This long-running series of multiplayer games for Nintendo 64, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, Wii, DS and 3DS, developed by Hudson Soft but published by Nintendo (though since Hudson's acquisition by Konami, 9 and later games developed by Nd Cube, developers of Wii Party) combines a board-game motif with various competitive mini-games. Besides Mario, Luigi and their friends, some of the enemies from Super Mario Bros. are playable characters in the Mario Party series. About a dozen Mario Party games have been released so far: nine on home consoles, one on the Game Boy Advance, one for the e-Reader (actually a non-collectible card game with included minigames), one on the Nintendo DS, two in arcades, and one on the Nintendo 3DS. The basic format of the game has mostly remained the same. Four players (computers filling in if there aren't enough human players) take turns rolling dice to move across one of several themed boards, with the ultimate goal of obtaining Stars, which are classically obtained by a player who reaches a Star Space and buys a star for 20 Coins, after which the Star Space is moved to a random location on the board.After all players have had their turn, a mini-game begins. The players are placed on Blue or Red teams based on what spaces they had landed on (Green players are randomly marked Blue or Red) and a roulette begins to pick a game. The winner(s) of these games are typically awarded with 10 coins (in the first Mario Party the loser(s) may lose coins), although there are special games where the goal is to collect coins, in which case everyone gets to take however many coins they collected in the game with them.Mario Party 9 changed the board game concept to have one vehicle that all the players take turns captaining. Mini-games only start when a mini-game space is landed on (and sometimes at random on blue spaces). Coins are gone, and stars are replaced with mini-stars, which are collected several at a time both on the board and in mini-games.Mario Party 10 retains 9's changes but its star is Bowser, who is playable for the first time (not counting a bonus game in 4). Whoever plays as him can ruin the other players' days. This video mentions that the traditional gameplay from 1-8 will be returning as well, and a brief glimpse of the menu is shown, where the picture for "Bowser Party" features a vehicle while the picture for "Mario Party" does not.Most of the games (the exceptions are 1, 2, and 6) include some form of Single-Player campaign, which typically involves playing against computers on the game boards, but the mechanics may be slightly different.
Art Evolution: The first three games had simple, flat boards with simple 3D-ish models. The fourth game had a 3D background, but all the paths took place on the same four-direction metal walkway. The latest games now have the paths incorporated into the boards themselves.
4 was also the first game in the franchise to show Peach and Daisy with their current designs.
Art Shift: The 3rd game uses more flat, 2D imagery, since it takes place inside a toy box.
As one example, there's a YouTube video where Luigi wins six minigames in Mario Party 2 by doing absolutely nothing. A YouTube search for "wins by doing absolutely nothing" will result in plenty of videos from every entry in the series. Although to be fair, many of those mini games usually require several tries to win by doing nothing, and it won't work for most other minigames.
In the minigame "Ground Pound" in the first game, the computer always ground pounds an incorrect pole after each one they get correct, no matter what difficulty they are set on. To make matters worse, they will never fail this minigame. Meaning the entire point of them always hitting an incorrect pole is to waste more of your time watching them than they need to.
In 3, computers will ALWAYS use a Wacky Watch on the last turn if they have one, (which always changes the turns remaining to 5 turns left) even if they are winning. It's as if they're purposely giving you another chance.
In DS, on the Bowser's Pinball Machine board, there is a Star Zone that you occasionally end up in (rather than the Bowser Zone) where you hit a block and end up getting 1-3 more stars. However, if the AI has a Star Pipe and they get lucky enough to get sent to the Star Zone before using it, they may still use their Star Pipe to get to the regular star on the map, even though they could have just waited another turn and gotten 1-3 more stars by simply staying there.
Also from DS, Hexes in that game are traps that can be set on spaces that activate when someone lands on them. These are given out for free for passing a Hex Space. The AI will never turn down a Hex, even if they have to drop an item they paid for to do so. And Hexes are apparently much higher on the AI's priority for item stealing than even items like Triple Dice and Star Pipes.
In later games that let you buy multiple items at once, it's perfectly common for the AI to buy more items than it has turns left to use them in.
Artificial Brilliance: Contrary to the above trope, there are times where the AI can actually show brilliance in Mario Party.
