Super Mario RPG

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Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is Exactly What It Says on the Tin; It was the first Mario game to be a Role-Playing Game. It was developed by Nintendo and Square and released in 1996 for the SNES.

During a routine princess-saving by Mario, a giant sword with a face on the hilt crashes into Bowser's Keep, sending Mario, the Princess, and Bowser flying. Soon afterwards, a messenger from the stars named Geno (or rather, "Heart-1/8 Note-Exclamation Point-Question Mark") informs Mario that the sword also destroyed the Star Road, which grants the wishes of Mario's world. Unless the seven Star Pieces can be obtained and reassembled, no wishes will ever come true again. With the help of his companions (including, for the first time, Bowser), Mario sets off to smash the Smithy Gang and save the world.

The game was one of the first games to engage in a full-on frenzy of Lampshade Hanging regarding the tropes of the Mario series and RPGs. Nintendo would take this theme and run with it, producing a series of pseudo-sequels (Paper Mario, Mario & Luigi) without Square's involvement. (Nintendo and Square would finally work again, starting with Mario Hoops 3-on-3 on the Nintendo DS).

Due to licensing problems, very few of the characters that made their debut in this game have recurred in later Mario games, including fan-favorite Geno. But worry not! The game has appeared on the Wii's Virtual Console for all regions!


Tropes used in Super Mario RPG include:
  • 100% Completion: Hidden chests, the Frog Coin store in Seaside Town[1], Grate Guy's Casino, Yo'ster Isle, getting everyone to Level 30...
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Kero Sewers.
  • Action Commands: Every attack, spell, and item use has a benefit if you time an extra move right. You can even reduce or negate the damage from an enemy attack using a timed button press.
  • Actually Four Mooks
  • Addressing the Player: You're required to have a profile name. It ends up being the password to the balcony in Booster's Tower. However, Mario doesn't know this, which causes problems for a player doing a second playthrough.
  • After Combat Recovery: Dead characters are revived with 1 HP and even gain experience at the end of battle.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield
  • Angrish: The closest a Heroic Mime could feasibly get would be Mario's Exor imitation. If you walk off of the clouds in Nimbus Land, Mario grouses all the way down until he hits something solid enough.
  • Anthropomorphic Food: Bundt, the surprisingly hard killer cake.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Die and you respawn with your levels retained, and there's always a chance to save and heal before major bosses. In fact, a lot of rooms before the bosses have a chest, hidden or visible, with a Mushroom inside to fully restore your stats. Or, in the case of Yaridovich and Valentina, you fight them when you go to a certain location and thus can go to another town and rest up at an Inn (one of which is always FREE to use) or Mario's Pad.
    • A more specific occurrence is in a platform minigame in Bowser's Castle. You're required to leap over a series of moving platforms over a pit of lava, but if you fail ten times you get kicked out of the room, second of three in a gauntlet of minigames. Fortunately, the platforms stop moving when you're jumping so you don't need to time your leaps, if you fall off you respawn on the platform you were on before you jumped, and if you attempt to walk off normally Mario will stumble back to safety.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You're limited to 3 active party members.
  • Armor of Invincibility: The Lazy Shell.
  • Artistic License-Biology: Star Hill features an enemy called Mastodoom, which is an elephant skeleton, complete with a trunk.
  • Ash Face: A massive bomb in the mines goes off, but thankfully only inflicts this.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Toadstool's Psych Bomb attack (the last attack she earns). Hits everyone and definitely makes her a bit of a Badass but it burns a lot of FP that could be better used for her healing abilities.
  • Awesome Yet Practical: The Lazy Shell weapon for Mario. A super-sized Koopa shell that is fun to pull out and punt towards enemies yet does heavy damage (quite possibly the most powerful weapon in the game).
  • Bag of Sharing: Exists in the traditional sense, but also strangely for an RPG, Flower Points (the game's equivalent of Mana) are also shared between everyone.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Your party members can be turned into Mushrooms and scarecrows.
  • Behind the Black: There are some hidden passages that exploit this.
  • Betting Minigame: Grate Guy's Casino has blackjack and a slot machine.
    • If you get a "Lucky" flower, you can play a mini-game after battle where you can potentially double or lose all the experience points or coins you earned from that battle
  • Bicep-Polishing Gesture: Bowser does this in the Japanese version. It was changed in the other versions because the gesture also resembles the slap-the-crook-of-your-elbow gesture, which is roughly the equivalent of the middle finger to many Western cultures.
