Podoboo as seen in Super Mario Galaxy 2.

Podoboos[1][2] (also known as Lava Bubbles[3][4], Sparkies,[5] Spark Spooks,[6] or simply Bubbles[7]) are living fireballs that emerge from lava. They are commonly depicted as a large fireball with two black eyes or also as only a large fireball. Lava Bubbles mainly appear in the Mario platformers but occasionally appear in several Mario sub-series, such as the Mario Party series, the Mario Kart series, and the Paper Mario series. In the main series, Lava Bubbles can only be destroyed by using a Super Star, Gold Flower, Hammer Suit, Penguin Suit, or an Ice Flower.


Super Mario series

Super Mario Bros.

Lava Bubbles (at the time, called "Podoboos") first appeared in Super Mario Bros., as fireballs that would jump out of the lava in simple patterns in an attempt to burn Mario whenever the plumber tried to jump over them. In this game, they only appear in castles, and are completely invincible; not even a Starman can defeat them.

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels

In Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Bubbles reappear and act as they did in Super Mario Bros., and are still primarily found in castles. However, a single Bubble can also be found in World 9-4 between the katakana characters "ト" and "ウ" in the word "アリガトウ" (arigatou, meaning "thank you" in Japanese) that is formed by blocks.

Super Mario Bros. 3

Like many other enemies from the previous games, Lava Bubbles (once again called Podoboos) appear in Super Mario Bros. 3. Also, in World 5-Fortress 2, there are some Podoboos that jump out of lava on the ceiling. Podoboos can only be defeated with the Tanooki Suit's statue mode, the Hammer Suit, or a Star.

Super Mario World

Super Mario World marks the first time that they were referred to as "Lava Bubbles", as can be seen in the player's guide for the game. It is also the first time Lava Bubbles are shown to have eyes. They again appear in castle levels, where they act the same as in their previous appearances; they simply jump out of the lava in an attempt to burn Mario. However, Zigzag Lava Bubbles are now found outside the lava at all times, bouncing around the rooms of castles. This behavior is similar to Boo Buddy Snakes in Ghost Houses and the Red Fireballs found in the Mario Bros. game.

Super Mario 64/Super Mario 64 DS

In Super Mario 64 and its remake, Lava Bubbles (known here as "Bubbles"[8]) are rare, only appearing in Lethal Lava Land. They jump out of the lava horizontally and bounce on the bridges, then they come back to the lava. They are indestructible, and if Mario touches one, it causes him to uncontrollably run and lose three wedges of health, like all other fiery enemies or obstacles. In the battle with Bowser in Bowser in the Sky, he spits some blue (green in the remake) fireballs that turn into Bubble-like flames which immediately bounce towards Mario. They disappear after a few seconds. In the remake, Yoshi can eat a Bubble, causing him to spit out fire, similar to his ability in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island.

New Super Mario Bros.

In New Super Mario Bros., Lava Bubbles appear as enemies in the World 1 and World 4 castles and in World 8-5 acting like they do in Super Mario Bros. and taking a similar look.

Super Mario Galaxy

Though Lava Bubbles themselves do not appear in Super Mario Galaxy, a blue variety does. This sub-species acts in a similar pattern to regular Lava Bubbles, but instead bounce along the ground, rather than jumping upwards from various pits. Also, fiery comets appear in a few galaxies, like Melty Molten Galaxy and Bowser's Galaxy Generator.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Lava Bubbles appear in many boss castles, acting like they did in New Super Mario Bros.. They could commonly be found in World 8 as an enemy. They have eyes in this game, having a similar appearance to the Super Mario World Lava Bubbles. Additionally, the Lava Bubbles can be defeated by using an Ice Flower's or Penguin Suit's Ice Balls, or by running into one while using a Super Star]]. They first appear in Roy's Castle in World 2 right at the beginning; they continue to appear in the castles of World 5, World 6 and World 8. They are also found as enemies in the World 8 Enemy Course.

