? Block

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Split-arrows.svg It has been suggested that this page be split into the following: ? Block, Long ? Block. (discuss)
This article is about the recurring object throughout the Super Mario franchise. For the glider in Mario Kart Tour, see ? Block (glider).
"Item Block" redirects here. For VS Item Block, see ! Block § Super Mario 64 / Super Mario 64 DS.
Not to be confused with ? Box or ! Block.
? Block
Artwork of a ? Block in Super Mario Party (Originally from the Nintendo Japanese website)
First appearance Super Mario Bros. (1985)
Latest appearance Nintendo World Championships: NES Edition (2024)
Effect Releases an item or coin when hit (can release enemies in the Super Mario Maker series)

A ? Block (alternatively Question Mark Block),[1] also called a Question Block,[2] a Mystery Block,[3] a Prize Block,[4] a brown Question Mark Box,[5][6] or simply a ?,[7] is a type of block found in midair, often containing coins, Super Mushrooms, or Fire Flowers, and may also be invisible. ? Blocks first appear in Super Mario Bros., though beginning with Super Mario Bros. 3, there are different ways to hit the ? Blocks other than simply jumping into them from below, such as using a tail whip with a Super Leaf or Tanooki Suit or a cape spin with a Cape Feather to hit the blocks, or kicking a shell at them. As of New Super Mario Bros. and its sequels, a Ground Pound may also be used to activate them. Hitting a ? Block turns it into an Empty Block; if the ? Block contains multiple items, it remains as a ? Block until all of its items have been released.

The instruction booklet for Super Mario Bros. states that Bowser, using the Turtle Tribe's famous dark magic, had cursed the Mushroom Kingdom, turning the Mushroom People into a variety of objects, including bricks. Princess Toadstool, being the only person who could reverse the spell on her people, was kidnapped by Bowser.[8] Later, it is mentioned that Mario can receive a Magic Mushroom, Fire Flower, or Starman from these cursed bricks.[9] This would appear to be the origin of the ? Blocks since the English version also uses the term "brick" to refer to blocks in general,[10] although the Japanese version properly uses the term "block."[11]


Super Mario series[edit]

Super Mario Bros.[edit]

SMB Qblock.png

? Blocks are very common blocks that appear in many levels in Super Mario Bros., first appearing in World 1-1. They appear to be flashing and give coins or items that can help Mario. They are sometimes needed to complete a level or provide extra help for Mario. A select few release a beanstalk that Mario can climb to reach the Bonus Stage.

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels[edit]

These blocks reappear in Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels with the same appearance and function. No changes have been made to these blocks, but certain ? Blocks can contain a new anti-power-up, the Poison Mushroom, which was also introduced in The Lost Levels.

Super Mario Bros. 3[edit]

SMB3 Question Block

Although absent in Super Mario Bros. 2, ? Blocks, also named Item Blocks[12] or Power-Up blocks,[13] return in Super Mario Bros. 3, though their design is slightly different: they do not flash; instead, the ? marks on the blocks scroll sideways. While they work as they did in Super Mario Bros., the item's direction depends on the side the block was hit on; hitting a block's right side causes a Super or 1-Up Mushroom to move left instead. On one occasion, ? Blocks were distinctly named depending on their contents; those with a Super Mushroom were named Mushroom Blocks, those with a 1-Up Mushroom were named 1-Up Blocks, and those with a Vine were named Vine Blocks.[14]

Mega ? Blocks also debut in this game; they appear in World 4 (where they contain the usual contents) and in bonus rooms (where they give 3 1-Up Mushrooms or one of the game's three suit power-ups). The above item pathway properties also apply to these blocks.

Super Mario Land[edit]

A Mystery Block

Mystery Blocks, also named Item Blocks,[15] appear in Super Mario Land, although they are much smaller due to the gameplay resolution.

Super Mario World[edit]

Flying Prize BlockRed ? Block in Super Mario World that activates the spotlight in Bowser's Castle

The ? Blocks of Super Mario World have eyes identical to those of the game's Rotating Blocks under their question marks. Otherwise, no function-related changes has been made. There are also winged variants called Flying ? Blocks, which fly left to right while moving up and down. A red ? Block, only found in the dark final hallway of Bowser's Castle, activates a spotlight.

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins[edit]

? Blocks again have the same purpose in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, more closely matching the usual appearance.

Super Mario 64 DS[edit]

? Block
Main article: Cap Block

In Super Mario 64 DS, the red, green, and blue ! Blocks from Super Mario 64 are reduced to a single type of red ? Block. They are initially transparent, and have to be activated by hitting the corresponding ? Switch in a secret course.

New Super Mario Bros.[edit]

A blue ? Block from New Super Mario Bros.

