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Lakitus are Koopas who ride clouds through the skies, mostly dropping Spiny Eggs on the ground or near the player. When they are defeated, their clouds can be ridden for a short amount of time. In other games, however, they take on friendly roles, such as refereeing races, tennis and baseball games, and even filming Mario's adventures. Many of the sports game manuals refer to Lakitu in the singular, indicating that there may only be a specific individual Lakitu involved (who is named for his species, as Toad or Yoshi), and Mario Kart 7 introduces a unique, playable Lakitu character. After being asked what video game character would represent him the best, Shigeru Miyamoto replied that Lakitu would, as it "seems to be very free, floating in the air, going anywhere," a type of personality to which Miyamoto can apparently relate.
Super Mario series
Super Mario Bros.
Lakitus make their debut in Super Mario Bros., whose manual describes as "the mysterious turtle who controls the clouds". Lakitus first appear in World 4-1 in this game, where they simply move back and forth at the top of the screen, ducking into their clouds to drop Spiny Eggs (which hatch into adult Spinies upon collision with the ground). Only one Lakitu is present on screen at any given time, and they can be defeated by either a stomp for 800 points or a fireball for 200 points. A Lakitu also disguises itself as Bowser in World 5-4, but the player cannot reveal it unless they hit the fake Bowser with fireballs.
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
Lakitus retain their Super Mario Bros. role in the Japanese-only release Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels. Like in Super Mario Bros., Lakitus first appear in World 4-1. They retain the same appearance and throw Spinies in the same way they did in the predecessor, however, they are slightly darker. However, in some of the later levels, Lakitu will appear lower in the sky, making it easier for Mario/Luigi to defeat him.
Super Mario Bros. 3
Lakitus return in Super Mario Bros. 3 after their absence in Super Mario Bros. 2. Once again, they drop Spiny Eggs. Depending on the level, they may throw one of two types: a red egg that hatches into a Spiny on impact, or a green egg that does not hatch, but continues rolling on the ground to harm Mario. Lakitus first appear in Water Land. In the Game Boy Advance remake of this game, an unnamed Lakitu also helps in e-Reader use and conversion. All editions of Super Mario Bros. 3 allow Mario and Luigi to use Lakitu's Cloud to skip levels.
Super Mario World / Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2
In Super Mario World and its remake, unlike the past few games, normal Lakitus follow Mario and Luigi rather than moving back and forth. Also, when a Lakitu is defeated by projectiles, Mario or Luigi can ride its cloud and use it to fly to hidden parts of stages and over obstacles temporarily; Lakitu's cloud will simply disappear if he is jumped on. Super Mario World also introduces Lakitu-derived species, such as Fishin' Lakitus, Fishing Boo, and Lakitu in a Pipe.
Super Mario World is the only game in the main series to feature cloud-riding Lakitus with red shells instead of green. In the remake, however, if Luigi rides Yoshi and spits out a Lakitu from a Pipe, its shell is shown to be green.
Super Mario 64 / Super Mario 64 DS
Super Mario 64 (as well as its remake), marking Mario's debut in three-dimensional platforming, gives Lakitu a large role. The first two Lakitus seen in this game are the friendly Lakitu Bros., camera-carrying Fishin' Lakitus who help Mario toward the beginning of the game, give him hints in Whomp's Fortress and film his entire adventure. This "filming" technique is a means of depicting players' views behind Mario. Using , the player can control Lakitu's position and thereby change the camera angle. Lakitus also appear as actual enemies in courses such as Tiny-Huge Island and Rainbow Ride, where they float and drop Spinies on Mario. Defeating these Lakitus rewards Mario with five coins.
The cameraman Lakitu can be seen in the introduction, the end credits and also in areas where there are reflections such as in room with the entrance to Snowman's Land.
In the DS remake, the Goomboss Battle stage has one Lakitu enemy, and the new level, Sunshine Isles, has two Lakitus in it. Lakitu can hardly ever be seen after its introduction, but in the room with the mirror (where Snowman's Land and, in the remake, Chief Chilly Challenge are), the player can see Lakitu in the mirror's reflection. However, it can't be interacted with or harmed in any way.
New Super Mario Bros.
In New Super Mario Bros., Lakitus behave the same as they do in the first games, and the Super Mario World ability to take control of Lakitu's Cloud returns, being mandatory to obtain some Star Coins. Lakitus appear in World 2-2 and World 6-A. The boss of World 7 is a Dark Lakitu-like character called Lakithunder, who attacks the Mario Bros. with lightning, and dives down, along with throwing Spinies. Similar to other bosses, Lakithunder needs three hits to be defeated and its cloud disappears with it.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Lakitus behave as they did in Super Mario Bros.. This time, they throw Spinies more frequently; Mario, Luigi, Blue Toad, or Yellow Toad can steal their clouds by defeating them in any manner (as opposed to only a fireball previously). Additionally, Square Clouds spawn Lakitus that throw coins instead of Spiny Eggs. Lakitus appear in Enemy Courses in World 7.
