Video Game / Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games
The crossover that made Hell freeze over.

"The mustachioed one led the mission to rescue the princess. The one in blue may wish to see the crown jewels. He's an avid ring collector. And he may suddenly curl into a ball. Perfectly normal."
Commercial for Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games

The 16-bit era of the early 1990s was one of the bitterest of the Console Wars, and the Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog series were two of the strongest weapons for the Fanboys. Thus when Sega left the hardware business, it was a huge shock that they also announced they were going third party, and thus their games would be on Nintendo systems in addition to the others.

A crossover was the next logical step. Then Sega got the license for the Olympic Games, Nintendo jumped in to get a piece of the tasty, tasty, athletic action, and that was where they decided the first crossover would be, so the Loads and Loads of Characters of the respective series were slapped together to compete in various events.

The games in the series:
  • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Beijing 2008) (DS and Wii)
  • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (Vancouver 2010) (DS and Wii)
  • Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (3DS and Wii)
  • Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Winter Games (Wii U)
  • Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Arcade, Wii U and 3DS)

See also the Super Smash Bros. series, another crossover involving both Mario and Sonic; and amiibo, Nintendo's toyline which Rio 2016 supports.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Acrofatic: Wario and Dr. Eggman, the former being nothing new but the latter being something rarely ever seen in his home series.
  • Anti-Poop Socking: The first two games will remind you to take a break, but the reminders happen more often than the breaks they recommend.
  • Arc Symbol: In Sochi 2014, a diamond.
  • The Artifact: Blaze's status as an all-round character. Back in the first game, there was supposed to be an equal balance of Mario and Sonic characters for each type, hence Blaze being categorised as all-round instead of speed. But despite the second game introducing new characters that unbalanced the list, Blaze remains all-round.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Urn in London 2012 3DS is the cause of the Phantasmal Fog.
  • Ascended Meme: This whole series qualifies as one. Before this franchise was even conceived to be a thing, there have been hundreds if not thousands of Super Mario Bros/Sonic crossover fan works flooding around the internet in the 2000's. Either the two universes teaming up or just duking it out instead. That is not even mentioning the famous Console Wars from The '90s.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: In the story modes of the handheld titles, it's the two residential villains, Dr. Eggman and Bowser teaming up to wreak havoc For the Evulz.
  • The Cameo: Various characters appear as Mii costumes. Special note goes to the Koopalings in the London 2012 iteration.
  • Character Customization: The Mii's stats can be altered with different costumes starting from the second game.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: Team Heroes in the handheld titles. Mario is Red, Luigi is Green, Sonic is Blue, and finally Tails is Yellow.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Cool Horse: You get to ride 'em in the London 2012 and Rio 2016 installments. You also get to make awesome Horse Jumps in the Dream Equestrian event in London 2012.
  • Crossover: A no-brainer crossover, but not one anyone expected.
  • Dance Party Ending: Rio 2016, naturally what with Carnivale.
  • Darker and Edgier: Done tongue-in-cheek with the Rio 2016 game art. Prior M&S games usually have the main characters smiling and enjoying themselves while partaking in Olympic events. In Rio 2016, all the characters have a new sense of competitive intensity, looking angry, and the titular mascots, looking like best friends on the box arts in games prior, are now butting heads, as if they remember the old console wars. The happy-go-lucky world of M&S Olympics has definitely gone hardcore this time around.
    • The "Road to Rio" story mode from the 3DS version is definitely a bit darker. The plot involves Mario's and Sonic's medals being stolen from the Hall of Medals and rumors spreading around about both Mario's and Sonic's gyms fighting, with the locals showing confusion with how the two gyms are suddenly not getting along (and some of the rumors and the accusations that come from them are pretty nasty). Though, only the fanboys in costumes seem to be the ones really fighting ... but it turns out they're being brainwashed to do the dirty work for Bowser and Dr. Eggman.
  • Discontinuity Nod:
  • Divide and Conquer: Bowser and Dr. Eggman's master plan in Rio 2016's Road To Rio mode. To use the suit fanboys to lure the two masoct heroes away with tricks and crimes, and manipulate the other characters to turn both teams against each other, so they can take over the Olympics unopposed.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first entry in the series is missing a few things that are constantly present in the other entries.
