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The Axe is an object found throughout the Super Mario series, mostly appearing at the end of castle levels.

Super Mario series

Super Mario Bros.

The axe first appears in Super Mario Bros.. In this game, it appears at the end of the castle levels, in order to defeat the Fake Bowser (or the real Bowser who is at the last castle), Mario/Luigi must either hits fireballs at him if they have a Fire Flower. Or they must jump over Bowser/Fake Bowser and hit the axe. Then the bridge collapses and Bowser/Fake Bowser falls into the lava.

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels

In Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, the axe has the same role as in Super Mario Bros..

Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3

New Super Mario Bros. U / New Super Luigi U / New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe

In New Super Mario Bros. U (as well as its remake and New Super Luigi U), the axe appears at the end of the castle in World 8. When the switch is pressed, the axe hits the bridge, breaking it and Bowser falls into the pit.

Super Mario Maker / Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS / Super Mario Maker 2

In Super Mario Maker (as well as Super Mario Maker 3DS and Super Mario Maker 2), the axe replaces the goal in castle-themed levels. When the axe is hit by the player, the axe hits the bridge which breaks it. Then any enemy on the bridge falls into the lava.

Super Mario Run

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga / Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions