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A POW Block (occasionally POW and standing for power block) is a common block in the Mario franchise. In all games they appear in, their effect when thrown to the ground or hit in the air will cause a large earthquake, causing all enemies on screen to get hurt. POW Blocks can be carried and thrown in most games, and some are required for a 100% game completion. Most POW Blocks are a metallic blue, but some POW Blocks are red.
The POW Block is an item that first appears in the Mario Bros. arcade game. When hit, it damages all enemies in the screen, but only those that are on the ground. It can be hit three times before it disappears. Each time it gets hit, it flattens up. In the GBA port of the game, there are two POW Blocks per phase set, and they can be picked up. However, throwing the picked up POW block results in it completely disappearing, regardless of how many times it was hit before.
Super Mario series
Super Mario Bros. 2
The POW has the same function in Super Mario Bros. 2 as it had in Mario Bros., but it can only be used once, as the player has to grab and throw it onto the ground to activate it. Super Mario Advance introduces a large version of the POW Block known as the Giant POW Block or Big POW. It can bounce around the floor, causing multiple tremors, before it disappears. Unlike in Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic and other games, the word "POW" is animated.
Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3
In Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, a single POW Block is found in the World-e level Koopaling Confusion. It uses the same sprite as in Super Mario Bros. 2 and is picked up and thrown in the same way.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
The POW Block returns in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. As in Super Mario Bros. 2, it can be picked up and carried, and once thrown, it eliminates all the enemies onscreen and also drops all floating coins. The POW Block is also essential in order to collect Star Coins found hidden in some levels.
Description: Here's a blast from the past! Hit a POW Block and all coins will fall to the ground for easy pick up. Use this time wisely to collect all the coins you can. Remember that extra coins mean extra lives, so POW Blocks are money in the bank! They can also be really handy in shaking out hidden Star Coins.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
POW Blocks return in New Super Mario Bros. 2, but as a red variation called Red POW Blocks. Unlike the blue type, these POW Blocks cannot be picked up, so they must be activated by hitting them somehow. In addition, they start a chain reaction with one another when activated; while they cannot defeat on-screen enemies out of its range or drop midair coins, their tremors can hit nearby blocks.
New Super Mario Bros. U
New Super Luigi U
POW Blocks also appear in the expansion pack for New Super Mario Bros. U, New Super Luigi U, serving the same purpose as it did in the base game.
Super Mario 3D World
Red POW Blocks reappear in Super Mario 3D World, which marks their first appearance in a 3D Mario platformer. They act exactly as they did in New Super Mario Bros. 2, releasing short-ranged shock-waves that hit and destroy blocks and enemies once hit. They can also reveal the locations of Hidden Blocks. At the end of World Bowser-Castle, there is a blue Super POW Block which needs to be hit four times in order to beat Meowser at the end.
The classic blue POW Block also appears in the port of Mario Bros., Luigi Bros., included in Super Mario 3D World.
Super Mario Maker / Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS
Super Mario Maker 2
Blue POW Blocks reappear in Super Mario Maker 2; this time, they are shown to be flashing in the Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros. U styles. Blue POW Blocks also appear in the Super Mario 3D World style, but they can be changed into the red variant found in the base game. Red POW Blocks can be used to destroy Brick Blocks and defeat enemies that are nearby them. In nighttime underwater and Ghost House levels, POW Blocks illuminate the area around them.
In the Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros. U game styles, POW Blocks can still defeat Bowser in one hit. In the Super Mario 3D World game style, however, they deal 10 HP damage to Meowser, and make him flinch.
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
In Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island and its remake, Super Mario Advance 3, if Yoshi hits a POW Block, all nearby enemies turn into stars. It only appears in The Cave of the Lakitus, but appears twice in that one level. They can be hit thrice before it disappears. Special Items based on POW Blocks are most commonly won in Bonus Challenges, where they could be used almost anywhere afterward, being called Anywhere POWs.
Yoshi's New Island
In Yoshi's New Island, POW Blocks appear in the minigame, Enemy Eat-Off. Here, they are white with green spots (similar to an Egg Block) and a Yoshi Egg replacing the "O" letter. When hit, it turns every enemy on the stage into Yoshi Eggs.