  • Bonus Boss: Culex, the Dark Knight of Vanda.
  • Boss Dissonance: The normal enemies you encounter aren't too tough and will likely die with one strike from a Timed Hit. Bosses however make frequent use of group-hitting attacks that do heavy damage, and a lot of them have status-inducing attacks which may also be group-hitting, and/or employ Mooks to assist them. This in in addition to unique gimmicks to catch you off guard -- Bowyer locks button commands, Bundt has to have candles blown out, Johnny Jones fights one-on-one, etc.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Mokura/Mokuka, who appears on the overworld like a normal enemy, but has powerful attacks. The game treats him more like a boss, though, so he could also be considered a lesser Bonus Boss.
  • Boss Remix: The "Armed Boss" theme, played when fighting against Smithy's goons, is a remix of the background music played in a town troubled by one of them.
  • Boss Rush: Optional. Near the end of the game, you come across grayscale versions of the previous bosses you've fought, which are now in mass production.
  • Broken Bridge: To Bowser's Castle.
  • Bubbly Clouds: Nimbus Land.
  • But Thou Must!: Or else Mallow will cry.
    • Also happens once you rescue Toadstool and try to leave Marrymore in the way that doesn't go back to the castle. Your party members will come out one by one convincing you to go the other way.
  • The Cameo: Samus and Link are resting in hotels at certain points in the game.
    • Also, in one place, you can also see models of an Arwing and Blue Falcon in a certain inn.
    • Luigi is only seen at the very end of the game leading the parade. You do get to see his wish on Star Hill if you know where to look.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: Once your party roster grows beyond 3 members, you can switch up your party as you see fit, but Mario can never be forced out of the party at all.
  • Cap: Surprisingly, the game's level cap is one of the lowest eastern examples at 30.
    • The amount of coins the party can hold is also very limited at 999; some items can sell for more than half of that.
  • Cartoon Juggling: Grate Guy's idle animation is an endless shower of balls..
  • Chest Monster: Four of them: Pandorite, Hidon, Chester, and Box Boy. They're all pretty tough and drop some useful items when beaten.
  • Climax Boss: Any battle against a member of the Smithy Gang, especially since they normally occur at the end of each world.
  • Cognizant Limbs: Several examples, including the evil clock Countdown and the Final Boss.
  • Conflict Killer: A giant sword falls out of the sky after Mario and Bowser go at it. They join forces to defeat this new opponent.
  • Cowboys and Indians: Toys of Mario and Bowser.
    • Humorously, Gaz has Bowser kill the Mario doll.
  • Crying Wolf: Gaz... or so his mom thinks.
  • Deadpan Snarker: One of the Toads in Toad Town Mushroom Kingdom who delivers this line regarding why he didn't stop the thief Croco.

"Because I left my bazooka at home. Sheesh! Cut me a break here!"

  • Debug Room
  • Degraded Boss: Clones of Bowyer and Mack, among others, are churned out by Smithy's factory.
  • Digitized Sprites
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: Goomba Stomping. In order to get prizes, you have to get a score of at least 20 points at first, and then beat your previous record by at least 2 points, so it makes the most sense to get 20, 22, 24, ...
    • Also the Mine Cart mini-game. You get a prize each time you get a new record time. Since you are guaranteed to eventually reach the end of the course no matter how badly you screw up, the best strategy for the first run is go as slow as possible: hold down the brakes the entire time, leap off the track at every turn, and deliberately miss every jump.
  • Dual Boss: Loads.
  • Duel Boss: A couple. The battle with Johnny with eventually escalate to the boss insisting on going one-on-one with Mario (unless you exploit an oversight in leaving at least one if his flunkies alive, in which Johnny will never speak up about this). Then there's the last throwdown with Valentina, where Dodo will inevitably whisk whichever ally you put in the middle away for a little session of single combat until you tire him out.
  • Easter Egg:
    • In Mushroom Kingdom, there's a young toad running around quickly in a square path. Jump onto his head and stay on for a few laps, and Mario will eventually fall off and collapse out of dizziness.
    • If you spam "no" while trying to overwrite an different save file, Mario's expression will change from the victory pose (normal) to anger (spam it a few times) or depression (spam it a lot) once you finally save.
