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Spike Tops are Buzzy Beetles with shells that are red and have a single spike projecting out of the top (hence the name), making them impossible to jump on. They are also still resistant to fire, which makes them one of the most resilient enemies in the Mario series. Their defining trait is their ability to crawl along vertical and upside-down surfaces. Despite being a shelled enemy, in the platforming games, any effective method of attack will defeat them instantly instead of having them retreat into their shells.

History

Super Mario series

Super Mario World

Spike Top's debut appearance was in Super Mario World, where they would crawl around the walls and ceilings of caves. They could only be destroyed by a Cape Feather, Shell, Super Star, or by having Yoshi eat them. Yoshi could bounce off a Spike Top without ill effect to either creature jumped. They are distinct from Buzzy Beetles in that their eyes are less obscured and their shells are flatter. Instead of having four legs as they do in later appearances, the sprites appear to show them with six legs. Subsequent artwork, however, depicts them with four.

Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3

Spike Tops appear in Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 in the World-e level Ice Dungeon. In the game, they act as they did in Super Mario World.

New Super Mario Bros.

They return once again in New Super Mario Bros., with the same attack pattern from Super Mario World. A Shell, Starman, or Mega Mushroom could defeat them, as could hitting a block one is on. They only appear in World 5-2, World 6-Tower 2, and World 8-Tower.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

They also appear in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, mostly in World 2-3. They can be defeated by a Star, Shell, hitting a block from below with the Spike Top on top of it, or ground-pounding the block with the Spike Top on the bottom. Additionally, Spike Tops can be frozen by ice balls and used as weapons against other enemies.

Through hacking methods, it is also shown that Yoshi can completely eat Spike Tops, as well as safely bounce off of them, a behavior that was later carried over to Super Mario Maker.

New Super Mario Bros. 2

Spike Tops reappear in New Super Mario Bros. 2, where they act the same as in the previous games. They can be defeated with the same methods from the previous games, in addition to swinging Raccoon Mario's tail near them. In Prima's strategy guide, they are referred to as "Red Spike Buzzy"[1] (an alternative name of Red Spike Tops in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door). They appear in World 2-3 and World Flower-A.

New Super Mario Bros. U

Spike Tops reappear in New Super Mario Bros. U. They behave exactly as in the previous games, and they may be eaten by any Baby Yoshi. However, they are invincible to Bubble Baby Yoshi bubbles. They appear in Stoneslide Tower, Shifting-Floor Cave, and Rising Tides of Lava.

Super Mario Maker series

Spike Tops reappear in Super Mario Maker, Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS, and Super Mario Maker 2, using the same behaviors as in previous games. They can be used in all four styles, with new sprites for their Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 3 appearances. A blue-shelled variant typically with cyan skin additionally appears, and crawls much faster than its red counterpart. Applying wings to one will have it fly in a straight line, similarly to a Para-Beetle, except it will cause damage if stood on without a Goomba's Shoe or Yoshi.

Nintendo Adventures Books

A swarm of Spike Tops appear to attack Mario and Yoshi in Dinosaur Dilemma of the Nintendo Adventure Books, throwing themselves at the plumber and dinosaur as they are traveling through a desert. Depending on how the reader solves the accompanying puzzle, Yoshi will either eat all the Spike Tops, or one will succeed in knocking Mario out for several hours, allowing Bowser to easily conquer Dinosaur Island.

Paper Mario series

Paper Mario

In Paper Mario, Spike Tops appear as enemies in Mt. Lavalava. They are much more like Buzzy Beetles in that they can be flipped over, are resistant to fire and explosion attacks, and attack by Shell Tossing. Appearance-wise, Spike Tops sport "angry" eyebrows to contrast from Buzzy Beetles, who have a more docile look about them.

Spike Tops also appear in Toad Town Tunnels, but only in battle with Dark Koopas.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, the Spike Tops have blue shells instead of red, whereas the two red-shelled Spike Tops encountered in the game are specifically called Red Spike Tops.

