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The Wario Ware series is essentially a collection of hundreds of mini-games. (PLAY!) And the gold-hoarding, gas-cloud-belching Wario Land is in charge of it all, aided by a cast of wacky friends and neighbors. (SIDEKICK!)
But wait! (WAIT!) There are three important details to these mini-games:
- Each mini-game lasts for only about five seconds. (Normal-length games run eight beats; the BPM starts from 100 or so and rises from there). (RUN!)
- In each 'level' you have to complete nine to twenty-five of them in a row, without stopping (And much more if you're going for a high score)! (JUMP!)
- And you receive no instructions on how to play! Your only assistance is a single command that appears on-screen just as the game begins. (IGNITE!)
That's pretty much the WarioWare games in a nutshell. (CRACK!) Each game is a handful of about 200 or so "microgames" that come at you in roughly five-second increments, each time prompting you to do a simple task (POUR! STOMP! etc.). The microgames are shuffled at random, (MIX!) so you'll have to react fast to succeed (CHEER!) and impress Wario and his cadre of microgame developers (APPLAUSE!). Once you've unlocked everything, the games basically become quests to beat your high scores at all the games. (POINTS!)
Games in the Wario Ware series (LIST!):
- WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! (WarioWare, Inc.: Minigame Mania in PAL countries) (Game Boy Advance) (given a limited rerelease in 2011 under the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Program)
- WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Game$! (a Nintendo GameCube extension of the above game with multiplayer games thrown in)
- WarioWare: Twisted! (GBA, a cartridge equipped with a Motion Sensor)
- WarioWare: Touched! (Nintendo DS, with the games themed around various uses of the touch screen)
- WarioWare: Smooth Moves (Wii -- the games are themed around holding the Wii Remote in a variety of ways to control the game)
- WarioWare: Snapped! (DSiWare, uses the Nintendo DSi's camera to take pictures)
- WarioWare: D.I.Y. (DS; this entry allows you to create your own microgames.)
- WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase (WiiWare, a companion game for the above)
Wario also appears in Super Smash Bros Brawl with his default appearance having him wear his clothes from WarioWare (his Wario Land appearance is available as well (RETRO!)), along with a WarioWare-inspired stage and Kat & Ana as Assist Trophy. (SMASH!)
These games provide examples (TROPE!) of:
- All Guys Want Cheerleaders: The football player in Smooth Moves has a crush on Mona, who (in this game anyway) is one of his school's cheerleaders.
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife
- Anti-Frustration Features: In Smooth Moves, if you've just played a microgame involving spinning the remote around, and thus twisted up the wrist strap, the next game will be one in which you have to drop the Wii Remote and leave it dangling by the strap, untwisting it.
- Anti Poop Socking Smooth Moves, since actually getting up and moving around is the core part of the gameplay.
- Not to mention Crygor's stage, which is specifically themed around getting some frickin exercise. It even measures your progress in "kelories," each of which is about 1/100- 1/50 of a calorie.
- DIY unlocks only one of five sets of microgames per calendar day and one of 18 sets of five comics (out of 18) per calendar day.
- Art Shift
- Taken to eleven in DIY, where players' art styles are all over the place.
- Barehanded Blade Block: "Wario Kendo" in the original.
- Bishonen: Young Cricket, anyone?
- Button Mashing
- Completely Different Title: The original Japanese title of the series was Made in Wario but outside Japan it's WarioWare.
- Continuity Nod: A lot of the later games feature microgames that replicate previous games in the series.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Wario.
- Creative Closing Credits
- Cute Witch + Emotionless Girl: Ashley.
- Deadpan Snarker: the explanations of the positions in Smooth Moves.
- Defictionalization: Arguably Pyoro, which was the inspiration in story for Wario starting up his own company, was a mini game in every single game in the Wario Ware series, and then ended up published standalone by Nintendo for DSiWare under the name Bird & Beans. Paper Plane (retitled Paper Airplane Chase) is possibly the same way.
- Demoted to Extra: Mike, despite getting his own Image Song, seems to do nothing now besides show up in scenes with the Crygors. Penny is kind of on the fence between this and Ascended
ExtraSupporting Character, considering she has a considerable presence in DIY and actually interacts with Wario on a significant level. In the tutorial.
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: the European version of D.I.Y. translated everything, including elements of the microgames themselves, as you can find out with the Microgame editor once you access it and use it to open the microgames. Elements such as "Mario" from 9-Volt's games keep their name as always, but elements such as clouds, cars or whatever get their names (and animations as well!) translated in every language the game is localised in.
- Difficulty by Acceleration: The microgames themselves are ludicrously simple, so the bulk of the challenge is keeping up with them when they start going super-fast.
- Endless Game: upon replaying games, you just keep playing the games faster and faster until you fail four times.)
- Eye Beams: "Alien Laser Hero" in the original.
Don't even think about putting that in my eye! I hate eye drops!