  • Enemy Mine: Mario and Bowser
  • Evil Chef: Chef Torte and assistants.
    • They're not quite evil, they're just really upset that no one is going to eat their man-eating cake. They spent a lot of time perfecting it!
      • They had no idea about the man-eating part. When they realize what it is, they run like hell.
  • Face Fault: Hilariously happens a great many times, with heroes, villains, and NPCs.
  • Fetch Quest
  • Five-Man Band: Your party, though only three are out at a time.
  • Fixed Damage Attack: The Star Egg does 100 damage to all enemies. Rock Candy also deals 200 damage; 300 if you have Attack Up active.
  • Flunky Boss: Several. Jonathan Jones subverts this a bit in that if you kill his flunkies before beating Johnny himself, he'll immediately challenge Mario to a little one-on-one for the star.
  • Flying Car: It's made out of clouds and driven by a Lakitu.
  • Gainaxing: Queen Valentina, when she's struck in combat.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In the battle at Nimbus Land, every time you hit Queen Valentina, her breasts shake. Seriously, this happens in a game approved for everyone, kids and adults alike.
    • Her hair is also a dead parrot.
    • "It was so loud I nearly dropped my spores!"
    • Johnny's currant juice? Well, it may or may not be a substitute for wine, which currant berries can be used to make.
  • Giant Space Flea From Nowhere: It's probably safe to say at least half of the bosses in the game qualify.
    • But, by far, Bundt takes the cake...
    • Punchinello is a Lampshade Hanging of this, you hear nothing about him prior to the fight, and Mallow states outright that he's never heard of him. And he wants to be famous...
      • Hell, the only reason you fight him is because he believes that defeating you will make him famous. And then a giant Bob-omb comes out of nowhere.
  • Global Currency Exception:
    • One shop in Tadpole Pond only takes Frog Coins, which are a bit trickier to get a hold of.
    • There's also a shop in Moleville that only sells three of the bomb-type items (Fright, Fire, and Ice), and they don't take money at all. Instead you trade them items, and receive points based on how rare the item is.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Played with. Bowser's lost his castle to a certain giant sword, and is thus willing to "let Mario join the Koopa Troop" until this is rectified.
  • Guide Dang It:
    • Finding Grate Guy's Casino, and for that matter getting in. There's a guy in the Marrymore Inn that will give you hints, but not very helpful ones. First, you have to beat Knife Guy 10 times to win the Bright Card. He gives you useless items, so casual players would just ignore him after a couple tries. Then, go to Bean Valley and enter the top pipe in the group of five. If you stand in a certain spot and jump three times, a platform will appear that when jumped on takes you to a secret area that holds Grate Guy's Casino.
      • By the same token, if you talk to Grate Guy several times he'll finally ask if you want to play a game of "Look Away". If you guess right a total of 100 times, he'll reward you with the Star Egg, an item that deals 100HP of damage to all enemies on the field and can be used again and again.
    • Also the Mystery Egg's use. You equip Toadstool with the B'tub Ring, a random item bought from a Mole kid, and use the Mystery Egg on her turn ten times... On the tenth time, it will turn into the Lamb's Lure. Use it another 48 times, and it will turn into the Sheep Attack, an item that turns most non-boss enemies into sheep and ends the battle.
    • In fact, most of the weapons and accessories have very vague in-game descriptions, often not mentioning what their most important effects are! Indeed, the game is notorious for the sheer crazy steps needed to complete secrets, or even activate the ability to even start the steps for those secrets. Many of the secrets, like the above Star Egg, are piled onto other secrets where you wouldn't expect to look for them. Super Mario RPG definitely gives the old Pokemon PokeGod rumors a run for their money.
    • For those of us who have played a Low-Level Run of SMRPG, there is a way to convert Mario's standard 3FP Jump attack into an almost necessary Disc One Nuke. The Jump attack's power rises 2 points every time it's used (up to 125 times), making it into the most powerful move in the game (100 Super Jumps might be more powerful, but you'll never learn the attack if you do the Level 3 challenge), and will carry you right until you get Bowser, which is coincidentally when Mario starts turning into Glass Joe. Powering up Jump and collecting experience turns it into a Game Breaker of epic proportions.
      • A full-power perfectly timed Jump attack is equal to 50 Super Jumps.
    • The timing on "timed hits" isn't always obvious, and it's usually pretty finicky.
