Outside of turn-based systems, the series has occasionally featured purely action-based combat systems, in which the skills the characters use are still similar to traditional skillsets of attacks, magic spells, special abilities and items, but the rate the characters use these abilities depends on player skill with less reliance on menus. The first in the main series with an action role-playing game focus is Final Fantasy XV, though many spin-offs, such as Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- and Final Fantasy Type-0, have used these systems before.
From Final Fantasy X onward the series has had other composers as Uematsu eventually left Square to go freelance, though he has continued to compose music for the series for as recent as the original Final Fantasy XIV. The soundtrack for Final Fantasy X was a joint effort between Uematsu, Masashi Hamauzu, and Junya Nakano, the music for Final Fantasy XII was mainly composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto, Masashi Hamauzu did the soundtrack for Final Fantasy XIII, and Yoko Shimomura—who had previously composed the music for Square Enix's Kingdom Hearts series—composed the music for Final Fantasy XV.
Zelda from The Wind Waker is the first Zelda in the series that fights along Link's side in his battle against Ganondorf. In battle, she wields the bow and Light Arrows, similar to her Twilight Princess counterpart. Once Link and Zelda succeed in delivering the final blow, they witness the second flood of Hyrule and promise the King of Hyrule to search for the new land that will be home to the next kingdom of Hyrule. Zelda is last seen as Tetra when she and Link set sail from Outset Island in search for new lands.
In Grand Prix, one player is required to race against eleven (formerly seven) computer-controlled characters in a "cup," a series of four races (five in Super Mario Kart). Mario Kart games typically have four recurring difficulty levels: 50cc, 100cc, 150cc, and an extra "Mirror" mode (where tracks are inverted left-to-right); starting in Mario Kart 8, a fifth difficulty level, 200cc, was added. As the player progresses through the cups, the courses become more difficult, and as the difficulty level increases, the vehicles go faster. Players earn points according to their finishing position in each race. In earlier games, if a player finishes in a lower position, they must replay the race and may not proceed until a higher placing is achieved. The racer with the highest number of points after all races have been completed wins a trophy: bronze for third place, silver for second, and gold for first. Grand Prix is also playable in multiplayer mode for up to four players, though this does not affect the rest of the gameplay rules. Grand Prix is known as Mario Kart GP in the first three games.
When awarding Link with the title of Royal Engineer during his Graduation Ceremony, Zelda slips him a note, warning him of the suspicious Chancellor Cole and instructing Link to take a hidden path and meet her in secret. Zelda requests Link's aid in investigating the mystery of the vanishing Spirit Tracks, which entails Link helping her sneak out of the castle. She then presents Link with a change of clothing, the Recruit Uniform, which will help Link blend in with the similarly dressed guards as they escape the castle. Upon exiting the castle, Link and Zelda enlist the aid of Alfonzo, Link's Master Engineer and mentor, to take them towards the Tower of Spirits. However, the tracks begin to vanish out from underneath their train before they witness the tower's levels being separated and then are stopped in their tracks by Chancellor Cole and Byrne. Byrne easily defeats Link and Alfonzo while Cole uses his magic to force Zelda's spirit out of her body.
Two animated tie-ins for Final Fantasy XV were announced at the Uncovered Final Fantasy XV fan and press event, forming part of a larger multimedia project dubbed the Final Fantasy XV Universe. Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV is a series of five 10-to-20-minute-long episodes developed by A-1 Pictures and Square Enix detailing the backstories of the main cast. Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, a CGI movie set for release prior to the game in Summer 2016, is set during the game's opening and follows new and secondary characters.
Mario Kart Wii supports four different control schemes. The primary control scheme is the Wii Remote, optionally used in conjunction with the plastic Wii Wheel accessory, which uses the controller's motion sensing to simulate operating a steering wheel. The other supported control schemes are the Wii Remote with the Nunchuk attachment; the Classic Controller; and the GameCube controller.
Since Mario Kart 64, all player-characters have been grouped into one of three distinct weight classifications. Smaller characters, labeled as "lightweights," have high acceleration but low top speeds, and lose a minimal amount of speed when off-road but are easily knocked aside by heavier opponents. Medium-sized characters, or "middleweights," have an equal balance of weight, top speed, and acceleration, and lose a moderate amount of speed when off-road. The largest characters, labeled as "heavyweights," can easily knock aside most opposing racers, have high top speeds but poor acceleration, and lose great amounts of speed when off-road.
In several games, Zelda has a nursemaid named Impa, a faithful servant who is heavily hinted to be largely responsible for raising her and cultivating her abilities. In The Legend of Zelda, Impa is her most trusted servant, the one whom she entrusts with the task of finding a hero to defeat Ganon. In The Adventure of Link, it is Impa who brings Link to the North Castle and recounts the story of the ancient curse on the sleeping Zelda.
Initially quite hostile and condescending towards Zelda, their relationship was not stable at first. This was to the point where she referred to Zelda as "Twilight Princess", presumably as a way to mock her and the state Hyrule was in. This changed though, when Zelda seemingly sacrificed herself to save Midna's life. This caused Midna to became more respectful and caring towards others.
Final Fantasy installments are generally stand-alone stories each with different settings, plots and main characters, however, as a corpus they feature identical elements that define the franchise. Recurring elements include plot thematics, character names, and game mechanics. Plots center on a group of heroes battling a great evil while exploring the characters' internal struggles and relationships. Character names are frequently derived from the history, languages, pop culture, and mythologies of cultures worldwide.
Super Mario Kart was the first non-platforming game to feature multiple playable characters from the Mario franchise, leading the way for not only its various sequels but also the many other spin-offs that the Mario characters have appeared in, including both sporting games (those relating to tennis, golf, baseball, and soccer) and non-sporting games (Mario Party among other series). The genre-spanning nature of the Mario franchise that was sparked off by the success of Super Mario Kart has been described as key to Mario's success and longevity, keeping fans interested despite the infrequency of the traditional Mario platforming games. Mario Kart and all of the franchise's other spin-off series have helped it rise to its present status as the best-selling video game franchise of all time.
Nintendo Switch Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is an enhanced port of Mario Kart 8 for the Nintendo Switch, released in 2017. In addition to most of the original release's base and DLC content, the port includes additional features. Battle Mode is reworked to be similar to the format from previous Mario Kart games, and comes with eight exclusive arenas of its own. Boo and Super Mario Kart's Feather are reintroduced as items after long being absent from the series' item lineup, with the latter being exclusive to Battle Mode; and players are now allowed to carry two items at once. More playable characters are added to the roster: Bowser Jr., Dry Bones, King Boo, and Gold Mario, who return from previous games, as well as the girl and boy Inklings from Splatoon, making their Mario franchise debut. Other additional content includes new racing suits for Miis unlocked via amiibo, a simpler steering option, and additional kart parts for customization.