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Spike Balls are black metal balls with silver or white spikes that first appeared in Super Mario Bros. 3. They were originally spat out and thrown by Spikes, but they can later be found independently. They mainly appear in castle levels, where they roll around and destroy other obstacles. Spinners are a variant of Spike Balls, which hang from chains and swing in various motions. Stone Spike Balls are spat out by Stone Spikes instead of the metal balls, which have the same effect. Another form of the Spike Ball is the Giant Spiked Ball, which is a larger version of the Spike Ball. It has similar features but causes the destruction on a larger scale. Spike Balls can usually be defeated with Invincible Mario; however, in some games, the use of the Super Star only prevents damage to Mario.
Super Mario series
Super Mario Bros. 3
Spike Balls first appeared in Super Mario Bros. 3, where they are spat out and thrown by Spikes. In this game, the player can jump on Spikes even if they are holing a Spike Ball. The Spike Balls can be thrown either left or right by the Spikes. Ptooies blow Spike Balls into the air to attack the player.
New Super Mario Bros.
In New Super Mario Bros., Spike Balls (referred to as Spiked Balls) roll along the floor, typically from off-screen, though they may also roll in a half-pipe motion between two hills. The game also features the larger Giant Spiked Balls. They, like their smaller counterparts, are almost indestructible, except to Mega Mario or Mega Luigi. They are usually found in castles and can also destroy anything it rolls over, including the smaller Spiked Balls.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
New Super Mario Bros. Wii features Spikes throwing Spike Balls, as well as introducing the Stone Spike to throw stone Spike Balls. In this game, Spike Balls thrown by Spikes cannot break Brick Blocks. Giant Spiked balls are found only in the World 8 where they appear in World 8-2, and World 8-Airship where Bowser Jr. uses them as exploding weapons against Mario. However, Mario can use them against him by Ground Pounding the ground to throw them into the Koopa Clown Car three times.
Super Mario 3D Land
Both Spike Balls and Giant Spiked Balls (under the name Spikey Balls) return in Super Mario 3D Land. They function very similarly to the preceding games. They can be destroyed by Statue Mario and invincibility.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
In New Super Mario Bros. 2, both Spike Balls and Giant Spiked Balls reappear. A pair of very large Spike Balls appear in the World Mushroom Castle. Icy Spike Balls appear in World 4-1. Spike Balls can be found in World Mushroom-A, and a Giant Spiked Ball helps Mario obtain a Star Coin. Spike Balls also feature in the battle against Morton Koopa Jr., where Morton fires them from his wand to attack Mario/Luigi.
New Super Mario Bros. U
New Super Mario Bros. U sees the return of both Spikes and Stone Spikes with Spike Balls. They can now throw the Spike Balls straight down rather than just left or right as they did in previous games. Regular Spike Balls alone are replaced by Grrrols.
Super Mario Run
In Super Mario Run, Spikes throw Spike Balls, and Bowser's Koopa Clown Car can spit out Giant Spiked Balls during the final battle. The Giant Spiked Balls can destroy certain platforms.
Super Mario Odyssey
Super Mario Maker 2
In version 2.0 of Super Mario Maker 2, Spike Balls are thrown by Spikes in all level themes except the snow theme, where they are replaced by snowballs, and can also be placed as a separate object. They fly forward in the Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 3 styles similar to the latter style's original game, though if they fly towards the ground, they will start to roll. In the Super Mario World, New Super Mario Bros. U, and Super Mario 3D World styles, they roll along the ground. They can be spin-jumped on, activate ? Blocks, can be eaten and spit out with Yoshi, and act as weight on Seesaws in the latter two styles. Giant Spiked Balls thrown by Mega Spikes can break through blocks. Since they did not appear in Super Mario Bros., Super Mario World, and Super Mario 3D World, new sprites are made for them.
Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3
Spike Balls appear again in Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, where they are preponderant in the Parsley Woods. This game marks the first time Spike Balls are seen rolling towards the player. They plummet from the trees' thicket when Wario approaches before rolling along the ground, though one Spike Ball falls straight down and disappears off-screen. In this game, Spike Balls stop immediately when they hit a wall, and fall off the screen.
