From Gamehiker Wiki
|Mario donning the suit in Super Mario 3D Land.|
|Debut||Super Mario Bros. 3|
The Tanooki Suit is a power-up suit that was featured in Super Mario Bros. 3.
The Tanooki Suit is a power-up that has been used by both Mario and Luigi which is a costume of the Japanese tanuki. The Tanooki form acts as a foil to the game's Raccoon form, which is achieved through the Super Leaf. Both forms are capable of limited flight with a running start. The unique ability given to Tanooki Mario or Luigi is that he can turn into a stone form, which makes him impervious to attacks. If this done in midair, the stone will slam down to the ground and destroy most enemies as well as hitting switches.
Super Mario 3D Land later combined the two power-ups by having the Super Leaf initiate the Tanooki form. This version of the Tanooki form had abilities that were closer to the Raccoon form, as instead of being capable of turning into stone, Mario could swing the suit's tail as an attack. Tanooki Mario also could only enhance his jumps by fluttering the tail instead of outright flying. An advanced version of the Statue Leaf was only found in the Special Worlds. This version restored more of the original Tanooki Suit's capabilities by allowing Mario or Luigi to turn into a statue in midair, and it was otherwise identical to the other Tanooki form except for a bandana worn around the neck. Finally, an Invincibility Leaf appeared to struggling players, and it would give the player a glowing white-and-gold version of the Tanooki Suit along with invincibility for the entirety of the level.
Within the storyline, it was shown that there was a tree full of Super Leaves near Princess Peach's Castle, but the tree was stripped bare by a sudden windstorm. This resulted in various members of Bowser's army having their own Tanooki tails, which they primarily used to enhance their jumping abilities. Some of the Bowser battles were also only underlings using the Tanooki tail to assume his appearance. Mario (and some Toads) were still able to use the Tanooki Suits to fly back to the Mushroom Kingdom in the ending.
The combination of the two items continues in Mario Kart 7, where the Super Leaf appeared as an item that temporarily gave Mario a tail that could be swung around to block items and harm nearby drivers.
- The Tanooki Suit was featured in one of the Mario comics that were published in the Nintendo Comics System. The suit was shown to be the handiwork of a tailor named Tanooki who was known to sew tails onto his work. This gave an explanation for the Tanooki Suit's name which ignored the reference to Japanese mythology.
- It is named and modeled after the tanuki, a raccoon-like creature associated with Japanese mythology. The tanuki is known as a shape-shifter, and the stone form is a reference either to the shape-shifting or the prevalent tanuki statues in Japan.
- In 3D Land, Luigi has a unique variation on the Tanooki Suit, which has lighter fur and is more fox-like, possibly reflecting the Japanese mythological version of the fox known as the kitsune.
- Although the Tanooki Suit has not appeared between Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario 3D Land, it has been referenced fairly often. A people called the Tanooki were shown in Super Mario Sunshine, while Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga introduced a type of Goomba called the Tanoomba which had a Tanooki tail and was closer to the Japanese tanuki, complete with actual shape-changing ability. One of the Sammer Guys in Super Paper Mario was also named Cloak of Tanooki.