Japan: December 18, 1998
Mario Party (Japanese: マリオパーティ, Mario Pāti) is a video game based on a board game for Nintendo 64 and the first in the Mario Party series. Venture to fun as you collect coins, use various items, play minigames,and play modes to become a Superstar.
From the game's instruction booklet:
Mario looked around and smiled. Throwing a party had been an excellent idea. It had been a long time since they had all gotten together. All his friends were there: Luigi, Peach, Toad, Yoshi - even Wario and Donkey Kong. They laughed and talked about all the adventures they had shared together in the past. But what was there to do now?
The conversation turned to their dreams for the future. Amazingly, they all envisioned the same thing...
To become a Super Star upon whom everyone in the world could rely.
Then Wario asked, "Which one of us is the biggest Super Star?"
"I am!" "It's me!" they all shouted. The gang couldn't come to an agreement because they each wanted to be the best. They needed to prove once and for all who truly was number one.
Suddenly, Toad had an idea. "Isn't a Super Star someone who helps others when they're in trouble?"
Everyone realized he was right. Then Toad told them about a Warp Pipe in Mushroom Village that could take you anywhere you wanted to go. Surely there were people on the other side of that Pipe who needed their help.
They all ran as fast as they could to Mushroom Village and jumped into the Warp Pipe. But none of them knew what exciting adventures awaited them on the other side...
One day Mario and his friends were sitting around arguing over who is the Super Star. Wario states that a Super Star must be strong, to which Donkey Kong agrees. Both get into an argument over who is stronger. Toad says that maybe Mario would make a good superstar, or Peach, or even the energetic Yoshi. The gang starts to close in on Toad, who shouts out that he has an idea of what they should do. He suggests that the crew take the Warp Pipe in Mushroom Village, and find out who is the Super Star of their adventures. He warns that the road will be dangerous and that being the super star requires not only strength, but courage, wisdom and kindness. Luigi bravely agrees first to this plan and steps off to find the warp pipe. Wario follows and the group agrees to the plan and also set off to find the warp pipe and become the next Super Star.
Game modes are selected from the Main Menu screen, Mushroom Village, that the player is led to once starting the game. Each building or feature represents a mode, and the player can select one to play a certain mode.
Listed below are the available areas for the player to access in Mario Party:
Party Mode is the plot of Mario Party. Four players will play on a board game, each getting a turn to roll the dice, which will determine how many spaces they will move across, just like a traditional board game. After everyone rolls, a minigame roulette will appear which will randomly select a minigame to play. This process will repeat itself until the set amount of turns is up.
Mario Party has eight game boards; two are unlockable.
|DK's Jungle Adventure is Donkey Kong's board. Players aim to collect Stars in order to locate the mysterious treasure that is locked away in the jungle's ancient ruins. Four Whomps are guarding the junctions; to pass, a player must pay 10 Coins. Landing on a Happening Space triggers a rolling boulder which in turn chases down any players standing in its way all the way to the path near the start of the board. If a player happens to meet Bowser on this board, they are "awarded" a useless Golden Bowser Statue and are forced to pay him 10 coins.|
|Peach's Birthday Cake is Princess Peach's board. It is the smallest map of the ones available in Mario Party. Its main feature is the Flower Lottery, where a player plants a red, blue, yellow, or green seed (at the cost of 10 coins) and grows a flower. Three flowers have a Toad face, while one flower has a Bowser face on it. After all four seeds are planted, four new ones can be chosen. This is run by a Goomba, who says if a player gets the Bowser face, he will "win" the lottery and go to Bowser, who will sell him the Bowser cake, one of Bowser's phony items, for 20 coins. If one gets a Toad face one will "lose" the lottery and go in the direction of the Star. If a player lands on a Happening Space, they have the opportunity to plant a "Strawberry Seed" at the cost of 30 coins, which grows into a Piranha Plant. Once planted, if another player with stars lands on the Happening Space with the Piranha Plant there, it will steal a star from that player, and give it to the player that planted it.|
