A virus is a germ-based enemy found in the Dr. Mario series. Viruses most often appear in three colors; red, blue, and yellow; however, in later games in the series including Dr. Luigi and Dr. Mario World, a larger variety of colors and types are present. To defeat a virus, usually Dr. Mario must line up three Megavitamins of the same color next to the virus of that color. The virus, along with the Megavitamins, will then disappear. In most Dr. Mario games, after clearing one jar of viruses, Dr. Mario will move to the next one, with each jar containing increasingly more viruses.


Dr. Mario series

Dr. Mario

Viruses first appeared in the NES and Game Boy game Dr. Mario, where they are small germs that Dr. Mario must eliminate. To do this, he uses Megavitamins, which can come in combinations of their colors (red, blue, and yellow), four of these Megavitamins must be stacked on top of a virus of the same color to eliminate it. As the difficulty increases, the number of viruses will also increase.

In the Game Boy version due to the system being incapable of displaying bright colors, viruses appear in black, white, and gray. The black virus resembles the red virus, the gray virus resembles the blue virus and the white virus resembles the yellow virus. Because the simple monochrome display of the Game Boy is only able to show a few shades of gray, the black and gray viruses lack the black sclera that the red and blue viruses had, and hence look marginally different. In the high-level ending, the viruses are seen on a tree before being beamed up by a UFO.

They are found in the remakes Tetris & Dr. Mario and Dr. Mario & Puzzle League for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy Advance respectively.

Dr. Mario 64

Viruses appear again in Dr. Mario 64, and they play the same role as before. The way to beat them stays the same, too. In Flash mode, regular viruses are immune to Megavitamins, and special flashing viruses appear that can be defeated.

Dr. Mario Online Rx

Viruses also appear in the WiiWare game Dr. Mario Online Rx, where they act like they do in Dr. Mario. They are also seen fighting Miis in the Virus Buster game.

Dr. Luigi

Three new viruses with two new virus colors, cyan and magenta, appear in the Wii U game, Dr. Luigi, exclusive to the Nintendo eShop. The classic blue, red, and yellow viruses appear in the "Retro Remedy" mode by default, while new viruses; a cyan virus (Dizzy), a magenta virus (Confused), and an alternative yellow virus (Drowsy); appear in the new Operation L mode by default. The colors of the viruses in this game are based off CMYK printing colors.

Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure

The standard three viruses return in Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure, in the same role as past games. Even though Dr. Luigi and the Operation L gameplay return in this game, the new viruses seen in Dr. Luigi do not.

Dr. Mario World

The standard three viruses return in Dr. Mario World, along with four new green, purple, light-blue, and magenta viruses. The three classic viruses also receive a new design reminiscent of their in-game appearance from Dr. Mario, and are prominently featured in the promotional video series for the game, Virus Vid. Viruses can come with new gimmicks in Dr. Mario World, such as being frozen in ice, encased in bubbles, protected by cages, hidden by clouds and dust, or teleporting away from a matched pill to another location on the grid.

Nintendo Comics System

The viruses appear as the main antagonists in Nintendo Comics System's adaptation of Dr. Mario entitled "The Doctor Is In... Over His Head". This appearance names the red virus Fever, the blue virus Chill, and the yellow virus Weird.

In the same comic, the viruses are given special powers: Chill can manipulate the cold, Fever can control heat, and Weird can forcibly morph others into different shapes and creatures.

Club Nintendo

Two viruses can briefly be seen inside Bowser's stomach in the Club Nintendo comic Süße Weihnachten. They symbolize his sickness after having eaten too much.

Super Smash Bros. series

Super Smash Bros. Melee

The viruses appear in Super Smash Bros. Melee as a trophy, which can be obtained when it appears at random in one of the game's single-player modes.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, each of the blue, red and yellow viruses are featured as separate stickers. They can be used in the Subspace Emissary by any fighter. The blue virus sticker boosts electric attacks by 5 points, the red virus sticker boosts fire-based attacks by 20 points and the yellow sticker increases the amount of damage recovered after eating food by 4 points.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U

The viruses are featured as a trophy in the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U. The trophy can be collected once it appears at random in one of single-player modes, such as VS. Mode and others.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

The viruses appear in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as an Advanced-class support spirit that occupies one support slot. Upon use, it reduces the damage taken from poison-based attacks. In World of Light, the spirit is encountered on the Light Realm map near Riki's Dojo. The spirit's puppet fighters are three Kirbys, each colored after one of the viruses, and the battle takes place on the Battlefield version of the Mario Bros. stage.

