Just another day living 10 coins at a time.
"Smash Bros. is how you build friendships.
Mario Party is how you destroy them. Ironic, isn't it?"
series of multiplayer games for Nintendo 64
, Game Cube
, Game Boy Advance
, 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: ten 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
's changes but its star is Bowser, who is playable for the first time (not counting a bonus game in 4
and Super Duel Mode from 5
). Whoever plays as him can ruin the other players' days. The game is confirmed to have amiibo
functionality: The game is compatible with Super Smash Bros.
figures, but there is also a new set of figures dedicated to Mario Party 10. This set includes Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Bowser and Toad. Mario Party 10 is compatible with 9 figures in total: The first six, plus Rosalina, Donkey Kong and Wario.
Most of the games (the exceptions are 1
, 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.
Games in this series
- Mario Party (Nintendo 64, 1999).
- Mario Party 2 (Nintendo 64, 2000; Wii Virtual Console, 2010).
- Mario Party 3 (Nintendo 64, 2001).
- Mario Party 4 (Game Cube, 2002).
- Mario Party 5 (GameCube, 2003).
- "Super Mario Rolling Mystery Party" (Arcades, 2004, Japan Only).
- Mario Party 6 (GameCube, 2004).
- "Super Mario Rolling Mystery Party" (Arcades, 2005, Japan Only).
- Mario Party Advance (Game Boy Advance, 2005).
- Mario Party 7 (GameCube, 2005).
- Mario Party 8 (Wii, 2007).
- Mario Party DS (Nintendo DS, 2007).
- Mario Party 9 (Wii, 2012).
- Mario Party Island Tour (Nintendo 3DS, 2013).
- Mario Party 10 (Wii U, 2015).
This game provides examples of:
- Abandon Ship: In 2, this is played straight in a mini-game of the same name.
- AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle: New Re-CORD!
- The All-Seeing A.I.:
- Torpedo Targets in 2 has you looking for targets and shooting them. The computer always knows where they are, even though there is no map or radar.
- For Ground Pound in 1, the AI always gets one wrong for every one that it gets right. However, at the beginning of the game you can see and memorize which posts are right and wrong before the butterflies land on them.
- Always Night: Boo's Haunted Bash, King Boo's Haunted Hideaway, Boo's Horror Castle and Kamek's Carpet Ride. But averted in Horror Land, as it's night only half the time.
- Always over the Shoulder: The tank games.
- Amusement Park: Bowser Land in 2, Toad's Midway Madness in 4, and Bowser's Enchanted Inferno in 7.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: From the first installment:
- 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. The 4th switches entirely to 3D.
- Artificial Stupidity: On Easy mode, the game practically wins itself.
- Demonstrating this are a series of YouTube video where, in their words, Luigi wins by doing absolutely nothing. It even crossed over with Super Smash Bros. 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.
- Hexes in that game are traps that can be set on spaces that activate when someone lands on them (like Orbs in 6). 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.
- Mario Party's AI has even evolved into an online spectator sport known as "Mario Retardy", where viewers watch a match between 4 bottom-level AIs as they hopelessly stumble around in minigames, unintentionally screw themselves out of stars, and suddenly propel themselves into 1st place against all odds during Chance Time.
- Even high-level AIs can do this on a few occasions, such as in Mario Party 3, using a Jeanie Lamp to move the star space elsewhere when they're right in front of it.
- 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 Troopa, Boo, Toad, Dry Bones, Shy Guy, and Magikoopa (Kamek in Japan) have all gone from helpers or obstacles to hosting the game to being playable characters.
- Bowser himself was also briefly playable in 4, but only for the volleyball mini-game, as well as 5's Super Duel Mode; now he's the main star of 10.
- Also applies to Spike, going from being a boss in 9 to being a playable character in 10.
- Aside Glance:
- In the original 'Mario Party'', when getting a completely pointless Ztar 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.
- Asymmetric Multiplayer: All the 1 vs. 3 mini-games. Also "Bowser Party" mode in Mario Party 10.
- The Bad Guy Wins:
- 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.
- Played with if Bowser Jr. reaches the top. Bowser will say that he was taking it easy to let Jr. get the chance to be a hero for once. Then, he knocks Jr. off the tower anyway, saying that he can come back any time.
- This is the Gamepad player's goal in 10's Bowser Party mode.
- Band Land: Toadette's Music Room in DS.
- Bat Family Crossover: Donkey Kong's board in 9 is clearly supposed to be based upon Donkey Kong Country Returns.
- 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.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: In 2, the most you can do to Peach's portrait in the Face Lift game is...style her hair.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Brighton and Twilla from Mario Party 6 seem to have a G-rated relationship.
