Toad, known in Japan as Kinopio (キノピオ), is a fictional character , created by Shigeru Miyamoto. A citizen of the Mushroom Kingdom, Toad is one of Princess Peach's most loyal attendants and is constantly working on her behalf. He is usually seen as a non-player character (NPC) who provides assistance to Mario and his friends in most games, but there are times when Toad takes center stage and appears as the protagonist, as seen in Super Mario Bros. 2 and Wario's Woods.
While Toad is actually an individual, there is also in an entire species of the same name based on him named as the toads or Mushroom People (much like Yoshi and Birdo), but actually in Japanese, the original species name was only Kino (キノ), which means Toad (Kinopio) is a member of the toads (kinos). In Mario series, there are also some other toad individual characters (eg, Toadette, Toadsworth, Toadbert). The common point of most toads is wearing a large mushroom cap and a vest.
Starting with Super Mario Sunshine, a newly introduced character known as Toadsworth was introduced as Peach's steward, thus replacing Toad's original role as a helper in games, causing Toad's role to diminish. However, Toad later received various other roles (including that of being the captain of the Toad Brigade association in Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel) that allowed him to take a more active role within the later Mario games. Additionally, two Toads (Yellow and Blue) were featured as playable characters along with Mario and Luigi in New Super Mario Bros. Wii and New Super Mario Bros. U.