Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Mario Super Sluggers

Go To

Mario Super Sluggers is a Mario baseball game for the Wii released on June 19, 2008 in Japan and August 25, 2008 in the United States.

Mario and his friends arrive in the Baseball Kingdom, an island with several ballparks where all of them can have fun playing ball. The conflict begins when Bowser Jr. takes over the island and Mario has to make a baseball team for himself so he can take on Junior.

This game can be considered a Sequel to the GameCube's Mario Superstar Baseball. Mario Super Sluggers features a new collection of minigames, a new Challenge Mode, new characters and new ballparks.

The game was never released in Europe and Australia because the sport is not popular in those areas and because Mario Kart Wii was being produced at the same time. Notably, this is the only Mario game for the Wii that wasn't released in these areas.

Mario Super Sluggers provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 


  • Achievement System: Five badges can be learned, mostly by unlocking all the game's Unlockable Content.
  • Action Commands: Sometimes a runner will arrive at a base at pretty much the same time as the baseball. The game will enter "Close Play" mode, during which you'll have to press the button on screen before your opponent. If the runner wins, they are safe at the base. If the fielder wins, they tag out the runner. Close Plays don't trigger at first or second base. Most often they'll happen at third base and home plate.
  • A.I. Breaker:
    • If a character runs back and forth between second and third base, the best response is to throw to third base and slowly walk towards second. The runner will be forced to stay at second. However, the AI defense will keep throwing between both bases. This pattern can be exploited for free Close Plays by repeating the loop until the second-to-third throw triggers a Close Play. This strategy is especially dangerous for players with running skills, like Mario and Bowser Jr., which make Close Plays nearly impossible to lose on accident.
    • The Mini-Boo error item causes computer fielders to freeze in their tracks, not even making an effort to track the ball.
    • Higher-level computer players can counter error items like shells and banana peels by attacking or jumping over them. This habit can be exploited to lure them away from the ball or force a jump that messes up their Buddy Jump timing.
  • Amusement Park: Yoshi Park features a rollercoaster and a train in the background. The train is a gimmick of the ballpark that can knock out the outfielders temporarily, possibly ruining an attempt to steal a home run.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Exhibition matches can have Mercy Rule enabled, which automatically ends matches when one side has a big enough lead after an inning. Sure, you could always quit, but this rule ends the game without you having to slog through unproductive innings of done games.
  • Artificial Brilliance: Higher-level computer opponents make impressive pitchers, varying pitcher position and technique to throw batters off-balance, land heads-up Buddy Strikes and dives for hard outs, and time error items to hassle fielders relative to the ball's position. However, they're also susceptible to some A.I. Breakers and don't use Star Skills very well, letting the Star gauge fill completely but only actually spending Star power rarely and haphazardly.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Toy Field opponents will not sprint, making them disproportionately easy to outrun when fielding, even with slow characters.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The default DK Wilds lineup. Aside from the unique Clamber ability, it's filled to the brim with strong batters like Donkey Kong, King K. Rool, Funky Kong, and Kritter–but they hate each other, which is represented mechanically by frequent bad fielding throws. Have fun giving up free base hits from chemistry errors. Also, you don't have any great pitchers.
    • The pipes in Yoshi Park don't have Piranha Plants during the day, but you can still hit balls into the empty pipes to warp the ball away and really confuse the defense. Good luck batting that very precise shot, though, and Yoshi Park's low fence encourages gunning for more straightforward home runs.
  • Bat Family Crossover: This game has the most characters hailing from the Donkey Kong Country series in the roster, aside from the usual DK and Diddy, and Dixie returning from the previous title, the game introduces Tiny Kong and King K. Rool to the Mario series. Funky Kong and the Kritter also appear in DK's Team, with the former's last appearance being Mario Kart Wii and the latter being a Goalkeeper in Strikers.
  • Big Bad: Bowser Junior takes over the Baseball Kingdom, and your mission is to defeat him in his own arena.
  • Bleak Level:
    • Luigi's Mansion has ghosts, graves and a mysterious music in the middle of the night.
    • Bowser Castle: The final playable field in the game, and where you face off against Bowser's team.
