A Piranha Plant (パックン フラワー Pakkun Furawā , Pakkun Flower) is a Venus fly trap-like enemy in Nintendo's Super Mario video games. Piranha Plants are almost always portrayed as a leafy green stalk topped with a white-spotted green or red globe, almost bisected by a toothy white mouth. Like Super Mushrooms, their coloring resembles that of the hallucinogenic Amanita muscaria and they are one of the most instantly recognizable Mario-related creatures, appearing in almost every Mario game. They are also the precursor to "ambush" enemies. They were most likely inspired by the Audrey Junior plant in the 1960 cult film The Little Shop of Horrors.
Piranha Plants typically hide within pipes, periodically emerging and ensnaring unwary passersby. There are two varieties of normal Piranha Plants: green and red. Often they have big white lips around enormous, toothed maws. Green Piranha Plants don't attack people that are touching their pipes, but the faster-moving Red Piranha Plants (which originated in the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2, a.k.a. Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels) will emerge even if someone is standing next to or on the very edge of their pipes. Pipes infested with such plants are usually vertical, but horizontally dwelling Piranha Plants are not unknown, and some even hang from the ceiling. They are most dangerous when their pipes are the only platforms across a ravine. Some species can also spit fireballs (such as the Venus Fire Trap in Super Mario Bros. 3), or even jump all the way out of their pipes (the Jumpin' Piranha Plant from Super Mario World). Others live entirely outside pipes, being either rooted in the ground or even walking about on rootlike legs. Although they are immune to jump attacks, Piranha Plants are vulnerable to projectiles, such as fireballs, Troopa shells, and hammers.
Appearances in the Mario seriesEdit
Piranha Plants originally appeared in Super Mario Bros., being, in fact, the third enemy Mario encounters; and they have otherwise changed little since their first appearance.
They were absent from the American Super Mario Bros. 2, due to the game's unusual origins, unless one counts the fire-spouting, non-carnivorous Panser Plant, which may very well be a relative of the underwater Lava Lotus and land-dwelling Volcano Lotus (Ponkey in Japan). The Panser came in three colors: red ones who would shoot their fireballs in an angle towards its enemies, gray ones who would shoot their fireballs in a straight-upward kind of pattern, and pink ones who also shot fireballs in an angle, but also had the ability to walk and chase their enemies.
Super Mario Bros. 3 introduced several new Piranha Plant species: Venus Fire-Trap (spits fireballs), Ptooie Plants (which could blow spiked balls), and two sub-species: the hopping Nipper and the indestructible Muncher. Additionally, the king of World 7 in Super Mario Bros. 3 is transformed into a Piranha Plant in the original NES game.The Jumping Piranha Plant (P-Pakkun in Japan) and other Piranha Plants are replaced by the jumping Pumpkin Plant (also known as P-Pakkun in Japan) and other such plants once the Special World is completed in the video game Super Mario World.
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island had introduced another change in the Piranha Plant's design, which was used later in Paper Mario, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Super Mario 64, Yoshi's Island DS, and other games. There was also a boss called Naval Piranha, which is a regular Piranha Plant powered up by Kamek, causing it to protude many vines and grow in size. Yoshi's Story was the first to introduce towering, tree-sized Piranha "Stalks" (in other words, their stems were tall, thorned, beanstalk-like stalks), which the Piranha Grove swarmed with. Yoshi's Story also introduced the juvenile Piranha Plants and baby Piranha Plants: Flying juveniles called Piranha Pests and walking seedlings called Piranha Sprouts.
Naval Piranha makes a reappearance in Tetris Attack, the Super Nintendo puzzle game remade from the Japan-only Panel de Pon, which is basically the same game with different characters. The Naval Piranha is the tenth boss out of twelve overall, but is the final boss of Easy mode. Naval Piranha replaces the original tenth boss of Panel de Pon, the Dragon. Naval Piranha gained a voice in this game as well.
Super Mario RPG showcased Piranha Plants in their usual red, white, and green, as well as a few different palette-swapped forms. The regular variety is referred to as Piranha Plant; others include Chewy and the boss Smilax.
In Super Mario 64, they appear in three variants - the first, and most commonly seen is the sleeping Piranha Plant. They will become annoyed when Mario (or anyone) awakens them, snapping wildly at them. Then they go back to sleep once Mario goes away. The next two are large and small Piranha Plants, which appear on Tiny-Huge Island. The visuals of the Piranha Plants were upgraded in Super Mario 64 DS.
