Red Shell

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Red Shell
Red Shell in Mario Kart 8
First appearance Super Mario Bros. (1985)
Latest appearance Super Mario Bros. Wonder (2023)
“Throw a red shell, and it will zero in on the enemy!”
Penguin, Super Mario Galaxy

Red Shells (also formatted as red shells) are red Koopa Shells that frequently appear in various games of the Super Mario franchise. Unlike Green Shells, they often home in on targets when thrown.


Super Mario series[edit]

Super Mario World[edit]

Super Mario World is the first game to give Red Shells' properties different from those of other shell colors. If Yoshi eats a Red Shell, he will spit out a trio of fireballs instead of the shell; a Red Yoshi can use this ability from any shell color. Also, all Koopa shells can appear by themselves, including the Red Shell; stomping a red Koopa Troopa out of its shell renders it a red Koopa without a Shell. A red or green Koopa without a Shell that enters a Red Shell becomes a red Koopa Troopa.

Once Fall is unlocked by beating Funky in the original game, or by clearing all 96 exits in Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2, all Red Shells become red-colored Mario masks but otherwise function the same; many instances of Red Shells and Koopa Troopas are also replaced with Blue Shells and Blue Mask Koopas, though red variants of each can still be found.

Super Mario Galaxy[edit]

Red Shells reappear in Super Mario Galaxy as an offensive weapon. Like the Green Shells in the game, Mario can only hold the Red Shell, not ride it. If Mario throws a Red Shell near an enemy, it will home in on that enemy until it hits something. Underwater, it allows Mario to swim faster and with greater ease, and can also be thrown at underwater creatures to home in on them as well. Gold Shells also appear in this game, and act like Red Shells when thrown.

Mario Kart series[edit]

Red Shell (in-box version) in SMK
Item roulette sprite of a Red Shell from Super Mario Kart
Artwork of a Red Shell, from Mario Kart Wii.
The Red Shell, as it appears in Mario Kart Wii

In the Mario Kart series, Red Shells (or Torpedo Shells)[1] are items that make their first appearance in Super Mario Kart. They have the ability to home in on the opponent in front of the user.

Red Shells can also appear in sets of three as well, and are usually a player-exclusive item, though they can be stolen by opponents using a Boo. When Triple Red Shells are used, three Red Shells rotate around the driver's kart upon usage, and they can protect them from Bananas and other items (except in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!). If a driver collides with another driver while using Triple Red Shells, the other driver is hit by one of the shells; if both drivers have a set of Triple Green Shells or Triple Red Shells, both are lost.

In Super Mario Kart, Red Shells travel straight towards the racer in front of the user, homing in on them without following the road. Unlike Green Shells, they cannot be dropped behind the user and must be thrown forward.

In Mario Kart 64, single Red Shells are obtainable from first to fifth place. Like in Super Mario Kart, Red Shells can be thrown only forward in this game, but they now follow the road to hit the target racer. However, Red Shells get destroyed if they hit any walls or the like. In this game only, Fake Item Boxes can be used to block incoming Red Shells.

In Mario Kart: Super Circuit, single Red Shells can be laid behind the player and act as a land mine, chasing after the first kart that passes by, even the user.

In Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, the Triple Red Shells are a Special item exclusive to Koopa Troopa and Paratroopa (and Petey Piranha and King Boo, who can obtain any special item). Also, in Double Dash!!, the three shells are carried in their hands rather than circling around the kart. When the kart is hit by an item, they are left with a single shell.

In Mario Kart DS Red Shells may hit the target kart from the side, which prevents any items behind the kart from blocking it. Single Red Shells are obtainable from 2nd to 6th place; Triple Red Shells are excluded from the Wi-Fi mode, as items cannot be equipped in that mode.

In Mario Kart Wii, Red Shells can also hit racers from the sides, and are obtainable from 1st to 8th place; if the player they were targeting was hit by something else, they will slow down until the player is vulnerable so they can hit properly. The best chance of getting this item is in 2nd place, with a 25 percent (10 out of 40) chance of getting it in said position.

In Mario Kart 7, Red Shells are able to trail in the sky and enter launcher passages (such as Barrel Cannons) to pursue flying racers; in previous games, Shells would simply fall when thrown in the air, and disappeared when they entered launching areas. Red Shells are obtainable from 1st to 5th place; Triple Red Shells are still player-only items, but the AI can use them if the "Shells Only" item setting is enabled.

In Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, they retain their properties from Mario Kart 7. In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, they can now appear for AI racers as well; Red Shells also travel somewhat slower when they lock onto their target, allowing players to outrun them in 200cc.