  • Blessed with Suck: The Super Jump ability of Luigi, Paragoomba, and others lets them catch balls higher than normal. However, it replaces the regular jump entirely. If you miss a jump, you'll spend a lot of time waiting for your character to land and become actionable, whereas players with normal jumps can land and recover more quickly. This can be a big problem when catching home runs, the most important high balls by far, which usually require a Buddy Jump instead of a Super Jump. If the player slightly fails a Buddy Jump from timing or spacing, most characters land quickly enough to recover and try it again; if you start a Super Jump, though, the ball will probably be gone by the time you recover.
  • Block Puzzle: Used in Wario City in Challenge Mode, with Wario's magnet moving shipping crates to create a path. Some of the crates have vines to climb on top of them, which utilize Donkey Kong's vine-climbing ability.
  • Boring, but Practical: Waluigi's charge swing improves contact instead of power. You will not be hitting home runs, but you'll land more base hits.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Zig-zagged. When you beat Bowser in Challenge Mode, all players on the team unlock the ability to become Star Players, which increases all their stats by 1 when you choose it for the player in team selection. However, you've already beaten all major Challenge Mode battles by that point. If there are a few scouting missions you haven't got around to beating, though, you can utilize Star Players there. More importantly, you can use them in Exhibition matches against other players or the AI.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: Yellow Shy Guy in Challenge Mode.
    Yellow Shy Guy: Hold it right there! You wanna know what's in this chest? Well, tough beans!
    Yellow Shy Guy: I ain't saying! And I sure ain't telling you it's a brush!...Aw, nuts.
  • Cap:
    • The maximum number of stars you can have in a given game is 5. You'll have to use them if you want to get more.
    • The highest a stat can be is 10. The only natural 10 stats are Bowser's, King K. Rool's, and Petey Piranha's Bats, and they'll stay at 10 even if you make the player a Star Player (boosting all stats by 1 after beating Challenge Mode Bowser with them). Only 5 characters have a 9/10 stat, which will reach the cap if you make them a Star Player: Peach and Boo (Pitch), Donkey Kong (Bat), and Yoshi and Pink Yoshi (Run). Oddly, the Field cap can never be reached, since no characters have even 9/10 Field.
  • Cave Behind the Falls: Defeat all Kritters in Challenge Mode's DK Jungle to reveal it. What's inside? Their boss, naturally, King K. Rool.
  • Casino Park: The Wario City ballpark is located in a downtown area, with what appears to be either a casino or a hotel in the background. There are flashy neon lights at night.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Characters and Miis sharing their color have good chemistry with each other. For example, Red Miis have good chemistry with Mario, Baby Mario, and red Palette Swaps of species characters. The only character on the roster without any Mii chemistry is Diddy Kong.
  • Context-Sensitive Button: A may cause changeup pitches, jumps, Buddy Jumps (tapped twice), advancing base runners and stealing, dives and special catches, pick-off throws, switching fielders, menu advancement, and/or activating captain abilities in Challenge Mode. Some of these uses depend on control scheme or also use a directional input, like stealing.
  • Comeback Mechanic: Players in last place in Toy Field have access to the Lightning Bolt item, which hits all players and can't be dodged.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Justified. Bowser Jr. loves to cheat, and sometimes, when you challenge him for control of a stadium in Challenge Mode, he'll start the game off with one or multiple free runs.
  • Crippling Overspecialization:
    • Blooper has an excellent changeup pitch, but all his stats are decent at best, making him struggle to find a spot on teams.
    • Subverted with Bowser. His stats imply this, with a maximum 10 in Bat and no other stat above 5. However, Bat is important enough that he would be usable even with no hidden advantages, and he has two of those anyway. First are his tremendous fielding throws, which are the fastest in the game. He also has fantastic chemistry with every single member of the Bowser Monsters (as well as Koopa Troopa and Koopa Paratroopa). When two players have chemistry, their fielding throws are faster: not only do Bowser's lasers get even quicker, but his teammates get throwing boosts as well. However, while Bowser's Chemistry matchups with his team are the best, at the same time he has the most bad chemistry matchups of all the characters, making him a wildcard that is either a great or a poor fit based on how the team is built. Bowser's super-fast throws can go off-target if he plays with someone he doesn't get along with.