In 2 and 3, if the star is behind a locked gate, the AI knows to buy a skeleton key from a shop and use it on the gate to get to the star. Also, if a star can be reached by going backwards through a fork in the path, especially if this allows you to avoid otherwise using a skeleton key, the AI may even buy a reverse mushroom (exclusive to 3) and use it to actually go backwards after they pass the fork if they're close enough.
The AI will buy Mushrooms/Golden Mushrooms or Magic Lamps in 2 and 3 (or Double/Triple Dice sets and Star Pipes in DS) if they can afford them, to help them get around and to instantly warp to the star next turn respectively. They may also buy Plunder Chests (or Snatch Bags in DS) to steal items from other players, and in 2 you can even use the snatched items on the same turn, which they do.
Bowser encounters go from penalties to Comeback Mechanic if you encounter them while you're in last place. The AI understands this, even going so far as Bowser Phones from 3 or even the coveted Slow Dice Block from 9 to make it happen for themselves.
Generally in Mario Party, the AI will take the correct way to get to the star, and they are quite good at most of the mini games, even the puzzle based ones, at least on harder settings (other than the ones that just involve button mashing, where they are always notoriously good at).
Ascended Extra: Over the course of the games, Koopa, Boo, Toad, and now Shy Guy and Kamek have all gone from helpers to hosting the game to being playable characters.
Bowser himself was also briefly playable in 4, but only for the volleyball mini-game.
In the original 'Mario Party'', when getting a completely pointless black star that costs 40 coins from Bowser in Mario's Rainbow Castle, getting a free coin from Bowser's machine in Luigi's Engine Room (at the cost of 20 coins), having a Goomba plant a Piranha Plant trap for you on Peach's Birthday Cake, or getting some free coins from Bowser if you run into him without any coins or stars, the character turns around and, despite the graphics in those days, you can clearly see his/her expression of What.
Also happens in 3's Story Mode, if you're not playing as Luigi. After each Battle Royale board, the Millenium Star is about to give you a Star Stamp when a character will interrupt and say they deserve the stamp more than you because they suit that stamp's quality better (for eample, Mario wants the Courage stamp). If you're playing as that character, Luigi will appear instead, claiming he deserves the stamp. Then your character turns and gives the camera a look.
In Mario Party Island Tour, when the character reaches the top of Bowser's Tower, Bowser will reveal that the destroyed Bowser was a decoy and then proceed to knock the character off the tower, saying that they can come back any time.
Batman Gambit: The Player. To get anywhere you'll have to plan ahead. Not accounting for the Random Number God can be a massive Spanner in the Works. Sometimes throwing a mini game later on can be the best course of action to stop first place getting another star or what have you.
Betting Mini-Game: The Battle mini-games. All the players have to forcibly bet a set number of money (if they have less, they lose it all) and have to play a minigame. The first place winner gets 70% of the jackpot, the second place gets 30%, and a random player gets any coins that were lost in rounding.
Big "OMG!": Luigi and Wario in the first game say "Oh my God!" when something really bad happens to them in the Japanese version. This was Bowdlerised to "Owowowow!" for Luigi, while Wario gets "D'oh I missed!" (sounds a bit like "So ein Mist!", German for "What a mess!") in the English version.
Bullying a Dragon: An AI-controlled Donkey Kong in 2 will repeatedly go for the Bowser Bomb in item games, because he apparently believes he can take on Bowser himself. But unless he has the most stars at the end of the game, he cannot. Expect to lose coins.
Button Mashing: Most games require pressing the button as much as possible. Some other games in the original Mario Party required spinning the control stick. It also damaged the controller, and from reports in Nintendo Power, some gamers' hands (usually the palms, as some took to spinning the stick with the palm of their hand).
By Wall That Is Holey: A minigame in Mario Party 4 requires you to do this with a giant book by running to the holes in the pages when they turn.
The Cameo: Plenty of other Mario characters make cameo appearances here and there.
MIPS the Rabbit makes an appearance in 3's Woody Woods, among other rabbits.
The infamous Mad Piano makes an appearance in 2's Horror Land during the night, playing in a band with other haunted instruments.
Combat Pragmatist: Or Mini Game Pragmatist. Itís highly advised to play dirty if you intend to win.
Comeback Mechanic: Bowser will normally take Coins or Stars from players. If a player reaches Bowser with no Coins or Stars, however, Bowser will give the player 40 Coins.
