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Pokeys are cactus enemies that are typically composed of three to five spherical body segments. To defeat a Pokey, typically each body section must be destroyed; however, defeating the head usually kills the entire enemy. Pokeys, along with Ninjis, Shy Guys, Bob-ombs, and Birdo, originate from the non-Mario game Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic, which later became Super Mario Bros. 2.
Super Mario series
Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic / Super Mario Bros. 2
Pokeys first appear in Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic and Super Mario Bros. 2, and will slowly chase after the player. In this game, Pokeys are green and can be defeated by throwing objects at their body segments or by picking up one segment at a time. They first appear in World 2-2. This game's design was later reused in Paper Mario: Sticker Star and Paper Mario: Color Splash (known as a Green Pokey in the latter game).
Super Mario World
Pokeys reappear in Super Mario World. This time, Pokeys are yellow and cannot be defeated in the same way as in Super Mario Bros. 2. Throwing a shell or a Grab Block at them defeats only one segment, although a Super Star will allow the player to defeat them entirely at once. Mario and Luigi can also defeat a Pokey by sliding up or down a hill towards them. Another option is to defeat them with Yoshi, who can eat their body segments one at a time. The number of body segments that Pokeys have depends on whether Mario and Luigi are riding Yoshi or not. If they are, Pokeys will have five body segments. Without Yoshi, Pokeys will only have three segments so that Mario and Luigi can jump over them.
Pokeys appear in a hidden area of Yoshi's Island 4, as well as the Special Zone level "Groovy." Also, in Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2, after the player completes the Special Zone and unlocks all of the exits, Pokeys will turn into gray creatures with a face on each body segment, which are serrated like Chainsaws.
Super Mario 64 / Super Mario 64 DS
Four Pokeys (once referred to as a Pookie) appear in Shifting Sand Land in the game Super Mario 64 and its remake. Pokeys in this game have bright orange pupils. Here, Mario can destroy each body segment with a punch, kick, or by throwing a Bob-omb at it; attacking the head defeats it and causes the whole body to instantly disappear. If Mario waits too long after destroying any of its segments, the Pokey will grow them right back. They give Blue Coins when defeated. If Mario gets hit by a Pokey, he will lose two wedges of health. Due to their graphics being flat textures, they always face the camera in this game.
In Super Mario 64 DS, the Pokeys' graphics are updated to reflect their design as seen in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! However, jumping on their head now damages Mario instead of defeating the Pokey, and therefore only punches and kicks can defeat them. Yoshi also has the ability to swallow Pokeys. They are now capable of turning, but graphically, still use flat textures for their segments.
Super Mario Sunshine
Pokeys, also called Dango Flowers, appear in Super Mario Sunshine along with a smaller variety called Sanbo Heads. In this game, they have flowers on their heads, large mismatched eyes, and wide grins high on their faces, and their spikes somewhat resemble stubble. Pokeys lie in wait underground, with only the flower on their head visible at first, and will pop up when Mario approaches. They predominantly appear in Bianco Hills, but they also appear in Pianta Village, during the nighttime episodes, and in Pinna Park, in The Wilted Sunflowers. They do not move from their spot but will lean towards Mario when he gets within their range to attack him. However, as they touch the ground, their spikes get stuck in it for a moment, allowing Mario to attack their heads with a jump or dive for a single coin. If Mario defeats a Pokey while it is upright, it yields three coins instead of one. Some leave behind a Blue Coin when defeated; jumping on these while upright yields two regular coins in addition. One can see goopy bubbles rising from the flower on their heads as they bop up and down; according to the Super Mario Bros. Encyclopedia, this is due to the game's enemies being created by Shadow Mario and his Magic Paintbrush.
New Super Mario Bros.
Pokeys only appear in World 2-1 in New Super Mario Bros. with their Mario Kart: Double Dash!! appearance. In this game, a Pokey can only be defeated by shooting fireballs at its body segments, rolling over it with Shell Mario, or by crushing the cactus monster as Mega Mario. If they are hit in the head, they get defeated instantly. Without these power-ups, Mario must attempt to jump over the Pokeys. Some Pokeys have over eight body segments, requiring Mario to use special platforms to jump over these tall creatures.
