FAQ by VBroccoli

Version: 1.0 | Updated: 09/04/00 | Printable Version

Mario Tennis - The FAQ
Copyright 2000 by Victor Broccoli
Please Contact For Distribution Information
Version 1.0
E-mail VicHowl@aol.com for suggestion, comments, or complaints.
Version History

Version 1.1: The Character Descriptions and Court Selections are now
finished. Also, I found out about a new court, thanks to one of my informants

Version 1.0: Just a basic outline of what that FAQ will become. As of now,
there are missing sections. However, I will eventually complete them. As of
now, Sections 1-4 are completed, with the exception of the Courts section.
All of the special courts have their descriptions missing.
Quick Note Before I Begin:

As you notice, there are TOC parts that lead to non-existent sections.
However, when this is done, they will be filled to the brim with info.
Since the objectives of this FAQ are stated, I hope that someone may be
able to help me out. For example, strategies as one player to beat other
players will be time consuming, as I will have to play every possible
combination of matches. So, hopefully, some nice soul out there will give
me a hand. My thanks will be in order! - Victor

PS: Suggestions for additional sections will also be appreciated :)
Table of Contents
1.  Introductory Words
2.  Controls
3.  Game Modes
4.  Court Selections
5.  Character Descriptions
6.  Tennis Strategies
7.  Character Strategies
8.  How to Beat That Other Guy
9.  Frequently Asked Questions
10. Qualifiers and Codes
11. Rankings of Players
12. Tennis Rules
13. Nintendo Tournaments
14. Contact Information
15. What Needs To Be Added
Section One: Introductory Words

Mario Tennis is the latest N64 Mario themed game. This game, quite
simply, is one of the best multiplayer games available out there, period.
It has the addictive gameplay of its predecessor, Mario Golf, as well as
an intuitive gameplay engine tailor-made for the sport of tennis. This is
definitely a game that I recommend for a rental or a buy.

Now, since you're reading this FAQ, I assume you want to know how to play
this game. I'm glad you've chosen my FAQ as your guide through this game.

Now, onto the good parts: the information!
Section Two: Controls
(Note: This game does not use the C-Buttons)
Menu Controls:

Control Stick - Select an option
A - Confirm a selection
B - Cancel a selection or return to previous menu
L - Make player left handed (Player Selection Screen)
Z - Make player left handed (Player Selection Screen)
In-Game Controls:

Control Stick - Move around on baseline and aim serve (when ball is in air)
A or B - Toss Ball In Air
While Ball Is Tossed:
A - Topspin serve (Kick Serve, this one spins to the right)
B - Slice Serve (Slice Serve, this one spins to the left)
A+B - Smash Serve (Hard Flat serve, this one doesn't spin much)
Ground Strokes:

Control Stick - Move player around and aim shots (while hitting the shot)
A once - Top Spin shot
A twice - powerful Top Spin shot
B once - Slice shot
B twice - powerful Top Spin shot
A then B - Lob shot (high ball)
B then A - Drop Shot (stops when it bounces)
A + B - Smash Shot
Holding A or B - Charging shots
Z - Cancel Charging
R - Shoot Item (Bowser Stage Only)

A quick note about hitting shots. When hitting a Powerful slice or top
spin shot, all you have to do is quickly tap the A or B button twice.
When hitting a smash shot, you must first charge your shot by holding A or
B. When the shot starts to charge (denoted by the fireworks building
around your character), you then hit A and B at the same time. When you hit
A charged shot, you will not be able to move much. So, make sure you have
the ball lined up BEFORE you hit the shot.

Whenever you are within the service line (see Tennis Rules), you will not
hit a ground stroke. Instead, you will hit a volley. You will still be able
to hit drop shots and lobs, but pulling them off are more difficult than
from the baseline.

Whenever you hit a powerful shot, a trail will follow the ball.

Orange Trails - Top Spin shot
Blue Trails - Slice shot
Pink Trails - Smash shots
Section Three: Game Modes

One of the best parts of Mario Tennis are the multiple game modes that the
game contains. In this section, I will explain, in-depth, each of the
modes contained within the game.
                   Exhibition Mode

This mode is the basic play mode in the game. All this
mode entails is the basic game of tennis that we have come to know and love
over the last couple hundred years or so.

Options Available - Number of Players: 1-4
                    Type Of Game: Singles or Doubles
                    Games Per Set: 1, 3, or 5 sets with 2 or 6 games each
                    Types Of Doubles Pairings: 2 types or 3 types
                    Computer Characters: Any character not selected
                    Computer Difficulty: Easy, Normal, Hard, or Intense
                    Courts: Hard, Clay, Grass, Composition, or Hidden
Pause Options - Rules: View The Rule Selections for the current match
                Controls: Explanations Of The Controller Functions
                Camera Options: Choose from 3 Different Cameras
                Save: Choose to save game or to end the game
                   Tournament Mode

In this mode, you compete against other players (or teams)
to decide a champion. In this mode, you play a series of three tournaments.
However, the game does not let you lose a tournament. If you lose a match,
you simply repeat the match until you finally win.