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Lava Bubbles reappeared in the game Super Mario Galaxy 2, appearing as obstacles in galaxies with lava, as well as in Bowser's galaxies. Just as in the previous installments, Lava Bubbles jump out of the lava trying to hit Mario (or Luigi, as the case may be). Also, in Bowser's Gravity Gauntlet, in a place in which there are many lava pits, there are Lava Bubbles that jump from one lava pit into another nearby lava pit. The blue Lava Bubbles from the first Super Mario Galaxy also appear in this game.

Super Mario 3D Land

Lava Bubbles return in Super Mario 3D Land, where they mainly appear in castle stages, and, like in the previous games, they act as obstacles that jump out of the lava in order to hit Mario or Luigi. In this game, Lava Bubbles can only be defeated while the Bros. are under the effects of a Star or an Invincibility Leaf.

New Super Mario Bros. 2

Lava Bubbles reappear in the Nintendo 3DS title New Super Mario Bros. 2, again inhabiting castles, and attacking in the same way. However, this time, Lava Bubbles have the capability of jumping out of lava pits in a diagonal pattern.

New Super Mario Bros. U

Lava Bubbles reappear in the Wii U title New Super Mario Bros. U, where they act just as they have in the previous Mario games.

New Super Luigi U

Lava Bubbles make a return in New Super Luigi U, where they have the same abilities in the original game, New Super Mario Bros. U. However, a sideways flying variation appears, which leap from one lava pool to another. Additionally, Takemoto, the director of this game, officially confirms that this enemy is called a Lava Bubble in a Miiverse post.

Super Mario 3D World

Lava Bubbles reappear in Super Mario 3D World where they act just like they did in Super Mario 3D Land. Blue variants also appear in levels with blue lava.

Super Mario Maker/Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS

Lava Bubbles reappear in Super Mario Maker and Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS. They can be set to come out of Warp Pipes and ? Blocks, or be produced by Bill Blasters and Lakitus. Giving one wings will make it fly diagonally like the Zigzag Lava Bubbles from Super Mario World. Additionally, while under the effects of a Big Mushroom, Lava Bubbles seem to resemble Lava Drops from Yoshi series games.

Super Mario Run

Vertically leaping Lava Bubbles appear in Castle levels in Super Mario Run. Otherwise indestructible, they can only be defeated when the player is under the effect of a Super Star. Each supplies players with a +3 coin bonus when in Toad Rally. A derived species called Poison Bubble also appears. Instead of leaping from lava, this creature leaps out from poisonous swamps.

Super Mario Odyssey

Lava Bubbles reappear in Super Mario Odyssey, where they are found in the Luncheon Kingdom, the Lost Kingdom, the Mushroom Kingdom, and the Darker Side. Their eye color does not change when they are captured by Mario; they instead gain his nose, eyebrows, and mustache. When being controlled by Mario and Cappy, Mario can only travel through lava. When in lava, Mario can jump by pressing B, and dash by pressing Leftstick and Y. If Mario jumps on a Magmato, a puddle of lava is formed, allowing Mario to traverse on the ground. Jumping in pots causes them to heat up, releasing a Power Moon. Touching the ground while controlling a Lava Bubble causes it to disappear. Lava Bubbles also appear in an 8-bit section in the Cloud Kingdom. There are also objects seen in the Luncheon Kingdom and the Darker Side known as lava cannons that will launch Mario to another area of the kingdom when jumped into as a Lava Bubble.

Super Mario Bros.: Peach-hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen!

Lava Bubbles make a brief appearance in Super Mario Bros.: Peach-hime Kyushutsu Dai Sakusen!, when the Goombas pull a switch which sends Mario and Kibidango onto platforms that move up and down over lava; it is at this point where Lava Bubbles began attacking them both, trying to knock the heroes into the lava below. Fortunately for Mario and Kibidango, Luigi accidentally breaks a hole in the ceiling while looking for Coins; the room above is filled with water, so the hole that Luigi creates starts a flood in the area, presumably killing the Lava Bubbles.