Super Mario Galaxy
In Super Mario Galaxy a single red-orange Pokey with a yellow flower appears in the Dusty Dune Galaxy. It attacks by trying to crush Mario, similar to in Super Mario Sunshine, except that now it doesn't get stuck in the ground, and is mobile. It can be defeated by destroying all its body segments by Spinning, or by jumping on its head. Pokey Heads also appear, but now they are green. Big Pokeys with a more typical yellow color appear in the Good Egg Galaxy and the Dusty Dune Galaxy. These giant Pokeys can only be defeated by spinning a coconut at their body, and then jumping on or spinning into the upside-down head. In the sequel, Super Mario Galaxy 2, only Pokey Heads reappear.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Pokeys have been given another redesign, consistent with the appearance of Pokey toys in Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again!. They no longer have flowers, and are covered in green spikes, with three prominent ones on top of their heads. Following this game, the new design becomes standard for all Pokeys, replacing the previously-standard Mario Kart: Double Dash!! design (with LEGO Super Mario as an exception).
As in Super Mario World, Yoshi can eat them one section at a time, but eating the head defeats them instantly. Fire Flowers again are effective, and the Ice Flower can freeze them. At every vocal "bah" in the music, Pokeys will turn into an alternate non-spiked form, making each body segment resemble a fruit, specifically an orange. Yoshi can eat an entire Pokey instantly in this form, and if he does so, he will lay an egg with either coins or a power-up inside, depending on how many segments the Pokey had: 1-3 segments will give the player 5 coins, 4-5 segments will give them a Super Mushroom, 6-8 segments will give them a Fire Flower, and 9 will give them a 1-Up Mushroom. However, even in their non-spiked form, Mario still cannot safely jump on them, while Yoshi still bounces off them. They appear only in World 2-5.
Super Mario 3D Land
Pokeys are seen in desert or canyon areas in Super Mario 3D Land, where they usually appear in groups of two or five. They look as they did in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. To destroy them, Mario can hit them with a Super Star or use his Boomerang, Fire, or Tanooki forms to knock out one segment at a time; however, Mario can't jump on them without becoming Statue Mario because they are spiky.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
Pokeys reappear in New Super Mario Bros. 2, behaving the same way as in the previous games, except they do not turn into their non-spiked fruit-like forms like in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, since Yoshi does not appear in the game.
New Super Mario Bros. U / New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
Pokeys reappear in New Super Mario Bros. U. They are found in Perilous Pokey Cave and once again turn into their fruit segments. This time, however, they function in a more similar manner to Berries, with a circular meter keeping track of how many fruit segments Yoshi has eaten. When the meter reaches five, Yoshi lays an egg containing a power-up, which is dependent on the form that Mario is in when the meter is full: Small Mario and Mini Mario yield a Super Mushroom, Super Mario yields a Fire Flower, Fire Mario yields an Ice Flower, Ice Mario yields a Super Acorn, and Flying Squirrel Mario, P Flying Squirrel Mario, Propeller Mario, and Penguin Mario yield a 1-Up Mushroom. Pokeys have the ability to stand on the ceiling without falling off. Also, Mega Pokeys appear in Morton Koopa Jr.'s battle, who uses his hammer to knock segments into Mario's path.
Super Mario 3D World
Super Mario Run
Pokey reappear in Super Mario Run in the levels Pokey Vaulting and Desert Fuzz. Pokeys can either remain stationary or move forwards slowly. If Mario defeats a body segment of a Pokey, the rest of the Pokey is defeated too. Yoshi can safely jump on Pokeys. Their sprites from New Super Mario Bros. Wii are used in this game.
Super Mario Maker 2
Pokeys appear as enemies in version 2.0 of Super Mario Maker 2. Their heights can be adjusted but they cannot be enlarged, and wings can be attached to them, which causes them to hop along the ground similar to Paragoombas. They are green in the Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 3 styles, similar to their appearance in Super Mario Bros. 2. The Super Mario 3D World style, where there were only Snow Pokeys in the original game, reuses their New Super Mario Bros. Wii design. They can be defeated with fireballs, Goomba's Shoes, and Yoshis. In nighttime ground levels, Pokeys float in the sky in a similar manner to Wigglers; if wings are attached, they home in on the player, comparably to angry Wigglers. In snow-themed levels, Pokeys become Snow Pokeys, which can be jumped on and reduced to a snowball that can then be carried by the player.
The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!
Pokeys are seen infrequently on The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, where they typically appear in episodes that have a Western setting or take place in a desert, often appearing as antagonists. In the show, Pokeys are portrayed as being capable of speaking, making themselves resemble ordinary cacti to blend in. They also possess primitive, arm-like protrusions. Additionally, in "Escape from Koopatraz," a Pokey is part of Judge Koopa's jury.