In Mario Kart Tour, Red Shells appear as an item, with only the single variant available. The following gliders in the game increase the chance of getting Red Shells and points for hitting racers with one.

Special skill Gliders
Red Shell from Mario Kart Tour.
Red Shell Plus
Increases your chances of getting a Red Shell. Using one will get you more points.
+20 points
Peach ParasolOilpaper Umbrella from Mario Kart Tour
+30 points
Strawberry Crêpe from Mario Kart TourRoyal Parachute from Mario Kart TourCrimson Crane from Mario Kart TourHeart Balloons from Mario Kart TourChocolate Donut from Mario Kart TourButterfly Prism from Mario Kart TourRose Parasol from Mario Kart TourFlying Flappers from Mario Kart TourMario's Hat Balloon from Mario Kart TourGolden Glider from Mario Kart TourRed Checkered Glider from Mario Kart TourThe Pink Bubble Balloon from Mario Kart TourVampire Wings from Mario Kart TourWonderful Wings from Mario Kart TourWicked Topaz from Mario Kart TourYoshi's Egg Hanafuda from Mario Kart TourBoo Hanafuda from Mario Kart TourJumping Mario Hanafuda from Mario Kart Tour

Mario Tennis series[edit]

Red Shells appear in the games Mario Tennis for the Nintendo 64 and Mario Power Tennis for the Nintendo GameCube and Wii. These Shells can be used during an Item Battle match, which can be obtained when the player hits an Item Box with the ball over the net. If the player hits the ball after receiving the item, a Red Shell comes out and chases the opponent.

In Mario Tennis Open for the Nintendo 3DS, a Red Shell is the emblem for the Shell Cup and appears on its trophy. A full tennis uniform-and-racket set with a design based on this item is available for Miis to use.

Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

Red Shells appear as items in Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee. Unlike the Green Shell, which moves in a straight path, the Red Shell will "attach" to the platform it lands on, spinning back and forth and targeting nearby fighters (including the user) before disappearing after a short time.

Red-shelled Koopa Troopas appear in The Subspace Emissary in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Smash Run in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, and will retreat into their shells if hit enough; however, their shells function the same as Green Shells when thrown.

Mario & Luigi series[edit]

Red Shell
Red shell pit.pngRed Shell as it appears in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team.
BP/SP/CP needed 4 (DT)
3 (PJ)
Location Mushrise Park (DT)
Peach's Castle (PJ)
Price 80
First appearance Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
Latest appearance Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
Dream Team description Use the A Button for Mario and the B Button for Luigi, and kick that shell!

Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time[edit]

In Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, the Red Shell is a Bros. Item that can be used to damage enemies. The brother that chooses the item will kick the Shell towards a foe; once it hits them and bounces off, it will slide towards the other bro, who must press their corresponding button to kick it back. Like the Green Shell Bros. Item, the Red Shell can be kicked back repeatedly, and moves faster with each kick. Unlike the Green Shell, it will automatically target a new enemy if one is defeated; it can also land more than 16 hits, and can be kicked indefinitely until one of the brothers misses or all enemies are defeated.

When the adult and baby Mario brothers fight together, the babies can sit on the shell; pressing their button upon hitting the enemy will perform a spin that increases damage for each hit.

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team[edit]

Screenshot of Mario & Luigi: Dream Team
3D Red Shell in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team

The Red Shell reappears as the first of Mario's Bros. Attacks in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, under the name 3D Red Shell. It costs 4 BP to use. The Attack Pieces to obtain the 3D Red Shell are found in Mushrise Park, and are required to proceed through the game. It can only target enemies on the ground like its counterpart, the 3D Green Shell, but will automatically target a new enemy if the targeted one is defeated.

Upon selecting the attack, Mario and Luigi will run into the foreground, where Mario will take out a Red Shell. Pressing A Button has him kick it at one of the enemies; after it hits and rebounds, the player must then press B Button to have Luigi kick it back, and alternate between them for each kick. After the Red Shell hits nine times, Luigi will then spin the Red Shell towards Mario to blast it at their foe for the tenth and final hit; if all enemies are defeated before the attack ends, it will end prematurely.

Striking three, five, nine and ten times with the Red Shell will yield an "OK!", "Good!", "Great!" and "Excellent!" rating respectively.

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam[edit]

3D Red Shell being performed in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
3D Red Shell in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam

The Red Shell returns in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (under the name 3D Red Shell), functioning the same as it did in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team. However, the move is now available from the beginning of the game, costs 3 BP instead of 4, and deals considerably more damages at the cost of being shortened to six hits. The speed of both the shell and the Bros. moving forward is also increased.