In New Super Mario Bros., ? Blocks return, used as they were in previous 2D Super Mario games. Red Flying ? Blocks similar to the ones from Super Mario World fly around the world map, moving to different levels every time Mario or Luigi lose a life, complete a level, enter a Toad House, etc. Five items can be inside: a Fire Flower, 1-Up Mushroom, Mini Mushroom, Mega Mushroom, or a Blue Shell. Normal Flying ? Blocks from Super Mario World also appear, but while some of them fly left to right, others only move up and down. In two Ghost Houses, ? Blocks that contain Boos appear. The game also features rare Spiked ? Blocks in World 6-3, which only appear in this game. Mario must be careful to hit the block only on a spikeless side.

Unlike in prior games, where ? Blocks can only be hit from below, by using power-ups, or by throwing something at them, ? Blocks in this game can also be ground pounded.

? Blocks vary in color depending on the theme of the level, with this trend recurring in New Super Mario Bros. Wii and New Super Mario Bros. 2.

Super Mario Galaxy[edit]

? Block
A ? Block in Super Mario Galaxy.

In Super Mario Galaxy, ? Blocks, making their 3D Super Mario debut, contain Star Bits and coins, and can usually be hit multiple times before vanishing. Most ? Blocks with Star Bits release a multitude of Star Bits when hit, rather than acting like Coin Blocks. Unlike in New Super Mario Bros., ? Blocks in this game cannot be ground pounded, the holes in the sides have nails in them, and the "?" flashes (like the block itself did in Super Mario Bros.), rather than scrolling sideways.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii[edit]

A sprite of a ? Block in New Super Mario Bros. Wii

The ? Blocks make a return in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Here, they have the exact function and appearance as in New Super Mario Bros. but some behave differently from the average stationary ? Block. In some levels, for example, some blocks tend to sway left and right along with other objects such as Brick Blocks and coins. Also, in multiplayer mode, power-up-holding ? Blocks spew out their contents upon being hit (depending of the number of active players and their forms). Mega ? Blocks lay in the water in some levels, where it is easier to ground pound them. Flying ? Blocks also appear, acting the same way as in the previous game, but the red ones on the map screen do not return. There is also a haunted version that launches itself towards the player if they get near. In single player mode, a Toad can be found trapped in a ? Block in certain levels; if Mario brings the Toad to the end of the level, he is awarded with a Toad House, with the variation depending on the timer.

Super Mario Galaxy 2[edit]

A Flying ? Block from Super Mario Galaxy 2.

? Blocks reappear in Super Mario Galaxy 2, looking and acting as they did in the first Super Mario Galaxy. In this game, ? Blocks that release a bunch of Star Bits when hit and Coin Blocks reappear. ? Blocks that release one Star Bit at a time when hit repeatedly do not return.

Flying ? Blocks from Super Mario World also appear, and they act the same; however, they do not move up and down while flying, and they act just like normal ? Blocks otherwise. They make chirping noises while flying, like birds.

Super Mario 3D Land[edit]

? Block
The artwork of a ? Block from Super Mario 3D Land.

? Blocks reappear in Super Mario 3D Land, looking and acting as they do in the 2D Super Mario games, though they are not animated. A rare wearable version called the ? Box is introduced, which gives infinite coins to the player as they move or jump. Like the Propeller Box, if the player finishes a level with a ? Box, they are awarded an extra life and the box is removed. Long ? Blocks are also introduced, which give the player three coins (two if they contain items) in one hit. Blokkabloks, which also debut in this game, have some of their body segments as spiked ? Blocks; these blocks break when hit, unlike normal ? Blocks.

New Super Mario Bros. 2[edit]

The ? Blocks reappear in New Super Mario Bros. 2. Long ? Blocks from Super Mario 3D Land also reappear, with the same function as before; they are also used as the platforms Reznors stand on.

New Super Mario Bros. U[edit]

The ? Blocks also reappear in New Super Mario Bros. U, acting as in the previous games. Mega ? Blocks and Ghost Blocks also return in this game.

Super Mario 3D World / Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury[edit]

Both regular ? Blocks and Long ? Blocks reappear in Super Mario 3D World and Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury with a metallic design, working as they did in Super Mario 3D Land. In multiplayer, power-up-holding ? Blocks work like they do in the New Super Mario Bros. games, but rather than spewing items out, they act like normal Coin Blocks (depending on the number of active players; this applies only for power-ups in the case of Long ? Blocks). The Coin Boxes from Super Mario 3D Land also appear; however, they work more like the Gold Blocks of New Super Mario Bros. 2, and are also shinier than a regular ? Block.

Occasionally, hitting a ? Block would make an 8-bit sprite of Luigi pop out of the block.

