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Sprite number(s)



Normal sprite

Graphics file(s)

GFX11 (SP3)
GFX06 (SP4)



A Boo is a ghost from the Super Mario series of games.

General Information

Boos are glowing white ghosts, roughly spherical in shape, with two tiny cones for arms and a similarly shaped tail in back. They have a face with two eyes, "mean" eyebrows, and a huge mouth full of sharp teeth. It is unknown if they are actually the spirits of some dead creature, or if they're an actual biological species with ghost-like characteristics.

Boos first appeared in Super Mario Bros. 3, where they were known as "Boo Diddley", which is in fact a pun on singer Bo Diddley. Here, their basic attack pattern was established: If Mario was facing them, they had an attack of extreme shyness, covering their faces, blushing, and holding completely still. As soon as Mario turned his back on them, however, they would flash their fangs and begin chasing him. Facing them again would stop them in their tracks. Often, there were two Boos located to either side of Mario, so that he'd always have his back to one of them.

In Super Mario World, Mario must find his way through several Boo-infested Ghost Houses. Here, the typical Boo goes by the name of "Boo Buddy", because there are usually several of them around. Regular Boos behave as they did in SMB3, but they seem to be slower and a bit less aggressive in their attacks. In particular, they have trouble homing in on small Mario, usually stopping above his head instead of actually attacking him.

Several other varieties of Boos are also introduced. There's the massive Big Boo, which behaves like a normal Boo, but whose great size makes it difficult to get around. There are Boo Blocks, which pursue Mario when he turns away and change into solid stone blocks he can stand on when he faces them. And there's Fishin' Boo, who flies in a cloud with a fishing pole, much like a Fishin' Lakitu, but uses a blue flame as bait instead of a 1-up.

The Boo Buddies also attack in a number of new ways. Sometimes, the entire ceiling will be full of swooping Boos, which is called a Boo Ceiling. When they're translucent, Mario can pass through them safely, but when they turn solid, they're deadly to touch. Similarly, sometimes Boo Buddies will fade in and out in stationary positions, changing their location with each fade-in and forming an obstacle course of sorts. Other times, Boos will form a Boo Ring and fly around in a circular formation, either clockwise or counter-clockwise. There is a small gap in their ring through which Mario can pass, but he must be patient. Mario is not allowed to spin jump on these Boos. Finally, there are Boos who form a "snake" which bounces diagonally between walls and can be quite difficult to avoid in cramped spaces.

Hacking Information

A normal Boo is sprite 37. A relecting stream of Boo Buddies is sprite B0, and Boo Rings are sprites E2 and E3. A ceiling of swooping Boos is generator E1, while a minefield of appearing and disappearing Boos is generator E5.

Boos graphics will only show up properly with the Ghost House sprite set (SP4=06, SP3=11) Normal Boos use palette 09, but other varieties use palettes 0E or 0F. (These varieties usually cannot have their palettes changed with a simple editor like Tweaker and must instead be changed with a hex editor. When varieties of Boo which fade between translucence and solidity are used, the Level Mode typically needs to be set to 0C, dark background level. Their fading in and out can affect other normal sprites used in the area, so they are usually only used with other Boos. NOTE: Is there a level mode to fix this? Look into that...

Related Addresses

ROM Addresses
PC SNES Description
0x09E5C $01:9C5C [88 8C A8 8E AA AE 8C 88 A8] Boo Buddy Tilemap (Chasing, Stopped, Laughing 1, Laughing 2, Angry 1, Angry 2, Stopped, Chasing, Laughing)
0x0FB10 $01:F910 [D0] Change to 80 to disable Boo Buddy from stopping when Mario looks at it.
0x17DBF $02:FBBF [88 8C A8 8E AA AE 88 8C] Boo Ring Tilemap (used by Sprites E2, E3, and generators E1 and E5)
0x1916D $03:8F6D [88 8C 8E A8 AA AE 88 8C] Leader of Reflecting Stream of Boo Buddies Tilemap
0x10EB8 $02:8CB8 [88 A8 AA 8C 8E AE 88 A8 AA 8C 8E AE] Other Boos in Reflecting Stream of Boo Buddies
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