Striking one, three, five and six times with the Red Shell will yield an "OK!", "Good!", "Great!" and "Excellent!" rating respectively.

Mario Strikers series[edit]

A Red Shell from Super Mario Strikers
Red Shell icon in Super Mario Strikers

In the Mario Strikers series, Red Shells appear as items, and are obtainable in groups of three similar to the Mario Kart games; Giant Red Shells also appear. When thrown, Red Shells home in on a nearby opponent instead of sliding in a given direction; shells that miss their target will bounce around the stage like a Green Shell. A Giant Red Shell will home in on a target to flatten, bouncing around the stage as normal after. Red Shells are generally useful when clearing room for a Super Strike, a Mega Strike, or a Skillshot.

Mario & Sonic series[edit]

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games[edit]

Red Shells appear during the Dream Race event in the Nintendo DS version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games. The shells function similarly to those in the Mario Kart series, homing in on an opponent and causing them to lose speed if they are hit, although their effect can be blocked if the player is using a Shield. The shells also appear in Dream Long Jump, where they also cause the player to lose height, though they can be blocked by using a Shield or Starman. They appear in the Dream Canoe event with a similar function; the player who manages to hit another competitor with a Red Shell steals three of their coins. They come in sets of three, and can be avoided or blocked by using a Starman item.

Red Shells perform an almost identical function during the Dream Race in the Wii version, where they can be thrown forward and home in on opponents, causing them to lose speed when hit; they can be dodged using a Starman, invincibility from a Chaos Emerald or by jumping over them. Red Shells also appear as items in Dream Platform, where they will home in on an opponent and destroy any Brick Blocks between it and the target, and can be blocked by using a Barrier.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games[edit]

In the Nintendo DS version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, Red Shells appear as items in Ski Cross Racing, Rocket Ski Jumping and Extreme Snowboarding, where they can be thrown forwards or backwards and will home in on the opponent closest to the player in that direction. Being hit by a Red Shell causes the character to lose speed and Rings in Ski Cross Racing, but can be blocked using a Barrier or Super Star; in Rocket Ski Jumping they will lose speed, height and energy, but can block the Red Shell using Super Stars and Barriers. In Extreme Snowboarding, the character is only knocked over when hit, but can block Red Shells using Super Stars and Barriers.

In the Wii version, Red Shells appear as items in Dream Alpine, Dream Ski Cross, Dream Snowboard Cross, Dream Short Track and Dream Bobsleigh, where they will home in on the opponent in front of the player and slow them down if they hit, but can be defended against using Shields and Super Stars. Red Shells also appear as an item in the Individual version of Dream Ski Jumping, where they will home in on an opponent and cause them to lose height, speed, 10 points and a Bonus panel if they are hit, but can be defended against using a Barrier. Red Shells also appear as items in Dream Curling, where they turn the curling stone into a Red Shell that homes in on the pins when thrown until it comes to a standstill. In the Individual and Team versions of Dream Gliding, Red Shells home in on the nearest opposing character and will knock them out of the sky if hit.

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games[edit]

In the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Red Shells appear as an item in several London Party minigames.

In the Nintendo 3DS version, the Red Shell and Green Shell appear on a badge that can be obtained from the badge machine.

Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games[edit]

Red Shells appear in Snow Day Street Hockey in Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, where Piantas will occasionally swap the puck for one if it is shot into their box. Red Shells move faster and bounce further than the standard puck, but not as much as the Green Shells.

Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games[edit]

Duel Beach Volleyball in the Wii U version of Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games features Red Shells as an item with their usual function. Hitting an opponent with them will add 10 Duel Points to the player's supply, and the player can also hit the parade float with them, which will cause the Octuses to shoot energy balls at the opposing team that also award the player Duel Points.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020[edit]

In Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Red Shells appear as items in Dream Racing. Like in the Mario Kart series, they home in on the racer in front of the user and hit them, which causes them to briefly spin out of control and drop several of their Rings. Unlike in the Mario Kart games, Red Shells hover slightly above the ground when used.

Mario Sports Mix[edit]

Red Shells also appear in Mario Sports Mix. When used normally, they'll chase after an opponent and temporarily knock out anyone in their path. When combined with a ball or puck, the object will travel a curved path at high speeds that can throw off opposing players.

Other appearances[edit]

In Monopoly Gamer, a Red Shell face is on the "Power-Up Die". A player who rolls the Red Shell normally can force any other player on the board to drop three Coins on their current space, which can be picked up by the next player who passes over or lands on that space. Some characters have a "Power-Up Boost" that enhances or changes this power.