- 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 Boo's Haunt:
- Horror Land from 2.
- Boo's Haunted Bash from 4.
- King Boo's Haunted Hideaway from 8.
- Boo's Horror Castle from 9.
- Kamek's Carpet Ride from Island Tour.
- 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 "Ohohohoh!" 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.
- Bladder of Steel: 6's Endurance Alley. You have to beat all 100 minigames in one go to clear it.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: Not as bad as most cases, but the phrase 'Got Item!' in the earlier games does read somewhat strangely.
- Bonus Space: Some of the Happening Spaces might be this, but the Donkey Kong spaces are more likely to have a nice payoff. Then there's the Lucky Spaces in 8 and 9, with the former being more eventful and earning you a free Star.
- Boss Battle: Aside from 1, 2, 6, and Advance, there is at least one boss in each game, usually as the final minigame of the game:
- 3: "Stardust Battle".
- 4: "The Final Battle!"
- 5: "Frightmare"
- 7: "Bowser's Lovely Lift!"
- 8: "Superstar Showdown"
- DS: "Feed and Seed", "Hammer Chime", "Hexoskeleton", "Book Bash", and "Bowser's Block Party".
- 9: "Sock It To Lakitu", "Wiggler Bounce", "Whomp Stomp", "Bombard Big Bob-omb", "Deck Dry Bones", "King Boo's Puzzle Attack", "Cheep Cheep Shot", "Blooper Barrage", "Spike Strike", "Chain Chomp Romp", "Bowser Jr. Beatdown", "Bowser's Block Battle", "Diddy's Banana Blast", and "DK's Banana Bonus".
- Island Tour: "Goomba Tower Takedown", "Chain Chomp's Lava Lunge", "Mr. Blizzard's Snow Slalom", "King Bob-omb's Court of Chaos", "Dry Bowser's Brain Bonk" and "Bowser's Sky Scuffle".
- Bragging Rights Reward: In-universe, this is the plot of the first game, with all the characters competing to simply prove who is the best among them.
- Bubbly Clouds:
- Mario's Rainbow Castle from the original.
- Rainbow Dream from 5.
- Island Tour.
- 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.
- Camera Screw: 9's Perspective Mode deliberately invokes it for added difficulty.
- Casino Park:
- 7's Neon Heights board is a combination of this and Broadway.
- There's also Goomba's Greedy Gala from 4.
- Bowser's Pinball Machine in "DS"
- Shy Guy's Puzzle Party in "Island Tour"
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Koopa Kid hasn't made an appearance in either of the two recent games: Mario Party 8 and Mario Party DS. Toadette didn't make her appearance in Mario Party 9.
- Climax Boss: Daisy and Waluigi in the Story Mode of Mario Party 3.
- Color-Coded Characters: The first few games followed this with Mario-Red, Luigi-Blue, Yoshi-Green, Peach-Pink, DK-Yellow, Wario-Purple, Waluigi-Black, Daisy-Orange etc.
- 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, even with a TURBO CONTROLLER. An example of this is in Mario Party 2 when a Hard-level AI has to fight off a coin-stealing Boo.
- On some versions of the game (DS is a particularly notable offender), as the difficulty setting rises it becomes increasingly apparent that the AI know what number the dice will land on before it rolls and will make strategic decisions accordingly.
- 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.
- Computers Are Fast: Despite problems they may have with some of the more complex games where other players affect them, the high-level AI players always do well on the "rapidly press A", "Press the button that appears", and, most infamously, "spin the stick in a circle" games.
- Conjoined Eyes: Due to graphical limitations on the N64, Yoshi doesn't actually use his eyelids. Instead, Yoshi squishes his irises to create the illusion of "blinking" and "winking". Koopa Troopa also has this problem as well.
- 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)
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: For the losers in the first installment.
- 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, and now he's finally playable again in 10.
- 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. Boo was also a playable character for the final time in Mario Party: Island Tour.
- 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. Mario Party 10, though, causes Toadette to be playable again.
- 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. Though which one he gets depends on who you play as.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?:
- 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.
- Early Installment Weirdness:
- 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.
- Mario Party DS is the first Mario Party game to have boss battles in them. Unlike the future games in the series, however, the bosses have a certain amount of hit points instead of a health gouge and don't turn red when their health drops to half or below, instead, becoming harder with every hit.
- 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.
- Eternal Engine:
- Luigi's Engine Room from the original.
- E. Gadd's Garage from 6.