In the ninth game, when a player in last place lands on a Bowser Space and gets "Lose half your mini-stars!" on the roulette, he'll DOUBLE your mini-stars (yes, DOUBLE the mini-stars) because he feels bad that you are in last.
When a player not in last place lands in a Bowser Space, they may have to give their own mini-stars to last place.
There are many events that benefits the person in last in the ninth game.
Most Mario Party titles also present an event when there are 5 turns remaining where the player in last is invited to spin a roulette wheel (actually a spinning item box), of which most of the results are in that player's favor.
Commuting on a Bus: Donkey Kong, who was a fully playable character in the first four games. Koopa Kid hasn't fared much better as a playable character himself, having only been playable for in 5 and 6 before falling on the wayside.
The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: It depends. In certain minigames, they have extreme skill that no human could possibly surpass. A good example is in Mario's Puzzle Party in the third game. Despite popular belief though, they do not cheat in luck-based areas.
In the earlier games, whether or not you'll win a race to the finish such as Skateboard Scamper or Abandon Ship depends entirely on whether the computer wants you to. It always comes down to the very last button press, and 9 times out of 10, the computer player will dance in victory and you'll be screaming that you had it. Thankfully, in later installments, tie victories are possible and you'll get the money as long as you survive at all.
While the AI is usually incompetent for the overarcing game, in a game with multiple AI opponents, they suddenly seem to actively team up against the human players, up to and including throwing minigames to let another AI win and get ahead. This could also be considered Artificial Brilliance.
High-level computer AIs are capable of input speeds that are beyond what is possible for a human player. An example of this is in Mario Party 2 when a Hard-level AI has to fight off a coin-stealing Boo.
Conservation of Ninjutsu: If there's only one computer player, even on Easy, it will suddenly become much more competent at mini-games.
Game Nod: The start screen featuring Mario's Rainbow Castle in the first game (the screen will change to match the player and the board named after them depending on who wins—beat any board with Mario in this case) features Mario in the forefront wearing his wing cap, flying himself and the others over the rainbow and the castle. Seem familiar? (note that both games were released on the same system)
A Day in the Limelight: 10's star is Bowser, who is playable for the first time (not counting a bonus game in 4). Whoever plays as him can ruin the other players' days.
Demoted to Extra: Starting in 5, Donkey Kong went from being a playable character to a cameo that appears if you land on his space. He then got his own board in 9.
Koopa Kid went from being playable in the fifth and sixth games to being an extra in the seventh, and then disappearing entirely.
Dry Bones dropped off the playable roster after 8, but appeared in DS and 9 as a miniboss.
Blooper was a Unexpected Character in 8, but then only got a mention in DS before eventually, like Dry Bones, being a boss in 9.
Hammer Bro. became playable in 8, but then became the Battle Game referee in 9.
Boo got it worst of all. After becoming an Ascended Extra to playable character, he was knocked down to Board Hazard in 9, not even getting to be a boss or host. King Boo got to be a boss, though.
Toadette became playable in 6, but she was then relegated to be the host of one of the boards in DS. In Mario Party 9 she didn't appear at all.
Did Not Do the Bloody Research: In 8, the line "Magikoopa magic! Turn the train spastic!" in the Shy Guy's Perplex Express board initially caused the game to be recalled in the UK, where "spastic" is seen as an insulting term for the disabled. It was changed to "erratic" in later releases.
In the intro for Grand Canal in 7, Toadsworth will say "The Star will move to another location when someone gets one. What a crafty bugger!".
Divergent Character Evolution: Even in the early days, Luigi is shown to be a more complex character than the others. In 3, each character has their own Star Stamp: Wit, Kindness, Strength, Love, Courage, Beauty or Mischief. Mario, Peach, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Wario, Daisy and Waluigi can only get one stamp apiece but, apart from Beauty and Mischief, Luigi can get all the rest.
A mini-game in Mario Party 8 has you shake the Wii remote up and down to build up pressure in a soda can to make a geyser taller than everyone else's. Anyone who played this mini-game for the first time probably made the obvious dirty jokes after seeing how the game was played.
In Mario Party 3, if you land on a Bowser Space, the screen will cut to Bowser doing his trademark merry dance. Most of the time. Some other times, you'll catch him lying on his side, his head on one hand, his other hand on his hip, with one leg stretched and the other raised. Think about that. It's a familiar position, and it's somehow both extremely uncomfortable and hilarious beyond description. Especially if you're playing as Peach.