Super Mario Maker / Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS / Super Mario Maker 2[edit]

? Blocks reappear in Super Mario Maker, Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS, and Super Mario Maker 2 as objects that can be placed into levels. Power-ups, Trampolines, P Switches, Vines, Yoshi's Eggs, Goomba's Shoes, and enemies can be placed in these blocks.

Super Mario Run[edit]

? Blocks serve the same function in Super Mario Run as in previous games, although this time, they can be affected in Toad Rally while in "Coin Rush" mode and in Remix 10 after collecting a Super Star, during which they start flashing and can be hit to produce large amounts of coins or three power-ups at a time. Additionally, they can contain a Pink Coin, Purple Coin, or Black Coin inside of it, depending on the stage/level.

A special type of ? Block also appears in the Bonus Game in Remix 10, which grants the player a random object that can be used in Kingdom Builder. The rarity of the reward the player receives from the ? Block is determined by how many times they hit it, although the number of times they are able to do so is random (although if the block is shiny, it guarantees a reward of 3★ or higher). If the player hits the ? Block once and it becomes empty, they receive a 1★ reward; otherwise, a coin pops out, the ? Block increases in size, and the rarity of the reward goes up by one star, allowing the player to hit the block again until they receive a reward. The maximum number of hits the ? Block can take is five, in which case the player receives a 5★ reward, the highest possible star rating for the Bonus Game.

The list below are the 1★ and 2★ rewards obtained from a ? Block. The rewards that are 3★ or higher are shown here.

1★ 2★
  • Blue Hill
  • Green Hill
  • Red Hill
  • Purple Hill
  • Yellow Hill
  • Blue Hill Pair
  • Green Hill Pair
  • Red Hill Pair
  • Purple Hill Pair
  • Yellow Hill Pair
  • Blue Flower Patch
  • Green Flower Patch
  • Red Flower Patch
  • Purple Flower Patch
  • Yellow Flower Patch
  • White Flower Patch
  • Blue Mushroom
  • Green Mushroom
  • Red Mushroom
  • Purple Mushroom
  • Yellow Mushroom
  • Little Blue Mushrooms
  • Little Green Mushrooms
  • Little Red Mushrooms
  • Little Purple Mushrooms
  • Little Yellow Mushrooms
  • Round Tree Pair
  • Round Tree Trio
  • Fruit Bush
  • Red Flowering Bush
  • Acorn Tree
  • Palm Tree
  • Grass Clump
  • Fir Tree
  • Poinsettia
  • Dandelion
  • Banana Statue
  • Blue Toad House
  • Green Toad House
  • Red Toad House
  • Purple Toad House
  • Yellow Toad House
  • Blue Pipe A
  • Green Pipe A
  • Red Pipe A
  • Purple Pipe A
  • Yellow Pipe A
  • Blue Pipe B
  • Green Pipe B
  • Red Pipe B
  • Purple Pipe B
  • Yellow Pipe B
  • Blue Pipe C
  • Green Pipe C
  • Red Pipe C
  • Purple Pipe C
  • Yellow Pipe C
  • Posh Blue Toad House
  • Posh Green Toad House
  • Posh Red Toad House
  • Posh Purple Toad House
  • Posh Yellow Toad House
  • Block A
  • Block B
  • Block C
  • Block D
  • Block E
  • Mario Goal Pole
  • Luigi Goal Pole
  • Peach Goal Pole
  • Yoshi Goal Pole
  • Toad Goal Pole
  • Toadette Goal Pole

A Super Bonus Game holding a Bonus ? Block, however, also appears, which not only guarantees a reward of 3★ rarity or higher, but also has a possibility of yielding a rare 6★ reward.

Super Mario Odyssey[edit]

A ? Block in the Metro Kingdom.
A crosswalk sign ? Block in the Metro Kingdom

Standard ? Blocks appear in Super Mario Odyssey, giving coins, Hearts, or Life-Up Hearts when hit by Mario or Cappy. In the Metro Kingdom, several yellow crosswalk signs can be seen, illuminated with the same question mark. When hit, these signs act the same as any other ? Block and the light turns off.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder[edit]

? Blocks and their long variants return in Super Mario Bros. Wonder, and mostly function the same as previous entries. Some ? Blocks can be found directly under a ceilings, and when hit, they always drop their contents downwards as though they were ground pounded. Some ? Blocks will, rather than dispense an item, rocket themselves upwards when struck from below or to the side. When ground pounded, they instead shoot downwards. These shooting ? Blocks can trigger other ? Blocks, collect coins, and defeat enemies.

During a Wonder Effect, some ? Blocks become purple in color, and will only drop flower coins. When the Wonder Effect ends, these blocks return to normal.

