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Spinies are recurring enemies in the Mario series. They are turtle-like creatures that have a red spiked shell and are usually thrown by Lakitus in unlimited quantities. In some later titles, they naturally appear on their own. In the Super Mario series, they can only be defeated by using Fireballs, Iceballs, invincibility from a Super Star, or the POW Block. They are similar in appearance to Buzzy Beetles, and have changed a lot throughout the series.
Super Mario series
Super Mario Bros.
Spinies first appeared in the game Super Mario Bros. Here, they were thrown by Lakitus and appear only in levels where Lakitus do. They are much like Green Koopas, as they will walk around a level until they fall off a cliff. They can be defeated by a fireball thrown by Fire Mario, a Koopa Shell, or a Starman. Unlike Koopas, they cannot be defeated by a hit from below.
Spinies were absent from Super Mario Bros. 2, but did later appear in Super Mario Bros. 3. This time, they are both thrown by Lakitus and can be found on levels without Lakitus. In the game, they act exactly the same as their Super Mario Bros. counterparts: they will walk around until they fall off a cliff or are defeated. This variety can be defeated by a fireball, a shell, a Hammer, a hit from a tail from a Raccoon Suit or Tanooki Suit, and a Starman.
Super Mario World
They appear in Super Mario World as enemy thrown by Lakitus. Jumping on them will hurt Mario but spin jumping on them will not damage Mario or the spiny.
Mario Kart series
Many believe the Blue Shell to be a blue Spiny Shell, which it is referred to as most of the time.
Spiny Capsule - Spiny will force the character to spin a roulette wheel to determine the opposing character it will attack. Spiny will then attack the opponent chosen by the roulette wheel, stealing ten coins in the process and giving it to the character that summoned it.
Spiny Orb - The Spiny Orb is similar to the capsule that appears in the previous installment. In Mario Party 6, the Spiny Orb took ten coins from any opponents that landed on its space, and gave the ten coins to the owner of the space. In Mario Party 7, Spiny was a roadblock orb, and took ten coins from an opposing character that passed the roadblock space.
Ice Rink Risk - In this mini-game, the characters are in an enclosed ice rink and must avoid the Spiny shells that appear in the rink for sixty seconds. As the mini-game progresses, more Spiny shells will be added to the rink until there are three shells all together. The shells are able to bounce off the walls and other shells, which increases their velocity.
Dreadmill - A single character will work there way up a conveyor belt full of Spiny shells. If they touch the Spiny shells, they will be stunned for a brief moment.
Daft Rafts - During the daytime portion of this mini-game, Spiny shells will appear on the rafts that are falling off the waterfall. If a character touches one of the Spiny shells, they will be eliminated from the mini-game.
Fun Run - As the characters are making their way up the tower, there will be various Spiny shells on the way. If a character touches one of the shells, they will be stunned for a brief moment.
Grabbin' Gold - The characters work together as a team to collect as many coins as they can in a basket. However, Spiny shells will be falling down at the same time. If they manage to capture a Spiny shell in their basket, they will not be able to catch coins for a brief moment.
Winner or Dinner - As the characters are collecting coins in this mini-game, Spinies will pop out of the vases. If a character touches one of the Spinies, they will not be able to collect coins for a short moment.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Old fashioned pixelated Spinies make a cameo in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as moving obstacles on the Mario Bros. stage.
While Spinies do not make an appearance in the original release of Mario Bros. GBA, they serve as a replacement to Shellcreepers in every remake of the game (to prevent confusion with Shellcreepers and Koopa Troopas). This begins with the Battle Mode in Super Mario Bros. 3, though direct ports are an exception.
Spinies, like other enemies, can simply be defeated by having the character strike them from underneath, then run up to them to kick them offscreen. If left alone, they will eventually flip back over, change from red to green (green to blue if repeated), and continue moving, but in faster motions. Any Spiny that happens to be the last enemy in a phase will turn blue (regardless of color) and move at its quickest rate.
New Super Mario Bros. series
Spinies appear as enemies in every New Super Mario Bros. series. Their appearance has not changed much and they are still thrown by Lakitus. They can be defeated by fireballs, starman powerups, being hit from below, koopa shells, and several other methods.
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Spinies are uncommon enemies in Super Mario Galaxy 2. First encountered in the Yoshi Star Galaxy, they appear in several other galaxies. Although most of the time they are thrown by a Lakitu or even Giga Lakitu, they can appear without being thrown by a Lakitu. They cannot be defeated with a spin. They can be defeated with the rainbow star powerup, fireballs, or being eaten by Yoshi.