Mario Party 3
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Mario Party 3 is the third installment of the Mario Party series, and the last one for the Nintendo 64. The game is centered around the Millennium Star, who replaces Toad as the host. The most notable change is that players can now hold up to three items instead of just one. The game includes 70 new minigames, as well as a feature unique to the Mario Party series: duel boards, on which two players fight each other using partners. The game is also the first game in the Mario Party series to have a solo mode story campaign.
Story and Objective
From the Mario Party 3 instruction book:
A Star is Born: In the center of the vast universe, a remarkably bright star was born. It was the star that is born only once in a thousand years, the Millennium Star. According to the legend, whoever possessed the mystical star was destined to become the Superstar of the universe. However since the Millennium Star was but a newborn, it fell from the starry sky.
In Duel Mode, players have to defeat their opponent with their partners. Each player starts with five heart pieces.
In Story Mode, a single player must battle his or her way to earn the rank of Super Star. To do so, they must fill their stamp card with Star Stamps. The Star Stamps are Wit, Kindness, Strength, Love, Courage, Beauty, and Mischief. The trend the game will follow is Battle Royale, Duel, Battle Royale, Duel; and this continues until the player's next objective is to earn the Beauty Star Stamp. At this point, the player plays a Duel against Daisy, followed by a final Battle Royale on Waluigi's Island.
A - If the player is using this character, that opponent is replaced with Luigi
For the Millennium Star, his original plan was to have a straight run-through of seven (since there are seven Star Stamps) Battle Royale Boards. However, when the Millennium Star is about to stamp the player's stamp card, another character bursts from the castle and say they deserve this. The two argue, and Millennium Star decides to go to a Duel Board. The player wins (they must to continue) and the other character runs away in disappointment. After the stamp is received, the next Star Stamp is shown and another Battle Royale begins.
When the Beauty Star Stamp is revealed though, Daisy makes a sudden appearance before a Battle Royale could even begin. The Millennium Star mentions it, but Daisy strikes a pose causing the Millennium Star to fall in love with her and offers her the Beauty Star Stamp. The player says it is not fair and the two argue. The Millennium Star regains consciousness and says they will go to Backtrack to settle it. Suddenly, Bowser appears and tries to take the stamp but Daisy swats him away in one blow. After the player defeats Daisy, she mopes and runs away. Tumble states Daisy said she never lost, not even to her father. The player then receives the Beauty Star Stamp.
The Mischief Star Stamp is then revealed, but then Bowser appears and unknowingly sends it flying into the castle, declaring the player must battle him to earn it. Everyone notices it is gone, and Waluigi comes out of the castle with the stamp trapped in a cage. Waluigi and Bowser fight each other, but to everyone's surprise, Waluigi won. He tells the player they will go to Waluigi's Island. Bowser tells the player to avenge him for what happened. Although long time foes, the player silently agrees and chases after Waluigi. After the battle is over, Waluigi is pounding the floor in frustration yelling he won't forget what happened. The Millennium Star gives the player the Mischief Star Stamp.
Despite winning all the stamps, the Millennium Star declares there is one person left the player must battle. The player is seen thinking hard of who could it be. Both the player and Tumble are surprised when the Millennium Star exclaims the player must defeat him in Stardust Battle to win. When the player defeats him, they ask to be the greatest superstar in the universe (although ownership of the Millennium Star was the original offer). The Millennium startles everyone admitting he isn't the real Millennium Star and flies away in shame. The player drops to the ground in disappointment, unable to believe it was all for nothing.
Suddenly, Tumble begins glowing and his dice head opens to reveal a small white star. He explains he is the real Millennium Star, and was watching the player the whole time. After returning the castle and the grounds to its normal state, he promises the player he will make them the superstar of the universe. The credits roll. The final scene, set in front of the castle, is Mario lying on a folding chair, Luigi and Peach are talking to each other nearby, and Donkey Kong is sitting near the three just watching. In the back, Wario and Waluigi are apparently arguing, Daisy is sitting and watching the butterflies, and Yoshi is in the far back chasing a butterfly. The closing scene is a table with a box with the words "Mario Party" on it. A die (the same color as Tumble's head) is thrown onto the table and the word "END" appears on the lower right corner.