    • Zig-zagged with Peach. She specializes in pitching, with a 9/10 stat tied with Boo for the highest. The Pitch stat is not important as Bat, but her 8/10 Field stat and Quick Throw ability seem to give her a secondary strength. In practice, though, she is not a great fielder. The Field stat is the least impactful, and Quick Throw may be the least impactful ability. Besides a workable Field stat, fielders want secondary attributes like special dives, height, high Run (for outfielders), and chemistry with other strong infielders (for infielders). Peach has decent enough height and chemistry with Daisy, but she has no special dive and her Run is middling. Characters like Yoshi and Petey Piranha are much better at outfield and infield, respectively, despite their average gloves because they have more of those advantages. Thus, Peach is usually heavily outclassed as a fielder. However, if Stars are enabled, her excellent Star Swing in Heart Swing can turn her into a reliable base hitter, averting this trope. Even without Stars, her pitching expertise may make her strong on certain teams and in certain situations, but she becomes trickier to justify.
    • Baby Peach, lacking her older self's unique Star Swing, plays this trope more straight. Again, though, her pitching may be enough to merit her a spot depending on the team and situation.
    • The default Yoshi Eggs lineup specializes in speed but loses out on most everything else. You're sorely lacking in batting power (Birdo and Wiggler are your only strong options), pitching (5/10 Blue Shy Guy is your best), and chemistry (most everyone likes Birdo, but that's your only positive chemistry, and Yoshis and Shy Guys dislike each other).
  • Damned by Faint Praise:
    • The default Dry Bones's description is "A Dry Bones who can avoid most tags." This presumably refers to his Scatter Dive ability to win close plays... but all Dry Bones variants have it, not just Dry Bones.
    • King Boo's description merely claims he's "a decent player", pointing out his poor defense to boot. Faint praise for a powerful batter and pitcher who further helps the chemistry of some excellent players like Petey Piranha and Birdo. His case is especially damning because much worse players get much higher praise; glaringly, Baby Luigi is an "outstanding fielder" despite a middling 5/10 glove, tiny height, and dubious ability in Super Jump.
    • Red Koopa Troopa "can do a spin attack." This is immediately obvious from its ability name, which is Spin Attack, implying the developers had nothing else nice to say about it.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: After defeating Bowser in Challenge Mode in his own castle, Mario and his friends invite him to play baseball together for fun. Bowser accepts.
  • Defeat Means Playable: In Challenge Mode, characters will challenge you with missions, and if you succeed at them, they will join your team.
  • Deer in the Headlights: In the intro, Diddy Kong freezes in terror and screams as he almost gets run over by a large barrel. Fortunately, DK rescues him, much to Diddy's relief.
  • Double Unlock:
    • Bowser Castle is revealed after you beat Bowser Jr. in Challenge Mode, but you have to beat Bowser himself to unlock the stadium.
    • Unlocking the Challenge Mode shops in Mario Stadium and Peach Ice Garden, respectively, lets you see the Luigi's Flashlight and Cruiser Pass. These reveal that the Luigi's Mansion and Daisy Cruiser stadiums exist, but you still have to buy both items to unlock the stadiums.
  • Edible Bludgeon: Baby DK uses a banana to hit the baseball.
  • Egopolis: The ballparks are character-themed: Mario Stadium, Daisy Cruiser, Peach Ice Garden, Luigi's Mansion, Bowser Jr. Playroom, Bowser Castle, DK Jungle, Wario City and Yoshi Park.
  • Enemy Mine: An interesting one in the final story cutscene. Wario and Waluigi load the baseball pitcher (which Mario and DK are using to launch fireworks) with a Bullet Bill. Bowser of all people jumps in front of Mario to hit it, which sends Wario and Waluigi flying into the air. He walks away without so much as a nod in acknowledgment.
  • Epic Fail: For more common failures, based on their Field stat, fielders have a chance to goofily drop the ball. However, errors on fast balls can preserve their momentum, sending them flying... possibly into the stands, turning a free out into a Home Run. For balance reasons, Star Swings almost never have the trajectory to become Home Runs, but an error on Mario's Star Swing, Fire Swing, can subvert that.
  • Evil Is One Big, Happy Family: The villainous default team, the Bowser Monsters, has the best chemistry among all default teams. Everybody likes Bowser, everybody except the Dry Bones link great with Bowser Jr., and Magikoopas and Hammer Bros. get along great too. Bowser's chemistry orbit even includes Koopa Troopa and Koopa Paratroopa from Wario's team, while the Magikoopas get along with Boo. The team has no bad chemistry at all.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Bowser and K. Rool have bad chemistry. Apparently there is just not enough room for two large tyrannical villains it seems.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Many special abilities are varying degrees of this this. For Yoshi's Tongue Catch, he catches the ball with his tongue.
