"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, and that was where they decided the first crossover would be.This is basically the Loads and Loads of Characters of the respective series competing in the events of the Olympic Games. Now being in what amounts to a minigame compilation is a disappointment for some, since the most logical crossover would be a Platform Gamenote According to this interview, Sega and Nintendo discussed the possibility of such a game, but the inability to come up with a "neutral" play style to balance Mario and Sonic prevented it from being made. Regardless, this series has been a major success.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 (London 2012) (3DS and Wii)
Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Winter Games (Sochi 2014) (Wii U)
See also the Super Smash Bros. series, another crossover between these two characters/series.
Provides Examples Of:
Acrofatic: Where else would you see obese men set Olympic world records?
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.
Fragile Speedster: The Speed-type characters: Sonic, Yoshi, Shadow, Daisy, and Metal Sonic.
Jack of All Stats: The All Around-type characters: Mario, Blaze, Luigi, Amy Rose, and Bowser Jr. Miis also fall under this category by default.
Mighty Glacier: The Power-type characters: Bowser, Vector, Donkey Kong, Knuckles, and Wario.
Weak, but Skilled: The Skill-type characters: Tails, Peach, Doctor Eggman, Waluigi, and Silver.
Continuity Nod: The devs remembered that Sonic can't swim; in water events he wears a life jacket and runs on the bottom of the pool instead (even though it makes no sense and is actually against the rules). This was also carried over in London 2012.
Several NPC's mention both Beijing and Vancouver in London Party.
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)
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.
The Other Darrin: Mario and Sonic at the London Olympics now utilizes the new Sonic Voice cast introduced in 2010(With returning voice actor Mike Pollock recording new lines for Eggman). Furthermore, this is also the first Mario and Sonic game where Kenny James' voice of Bowser replaces Scott Burns's archived recordings of Bowser.
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).
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.
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.
True Companions: In Sochi 2014, characters who are friends, such as Mario and Luigi, have an unique victory animation if they're on the same team. This is also inverted if enemies, like Sonic and Dr. Eggman, are working together.
Silver the Hedgehog and Donkey Kong, who are playable characters in the second game, were planned to appear in the first one in the same capacity. Birdo and Jet the Hawk were to appear in the first game as playable characters too, but they ended up in the second game as a VIP audience member and a Festival Mode rival character, respectively.
The game was actually intended to be a standard Mario & Sonic crossover, but the team couldn't decide on how to make the two sides meet. Then SEGA proposed they make an Olympics-based game as they had gotten the license to make a game about them already.