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A Checkpoint Flag (also called a Middle Flag) is a recurring object in the Super Mario series. They first appear in New Super Mario Bros..

Description[]

A Checkpoint Flag marks Mario, Luigi, or another character's progress up to a certain point in a level. They are similar to the Midway Gates from Super Mario World and Middle Rings from the Yoshi's Island series. If Mario (or any other player character) dies anytime after after activating a Checkpoint Flag, he/she restarts where the flag is. Usually, if Mario is in his Small form, touching a Checkpoint Flag almost always restores him to Super Mario making this a handy alternative to powering up when in a dire situation. Some games reward 2,000 points for touching a Checkpoint Flag.

In the Super Mario series[]

New Super Mario Bros.[]

Checkpoint Toadstool

Mario reaches the Checkpoint.

Checkpoint Flags are first seen in New Super Mario Bros.. In this game, they appear whenever Mario/Luigi reaches a certain point of the level, when activated, the Checkpoint Flag will descend to the lower map dropping on the point of the map it was activated on. The Checkpoint isn't visible until it is activated and whenever Mario/Luigi dies, he will restart in the area of the Checkpoint, collected Star Coins are also saved as well and Red Flying Question Blocks as well as Hammer Bros. from the world map will also appear in the designated Checkpoint location if they show up on a level after the checkpoint is activated, if the plumbers exit the course, play another, and then return to said course, or lose all of their lives resulting in a Game Over, they will have to play the course from the beginning.

The Checkpoint Flags resemble a small flag with a Super Mushroom icon on the banner.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii[]

The First Checkpoint

The Mario Crew nearing the first Checkpoint.

Checkpoint Flags appear again in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. In this game, they retain their role and purpose from the previous game. In this game, rather than showing up when the heroes reach a certain area, the Checkpoint Flag appears on the ground and must be tagged by Mario/Luigi/Yellow Toad/Blue Toad in order to be activated. Checkpoint Flags start out as black flags with Bowser's iconic symbol on them but when the heroes tag the Checkpoint Flag, the icon changes to match the hero who tagged the flag (red with an "M" for Mario, green with an "L" for Luigi, yellow with Mushroom icon for Yellow Toad, and blue with a Mushroom icon for Blue Toad). Additionally, if the heroes are small, they will be transformed into their super form similar to the Midway Gates from Super Mario World, the Checkpoints grant 2000 bonus points upon being tagged, just as before, Star Coins collected before tagging the checkpoint flag are saved so for this reason, it is recommended to get any nearby Star Coins before tagging the Checkpoint Flag.

If the character who tagged the Checkpoint Flag drops out of the multiplayer session after all the players die, the Checkpoint is discarded and the remaining players must start over from the beginning of the level. This is only possible with Luigi and the Toads, as Player 1 has to play as Mario and therefore cannot drop out.

Super Mario Galaxy 2[]

Galaxy Checkpoint

Mario near a Sky Station Galaxy Checkpoint Flag.

Checkpoints make a reappearance in Super Mario Galaxy 2. Here, they can be found in several Galaxies and save Mario/Luigi's progress upon being tagged (so when he dies in the level, he restarts at the Checkpoint). Just as before, Checkpoints start out as a black flag with Bowser's symbol that turns into a red or green icon with Mario's or Luigi's upon being tagged. Some Galaxies also have multiple Checkpoint Flags and when a second flag is activated, the first one is deactivated (but can be reactivated by going back and tagging it again). All Comet Medals collected when the Checkpoint Flag is tagged are saved. Checkpoint Flags can also be activated by the Co-Star Luma or by Yoshi's tongue. The Checkpoint Flags replace the invisible checkpoints from Super Mario Galaxy.

Super Mario 3D Land[]

Checkpoint Flag 3D

Mario next to the Checkpoint Flag.

Checkpoint Flags are seen again in Super Mario 3D Land, in this game, they retain their purpose from previous games and when tagged, save the plumbers progress allowing them to restart at the Checkpoint Flag if they die, the Checkpoint Flags also power-up the plumbers to their super forms if they are small. They can be found in most levels of the game and just as before, Star Medals are also saved upon tagging a Checkpoint Flag. During stages centered around gimmicks, Checkpoint Flags are often found during breaks in between allowing the plumbers to get a small breather before continuing along the trek. Just as before, Checkpoint Flags start out as a black flag with Bowser's Icon that changes to a red/green icon with Mario/Luigi's icon upon being tagged.

New Super Mario Bros. 2[]

Checkpoint Coins

Mario jumps at the Checkpoint Flag.

