Big Steely

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Big Steely
Super Mario World: Big Steely sprite
A Big Steely in Super Mario World
First appearance Super Mario World (1990)
Latest appearance Super Mario 3D All-Stars (2020)
Effect A Big Steely attempts to roll into the player, resulting in that player losing health.

Big Steelies[1] (also referred to as Bowling Balls)[2] are large iron balls that debut in Super Mario World as a final boss attack and return in Super Mario 64 as an uphill hazard.


Super Mario series[edit]

Super Mario World / Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2[edit]

Big Steelies first appear in the second phase of the final battle with Bowser in Super Mario World (and reappear in its reissue). He drops these from his Koopa Clown Car. Mario or Luigi can jump over them to avoid getting hit. Mario or Luigi can also spin-jump on them without getting hurt. A Big Steely can be destroyed if Mario or Luigi uses his sliding cape attack against it using a Cape Feather, but it shows a glitched sprite.

Super Mario 64 / Super Mario 64 DS[edit]

In Super Mario 64 and Super Mario 64 DS, Big Steelies are referred to as iron balls,[3][4] rolling balls,[5] cannonballs,[6] or simply balls.[7] They appear on the Bob-omb Battlefield; Tall, Tall Mountain; and Tiny-Huge Island as an uphill hazard. Several more also appear in the DS version's Battle Fort. In the remake, Wario has the ability to destroy them by punching or kicking them, and players equipped with a Super Mushroom can destroy them simply by walking into them.

Super Mario World television series[edit]

In the Super Mario World episode "Send in the Clown", King Koopa attempts to defeat Mario in one scene by dropping a Big Steely on him, which Mario dodges. King Koopa, with the same method, is shown dropping a Big Steely after Yoshi hits him with his Mechakoopas. Mario, however, uses a golf club and knocks the Big Steely at him.

Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit]

Big Steelies are mentioned in Super Smash Bros. Melee in the Koopa Clown Car trophy, known as "bowling balls".

Mario & Luigi series[edit]

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga / Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions[edit]

In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, a Big Steely (called a "rock") appears during the Jellyfish Sisters' tutorial on Dashing, where it must be pushed with the ability. Later, some appear around Gwarhar Lagoon's exterior in timed courses involving the Dash.

Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story / Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey[edit]

In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, Big Steelies, generically referred to as "iron balls," appear in multiple locations. In Cavi Cape, Bowser must punch a falling one in order to knock it into a button (in the remake, these are replaced with barrels). Later, Midbus crushes Bowser with a massive one, prompting Mario and Luigi to visit the Arm Center one last time. At Blubble Lake, Bowser can punch some found on spinning mechanisms to push himself into the lake.

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team / Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam[edit]

There are Hammers called the Iron Ball Hammer and Iron Ball Hammer DX in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team and Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, which sometimes causes an iron ball to fall onto a random enemy after an "Excellent" rating is achieved. In the former game, they have a studded appearance, though they are smooth in the latter. The latter game also has them appear in the mission Hammer, Bros!, where they are referred to in localizations as cannonballs.

Other appearances[edit]

In Super Mario Maker, graphics for Big Steelies exist unused in the Super Mario Bros. game style's object graphics. The sprite is green instead of dark gray, however - it resembles the Big Bubble from Super Mario World.


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese 鉄球[8][9]
Iron ball
German Eisenkugel Iron Ball
Italian Palla di ferro Iron Ball


  1. ^ M. Arakawa. Nintendo Mario Mania Player's Guide. Page 52.
  2. ^ M. Arakawa. Nintendo Mario Mania Player's Guide. Page 148.
  3. ^ M. Arakawa. Super Mario 64 Player's Guide. Pages 106, 107, 109 and 110.
  4. ^ Super Mario 64 DS internal object name (IRONBALL)
  5. ^ M. Arakawa. Super Mario 64 Player's Guide. Page 101.
  6. ^ Nintendo Magazine System (AU) Issue #52, pages 45 and 46.
  7. ^ M. Arakawa. Super Mario 64 Player's Guide. Page 19
  8. ^ 「任天堂公式ガイドブック スーパーマリオワールド」 (Nintendo Kōshiki Guidebook – Super Mario World), page 124.
  9. ^ Shogakukan. 2015. Super Mario Bros. Hyakka: Nintendo Kōshiki Guidebook, Super Mario 64 section, page 92.