From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
Jump to navigationJump to search
This article is about the yellow lightning bolt. For the dog character from the Saturday Supercade episode Junior Meets Kid Dynamo, see Lightning (character). For the Captain Command in the Minion Quest: The Search for Bowser mode of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions, see Lightning (move). For the obstacle found in platform games, see Lightning (obstacle).
Lightning in Mario Kart 8
First appearance Super Mario Kart (1992)
Latest appearance Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit (2020)

Lightning (also called Lightning Bolt,[1] Thunder Bolt,[2] or Lightning Blast[3]) is an attack item found in various Super Mario games. On its use, it summons a powerful lightning bolt from the sky, usually shrinking opponents.


Mario Kart series[edit]

Official LINE sticker for Mario Kart 8.
LINE sticker showing Bowser being struck by lightning

In the Mario Kart series, Lightning is an extremely powerful item that racers usually receive when they are in (or near) last place in a race. When used, Lightning will temporarily shrink all the other racers, making them slower and weaker, in addition to making them spin out and drop their items. It also temporarily makes the racers' voices high-pitched and sped up until being back to normal or getting squashed. It is also the emblem for the Lightning Cup.

In Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, and Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, when Lightning is used, a sound like that of a tiny alarm is heard during its effect. In Super Mario Kart that sound is only heard when the Lightning is launched, and in Mario Kart DS onwards, the music in the race is affected when the player is hit by it. In Mario Kart 7, the extra beat that plays in 1st place goes out of sync with the music for a few seconds after the attack. Lightning's effect can be avoided if a racer has a Mega Mushroom, Star, Boo, or Bullet Bill item activated when the bolt strikes, or if they are flying through the air after being shot out of a cannon in all games prior to Mario Kart 7 or are frozen by an Ice Flower in Mario Kart Tour.

Super Mario Kart[edit]

In Super Mario Kart, if any shrunken racers are driven over, they will be squashed and unable to move for a few seconds. While shrunk, the character's weight is equal to other shrunken players. This game's iteration of Lightning has a duration that is approximately twice as long as that of all future games. This item can be obtained if the player is in 5th place or lower for most tracks and 2nd or lower for Bowser Castle and Rainbow Road tracks, but overall is the rarest item in the game.

Mario Kart 64[edit]

Mario is affected by Lightning in Mario Kart 64
A Thunder Bolt striking Mario and Toad

The Thunder Bolt returns in Mario Kart 64, behaving the same as in Super Mario Kart. While shrunk, racers cannot use items in their Item Windows,[4] but they can use items they have deployed. However, if two shrunken racers run into each other, they will both crush each other. A racer can obtain a Thunder Bolt if they are anywhere from second to eighth place.

In the Virtual Console version, the flash from the Thunder Bolt has been toned down due to the possibilities of players getting seizures from it in the original version.

Mario Kart: Super Circuit[edit]

Lightning returns again in Mario Kart: Super Circuit, behaving like in Super Mario Kart, though shrunken racers now spin in place if they come in contact with a normal-sized racer. The duration of the item is the shortest in the series, lasting six seconds. Princess Peach, Wario, and Bowser are the only three CPUs that are able to obtain the item.[citation needed]

Like Mario Kart 64, the Virtual Console versions for Wii U and the 3DS Ambassador Program have the flashing effect toned down compared to the original GBA version.

Mario Kart: Double Dash!![edit]

King Boo and Petey Piranha are struck by Lightning
Lightning strikes Petey Piranha and King Boo.

In Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Lightning can also scatter racers' items across the road when used. However, the item does not affect racers that are currently indisposed (such as having just been hit by another item, or having fallen over a cliff). Also, unlike in Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64, and Mario Kart: Super Circuit, shrunken racers will not get squished if they ram into normal sized racers. However, tiny karts will be easy to push around, even by the Bullet Blaster, which is the lightest kart in the game. Lightning can be dropped on the road after getting hit by something that causes racers to lose their items (e.g. Freezies). However, the Lightning will only stay on the road for a few seconds.

Mario Kart DS[edit]

Lightning strikes Toad
Lightning striking Toad

In Mario Kart DS, the effect of being hit by Lightning wears off much faster depending on the rank that the racer is in. For example, someone hit by one while in seventh place will return to normal size almost immediately, while the one in first place will remain shrunk for up to seven seconds. Also, racers who get hit by other items can still be affected by this item. Unlike in prior games, the background music becomes distorted rather than not playing ay all. This item can be obtained if the racer is in 6th place or lower, with CPUs only being able to obtain it in 8th place.

