Mario Party 9 is the ninth home console installment of the Mario Party series, the second and final Mario Party installment for the Wii. The game was the first in the series to be developed by Nd Cube instead of Hudson Soft. It is also the eleventh game in the main series (15th in Japan). The host of the game is Yellow Toad for the boards while Blue Toad is the host for minigames, and Green Toad appears near the end of Boards to initiate an event similar to the Last Five Turns Event from past Mario Party games. This is also the twenty-fifth and the final Mario series' installment overall to be released for the Wii console. It has five board games to start and two to unlock: Bowser Station and DK's Jungle Ruins.
On a night outside of Princess Peach's Castle, Mario and his friends are gathering together to watch the Mini Stars glitter in the sky. As Mario peers through the telescope, he is shocked as he notices that the stars are suddenly being sucked into a vortex. It is then revealed to be Bowser and Bowser Jr. on a spacecraft, who are using a vacuum-like machine to suck the stars out of the sky and into containers. Upon witnessing this, Mario and the gang set out to defeat them and save the Mini Stars. After they start their journey, Shy Guy and Magikoopa are seen coming out of the woods and start following them, as part of Bowser's plan.
Before each board, there is a cutscene that features Bowser admiring his collection of Mini Stars. Bowser Jr. then runs over to him to show his father the progression of Mario's group. Bowser is enraged but summons two of his minions to stop the group before they can take all the Mini Stars. Eventually, however, the group reach Bowser's location, Bowser Station, and must face Bowser Jr. before battling his father.
After the final battle with Bowser, the player looks out from the stadium at Bowser's other platform, where the canisters containing all the Mini Stars burst and release them back to where they once were. As this happens, Bowser and Bowser Jr. are flying off. Bowser is mourning over the failure of his plan, which he reveals was to decorate his castle using the Mini Stars. However, upon seeing the released Mini Stars, Bowser is enraged and chases off the ones that fly near him. However, this only results in him falling out of his car; Bowser Jr. flies down to save him. Back at Peach's Castle, Mario and friends are once again gathered around the telescope to admire the Mini Stars as they glisten in the night sky.
A new form of this gameplay was introduced in this game, retiring the old format seen in the prior eight titles: players move all at once through the board in a vehicle (a car in Toad Road, a magic carpet in Boo's Horror Castle and a legged machine in Bob-omb Factory, for example) at the same time. Instead of trying to collect coins to buy stars, players receive Mini Stars if they pass by them. New minigame types are introduced in the Mario Party series, one example being 2 vs. 1 minigames against Bowser Jr. Players must try to avoid Mini Ztars, which deduct their current amount of Mini Stars. In this game, the minigames don't appear after every four turns, but only when a player ends up on any of the spaces that trigger a minigame. Also, when receiving dice blocks, a minigame might pop up after as well. Unlike previous Mario Party games, where often only the winner mattered, all minigames are ranked from first to last place and generally all players receive Mini Stars, although the winning player earns the most.
Mario Party 9 has 5 modes in all. They are:
- Party Mode
- Solo Mode
- Minigame Mode
Blue Toad is the host of Minigame Mode.
- Free Play: In the Free Play mode, the players can play unlocked minigames freely.
- Step It Up: In this mode, players must win minigame to climb up stairs per win. The player who reaches the top first wins.
- Garden Battle: The players must get puzzle pieces to fill their gardens winning minigames. The player who completes it first wins.
- Choice Challenge: All the players choose three minigames from a group of five that they would like to play. These minigames are played and the player who get more points wins.
- High Rollers: In this mode, the players must win minigames to roll a Dice Block to pass through a panel floor. The player who gets 500 points first wins.
- Time Attack: The player must try to win 10 minigames as fast as he or she can.
- Boss Rush: The players must defeat a series of bosses to win, similar to Boss Bash in Mario Party DS.
Once again returning from previous Mario Party games, Party Mode involves the players going around the board like with the previous games, but changed due to the new gameplay mechanics of Mario Party 9.
The game's story mode, Solo Mode involves the players traveling across all six boards to defeat Bowser and save the Mini Stars.
In Extras Mode, the player can play through various extra minigames such as Goomba Bowling, Castle Clearout, or Shell Soccer. There is also a mode called Perspective Mode, in which the player plays through various minigames with a changed camera angle.
The Museum is where the player can spend Party Points on various things such as constellations, game sounds, vehicles, extra game modes, or watch the credits. Once they return a constellation into the sky, the player can go back and see it in the sky.
|Mario||Luigi||Princess Peach||Princess Daisy||Wario||Waluigi|
|Yoshi||Birdo||Toad||Koopa Troopa*||Shy Guy**||Magikoopa**|
**Newcomer that must be unlocked
- Piranha Plant
- Bullet Bill
- Yellow Toad
- Green Toad
- Dry Bones
- Cheep Cheep
- Bullet Bills
- Piranha Plants
- Huckit Crabs
- Monty Mole
- Hammer Bro
- Fire Bro
- Buzzy Beetle
- Mr. Blizzard
- Deep Cheep
- Scaredy Rats
|Toad Road||Bob-omb Factory||Boo's Horror Castle||Blooper Beach||Magma Mine||Bowser Station||DK's Jungle Ruins|
|Lakitu||Whomp||Dry Bones||Cheep Cheep||Spike||Bowser Jr.||Diddy Kong|
|Wiggler||King Bob-omb||King Boo||Blooper||Chain Chomp||Bowser||Donkey Kong|
|Note: King Bob-omb is called Big Bob-omb in the European version.|
Note #2: Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong are not actual bosses.
