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Tatanga in Pagosu, Super Mario Land
Full name Tatanga the Mysterious Spaceman[1]
Species Alien
First appearance Super Mario Land (1989)
Latest appearance Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (spirit cameo) (2018)
“I am not interested in what Mario would do! Tatanga does as he pleases!”
Tatanga, In the Palm of Your Hand...

Tatanga (also known as Tatanga the Mysterious Spaceman[1]) is an alien invader from an unknown planet. Although feared as an invader, outside of his spacecraft he is only a meek purple alien. During the events of Super Mario Land, Tatanga captures Daisy, the princess of Sarasaland, and orders his armies to guard the land's four kingdoms. Tatanga is also the first extraterrestrial main villain to appear in the Super Mario franchise.


Super Mario series[edit]

Super Mario Land[edit]

Tatanga in Pagosu, from Super Mario Land.

Tatanga makes his debut appearance in Super Mario Land. Appearing out of a large black cloud, he invades Sarasaland and captures Princess Daisy while hypnotizing the inhabitants of Sarasaland. With them under his control, he has the most powerful of his new minions guard the four kingdoms of Sarasaland - the Birabuto Kingdom, Muda Kingdom, Easton Kingdom, and Chai Kingdom. When Mario defeats the hypnotized creatures and liberates all four kingdoms, Tatanga engages with him in air combat in a last-ditch effort.

During the climactic battle, Tatanga fights in his war robot, Pagosu, while Mario fights in his airplane, the Sky Pop. Mario has to fire his missiles at Pagosu while dodging its big projectiles, which immediately split into three small projectiles upon being fired. After twenty-five hits, Pagosu is destroyed, and the player gains 5000 points. Immediately afterward, Mario rescues Princess Daisy and peace is returned to Sarasaland.

Tatanga's appearance in Das Super Mario Spiel.
Tatanga in Das Super Mario Spiel

Tatanga also appears in Super Mario Land's board game adaptation, Das Super Mario Spiel, where he reprises his role as the game's final boss. However, his artwork on the game board depicts him with a teal coloration, rather than purple.

One of Tatanga's most notable minions is the Honen, who, according to the game's instruction manual, is the skeleton of a Torion after being eaten by Tatanga.[2]

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins[edit]

Artwork of Tatanga, from Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins.
Tatanga in a smaller spaceship
Tatanga, from Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins.

Tatanga, known only as the "Alien" in preview material,[3] reappears as a boss in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins. Although his role in this game is not as significant, he does play a part. While Mario is distracted fighting Tatanga in Super Mario Land, Wario takes over Mario Land and occupies Mario's castle. After Tatanga's initial defeat, he is given one of the 6 Golden Coins by Wario, and then sets up a base in the Space Zone.

A Kellogg's Nintendo Collector sticker based on Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins.
A Kellogg's sticker based on Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins

During Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, Mario tracks down Tatanga, and the two fight for a second time. However, in this battle, Tatanga fights with a different, smaller spacecraft, capable of shooting energy weapons and dive-bombing Mario. When he descends for his dive-bomb attack, Mario must jump on top of the vessel to land a hit. After three hits, or six fireballs, Mario defeats Tatanga and recovers the Golden Coin of Space Zone. Like all other bosses except Wario, Tatanga falls off the screen upon defeat, though his spaceship simply disappears before he falls. While falling, his full body is shown, being notably shorter than Super Mario.

The Perfect Edition of the Great Mario Character Encyclopedia indicates Tatanga became Wario's henchman to get revenge on Mario for ruining his scheme to marry Daisy.[4]

A mini-guide of the game included in the Kodansha adaptation suggests that the alien may not be the same character as Tatanga,[5] despite the manga itself and other sources indicating otherwise.

Unlike the other bosses featured in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, Tatanga does not appear in Nintendo Power's Mario vs. Wario comic, despite being perhaps the most major boss next to Wario, given his status as Super Mario Land's antagonist.

Super Mario Bros. & Friends: When I Grow Up[edit]

Mario as an astronaut.
Tatanga's cameo in Super Mario Bros. & Friends: When I Grow Up

Tatanga makes a cameo in Super Mario Bros. & Friends: When I Grow Up, piloting Pagosu in the Astronaut coloring page.

Game Boy[edit]

Tatanga as he appeared in the comics.