WarioWare series

In WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$!, one of 9-Volt's microgames called "Dr. Mario" is based on the game Dr. Mario, and the player must defeat the viruses using Megavitamins, just like in the game. There is also a minigame in the same game called Dr. Wario, which is a Wario version of Dr. Mario, where the viruses look different. In WarioWare: Twisted! in the microgame Weird Science, a blue virus makes an appearance. WarioWare Gold features another Dr. Mario microgame under the same name, where the player must tilt the game system to defeat a row of three Viruses.

Mario & Luigi series

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

Viruses appear as enemies at Woohoo Hooniversity in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga and its 3DS remake, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions. They appear in all three colors and attack in groups. When hit by Mario or Luigi, they will change into a different color. When a red virus is hit, it will become a blue virus; when a blue virus is hit, it will become a yellow virus; and when a yellow virus is hit, it will become a red virus. Once all viruses in-battle match in color, they will be instantly destroyed, which is a callback to how they were destroyed in Dr. Mario. Additionally in the remake, when three of them are defeated at once, a small portion of the "Fever" theme plays as well. Viruses attack by charging at Mario or Luigi and chewing on their heads, which can be countered by using the hammer. Sometimes when a brother fails to counter this attack, he will be poisoned. Each color has different stats; for example, red viruses have the highest POW and lowest DEF. Additionally, thunder-based and fire-based attacks will do critical damage to red and blue viruses, respectively, though a yellow virus will be healed when hit with either element. When using an Advanced Swing Bros. attack against a yellow virus or defeating it with the Game Boy Horror SP equipped, it will drop a Steady Badge.

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

The blue virus makes a cameo in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story and its 3DS remake, Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey. After knocking out all the body segments of a Toothy, the Toothy attacks by spitting out a blue virus holding a small spear to attack the player.

In the Toadley Clinic's lobby, there is a prohibition sign on the wall featuring a blue virus.

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team

Viruses appear in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team as enemies during the Ultibed part hunt. In the field, viruses chase Mario and Luigi upon sight. Viruses also change color whenever they are damaged (with the exception of counter-attacks); much like how they did in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. The pattern they go in is from blue to yellow to red and back to blue again, repeating itself. The player can connect three or more of the same color to make them disappear, defeating the connected viruses instantly, also like in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. If a virus is defeated, the ones behind it will move forward to the front if possible. They always appear in a group of 16, which is the most enemies seen in a battle in the real world. They are also one of the very few enemies who can inflict the Mini status on the Bros. which decreases their Attack and Defense and shrinks them.

Viruses may attack by forming two lines, one in the foreground and one in the background, and proceeding to move several steps in any direction each time. This can be dodged by jumping when appropriate. Viruses may also attack by circling the Bros. in a single file line, Mario and Luigi then having to hammer them all into a pile before they attack them after circling several times. If three of the same color land on the pile consecutively, they disappear like they would normally. If they are jumped on, they change color twice and if the hammer is used they will change color once. Also, if Mario or Luigi had the tiny status with DEF-Down they will be KO'd no matter what because the number damage is 1411. This could also give them a Game Over very easily. Red viruses can inflict POW-Down, yellow viruses can inflict DEF-Down, and blue viruses can inflict SPD-Down.

Mario Kart series

Mario Kart Arcade GP series

In the Mario Kart Arcade GP series (including GP 2 and GP DX), there are two blue Virus related items: Wheel Virus and Dizziness Virus. The first and third titles include both, while the second only has the Dizziness Virus.

Nintendo Puzzle Collection

The Viruses reappeared in the Dr. Mario game (a close remake of Dr. Mario 64) of Nintendo Puzzle Collection.

Other appearances and cameos

Viruses appear as enemies in the unlockable minigame Virus Buster (also known as Germ Buster) for Brain Age 2: More Training in Minutes a Day!, which was later included in Dr. Mario Online RX and all subsequent titles in the Brain Age series.