    • Donkey Kong, Silver, Bowser Jr., and Metal Sonic as playable characters
    • Runblebee as the announcer
    • The Dream Events taking place in Mario & Sonic locales
    • In the first game, the girls wear their standard athletic outfits for swimming and gymnastics. They would not be given swimsuits/leotards until the London installment.
  • Flunky Boss: Dry Bowser.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In the "Supporting Characters quiz" in London Party, one of the questions asks what Jet the Hawk's nickname is. One of the choices is "Hound of Hell".
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: And Dr. Eggman. And later Bowser Jr. and Metal Sonic, and eventually, Zavok, Zazz, Eggman Nega, and four of the seven Koopalings.
  • Golden Super Mode: Using a Mario or Sonic amiibo in Rio 2016 lets you wear a Gold Mario or Super Sonic Suit that are Purposefully Overpowered.
  • Guest Fighter: Rio 2016 features a number of guest characters that all only appear in a single event, such as Zavok being exclusive to Boxing.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: The bosses start off friendly before the fight, and then they go back, with the exceptions of Eggman Nega and Dry Bowser, who simply vanish.
  • Irony: The fifth game, Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, wasn't released in Brazil due to Nintendo pulling out of the Brazilian market the previous year as a result of excessive taxation (Brazil has high tariffs on products not produced in the country in order to stimulate local growth).
  • It Will Never Catch On: Sega hoped both versions of the first game would sell 4 million copies combined. They got laughed at by the gaming press and on Message Boards. To date, both versions of the first game have sold more than that each. In fact, the Wii version is currently the highest selling Sonic game of all time (second best if you count Super Smash Bros.. Brawl), and the second game is also a hit, with the Wii version selling just over 4 million, and the DS version selling over 3 million, as of early September 2011.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Characters are paired off into pairs of cross-canon Friendly Rivals, Mario and Sonic, Luigi and Tails, Peach and Amy and so forth. With a few exceptions, the Sonic cast is made up mostly of teenagers, while the Mario cast are all mostly in their twenties.
  • Karma Houdini: The Miis in Mario and Sonic costumes who have been pinning evil deeds on Mario and Sonic, sabotaging training, willingly helping with Bowser and Eggman's schemes, and just generally having poor sportsmanship simply vanish on the Seventh day of "Road to Rio". Subverted once you learn they are actually being brainwashed.
  • Later Installment Weirdness: Rio 2016 Wii U changes quite a bit from the previous console games:
    • Everything is now accessed though a Hub Plaza.
    • The Dream Events set in Mario & Sonic locations are now replaced by Duel Events set in locations around Rio.
    • Rival Characters are now Guest Characters which you can play as in their corresponding Event after beating them.
  • Leitmotif: The rival characters are given their own special theme songs when you face them in events.
  • Licensed Game: The Olympics part.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The first game has sixteen playable characters, and Vancouver expands the roster to the series standard of twenty. Rio 2016 stretches it by fourteen (Wii U) to twenty (3DS) more, but each new character is exclusive to one event.
  • Long Title: "Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, and that is only the first game. The title just gets longer with the sequels.
  • Mondegreen: In the rugby event in Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympics Games, Shadow says an innocent word which is pretty hard to hearnote , which sounds like "c**t". A father actually threw away the game when his daughter learned the word.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Ominous Fog: The Phantasmal Fog in London 2012 3DS. It can create evil duplicates of characters, create illusions and even choke people.
  • Original Generation: The Snow Spirits from the second game's DS version.
  • Pretty in Mink: During the winter games, Peach, Daisy, and Amy wear mini dresses trimmed with white fur (although not every version applies fur shading to their outfits) that are like costumes for the figure skating events.
  • Promoted to Playable:
    • Dry Bones, Dry Bowser, Eggman Nega, E-123 Omega, Rouge and Jet, who were originally rivals in the Vancouver Winter Games onwards, and Birdo, who was a VIP in Vancouver and a rival in London and Sochi, become playable in the Rio 2016 Games.
    • After spending the previous two games as a suit for Miis, Diddy Kong makes his debut playable appearance in the series in Rio.
    • Rio also marks the first case of Zavok and Zazz being playable.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: During figure skating, synchronized swimming and rhythmic ribbon gymnastics events, though later games add the option to use remixes of music from Mario and Sonic titles instead.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Male characters are fully playable in feminine-centric events, such as synchronized swimming and ribbon twirling. They do not, however, get event-specific outfits like the girls do.