Super Mario Galaxy 2
After being absent in Super Mario Galaxy, Lakitus appear in Super Mario Galaxy 2, behaving as they did in Super Mario 64. They are rare, appearing only in Yoshi Star Galaxy and Starshine Beach Galaxy. Lakitus can be knocked off their clouds if Yoshi eats the clouds with or spits Spiny Eggs at it. Once helpless on its back, Mario or Luigi can run into or jump on the Lakitu to defeat them. If not defeated, the Lakitu creates another cloud. Lakitus respawn a short time after being defeated. They can also be stunned by firing Star Bits at them, although they stay stunned for a shorter amount of time than most enemies. Lakitus provide Star Bits or coins the first three times they are defeated. One notable Lakitu appears as a boss in Yoshi Star Galaxy, called King Lakitu.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
Lakitus return in New Super Mario Bros. 2, unchanged from New Super Mario Bros. Wii. As with other enemies in the game, their shells and Lakitu Clouds turn golden when Mario goes through a Gold Ring, and this causes them to throw coins instead of Spiny Eggs, similar to the Lakitus that spawn from Square Clouds in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. While in the golden state, if the player manages to take a cloud from the Lakitu, the cloud generates coins similarly to a Gold Block (which is very fast). If a Lakitu is defeated while the Gold Ring is still active, it will give the player 20 Coins, unlike most enemies that give 5.
New Super Mario Bros. U
Lakitus make another appearance in New Super Mario Bros. U. In this game, they appear in the levels Blooming Lakitus from Layer Cake Desert, Seesaw Shrooms from Meringue Clouds, and Lakitu! Lakitu! Lakitu! from Superstar Road. Their clouds now mouth to the "bah"s in the music. Lakitus that also throw Piranha Pods, which grow into Piranha Plants, only appear in the level Blooming Lakitus. Otherwise, their behavior is unchanged from New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
Super Mario Maker / Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS
Lakitus are available in all styles of Super Mario Maker and Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS. In the Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 3 styles, their clouds are slightly larger than the source game; the clouds can be taken in all styles after defeating the Lakitu in any way, regardless of the source game behavior. Giving Lakitus wings makes them fly up and down. Items and enemies can be placed on Lakitus, allowing them to spawn them instead of Spinies.
Other enemies can also be placed in the clouds, and unoccupied clouds can made available - directly or, alternatively, via a pipe or Bill Blaster - for Mario to use.
Super Mario Run
Lakitus make an appearance in Super Mario Run, where they behave the same as in Super Mario Bros. In Big Spiny Blitz, Lakitus only throw coins instead of Spiny Eggs, while in Lakitu's Revenge, they throw Spiny Eggs and coins.
Super Mario Odyssey
In Super Mario Odyssey, Fishin' Lakitus can be found in various kingdoms as NPCs, and can be captured by Mario in order to fish in ponds. Despite their appearance, they are simply referred to as normal Lakitus in the capture list.
Super Mario Bros.: Peach-hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen!
In the Super Mario Bros.: Peach-hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen!, Lakitus resemble their in-game counterparts, but their clouds have no faces (a pair of Lakitus whose clouds did have faces appeared in the film's opening credits, however). In the movie itself, many Lakitus make their debut toward the beginning of the anime during the Koopa Troopa invasion of the Mario Bros.' home. After this, no Lakitus are given major roles until shortly after Mario and Luigi had collected the Super Mushroom. The Mario Bros. are eventually attacked by a Lakitu, who traps Luigi amongst a horde of giant Spinies, although Mario manages to escape his eggs. Mario then makes a Magic Vine appear and is boosted to Lakitu's height. The amused Lakitu then scoffs at Mario and shakes his hand before realizing that it is adjacent to his enemy. Though he attempts to escape, Mario manages to take the cloud, which he tampers with until he accidentally destroys the Spinies, saving Luigi.
The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!
Only one Lakitu appears on The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! produced by Nintendo and DIC Entertainment, in the episode "Mario and the Red Baron Koopa". The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! depicts Lakitu as a green, more-reptilian turtle with a large nose, resembling generic Koopa Troopas in the cartoon, who wears a red-lensed, gold-framed aviator's goggles. In the episode, King Koopa (using a magic carpet he has stolen from Sam Shalam) brings Lakitu to the country of Pasta Land, where he scares the citizens, as well as Mario, Luigi, Princess Toadstool, and Toad, with Spinies and rain. Afterward, Lakitu helps King Koopa launch the Wicked Weather Satellite, and the two relax atop Lakitu's Cloud until Mario, Luigi, and Toad defeat King Koopa and destroy the Wicked Weather Satellite. Lakitu itself is last seen attempting at maintaining his cloud, which has been broken by the Mario Brothers' biplane. Finally, this cartoon episode marks the first time Lakitu's Western name is spoken; King Koopa and Princess Toadstool pronounced it la-KEE-too.
Interestingly, Koopa seemed to treat Lakitu more like a friend than a servant, as Koopa never once insulted Lakitu or got mad at him.
The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3
Lakitu makes a final cartoon appearance as a minor, unnamed character (with no speaking roles) in the The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 episode "Life's Ruff". Compared to the Super Mario Bros. Super Show! counterpart, the one Lakitu seen in this episode resembles more to the games; however, it has a more prominent nose and forehead, and the Lakitu's Cloud is a dark, eyed storm cloud resembling a dog. Lakitu's only role in this cartoon is to throw some explosive Spiny Eggs at Luigi, who is in dog form, to stall him in his chase with Hip and Hop Koopa.
