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The move was first seen in Super Mario Bros. where either Mario or Luigi were capable of kicking Koopa Shells at their opponents or obstacles. The kicking of Koopa Shells later returns in most future Super Mario games. The later games, such as Super Mario Bros. 3, also introduced the concept of kicking other objects aside from Koopa Shells in order to gain other effects.
Mario also kicks to end an attack combo in Super Mario 64 and Super Mario 64 DS; he can also do so in midair, to attack enemies and stall his fall (both Luigi and Wario were also capable of performing kicks in the latter game).
In Wario's Woods, kicking is one of Toad's signature abilities in the game. He can kick aside the various enemies in the game to line them up with each other and bombs, which he can also kick if they are set on the ground.
The move also appears in the Mario Party series in some minigames, working as it did in Super Mario 64.
The Mario Strikers games mainly rely on this move, as the games are based off of soccer, a kick-centric real world sport. The Super Strike and Mega Strike, respectively, are the most powerful kicks in the two games.
In the Super Smash Bros. series, almost all the playable characters are capable of using kicks as a form of attack. Midair kicks were also made possible for some characters. Some kicks are also special moves, like Captain Falcon's Falcon Kick and Ganondorf's Wizard's Foot.
In the Super Mario Galaxy games, Mario can also kick enemies away after stunning them, similar to Mario Bros. A move called the Double Kick also appears, which gets its name because of how Mario does a kick with both legs while doing the move.