From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
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Arrow Lifts first appear in Super Mario Bros. 3 as Directional Lifts, only in the levels 4-Fortress 2 and 7-6. Directional Lifts are block-like platforms with an arrow emblazoned on them. If Mario stands on one, the platform releases a decolored form of itself and moves him to the direction the arrow wheel is pointing. There is another Directional Lift that has an exclamation mark on it. If Mario or Luigi steps on this one, he can control the direction of the platform up, left or right when he jumps. However, if he stands still while the platform is moving and stumble upon an obstacle, like a wall, the platform will keep moving or disappear, causing Mario to fall.
In Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3, Yoshi's Island DS, Yoshi's New Island, and Yoshi's Woolly World, Arrow Lifts are known as spinning wheels or arrow wheels, and appear as round objects with an arrow on them that are always spinning. If a Yoshi jumps on it, the arrow wheels will move in the direction the arrow is pointing. However, it can change its direction if the Yoshis jump on it again or if the object hits a surface. Arrow wheels can also be grabbed with the Yoshi's tongue and spat out. Arrow wheels come in two colors: tan, the most common, and blue. The difference between these two types of arrow wheels are that the blue arrow wheels disappear if a Yoshi jumps off one and doesn't ride it again for a while. The only way to prevent its disappearance is to grab it with the Yoshi's tongue and spit it out. Arrow wheels first appear in the level Salvo The Slime's Castle. Arrow wheels are mainly found within the various castles and fortresses across Yoshi's Island.
In Super Mario 64 and Super Mario 64 DS, Arrow Lifts reappear in the course Wet-Dry World. They are gray blocks with blue arrows that move back and forth when Mario steps on them. In the Hazy Maze Cave level "Elevate For 8 Red Coins," there is a large, flat platform called the Work Elevator with four arrow-emblazoned buttons. Mario can step on these arrows to move the platform, thus being similar to the Directional Lift.
In New Super Mario Bros. Wii and New Super Mario Bros. U, Switchbacks behave somewhat similar to Arrow Lifts, but they only move side to side or up and down. Similar objects called Switchboards also appear in Super Mario 3D Land and Super Mario 3D World.
Super Mario Bros. 3
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