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Not to be confused with Phantom.
Artwork of a Phanto for Super Mario Advance
Artwork from Super Mario Advance
First appearance Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic (1987, overall)
Super Mario Bros. 2 (1988, Super Mario franchise)
Latest appearance Super Mario Maker 2 (version 3.0.0) (2020)

Phantos are large, seemingly-living masks that appear in Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic and Super Mario Bros. 2, where they are found guarding keys. According to the game's manual, they often guard various other treasures as well. Their name is a shortened form of the word "phantom", another word for ghost or specter, and is likely used in reference to The Phantom of the Opera.

In Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic, the Phanto's expression and color scheme most resembles its original artwork; starting with Super Mario Bros. 2, they are given a distinctive evil grin, and subsequent remakes redesign them to be brownish yellow and tinted a lighter yellow instead of red and white respectively, as well as depict them without a visible nose.


Super Mario series[edit]

Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic / Super Mario Bros. 2 / Super Mario Advance[edit]

Artwork of Phanto from the Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic manual (pg. 32).
Original artwork of Phanto from Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic

Phantos appear as semi-common enemies in Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic, Super Mario Bros. 2, and subsequent reissues. They are seen guarding keys in caves or in jars. They first appear in World 1-2. Phantos simply remain immobile and harmless until the player takes the key they are guarding, at which point one of the Phantos will animate and ceaselessly chase them; some of the remakes make this Phanto slightly different in appearance from the others. Phantos can follow the player through other screens and rooms, even including Subspace; they cannot be permanently defeated, either—a Phanto can be temporarily defeated only with the combination of a Stop Watch and a Starman, but a new one will replace it as soon as the player enters another room while carrying the key. If the player drops the key while a Phanto is chasing them, it flies away and leaves them alone until they pick up the key again; it will only give up the chase for good once the door is unlocked.

A number of immobile and harmless Phantos can be seen in Wart's room. In remakes, larger Phantos can be seen in the backgrounds of the key rooms; the eyes of these larger Phantos will glow red repeatedly once the key is grabbed. In the Game Boy Advance remake, if the player drops or uses the key or loses a life, the Phanto appears to fly toward the camera as it leaves, via usage of an altered sprite that is twice as large as the original. Furthermore, Phantos can be defeated in said version from an invincible character.

A photo officially posted by Nintendo of America on Facebook references Phanto's behavior of chasing the player character with the key, dramatized to the point of it demanding that that they do not touch the key.[1]

BS Super Mario USA[edit]

In BS Super Mario USA, Phantos can be defeated by large objects that are thrown from off-screen like Peach's Love Love FireMedia:BSSMUSA Love Love Fire.png even when they are inactive. A giant Phanto spawns according to the time in the game's built-in clock. The first appearance is in the second broadcast episode when the time is at :15. The second appearance is in the fourth broadcast episode at :07. It will chase the player even without keys involved but will not follow the player to other screens. It has difficulty tracking players that hang around the edge of wraparound screens. After one minute, it fades away.

Super Mario Maker 2[edit]

Phantos appear in Super Mario Maker 2 in the version 3.0.0 update released on April 22, 2020. They appear as enemies in the Super Mario Bros. style, attacking players when a Cursed Key is picked up. Phantos often tend to move in erratic patterns, following the player. The sprite now glows in pink/light blue colors. Additionally, they are completely immune to the Moon, Super Stars, Spiny Shells and Dry Bones Shells. Only one Phanto can appear at a time, though multiple Cursed Keys can be held at once. Although, if another player has a key, another Phanto will appear. When entering a subarea or going through a Warp Door with a Phanto following the player, the Phanto will take a few seconds to suddenly appear in the new location.

The Super Mario Bros. Super Show![edit]

“Ultra bad scene, dudes! We're caught between a mummy and a weird face!”
Toad, "The Ten Koopmandments"
A Phanto from The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! episode, "The Ten Koopmandments".

Phantos are enemies in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!. One appears in "The Ten Koopmandments," where it chases Mario, Luigi, Princess Toadstool and Toad inside a pyramid after the four had been caught by Koop Tut; the chase continues until the characters escape from the pyramid. In "Escape from Koopatraz," a Phanto is a member of Judge Koopa's jury.

Mario Kart series[edit]

Sprites of Phantos, taken from Super Mario Bros. 2, are sewed on the carpets decorating the racecourse of Shy Guy Bazaar in Mario Kart 7 and Mario Kart Tour.

