Mario Superstar Baseball
Mario Superstar Baseball is a Mario sports title for the Nintendo GameCube and is the first installment of the Mario Baseball series, being the first dedicated baseball game in the Mario franchise. As with most Mario Sports titles, it has traditional rules of the sport, but with special, Mario-themed quirks and mechanics to differentiate itself from the real sport. This includes characters using Star Skill abilities to cause the ball behavior to behave differently; team captain's Star Skill abilities are unique and cause a wide variety of special effects such as attacking outfielders if batting and causing the pitched ball to behave erratically. Characters also have field abilities to differentiate themselves from other teammates. Chemistry is a feature unique to the Mario Baseball games where players perform differently whether they are neutral, like, or dislike another character they are cooperating with. Additionally, most fields in the game have stage hazards that can affect outfielders such as the Piranha Plants serving as obstacles in Yoshi Park.
Aside from the main Exhibition mode, where players can play baseball freely with up to two players, players can participate in a single-player oriented Challenge mode that has them playing as a designated team captain and their preset team and recruiting other captains and team players to face off against Bowser. This game also introduces the Toy Field mode where individual characters play on an interactive baseball field and get coins based on where the ball lands. Finally, players can play in Mario-themed minigames that have baseball mechanics, such as hitting Bob-ombs to create fireworks or collecting gems in the baseball diamond while avoiding a Chain Chomp. Toy Field and Minigames mode are the only modes that can support up to four players.
The game's opening begins with Mario and Luigi playing catch. The two then see a wanted poster featuring Bowser on it float from the sky. Elsewhere, Princess Peach, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, and Wario all receive the same posters, and decide to get to playing baseball.
In the match between Peach and Yoshi's teams, Peach gets a good swing on a pitch, and as Yoshi runs to make the catch, it bounces off a Note Block and becomes a home run, much to Yoshi's disappointment. Next, in the game between Wario and Donkey Kong's teams, Donkey Kong uses his climbing abilities to catch the ball, but is bitten by a Chain Chomp and forced to drop it. Shortly after, Diddy Kong successfully bunts, and Wario desperately tries to blow the ball into foul range, but to no avail—Lakitu calls a fair ball, leaving Wario to slam his fist into the ground in frustration.
Finally, in the big game between Mario and Wario's teams, Mario is running for home base, but Donkey Kong is on the verge of catching the ball as Peach, Daisy and Toad look away. Mario then bounds over Donkey Kong and reaches home base safely as Donkey Kong is hit in the face with the ball. Later on, after the teams have changed sides, Wario slams Mario's pitch into the stands for an easy home run; as he and Waluigi celebrate to the visible dismay of Mario's, Donkey Kong becomes excited and accidentally pounds Wario into the ground, causing Waluigi to laugh.
Still later in the game, Daisy is seen throwing the ball to Peach, who then throws to Yoshi as Waluigi slides hard towards the base—only to discover Yoshi already has the ball, causing him to fall short as Lakitu declares him out. During Donkey Kong's at-bat, he punches the ball, and Luigi runs after it as it makes a beeline for the bleachers; he manages to jump off the top of the wall and catch it for a second out. Wario is the next batter up, and points his bat at Mario. Mario winds up and throws a fastball that catches fire and passes Wario before he can swing, striking him out; its speed overloads a radar gun in the process. With all three outs, the teams change sides.
With two outs and the game on the line, Mario is up to bat; as he faces down Wario, he points his bat at the stands in an homage to Babe Ruth's called shot. Wario then lets loose a pitch that Mario manages to hit as everyone watches in awe—the ball sails directly into the stands where Mario pointed, scoring a game-winning home run for him and his team. Peach, Luigi and the others celebrate their victory with Mario as he reaches home base; as they do, Bowser is shown in the audience, chuckling to himself.
Challenge Mode ending
The game's ending plays when Bowser's team is finally beaten in Challenge Mode. It begins with Mario entering a park at night, with Luigi, Princess Peach, Red Toad, and Diddy Kong excited over his arrival. Then Bowser confidently arrives for a rematch, with characters such as Wario and Waluigi as his teammates. After everyone gets to their positions, all prepared for the re-match, Mario makes the pitch. As the ball is thrown, the camera zooms in the ball, revealing the hidden words on it, "WE LOVE BASEBALL!", then the credits roll.
Mario Superstar Baseball plays similarly to actual baseball; teams take turn batting to run on the bases and fielding. The team who bats hits the ball to the field while the fielders attempt to make the batters out. Once a runner touches the home base, their team earns a point. There are three outs on an inning for the batting team. Once a team gets three outs, they switch sides. Whichever team obtains the most points wins. Teams, led by specific team captains, can have up to nine members.
