MarioWiki:Categories

From the Super Mario Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

There are a lot of pages on the Super Mario Wiki, and the most fundamental way of organizing them all is with categories. These appear as links in a box at the bottom of a page and can be created by typing [[Category:Name]], which should go at the bottom of a page, after all the text, tables and any navigation templates that are used on the article. Most pages have multiple categories, which are entered one after another, with line breaks between them to make it easy to tell them all apart.

Overview

What sets categories apart from the aforementioned navigation templates is how they are used.

For example, while a game has one template that is put on every in-game subject's page, with the characters, items, places, enemies, etc. being separated into different sections within the template, different categories for each subject can be used for the different pages. All these categories are grouped together in a category for the overall game, which also houses any pages that don't fit into a more specific category, such as the game's gallery, and its staff, media, glitch, beta or quotes pages. Subjects with very few entries should also go into the overall game category in order to streamline navigation, as game-specific categories with four or less pages are of limited usage. Which subjects do not qualify for categories differs from game to game - i.e. if one game only has four minigames, they would simply go in the game's category, whereas a different game with many minigames would have a Minigames category.

Both the template and the categories ensure that the different subjects are separated and easily navigable, but the categories can be placed on articles that don't fit into the navigation template (in most cases, these pages are ones that only get the overall game category). Categories also lead to more general categories beyond the overall game category, since they themselves can be categorized, unlike templates. Basically, the game category would be in a series category, while the subject category for the game would be in a subject category for the series, which would, in turn be in a category for the subject in general (i.e. a game's Characters -> a series' Characters -> all Characters).

Navigation goes both ways with categories. Just as a specific subject in a specific game can be followed back to the basic subject category, so too can readers go from the basic subject to a specific game by going down through the increasingly focused categories. This stratified organization separates the categories from the large list pages that can be found on the sidebar (i.e. Characters, Species, etc.). While the lists have everything in one place, they only show the games (or other media) the entries originated from, whereas the categories break the subject up into smaller chunks, which are easier to sift through, but require more movement around the wiki.

Placement on articles

The following points may be used as a summary as to which categories an article should use. Please refer to the subsequent sections of the policy for further reading.

  • All game articles should receive Category:Games, as well as any applicable subcatgories under the asterisk (*) within that category, such as a game's system and genre.
    • However, the "big 4" series categories (Mario, Donkey Kong, Wario and Yoshi games) should only be used if a more specific one cannot be applied instead. For example, even though Dr. Mario 64 is a Mario installment, it should receive the more specific Category:Dr. Mario Series, not "Category:Mario Games". On the other hand, any "big 4" games that don't fit into a more specific "series" category (such as Wrecking Crew) should use the applicable "big 4" category instead (in the case of Wrecking Crew, "Category:Mario Games" should be used).
  • When placing a game category (such as Category:Super Paper Mario) on the actual game article, use an asterisk.
  • When game categories are split into subject-specific categories (such as Category:Super Paper Mario Characters), relevant articles should then receive this specific category instead of the game category.
    • If an article describing an in-game subject does not fit into a more specific subject category, then it should use the overall game category.
    • If a subject-specific category can be split further (for example: "Super Paper Mario Characters" extends to the Super Paper Mario Bosses subcategory), use only the most specific category.

Articles should use these categories only when a more specific one cannot be applied instead:

These types of pages should include the indicated category:

Finally, when pages use two or more categories, they must be placed in the correct order. They should be arranged depending on importance and notability. For example, Bowser's inclusion in the koopa species is more notable than him being a parent, and should therefore appear first. Game/series-specific categories are always placed last (arranged alphabetically, or numerically in cases such as games by date). See the section for further information on ordering categories.

Category trees

All the categories that branch off of a single specific subject category form a category tree. Each branch of the tree can then be followed through increasingly specific Levels of categories to zero in on a specific group of articles. Non-game category trees simply have increasingly specialized subcategories (such as going from Category:Real world to Category:People to Category:Actors), but trees relating to games and their in-universe content follow a strict hierarchy of levels centered around the series-based organization of the games themselves. Basically, Subject -> Series -> Sub-series -> Game. However, while some subjects are extensive and require many levels to organize them into manageable lists, others don't need all the intermediate steps. Therefore, category trees are divided into three major types: the primary tree is purely for games and series, with Category:Games as its root; secondary trees are for the major subjects that need all the steps; and tertiary trees are for everything else (including all non-game-based subjects).