Wario Land series[edit]

Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3[edit]

Rice Beach, Course 1.
Face Blocks in Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3

? Blocks, known here as Face Blocks,[16] have been redesigned for Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, now having faces rather than its distinctive question mark, but still serving the same function. Its expression is initially cheerful, but when used, it changes into a grumpy one. Wario can hit one of these blocks by jumping from the bottom or Body Slamming from the side; upon doing so, a 1 Gold Coin, heart, or Power Up Pot may appear. These power-ups can be one of the following: Garlic, Bull, Dragon, or Jet. The player can also reveal the contents by heating it with Dragon Wario's flames.

Virtual Boy Wario Land[edit]

In Virtual Boy Wario Land, ? Blocks start out with their usual design, but used ones have the same unhappy face as in Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3.

Donkey Kong (Game Boy)[edit]

Ending of Donkey Kong

? Blocks appear during the ending of Donkey Kong, to show that the main cast fell into what seems to be the Mushroom Kingdom.

Mario Kart series[edit]

In the Mario Kart series, as of Mario Kart 64, similar item blocks, called Item Boxes are found on every track, replacing the ? Panels of Super Mario Kart. They are usually semi-transparent and reappear when they get hit. While most of them are set on the ground, some float in midair, like ? Blocks.

In Mario Kart Wii, on the track Coconut Mall, there is a shop that is selling ? Blocks along with other classic Super Mario items. In the track Grumble Volcano, there are Mega ? Blocks on some of the sinking mountains, along with regular Brick Blocks.

In Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, on the track Cloudtop Cruise, after a gliding section, drivers land on a giant stone ? Block which has a beanstalk growing out of the side of it. They, along with the Brick Blocks, also return in Wii Grumble Volcano once more and also appear in SNES Donut Plains 3. ? Block engravings also appear on the vehicles Tri-Speeder, Flame Rider, and Standard Bike, with a ? Block sticker on the Inkstriker (unless used by an Inkling). N64 Rainbow Road has an Eiffel Tower-like structure with four ? Blocks, and GBA Ribbon Road has ? Blocks serving as the boxes for the Koopa Clown Car jack-in-the-boxes.

In Mario Kart Tour, a row of two ? Blocks and three Empty Blocks appears in 3DS Mario Circuit T above the main track right before the finish line. It can be driven on after a glide and holds three coins on top. The same row of blocks also appears in many Goomba Takedown bonus challenges carrying Goomba Towers. ? Blocks and Empty Blocks also appear in large amounts in RMX Mario Circuit 1, where they appear as platforms, and like in 3DS Mario Circuit T, driving off them allows the player to perform a Jump Boost. A ? Block surrounded by two Brick Blocks is seen on the ? Block glider. The ? Block Mii Racing Suit resembles a ? Block, with a ? Block serving as the helmet and the suit being decorated with question marks that have the same shape as those on ? Blocks.

Yoshi's Story[edit]

A ? Block
Artwork of a ? Block in Yoshi's Story

In Yoshi's Story, ? Blocks appear brown instead of yellow. Hitting them from below either spawns coins (acting either like a Coin Block with a melon as the eleventh hit or like coins that can be collected for a melon) or initiates one of two events: the Melon Race or Broad Jump. A ? Block is somewhat similar to a ? Bubble, which is a floating bubble that must be popped using an Egg Throw rather than hit from below. There is also a similar-looking object known as a Mystery Crate, which is on the ground and must be ground-pounded to open.

Mario Party series[edit]

The minigame Coin Block Blitz.
? Blocks in the Coin Block Blitz minigame of Mario Party

? Blocks appear in some minigames in the Mario Party series. In Mario Party, ? Blocks appear in Coin Block Blitz, each containing one to twelve Coins, and when a ? Block disappears, it means it has been depleted. In Mario Party 7, ? Blocks appear in the background of StratosFEAR!, and are styled after the ones from the Super Mario All-Stars version of Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels. In Super Mario Party, nasal tissue dispensers shaped like a ? Block appear in the background of Sizzling Stakes, and the object of Strike It Rich is is jump to ? Blocks in rhythm.

? Blocks also appear in some boards in the Mario Party series. In Mario Party: Island Tour, Mario Party: Star Rush, and Mario Party: The Top 100, ? Blocks appear as a board space in Party mode, Toad Scramble mode and Minigame Match mode, respectively. Landing on one of these spaces gives the player a random item. In Mario Party 10, ? Blocks appear in the Normal Board and Mario Board in amiibo party, containing coins or other items.

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars[edit]

Whilst ? Blocks do not appear in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, they are replaced by treasure boxes with question marks on them, which have the same functionality.

Paper Mario series[edit]

? Block (badge)
A ? block from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

In the Paper Mario series, Red ? Blocks contain badges and yellow ones contain coins or items. ? Blocks are sometimes invisible at first. They are turned visible by jumping into them (or using Watt in Paper Mario and Tippi in Super Paper Mario). Once they are visible, they can also be used as stepping stones.

