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A Whirlpool in New Super Mario Bros.
Mario trying to escape from a whirlpool in New Super Mario Bros.

Whirlpools appear in the Super Mario franchise as spinning columns of water that can suck the player down into it, dealing damage or even making them to lose a life.


Super Mario series[edit]

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

In Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, the bottomless pits in all water areas have currents which attempt to suck Mario down while he swims over them, similar in function to whirlpools in later titles.

Super Mario 64 / Super Mario 64 DS[edit]

Screenshot of Dire, Dire Docks from Super Mario 64.
The central whirlpool in Dire, Dire Docks

A whirlpool appears in Super Mario 64 and its remake, within Dire, Dire Docks. It appears in the middle of the first area where the Chests in the Current mission takes place, and if Mario, Yoshi, Luigi, or Wario goes near it, they can be sucked in and defeated upon getting too close.

Super Mario Sunshine[edit]

Pollution on Isle Delfino is a major proponent of the story in Super Mario Sunshine, which extends to Noki Bay. Here the pollution sources from Eely-Mouth in an underwater chamber, where Mario faces the eel and must clean off the gunk from its teeth. The agitated deep-sea dweller will occasionally suck in the surrounding water and potentially Mario. If Mario is sucked in by the resulting whirlpool, he will be promptly spat out and lose some air.

New Super Mario Bros.[edit]

In New Super Mario Bros., whirlpools appear only in World 6-5. If Mario gets trapped in one, the player must repeatedly press A Button to avoid being sucked down, or else they lose a life. After a while, the whirlpool disappears, and Mario can pass by. However, one whirlpool allows Mario to access the level's third Star Coin.

Super Mario Galaxy[edit]

Mario swimming in Sea Slide Galaxy
Whirlpools in the Sea Slide Galaxy

In Super Mario Galaxy, whirlpools appear in the Sea Slide Galaxy, Deep Dark Galaxy, and the Bigmouth Galaxy. They are thin columns and have a dark blue color. These whirlpools only appear underwater; they create no disturbance on the surface. Rather than pulling in the player, they push Mario or Luigi away. The Cyclone Stone in Beach Bowl Galaxy also features a whirlpool column, though this one is formed by a swirling stream of water caught between two black holes. Additionally, Warp Pipes found underwater such as in Buoy Base Galaxy will have whirlpool suction, which pull Mario or Luigi to their openings.

New Super Mario Bros. 2[edit]

Whirlpools reappear in New Super Mario Bros. 2, acting the same as they did in New Super Mario Bros. They appear only in World 3-2.

Super Mario Maker 2[edit]

While whirlpools do not appear in Super Mario Maker 2, Twisters can be placed underwater to create an upwards current which does not breach the surface. This current maintains a shape similar to whirlpools.

The Super Mario Bros. Super Show![edit]

In the forty-second episode of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! titled Mario of the Apes, Mario and co. travel through Jungleland as a shortcut. During this expedition King Koopa sends various enemies to attack the group including an Albatoss, spear-wielding Shyguys, and eventually Trouters when the group jump into a river to avoid the spears. Luigi, Princess Toadstool, and Toad try to keep afloat in the river as a large group of Trouters swim in circles to form a raging whirlpool, which pulls the group towards another large Trouter's mouth. Mario, who lost his memory prior and goes by "Marzan" at the time, swings in on a vine to rescue the three and bring them to safety.

Mario's Time Machine[edit]

In the SNES version of Mario's Time Machine, Mario enters whirlpools to travel back to various time periods, specifically after collecting enough Mushrooms while surfing across time's waves.

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars[edit]

Mario standing near a whirlpool in the sea

In Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars and its remake, whirlpools can be found in most sections within the sea and the Sunken Ship. When Mario is sucked by one, he is taken beneath the surface where he can access underwater areas. These whirlpools serve as the only method to submerge into water and only works in one direction; Mario cannot enter a whirlpool to resurface.

Mario Party series[edit]

Mario Party[edit]

Whirlpool in Mario Party
The stranded Pink Yoshi surrounded by whirlpools.

Whirlpools can be found in Mario Party, where they prevent access to a Pink Yoshi stuck on a small central island within the Yoshi's Tropical Island board. These whirlpools can be removed by collecting Stars, which forms a bridge at the end of the game allowing the Blue Yoshi on Watermelon Island to reunite with the stranded Yoshi. These whirlpools were replaced with Cheep Cheeps when the board returned in Mario Party Superstars.

Mario Party 6[edit]

Blooper Scooper from Mario Party 6
Blooper Scooper minigame

Blooper Scooper is a minigame from Mario Party 6 where players are capsized by a Big Blooper and must survive the whirlpool it forms. Any players unable to swim away from the Blooper are pulled beneath the water, made more difficult by the tentacles, crates, and other obstacles around the current. At the end of the minigame, the Blooper submerges allowing the whirlpool to subside.