Options Available - Number of Players: 1
                    Type Of Game: Singles or Doubles
Pause Options - Rules: View The Rule Selections for the current match
                Controls: Explanations Of The Controller Functions
                Camera Options: Choose from 3 Different Cameras
                Save: Choose to save game or to end the game
                Tournament Board: Look at the tourney draw
                Start Over: If you lose a match, this lets you retry

The first (and easiest) tournament is the Mushroom Cup. This tourney is
played on Hard Courts (see the Court Surfaces section for more) and is
very easy to win. An absolute beginner may struggle with the final, but
the Mushroom Cup is basically a speed bump on the Autobahn :)

The second tournament is the Flower Cup. This tournament is played on
clay, which is much harder to deal with than the Hard Courts. The matches
here are a bit harder, and you can get knocked off if you are not careful.
 Still, the Flower Cup should not prove to be too much of a challenge.

The final tournament is the Star Cup. The first time you play this
tournament, you will face Donkey Kong Jr. in the finals. This tournament
is played on grass (see Court Surfaces) and is quite difficult. Each match
is a challenge, and games normally go to a deuce point or two. Still, if
you are on your game, you can win at this tournament. Your reward: secret
characters and an extremely long credit sequence featuring your character
giving your final opponent an arse-kicking.

Note: If you are selecting a doubles tournament, you do not get to choose
your partner. Instead, you are assigned one by the game. Here's the
breakdown of assigned partners:

If You Are...        Your Partner Is...
Mario                Luigi
Luigi                Daisy
Peach                Mario
Baby Mario           Donkey Kong
Yoshi                Baby Mario
Donkey Kong          Toad
Paratroopa           Bowser
Wario                Waluigi
Waluigi              Paratroopa
Daisy                Birdo
Toad                 Peach
Birdo                Yoshi
Bowser               Boo
Boo                  Wario

Note: Winning the tournament mode with specific people opens up various
courts for use in Exhibition modes. See the Codes section for more on
these qualifiers.
                   Ring Shot

This mode is quite simple. You hit balls through rings. What
could be so hard about that? Well, it isn't as easy as it looks. In
addition to hitting the balls through the massive amount of rings that
pop up on the screen, you must also attempt to keep the ball in play as
well as win the point (depending on the mode of play.) Also, the massive
amount of options that are available will make your head spin. I will
get to them later.

Options Available - Number Of Players: 1-4
                    Type Of Game: Singles Or Doubles
                    Relationship: Team or Battle Royale (Doubles only)
                    Game Goal (Singles): Game, Time, Ball, or Points
                    Game Goal (Doubles): 50, 100, or 200 rings
                    Flags (Singles): Choice Of Flags
                    Doubles Pairings: Choice of Doubles Pairings
                    CPU Controlled Players: Choose CPU players
                    Computer Difficulty: Easy, Normal, Hard, or Intense
                    Court Selection: Hard, Clay, Grass, Compos, or Special

Pause Options - Start Over: Restart the current Ring Shot Match
                Flag Selection: Return To Flag Selection screen (singles)
                Back To Main Menu: Return to the Main Menu
                End Game: Return to the Main Menu (doubles)
                Rules: View the rules for the match
                Controls: View description of the controller functions

These following modes are for 1 Player Only:

Game Mode: You must clear the specified amount of rings before the
game ends. However, this is during an actual match, and you must also
win the match. This can prove quite tricky when you play on the higher
Time Mode: In this mode, you must clear out the specified amount of
rings before time runs out. The later parts of this game are quite
tricky, as you must clear out 300 rings in about 2 and a half minutes.
This is not an easy task, to say the least!
Balls Mode: In this mode, you must clear out the specified amount of
rings in 5 balls. The later levels (which have you clearing 200 rings)
can be quite tricky.
Points Mode: In this mode, you must score a specified amount of points
before time runs out. There are five different size rings with different
point values. Smaller rings bring in a larger amount of points.

Note: In Ball, Time, and Point Modes, the rings cleared by your opponent
will count towards the point score as well.
Note: In singles, the is the flag modes where you select the difficulty.
After you clear through all the ones available, a new one will appear on
the right. In this flag, you set records (i.e. How many rings or points
in 3 minutes). This mode turns the singles modes into a competition to
see who is the best at Ring Mode.

These are the multiplayer modes:

Team Mode: In this mode, there are two different doubles teams. When
a team wins a point, they get credit for the amount of rings they shot
through during that point.
Battle Royale Mode: In this mode, there are also two doubles teams.
However, it is every man/woman for themselves. When a player wins a
point (whoever hit the winner or touched the ball last on an error),
they get credit for the rings they shot through during that point.

