Released on February 8th, 1999, Mario Party is the original game in a series now spawning many sequels. Players take turns rolling the dice to move around a board game map attempting to collect coins and stars. At the end of each turn all players take part in one of 50 mini-games, the staple of Mario Party. Players can choose between Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong, Peach, Wario, and Yoshi. Mario Party also features a Mini-Game Island mode, where one player attempts to beat all 50 mini-games and face Toad at the end.
Best 100% Mini-Game Island time: 0:45:45 by Kevin 'neskamikaze' LaLonde on 2009-08-04, done in 9 segments.
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I originally wanted to do this as a SS run, but the amount of luck involved in this game (or any Mario Party for that matter) made this near impossible to get a good time, so I split it into 9 segments, one for each world (with one exception, see Segment 2). I also try to get the minimum number of coins required, due to it saving a slight amount of time in the results screen. Now before I go into the run I want to describe the biggest gameplay mechanic I exploit in this run:
After a few restarts it didn't take me long to discover that the mini-games are not entirely random. Take Coin Block Blitz, the first mini-game in the island, for example. Let's say the boxes are the numbers 1-9:
I found that about 90-95% of the time the pattern would be the exact same, with 1, 3, and 4 containing one coin each, 2, 6, 7, 8, and 9 containing 12-15 coins, while box 5 had 25-30 coins. Furthermore, not only would the coins be in the same place, the CPUs would act the exact same way every single time. Peach would start out with 7 and then go to 2, while Wario and Yoshi would fight for number 5 and then move on to 6, where I would be after getting 8 and 9. Because Wario and Yoshi would be fighting for the largest box I would end up with a slow round every single time, with the rare exception of seeing an alternate couple patterns that weren't much better, but I ended up seeing these enough to learn that they were the same couple alternate patterns being repeated. The conclusion I came to is that the first game from when you turn the game on follows a the same 3 or 4 identical patterns that once learned through trial and error can be used to come up with much improved times. However, in this case (and the case of Hammer Drop later in the run), sometimes none of the patterns are good. This leads to my second discovery.
I wanted to find a way to change the patterns from the few bad ones into something better. I can't play the game twice; that would waste way too much time. Instead what I found is that before even going into Mini-Game Island, on uncounted time, I could go into the buildings on the Overworld Map and it completely changes all of the patterns into new ones. Also, by going into the same building and going to the Island multiple times this one change the patterns into the exact same new ones, making them completely predictable as well. This is what helped me get such good luck on certain games.
Now that I've covered my basic luck manipulation strategy, it's time to get into the core of the run.
Before going into Mini-Game Island I go into the Mushroom Bank to alter the pattern on Coin Block Blitz.
Character selection makes no difference so I go with Luigi because he's my personal favorite.
-----Coin Block Blitz-----
The pattern I got allows me to take out the top row while the CPUs take out the bottom two rows. I stay on the upper edge of the top-right block so Peach can't interrupt my jump timing.
-----Coin Block Bash-----
I miss one of the blocks, losing about a second. The rest goes well.
-----Coin Shower Flower-----
I lose a second from missing a coin. By using jumps I probably could have stayed closer to the center of the flower and not missed that coin.
Set time mini-game, so no problems. The trick is not to rotate as fast as you can but rather to the rhythm of your character's rowing.
Learning the patterns made this game much quicker. Each of the three patterns had a different center tile, so as soon as it was revealed I knew the entire layout of the puzzle.
Probably the easiest mini-game in all of Mario Party. Only thing of note is that you don't have to be directly over the stump to ground pound it, only next to it. A better pattern may have saved a second.
There's two possible layouts of Limbo Dance: a short one I can do with 15 left on the timer of a long one I can do with 7 or 8 left. I got the short one.
The music was lasted shorter than average, so that was helpful.
Set time mini-game, there's a max speed of your character after pushing B moderately fast.
Now, there's a fork in the road here, but since this is a 100% run I'm going to do both paths. Due to not having to enter and exit the cave backtracking through World 5 is faster so I do it first. However, 5-3 (Bumper Balls) and 5-4 (Treasure Divers) are two of the hardest mini-games to post good times on, while 5-1 (Cast Aways) and 5-2 (Shy Guy Says) are basically set time and easy, so I decide to include those on this segment so I can start the next one with Bumper Balls.
I miss one chest but still finish with plenty of time to spare. It's been suggested that I sacrifice the second or so on the results screen to show off on games like this. Maybe in a future run I will do this.
-----Shy Guy Says-----
Nothing to say, just have to wait for the CPUs to mess up and they normally do so in basically the same amount of turns each time.
I'm very happy with this game. I knew with this pattern that Wario would start by going downward, but I really wasn't sure besides that. I was able to time my hits with the CPUs' movement so they each went down in one hit.
This mini-game is deceptively difficult to get a good time. The CPUs are very bad at this game and seem to love to attempt swimming straight through the shark and Bloopers. Luckily the only CPU stupidity I had to deal with was DK not wanting to come up with the final chest. I don't know if swimming underneath DK sped him up any, but it did prevent him from going back down (which they sometimes will).
