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Not to be confused with Invincible Urchin or Sea Urchin.
NSMBU Urchin Artwork.png
Official art of an Urchin from New Super Mario Bros. U
First appearance Super Mario World (1990)
Latest appearance Super Mario 3D All-Stars (2020)
Big Urchin
Small Urchin
Urchin (land)

Urchins are spiked aquatic creatures that have appeared as enemies throughout the Mario franchise. As their name and appearance suggest, they are based on real-life sea urchins. They are slow, yet tough enemies that Mario or Luigi must avoid usually because they cannot be defeated by normal means, like a single jump. Although they live mostly underwater, Urchins can also live on land. They first appeared in Super Mario World.


Super Mario series[edit]

Super Mario World[edit]

Artwork of Urchin from Super Mario World

In Super Mario World, Urchins move between tunnels in Forest of Illusion 2. Yoshi cannot eat them, but he can bounce on them. Urchins cannot be defeated with fireballs. However, they can be defeated by Grab Blocks. Players must time their movements carefully as to avoid an Urchin's spikes.

The Urchins in Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 can be defeated by Luigi riding Yoshi by swallowing a Blurp and spitting it at the Urchin.

Super Mario Galaxy[edit]

Urchins appear in Super Mario Galaxy in the Beach Bowl Galaxy, the Drip Drop Galaxy, the Buoy Base Galaxy, the Sea Slide Galaxy, and the Deep Dark Galaxy. In this game, they have a slightly different appearance: they have a different array of spikes, they are slightly larger, have a flatter face, and have visible orange eyelids. However, they do not swim around in the water; instead, they will stay on the sea bottom, and when they see Mario, they start chasing him by rolling towards him. Urchins also appear on land in the Freezeflame Galaxy; they act exactly the same as they do underwater. There are also fuzzy red Urchins on land to go along with the fiery area of the stage; they will act exactly the same as the normal Urchins, and can be defeated if the player lures them into entering the lava, or if they are hit by a fireball shot by Fire Mario or Fire Luigi. A single red Urchin appears in the Deep Dark Galaxy in the Boo in a Box mission as well. The underwater versions can be destroyed with a shell. They release six Star Bits when defeated. Urchins have a unique defeat animation when they get burnt, showing them being turned black with a shrunk center; when other enemies die from fire, they use their ordinary defeat animation.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii[edit]

A model of a Big Urchin from New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

Urchins appear in New Super Mario Bros. Wii along with a larger version of them called Big Urchins. Urchins start floating up and down like their Super Mario World incarnation, but when frozen with an Ice Flower or Penguin Suit they will float briefly on the water before breaking free and getting knocked out underwater permanently. In this state, the Urchin can block underwater Pipes that spray out jet streams, which can be used to the player's advantage or disadvantage, depending on the situation. They could also be defeated with a fireball, a Koopa Shell or a Star. Big Urchins are stronger than normal Urchins and only defeated with a Star. In the game, when there is a "bah" in the background music, Urchins will briefly open their mouths, releasing bubbles, as if they were saying "bah" underwater.

Super Mario Galaxy 2[edit]

An Urchin in Starshine Beach Galaxy
An Urchin underwater
Urchin in Battle Belt Galaxy
An Urchin on land

Urchins reappear in Super Mario Galaxy 2, behaving the same way as in the predecessor. They appear in the Starshine Beach Galaxy and in the Slimy Spring Galaxy. Three red Urchins also appear in this game in the Battle Belt Galaxy.

New Super Mario Bros. 2[edit]

Urchin species in New Super Mario Bros. 2
Original Urchin
Urchin species in New Super Mario Bros. 2

Urchins also appear in the Nintendo 3DS game New Super Mario Bros. 2, where they behave the same way they did in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and have the same appearance. Small Urchins also appear, acting exactly like their bigger versions, only standing still.

New Super Mario Bros. U / New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe[edit]

A Big Urchin and an Urchin in New Super Mario Bros. U

Urchins also make an appearance in New Super Mario Bros. U and its Nintendo Switch counterpart. In Urchin Shoals in Sparkling Waters, Urchins and their bigger relatives are placed over water geysers used to rise them to the platform surface. When lifted by geysers, they have an angry expression.

Super Mario World television series[edit]

Several Urchins, from the Super Mario World cartoon.

Several Urchins make a small appearance in the Super Mario World episode "Mama Luigi". In the episode, Yoshi and Luigi, while being chased through an underwater tunnel by a Rip Van Fish, almost swim directly into several Urchins. Luckily, Yoshi and Luigi manage to avoid bumping into these Urchins. In addition, the porcupinefish from the episode Fire Sale resemble Urchins.