|Yoshi's Tropical Island is Yoshi's board. Consisting of Watermelon Island, Cantalope Island, and a small island in the middle, it was said that many Yoshis live here, but only two are shown in the middle of the board. A Pink Yoshi is on the small island and is surrounded by whirlpools, with a Blue Yoshi who can't do anything about it. Players aim to collect stars to get rid of the whirlpools and reunite the two Yoshis. The Happening Spaces make Bubba the fish take Toad to the opposite island, Bowser taking his place. Bowser sells defective Bowser Tubes to players for 30 coins. Two Thwomps block both ways to the opposite island, and request fees from players if they want to pass. The fee always starts at one coin, but goes up by one coin each time until it reaches the limit of 50 coins to pass.|
|Wario's Battle Canyon is Wario's board. It is set on a canyon that has been split into four areas with Bowser's area in the middle. Players aim to collect stars to stop the feud between the Bob-omb Buddies and the Bob-ombs. To get around the board, players are placed into cannons and fired to another area; the area they are sent to is determined by a spinning wheel. If a player lands on a Happening Space, the Bob-ombs will switch the directions of the cannons. Bowser's area can only be reached by asking the Fly Guy in the northeast area to carry the character conversing with him to Bowser for ten coins. Bowser also has a cannon in this area to replace his bogus item. However, instead of firing at a specific part of the board, Bowser will just fire a character at a random spot.|
|Luigi's Engine Room is Luigi's Board. Players need to collect stars to power up the engine in the middle of the room (but actually in the back of the playing board). The main feature is the board-wide system of red and blue doors. One set rises up to block specific paths while the other set goes down to open other paths. The doors switch at the start of every turn, when players land on certain Happening Spaces, or if a robot on the board is paid 20 coins to switch them. ? spaces on steam generators near the engine make steam rise up out of the respective generator, propelling players to a higher section. Players that go to Bowser will see his "Make As Many Coins As You Want Mecha" in action. They will get a coin from Bowser, at the cost of 20 coins. No matter where the players go, all paths end in Warp Pipes that lead to Boo, who is near the start.|
|Mario's Rainbow Castle is Mario's board. It is placed on clouds with multiple towers, and is sky-themed. Players will have to collect stars to restore a great rainbow in the castle. The main feature of this board is that the location of the Star does not change each time a player receives one. Instead, it is always located on the main tower of the map. Each time a player does receive a Star, however, the tower rotates, revealing Bowser. When the player reaches the tower while Bowser is there, he charges 40 coins for a Ztar. This does not add to the star count. The tower can also be rotated by any player landing on a Happening Space.|
|Bowser's Magma Mountain is Bowser's board, and it is bought for 980 coins, after all other boards are played at least once (similar to Eternal Star). Players must collect the Stars in order to defeat Bowser in his own game. It is Bowser's home turf where there is a volcano with a one-way path to the top of the board, but with many junctions, in which each junction has a green volcano-head with a star sign and Bowser's face. Bowser's voice is heard, asking the players if they want to take a short cut up the mountain for 10 coins. If the player accepts, then they must pay a fee, and a roulette block will appear with a star and Bowser's face. If the player gets a Star, they are allowed to take a shortcut. But if the player gets Bowser's face, they have to continue on their present route with no refund. The purple volcano-head on the top of the board is the most important one. However, unlike the green volcano-heads, the purple volcano head will have the player to hit a roulette block free of charge. If the player gets a Star, they will go to Boo. But if they get Bowser's face, they will go to Bowser where he will steal their coins or Stars (depending on yet another roulette block). If a player lands on a Happening Space, the volcano erupts and all Blue Spaces turns into Red Spaces for two turns. If a player buys a star from Toad, then a Star Space becomes a Chance Space.|
|Eternal Star is the final board of the game, and it is unlocked after 100 Stars are gathered and all other boards are played once. It is placed on outer space where a Giant Star is broken by Bowser, and he also wrote graffiti on it. Players must collect the Stars to defeat Bowser once and for all, along with his cohort Baby Bowser, and restore a Giant Star. Instead of Toad, players will have to pay 20 coins to Baby Bowser as usual. However, this will cause Baby Bowser to challenge the player to a Dice Block game, where a character with a higher number wins. Fortunately, the player will get to roll their Dice Block with the numbers 8-10, an easy win for them. If the player wins, then Baby Bowser gives up a Star to them and leaves, leaving a Chance Space behind. However, if Baby Bowser wins, he will take a Star from them. When all seven Baby Bowsers dispatched, seven more will appear. If a player lands on the Happening Space, Bowser will send all the players back to Start. The board is made up of a system of warp machines that connects at the Warp Patterns made by Bowser. If an unlucky player gets to Bowser, he will steal a Star (or Coins if they don't have a Star) from them and sends them back to Start, then changes the routes of the Warp Machines.|