Nintendo Comics System
Lakitu's one and only appearance in the Nintendo Comics System came in the comic "Cloud Burst", which depicted Lakitu as almost identical to how they appeared in games. However, drastic changes were made to this Lakitu's cloud and shell; although the front of this cloud (which happened to be the only side with a smile) looked similar to game art, this front was attached to a larger, flat cloud where Lakitu kept its things and seemed to live in. This Lakitu's Cloud, which Lakitu identified in one line of dialogue as Fluffy, was also capable of speech, limited free movement, and it had a large dissipation plug amidst it. This Lakitu's shell was several colors. It was white, black, blue, and yellow instead of the normal green and white. Lakitu itself was depicted in this comic as a kleptomaniac, stealing most everything it saw, including its own king's crown and Koopabits. The Lakitu had also stolen Princess Toadstool's crown, which she desperately needed for her re-coronation ceremony; as such, she sent Mario and Luigi out to find the jeweled headdress (which she thought had been stolen by King Koopa). Lakitu, with orders from its king (who happened to not be aware of the cloud-riding Koopa's mutinous crimes), attacked Mario and Luigi with Spinies; although Mario managed to get away from Lakitu, a less fortunate Luigi was sprung up into its cloud. This Lakitu, despite its later cruelty to the plumber in green, actually started a limited friendship with Luigi as it stole his clothing; however, Luigi would appear to have just been playing along when he started a bond with the turtle, as he had found Princess Toadstool's crown amongst Lakitu's treasures and had to get away with it. In the end, Luigi pulled the cloud's aforementioned dissipation plug (raining Koopabits and the like down at Bowser's troops) and got away with Princess Toadstool's crown along with Mario. While it is unknown what happened to Lakitu, it is assumed that he was reprimanded by Bowser for theft.
In its only appearance in the Club Nintendo comics, Lakitu was briefly seen in the opening panel of "Mario will hoch hinaus". It is shown to watch Mario flying, surprised. It doesn't appear in the comic afterwards.
Lakitu appeared in various volumes of Super Mario-Kun where it served as an enemy, and in other issues, Mario Kart referee and an announcer in various Mario Kart tracks. In the latter case, it seems to be more wild than normal, as it bonks Mario with the traffic light.
Super Mario Adventures
Many Lakitus also appeared in Super Mario Adventures, where they briefly attacked Princess Toadstool and her Toads with Spiny Eggs. These Lakitus appeared in an unknown desert area just at a time when Princess Toadstool's troopers were dehydrating; when the gang of Toads first saw a Lakitu's Cloud appear, they mistook it for a harmless raincloud and initiated a rain dance to ensure water. However, when they saw that their actions had only provoked the Lakitus, they declared that they had "done the wrong dance" and chaos ensued. After this brief appearance, it was later revealed that Bowser had kidnapped Princess Toadstool and therefore, it can be assumed that the Lakitus captured her and her gang. Later, during Bowser and the princess's wedding, a Lakitu could be seen tossing confetti.
Mario Kart series
In the Mario Kart series, Lakitu's friendly roles start. He has many responsibilities throughout the series, thus guiding the race most of the time. It most prominently appears as the referee, holding a starting light with a fishing pole which tells the drivers when the race begins (except for Mario Kart DS), and signals the drivers what lap or section they are currently in. Occasionally, in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, a Cheep Cheep is caught on the device. Another major, vitally important role is signaling the players if they are driving the wrong way, doing so in three different ways: it shows a yellow flag with an "X" on it in Super Mario Kart, a sign saying "REVERSE" in Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart: Super Circuit, or a U-turn arrow sign since Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. In Mario Kart 8, Lakitu even puts the drivers in the right direction if they do not do so within five seconds. This is not done in Time Trial mode. There is a secret in Mario Kart Wii regarding this: Lakitu can be crushed by a Thwomp when signaling about going the wrong way. However, in the next two installments, Lakitu quickly evades the hazard without getting crushed. If the driver crosses the finish line at the end of the race, then Lakitu will come in while waving the checkered flag.
Another important role in the series is helping out the drivers when they are in a bad situation by transporting them back onto the track. This applies when the racers are falling into a void, a body of water, lava and when they are going out of bounds from the track. However, as a "penalty" for falling, they have to wait a few seconds before they can drive again, usually losing some position, and in Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Mario Kart 7 and Mario Kart 8, Lakitu also charges the player with up to three coins. In the latter game, Lakitu appears immediately to save the drivers without them having to plummet. In Mario Kart Wii's Rainbow Road and Galaxy Colosseum, the drivers are shown burning up on re-entry into the planet's atmosphere as they fall.
Mario Kart 8 gives Lakitu another large role, allowing him to film for Mario Kart TV. This is very important, as it lets the player replay the whole race or the best highlights. Other characters, such as Toads, film for the service as well. Because of Lakitu gaining another role, it is likely being the most prominent character of the series.
In Mario Kart 8, if the result screen CPU happens to get stuck on a wall, they will be pulled by an invisible Lakitu. And, if the player fails to finish in the top three, when the results screen is seen with all the racers and their positions, Lakitu appears in place of a trophy, and "Nice try!" is shown instead of "Congratulations!"
