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Not to be confused with Phantom.
Artwork of a Phanto for Super Mario Advance
Artwork of a Phanto 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 the original NES version of 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]

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

The killing Phanto glitch from Super Mario Bros. 2
Phanto being defeated though a combination of a Stop Watch and invincibility
Calmmask.png Madmask.png Phanto as it appears in Super Mario Bros. 2 remake for the SNES Phanto sprite from Super Mario Advance
Phanto differences

Phantos appear as semi-common enemies in Super Mario Bros. 2 and its subsequent remakes and ports, and 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 all versions of the game. In the SNES and GBA versions of Super Mario Bros. 2, 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 Super Mario Advance, 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. In the GBA remake, invincibility alone is all that is needed to defeat one.

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 make two appearances on The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, with the first one making its debut in "The Ten Koopmandments". After Koop Tut had trapped Mario, Luigi, Princess Toadstool and Toad inside a pyramid, the four heroes encounter the Phanto, which proceeded to chase them until they managed to escape from the pyramid. Another Phanto made a brief cameo appearance in "Escape from Koopatraz" as 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 series[edit]

Super Mario Bros. 2[edit]

  • Instruction booklet bio: He is normally at rest and waits by keys. If you take a key, he will pursue you.[1]

Super Mario Advance[edit]

  • Instruction booklet bio: Phantos comes[sic] to life when you take the key they're guarding. Beware — Phantos will chase you from screen to screen.[2]

Perfect Ban Mario Character Daijiten[edit]

種族 ゴースト族
性格 執念ぶかい
登場ゲーム USA

Tribe: Ghost clan
Disposition: Tenacious
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.

Encyclopedia Super Mario Bros.[edit]

Bio: カギを守る番人。カギを持っている間、マリオを追いかけてくる。[4] (The guardian of the key. He will chase Mario while he has the key.)





Names in other languages[edit]

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

Transliteration of the Super Mario Bros. 2 name
Chinese 面具[7] (Super Mario Advance in-game name)
面具怪[8] (Super Mario Advance demo play video)
Miànjù Guài
卡面[9] (Super Mario Maker 2)

Mask Monster

Transliteration from the Japanese name, while「面」is also derived from「面具」(miànjù, mask)
Dutch Phanto[10] -
French Phanto -
German Phanto -
Italian Spettrino
Spiritello (Super Mario Advance instruction booklet)
Spettro (Kirby Super Star Ultra)
Fantasma (The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!)
Diminutive form of "spettro" (specter)
Small Spirit
Korean 카면[11]
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. ^ Super Mario Bros. 2 NES instruction booklet, page 24.
  2. ^ Super Mario Advance European instruction booklet, page 12.
  3. ^ Perfect Ban Mario Character Daijiten, page 55.
  4. ^ Shogakukan. 2015. Super Mario Bros. Hyakka: Nintendo Kōshiki Guidebook, Super Mario USA section, page 67.
  5. ^ Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic instruction booklet, page 32.
  6. ^ Perfect Ban Mario Character Daijiten, page 225.
  7. ^ 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. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  8. ^ iQue's promotional demo play videos of Super Mario Advance and Wario Land 4. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  9. ^ Nintendo (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. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  10. ^ Club Nintendo (Netherlands) Classic, page 33.
  11. ^ 한국닌텐도 공식 채널 (April 22, 2020). 슈퍼 마리오 메이커 2 업데이트 Ver.3.0. YouTube. Retrieved November 12, 2022.