Nintendo Adventure Books[edit]

Some Urchins make a small appearance in the Nintendo Adventure Book "Brain Drain", being seen in a large fish tank by Luigi, after Iggy Koopa takes over the WMUSH radio station.

Super Mario Adventures[edit]

In Nintendo Power's Super Mario Adventures comic, several Urchins act as guards in the moat surrounding the Koopalings tower.

Yoshi Touch & Go[edit]

Though they were seemingly going to make a return in Yoshi Touch & Go, Urchins were not seen in the final game. They were, however, featured in the Balloon Trip tech demo that can be thought of as a Yoshi Touch & Go beta. In the demo, they float in the skies and take one of Baby Mario's balloons away if he touches one of them. They can never be trapped in bubbles, making them some of the more challenging enemies featured in the demo. By the final game's release, these Urchins were redesigned as the plant-like Briers.

Super Princess Peach[edit]

Urchins also make an appearance in Super Princess Peach. They appear in the Subrella sections of the game. They move back and forth, and cannot be defeated.

Mario Party series[edit]

Mario Party 9[edit]

In Mario Party 9, Urchins appear in the minigame Pier Pressure. The ten fishing rods either have Cheep Cheeps or Urchins at the end of them; if the player ends up choosing one with an Urchin on it, they are eliminated.

Blooper also tosses Urchins at the players in its boss minigame, Blooper Barrage. They target a specific player, and their course can be redirected by hitting it with a cannonball. Getting hit by an Urchin results in that player losing one point; hitting it right before it is about to hit the player sends in into the sea below. Additionally, in the minigame Bowser's Block Battle, if Blooper appears on the stage, it attacks by throwing Urchins at the players.

Mario Party 10[edit]

In Mario Party 10, Urchins appear in some minigames, such as Fruit of the Doom, where they act as obstacles, and as a selectable enemy in Meanie Match. They also appear as obstacles in Rapid River Race, where if a player hits one they skid out and lose speed.

Mario Party: The Top 100[edit]

In Mario Party: The Top 100, Urchins reappear in the minigame Pier Pressure from Mario Party 9 where they behave exactly as they did before.

Super Mario Party[edit]

In Super Mario Party, Urchins make a cameo appearance in the minigame Absent Minded, where they are one of the characters that can be selected as a guess.

Mario & Luigi series[edit]

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam[edit]

Urchins appear in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, where they are only encountered in Twinsy Tropics, and are usually fought alongside Cheep Cheeps. They can neither be jumped on nor hammered, and can only be attacked via Bros. Attacks or Trio Attacks. If the Urchin is damaged but not defeated, it will eventually blow up, causing major damage to the trio, along with any enemies that are fighting alongside them. The trio can only counter this attack by blocking it. Also, if they are left alone after the trio defeats all the other enemies, they will flee without any experience given. They have low HP but very high defense; their second encounter has the highest defense rate, at 625 (600 in easy mode).

Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey[edit]

Sprite of an Urchin from Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey.

Urchins reappear in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey, where they are found as enemies in the Bowser Jr.'s Journey mode. They are flying troopers, and their spikes damage Minions who attack them physically. They only appear in levels in Plack Beach. At the start of rounds involving them, they are not initially seen with the rest of the squad, but jump out of the water to their positions as soon as the battle starts. Urchins and Cheep Cheeps cannot be recruited as allies, due to their shared inability to travel on land.

Other appearances[edit]

In the Super Mario Mash-up in Minecraft, Guardians are replaced by Urchins.

Profiles and statistics[edit]

Super Mario series[edit]

Super Mario World[edit]

  • Super Mario World instruction booklet: This is a giant urchin drifting in the sea. It doesn't move very fast, so if you swim by carefully, there should be no problem. However, it's probably really painful if you get stung.[1]

Super Mario Galaxy[edit]

  • Trading Card description: "Urchins are spiky blue fish that Mario must face in an underwater challenge in the Beach Bowl Galaxy and a land mission in the Freezeflame Galaxy. They roll along the seafloor or ground trying to poke Mario with their spikes. There are also red Urchins in lava areas that Mario can hit with a fireball or trick into falling into the lava."