Mario Kart 7
Mario Kart 7 introduces a playable Lakitu with a red shell: this is its second appearance with a red shell, the first being Super Mario World, that was released 21 years prior to Mario Kart 7. The Lakitu is in the Feather class, giving it high acceleration, handling, and off-road while giving it low speed and weight (it shares these attributes with Toad, Koopa Troopa, and Shy Guy). It is unlocked by winning the 150cc Lightning Cup.
When starting races that contain major amounts of underwater driving, Lakitu will be sporting a snorkeling mask, as well as his cloud sporting some goggles similar to Lakitu himself. The race tracks that use this are: Cheep Cheep Lagoon (Cheep Cheep Cape), Piranha Plant Slide (Piranha Plant Pipeway), Wario Shipyard (Wario's Galleon), Rosalina's Ice World, Koopa Troopa Beach, Daisy Cruiser and Koopa Cape.
Mario Kart Arcade GP DX
Lakitus reappear in Mario Kart Arcade GP DX, where they start the race like in previous games. In an update on December 12, 2018, a red-shelled Lakitu was added as a playable light character with average acceleration, poor speed and great handling. He shares these statistics with all of the other light characters.
Mario Kart 8 / Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
In Mario Kart 8, the red-shelled Lakitu returns as a unlockable character. It is a slightly heavier lightweight (sharing its stats with Toad, Koopa Troopa, Shy Guy, Toadette, Larry, Wendy, and Isabelle), being a little bit more focused on speed and weight than with acceleration, handling, and grip. Lakitu is the Staff Ghost for SNES Donut Plains 3 and Dragon Driftway. Additionally, the latter track has images of Lakitu in the tunnel and several stone Lakitus in martial arts poses. Lakitu also appears on the poster of the fictional film Kung Fu Lakitu.
Lakitus return in the Nintendo Switch port Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. It now shares stats with only Koopa Troopa and Bowser Jr. It is also the 200cc staff ghost for DS Cheep Cheep Beach. Similarly to Dragon Driftway, Dragon Palace features art of Lakitus in martial arts poses.
Mario Kart Tour
A Lakitu returns in Mario Kart Tour as a playable character.
A lone Lakitu appears in Yoshi's Safari, and is fought as a miniboss in the Dark Realm stage Ghost Mansion, despite this being an uncharacteristic type of location. Like other Lakitus, it attacks by throwing Spiny Eggs, though unlike most other enemies in the game, it doesn't flinch upon being attacked. It reappears in Bowser's Castle in a long round of rematches against other minibosses; it is here battled after Boomerang Bro and before Sledge Bro.
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island / Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3
Because of the player playing as Yoshis, Lakitu skills are better compared to those from the Super Mario series in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island and its remake. Lakitus are featured so prominently that they have three stages ("Watch Out For Lakitu", "Lakitu's Wall", and "The Cave Of The Lakitus") named in its moniker. The game is the first chronological appearance of Lakitus. In this game, Lakitus chase their opponents in the same manner that they did in Super Mario World, although the Lakitus' mechanics are changed the most in that they now use cursors to throw Spiny Eggs; if a Yoshi touches one of these cursors, Lakitu will throw an egg towards the Yoshi's spot. Lakitus' attacking methods are also changed by the fact that Spinies themselves do not exist in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, meaning that their eggs simply explode upon contact with the ground. The game also introduces the common, wall-bound Wall Lakitu sub-species, as well as a rarer Aqua Lakitu which uses a snorkel to live underwater and an even rarer Thunder Lakitu creature (found only in the level "BLIZZARD!!!") which can emit thunderbolts at oncoming Yoshis. The game also reuses Super Mario World's ability to hijack Lakitu's Cloud and gives the Fishin' Lakitu a return appearance, although rather than tempting Yoshi with a 1-Up Mushroom (as it did in the previous game), the Fishin' Lakitus of Yoshi's Island rather use actual fishing hooks to grab Baby Mario and run away with him.
When the largely Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island-themed game Tetris Attack was translated from the Japanese game Panel de Pon, Lakitu took the role as a hero in place of the air fairy Windy. Yoshi and Lakitu settle their differences and become friends in this game, although the events of Vs. Com state that Lakitu rejoined the Koopa Troop when Bowser and Kamek hypnotized it. Yoshi, bent on freeing all his friends, then travels to the Breeze Stage and fights Lakitu and its Goonie ally, which breaks the enchantment and reforges Lakitu's friendship with Yoshi. Like the majority of Tetris Attack bosses, Lakitu is also playable in that game's Time Trial mode, which makes Tetris Attack the first game to feature a playable Lakitu and the only game where a generic, unnamed Lakitu can be taken control of by the player.
Lakitu also appears in Yoshi's Story, but with a less significant role and different attacks. In this game, they now throw rocks, Spiked Balls, and sometimes Melons instead of Spiny Eggs, but they still ride on clouds, which Yoshi can use upon its defeat. Their clouds are different from normal: their smile is red and more at the bottom. Lakitus themselves also appear different, having rosy cheeks and separate lenses on their goggles.
Yoshi's Island DS
Lakitus and Wall Lakitus reappear in Yoshi's Island DS, acting like they did in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. Other than the updated graphics, they are completely unchanged.
Yoshi's New Island
Once more, Lakitus from Yoshi's New Island act like in previous game of the Yoshi series. Just like in Yoshi's Island DS, their behavior is unchanged.
