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The Starman is a power-up from the Mario series of video games. It is a flashing star, traditionally about the size of "regular" Mario, that grants the player about 10-15 seconds of invincibility (depending on the game played) when touched (however, if Mario falls into a pit or lava, gets flattened by a platform in a scrolling screen level, or if time runs out, he still loses a life).
When touched, the music will change, and in Super Mario Bros. 3 and New Super Mario Bros., Mario's jumping animation becomes a somersault. The Starman debuted in Super Mario Bros., and is so named because it has a pair of small eyes, as if the topmost point of the star were its head. In New Super Mario Bros. the Starman also gives the player the ability to run much faster. A similar star power-up appeared in the game Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island called the Super Star, which replaced the Super Feather as the power-up for Caped Mario (Superstar Mario). This gave Mario a cape, the ability to float, the ability to run up walls, and invincibility. In the Nintendo DS game Yoshi Touch & Go it gave the ability to throw stars like Mario's fireballs.
Because of the highly valued invincibility it grants, the Starman and stars in general are used by the Mario series to denote special areas, rewards, and secrets. For example, in Super Mario Bros. 3, three consecutive star cards earned from the roulette goal boxes at the end of each level would grant the player five extra lives, whereas three consecutive flower cards would grant only three, and three consecutive mushroom cards granted a mere two. In Super Mario World, secret levels lined Star Road, a location which isn't marked on the main map of the game. Winning the Star Cup in a Mario Kart game will unlock hidden tracks. Super Mario RPG was subtitled "Legend of the Seven Stars." In Super Mario 64 and Super Mario 64 DS, it is necessary to collect all 120/150 power stars (30 were added to Super Mario 64 DS) to fully complete the game. Power stars will also be a collectible in Super Mario Galaxy. In New Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario 64 DS, there are a few casino-like minigames (mainly card games). In the game similar to Poker, the Star is the card of highest value.
In the game Super Mario Galaxy there is another form of magic star that, when Mario spins under it, blasts him off to another planetoid. In a few situations you must collect the five pieces of this star in order to proceed to the next point in the game.And there were also stars which turned into rabbits in a recent video. He also begins a collection of Star Shards in the game. Resembling something of a 3D form of a six-pointed star and appearing in a variety of colors, their purpose is to be shot via the Wii Remote at various enemies Mario comes across simply by pointing at the area on the screen and pressing B. They are collected in the same manner. The original invincibility starman is to make a reappearance along with the Super Mushroom. This marks the first appearance of the classic power-ups in a 3D Mario Platform game.
The Starman also provides invincibility to players in the Super Smash Bros. series of fighting games, where it played the same role as in a Mario game, with the difference that merely touching your enemies when invincible will not affect them.
In the Mario Kart series, the Starman (found in item boxes on the track) increases the speed of the kart and also makes it impervious to opponents’ attacks, while knocking any karts in its path out of the way. It does not render a kart invulnerable to lava, water, pits, or similar pitfalls; instead, it allows the player to run over grass, sand, dirt, or other terrain which would normally slow the player down, with no speed reduction whatsoever.
In Super Paper Mario there is a similar power-up called a Mega Star which, when the character touches it, transforms the current character into a giant 8-bit version, rendering him/her invincible temporarily. Humorously, a lone Koopa is seen using this item later in the game.
In the three Mario cartoon series made by DIC Entertainment, Starmen make frequent appearances and, as well as being used by Mario and Luigi, are occasionally used by other characters, such as Toad and Princess Peach. Oddly, in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, Starmen were portrayed as having the same effects as Fire Flowers on Mario and Luigi.