Below is an example of some trees, followed by in-depth explanations about the three types, their levels and the examples. The primary games tree is in blue, and is only a partial example. The secondary tree is red, and is represented by a single branch plus the other possible paths branching off at each level. Both use Super Paper Mario as their example. A tertiary game-based category using Minigames as its example is included, showing the variability about which levels are visited, even between different branches within one tree. This tree is complete except for some game-specific categories, which are merely alluded to using "..." and yellow, rather than green, connecting lines. Yellow is also used to connect all the trees to the one category they have in common (which will be explained in the following section), since the lv. 2 Subjects are the true roots of the trees, rather than the lv. 1 category. A non-game tertiary category is also included in purple, illustrating how the series and game-based levels are not applicable, and the steps that are used are solely based on how many levels of subcategories are needed for a given subject.

Four example category trees; one game-based example from each type of tree (primary, secondary and tertiary), plus one non-game tree (also tertiary).

Primary tree

The primary games tree is the most extensive of all the trees, using all the possible levels and providing a basis for the stratified organization of all categories. The levels and their explanations are as follows:

  1. Wiki - all categories pertaining to mainspace articles are simply part of Category:Main.
  2. Subject - the real root of the category trees. In this case, the subject is Category:Games.
  3. Major series - dividing the games into the "big 4" series: Mario, Yoshi, Donkey Kong and Wario. In this case, the tree would use Category:Mario Games, and the like.
  4. Sub-series / other series - The Mario, Yoshi, DK and Wario games can be further divided into more specific sub-series, such as Mario Party or Dr. Mario. This level is also used for series that do not fit into the "big 4" - in other words, crossover series, like Mario vs. Donkey Kong and the other series included in the example tree. Example categories are Category:Paper Mario Series and Category:Super Smash Bros. Series; note the usage of "series" instead of "games", unlike lv. 3's categories. This is because, unlike lv. 3, these series categories branch out to the secondary subject categories, instead of sticking to games/sub-series. This is not shown in the above chart, for simplicity, but it can be seen in the example in the category webs section, below, which also explains why this is done.
  5. Games - the specific game-wide categories, like Category:Super Paper Mario. This level is only for the primary tree, since the subject-specific game categories go in the lower levels. Like how the "other" series skipped the lv. 3 "big 4" step, games without a sub-series skip lv. 4 and go straight to Games from the "big 4", or even from lv. 2, in the case of stand-alone crossovers like Yakuman DS. Series qualify for lv. 4 categories if they have three or more titles; pairs of games, such as Mario is Missing! and Mario's Time Machine simply link to each other's Game category, as represented by their forked connecting line in the above example. See the size and scope section for more information.
  6. Categories - except for specifiable things (as discussed earlier), these are the subject-specific games categories that will be put on the articles. Therefore, while they are part of the primary game tree, they are also part of the subject trees. For example, Category:Super Paper Mario Characters leads back to both cat:Games, and cat:Characters.
  7. Subcategories - if a subject can be further specified, subcategories can be used. For example, some characters are helpful Allies while others are antagonistic Bosses that need to be defeated, and in games with lots of characters, separating out the Allies and Bosses makes navigation easier. Articles either receive a subcategory or the basic category - never both. However, if the subject is major enough, the subcategory can be directly categorized by the Game category, rather than just going through the intermediate category. This is done for Levels and Worlds, as they are fundamental to the game's makeup - even more so than their parent Places category tree. Like the basic subject-specific game categories, as well as being part of their parent tree, subcategories like Category:Super Paper Mario Bosses lead back to both cat:Games and the root of their own specific subject-specific tree; in this case, cat:Bosses. However, while basic lv. 6 categories' trees lead back to regular tertiary trees and secondary trees, lv. 7 categories' trees branch out of the same secondary trees that led to the lv. 6 category that produced the lv. 7 subcategory. This is elaborated upon in the tertiary tree and category webs sections.