Nintendo Adventure Books

Some Lava Bubbles appear in the Magma Pits in Koopa Capers, hopping in and out of a lava pool Luigi can try and cross using protruding rocks as stepping stones. If Luigi decides to wait before jumping, he will make it, but if he jumps immediately, he will only pass the first three Lava Bubbles, and collide with the fourth, who notably speaks, taunting Luigi by responding to his "I'm pretty hot stuff!" remark with "Not as hot as me."

The Legend of Zelda series

Podoboos are one of several Mario enemies to appear in The Legend of Zelda series, specifically appearing in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons, The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages, and Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer featuring The Legend of Zelda.

Yoshi series

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island

Lava Bubbles appear in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island and its remake Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3. They share the same behavioral patterns as in Super Mario World. In this game, Lava Bubbles can be eaten by Yoshis, giving them the power of the red watermelon: the ability to spit fire.

Yoshi's Story

Lava Bubbles (referred to as Spark Spooks) reappear in Yoshi's Story. They act as they did in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, but cannot be eaten. They appear the levels Blargg's Boiler and Magma Castle. There is another variant in this game, known as Lava Ghosts.

Yoshi's Island DS

Lava Bubbles appear once more in Yoshi's Island DS. They act identically to their role in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island.

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

In Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Lava Bubbles (referred to as Sparkies in this game) are encountered in the Coal Mines and the optionally-traversed Pipe Vault, harassing Mario and others by blocking their path. In battle, they hover in the air.

In battle, a Sparky attacks by spinning its body into one of Mario's party members. A Sparky can also use the special attack drain, which allows the flame creature to shoot a small fire orb at a party member. Needless to say, fire is ineffective against Sparkies. However, despite being made of fire, Mario can surprisingly use jump attacks on Sparkies. Sparkies typically fight in groups of one to three.

They were first seen at the beginning of the game, during Mario's initial rescue attempt in Bowser's Keep. However, these Sparkies did not attack; they merely jumped out of the lava as Mario walked by.

Paper Mario series

Paper Mario

In Paper Mario, Lava Bubbles appear as common enemies in Mt. Lavalava. Because of their fiery bodies, they can not be jumped on; Mario can only harm them with hammer-based attacks, unless he has a Fire Shield or Ice Power badge equipped. In this game, Lava Bubbles are weak to water and ice. Lava Bubble can do two attacks. Their main attack is jumping on Mario but the other attack is that Lava Bubbles can damage Mario's partner which can cause Mario's partner to gain the injured status effect but Mario's partner can avoid getting Injured by blocking the attack. This also takes up the Lava Bubble's turn. A stronger, blue-colored variety of Lava Bubble, called Embers, appear as enemies in Star Way.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, they can be found in the Pirate's Grotto as well as in the Pit of 100 Trials. Mario has to attack them with his hammer since, obviously, they cannot be jumped on. However, if he is equipped with an Ice Power badge, he can jump on them without taking damage. In this game, they attack by getting close to either Mario or the partner, and burning them with their body, causing 4 damage. They can also spit fireballs that hit either Mario or his partner. These fireballs cause only 3 damage, but they can set Mario (or his partner) on fire. Ice and explosions are their main weakness. Also, one character refers to them as "ghosts". If hit by a fire attack (such as Vivian's Fiery Jinx), they will either duplicate or restore HP.

Super Paper Mario

In Super Paper Mario, they jump out of lava pits in The Underwhere, just as they do in the main series; however, they can be damaged in this game. The player can use Carrie to jump on them, use Boomer to explode on them, hit them with Cudge, or hit them with Barry. Visually, their flames are no longer slanted, and they don't flip over at the top of their jump as in previous Mario games.