Mario Kart Wii[edit]

Bowser is affected by Lightning in Mario Kart Wii
Several racers shrunk by Lightning

In Mario Kart Wii, as in Mario Kart DS, the effect of Lightning lasts more briefly the lower the rank the racer is in, and even if hit by other items, they will still be affected by it. If the racers are under the effects of a Mega Mushroom, they will shrink back to normal size immediately and will not spin out or lose their items. In Battle Mode, unlike other items, Lightning does not take away a balloon or coins. This item can be obtained if the racer is in 9th place or lower, with CPUs only being able to obtain it in 12th place. The best chance of getting this item is in 12th place, with a 22.5 percent (9 out of 40) chance of getting it in said position. There is also the Thunder Cloud, which gives the recipient a speed boost prior to striking them with lightning. It is one of six items wherein only one can be in play at a time (the other five being the Thunder Cloud, Spiny Shell, Bullet Bill, POW Block, and Blooper), is one of four items with a cooldown timer for the first few seconds of a race (the other three being the Spiny Shell, POW Block, and Blooper), and is one of three items with a cooldown timer between uses (the other two being the POW Block and Blooper). Lightning is unobtainable for the first thirty seconds of a race, and once a Lightning is used, thirty seconds must elapse before another Lightning is obtainable.

Mario Kart 7[edit]

Wario is affected by Lightning in Mario Kart 7
Wario shrunk by Lightning

In Mario Kart 7, as in Mario Kart DS and Mario Kart Wii, the effect of being shocked by Lightning will be determined on the level rank the racer is in, from last place having decreased time and first place being shrunk for longer. As before, the music of track will be altered, and even if hit by another item, the racer will still be shrunk. Any racers that are shrunk will also be squished if run over by normal sized racers, an effect returning from Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64, and Mario Kart: Super Circuit. Unlike in prior games, when a driver is shot out of a cannon, the shrinking effect will still happen and the driver will fall while gliding in midair. Additionally, up to three racers can hold a Lightning Bolt at a time, potentially unleashing two or three lightning attacks at once. This item can be obtained if the racer is in 7th place or lower, with CPUs only being able to obtain it in 8th place.

Mario Kart 8 / Mario Kart 8 Deluxe[edit]

Green Shy Guy is affected by Lightning
Green Shy Guy shrunk by Lightning

In Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the effect of this item is very similar to its effect in Mario Kart 7. In these games however, when a character is shrunken, the loss of speed makes it more difficult for the racer to perform tricks and to drift. Unlike in previous Mario Kart games, when a racer is hit with Lightning, they will lose the item they are holding even if they are under the effects of a Star (in the original version only). Like the first three games and Mario Kart 7, when a racer is shrunken by Lightning, and another one with the normal size drives on them, they will be squished. Up to three racers can hold Lightning at the same time. Lightning will also strike all course elements that react to thrown items, such as Piranha Plants or the crystal switches on Hyrule Circuit. As of version 2.2.0 of Deluxe, Lightning no longer causes drivers' gliders to close.

Mario Kart Tour[edit]

Lightning returns in Mario Kart Tour, with its effect being similar in previous games. Unlike in Mario Kart 7 and Mario Kart 8, when a racer is hit with a Lightning while gliding, the glider does not retract. During a Lightning Frenzy, one racer will get struck each time the item is used. When non-Frenzy Lightning is used, interactable objects around the course react to it as they do when hit with an offensive item, but do not give points.

Normally, the player will lose all of their items when hit by Lightning, though if the player is using a Coin Box, Bob-omb Cannon, Mushroom Cannon or Banana Barrels when hit, the item will still be retained.

The following gliders increase the chance of getting Lightning and points for hitting racers with one.

Special skill Gliders
Lightning from Mario Kart Tour.
Lightning Plus
Increases your chances of getting Lightning. Using one will get you more points.
+5 points
Lightning Oilpaper from Mario Kart Tour
+8 points
Glitter Glider from Mario Kart TourLuma Parafoil from Mario Kart TourTreasure Map from Mario Kart Tour.Butterfly Wings from Mario Kart Tour8-Bit Star from Mario Kart TourPlanet Glider from Mario Kart TourStarry Great Sail from Mario Kart TourShip's WheelRed and Gold Umbrella from Mario Kart TourThe Silver Candlelight Flight from Mario Kart TourWonderful Diamond from Mario Kart TourThe Green Emblem from Mario Kart TourThe Melon & Banana Balloons from Mario Kart TourCloud Glider from Mario Kart TourRainy Balloons from Mario Kart TourDream Glider from Mario Kart TourWario's Mustache from Mario Kart TourLava Rocks from Mario Kart TourBoo Masks from Mario Kart Tour

Mario Pinball Land[edit]

Lightning appears as an item in Mario Pinball Land. When used, it defeats all on-screen enemies.

