Paratroopa and Buzzy Beetle in a 3D Mario platformer

Koopa con Carne

the slowpoke
Koopa con Carne
As of 17th of May 2022, 16:44 ET, these two fellas are the only OG Super Mario Bros. enemies that have yet to appear in any way, shape, or form in a 3D Mario title. In this thread we speculate on the reasons they were omitted for so long and, chiefly, we spitball ideas for roles these two species could take on if they appeared in a three-dimensional action-adventure environment.

I can't speculate much on Paratroopa's omission--could be that a bouncing enemy would be cumbersome to deal with in 3D, or they'd make really bad, imprecise platforms if they were to hover above pits like in 2D platformers. But I'm confident in stating that the reasons for Buzzy Beetle's long absence pretty much boil down to it being made redundant indirectly by the mechanics of each 3D game. In the 2D games, Buzzy Beetles are essentially polar opposites of Spinies: they are vulnerable to jump attacks like Koopa Troopas, but impervious to Fire Flower attacks. However...

* In Super Mario 64, Buzzy Beetle's side of the dichotomy is taken over by Koopa Troopa: Mario does not encounter any of SMB's classic power-ups, nor does he harness any fire attacks for that matter; he has to rely solely on his own fists and feet to punch out his enemies, and with that as a point of reference, the Spiny's polar opposite becomes the Koopa Troopa instead. Do anything you wish to a Troopa, but your chances to act upon a Spiny with anything other than sheer avoidance are about as good as anything liquorice-flavoured.

* Although Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 do feature the Fire Flower power-up, here its uses are entirely situational. You typically only use it to deal with non-sentient elements (lighting up torches, breaking boxes, melting snow), defeating some enemies here and there if they annoy you. The restrictive nature of the power-up doesn't really grant you a chance to experiment with it on a miscellany of enemies and obstacles, like the 2D platformers do, or, perhaps, it's the game that does not offer you a context to use it as such. Buzzy Beetles and their fire resistance would thus not add much to the gameplay.

* Although Super Mario 3D Land and World work on principles closer to those of 2D Mario games, and the games do retain the Fire Flower's classic function, they exhibit a small change of mechanics which renders Buzzy Beetles unsuitable. These games make Koopa Troopas quasi-impervious to fire attacks, where hitting one with a fireball simply makes it retreat inside its shell, and attempting to pummel its motionless carcass with similar attacks only knocks it a little bit back. Obviously, this conflicts with the Buzzy's original purpose. It's true that you can still defeat a Koopa using only fire attacks, by launching five rapid fireballs onto its shell to break it, but this isn't such an obvious distinction.

There simply isn't much mileage you can get from a small fire-resistant turtle, especially when better equipped turtley enemies exist to overpower its small potential. As an enemy, that is. But I was thinking that, instead of endowing it an inimical purpose, it would work better as a MacGuffin of sorts.

Buzzy Beetles come across as rather obtuse creatures: they aimlessly march in one direction, and it's really one of the few things they're much good at. Now imagine some NPC really really wants to see one of those things and asks you to bring it to them. Problem is, the closest available Buzzy Beetle is an obstacle course away, complete with pits and spikes and things that are hostile to Buzzy Beetles. The thing's also too heavy and unfriendly to tote around. As the beetle walks forward, you'd have to guide it around the area the same way Earthworm Jim once escorted Elvis Presley to a meat grinder. Jump on it to stun it briefly, whereupon, as a quirky animation, it quivers like a SMG Koopa Troopa when you spin somewhere around it. Hit it with the game's central combat mechanic (a la spinning and Cappy) to make it jump up in the air. Proper navigation through the area will ensure you bring the beetle safely to its admirer.

I'm curious what other ideas you guys can come up with for Buzzy Beetles, as well as the thread's other focus, Paratroopa, in a 3D Mario game specifically. Whether you'd like to see it as an NPC, an ally, a playable character, please show all you've got!
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The Frenchiest French who has ever Frenched
Wiki Administrator
Poll Committee
Ray Trace
Buzzy Beetles do have the ability to crawl on ceilings and fall down on you, so I guess that's a characteristic that's unique to them and not the Koopa Troopas.


Just a guy who loves Mario RPGs.
I'd love to see Buzzy Beetles come back in a new Mario 3D game. If they do, I'd expect for them to act like Koopa Troopas from 3D Land, although they'll remain immune to fire.

Or as a creative approach, if a new 3D Mario game like Mario Odyssey were to be created, because they are immune to fire, the player can knock a Buzzy Beetle backwards using fireballs, similarly to how Mario uses Cappy to knock Spinies down into lava/poison/pits in Odyssey.