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Mario and Luigi are the main characters in Super Mario World, and they are the only playable characters. In single-player games, the player must use Mario. In two-player games, the first player must use Mario, while the second player must use Luigi.

Unlike certain Mario games, such as Super Mario Bros. 2 USA, there are no gameplay differences between the Mario and Luigi. Both characters run at the same speed, jump the same height, and so forth. In the original version of Super Mario World the two are also identical in appearance except that Mario wears a red shirt and Luigi wears a green shirt. However, in the Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World version Luigi is slightly taller than Mario and performs a few actions differently (such as jumping headfirst rather than with his fist), but the two are still identical in terms of gameplay. In the GBA remake however, Luigi's jump stays in the air longer due to his midair scuttling, and his fireballs bounce higher at the cost of lowered traction.

Small status[edit]

When Mario is small, he is called Small Mario.

Getting Small Mario[edit]

  • When starting a new game, the player begins as Small Mario.
  • If cape Mario or fire Mario get hit they turn into Super Mario, and he must be hit again to be Small Mario.
  • If Mario dies, he restarts as Small Mario.
  • If Mario is riding a Yoshi, it acts as an extra hit.


Small Mario is the weakest Mario.

  • A single hit kills Small Mario.
  • Small Mario can use the Spin Jump but cannot break yellow bricks.
  • His Small size allows him to access areas that are otherwise more difficult to access.


It is quite possible, but more difficult, to beat the game using only Small Mario. In fact 91 of the 96 exits can be beaten using only Small Mario. The exceptions are:

  • Secret exit of Donut Ghost House, cape Mario required
  • Secret exit of Cheese Bridge Area, Yoshi or cape Mario required
  • Secret exit of Forest of Illusion 3, Super Mario required
  • Secret exit of Valley of Bowser 4, Yoshi required
  • Both exits of Star Road 1, Super Mario required

Super status[edit]

When Mario is large, but still without a Cape feather or fire flower, he is called Super Mario.

Getting Super Mario[edit]

  • If Small Mario gets a mushroom, he becomes Super Mario.
  • If Small Mario crosses a midway tape as Small Mario, he becomes Super Mario.
  • Getting hit as Cape or Fire Mario cause him to degrade to Super Mario


  • If Super Mario gets hit he does not die, he becomes Small Mario.
  • Super Mario can break yellow blocks using his spin jump.

Fire status[edit]

Getting Fire Mario[edit]

  • Mario becomes Fire Mario if he grabs a Fire Flower.


Fire Mario is generally considered inferior to cape Mario. However, he is considered superior to cape Mario for underwater levels

  • Fire Mario can shoot bouncing fireballs
  • Fireballs can kill certain enemies, such as the Jumpin' Piranha Plants, that cannot be killed with jump.
  • Enemies killed by fireballs, except Koopa Kids, turn into coins.
  • However, no more than two fireballs can be on the screen at once.
  • If fire Mario spin jumps (A Button), he will release fireballs (one fireball to the left and one to the right).
  • Fire Mario can break yellow blocks using spin jump.
  • If fire Mario is hit he does not die. Instead he becomes Small Mario.
  • If you play the GBA version, when Fire Mario is hit he becomes Super Mario.

Caped status[edit]

Getting Cape Mario[edit]

  • If Mario grabs a Cape Feather, he becomes Cape Mario.


Cape Mario is generally considered the best Mario.

  • Cape Mario can fly.
  • Cape Mario can jump further than other Marios by gliding as he falls.
  • Cape Mario can perform a cape spin. Cape spin can kill some enemies that cannot be killed by jump, such as Jumpin' Piranha Plants.
  • Cape Mario can break yellow blocks using spin jump.
  • He can also flip yellow blocks using his cape spin.
  • After flying up, Mario can smash down on the ground. This creates an earthquake which kills certain enemies.
  • If cape Mario is hit he does not die. Instead he becomes Small Mario.
  • In the GBA remake however, he becomes Super Mario.
  • If cape Mario runs into a flying enemy while flying such as Super Koopa, Boo, etc., he justs gets temporary invincibillity and spins in the air like a spin jump.


Cape is not available until Donut Plains 1.

Status changing[edit]

Unlike in some Mario games, Small Mario can become fire Mario or cape Mario without first become Super Mario. The following status changes are available:

  • Small Mario + mushroom = Super Mario
  • Small Mario + fire flower = fire Mario
  • Small Mario + feather = cape Mario
  • Super Mario + mushroom = Super Mario + mushroom in storage
  • Super Mario + fire flower = fire Mario + mushroom in storage
  • Super Mario + feather = cape Mario + mushroom in storage
  • Fire Mario + mushroom = fire Mario + mushroom in storage
  • Fire Mario + fire flower = fire Mario + fire flower in storage
  • Fire Mario + feather = cape Mario + fire flower in storage
  • cape Mario + mushroom = cape Mario + mushroom in storage
  • Cape Mario + fire flower = fire Mario + feather in storage
  • Cape Mario + feather = cape Mario + feather in storage
  • Large (super, fire or cape) Mario + hit = Small Mario
  • Any Yoshi + Yoshi wings = blue Yoshi

Only one item can be held in storage. An item that goes into storage will replace whatever item was there before. So a less desirable item (mushroom, fire flower) can replace a more desirable item (fireflower, feather) in storage! If you are hit - but not killed - the item in storage will come floating down allowing Mario to grab it. The item will also float down if you press select. If Mario dies while having an item in storage, the item in storage will remain when he restarts (a continue needs to be used).


