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Skewers (also known as Spike Pillars) are grey, blue, or green pillars with spikes on them. First appearing in Super Mario World, they can either power-down Mario or crush him for an instant life loss. In later titles, however, the Skewers can only power-down Mario.
Originally appearing as light grey stone pillars in fortresses and castles, the Skewers are all vertical in Super Mario World, moving up and down blocking the path. There are usually several of them in a row which have to be timed. There were also some yellow miniature ones without spikes (resembling pencils) in Chocolate Fortress and #7 Larry's Castle. The regular Skewers from the game also appeared in the Super Mario World cartoon, in the episode Mama Luigi.
The Skewers returned (including some horizontal ones now) in New Super Mario Bros. (now metallic military green with yellow spikes) and New Super Mario Bros. Wii (steel grey with gold spikes, and referred to as "pistons" in the Prima game guide), the latter of which also features a very long and extremely fast Skewer that runs along the floor for the length of a long room in World 4-Castle, and very large vertical ones in World 6-Tower and World 7-Castle. The sound they make is that of a large sliding gate slamming.
In New Super Mario Bros. 2, Skewers make a reappearance, but unlike past New Super Mario Bros. installments, they are blue, and they appear only in one level, World 3-Tower, which is water-filled course, and only horizontal Skewers are featured.
Skewers also appear in New Super Mario Bros. U, where they are found only in Giant Skewer Tower. All the Skewers are horizontal and are once again dark grey with gold spikes as in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and their lengths vary. The Skewers also appear in the New Super Luigi U level, Shish-Kebab Tower, but they move at faster rates than in New Super Mario Bros. U.
In Wario Land: Shake It!, Skewers are featured only in underwater levels. If Wario inside his Subwarine comes in contact with these, the Subwarine will take damage reducing Wario's heart health to half.
Skewers from New Super Mario Bros. Wii make a return in the Nintendo 3DS game, Super Mario 3D Land, marking their first appearance in a 3D Mario game; they are no longer in castles, but are on airships instead. They cannot be destroyed, even while invincible; as Statue Mario or Invincible Mario (including White Tanooki Mario), they are like walls if run into with these powers.
Skewers from Super Mario 3D Land will appear in a stage based on a level from said game in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, where they rise from the water and can destroy part of the stage's platforms (which resemble those of World 1-4 from Super Mario 3D Land), as well as hitting any players who touch them.
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