Regular Spike Tops are found in Creepy Steeple alongside Buzzy Beetles. Additionally, a winged variant called Spiky Parabuzzy makes its debut in this game. Stomping it if the Spike Shield Badge is equipped causes it to lose its wings and turns it into a Spike Top. All these species also make an appearance in the Pit of 100 Trials.

Super Paper Mario

Blue-shelled Spike Tops make a reappearance in Super Paper Mario. Due to this game being more of a 2D or 3D side-scrolling adventure and not a turn-based RPG, they have the same attack patterns as in the 2D Super Mario games.

Paper Mario: Sticker Star

Spike Tops reappear in Paper Mario: Sticker Star, this time with their original red coloration and eye color from Super Mario World and the New Super Mario Bros. series. Spike Tops appear in Rustle Burrow, Holey Thicket, Chomp Ruins, and Rumble Volcano. Once again, they cannot be stomped on unless using an Iron Jump sticker or if they are crumpled. Using an normal Jump sticker will cost Mario 3 HP even a First Strike as a jump. They can retreat in their shells if Mario uses a Iron Jump sticker. Their only method of attack is going into their shell and ramming into Mario and if Mario does not block this attack, he will not only take full damage but there is also a small chance that he may get dizzy which can cause his attacks to miss. Also, a sticker based on the Spike Tops' shell called the Spike Helmet can be used. In its artwork it shows that Spike Tops have a nervous face but in the game they have a mad face much like the Spinies do. In this game, Spike Tops have much more HP like most enemies do. They are very common in Chomp Ruins since they fight in groups of 4 or 5.

Paper Mario: Color Splash

Spike Tops return in Paper Mario: Color Splash with the same appearance they had in the previous game. They are found in Redpepper Volcano and Redpepper Crater.

They attack Mario by transforming into a shell and flipping towards him. When they take enough damage, they transform into a shell, though some attacks can defeat them before they go into their shell.

Super Princess Peach

In Super Princess Peach, Spike Tops return as "Mecha-Spike Tops"[2]. Despite this new name, the Spike Tops of Super Princess Peach do not appear to be mechanical, merely looking no different than Spike Tops of other games. Super Princess Peach also introduces an angry variety, the Mad Mecha-Spike Top, which can stretch out its spike to attack foes. They can only be defeated by using Rage or Poundbrella.

Mario Party series

Mario Party: Island Tour

In Mario Party: Island Tour, Spike Tops only appear in the minigame Starring Artist on a constellation.

Super Mario Party

In Super Mario Party, a Spike Top makes a cameo appearance in the minigame Absent Minded, where it is one of the characters that can be chosen as a guess.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS

Spike Tops appear in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS as enemies in Smash Run. They seem to look and behave as they do in the New Super Mario Bros. series. They slowly walk around a platform and each of its edges. They have low health and do not attack, but they deal damage to any player that comes into contact with them.

Mario Family

A Spike Top appears as a sewing design in Mario Family.

Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey

Spike Tops make their debut in the Mario & Luigi series in the Bowser Jr.'s Journey mode of Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey, as allies and enemies.

Profiles and statistics

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS trophy

Names American English Description British English Description
Spike Top These turtles come from the Super Mario series and have one big spike on their backs. Their eyes glow from beneath the edge of their shells, watching you as they approach. In Smash Run, they crawl along walls, floors, and the ceiling. They aren't bothered by projectiles, so you'll have to find other ways to defeat them. With a massive spike on its back, glowing little eyes peering out from under its shell, and the way it walks along walls and ceilings, this turtle foe from the Super Mario series is pretty creepy. In Smash Run, just touching it will hurt you, and its shell protects it from projectiles. You'll either have to attack it directly or throw it.

Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey

  • Bowser Jr.'s Journey Profile: Their backs are well protected by sharp spikes and a solid shell. Try to dispel their spike attacks as much as possible.

References

  1. von Esmarch, Nick. 2012. New Super Mario Bros. 2 PRIMA Official Game Guide, page 29.
  2. Super Princess Peach Glossary
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