The Shroobs are a race of aliens from the Shroob Planet that invaded in the Mushroom Kingdom when Mario and Luigi were babies, as shown in the game Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, and they are the main antagonists of said game. They are a purple, mushroom-like species ruled by Princess Shroob and her older sister. Unlike the similar, yet much more benevolent Toads, who are seemingly more human than mushroom, Shroobs seem to have retained most of their fungus ancestry. Their name is a corruption of the shorted word for mushroom, "shroom".
They possess very advanced technology, such as ray guns and a massive fleet of flying saucers, powered by the vim of Toads, which is collected by capturing the Toads and draining the vim through the Shroobs' Tree Network, all leading to the Vim Factory. The saucers are capable of shooting energy bolts that turn people into Shroob Mushrooms, as well as causing devastating damage to buildings. The Shroob military is very complex in their processes. They come in different colors and have different attacks. When invading the Mushroom Kingdom the Shroobs seemingly have everything laid out in advance so that they could both protect vital operations and invade enemy regions at the same time, suggesting they are very intelligent.
The Shroobs look similar to the Toads, except they are dark purple with bluish-white spots at the top, have very stubby bodies and limbs, have hands with pincers at the ends, have gaping mouths with a pair of fangs on the top, and have black eyes with red pupils.
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
According to the prologue of the game, the Shroobs invaded the Mushroom Kingdom because their home planet is dying. The Shroobs start their invasion by destroying Toad Town and capturing many Toads. These Toads are taken to Toadwood Forest, where their vim is drained by the forest's genetically-altered trees. The vim is then collected at the Vim Factory, which is guarded by mind-controlled Hammer Bros and is where Dr. Shroobs gives the vim to Swiggler, a bio-engineered Wiggler, that drinks the vim and powers the Shroob UFOs.
While attacking Toad Town, they also attack Peach's Castle in hopes of capturing the Princess Peach of the past, but she has left alongside with Baby Mario and Luigi, and past Toadsworth in the Koopa Cruiser by the time they get in the castle thanks to Baby Bowser, and instead find the Princess Peach of the present, and her subjects, Toadsworth, Toadiko and Toadbert, who have traveled back in time using E. Gadd's time machine. They take Toadiko to Toadwood Forest, and Toadbert ends up getting eaten by Yoob after ending up on Yoshi's Island (possibly suffering from amnesia right afterwards). Princess Peach, however, does manage to trap Elder Princess Shroob in the Cobalt Star, the time machine's power source, and then shatter the shards, scattering them around the kingdom before getting captured by the younger Princess Shroob. Meanwhile, the Junior Shrooboid uses the time machine to travel back to the present, ending up at the throne room of the present-time Peach's Castle.
When present-time Mario and Luigi travel back to the past via a time hole and reach Hollijolli Village, they find that the town is attacked by Shroob UFOs, and they encounter the Shroobs for the first time. Unfortunately, the bros are knocked out by a huge energy ball sent down by a Shroob UFO, which prompts their past selves to go down to the village and save them, bringing them back to the Baby Bowser's Koopa Cruiser. However, the airship is later attacked by Princess Shroob via a Shroob Missile, sending it crashing into Baby Bowser's Castle.
Soon after, they start the creation of the mechanical Yoob and attack Yoshi's Island. Yoob starts to eat any Yoshis it can find. These Yoshis will then most likely be converted into more monstrous Yoobs and be used to attack the Mushroom Kingdom, preventing the Yoshis from helping the kingdom in the process. However, Mario, Luigi, Baby Mario, and Baby Luigi go to stop it, but are eaten in the process after the Shroobs use their Shroob UFOs to make Yoob grow to monstrous proportions. They find the eaten Yoshis, Toadbert (who has lost his memory), Baby Bowser (stuck inside of a Yoob Egg), and Sunnycide (who blocks the exit of Yoob's belly), inside of Yoob.
The Shroobs later commandeer the Koopaseum in Gritzy Desert, using it as a stadium in order to celebrate the conquest of the Mushroom Kingdom. On stage, Princess Shroob feeds Princess Peach to the monstrous Petey Piranha. Mario and company chase it under the colosseum after fighting the Shrooboid Brat, and defeat it, though they learn that Princess Peach was spat out by Petey Piranha earlier and taken deeper inside the cave. Before the four can save her, however, Princess Shroob disguises herself as Princess Peach, with the intention of fooling them into taking her into the Mushroom Kingdom of the present to take it over, and thus make sure her plan would succeed.
She manages to fool everyone in the Mushroom Kingdom, even Bowser, who came to Peach's Castle to kidnap Princess Peach again, taking Princess Shroob with him through a time hole to Thwomp Volcano. After he is defeated in Thwomp Caverns (alongside Baby Bowser), the Shroob Mothership comes and takes back Princess Shroob, with Mario, Luigi and their baby counterparts following afterwards. During their search for the princess inside the ship, they are surrounded by a group of Shroobs in a room. Princess Shroob then approaches them and takes off her disguise, revealing herself. Before she can do anything about the quartet, a disguised Kylie Koopa saves them, though they are shortly ejected out of the mothership.