- Bob-omb Factory from 9.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- Bowser will (usually) take mercy on you and give you some coins if you happen to land on his space without a single coin or star. However, he implies he does this with the motive of taking them away later.
- 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.
- Evil Counterpart:
- 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 are 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.
- Gangplank Galleon:
- Pirate Land from 2.
- Pirate Dream from 5.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- Go-Karting with Bowser:
- 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 Wacky Watch in "3" can shorten the game drastically, forcing players to start actively hunting and/or chasing down the Stars.
- 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.
- Green Hill Zone:
- Windmillville from 7.
- Wiggler's Garden from DS.
- Toad Road in 9.
- Hailfire Peaks: Waluigi's Island from 3 combines Palmtree Panic with Down in the Dumps.
- 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.
- Happy Dance: Bowser of all people has one in the N64 games, but whenever he's dancing, he's probably the only one happy about it.
- 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.
- Honest John's Dealership:
- Bowser has actual appearances on the board in the first game — anyone who passes by him automatically gets to buy one of his cheap-as-free and totally-not-bogus items, which inevitably blows up in the character's face the moment they 'accept' it. After wasting your time, he then takes most of your coins as payment and then does a merry dance to mock your pain. Jerk.
- One of the Bowser events in 7 involve him opening a shop again. Other times he just shows up and charges an insane price for photos that you don't get.
- Hostile Show Takeover: Waluigi's Island from 3 is implied to have belonged to Luigi. The board is even similar to Luigi's Engine Room from the original.
- 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-Universe Game Clock:
- 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.
- Jack of All Stats: Snifit in the duel maps from Mario Party 3 has 2 in Attack and Defense.
- Jerkass: Bowser. Who is basically there to ruin your good time, by stealing your coins and/or stars.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Bowser does show a softer side in Mario Party 4 and Mario Party DS.
- Jungle Japes:
- All of the DK boards use this theme.
- Shy Guy's Jungle Jam from 4.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The decision to allude to the smaller game system in Mario Party DS by shrinking the characters.
- Lethal Lava Land:
- Appears in most games, where it is usually a Bowser-themed board, which means it's also likely to be a harder board than the others in some way.
- The only game where the lava board is not a Bowser board is Magma Mine from 9.
- The Solo board Infernal Tower from 6.
- Level Ate:
- Peach's Birthday Cake from the original game.
- Sweet Dream from 5.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: As the series went on, it started with just six major Mario characters, to having 14, including a few various recurring enemies as characters.
- Locomotive Level: Shy Guy's Perplex Express from 8.
- 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 . Therefore, the latter half of the song was never heard by many players.
- Luck-Based Mission:
- 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.
- Some of the Duel Minigames in "6" are this.
- MacGuffin: The Stars, which are the main point in the series (9 uses the mini-stars and bananas instead).
- Macro Zone: The entirety of DS, since everyone is Fun Size.
- 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.
- Minigame Game: The very point, and the Trope Codifier.
- Mission Pack Sequel: While it holds true for the other games, 9 averts this by having different mechanics.
- Monument Of Humiliation And Defeat: In Island Tour, Bowser builds a huge tower as a monument to his awesome power and locks all the fun of the other Party Islands away.
- Musical Nod:
- The music for Peach's Birthday Cake contains part of the original Super Mario Bros. theme.
- The staff roll music from the first game also references the Super Mario Bros. theme.
- "The Room Underground" from the first game is a remix of the underground theme from Super Mario Bros., as is the Option House's theme.
- "Dodging Danger", also from the first game, is a remix of World 8 from Super Mario Bros. 3.
- 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).
- In "Bowser's Peculiar Peak," the first verses after the intro are "Koopa Road" from Mario 64.
- Mythology Gag:
- The hosts of 5 are the Star Spirits from Paper Mario.
- 7 has a DK mini-game called "Jump, Man". Jumpman was Mario's first name in the original DK game.
- amiibo Party in 10 operates in the same fashion as the earlier Mario parties with coins and Stars rather than Mini-stars.
- 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.
- Obstacle Ski Course: Several mini-games take place on these (including one where you have to try to outrun a Human Snowball).
- Obvious Rule Patch:
- 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.
- The Reverse Mushroom was introduced in 3... and promptly ditched in 4. It was supposed to hinder the target by forcing that player to go backwards on their next turn. However, going backwards could actually be very handy, allowing the player to go back to the Star they might have just missed, visit Boo more than once without having to go around the rest of the board, and even allowing them to get into areas which are supposed to be inaccessible without a Skeleton Key.
- 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.