  • Extra Turn: You get an extra turn batting in Toy Field if no fielder is holding the ball when the round ends. Most commonly, you would hit the fielders with error items to force a drop or keep them away from the ball, but hitting a Grand Slam automatically works too.
  • Fantastic Fireworks: Home run Bob-ombs in the Bob-omb Derby minigame can explode into cascading star patterns.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes:
    • Every player has characters they have good chemistry with, allowing them to play better and perform special techniques. Wario and Waluigi, on the other hand, only have good chemistry with each other (and Miis wearing their favorite colors), making it something of a handicap to use them on your team and especially using only one of them.
    • Nearly all of the Captains' teams have at least one oddball that has no/bad chemistry with one or more teammates or the Captain. Mario's team has Blooper, Peach's team has Petey Piranha, No teammates (Sans Waluigi) care for Wario, K.Rool and the Kremlings are on DK's team, and the Yoshis and Shy Guys on Yoshi's Team don't like each other (But they both like Birdo).
  • Giant Squid: Gooper Blooper attacks the Daisy Cruiser and becomes an obstacle when playing Blooper Baserun or a nighttime baseball match.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Or playing baseball with him, rather. Other foes like Goomba, Koopa Troopa, Wario, Waluigi, and even King K. Rool get in on the fun.
  • Hedge Maze: Subverted. Early on, to progress in Peach Ice Garden, you are stopped by a small bloc of hedges and strewn paths. The actual path through the hedge is extremely simple and not remotely a maze: instead, you have to rearrange the hedges themselves to make the traversable path.
  • Hollywood Magnetism: Wario's magnet in Challenge Mode can draw in Coins from places like trash cans, but the presumed pure gold of the Coins is not magnetic, and Wario's magnet is likely unrealistically strong either way. Wario uses it to recruit Waluigi, claiming the latter needs his magnet to even open the treasure chest they're bickering over.
  • Home Stage: The six main captains have fields themed after them (different from the first game), along with three new ones for Luigi, Daisy, and Bowser Jr.
  • Ice Palace: Downplayed. Peach Ice Garden is a castle ballroom with an ice floor and moving ice sculptures.
  • Informed Attribute: Some player descriptions don't have clear mechanical follow-throughs. Red Pianta is "a defensive specialist among Piantas," and Yellow Pianta's pitches "have extra oomph," but the two players have identical stats and abilities.
  • Jack of All Stats: Mario and Luigi apply, as is common, with 6/7/6/7 and 6/6/7/7 stats where the maximum is 10. All Mii characters have 6/6/6/6 stats. The three are also Jacks of All Trades.
  • Jungle Japes: DK Jungle is set in a dense jungle where barrels are shot out of cannons at the fielders, and a statue of Donkey Kong can be seen in the background.
  • Justified Tutorial: Scouting missions, Challenge Mode recruiting events where you convince players to join your team by showing off your skills, are often used to let players learn and practice mechanics like Buddy Jumps and special catches.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Downplayed. Mario, Bowser Jr., and Wiggler are the only characters with 7/10 Bat and Run, leaving them both fast and strong. However, the difference between a 7/10 bat and a 10/10 bat like Bowser is very substantial. Bat and Run are the most important stats for non-pitchers (most characters), so a character excellent in both at once could risk being too overpowered.
  • Limit Break: Making good plays will fill your Star gauge. Every time it's completely filled, a star will be added to the counter. Using a star in batting will make the contact more prone to being a base hit, and using it in pitching will produce a faster or tricky pitch. Team captains may use two stars instead of one sometimes.
  • Lock and Key Puzzle: Bowser Jr. locks Blue Pianta in his Mario Stadium shop in Challenge Mode. Once you find the key and unlock the door, not only will Blue Pianta join your team, but he will reopen the shop for you.
  • Logical Weakness: Bowser Jr.'s Star Swing, Graffiti Swing, covers the ball's landing spot with a splash of damaging graffiti. This is a huge pain–except for Paragoomba, Boo, and other non-grounded characters, who just float over it.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Bowser is actually the one behind the takeover of Baseball Kingdom. His son just does the work.
