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Bullet Bills are recurring enemies in the Mario series. They are black, bullet-like enemies, commonly depicted as either having small arms or fanged grins adorning their faces, rarely having both. Bullet Bills are fired by cannons known as Bill Blasters, although some games have them fired by other sources such as Snifits and generic cannons, while some games simply have them coming out of nowhere. Subspecies of Bullet Bills include Banzai Bills and Cat Bullet Bills. Bullet Bills can be easily dodged, but it becomes harder when there are more of them.
Bullet Bills commonly appear as obstacles in games, attacking by either flying forward after being shot or actively seeking out a target, either smashing into them and continuing on their way or exploding on contact, as most recent games portray them as doing. Spin-off games, such installments of the Mario Party and Mario Kart DS feature Bullet Bills as items which can be used plow into and injure opponent characters. Perhaps due to the name and nature of the enemy, Bullet Bills only appear in two episodes of DIC Entertainment's Super Mario cartoons, but are featured with much more prominence in literature such as comics and books. The live-action Super Mario Bros. movie feature miniaturized Bullet Bills, though not named as such, as the power source of the "Thwomp Stomper" boots; a neon sign advertising a bar named "Bullet Bills" can also be seen throughout the film.
- Banzai Bills are a common and much larger subspecies of Bullet Bills. They are found in Super Mario World, Super Mario Galaxy, and the New Super Mario Bros. series They only fly straight and are much slower. They are also the only bullet bills with mouths. They also appear in Super Smash Bros. Melee in the adventure mode and Super Smash Bros. Brawl as a trophy and enemies in the Subspace Emissary.
Mario Kart series
Since Mario Kart DS, the player can collect Bullet Bills as items from item boxes. Upon using the item, the user will transform into a near (if not completely) invincible Bullet Bill and rocket down the track on Auto-Pilot for a few seconds, knocking over any enemies and players in the way and stripping players of their items, similar to the Chain Chomp from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. The Bullet Bill can only be received by the drivers on sixth to eight place (sixth to twelfth in the case of Mario Kart Wii). However, this item can sometimes be a curse. When on the trickier, narrower courses, these can sometimes lead racers up to a sharp turn or obstacle on the track and then end, possibly causing the kart to fall off the track and lose some of the spots gained using that item but the perks overshadow the cons of using it. Players can avoid this item if they are far ahead of the person using it, invincible, or out of the flight path. This is also one of four items which can be used to dodge a Blue Shell (the others being a Mushroom, a Starman, and Mario Kart Wii's Mega Mushroom).
Bullet Bills also appear as obstacles on the Airship Fortress track, which appear in Mario Kart DS and reappears as a Retro Course in Mario Kart 7. The Bullet Bills are replaced as Banzai Bills in Mario Kart 7.
Mario Party series
- Bullet Candy - Mario Party 8 - The Bullet Candy is a rare type of candy found only on the Mario Party 8 board, Bowser's Warped Orbit. When triggered, the player transforms into a Bullet Bill, allowing them to roll three dice blocks. Any opponent caught within the player's path will lose one star.
- Bullet Bill Capsule - Mario Party 5 -
- Gun the Runner - Mario Party 8 - A large Bullet Bill helicopter carries the players to the scaffolding where the Mini-game takes place.
- Sick and Twisted - Mario Party 8 - Bullet Bills appear in this racing Mini-game to attack players who are trying to cross the platforms.
- Speeding Bullets - Mario Party 9 - Players ride on Bullet Bills and reach the finish line first.
Yoshi's Island appearances
In Yoshi's Island, Bullet Bills make several appearances. The most common Bullet Bill is green, shooting in a straightforward manner. Yellow Bullet Bills can bounce off of walls, while Red Bullet Bills will track Yoshi and continuously follow him.
