mario with his Magic Paintbrush, will cause Mario to leap in the air while losing health similarly to Super Mario 64.
New Super Mario Bros.
In New Super Mario Bros., lava appears in most Castle levels, World 4- and a few levels in World 8. Some of these levels feature rising lava as a major hazard. As with the other 2D platformer Mario games, when Mario falls on the lava, he instantly loses a life. Mega Mario is also vulnerable to lava if he somehow manages to fall into it.
Bowser became Dry Bowser after he fell into the lava as a result of his first defeat from Mario.
Super Mario Galaxy
In Super Mario Galaxy, lava is found in each Bowser level. Additionally, Bowser Jr.'s third level in Super Mario Galaxy is called Bowser Jr.'s Lava Reactor, and features considerably more lava than the other Bowser levels. Another notable location for lava is Freezeflame Galaxy, especially in the hot portions and when the two themes, hot and cold, mix. Finally, Melty Molten Galaxy has a significant amount of lava. Other galaxies, while not entirely composed of only lava, do rely heavily on the presence of lava as a major obstacle in some areas. As in Super Mario 64, when Mario touches the lava, he catches fire, jumps into the air, and runs uncontrollably, losing 1 wedge of health. However, the Ice Flower allows Ice Mario to skate across lava safely.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
In New Super Mario Bros. Wii lava returns in most castle levels, in most World 8 levels, and in World 9-6. As in most 2D Super Mario platformers, Mario, Luigi, Yellow Toad and Blue Toad lose a life if they touch the lava.
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Lava serves the same function in Super Mario Galaxy 2 as it does in its predecessor, damaging Mario and sending him flying high in the air. Lava, again, is a common element in the Bowser and Bowser Jr. levels, and is featured prominently in Shiverburn Galaxy and Melty Monster Galaxy as well.
Super Mario 3D Land
In Super Mario 3D Land, lava appears in Castle levels, some levels of World 8 and a few of the levels in the Special Worlds. As in Super Mario Sunshine and the 2D Super Mario platformers, lava makes Mario or Luigi lose a life on contact.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
Lava appears once again in castle levels, especially in Bowser's Castle. In the final battle, Bowser gains the ability to summon rising lava. Lava also appears in several World 6 levels, World 5- and World Star-7. Once again Mario (or Luigi) will instantly lose a life if he touches lava.
New Super Mario Bros. U / New Super Luigi U / New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
Lava also appears in New Super Mario Bros. U and its port, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, especially in castles like Iggy's Volcanic Castle. Although Peach's Castle, after Bowser's renovation, does include lava, lava is not involved in the final battle with Bowser. As in New Super Mario Bros. Wii and other 2D Super Mario platformers, contact with lava makes Mario, Luigi, Yellow Toad, Blue Toad, Toadette, and Nabbit lose a life.
Super Mario 3D World / Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury
Lava appears in Super Mario 3D World and Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury as a major hazard in some stages. As in Super Mario 3D Land, contact with lava makes Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Toad, and Rosalina lose one life. Some stages feature lava with a deep blue glow; unlike real-world blue lava, which is actually fire produced by burning sulfur, the physical and gameplay properties of in-game blue lava are identical to those of normal, red-orange lava.
In the remake's Bowser's Fury mode, making contact with lava has the same effects as in Super Mario 3D World, but because the campaign does not use a life system, 50 coins are lost instead. Lava is most prominent in Mount Magmeow and Roiling Roller Isle. Additionally, if Mario touches lava while giant during a battle with Fury Bowser, he will take damage.
Super Mario Maker / Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS
Lava appears in Super Mario Maker and Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS. Unlike most hazards, lava is restricted to the bottom of castle themed levels; it is not possible to place separate lava pits individually, either in the castle theme or in other level themes.
Super Mario Run's lava texture is based on the New Super Mario Bros. U style from this game instead of New Super Mario Bros. U itself.
Super Mario Odyssey
Lava returns in Super Mario Odyssey, where it has the same function as the lava from the Super Mario Galaxy games. Regular lava is found in the Moon Kingdom, the Seaside Kingdom, and the Darker Side, and pink lava is found in the Luncheon Kingdom. It is also found in many sub-areas. Lava with its appearance from Super Mario Bros. can be found in 2D segments. Mario can travel across lava by capturing a Lava Bubble. In the Seaside Kingdom, Mario can use a Gushen to clear away lava.