Last Word On Ring Shot: This mode is, by far, the best alternative
to an Exhibition when dealing with multiplayer. However, when you go
solo, it can get kind of boring. However, with the addition of the
last flag, I now find myself trying to top my previous scores.
                   Bowser Stage

This mode puts all participants on the Bowser court. Bowser's court,
however, is different from all. For starters, this court tilts and
rotates, making getting to even the most routine shots a difficult
chore. Also, in a nod to the Mario Kart series, you can hit your ball
through green boxes by the net and collect various weapons.

Options Available - Number Of Players: 1-4
                    Type Of Game: Singles or Doubles
                    Match Length: 1, 3, or 5 sets of 2 or 6 games each
                    Doubles Pairings: Choice Of Doubles Pairings
                    CPU Characters: Select CPU Characters
                    Computer Difficulty: Easy, Normal, Hard, or Intense

Pause Options - Rules: View the rules selected for the match
                Controls: View a description of the controls
                Camera Options: Select the camera angle
                Save: Save game as well as end game

Note: In the Bowser Stage, you have the ability to collect an item that
can be used to benefit you and hurt the other players. You collect an
item by hitting the ball through the translucent boxes situated over
the net. Then, hit the R button. You will then cycle between the
following six items. Hit R again to deploy them.

Weapons Available In Bowser Mode:

Banana : Causes the opponent to slip if they step on it
Green Shell: Shoots 3 shells out in different directions. If one of
the shells hit your opponent, they will be temporarily unable to
Lightning: Temporary lowers the abilities of all other players.
Mushroom: This will speed up your player for a short duration
Red Shell: This shell will home in on an opposing player. When it
hits the opposing player, it will render he/she unable to move for
a short amount of time.
Star: This item will make your character more powerful for the duration
of the power-up.
                   Piranha Challenge

This mode is the Mario world equivalent of a ball machine mode. In this
mode, your goal is to return all 50 of the balls hocked at you by three
piranha plants situated on the opposing baseline. However, there will
also be an opponent who will hit your shots back at you, making a score
of 100% extremely hard to achieve.

Options Available - Number Of Players: 1 Only
                    Court Selection: Hard, Clay, Grass, Comp, or Special

Pause Options - Balls Hit: Shows balls hit over balls delivered
                Back To Main Menu: Return To Main Menu
                Start Over: Start over the session
                Rules; Gives an explanation of the rules
                Controls: Gives an explanation of the controls

Note: The reward for getting a perfect score (50/50) is the Piranha
Court. For more of these rewards, check out the Codes Section. The
Piranha Court is available ONLY for the Piranha Challenge.
Section Four: Court Selection

In Mario Tennis, there are four different types of courts. However, as
you begin winning tournaments, you will notice different courts open
up as selectable. Here is a list of all available courts in the game as
well as a description of the courts:

Hard Court: This type of court is your common asphalt court that you
see in public parks. Of all the normal courts available in the game,
it is by far the most neutral. You don't need to alter your game plan
much, compared to the changes it faces on other surfaces.
Ball Speed: Normal
Bounce: Strong

Clay Court: This type of court is a red clay court, similar to those
popular throughout Europe. This type of court plays extremely slow,
and extremely favors those playing a baseline game. Those that rush
the net are prone to be passed consistently, because the slow surface
allows for baseliners to stay back and charge up a winner.
Ball Speed: Slow
Bounce: Weak

Grass Court: The grass court, typical of those you would find at
Wimbledon, play extremely fast and don't bounce much. These courts
heavily favor the net rusher. Those that are faster characters can line
up a deep shot and come in behind it, rendering those sticking by the
baseline sitting ducks.
Ball Speed: Fast
Bounce: Weak

Composition Court: This is a court closely resembling an indoor court.
It plays fast and also slightly favors the net rusher. However, a good
baseline player can thrive on this type of court.
Ball Speed: Fastest
Bounce: Normal

Note: Throughout the game, you can earn other character-themed courts.
You earn them by winning specific tournaments with specific characters.
For more on this, check out the Codes Section. These courts are:
                   Piranha Court

A special court for the Piranha Challenge only. I do
not know of a way to unlock this court legally so it can be used in
exhibition modes. It has 50 tennis balls laid out (just like the
finishing menu where the game displays the amount of balls you
successfully hit in the round) in the background with a Piranha Plant
and the word "Perfect" in the foreground. This court does not have any
line judges (the Koopas with the flags or the exploding Bom-ombs).

Strategy: This court is as neutral as it gets. Literally. Any strategy
can thrive on this type of court.

Ball Speed: Normal
Bounce: Normal
                   Mario Brothers Court

Nintendo describes this court as "Mario and Luigi's Mario Brothers
Court." This wonderful court is set up in Rainbow Land. The bonus area
in Super Mario 64 in which you picked up the Flying Cap In the
background. The famous theme to the original Super Mario Brothers for
the NES is playing, sped up by a modern dance beat. The court itself
features a portrait of Mario and Luigi holding a tennis racket bordered
by stars. The line judges are red and black Bom-ombs.