Because of the many ways games can be organized (alphabetically, by sub-series, by date, etc.), games in the primary tree are unique in that they are placed into multiple categories, rather than just the most specific category, as is the case for anything dealing with subjects, including all secondary and tertiary trees. For example, Super Paper Mario goes into cat:Super Paper Mario, cat:Paper Mario Series and cat:Games. The first is the most specialized and links to all SPM subjects and leads back to the cat:PM Series, however, since the games are the raw makeup of any series, this sub-series category is placed directly on the article. This also lets readers jump straight to the overall sub-series level from a specific game (although this should be possible via navigation templates as well). While linking directly to articles creates a giant list within cat:Games, it still has the subcategories if readers want to browse by series, as well as providing a purely alphabetical list of games, which, unlike the in-game subjects, is not a feature of either List Page (Games is by console and release date, and the latter is used for List of games by date as well). If users want to browse by date, they can use the Category:Games by date tertiary tree branching off from the primary games tree. In this example, SPM is part of Category:2007 games, as that is the year it was released. Other branched-off tertiary trees providing alternate navigation criteria include Games by genre and Games by system.

Secondary trees

There are six secondary trees, covering the most basic and fundamental subjects covered on the wiki. Their root categories are Category:Objects, Category:Species, Category:Characters, Category:Enemies, Category:Places and Category:MarioWiki images. Although this final one leads to images, rather than articles, it is still part of the mainspace and so, like the others, is part of cat:Main at lv. 1. The secondary trees have all the same category levels as the primary tree except for the lv. 5 Games step, since they always have a subject as well as a game or series. Therefore, their lv. 6 subject-specific game categories are directly part of their lv. 4 subject-specific series categories, which are, in turn, part of the "big 4" subject-specific category, which then leads back to the overall subject category. This can be seen in the example chart above, in which the SPM branch of the secondary character tree is followed back to the cat:Characters root.

The only other time a secondary tree skips a step is if the game in the branch skips a series or sub-series step. So, for example, Category:Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars Characters would be part of Category:Mario Characters, but cat:PMTTYD Enemies would not arbitrarily skip straight to Category:Mario Enemies. However, secondary branches can stop short if a game doesn't have enough entries in a subject for a game category (i.e. four or less), but the overall series has enough entries for a subject-specific series category. Since the secondary tree subjects are fundamental to almost every game in the Mario series, this only happens for obscure, data-deficient games, such as Japan-only releases like Super Mario Fushigi no Korokoro Party 2, or games with very small scopes or niche spin-offs, like Mario's Cement Factory or Pinball. Games like these often don't have any categories beyond the lv. 4 game category in the primary tree, with no secondary branches reaching them at all. It is common for tertiary trees to stop short for even well-known games, however, and so the situation will be described in detail in the following section.

Tertiary trees

Everything that's not a primary or secondary tree is a tertiary tree, including all non-game categories. Tertiary trees can be complex and multi-stepped, or they can be a simple line going from game-specific categories back to their root category. Unlike the primary and secondary trees, these roots can be at Level 2 or Level 3, depending on whether or not the tree can fit into another tree. Subcategories' subject trees' roots are always at lv. 3, and are then subcategories of the same parent trees that led to the game-specific categories that spawned the subcategories. For example, Category:Super Paper Mario Items is a sub-category of Category:Super Paper Mario Objects, and its root, the tertiary Category:Items, is a subcategory of the secondary Category:Objects, but is also part of Category:Main. This is illustrated in the charts in the following category webs section. Trees can also have lv. 3 subcategories that are still part of the overall tree, like the Category:Microgames branch of Category:Minigames in the above chart. Because of subcategories like this and the separated subcategory trees, Level 3 is known as Major Series / Other Subjects, rather than just plain "Major Series", as it was initially labelled in the primary trees section (for simplicity). Indeed, tertiary trees only use lv. 3 for subcategories, and never involve the "big 4" series, as they are not major enough to warrant an elaborate network of categories.

The other example is the non-game Category:Real world, set apart from the game-based categories with a purple colouration. While all its categories are subcategories of the next level up, it skips from the root to the next step at lv. 6, rather than lv. 3, because of how the various levels are actually applied. Levels 1-3 are only used for categorizing other levels, and should never appear on actual articles. The only exception are "trees" that only go down to lv. 2, including Category:Staff and Category:Galleries, but these are not meant for regular articles anyway. By contrast, Levels 6 and 7 are supposed to go on articles, while Levels 4 and 5 are primarily for categorizing categories, but can be used for articles if a more specific category is unavailable (or if a non-game tree requires more steps to accommodate networks of subcategories that are more extensive than the straightforward cat:Real World example). As mentioned before, stopping short of the game-specific subjects occasionally happens with secondary trees, but tertiary trees often do this or even skip the sub-series step.

