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A Warp Cannon is a cannon in New Super Mario Bros., New Super Mario Bros. Wii and New Super Mario Bros. 2 that allows the player to go to a different world. It serves the same purposes as the Warp Zones from previous games, but uses a cannon that is entered like a Warp Pipe. It leads the player to a pre-selected world that is usually several worlds in advance of where the Warp Cannon is found. Cannons could be unlocked by entering certain levels or Ghost Houses and finding the secret exit, marked by a Red Flagpole. These cannons do not appear in New Super Mario Bros. U or New Super Luigi U as they are replaced by shortcuts on the overworld that lead to the new world when a secret exit is found.
Super Mario series
New Super Mario Bros.
In New Super Mario Bros., secret exits in levels World 1-, World 2-A, World 3-, World 4-, and World 5- lead to Warp Cannons which launch Mario or Luigi to a later world (the first two to World 5, then 6, 7, and 8, respectively).
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Warp Cannons appear exactly like in New Super Mario Bros., but they can be unlocked via secret exit in the following levels: World 1-3 and World 2-6 leads to World 5, World 3- and World 4- to World 6, World 5- and World 6-6 to World 8.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
In New Super Mario Bros. 2, Warp Cannons are blue, and when they are entered, a countdown appears. When the countdown reaches 1, Mario or Luigi is shot out into a nighttime level with a Super Mario Bros. 3 end-of-level-style background. Mario/ Luigi constantly dash in these levels, even if the buttons aren't pressed. They usually contain common enemies in the cannon's 'home' world; at the end of each one, a sign appears pointing right, at which Mario/Luigi jumps out of the level. Afterwards, the player ends up in another world. There is a Red Coin challenge in each cannon stage, which yields a Gold Flower in the spare item slot upon completion. Unlike most other stages, Assist Blocks will never appear. The levels where they are unlocked are the following: World 1- to World Mushroom, World 3- or World Mushroom-B to World Flower and World Flower-A to World 6.
Mario Sports Mix
These cannons also make an appearance in Fortune Street, on the Yoshi's Island, Delfino Plaza, and Bowser's Castle boards. In this game, they are used to blast the player to a square occupied by another character. The square is chosen by the player.