Strategy: This court favors those who have a good net game. This court
hits EXACTLY like a grass court. Hitting low slice approach shots and
following them up with a volley is the key to win on this type of court.

Ball Speed: Fast
Bounce: Weak
                   Baby Mario & Yoshi Court

The private court of longtime pals Baby Mario & Yoshi. This court is set
up in the plush 2-D surrounding of Yoshi's Island, made famous from
Yoshi's Story for N64 and Yoshi's Island 1 & 2 for the SNES. The theme
from Yoshi's Story plays throughout the matches, although it is sped up
by a dance rhythm. The court surface features a picture of Baby Mario
and Yoshi hitting tennis balls while standing on top of one of Yoshi's
eggs. The line judges are Koopas.

Strategy: This court is like a grass court, but even more extreme. The
balls bounce weaker, and the speed of the ball is faster. On these
courts, a great net game is what will propel you to a victory. For a
baseline player, staying back and hitting groundstroke winners will be
extremely difficult.

Ball Speed: Fastest
Bounce: Weakest
                   Wario & Waluigi Court

This court is situated in a scene familiar to a Warioland game. The
theme from Warioland plays during matches, albeit sped up with the dance
beat (all classic themes have a dance beat). This theme is also
accentuated by an organ that plays in the background. The court surface
has Wario and Waluigi hitting tennis balls while standing on a wall of
bricks. The line judges are black and red Bom-ombs.

Strategy: This court is a baseline players' dream come true. There is
next to no speed on the court, which gives an accomplished baseline
player time to set up his/her shots. The ball also bounces very high,
which makes a strong topspin shot extremely effective, especially on
shorter players (Toad, Baby Mario). A netrusher, unless extremely good,
will have a day of problems at this court.

Ball Speed: Slow
Bounce: Strongest
                   Donkey Kong Court

This place is Donkey Kong's own personal court set deep in the jungle.
The surroundings are similar to those in the Donkey Kong Country series,
albeit in a flatter 2-D mode (as opposed to that games' rich ACM
environments). The theme plays from DKC, although it is sped up to the
all-familiar dance theme. The actual court surface features bananas
lining the doubles alleys, with a yellow portrait of Donkey Kong
smashing a tennis ball over some branches. The line judges at this
court are the flag-brandishing Koopas.

Strategy: The settings on this court represent Donkey Kong's game: fast
and strong. Due to this, a player playing DK's game would be of the most
benefit. A baseline will feel right at home here, although the ball
comes in a little bit fast. However, with the excessive spin, the ball
will most likely sit up, making itself an easy target for any decent
baseline player. A net player will feel the heat here, as the high
bouncing balls create hard-to-get topspin lobs.

Ball Speed: Fast
Bounce: Strongest
                   Mario & Luigi Castle Court

This is Mario & Luigi's private court at Peach's castle. This expansive
court is situated on the roof of Peach's castle from Super Mario 64,
complete with lush background. As it was in the other Mario-themed
court, the hyped-up theme to Super Mario Bros. for the NES plays in the
background. The court itself features Mario and Luigi holding hands and
jumping (it looks extremely close to the opening theme for the Mary
Tyler Moore show) while framed in black and brown. The Bom-ombs have
line judging duty for matches on this court.

Strategy: This court will slightly favor a net rusher. The ball comes in
hard but doesn't bounce much, which favors those rushing the net. A
baseliner may have a long day here if they are not careful.

Ball Speed: Fast
Bounce: Normal
                   Yoshi & Birdo Court (thanks to NTAI53086@aol.com)

This is the private court of good friends Yoshi and Birdo. It is placed
on the beaches of Yoshi's Hideaway, from Super Mario RPG for the SNES.
It plays the Yoshi theme in the background. The court itself features
a picture of Yoshi and Birdo hitting tennis balls while framed in pink
bows. The line judges are Bob-ombs, and the court is surrounded by sand
and palm trees.

Strategy: This court favors a baseline player. The ball travels very
slow, and it also bounces high. Plenty of time for a baseliner to wind
up on a ball. In order to succeed, a net rusher is going to have to keep
the ball very low.

Ball Speed: Slow
Bounce: Strong
Section Five: Character Descriptions

In Mario Tennis, there are 16 characters total (14 to start off with,
and two characters to earn). In this section, I will give a complete
description of each character, a summary of their respective strengths
and weaknesses, and then my overall feeling on the abilities of the
character. Mind you, my opinions of the characters are just that: my
opinion. What may be a great character for you may be impossible for me
to get decent results out of, and vice versa. So keep that in mind
before you flame me with messages like: "No, dude, Baby Mario sucks!
Waluigi is where it's at, man!" Although these types of messages seem
ridiculous, I've learned from experience (writing the NHL '99 FAQ) that
some people really take this a bit seriously. Now, onto the character

Note: When I refer to the Sweet Spot, I am referring to the serve. You
accomplish a "Nice" serve by holding back on the controller stick, and
pushing forwards as you hit the ball at this point.

