With the mascot's 30th Anniversary upon us you can expect to see a lot of words devoted to Mario in the coming days. Of course, for a franchise that's established its reputation on irreverent fun, we can't help but consider some of its sillier features.

Power-ups qualify; yes, they can be integral to gameplay mechanics, absolutely essential to what makes a Mario game tick. In addition, though, they can look utterly bizarre and amazing; Mario's transformations see him take on some awesome forms.

As you can see below, the passing of generations and advancements in technology have seen Mario's look evolve a great deal.

Super Mario Bros.

Fire Flower
Fire Flower

The original power-up, aside from the Super Mushroom, and a classic still employed to this day. It brings a simple colour change for Mario's standard outfit, but it's undoubtedly snazzy.

Super Mario Bros. 3

Frog Suit
Frog Suit

Mario got a little more ambitious with his outfits when SMB3 rolled around, deciding that if he's going to have frog-like abilities he may as well go for a full body suit.

Tanooki Suit
Tanooki Suit

Offers the same abilities as the Super Leaf, but with the added bonus of an ability to turn into a statue. A good thing too, as this is an outfit worth immortalising.

Hammer Suit
Hammer Suit

This one's simple and more reserved by SMB3 standards, as Mario just dons a protective helmet and a shell on his back. Still, those hammers sure are handy.

Super Mario World

Cape Feather
Cape Feather

Mario decided that a cape, in all its simplicity, would do the job in his 16-bit adventure. Its abilities included the options to pick up momentum to fly and swoop through stages. Simple and stylish.

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins

Carrot
Carrot

Courtesy of its Game Boy home this was simple in design as a necessity; nevertheless it's Mario with bunny ears, so you can't really go wrong.

Super Mario 64

Wing Cap
Wing Cap

A little lazy this one considering the 64-bit technology available, as Mario earned the ability to fly by putting a small set of wings on his hat. Hardly one to grace the catwalks of the Mushroom Kingdom.

New Super Mario Bros.

Blue Shell
Blue Shell

A rather modest design, rather like a blue Hammer Suit without the helmet; not Mario's most exciting design, though the ability to destroy blocks and enemies in shell form was hugely helpful.

Super Mario Galaxy

Bee Mushroom
Bee Mushroom

The spirit of SMB3 was revived in this title, with the Bee Suit being a delightfully fuzzy creation; this writer has an unhealthy fear of bees, however, so it prompts mixed emotions.

Boo Mushroom
Boo Mushroom

Admittedly a transformation rather than an outfit, we just had to bask in the glory of a Boo with a Mario hat and moustache.

Spring Mushroom
Spring Mushroom

A bit of a lazy effort here, with a spring wrapped around Mario; it was also annoying to control. Hm...

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Propeller Mushroom
Propeller Mushroom

A cute effort, with the red jumpsuit masking the fact that, realistically, that propeller's probably not big enough to actually work!

Penguin Suit
Penguin Suit

Penguins are some of the coolest animals in the world, with their waddling walk and slightly silly appearances; one of Mario's stronger efforts, and it was hoot to slide belly first in ice levels.

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Cloud Flower
Cloud Flower

A lovely effort, with a twist on the standard outfit and an extravagant hat, this was also a clever power up in practice.

Rock Mushroom
Rock Mushroom

A neat outfit with a puffy design, while this picture shows Mario looking a little tense as he transforms into a boulder.

Super Mario 3D Land

Boomerang Mario
Boomerang Mario

Rather like the Blue Shell outfit above, this is a bit of an improved effort with a helmet and a neater overall design. Throwing boomerangs around is also great fun.

New Super Mario Bros. U

Super Acorn
Super Acorn

We love this one, and it was the only 'new' outfit in this title alongside its P-Acorn equivalent. Its neat attached wing arms - inspired by flying squirrels - looked great in action.

Super Mario 3D World

Super Bell
Super Bell

The outfit that delighted cat owners and even melted the heart of this member of Team Dog, Mario ran around on all fours and pounced his way to glory. HD fur is always popular.


Hat tip to Mariowiki's list of power-ups as an awesome source of images.