A Ball 'n' Chain in Super Mario World.
A Ball 'n' Chain, from the Super Mario World television series.
A Ball 'n' Chain is a spiked ball on a chain swinging on a pivot. Super Mario World introduces these obstacles. Bowser uses these as cautionary weapons against invaders, but Mario or Luigi can stand on the brick in the center to avoid being hit by the ball. Also, using a Spin Jump will allow Mario/Luigi to harmlessly bounce off the spiked ball. Many are found in the castles and fortresses in Super Mario World.
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, which drops from the ceiling, as he traverses over some lava.
New Super Mario Bros. features this obstacle in the World 7-Castle and Bowser's Castle. 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.
A Ball 'n' Chain appearance in Super Mario 3D Land
Ball 'n' Chains reappear in New Super Mario Bros. Wii once, in a secret area of Wendy's Castle and in Lemmy's Fortress. However, unlike their past appearances, they can be defeated, using a Starman.
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. The chain's links are 2D, which means they look the same way at all angles. They can be destroyed by making contact with them as Statue Mario.
In New Super Mario Bros. U, regular and giant Ball 'n' Chains (under the name Pendulums) 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.