Shhwonk Fortress Red ? Block.
Mario getting the Star Piece in the background of Petal Meadows in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.
Petal Meadows Yellow ? Block.

In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, ? Blocks (parsed as ? blocks in the original GameCube version) have the same function from the previous game.

In Super Paper Mario, some ? Blocks may hold Zombie Shrooms (and later, Ghoul Shrooms) within them. They can also sometimes be found on the ground. In Chapter 2-3 there is a ? Block in the room on the second floor (the floor above the ground floor) which gives a Mushroom for 10 Rubees. It returns to a normal ? Block after the hero eats the Mushroom and thus can be used indefinitely, as long as the hero has enough Rubees. After the Chapter is cleared, the ? Block can be used without payment.

In Paper Mario: Sticker Star, ? Blocks have their sides peeled off upon being hit. However, if Mario attempts to jump on a (albeit docile) Piranha Plant under a ? Block, Mario will only take damage, forcing him to defeat the plant before getting the block's contents.

Additionally, Mario can use Kersti's Paperizing power to create these blocks from small sized stickers from his album. All the player needs to find is a small Paperization zone with red dotted outlines. From there Mario can stick any small sticker, except Thing stickers, to it. Most of the time, when Mario hits the newly-created ? Block, the sticker he used to create it will come out differently; usually, the sticker will either be upgraded (e.g. from a Hammer Sticker to a Shiny Hammer Sticker) or it will turn into a different sticker type (e.g. from a Hammer Sticker into a Jump Sticker). Rarely, when one sticker is used to create a ? Block, three stickers will come out of it.

Paper Mario: Color Splash has ? Blocks return, this time with a flip-open top and a side-scrolling "?" mark (as in Super Mario Bros. 3). They often give Battle Cards or coins, the former getting stronger in later levels or being more relevant to a level's boss fight, if any. Additionally, a new kind of block, the Unfurl Block, looks similar, except it's red and has a "!?" symbol on it instead. Mega ? Blocks also return in Mondo Woods, having been enlarged by Kamek.

In Paper Mario: The Origami King, ? Blocks look similar to their appearance in Color Splash, albeit the flip-open top has been replaced by a lid that floats for a brief moment when being hit, except for the ones at Origami Castle which boast a shinier appearance and often need to be pulled into shape first to be opened. Once opened a block will not revert to its previous state, much like in the first two games. Additionally, the ? Block Head Trophy is earned for hitting all ? Blocks in every location in the game.

Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

SmashWiki article: Block § ? Blocks

? Blocks make an appearance as objects in most Super Smash Bros. games. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, ? Blocks appeared on the Mushroom Kingdom stage, which break and release items if hit or simply jumped into from below. They also appear in Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Mushroomy Kingdom stage (where they look more realistic and withered, with cracks and a metal border), as well as in 3D Land (where they can give Super Leaves more often) in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, and possibly in Super Mario Maker (where they can give Super Mario items more often) in both 3DS and Wii U versions with the same purpose, though they turn into Empty Blocks after Melee.

Mario & Luigi series[edit]

A Normal ? Block from Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. A ? Block Sprite from Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time. Mario Luigi Bowser Story Block.png ? Block A question Block from Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions

? Blocks are one of many types of block to appear in the Mario & Luigi series. They can give Mario and Luigi coins or items that can help them, similar to the series the blocks normally appear in. One hit on, they turn brown and they will not offer any more items. If Mario and Luigi happen to have 99 of the item found in the block (or 10 if playing Mario & Luigi: Dream Team in Hard Mode), the item will remain in the block.

In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, there is a room in the Woohoo Hooniversity which is designed to study different kinds of ? Blocks. The blocks found in this room are from Super Mario Bros., Super Mario World, and Paper Mario, as well as the yellow ! Block from Super Mario 64. The Paper Mario block is said to appear to be made of soft materials but is quite hard,[17] the Super Mario 64 block is said to be analyzed for its vanishing technology,[18] the Super Mario Bros. block is said to be made of secret materials with a metallic look,[19] and the Super Mario World block is said to be made of light, shiny materials that are somewhat shock absorbent.[20]

In Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, sometimes Tanoombas and Tashroobas can disguise as ? blocks with a leaf on top. When the Mario Bros. get close, it turns back into a Tanoomba or Tashrooba.

In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, ? Blocks in the Mushroom Kingdom look as they do in New Super Mario Bros. This game also introduces the Brocks, beings made of ? Blocks. Broque Monsieur, Broggy, and Broque Madame are the only Brocks in the game.

In Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, more Brocks are introduced, such as Brickle and Britta. In addition, evil ? Blocks, known as Dark Blocks, appear as enemies in the second visit to Dream's Deep.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis[edit]

? Block in the game Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis.

