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This article is about the obstacle in the Super Mario franchise. For the item in Paper Mario, see Water (item).
Artwork of Mario swimming from Super Mario World
Artwork of Mario swimming in water from Super Mario World
First appearance Donkey Kong Jr. (1982)
Latest appearance Super Mario RPG (Nintendo Switch) (2023)

In the Super Mario franchise, Water is a common, mostly harmless liquid that frequently serves as an obstacle and level theme. When entered, water can typically be navigated by swimming through it. It often appears colored light blue, dark blue or clear, and is seen many times throughout Mario and friends' adventures in the Mushroom Kingdom. Water can contain a variety of enemies, most commonly Cheep Cheeps, Bloopers, Urchins, and Cheep Chomps.


Donkey Kong series[edit]

Donkey Kong Jr.[edit]

In Donkey Kong Jr., the Vine Scene contains water at the bottom of the screen. In this appearance, it serves as a pit.

Donkey Kong (Game Boy)[edit]

In Donkey Kong for Game Boy, water appears in several stages. Mario can enter water and swim through it. However, enemies such as Bukubuku and Gessori can be found in water.

Super Mario series[edit]

Super Mario Bros. / Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels[edit]

In Super Mario Bros., water first appears in World 2-2. Enemies such as Bloobers and Cheep Cheeps are commonly found in the game's underwater levels. A smaller body of water that does not take up an entire section of the level also appears in World 3-1. This type of water cannot be swum in, and it instead serves as a type of bottomless pit, causing Mario and Luigi to lose a life if they fall in.

Small, non-interactable bodies of water reappear in numerous levels in Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, starting in World 1-2, though in the Super Mario All-Stars version, this type of water first appears in World 2-1 instead (as the water in the former level is either replaced with lava or even removed altogether). Water that can be swum in and that takes up entire sections of levels also reappears, starting in World 3-2.

In the original Nintendo Entertainment System versions of these games, water uses the same graphics as lava but colored blue instead of red. Small bodies of water are functionally identical to lava as well, since Mario and Luigi can fall through them and lose a life.

Super Mario Bros. 2[edit]

Non-interactable bodies of water also appear in various levels in Super Mario Bros. 2, such as World 4-1, where they function as a type of botomless pit. Waterfalls are present in some levels, but are likewise non-interactable. Trouters are a notable water enemy, usually found jumping in and out of water. Whales are found exclusively in World 4-2, where they can serve as platforms to cross large bodies of water. Whales will also occasionally spray water out of their blow holes, which can be used to reach higher places. However, touching these water sprays from the sides causes the player to take damage.

Super Mario Bros. 3[edit]

Water appears in many levels throughout Super Mario Bros. 3, first seen in World 1-5. Water can be found scattered in small pools in the ground, or taking up entire levels, and can be swum in in either case, as is the case for most games thereafter. Some levels such as World 4-1 feature water being poured out of pipes, which can also be swum in. In some cases, water contains enemies such as Boss Bass, Lava Lotus, and Jelectros.

Super Mario Land[edit]

In Super Mario Land, water is a staple element of the Muda Kingdom, as it is present in every level of the kingdom. Unlike in other Super Mario games, Mario cannot swim in water and will lose a life if he falls into it in an on-land level. Mario uses the Marine Pop to traverse levels that are submerged in water.

Super Mario World[edit]

In Super Mario World, water first appears in Yoshi's Island 4, taking up the bottom part of the screen. It appears in many later levels as well, either placing the whole level underwater, or set in only in small sections.

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins[edit]

In Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, water first appears in Hippo, taking up much of the level, though the player is able to jump across platforms above it.

Super Mario 64 / Super Mario 64 DS[edit]

Water is a common world element in Super Mario 64 and Super Mario 64 DS. It first appears in the moat of the Mushroom Castle, and it appears many times in some of the levels themselves, such as Jolly Roger Bay, the Hazy Maze Cave, and Wet-Dry World. When Mario becomes Metal Mario, he is able to walk under the water as he would on dry land. In lieu of an air meter, water slowly drains Mario's Power Meter if he is below its surface, and it restores his Power Meter if he is at the surface.

Snowman's Land also contains a hazardous type of water known as freezing water.

Super Mario Sunshine[edit]

Water is a central game mechanic, as well as an obstacle and world element in Super Mario Sunshine. Mario can spray water using FLUDD, which is necessary to interact with many objects and enemies in the game, most notably to clean up goop. Splashes of water like those produced by FLUDD can also be produced by breaking Water Barrels, dripping off Mario for a short time after he exits a body of water, and by Yoshis briefly before disappearing if they run out of juice (which itself functions mostly the same as FLUDD’s sprayed water, but with additional effects). These splashes of water annoy Piantas and most other friendly characters if they come into contact with them, causing them to become angry at Mario.

FLUDD has a limited water tank, which can be refilled in bodies of water or by picking up Water Bottles and coming into contact with water fountains found in some areas. Bodies of water appear in almost every level, particularly in the ocean around the edges of Isle Delfino. Water now drains Mario's air meter when he is below the surface in place of his Health Meter, and his air meter is restored if he is above the water's surface. If Mario enters water deep enough to swim in while riding a Yoshi, or dismounts a Yoshi in shallow water, the Yoshi disappears.

