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New Super Mario Bros. U/Unused Objects

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This is a sub-page of New Super Mario Bros. U.

New Super Mario Bros. U has quite a few unused things, ranging from unused sprite settings to entirely unused sprites. Much of it consists of leftover sprites and settings from New Super Mario Bros. Wii... even some that were unused in that game, too!

Also, a lot of ice blocks. Seriously.

Unused sprite settings

Goomba

When nybble 8 of a Goomba sprite (0) is set to 1, it will be placed behind layer 1 (the tiles that Mario can collide with) and other sprites.

Paragoomba

The Paragoomba sprite (1) has the same unused setting as the Goomba.

Pipe Piranha Plants

Sprites 2-13 (all of the pipe Piranha Plants, pipe Venus Fire Traps and pipe Venus Ice Traps) have an unused setting (nybble 12) that crashes the game if set to 1. The reason for this is unknown.

Koopa Troopa

The Koopa Troopa sprite (19) has a few unused settings. One at nybble 5 will make it face right if set to 1, play an animation for coming out of an upward-facing pipe if set to 3, and play an animation for coming out of a downward-facing pipe if set to 4. (Other values are untested.) It will walk right instead of left if nybble 10 is set to 1. It will start in its shell for a few seconds upon loading if nybble 11 is set to 1.

The Giant Koopa Troopa (476) shares these unused settings.

Buzzy Beetle

The Buzzy Beetle sprite (22) has a setting, nybble 12, that changes how it spawns. 1 makes it upside-down, 2 spawns an empty shell instead, and 3 spawns an upside-down empty shell. 2 and 3 are unused. This is a leftover setting from New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

The Giant Buzzy Beetle (606) shares these unused settings.

Spiny

ouch

The Spiny sprite (23) has the same unused setting as the Buzzy Beetle. Additionally, sprite 24 (unused) is an upside-down Spiny.

Arrow Signboard

The arrow signboard sprite (32) has an unused movement capability: nybbles 21 and 22 can be used to connect it to a bolt controller.

"?" Block

The sprite for "?" blocks (59) has a rather unusual unused setting. When nybbles 9 and 10 are both set to 1, the "?" block will be placed behind tiles and other sprites, and cannot be hit by Mario by any normal means.

Coin

When nybble 19 of a coin sprite (65) is set to F, it will drop to the ground upon spawn, as if spawned by an enemy killed by a fireball.

Huckit Crab

When nybble 11 of a Huckit Crab (74) is set to 0, it will hop backwards. This is leftover from New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

Lava

Lava (sprite 89) has a feature that causes giant waves to spawn, which is used in World 5-Castle (Iggy's Volcanic Castle). Despite this feature being used only once in the game, the sprite has many options to adjust the waves' behavior. Unfortunately for whoever took the time to program this flexibility, all of them are set to 0 in that stage, and are therefore unused!

Nybble Description
14 Causes the lava waves to bounce up and down.
15 Changes the speed at which the small waves seen on top of the giant waves animate.
16 Changes the height of the small waves seen on top of the giant waves.
17 Changes the width of the giant waves.
18 Changes the speed of the giant waves.
19 Changes the height of the giant waves.

Enemy Generator for Pipes

The sprite that causes other sprites to come out of pipes (98) can spawn Goombrats if nybble 11 is set to 2 or Red Koopa Troopas if it's set to 4.

Switches

Sprites 104 and 105 are the "?" switch and the P-switch, respectively. They retain an unused setting from New Super Mario Bros. Wii which is in turn a leftover from New Super Mario Bros.: setting the flag at nybble 11 will shift it half a tile to the right.

This was necessary in the DS game because sprite positions were constrained to the tile grid. That constraint was removed for New Super Mario Bros. Wii, though, making this setting useless there and here.

The flag at nybble 8 will shift it 1 tile upwards. This option is completely useless, and there is no obvious potential use for it.

Thwomps

The Thwomp (sprite 135) and the Giant Thwomp (136) have two unused settings. When nybble 12 is set to 2, the Thwomp will fall as soon as it loads, no matter how far away the player is. Nybbles 10 and 11 can be used to specify a specific invisible region (also known as a "location") that the player must touch to cause the Thwomp to fall.

Cannon

When the flag at nybble 10 of the cannon sprite (176) is set, the cannon will rotate 90 degrees back and forth between firing. This is an unused leftover from New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

Moving Platforms

When nybble 7 of a moving platform sprite (vertical: 182, horizontal: 186) is set to 1, it will have a rocky look.

Giant Falling Icicle

The giant falling icicle sprite (184) has several leftover settings from New Super Mario Bros. Wii. When the flag at nybble 5 is set, the icicle will never fall. When the flag at nybble 11 is set, the icicle will only fall when a snake block passes beneath it. When the flag at nybble 12 is set, the icicle will tilt to the right after landing.

