Ropes (also known as wires or bars) are recurring objects that appear in both the Mario franchise and the Donkey Kong franchise. There are two types of ropes: horizontal and vertical. A character can usually grab on to a rope. The horizontal ones allow them to climb across, while the latter ones allow them to climb up and down.
Super Mario series
Super Mario World
Ropes first appear as an interactive object in Super Mario World, where they are placed vertically and used similarly to vines. In the game, they are usually linked to a mechanism moving constantly left and right (or up and down), allowing Mario and Luigi to grab on to the rope and thus to cross pits, for example. When riding Yoshi, however, the player cannot grab the rope.
Super Mario Sunshine
In Super Mario Sunshine, ropes (also called Wire Ropes) appear as somewhat common objects in various locations, and seem to be based off the ones in Donkey Kong for the Game Boy. As in that game, wires can be hung off and used to perform a Super Whirl Jump to reach higher places. Additionally, Mario can walk on them as if it were a tightrope. Jumping on top of them for a higher bounce is also possible. Wire Traps can be found on them.
Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3
In Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, stationary ropes are prominently featured in the World-e level Rich with Ropes. They can be climbed similarly to vines, the difference being that they do not need to be activated and that Hoopsters (from Super Mario Bros. 2) are often found on them crawling up and down. A few ropes are also present in two other World-e levels, Ground Work and Bowser's Airship 2, though Hoopsters do not show up in these levels.
New Super Mario Bros. sub-series
Ropes also appear in the New Super Mario Bros. series, where their behavior has slightly changed. In New Super Mario Bros., they are mostly found on ceilings instead of tracks. When the player starts grabbing onto a rope, it starts swinging and the player can adjust its speed and movement by changing positions on the rope before jumping off. Exclusively found in World 6-B and a bonus area in World 7-1 are ropes that are on tracks, similar to Super Mario World. There are also vines that appear in jungle themed levels which serve the same purpose as ropes other than appearance.
In New Super Mario Bros. Wii and New Super Mario Bros. U, the ropes are replaced with chains, which serve the same purpose as ropes other than appearance. In New Super Mario Bros. 2 the ropes and vines now swing automatically and the player is unable to adjust their speed and movement. There are also ropes that hang horizontally on ceilings that the player can climb through to reach other areas.
New Super Mario Bros. and New Super Mario Bros. 2 also feature tightropes that can be walked across. In the former, it acts as a normal platform, although Mario moves slower on it. However, he can jump higher, similar to the ropes in Super Mario Sunshine. In New Super Mario Bros., tightropes only appear in the World 1-Castle. If Mario or Luigi stand still on one too long, they lose their balance and fall off if they do not move or jump in time. Sometimes as Shell Mario or Luigi, if they do a shell dash on it to reach the end point, it continues rolling after they let go from running or jump up high.
Super Mario 3D Land
Super Mario 3D Land features tightropes much like the ones in New Super Mario Bros., where they mainly appear in World 3-4, World 7-3, Special 3-3, and Special 7-1. Fuzzies appear on tightropes in this game, acting in a way comparable to Wire Traps.
Super Mario Odyssey
In Super Mario Odyssey, two New Donkers can be found swinging a rope around at the park near the Main Street Entrance in New Donk City. After jumping over it 30 times in succession, Mario will be rewarded with a Power Moon. He will get another Power Moon if he manages to jump over it 100 times.
Donkey Kong (Game Boy)
Ropes appear in Donkey Kong for the Game Boy in multiple configurations. Vertical ones tend to hang from above, and are interacted with much like the vine objects from Donkey Kong Jr.. Diagonal or horizontal ropes (also called Horizontal Bars) are attached to telephone-like poles. Mario can grab on and move across ropes and can also do the Wire Spin to either do a small jump or a large jump to get to areas he could not reach.
Donkey Kong Country series
Ropes also appear in the Donkey Kong franchise, specifically the Donkey Kong Country series and the Donkey Kong Land series. Both horizontal and vertical ropes appear in the games, the latter of which acts similar to vines. There are vertical ropes that move back and forth and ones that remain stationary.
Donkey Kong Country
In Donkey Kong Country, swinging ropes first appear in the level Ropey Rampage, which Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong must use to move between treetops. A later level, Slipslide Ride, mainly features blue and purple slippery ropes: the blue slide the Kongs up while the purple ones slide them down.
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
Two types of ropes were introduced in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest: horizontal ropes and climbable vertical ropes. Both types of ropes first appear in the level Mainbrace Mayhem. The vertical and horizontal ropes often intersect, meaning that Diddy and Dixie Kong must climb up a series of these ropes. The game introduces Klingers, an enemy with an instinctive ability to climb ropes: they always repeatedly climb up a rope or another thin, vertical object, and then slide down.
A ghostly rope species appear throughout the level, Ghostly Grove. They are used like non-moving vertical ropes, but have a key difference of vanishing and reappearing every few seconds. The phantom Ropes also appear in Donkey Kong Land 2 and its Ghostly Grove counterpart.
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!
The horizontal and vertical ropes reappear in Donkey Kong Country 3; the horizontal ropes have a different appearance in each setting. Another type of rope was introduced, in the level Konveyor Rope Klash, where the ropes rapidly move either left or right like a conveyor belt. The game also introduces Klasps, enemies who wear a TNT Barrel and move across horizontal ropes.
Donkey Kong Country Returns / Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Mario Party series
In the Mario Party series, ropes are mainly found in Minigames. In Hot Rope Jump, located in Mario Party and Mario Party 2, the players are supposed to jump over a rope made of Podoboos. In Get a Rope in Mario Party 5, the player's task is to choose one out of three ropes. Chump Rope in Mario Party 8 has a similar objective compared to Hot Rope Jump; however, it is a 1-vs.-3 player minigame opposed to the 4-player minigame. A jump-rope once again appears in Skipping Class of Mario Party 9.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong
Ropes reappear in Mario vs. Donkey Kong, where they behave in the exact the same way as they do in Donkey Kong for the Game Boy. In this game, the horizontal variants known as wires.
Super Mario 3D Land
Names in other languages