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"The mustachioed one led the mission to rescue the princess. The one in blue may wish to see the crown jewels. He's an avid ring collector. And he may suddenly curl into a ball. Perfectly normal."
The 16-bit era of the early 1990s was one of the bitterest of the Console Wars, and the Super Mario Bros.. and Sonic the Hedgehog series were two of the strongest weapons for the Fanboys. Thus when Sega left the hardware business, it was a huge shock that they also announced they were going third party, and thus their games would be on Nintendo systems in addition to the others.
A crossover was the next logical step. Then Sega got the license for the Olympic Games, and that was where they decided the first crossover would be.
This is basically the Loads and Loads of Characters of the respective series competing in the events of the Olympic Games. Now being in what amounts to a minigame compilation is a disappointment for some, since the most logical crossover would be a Platform Game. Regardless, this series has been a major success.
The games in the series:
- Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Beijing 2008) (DS and Wii)
- Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (Vancouver 2010) (DS and Wii)
- Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (3DS and Wii)
- Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games (Wii U)
- Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (3DS and Wii U)
- Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 (Switch)
Additionally, non-console editions of games in the series:
- Sonic at the Olympic Games (Beijing 2008) (mobile)
- Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (Vancouver 2010) (iOS)
- Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (arcade)
- Sonic at the Olympic Games (Tokyo 2020) (iOS and Android)
- Mario & Sonic at Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 (arcade)
The arcade versions are Japan exclusive.
See also Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the second crossover between these two characters.
Provides Examples Of:
- Acrofatic: Where else would you see obese men set Olympic world records?
- Anti Poop Socking:
- The game reminds you to take a break, but the reminders happen more often than the breaks they recommend.
- Bare Your Midriff: Blaze's default outfit in the games.
- The Cameo: Various characters appear as Mii costumes.
- Cash Cow Franchise: Considering what both Mario and Sonic are on their own.
- Character Customization: The Mii's stats can be altered with different costumes from Winter Games to Rio 2016.
- Competitive Balance:
- Fragile Speedster: The Speed-type characters: Sonic, Yoshi, Shadow, Daisy, and Metal Sonic.
- Jack of All Stats: The All Around-type characters: Mario, Blaze, Luigi, Amy Rose, and Bowser Jr. Miis also fall under this category by default.
- Mighty Glacier: The Power-type characters: Bowser, Vector, Donkey Kong, Knuckles, and Wario.
- Power-type characters are more like Lightning Bruisers in the Wii version of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, where they have a rather high speed stat, averaging higher than the All-Around characters. The skill stat is the lowest one for them.
- Weak but Skilled: The Skill-type characters: Tails, Peach, Doctor Eggman, Waluigi, and Silver.
- Continuity Nod: The devs remembered that Sonic can't swim; in water events he wears a life jacket and runs on the bottom of the pool instead. This was also carried over in later games with Summer Olympics.
- Several NPC's mention both Beijing and Vancouver in London Party.
- Cool Horse: You get to ride 'em in the Summer Olympics starting with the London 2012 installment. You also get to make awesome Horse Jumps in the Dream Equestrian event in the Wii version of London 2012.
- Averted with the mobile versions, which only feature Sonic characters.
- Did Not Do the Research: Fans complaining Sonic should always win the racing events. This is wrong for multiple reasons.
- Sonic's standard running speed was not particularly fast, at least not until Sonic Unleashed, which came out over a year after the first Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games game. Any hyper speed before that was due to spin dashes or speed boosters. That being said, cutscenes in Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 did show Sonic going at incredibly fast speeds.
- Sonic wouldn't use his super speed, nor any of the boosts or spins, because in-universe, Sonic's good sportsman-like nature means he wouldn't flaunt his talents and would instead give the others a fair chance at winning, as we've seen in other racing games with Sonic.
- Mario's running speed was not particularly slow. In-universe, he's been seen to outrun soundwaves and run up walls. Mario is known to be humble, and not flaunt his talents too much.
- Flunky Boss: Dry Bowser.