    • The hidden chest in the Mushroom Castle. You can only get it when you first enter, before you'll even know it's there. To get it, you have to stand on Toad's head and jump onto the doorway at the end of the hall (again, there is no indication this should be possible) to reach the chest. Even if you blockade Toad into that position later in the game, it won't work.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: Trope Namer.
  • Heroic Mime: Mario. He even transforms into Princess Toadstool and Bowser during his pantomimed explanation of what happened.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: When first entering the Moleville Mines, one of the moles there reacts at Mario's presence with the line, "Well, I'll be a Goomba's uncle!!"
  • Infinity-1 Sword: The Ultra Hammer, found in the last dungeon. The Lazy Shell can be found before you even get the sixth star.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: Lazy Shell, Frying Pan. The Super Jacket armor and Attack Scarf accessory are also Game Breakers, but they're at least ridiculously hard to earn.
  • Inn Security
  • Instant Plunder, Just Add Pirates: Johnny and his gang in the sunken ship.
  • Instrument of Murder: Mallow's cymbals.
  • Invisible Monsters: Mokura, who starts out as the invisible Formless. The game treats it like an obscure Bonus Boss.
  • Isometric Projection
  • Item Get: The Star Pieces, as illustrated by the page picture.
  • Jungle Japes: Yo'ster Isle. Fully optional.
  • King Mook: King Calamari. Megaslimax is well, a giant Smilax, an enemy never encountered until you fight it, but both the normal and mega varieties are species of Piranha Plant.
  • Lampshade Hanging: This is not a game that takes itself seriously. The general reaction to Bowser's having kidnapped the princess is, "What, again?"
    • After beating the Axem Rangers, they use their ship weapon against you. In the Japanese version, perfectly scanning it with Mallow will net you a remark about how it was not used right from the start against you.
  • Lazy Backup
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Culex. He uses the Final Fantasy IV boss theme, has the four crystals used in the early Final Fantasy games, and even talks about meeting Mario and the group again after he is defeated. He is a walking Shout-Out to Final Fantasy, after all.
  • Leitmotif: The "Smithy Gang" has one, which is remixed three different ways: as background music playing in any town they've invaded; as the boss theme for Smithy's lieutenants; and as the first boss theme for Smithy himself.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Barrel Volcano
  • Level Grinding: Happily averted in this game, although considering that the max level is 30, this is almost a given.
  • Lost Forever:
    • An invisible chest in the Mushroom Kingdom castle can only be reached at the very beginning of the game when Toad is running down the hall, by jumping onto his head and then leaping up to a platform where the chest is. Besides the fact the platform is part of the doorframe and nothing would indicate you can step there, you don't even find out the chest was there until late in the game when you acquire an accessory that alerts you to hidden chests, and for some reason you get a higher boost off of Toad's head than anyone else, so only he can get you up there that one time. Guide Dang It to the extreme.
    • Samus's cameo is only available during a certain period in the game. However, as soon as Link appears in a similar manner, he stays there the whole game.
    • Some of the items you can buy from Seaside Town can only be acquired before you liberate it. On the bright side, most of them aren't that good so you won't miss much.
  • Lost in Translation: During the second battle with Belome, if Princess Toadstool is active in your party and Belome eats her, he'll say, "Mmm, tastes peachy..."
    • As it happens, Super Mario RPG was the last Mario game to use her Dub Name Change; Super Mario 64, released that same year in North America, phased it out.
    • There are more, like that item called the Red Yoshi Essence, or the Lazy Shells being Heavy Troopa's shells, the Safety Badge protecting from more than just mute and poison, Belome sounding more sleepy and his name being a pun with "Bero", tongue, and several puns with names of the opponent you fight.
  • Low-Level Run: It's possible to beat the entire game including Culex at level 3.
  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: Occurs several times.
  • Magikarp Power:
  • Maximum Fun Chamber: The building where the villagers of Seaside Town are being held. See Cool and Unusual Punishment.
  • The Maze: Forest Maze.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Geno written in Japanese is ジーノ (jiino). jiino is the Japanese pronunciation of "xeno" (there is traditionally no "zi" sound in Japanese). The word prefix xeno- is Greek for “alien,” “strange,” “guest.” Guess where Geno comes from in Super Mario RPG when he's introduced and where he returns to at the end of the game?