Fire Snake

When the flag at nybble 12 of a Fire Snake sprite (194) is set, it will load as a small, stationary fireball, and will attack the player normally when approached. This is yet another leftover from New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

Springboard

More leftovers from New Super Mario Bros. Wii!

The flag at nybble 5 causes the springboard (sprite 215) to always remember its position, and not return to its starting position if it goes offscreen. The flag at nybble 10 causes it to be placed behind other sprites.

Finally, a setting left over from New Super Mario Bros.: the flag at nybble 11 will shift the springboard half a tile to the right. This was necessary in the DS game because sprite positions were constrained to the tile grid. That constraint was removed for New Super Mario Bros. Wii, though, making this setting useless there and here.

Snake Block

clickclickclickclick
largerclicklargerclicklargerclick

Setting the flag at nybble 15 of the snake block (sprite 222) will cause it to be icy and slippery, like the one in New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

Foo

Setting the flag at nybble 12 of a Foo (sprite 229) will prevent it from blowing clouds. (It will still play the blowing animation and sound effects, but nothing will come out of its mouth.) This is very useless because it defeats this enemy's entire purpose. This is yet another leftover unused setting from New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

Muncher

brrrr

Setting the flag at nybble 12 of a Muncher (sprite 259) will cause it to be frozen in an ice cube. This is a leftover from New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

Rotating Burner

Value 0 of nybble 11 of the rotating burner (sprite 293) is unused. This value causes the flame to rotate back-and-forth from left to right, passing through an upward position.

Note Block

Setting the flag at nybble 13 of a note block (sprite 295) will cause it to contain an Acorn Mushroom.

Clampy

Nybble 12 of a Clampy (sprite 298) determines what it holds in its mouth. Value 0 (nothing) and value 4 (P-switch) are both unused.

"?" Block Containing Baby Yoshis

When nybble 12 of the "?" block that contains Baby Yoshis (sprite 380) is set to 0 or 1, it will contain a Bubble Baby Yoshi or Balloon Baby Yoshi, respectively. Only value 2, which causes it to contain a Glow Baby Yoshi, is used.

Giant Ice Block

le gasp, another ice block

When nybble 18 of the giant ice block used in Layer-Cake Desert-Ice Block (Piranha Plants on Ice) (sprite 393) is set to 1, it will be 1.8x its normal width. This causes it to look unnaturally stretched.

Spinning Star

Nybble 9 of the spinning stars from Frosted Glacier-1 (Spinning Star Sky) (sprite 395) controls their size. Value 2 is unused, which produces a spinning star larger than any seen in the game. (Higher values than 2 do not increase the size further.)

Line-Controlled Platform (535)

Nybble 7 of the line-controlled platform sprite (535) determines its style. When set to 4, it will look like a cloud!

Line-Controlled Platform (573)

Sprite 573 is another line-controlled platform. Nybbles 3, 4 and 13 can be used to cause it to only appear after a specific "event" is activated; unfortunately, this feature is bugged, as the platform will not move after appearing. When the flag at nybble 7 is set, it will not begin to move until the player stands on it. When the flag at nybble 9 is set, it will have a rocky appearance. The flag at nybble 11 causes it to be slippery. Nybble 16 can be used to increase the speed of the platform.

Unused Sprites and Sprite Features

There are a total of 151 unused sprites.

Left- and Right-Facing Pipe Venus Fire/Ice Traps

Sprites 8 and 9 are left-facing and right-facing pipe Venus Fire Traps, respectively, and 12 and 13 are left-facing and right-facing pipe Venus Ice Traps.

Upside-Down Spiny

look out, its gonna drop and kill ye

Sprite 24 is an unused upside-down Spiny. This is unusual because normally an upside-down version of a sprite is defined as a setting on that sprite, not a different sprite altogether. Furthermore, the normal Spiny already has an unused setting for this.

The Spiny will drop down and spin towards the player when approached.

Grrrol Duplicates

Sprites 33 and 58 are unused duplicates of the Grrrol, and sprite 34 is an unused duplicate of the Giant Grrrol. They seem to behave identically to the used Grrrols.

Random Event Controller

Sprite 39 can be used to enable a random event. This is a leftover from New Super Mario Bros. Wii... where it was also unused.

Porcupuffer Duplicate

Sprite 53 is just an unused Porcupuffer duplicate.

Moving Tiltable Land Blocks

tiltin' up in this level
more platforms. great

Sprites 80 and 81 look like a metal platform and an Acorn Plains land block, respectively. They each can be set to move back and forth in a straight line (nybble 6: 0 = left, 1 = right, 2 = up, 3 = down) (distance is nybble 15) (speed is nybble 16) with adjustable delays (nybble 13 is delay before moving, nybble 14 is delay before returning). The width and height can be set (nybbles 18 and 20, respectively), and the platforms can be tilted an adjustable amount (nybble 7; increments of 22.5 degrees counterclockwise).