Yoshi's Woolly World / Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World
Mario vs. Wario
A single Lakitu makes a small appearance in Mario vs. Wario, appearing as a mailman who delivers Wario's letter to Mario at the start of the comic. He wears a blue cap and have a blue rucksack. Also, its cloud is shown to have a little tail when moving.
Mario Tennis series
Lakitu often appears in various spin-offs to take friendly roles, the Mario Tennis series being an example. It appears in three games of the series so far, taking different roles in each one, but always remaining as referee, showing useful information and/or retrieving balls that cannot bounce anymore, in a similar fashion to the Mario Kart series, where its friendly roles originated.
Mario Power Tennis
In Mario Power Tennis, like they do in the Mario Kart series with falling racers, Lakitus help retrieve balls that can no longer bounce. Lakitu also appears in three minigames in that game as well. In the minigame Chain-Chomp Challenge, it holds the game timer to tell the player how much time is left during the game as well as the total score in Balloon Panic. Lakitu is also responsible for starting the Artist On the Court minigame with his traffic lights from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.
Mario Tennis Open
Lakitu appears in Mario Tennis Open, with the same role he had in Mario Power Tennis: saving balls that cannot bounce anymore. As opposed to the aforementioned predecessor, however, Lakitu appears in no minigames, not even in Super Mario Tennis, which is a minigame based upon Super Mario Bros., due to none of the levels being based on those that had a Lakitu in it. As such, Lakitu appears less often than before. He has tennis gear though, that can be used by Miis.
Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash
Lakitu has the same role in Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash as in the previous game.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Lakitus make their RPG debut as a somewhat uncommon enemy in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. In this game, Lakitus for the most part take up their role in other games, although one noticeable change is given to them: rather than throwing Spinies, Super Mario RPG Lakitus toss that game's similar Spikeys. Enemy Lakitus appear in four different levels in the game, and all of these Lakitus behave differently based on the level they appear in. Despite their appearances being fairly spread out, there is no more powerful sub-species of Lakitus to take their place later in the game.
The first Lakitu Mario encounters is found in Mushroom Way. This Lakitu throws Spikeys down at Mario, but cannot be attacked because it flies so high above the ground, out of Mario's jumping range (and would make for a rather challenging enemy so early in the game if it could be attacked). The next one is found shortly afterward in Rose Way; this Lakitu (who is depicted with a Fishin' Lakitu pole on the overworld) attacks by lowering Shy Guys down at Mario and Mallow. The crew (which then consists of Mario, Mallow, and Geno) finds the last Lakitu in Booster Pass, where it attacks with Spikesters. Unlike the Lakitu from Mushroom Way, the Lakitu at Booster Pass can be attacked by scaling one of the rocky cliffs and jumping on the enemy from above. Lakitus can also be fought in the enemy corridors of Bowser's Keep. In battle, Lakitus often use quick, hard-to-dodge attacks.
Although Lakitus have a minor role in this game, a huge, mustachioed Lakitu actually plays a vital part in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars by operating a bus to transport the heroes from Nimbus Land to Bowser's Keep. Earlier in the game, another Lakitu appears in Tadpole Pond as a helper of Frogfucius; this one carries the sage across the lake to talk to Mallow and Mario when they first arrive, to give the illusion that he can float in midair (though the illusion is ruined when the Lakitu lowers and can be seen fully on-screen, but they recover soon after); the Lakitu is also present when Frogfucius admits to Mallow that he isn't a tadpole. Both these Lakitus appeared riding a large cloud float based on the former's bus during the game's ending sequence.
Mario Party series
Though Lakitu does not have a major role in the Mario Party series, he does make a few appearances throughout. The majority are mostly, but not limited to, minigames.
Mario Party 5
Lakitu is perhaps best known in the Mario Party series for his Orb, the aptly-named Lakitu Orb. This Orb (under the name "Lakitu Capsule") makes its first appearance in Mario Party 5 and allows players to steal Orbs of their choice from other players.
Mario Party Advance
Despite Tumble's role as the main host of Mario Party Advance, Lakitu actually does get minor (but noticeable) roles as that game's minigame referee; at the start of a minigame, Lakitu (and his whistle-blowing cloud) alerts players to start and announces the end when time runs out for minigames. A single Lakitu also appears in the Lakitu House as an avid Toad Force V fan, and carrys a Fishing Pole with a Toad Force V Action Figure on the end of it.
Mario Party 7
The Lakitu Orb (finally being named as such) makes a return appearance in Mario Party 7's Neon Heights, where players can use it to steal one of Koopa Kid's Treasure Chests at random, awarding the player with the item inside (which could vary in helpfulness).
Mario Party 8
In Mario Party 8's Test for the Best, Lakitu holds up the 6,000 point sign with his fishing pole. One Lakitu appears in the minigame Glacial Meltdown where, instead of throwing Spinies at the player, this Lakitu strangely throws Buzzy Beetles at the player for them to jump on and hit their opponent.
Mario Party 9
In Mario Party 9, a Lakitu is one of the game's twelve bosses. It is the miniboss in Toad Road in Solo Mode and the first boss to be fought. The players fight it in the minigame Sock It to Lakitu, where players must hit blocks to send varying numbers of Bullet Bills at it. Lakitu attacks the players by throwing Spinies at them. When Lakitu's health is half depleted, it throws larger Spinies onto the field.