Super Mario Series
Bullet Bill's first appearance was as a common enemy in Super Mario Bros., where they would fly in a straight direction. A simple jump can defeat them, though fireballs do nothing to them. They are fired out of Bullet Blasters. If Mario were to stand right next to a Bill Blaster, no Bullet Bills will be shot out of it. Bullet Bills make their second appearance in Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, where they behave exactly the same as they did in the previous game. Bullet Bills make their third appearance in Super Mario Bros. 3, where they're commonly found aboard Airships. Bullet Bills once again appear in Super Mario World, acting just as they did in previous entries (although their are some levels in which no Bill Blasters can be found despite having Bullet Bills be seen. A much larger counterpart, Banzai Bill, makes it's first appearance in this game. Making their first 3D appearance, Bullet Bills appear in Super Mario 64 where they are shot out of much larger cannons. Bullet Bills are much bigger, lack arms and have a sharp-toothed grin painted on their face (more resmbling a Banzai Bill). Bullet Bills will target Mario and will follow him until they either hit Mario, crash into a wall (at which they'll explode and be defeated) or they if they are stomped on. Bullet Bills are uncommon enemies that appear in Super Mario Sunshine. They are usually seen being fired from certain enemies such as a Monty Mole cannon, Mecha Bowser, and Bowser Jr.'s small boat. Bullet Bills follow after Mario until they collide with him or explode themselves. There are also pink Bullet Bills that does more damage to Mario but release a lot of coins. These Bullet Bills are helpful for the 100 Coin Shine Sprite mission such as Pinna Park. These bullet bills also have a mouth shaped into a smile. Bullet Bills return in New Super Mario Bros. behaving exactly as they have in Super Mario Bros. In Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2, Bullet Bills are fired out of cannons and follow Mario until they explode, similar to their behavior in Super Mario 64. When a Bullet Bill is fired, it will fly in a straight direction, similar to the 2D platformers. However, if Mario were to get close, Bullet Bill's eyes will flash red and it will start to follow Mario. They are commonly found in galaxies that need a cage to be broken open. Bullet Bills reappear in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, where they behave similarily to how they did in New Super Mario Bros. They spin to every "Bah" that is heard in the music. Bullet Bills can also be an enemy found in the World Map. In Super Mario 3D Land, Bullet Bills reappear, though this would be the first time in a 3D platformer where they do not target Mario. Instead, they fly in a straight path like they do in the 2D games. There is also a new variant introduced called the Tail Bill, which when fired, they'll occassionally swing their tail to increase their range of damage. In New Super Mario Bros. 2, Bullet Bills behave exactly as they did in New Super Mario Bros. Wii In New Super Mario Bros. U/New Super Luigi U/New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, Bullet Bills act the same way they did in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. While no Bullet Bills appear in Super Mario 3D World, a new variant called the Cat Bill appears, which when fired, they'll target Mario similarily to how regular Bullet Bills have in past 3D platformers. In Super Mario Maker and it's sequel, Bullet Bills are not placeable enemies. Bill Blasters are placeable objects that will fire Bullet Bills. Bullet Bills reappear in Super Mario Odyssey where they will follow Mario just like in past games. Mario can Capture a Bullet Bill and fly to hard-to-reach places. The player can shake the controllers while flying as a Bullet Bill to make them fly faster.
Paper Mario Series
Bullet Bills make their first appearance in the spin-off series in Paper Mario. They are first found outside of Koopa Bros. Fortress, where they are fired out of Bullet Blasters. Bullet Bills will continue to be fired unless the Bill Blasters are defeated. A new variant, Bombshell Bills, are introduced as well.
In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year-Door, Bullet Bills and Bill Blasters are fought in Pirates Grotto where they behave exactly the same as they did in the previous game.
In Super Paper Mario, Bullet Bills behave much more closely to how they did in Super Mario Bros. Like in said game, they can be defeated with one stomp.
In Paper Mario: Sticker Star, Bullet Bills can not be fought normally, as stomping or hammering on them will instantly defeat them. They are only found in Bowser Jr.'s Flotilla.
- Due to their firing method, Bullet Bills are more closely related to cannonballs than actual bullets.