  • Master of None:
    • Baby Mario is poor at pitching, batting, and fielding. His high Run would seem to help the latter two, but his 3/10 bat and 4/10 glove let him down. His small height further hurts his fielding. His best bet is using his chemistry links with better characters like Yoshi and Baby DK to gain items while batting, which will help him sneak on base. However, other characters can use this strategy just as well while bringing more advantages. His description implies he suffers from Crippling Overspecialization, saying his height, Run, and Enlarge ability make him the "master of close plays", a rare situation. However, realistically, better players perform just as well here. His height provides no clear advantage, as close plays entail clicking a button before your opponent, so his advantages come down to Run and Enlarge. Toadette matches him perfectly here, while Mario and the Toads are one Run point away, and they have better bats to better actually enable close play situations.
    • Toadette herself appears to suffer equally to Baby Mario, as she has identical stats and abilities. However, she has a unique advantage in her chemistry links. She is one of only two characters having chemistry with both Peach and Birdo, helping link these two formidable characters on the same team. Daisy has chemistry with them both as well, alongside mostly higher stats, but her much more restrictive chemistry brings its own problems–Toadette linking with all the Toads and Toadsworth is quite convenient.
  • Meaningful Name: Waluigi's team name is the Spitballs. In baseball, a spitball is an illegal pitch using spit–or something else–on the ball to make it move erratically. Waluigi's Star Pitch and Star Swing, Liar Ball and Liar Swing, see the ball erratically zig-zag through the air. More generally, the cheating and grossness implications match Waluigi well.
  • Metaphorgotten: Lampshaded.
    Red Magikoopa: Y'all think you can stop ol' Bowser, eh? Well, you're putting the cart before the horse, pal!
    Red Magikoopa: Carts can't pull horses, see? And you can't fight Bowser 'cause I'm the way.
    Red Magikoopa: See. Bowser's a cart, and I'm me. Now the horse is riding... Wait, that's not it...
    Red Magikoopa: Never mind! All that matters is that I, Red Magikoopa, am going to destroy you!
    • After you defeat them:
      Red Magikoopa: Maybe the cart can pull the horse if the cart's motorized or something...
      Red Magikoopa: This isn't over yet!
  • Mighty Glacier:
    • King K. Rool hits and pitches the ball extremely hard, with his Laser Throw ability making throws to home plate especially quick. He also deconstructs the trope with his description referencing his low stamina, presumably due to his extreme weight. However, King K. Rool is very slow, reaching the minimum possible 1 Run stat. Donkey Kong, Wario, and others fit the trope but downplay it compared to him.
    • Petey Piranha and Bowser are also very strong and have very low Run. However, they have ways to move quickly despite their low Run; Petey Piranha's special ability Piranha Dive makes him a surprisingly quick and nimble fielder, while Bowser's fast and far attacks are fantastic to set up Buddy Strikes.
  • Mini-Game: 10 of them:
    • "Piranha Panic". Score points by hitting the Piranha Plants with different pitches.
    • "Barrel Basher". Break the barrels by hitting the baseball as they roll in from 5 directions. Reach the goal score before time runs out to win.
    • "Graffiti Runner". Attack or use items to steal the paintbrush. Paint with it more than the others to win.
    • "Blooper Baserun". Run around the bases and gather coins. Get the most to win.
    • "Ghost K". Hit the ghosts by pitching balls to them in order to get points. Get the most to win.
    • "Gem Catch". Get the gems that come at you while avoiding error items on the field. Reach the goal score in a set amount of turns to win.
    • "Bob-omb Derby". Smash Bob-ombs that come at you with the bat to get home runs. The further the batted ball travels, the more points.
    • "Wall Ball". Charge your pitch and release it to break ice walls and score points. The last ice wall you break is the one which matters most. Get the most points to win.
    • "Bowser Pinball". Keep hitting the iron ball with the bat and rack up points by bumping into different objects on the field, like a normal pinball.
    • "Toy Field". Take turns batting on a special field to get more Coins than your three opponents, whether by batting onto special colored spaces or bothering the other players by messing with pitches, catching batters out, and bashing fielders around. A more in-depth minigame with 10-30 rounds of four at-bats each.
  • Mook Chivalry: In Challenge Mode's DK Jungle, the Kritters make sure to challenge you one at a time. Bowser Jr.'s and Bowser's minions usually do the same, but they work together to challenge your baseball squad in Bowser Jr. Playhouse and Bowser Castle.
  • Musical Nod:
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Bowser's Star Pitch is Killer Ball. Ironically, its long animation and lack of negative effects on hit make it less dangerous than other Star Pitches.