Grab Bag and Bumper Balloon Cars from the first 2 games are this, as both games have players aiming for resembling shapes on each others' backs. And then gyrating somewhat.
Doomy Dooms of Doom: Bowser's minigames in Mario Party 4 are called Darts of Doom, Fruits of Doom, and Balloon of Doom. There's also Panels of Doom (a special minigame available on Bowser's Gnarly Party) and Doors of Doom (a single-player game).
Dream Land: The Dream Depot, the main setting of Mario Party 5. All the boards are formed from peoples' dreams.
Some of the weirdness in the first game: Rotate-the-control-stick minigames (which were entirely eliminated after due to complaints that people hurt themselves, plus all the broken analog sticks). The first game was also the only one where you could lose coins in the end-of-turn minigames. Your coin total never went below 0, however.
The first game also didn't have an in game item shop. You had to buy items from a shop in town while you weren't in a board game. These items could then be switched on or off when you visit the bank (where they get stored). For any items that are switched on, a player may get one by chance instead of a regular dice block when their turn comes. Other types of items had some pretty neat effects that never returned.
The first game doesn't have any battle or duel mini games, and some of the 1 vs 3 games were particular unfair for one team or just didn't make sense and should have been 4 player games. Some 4 player games were even cooperative, where everyone was supposed to work together to accomplish the goal, although there are several reasons why a player might want to throw or sabotage the game (such as to prevent helping the first place player), and even the computer players don't try as hard on harder difficulties for these games.
In Addition to Bowser Spaces in the first game, Bowser himself also appeared somewhere on each board, and any player who passed him would surely end up losing coins or sometimes stars if they had any . What's worse is that sometimes you HAD to pass (or risk passing) him in order to get to the star, or just might not even have a choice in the matter. In Mario Party 2, Baby Bowser replaces him, who may even GIVE out coins if you're lucky, but if a player obtains a Bowser Bomb item, then at the end of the turn it causes Baby Bowser to turn into Bowser, who then moves around the board and takes every coin from any player he encounters, before turning back into Baby Bowser. In Mario Party 3, neither Bowser nor Baby Bowser appeared on any boards to take coins or stars, but the Bowser Spaces have remained for all the future installments .
In the first 3 games, landing on a Bowser Space wasn't necessarily a bad thing for that player, especially in the first game, where there was a small chance that Bowser would actually do nothing but take coins from you. Usually in the first game, all the players would play a Bowser themed 1 vs 3 Minigame (where the player who landed on the Bowser Space is the lone player), and only the losing team would lose coins. You might even play Bowser Chance Time, where the player gets an attempt to choose who will give coins to Bowser. There's also Bowser Revolution, where he makes everyone's amount of coins the same. In Mario Party 2 and 3, you may even win a free Bowser Phone or Bowser Suit item from him.
The first two games didn't have dedicated story modes; instead, each board had its own story, with an ending cutscene showing the winner of the board saving the day in some way. Their single-player focused modes instead consisted of mini-game gauntlets that you had to clear. In the first game, you had to collect 100 stars just to get near the end of its "story". Whereas in the second game, each board only had to be played once to unlock the final board, which also only had to be played once, so each star the human players had got converted to 50 more coins.
Egopolis: In 2, the Mario characters create a new world that is initially named Mario Land, but each one wants to name the world after themselves, so they have a contest to determine who gets to name it.
End Game Results Screen: Some games give a line graph at the end detailing everyone's progress over the course of the game.
Enemy Mine: The 1v3 and 2v2 games (and 4 player cooperative games in the first installment), in which you team up with other players and everyone on the winning team gets coins. There are rare situations late in the game where throwing such a minigame is the best option.
In Bowser's Tower in Island Tour (3DS), Bowser will occasionally give out random "punishments" through a roulette wheel once you reach certain floors. One of these punishments states to send you back down to the first floor which, if chosen, Bowser will outright say "That's just cruel, even by my standards!" and won't follow through with it. He also won't take any of your Mario Party Points if "Lose all your Mario Party Points" is chosen.
Toad and Bowser in the first game. Mario's and Yoshi's stages revolve around making sure you hit the right one.
Starting in Mario Party 5, Donkey Kong became the Good Counterpart to Bowser. This is especially evident in 6, where DK's out at day and Bowser's out at night (literally in the case of the final board), and 8, where the two alternate spaces depending on which one everyone most recently met.