These are all the playable board maps in Mario Party 9.
|Toad Road||Toad Road is the first board in the game, and is a simple stage with almost no gimmicks. It is designed after New Super Mario Bros. Wii, with features lush grassland, flowers, and windmills. A broken bridge after Lakitu prevents players from moving forward, and if the Energy Meter does not reach the required number, the players will fall to a lower route with Mini Ztar Spaces.||9 Island|
|Bob-omb Factory||Bob-omb Factory is the second board. Players move around a room full of conveyor belts, and if the Captain lands on a Happening Space, the conveyor belts will move the group of players around, including spaces. Bob-ombs will occasionally intrude on the vehicle and will explode after 10 moves. Whatever the Captain happens to stop the Bob-omb's countdown, half of the Captain's Mini Stars are lost.||Side-by-Side Zone|
|Boo's Horror Castle||Boo's Horror Castle is the third board. Players move throughout a big castle, which is haunted with Boos. After a Captain passes a Boo Portrait, a Boo will come out of it. If a Captain is caught by a Boo, then a Boo will take away half of their Mini Stars. Boos will follow the players until they leave the current hallway, or enter an alternative room with lights. Before the players can face King Boo, the Captain must roll a number higher than the specified numeral on the gate.||Scaredy Rat Race|
|Blooper Beach||Blooper Beach is the fourth board. Players travel along an ocean to reach the end goal. If a Captain passes by a Dolphin, he or she will receive five Mini Stars. However, sushis will take away half of the Captain's Mini Stars. Huckit Crabs ship will turn all the Mini Stars on the stage into Mini Ztars if a Captain lands on an Event Space, and if they land on it again, the Huckit Crabs will turn them back.||Sunken Treasure|
|Magma Mine||Magma Mine is the fifth board. Which takes place in an active volcano where players mainly travel up and out of the mine. Players must escape rising magma that rises two spaces each turn and is increased further if a Captain lands on a Magma Space. The Captain must avoid getting hit by magma, or the Captain will lose half their Mini Stars.||Dice Block Chicken|
|Bowser Station||Bowser Station is the final board. Bowser Jr. and Bowser are the stage's mid-boss and boss. A Jackpot Machine here will increase in Mini Stars if a Captain lands on a Jackpot Space. If the Jackpot Machine happens to have 20 or more Mini Stars, a Jackpot Minigame will commence. Oddly this board has no actual hazards that will detract Mini Stars from the Captain.||Heart Star Colony|
Speed Star Colony
|DK's Jungle Ruins||DK's Jungle Ruins is an unlockable board that can be purchased from the Museum for 500 Party Points. Instead of collecting Mini Stars, players collect bananas while trying to avoid Z-Bananas. Players must make two laps before completing the board. Bananas and Z-Bananas are placed on each space rather than in between. The actual Boss Mini-games in this stage are done in form of a bonus minigame to collect bananas.||Barrel Choice|
When a player lands on a space, something is going to happen. Each space has its own effect, but like in previous Mario Party games, every space is color-coded. The color of the space will tell what kind of event is going to happen.
|Green Space||Nothing happens when the player lands here.|
|Dice Block Space||The player landing here receives a special Dice Block. Sometimes, a special mini-game or Mini Stars comes out of the gift.|
|Lucky Space||Something good will happen to the player landing here.|
|Unlucky Space||Something bad will happen if the player lands here.|
|Event Space||As the player lands here, a special event will occur.|
|Shuffle Space||The players' order to become Captain changes.|
|Dash Space||The player landing here can move again by hitting another Dice Block.|
|Back Space||The player landing here can move backward by hitting another Dice Block.|
|Bowser Space||If the player lands here, they will summon Bowser to hinder them.|
|Mini Star Space||The player landing here receives the number of Mini Stars over the space.|
|Mini Ztar Space||If the player lands here, they will lose the number of over the Mini Stars.|
|Captain Event Space|
Arriving at this step triggers a Captain Event. The players can't just pass over this space.
|Boss Battle Space||Arriving at this space triggers a Boss Battle. This space also can't be skipped.|
|Free-For-All Space||If the player lands here, everyone will compete in a Free-For-All minigame.|
|1 vs 3 Space||If the player lands here, they will trigger a 1-vs-3 minigame with them being the solo player.|
|Bowser Jr. Space||If the player lands here, they and another randomly-chosen player take part in a Bowser Jr. minigame.|
|Battle Space||A minigame will commence in which all players must participate. Mini Stars are distributed differently from regular minigames.|
|Magma Space||Raises the lava level by the Magma Mine board.|
|Jackpot+ Space||Adds Mini Stars to the Jackpot Machine on Bowser Station.|
|DK Space||Donkey Kong will start an activity where they try to collect the most bananas spinning in a circle board the board.|
- This game is the first of Mario Party series that has been published by the Nd Cube.
- This is the first and currently only Mario Party to have fewer characters than its numbered predecessor.
- Toadette is the only playable Mario Party 8 character to not appear in this game, as Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Yoshi, Birdo, Wario, Waluigi, and Toad are playable, Blooper and Dry Bones appear as bosses, Hammer Bro. appears for battle minigames and Boo appears in Boo's Horror Castle.
- This game was in production and development the longest of any game in the series.
- This game is the first Mario Party not created by Hudson Soft due to it being absorbed by Konami.
- This is the only Mario Party that does not have coins, stars, number of turns, and item shops. Instead, they use Mini Stars and Mini Ztars, the negative version of stars.
- The golden star is only shown in the Superstar scene.
- This game was the first to use the modern Mario font we see today.