List of episodes featuring Pokeys
Nintendo Adventure Books
In Dinosaur Dilemma, some Pokeys gang up on Mario and Yoshi as they are traveling through a desert, and succeed in separating the two by knocking Mario into a hole, before wandering off. In the next book, Flown the Koopa, some Pokeys wander onto the path Mario, Luigi, Toad and the Mushroom King are using to get to the International Dino-Flying Derby, but Mario knocks them aside with his plunger.
In Mario Clash, Pokeys first appear in Level 17 and consist of three sections. While the bottom two sections can be taken out with a Turtle Shell from any direction, the head can only be stunned by attacking it from its side. It can regenerate lost sections over time. The artwork in the instruction booklet mistakenly shows a Pokey with four sections.
Paper Mario series
In the early Paper Mario series, Pokeys have a different appearance, with fewer spikes and a head segment somewhat resembling a cat. Their eyes and head spikes appear to be based on those of the Spiked Fun Guy. In the game Paper Mario, Pokeys gain a few new abilities. Pokeys can now use their body segments as projectiles, launching them to attack opponents. Pokeys also gain the ability to summon other Pokeys, which rise from the ground when called for. Also, a new variety of Pokey is introduced in this game: the Pokey Mummy. When it is defeated by Mario, the player sometimes obtains a Dried Fruit.
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
Pokeys also appear in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door as rare enemies. A team of three Pokeys, known as the Pokey Triplets, are a fighting team in the Glitz Pit. Pokeys also appear in the game's Pit of 100 Trials. In this game, they attack by slamming the player, doing 2 damage, but they can also throw their body segments like in the previous Paper Mario game, doing 3 damage. When a Pokey loses all its body segments, it attacks by bonking into the player, doing 4 damage, so it's better to defeat them before they lose all their body segments. The game introduces a new species of Pokey, the Poison Pokey, that appears in Riverside Station. Pokeys are unique in this game, in that performing a Superguard on a thrown body segment will send it back to the Pokey, doing the same amount of damage to it as it would have done to Mario.
Super Paper Mario
Pokeys appear in Super Paper Mario in places such as Gap of Crag. They attack by throwing their body segments, like in the previous Paper Mario games. When they lose all of their body segments, they attack by hopping towards Mario or his allies. The Poison Pokeys from the predecessor also appear, and they appear in places including Castle Bleck and the Flipside Pit of 100 Trials. A new species is introduced, the Dark Pokeys, that only appears in the Flopside Pit of 100 Trials. Pokeys sometimes drop Horsetails when defeated.
Tippi is not sure whether Pokeys are plants or animals.
Paper Mario: Sticker Star
Pokeys reappear once again in Paper Mario: Sticker Star for the Nintendo 3DS. Both regular yellow Pokeys, using their design from New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and a green variety, more closely resembling their original appearance in Super Mario Bros. 2, appear. A regular Pokey can't be jumped on unless an Iron Jump sticker is used. They have 16 HP and the green ones have 20 HP. Rather than throwing their body segments like the previous games, these Pokeys attack by toppling on top of Mario; sometimes Mario will get crumpled if he does not block the attack. Each time a Pokey loses a body segment, its attack goes down. Tower Power Pokey, a Pokey corrupted by a Royal Sticker, serves as the boss of the second world. Pokeys are sometimes aided by Paragoombas and Sombrero Guys (if it was not destroyed).
As shown in early builds of this game, the Paper Mario: Sticker Star Pokeys were originally going to retain their previous appearance from past Paper Mario games, with no changes.
This game also shows that Pokeys have flowers underneath their heads as shown when Tower Power Pokey heals.
Paper Mario: Color Splash
Pokeys return in Paper Mario: Color Splash keeping their appearance from the previous game. They are only found in Mustard Café along with Green Pokeys, which also return from Paper Mario: Sticker Star. They come out from shifting sands, only showing their head as if they were sharks in the first part of the level, and showing their full body in the rest of the level. Pokeys also can leap over Warp Pipes that Mario must cross. Mario has to rescue Huey from a Green Pokey.
Fully removing color from any Pokey segments during a battle eliminates them. If hit by a hammer, segments are shot out. If Mario jumps on a Pokey, he takes six damage. Pokey attacks, which consist of stomping on Mario, deal significant damage.
A Pokey is the second-round opponent in Roshambo Temple #6.