Mario Party 7[edit]

“Oh dear! You unleashed the whirlpool. Now the shells will be shuffled.”
Toadsworth, Mario Party 7

In the Pearl Hunt game mode, players compete in minigames for the chance to collect pearls from various seashells arranged on the seabed. These seashells can also hold other objects such as Mushrooms, Bob-ombs, and whirlpools. The whirlpools will expand in size to carry all remaining seashells up high before dissipating, where the shells will drift back down in new positions.

Mario Party DS[edit]

Cheep Chump from Mario Party DS
Cheep Cheeps attempting to sucking up players.

When playing the Cheep Chump minigame in Mario Party DS, players have thirty seconds to avoid three Cheep Cheeps lurking below the water. These Cheep Cheeps vary in size and will occasionally swim up to the surface to suck up players, forming whirlpools from their suction that correspond to their sizes. If a player fails to paddle away from a vortex they are eaten, spat out, and eliminated from the minigame. After thirty seconds or all players are eliminated, the minigame ends. Players can use the top screen to see the locations of Cheep Cheeps before they surface.

Mario Party 9[edit]

Mario Party 9 features seven boards including Blooper Beach. Halfway through this board, the party winds around a path near an angry Blooper statue. If a captain lands on an Unlucky Space, this statue will spin clockwise causing the whirlpool at the statue's base to rapidly grow. This drags the vehicle inwards towards a Mini Ztar area and the captain will lose 3 Mini Stars in the process. Until escaping, the party will be dragged back by two spaces by the whirlpool at the end of each turn.

Additionally, reaching the end of the board initiates a boss fight in the Blooper Barrage minigame. Here the party members mount cannons on a ship as a Big Blooper emerges from a whirlpool, shooting the boss down to deplete its health. The swirling current follows the Blooper as it moves around, albeit with no effect on the fight.

Super Mario Party[edit]

Players work together in a raft to navigate various obstacles in the River Survival game mode of Super Mario Party. Two of the winding paths, the Blooper Pools and Monster Attack! challenges, feature Bloopers spinning to form whirlpools which pull in the raft and can cause it to bump against the Bloopers, impeding progress.

Mario Kart series[edit]

Mario Kart: Double Dash!![edit]

Side aerial view of Mushroom Bridge in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Whirlpools in the ocean below Mushroom Bridge

In Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Mushroom Bridge rests on an island, with various whirlpools swirling both below the bridge and out at sea. These whirlpools have stars incorporated in the design and are much larger than the racer's karts and even the boats docked in the area. These features are also present on the course in Mario Kart Tour, albeit without the star details. These whirlpools are absent from the course's appearance in Mario Kart DS and Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

Mario Kart 8[edit]

Mario Kart 8 and its enhanced port include the track Dolphin Shoals featured in the Star Cup. At the end of the course is a section where the racers emerge from the water, driving across rocky terrain and gliding over a massive whirlpool. This whirlpool surrounds the final area, being too large to see on screen all at once.

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga[edit]

Throughout the Oho Ocean of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga and its remake are waterspouts, which appear as swirling vortexes of bubbles. They can be entered using a Spin Jump, similar to whirlwinds, causing the bros to immediately be sent high up before slowly drifting back down.

Paper Mario series[edit]

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door[edit]

Water being drained inside the Great Tree.

In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and its remake, deep in the Great Tree is a puzzle room featuring a large body of water with a hidden blue switch that can be struck with Koops. This forms a whirlpool as the water pours through a hole into the room below.

Mario navigating barrels and whirlpools in the Pianta Parlor Boat Game.

The Pianta Parlor also features whirlpools in the Boat Mode minigame, which can be accessed after obtaining the Platinum Card. These whirlpools have a deeper blue color and resemble curled streamers, drifting through the water similar to the barrels to block Mario's path. The eight small whirlpools will cause Mario to spin away before regaining control, while four larger whirlpools drag Mario inward and beneath the water before he resurfaces nearby. A set of bubbly sound effects will play when being submerged.

Super Paper Mario[edit]

The Tile Pool is an underwater level within The Bitlands of Super Paper Mario. After entering a pipe here, Mario and co. find themselves in an underwater passage featuring two swirling currents comprised of bright squares. When touched, these whirlpools suck up the playable character, spinning the camera clockwise before ejecting them away and dealing 1 damage.