After the first cannonball I thought I might get extremely lucky and have all 3 CPUs die. If only one player remains standing the game instantly ends, however this is very unlikely. I've never had it happen against all CPUs, only against really bad players.
-----Deep Sea Divers-----
Probably my least favorite performance of the entire run. There really isn't fault on my part, but had DK gone to the right side instead of getting chests on my side I could have saved at least 5 seconds.
I manage to get the first turn kill on Peach, but the rest goes slightly slower than hoped. You can save a few seconds if you can manage to take out 2 of the CPUs at once, saving a Blooper animation. However, it still goes in only 6 rounds, which is pretty fast.
I get knocked down twice, but avoiding being hit at all is very unlikely. Due to how slow you are, if a cannonball is coming at you there really isn't anything you can do, so only two is a good time.
I make sure I get the Bob-omb because not only is it the fastest to cut out, it helps me with the next mini-game...
After a few restarts I discover that the location of the chest is set based on whatever shape I'm given in Crazy Cutter. The Bob-omb conveniently gives me a location very close to my starting point.
Nothing to say here, as long as there's no mistakes this mini-game can't be sped up.
-----Tug of War-----
Luckily I happened to already be good at control stick rotating before attempting this speed run and take out the CPUs in 5 seconds.
Short hops between towers may save a few seconds here in a future run, I'm not entirely sure. I choose to use the safer method of bigger jumps.
After trying forever to get a good enough time on this game, I came to the realization that even if I finished really fast I'd still have to wait for the CPUs to finish. So even if my time might not look great, they finish right behind me so it's just as fast as if I was to go 59.xx, which I managed a couple times.
Set time game, the trick is to start going slow during the final stretch then speed up near the finish to let the game's natural comeback to propel you into first.
You may notice my brake lights coming on occasionally. It's not because I'm slowing down, but because I button mash so erratically that my fingers sometimes hit the B button by mistake. However, they push it so slightly that it never affects the speed of the cart and I hit a personal best. The record on that game was set by two human players.
Easy, nothing to say.
-----Box Mountain Mayhem-----
No matter how many attempts I took at this mini-game I could not find any sort of pattern, so I just kept trying until I hit my target time of 18. Difficult mini-game, killed most of my approximately 200 attempts.
I probably could have done this a second or two faster if I didn't have the blister on my hand right where I rotate the control stick from the previous 25+ times I played this game. Still went well.
Lost a second getting caught in the bottom-right corner.
Nothing to say here.
Now the CPUs just confused me on this run. 100% of my practice runs went exactly the same way: I'd move towards the middle then straight towards the basket, just like in my run. What I thought would happen is I would jump, both CPUs would punch, Mario would move out of the way and I would throw it up for a quick 57. However, Wario kept going forward and Mario went under me. I threw it up afterwards and it still got 57, but I lost about half a second.
-----Hot Jump Rope-----
Nothing to say here either.
I go for the coin because it's the quickest to pick up. It may be possible to hit that first box faster, but I don't think I would have got it if I hadn't have waited.
DK was close to me, so that was good.
I may have been able to move my cursor over slightly faster, but not more than half a second.
I got lucky and the CPUs appeared in a position to make this very easy.
One of the sloppiest looking games in the run. I could have sped the game up a bit if I would have hit all three in the third round. Clearing all of the Pirahna Plants may speed up the game some on rounds 7 and 8 as well, I'm not sure.
The stupidest mini-game ever, in my opinion. Nothing to say, easy win.
Note: This segment is extremely boring, to be honest. Only two of the mini-games are not set speed, and those two are easy. So let's just get this over with.
-----Running of the Bulb-----
All three of my worthless CPUs get possessed. No problem however.
Another set time game. The CPUs are horribly bad at this. Another game like Cast Aways where I could have shown off and gotten 50-60 coins, but chose to save the second on the results screen.
Go straight forward and onto the platform. Easy.
Nothing to say, went perfectly.
So wanted that 100... but 99 will do.
-----Bash n' Cash-----
I allow myself to get hit three times so I have less money on the results screen.
It took a lot of experimenting to get a good pattern on Hammer Drop. None of the original patterns were very good, so I found that entering the Option House gave me the opportunity to get 19 or 20. However, I accidentally entered the Option House twice one time and discovered a much better pattern which I ultimately ended up using.
By entering the Option House twice I had a 50% chance of getting this pattern which gives coin bags on drops 2 and 3. Had I landed on Yoshi getting the second bag I would have bounced off the side directly and saved a few tenths of a second.
-----Slot Car Derby-----
I started slightly late and lost two tenths of a second, good time besides that.
Nothing to say here.
-----Knock Block Tower-----
I got the 4 crate tower instead of 3 crate tower, losing a second.
Executed perfectly, one of my favorite performances. The timing of those short hops is tricky, especially on those needing to avoid walls.
-----Slot Car Derby 2-----
This gave me so much trouble when I was younger, but Toad is no match for me now.
And that's it! The run is over, you can stop reading if you haven't already. There's probably 30 seconds to a minute of improvement to possibly make, but that's if it gets the same luck as I did. I don't plan on doing improvements anytime soon, but may sometime in the future. Now what next? I'm open to suggestions =P
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