Checkpoint Flags return in New Super Mario Bros. 2 retaining their role from the previous games, they once again save the plumbers progress allowing them to restart by the Checkpoint Flag if they die and also powering up the plumbers to the super form if they're small. Like in previous games, a Checkpoint Flag starts out as a black flag with Bowser's Icon that changes to a red/green icon with Mario/Luigi's icon upon being tagged and any collected Star Coins are also saved with the addition of getting 2000 bonus points upon being tagged. In Coin Rush mode, due to the nature of the game mode, tagging a Checkpoint Flag adds 50-100 seconds to the Time Limit rather than saving the plumbers' progress through the level. Most levels typically have one Checkpoint Flag however World 6-Bowser's Castle and World Star-Castle have two. Additionally, World 6-A as well as all the Warp Cannons and Rainbow Courses have no Checkpoint Flags.

New Super Mario Bros. U / New Super Luigi U / New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe[]

Cavern Checkpoint

The Mario Crew near the next Checkpoint Flag.

Checkpoint Flags also appear in New Super Mario Bros. U as well as New Super Luigi U and New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe. Checkpoint Flags start out as black flags with Bowser's iconic symbol on them but when the heroes tag the Checkpoint Flag, the icon changes to match the hero who tagged the flag (red with an "M" for Mario, green with an "L" for Luigi, yellow with Mushroom icon for Yellow Toad, blue with a Mushroom icon for Blue Toad, purple with a Nabbit symbol for Nabbit, and pink with a female Mushroom icon for Toadette). Additionally, those that tag it with be morphed to the super form if they are small and just as before, 2000 points are earned by tagging a Checkpoint Flag. Collected Star Coins are also saved as well.

Just as before, if the character who tagged the Checkpoint Flag drops out of the multiplayer session after all the players die, the Checkpoint is discarded and the remaining players must start over from the beginning of the level however this time, any character can drop out.

Super Mario 3D World / Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury[]

SM3DW Checkpoint

A Checkpoint Flag in Super Bell Hill.

Checkpoint Flags are seen yet again in Super Mario 3D World as well as Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury. In these games, they retain their functionality from previous games, saving the heroes progress in a level upon being tagged. Once again, Checkpoint Flags start out as black flags with Bowser's symbol on them but when the heroes tag the Checkpoint Flag, the icon changes to match the hero who tagged the flag (red with an "M" for Mario, green with an "L" for Luigi, pink with a crown icon for Peach, blue with a Mushroom icon for Toad, and cyan with a Grand Star icon for Rosalina). Checkpoint Flags also save any Green Stars collected prior. Just as before, the heroes will be morphed into the super form if they tag the Checkpoint Flag whilst small however if one hero is carrying another and they both tag the Checkpoint Flag, they will both become super.

Super Mario Maker / Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS / Super Mario Maker 2[]

Checkpoint Flag NES

A Checkpoint Flag in the Super Mario Bros. style.

Checkpoint Flags appear in Super Mario Maker as well as it's two sequels as placeable objects that can be made by shaking an Arrow Sign. They once again save Mario's progress throughout a level upon being tagged and appear slightly smaller than in previous games, they are also given sprites for Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, and Super Mario World (in the latter, they replace the Midway Gate). If Mario is Small Mario upon tagging the Checkpoint Flag, he will become Super Mario. Like some objects, Checkpoint Flags can be rotated, to upload a course players will need to beat both the regular and Checkpoint stages. Up to two Checkpoint Flags can be placed in a level, one in the main area, and one in a sub-area. In Super Mario Maker 2, items such as the Fire Flower and Starman can also be placed inside a Checkpoint Flag and can be earned by tagging the Checkpoint Flag.

Super Mario Run[]

Checkpoint Flag Royale

A Checkpoint Flag on the track.

Checkpoint Flags are seen again in Super Mario Run. In this game, they aren't seen in any main levels but they do appear in Toad Rally. Most of the time, they are placed around the halfway point of the level and whichever player tags the Checkpoint Flag first earns 10 Coins, once a player activates the Checkpoint Flag, nothing will happen if the other player tags the Checkpoint Flag. If you activate the Checkpoint Flag, the black Bowser Symbol will change the emblem of the character you are using however if your rival activates it, it will remain as a Bowser Symbol but the flag will become gray instead. Unlike most previous games, Small Mario won't become Super Mario upon tagging a Checkpoint Flag leaving the player heavily reliant on Super Mushrooms.

Super Mario Odyssey[]

Checkpoint Flag HD

Mario near a Sand Kingdom Checkpoint Flag.

Checkpoint Flags make a return in Super Mario Odyssey. In this game, they can be seen around the game's various Kingdoms usually appearing in the different sections of each kingdom, when tagged, the area's name is displayed and the Checkpoint Flag is added to the map allowing Mario to teleport there at anytime. Tagging a Checkpoint Flag also restores Mario's health, if Mario is underwater he may also get a Bubble to refill his air. A Checkpoint Flag also appears on the Odyssey. The color of the Checkpoint Flag's pole varies from kingdom to kingdom and matches the color of the kingdom's Power Moons.

Trivia[]

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