- Cute Kitten: Disco dancing kittens in Smooth Moves! Later on, Jimmy P.'s stage has dancing puppies, and the similarity is lampshaded at the end.
- Everythings Funkier With Disco: Why yes the Thang family, seemingly stuck in the 70's.
- False Reassurance: This little gem from Penny: "Experiments are garanteed to be 100% not-entirely-lethal.".
- Fat Bastard: Wario. Not surprisingly
- Final Exam Boss: The last levels of the original.
- Touched is close. It has everything BUT the mic.
- Funny Afro: Jimmy T. and his family.
- Fun with Acronyms: The Diamond Software collection of microgames is exclusive to the DS version of D.I.Y. The Wii counterpart game meanwhile has Wario-Man Software.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Penny
- Game Breaking Bug: On level three of the needle-threading game in the original, a design oversight sometimes puts the eye of the needle out of the thread's reach, making it impossible to win. A real buzzkill when you're racking up a high score on the Thrilling tower and this glitch takes you out.
- Game Maker: Wario Ware D.I.Y. While its microgame engine allows for all different genres of games to be made, they're all still strictly microgames.
- Gameplay Roulette: intentional!
- Gasshole: Wario, as a character.
- Genre Busting: The series can be loosely considered mini-game collections, but it does it in such an unusual way (games are typically about 4 seconds long, must be done in quick succession, are presented in random order, and the goal is to survive a predetermined number of them before failing four times), and has an emphasis on single-player rather than multiplayer, that gamers and critics alike have largely given up trying to classify it at all.
- Goofy Print Underwear: The quick-draw game in Smooth Moves features Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, and Starman-print boxers.
- Handcar Pursuit: One of the micro games in Touched. Complete with being chased by another handcar, Wario in his car and a train respectively for the different difficulty levels.
- Homage / Nostalgia Level: 9-Volt's and 18-Volt's microgames and worlds are shout-outs to various classic NES and SNES games such as Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda and F-Zero
- Her Codename Was Mary Sue: Most of Wario's microgames involve him in some form.
- Honest Axe: Spoofed in "Touched!" Wario's response? "Gimme all of them!" *tackle*
- Idol Singer: minor character Sal Out, who sings the "Mona Pizza" song
- Image Song: A number of them. When they started to dub them after the first game, there was much outcry.
- I See London: The object of the quick-draw game in Smooth Moves.
- The Imp: Ashley's familiar, Red.
- Jerkass: Wario of course!
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Wario is described as such by himself and Mona.
- Kaizo Trap: Even after defeating the...planet from Ashley's boss game in Touched, you can still be hit by a stray bullet.
- Leitmotif: Everyone has a particular tone, even when not considering vocal songs.
- Looming Silhouette of Rage: Ashley in Touched!, when she collides with Orbulon
- Lost Forever: A few of the medals in D.I.Y. require entering microgame design contests that were periodically held by Nintendo. Nintendo no longer holds these contests, so if you hadn't already gotten the medals for them you can now no longer obtain them. Thankfully, it's still possible to get all the records even without these medals.
- The same, of course, goes for the microgames that won those contests. Even while they were running, you could only access the two most recent contest sets at a time to download their microgames. Now, you can't get any of them, unless you can get them from other players.
- Lyrical Dissonance: Ashley's theme song
- Mad Scientist: Dr. Crygor
- Mad Scientist's Beautiful Granddaughter: Penny Crygor
- Market-Based Title: The first game had the subtitle Mega Microgame$! in North America and Minigame Mania in Europe.
- Meaningful Name: Put Kat and Ana's names together and you'll get one.
- Minigame Game: The point.
- Mona Pizza Smile: In the American version of Twisted only.
- Never Say "Die": Averted with a Dribble and Spitz game in the first installment that involves dodging bombs with a scooter, which is called Scoot or Die.
- New Neighbours as the Plot Demands: So where were the characters who start appearing in Twisted, Touched or Smooth Moves back in the GBA original again, and how come all these ancient places never appeared on the maps of the game world before they became important to the plot?
- Ninja: The twins, Kat and Ana
- No Export for You: Twisted! never reached European shores. The reason for this was never explained, but it certainly wasn't to do with the illegality of mercury tilt switches in the EU -- Twisted! uses a piezoelectric gyroscope instead. Fortunately, the GBA is region free, so anyone in the region who knows English can play the game via importing.
- And as a result, sadly stopped the Mona Pizza song reaching European shores as well(until Brawl for the song, but it was remixed.), because to hear it you need to either play Wario Ware Twisted, or at least have a game cart to use alongside WarioWare Touched! via the GBA slot in the DS console.
- No Fair Cheating: In D.I.Y. a stage and comic are unlocked each day you play until you have them all. You could set your clock forward a day at a time to unlock them. Your DS's clock can be set backward, but the game's clock will stay forward and won't move until the DS matches. Of course, setting your DS clock backward before starting your save file will let you avoid this.
