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Video Game / Mario Superstar Baseball

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Mario Superstar Baseball is a Mario baseball game for the Nintendo Gamecube released on June 21st, 2005 in Japan, August 29th, 2005 in the United States, and November 11th, 2005, in Europe.

The plot (as told by Challenge Mode) is that the main cast has gotten into playing Baseball recently, including Bowser, who challenges the main characters to face his team. Mario, Peach, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, and Wario accept this challenge and form their own teams, all itching to prove to the others and Bowser that they're the best baseball team around.

Its sequel, Mario Super Sluggers, was released three years later on the Wii.

Mario Superstar Baseball provides examples of:

  • Baseball Episode: The game is a Mario sports title that has the portly plumber and his friends play baseball.
  • Benevolent Boss: Would you believe that Big Bad Bowser's the second most buddy-buddy of the captains, sharing chemistry with 5 different characters which is ironically 1 less than Peach? Of course being power based, his friendliness on the field is what can make his team so deadly.
  • Big "NO!": Losing a baseball game or minigame as either Mario or Daisy will prompt them to let off a huge one.
  • Big "WHAT?!": This is Bowser's reaction to when Mario enters Bowser's stadium in Bowser's Challenge mode.
    Bowser: Hmm... I'm over here and... Mario's team is over there... Huh? I........................ ....................... lost............ stadium. WAIT JUST A MINUTE! WHAAAAT?! Why?! How?! What's going on?!
  • Body Wipe: In the very last scene before the credits where Mario walks out of a field holding a baseball, he walks slowly into the camera. The camera then zooms out from his hat as he continues walking.
  • Butt Biter: This happens to DK in the opening cutscene courtesy of a Chain Chomp.
  • Calling Your Shots: In the intro cutscene, Mario calls a shot that ends up being a game winning home run, a clear nod to Babe Ruth famously doing the same during the 1932 World Series.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • One of Mario's team names, the Mario Heroes, has a Super Cape in the logo. The default team you play in Challenge Mode is the Mario Sunshines, and one with some of the other captains on the team is the Mario All Stars.
    • Having Luigi captain a team that also includes Bowser, Toad, Boo, and King Boo (all of which who have appeared in Luigi's Mansion) will change the team name to the Luigi Mansioneers.
    • If Birdo leads a team with Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad, the team name becomes the Birdo Bows. What's more is that the logo consists of Birdo's bow over red and white stripes and blue stars. No doubt referencing Super Mario Bros. 2/USA.
    • Yoshi's Challenge Mode team name is the Yoshi Islanders, with the logo adorned with the hills of Super Mario World. Yoshi's house is also behind Yoshi Park's home plate.
    • Wario Palace has Cyclone Generators that whip up sandstorms from Wario World.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: One of Mario's Star Missions is to pitch an entire game without anyone on the opposing team reaching a base. This can be even moreso if you win by Mercy Rule.
  • Defeat Means Playable: In Challenge Mode, if you collect enough scout flags for the opposing players and captains and beat their teams, they'll join your team and become playable characters.
  • Difficult, but Awesome
    • As the name implies, power-oriented players focus on raw batting strength (and pitching strength for a few of them) in exchange for crummy running speed and fielding. Their ability to drive the ball in deep is practically required to buy enough time to get on base, especially if your entire team focuses on power. Understanding how chemistry works and how to use it for fast throwing paths is also needed to work around their abysmal fielding speed. That being said, once you get the timing down for making contact with the ball when a power player's up to bat, you can potentially dominate with back-to-back homers and make the Mercy rule kick in to win games fast.
    • Special mention goes to Bowser, one of the best batters and pitchers in the game (tied with Petey Piranha and Waluigi, respectively) and also one of the worst runners and fielders. Not only does he pull double duty both on the mound and up to bat as an offensive monster, he also has chemistry with 5 different characters, right behind Peach with her 6. When you get to play as him in Challenge mode and get to use his team that's loaded with duplicates of Dry Bones, Hammer Bros., and one Bowser Jr., all three of which he shares chemistry with, you'll realize just how capable the final boss can be in your hands.
    • If you have all five stars available, you can hit a guaranteed home run with any character. However, this requires frame-perfect timing, missing that timing window uses up a star, and once you hit the ball it drains all your stars.
  • Down to the Last Play: The intro movie shows the game between Mario and Wario ending in a walk-off home run by Mario. Downplayed in that the game was already tied, and the home run causes them to win by 2 runs, but a walk-off is a walk-off.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: This game was the Dry Bones' first time in 3D, as previous appearances were 2D games of varying art styles. However, this game as well as Super Sluggers also included colored variants for Dry Bones but only the Dry Bones with light blue shoes would return in other non-spinoff titles.
  • Fragile Speedster: All of the Speed characters trade in power for the ability to get on base and run over the field.
  • Glass Cannon: The Power characters absolutely crush the ball as batters, but have terrible gloves and speed.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Aside from Mario & Peach being able to play a friendly game of Baseball with Bowser and/or his son, both Wario and Waluigi can get in on the fun as well.
  • Home Stage: There are character-specific fields for Mario, Peach, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Wario and Bowser. Half of the game's main "captains".
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels:
    • In Exhibition mode, there are four difficulty levels the CPU can be set on, from easiest to hardest: Weak, Regular, Strong, and Powerful.
    • Challenge mode also has its own four difficulty levels scale, with different names: Mushroom, Flower, Star, and Special.
  • Instant-Win Condition: The Mercy rule is on by default, automatically ending the game if one team has a 10-run lead by the end of an inning. If you beat another team this way in Challenge Mode, you'll instantly recruit every single member of that team that you haven't already.
  • Interface Spoiler: The characters that make up Bowser's team are visible on the list of characters you've recruited in Challenge Mode, even though it's not possible to recruit them, giving away that Bowser will get his own story mode. Speaking of Bowser's story, it's not possible to recruit any of the other captains because all of them join Mario's team for the final game.
  • Jack of All Stats: The Balance oriented characters, such as Mario and Luigi. They don't have any significant strengths, but their even abilities make them viable as five-tool players capable of bringing an extra dimension to any team they play for while preserving its strength.
  • Mini-Game: There's 7 minigames, one for each stadium plus Toy Field:
    • Mario Stadium: "Bob-omb Derby", a home-run derby with firework-loaded Bob-ombs instead of baseballs.
    • Peach Garden: "Wall Ball", where four players pitch the ball to try and break a line of walls for coins.
    • Yoshi Park: "Piranha Panic", in which four players have to throw colored eggs and Bob-ombs at the matching Piranha Plants (or, with Bob-ombs, each other).
    • Wario Palace: "Chain Chomp Sprint", where the players run around the bases collecting gems and must stop or be penalized when the sleeping Chain Chomp in the center wakes up.
    • Donkey Kong Jungle: "Barrel Batter", a puzzle game where a lone player tries to break clusters of colored barrels by hitting the ball at them.
    • Bowser Castle: "Star Dash", where four players run around collecting coins and helpful powerups while dodging Thwomps.
    • Toy Field is a Mario Party-esque turn-based game where the players bat, pitch, and field (who does what depends on how each turn plays out) on a special field to earn coins.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: The "Mercy" rule (which can be disabled in normal game modes, but is always active in story mode) is when a team is 10 runs or more ahead at the end of an inning, ending the game; however, if the visiting team is 10 runs ahead in the top of the inning, the home team still gets the bottom of the inning to reduce the deficit under 10 (for example, 15-0 to 15-6) before the rule kicks in.
  • Petal Power: Daisy's Star Skill covers the ball with flowers.
  • Playing with Fire: Both Mario and Luigi's Star Skills engulf the ball in flames.
  • Power Fist: Donkey Kong uses a boxing glove to hit the baseball.
  • The Power of Friendship: Invoked as a gameplay mechanic called Chemistry:
    • Pairs of characters that are known to be friends such as the Mario Bros or Peach & Daisy can perform better when on the same team, ranging from a batter hitting the ball extra hard to get their buddy up a base to tossing the ball to a buddy much faster than anyone else. Setting up your teams and fielding positions with chemistry in mind is one of the most important parts of the competitive play; having as many buddies on a team as you can is recommended.
    • There's also Bad Chemistry which can avert the whole trope when a pair of enemies such as Mario and Wario or Luigi and Waluigi are on the same team, with their grudges making batting and fielding worse than before.
  • The Power of Love: Peach's Star Skill obscures the ball with hearts.
  • Red Boxing Gloves: Donkey Kong's "bat" is just a boxing glove on his dominant arm. Since DK specializes in raw power, he can easily score homeruns with his glove and his strength alone.
  • Relationship Values: In Challenge mode, completing enough scout missions will impress opposing players and eventually join your team, represented by scout flags and how many missions need to be completed depends on the difficulty.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The Wario Palace stadium is located in a desert, with both the eponymous Palace and the stadium's theme looking and sounding like it would be right at home in an Arabian Nights setting.
  • Ship Tease: Mario has good chemistry with Peach, while Luigi has good chemistry with Daisy.
  • Villain Episode: Completing Challenge Mode on the highest difficulty unlocks Bowser's story, where he seeks out the other teams himself since no one responds to his challenge. After defeating every team, Bowser comes back home to find that Mario hijacked his stadium, leading to a final match against Mario's team, which is now made up entirely of captains.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: Non-Game Over variant that isn't applied to the player. If you recruit the main captain of an opposing team in Challenge Mode, you can't challenge that team anymore. Any players left over will find their way onto Bowser Jr.'s team to give you a chance at them again.