Paper Mario: Sticker Star

Lava Bubbles also appear in Paper Mario: Sticker Star for the Nintendo 3DS. However, they only appear in the stage Bowser's Sky Castle, during the third phase of the Bowser battle. As soon as Mario approaches Bowser in a lava-filled area of the final hallway, the Bubbles can be seen jumping up and down in the lava. When it is Bowser's turn to attack, he lifts his pointer finger in the air, and ten Lava Bubbles are sent towards Mario. They each deal two points of damage to Mario. Only the first Lava Bubble can be blocked, but Mario is helpless against the nine that follow. However, they have a weakness.

The only way to harm the Lava Bubbles is with a Thing Sticker with cold or freezing properties. An example of one such sticker is the Refrigerator. After using the Sticker, the Lava Bubbles are frozen. Using a wind Thing Sticker like the fan make Bowser and the Lava Bubbles fly in the air. Bowser falls, and all 10 Lava Bubbles will fall on Bowser doing 10 damage each. However, more Lava Bubbles will spawn after a few turns. In this game, the Lava Bubbles more closely resemble their visual appearances in Mario platformers, as opposed to that of previous Paper Mario games.

Paper Mario: Color Splash

Lava Bubbles return in Paper Mario: Color Splash. They have three forms: a "normal" version, a black paint version known as Black Lava Bubble, and an 8-bit version, the latter of which is only shown in the course dedicated to Super Mario Bros. 3, Green Energy Plant. In Redpepper Volcano, a Snifit can be seen teaching a Fire Bro. how to aim his fireballs, using a Lava Bubble as a target.

Outside battle, normal Lava Bubbles come out from lava, chase Mario and after some seconds come back to the lava if they don't make it to hit him.

There is also a Big Lava Bubble in Redpepper Crater that serves as a mini-boss. A Shy Guy translates what he says to Mario while battling and when confronting him.

Mario Party series

In most Mario Party titles prior to Mario Party 9, Lava Bubbles are referred to as Podoboos.

Mario Party

In the minigame Hot Rope Jump, players are required to jump over a rope made up of many Lava Bubbles. Contestants must jump over the flaming rope twenty times. If one fails to do so, they will lose fifteen Coins five of those Coins will be given to each opposing player. If all players complete the minigame successfully, everyone will receive ten Coins.

Mario Party 2

The Hot Rope Jump minigame returns in Mario Party 2. This time, contestants start by jumping over slow, blue Lava Bubbles five times. After five jumps, the Lava Bubbles turn orange and move more swiftly. The rope will keep twirling until only one contestant remains. The winning contestant gains ten Coins.

Mario Party 3

In this game, Lava Bubbles appear in the battle minigame, All Fired Up. Here the player must avoid them in an attempt to be the last one standing; this is the only way to win the minigame. They also appear as obstacles in Treadmill Grill, and are targets in Hyper Hydrants.

Mario Party 4

Lava Bubbles also appear in Mario Party 4. They are only found in Bowser's Gnarly Party jumping out of the lava.

Mario Party 5

In the minigame, Heat Stroke, Lava Bubbles would land on the platforms the three players were on, making it more difficult for them.

The Bubble Capsule is introduced, which advances the player forward 10 spaces.

Mario Party 6

In the minigame, Daft Rafts, Lava Bubbles act as obstacles on some of the rafts. They appear only during the nighttime, in groups. The item from the previous game also returns, known as the Podoboo Orb.

Mario Party Advance

In Mario Party Advance, Lava Bubbles appear as obstacles in the minigame, Go-go Pogo. They attack in the same way as in Super Mario Bros., causing the player to lose the minigame if it touches them.

Mario Party 8

In Mario Party 8, the minigame Lava or Leave 'Em requires contestants to dodge a Lava Bubble that splits into many other Lava Bubbles. Also, when the player lands on a Bowser Space in Goomba's Booty Boardwalk, Bowser appears and surrounds the player with three Lava Bubbles. The player will have to jump in order to avoid them as they move towards the center (in an attempt to burn the player); the player must continue to do this for ten seconds. The Lava Bubbles only try to hurt the player three times. If the player touches one, they will lose ten Coins (therefore, the maximum number of coins that can be lost is thirty Coins).

