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It has been requested that more images be uploaded for this article. Remove this notice only after the additional image(s) have been added. Specifics: Yoshi series

"Ball 'N' Chain" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Ball & Chain.
"Ball and Chain" redirects here. For information about the object from Yoshi Topsy-Turvy, see Ball and Chain (Yoshi Topsy-Turvy).
A Spinner from New Super Mario Bros. Wii
A Ball 'N' Chain in New Super Mario Bros. Wii
First appearance Super Mario World (1990)
Latest appearance New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe (2019)
Variant of Spike Ball
Tekkyū Dosun

A Spinner,[1][2] originally known as a Ball 'N' Chain[3][4] (also spelled Ball 'N Chain,[5] Ball 'n' Chain,[6] or Ball and Chain[7]), is a spiked ball on a chain first appearing in Super Mario World. Spinners are usually found in castles and similar environments and are often indestructible. Their behavior varies depending on the game, switching between spinning around in a circular motion and swinging repetitively in a pendulum motion. The chain also changes, with most games allowing Mario to safely pass through it unharmed.


Super Mario series[edit]

Super Mario World[edit]

A Ball 'N' Chain from Super Mario World
Defeated Ball 'N' Chain
A Ball 'N' Chain from Mario Character Encyclopedia: Perfect Edition

Ball 'N' Chains first appear in Super Mario World, in castles and fortresses. They continuously rotate from a Gray Block. Using a Spin Jump will allow Mario/Luigi to harmlessly bounce off the spiked ball. The only way this obstacle can be defeated is by using a Super Star, but its sprite will change into a defeated Bony Beetle, as it was never intended to be destroyed.

New Super Mario Bros.[edit]

Rotation-style Ball 'N' Chains reappear in New Super Mario Bros. They only appear in World 7-A Castle icon from the Nintendo DS game, New Super Mario Bros... The blocks are still there, and one even has a Star Coin. Aesthetically, they spin wildly on the end of the chain as well as rotating on the block; however, this does not affect their attack.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii[edit]

Rotation-style Ball 'N' Chains reappear in New Super Mario Bros. Wii once, in World 3-NSMBW Tower Icon.png and in a secret area of World 4-Castle Icon.png.

Super Mario 3D Land[edit]

A Swing Spike in Super Mario 3D Land

In Super Mario 3D Land, Ball 'N' Chains (known here as Swing Spikes[8]) appear in purple with yellow spikes and chain. Like some earlier appearances, they are not linked to shackles. Instead of performing complete rotations, they only make pendulum movements. They can be destroyed by making contact with them as Invincible Mario, White Tanooki Mario, or Statue Mario. The first level they appear in is World 1-2.

New Super Mario Bros. U / New Super Luigi U / New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe[edit]

A Spinner in New Super Luigi U

In New Super Mario Bros. U, New Super Luigi U and New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, they appear under the current name Spinner, which is a retranslation of the original Japanese name. Regular and giant versions appear, once again swinging in a pendulum-like manner. These Spinners cannot be avoided by passing through the chains, as they have been spiked like the iteration from the Yoshi's Island series. Mario can pass through Spinners while under the effects of a Super Star, though he cannot destroy them.

Super Mario World television series[edit]

A Ball 'N' Chain as it appears in the show

A Ball 'N' Chain makes a brief appearance in the Super Mario World animated series episode "Send in the Clown". Mario, while traveling through Neon Castle, narrowly avoids being hit by a Ball 'N' Chain that drops from the ceiling as he traverses over some lava.

Yoshi franchise[edit]

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island[edit]

Rotation-style Ball 'N' Chains appear in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. They are colored orange instead of black, and usually found in forts. Their chains are replaced by spiked bars, some of which are double-sided. Hacking shows that they can by destroyed by Superstar Mario.[9] They, along with similar objects such as Tekkyū Dosun, are operated by certain Boo Guys.

Yoshi's Story[edit]

Ball 'N' Chains appear in Yoshi's Story, where they swing in a manner similar to pendulums for the first time. Unlike Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, their chains are harmless. They are found alongside Tekkyū Dosun-like iron balls, which share the same graphics. Both appear in the stages The Tall Tower and Magma Castle.

Yoshi's Island DS[edit]

Ball 'N' Chains, known as Spinning Spikes,[10] reappear in Yoshi's Island DS. They act they do in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, except they are operated by background Shy Guys.

Yoshi's New Island[edit]

A Spinner in Yoshi's New Island

Spinners reappear in Yoshi's New Island. Their behavior remains unchanged, except they operate automatically instead of manually.

Yoshi's Woolly World / Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World[edit]

Spinners also appear in Yoshi's Woolly World and Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World. This time, they look closer to their New Super Mario Bros. U redesign, but retain their fully-rotating behavior from the Yoshi's Island series.