- Go-Karting with Bowser: And Eggman.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In the "Supporting Characters quiz" in London Party, one of the questions asks what Jet the Hawk's nickname is. One of the choices is "Hound of Hell".
- Heel Face Revolving Door: The bosses start off friendly before the fight, and then they go back, with the exceptions of Eggman Nega and Dry Bowser, who simply vanish.
- It Will Never Catch On: Sega hoped both versions of the first game would sell 4 million copies combined. They got laughed at by the gaming press and on Message Boards. To date, both versions of the first game have sold more than that each. In fact, the Wii version is currently the highest selling Sonic game of all time (second best if you count Super Smash Bros. Brawl), and the second game is also a hit, with the Wii version selling just over 4 million, and the DS version selling over 3 million, as of early September 2011.
- Licensed Game
- Limited Wardrobe: In the first five games, all male characters wear their regular outfits in every sport.
- Mythology Gag:
- Sonic's aforementioned life jacket.
- Vector can curl up into a wheel in Dream Long Jump, just like in Knuckles Chaotix.
- Original Generation: The Snow Spirits from the second game's DS version.
- Promoted to Playable: Several characters previously featured as referees or rivals appear as playable characters in Rio 2016 (although they are limited to one sport per character).
- Public Domain Soundtrack: During figure skating, synchronized swimming and rhythmic ribbon gymnastics events.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Male characters are fully playable in feminine-centric events, such as synchronized swimming and ribbon twirling. They do not, however, get event-specific outfits like the girls do.
- This is, however, not the case in the 3DS version of Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, where each sport can only be played by members of one group, and one of these groups is the girls. However, the synchronized swimming duet event has male characters (specifically Mario, Sonic, Luigi, and Tails).
- Recycled Title: The title Sonic at the Olympic Games is used for both the 2008 and 2020 mobile apps, which take place during different Olympics.
- Shown Their Work: Shy Guy's quizes in London Party will really dig deep in Mario and Sonic trivia, even into the most obscure places. Including the Sonic hedgehog gene.
- The Other Darrin: Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games utilizes the new Sonic Voice cast introduced in 2010 (with returning voice actor Mike Pollock recording new lines for Eggman). Furthermore, this is also the first Mario and Sonic game where Kenny James' voice of Bowser replaces Scott Burns's archived recordings of Bowser.
- Colleen O'Shaughnessey takes over the role of Tails starting with Rio 2016 (although Kate Higgins, previous voice of Tails, is still involved as Wave) following the recasting of Tails in Sonic Boom. It is also the first time Matthew Mercer voices Espio.
- Dave Mitchell and Erica Lindbeck start voicing Knuckles and Blaze, respectively, in Tokyo 2020 (they first voiced their characters in Team Sonic Racing, released earlier in 2019).
- The Unexpected: Even if people were expecting a Mario and Sonic crossover, nobody would have expected it to be a Track And Field-esque minigame collection.
- What Could Have Been: Silver the Hedgehog and Donkey Kong, who are playable characters in the second game, were planned to appear in the first one in the same capacity. Birdo and Jet the Hawk were to appear in the first game as playable characters too, but they ended up in the second game as a VIP audience member and a Festival Mode rival character, respectively. Birdo later became a rival as well in London 2012. They did become playable characters in Rio 2016, but only one sport exclusive, and Birdo only in the 3DS version.
- The Olympic Games games also caused a What Could Have Been on an unrelated game: Sumo Digital thought up of the possibility of having Mario as a guest character for the Wii version of Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing (for reasons that should be obvious) but didn't go ahead because of the mere existence of these games, feeling that Sega would be cash-cowing both Mario and Sonic too much otherwise. (This also had the side effect of letting Microsoft go unopposed with their own guest racer for the Xbox 360 version.)
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The rivals disappear without explanation on the Wii. The DS version has most of them become friendly NPCs.
- According to this interview, Sega and Nintendo discussed the possibility of such a game, but the inability to come up with a "neutral" play style to balance Mario and Sonic prevented it from being made