Viruses also make a small cameo in the obscure Super Famicom game Motoko-chan no Wonder Kitchen, appearing in a cut-scene for mayonnaise 'facts'.[1] They also cameo in Nintendo Monopoly, appearing on one of the Coin Block (Community Chest) cards. Viruses are also referenced in Super Paper Mario when a Shayde says he was killed for an illness caused by multicolored viruses. Of all the virus colors, the blue virus is the one with the most appearances and cameos.

As part of the promotion for the release of Dr. Mario World, three T-shirts modeled after the main three viruses were released on July 19, 2019 as a gift in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.

General information

Physical description

Viruses come in five colors: red, blue, yellow, cyan, and magenta. In most of their appearances, the red, blue and yellow viruses are bipedal, wear brown shoes and white gloves. In addition to their color, viruses can be distinguished by their appearances. Red viruses are the most distinctive, having floppy, round ears, two small horns that curve inward, yellow eyes, a mouth containing two teeth and a tongue, a spiked tail and a nose. According to the Tetris & Dr. Mario instruction manual, the red virus is female, making it the only one until the introduction of the magenta virus in Dr. Luigi. Blue viruses have large, spiked ears, no horns, yellow eyes, and a mouth containing a single tooth. Yellow viruses have two pairs of horns instead of ears, orange eyes, and no visible mouth. The cyan and magenta viruses lack legs and feet, yet also have distinct appearances: cyan viruses have large eyes with gold irises, two small antenna-like features on the top of their head, and a large mouth with four fangs and a long tongue. Magenta viruses have a square-shaped body with three small horns on the top of their head and slightly mottled skin, large eyes with eyelashes and magenta irises, segmented arms with mitten-like hands, and a large mouth with no visible teeth or tongue.

In the NES version of Dr. Mario, when the player beats the game with the level and speed set to 20 and high respectively, a cutscene will play showing a UFO flying over a tree with the three viruses, who then enter the UFO, hinting that they might be aliens of some sort.[2] The UFO also appears before the title screen of Dr. Luigi.


Viruses are contagious, to the point that one of them can multiply to fill an entire glass jar within seconds. According to the Nintendo Comics system, each virus has unique abilities that correspond with their names: red viruses can manipulate heat, blue viruses can manipulate cold, and yellow viruses can transform people into different shapes and species, which is referred to as "weirdness". In the Mario and Luigi series, viruses are able to change their color when attacked, and are shown to wield spears. Lining up four viruses of the same color using Megavitamins removes them.

Profiles and statistics

Super Smash Bros. series

Super Smash Bros. Melee Trophy

Name Game Description
Viruses Dr. Mario
These contagious viruses make life difficult for Dr. Mario. They infect everything they come into contact with, and the good doctor must attempt to neutralize them with his trusty megavitamins. Dr. Mario can stop these pesky germs by lining up the megavitamin capsules of the same color with the nasty microorganism.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl Stickers

Name Game Effect
Blue Virus Nintendo Puzzle Collection Electri - Attack +5
Red Virus Nintendo Puzzle Collection Flame - Attack +20
Yellow Virus Nintendo Puzzle Collection Food Effect +4

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U Trophy

Name Appears In American English description British English description
Viruses GB Dr. Mario (12/1990)
Wii Dr. Mario Online Rx (05/2008)
At the forefront of medical science, you have to be equal to whatever nature throws your way–that's why Dr. Mario's medicine cabinet includes red, blue, and yellow capsules to combat these red, blue, and yellow viruses! Over 20 years after Mario first took up medicine, Luigi joined the fight with his new L-shaped vitamin. At the forefront of medical science, you have to be equal to whatever nature throws your way - that's why Dr. Mario's medicine cabinet includes red, blue and yellow capsules, for any colour of virus. If you can't visit Dr. Mario, at least go and see Dr. Luigi, who set up his first practice more than 20 years later.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Spirit

Names Series/Games Types Classes Strength/Effects How To Obtain Spirit Battles
Opponent(s) Battle Conditions Stages Songs
Viruses Dr. Mario Series Support (1) Advanced Poison Damage Reduced World of Light (Light Realm) Kirby ×3
  • Timed battle
Mario Bros. (Battlefield) Fever