Super Princess Peach[edit]

Ball 'N' Chains in Super Princess Peach

In Super Princess Peach, pendulum-style Ball 'N' Chains appear in Bowser's Villa, where they swing back and forth between the background and foreground. The chains resemble their appearance in Super Mario World, but the spiked balls are green, having a resemblance to Bowser's Shell.

Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time[edit]

Motionless Ball 'N' Chains make a minor reappearance in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, where they are seen hanging from the ceiling as decorations in Bowser's Castle.

Mario Kart 8 / Mario Kart 8 Deluxe[edit]

A Spinner in Mario Kart 8's Bowser's Castle

In Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, a single Spinner appears as an obstacle in Bowser's Castle. The obstacle acts virtually the same as the pendulums in Tick-Tock Clock, except that the player will spin out upon hitting it. The Spinner will move faster during the final lap of the race. Unlike in previous games, the spikes on the ball appear to be blunt, similarly to Thwomps.

Mario Party 10[edit]

Pendulum-style Spinners appear in Mario Party 10 in the minigame Spiked Ball Scramble, where they hang from the ceiling and swing across the path. They can be encountered in a standard and a larger size, and take out players in one hit.


Perfect Ban Mario Character Daijiten[edit]

種族 メカ族
性格 まじめ
登場ゲーム ワールド

Tribe: Mecha clan
Disposition: Serious
Game appearances: World
An obstacle that can only be avoided
As its name suggests, it is an iron ball that goes around and around. The only way to get past them is to avoid them. The chain part is safe to touch, so take your time at the base of the chain to get through.


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese グルグル[12]
Guru Guru
Guru Guru Bā
Kaiten Tekkyū
Furiko no Tekkyū
Furiko Tekkyū
Japanese onomatopoeia for spinning; shared with Flipper

Spinning Bar (Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island and Yoshi's New Island); alternate spelling shared with Guruguru bar

Spin Iron Ball (Yoshi's Island DS)

Pendulum's Iron Ball (Super Mario 3D Land)

Pendulum Iron Ball (New Super Luigi U)
Chinese 转链球[18]
Zhuàn Liànqiú
Spinning Chained Ball
Dutch Stekelbal Prickle Ball
French (NOA) Pendule Pendulum
German Kettenkugel Chain Ball
Italian Mazzapendolo Portmanteau of mazza (bat) and pendolo (pendulum)
Korean 시계추 철구
Sigyechu Cheolgu
Pendulum Iron Ball
Spanish Gigamaza Gigamace


  1. ^ Castle Crawl in-game video description
  2. ^ Stratton, Steve (November 18, 2012). New Super Mario Bros. U PRIMA Official Game Guide. Page 129.
  3. ^ Nintendo Mario Mania Player's Guide. Page 52.
  4. ^ Nintendo Power volume 28, pages 15 and 20.
  5. ^ Nintendo Mario Mania Player's Guide. Pages 75, 90, 100, 144.
  6. ^ Nintendo Power Advance V.4, pages 33, 49, 82.
  7. ^ Musa, Alexander. Mario Kart 8 PRIMA Official Game Guide. Page 130. "Ball and Chain: The ball and chain swings over gaps. If you hit the ball straight on, you’ll be brought to a halt!"
  8. ^ Super Mario 3D Land internal filename (SwingSpike)
  9. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnb0ZVs_tFw&t=4m15s
  10. ^ Black, Fletcher. Yoshi's Island DS PRIMA Official Game Guide. Page 132. "Spinning Spikes"
  11. ^ Shogakukan. 1994.「パーフェクト版 マリオキャラクター大事典」 (Perfect Ban Mario Character Daijiten), page 74.
  12. ^ Shogakukan. 2015. Super Mario Bros. Hyakka: Nintendo Kōshiki Guidebook, pages 60, 118, 150, 215.
  13. ^ 「任天堂公式ガイドブック スーパーマリオ★ヨッシーアイランド」 (Nintendo Kōshiki Guidebook – Super Mario: Yossy Island), page 28.
  14. ^ 「任天堂公式ガイドブック ヨッシー New アイランド」 (Nintendo Kōshiki Guidebook – Yoshi's New Island), page 44.
  15. ^ 「任天堂公式ガイドブック ヨッシーアイランドDS」 (Nintendo Kōshiki Guidebook – Yoshi's Island DS), page 34.
  16. ^ Shogakukan. 2015. Super Mario Bros. Hyakka: Nintendo Kōshiki Guidebook, Super Mario 3D Land section, page 186.
  17. ^ Impossible Pendulums
  18. ^ 无敌阿尔宙斯 (August 28, 2013). 神游 超级马力欧世界 敌人官译. Baidu Tieba. Retrieved February 2, 2017.