Profiles and statistics[edit]

Super Mario Bros. 2 / Super Mario Advance[edit]

  • Instruction booklet bio: He is normally at rest and waits by keys. If you take a key, he will pursue you.[2]
  • Instruction booklet bio (Game Boy Advance version): Phantos comes[sic] to life when you take the key they're guarding. Beware — Phantos will chase you from screen to screen.[3]

Perfect Ban Mario Character Daijiten[edit]

カメーン (JP) / Phanto (EN)
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Original text (Japanese) Translation
種族しゅぞく ゴースト族 Tribe Ghost clan
性格せいかく 執念ぶかい Disposition Tenacious
登場とうじょうゲーム USA Game appearances USA


Let go of the key from time to time.

He is the keeper of the key to the door. If you try to take the key with you, it will start moving and chase you wherever you go. If you remove your hand from the key, it will move away, so if it comes close to you, put the key down.






Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese カメーン[5]
From「仮面かめん」(kamen, mask) lengthened

Transliteration of the Super Mario Bros. 2 name

Chinese (simplified) 面具[13] (Super Mario Advance in-game name)
面具怪[14] (Super Mario Advance demo play video)



Chinese (traditional) 卡面[15] (Super Mario Maker 2)
Transliteration from the Japanese name, while「面」is also derived from「面具」(miànjù, "mask")

Dutch Phanto[12]
French Phanto
German Phanto
Italian Phanto[7]
Fantasma/Faccia Fantasma (The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!)
Spettro (Kirby Super Star Ultra)
Ghost/Ghost Face
Small Spirit
Li'l specter
Korean 카면[16]
From 假面 (ga'myeon, "mask" in Sino-Korean)

Russian Привидение (Super Mario Maker 2 ver. 3.0.0 update trailer)

Spanish Fantasma (Super Mario Bros. 2)
Fantasmáscara (Super Mario Maker 2)
Portmanteau of fantasma ("phantom") and máscara ("mask")



  1. ^ a b Nintendo of America. “Find something to unlock that door!” he said. “What could possibly go wrong?” he said. #NintendoHalloween. Facebook (American English). Retrieved June 26, 2024 (imageMedia:Phanto Nintendo Halloween 2014 graphic.jpg). (Archived October 25, 2021, 23:36:38 UTC via
  2. ^ Nintendo (1988). Super Mario Bros. 2 instruction booklet. Nintendo of America (American English). Page 24.
  3. ^ Nintendo (2001). Super Mario Advance European instruction booklet. Nintendo of Europe (British English). Page 12.
  4. ^ Perfect Ban Mario Character Daijiten. Shogakukan (Japanese). Page 55.
  5. ^ Nintendo (1987). Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic instruction booklet. Nintendo (Japanese). Page 32.
  6. ^ 1994. Perfect Ban Mario Character Daijiten. Shogakukan (Japanese). Page 225.
  7. ^ Super Mario Bros. 2 Italian manual. Page 24.
  8. ^ Nintendo (2001). Super Mario Advance European manual. Nintendo of Europe (Italian). Page 112.
  9. ^ November 15, 2018. Super Mario Bros. Enciclopedia. Magazzini Salani (Italian). ISBN 889367436X. Page 67.
  10. ^ Nintendo (2010). Super Mario All-Stars Limited Edition Italian manual. Nintendo of Europe (Italian). Page 38.
  11. ^ NintendoItalia (April 21, 2020). Super Mario Maker 2, version 3.0.0 Italian trailer. YouTube (Italian). Retrieved June 26, 2024.
  12. ^ Club Nintendo (Netherlands) Classic. Page 33.
  13. ^ From the ending scenes of Super Mario Advance as localized by iQue. Reference: 无敌阿尔宙斯 (August 28, 2013). 神游 超级马力欧2敌人官译. Baidu Tieba (Simplified Chinese). Retrieved June 26, 2024.
  14. ^ iQue (February 28, 2017). 小神游GBA官方游戏宣传视频. Bilibili (Simplified Chinese). Retrieved June 26, 2024.
  15. ^ Nintendo HK官方頻道 (April 20, 2020). 《Super Mario Maker 2 (超級瑪利歐創作家 2) 》更新資料Ver.3.0.0介紹影片. YouTube (Traditional Chinese). Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  16. ^ 한국닌텐도 공식 채널 (April 22, 2020). 슈퍼 마리오 메이커 2 업데이트 Ver.3.0. YouTube (Korean). Retrieved November 12, 2022.