Tatanga appears as the villain in the Game Boy comic books spun off from the Nintendo Comics System, produced by the company Valiant. In the comics, Tatanga lives in an alternate dimension that exists within a Game Boy. He hypnotizes Herman Smirch, a human from New Jersey, while playing Super Mario Land, causing the man to release Tatanga from the Game Boy. Upon arriving on Earth, Tatanga hopes to conquer the planet and rule it with an iron fist. He is released several times, each time attempting to conquer an Earth monument, such as Walt Disney World, the World Trade Center, or the Great Wall of China. However, Mario is always released from the Game Boy as well to thwart his schemes and bring him back to the Game Boy dimension.

In the miniseries, Tatanga's relationship with Daisy is similar to the one between Princess Peach and Bowser, in that he appears to genuinely love the princess, with several of his attempted conquests being done solely in an attempt to impress her. Additionally, in this series he is considerably bigger and more muscular than in the games, has more pronounced fangs and claws, and wears a black uniform. His Pagosu is also able to assume a more humanoid form, making it resemble battle armor.

Super Mario (Kodansha manga)[edit]

Artwork of Tatanga from the KC Deluxe manga.
Tatanga introducing himself

Tatanga appears in the Super Mario gag manga by Kodansha, as a recurring character.

In Super Mario Land he plays the role of main antagonist. He is seen doing many of the things described in that game's instruction booklet, such as abducting Daisy, having hypnotic powers, eating Torions and creating Honens, and trying to force Daisy to marry him.

Tatanga later appears in Super Mario Land 3 during a tennis tournament as Bowser's tennis partner, and makes a cameo next to Daisy on the sidelines in the Super Mario Kart arc.

During Super Mario Land 2 - 6 Tsu no Kinka 2, Wario convinces Tatanga to get revenge on Mario, offering a new spaceship to replace the destroyed Pagosu. When Wario manipulates Daisy into becoming Warudaisy, she hitches a ride on Tatanga's spaceship to his home planet. Tatanga announces his marriage to the now evil Daisy, but she seizes the opportunity to use a brainwashing technique on his people to serve Wario, and she proceeds to convert Luigi and Peach as well. However, Mario breaks the spell by kissing Daisy on the cheek, stunning Tatanga as he drops the wedding ring he was about to give to Daisy. He attacks Mario with his spaceship, dropping gas bombs which prompt Luigi, Peach, and Mario to put on suits, but the nearby aliens are caught in the gas; when Mario wonders why Tatanga would risk harming his own people, Wario's hologram shows up and reveals that it is because Tatanga is under his mind control. With the help of the Hippo's soap bubbles, Daisy and the aliens float to safety. Mario catches a wide space cutter and tosses it back at Tatanga's ship, cutting it in half and causing an explosion that leaves behind a letter to Daisy, saying that he enjoyed his time with her, making her teary-eyed. Later, Tatanga is revealed to have survived and arrives to help in his spaceship with Daisy, who takes her flowery earrings off and throws them to Mario and Luigi, turning them to Fire Mario and Fire Luigi as all three blast Wario together.

While an overall villainous figure, Tatanga is also depicted as comical, particularly in his genuine crush on Daisy. A recurring gag is for characters to be disappointed by Tatanga's short height. In the manga, he is given a more detailed design as opposed to the game. He now has a frilled black uniform, a cape, batlike ears, a belt with the letter T on it, and an entire mouth full of fangs.

Super Mario-kun[edit]

Bowser explaining how he rented out Tatanga's minions
Tatanga and his minions working with Bowser in Super Mario-kun volume 3

In Super Mario-kun, Tatanga is mentioned in volume 2, when Mario recalls the ending of Super Mario Land, right when he rescued Daisy.

Tatanga appears in the last chapter of the next volume, where he rents his minions to Bowser. A newspaper clip read by the Koopa Troop reveals the negotiations between the two villains, with Tatanga wanting to ask for 5,000 yen in total and Bowser offering 50.