  • Nerf: Bowser was nerfed in transition from this game's prequel, Mario Superstar Baseball. His spectacular 9/10 Pitch, tied for the maximum in that game, was nerfed to a middling 5/10. Bowser did gain 1 Bat and 2 Field and Run, but these buffs were not that impactful. He is still a very poor fielder and baserunner, and the Bat gain may just reflect a changed Cap, since 10/10 stats did not exist in Mario Superstar Baseball. Bowser is still among the best characters in this game, so the nerf may have been deserved.
  • Nice Day, Deadly Night: Downplayed. Yoshi Park and DK Jungle are more dangerous at night, featuring Piranha Plants and barrel-throwing statues, respectively. The day-exclusive Bowser Jr. Playroom isn't "nice", but its night-time counterpart, Bowser Castle, is more deadly with lava, falling bombs, and a more menacing atmosphere. The haunted Luigi's Mansion can only be played at night. However, day and night can be freely toggled between, and stadiums like Mario Stadium have no meaningful gameplay changes at night.
  • Nostalgia Level: Luigi's Mansion is unlockable and playable at night. The spooky mansion and music greatly remind one of Luigi's Mansion.
  • Notice This: Perfectly timing a Charge Swing or Charge Pitch, which increases the effects of charging, causes a special sound and flash while displaying a small "Nice!"
  • Painfully Slow Projectile: For balance reasons, error items move slowly enough to dodge. This low speed makes sense more sense for falling banana peels than fireballs racing across the field.
  • Palette Swap:
    • Yoshi, Red Toad, Blue Pianta, Blue Noki, Kritter, Green Koopa Troopa, Red Koopa Paratroopa, Magikoopa, Dry Bones, and Shy Guy all have 1-5 alternate color versions with slightly different stats. These versions are important for letting you run, in effect, multiple versions of a character on the same team, or for letting both you and your opponent each use one (or multiple!). Confusingly, Koopa Troopa has green for the default color and red for the alternate, while the reverse is true for Koopa Paratroopa.
    • Hammer Bro., Fire Bro., and Boomerang Bro. function similarly to palette swaps, sharing similar-but-recolored models and being condensed like alternate colors when selecting team members. However, they have different completely different bats as well.
  • Palmtree Panic: Mario Stadium is set on a beautiful beach. Also overlaps with Green Hill Zone.
  • Playing with Fire: Mario can use Star Skills to make his pitches and swings fireballs, and Bowser can do the same for a swing with his fiery breath. Fire Bro. can catch balls with fireballs. Somehow.
  • Power Fist: Donkey Kong uses a boxing glove to hit the baseball. Not any less powerful than an actual bat, as he has the second highest batting stat in the game, after Bowser, Petey Piranha and King K. Rool.
  • The Power of Friendship: Good chemistry lets pairs of characters do Buddy Jumps, very high jumps that can steal home runs, or Buddy Strikes, extremely fast fielding throws. Friends can also launch items onto the field to help friends right before them in the battling lineup.
  • Power-Up Letdown:
    • Some unique Star Swings become letdowns in the face of advanced techniques. Luigi's Tornado Swing and Birdo's Cannon Shot are vulnerable to special catches, for example.
    • Yoshi's and Birdo's Star Pitches, Rainbow Ball and Suction Ball, fit this trope without any special techniques required. Rainbow Ball temporarily makes the ball invisible, but its slow speed and eventual reappearance make it fairly easy to hit regardless. Suction Ball attempts to fool the batter by retracting the ball mid-pitch, but Birdo's unique animation makes the trap very easy to spot and avoid.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The default Wario Muscles, consisting of Wario, Waluigi, some loosely connected Mario-series enemies, and King Boo, deconstructs this. They emphasize tricks, with Goomba's Ball Dash, Paragoomba's and Koopa Paratroopa's Super Jump, and Wario's Laser Beam giving them a unique combination of rare abilities. Waluigi's high-contact charge swings and Boo's very curved pitches add more pop. However, the team's batting power is rather low, tricks like Super Jump and Laser Beam are rarely that impactful, and the team's loose construction gives it very scattershot chemistry. Pitching is the team's only clear strength, with Waluigi, King Boo, and even Goomba or Paragoomba backing up Boo, but the default Peach Monarchs gives even better pitching, far better chemistry, and better capability overall.
