Magic Ball

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This article is about the item that first appears in Super Mario Bros. 3. For the special item in Mario Kart Arcade GP DX, see Magic Ball (Mario Kart Arcade GP DX).
Not to be confused with Magical ball, ? Bubble, or Magic Orb.
Magic Ball
SMW Magic Ball.png
A Magic Ball from Super Mario World
First appearance Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988)
Latest appearance Ultimate NES Remix (2014)
Effect Ends a level when Mario or Luigi touches it

A Magic Ball,[1] also known as a Crystal,[2] "?" Ball,[3] or Orb,[4] is an item in Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World. It looks like a round power-up object with a question mark on it and is required to clear certain levels. It automatically activates when Mario or Luigi touches it.


Super Mario series[edit]

Super Mario Bros. 3[edit]

A Magic Ball from Super Mario Bros. 3
Magic Ball SMAS SMB3 sprite.png
An Upside-down Magic Ball from Super Mario Bros. 3.
The upside down Magic Ball in Super Mario Bros. 3

Magic Balls first appear in Super Mario Bros. 3. They appear only in fortresses after the player defeats Boom Boom. Upon his defeat, Boom Boom drops a Magic Ball, and Mario must touch it to destroy the fortress and therefore complete the level. If Invincible Mario defeats Boom Boom by touching him, the Magic Ball will appear upside down, in the center of the arena. Magic Balls later appeared in the game's reissues, playing the same role.

Super Mario World[edit]

A Magic Ball reappears in Super Mario World in the Sunken Ghost Ship. Touching it beats the level in a similar fashion to beating a boss, although it is left out in the open instead of being held by a mini-boss.

There is also a glitch to receive a Magic Ball and use it in any level to instantly complete it. Using the ball in any horizontal level reveals that when Mario collects it, he goes through the same end-of-level motions that he would if he had used the Giant Gate, albeit with the "boss defeated" fanfare and no chance of Bonus Stars. By contrast, getting the ball in a vertical level causes the screen to freeze.

Game & Watch Gallery 2[edit]

Magic Ball from Game & Watch Gallery 2's Modern Parachute

Magic Balls also appear in the Modern version of Parachute in Game & Watch Gallery 2. If the player has any misses at 200, 500, or 700 points, three Magic Balls come out of the flying ship. They all disappear to reveal a 1 UP Heart for removing a miss in one of them.

Super Mario-kun[edit]

A Magic Ball from page 29, volume 4 of Super Mario-kun.

In Volume 4 of Super Mario-kun, whose arc is based on Super Mario World, Mario grabs the Magic Ball to exit the level, and he and his friends are later found on the top of the entrance to the Valley of Bowser.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese マジックボール[5]
Majikku Bōru

Magic Ball

Crystal Ball

Italian Palla magica[7]
Sfera ?[8]
Magic ball
? Sphere


  1. ^ Super Mario All-Stars English instruction booklet, page 32.
  2. ^ Nintendo Mario Mania Player's Guide. Pages 134, 136, & 137.
  3. ^ Hodgson, David S J. Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 Prima's Official Strategy Guide. Page 11.
  4. ^ Playing With Super Power: Nintendo Super NES Classics eGuide, Super Mario World Confidential Information Tab.
  5. ^ Super Mario Bros. 3 Japanese instruction booklet, page 20.
  6. ^ Shogakukan. 2015. Super Mario Bros. Hyakka: Nintendo Kōshiki Guidebook, Super Mario World section, page 60.
  7. ^ Super Mario Bros. 3; Italian booklet, pag. 22
  8. ^ Super Mario Bros. Enciclopedia; pag. 60