|Players will gain three coins from landing on this. The amount of coins received will be doubled in the last five turns. This space is the most common space on all boards.|
|Anybody who lands on this space will lose three coins. On the last five turns, this amount will be doubled.|
|A variety of events will happen if anyone happens to land on this space. These events can help or harm one or more players, and they differ from board to board.|
|A player that lands here will play a Chance Time game. The player hits three blocks, which identify two players and what one will give to the other. Game-changing events can happen here, from trading stars or coins, to giving one star or 10-30 coins to someone else.|
|A player that lands here will play a One-Player Mini-Game. If the player wins the mini-game, they will receive coins. If they lose, then the player loses five coins. If the game is a bonus mini-game though, the player will be rewarded the amount of coins collected, but not lose any if they get none.|
|A roulette block will appear if a player lands on this space. Either the player can receive a Mushroom, which will give the Player the chance to roll another dice block, or receive a Poison Mushroom, which will force them to forfeit their next turn's Dice Block roll.|
|Any player who lands on this space will trigger a roulette, which any of these events can follow:|
|This space cannot be landed on. This is where the player can buy a Star for 20 Coins.|
The Mini-Game House is located to the right side of the river, and resembles a mushroom with a large, red cap.
The resident Toad of the Mini-Game house is an elderly-looking one named Puff who has a large red cap on his head, similarly shaped to the Mini-Game House itself. By speaking to him, the player is given a list of mini-games that have been played in the game so far. There are various price ranges of mini-games. Once one is bought, it can always be played for free via the orb on the table.
Pot o' Skills
The Pot o' Skills leads to the Mini-Game Stadium. The Mini-Game Stadium has its own board shaped in the form of a Star, and only has 24 total spaces. Each turn, players roll the dice and advance the number of spaces, like in Party Mode. However, blue spaces do not add coins and red spaces do not subtract coins. All coins are gained or lost from mini-games which are played at the end of each turn. There is one "One-Player mini-game space as well. Passing Koopa will result in 10 coins for the player. At the end of the game, the player with the most coins wins.
The Mushroom Shop is run by the Mushroom Shop Clerk and is located on the left side of the river on the map, it resembles a brown mushroom on its side. In the shop, various items can be bought with Coins earned from mini-games and Party games. Here is a listing of every item, along with its price and in-game description.
|Plus Block||200 Coins||This appears randomly, and you get the number of Coins shown.|
|Minus Block||100 Coins||This appears randomly, and you lose the number of Coins shown.|
|Speed Block||200 Coins||This appears randomly, and only numbers 8 to 10 will appear on the block.|
|Slow Block||100 Coins||This appears randomly, and only numbers 1 to 3 appear on the block.|
|Warp Block||200 Coins||This appears randomly, and players change positions on the board.|
|Event Block||200 Coins||This appears randomly, and Boo, Koopa Troopa or Bowser will appear.|
|Mecha Fly Guy||100 Coins||This counts how many times you rotate the Control Stick. Use it in the Mini-Game House.|
|Record||50 Coins||This is the Record for the Juke Box in the Option House.|
|Talking Parrot||50 Coins||This Parrot is good at mimicking characters' voices. It lives in the Option House.|
|Lucky Box||400 Coins||Get 10 percent interest on Coins you collect with this Lucky Box.|
|Casino Box||300 Coins||Bet your Coins with this Box to get double or half of what you actually collected.|
|Magma Mountain||980 Coins||This will let you go to the hidden board map of "Magma Mountain".|
|Credits||100 Coins||This lets you see the End Credits and the names of people who made the game.|
NOTE: Complete the Eternal Star map to obtain this.
|No Koopa||500 Coins||Koopa Troopa won't appear on the map, but it won't work on some maps.|
NOTE: Complete the Eternal Star map to obtain this.
|No Boo||500 Coins||Boo won't appear on the map, but it won't work on some maps.|
NOTE: Complete the Eternal Star map to obtain this.
|Gameballs||300 Coins||This has many Gameballs with Mini-Games inside. What you get is a surprise.|
NOTE: This item appears after at least 30 mini-games have been bought from the Mini-Game House and can be used until all mini-games are bought.