The above Minigames tree has examples of both skipped steps and shortened branches, and it also shows how, unlike secondary subjects, tertiary subjects are often not applicable to all games (although some, like Levels or Items, are fairly universal, and are tertiary because intermediate series steps would be of limited value). Like the secondary subject categories, tertiary trees skip right down to the Game level for sub-series-less titles, like Category:Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars Minigames, but they can also skip the sub-series level if only one game of a series is applicable. If multiple games in a series have entries, but only one or two games have enough for unique game-specific categories, those games get their categories while the rest go straight into the series category. The above example of this is Category:Super Mario 64 DS Minigames vs. the general Category:Super Mario Series Minigames, which would be used for the Super Mario Galaxy and New Super Mario Bros. minigames. If no games in a sub-series have enough entries for specific categories, the branch simply cuts off there and that category is used for all the games. While this isn't found in the above example, it is shown in the category webs charts in the next section, which also has examples of step-skipping.

Category webs

While category trees branch out from the most basic categories to the most specific categories, category webs are formed when following every specific category applicable to a game back through every level to the basic categories. Webs are basically single branches of many different trees that connect to each other at various levels. This includes tertiary branches extending back from subcategories reconnecting with the parent category's branch, the convergence of the primary tree with the secondary trees at the subject-specific game categories (and subcategories), and subcategorization between categories in the same level. While the first two kinds of cross-categorization have been discussed in the category trees sections, the third, same-level subcategorization was only mentioned before, in the description of category Level 4 in the primary tree section. Just as the primary tree branches out to include the subject categories at the game-level, so too does it branch out at the sub-series level, but only for the major, secondary subjects. This means the secondary lv. 4 categories, like cat:Paper Mario Series Enemies, are part of both the secondary lv. 3 categories, like cat:Mario Enemies, and the primary lv. 3 categories, like cat:Paper Mario Series. This allows readers to look up subjects all across an overall series as well as just for a single game, which is what the game-level subject-specific categories grouped together under the lv. 5 Game category allows for.

The purpose of extensive category webs is to give readers as much freedom as possible when looking up series, subjects or games. While trees just let them go up and down through the levels of a certain subject, webs let them cross between different branches and investigate different subjects. Below is an example of a complete category web for Super Paper Mario, as well as a partial web of the same game, to more clearly illustrate cross-categorization. Unlike the complete web and the primary tree example in the above category trees section, the partial tree shows the overlap of the primary and secondary trees at lv. 6. It also shows the same-level subcategorization at lv. 4 more clearly than the complete tree, and shows that even subcategories can have subcategories, in the case of Category:Super Paper Mario Special Items and Category:Super Paper Mario Items. However, this is not a usual occurrence and having an eighth level would bury the categories too much, which is why the more specialized subcategory is part of lv. 7 and linked to by the lv. 6 parent subcategory as well as Category:Items, which is the root of a single tertiary tree containing both the Items and Special Items categories (their names can simply be used to tell the two groups of pages apart within the category). This is similar to why the subcategory tertiary trees still link to lv. 1 even though their roots are in lv. 5: that way, users can easily find the trees without having to go through the related secondary tree first, although that is also an option. Both the complete and partial webs show this aspect on tertiary trees, but only the complete web shows their flexibility regarding skipping steps and stopping short, which was discussed in the previous section.

The complete web also contains three categories that do not have trees. Category:Quotes is used for all "List of quotes in..." pages and Category:Staff and Category:Glitches are both used for the pages of the same name, making them more like "topic" categories than regular subject categories, and as such, they are handled differently as well. Namely, no other levels need to be made to divide the categories into series-based chunks. As mentioned in the Overview, any pages attached to a game (i.e. "List of [game] quotes") are given the lv. 5 Game categories as well as their topic categories.

Complete and partial category webs for Super Paper Mario (its game category is in all caps to emphasize its role as the example). Please note that some of the tertiary categories are hypothetical only, and are merely presented to show the variability in the levels being skipped or stopped at.

