Ball 'n' Chain

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Ball 'n' Chain

Sprite number(s)



Normal sprite

Graphics file(s)

GFX04 (SP3)



Ball 'n' Chains are large spiked balls which are attached to a fixed point via two chain links. They slowly swing around in circles, much like SMB1's firebars and SMB3's Roto-discs. Mario will take damage if he touches the spiked ball, but he can pass through the chain links safely. Mario can Spin Jump to safely bounce off of a Ball 'n' Chain. Mario's standard attacks will not damage them, but he can destroy them with a Star.

Hacking information

Ball 'n' Chains are sprite 9E and will rotate clockwise or counter-clockwise depending on their x position. They use grey palette 9 and their graphics will not show up correctly unless the castle sprite set is used. (SP3=04)

Ball 'n' Chains eat up a large amount of memory and pieces of them have a tendency to disappear if too many sprites are in the area. It is generally a good idea to set the sprite memory setting to 0E when Ball 'n' Chains are used.

Ball 'n' Chains are not compatible with Yoshi. He can pass through the spiked ball unharmed, but will run away if he touches the center point around which the Ball 'n' Chain rotates.

Ball 'n' Chains can make small Mario invisible if he is behind a climbing net and there are too many other sprites around. It can also give the bottom half of Mario a random tilemap, such as a block or a star.

If the Ball 'n' Chain is destroyed by a star it's graphics will glitch giving and upside down yellow Bony Beetle, however, this can be fixed with Tweaker by ticking "Disapear in a cloud of smoke."

Related ROM Addresses

  • 0x15A00 [EA EA EA EA] Ball 'n' Chain spiked ball tilemap (Changing this will freeze the game because the tilemap doubles as code. You need to repoint the graphics in order to change this)
  • 0x15A2C [00 D8] Pointer for Ball 'n' Chain's graphics (change this to E2 FF in order to move the location of Ball 'n' Chain's tilemap to address 181E2)
  • 0x181E2 [FF FF FF FF] If this is four FF's, it is a block of free space. You can put Ball 'n' Chain's tilemap information here if you need to change it.
  • 0x159A4 [E8] Tile used by Ball 'n' Chain's chain link
  • 0x159BF [33] Palette of chain link (also affects rotating grey platform's link)
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