From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
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P Switches (alternatively hyphenated as P-Switches and originally called Switch Blocks; also known as P Switch Blocks or Trample Switches) are objects found in several Super Mario games such as Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, New Super Mario Bros., and Super Mario 3D Land. They are initiated by jumping on them. Upon activation, they turn all Brick Blocks from an area into coins and vice-versa for approximately 10 seconds. On some occasions, they likewise cause arrays or groups of Blue Coins to appear on-screen. As these effects are temporary, they are usually accompanied by a characteristic jingle or clock-ticking that marks their duration.
Super Mario series
Super Mario Bros. 3
In Super Mario Bros. 3, the first Switch Block appears in World 1-1. Switch Blocks cause the animations of ? Blocks, Brick Blocks, Jump Blocks and coins to stop, and also make Conveyor Belts stop moving. In the original NES version, certain Switch Blocks appear in alternate colorations due to palette limitations; for instance, one in World 2-3 is purple with tan details. In all versions, the Switch Blocks cause the Toad House theme to play while they are active.
Super Mario World
Super Mario World is the first game in which Switch Blocks can be carried by Mario and saved for later. There is a glitch making Mario carry the switch after it has been pressed for a short time if he is quick before it disappears. In all other games until the Super Mario Maker series, Mario cannot carry the switches and must use them on the spot.
The game introduces Gray P Switches, which makes most enemies turn into Gray Coins. Collecting eight of these coins awards Mario an extra life. Collecting one more gives Mario two extra lives. After nine coins, Mario will earn three extra lives for each additional coin.
Super Mario 64
Switch Blocks themselves do not appear in Super Mario 64. However, their ability to cause Blue Coins to appear is given to a similar object called the Blue Coin Block. Unlike Switch Blocks had previously been depicted, Blue Coin Blocks cannot cause coins and Blocks to become each other. However, certain Purple Switches can cause boxes to appear from thin air in a similar manner.
New Super Mario Bros.
In New Super Mario Bros., "Switch Block" is now an umbrella term for P Switch blocks, ! Switch blocks, and ? Switch blocks. In the Japanese version, they are all simply considered Switch Blocks without specific names between them, with their descriptions simply using their sprite. P Switches have the same function as in previous games, either spawning in blue coins or turning Brick Blocks into coins and vice versa, as well as P Switches having more level-specific functions such as revealing staircases and certain doors in World 3-Ghost House. Unlike in previous games, certain P Switches can be reused multiple times.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, P Switches return, acting similarly to their appearance in New Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario 3D Land
P Switches appear in Super Mario 3D Land, where they are designed as having a flat surface with a light blue "P" printed on it, making them more like buttons. When pressed, they become red. Unlike in previous games, P Switches work more like the ? Coins of the Super Mario Galaxy games, in that they either trigger an event or generate a row of notes upon activation.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
P Switches return in New Super Mario Bros. 2, acting similarly to their appearance in New Super Mario Bros.
New Super Mario Bros. U
In New Super Mario Bros. U, P Switches return, once again acting similarly to their appearance in New Super Mario Bros.
New Super Luigi U
P Switches return in New Super Luigi U, acting similarly to their appearance in New Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario 3D World
P Switches appear in Super Mario 3D World. They have the same appearance as they do in Super Mario 3D Land, but with a white "P"; they do not change colors when pressed. In addition to their effects from 3D Land, they can once again spawn Blue Coins (except in Rainbow Run, where they spawn regular coins from the sky). There are also orange square panel versions of P Switches that require multiple characters or objects to activate simultaneously. Golden P Switches appear in some of the bonus areas entered via golden Warp Pipes and in the Coin Express. When pressed, they spawn a large amount of coins. Similar switches appear in the form of Character Switches, which can only be pushed by certain characters.
Super Mario Maker / Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS
P Switches reappear in Super Mario Maker and Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS, retaining their functions of changing Brick Blocks to coins and vice versa. They also stop Conveyor Belts from moving, as they did in Super Mario Bros. 3. They can also be carried like in Super Mario World, which applies to the other styles except Super Mario Bros., where Mario could not carry objects. An update on December 21, 2015 introduced P Warp Doors. These blue doors act as a normal Warp Door, but are only usable when a P Switch is activated. When a P Switch is shaken in edit mode, it transforms into a key.
They can be used in all four styles, retaining their designs in Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World (blue version) and New Super Mario Bros. U, after the 1.30 update. During the original release, the P Switch was colored as orange with a brown P in the Super Mario Bros. style, while ? Switches appeared in the New Super Mario Bros. U style, instead of P Switches. The update changed both switches back to the original P Switch appearances from the other games, although the coloring in the New Super Mario Bros. U style is closer to dark blue than the original's cyan.
Super Mario Odyssey
P Switches appear once again in Super Mario Odyssey. They are now square-shaped rather than circular. They mainly appear in Moon Pipes but can appear elsewhere. They act as they do in Super Mario 3D Land.
Super Mario Maker 2
P Switches appear in Super Mario Maker 2. They appear and function the same as in Super Mario Maker, although like POW Blocks, they now flash in all of the returning styles. In addition, a new design based on the other games is used in the Super Mario 3D World style rather than the flatter appearance. P Switches can be placed on ceilings in this game. They also illuminate the area around them in the night version of the underwater and Ghost House themes.
P Switches make a minor appearance in Yoshi, after the player clears levels 28 and higher of the B-Type game, rewarding the player 1,500 points. Likely owing to the game's lack of blue palette for the sprites for the NES version, they appear red.
Super Smash Bros. series
A P Switch appears in the Golden Plains stage in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. If a fighter steps on or attacks one, Blue Coins will temporarily appear among the ordinary coins while the P Switch music plays over the stage music, as in the New Super Mario Bros. series. A P Switch also appears as a trophy.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
P Switches also appear in Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. They are generally used to alter the layout of the stage, allowing the player to progress.
When pressed, a P Switch makes a change in the stage for a limited amount of time. This includes:
Super Mario Bros. 3
New Super Mario Bros. 2
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS trophy
Names in other languages