Super Mario Maker 2
Lava returns in the castle theme in Super Mario Maker 2 serving the same role as in previous games. Players can now set the default lava level and/or have it rise and fall at a set speed. The speed can be adjusted to either slow or fast. A Warp Pipe leading into lava will block the player from exiting it in the sub-area.
Super Mario Bros. 35
In Super Mario Bros. 35, lava functions identically to the original Super Mario Bros., due to this game being a battle-royale adaptation of the original.
Mario Kart series
In the Mario Kart series, lava appears in all of the Bowser's Castle courses and Wii Grumble Volcano. Falling into lava causes drivers to slow down, as in most games, they must wait for a Lakitu to pull them out to continue the race. Courses with lava usually feature Lava Bubbles and in later games, Lava Geysers as obstacles for driving and gliding racers, causing them to spin out and likely fall into the lava when touched.
Much like in the Super Mario series, lava is an instant death in the Yoshi franchise as well. Coming into contact with lava will cause a Yoshi to instantly lose a life, regardless of whether or not the Yoshi is invincible. Falling into lava, touching spikes, and getting crushed are the only ways Yoshi's death is shown on-screen (not counting when Baby Mario is snatched away); the former shows him flying off-screen, while the latter two show him spinning and collapsing. Yoshi can ride on Poochy to safely travel across lava. Enemies such as Gargantua Blarggs are common in lava.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
In Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, lava appears in Pipe Vault, Barrel Volcano, and Bowser's Keep. Contact with lava causes Mario to warp back to the entrance of a room. In the two platforming challenges in Bowser's Keep, which Mario gets ten chances to complete, falling into lava will remove one of his chances along with several coins, and warp him back.
Paper Mario series
Lava is rarely seen in the Paper Mario series. In Paper Mario there are only two areas to feature lava; the first is inside the volcano Mt. Lavalava, and the second is inside Bowser's Castle. If Mario falls into the lava, he loses one hit point, and on most occasions, he needs to have Parakarry or Lakilester carry him over it.
Lava appears again in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. In this game, it is found only during the two Bowser events; the first around Bowser's Castle, and the second in a stage reminiscent of Super Mario Bros.. Mario himself never encounters any lava.
In Super Paper Mario, there is no lava, save the lava around Bowser's Castle in the introduction screen. The tattle for the Lava Bubble, however, says that the player must avoid them while the player is jumping over lava, implying the pits it jumps out of are filled with lava.
In Paper Mario: Sticker Star, lava appears in W5-5, Rugged Road, and in W5-6, Rumble Volcano. In the first area of Rugged Road, Mario cannot go over the rising lava, so he must use a freezing type sticker to cross. In the other areas, Mario uses rock pieces floating on the lava to cross. In Rumble Volcano, Mario must avoid the lava. If Mario falls in the lava, he loses 3 Heart Points.
In Paper Mario: Color Splash, lava appears in Kiwano Temple, Redpepper Volcano, and Redpepper Crater. Super Mario Bros. 3-style lava appears in the Green Energy Plant. In Kiwano Temple, it appears near the end of the level. If Mario falls in the lava in this level, he will receive an automatic Game Over. In Redpepper Volcano and Redpepper Crater, it appears throughout the level. If Mario falls into the lava in these levels, he loses 30 HP. Draggadon must be used to ride across the lava in Redpepper Volcano.
Mario Party series
Mario Party 2
The minigame Hexagon Heat from Mario Party 2 involves moving over to the colored spot Toad indicates using the flags he holds. The platforms will slowly fall into lava as a different one is called. Another minigame in both the original and the sequel, Handcar Havoc, involves steering a handcar, and leaning so it does not tip over the edge of the tracks and into lava. However, it is impossible to fall off the edge in the Mario Party 2 version, which is in the sky and has no lava as a result. Lava Tile Isle involves pushing players off the moving tiles and into lava.
Mario Party 4 / Mario Party: The Top 100
The minigame Chain Chomp Fever in Mario Party 4 involves staying out of the way of the Chain Chomp, while also avoiding falling into the lava. The minigame The Final Battle! involves getting to and fighting Bowser by solving puzzles and, once again, avoiding falling into lava. In Mario Party 4, if the player falls into the lava, they will instantly lose the minigame, while in Mario Party: The Top 100, falling in the lava only makes the player lose one hit point, instead of instantly losing.