? Blocks also appear in Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis. When hit from below, a ? Block produces a single Fire Flower, which can be collected by a Mini to temporarily transform it into its fire form. When a Mini hits a ? Block, the sound effect of hitting a ? Block from Super Mario Bros. is played. However, the "Ground Theme" can be faintly heard within this sound effect, implying that the sound was not properly isolated, and was instead recorded indirectly from gameplay of Super Mario Bros.

Mario & Sonic series[edit]

? Blocks make a few minor appearances in the Mario & Sonic series. In the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, several ? Blocks appear as props in the first segment of the Mario World routine in Dream Figure Skating. In Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, characters can collect coins from ? Blocks during Mario's Figure Skating Spectacular. In the Nintendo 3DS version of Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, ? Blocks appear in Golf Plus, where the player can hit them with the ball to obtain a number of Star Coins; however, the ? Blocks do not let balls pass through them, and once a block has been hit once it will turn into an Empty Block and produce no more Star Coins.

Mario Tennis Open[edit]

In Mario Tennis Open, tennis gear with designs based on the ? Block are available for use by Miis.

Nintendo Land[edit]

In Nintendo Land, presents resembling ? Blocks can be won from the pachinko minigame found in the central tower of the main plaza. For every stage completed in the minigame, a ? Block will fly out of the tower. After locating the ? Blocks on the plaza grounds, the player can tap them open to reveal different prizes based on objects found in the 12 attractions of the game. Mini ? Blocks also appear on the Jukebox prize and when tapped, will unlock a song the Player can play in the main plaza.

Mario Golf: World Tour[edit]

Large ? Blocks appear in the courses of Mario Golf: World Tour. If the player hits the ball through one, they can earn a usable item. A ? Block appears in the animation of something being unlocked. The Mario Open trophy has a model of a ? Block.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker[edit]

? Blocks reappear in Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and its Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS ports. They can be activated by having turnips thrown at them, luring Flaptors to dive onto them, or by touching them on the GamePad. One such appearance is in Turnip Cannon Jungle at the top of the course only accessible by a Turnip Cannon. However, Pluck Patches replace them in most cases.

Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition[edit]

Main article: List of ? Block items in Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition
Sprite of a ? Block from course maps in Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition.

? Blocks appear in Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition. The player may come across one in a course, which can hold coins, 1-Up Mushrooms, Transformation Items, or Skill Items. Opening them requires the player to clear a certain amount of Orbs, make a certain amount of combos, and/or to arrange Orbs horizontally or vertically - the more objectives there are, the greater the rewards, with coins often being rewarded for the easiest challenges. ? Blocks will open only if the player successfully satisfies any and all conditions.

Depending on the world the course is in, the amount of coins the player is rewarded from a ? Block varies as follows:

  • World 1-2: 10 coins
  • World 3-4: 25 coins
  • World 5-8: 50 coins (100 coins if cleared with two objectives; World 7-6 and World 8-3 only)
  • ★World 1-4: 75 coins
  • ★World 5-8: 100 coins (250 coins if cleared with three objectives; ★World 7-6 and ★World 8-3 only)

A minigame at Toad Houses, Lucky ? Blocks, lets the player try their luck at winning items for 100 coins each attempt. Prizes include 1-Up Mushrooms, Transformation Items and Skill Items.

Mario + Rabbids series[edit]

In Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, giant ? Blocks appear in the background of various areas. Beep-0 states these ? Blocks are empty and wouldn't even give a sarcastic player hint. Additionally, the Block Blaster weapon is designed after a ? Block, while the Burning Question weapon uses ? Blocks with their original Super Mario Bros. sprite in its design. In the game's sequel, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, several ? Blocks only appear in the background of the industrial area in Barrendale Mesa.

Yoshi's Crafted World[edit]

The ? Block cameo in Yoshi's Crafted World
The ? Block seen on the "HANDLE WITH CARE" sticker in Yoshi's Crafted World

In Yoshi's Crafted World, a ? Block icon appears on a "HANDLE WITH CARE" sticker on the bridge in the flip side of Rail-Yard Run; the sticker's design is reused from the Mario Kart 8 loading screen. In the same level, another ? Block appears as a brand of chocolate on a box labeled "Caramel Blocks".

The Super Mario Bros. Movie[edit]

A Question Block[21][22] appears on the first teaser posterMedia:Mario Movie Teaser Poster.jpg for The Super Mario Bros. Movie. At the beginning of the film, after Bowser destroys the penguins' castle, he breaks open a Question Block that contains the Super Star. Later in the film, the Training Course is constructed from a giant Question Block that emerges from water, while normal Question Blocks are scattered throughout the course itself. Question Blocks also appear in the Great Ring of Kong, where Mario hits one and transforms into Cat Mario, causing Donkey Kong to laugh and exclaim that he got "the cat box". Additionally, upon the film's release, exclusive popcorn tins designed to resemble the Question Block's look in the movie were available to be purchased at participating theaters.