New Super Mario Bros. Wii[edit]

  • Trading Card description: "These spiky Urchins basically just bob up and down. But you need to be a good swimmer and cautious if they are nearby. Their mere presence (especially the Big Urchin) can be a tricky nuisance to avoid, and their spikes cause damage. Freezing Urchins can send them to the surface for a short time, so try using them to your advantage. But even that is risky..."

Card Number: 40

Mario & Luigi series[edit]

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam[edit]

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Enemy
Urchin (1)
An Urchin, in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam HP 25 POW 90 (84) Defense 345 (300) Type Spiny, Flying Item Drop Candy - 60%
LV 1 Character Card - 40%
Experience 85 (80) Coins 165 Speed 66 Weakness None Location(s) Twinsy Tropics, Tropical Paper Toad Hunt
Level           12 Notice: Stats in parentheses are from the game's Easy Mode.
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Enemy
Urchin (2)
An Urchin, in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam HP 57 POW 160 (155) Defense 625 (600) Type Spiny, Flying Item Drop Super Candy - 60%
LV 2 Character Card - 40%
Experience 320 (315) Coins 275 Speed 117 Weakness None Location(s) Twinsy Tropics
Level           21 Notice: Stats in parentheses are from the game's Easy Mode.

Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey[edit]

  • Bowser Jr.'s Journey profile: Their bodies are covered with dangerous spikes. They won't join your side... mostly because they can't leave the water.

Mario Party: Star Rush[edit]

Image Name Bio
Urchin as viewed in the Character Museum from Mario Party: Star Rush Urchin
A spiky enemy usually found underwater.
"Urchins spend their time floating innocently in water, making it hard for Mario and friends to swim around."

Dr. Mario World[edit]

  • Stage mode: "Grants 15%/30%/45%/60%/80% chance shells (2) will appear on stage start."
  • Versus mode: "Grants 15%/30%/45%/60%/80% chance shells (2) will appear on stage start."


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ウニラ[2][3]
From「海胆」(uni, sea urchin); the first includes「ら」(-ra, likely a Japanese pluralizing suffix), and the second includes「蔵」(-zō, a Japanese masculine name ending)
Chinese (Simplified) 海胆[7]
海胆小子 (international releases for games since New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe)
Hǎidǎn Xiǎozi
海胆球[8] (China release for Nintendo Switch games)
Hǎidǎn Qiú
Sea Urchin

Sea urchin guy

Sea Urchin Ball

Chinese (Traditional) 海膽小子[9]
Hǎidǎn Xiǎozi
Sea urchin guy
French (NOA) Oursino From "oursin" (sea urchin).
French (NOE) Oursin Sea urchin
German Igluck
Aqua-Wummp (Super Mario World guide)
Pun on Igel (from Seeigel, sea urchin) and Gluckern (gurgling)
Aqua (water) Thwomp
Italian Ricciospino Spiked Urchin
Korean 성게돌이
From 성게 (Seongge, meaning sea urchin)
Portuguese Ouriço
Ouriço do Mar[10]
Sea Urchin
Russian Еж
Spanish (NOA) Ericín From "erizo" (urchin).
Spanish (NOE) Erincho From erizo de mar (sea urchin) and pincho (spike)


  • Hacking into Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars reveals that the game was initially planned to feature what would appear to be a tiny Urchin, likely as some kind of item.
  • The Super Mario Galaxy trading card for Urchin states that it is a spiky blue fish; however, Urchins seem to be purple in Super Mario Galaxy, and most of their appearances for that matter. They are also not fish, but echinoderms.
  • Their original Japanese name may imply that Urchins were intended to be a redesign or cameo of Unira.


  1. ^ Super Mario World instruction booklet, pg. 24
  2. ^ Super Mario World Japanese instruction booklet (fold-out)
  3. ^ Shogakukan. 2015. Super Mario Bros. Hyakka: Nintendo Kōshiki Guidebook, Super Mario Galaxy 2 section, page 159.
  4. ^ Shogakukan. 2015. Super Mario Bros. Hyakka: Nintendo Kōshiki Guidebook, Super Mario Galaxy section, page 126.
  5. ^ Super Mario Galaxy / Super Mario Galaxy 2 internal filename (Unizo)
  6. ^ New Super Mario Bros. Wii / New Super Mario Bros. 2 / New Super Mario Bros. U internal filename (unizo)
  7. ^ 无敌阿尔宙斯 (August 28, 2013). 神游 超级马力欧世界 敌人官译. Baidu Tieba. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  8. ^ Official Chinese website for New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
  9. ^ Official Chinese website for Mario Party 9. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
  10. ^ Super Mario World Brazilian instruction booklet, page 24.