Shy Guy and Kamek will be a "board piece" example of this in Mario Party 9's Story Mode. They serve as the 3rd or 4th or both CPUs, and if they win the board, you lose.
In Island Tour, Bowser makes evil dream clones of the playable characters to fight you.
Excuse Plot: In all of the games, the "plot" will always be "We have a problem in X place with Y thing, help us collect stars to solve it!". The plot is hardly developed, but then again, no one plays these games for the plot.
Feelies: Rather than having a board game played in the game itself, Advance includes a physical board and pieces that you cut out and play a board game with, using the GBA only to play minigames, find Stars, and serve as a die.
Foregone Victory: In the first two games and 9, even though there is a definite chance of your character not being the Superstar, there is no chance of Bowser succeeding. You cannot even lose to the bosses.
Forgot I Could Fly: Some characters, such as Paratroopa, Boo, and Blooper are continually hounded by platforming sections and conveyor belts despite being able to leave the ground at will, and some of them don't normally touch the ground at all.
Wario is playable; Bowser himself shows up only as a board effect to mess with the players.
Also, other enemy characters that have been playable include Waluigi, Koopa Kid, Boo, Dry Bones, Hammer Bro, and Blooper.
Mario Party 9 adds Shy Guy and Kamek/Magikoopa, causing trouble for you in 9's Story Mode.
Mario Party: Island Tour lets you unlock and play as Bowser Jr.
Bowser was playable in Mario Party 4's Beach Volley Folly mode.
The boards usually contain enemies that Mario kills on a regular basis living relatively normal lives (in 7, Koopas and Goombas populate a peaceful town, Shy Guys run a train, etc.)
Golden Snitch: Although the first game's Mini-Game star was probably going to go to someone already in the lead, the randomization of the types of Bonus Stars in the later games makes it more likely that the person in last could win all three of them and take the lead. Especially in Mario Party 8, if the person had been falling behind because they were spending all their coins on Thrice Candy (Roll 3 Dice). Three of the possible Bonus Stars that can be awarded are for spending the most on candy (and Thrice is pretty expensive), using the most candy, and moving the most spaces...
Chance Time can change the fate of the game in a hurry. Try switching stars with the player in first place if you're behind.
The final minigame in 9 functions as this despite posing as a Comeback Mechanic. Unless you're really ahead in mini-stars, whoever wins this game is likely to have the most mini-stars.
Handcar Pursuit: 1 and 2 have a team mini-game that is a race between two handcars, where you have to coordinate with your partner to speed up, slow down, and bank around sharp corners. 8 also has a two-player mini-game in this vein.
Harder Than Hard: Very Hard, Super Hard, Brutal, or Master, depending on the game, and usually needs to be unlocked. The AI is clearly better at some minigames than others.
Historical In-Joke: The Bowser Revolution, which evens out everyone's coins (ie money), parallel to many Communist (etc) revolutions. Of course, which players are happy about it depends solely on how many coins they have relative to the others. Some people like to call it "BOWSER COMMUNISM!!!". Even stronger in Mario Party 9, where it evens out everything.
The same group also has a capsule-related House Rule for Mario Party 5, where every capsule has to be used or tossed as soon as it's acquired, in order to eventually wind up with a board where every single space has some manner of effect.
I Have Many Names: Prior to Mario Party 4, Koopa Kid went by the name of Baby Bowser, and he's called Mini-Bowser in PAL territories.
In Mario Party 6, it will change between day and night every three turns. When the time of day changes, prices at stores will change, routes will change, some board events will be different, and certain minigames will play differently.
Horror Land from 2 also changed the time of day once every two turns.
Long Song, Short Scene: The track "Not Gonna Lose" in Mario Party 2 was only used in the 2 vs 2 mini-game "Balloon Burst", the battle mini-game "Bumper Balloon Cars", and the bonus one-player mini-game "Driver's Ed". The problem with the former two was that those mini-games were almost always over in less than 15 seconds, while the problem with the latter is that not many people know that the mini-game even exists note In order to even get it, you need to complete all the Mini-Game Coaster difficulties (good luck on the Hard difficulty), then buy all the special one-player Item and four-player battle mini-games from Woody, and then return to Woody and say yes to whether you want to go inside Woody's mouth and play the bonus mini-game or not. Therefore, the latter half of the song was never heard by many players.