Other appearances[edit]

A ? Block in LEGO City Undercover

In the Animal Crossing series, ? Blocks appear as furniture items. They originally use their Super Mario Bros. appearance, though their modern appearance is used in Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The ? Block in New Horizons was added as part of the Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary.

In both versions of Nintendo Monopoly, the ? Block cards replace the traditional Chance Cards.

In Monopoly Gamer, ? Block spaces replace two of the traditional Railroad Spaces on the game board. Landing on one allows a player to roll the game's numbered die and collect that many coins from the Bank.

In LEGO City Undercover, five hidden ? Blocks are hidden in various parts of LEGO City. Hitting all of them unlocks a playable character. They only appear in the original and Nintendo Switch versions of the game.

In the Super Mario Mash-up in Minecraft, Crafting Tables are replaced by ? Blocks.

? Blocks appear in the background of J. P. Spamley's office in Ralph Breaks the Internet; they appear to be based on the appearance in the original Super Mario Bros., rather than using their current design.

In Game Builder Garage, the 25th puzzle in the Extra Checkpoint is named after the ? Block and involves making a fully functional block to hit from below to make an item come out.

Unused appearances[edit]

An unused ? Block sprite, from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island.

Unused graphics indicate that ? Blocks were considered for Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. However, they are absent from gameplay in the final, with their role being taken up by Egg Blocks and Winged Clouds.


Super Mario series[edit]

Super Mario Bros. 3[edit]

  • Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console electronic manual bio: Hitting these from below will yield coins or items.

Super Mario 3D Land[edit]

  • European website bio: The familiar ? Blocks are now longer than ever! Does this mean they contain more coins?!

Super Mario Run[edit]

  • ? Block: A mysterious block that could hold anything inside. Touch it to find out what it contains.
  • Long ? Block: A long ? Block. Touch it and see what is hidden inside!

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Super Smash Bros. for Wii U[edit]

? Block
Wii U:
? Block's trophy render from Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Category: Series Related
(Applies only to the Wii U version) Appears in:
NES Super Mario Bros. (10/1985)
Wii U New Super Mario Bros. U (11/2012)
(Applies only to the Wii U version) Trophy Box: 7: Super Mario Bros.
How to unlock:
(Logo for the Nintendo 3DS.) Random
(Wii U Logo.svg) Purchase at the Trophy Shop
How many times do you think you and Mario have punched ? Blocks? What if we added up the numbers for the entire world? If you were walking down the street and suddenly found a ? Block just floating there, would you jump up and punch it like Mario? (American English)
How many times do you think you've made Mario hit a ? Block? How many times do you think everyone in the world's done it...? If you saw one just floating in mid-air while you were walking down the street one day, what would you do? Would you jump up and hit it? (British English)

Paper Mario: The Origami King[edit]

  • Collectible Treasure No. 76: These are always fun to find. What will be inside this time? Some coins? An item? An enemy? So exciting!


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:? Block.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ?[23]
Hatena Burokku
Aitemu Bokkusu

Question Mark Block (officially romanized as "Hatena Block")

Item Box

Chinese (simplified) ?砖块[26]
? Zhuānkuài
Wùpǐn Xiāng
问号砖块[28] (New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe)
Wènhào Zhuānkuài
? Block

Item Box

Question Mark Block

Chinese (traditional) ?磚塊[29]
? Zhuānkuài
? Block

Dutch ?-blok
? Block
French Bloc ?
Bloc Surprise (Super Mario Advance 2 instruction booklet)
Bloc mystérieux (Super Mario Land instruction booklet)
? Block
Surprise Block
Mysterious block
German ?-Block
Hungarian Erőnyerő (The Super Mario Bros. Movie)
Power wins
Italian ?[30]
Blocco con?[sic][31]
Quadro con punto interrogativo[32]
Blocco premio (SNES Super Mario World instruction booklet)
? Blocco[33]
Blocco ?
Mattoni premio (GBA Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 instruction booklet)
Blocco with?; either meant as "Block with a question mark" or as "Block with [mystery item]"
Square with question mark
Prize Block
? Block
? block
Prize Bricks
Korean ?블록
? Beullok
? Block

Portuguese Bloco ?
Bloco de Prêmios (SNES Super Mario World instruction booklet)
? Block
Prizes Block
Romanian Piesă (DIC Super Mario cartoons)
Bloc de întrebări 3D (McDonald's Romania 2017 Happy Meal box, Super Mario promotionMedia:HappyMealMcDonaldsRomania.jpg)
3D Block of questions
Russian Блок «?»
Blok «?»
? Block

