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"Ball 'n' Chain" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Ball & Chain.
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A Spinner in New Super Mario Bros. Wii
First appearance Super Mario World (1990)
Latest appearance Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo Switch) (2017)
Related species
Tekkyū Dosun

A Spinner[1][2], originally known as Ball 'n' Chain and also spelled Ball and Chain,[3] is a spiked ball on a chain first appearing in Super Mario World. They are usually found in castles, and are indestructible. In most games, Mario can safely pass through the chain unharmed.


Super Mario series[edit]

Super Mario World[edit]

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A Ball 'n' Chain from Mario Character Encyclopedia: Perfect Edition

Spinners, known as Ball 'n' Chains, first appear in Super Mario World, in castles and fortresses. Also, using a Spin Jump will allow Mario/Luigi to harmlessly bounce off the spiked ball. The only way this obstacle can be defeated is using a Star, but its sprite will change into a defeated Bony Beetle, as it was never programmed to be destroyed.

New Super Mario Bros.[edit]

Spinners reappear in New Super Mario Bros.. These obstacles are very rare, with their only appearance in World 7-Castle NSMB.png. The blocks are still there, and one even has a Star Coin. As an added feature, they rotate wildly on the end of the chain as well as spinning on the block; however, this does not affect their attack.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii[edit]

Spinners reappear in New Super Mario Bros. Wii once, in World 3-Fort Icon.png and in a secret area of World 4-Castle Icon.png.

Super Mario 3D Land[edit]

A Spinner appearance in Super Mario 3D Land

In Super Mario 3D Land, Spinners appear in purple with yellow spikes and chain. This time, they are not linked to shackles, like in Super Mario World. Instead of spinning, they only make pendulum movements. They can be destroyed by making contact with them as Statue Mario. The first level they appear in is World 1-2.

New Super Mario Bros. U[edit]

In New Super Mario Bros. U, regular and giant Spinners appear, swinging in a pendulum-like manner as they do in Super Princess Peach and Super Mario 3D Land. Unlike other iterations, however, these Spinners cannot be avoided by passing through the chains, as they have been spiked too. 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 Spinner as it appears in the show

A Spinner 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 Spinner that drops from the ceiling as he traverses over some lava.

Yoshi series[edit]

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

Spinners appear in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. They are colored orange instead of black, and they are usually found in fortresses, and have spikes on their chains. Another type, called Tekkyū Dosun, also appears. They are operated by Boo Guys, and have spikeless chains. Hacking shows that Superstar Mario could eliminate one.[4]

Yoshi's Story[edit]

Spinners reappear in Yoshi's Story where they either swing in a manner similar to pendulums or quickly drop down to the floor and then slowly rise again. They only appear in the levels The Tall Tower and Magma Castle.

Yoshi's Island DS[edit]

Spinners reappear in Yoshi's Island DS. Their behavior remains unchanged.

Yoshi's New Island[edit]

Spinners reappear in Yoshi's New Island. Their behavior remains unchanged.

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 are colored black instead of red. Their behavior remains unchanged.

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.

Mario Party 10[edit]

Spinners reappear 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.

Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time[edit]

Spinners make a minor appearance in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time only found in Bowser's Castle in the background.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese グルグル[5]
From guruguru, a Japanese onomatopoeia of spinning round and round.
Spanish Gigamaza Gigamace
French (NOA) Pendule Pendulum
Italian Mazzapendolo Batpendulum (from mazza (bat) and pendolo (pendulum))
Chinese 转链球[6]
Zhuàn Liànqiú
Spinning Chained Ball


  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. ^ Epstein, Joe, Garitt Rocha, and Alexander Musa. (2017) Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Official Guide (from Prima Games). Page 162.
  4. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnb0ZVs_tFw&feature=youtu.be&t=4m15s
  5. ^ Shogakukan. 2015. Sūpā Mario Burazāzu Hyakka: Nintendō Kōshiki Gaido Bukku, New Super Mario Bros. section
  6. ^ 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.