In Super Mario World
In Super Mario World, ? Blocks contained coins and helpful power-ups for Mario. All you had to do was hit it from below, or use a shell on it. The following is a list of items you could get from it in SMW:
- Super Mushroom
- Fire Flower
- 1-Up Mushroom
- Stunned Koopa
- Yoshi Wings
- Directional Coins
The blocks with Koopa Shells were unused in the original SMW. Also, some blocks were invisible, and would be revealed either by hitting them from below or using a P-Switch, depending on the Block used. The 1-Up Mushroom could only come from invisible ? Blocks, or blocks containing Yoshi if you already have him. The Key, Yoshi Wings, and P-Balloon came in one block along with a Koopa Shell. It would give one of them depending on the X position the block was at.
Directional Coins were only used in a few levels, such as Donut Ghost House and Valley Ghost House. In the former, it was used just for extra coins, but in the latter, it was used to reach the secret exit.
In hacks, all the original blocks are used, but depending on the hack, they may be used in a different way. For example, it's become common to use Invisible ? Blocks revealed by a P-Switch as a maze. However, this can become annoying. Some people use the unused ? Blocks containing Koopa Shells as parts of a puzzle. All power-up-containing ? Blocks are generally used the same way as in the original Super Mario World- not too often, and just to keep you charged up enough, depending on the intended difficulty of the level. Using them too often tends to make a level too easy, so watch out!
The most common use of the Invisible ? Block that is revealed upon hitting it from below is to allow passage to a higher area intended to be secret, or to allow an exit path out of a pit. However, in Kaizo hacks, it is nothing more than the most annoying trap of all time, used at the end of ledges, right above the pit, so you will hit the block and fall to your death. Avoid this at all costs if you intend for your hack to be approved at Super Mario World Central.
- ? blocks are one of the six kinds of blocks in Super Mario World that can be duplicated if hit by a carriable sprite at the right angle.
- When a shell is spawned from object 35 (Map16 tile 125), the shell will not be visible and virtually non-existent. Koopa shells or Goombas will sometimes be destroyed by it, and both Baby Yoshi and adult Yoshi can eat it (in both cases, it will not be visible while being eaten. When Yoshi spits it out, however, it will be visible). In addition, running into the sides of the block while on Yoshi after spawning the shell will hurt him and knock you off (it does not hurt Mario normally, however).
- If a coin is placed directly above a ? Block, then the coin will be collected, but an invisible solid tile will be in its place. The way to fix this would be to make these hex edits:
- x11547 to [20 E2 FF]
- x181E2 to [A9 02 4C BA 91] (Keep in mind this area is unused ROM, and can be used to place the Ball 'n' Chain's tilemap info instead.)
- The six bouncing blocks (turn blocks, ? blocks, translucent blocks, note blocks, ON/OFF switches, and green star blocks) have a set of four slots for their data, which is cycled through when any block is hit. If a ? block uses one of these and the slots are cycled through fast enough to replace its slot while it's still being used, the ? block will not become a brown used block and instead remain a ? block, which can be hit again to get a second item from it. The same result happens with turn blocks and green star blocks.