Description: Mario is Nintendo's biggest mascot. He has appeared in
a multitude of games. Some have been revered as innovative (Super Mario
Brothers, Super Mario World, Super Mario 64) while others have been
ignored, thankfully (Mario Is Missing). Still, his long lineage as
Shigeru Miyamoto's pet project has given Mario a name synonymous with
the game industry. And, wouldn't you know it, he can play a mean game
of tennis too!

Nintendo's Line: His fancy footwork lets him cover the court easily.
Strengths: Mario is a very good all-around player. He also carries with
him a decent net game which can be utilized if needed.
Weaknesses: Despite what Nintendo may say, Mario has an extreme lack
of footwork. He is often caught off-balance if you need to change
directions, which is not fun to deal with. Also, his baseline game
is quite lacking.

Basic Strategy: Try to rush the net whenever you safely can. Other than
that, just keep the ball in play and attempt to play a counter-puncher
style of game.
Serving Point: Just before the peak of the toss.

My Verdict: As a player, Mario leaves a lot to be desired. The fact that
Mario is easily caught wrong-footed can be a nightmare, considering the
loose controls that Mario Tennis enjoys. Also, his lack of a true weapon
makes playing with him less about strategy and more about playing the
actual point. Take that as you may.
My Grade: C+

Description: Luigi is the much ignored brother of Mario. Although he has
starred in a few games, Mario's shadow hangs ominously over Luigi. One
thing though: Luigi does play a better game of tennis than Mario!

Nintendo's Line: His height lets him hit even the balls that look like
they're out of reach.
Strengths: The fact that Luigi has such a tremendous reach allows for
him to excel at netplay.
Weaknesses: However, Luigi's footwork is quite poor. Also, Luigi seems
to have a problem aiming his shots. The result: Luigi can be responsible
for many unforced errors if the human player isn't careful.

Basic Strategy: Just like Mario, Luigi is an all-around player. However,
as stated before, his groundstrokes are erratic. The best thing to do is
to use the heavy slice to force the other guy wide, and then to close up
on the net.
Service Point: Just before the peak of the serve.

My Verdict: Luigi is a better player than Mario, but not by much. In the
end, it was Luigi's superior reach that makes him the better player.
Also, by utilizing his superior stretching skills, Luigi can make a good
net player.
My Grade: B

Description: Peach is the damsel in distress in almost every Mario game.
Although she has undergone numerous name changes, she is still pretty
much the same as she ever was. In Mario Tennis, she fields a tennis
racket and hopes to do well in the ladies' draw. However, when it even
comes to female players, Peach isn't the best.

Nintendo's Line: Peach can blast the ball right down the line.
Strengths: Peach is extremely accurate when placing her shots. She can
do almost anything she wants with her shots. Also, her footwork is quite
speedy for a player who is not classified as a "Speedy" player.
Weaknesses: Peach is a player who cannot hit the ball very hard. Due to
this, it is very hard for her to play the baseline, as you would expect
a person with placement like her to play. But, it still can be done.

Basic Strategy: Although she has a lack of velocity, Peach still is a
true baseliner. To compensate, she must use shots that prevent an
opponent from hitting hard at Peach and controlling the point. So, Peach
must use her strong top spin shot in order to avoid playing defensively.
Also, you can use Peach's effective hard slice shot to force your
opponent out wide and to force the short ball.
Service Point: Slightly before the peak of the service.

My Verdict: Peach is a good player. However, her lack of velocity allows
her to be easily overpowered. Peach may be able to put the ball
anywhere, but she can't put much on it.
My Grade: C+

Description: Waluigi is the latest addition to the happy Mario family.
Quite simply, Luigi needed an evil brother, such as Mario has in Wario.
So, Waluigi was created. Good thing for Waluigi: They've made him a
superior tennis player to his green-clad brethren.

Nintendo's Line: His long arms and legs let him return any type of shot.
Strengths: Waluigi has the best reach in the game. He is tall, and his
arms and legs are extremely long. Due to this reach, Waluigi is the best
at playing the net in the game. You won't find any better.
Weaknesses: Because of his large size, Waluigi is a slow player. He
cannot hit the ball hard, or run very fast.

Basic Strategy: Waluigi should rush the net at all times. During each
point, the player must look for a way to get him into the net. This can
be accomplished by using the strong topspin shot as an approach shot.
If done correctly, the opponent will most likely hit the same shot as
his/her return. By then, Waluigi should be at the net, and this shot
should be easy fodder for a good smash shot.
Service Point: Hit the ball as it hits the peak.