The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!
In The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, the power block makes its first and only appearance in one episode "The Pied Koopa". While Mario and the gang are trying to escape from Koopa's minions by diving underwater in the moat, Mario spots a power block at the bottom and throws it at the wall, causing it to explode. The result causes them to get sucked into dungeon with all the water. This is the only time a power block has had the ability to explode.
Paper Mario series
In the Paper Mario series, the POW Block is a portable item that does two damage to all enemies (but much more in Super Paper Mario if the remote had been shaken with each corresponding prompt). It penetrates defense and makes enemies with shells (such as Koopa Troopas) flip over.
In Super Paper Mario they are used as a portable item. When active, it damages all the enemies currently on screen. In this game, the POW Block may also be used as a recipe ingredient; however, it can only be cooked on its own into a Megaton Dinner. One of the Sammer Guys fought is called Block of Pow.
In Paper Mario: Sticker Star, POW Blocks appear as stickers, taking their design from how they have commonly appeared since Mario Bros.. When used, a POW Block appears, which Mario hits twice to inflict damage to enemies and occasionally inflict the Crumpled status. Unlike the previous iterations, however, the POW block affects only foes on the ground. The sticker also has a Shiny and Flashy POW Block variant, which deal more damage.
In Paper Mario: Color Splash, POW Blocks appear as Battle Cards, with the same behavior as they had in Paper Mario: Sticker Star. POW Blocks also appear outside of battle in Kiwano Temple, where one is used to flip some spikes, and Violet Passage, where they can be hit with a cannonball in order to collect coins.
Mario Tennis series
Mario Power Tennis
POW Blocks make a small appearance in Mario Power Tennis on the Mario Classic Court. A POW Block moves back and forth across the net. If a player hits the ball through it, all enemies become stunned, allowing the player to defeat them by running into them (this counts as one of two hits needed to stun Sidesteppers; Freezies are defeated instantly). POW Blocks cannot hit Fighter Flies when they are airborne though, but they could be defeated if the player hits the POW block at the correct time. After a certain number of hits, it disappears. After a while, it respawns. Stunned enemies who got hit by the POW block resumes walking after a period of time if the player leaves them alone. POW Blocks also appear in the mini-game Coin Collectors. The positions can be changed by hitting a POW Block with a tennis ball.
Mario Tennis Open
In Mario Tennis Open, the POW Block has its own Mii gear, including a racket, uniform, wristbands, and shoes. The POW Block gear generally increases serve and stroke powers while also increasing speed.
Mario Kart series
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Mario Kart Arcade GP 2
Mario Kart Wii
The POW Block is a new item in Mario Kart Wii. It is supposedly the rarest item in the game (though players will have a slightly higher chance of obtaining it in VS races), and players can obtain this item if they are anywhere from 5th to 9th place, with CPU-controlled players also being able to obtain it in 10th place. When the POW Block is dispatched by a player, all racers ahead of the user find POW Blocks above their karts. The POW Block makes the racers ahead of the user spin out in a similar way to that caused by a Banana, except that they lose all of their current items and come to a complete stop if it hits them. Players will not be affected by the POW Block if the third strike goes off while they are in midair. Players can also avoid it by starting a wheelie, or shaking their controller (like doing a jump trick) right when the third strike goes off. By doing this, they still spin out and lose items but retain their momentum. It is also possible to avoid it by doing a hop right at the third strike but requires perfect timing. When players have a Star, Mega Mushroom, or Bullet Bill activated or if they are flying through the air after being shot out of a cannon, they will not get affected by the POW Block. The letters "POW" can be seen as a license plate on all of the cars in Moonview Highway. The POW Block also received a trading card, alongside the other items that appear in the game. If the player gets a POW Block and then uses it, the POW Block appears above the user's kart. It flattens above the user, but it will not hit them, as the POW Block hits only all racers ahead of the user. If used in N64 Mario Raceway, it causes the Piranha Plants to jump into the air. If used in N64 Sherbet Land, it causes the penguins to spin out. Also, if the player is behind the user, the POW Block sound can still be heard, but the screen will not shake. This is so far the only non-arcade Mario Kart game the POW Block appears as a usable item, making it, the Thunder Cloud, the Mega Mushroom, and the Fake Item Box (though it has also appeared in Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, and Mario Kart DS) the only four usable items in Mario Kart Wii not to reappear in any future non-arcade installments.