The entire games to much of an extent, but Game Guy's mini games in Mario Party 3, various "Russian Roulette" style mini-games in every single entry in the series, and a good deal of the board events certainly fall under this.
Some 2-on-2 mini-games are won or lost instantly depending on if an AI opponent has a particular position or not. For example, Torpedo Targets in 2 has two two-man submarines, one player steers and the other fires torpedoes at targets. The AI always knows where the targets are even though they can't be seen due to the narrow view screen, so if an AI is piloting your sub, you've already won.
MacGuffin: The Stars, which is basically the main point in the series.
Million to One Chance: Winning Game Guy's Sweet Surprise with at least 32 Coins on a x32 Multiplier, or 16 Coins on a x64 Multiplier, will set you for the entire game with 999 Coins. The chances of this happening are very low.
Creepy Cavern from 3 contains part of the Super Mario Bros. underground theme.
The main menu music from 7 is a remix of Castaway Bay from 6.
The BG music to the minigames "Ghost Guess" and "Pedal Power" from the first game is very similar to the map screen music from [[Super Mario Bros. 3's]] World 6.
"In Calm Water", which plays in 5's "Submarathon", is a remix of the Super Mario Bros. underwater theme.
There are two remixes of the Starman theme: when a player is under the effect of a Mushroom in "Toadstool Titan" (3), and when the player is under the effect of a Metal Mushroom in Star Sprint mode (6).
7 has a DK mini-game called "Jump, Man". Jumpman was Mario's first name in the original DK game.
Nintendo Hard: In 2, Minigame Coaster on Hard. It forces you to perform and win every minigame in a predetermined order on Hard mode. If you lose three times on any stage, you are sent to the beginning of the stage, forcing you to replay the ones you lost and losing any winnings from your previous games. The final few stages have mostly button mashing minigames, and the computer is usually very good at these types of games.
Nice Guy: Luigi. He doesn't really take part in arguments in 1 and 3 and even in 2, it was more of a case of berating Mario for hitting Wario.
For a while, the bonus star awards were given to people who A) collected the most coins in mini games played, B) most coins held at any point in the game, and C) landed on the most ? spaces. A skilled player could always get the bonus star mentioned in example A, which would usually lead to them getting a star from example B. Additional bonus categories were added, such as "most spaces traveled" or "spent the most coins on items", in addition to "most coins held at any point in the game" being removed. This was made so that there would be more diversity in playing styles and give other people a chance in winning bonus stars.
Chance Time was also removed after some point so that players would have a more fair chance of winning or catching up instead of just winning at the very last possible moment because of a luck based event.
What the Reverse Mushroom did was to force you to go backwards, initially. Once you reached an intersection, you could choose to move in any direction but the one you came from.
The Sluggish 'Shroom Orb in 6 and the Slow 'Shroom Orb in 7 slowed the dice block down and made it count up by one as opposed to being random. Unfortunately, it turned out to be all too powerful, as it was very commonly used to get an easy 10 instead of landing on a precise space. 8 nerfed it so it could only go up to 5, although that also made it easy to get a lucky space.
Out-of-Genre Experience: Mario Party-e was a tabletop card game rather than a video board game like the rest of the series- however, the e-Reader could be used to play minigames like those in other Mario Party games.
Also some of the bosses from 9, King Boo being the most obvious example.
Quip to Black: "Seer Terror", an unlockable Mario Party 6 minigame, consists almost entirely of Bowser making bad things happen to you and making witty remarks in the guise of fortunes. "You'll feel crushed by stress!" he'll say after you're crushed by a Thwomp.
Real Men Wear Pink: Bowser Pad in Advance. Hoo boy. It's decorated in pink and purple, and Bowser asks you to get him a ring, a necklace, or a bracelet.
Reality Warper: Bowser becomes this in Island Tour as he harnesses the magic bubbles.
Replay Mode: Each and every game has a Free Play mode to get into the unlocked minigames without having to play Story Mode, Party Mode or any of the other special minigame modes. Later games added boss minigames into the mix.
Riddling Sphinx: In the Mystery Land board of Mario Party 2, Bowser is cast as the Bowser Sphinx (though he merely wears an Egyptian headdress and isn't winged or lionlike at all) who challenges all comers to identify a silhouette. The Superstar of the board identifies it easily. It's the Sphinx himself.