My Verdict: Waluigi is the best net player in the game. However, the
rest of his game is quite weak. Still, by utilizing him as a net player,
Waluigi is among the best in the game.
My Grade: B+

Description: Wario is the evil twin brother of Mario. Wario, however, is
not a slouch when it comes to games. In addition to being a punching
bag for Mario, Wario has also appeared in his own games for the SNES and
the Game Boy. Wario is also more powerful than his brother Mario, and
his explosive serve shows just that.

Nintendo's Line: Watch out for his forceful baseline stroke.
Strengths: Wario is one of the most powerful players in the game. He
also is somewhat good at putting the ball where he wants. With this in
mind, Wario has one of the best baseline games in Mario Tennis
Weaknesses: Wario is also one of the slowest players in the game. Also,
his netplay isn't up to snuff.

Basic Strategy: Wario is the quintessential baseline player. He can aim
the ball. He can hit for power. With this combo, Wario is easily able to
force the short balls, which are then put away for winners. Remember to
use strong slice shots to keep your opponents running, as well as heavy
top spin to keep them pinned back behind their baseline. You may even
be able to throw in the occasional drop shot winner (on clay).
Service Point: Wario's service point is about halfway between the start
of the toss and the peak of the toss.

My Verdict: Wario is one of the best baseliners in the game. However,
a smart opponent can easily take advantage of Wario's lack of footwork.
My Grade: B+

Description: Mario has Princess Toadstool, or Peach (or whatever you'd
like to call her this month). So, quite simply, Luigi needed a female
companion. And so, on the 8th day, Daisy was created. Although not
as good as her man Luigi, Daisy is a player that does pack a formidable
punch. Her netplay is some of the best in the game.

Nintendo's Line: She rarely misses when playing close to the net.
Strengths: Daisy is the best net player in the game. She can get to the
net quickly, and her combination of that speed and her accuracy makes
her the best net rusher in the game.
Weaknesses: Her lack of power allows for Daisy to be easily overpowered.

Basic Strategy: The important thing for Daisy to do during her points is
to keep them short. She must get to the net quickly and hit a winner on
her second or third shot at the net. The longer a point goes, the more
likely she is to get dominated.
Service Point: Just after the peak of the toss.

My Verdict: Daisy is the most effective net rusher in the game. Although
she doesn't have the reach of Waluigi, but she is overall better at
hitting volleys than him. However, she also has a lack of reach and
power. So, when you play as Daisy, you must attempt to end the points as
soon as you can.
My Grade: B

Description: Toad is the keeper of Peach's castle. In addition to this
duty, he occasionally makes an appearance in games. He has appeared in
Mario Kart (as one of the best drivers, I might add) as well as Mario
Golf. For Mario Tennis, Toad is equipped with his speed (after all,
mushrooms DO make you go faster in this game) and little else.

Nintendo's Line: His speed gives him more time to plan his shots.
Strengths: Toad is one of the fastest players in the game. Toad is also
able to place the ball very well.
Weaknesses: Like many players gifted with speed, Toad has very little
power. Also, Toad is an extremely small athlete. Therefore, Toad also
has very little reach.

Basic Strategy: Toad, in order to be effective, is going to have to play
a counter-punching style. Basically, you put the ball back in the court
and try to stay alive in the point. Eventually, using high top spin
shots, you are going to get a short ball (a shot without any trails on
it). Then, and only then, can you rush the net and try to bring an end
to the point. Yes, this style of tennis is boring, but it is also
effective, especially for a player like Toad that has no real weapons.
Service Point: A little past halfway between the start of the toss and
the peak of the toss.

My Verdict: With so many players in this game with so many weapons,
there is no need to use a counter-puncher like Toad. Granted, Toad is a
great counter-puncher. But, there are much better players that you can
My Grade: C
                   Baby Mario

Description: Before Mario grew up to fight oversized turtles and
donkeys, Mario was a little baby. The extra weight and height must
seriously have slowed down Mario: Baby Mario is MUCH quicker than his
adult counterpart. However, his lack of muscle accounts for his lack of

Nintendo's Line: His small size lets him zip all over the court.
Strengths: Baby Mario is another short fast guy. He can also generate
some power behind his shots.
Weakness: His lack of size cuts down on Baby Mario's reach. Also, Baby
Mario is known to hit the ball erratically.

Basic Strategy: Although nearly identical to Toad, Baby Mario is a much
better player. The reason: his power. By having a moderate amount of
power, Baby Mario can play the net IF he ends points early. The longer
a point goes, the less of a chance that Baby Mario has of winning the
Service Point: Halfway between the toss and the peak of the toss.

My Verdict: Baby Mario is a good player. Despite the fact that he has
limited reach, Baby Mario can still put a volley away. Also, his speed
allows him to play counter-punch, which can be a giant pain in the rear
end when playing against human players.
My Grade: B+

Description: Yoshi is the dinosaur keeper of Mario and Baby Mario. Aided
by the speed learned in games such as Yoshi's Story and Yoshi's Island 1
for the SNES, Yoshi is one of the quickest characters in the game. His
lack of power can easily be overcome by his massive speed and his
accurate placement of shots.