Paper Mario: The Origami King
Pokeys return in Paper Mario: The Origami King. They, like many of the Koopa Troop, are transformed into Folded Soldiers by King Olly. They appear commonly in Scorching Sandpaper Desert and its sub-areas. They can be defeated without going into battle by ramming into them with the Boot Car while boosting. In addition, a Paper Macho version of this enemy known as Mega Paper Macho Pokey appears as a boss.
In battle, the moves a Pokey can use are dependent on how many body segments remain, as well as how many other Pokeys are battling against Mario at the same time. Prickly Putt is a move in which one Pokey hits a second one standing in front of it, knocking away segments directed at Mario. The Pokey used as ammunition is ultimately defeated afterward. Flop Bop works much like a Pokey's attack from the previous two installments in the series, where the Pokey will lean on top of Mario to inflict damage then leaning back upright. If the Pokey only has its head left, it will Headbutt Mario much like a Goomba's Headbonk attack.
Mario Kart series
Pokeys also appear in the Mario Kart series. They first appear in Dry Dry Desert alongside Big Pokeys in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, where they gain their modern facial look; they return in Mario Kart DS on the course Desert Hills. As well, they reappear in the retro course versions of these tracks in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart Wii, respectively. They also appear in Mario Kart Wii on the Dry Dry Ruins course. Prior to Mario Kart 8, Pokeys use a design inspired from Super Mario Sunshine, but in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, they instead appear as they do in New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
Additionally, a giant Pokey appears in the Thwomp Desert as part of October 2008's 1st competition in Mario Kart Wii. There, players had to defeat it by throwing Bob-ombs. Pokeys also appeared in N64 Mario Raceway as part of November 2008's 2nd competition. Oddly, the player faces another giant Pokey for September 2009's 2nd competition. Pokeys can be defeated by Green Shells.
Mario Party series
Mario Party 3
Mario Party 5
Mario Party Advance
In Mario Party Advance, a unique Pokey appears as the guardian of a patch of desert in the Desert Area of Shroom City. Several generic Pokeys appear as enemies in Outta My Way!; their segments can be individually punched out, and when their head is punched off, the rest of their body disappears. The Pokeys in this game, as well as Mario Party 6, closely resemble their Super Mario Bros. 2 counterparts in shape, but are yellow like the ones in later games.
Mario Party 6
Mario Party 7
In Mario Party 7, Pokeys serve once again as the objective in a similar minigame, Pokey Pummel. The players must dismantle the body parts with a hammer to win. Three Pokeys also make an appearance in the background in Pyramid Park. They use their design from Mario Kart: Double Dash!! in this game.
Mario Party: Island Tour
Mario Party: The Top 100
In Mario Party: The Top 100, Pokeys reappear in Pokey Pummel, the minigame from Mario Party 7. They also appear in the background in Flash Forward from Mario Party 10, while they are not present in the original game.
Super Mario Party
Mario Golf series
Mario Golf: Advance Tour
Mario Golf: World Tour
Mario Golf: Super Rush
Pokeys reappear in Mario Golf: Super Rush in the courses Balmy Dunes and Spiky Palms. Like in the mainline Mario games, if the golf ball hits a Pokey's head, it will instantly collapse. Snow Pokeys also appear as obstacles in the game.
Mario Pinball Land
In Mario Pinball Land, Pokeys use a green variation of their Mario Kart: Double Dash!! design. Here, they are found in Shifting Sands Stage. To defeat the Pokey, one must first destroy the three lower segments, then the head.
Mario & Luigi series
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga / Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions
Normal Pokeys are absent from Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, though a highly-abnormal variant known as the Spiky Snifit appears in Teehee Valley. As its name suggests, it is also a type of Snifit. Unlike the typical segmented Pokeys, Spiky Snifits resemble more generic stylized cacti with upward-facing arms.
Normal Pokeys appear in the Minion Quest mode of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions, where they appear as troops and enemies. They have very high HP but move quite slowly. They attack with a move called Whomping Whallop, allowing them to swing into their foes, similar to the Pokeys in most Paper Mario games. They, along with Goomba Towers, are among the tallest troops in the game, and like Goomba Towers, they are Melee-type. Unlike Goomba Towers, they are heavily spiked, causing slight damage to most non-Ranged troops that attack them. Due to their segments, they are weak against Boomerang Bros, and due to being plants, they are also weak against Fire Stalking Piranha Plants. They initially appear in the Teehee Valley segment. They resemble their Paper Jam counterparts, but only ever appear with four segments, including the head.
