|First appearance||Mario Bros. (1983)|
|Latest appearance||WarioWare: Move It! (2023)|
Shellcreepers, sometimes referred to as simply turtles, are green-shelled turtles that first appeared in the Mario Bros. arcade game. They are the first turtle enemies to appear in a Super Mario game, making them the conceptual ancestors of the Koopas, which appeared two years later in Super Mario Bros. It is also shown that Shellcreepers wear undershirts and shorts when outside of their shells; shell-less Beach Koopas first appeared in Super Mario World wearing a shirt, and in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island wearing shorts. Several sources such as the trophy descriptions in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U indicate that Koopa Troopas apparently evolved from Shellcreepers.
Gunpei Yokoi created the Shellcreeper after being inspired from watching a cartoon turtle remove its shell. He wanted to create an entire game that focused on removing shells from turtles. That concept eventually developed into the Mario Bros. arcade game. However, Shigeru Miyamoto states that they came up with using turtles during development.
Mario Bros. series
The Shellcreeper is the first enemy to appear in Mario Bros. They walk out of the pipes at the top of the screen and walk towards the pipes at the bottom of the screen. The player must hit it from below through the floor to flip it over and then run into it to defeat it. If the player does not run into it, the Shellcreeper jumps out of its shell (revealing that it wears a white shirt and shorts), flips its shell over, changes color from green to purple and continues moving faster than before. If it flips its shell again, it will turn red, its fastest state. If a Shellcreeper is the last target for the phase, it will automatically turn red. Unlike the similar Koopa Troopa, jumping on Shellcreeper will cause Mario or Luigi to lose a life. Also, Shellcreepers can attack by biting Mario or Luigi with their teeth.
In the NES version, Shellcreepers lack an animation for changing shell colors, and the colors now go from green to red to pink, the last of which also has blue skin. Additionally, in the initial NES release they are smaller than in the original arcade version, though this is no longer the case in later editions.
Starting with the Mario Bros.-style battle mode in Super Mario Bros. 3, Shellcreepers have been replaced by Spinies in all subsequent versions, so they would not be mistaken for Koopa Troopas, which can be jumped on. Despite this, a lone Shellcreeper still makes a cameo alongside a Sidestepper and Fighter Fly on the title screen of the Game Boy Advance remakes of Mario Bros. In Mario Clash, Koopa Troopas are given a similar sprite design to Shellcreepers, and even do the same tooth-baring pose.
Mario Bros. Special
In Hudson Soft's 1984 sequel of sorts to Mario Bros., Mario Bros. Special, Shellcreepers make a return appearance as enemies, though this time they cannot be stunned by hitting them from below; instead, they can be stunned by jumping on a trampoline that they are on (second stage), jumping on a conveyor belt that they are on (third stage), or killed instantly by jumping over or next to them and hitting a platform, though they will respawn if killed this way. They do not change color or move faster after recovering from a stun.
Punch Ball Mario Bros.
Shellcreepers appear as an enemy yet again in Hudson Soft's semi sequel to Mario Bros., Punch Ball Mario Bros.. The game is much closer to the Mario Bros., and thus Shellcreepers play a much more similar role as they did in that game. The only differences are that they cannot be stunned from below and are instead stunned by Punch Balls or the POW Block. If they get back up after being stunned or are the last enemy on screen, they turn red and speed up.
Mario Power Tennis / New Play Control! Mario Power Tennis
Shellcreepers, along with the other Mario Bros. enemies, appear in the background of the Mario Classic Court in Mario Power Tennis, where they use their NES sprites. The game's data includes an unused 3D depiction of a Shellcreeper, showing it as a small, quadrupedal Koopa Troopa with clawed flat feet.
Super Smash Bros. series
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Shellcreepers appear on the Mario Bros. stage. They walk out from the pipes at the top of the stage. If knocked over by hitting them from below or from an attack, they can be picked up and thrown at opponents, making them fly sideways off the screen. The Shellcreepers also have their own trophy in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
Super Mario series
Super Mario 3D World / Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury
Shellcreepers appear in Luigi Bros., an additional game featured in Super Mario 3D World and its Nintendo Switch port. Like the other enemies in Luigi Bros., Shellcreepers behave in the same way as Mario Bros., which this game is based on.