Spanish (NOA) Bloque ?
? Block
Spanish (NOE) Bloque ?
Bloque de premio[34]
? Block
Prize block


  1. ^ Super Mario Bros. Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console digital instruction manual. Page 10 and 13.
  2. ^ In-game in the Minigame Match mode of Mario Party: The Top 100
  3. ^ Nintendo (1989). Super Mario Land instruction booklet. Nintendo of America (American English). Page 8.
  4. ^ Nintendo (1991). Super Mario World instruction booklet. Nintendo of America (American English). Page 22.
  5. ^ Prima Bath (April 7, 1999). Nintendo 64 Game Secrets, 1999 Edition Prima's Official Strategy Guide. Prima Games (American English). ISBN 0-7615-2103-8. Page 105.
  6. ^ Prima Bath (April 21, 1999). Ultimate Nintendo 64 Pocket Power Guide, 1999 Edition Prima's Official Strategy Guide. Prima Games (American English). ISBN 0-7615-2083-X. Page 79.
  7. ^ Nintendo (1985). Super Mario Bros. instruction manual. Nintendo of America (American English). Page 7.
  8. ^ Nintendo (1985). Super Mario Bros. instruction booklet. Nintendo of America (American English). Page 2.
  9. ^ "If you come across mushrooms who have been turned into bricks or made invisible, they reward you by giving you a power boost." – Nintendo (1985). Super Mario Bros. instruction booklet. Nintendo of America (American English). Page 8.
  10. ^ Nintendo (1985). Super Mario Bros. instruction booklet. Nintendo of America (American English). Page 9.
  11. ^ Nintendo (1985). スーパーマリオブラザーズ (Sūpā Mario Burazāzu) instruction booklet. Nintendo (Japanese). Page 9.
  12. ^ 1991. NES Game Atlas Nintendo Player's Guide. Nintendo of America (American English). Page 31, 35.
  13. ^ 1991. NES Game Atlas Nintendo Player's Guide. Nintendo of America (American English). Page 36.
  14. ^ 1991. NES Game Atlas Nintendo Player's Guide. Nintendo of America (American English). Page 29-30, 32, 34.
  15. ^ Nintendo (1991). Nintendo Game Boy Player's Guide. Nintendo of America (American English). Page 7.
  16. ^ September 1996. Nintendo Power Volume 88. Nintendo of America (American English). Page 77.
  17. ^ "Appears to be made of soft materials but is actually quite hard. For professionals only." – 2003. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.
  18. ^ "Currently analyzing the new technology that makes it vanish when struck..." – 2003. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.
  19. ^ "Made of secret materials from the Mushroom Kingdom. Metallic appearance is quite popular." – 2003. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.
  20. ^ "Made of light, shiny materials. Somewhat shock absorbent." – 2003. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.
  21. ^ The Super Mario Bros. Movie subtitles
  22. ^ Monopoly The Super Mario Bros. Movie Edition boardMedia:TSMBM Monopoly Board.jpg
  23. ^ Nintendo (1985). スーパーマリオブラザーズ (Sūpā Mario Burazāzu) instruction booklet. Nintendo (Japanese). Page 7.
  24. ^ Sakai, Kazuya (Ambit), kikai, Akinori Sao, Junko Fukuda, Kunio Takayama, and Ko Nakahara (Shogakukan), editors (2015). 『スーパーマリオブラザーズ百科: 任天堂公式ガイドブック』. Tokyo: Shogakukan (Japanese). Page 21, 29, 41, 48, 61, 78, 119, 137, 151, 171, 186, 200, 216, 233.
  25. ^ Nintendo. New スーパーマリオブラザーズ. Nintendo (Japanese). Retrieved May 13, 2024.
  26. ^ 超级马力欧 3D乐园:冒险的舞台. iQue (Simplified Chinese). Retrieved May 13, 2024.
  27. ^ New 超级马力欧兄弟. iQue (Simplified Chinese). Retrieved May 13, 2024.
  28. ^ 腾讯NintendoSwitch. Bilibili (Simplified Chinese). Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  29. ^ 超級瑪利歐 3D樂園 繁體中文版 - 香港任天堂網站. Nintendo HK (Traditional Chinese). Retrieved May 13, 2024.
  30. ^ Super Mario Bros. Italian manual. Page 7.
  31. ^ Super Mario Bros. 3 Italian manual. Nintendo (Italian). Page 17.
  32. ^ Super Mario Land Italian manual. Page 8.
  33. ^ Super Mario All-Stars Italian manual. Page 9.
  34. ^ Nintendo (2002). Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 Spanish instruction booklet. Nintendo of Europe (European Spanish).