Many Mario games, including the Super Mario Bros. series and the Mario Kart series, use Stars (AKA Super Stars, Starman, and Invincibility Stars). After picking up a Star, the user becomes temporarily invulnerable to all damage, except those of lava, deep water, falling, etc. Any projectiles or enemies that come into contact with the user of the Star while it is activated are either destroyed, damaged, or spun out (depending on the type of enemy and what game it is). The Star also increases the speed of the user substantially. The Star is undoubtedly one of the most powerful items in the Mario series. Most side scrolling Mario games feature Stars to grant temporary invincibility, including Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, Super Mario Land, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, New Super Mario Bros. and New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

Although traditional Stars did not appear in Super Mario Galaxy, an item known as the Rainbow Star was introduced, and could also grant Mario temporary invincibility by transforming him into Rainbow Mario.

In certain Mario Kart games, a Star is seen with a smiling mouth, and only Mario Kart: Double Dash!! is the one to reveal it. Stars were used differently in Yoshi's Island when they were smiley faced, with blue shoes. They can be found by the player by defeating certain enemies and hitting some ? Clouds. They were used when Baby Mario fell off a Yoshi's back. The Stars would somehow make a bubble around the screaming infant, protecting him from the evil Toadies until the power of the Stars ran out. Every Star collected would add one second to the Star meter, and collecting 30 of them was essential to get a Perfect on a level. Also, "Super Stars" found only in a few levels (they looked like an ordinary Starman, but with no eyes) would seal the Yoshi in a huge egg, and Baby Mario would become invincible, and somehow sport a Cape, which allowed him to glide long distances. After a certain amount of time, the Yoshi would return to normal and Baby Mario once again would seat himself on his back, losing his cape and invulnerability. There are also packs of Stars that come in 10 or 20.

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