    • Mallow's bodily consistency is that of marshmallows.
    • Smithy's goons are all modeled after weapons.
      • Mack is a knife.
        • It's also the name of a song, Mack the Knife.
      • Bowyer is, not surprisingly, a bow.
        • Bowyer is also the profession of someone who makes bows. (Just like a fletcher is someone who makes arrows.)
      • "Yari" means "spear" in Japanese. Yaridovich's design is decidedly spear-like.
    • The Axem Rangers name speaks for themselves.
    • Smithy himself is a weapon maker, i.e., a blacksmith.
  • Minecart Madness: After working your way through the Coal Mines and beating the chapter boss, you must escape via a mine cart over three courses. This later becomes a mini game if you talk to the mole outside.
  • Mini Game: Buttloads of them.
  • Minigame Zone: Grate Guy's Casino. It's actually hard to find and access, not very large, and not very profitable. Booster's Tower is also supposedly a very fun yet eccentric amusement park, with clowns, an indoor railroad, and dolls.
  • Monster Town: Monstro Town.
  • Motor Mouth: The Gardener in Rose Town.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: Averted, enemy groups have an FP pool too. Usually you'll either win or lose long before theirs runs out, though. (Usually - see Zero Effort Boss below.)
  • Mythology Gag: Walking behind a certain column in Booster's Tower will cause Mario to transform into his 8-bit self.
  • Nintendo Hard: Getting the Jump Jacket requires you to do 100 Super Jumps in a row. That's 100 perfectly timed button presses in a row, without pausing, the timing getting harder and harder to nail every time. And you thought getting 30 was hard?
    • Getting 100 coins on the Midas River, as well as the Mushroom Derby. This is the only non-TAS video with a run of the former, and it still expresses frustration over the latter.
  • Noble Shoplifter: When the Mushroom Kingdom is under attack, the item shopkeeper can be found cowering in the back of the shop, with a sign on the counter saying to take what you want and leave the money. Reading it allows you to buy items as if the shopkeeper was there, with no option to leave without paying.
  • Nobody Here but Us Statues: Mario painting himself gold and hiding amongst Valentina's statues.
  • Nostalgia Level: One of the rooms in the "action" segments in Bowser's Keep very closely resembles Donkey Kong.
  • Off-Model / You Don't Look Like You: Some of the returning characters and enemies account for this as well (examples include Goombas and Hammer Bros).
  • Ominous Floating Castle: Smithy's Factory, which is also a near endless Eternal Engine.
  • One-Hit Kill: The "Magnum" attack. Also, Pulsar and Corkpedite Body's self-destruct "Migraine", Jinx's "Silver Bullet" attack, Glum Reaper's "Scythe", and Cluster's less common "Psyche".
    • Last Chance Hit Point: There are a few One-Hit Kill moves that you can block (using a timed button press). Doing so will allow you to survive with 1 HP.
      • If you can collect the Safety Ring, Jinx Belt, and/or Quartz Charm, your party members are immune to OHKs.
  • One of These Doors Is Not Like the Other
  • One Size Fits All: Work Pants.
  • Out-of-Character Moment / What the Hell, Hero??: An upset Mario was going to punch a kid! Good thing Mallow stopped him in time.
  • Party in My Pocket: played with repeatedly.
    • After a conversation is supposedly concluded, all the characters prepare to step back inside Mario. The speaker then remembers something and when he says, "Oh and one more thing..." all the characters bump heads. A moment later, when the speaker has finished for real, they start to move into Mario again, and Mario makes them stop until he's ready.
    • The other party members are also apparently literally inside Mario (or merged with him, or something), rather than metaphorically. Check out the reaction of the Mushroom Chancellor and his court when Bowser steps out. You'd think they'd have noticed the giant turtle-dragon if he'd actually been present prior to this.
  • Perverse Puppet: Remo Con and Puppox.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Jinx.
  • Pirate: Pirate sharks, in fact. Surprisingly logical combination, actually...
  • Plot Coupon: Star Pieces.
  • Pop Quiz: Dr. Topper's Quiz.
  • The Psycho Rangers: The Axem Rangers.
  • Puzzle Boss: Some:
    • The fight against Bowser in the game's start. You can attack him but his HP is so high that Mario will be down before he can even knock Bowser out. The princess tells Mario to attack the chain instead, since breaking it will cause the chandler Bowser is standing on to fall.
