Summary: Mario and friends compete to become the Super Star. Do you have what it takes to find the stars and win the board?
Mario Party is a game where characters in the Mario universe travel on a board looking for starts and playing minigames. This is the first in the series. I actually never played this game when I was younger. Since it is the first Mario Party, it’s lacking many features the later ones have.
One of my favorite gamers, SlimKirby, has played through all the games. I recommend checking out his playthrough.
This game was played in RetroArch using the Mupen64Plus Next core. I am also using the widescreen mod created by gamemasterplc. There is, however, an issue with on Yoshi’s Tropical Island where the Thwomps won’t allow the player to pay coins to go to the other island. When choosing “pass,” the Thwomps tell the player “goodbye.” In addition to a freeze when landing on an happening space on Wario’s Battle Canyon.
Mario and his friends, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Wario, and Donkey Kong, are trying to determine who is the Super Star. There are multiple boards where the friends venture out to collect stars. The one who collects the most stars becomes the Super Star. Each stage has a special event for the victor of that stage.
Mario Party is a board game where characters roll a die and take turns moving on the board. Turn order is decided by a dice roll. The board consists of blue and red spaces that will add or subtract three coins from your total. There are minigame spaces for the person who lands on it to get additional coins. ‘?’ spaces (happening spaces) cause something mysterious to happen on the board. “!” spaces (chance time spaces) are random events where characters can steal, give, or even swap coins and stars with others. Bowser space forces the character to spin Bowser’s roulette of torture and, likely, lose coins. The max dice roll is ten, unless you land on a mushroom space where you get a chance to roll again, or get a poison mushroom and lose a turn.
A last five turn event will make the blue and red spaces worth twice as much. Koopa Troopa will predict who he thinks will be the winner. Koopa Troopa will give you 10 coins when passing by start, but 20 if it’s the last five turns. Boo also makes an appearance on the boards where he can steal coins from another player and give them to you, or you can pay 50 coins to steal a star from an opponent.
At the end of each round, a minigame is played. There are 4 player, 2 vs 2, and 1 vs 3 minigames. Depending on the space you land on, red or blue, will determine what game is played. If you don’t land on a blue or red space, your color will be determined randomly. If you win the minigame, you’ll usually get 10 coins. Some minigames are free for all games where everyone can collect coins. And others actually steal coins from the losers.
There are eight boards:
- DK’s Jungle Adventure
- Womps and walls block paths requiring coins to pass them.
- Peach’s Birthday Cake
- The star is always in the center, and Piranaha Plant flowers can be planted on happening spaces to steal stars from opponents.
- Yoshi’s Tropical Island
- Two islands where Bowser and Toad will swap places when lading on a happening space. A toll thwomp will block access to the other island.
- Wario’s Battle Canyon
- Five islands where cannons shoot you to a random spot. This is a random board that makes it hard to get to the store.
- Luigi’s Engine Room
- Steel doors block paths and alternate each turn, or can be changed when landing on happening spaces or paying 20 coins to swapping machines.
- Mario’s Rainbow Castle
- The star is always stationary at the top of the castle, but alternates between Toad and Bowser (who gives the player a fake star for 40 coins). Bowser and Toad switch whenever someone visits them or lands on a happening space.
- Bowser’s Magma Mountain
- Unlockable by purchasing form the shop for 980 coins after playing the previous six boards.
- Bowser is stationary at the top of the board, and you must take your chances of getting a star or Bowser on a roulette to determine if you see him. He will take coins or a star from you. There are also various shortcuts on the board that cost 10 coins and offer the same roulette. Stepping on happening spaces results in bowser making every blue space a red space.
- Eternal Star
- Unlockable by getting 100 stars and completing Magma Mountain.
- Toad no longer has the star, but rather 7 Baby Bowers do. When paying 20 coins to Baby Bowser, he and the player use a dice roulette and if the player has a higher amount, they will get the star. There are warp pads that randomly teleport players to different warp pads making it hard to navigate. If the player stumbles upon Bowser, he steals a star or 20 coins if the player has no star.
There are a few other game modes that focus on mini-games, such as mini-game island, where the player has to travel an island, completing mini-games with various conditions. The other mode is mini-game stadium where the players go around a board that focuses on mini-game skill to win instead of random chance of the board. There are also a few unused mini-games detailed on The Cutting Room floor.
The game is quite old, but the graphics are still quite impressive. However, there is a difference between the board map and actual 3D areas. The board map is a low resolution image that is quite pixelated so it does not look so well at higher resolutions. Also, the screen is smaller for the actual board, making black borders appear around the picture. I’ve cropped out much of this with the emulator, but had to leave in some since it was cropping the rest of the game. The minigames and character models look good though when fully visible and not little chess pieces. The. N64 use to save on resources by making the characters lower resolution. It wasn’t noticeable on original hardware, but playing in high resolution shows just how bad the low-poly models are.
There is also a strange static effect on many of the 3D objects, like characters and certain minigame backgrounds, so I don’t know if this is an emulator issue or how it actually was since I couldn’t find anything about it online.
Sound / Music
The music is phenomenal and catchy. Each board has a unique track, as well as many of the minigames having their own track. Even the character voices are represented well. There is, however, not an official soundtrack available for the game.