Mario Party 9

Some Lava Bubbles jump off the magma in Magma Mine. A Mini Star constellation based on them can be found at the Museum, this time called simply Fireballs.

Mario Party: Island Tour

Lava Bubbles appear in Mario Party: Island Tour in a few minigames. They also appear jumping from the lava on the Bowser's Peculiar Peak board.

Mario Party 10

Lava Bubbles reappear in Mario Party 10 in Chaos Castle as an obstacle. If the player gets hit by one they will lose Mini Stars.

Mario Party: Star Rush

Lava Bubbles return in Mario Party: Star Rush as usable items in Coinathlon, stunning the player for a few seconds as well as removing coins and Item Boxes when used.

Mario Party: The Top 100

The Heat Stroke minigame returns in Mario Party: The Top 100, where the roles of Lava Bubbles are identical to those in Mario Party 5.

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga/Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions

In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga and its remake, they appeared as obstacles in a side-scrolling area in Bowser's Castle.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong series

Mario vs. Donkey Kong

In Mario vs. Donkey Kong, Lava Bubbles appear as obstacles in Fire Mountain.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis

In Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis, Lava Bubbles (known here as Podoboos[9]) appear as obstacles in Lava Dome.

Mario Superstar Baseball

Lava Bubbles reappear in this game, but only in Bowser Castle. First they would jump out of the lava pond and then they would land on the player and cause them to lose the ball. The players themselves would catch on fire and run around for a second, disallowing control over them.

Mario Kart series

Throughout various Bowser's Castle courses in the series, Lava Bubbles appear as obstacles.

Super Princess Peach

In Super Princess Peach, Bubbles (known in the glossary as Podoboos) could be encountered in Fury Volcano and Bowser's Villa, where they behave in the same manner as in previous games. There is also a blue variant that appears in Bowser's Villa. These ones hover above blue lava, and when Princess Peach approaches a torch, it slowly follows after her. Peach must lead them to the unlit torches, as lighting all of them in a room will open up certain doorways. Like Beach Koopas, Blindfold Boos, and Security Thwomps, the blue variants do not appear in the in-game glossary.

Mario Sports Mix

Lava Bubbles also make an appearance in the Wii game Mario Sports Mix, where teams must avoid losing possession in the Bowser's Castle court. If one team member touches it, they will get burned.

Profiles and statistics

Super Mario Run

  • Notebook Bio: "An enemy that leaps up from the lava. Some of these guys can jump really high into the air!"


  • Podoboo - A red flame ball with eyes that can jump out of lava.
  • Blue Podoboo - A blue flame ball with eyes that can jump out of blue lava and follow you out of the lava. So far this Podoboo has only been seen in Super Princess Peach and Mario Party 2.
  • Bouncing Lava Bubbles - Lava Bubbles from Super Mario World that are found in the air. They bounce off the level's surfaces. In Super Mario Maker, Lava Bubbles behave like this when they are given wings.
  • Big Lava Bubbles - Originally only found in the first 3 Mario Parties, they were implemented in Super Mario Maker when a Mushroom is given to a Lava Bubble
  • Fire Snakes
  • Ember and Phantom Ember - Paper Mario enemies found in the first two games


  • In the Super Mario Mash-Up Pack in Minecraft, Magma Cubes are replaced by Lava Bubbles.
  • The Fire enemy from Donkey Kong resembles and may be related to Lava Bubbles.


  1. Super Mario Bros. English instruction booklet, page 14.
  2. Nintendo Power Volume 13, page 9.
  3. Nintendo Mario Mania Player's Guide. Page 52.
  4. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island Nintendo Player's Guide. Page 127.
  5. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars in-game
  6. Yoshi's Story Player's Guide, pg. 11
  7. Bubble Capsule, Mario Party 5
  8. Super Mario 64 DS internal object name (BUBBLE)
  9. Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis object graphics filename (data/data/anims/podoboo_anim.bin)
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