Nintendo's Line: Not only is he fast, but he's pretty accurate too.
Strengths: Yoshi is one of the speedier players in the game. Of all the
speedy players, he is also the most powerful. He can slug it out with
any all-around or technique player.
Weaknesses: Yoshi seems to have a problem aiming. Once in awhile, Yoshi
will miss wide.

Basic Strategy: Yoshi is a good all-around player blessed with amazing
speed and a little bit of power. The best thing to do is to see what
your opponent is doing, and then adapt to it while taking the advantage.
Yoshi is truly one of the most versatile players in the game.
Service Point: Hit the ball just before the peak.

My Verdict: Yoshi is an extraordinary player. A speedy guy with some
power. However, due to his lack of accuracy, he is more suited for an
all-around strategy. He can rush the net, play baseline, and even
counter-punch. However, he doesn't really excel at any of those three
My Grade: B+

Description: Birdo is the female companion of Yoshi. This proves, one
and for all, that Yoshi IS actually a male. Still, Birdo does pack a
wallop. With her superior speed, Birdo can run down any ball on the
court. Yoshi finally has himself a suitable partner

Nintendo's Line: Her speed lets her move around the court with ease.
Strengths: Birdo is extremely fast, and she can place the ball well.
Weaknesses: Birdo does not hit for power. Because of this, she can easily
be dominated in the course of a point.

Basic Strategy: Having Birdo rush the net is a must. Do NOT rush the net
at first. Instead, use slice shots until you can get a short ball. Use
this as an approach shot, and then go to the net. By doing this, you can
take control of a point, which is hard for Birdo to do.
Service Point: Just after halfway between the toss point and the peak.

My Verdict: Birdo is a good player, but not as good as Yoshi. Because
of her lack of power, it is hard for her to take control. In Mario
Tennis, it pretty becomes a game of power over placement. Birdo can be
great in the hands of a player who can master her skills.
My Grade: B+
                   Donkey Kong

Description: Donkey Kong is the oldest franchise in the Nintendo arse-
nal. Having been around since 1981, Donkey Kong underwent a drastic
facelift when Rare got a hold of him. The way you see him now is how
the Stamper brothers envisioned him. Being a gorilla, DK is extremely
strong, but slow.

Nintendo's Line: He can return even high balls with incredible force.
Strengths: Donkey Kong is one of the most powerful players in the game.
I have personally been able to hit a serve as DK at 108 mph. Also, DK
is somewhat accurate with his shots.
Weaknesses: DK is also an extremely slow player. He cannot move around
extremely well. Also, his excess power can be tough to control at first,
making DK a hard player for beginners to master.

Basic Strategy: Donkey Kong is the quintessential baseline player. Hits
for power, but can place the ball. And he isn't too bad at using spin.
Force the short balls with slams from the baseline as well as slices,
and then put the ball away.
Service Point: Hit the serve a little bit before the peak of the toss.

My Verdict: Donkey Kong is an extremely talented baseline player. Though
strapped on speed, DK can hit the ball where he wants as hard as he
wants to. He is an extremely formidable opponent that should not be
taken lightly.
My Grade: A

Description: Bowser has been the perennial punching bag for Mario and
Co. for about 15 years now. Although his attempts to kidnap the Princess
have always miserably failed, he still is quite talented at the sports
portion of the Mario Bros. competitions. So, it comes as no surprise
that Bowser is one of the top players in the game.

Nintendo's Line: His impressive serve may be too strong to handle.
Strengths: Bowser is the second most powerful player in the game (next
to DK Jr.) and his serve is extremely difficult to return. In fact, he
is one of the few players that, from standing next to the doubles alley,
hit a wide smash serve.
Weaknesses: Bowser is also extremely slow. His footwork is extremely
poor, to the point where you actually will slide when you stop to hit a
shot. Also, due to his massive power, Bowser also cannot aim the ball
extremely well.

Basic Strategy: Bowser's best bet is to stick back at the baseline and
use his power to force short balls. Although this technique is extremely
limited, it is also extremely effective. Bowser is not one of the best
baseliners on talent, but he surely gets the job done. A great choice
for a beginning player.
Service Point: At the peak of the toss.

My Verdict: Winning with Bowser is like taking candy from a baby,
especially when playing against a guy like Baby Mario or Toad. His power
is extremely hard to deal with, but a lot of fun when you are in control
of it.
My Grade: B+

Description: Paratroopa has long been known as "the flying turtle-thing"
in the Mario games for years. Luckily, this is his big break: a new role
as a tennis player. His technique style makes him one of the most
accurate players in the game. Also, his feathers disguise shots before
they are hit.