Although normal Piranha Plants did appear as enemies in Super Mario Sunshine in Bianco Hills, most of this game's Piranha Plants were huge and paint-covered. A lot of the goopy Piranha Plants seem to be actually made of paint, but a variant of them (a humongous, goopy Piranha Plant head that rolls) suggests that they may be actually Piranha Plants, because when sprayed it reveals normal colors underneath. This game also introduced Petey Piranha and supported the fact that Piranha Plants can be squirted in the mouth to defeat them, and "organic" ones can be fattened up on water.
In Paper Mario, Piranha Plants come in many shapes and forms, including the Chapter Boss, Lava Piranha. In the sequel, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, the Piranha Plant is actually the strongest form of the species, and appears only in the Pit of 100 Trials, while the weakest is the Pale Piranha. Oddly, in the Japanese version, the Pale Piranhas are called Pakkun Flower (the real name of regular Piranha Plants) while the Piranha Plants in the Pit are called Killer Pakkun. Pirahna Plants return in Super Paper Mario in their familiar in-pipe form.
Piranha Plants appear in New Super Mario Bros., in and out of pipes, and also as fire-spitting Venus Fire Traps and large Super Piranha Plants. They both make a weird cry when they are defeated.
Piranha Plants also appear in the Mario Party series as obstacles in the mini-games and boards or as non-playable characters.
The Piranha Plant also appears in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening.
Piranha Plants are omnivorous and will eat anything they can get their sharp teeth on. They are very infamous for popping out of pipes when the player least expects it, causing harm to Mario or Luigi. In Super Mario Bros., the Piranha Plants would not attack if Mario was up against the pipe or standing on it, but in the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2 there was a red variety that would bite no matter what. In Yoshi's Island, they would wait for Yoshi to get too close and hold him in their mouths for a few seconds while Baby Mario floated about in a bubble. In Yoshi's Story, there is a special type of Piranha Plant that would hover around in the air and follow Yoshi. If Yoshi was caught, he would be spit out in a shrunken form, unable to use eggs for a short time.
Piranha Plants are most well-known for living in the pipelines in the Mushroom Kingdom, especially in the underground segments.
Piranha Plants also thrive on Yoshi's Island. In Yoshi's Story, a large swampy area was very heavily inhabited by Piranha Plants of many kinds, aptly called Piranha Grove. It was mentioned that no Yoshi that went in had ever come out alive, because there were too many Piranha Plants for one Yoshi to handle without becoming lunch, but the Yoshi kids in Yoshi's Story got through.
In Paper Mario, Piranha Plants thrive in Forever Forest. There are also Putrid Piranhas that live in Jade Jungle of Lavalava Island. A new species, Frost Piranha, is found in the cold Shiver Snowfield and on Shiver Mountain. The Lava Piranha lives in the fiery volcano, Mt. Lavalava, where it guards Misstar for Bowser.
In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, monochromatic Pale Piranhas live in the Boggly Woods and in the Great Tree. Putrid Piranhas can be found in the jungle on Keelhaul Key, and Frost Piranhas are located on the path to Fahr Outpost. The original red, white-spotted Piranha Plants are much stronger and are deep in the Pit of 100 Trials.
In Super Mario RPG, Piranha Plants live in Bean Valley, far away from the Mushroom Kingdom. The Shy-Away working for Valentina waters them with special nutrients to create Smilax and MegaSmilax to stop Mario from reaching Nimbus Land.
On Isle Delfino, Piranha Plants can be found near the lake in Bianco Hills. They explode when over watered by Mario's FLUDD and spit sludgy brown paint-like goo similar to (if not the same as) the subtstance Shadow Mario/Bowser Jr. has used to pollute the island.
Notable Piranha PlantsEdit
Naval Piranha has three attacks, the first of which is a ramming attack. In the second attack, Naval shoots Nipper spores out of her mouth which become Nippers if they touch the ground to make Yoshi's fight more difficult. For Naval's last attack, she sends her vines to attack Yoshi. Her weak point is her belly button.
Naval Piranha also appears in the video game Tetris Attack, as the second of four bosses. She appeared as a villain along with Hookbill the Koopa, while Raphael Raven had turned good. This game confirmed her gender, through hearts she would litter her speech with.