SMW Yoshi.png

Yoshi is the friendly dinosaur that helps Mario and Luigi through Dinosaur Island by allowing them to ride on his back.

Getting Yoshi[edit]

  • If Mario hits certain ? blocks Yoshi will pop out.
  • In the Star World levels baby Yoshis are lying around in eggs. Feed them a star, mushroom, feather or fire flower or five other items that Yoshi can eat and they transform into an adult Yoshi. Enemies can also be eaten.


Yoshi offers several advantages but also some disadvantages.

  • Yoshi's jump is as powerful as Mario's spin jump.
  • If Mario has Yoshi, a ? block or egg that would have contained Yoshi, contains a 1-up instead.
  • Yoshi can eat some enemies. Some of the enemies that Yoshi can eat, such as Mega Mole cannot be killed with jump. Yoshi can also eat berries and grab a power-up for Mario by eating 10.
  • When Yoshi eats two pink berries on the same screen (i.e. without going down a pipe or in a door) a smiley cloud appears dropping coins with smiley faces. These coins bounce once and fall off the screen. If you catch all the coins, the cloud will drop a 1-Up.
  • If Yoshi eats a Green Berry (only found in Funky) 20 seconds are put on the timer.
  • Yoshi can hold some items, such as Koopa shells, in his mouth. After some time, however, he will eat these items. Spitting out these enemies is equivalent to Mario's throwing them.
  • Yoshi can break yellow bricks if a large Mario (Super Mario, cape Mario or Fire Mario) spin jumps and lands on Yoshi while Yoshi is standing on yellow bricks.
  • If Yoshi eats a red shell, he will spit it out as a flame. This flame kills the same enemies that fireballs kill, including some that jump cannot kill. Enemies killed by Yoshi's flame, except Chargin' Chucks, turn into coins.
  • If Yoshi eats a yellow shell, he will stomp dust when he lands. This dust kills the enemies that cape twirl kills, including some that jump cannot kill.
  • If Yoshi eats a blue shell, he will gain the ability to fly.
  • If Yoshi eats an invincible koopa shell (a koopa climbed into a yellow shell; also known as a tornado shell), he will gain all 3 abilities.
  • If Yoshi grabs a pair of Yoshi wings he enter a special stage (usually without enemies - see Cheese Bridge Area for exception). When he exits this stage, the level will be completed. Yoshi wings will also transform Yoshi into blue Yoshi (see special Yoshis).
  • Mario and Yoshi can perform a double jump (see Moves section), allowing Mario to jump almost twice as high.
  • If Mario is hit while riding Yoshi, Mario will not die or shrink. Instead Yoshi will run away. Mario can recover Yoshi by jumping on him.
  • Fire Mario cannot shoot fireballs while riding Yoshi.
  • Cape Mario cannot do cape spin while riding Yoshi.
  • Cape Mario cannot fly as far when he has Yoshi.
  • Yoshi cannot climb ropes, vines or fences.
  • Yoshi cannot enter ghost houses or castles. He will wait outside while Mario completes the level. While outside, Yoshi cannot be lost even if Mario gets hit or dies.
  • Mario with Yoshi is larger than a large Mario. This makes it difficult or impossible to reach certain areas and easier to be hit or squished.

Special Yoshis[edit]

Special Yoshis are found as babies in Star Road. Mario must feed the baby Yoshis one star, mushroom, fire flower or feather or five other items that Yoshi can eat to transform them into adult Yoshis. Special Yoshis have the same ability as normal (green) Yoshi except that:

  • Blue Yoshi gains the ability to fly whenever he eats a koopa shell. He is considered by far the best of the Yoshis. He is found in Star World 2.
  • Red Yoshi spits out every koopa shell as a flame. He is considered the worst of the Yoshis, including green Yoshi. He is found in Star World 1 and Star World 4.
  • Yellow Yoshi stomps dust whenever he eats a koopa shell. He is considered somewhat better than green and red Yoshi. He is found in Star World 3 and Star World 5.
  • With any Yoshi, the colored shells will still give the Yoshi its power. (Example: A Blue Yoshi that eats a Red Shell can fly and spit out fire. If it eats a Yellow Shell, it can fly and stomp on the ground when jumping. A Yellow Yoshi can eat a Red Shell and will be able to spit fire and stomp the ground, etc.)