Size and scope

Different kinds of categories have different size restrictions:

  • Game-specific subject categories (i.e. Category:Super Paper Mario Characters, etc.) should have at least five entries. If there are four or less entries, they should just go into the overall game category.
  • Series must have three entries in order to have series-specific categories. Pairs of related games (such as Mario is Missing! and Mario's Time Machine) simply link to each other in the category summaries. For example, Category:Mario is Missing! would include {{seealso|:Category:Mario's Time Machine}} under its summary, before its overall Category:Mario Games category.
    • As such, series-specific categories (i.e. Category:Paper Mario Series, Category:Paper Mario Series Characters, etc.) have a default minimum of three.
    • TV shows, comics and other media follow the same three-entry rule as game series, and so their categories should also have three entries, minimum. Consoles also need three games in order to have a category.
  • Non-series/game/console/etc.-specific categories need a minimum of five entries (including any subcategories' entries), however they should have many more than that, since small lists can simply be placed on an article that's central to the subject at hand (for example, the six Aquatic Attackers are listed on that very page, which they all link back to). It should also be noted that overly broad categories can be even more unhelpful than overly small categories (such as previously attempted categories for all males or females), and should not be created. Also, just because there's a good number of possible entries doesn't necessarily mean a category should be made: offbeat connections might be interesting (such as the now-deleted "Characters who have kissed Mario" category), but they are often tenuous or of little functional use to wiki navigation.

Order on pages

While most pages only have a couple categories, major subjects can have quite a few, in which case, it is important to know how to organize the categories in a way that is easy to sort through for both readers and editors.

First comes the miscellaneous, non-game/series categories. For pages with a multitude of categories, the essentials should be picked out and placed first; for example, being a Villainous Koopa King is part of Bowser's core identity, and should come before the more minor or trivial things, like how he's a parent and uses magic. In most cases, however, the only real essential category will be the species (for subspecies and characters) or its equivalent (i.e. Category:Blocks for ? Block). After the essentials, the other misc. categories can be grouped together by any similarities in content (i.e. all the jobs together, all the family stuff together, all the ability-related categories together, etc.); logic and personal judgement can be used for this. Most pages won't have enough categories for much reasoning to be required, however.

After the misc. categories come the game/series-specific categories, which are simply arranged in alphabetical order. As well as being the simplest method of organization, this tends to group together all the categories from the same series (or even game, as is the case with Bowser in various RPGs, in which he is both a boss and a playable character). It also provides an alternative to the chronological order found in the navigation templates and the History section (the latter of which is also divided by series, providing a third way or organization), so if users can't find what they're looking for with one method, they have another to choose from. Any categories pertaining to merchandise (such as trading cards or publications) should also be included with the game/series-specific categories.

Asterisks

To set important or central subjects or subcategories apart from the rest of the entries, asterisks can be used using [[Category:Name|*]]. This is generally only used under three different circumstances:

  1. To separate the lv. 3 "big 4" series from any sub-series or game categories that didn't fit within those four series. This is only applicable for primary and secondary trees.
  2. To elevate the Game category from the subject-specific game categories at lv. 4 of the primary tree. For example, cat:Super Paper Mario is categorized with [[Category:Paper Mario Series|*]], whereas categories like cat:SPM Enemies get no asterisks.
  3. Also in primary trees, the lv. 5 Game category is given an asterisk when put on the actual game's page (so, Super Paper Mario gets [[Category:Super Paper Mario|*]]).
  4. Asterisks within an overall game category are also given to pages which aren't strictly writing on a specific in-game subject, but rather used as a point of reference for a subject of that game. This covers any game-focused pages within Category:Lists (including its subcategory), as well as all game galleries.

Templates

Templates have their own set of categories. The basic groupings can be found here, although a couple are further divided into subcategories of their own. The templates found on articles are either navigation templates or notice templates. Template categories are applied to templates using <noinclude>[[Category:Name]]</noinclude>, which ensures that only the template, and not the pages it is placed on, are categorized.

Navigation templates should not contain categories meant for the pages they are placed on.

So, for example, Template:SPM should not contain Category:Super Paper Mario. This defeats the purpose of having subject-specific categories for a game. Even templates for which a single category is applicable to all their articles (i.e. Category:Goombas for Template:Goombas) should not have that category, as this is inconsistent with the game templates, can interfere with category order on the articles, and can result in redundancy if users add the categories directly to the pages as well, since you can't tell that the templates provide the categories when you're editing until you Preview or Save.

Notice templates, on the other hand, can contain categories, as these do not pertain to the article's subject matter, but to the quality of the page itself and are only applicable when the template is applicable. Other types of templates used outside of the mainspace can also have categories. These categories are added using <includeonly>[[Category:Name]]</includeonly>, which means the pages the template is put on are categorized, but the template itself is not.