Nintendo's Line: With his ability to react quickly to any type of shot,
he can return the ball anywhere with ease.
Strengths: Paratroopa can put the ball anywhere he wants, and put a lot
of spin on the ball. Also, his flapping feathers disguise shots until
they are hit, cutting down on the reaction time of a human opponent.
Weaknesses: Paratroopa, like all his flying brethren, cannot hit for
power. Also, when he hits the ball, he will actually recoil, or fly off
in the opposite direction when he hits it. This makes controlling
Paratroopa, as well as directing his shots, extremely difficult.

Basic Strategy: Once again, we have another player who is ideally
situated at the baseline, but he can also rush the net somewhat.
Although he can't hit for power, he can certainly hit for placement. Use
Troopa's amazing spin and placement to put the ball where you want, and then
rush the net to put away a short ball/lob.
Service Point: At the peak of the toss.

My Verdict: Paratroopa is another player who is like an all-around, but
with an actual weapon or two. He can place the ball where he wants, and
even give it enough spin to make the shot even harder to run down. Also,
Paratroopa can run somewhat, making him quite a force to be dealt with.
My Grade: B+

Description: For years, Boo and his compatriots have haunted houses in
the Mario games with success. However, Boo soon grew tired of houses and
wished to be given a more prominent role in a game. In Mario Tennis, Boo
is the uncontested master of spin. Nobody else can steer their shots in
midair in the fashion that Boo can. However, his power leaves something
to be desired.

Nintendo's Line: He uses his spin shots to manipulate the ball however
he likes.
Strengths: Boo is the master of putting spin on the ball. He can hit a slice
serve that starts out straight at the other guy, and end up a few feet away
from him. Utilizing his spins, you can make any character look quite foolish.
Weaknesses: Boo is extremely lacking when it comes to speed or velocity.
Surprisingly, Boo cannot move too well. Also, he can't put much pace on the
ball, making him solely dependent on his spins to hit winners.

Basic Strategy: The best thing to do with Boo is to stay at the baseline. Boo
can't charge the net (unless it's done off of a lob coming from one of his
massive slice serves) or really put pace on his shots. Therefore, it is
necessary to use spin to draw short balls, and then put them away accordingly.
Service Point: A little bit before the peak of the toss.

My Verdict: Despite his extreme placement and ability to put spin on the ball,
Boo is not a very good tennis player. His lack of movement allows for him to be
dominated. His lack of velocity allows for his shots to be run down by most
My Grade: C+
Note: In this game, there are two hidden characters which are not
available at first. They must be earned. Check the codes section for
more information on unlocking these secret characters.
                   Donkey Kong Jr.

Description: Donkey Kong Junior is the son of Donkey Kong, one of the
best players in the game. I guess these genes must have passed on or
something: DK Jr. is better than his dad. He hits with the same amount
of power as a DK or Bowser, but he also hits with tremendous accuracy.

Nintendo's Line: You can use this character, but how?
Strengths: DK Jr. is the most powerful player in the game. I have been
able to hit his serve at an astounding 114 mph. He can also put the ball
wherever he wants.
Weaknesses: DK Jr. doesn't really have any weaknesses. His footwork is
somewhat average, but it is great compared to other power players.

Basic Strategy: DK Jr. IS the best baseline player in the game. He can
take control of points even against other power baseline players, like
Wario or Bowser. Using flat shots to make opponents run and top spin to
pin them back, other players should not be a challenge for DK Jr.
Service Point: Hit the ball just as it hits its peak.

My Verdict: This is my favorite player in the game. And he's earned it.
DK Jr. is capable of doing almost anything you want him to do. You could
even rush the net with him, although I wouldn't recommend it.
My Grade: A
                   Shy Guy

Description: Shy Guy is one of the familiar bad guys from Mario games
past. However, just like his brethren Boo and Paratroopa, Shy Guy has
a chance at videogame success with his appearance as a secret character
in Mario Tennis. Although not powerful, Shy Guy is the most accurate
player in the game when it comes to groundstrokes.

Nintendo's Line: You can use this character, but how?
Strengths: Shy Guy can put the ball wherever he wants. Also, he hits for
a lot of spin. He can put amazing angles on the serves (although not as
drastic as Boo's serves).
Weaknesses: Shy Guy can't really put much velocity on his shots. Also,
his spin may be hard to aim for a beginning player.

Basic Strategy: Shy Guy, with his amazing spins and aims, is a good
baseliner. Although not blessed with an extraordinary amount of power,
he can still force many short balls using his strong slice and top spin
shots. He still does have ample power to put away a short ball with a
smash, though.
Service Point: A little bit before the peak of the serve

My Verdict: Shy Guy suffers from the Jigglypuff complex. Shy Guy can
potentially be the best player in the game, but his skills are hard
to exploit. However, with some practice, you'll be able to defeat
your Bowser-wielding friends.
My Grade: A+
This FAQ will be finished when I get some free time :)

Victor Broccoli
Copyright 2000

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