  • Reformulated Game: The console and handheld versions of each game differ in different ways:
    • Most of Beijing 2008 stayed the same between Wii and DS but some events got replaced:
      • 4X100M Freestyle got replaced with 10M Platform.
      • Rowing got replaced with Cycling.
      • The selection of Dream Events were different (The Wii had Dream Platform as it's one exclusive Dream, while the DS had five exclusive Dream Events which where Dream Basketball, Boxing, Shooting, Long Jump, and Canoe. Dream Race, Table Tennis and Fencing were shared between both versions).
    • Vancouver 2010 on the Wii had the Festival Tour mode which let you play across the course of entire three weeks of the Winter Olympics while the DS Version had the Adventure Tour, a full length story in which Bowser and Eggman tried cancelling the Winter Olympics by capturing the Snow Spirits and it was up to Mario and Sonic to save the day.
    • London 2012 had one the most drastic reformulations between console and handheld. On the Wii, it was the standard affair of continuing the formula of the first two games but on 3DS each event only had four playable characters split into the following categories:
      • The Heroes (Mario, Sonic, Luigi & Tails)
      • The Girls (Peach, Amy, Daisy & Blaze)
      • The Wild Ones (Bowser, Knuckles, Donkey Kong & Vector)
      • The Tricksters (Wario, Dr Eggman, Waluigi & Metal Sonic)
      • The Challengers (Yoshi, Shadow, Bowser Jr & Sliver)
      • Each group was only playable in about 11 or 12 events each. Other differences between versions include the London Party Mode featured in the Wii version being replaced by a Story Mode in the 3DS version.
    • Rio 2016 on the 3DS continued the formula of London 2012 3DS by how certain characters are locked to certain events, but instead of being split into categories each character is only playable in two events while Mario and Sonic themselves are playable in all events but on the Wii U all the staple characters can be played in any Event as you wish. Other differences include the 3DS version having a RPG-like mode called Road To Rio where your Mii competes in Olympic Challenges by Mario or Sonic Characters (depending on whose gym you choose) while in the Wii U version your Mii competes in Tournaments to earn Medals and there's also a Mode called Heroes Showdown in which the Mario and Sonic characters compete against each in serious competition.
  • Rivals Team Up: One of the biggest ones ever, only supplanted by Super Smash Bros. Brawl's release.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Luigi's boost in the winter version is essentially the Green Missile from the Super Smash Bros. series.
    • Two Mii outfits in London 2012 resemble both Amigo's and Link's outfits.
  • Shown Their Work: Shy Guy's quizzes in London Party will really dig deep in Mario and Sonic trivia, even into the most obscure places. Including the Sonic hedgehog gene.
    • Sonic, who has an infamous weakness in water, always has a life jacket on in swimming events.
    • It also falls under Furry Reminder, but Vector swims exactly like a real crocodile.
  • Sit On The Camera: With Wario's Special Punch attack in the Dream Boxing Event.
  • Start My Own: In the DS version of the Vancouver Winter Olympics game, Bowser and Eggman steal all of Vancouver's snow so they can start their own Olympic Games somehow.
  • Story-Breaker Team-Up: The weirdness in seeing characters from both series kicks in knowing that guys like Sonic and Shadow can run faster than the speed of sound or Donkey Kong and Bowser being strong enough to move small planets, yet don't use those traits to the fullest for the sake of competition.
  • True Companions: In Sochi 2014, characters who are friends, such as Mario and Luigi, have a unique victory animation if they're on the same team. This is also inverted if enemies, like Sonic and Dr. Eggman, are working together. There is also a unique animation for certain crossover pairs, such as Mario and Sonic, Peach and Amy, Donkey Kong and Vector, and Bowser and Eggman.
  • Villain Team-Up: Bowser and Dr. Eggman do it on three different occasions in the Vancouver 2010 DS game, theLondon 2012 3DS game, and the Rio 2016 3DS game. Their Dragons, Bowser Jr. and Metal Sonic, do this too in Vancouver 2010.
  • Wacky Racing: A few of the Dream events behave like this.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The rivals disappear without explanation on the Wii. The DS version has most of them become friendly NPCs.
    • The Mii fanboys will disappear on the seventh day of Road to Rio. Unless the player foils Bowser and Eggman's plan.
  • Your Size May Vary: Sonic's official height is 3'3", yet in these games, he's roughly the same height, if not slightly taller than Mario, who is 5'1" With introductions of taller characters from the Sonic series like Zavok and Zazz, this becomes even more egregious. Zavok's official height is 5'1, the same as Mario, but he's depicted to be as big as Bowser in height.

Alternative Title(s): Mario And Sonic At The Olympic Games