Super Mario Maker
In Super Mario Maker, one of the unlockable playable costumes is a Shellcreeper, using a modified version of its sprite in Kaettekita Mario Bros. It can be unlocked at random after clearing the 100 Mario Challenge on Expert setting or harder. If the player holds on the GamePad while wearing the costume, the Shellcreeper makes a grimace. While the player runs as the Shellcreeper, its shell turns red.
Shellcreepers appear in NES Remix in the challenges and remixes based on Mario Bros.
List of appearances
|Family BASIC||Cameo on the Message Board, programmable sprite||1984||Family Computer|
|Mario Bros. Special||Enemy||1984||PC-8801, PC-6001mkII/PC-6601, PC-9801, FM-7, Sharp X1, Sharp MZ-1500, Sharp MZ-2200, Hitachi S1|
|Punch Ball Mario Bros.||Enemy||1984||PC-8801, PC-6001mkII/PC-6601, FM-7, Sharp X1, Sharp MZ-1500|
|Kaettekita Mario Bros.||Enemy, Notices explainer||1988||Family Computer Disk System|
|Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga||Cameo on the Mario Bros. title screen. Also in the Super Mario Advance ports.||2003||Game Boy Advance|
|Mario Power Tennis||Cameo as enemy on Mario Classic Court||2004||Nintendo GameCube|
|Famicom Mini: Mario Bros.||Enemy||2004||Game Boy Advance|
|Super Smash Bros. Brawl||Stage hazard, trophy||2008||Wii|
|New Play Control! Mario Power Tennis||Cameo as enemy on Mario Classic Court||2009||Wii|
|Super Mario 3D World||Enemy in Luigi Bros.||2013||Wii U|
|NES Remix||Enemy/objective in Mario Bros. challenges and remixes.||2013||Wii U|
|Super Smash Bros. for Wii U||Cameo as a trophy||2014||Wii U|
|Super Mario Maker||Costume Mario outfit||2015||Wii U|
|Super Smash Bros. Ultimate||Stage hazard||2018||Nintendo Switch|
|Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury||Enemy in Luigi Bros.||2021||Nintendo Switch|
|WarioWare: Move It!||Cameo in microgame||2023||Nintendo Switch|
Profiles and statistics
Tribe: Turtle clan
Disposition: Lonely person
Game appearances: Bros.
The Turtle Tribe's roots are in this character!
It's the originator of the whole Turtle Tribe. Unlike Koopa Troopa, it can't be beaten even if stepped on. Turn it over from under the floor, then kick to beat it. Careful, the last one will speed up.
Super Smash Bros. series
Super Smash Bros. Brawl trophy
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U trophy
Sprites and models
Mario Power Tennis (unused)
Names in other languages
|French||Carapeur||Portmanteau of "carapace" and "peur" (fear)|
|Translation of Japanese name|
|From "черепаха" (cherepakha, turtle) with Russian surname ending "-ин" (-in)|
- 『パックマン』にはじまり『スーパーマリオ』でひとつの完成形に達した“キャラクターの身体機能”「なんでゲームは面白い？」第11回. Retrieved June 10, 2023. (Contains quote from Yokoi found in 「横井軍平ゲーム館」.)
- Iwata Asks: New Super Mario Bros. Wii Vol. 1 Ch. 2. Retrieved June 10, 2023.
- Perfect Ban Mario Character Daijiten, page 55.
|Characters||Boom Boom • Boss Sumo Bro • Gattai monster • Pom Pom • Tutankoopa|
|Species||Boom Boom • Chargin' Chuck • Rocky Wrench • Shova • Sumo Bro|
|Relatives||Shellcreeper • Yoshi|
|Buzzy Beetles • Hammer Bros. • Koopas • Koopa Troopas (Koopa Paratroopas · Dry Bones) • Lakitus • Magikoopas • Spikes • Spinies|
|Characters||Mario • Luigi|
|Items and objects||? Block† • ? Kinoko‡ • Card† • Coin • Egg# • Fish Skeleton# • Floor • Garbage can# • Heart# • Koopa Shell# • Ladder† • POW Block • Starman# • Super Mushroom‡ • Wafer*|
|Enemies||Boo‡ • Bowser# • Fighter Fly • Fireball • Icicle • Koopa‡ • Shellcreeper • Sidestepper • Slipice • Spiny†‡#|
|Other||Gallery • Staff|
|*Atari 2600 port †Super Mario Bros. 3 minigame ‡Super Mario All-Stars Battle Game #Game Boy Advance remake|