The Skeleton Key is a key featured in two of the Nintendo 64 games of the Mario Party series, and is Luigi's favorite item. The Skeleton Key is named after an actual kind of key used on some types of locks. The Skeleton Key can unlock special doors throughout the various boards, usually for opening up secret paths or shortcuts. In order to use a Skeleton Key, a player must reach a door and choose to use it. In Mario Party 2, it has a golden bow on its head. In Mario Party 3, it does not have a bow and instead has big black eyebrows.
The only way to discard an unwanted Skeleton Key in Mario Party 2 is by using it on a door, even if the player does not wish to travel through it. In Mario Party 3, it is possible for players to "use" a Skeleton Key on their turn like a normal item, which gives them the option to throw them away.
The Skeleton Key is the only item that is always for sale at an Item Shop, regardless of whether or not Toad or Koopa Kid is running it. The exception to this rule are the shops in Bowser Land where Baby Bowser forces players to buy a particular item, though he can force a player to buy a Skeleton Key.
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