  • Read the Freaking Manual: The pick-off throw allows you to snipe runners trying to steal bases. The AI can do it, but the player is never told they can, much less how to. The manual notes it and explains how to use it.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Heavily downplayed. Dark Bones is intimidating with its black color and glowing red eyes, and it antagonizes the player just like the other Dry Bones in Challenge Mode. It has the highest stat total of the Dry Bones variants, towering over their 20 totals with its menacing... 21. Its stats are identical to those of the standard Dry Bones bar one extra point in Pitch, bringing that stat from a mediocre 4/10 to a still-mediocre 5/10. Further, it doesn't play a unique story role.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: At the start of Yoshi Park in Challenge Mode, the player encounters a Red Shy Guy and Blue Shy Guy. The Red Shy Guy is panicky about what happened in the park while Blue Shy Guy calmly explains that Wiggler is seeing red and the roller coaster's gone crazy and invites the characters over to the Ferris Wheel. Oddly, Red Shy Guy speaks much more calmly at the Ferris Wheel.
  • Serial Escalation: Quick Throw provides a moderate boost to fielding throw velocity. High Bat stats can provide a bigger bonus. Bowser has a uniquely high throw velocity bonus among strong batters. You can raise it further by having chemistry with the recipient. If that's somehow not enough, equip the Lucky Glove or Super Star for a 50% boost.
  • Ship Tease: Mario has good chemistry with Peach, while Luigi has good chemistry with Daisy.
  • Shared Signature Move:
    • All members of the Kong family have Clamber as their signature ability, letting them climb up stadium walls to snag difficult balls.
    • King Boo and Boo share Teleport.
    • All palette swaps share abilities, or they have visually different abilities with identical functions. For example, the Kritters share Keeper Catch and the Dry Bones share Scatter Dive. However, some of these abilities are not signature. All the Toad characters have Enlarge, but so do Mario and Baby Mario.
  • Secret Art: Played with.
    • Each unique Star Pitch and Star Swing can only be used by one captain, and they differ dramatically in effects.
    • The ability Ball Dash is very unique mechanically and can only be used by Goomba or the Noki trio, and the similarly unique Clamber is exclusive to the Kong family.
    • Other abilities are technically "unique" to a character, like Hammer Bro.'s Hammer Throw, but they're identical mechanically to alternates, here Fireball Throw, Boomerang Throw, and Magical Catch.
    • Most pitifully, the Quick Throw ability is duplicated–and exceeded–by other characters, no special ability required. Quick Throw does let fielders throw balls more quickly, but batting power provides the same effect, and its effect is greater for very strong characters like Petey Piranha and Bowser.
  • Secret Shop: Run by Magikoopa in Challenge Mode. You can buy Star Candy, filling the Star Gauge when a player comes up to bat, or a Super Star, which combines the effect of multiple items into one.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Peach Ice Garden takes place inside an ice rink, with Freezies acting as obstacles on the field.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Peach is the only female Challenge Mode captain you can control in the overworld, and she uses heart power to interact with objects and coax out future teammates.
  • Stats Dissonance:
    • The Field stat particularly suffers here. It reduces errors, providing some help to all fielding positions, and avoiding actively bad scores is ideal. However, it doesn't indicate a character's fielding usefulness at all, as secondary attributes are more important for that. All fielders want good chemistry to enable Buddy Strikes and (in the outfield) Buddy Jumps. Outfielders also want high Speed, and outfielders & 2B/SS want special catch skills (or Clamber for OF) to extend their range. All fielders appreciate decent or even strong bats to speed up base throws. 2B/SS enjoy tall height reducing the need for jumps and extending jumps, and 1B/3B appreciate skills like Ball Dash and Laser Beam (3B) to diversify their use. Characters with average gloves but strong secondary attributes like Petey Piranha, Yoshi, and Mario outperform characters like Peach and Waluigi, which tie for best Field at 8/10 but lack depth. Bizarrely, 3/10 Field Bowser is often a more useful fielder than the latter two. His immensely fast throws and great chemistry give him unique pop in 3B or 1B, where he won't have to catch may balls to risk errors anyway, and Peach's and Waluigi's poor secondary attributes make them hard to utilize well anywhere–outside the pitcher's mound.
    • Pitch applies to a lesser extent, as it doesn't reveal special pitching properties like Blooper's quick changeups, Magikoopa's sky-high changeups, and Toadsworth's immensely slow pitch speed. It determines pitch curve, but Bat has more influence for pitch speed.
  • Stat Meters: Each character's Pitch, Bat, Field, and Run stats are visible when you hover over them while picking characters. Stats below 7 are yellow, while stats that are 7-10 are red.