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
In Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, Pokeys live in the Gritzy Desert. They start out as Pokey Heads with pink flowers, but when engaged in battle, a Pokey grows additional body segments. In battle, a Pokey rams into a Mario brother to attack. The body segments can be knocked away with the Hammer. This makes the Pokey shorter (allowing the Mario Bros. to jump over it). The Pokey can also launch its body segments at the Mario Bros. To counter this attack, the Baby Bros. should hit the body segments with their Hammers. The Pokey jumps normally when hitting Mario and spins once when hitting Luigi. A Pokey can also spin its body and shoot spines at the Mario Bros. The Pokey spins the individual body part to the brother it will attack. The brothers have to jump to dodge them. In this game, only attacks to the head can damage a Pokey. The Skellokey, the skeletal variant of Pokeys, also appears in the game as common enemies in Toad Town.
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story / Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey
However, Pokeys do appear in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey, where they are enemies and recruitable allies in the Bowser Jr.'s Journey mode. They are melee troopers and are weak to boomerang attacks from Boomerang Bros. and Wendy. However, only a maximum of two Pokeys can be befriended, as befriending a third one will have it forcefully dismissed.
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
Pokeys appear in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam in Doop Doop Dunes. While they don't initially appear on Mario, Luigi and Paper Mario's first visit, they begin to show up on their second visit. On their first visit, however, a Big Pokey appears as a boss alongside Paper Tower Power Pokey.
Outside of battle, Pokeys will chase the trio at high speed eventually hitting or falling on a bro. Both of these can cause trip when the battle starts. Due to their spikes, Pokeys cannot be jumped on, but hammering them will make them lose their segments. When a Pokey gets a turn, it will gain two or three segments and initiate an attack. A Pokey may come up to a bro and attempt to fall on him. The player must hammer the Pokey to avoid damage. Sometimes one falls in front of a bro, launching its head; hammer countering is still necessary. Sometimes a Pokey will step up and launch its segments at the bros. The bros will need to knock the segments back to avoid damage. If the Pokey spins a segment clockwise, it will hit Mario, whereas a counter-clockwise spinning segment will hit Luigi. One that doesn't spin will go for Paper Mario. Their last attack only involves Paper Mario. A Pokey will attempt to hit Paper Mario, who must jump or flutter jump to avoid. If the Pokey's head is upside-down, Paper Mario can land on it for damage. Papercraft Pokeys are also present. Aside from Tower Power Pokey, the Pokeys' paper counterparts do not appear.
Super Princess Peach
Pokeys also re-appear in Super Princess Peach. In this game, Pokeys are always of three segments and a flower (including the head), and only appear in Wavy Beach. They are resistant to Perry, so they can only be defeated with Rage or Poundbrella. There are also vibe-infused Pokeys, known as Mad Pokeys, that are simply angry Pokeys that stretch vertically to block Princess Peach from passing by them.
Yoshi's New Island
While only variants of Pokeys appeared in previous Yoshi's Island games, regular Pokeys appear for the first time in the Yoshi series in Yoshi's New Island. In this game, Yoshi can swallow individual segments to reduce the Pokey's height, or eat its head to fully defeat it, as in Super Mario World. Upon eating a segment, Yoshi automatically ingests it and produces an egg without the player's input. A white variant of Pokeys also appears in Punkey the Pokey Prince's Castle, which move along the ceiling rather than on the ground. As the stage name implies, a large white Pokey, Punkey the Pokey Prince, is the boss of the stage.
Dr. Mario World
Pokeys debut in the Dr. Mario series in Dr. Mario World, as assistants. Their stage mode skill grants a 10% chance of adding 3 seconds to the timer in timed stages. Their versus mode skill grants a 10% chance the player's attacks will be 20% faster. The probability of these chances can be increased by obtaining duplicate Pokeys in Staffing. Pokeys also appear in the overworld for World 2 when it is cleared.
Pokeys have even appeared in various The Legend of Zelda games, such as The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening and its Nintendo Switch remake, and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons. If Link strikes them with his sword, sections of their body will fly off while the remaining segments get faster. In the Link's Awakening remake, a Pokey figure can be won in the Trendy Game after clearing Turtle Rock and placed in the Quadruplets' house. The text that appears upon acquiring the figure reads, "You got a Pokey figure! The memory of meeting these still stings..."
In the Super Mario Mash-up in Minecraft, Creepers are replaced by Super Mario Bros. 2-style Pokeys. Cacti are replaced by yellow Pokeys.
Profiles and statistics
Most Pokey profiles note how they can be defeated instantly by attacking the head.
Names in other languages