Paper Mario: Color Splash[edit]

World Map icon of Vortex Island from Paper Mario: Color Splash.
Vortex Island
The whirlpool of Vortex Island

Within the Violet Isles of Paper Mario: Color Splash, Mario encounters a massive whirlpool at Vortex Island. This vortex is the namesake of the island and prevents access to the local Mini Paint Star until being subdued. Mario must access a special warp pipe and navigate the parallel world to reach a laundry room Washing Machine, the source of the vortex. Squeezing this Thing and completing the ensuing battle will cause the whirlpool to dissipate in both worlds, granting passage to Lighthouse Island.

Paper Mario: The Origami King[edit]

In Paper Mario: The Origami King, the bridge to Peach's Castle is destroyed so Mario must navigate the Graffiti Underground instead. At the end of the sewer system is a body of water blocking access to a Warp Pipe, and fighting a nearby group of Scaredy Rats reveals a Magic Circle. Mario can use the 1,000-Fold Arms to open a valve, forming a whirlpool as the water flows down into the drain.

Mario facing off against the Water Vellumental in Paper Mario: The Origami King
Waterspouts formed by the Water Vellumental

When confronting the Water Vellumental, it forms large waterspouts from a body of water for the ensuing boss battle. The Water Vellumental will siphon water from these waterspouts each turn to charge up for its Big, Mega, Giga, and Ultra Wave attacks, also summoning smaller waterspouts to wash away panels on each turn. When King Olly takes this form, his waterspouts will circle around the center as the ring puzzle is being solved, locking into position to wash away battle panels once Mario's path is set.

Defeating this boss allows Olivia to fill the Eddy River using a Magic Circle. This river bases its name on the eddies which form whirlpools throughout the stream. These whirlpools sometimes shift across the water and cause damage to the Oarsman's boat, submerging it before launching it up. There is a massive whirlpool towards the end of the stream which, if entered, deals three hearts of damage to the boat.

Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix[edit]

Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix

During the events of Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix, Mario and Toad attempt to sail out to sea aboard the SS Brass before getting caught in a whirlpool. They sail to a nearby island to find help, meeting a pirate Lakitu merchant. He agrees to hand over the Boogie Booster, a powerful motor that would provide enough power to withstand the whirlpool, if Mario can defeat the Lakitu at a fishing minigame. Mario and Toad then sail into the current in the Whirlpool, reaching the bottom of the ocean and an underwater temple where the second Music Key is being guarded by a Big Blooper.

Donkey Kong Country series[edit]

Donkey Kong Country 3 (Game Boy Advance)[edit]

Throughout the Northern Kremisphere are various Secret caves each hiding a Banana Bird. Exclusive to the Game Boy Advance remake of Donkey Kong Country 3 is Pacifica, found northwest of the Bazaar's General Store. Clearing the fourth stage of this world, Cliffside Blast, unlocks a path down to a water section. The cliff face at the end reveals a cave entrance to Whirlpool Wreck when approached.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze[edit]

Current Capers
Donkey Kong swimming through a whirling current in Current Capers.

In Rockin' Relics, the first secret level of Sea Breeze Cove in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, there are large, underwater pipes powered by bellows which blow out or suck in water in quick bursts. The resulting vortexes drag around any Bananas, Kongs, and Sea Urchins in the vicinity. Current Capers also features swirling currents, this time formed by massive propellors and gears spinning in the background.

Additionally, electric eels known as Fritz often teleport around the waters of Sea Breeze Cove levels. This teleporting is achieved through rapidly swirling around in the water, and reappearing elsewhere as they swirl back into view.

DK: Jungle Climber[edit]

Within Boogity Bog, the third level of Ghost Island in the game DK: Jungle Climber, there are various currents and whirlpools which push Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong around to make underwater navigation more difficult. The whirlpools can swirl in either direction and influence a larger range than the visual, indicated by the flowing bubbles. Some whirlpools have circular handles orbiting around them, which allow the Kongs to swing through the currents.

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games[edit]


Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games features many Olympic and Dream Events, including Dream Rafting. Players stand on a circular raft that drifts down Cheep Cheep River, attempting to earn the most points while surviving various obstacles. At the end of the course, Gooper Blooper confronts the players and traps their raft by forming a whirlpool. Players must dodge its attacks and jump onto four of his tentacles, causing Gooper Blooper to leap up before landing back in the water dazed as the whirlpool subsides and the event ends.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie[edit]

During the events of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, a water main break causes the streets of Brooklyn to flood with water. When Mario lifts a manhole cover in an attempt to investigate, a whirlpool forms and water surges down into the sewers.


See also[edit]

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Chinese (simplified) 漩涡[1]


  1. ^ Official Chinese website for New Super Mario Bros.. iQue (Simplified Chinese). Retrieved March 18, 2020.