- One-Winged Angel: Instead of turning red like the rest of the game's bosses, the boss battle against Bowser in 10 (not to be confused with the playable version of him in "Bowser Party") has him turn into his "Dry Bowser" form when his health reaches half. Not only that, but his attack patterns change from him riding a tank to him trying to blast you with his blue fireblasts while standing in lava.
- 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.
- Palmtree Panic:
- Yoshi's Tropical Island from the original.
- Pirate Land from 2.
- Koopa's Seaside Soiree from 4.
- Castaway Bay from 6.
- Goomba's Booty Boardwalk from 8.
- Blooper Beach from 9.
- Pinball Zone: Bowser's Pinball Machine from DS.
- Promoted to Playable:
- The "Bowser Party" mode in Mario Party 10, a special game mode in which the player controlling the Wii U GamePad plays as Bowser against four other players.
- Donkey Kong, after being Demoted to Extra in Mario Party 5, is playable once again in Mario Party 10.
- Spike and Rosalina, who were a miniboss in 9 and a cameo in Island Tour respectively, are also playable in 10.
- Pun-Based Title: The names of most minigames.
- Puzzle Boss: The bosses of Mario Party DS.
- 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.
- Random Number God:
- Chance Time is the moment where luck decides who gets ahead and who gets screwed over, either slightly (Coins) or royally (Stars).
- Players are guaranteed to hold Game Guy's name in great fear and contempt as his Minigames tend to cheat and rob them of their hard-earned coins more often than not.
- Raymanian Limbs: Tumble from 3 appears to have these.
- 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.
- Sad Battle Music: The first half of the final battle in 9.
- 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.
- Shifting Sand Land:
- Spiny Desert from 3.
- The solo board Thirsty Gulch from 6.
- Pyramid Park from 7.
- In Mario Party 6, the sun and moon are fighting.
- Dry Bones & Hammer Bro's team name in 8 is What-The-Deuce.
- When you pass by the milk bar in Western Land in 2, you have the option of inviting the other players to a hootenanny (with the potential of setting them back from getting a star before you can). If you refuse, the Wiggler running the bar will say "Y'all come back now, y'hear?"
- Skeleton Key: Found in 2 and 3.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World:
- Chilly Waters from 3.
- Snowflake Lake from 6.
- The Smurfette Principle: In 1 and 2, Peach is the only female playable character. Averted with the rest of the series when they added Daisy as a playable character in 3.
- Space Zone:
- Eternal Star in 1.
- Space Land in 2.
- Future Dream in 5.
- The Solo board Astro Avenue in 6.
- Bowser's Warped Orbit in 8.
- Bowser Station in 9.
- Rocket Road in Island Tour.
- 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.
- Spiritual Successor:
- Wii Party.
- 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.
- Super Title 64 Advance: Mario Party Advance and Mario Party DS.
- Tactical Suicide Boss: Piranha Plant in DS, where you catch the projectiles he spits at you and throw them back at him. Why is this tactical suicide? On the board itself, he simply breathes fire at you, which cannot be turned against him.
- Token Evil Teammate:
- Koopa Kid was this in Mario Parties 5 and 6.
- Shy Guy and Kamek will be this for Mario Party 9. They will be present in Story Mode as the fourth CPU character, and if they win a board, then you lose.
- Hammer Bro and Blooper in 8.
- Toy Time: Toy Dream from 5.
- Trailers Always Lie: The promotional items for Mario Party 5 made it seem that Mario and Bowser were running for Mushroom President. The game is really about Bowser invading the Dream Depot.
- Turns Red: Every single boss in Mario Party 9 decides to shake up the game when they reach half health. Additionally, Wiggler literally turns red.
- Bowser gets redder twice in 8, adding new weapons to the Koopa Clown Car each time. In 7, at the 50th floor, Koopa Kid will join the fight.
- Underground Level: Creepy Cavern from 3.
- Under the Sea:
- Deep Bloober Sea from 3.
- Undersea Dream from 5.
- 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.
- For Mario Party 10, you can play as favorite characters such as Mario, Luigi, Peach and... Spike? (He's that green shelled enemy that produces spiky balls and throws them at you)
- 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.
- Versus Character Splash: Before the boss battles in 9.
- 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.
- In 10, playing as Bowser in Bowser Party is all about this: Bullying Team Mario and clobbering them in all sorts of ways.
- 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.
- Walk Into Camera Obstruction: The Pirate Land stage ending movie; with Bowser and the winning character.
- Whammy: The Bowser Spaces typically play this role.
- Wild Teen Party: The commercial for the first game has some cops arriving regarding a wild party. They eventually end up arresting Mario for disruptive behavior.
- Wutai: Pagoda Peak from 7.
- 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.