Although without faces or any other features that deem them as life-like characters in other Nitrome games, the mallet and ball are considered the main characters of the game Mallet Mania. The player must use the mallet to help guide the ball into the hole at the end of each level.
Seen in all levels, the mallet is a transparent figure outlined by solid white lines. Small numbers on top of it indicate the angle it is positioned at, and the amount of power it will use to hit the ball once the player sets the angle for it. As soon as the player aims the mallet and takes a shot, the mallet will disappear.
Typically, the mallet itself will not be affected by any pickups or tiles except when the ball lands on a magnetic spinner tile, in which case the player will lose control of the mallet for that turn. The mallet may require more power or a different angle to shoot the ball correctly when it hits a certain pickup, however.
The ball could also be considered the main character of Mallet Mania. It may have a different colour depending on whether players are playing in multiplayer mode or not or if the ball has hit a certain pickup. The ball is guided, with the help of the mallet, to the finish hole to help the player complete each course.
Certain pickups also affect the ball and depending on the pickup, may cause it to veer off course. If the ball falls off the course or gets squashed by a weight, it will spawn again in the last area it successfully stopped on. The ball is limited to the number of hits it can take as well, since these are counted as "shots" and the player only has a small number of them.