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A Ball 'n' Chain is a spiked ball on a chain first appearing in Super Mario World. They are usually found in castles, and are indestructible. In most games, Mario can safely pass through the chain unharmed.
Super Mario series
Super Mario World
Ball 'n' Chains first appear in Super Mario World, in castles and fortresses. Also, using a Spin Jump will allow Mario/Luigi to harmlessly bounce off the spiked ball. The only way this obstacle can be defeated is using a star, but its sprite will change into a defeated Bony Beetle, as it was never programmed to be destroyed.
New Super Mario Bros.
After nearly 8 years of absence, New Super Mario Bros. features this obstacle in the World 7-Castle being so rare. The blocks are still there, and one even has a Star Coin. As an added feature, they rotate wildly on the end of the chain as well as spinning on the block, however, this does not affect their attack.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Ball 'n' Chains reappear in New Super Mario Bros. Wii once, in Lemmy's Fortress and in a secret area of Wendy's Castle. However, like in Super Mario World, they can be defeated using a Super Star.
Super Mario 3D Land
A Ball 'n' Chain appearance in Super Mario 3D Land
In Super Mario 3D Land, Ball 'n' Chains appear in purple with yellow spikes and chain. This time they are not linked to shackles, like in Super Mario World. Instead of spinning, they only make pendulum movements. They can be destroyed by making contact with them as Statue Mario.
New Super Mario Bros U
In New Super Mario Bros. U, regular and giant Ball 'n' Chains (under the name Spinners) appear, swinging in a pendulum-like manner as they do in Super Princess Peach and Super Mario 3D Land. Unlike other iterations, however, these Ball 'n' Chains cannot be avoided by passing through the chains, as they have been spiked too.
Super Mario World television series
A Ball 'n' Chain
as it appears in the show.
A Ball 'n' Chain makes a brief appearance in the Super Mario World animated series episode "Send in the Clown". Mario, while traveling through Neon Castle, narrowly avoids being hit by a Ball 'n' Chain that drops from the ceiling as he traverses over some lava.
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
Ball 'n' Chains reappear in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. They are colored red instead of black, they are usually found in fortresses. This is the first game which they have spikes on their chains.
Ball 'n' Chains reappear in Yoshi's Story where they either swing in a manner similar to pendulums or quickly drop down to the floor and then slowly rise again. They only appear in the levels Tall Tower and Magma Castle.
Yoshi's New Island
Ball 'n' Chains reappear in Yoshi's New Island. Their behavior remains unchanged.
Yoshi's Woolly World
Ball 'n' Chains also appear in Yoshi's Woolly World. This time their colored black instead of red, their behavior still remains unchanged.
Mario Kart 8
In Mario Kart 8, a single Ball 'n' Chain appears as an obstacle in Bowser's Castle. The obstacle acts virtually the same as the pendulums in Tick-Tock Clock. Also, the Ball 'n' Chain moves faster during the final lap of the course.
Mario Party 10
Ball 'n' Chains reappear in Mario Party 10 in the minigame Spiked Ball Scramble, this is also their first Mario Party appearance.
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
Ball 'n' Chains make a minor appearance in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time only found in Bowser's Castle in the background.
Names in other languages
|From guruguru, a Japanese onomatopoeia of spinning round and round.
- ^ Stratton, Steve (November 18, 2012). New Super Mario Bros. U: Prima Official Game Guide, page 129.