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 (London 2012) (3DS and Wii)
  • Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Winter Games (Sochi 2014) (Wii U)
  • Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Rio 2016) (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.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Urn in London 2012 3DS is the cause of the Phantasmal Fog.
  • 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.
  • Canon Immigrant: Sticks the Badger from Sonic Boom appears alongside the mainline Sonic cast as a playable character in Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
  • Character Customization: The Mii's stats can be altered with different costumes starting from the second game.
  • 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 Carnival.
  • 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 total buddy-buddies on the box art 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.
  • 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 Mario & Sonic 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. For example: Donkey Kong, Silver, Bowser Jr., and Metal Sonic as playable characters; Runblebee as the announcer; and the Dream Events taking place in Mario & Sonic locales.
  • 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 the 3DS Rio 2016 lets you wear a Gold Mario or Super Sonic Suit that are Purposefully Overpowered.
  • Guest Fighter / Intercontinuity Crossover: Sticks the Badger is a playable character in Rio 2016, coming from the Sonic Boom universe rather than the main Sonic the Hedgehog universe.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 as many as sixteen playable characters. Vancouver expands the roster to twenty, and as of Rio, with new characters and others being Promoted to Playable, the roster has stretched to at least forty characters.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Showing 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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