“Boo” mixed media illustration, 2015. Print available here!
(originally known as “Boo” Diddlys) are common ghost enemies in the Mario series that first appear in Super Mario Bros. 3. They are a type of white spherical ghost with menacing and normally open mouths. They are known for their large tongues and small “arms” of some sort. However, the most distinctive characteristic of the Boos is their shy personality, where they cover their faces when someone looks them directly at the face. They will uncover their faces once the subject turns around. Goombario’s tattle for the Boos Igor in Paper Mario states: “He probably was a merchant before he became a Boo,” implying that current Boos may have once been living beings. It is revealed in Super Mario Galaxy that they can speak in Booish.
“(BOO! Did I distract you?)”
—Boo, Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour
His first appear in Super Mario Bros. 3. Here, they are referred to as “Boo” Diddlys, a pun off the late rock star Bo Diddley. However, future games refer to them only as Boos. They make their first appearance in the Desert Land fortress. The Boo shields its face if Mario or Luigi look at it, but it starts to chase Mario or Luigi if they look away. Boos are unable to be defeated unless the two are equipped with a Hammer Suit, Koopa shell, or Starman. The game also has Stretches, which are Boos with very long bodies that live in the Fortresses throughout the Mushroom World.
“Boo” Print available here!
n Super Mario World, there are Ghost Houses, which contain many Boos. These Boos retain their usual pattern of attack from Super Mario Bros. 3 and sometimes make faces at Mario or Luigi. However, they are somewhat slower and less accurate than in Super Mario Bros. 3. This game also introduces many new Boo variations, such as the Boos Block, Boos Buddy Snake, Boos Buddy Swarm, Circling Boos Buddies, Eeries, and Disappearing Boos Buddies. It also introduces a giant version of the Boos, the Big Boos, and a ghost-like Lakitu called a Fishin’ Boos. One Ghost House contains a secret boss, a special Big Boos. The only way to defeat him is with Super Stars or with Grab Blocks when he is visible.