In-game controls (batter)
In-game controls (runner)
In-game controls (pitcher)
In-game controls (fielder)
Exhibition mode is a standard one or two player game of baseball. Players fill out a roster and play a game. There are six different, unique stadiums in which players can choose to play in. The player, before playing in a stadium, can adjust options such as number of innings, mercy, which player bats first, and turning Star Skills on and off. Players can also adjust field settings, running, drop spots, and batting cursors.
A new feature in this game is the ability to use a Star Skill. Star Skills can be activated either while pitching or while batting. Anyone in this game can use a Star Skill, but a team captain's Star Skill is superior to a sub-character's Star Skill. Team Captains have mostly different Star Skills, however, captains that usually pair with each other (Mario and Luigi, Peach and Daisy) have similar Star Skills. The amount of Star Skills that can be used is represented by 5 Team Stars in a meter. The amount of starting Team Stars depend on the sub-characters' chemistry with the team captain.
Star Skills can be replenished by hitting ball park features. They can also be replenished by striking a player out or making a batter reach a base safely when the words, "Star Chance!" appear. Team captains and sub-characters use up one Team Star while captains as members use up two Team Stars.
Challenge mode (the main game mode of Mario Superstar Baseball) is a game mode where one player selects one of five Team Captains (Mario, Peach, Donkey Kong, Wario, and Yoshi) and plays with a pre-made team. The player wanders a map of the Mushroom Kingdom and can play minigames to earn coins and spend at a Shop, where power-ups can be bought. The player's objective is to beat the other four captains in a game of baseball, on their own course. In order to get the others, the player should see the scout flags for the match. Scout flags are earned by completing scout missions, such as getting a hit, or scoring a run. If the scout mission is not completed, you will not earn the scout flag(s). There are scout flags next to the characters' faces. These flags serve as a purpose for recruiting other characters to the player's team. Each character has a set number of Scout Flags (up to five flags), with team captains requiring more Scout Flags (3 on the Mushroom level, 4 on the Flower level and Star level, and 5 on the Special level) and sub-captains and characters of race (excluding the characters with color changes) needing the median number (2 on Mushroom and on Flower, 3 on Star, and 4 on Special) and minor characters needing the least (1 on Mushroom, 2 on Flower and Star, and 3 on Special).
The only exception is Donkey Kong's team, with all his teammates needing only one scout flag on the mushroom level. Bowser's team cannot be recruited due to no scout flags; the only way to do so is when Bowser is selected as a challenge mode captain. When Bowser is chosen, the team players require the same number of flags as the captain when he is not chosen. Before the match, the opposing team's has the message "Round up Players" on their batting order screen. The order of the opposing team is random as well as the fielding position, with the exception of Bowser's team, whose batting order and fielding positions remain the same. Players from other teams can be recruited after clearing certain missions. When the player recruits the captain they are not able to recruit other characters on their team unless the player faces Bowser Jr.
After beating all four opponents, the path to Bowser's Castle opens, where the player is able to challenge Bowser's team. Once Bowser's team is defeated, Challenge Mode is cleared. Additionally, Bowser Jr. wanders the map. Coming in contact with him starts a short, one inning game where the player is put in various situations. If the player has had a captain join their team, they can unlock characters on their team from Bowser Jr. Sometimes, they are ahead by a point and must defend their position. Other times, they are behind and must make a comeback. Challenge Mode is the only way to unlock characters.
There are four difficulties to Challenge Mode: Mushroom, Flower, Star, and Special. Once Special mode is cleared, Bowser becomes a playable captain. In Bowser mode, Bowser must beat the other five captains, and then play a team of nine of the ten captains and sub-captains, led by Mario (the excluded character is random). Bowser can recruit other characters, excluding the captains and sub-captains, and in Bowser mode, Bowser Jr. does not wander the map.
Names of levels in other languages
Names of scout missions in other languages
Strike 'Em Out!
Get a Hit!
In order for players to star characters, they must complete specific Star Missions for a character in Challenge Mode. These are optional, but Superstar characters have an increase in stats. The number of Star Missions vary depending on the character; generally, team captains have more Star Missions than team players. Characters have a star title: these change when characters achieve more missions. In addition, challenges are confined to specific difficulties: some challenges are exclusive to Mushroom difficulty while others can be obtained if players cleared it in Star difficulty.