    • The battle against Birdo qualifies. Although you can beat Birdo by sheer force, it will take a lot of level grinding to bypass her defense and her egg attacks can seriously damage your party. What isn't told about the fight is if you have your characters use Defend, the eggs will bounce back to Birdo's nest and become targets. Destroying the eggs afterwards creates an explosion that severely hurts Birdo.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: A middle-aged Italian plumber, a child made of clouds, a doll, a giant turtle, and a princess.
  • Rainbow Motif: The seven star pieces are colored this way.
  • Reset Button: An item called Earlier Times lets you redo a battle from the beginning again.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Belome, when casting the game's first instance of the Scarecrow status, S'crow Funk:

Stick for a body, head full of straw, give me a scarecrow, rah, rah, RAH!

  • Save the Princess: Subverted in the prologue, and then played straight... sort of.
  • Say It with Hearts: Birdo.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: A secret accessory that Mario can get after performing 30 Super Jumps in a row.
  • Scenery Porn: Beautiful pre-rendered graphics. It gives Donkey Kong Country a run for its money.
  • Scrolling Text
  • Secret Shop: Of sorts. It's actually an out-of-the-way casino, and you'll need a card to get in.
  • Sequence Breaking: If you position yourself properly in the Kero Sewers, and engage a Boo enemy and run from it so you can stand on it in the field, you can make it to a pipe that leads to Land's End, an area normally reached after the fifth Star Piece is obtained. Unfortunately The Dev Team Thinks of Everything--you can't go anywhere until you come through Land's End proper to knock a barrel down as a boost up, the lone enemy nearby informs you it's a dead end, and attacking them is a really bad idea since they're way out of your league. And to top it off, the whole reason to go through the pipe the right way--to get an out of reach chest in the sewers with an item inside worth 10 Frog Coins--cannot be done, because when you jump up there this way the chest has a different reward than what you would get if you got up there from Land's End like you're supposed to.
  • Sequential Boss
  • Shifting Sand Land: The desert at Land's End.
  • Shout-Out: Pipe Vault, Culex's music is the boss music from Final Fantasy IV (although he's an original character for this game), 8-bit Mario appearing in one room.
    • Not to mention that while the credits roll, there's an Electrical Parade! (Well, the lights come in partway through, but the music is a definite Shout Out from the start.) Link; parade starts at 5:23.
    • Jinx's Japanese name is Jackie.
    • Czar Dragon's name is shared with a boss that was cut from the final version of the original version of Final Fantasy VI. Although the Final Fantasy VI version appeared in that game's Game Boy Advance Updated Rerelease, it was re-translated as Kaiser Dragon, making the connection with this game's Czar Dragon less obvious.
    • GO GO AXEM RANGERS!
  • Smooch of Victory: Zig zagged with, depending on how quickly you find Toadstool's accessories after she drops them.
  • Snot Bubble: The "sleep" status effect.
    • Lampshaded by the Big Boo of the Three Musty Fears: "Check those bubbles coming out of his nose!"
  • Spiritual Successor: The Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi series are this to this game. The former was even known as Super Mario RPG 2 early in development, while the latter shares a composer with this game.
  • Star Power: The star spirits.
  • Stealth Pun: You recruit Mallow just as you walk into a marshy area. Marshmallow?
  • Stone Wall: The Lazy Shell armor will turn anyone into this when it's equipped, raising their defense and magic defense through the roof but at a severe cost to their offensive power. Stick it on the Princess and your party is effectively unbeatable unless your opponent has a One Hit KO move or you run out of Flower Points.
  • Storming the Castle: Mario does this at the beginning of the game in Bowser's Castle. And it is done again for the final Star Piece, Except that it is not The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
  • Strange Syntax Speaker: Nya! Both this and a regular Verbal Tic, Bowyer uses. Nya!
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: Would you rather get to Tadpole Pond by: a) walking on dry land the whole way, or b) wander through a temple filled with ghosts and killer fish, defeat a huge guardian dog who wants nothing more than to literally eat you alive, and get washed away by the flood (which the guardian dog was preventing by standing on the switch) and carried downriver on a barrel after going over a waterfall? Admittedly the waterfall option involves getting a flower tab and some frog coins, but still...