Tatanga last appearance in the manga is in the ninth volume, where he appears in the Space Zone, steals Mario's collected Golden Coins, and flees, prompting Mario, Carrot, Yokkī, and Hippo to follow him. During the battle, Tatanga seems to have the upper hand until his projectiles are used against him, but he then shoots a spherical projectile that Yokkī eats, later revealed to be fireworks, which send the heroes back to Earth. While Tatanga rejoices, someone surprises him from behind. Back on Earth, a Santa Claus-like character appears and gifts Mario the six Golden Coins, who is later revealed to be Bowser, who wanted to do something good for his "best enemy" during the Christmas season. The chapter ends with a shot of a bruised Tatanga, muttering something about a horned Santa.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

Tatanga makes an appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as an Advanced-class Shield-type primary spirit with two support slots. It simply raises the user's power without granting any special effects. The spirit's puppet fighter is Morton, who starts the battle with a Super Scope, on the Battlefield form of the Mario Galaxy stage. Tatanga is also mentioned in the Palutena's Guidance for Daisy, where Pit and Palutena discuss Daisy's history; Pit ends up dismissing Tatanga as little more than a cheap substitute for Bowser to kidnap a princess and kick off the plot.

References in other games[edit]

Tatanga is mentioned in Princess Daisy's bio in the game Mario Superstar Baseball and her trophies in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. He is later mentioned in Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games.[citation needed]

While Tatanga's homeworld and the name of his species are not revealed, what may be another member of his race appears as a boss in the SNES version of Wario's Woods, named Katsini.

Profiles and statistics[edit]

Super Mario Land[edit]

  • Instruction booklet: This unknown space monster appeared suddenly from deep space. He drives the war robot Pagosu, and attacks with scattered meandering rockets.
  • 3DS Virtual Console manual: This unknown monster appeared suddenly from deep space. He pilots the robot Pagosu and attacks with scattered rockets.

Perfect Ban Mario Character Daijiten[edit]

出身 不明
性格 小心者
登場ゲーム ランド1、 ランド2

Place of origin: Unknown
Disposition: Timid person
Game appearances: Land 1, Land 2
Now Wario's lackey?
“I'm the Mysterious Spaceman Tatanga. In Mario Land, I took over Sarasa Land and tried to take Princess Daisy as my queen, but Mario got in my way. This time I'll get in his way!”

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate spirit[edit]

Name Image Series / game Type Class Strength / effect(s) How to obtain Spirit battle
Opponent(s) Battle conditions Stage Song
Tatanga Tatanga in Pagosu, Super Mario Land Super Mario Series Primary (2) Advanced Shield Spirit Board Morton Mario Galaxy (Battlefield) Underground Theme - Super Mario Land

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese 宇宙怪人タタンガ[6]
Uchū kaijin Tatanga
Mysterious Spaceman Tatanga

Space Alien
Dutch De Mysterieuze Ruimteman Tatanga[7] The Mysterious Spaceman Tatanga
French Tatanga
Tatanga, monstre mystérieux de l'espace[8]
Tatanga, mysterious monster from space
German Tatanga, der rätselhafte Raumfahrer Tatanga, the enigmatic spaceman
Italian Tatanga
Tatanga, il mostro dello spazio[9]
Alieno[10] (Super Mario Land 2)
Tatanga, the space monster
Russian Татанга
Spanish Tatanga
Tatanga, el ser del espacio
Tatanga, the Being from Space


  1. ^ a b Super Mario Land English instruction booklet, page 17.
  2. ^ Super Mario Land English instruction booklet, page 15.
  3. ^ Nintendo Magazine System (AU) Issue #5, page 55.
  4. ^ Perfect Ban Mario Character Daijiten. Page 32. 「オイラは宇宙怪人タタンガ。マリオランドでサラサ・ランドをり、デイジーにしようとしたらマリオに邪魔されちまった。今度はオイラが邪魔をしてやる!」 ("I'm the Mysterious Spaceman Tatanga. In Mario Land, I took over Sarasa Land and tried to take Princess Daisy as my queen, but Mario got in my way. This time I'll get in his way!")
  5. ^ a b Kazuki, Motoyama. KC Deluxe vol. 20 - Super Mario Land 2: 6-tsu no Kinka 2. Page 4. It also states the following: 「スペースゾーンのラストには、あのタタンガににた宇宙人があらわれる。」 (At the end of the Space Zone, a space alien that looks like Tatanga appears.)
  6. ^ Super Mario Land Japanese instruction booklet, page 21.
  7. ^ Club Nintendo (Netherlands) Classic, page 9.
  8. ^ Super Mario Land French instruction booklet, page 17.
  9. ^ Super Mario Bros. Enciclopedia; pag. 46
  10. ^ Club Nintendo (Italy) Numero 1 - 1993, page 24.