  • Sore Loser: When beaten in the various stadiums in Challenge Mode, Bowser Jr. will complain about how he was supposed to win, claim he didn't want a "run-down ballpark" like that one anyway, and run away.
  • Spot the Imposter: Wario's Star Pitch, Phoney Ball, spawns two slow-moving baseballs. One is real, but the other's an illusion that disappears when hit.
  • Taken for Granite: Daisy gets turned into a stone statue in Challenge Mode and used to push down a button, stopping Peach's fountain from flooding. She gets better. Then she steps off the button and the fountain floods. She hops back on and hangs out there until you find a different statue to take her place.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Thanks in due part to an oddball being on their respective teams, this comes up often.
    • The Yoshi Eggs consists of other Yoshis and Shy Guys, who don't like each other.
    • K.Rool and the Kremlings joined the DK Wilds out of respect, but that's about it. They don't get along with them at all.
    • Petey Piranha is on the Peach Monarchs, but he has no chemistry with anyone, and Peach, Daisy, and their infant counterparts don't get along with him.
  • Treasure Is Bigger in Fiction: The gems in the Gem Catch minigame. And they're shot out of a cannon. Don't drop them!
  • Tornado Move: This is Luigi's special ability. He can encase the baseball in a tornado, which makes it VERY difficult to catch when batting–unless your fielder has a special catch–and difficult to hit when pitching.
  • Toy Time: Bowser Jr. Playroom is set in a whimsical-looking playroom.
  • Translation: "Yes": According to Dry Bones:
    Clackety clack! Clack clack clacky clacky clark clurk clank clank clink! (Stop.)
  • Tube Travel: In Challenge Mode, Yoshi uses manholes to get around the ballparks this way.
  • Unlockable Content: Technically, all you need to "complete" Challenge Mode is unlocking nine players in it, which is required to face Bowser Jr. and then Bowser. Beyond that, you have the full set of characters, stadiums, minigames, error items, and Star Player transformations.
  • Unique Protagonist Asset: All characters have Star Swings and Star Pitches, but most are generic. Only the Challenge Mode protagonists and antagonists–plus the formers' co-captains–get unique versions of both, which are often much more dangerous.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Aside from his naturally good chemistry, Bowser brings three major advantages: a strong bat, a strong fielding arm, and a strong pitching arm. This raw power helps make him one of the game's best characters. Like every captain, he has a unique Star Swing and Star Pitch, but his are relatively unimpressive. Like every player, he has a special skill, but entering Close Plays to ever use his Spin Attack is very unlikely given his 3/10 Run.
  • Unstable Equilibrium: The better you play in a given baseball game, the more stars you will get. The more stars, the more star swings/pitches, and the more good plays that will net you more stars. So if you're doing poorly, it'll be hard to come back. Especially if your opponent has a ton of stars.
  • Villainous Rescue: In the ending, Wario and Waluigi fire a Bullet Bill at Mario and DK. Surprisingly, it's Bowser who comes to the rescue and hits the Bullet Bill back at Wario and Waluigi.
  • Villain Respect: The reason K. Rool and the Kremlings joined Donkey Kong's team is because they respect their baseball abilities.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Many characters have a dive for their special ability, extending their dive range. Some are straightforward farther dives, such as Shy Guy's and Daisy's Super Dive. Magikoopa's Magical Catch equivalent is a bit stranger, but perhaps the ball is telekinetically moved. Hammer Bro.'s Hammer Throw and Boomerang Bro.'s Boomerang Throw, where they throw their bats like boomerangs to snag and pull in the ball, are confusing to think about but probably not physically impossible. Fire Bro., however, has Fireball Throw. He reels in the baseball with fire.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Inevitable in a game with one "strength" stat, Bat, and where not every character can excel in it.
    • Baby Daisy's description lampshades the trope: "A nasty curve makes up for a lack of power."
    • Magikoopa ties for the weakest bat in the game, but it has top-class Pitch and Field, with sky-high changeups and the Magical Catch ability to bolster each respective skill.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Handled strangely with Birdo. Her description says she "has trouble hitting curves:" curved pitches are very easy and effective to throw with skilled pitchers, and they have no real downside, being ubiquitous in skilled play. However, it's unclear how, or even whether, this weakness manifests in her mechanics as opposed to merely being flavor. Birdo has another peculiar weakness that is more obvious and arbitrary: her especially poor use of Star power, possessing the worst unique Star Pitch by far and arguably the worst Star Swing too.