Thin Fog

snoop dogg, please

Sprite 93 creates a thin, wispy fog effect. This is a leftover from New Super Mario Bros. Wii, where it was used in ghost houses.

Bill Blaster Turret Duplicate

Sprite 112 is a duplicate of the Bill Blaster turret.

Bubble Baby Yoshi

Sprite 143 is a Bubble Baby Yoshi. It's bugged and can't actually spit bubbles, but works fine otherwise.

Balloon Baby Yoshi

Hmmm...
To do:
Confirm this exists

A duplicate of Balloon Baby Yoshi exists. It works the same, but when it gets to the goal, it just gives a 1-UP and doesn't follow the player like what the Glowing Baby Yoshi does at default. It's possible it was intended for the Baby Yoshi Eggs, which are not in the final game.

Rising/Lowering Bill Blaster

Sprite 172 is the Rising and Lowering Bill Blaster, an unused leftover from New Super Mario Bros. Wii. The firing direction (nybble 7), movement speed (nybble 10) and heights (nybbles 11 and 12) can all be set. It can also be positioned upside-down, as well, using the flag at nybble 5.

Wind

Sprite 197 is what's left of the desert wind sprite from New Super Mario Bros. Wii. The graphics don't work (although they still exist in the game's files), and nothing gets pushed by the wind. If you stand next to a midway flag or a rope ladder while this is in a level, though, you can see them flutter periodically as if the wind was there.

Snow and Lava Effects

~let it snow, let it snow, let it snow~

Sprite 198 creates a snow effect, and Sprite 201 creates a rising lava ash effect. The Frosted Glacier and lava-related course backgrounds can spawn these effects automatically, so this sprite isn't needed.

Carryable Ice Block

how many ice blocks do they have in this game

Sprite 203 is an ice block you can pick up and carry around. The flag at nybble 10 will cause it to have a coin inside; however, the coin will be a bit glitchy if the player changes direction while holding it.

Floating "?" Block

just chillin on the water here, nothing much to see

Sprite 205 is another leftover from New Super Mario Bros. Wii: a "?" block that can float on water.

Brick Block with Switch

look at me, i'm a special block

Sprite 208 is a brick block with a "?" switch. Nothing really special; it still works.

Moving Ice Block Spawner

Sprite 226 is a moving ice block spawner, which can be set to spawn ice blocks moving in either direction (nybble 11). The size of the ice blocks can be changed with nybble 12.

Sprite 227 is similar. It's unclear what the difference is between the two.

Ice Block

Sprite 268 can be a 1x1 ice block, a 1x2 ice chunk with a bumpy bottom shape, or 1x1 ice block that doesn't glimmer. (Nybble 12 controls this.)

Brown Tower Block

This is a direct leftover from 1-Tower in New Super Mario Bros. Wii: a brown tower block that can move back and forth. It got a small improvement, though: it can be tilted at various angles now, using nybble 7!

Wooden Box Spawner

Sprite 339 is a wooden box spawner. It can only spawn the orange-and-yellow ones, though.

Rotating Line of Coins

Sprite 366 is a rotating line of coins. Not much is known about this sprite yet.

Goomba Duplicates

Sprites 437 and 438 are duplicates of the Goomba. The used Goomba is sprite 0.

Huge Floating Snowy Boxes

Sprite 444 creates floating snowy boxes like those seen in Frosted Glacier-Fliprus (Fliprus Lake), except far larger: at lease 4x larger than the screen size! The settings available match those of the used boxes.

"Purple" Ring

Sprite 470 is internally called the "Purple Ring", but is disappointingly just a duplicate of the Red Coin Ring.

Single Bowser Amp

Sprite 502 creates a single Bowser Amp. The used Bowser Amp sprites create multiple Amps each.

Falling Super Star

Sprite 507 causes a Super Star to fall from the top-right corner of the screen at a 45-degree angle when the player enters a given invisible location.

Rolling Ice Block

Sprite 539 is another ice block! But this one is the most interesting. It rolls back and forth. The size can be customized, as can the rolling distance and speed. Whenever a corner hits the ground, your controller will rumble. The slowest available speed is too fast to be useful for level design, and sends your controller into a rumble seizure.

Bouncy Mushroom Platform

Sprite 542 is a bouncy mushroom platform that can be moved with a movement controller. The color, thickness and length can all be adjusted.