Main team players
Alternate team players
An asterisk (*) means that character is unlockable.
This is a list of teams formed by team captains in Exhibition Mode. One of them is a common team formed by a captain as the teammates is mostly a different character type than the captain's, another one must be formed by using the majority of the captain's character type, and two of them must be formed by putting in the four required characters in the captain's team. The only exception is Bowser, who needs only three required characters to play on one of his teams. Bolded names indicate that the team name returns in Mario Super Sluggers.
Chemistry is a unique feature to Mario Superstar Baseball and its follow-up. Player chemistry emphasizes the relationships between characters. When forming a team, the relationship status between the captain and their teammates affects the number of power stars the team starts with. Additionally, in the game, good chemistry occurs with two friends. When a player throws a ball to their "buddy", the ball travels faster than a normal throw would. Additionally, a player hits better when one of their friends are on base. Examples are Mario and Luigi, Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong. Good chemistry is symbolized by a musical note.
Bad chemistry occurs conversely. When a character throws a ball to a character they dislike, the ball travels more slowly and is sometimes out of line. Bad chemistry is symbolized when a small zigzag line appears next to the players. Examples of bad chemistry include Mario and Bowser, Luigi and King Boo. However, bad chemistry only occurs when the characters are fielding, and it does not happen all the time.
These items can only be bought at the shop in Challenge Mode. Coins are obtained for purchasing items by either defeating Bowser Jr. roaming across the map or winning minigames at the stadiums.
The following items last for one game of baseball.
Once these items are purchased, they never need to be bought again. All of them cost 200 coins and they all do the same thing: give a character the ability to use their special hits and pitches. The difference is that each one powers up just one captain. They become active when the compatible character is on the team.
One permanent item that does not give a character Special Moves is the Secret Map, which allows access to the Toy Field from Challenge Mode's overworld, therefore letting coins earned in Toy Field carry over to Challenge Mode. The Secret Map only appears if the player has beaten every minigame on the Challenge Mode overworld.
Toy Field is a mode up to four players can participate in a special field. Players take turns hitting pitched balls into a field made up of many spaces. Players earn coins depending on where the ball has landed. The player with the most coins win. Items can be used to either help or deter a player's progress depending if the ball landed on a ? area. Players can also get coins by striking a player out or catching a fly ball.
Minigames are extra games outside of playing regular baseball. They usually feature baseball rules, but with a tweak added to it. Unlike exhibition, up to fours players can participate and players choose single characters instead of constructing a team. All minigames correspond to a stadium, such as Bob-omb Derby to Mario Stadium. Four difficulties are involved, though only one is available in the start for all minigames from easiest to hardest: Mushroom, Flower, Star, and Special. Flower and Star difficulties are simply harder than Mushroom, but Special usually has a tweak to it: players who play Special difficulty sets records if they beat the standard high score of the minigame.
When players beat Star difficulty for all minigames, they unlock Grand Prix Mode. Grand Prix mode is basically a collection of all minigames in this order, in Special difficulty: Bob-omb Derby, Wall Ball, Chain Chomp Sprint, Piranha Panic, Barrel Batter, and Star Dash. When completed, the player will earn a Grand Prix medal, which is stored in the Records mode.
This mode allows players to master and practice the basics of Mario Superstar Baseball, including batting, pitching, fielding, and base running. The player can also go here to practice against a CPU with any character they choose. Options in the Practice mode include: Batting, Pitching, Baserunning, and Fielding, where the player is given instructions on the category, playing as Mario. The last option, Free Play, is where the player can practice the four ways of playing baseball with any character they wish and as long as they want.
This is where all outcomes of Exhibition, Challenge, Toy Field, and Minigame Mode are stored. The player can navigate through a number of menus to see all the information stored. The following are stored: past MVPs, challenge mode trophies, Grand Prix medals, star statuses, high scores for all minigames in Special difficulty, and high scores for Toy Field
The options allow the player to modify game settings. Settings include turning on and off music, setting the sound scheme (Mono, Stereo, and Surround), and turning the Controller's Rumble Feature on or off.
Overall, Mario Superstar Baseball was well received by critics, gaining 8.0 out of 10 from GameSpot. A GameDaily reviewer praised the game, as telling that he "found it to grow on him." IGN praised the game, but also said that "these high production values are not consistent throughout the experience."
Pre-release and unused content
Mario Superstar Baseball was originally known as only Mario Baseball and had a different logo from the final one and the star chances were not the same as they were in the final game as well.
References to other games
References in later games
Terms in other languages
That's The Game
Take Your Base
Names in other languages