Mario Party: Island Tour
Lakitus reappear in Mario Party: Island Tour as non-playable characters. One appears in the minigame Pachinko Wizard where it throws Spiny Eggs at the players, who are trying to stand in safe places. The last one standing wins. In the minigame Pool Buoy, Lakitu flies above the pool, throwing flag buoys; players must get the most points to win. Red buoys are worth one point and gold buoys are worth three. They also appear in Perilous Palace Path with the item Lakitu Leech, which, similarly to Mario Party 5, allows the user to steal an item (a random one if the target has 2) from the player of choice.
Mario Party: Star Rush
In Mario Party: Star Rush, there is a space in Toad Scramble mode with Lakitu's cloud on it. When landed on, the player can pay one coin for Lakitu to transport them to another player's space.
Super Mario Party
Super Smash Bros. series
Super Smash Bros.
Super Smash Bros. Melee
In Super Smash Bros. Melee, a Lakitu makes a cameo appearance in the background of the Yoshi's Island stage. Another can be seen in the upper part of the Mushroom Kingdom stage, alongside two green Koopa Troopas and a Goomba. Also, a Fishin' Lakitu (although simply named "Lakitu") appears as a trophy, which can be obtained at random in one-player modes or the Lottery.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Lakitu appears again in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as an Assist Trophy character, appearing in its original 8-bit form from Super Mario Bros. It will toss Spinies on the ground when released from the Assist Trophy, hurting players who hit the Spinies. It is, however, one of the few Assist Trophies that can be attacked and defeated.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U
Lakitu reappears in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U as an Assist Trophy character, reprising its role from the predecessor. Lakitus also appear as Smash Run enemies in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, this time in their modern look. Here, they drop Spinies down onto the ground from above.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Lakitu and Spiny appear in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as an Advanced-clas Grab-type primary spirit. When equipped, the fighter's weight is reduced, becoming faster but easier to launch. In World of Light, the spirit can be found in the Mysterious Dimension sub-world of the Dark Realm. The spirit battle has Iggy and eight tiny red Bowsers as opponents.
Mario Golf series
Lakitu has friendly roles once more in the Mario Golf series. However, its figure is not so important as in other spin-off series. Its most important role is saving balls that ends up in water, thus signaling the Water Hazard. This is its only role in normal games though. In Speed Golf games, it also takes the role of signaling the player when to start playing just like they do in the Mario Kart series.
In Mario Golf, perhaps with influence from Super Mario 64, places a Lakitu in the role of a cameraman and referee of the Speed Golf sub-game with his traffic lights from Mario Kart 64 that can be seen at the start of the first hole of any course.
Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour
Lakitu is used as catcher of balls lost to water hazards and tree hazards in Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, which also featured a surprisingly Lakitu-less course called Lakitu Valley. Also in the game, he is served as the referee of the Speed Golf sub-game once again, but this time, with his Double Dash!! traffic light.
Mario Golf: World Tour
Lakitu makes an appearance as the referee of the Speed Golf sub-game for the third time in Mario Golf: World Tour. Their name can also appear on the tournament scoreboard of the Castle Club, usually hanging in ranks close to last place. He welcomes players at the Sky Island entrance, and his golf gear is available for Miis to use. Again, he retrieves balls that fall into water hazards, as seen in the transition which follows once that happens.
Paper Mario series
In Paper Mario, Lakitu are found only in the area Flower Fields, where they aid Huff N. Puff in his plot to cover the fauna filled place with clouds. In this game, Lakitus, as well as throwing Spiny Eggs, employ a new tactic: if one sights Mario in the field, it will charge towards him, attempting to ram the plumber. As well as appearing as generic enemies, Lakitus appear as mini-bosses at least three times in Paper Mario. The Lakitus in this game appear to directly serve Huff N. Puff, rather than just Bowser.
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Lakitus appear as rare enemies since only one appears in the main story, which is a part of Spike Storm, a Lakitu/Spiny team Mario and his partners fight in the Glitz Pit's minor league. Additionally, a more powerful sub-species known as the Dark Lakitu, as well as the regular ones, appear in the Pit of 100 Trials. However, Lakitus are more common in case of NPCs, such as Laki, a train enthusiast found near the Excess Express boarding area and a grey Lakitu with a camera in the Glitz Pit, as well as Lakitu crowd members.
Super Paper Mario
As per usual with Mario RPGs, Lakitu is a rare enemy character in Super Paper Mario. In this game, Lakitus are only seen in areas such as The Dotwood Tree and Overthere Stair; however, the aforementioned Laki character from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is given a reference in some Merlee's Mansion graffiti in this game and a Lakitu (despite his species's obscurity in Super Paper Mario) can appear as one of the randomly-generated characters on the first page of the Japanese Super Paper Mario website. The Lakitu Catch Card in Super Paper Mario states Lakitu's motives for throwing Spiny Eggs at opponents: Lakitu's actions are because someone "made fun of its glasses". It's implied that Laki wrote graffiti on the wall of Merlee's Basement.
Paper Mario: Sticker Star
Lakitus make another Paper Mario appearance in Paper Mario: Sticker Star. Despite most of the enemies in the game having new appearances, Lakitu has retained his form from the last two Paper Mario games. Only one appears in the game and is found in Whammino Mountain as an obstacle, throwing Spinies. By grabbing a Super Star nearby, Mario can run through the Spinies and to the top of the mountain. Though the Lakitu flies high, he can be defeated at the top of the mountain if Mario quickly jumps into him when he drifts downwards, and this hurt frame can be seen. However Lakitu has other hurt frames that went unused, suggesting that he was planned to be an actual enemy.
