Sphinx Zō

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The title of this article is official, but it comes from a non-English source. If an official name from an English source is found that is not from the English Super Mario Bros. Encyclopedia, the article should be moved to its appropriate title.

Sphinx Zō
Mario, Luigi, and Yoshi meet the Sphinx Zō as depicted in the first panel.
Species Sphinx (part Thwomp, part Dry Bones, part Koopa Paratroopa, part Mega Mole and part Spinner)
First appearance Super Mario-kun (volume 6) (1993)

The Sphinx Zō (スフィンクス像, Sufinkusu Zō, "Sphinx Statue") is an enemy that exclusively appears in chapter 2 of Super Mario-kun volume 6. It has a face of a Thwomp, body and shell of a Dry Bones, paws of a Mega Mole, wings of a Koopa Paratroopa, and a Spinner for a tail.

After defeating Lemmy in the previous volume, Mario, Luigi and Yoshi's path is blocked by the Sphinx Zō. Like any other Sphinx, the monster challenges the trio with an enigma: if they can solve it, they can proceed, otherwise they are punished. The enigma is, apparently, a simple "find the intruder" puzzle and four images are presented: a lion, a panda, an octopus, and a grandmother. The three heroes point at the grandmother since she is a human, but they fail: since the grandmother is called "Suzuki Kuma" ("kuma" means "bear"), that makes her a land animal, so the intruder is the octopus since it is a sea animal.

The heroes protest but instead receive their punishment: Luigi is turned into stone, but Mario takes immediately a Tanooki Suit and, in Statue form, manages to survive the transformation, but he cannot revert to the Tanooki form (Yoshi survives since the curse does not work on "stupid kids"). Feeling generous, the Sphinx Zō accepts to give Mario and Yoshi a chance to break the spell, by walking through a hall full of Bowser Statues. Being made of stone, Mario and Yoshi pass easily through the hall, but the Sphinx Zō does not keep its promise.

Furious, Mario and Luigi protest once again and the Sphinx Zō attacks them. Mario tries to use his staff as a spear, but the Sphinx Zō blocks it and squashes Mario's body, leaving only his head intact. With its tail, the Sphinx Zō then hurts Luigi. Yoshi tries to attack by throwing Mario's head, but the Sphinx Zō parries the attack. Mario then grabs a Rotating Block with his mouth and tries to attack the Sphinx Zō again, but gets eaten by it. While inside the Sphinx Zō's belly, Mario activates the block, releasing the vine inside. The Sphinx Zō explodes and the curse is broken: Mario and Luigi return to normal. Yoshi then builds an elephant statue with the Sphinx Zō's pieces.