Mario Power Tennis[edit]

In Mario Power Tennis, Lightning appears as an item in the Item Battle in Exhibition Mode. When used, it shrinks the player's opponent(s), reducing their speed and power. Lightning also appears in 8-bit Mario Bros. styled sprites in the mini-game Coin Collectors, where it is used when the player grabs it.

Mario Baseball series[edit]

Lightning appears in both Mario Baseball games. In Mario Superstar Baseball, Lightning is one of the items resulting from landing the ball in the ? space in Toy Field. If the player receives it, they can switch the leading player's coins with their coins. In Mario Super Sluggers, Lightning reappears in Toy Field, as an error item, where the losing player may receive it.

Mario Hoops 3-on-3[edit]

In Mario Hoops 3-on-3, Lightning is a usable item. If it is used, it stuns all players and makes the ball drop out of one's grasp.

Mario Party series[edit]

King Boo's Puzzle Attack
King Boo struck by Lightning in Mario Party 9
Lightning Score Striker in action on Wario
Wario struck by the Lightning Score Striker in Mario Party: Island Tour

Lightning makes a few appearances in the Mario Party series. It first appears in Mario Party 8, although only from being depicted on the wrapper of the Cashzap Candy. In Mario Party 9, Lightning appears in King Boo's Puzzle Attack, where lining three of them will give ten points to whoever lined up three of this item, while taking away three points from their opponents. It also unleashes lightning that will damage King Boo more than the other items do. In Mario Party: Island Tour, Lightning is referred to as a Lightning Score Striker, an item that subtracts three from an opponent's roll. In Mario Party: Star Rush, Lightning is an item in Coinathlon that, when used, stuns an opponent for a few seconds.

Mario & Sonic series[edit]

Yoshi is struck by Lightning in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games
Yoshi is struck by lightning in Dream Race in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games for the Wii.

Lightning appears as an item in a few installments of the Mario & Sonic series. Its first appearance in the series is the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, where it is an item in Dream Race that can temporarily stun all other characters and cause them to lose speed, though one can defend against Lightning by using either a Starman or invincibility from a Chaos Emerald. Lightning made its second appearance in the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, where it appears as an item in several Dream Events: in Dream Alpine, Dream Ski Cross and Dream Snowboard Cross, Dream Short Track, and Dream Bobsleigh, Lightning can strike every opponent, knocking them over and causing them to lose speed; in the Individual version of Dream Ski Jumping, Lightning can strike every opponent and cause them to lose height, speed, 10 points and a Bonus panel, though one can defend against it using a Barrier; in the Individual and Team versions of Dream Gliding, Lightning can strike all opponents and knock them out of the sky. Lightning made its third appearance in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, albeit referred to as Thunder, in the Dream Racing event, where using it affects all opponents, causing them to spin out of control and lose some of their Rings.

Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

Lightning appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as an item. The item usually shrinks all of the player's opponents. However, at times it might backfire and shrink the player who grabbed the item. Lastly, there is a small chance that the item makes the opponents giant-sized, as if they all touched a Super Mushroom. As with the Super Mushroom and Poison Mushroom, fighters only have to touch the item to activate its effects.

Fighters who get shrunk by the Lightning will be set to the exact same size as when they touch a Poison Mushroom (0.5x normal size), but their direct attacks deal 0.7x their normal damage, instead of 0.6x. Also, if players become giant from the Lightning, they will be much bigger than when they grab a Super Mushroom (2.4x normal size, instead of 1.7x), and their direct attacks will deal 1.84x their normal damage.

Additionally, the Lightning item is depicted as a trophy in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and as a sticker in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. In The Subspace Emissary, the sticker can be used on any fighter to boost their electric attacks by 4 points.

Super Mario-kun[edit]

Lightning makes a brief appearance in volume 6 of Super Mario-kun. While struggling, Mario receives this item and then uses it to pulverize Donkey Kong Jr. and win the race. It is also used in another chapter to shrink the Mega Mole that Mario was fighting, giving it the size of a regular Monty Mole.