Paper Mario: Color Splash
While Paper Mario: Color Splash is the only RPG in which Lakitus do not appear, Luigi briefly aforementions that "Lakitu's not here to save us" while they drive across the Rainbow Road leading to Black Bowser's Castle.
Mario & Luigi series
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga / Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions
Lakitus appear in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, the first game of the Mario & Luigi series, and the remake, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions. A Fishin' Lakitu with a red shell appears every time a Mario Brother levels up, carrying a selecting device that allows the player choose which stat they wish to add bonus points to (on top of the normal points gained while leveling up). Once selected, the device then flips over and becomes a roulette that determines how many points that stat will earn, from one to three. The only other appearance of Lakitus in the game is before the final battle with Fawful, where a cutscene depicts a pair of Lakitus holding up spotlights to reveal Fawful's cloakless form.
However, Lakitu makes the most impact in the remake, specifically in Minion Quest: The Search for Bowser, which unfolds the untold story of Captain Goomba and his attempts to rally Bowser's army to rescue their king. Lakitu serves as the sidekick and adviser to Captain Goomba and his squad, often scouting for minions and lost soldiers. He first appears in the Beanbean Kingdom, when Captain Goomba and Captain Shy Guy are ready to take on the brainwashed Larry Koopa and his minions, and he diverts them to a hidden place in the outskirts of the castle town and explains what he's up to. They appear in the missions A Cloudy Day, Chain Chomp and Spike Stomp, Pokey Panic, Rumble in the Castle!, Goomba's Worth and The Mightiest Minions. Their special attack is Chain Stomp which allows them to stomp on an enemy twice. They are strong against Sharpeas and Spinies and weak against Shy Guys.
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
Lakitu's minor, friendly roles in the Mario & Luigi series continued with Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, where he takes on his role of level up assistant yet again. A Fishin' Lakitu with a camera (quite possibly one of Super Mario 64's Lakitu Bros.) also goes to Peach's Castle presumably to report on the launch of Professor Elvin Gadd's Time Machine towards the beginning of the game; when Toadsworth's fainting faces Mario with the challenge of retrieving a Refreshroom from the elderly Toad's room, this friendly Lakitu reporter aids the plumber with a "cloud-cam view" of the castle, actually the bird's-eye map that Mario, Luigi, and their baby selves continue to use throughout the rest of their adventure. The Lakitu then flies off and is never seen again; as a matter of fact, the only other generic Lakitu seen in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time is an unnamed agent of Lakitu Travel who transports Kylie Koopa and Toadbert to the Star Shrine right before the battle with Elder Shrooboid. However, another Lakitu sub-species can be fought in the Vim Factory; these Shroob-like Lakitus, the Lakitufos, fly on UFOs rather than clouds, have antennae, and beam down Spiny Shroopas rather than throwing Spinies.
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story / Mario & Luigi: Bowser Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey
Lakitu kept his role in the Mario & Luigi series for a third time in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story and the remake Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey as the level up assistant yet again. However, this is his only role. Two new species of Lakitu are also introduced: Glam Lakitu and Lakitu King, respectively.
Lakitus also appear in Bowser Jr.'s Journey as enemies and recruitable allies, where they are strong against Spinies and weak against Captain Shy Guy.
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team
While a Lakitu doesn't appear anymore in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team while leveling up, they appear as enemies only. They appear as a common enemy in Dreamy Driftwood Shore. Outside of battle, Lakitus can either swoop down to run into Mario, or they can throw a Spiny Egg, causing a Spiny to appear when it hits the ground. They throw Spiny Eggs (or Mushrooms on rare occasion) in battle. The Spiny Eggs can be hit back with the hammer. Two new species of Lakitus also appear: Lakitu Rs, a stronger version of Lakitu in Dreamy Neo Bowser Castle, and Commander Lakitus, which appear in Somnom Woods and appear groups of two and fight in the background by ordering certain attacks to Boomerang Bros.
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
Lakitu plays an important role in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam. They host the Lakitu Info Center in said game. In it, the player can play mission and minigames which goals are often rescuing Paper Toads, crucial in continuing the story. After a certain amount of sidequests are cleared, the player is rewarded with a Battle Card.
Lakitus appear in the Mario-themed mahjong game Yakuman DS as the host of the tutorial, as well as providing advice to the player during games. He wears an academic cap, as he knows how to play mahjong very well.
Mario Baseball series
In both Mario Superstar Baseball and Mario Super Sluggers, a green Lakitu takes the role of an umpire just as it did in Mario Tennis. This time, it calls the strikes, outs, and announces the start or the end of any exhibition game. Lakitu is the only character in the Mario Baseball series to have dialogue but not be playable.
Super Princess Peach
Bowser brings many Lakitus with him (who in this game fight with appearance and Spiny Egg-throwing mechanics similar to those seen in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island) when he invades Vibe Island in Super Princess Peach, and some of them (the Calm Lakitus) are even made drowsy by the Vibe Scepter (only sneaking past these sleeping Lakitus can keep them from waking up and fighting like normal Lakitus). Super Princess Peach also brings back the long-neglected Fishing Boo, and even introduces a calm variety of them.
