Trophies are collectibles found throughout the Mario franchise. They can serve different purposes, but usually they are given as rewards for completing tournaments.
There are a total of thirteen different cups that have appeared throughout the main series: the Mushroom, Flower, Star, Special (since Super Mario Kart), Lightning (first appearing in Mario Kart: Super Circuit and since Mario Kart DS, Shell, Banana, Leaf (also since Mario Kart DS), Egg, Triforce, Crossing, and Bell (for the two Mario Kart 8 DLC packs), and the All-Cup Tour (exclusively in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!). Each cup usually contains four courses (with the exceptions being Super Mario Kart, where each cup has five, and the All-Cup Tour in Double Dash!!, which is a mixture of all four other cups in the game). When the player ranks in the top three in a Grand Prix, an award ceremony will be held, and they will see a unique trophy based on the cup with gold (1st), silver (2nd), and bronze (3rd) variants. In each installment since Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, completing certain cups will unlock different rewards, such as characters and karts.
In Mario Kart: Super Circuit, a ranking system for the cups was introduced. After being absent from Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, the ranking system was reintroduced in Mario Kart DS. The ranking system has stayed since, though the system was revamped in Mario Kart 8 to only be based on the points that the player earns (with 60 earning the player three gold stars). While it was only cosmetic in Mario Kart DS and Mario Kart Wii, it does net rewards in Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Mario Kart 7, Mario Kart 8, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. In Super Circuit, the player can earn an alternate title screen by getting three stars in every cup, while in Mario Kart 7, Mario Kart 8, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe the player can earn kart parts (being the Gold Tires and the Gold Standard, respectively).
Outside of Grand Prix, cups are still used to categorize the different tracks in other modes that use these tracks. Since Mario Kart Wii a simple trophy is also given out at the end of a round of Vs. Mode or Battle Mode (despite the latter having little to nothing to do with cups).
The arcade Mario Kart games, including Mario Kart Arcade GP, Arcade GP 2, and Arcade GP DX, feature different cups based on different characters in the games (except for the Rainbow Cup). These cups include the Mario Cup, Donkey Kong Cup, Pac-Man Cup, Wario Cup, Bowser Cup (all in the first two games, with the former and latter appearing in DX as well), Yoshi Cup, Waluigi Cup, Rainbow Cup (exclusively in Arcade GP 2), Toad Cup, Don-chan Cup, and Bowser Jr. Cup (exclusively in DX). It should be noted that the three cups exclusive to Mario Kart Arcade GP DX are nearly identical to the Yoshi Cup, Donkey Kong Cup, and Waluigi Cup, respectively. Unlike their console counterparts, the cups in the arcade games only include two courses each. Both of these courses share a theme, such as a beach or an amusement park. Due to this, many of these courses share several major elements with one another.
Mario Golf series
In Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, players receive trophies only if they get 1st place. But in the rest of the games of the Mario Golf series, there are gold, silver, and bronze trophies. Players get them by ranking in the top three in course championships. In Mario Golf: World Tour, trophies can also be earned by placing in the top 60% of all the participants in online tournaments.
Mario Tennis series
In the Mario Tennis series, trophies reappear with the same purpose as in the Mario Golf series. Like in Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, they can only be earned by ranking in 1st place.
Mario Hoops 3-on-3
In Mario Hoops 3-on-3 there are trophies for each cup. The cups are: The Mushroom Cup, the Flower Cup, the Star Cup, and the Rainbow Cup. Once the players collects all four for the first time, they can play all four cups again on Hard Mode. There are bronze, silver, and gold versions of each trophy, though instead of being based on the player's position (they can only get trophies by placing in 1st), the trophy is based on how many points a player earns in a tourney (200+ over all CPUs for gold, 100-199 for silver, and 1-99 for bronze). Each bronze, silver, and gold trophy for each cup offers a different reward.
Super Mario Strikers
In Super Mario Strikers, trophies are awards won by achieving a certain number of special actions. Additionally, all cups of the game are trophies, including the Mushroom Cup, the Flower Cup, the Star Cup, the Bowser Cup, the Super Mushroom Cup, the Super Flower Cup, the Super Star Cup, and the Super Bowser Cup. The cups' trophies are won by winning the cup. These special trophies can also be unlocked:
Winning a gold trophy also unlocks certain cheats available in the Options menu.
Mario Strikers Charged
In the sequel to Super Mario Strikers, Mario Strikers Charged, players can earn one of three trophies, the Fire Cup, the Crystal Cup, and the Striker Cup. To win the cup, players must beat the champion of the cup in the best 2-out-of-3 series. If the player wins two games, then the cup is theirs.
In addition to the three main cups, all three also have two bonus trophies known as the Golden Foot and Brick Wall awards. These are based on goals for and goals against, respectively.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong series
Trophies are an important feature in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series, starting with Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem and returning in Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars and Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge. In these games, they are used to reward players when they surpass the goal score of a level. Gold trophies are needed to unlock bonus levels, which are more challenging than the main levels.
In Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, trophies are given more variety to assist the game's star gimmick. They come in bronze, silver and gold and are given in accordance to the player's score, just like in other games of the series. Each type of trophy is worth one star. Stars are used as in-game currency to purchase items from the Workshop Store, and were also used to tip players for levels shared online prior to Miiverse shutting down. In Workshop mode, before a player can upload their own level, they must play-test it and earn enough points for a gold trophy.
Mario Sports Mix
In Mario Sports Mix, if players beat tournaments for any sport, they will receive a trophy for finishing the final match of that specific tournament.
Paper Mario: Sticker Star
In Paper Mario: Sticker Star, if Mario returns to where he found the Bowling Ball in the Bafflewood after knocking down the pins at Strike Lake, he will find a gold trophy (supposedly to him, as it has his name on the bottom). If he takes it to the Sling-a-Thing and uses the sticker in battle, the man on top of the trophy will toss his ball at the enemies to damage them.
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