Mario Kart series[edit]

Super Mario Kart[edit]

  • Instruction booklet bio: Use the Lightning Bolt and you'll see a big flash, all of the other racers will become smaller in size for a while. During this time, they will move slower and are very vulnerable.
  • Wii Virtual Console manual bio: Strikes all other karts with lightning, shrinking them and making them slow and vulnerable to being flattened by other karts.

Mario Kart 64[edit]

  • Operation Card bio: Use this to attack every other Kart. When struck by a thunder bolt, a Kart will shrink, its speed will drop and it can easily be crushed.

Mario Kart: Super Circuit[edit]

  • Instruction booklet: Drop lightning on all your opponents, shrinking them and slowing them down for a few seconds.

Mario Kart: Double Dash!![edit]

  • Instruction booklet bio: This mighty bolt strikes all opponents at the same time, causing them to spin out, drop their items, and shrink in size, which reduces their max speeds.

Mario Kart DS[edit]

  • Instruction booklet bio: Makes all opponents spin out, drop their items, and shrink for a brief period of time.

Mario Kart Wii / Mario Kart 7[edit]

  • Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7 instruction manuals bio: Lightning zaps your opponents, causing them to spin out, drop their items, shrink, and drive more slowly for a while.
  • Mario Kart 7 North American website bio: Use this item to send a bolt from the sky on to all of your opponents, shrinking and slowing them down.

Mario Kart 8[edit]

  • Instruction manual bio: Strikes all opponents with lightning, causing them to lose their items. It also temporarily shrinks them, reducing their speed.

Mario Kart Tour[edit]

  • Tips & Tricks: Calls down lightning to spin out your opponents and destroy the items they hold. Those struck will be smaller and slower for a set amount of time.
  • Mario Kart Tour Twitter: This powerful item calls bolts of lightning down from the sky to strike your opponents with electrifying accuracy! If you get hit, your kart will shrink and slow down.
    Channel mother nature to make a comeback for the ages...and maybe bring a thunder rod.

Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

BrawlTrophy500.png Lightning Sticker.png
A Lightning's Super Smash Bros. Brawl trophy (left) and sticker (right)
  • Trophy
    • Lightning
    • Appears in:
      • SNES Super Mario Kart
      • N64 Mario Kart 64
    • An item that goes off the moment you touch it. It may shrink every other character on the screen. Tiny players suffer a reduction in their attack power and become easier to send flying. After a set amount of time, all the characters will return to their normal sizes. In the Mario Kart series, all players but the item user shrunk, and get flattened when run over.
  • Sticker

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Super Smash Bros. for Wii U[edit]

LightningBoltTrophy3DS.png Lightning's trophy render from Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
A trophy of a Lightning in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS (left) / Wii U (right)
  • Trophy
    • Lightning
    • Appears in:
      • SNES Super Mario Kart (09/1992)
      • Wii U Mario Kart 8 (05/2014)
    • If there is one thing I've learned from Mario Kart, it's that lightning can strike without a cloud in the sky. Picking this up will hit your foes with a character-shrinking blast of lightning, making them really easy to launch into the distance. If you get struck, you'd best run until the fight is fair again. (American English)
    • Don't let sunny weather fool you! Lightning can strike at any time. This mighty force of nature can make you feel small...and actually make you small, too. In this state, you'll be quite weak and easily launched, so just try to stay out of everyone's way until you go back to normal. THEN you can get your own back! (British English)


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Lightning.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese イナズマ
Inazuma [6] (Super Mario Kart)

Chinese (Simplified) 闪电
Chinese (Traditional) 雷電
Léidiàn [7] (Mario Party 9)
Shǎndiàn (Mario Kart series / Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

Dutch Bliksemschicht (Mario Kart 8)
Bliksem (Mario Kart 7)
Lightning bolt
French Éclair Lightning
German Donnerblitz
Blitz (Mario Kart 8 / Mario Kart Tour)
Italian Fulmine
Saetta (Mario Kart DS)
Korean 번개
Portuguese Relâmpago Lightning
Russian Молния
Spanish Rayo Lightning


  1. ^ Super Mario Kart North American instruction booklet. Page 14. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  2. ^ Mario Kart 64 North American instruction booklet. Page 13. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  3. ^ Nintendo Magazine System (AU) issue 49. Page 39Media:NMS Australia 49 MK64 drivers and items.jpg.
  4. ^ Mario Kart 64 instruction manual, pages 10 and 13
  5. ^ mariokarttourEN (September 23, 2019). Twitter. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  6. ^ Super Mario Kart Japanese instruction booklet. Page 13. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  7. ^ Chinese website for Mario Party 9. Retrieved February 12, 2020.