Solid Pipes

Sprites 575-578 are pipes that face left, right, up and down, respectively. They differ from used pipes in that they actually create their own collisions. (All stationary pipes that can be found in the game have collisions created by invisible solid blocks, not the pipes themselves. None of the other New Super Mario Bros. games work that way. Surprise!)

Bull's-Eye Bill Blaster

Sprite 581 is a very interesting Bull's-Eye Bill Blaster. A setting at nybble 9 can cause the "homing" to beep like a time bomb and blink three times before exploding! The height can also be customized (nybble 11), and the blaster can be turned upside-down with nybble 5.

Searching Cheep Cheep

Sprite 592 is a green Searching Cheep Cheep that spawns when the player enters a given invisible location.

Useless / Non-functional Sprites

While there are many interesting unused sprites in this game some of them just don't work at all. Thanks, Nintendo.

Since all of the actor names are encoded in Shift-JIS, a possible translation has been given for each.

Sprite Number Name Translation Description
102 環境現象くん "Environmental Phenomenon" Does nothing.
134 泡発生管理君 "Foam Generation Controller" Does nothing.
177 回転砲台 "Rotating Cannon" Crashes the game if placed in a level.
178 回転砲台大 "Rotating Cannon" Crashes the game if placed in a level.
199 光るブロック "Glow Block" The game only uses Giant Glow Blocks. This one, which presumably would be the 1x1 version, crashes because it tries to load a nonexistent model called "block_light". This is probably a typo, since the Giant Glow Blocks use a model called "light_block"...
202 プロペラブロック "Propeller Block" Crashes because it tries to load a nonexistent "block_fly" model.
256 回転ブロック・キノコ "Rotating Block - Mushroom" New Super Mario Bros. Wii had a pink rotating mushroom block; this may have been that. It crashes now.
267 大甲羅 "Large Shell" This is most likely supposed to be the giant Koopa shell cave from New Super Mario Bros. Wii, but crashes because -- you guessed it -- the model is gone.
306 氷ブロック "Ice Block" Crashes the game if placed in a level.
310 燭台 "Candlestick" Presumably the ghost house baluster from New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Crashes due to a missing model.
312 線キノコブロック "Line Mushroom Block" Probably a mushroom block that moves on a line. Crashes due to a missing model.
314 氷塊 "Ice Floe" More ice. Crashes.
319 一定数乗ると動くリフト "'Fixed Number Riding to Move' Lift" Probably supposed to be some sort of 5-enemy-max platform, but it crashes.
345 リモコンシーソーリフト "Remote Seesaw Lift" Probably a tilt-controlled platform from the previous game. Crashes due to a missing model.
355 床回転(穴あき土管) "Rotating Floor (Hollow Pipe)" Supposed to be a Rolling Hill with a pipe, like in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Crashes due to a missing model.
358 ねじ回しで動く足場 "Screwdriver-Powered Scaffold" Probably supposed to be a platform that would move by spinning on a bolt. It crashes.
360 ねじ回しで動くワイヤー "Screwdrive-Powered Wire" Probably related to 358 above. Crashes.
376 親子オブジェ・子・城 "Parent and Child Objects - Child - Castle" Could be a castle platform of some sort. Crashes.
377 全当たりポリゴン・開閉 "All Per Polygon - Opening and Shutting" Crashes.
405 親子オブジェ・子・組み合わせ "Parent and Child Object - Child - Combination" Crashes.
436 グループ線キノコブロック "Group Line Mushroom Block" Probably a mushroom block that runs on lines. Crashes due to a missing model.
439 お化け屋敷の回る部屋 "Revolving Room for Haunted House" Crashes.
449 宝箱のカギ "Treasure Chest Key" Quite possibly the same unused key from New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Spawns nothing.
452 スロットチビヨッシー "Slot Baby Yoshi" Crashes.
479 親子オブジェ・子・警告 "Parent and Child Object - Child - Warning" Warning: it crashes.
521 ゴールキノコハウス描画 "Goal Mushroom House Drawing" Crashes.
522 浮き樽 "Floating Barrel" Supposed to be the floating barrel from New Super Mario Bros. Wii, but crashes.
529 クロスケー "Crowber" Crashes.
538 クッキー "Cookies" May have been the Yoshi cookie from New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Crashes.
551 マジックハンド・水中クッパJr.デモ用 "Magic Hand - Bowser Jr. in Water for Cutscene" Does nothing.
555 玉乗りリフト "Ball-Balancing Lift" Crashes.
556 チビヨッシー(泡)(スタッフロール) "Baby Yoshi (Bubble) (Staff Roll)" A Bubble Baby Yoshi for the credits stage. Crashes.
572 DV草花発生 "DV Flower Generator" "DV" in this game stands for "distant view", i.e. course backgrounds. It's unclear what this sprite would have done with backgrounds, though. It crashes.