Mario Party 5
The minigame Revolving Fire has lava surrounding the arena, trapping the players, and the lone player has to eliminate the other three by rotating the fire or by ground-pounding to trigger a lava wave.
Mario Party 6
Mario Party Advance
In Mario Party Advance, the minigame Stompbot XL involves trying to avoid the lava heading towards the player, while avoiding obstacles such as walls, rocks, and small patches of lava. Also, the minigame Go-go Pogo has the player using a pogo to get to the end while avoiding the lava below and other obstacles. Touching any of the hazards will cause the player to lose the minigame.
Mario Party 7
Despite not having lava as a hazard, the minigames Treasure Dome! and Tunnel of Lava! from Mario Party 7 are filled with it. The minigame Magmagical Journey! contains much lava that acts as an obstacle.
Mario Party 8
The minigame Lava or Leave 'Em from Mario Party 8 once again involves dodging Lava Bubbles while staying away from lava. Lava also appears in the minigame Lava Lobbers, where a player falls in if they are hit three times. In the minigame Pumper Cars, one section of the course involves the characters racing across a bridge with lava below it, as Lava Bubbles are seen jumping out of the pit.
Mario Party 9
In Mario Party 9, lava appears in Magma Mine as one of the most dangerous obstacles in the board. The lava rises two spaces every turn; if the lava catches up to the cart, the captain loses half of their Mini Stars. In Magma Mayhem, the players must knock their adversaries off a tilting platform, making them sink into the magma. It also appears in the minigames Tumble Temple, Bowser Pop, and Double Pounder, as an aesthetic element. In the boss battle Spike Strike, the players and Spike are inside a volcano, on a rock surrounded by lava. In the second half, the lava rises, giving less time for the players to think. In Chain Chomp Romp, the volcanoes in the background are in eruption, and lava is seen running down them.
Mario Party 10
Mario Party: Star Rush
Mario Golf series
Lava appears in Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour in Bowser Badlands, Mario Golf: Advance Tour in the Mushroom Course, Mario Golf: World Tour in Bowser's Castle, and Mario Golf: Super Rush in Bowser Highlands. Prior to Super Rush, if the ball lands in lava, it is counted out of bounds, giving the player a penalty and forcing them to repeat their stroke. In Super Rush, it is considered an ordinary penalty area like a water hazard, placing the ball near the lava instead of back to its original position.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong series
Lava appears in Mario vs. Donkey Kong in Fire Mountain and Fire Mountain Plus. It acts identically to its appearance in Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World: if Mario touches lava, he burns and loses a life. Lava geysers also appear in some levels, which can lift platforms and help Mario reach higher places. Rising lava is also featured in a few levels.
Lava later appears in Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis, only appearing on the fifth floor, Lava Dome. If a Mini touches lava, it is burned and destroyed. Lava geysers reappear in this game, where they are known as Lava Fountains. In the Construction Zone, lava can only be used in the Lava Dome construction kit.
Donkey Kong franchise
Donkey Kong Country series
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
Lava's first appearance in a Donkey Kong game is in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, as an obstacle found primarily in the area Crocodile Cauldron, a large volcanically active area. In Donkey Kong Land 2, lava is slightly less common due to Crocodile Cauldron being fused together with the large and swampy Krem Quay to create Krem Cauldron.
Donkey Kong Country Returns / Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Donkey Kong Land 2
In Donkey Kong Land 2, lava is slightly less common than in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest due to Crocodile Cauldron being fused together with the large and swampy Krem Quay to create Krem Cauldron.
Donkey Kong 64
In Donkey Kong 64, the Kongs lose a health point whenever they come into contact with lava. However, lava can be walked on, and Donkey Kong is able to do so without receiving damage if he is invincible from the effects of Strong Kong.
When fighting Dogadon in either the Angry Aztec or Fungi Forest battle arena, the lava will instantly kill the Kongs upon contact. The lava will also instantly kill the Kongs on contact in the lobby for Hideout Helm.
Donkey Kong Jungle Beat
In Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, lava is a prevalent obstacle in the levels Grim Volcano, Ancient Foundry, Lava Cavern and Magma Coliseum. When Donkey Kong falls in lava, he loses a heart from his health meter and is quickly launched back to the platform he was last situated on. Once there, he will uncontrollably run around in circles and wail with his rump fuming for a few moments. This period can be shortened if the player repeatedly taps the DK Bongo controllers or, in the New Play Control! version, shakes the Wii Remote or Nunchuk.
