Proto Piranha

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"Gatekeeper" redirects here. For information about the variant of Pi'illos, see Deco Pi'illo.
Proto Piranha
A Gatekeeper in Super Mario Sunshine.
A Gatekeeper in Super Mario Sunshine
First appearance Super Mario Sunshine (2002)
Latest appearance Super Mario 3D All-Stars (2020)
Variant of Piranha Plant

A Proto Piranha, originally known as Gatekeeper[1][2] and also known as Proto Piranha Plant[3], is a large species of Piranha Plant composed entirely of goop. They appear as enemies in Super Mario Sunshine, Mario Power Tennis, and Mario Golf: Advance Tour.


Super Mario Sunshine[edit]

In Super Mario Sunshine, Gatekeepers appear out of Generators in several areas towards the beginning of the game. To get the Gatekeeper to come out of its base, Mario has to spray it with F.L.U.D.D. until it comes out. In order to defeat one, Mario must use F.L.U.D.D. to shoot water into its open mouth repeatedly. If Mario sprays one while its mouth is closed, it merely shrugs the attack off. Once defeated, Gatekeepers dissolve into goop, after which their base disappears; Mario cannot wash away a goop base like he can with normal goop. Aside from periodically spawning Swoopin' Stus, a Gatekeeper does nothing to attack, and will actually retreat back into its base if Mario does not defeat it in time. There are three types of Gatekeepers in the game:

  • Pink, yellow, orange, and white Gatekeepers are the most basic variant, needing to be sprayed three times to be defeated. Only one appears at the Delfino Airstrip at the beginning of the game.
  • The brown and white variants are found in Delfino Plaza's square and during the first episode of Bianco Hills, Road to the Big Windmill. Like the above variant, it requires three sprays to be defeated. The one in Bianco Square will send out Swoopin' Stus if left alone, and the one in Bianco Hills sends out Piranhabons rolling down the hill.
  • The black variants are only found in Delfino Plaza, covering the boathouse to Ricco Harbor and the lighthouse to Gelato Beach. These require six sprays to defeat, and send out Swoopin' Stus. The one guarding the lighthouse will additionally send out a wave of Swoopin' Stus in every direction after the third spray. Additionally, they can replenish goop sprayed away from directly around their bases.

Additionally, turquoise-and-yellow and orange ones for electric and lava goop, respectively, exist in the game's coding, but are unused.[4]

It is also worth noting that the brown one in Bianco Hills is the only one that can be fought multiple times, due to it being the only one in a replayable episode and the rest being fought in Delfino Plaza or Delfino Airstrip to unlock portals to other areas.

Mario Golf series[edit]

Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour[edit]

In Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, the name "Proto Piranha" appears on the leaderboard.

Mario Golf: Advance Tour[edit]

In Mario Golf: Advance Tour, Proto Piranhas appear in the Mushroom Tourney course along with many regular Piranha Plants. They are found outside of the course itself.

Mario Power Tennis[edit]

In Mario Power Tennis, Petey Piranha's Defensive Power Shot, Piranha Swingback, involves him creating a Proto Piranha to hit an unreachable tennis ball for him.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Proto Piranhas are mentioned briefly by Viridi during Palutena's Guidance dialogue for Piranha Plant.


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese Gatekeeper / Gene Pakkun[5]
Dorodoro Pakkun
ドロパックン (Mario Power Tennis)
Doro Pakkun
Gatekeeper / Generator Piranha

Goop Piranha

Mud Piranha
Dutch Proto Piranha -
French Tiranha
German Schleim-Piranha Slime Piranha
Italian Fangopiranha
Pianta Piranha di fiume[6] (translation error)
River Piranha Plant
Russian протопиранья
Spanish (NOA) piraña sucia Filthy Piranha
Spanish (NOE) Piraña Lodo Mud Piranha


  1. ^ Loe, Casey. Super Mario Sunshine Perfect Guide. Page 14.
  2. ^ Bogenn, Tim, and Doug Walsh. Super Mario Sunshine BradyGames Official Strategy Guide. Page 19.
  3. ^ Downloadable PDF featuring bingo cards themed after Super Mario 3D All-Stars. Play Nintendo. Retrieved October 27, 2020. (Archived November 5, 2020, 02:38:20 UTC via Internet Archive: Wayback Machine.)
  4. ^ Super Mario Sunshine/Unused Objects § Unused Gate Keeper Variations. The Cutting Room Floor. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  5. ^ Super Mario Sunshine, internal filename root/data/scene/airport0.szs/scene/gatekeeper/gene_pakkun_model1.bmd
  6. ^ Super Mario Bros. Enciclopedia. Page 100.