The message block kinda uses the same reasoning, but mostly because I can't think of anything ninja-like that says, "I'm a speaker, bonk me from below." Maybe an opened scroll? Mmm, but at the same time I'd need to use a new exgfx slot since that's on sp2 instead of sp1 with the flower and fireballs, so I don't think it's worth it.
I do like the chest as a reward for this particular level. The challenge isn't in locating the chest, but finishing the sublevel. It's not a tremendously hard sublevel, but you do need to keep your powerups so there's not much room for error. I know I personally find it quite refreshing to be gifted a chest with a clapping ninja there to congratulate you after a hard day of powerup collecting.
If you still think I should make the changes just let me know. They shouldn't take very long, but I'm a little hesitant and prefer it as it is now for the reasons stated above.
Edit* Now that I made one, I think I'm going to change all the powerups to scrolls of different colors. Yellow for cape, red for the flower, and I guess blue for the mushroom since big Demo is blue... I'll play around with it. But that's a really nice touch. Thanks!
I don't think I need to post it again, but let me know if you're happy with the changes.
Edit 2* Greatest edit ever! Disregard pretty much all of that. I tried changing the fireblocks anyway. I do see your point that since they're shurikens now, the fireblocks make very little sense. It took me changing all the powerups to realize that even though it might be a little confusing, it's still a really good idea.
It's not great, but I made some quick bamboo that looks like it might be something to throw shurikens at.