Bianco Hills, Ricco Harbor, and Noki Bay also contain slimy water in certain episodes. Slimy water deals damage to Mario if he stays on its surface, but it can be swum in normally (draining Mario's air meter) if he stays below the surface. Similarly, a substance known as hot water appears during the game's final boss battle against Bowser and Bowser Jr., which causes Mario to recoil and take damage on contact. Despite its name, hot water does not resemble either real-world water or the game's ordinary water and appears to be a type of green slime.

New Super Mario Bros.[edit]

Water appears most commonly in New Super Mario Bros. in World 3, which mainly consists of beach-themed levels that contain water. However, water also appears in some levels outside World 3 as a key component.

Super Mario Galaxy[edit]

Stages dedicated to water appear in Super Mario Galaxy, such as Beach Bowl Galaxy, which mainly contains water-based missions.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii[edit]

Water appears most commonly in New Super Mario Bros. Wii in World 4, which mainly consists of beach-themed levels that contain water. However, water also appears in some levels outside World 4 as a key component.

Super Mario Galaxy 2[edit]

Stages dedicated to water appear in Super Mario Galaxy 2, such as Cosmic Cove Galaxy, which mainly contains water-based missions.

Super Mario 3D Land[edit]

Water appears occasionally in Super Mario 3D Land, in levels such as World 3-2.

New Super Mario Bros. 2[edit]

Water appears most commonly in New Super Mario Bros. 2 in World 3, which partially consists of beach-themed levels that contain water. However, water also appears in some levels outside World 3 as a key component.

New Super Mario Bros. U[edit]

Water appears most commonly in New Super Mario Bros. U in Sparkling Waters, which mainly consists of beach-themed levels that contain water. However, water also appears in some levels outside of Sparkling Waters as a key component.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder[edit]

Water appears most commonly in Super Mario Bros. Wonder in Petal Isles, which consists of beach-themed levels in the first few levels. There is also a Dolphin Kick badge to help the player swim faster in water.

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island[edit]

Bodies of water appear in many levels of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. The first level that has water is Touch Fuzzy, Get Dizzy. Yoshi automatically rises to the surface and can therefore can only swim near the surface of water in this game, although he may dive slightly deeper by jumping into water from a high place, which can be used to get under certain barriers. Deeper water can only be traversed as Submarine Yoshi.

Eggs can be skipped along the surface of water, including after ricocheting off of walls, which is necessary to collect certain items as well as to damage Naval Piranha.

Various enemies are found on the surface of water, such as Spray Fish and Nep-Enuts, and in deep water, such as Loch Nestors and Preying Mantas. Cheep Cheeps appear both on the surface of water and underwater, known in English as Flopsy Fish when on the water's surface and Piscatory Petes when underwater.

Paper Mario series[edit]

Paper Mario[edit]

In Paper Mario, water cannot be entered or even jumped over unless Mario is riding Sushie, who allows him to swim over the surface and briefly dive beneath the surface. Mario can only start riding Sushie while standing on wooden docks, so not all bodies of water can be traversed this way.

Sushie's Squirt and Tidal Wave moves involve her using water to attack enemies and have a water-elemental property, which allows them to deal additional damage to fiery enemies such as Lava Bubbles. Similarly, Sushie's Water Block move provides additional protection to Mario against fire-based attacks due to its water-based nature.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door[edit]

In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Mario can safely jump over water. However, if he lands in water, he is invariably attacked by Nibbles, damaging him and forcing him back onto land, unless he is in Boat Mode. Boat Mode can only be activated while Mario is standing on special boat panels, similarly to Sushie's wooden docks, so much like in Paper Mario not all bodies of water can be safely traversed.

Bowser's World 2 platforming level features him underwater. While underwater, Bowser cannot jump out and is able to breathe fire at any hight.

Super Paper Mario[edit]

In Super Paper Mario, water is featured prominently in The Tile Pool, and makes minor appearances in Gloam Valley, Gap of Crag, and The Underwhere. Underwater controls are similar to the Super Mario series, although Brick Blocks cannot be broken by hitting them from below.

Mario & Luigi series[edit]

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga / Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions[edit]

In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga and its remake Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions, the entirety of the Seabed and parts of Gwarhar Lagoon are located underwater. Underwater areas are always connected to the surface via yellow Warp Pipes that Mario & Luigi can ascend by climbing up them. While Mario and Luigi move sluggishly in the overworld while underwater, it does not affect their Firebrand and Thunderhand moves, and Mario and Luigi are completely unaffected by water in battle.

While above water, Mario and Luigi can only cross water by Mario surfing using Luigi as a surfboard, which requires Mario to hammer Luigi using the Dunk Hammer move into metal slots called Surfing Spots located near water. These slots are only accessible after Mario and Luigi have the Ultra Hammers.


See also[edit]

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese みず


Dutch Water
French Eau
German Wasser
Italian Agua

Portuguese Água
Russian Вода

Spanish Agua