Trading Card Info
Description: "The POW Block isn't a new concept within the Mushroom Kingdom (think Mario Bros.), but it is a brand new item for the Mario Kart series. If you're lucky enough to get this item, activate it and the POW Block appears over the heads of all other racers. When it disappears after about 5 seconds...POW! Everyone (but you) spins out and stops, allowing you to gain some ground."
Game Tip!: "The POWerful effects of this dangerous item can be avoided. The secret is that you have to be off the ground when the POW Block unleashes its power."
Mario Kart Arcade GP DX
The POW Block reappears as an item in Mario Kart Arcade GP DX, acting as it did in Mario Kart Arcade GP 2.
Super Smash Bros. series
Super Smash Bros.
POW Blocks appeared as part of the hidden stage Mushroom Kingdom in Super Smash Bros. If a fighter hits the POW Block, all other fighters touching the ground are damaged and get sent vertically. The POW Block is a powerful stage hazard, and it appears throughout the stage randomly in set locations. After being hit, the POW Block reappears somewhere else on the stage.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
The POW Block makes an appearance on the Super Smash Bros. Brawl stage Mario Bros. where it can be used to paralyze all enemies on the screen, allowing them to be picked up and thrown at other players. After it disappears as a result of being hit a couple of times, it reappears on the same spot in the stage.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U
POW Blocks appear as throwable items in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. When thrown, it causes shock waves upon landing that can cause damage to other players as long as they are standing on ground.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
POW Blocks reappear as items in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The POW Blocks in the original Mushroom Kingdom stage and the Mario Bros. stage also return with those stages.
Mario Super Sluggers
POW Blocks also appear in Mario Super Sluggers in the form of POW Balls as an unlockable error item. They are unlocked when a certain Treasure Chest is opened in Mario Stadium. When used, it stuns fielding players for about four seconds. If an outfielder jumps at the right timing, they can avoid the POW Ball shockwaves. If the POW Ball itself hit the outfielder, then only the outfielder gets knocked out and the POW Ball disappears, with no tremor effect on the ground. Levitating and flying characters such as Boo and Paragoomba are unaffected by the shockwaves, but can be hit by the actual POW Ball.
Mario & Sonic series
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games
In Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, the POW Block appears in Dream Snowball Fight. It can be obtained from an Item Box. The POW Block takes longer to hit the opponents, but retains its sound effects and function from Mario Kart Wii.
Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
POW Blocks appear as items in Boxing Plus in the Nintendo 3DS version of Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. In this Plus Event, the POW Block stuns the opponent and prevents them from moving, performing punches and guarding. They also appear as an item in Football Plus, where three will fall one after the other by the character that received the item and knock over any other characters, including goalkeepers, in the surrounding area.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Art Style: PiCTOBiTS
In Art Style: PiCTOBiTS, POW Blocks are used to erase all the bits in the bottom part. Once it is used, it consumes one restore space.
Mario Party 9
While POW Blocks themselves do not appear in Mario Party 9, a type of space called the POW Space appears in the High Rollers mode. If a player rolls over it, the values of all spaces around it decrease by 10.
NES Remix series
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
In Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, POW Blocks appear as sheets of paper in the Trio Shuriken minigame in the arcade. If Mario or Luigi throws a shuriken at one, it will destroy every other on-screen sheets of paper and grant the player their respective points amount.
Other appearances and cameos
Super Mario series
Super Mario Bros. 2
New Super Mario Bros. 2
New Super Mario Bros. U
Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Super Smash Bros. series
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U trophy
Blue indicates exclusive to the Wii U version.
Names in other languages
Red POW Block