Mario & Sonic series
Lakitus appear as non-playable characters in the games Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, and Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. They mainly take the role of referees.
In Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, a special Lakitu asks Princess Daisy to compete in two events which would give them the Curling Puck for Curling Bowling. It also made an appearance in the Extreme Snowboarding in which, just like in the Mario Kart series, it would inform them what lap the players are on, respectively.
In Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Lakitu also appears in London Party Mode. He also appeared in Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games as the referee in various events including some events with his starting lights from the Mario Kart series.
In Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, he plays the role of the referee in three events: Triple Jump, Javelin Throw, and Boxing. Lakitu also appears on Copacabana Beach after every five Gold Medals or 1st Place Medals have been earned. By talking to him, the player receives coins and rings as a reward.
Mario Sports Mix
Lakitu appears in Mario Sports Mix where it served as the referee of the basketball, hockey, and dodgeball matches. It drops the puck in hockey matches during a face-off, and throws the dodgeball or basketball in the air for basketball and dodgeball matches during a tip-off.
In Fortune Street, Lakitu appears when Venture Card #92 is drawn. It travels along the board and forces all shops it passes by to close for the day.
Mario Pinball Land
A single Lakitu appears in Mario Pinball Land. When the player goes to the Shifting Sands world, they must take the left path (they will need 4 Power Stars) to encounter Lakitu. It cannot be defeated, as it floats and therefore is unreachable: instead, they must defeat 4 Spinies to obtain a Power Star.
Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix
Several Lakitus appear in Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix and are portrayed differently throughout the worlds. There are 3 items to buy in their shops, and except for the first two worlds, they are optional to visit. In the first two worlds, Lakitu plays a prominent role. In World 1, one asks Mario or Luigi to rid his garden of a group of rowdy Koopa Troopas. After doing that, he will give them the key to Truffle Towers. In World 2, a Pirate Lakitu has a powerful motor named the Boogie Booster that is needed to pass over a whirlpool, but the player must first beat the Lakitu at a fishing contest, as he claims the motor isn't for sale. Eventually the player beats him, obtains the motor, and ventures into the whirlpool.
The Legend of Zelda series
Lakitu is notable for appearing in games outside of the Mario series such as the Legend of Zelda game The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap. In this game, Lakitus were recognizable, but their clouds had no smiles, they seemed to not wear goggles, their hair was thicker (actually resembling Lakitu's hair as it appeared in Mario Superstar Baseball), and they threw thunderbolts rather than Spiny Eggs (much like the Mario enemy Thunder Lakitu). They are found in the Cloud Tops area and the corresponding dungeon, the Palace of Winds. Link has to attack them from afar, as the Lakitu will hide in its cloud if he gets too close. Additionally, Link can use the Gust Jar to remove the cloud and render the Lakitu defenseless.
Game Boy Camera
A Lakitu, along with other Mario series characters, appear as a stamp featured on the Game Boy Camera. This stamp, like with the others, can be placed in the photos the player takes.
A Super Mario Bros. Lakitu sprite is the opponent icon in the fourth difficulty level of the Vs. CPU mode featured in Tetris DS's Standard Mode, as well as the player's own icon in various other Standard Mode games.
Augmented Reality Games
A Lakitu randomly appears in the Free Fishing minigame included in the Augmented Reality Games software on the Nintendo 3DS, in which it fishes for Bloopers. Such Bloopers can also be caught by the player, but they must be very quick, as Lakitu appears for a short time only.
Nintendo Badge Arcade
Lakitus are Koopas who employ clouds as vehicles. However, Lakitus have a rather different appearance than the normal Koopa Troopas; Lakitus have very different heads with much smaller, circular noses, all generic Lakitus wear thick goggles, and Lakitus have a ring pattern on their shells rather than the hexagon pattern featured on those of Koopa Troopas and Hammer Bros. Also, while most Koopas (other than the Dry Bones of certain Paper Mario games) have no hair at all, Lakitus are usually depicted with three small strands of hair, or (as seen in Mario Superstar Baseball) a small clump of black hair.
However, Lakitus are most differentiatable from Koopa Troopas in that they simply ride clouds. These clouds have changed over the years perhaps even more than Lakitus themselves; although 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System games like Super Mario Bros. 3 depicted Lakitu as riding clouds identical to certain block-like cloud platforms (except with a green outline rather than black, and block-like clouds due to graphical limits), Super Mario World (which still included these small platforms of old) gave Lakitus more realistic, larger clouds to commandeer.
Lakitus could not speak early on in the Mario games, due to the technical limitations of the NES and SNES. The lone exception was in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, where a Lakitu spoke English with a Brooklyn accent. In Super Mario Kart, Lakitu began to communicate via signs to help the player, which it would regularly do in future Mario Kart games. Starting from Super Mario 64, Lakitus received text dialogue, which would be frequently used in a multitude of future installments. During the GameCube and Wii eras, Lakitu was voiced by Dex Manley, who also voiced Falco in Super Smash Bros. Brawl; Lakitu's speech only consists of grunts and yells. In contemporary Mario games, Lakitus are voiced by Tadd Morgan, who provided them with grunts and yells at a higher pitch.
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Names in other languages