Mario Party series
Mario Party 4
Mario Party 6
Mario Party 9
Spike Balls appear in several minigames in Mario Party 9. In the minigame Bumper Bubbles, players must try to collect balloons while avoiding Spike Balls that fall onto the screen from above; hitting a Spike Ball results in a player's bubble popping, which causes all their balloons to be released and for them to fall off-screen. They also appear in the minigame Tumble Temple, in which the players must avoid the Spike Balls and Giant Spiked Balls that roll through several pegs from above; hitting one results in that player being eliminated. Additionally, in Chain Event, players must slide down chains, flipping from one side to the other to avoid Spike Balls. The player must do the opposite of said objectives when playing Tumble Temple and Chain Event as a Reverse Minigame from a Bowser Space. The minigame Spike-n-Span also involves one player hitting the platform above to roll a Spike Ball in the direction of the other players. They are also in Spike Strike were the player must use a hammer to send the Spike Balls back at Spike.
Mario Party 10
Mario Party: The Top 100
Paper Mario series
Paper Mario: Sticker Star
Paper Mario: Color Splash
Once more, Spike Balls return in Paper Mario: Color Splash, where they are thrown by Spikes, but they have a different design from that of Paper Mario: Sticker Star, since the spikes are now white rather than brown. Ptooies also use Spike Balls in the game, and they can attack by shooting the Spike Ball at Mario.
Mario & Luigi series
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
In Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, the Elder Shrooboid, the boss of the Star Shrine, uses a Spike Ball in one of its attacks. One of the Bros. has to hit the Spike Ball with their hammer, or else it will slam into them and cost lots of HP. However, if one of the Bros. does hit the Spike Ball, it will fly off into the sky and the Elder Shrooboid will be vulnerable to jump attacks for a brief period of time. In the second phase, however, when the Spike Ball hits the UFO with the timer, the timer resets. The Shroid, an enemy from Toad Town, also uses a Spike Ball in one of its attacks. It consists of the Shroid calling a Shroob UFO into battle, which then gives the Shroid a Spike Ball. This ball will either have "M" or "L" printed in it, which indicates the brother at whom the ball will be thrown. However, if the Shroid is malfunctioning, its attacks are reversed (i.e. an "M"-printed ball will land on Luigi, and vice versa).
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
Spike Balls also appear as obstacles in Wario World. They appear in the various obstacle courses found inside Wooden and Steel Trapdoors, and are also used as weapons by several enemies and bosses in the game. Cractyls drop them instead of Bombs in later stages, and the Sandworm also spits Spike Balls at Wario as one of its attacks. In this game, they are colored dark blue and have long spikes of the same color.
Luigi's Mansion series
Luigi's Mansion 3
In Luigi's Mansion 3, Spike Balls appear in the final boss battle with King Boo. In one of his attacks, King Boo throw Spike Balls into the air that fall back onto the Rooftop, breaking and revealing multiple bombs that are about to explode. If a Spike Ball hits the player, they lose 20 HP.
Super Princess Peach
Ptooies and Glad Ptooies use Spike Balls to attack in Super Princess Peach. A Glad Ptooie will toss its Spike Ball up a few times, and then it will toss it over to another location and run over to it.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Spike Balls reappear in Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker once again being tossed by Spikes.
Yoshi's Woolly World / Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World
Mario Sports Superstars
In Mario Sports Superstars, Spike Balls appear as obstacles in boss battles.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
In Spooky Trails, a level from Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, many Spike Balls lie scattered across the Underwater Village, with one encountered earlier in Spooky Square. Although they are mainly used for decoration, Beep-0 remarks the one in Spooky Square, expressing that he hopes it stays put and does not cause more trouble than he and the other team members already have.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Spike Balls appear when Piranha Plant uses its neutral special Ptooie, based on the Spike Ball-blowing enemy of the same name. Piranha Plant blows a Spike Ball up and down and can launch it to the left or right.
Names in other languages