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The Koopa Troopas in this game are all replaced with soldiers called Terrapins (never mind that the Koopa Troopas can already walk on two legs). The Paratroopas Sky Troopas managed to stay, though. Even the cooks in Marrymore are Terrapins, as well.
    • This is because of the translation as in the Japanese version, they are called Noko soldiers, which is very close to what the Koopa turtle were called in Japan. It also explain why you get a Nok Nok shell.
    • They're just Koopa Troopas in armor and helmets. They're only referred to as "terrapins" during fights, never in the dialogue, and are otherwise treated as part of Bowser's Koopa Troopas.
  • Taking You with Me: Pulsars have the deadly Counter Attack "Migraine", it self-destructs and instantly kills off one of your characters if you don't kill it in one hit with your physical attack. In the Coal Mines, a previous area, there's an enemy called Cluster (a pallet swap of Pulsar) that will counterattack with "Psyche" if you don't kill it in one hit with a special attack, which does the same thing as "Migraine". Also, the Corkpedite's Body, if left alone, it also will do "Migraine".
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Played with. Mario and Mallow have a conversation with Geno after interrupting the duel between him and Bowyer, only for Bowyer to stomp the ground to get their attention and yell at them for ignoring him. The three promptly assume their regular positions and the fight begins.
  • Tempting Fate: A dialogue after finishing minecart level.
  • Tentacle Rope: One of King Calamari's attacks consists of dragging a character away offscreen. When they return, they are inflicted with the fear status, which splits their attack and defense in half and makes them tremble violently.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: Mario whistling in the shower.
  • This Cannot Be!: Axem Rangers and Smithy.
  • Too Awesome to Use: KeroKero Colas and Rock Candy, mostly.
    • Red Essences, especially if you plan on fighting Culex.
  • Took a Level in Badass: One of Bowser's subordinates had an epiphany not long after the start of the game. He sucked royally and decided to do this trope so he could be a more effective minion for his boss. Bowser, upon finding this out, forgives him for what would technically be desertion and wishes him well on his goal.
  • Took a Shortcut: How else would Toad get to the second last room in the game, which is in the middle of the enemy's factory?
    • Just makes you wonder how he wasn't even able to get from Mario's place to the palace without getting trapped by enemies.
  • Trauma Inn: All of them cost money to stay in, except for Mario's house, obviously. In the Marrymore Inn, it's even possible to delay checking out until you're broke.
  • Trick Boss: Czar Dragon.
  • Turns Red:
    • A variety of enemies will boost their attack or defense when things are getting dangerous for them. Wigglers actually do turn red when doing this.
    • Johnny does this if you kill his flunkies and shift the battle to a Duel Boss, becoming notably stronger.
  • Uncommon Time: The music inside Exor has a very strange time signature of 13/8.
  • Underground Level: Mole Mines.
  • Underground Monkey: With so many enemies, it's almost inevitable.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The minigames, and even those have you alternating genres as well.
  • Unwilling Suspension: Toadstool when Bowser captures her.
  • Vendor Trash: Goodie Bag.
  • Warmup Boss: Hammer Brothers.
  • What the Hell, Player?: In the first room of Booster Tower, among some normal enemies, there are two Spookums apparently having a conversation. Like normal enemies, if you touch one, you will enter a battle; however, after defeating one, its partner will continue talking for a bit, then look around, panic, run to the corner and stay there, shuddering, until you defeat him.
  • Who Dares?: In Johnny Jones' lair: "How dare you dodge the barrel!"
  • Work Off the Debt: If you overstay your welcome in the Marrymore Inn, you get to be a bellhop. Some players do this on purpose for the fun of it or for the occasional really good tip in forms of rare items like Max Mushrooms or Flower Boxes.
    • Although the manager will not let you use the Save Block until you fully worked off the debt and if you racked up a massive bill, expect to be doing the same tasks for a long, long time. Luckily, you can exploit a trick by standing on the head of the person closest to the block, leap off and land on the block, letting you save.
  • X Meets Y: It is best described as Super Mario Bros. meets Final Fantasy, to awesome effect.
  • Zero Effort Boss: Culex essentially becomes this if you can tank his flunky crystals and his own powerful attacks for long enough. He'll run out of FP and keep trying to use magic even after that happens. He does have a melee attack, which is fairly damaging, but two out of three times he won't use it.

Notes

  1. Five one of a kind items for sale, their combined price is approximately 150 Frog Coins