Rule of Fun: The mini games don't give much explanation to their existence other than to let you have fun.
Sequel Difficulty Spike: The Minigame Coaster in 2 is much more difficult than its predecessor, Minigame Island in 1. Firstly, you no longer win extra lives by simply winning a minigame; instead, the amount of coins you earn is multiplied by your consecutive wins. You can't go backwards or replay beaten minigames anymore, meaning you can no longer grind up coins from a game you're good at, or even save your progress until you get to the next save space. There are also no branching paths, meaning you have to win every minigame in order whether you want to or not. Also, if you want to get the rewards from it, you have to beat it on Normal first (which stops after the sixth world) and then beat it on Hard. Also, the final minigame is brutal compared to the first game — in the original, you raced Toad in Slot Car Derby, who was simply a really good NPC. On the minigame coaster, you have to face three Koopa Kids on Shell Shocked (normally a free-for-all) where they actively team up against you. Considering the second game axed control stick spinning, it's pretty telling that Minigame Island hardly compares.
Sequential Boss: The battle with Bowser at the end of Story mode often is this. Also, the fake Millenium Star in 3.
Shaggy Dog Story: With decent players, an average game of "The Beat Goes On" from 3 consists of over three minutes of pressing the same buttons as the previous players and no one receiving anything for it.
In Mario Party Island Tour, when the character reaches the top of Bowser's Tower, Bowser will reveal that the destroyed Bowser was a decoy and then proceed to knock the character off the tower, saying that they can come back any time.
Sphere Factor: The Trope Namer comes from 7, where teams of two push a giant ball to a finish line. Better examples would be Bumper Balls from 1 and 2, and Flatiator from 5, where players actually travel atop the balls to attack other players.
It should also be noted that this series itself is somewhat of a Spiritual Successor to the little-known Japanese game Getter Love!!. Both are board games in video game format, have mini-games, have items with which you can get ahead or slow down your opponents, and were developed by Hudson Soft (though Nintendo still publishes Mario Party).
Stone Wall: Whomp from the Mario Party 3 duel maps. He has the highest amount of health but cannot attack. Also Koopa and Mr. Blizzard to a lesser extent.
The Starscream: Pulled off by Waluigi towards Bowser in Mario Party 3's Story mode. You were about to battle Bowser for the Mischief Star when Waluigi shows up having the star in his possession. He even beats up Bowser to prove a point. Bowser then demands that you avenge him and defeat Waluigi. Strangely enough, even though Bowser wants you to defeat Waluigi, he still messes with you if you land on a Bowser Space.
The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: In Mario Party 4, and persumabley the other games in the franchise, playing against computer players set to Expert difficulty will allow them to be able to mash buttons on games such as Domination faster than the game contoller can register. Unless you're using a Turbo Controller, in which case you are a cheating bastard as well.
Unexpected Character: The biggest example has to be Blooper (of all characters) joining the party in 8. While Hammer Bros were NPCs in the second Paper Mario game, Blooper never had any friendly representation in the Mario series aside from a disgruntled partner of Luigi.
Unexplained Recovery: Whenever someone is defeated in a minigame by something lethal (heck, one minigame in 6 has the loser sucked into a black hole), they emerge completely unharmed on the beginning of the next turn (although their finances and self esteem suffer).
Variable Player Goals: 1 vs. 3 minigames would always end in a massacre against the solo player if most of them didn't require a different objective between the 1 and the 3.
Videogame Cruelty Potential: Some of the minigames are incredibly cruel and violent to the losers, who will end up electrocuted, spirited away, chased and then trampled over by a bunch of Thwomps, frozen, mauled, burnt, drowned, trapped inside a computer, and even swallowed by a black hole. Likewise, the fourth-place player that didn't get enough stars or coins in the first game also meets a similar fate.
Violation of Common Sense: Invoked in Mario Party 9 during the "Reverse Mini-Game" in a Bowser Event. You play a standard mini-game, but the objective is to lose as quickly as possible instead of trying to play the normal way. The first person to lose the game will win. Don't let this hurt your head too much.
Your Princess Is in Another Castle: In Island Tour, when the character reaches the top of Bowser's Tower, Bowser will reveal that the destroyed Bowser was a decoy and then proceed to knock the character off the tower, saying that they can come back any time.