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Spiked Balls are black metal balls with silver or white spikes which first appeared in Super Mario Bros. 3. They were originally spat out and thrown by Spikes, but can later be found independently. They mainly appear in castle levels, where they roll around and destroy other obstacles. Spinners are a variant of Spiked Balls, which hang from chains and swing in various motions. Stone Spiked Balls are spat out by Stone Spikes instead of the metal balls, which have the same effect. Another form of Spiked Ball is the Giant Spiked Ball, which is a larger version of the Spiked Ball. It has similar features, but causes the destruction on a larger scale. Spiked balls can usually be defeated with Invincible Mario, however in some games the use of the Star only prevents damage to Mario.
Super Mario series
Super Mario Bros. 3
Spiked 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 Spiked Ball. The Spiked Balls can be thrown either left or right by the Spikes. Ptooies blow Spiked Balls into the air to attack the player.
Super Mario Land
Spinners first appeared in the fortress levels of Super Mario Land, as well as regular Spiked Balls.
Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
Spiked Balls first appear independently in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, meaning that they are able to roll around without Spikes throwing them, and have different movement and effects. Large metallic Spiked Balls appear to be floating in the final level, Mario's castle, which is taken up by Wario.
Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3
Spiked Balls appear again in Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, where they are preponderant in the Parsley Woods. This game marks the first time Spiked Balls are seen rolling towards the player. They plummet from the trees' thicket at set intervals before rolling along the ground, though one Spiked Ball falls straight down and disappears off-screen. In this game, Spiked Balls stop immediately when they hit a wall.
New Super Mario Bros.
A Giant Spiked Ball is a larger version of the Spiked Ball also found in New Super Mario Bros. 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 Spiked Balls, as well as introducing the Stone Spike to throw stone Spiked Balls. In this game, Spiked 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.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
In New Super Mario Bros. 2, both Spiked Balls and Giant Spiked Balls reappear. A pair of very large Spiked Balls appear in the World Mushroom Castle. Icy Spiked Balls appear in World 4-1. Spiked Balls can be found in World Mushroom-A, and a Giant Spiked Ball helps Mario obtain a Star Coin. Spiked Balls also feature in the battle against Morton Koopa Jr., where Morton fires them from his wand to attack Mario/Luigi.
Super Mario 3D Land
Both Spiked 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. U
New Super Mario Bros. U sees the return of both Spikes and Stone Spikes with Spiked Balls. They can now throw the Spiked Balls straight down rather than just left or right as they did in previous games. Regular Spiked Balls alone are replaced by Grrrols. Giant Spinners also appear in the game.
Mario Party series
Mario Party 4
Mario Party 9
Spiked Balls appear in several minigames in Mario Party 9. In the minigame Bumper Bubbles, players must try to collect balloons while avoiding Spiked Balls that fall onto the screen from above; hitting a Spiked 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 Spiked 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 Spiked Balls. The minigame Spike-n-Span also involves one player hitting the platform above to roll a Spiked Ball in the direction of the other players. They're also in Spike Strike were the player must use a hammer to send the Spiked Balls back at Spike.
Mario Party 10
Paper Mario series
Paper Mario: Sticker Star
Paper Mario: Color Splash
Once more, Spiked 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 Spiked Balls in the game, and they can attack by shooting the Spiked 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 Spiked Ball in one of its attacks. One of the Bros. has to hit the Spiked 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 Spiked Ball, it will fly off into the sky and the Elder Shrooboid will be vulnerable to jump attacks for a brief period of time.
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
Spiked 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 SandWorm also spits Spiked Balls at Wario as one of its attacks. In this game, they are colored dark blue and have long spikes of the same color.
Super Princess Peach
Ptooies and Glad Ptooies use Spiked Balls to attack in Super Princess Peach. A Glad Ptooie will toss its Spiked Ball up a few times, and then it will toss it over to another location and run over to it.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Spiked Balls reappear in Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker once again being tossed by Spikes.
Yoshi's Woolly World / Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World
Super Mario Run
In Super Mario Run, Spikes throw Spikes 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.
Mario Sports Superstars
In Mario Sports Superstars, Spiked Balls appears as obstacles in boss battles.