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Mario getting killed by standard lava.

In Super Mario World, lava (also used as mud in Chocolate Fortress and Chocolate Island 4) is a deadly substance that will instantly kill you whenever you touch it, no matter what kind of powerup you have. Even the Star doesn't save you when you fall in lava. Lava also has the ability to kill sprites. However, a certain few cannot be killed by lava, not even if sprite buoyancy is set. This applies mostly to sprites that are also invincible to other things, like when the player has a star. An example here is Big Boo.

Hacking Information

Riding a skull train on underground lava, which is in fact a solid block.
  • One must distinguish standard object 0x1A (the type of lava (or mud) as it is used in castles) from tileset specific objects 0x38 through 0x3B (the type of lava (or mud) as it is used in caves).
    • Standard object 0x1A is treated just like water, except that it can kill the player. It can also kill sprites - except those that have the 'Can't be killed by stars' flag set ($7E:167A, bit 1) -, but only if the sprite buoyancy flag is set. Yoshi is the only exception to the 'Don't kill if can't be killed by star' rule.
    • Tileset specific objects 0x38-0x3B are treated as solid - this explains why Floating Skulls don't sink away in it, whereas they do with standard lava. Just like standard lava, these objects can kill all sprites except for those that can't be killed by stars. However, it isn't required to set the sprite buoyancy flag for that to happen - this type of lava will ignore that flag. Just like with standard lava, Yoshi is also automatically killed.
    • The sloped versions of this tileset specific lava allow sprites to walk on them, even those that should normally be killed instantly by lava. There is a fix for it, however, which only allows sprites that can't be killed by stars to walk on them.
  • To change the amount of time a sprite sinks away in lava before disappearing, change PC x9536 (SNES $019336) from 0x40 to whichever value you'd like to change it to.
CODE_019330:        A9 05         LDA.B #$05                ; \ Sink into lava.
CODE_019332:        9D C8 14      STA.W $14C8,X             ; / 
CODE_019335:        A9 40         LDA.B #$40                ; \ Sinking timer = #$40.
CODE_019337:        9D 58 15      STA.W $1558,X             ; /


  • Tileset specific lava pulls Mario downwards and to the left, which can be used to pull him through corners and even completely through walls and floors.
  • Despite killing Mario when touched from above, tileset specific lava can be touched from any of the other three sides without being killed or dragged around.
  • Normal lava actually acts like water, and will only kill Mario when he's moving up or down fast enough. As such, it's possible to walk and swim through the top tile if you enter it from the side.
  • If a carriable object is thrown upwards on the frame it touches lava, that object will be reset to it's original state.
  • If Yoshi is dropped in lava while his tongue is out, he tongue can still grab on to other sprites. Picking up a sprite while this happens and then letting go of it will warp it back to Yoshi's tongue, and destroying a sprite on his tongue will create a "null sprite", which will be replaced by the next sprite to spawn in that sprite slot. In addition, scrolling the screen left or right may cause the sprite to warp farther to the right for a frame, or pull in closer to Yoshi until more of him is shown on screen. When Yoshi despawns, whatever sprite he grabbed will be dropped. Some sprites will just remain where it was dropped and function like normal, while most carriable sprites will lose ground interaction (like it's still stuck to Yoshi's tongue).
  • If Mario jumps off Yoshi right when he is about to die in tileset-specific lava, he'll warp to the middle of the screen and begin riding Invinci-Yoshi.
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