- Old Master: Master Mantis from Smooth Moves.
- One Game for the Price of Two: D.I.Y. and D.I.Y. Showcase. Hundred-Percent Completion of the medals in D.I.Y. requires linking up with Showcase at least once, and Showcase includes games from several of the traditional characters that weren't in D.I.Y. itself. There's nothing special in Showcase that really requires D.I.Y. however, other than being able to play your own creations on the TV screen rather than just the built-in ones and other people's.
- The first two games in the series are essentially the same game, except one is for handhelds and the other for home consoles.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: In most microgames you play in every installment, you only get one shot to clear the goal. Screw up in any way, and it's a fail.
- Ordinary High School Student: Mona, who changes jobs with each new game
- Otaku: 9-Volt and 18-Volt are hardcore fanboys of all things Nintendo.
- Out of Focus: Dribble, Spitz, and Orbulon took the backseat in Touched as mere cameo appearances. They have since taken the spotlight back, but now Mike has suffered this and is currently Put on a Bus.
- Parody Magic Spell: Ashley - "Pantalones Giganticus!"
- Power-Up Food: Garlic for Wario.
- Predatory Business: Pizza Dinosaur
- Press X to Die: Each game usually comes with at least one microgame that tells you to do nothing. You only lose if you push a button.
- One particularly irritating example is in Touched!, which involves a group of Gronks trying to cross a tightrope. Blowing into the microphone causes them to fall, ending the game in a loss. This minigame is incredibly infuriating when it catches you off guard, doubly so if you're playing it at a high speed, and TRIPLY so when you're playing with the DS's language set to a language you barely understand.
- Background noise can cause failures in this game, and Twisted has a game with an egg that breaks if you turn the GBA, or if the car or bus you're sitting in takes a turn.
- Press X to Not Die: A lot of microgames closely resemble Quick Time Events.
- Punny Name: More than half of the microgames.
- Not to mention a few characters, but the most obvious are the two ninjas, Kat and Ana. See what they did there?
- Random Events Plot: Mega Party Game$!
- Rule 34: Not particularly notable because this exists so much that microgames and comics that contain this can be created with DIY.
- Running Gag: Every official Wario Ware installment has a game involving nosepicking, usually as one of Mona's games.
- In DIY, the nose-picking minigame is also used as confirmation as to whether or not you wish to erase your data.
- Noses in general, considering Wario's got the biggest one of them all.
- Send in the Clones: 18-Volt, Jimmy T.'s whole family, Penny Crygor.
- Starfish Language: According to the description of the alien "instrument" in D.I.Y., the sounds made by the instrument are how an alien talks. And if you haven't guessed, it sounds nothing like human speech.
- Sequel First: Twisted! was released after Touched! in North America, and not at all in Europe.
- Shout-Out: 9-Volt's Stages in every single game he's in, and ditto for 18-Volt in DIY Showcase. But there's sometimes a Mario reference outside of 9-Volt's stages.
- In Wario's first stage of Wario Ware: Twisted!, the music box is visible on a shelf behind the watch.
- One of the games in Wario Ware: Smooth Moves has you shooting cans off of a fence. One of those cans is Crab Juice.
- Orbulon's space bunnies also appeared in Rhythm Heaven.
- D.I.Y.'s graphic editor is highly reminiscent of Mario Paint, and its music editor has many samples from the same. Some of the microgames also make references to it in the form of the man doing sit-ups and one in Touched! where the objective is to color in a picture.
- The Kat and Ana stage in Smooth Moves has a quartet of turtles representing the player's lives.
- The Song Remains the Same: Sometimes averted (Mona Pizza's Song, for example), sometimes not (Kat and Ana's Song, for example).
- Super-Deformed: The final story level of Smooth Moves chibifies Wario.
- Sweater Girl: Whose nose is running. Did we mention these games are weird?
- Unexpected Shmup Level: Considering the whole thing is Gameplay Roulette, this comes up about once per game.
- Unwinnable By Mistake: In the needle-threading microgame in Mona's stage, sometimes the needle is placed too high to thread it, making that game unwinnable.
- Villainous Glutton: Wario. Even if he is the main character.
- What Does She See in Him?: Believe it or not, Mona has a thing for Wario.
- Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Mona has been a gelato worker, a soda jerk, a pizza deliverer, a rock star, a cheer leader, a meat bun vendor and a temple explorer.
- Widget Series
- Yandere: Ashley, borderline:
...And yes, it's true,
- Yonkoma: Basically, the kind of comics that you can create in D.I.Y.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Kat's is Pink, Ana's is bright red, and Jimmy's whole family has multi-colored hair/wigs. Jimmy actually has blue hair, Papa T has Yellow, Mama T also has pink, Jamie has Pink/Indigo/Red(Depending on where you look), and James has orange. Jimmy P from Smooth Moves has Yellow hair as well.