DK: Jungle Climber
Wario Land series
Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3
In Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, lava is the primary obstacle in Stove Canyon and functions like in the 2D Super Mario games, causing Wario to instantly lose a life when he touches it. Course No.20, in particular, features a wall of lava that chases Wario. Bō are obstacles that jump out of lava at regular intervals.
Virtual Boy Wario Land
Wario Land 4
Lava appears in Wario Land 4 as an obstacle in Fiery Cavern. When Wario jumps into it, he loses a heart and several coins (three silver coins if he has more than 300 points), but can otherwise move in it as normal. He must jump out of the lava onto solid ground in order to avoid losing any more health. Lava geysers are found in almost every pit of lava in the level, where lava rapidly emerges to a certain height and retreats slowly. After hitting the level's switch, all the columns of lava rising from geysers will freeze in place and become walls as well as platforms.
Wario Land: Shake It!
In Wario Land: Shake It!, lava is found in the levels Mt. Lava Lava and Sneak Peak. Like in the previous game, Wario will lose health if he drops into lava but can otherwise walk in it. Lava can be used to defeat land-based enemies, including Volcannons. Black Scarracudas can be found swimming at the surface of lava, jumping out at Wario to bite him whenever he gets above them.
Wario: Master of Disguise
Magma is the main medium in Sweatmore Peak, a location in Wario: Master of Disguise. If Wario falls into it, he will move around as he would in water, but will constantly take damage without proper equipment. Before plunging into magma, he has to acquire the Sweatmore Hotpants in order to become immune to most of the magma in the level. Certain areas inside the magma are hotter and require finding the Sweatmore Superhotpants. Only robotic enemies, such as Battle Salmon, Snackerals, Cyborcas and RoboUrchins, are seen to be able to endure magma.
Mario & Luigi series
In every game in the Mario & Luigi series, lava appears in Bowser's Castle (replaced with Neo Bowser Castle in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team). If the playable character falls into lava, they will immediately jump out and land near where they fell in.
In Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, lava is also found in Mount Pajamaja, Dreamy Mount Pajamaja, and Dreamy Neo Bowser Castle. In certain rooms of the latter area, Mario and Dreamy Luigi must quickly navigate the room as the lava rises. The battle against Giant Bowser also involves knocking him into lava to deal major damage.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie
In The Super Mario Bros. Movie, lava appears frequently in several scenes. Lava can be found covering most of Bowser's ship. While it flies over the Snow Kingdom in the first scene of the movie, lava drips onto the ground. Shortly after Luigi arrives at the Dark Lands, he is chased by Dry Bones over small ground sections in a lava pool. Lava can be spotted once again when Luigi is thrown into a dungeon in Bowser's Castle. During the scene, Luigi, Goombas, Penguins, the Penguin King, and a Lumalee are shown hanging in small cages above a large lava lake. During the wedding of Bowser and Peach, the caged characters, now including Cranky Kong and members of the Great Kong Army, are levitated over another lava lake, while Bowser insists that he "sacrifices them in her honor." Later in the scene, the caged characters begin to slowly lower into the lava with a pulley system. The lava starts melting Luigi's cage when it makes contact with it, until he has to hold himself against the bars with his arms and legs to avoid touching it. Peach saves the characters from being drenched in the lava by freezing the pulley system by using the powers from an Ice Flower. Luigi eventually loses his grip on the cage bars and plummets toward the lava lake, but Tanooki Mario flies into view and catches him before he falls in.
- Gobblegut (Black)
- Fiery Dino Piranha
- Fire Snake
- Flame Chomp
- King Kaliente
- Lava Bubble
- Lava Bud
- Lava Drop
- Lava Piranha
- Li'l Cinder
- Lil Sparky
Names in other languages
Criomagma (Super Mario 3D World's blue lava)
- UncommentatedPannen (July 21, 2016). HP (5:16). YouTube. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
- Hodgson, David S J, Bryan Stratton, and Stephen Stratton. Super Mario Sunshine Prima's Official Strategy Guide. Page 153.
- rawmeatcowboy (June 5, 2023). Miyamoto suggested Mario shouldn't like mushrooms in the Mario movie (and more bonus facts!) Nintendo Life. Retrieved June 5, 2023. (Archived June 5, 2023, 21:08:44 UTC via Wayback Machine.)
- Mario vs. Donkey Kong Shogakukan book