In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Triple Red Shells appear as special furniture that can be obtained randomly from fortune cookies. When interacted with, they continuously play the Red Shell alarm from Mario Kart DS. In Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, a single Red Shell can be obtained as a reward for catching five Eep Cheeps in Fishing Tourney #12, which began on March 14, 2019 as part of the Super Mario crossover event for Mario Day. In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the shell furniture item can be customized to its "red" variant, either by using one customization kit or paying 1,000 bells to Cyrus on Harv's Island to customize the item.


Nintendo Kōshiki Guidebook – Yoshi's Egg[edit]

スパイスのたっぷり入った 辛口のこうらがこれだ。元 来草食であるヨッシーいわく「火がでるほど辛くてうみゃ一でよ(名古屋弁風)」。なお、八ヤシはない。[2]

This is a dry shell full of spice. As the primarily herbivorous Yoshi says, "It's spicy enough to make you spit fire (Nagoya dialect)." Still, that's no embellishment.

Mario Kart series[edit]

Super Mario Kart[edit]

  • Wii Virtual Console manual bio: Fire a red shell, which will home in on the kart in front of you. It will not bounce off walls.

Mario Kart: Super Circuit[edit]

  • 3DS Virtual Console manual bio: If you shoot it out ahead of you, it will chase down the kart in front of you. If it hits, it will cause the vehicle to crash.

Mario Kart 7[edit]

  • Physical game manual bio: Homes in on the closest kart in front of you and knocks it over.
  • Digital instruction manual bio: Red Shells home in on the closest kart in front of you. if they hit it, the kart will flip over. Hold L Button or X Button to equip a Red Shell, and then release L Button or X Button to throw it.
  • North American website bio: Hone in on your nearest foe with this heat-seeking shell. If you're close enough, a hit is practically guaranteed.

Mario Kart 8[edit]

  • Instruction manual bio: Red Shells lock on to and pursue the vehicle in front of you, knocking over the first driver they hit.

Mario Kart Tour[edit]

  • Tips & Tricks: Homes in on a kart in front of you and crashes whatever it hits. Keep it behind your kart to protect yourself from a single attack.
  • Mario Kart Tour Twitter: Item introduction: Red Shell
    Hones in automatically on a kart in front of you and crashes whatever it hits. This item is great for catching up to or overtaking an opponent. On the other hand, it sure can be scary when you're the one in the crosshairs! #MarioKartTour

Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit]

Red Shell
Red Shell
Super Mario Bros.
How to unlock: Randomly obtainable only from the Lottery
Throw a Red Shell, and it will home in on random characters and send them flying straight up. Red Shells moving around the surface are dangerous to all players, but they may also present attack chances for players with good timing and strategy. Red Shells won't leave the platform they're on once they start moving.

Mario & Luigi series[edit]

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team[edit]

  • Instruction manual bio: Kick a shell back and forth off the enemy to deal damage. Kick with A Button for Mario and B Button for Luigi.

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam[edit]

  • Instruction manual bio: The brothers take turns kicking a red shell, dealing high damage to a single enemy.


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

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese アカ甲羅[4]
Aka Kōra
Aka no Kōra
Red Shell

Red Shell

Chinese (simplified) 红龟壳
Hónɡ Guīké
Red Shell

Chinese (traditional) 紅龜殼
Hónɡ Guīké
Red Shell

Dutch Rood Schild
Red Shell
French Carapace rouge
Red Shell
German Roter Panzer
Red Shell
Italian Conchiglia Rossa (MK64, MKSC)
Guscio rosso
Red Shell
Red shell
Korean 빨강등껍질
Red Shell

Portuguese (NOA) Casco vermelho
Red Shell
Portuguese (NOE) Carapaça Vermelha
Red Shell
Russian Красный панцирь
Krasnyy pantsir'
Red Shell

Spanish Caparazón rojo
Caparazón rojo 3D (Mario & Luigi: Dream Team)
Red Shell
3D Red Shell


  • According to the Japanese Shogakukan guide for the game Yoshi, Red Shells from Super Mario World are dried and full of spice.[2]


  1. ^ April 1997. Nintendo Magazine System (AU) Issue #49. Page 39.
  2. ^ a b 「任天堂公式ガイドブック ヨッシーのたまご」 (Nintendo Kōshiki Guidebook – Yoshi's Egg). Shogakukan (Japanese). Page 61.
  3. ^ mariokarttourEN (August 30, 2019). X post. X. Retrieved May 14, 2024.
  4. ^ Nintendo (1992). スーパーマリオカート (Sūpā Mario Kāto) instruction booklet. Nintendo (Japanese). Page 12.