As in all Mario Party games, there are always other modes to play:
The game brings back the original six playable characters from the last two Mario Party games and introduces two new characters, Princess Daisy and Waluigi. However, they can only be playable in Party Mode and Mini-game mode.
*Luigi steps in as the opponent if the player is playing as the specified character.
Just like Mario Party 2 did for Mario Party, Mario Party 3 referenced and took gimmicks from Mario Party 2's boards to use in its own boards. For example, Waluigi's Island uses the main gimmick from Space Land, along with a gimmick from Luigi's Engine Room from Mario Party; in one island, when a total of 5 Happening Spaces have been landed on, all players will lose all of their coins (Space Land), and all islands and routes contain Red Warp Pipes that lead back to start, at the Green Warp Pipe (Luigi's Engine Room).
Battle Royale Spaces
Duel Mode can be played in Duel Mode and Story Mode. Duel Mode can be selected by selecting the red star in the main menu. Duel Boards can only be played with two characters. The objective is to defeat the opponent by attacking them with partners. Each player has a heart gauge, consisting of five segments. The game is over when 20 turns end (when '20 turns' is selected in game length) or when one player's heart gauge is empty. If 20 turns have finished, the player with the most hearts is the winner. If heart counts tie, then the player with the most coins wins, but if that count also ties as well, the match is a tie.
Players start with one partner and can gain another (or replace one) when they reach their start space, which also gives them ten coins. Partners are given to the player at random using a roulette (on every third return, the player gets a "Lucky Roulette", which slows the roulette, allowing the player to more easily obtain a desired partner). Each partner has a salary where they are paid when the player's turn starts. If a player cannot afford to pay the salary, the partner(s) leave(s).
In the middle of every board is Belltop, a mechanical toy. Every time a player passes him, the numbers on his hat goes down by one. Whenever the hat reaches 0, all players go to him and play a duel mini-game. After the winner receives his/her coin prize, the timer is reset to 5.
In Story Mode, after a Battle Royale map, the player's character is about to receive a Star Stamp when another character emerges from the castle and says they deserve it. To settle this dispute, both characters are sent to a Duel Board (with the exception of Waluigi, who challenges the character to his Battle Royale board, Waluigi's Island). The winner receives the Star Stamp. (Note that Luigi's board can be anyone except Backtrack)
Duel Mode Partners
If the player gets 2 of the same partners, the Millennium Star will call it a glorious (_____) (fill the blank with the partner). It also raises the attack by one (with the exception of Thwomp and Whomp, whose salaries are decreased by one instead). The following combinations will cause the Millennium Star to comment on it, but the attack won't be raised.
Items appear only on Battle Royale boards. They can be bought at an item shop or obtained on an Item Space. Either Toad or Baby Bowser runs the shop, both selling different items. Some items can only be collected through an Item Space.
Mario Party 3 allows the player to carry three items at once, as opposed to the single item the player can carry in Mario Party 2.
Pre-release and unused content
NTSC vs. PAL
Exclusive to the PAL version is a language select, despite Canada and Mexico being neighboring countries to the United States. First time playing a cartridge brings it up, but subsequent use of the screen needs held down before turning on the console.
References to other games
Mario Party 3 received mixed to positive reviews. It has a 74% rating from Metacritic, based on 12 reviews, and a 73% from Game Rankings based on 17 reviews. IGN gave it a 6.4 and GameSpot gave it a 7.5. In Japan, Famitsu magazine scored the game a 31 out of 40.
Mario Party 3 is the 26th best selling game for the Nintendo 64, selling approximately 1.9 million copies: 1.02 million copies in Japan, 720,000 copies in North America, and 160,000 copies elsewhere, as of December 31, 2009.
The Mario Party 3 installment also won the Console Family Award from the Academy of the Interactive Arts and Sciences of 2002.