The Mushroom Bank is where players can store their coins as well as Stars and items. The bank is run by two portly Toads who are similar in every way except that one has yellow stars on his head in place of the usual dots, while the other has coins on his head where dots are usually at.
The Left Toad
The Toad behind the left counter is in charge of storing the items the player buys at the Mushroom Shop until they are used during a game. Here is also where the player can choose how they want to save their coins, whether with the Coin Box, Lucky Box, or Casino Box. The stars on his may indicate that he stores the items considering the fact that Stars are item in other Mario games.
The Right Toad
The Toad behind the right counter will tell the player how many total coins and stars the player has saved up. He will also say how many more stars need to be collected, out of 100, in order to unlock the Eternal Star map. The coin on his may indicate that he stores the coins and stars that you collect considering the fact that coins are collected and stored in other Mario games.
The Option House is where players can change the settings to the game or have fun with sounds or music.
The resident Toad of the Option House can delete all saved data. Once spoken to and asked to delete all data, he takes out a remote and opens an electrical box on the other side of the house. The cover will open revealing a large red switch, and the player is asked if they are sure about deleting their data.
The Talking Parrot is an item that can be bought from the Mushroom Shop, and once bought, it will appear on a perch in the Option House. By pressing the A button, the parrot speaks various voices from various characters in the game. These voices include:
- Donkey Kong
- Koopa Troopa
- The "narrator" voice that announces events in mini-games such as "Time Up!", "Game Over!", "Draw!", etc.
The Sound Lever is a lever that changes the sound from Mono to Stereo or vice versa. There are two speakers at the bottom with pipes leading up the lever. By pulling the lever down, one of the speakers are deactivated and the sound is changed to Mono. There is no surround sound.
The Juke Box allows the player to listen to any song from the game. The only perquisite is that the player must have heard the song in the game itself before it becomes available on the Juke Box. The Juke Box becomes available for use after the player buys the Record from the Mushroom Shop for 50 Coins.
Mini-Game Island is a special challenge in which the goal is to travel all around the island and beat every Mini-Game one by one. After beating every Mini-Game and reaching to the end, Toad will challenge the player once more to a race against him and two other CPUs in Slot Car Derby. This mode is for one player only.
Nintendo gave away a free Mario Party glove for a time after the game's release, the reason being that many players got blisters and other ailments on the palms of their hands due to the Mini-Games that involve spinning the Joystick around as fast as possible (this is also the reason Mario Party wasn't released on the Virtual Console, but Mario Party 2 was). Nintendo suggested that the players should use the thumb to spin the Control Stick, but this method is a lot slower than rotating with the palm of the hand, and the thumb can slip off the joystick. Receiving the glove required proof of purchase of the first game of the series. The glove giveaway did not surface until after the release of Mario Party 2. This was because Nintendo lost a class action lawsuit that was filed by several families of the injured players and had to pay several thousands of dollars in damage reparations as a result. As a consequence of unbalanced difficulty and self-injury, there are no more Mini-Games after Mario Party that involve spinning the Stick as fast as possible.
Mario Party receive favorable reviews from critics. Praise went to the party aspect of the game. However, its most common criticism is its apparent lack of enjoyment without multiplayer. GameSpot said, "The games that are enjoyable to play in multi-player are nowhere near as good in the single player mode. Really, it's that multi-player competitive spark of screaming at and/or cheering for your friends that injects life into these often-simple little games, and without it, they're just simple little games." IGN took a similar line, saying that it was the interaction between players rather than the interaction with the game that made Mario Party fun.