Naval Piranha is not to be confused with the Lava Piranha boss from Paper Mario, despite the two looking almost identical.
It is worth mentioning that if the player approaches Naval Piranha, and gets close enough to be able to shoot an egg at her WITHOUT Kamek beginning the transformation, the player will be able to defeat Naval Piranha without having to complete the fight. This also produces an amusing reaction from Kamek: "OH MY!!!"
Lava Piranha is the boss of the fifth chapter of Paper Mario. He is assisted by two Lava Buds, who have eight HP each. If you don't leave them alone, the Lava Buds will summon a small fireball, which is registered as a character in the fight (called a Petit Piranha) and has 1 HP, but takes away 6 HP from Mario. The Lava Piranha himself has a flame attack that takes away five HP, and he has 40 HP.
After defeating Lava Piranha (Lava Buds and fireballs are not needed to win), it looks like you've won the chapter. You even get Star Points. But suddenly, the ground rumbles, and the Lava Piranha and the Lava Buds burst out of the ground, with fire on their heads. They all have the same HP as before. Now, many attacks from you and your partners will not damage them and get 1 point of damage themselves, unless you have specific badges that protect you from the fire.
Lava Piranha's flame attack is now 7 HP of damage. Almost everything is stronger.
After defeating him, he will be gone for good, and you will have almost finished chapter 5. Now that Misstar is freed, Mario flees the volcano (after some humorous cutscenes). The Lava Piranha is seemingly gone for good.
Lava Piranha has a loose grip on English, but it is a wonder he can speak an understandable language in the first place. The Lava Piranha actually has a worse grip at English than its underlings, the Putrid Piranhas. While the Putrid Piranhas speak as if they were in the military, the Lava Piranha speaks in broken sentences, ex. "ME GUARD STAR SPIRIT. MARIO WANT STAR SPIRIT. MARIO BAD. HUCK HUCK HUCK!"
Petey Piranha is a goop spewing Piranha Plant that first appeared in Super Mario Sunshine. Since then he has become a regular in the Mario series, reappearing in Mario Pinball Land, Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time, New Super Mario Bros and Super Princess Peach as a boss, and becoming a playable character in Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, Mario Power Tennis, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Mario Superstar Baseball and Mario Strikers Charged. This makes Petey the first playable Piranha Plant character in the Mario series (unless one counts Naval Piranha in Tetris Attack). His lips are green instead of white like most Piranha Plants. (In Super Mario Sunshine, the original Super Mario 64, and Mario Party 1-6, however, all Piranha Plants' lips are green.)
Smilax is a larger species of Piranha Plant found in Super Mario RPG. He started out as what appeared to be an ordinary Piranha Plant, but, with the help of Shy Away became a huge, 3-headed plant similar to Lava and Naval Piranha called Megasmilax.
Big Bungee PiranhaEdit
Big Bungee Piranha is the fourth boss of Yoshi's Island DS. Although it originated as a standard Bungee Piranha, help from Kamek's magic supersized it into a monstrous purple Piranha Plant dangling from the ceiling, eager to be fed. Its two largest vines extended over two screens, attempting to snare Yoshi, while the Big Bungee Piranha itself occasionally paused to extend downwards to take a bite out of the dino. To defeat it, you would have to roll a rock when it targets you where it targets. It's teeth will crack and it would open its mouth (Presumably, in pain) and you wouuld have to smack its dangling tonsil. Repeat three times to defeat this boss.
Mom Piranha is the tenth boss of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. After destroying the regular piranha plants scattered around Beanbean Airport, the egg in the center of the runway opens up revealing the larger, red Mom Piranha. Mom Piranha appears with two other piranha plants that may be either red or blue, depending on which attack they are weak against. Mom Piranha will periodically change colors from red to blue and vice versa. Like all enemies in this game, her attacks can be either dodged or deflected with proper timing.
On the television series based on Super Mario Bros., Piranha Plants made various appearances, usually acting as obstacles for the heroes, much as they do in the games. In the Super Mario Bros. 3 cartoon, Venus Fire Traps and Ptooie plants were used in a manner similar to guns. Additionally, a Super Mario World episode called "Fire Sale" featured a vociferous, wise-cracking Venus Fire Trap named Mama Fire Plant, whom Kootie Pie kidnaps in order to heat her domain in Iced Land.