Ropes 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 a rope, the horizontal ones allow them to climb across while the latter ones allow them to climb up and down.
Super Mario franchise
Super Mario Bros. / Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
Super Mario Bros. 2
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 onto the rope and thus to cross pits, for example. When riding Yoshi, however, the player cannot grab the rope.
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.
Donkey Kong / Mario vs. Donkey Kong
New Super Mario Bros. 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 my 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.
Donkey Kong franchise
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 Reptile Rumble, 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
Ropes reappeared in Donkey Kong Country Returns, where the player must hold down the "clutch" button for the Kongs to continue holding on the rope.
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, and later in the Metro Kingdom in Super Mario Odyssey.
A Tightrope is a horizontal type of rope in New Super Mario Bros., Super Mario 3D Land and New Super Mario Bros. 2. 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. In Super Mario 3D Land, it acts the same as the ones in New Super Mario Bros. Fuzzies appear on tightropes in this game, acting in a way comparable to Wire Traps.
There are structures in Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon that Luigi can walk on, however, he cannot just simply walk across one. To walk on it, the player needs to to regain balance; if Luigi falls, he loses 10 HP.
Super Mario 3D Land
Names in other languages