Eventually the bros. collect all the Cobalt Star shards and gain access to the now-conquered Princess Peach's Castle. Higher up the castle, they manage to corner Princess Shroob by shooting down the Shroob Mothership and defeat both her and Elder Princess Shroob, who had been unintentionally freed from her imprisonment by Baby Bowser. Afterwards, E. Gadd uses the Hydrogush 4000 to create a rain of artificial baby tears to wilt the purple mushrooms the Shroobs planted (and turned people into) all over the Mushroom Kingdom. However, Elder Princess Shroob (who turned into a Shroob Mushroom following her defeat) was swallowed by an unconscious Bowser, turning him into Shrowser, who was taken care off by the adult and baby Mario brothers. What became of the Shroobs after this is unknown, but the Koopa Troop managed to capture most of the Shroob race (including Princess Shroob and Elder Princess Shroob) and kept them in a preservation chamber in Bowser's Castle.
Despite regular Shroobs being the main kind of Shroob seen in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, only three are fought in the entire game (early on, in Hollijolli Village).
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story / Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr's Journey
In the lobby of Fawful Theater, as a hidden easter egg, just before Bowser fights Midbus, a Shroob can be seen in the seat on the lower right-hand corner. If Bowser tries to speak to it, it stares blankly without saying anything.
Much later in the game, a group of three Shroobs appears as an optional boss in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story. They are found in the preservation room in Bowser's Castle which needs a password to be accessed. The password of the cold room is □, □, ○, △, △, △, followed by hitting the switch on the door itself, with signposts that are found in Bowser's Castle hinting to what the password is. Mario and Luigi explain their history to Starlow, though as they do, three Shroobs manage to thaw out, and attack the brothers.
They have two attacks that were very similar to the ones (especially the Guardian Shroobs) they used in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time. For the first, the attacker will flag down a companion, and they will each shoot a laser at a Mario brother. The other attack is a simple laser blast, delivered to only one brother. Before executing this attack, the attacker will always pirouette, unlike in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, in which they would pirouette only before attacking Luigi, and spark before attacking Mario. So instead, the player must see the way it's spinning. It spins clockwise to attack Mario, and counterclockwise to attack Luigi.
After defeating them, Mario and Luigi receive all ten Attack Pieces for the Magic Window Special Attack. They also receive the Shroob Boots, which may lower the attack power of stomped enemies. Various other Shroobs are visible in the background of the battle, including broken Shroids, Junior Shrooboids, Shrooba Divers, Commander Shroobs and even Elder Princess Shroob. Also, if a player uses the Jump Helmet attack, a single RC Shroober is seen as Mario and Luigi walk back in order to commence the attack.
The secret battle with the Shroobs is accompanied by several recaps from Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time as Mario and Luigi explain their history to Starlow. After hearing that it was Luigi who ultimately trumped the Shroobs, Starlow sarcastically remarks that he did so by "ferociously crying," referencing the baby tears that were ultimately the aliens' downfall.
Shroobs reappear in the 3DS remake of the game, their role in the main story being the same as it was in the original game, although during the battle with them, a frozen Princess Shroob is seen alongside Elder Princess Shroob. Multiple Shroobs also appear as ranged enemies in Bowser Jr.'s Journey side-story, where they attack using their Shroob Blasters and are weak to Swoops. The Shroobs battle Bowser Jr. in Chilling Magma after he, Kamek, and Morton go into the basement of Bowser's Castle to retrieve Ever Ice. After the Shroobs are defeated, Bowser Jr. is able to collect the Ever Ice. Several Shroobs also appear later in the game, in The Lost Alien, The Power of the Koopalings and The Best Beast, some under the effects of Malatone Formula:X.
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team
Although they do not make an actual appearance, the Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story sprites for Shroobs can be found in the game's files alongside other leftovers.
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Shroobs appear in volumes 35, 36, and 37 of Super Mario-Kun. They retain their look from game artwork, and can speak human language.
The Shroob language as it appears in the text bubbles in the game is really just nonsensical small picture text. Only one phrase, which translates to "Destroy!", is repeated throughout the game. When the Shroobs talk in the game, they make gibberish sounds. However, they do sometimes use the Latin alphabet, though possibly only having picked up that "M" is associated with their red-clad foe and "L" with the green one. In the battle against Shrooboid Brat: when the Shrooboid Brat is about to attack, when the Shroob crowd raises up signs that say either "M" or "L", signaling who to attack, and when a Shroid uses its iron ball attack, which has either "M" or "L" on it. A similar thing goes for Elder Shrooboid, when he uses the crystal attack. The Elder Shroob Princess can also speak English. Later on, the language is shown to players using subtitles in parentheses. Whether or not this means that Mario and Luigi begin to understand the language or is just for purposes of clarification is unknown.
Colonies, settlements, and structures
Profiles and statistics
Mario & Luigi series
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story / Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Names in other languages