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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.
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 offscreen. Bullet Bills are the last enemy introduced throughout the game, they first appear in World 5-3.
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
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. Once again, they can be defeated with stomps and the Starman but not fireballs. Bullet Bills are commonly useful for crossing dangerous chasms.
Super Mario Bros. 3
Bullet Bills make their third appearance in Super Mario Bros. 3, where they're commonly found aboard Airships. The cannons that shoot the Bullet Bills (the Bill Blasters) are finally shown. If Mario were to stand right next to a Bill Blaster, no Bullet Bills will be shot out of it. Bullet Bills can be stomped on or defeated with the effects of a Super Leaf, Tanooki Suit, Starman, or a Hammer Suit. A new variety of the Bullet Bill called the Missile Bill also appears in this game, Missile Bills are heat-seeking Bullet Bills that home in on Mario.
Super Mario World
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.
Super Mario Sunshine
Making their first 3D appearance, 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 upon defeat. These Bullet Bills are helpful for the 100-Coin Shine Sprite missions such as Pinna Park. These Bullet Bills are also necessary for breaking open hard baskets and obtaining Blue Coins. These bullet bills also have a mouth shaped into a smile.
Super Mario 64 DS
Bullet Bills appear in Super Mario 64 DS where they are shot out of much larger cannons. Bullet Bills are much bigger in this game. Bullet Bills will target Yoshi (or Mario, Luigi, and Wario) and will follow him until they either hit him, crash into a wall (at which they'll explode and be defeated) or they if they are stomped on. The Bullet Bills are found in Whomp's Fortress (atop the pyramid and in the new section) and in Dire, Dire Docks at the docking point. These Bullet Bills replace the Banzai Bills from the original Super Mario 64 which lack arms and have a sharp-toothed grin painted on their face.
Super Princess Peach
Bullet Bills return in Super Princess Peach behaving as they did in Super Mario Bros. In this game, they are shot from offscreen just like said game and can be defeated with stomps, the use of Perry, and the Rage vibe. They are commonly found in various different worlds such as Hoo's Wood and Fury Volcano. Banzai Bills also appear in this game alongside the flaming Mad Bullet Bill and Mad Banzai Bill.
New Super Mario Bros.
Bullet Bills return in New Super Mario Bros. behaving exactly as they have in Super Mario Bros. In this game, they are shot out of Bill Blasters as usual and fly around. In World 6, they are also shot out of robotic Bill Blasters. Bullet Bills can be defeated with stomps, a spin from the Blue Shell, Mega Mushroom, and the Starman. Stomping on a Bullet Bill is usually needed for reaching high ledges. The Banzai Bills also return in this game. The boss Monty Tank shoots Bullet Bills out of his tank.
Super Mario Galaxy
In Super Mario Galaxy, Bullet Bills are fired out of cannons and follow Mario until they explode, similar to their behavior in Super Mario 64 DS. 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 can commonly be used to break open cages that contain goodies such as Star Bits, Rainbow Stars, Launch Stars/Sling Stars, and even Power Stars. Banzai Bills also appear in this game but they're only found in Bowser's Galaxy Generator.
In the beta stages of Super Mario Galaxy, the Bullet Bills were named Cosmic Bullet Bills suggesting that the Bullet Bills in this game were initially considered a separate species of Bullet Bill. Their name was later changed in the game's final build.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
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 of World 6. Bullet Bills can be defeated with a stomp the effects of a Starman. Stomping on Bullet Bills is more commonly utilized to reach ledges with secrets in this game. Additionally, freezing a Bullet Bill with the effects of an Ice Flower or Penguin Suit leaves it as a stationary platform allowing you to use it as a stepping stone for crossing a chasm or as an additional platform to reach a higher ledge. The Banzai Bill also returns in this game alongside the Missile Bill, additionally, two new sub-types of Bullet Bills also appear in this game which include the Missile Banzai Bills (Banzai Bills which target Mario) and King Bills larger than life Bullet Bills that are much bigger than Banzai Bills and can smash dense blocks of stone into oblivion.
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 Bullet Bill, which when fired, they'll occassionally swing their tail to increase their range of damage. Bullet Bills are commonly found on Airships but can occasionally also be found in other places too. Bullet Bills can be defeated with stomps or the effects of a Super Leaf, Statue Leaf, or a Starman.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
In New Super Mario Bros. 2, Bullet Bills behave exactly as they did in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. They can once again be defeated with stomps (which is indeed useful for reaching out of reach items), or the effects of a Mega Mushroom, Starman, or the Gold Flower. Bullet Bills are among the enemies to be affected by the Gold Rings, when activated, the Bullet Bills will become Gold Bullet Bills which leave coin trails behind as they soar through the skies. Banzai Bills also return and can actually destroy Bullet Bills upon contact.
New Super Mario Bros. U/New Super Luigi U/New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
In New Super Mario Bros. U, New Super Luigi U, and New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, Bullet Bills act the same way they did in New Super Mario Bros. Wii., their are once again fired from Bill Blasters just as in the previous games. Bullet Bills can be defeated with stomps and the effects of a Starman. They can also be frozen with the Ice Flower effects to be used as a platform. Yoshi and Baby Yoshi can eat a Bullet Bill and Bubble Baby Yoshi can blow Bubbles at one to turn it into an item. Banzai Bills, Missile Bills, and even the colossal King Bills also return in this game.
Super Mario 3D World/Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury
Super Mario Maker/Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS/Super Mario Maker 2
In Super Mario Maker and it's twosequels, Bullet Bills themselves are not placeable enemies but Bill Blasters are placeable objects that will fire Bullet Bills. Bullet Bills can be defeated with stomps or the effects of a Starman. Bill Blasters can fire other objects as well.
Super Mario Run
Bullet Bills return in Super Mario Run behaving as they did in past games. Bullet Bills are commonly fired from Bill Blasters and are required to reach higher collectibles. Due to the nature of the gameplay, timing is everything for stomping on a Bullet Bill.
Super Mario Odyssey
Bullet Bills reappear in Super Mario Odyssey where they will follow Mario just like in past 3D 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. If the Bullet Bill hits a wall or runs out of time, it will explode and Mario will automatically revert to normal. Bullet Bills are commonly found in Kingdoms such as the Sand Kingdom and the Moon Kingdom.
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.
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.
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year-Door
In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year-Door, Bullet Bills and Bill Blasters are fought in Pirate's Grotto where they behave exactly the same as they did in the previous game. Bombshell Bills also return in this game being found in the spooky corridors of the Palace of Shadow.
Super Paper Mario
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.
Cash Flow • Sink or Swim • Snow Brawl • Ball Dozers • Surge and Destroy • Pop Star • Stage Fright • Conveyor Bolt • Crate and Peril • Ray of Fright • Dust 'til Dawn • Verbal Assault • Shoot Yer Mouth Off • Talkie Walkie • Word Herd • Fruit Talktail
Hyper Sniper • Insectiride • Stamp By Me • Wrasslin' Rapids • Strawberry Shortfuse • Control Schtick
Light Up My Night • Cog Jog • Black Hole Boogie • Full Tilt • Sumo of Doom-o • Pitfall • Mass Meteor • Lunar-tics • T Minus Five • Asteroad Rage • Boo'd Off the Stage • Boonanza! • Trick Or Tree • Something's Amist