“As long as you have a map, you'll feel safer in foreign lands, right?”
—Border Bros., Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door'
A map is an item used in all of the Mario role-playing games. It shows Mario's current position in a certain area, and is usually received near the start of the game. In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, the player could get the Beanbean Map by defeating the Border Bros. in a game of Border Jump. A map is also received at the start of the game in Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. In the Super Mario series, a map is used to travel through each world and to interconnected worlds in several games.
In some games, such as Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, the map is more of a feature rather than an item; these maps (which are sometimes called map screens) are mere portals to the other places in the game. Map screens have even appeared in side-scrolling games such as Super Mario Bros. 3 (which was the first Mario game any type of map appeared in) and Super Mario World, which had a fully connected (or seamless) world map. New Super Mario Bros. U also features a seamless world map, much like Super Mario World. Super Mario 3D World also features a world map, but in the style of Super Mario Bros. 3, as the worlds are separated between each other and are only connected via Clear Pipes.
The Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars map is notable for being both a feature and an item, as it is used as a feature but given to Mario (by the Chancellor) as if it were an item. The Super Mario Sunshine, the map was similarly "given" to Mario towards the beginning of the game (this time by a Pianta known to play for the Doot Doot Sisters), although this Map is not literally given as Mario could use it before it was "received" from the Pianta. Luigi also used a map to find his mansion in Luigi's Mansion.
In Super Paper Mario, the player can purchase maps from Flamm. These maps will lead Mario and the heroes to hidden treasures throughout the game. All maps are purchased with coins. Once the heroes find the area with the hidden treasure, they must use the Pixl Fleep, move him over the treasure spot on the screen and press to flip and find the treasure. Many of the treasures are Catch Cards, and sometimes a character's Catch Card can even be found using a map before the character themself appears in the game, such as King Sammer V, Welderberg, and Brobot L-Type, to name a few.
In the Mario Kart Series, there is a map showing the position of the racers on the track.
- In Super Mario Kart, the maps of all the racers in single player only.
- In Mario Kart 64, there was a map indicating dots of all the racers. Also, the top 4 racers appeared on the left side of the screen. Lastly, there was a line going around the screen to show how much each racer has completed the lap.
- In Mario Kart: Super Circuit, it had the dot map and the top 4 racers on the left side.
- In Mario Kart: Double Dash!! also had the top four racers on the left side and a map showing where the rest of the characters were (with pictures, not dots).
- In Mario Kart DS, 2 types of maps were used; each on the touch screen. The first type showed the whole course and where everyone was. The second type showed the part of the race track where the racer was on and all the items/obstacles that appeared on the track. Also, the touchscreen showed which item every racer had.
- In Mario Kart Wii was the same as Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, except it removed the top 4 racers on the left side of the screen.
- In Mario Kart 7, it featured the same map style as Mario Kart DS.
- In Mario Kart 8, there is no map except the one on the Wii U Gamepad. The Gamepad also showed all the items each character had like Mario Kart DS.
List of maps in Super Paper Mario
- Main article: List of Maps in Super Paper Mario