[[quoteright:256:[[ItemGet http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/smrpg_3498.png]]]]
->''"Listen, Mustache, you and [[EnemyMine your overgrown turtle-friend]] can take a hike! Go! Scat! Make like Mario and jump outta here!"''
-->-- '''The Snifits''' mistaking Mario [[YourCostumeNeedsWork for an impersonator]]

''Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars'' is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin; It was the first [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Mario]] game to be a RolePlayingGame. It was developed by Creator/{{Nintendo}} and Creator/{{Square|Enix}} and released in 1996 for the {{S|uperNintendoEntertainmentSystem}}NES -- this gives it the honor of being the last Mario game made for that system.

During a routine [[SaveThePrincess 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, "[[{{Wingdinglish}} 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 [[PlotCoupon 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, [[EnemyMine 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 LampshadeHanging regarding the tropes of the Mario series and [=RPG=]s. Nintendo would take this theme and run with it, producing a series of pseudo-sequels (''VideoGame/PaperMario'', ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigi'') without Square's involvement. (Nintendo and Square would finally work again, starting with ''Mario Hoops 3-on-3'' on the NintendoDS).

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 VirtualConsole for all regions!

!!Tropes include:
%% ZeroContextExample entries are not allowed on wiki pages. All such entries have been commented out. Add context to the entries before uncommenting them.
* HundredPercentCompletion: Hidden chests, the Frog Coin store in Seaside Town[[note]]Five one of a kind items for sale, their combined price is 133 Frog Coins[[/note]], Grate Guy's Casino, Yo'ster Isle, getting everyone to Level 30...
* AbsurdlyLowLevelCap: Even when your party is maxed out at Level 30, the final battle with Smithy's two forms is pretty challenging.
%%* AbsurdlySpaciousSewer: Kero Sewers.
* ActionCommands: Probably the TropeCodifier in {{Role Playing Game}}s: 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. Naturally, both of ''Super Mario RPG's'' [[SpiritualSuccessor Spiritual Successors]], ''VideoGame/PaperMario'' and ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigi'', take this mechanic and elaborate on it in different ways.
* ActuallyFourMooks: Mostly seen with enemy encounters; scripted fights and boss battles usually have the same number of enemies both on the map and in battle, though not always. The lone-on-the-overworld Hammer Bro faced as the WarmupBoss somehow becomes two in battle.
* AddressingThePlayer: 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.
* AfterCombatRecovery: Dead characters are revived with 1 HP ''and even gain experience'' at the end of battle.
* AmazingTechnicolorBattlefield: The battle with Culex takes place against a starry blue-and-purple background more like something you'd see out of ''FinalFantasy'' than anything from Mario.
* AmplifierArtifact: The Quartz Charm is described as "A shining source of power!", boosting attack and defense by 50% ([[GuideDangIt although it doesn't tell you so]]). Many other accessories can be considered as such, like the Amulet ([[MightyGlacier sacrifice speed in favor of all other stats]]), the Jinx Belt ([[LightningBruiser speed and physical attributes]]), and both scarves (one for [[LightningBruiser both kinds of attack]], the other for [[StoneWall both kinds of defense]]).
* AndNowYouMustMarryMe: Subverted with Booster. His plot to marry Toadstool seems quite sinister at first... until over time you realize he has ''[[HanlonsRazor absolutely no clue]]'' [[HanlonsRazor what marriage is]], let alone any interest in being with Toadstool after the "wedding". He just thought the idea of a wedding party sounded fun. After a chaotic ceremony, swallowing a gigantic cake monster, and getting a kiss from Bowser and/or Mario, he promptly leaves, content with his "wedding" party, and never bothers the heroes again.
* AnthropomorphicFood: Bundt, the surprisingly difficult cake boss. There's also a giant carrot enemy in Booster Pass.
* AntiFrustrationFeatures:
** 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 [[BossCorridor 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. If you die in once of the two battle corridors, you're simply booted back out to the selection room, same as if you failed the action or puzzle sections, rather than getting a game over.
* ApocalypticLog: Johnathan Jones' diary tells of his ship getting entangled by King Calamari.
* ArbitraryHeadcountLimit: You're limited to 3 active party members.
* ArmorOfInvincibility: The Lazy Shell. Like the name implies, it lowers the wearer's offensive stats.
* ArtisticLicenseBiology: Star Hill features an enemy called Mastodoom, which is an elephant skeleton, complete with a trunk.
* ArtShift: Culex is a classic, [[Creator/YoshitakaAmano Amano-style]] ''Final Fantasy'' enemy. In keeping with that spirit, his sprite isn't animated (aside from bobbing up and down).
* AshFace: A ''massive'' bomb in the mines goes off, but thankfully only inflicts this.
* AwesomeButImpractical: 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.
* BagOfSharing: Exists in the traditional sense, but also strangely for an RPG, Flower Points (the game's equivalent of {{Mana}}) are also shared between everyone.
* BalefulPolymorph: Your party members can be turned into Mushrooms and scarecrows. In addition, the Sheep Attack can turn enemies into harmless lambs who float away as long as they're either immune to it or they don't successfully resist it.
* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: Everyone affected with the sleep status will produce a crassly obvious SnotBubble, except Toadstool, who daintily [[CatchingSomeZs Catches Some Z's]].
* BehindTheBlack: There are some hidden passages that exploit this. One path [[spoiler:(the one leading to Fly Guy)]] isn't even hidden; it's ''completely invisible'' unless you just happened to be [[ViolationOfCommonSense trying to walk off of Nimbus Land the wrong way]] and walked into the path by accident.
* BettingMiniGame:
** 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 the battle.
* BicepPolishingGesture: Bowser does this in the Japanese version. [[{{Bowdlerise}} It was changed in the other versions]] because the gesture [[CrazyCulturalComparison also resembles the slap-the-crook-of-your-elbow gesture]], which is roughly the equivalent of [[AccidentalUnfortunateGesture the middle finger to many Western cultures]].
%%* BigFancyCastle: The Mushroom Kingdom, Bowser's Castle, and Nimbus Castle.
* BlockingStopsAllDamage: Proper timing on your ActionCommands during defense could completely eliminate damage from an enemy physical attack; otherwise, they take half the normal damage.
* BonusBoss: Monstro Town has two: Jinx, the diminutive martial-arts master who has to be fought three times, and Culex, the Dark Knight of Vanda.
* BossCorridor: The Factory's final stretch. A number of helmeted bureaucrats stand between you and Smithy.
* BoringButPractical: One of the most hard-hitting attacks you have to watch out for during the battle with [[BonusBoss Culex and his crystals]] is Culex's standard physical no-flashy-effects attack. There's virtually no telegraphing for it (as he doesn't even move from his position when it happens), so it's very difficult to defend with the ActionCommand. Luckily, he doesn't use it as often as his magic attacks.
* BossBonanza:
** The game has the Factory stage. Just getting in requires that you defeat an evil alarm clock, followed by Domino & Cloaker, a [[DualBoss Dual]] SequentialBoss (whose second stage is another DualBoss). Inside the Factory proper, Mario has to fight through four levels of factory management, the first three of which [[FlunkyBoss have bodyguards]] while the Factory Chief has [[DualBoss his own autonomous secret weapon]].
** Also, the end of the previous stage, Bowser's Keep, was made of three other bosses: a Magikoopa, Boomer, and Exor. And there was a chance the fight a BossInMookClothing, Chester, right before the Magikoopa. You're not given a chance to heal in-between Boomer and Exor either.
* BossInMookClothing:
** Mokura/Mokuka, who appears on the overworld like a normal enemy, but has powerful magic attacks that target the entire party, and far more HP than any other enemy in the area. He does try to avoid you, and the game treats him more like a boss, though, so he could also be considered a lesser BonusBoss.
** The [[ChestMonster chest monsters]] are also this. Box Boy, for example, uses Carni-Kiss and powerful magic spells, and summons Fautso, which can put your '''entire party''' to sleep.
* BossRemix: 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.
* BouncingBattler: Mario, of course, but the trope also gets lampshaded here. After Mario beats Jinx, a professional martial artist, Jinx and his student decide to incorporate Mario's jumping techniques into their own fighting styles and spend the rest of the game bouncing up and down on one spot trying to emulate Mario.
* BreakoutCharacter: Geno remains insanely popular more than a decade after release.
* BrokenBridge: Exor the giant sword literally breaks the bridge to Bowser's Castle so that Mario can't just walk in and immediately take on Smithy. He finally finds a way back in once Lakitu's bus service is resumed.
%%* BubblyClouds: Nimbus Land.
* ButThouMust:
** There is a pretty good bit where you are given the option of telling Prince Mallow that you will not help him, but doing so causes him to keep crying until you agree. Since his crying causes it to rain, this is a bit of a big deal.
** 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. What makes this odd is that both exits are functionally identical, since they just take you to the world map anyway.
* TheCameo:
** [[Franchise/{{Metroid}} Samus]] and [[Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda Link]] are resting in hotels at certain points in the game. Samus can also be seen as a doll in [[ManChild Booster's]] toy box.
** Also, in one place, you can also see models of an [[VideoGame/StarFox Arwing]] and [[VideoGame/{{F-Zero}} 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.
** One of the portraits in Booster's Tower looks like Wario. Seeing how Booster is kind of a Wario {{Expy}}, this makes sense.
* CantDropTheHero: 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.
** The item cap is also much lower than most games of the era, managing inventory space becomes on of the challenges. You even get a little visual reward if you sacrifice some of your inventory space in order to hold some fireworks.
* CartoonJuggling: Knife Guy's idle animation is endless juggling, cascade-style.
* CassandraTruth: Gaz claimed that his Geno doll grew and went out the door. His mother doesn't believe him, [[YourCostumeNeedsWork even when you visit Gaz's house later on with Geno in your party]].
* CavalierCompetitor: Culex won't return to his home dimension until he has a chance to meet this world's "strongest knight." If you win, he thanks Mario for the memorable duel.
* ChestMonster: Four of them: Pandorite, [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI Hidon]], [[PunnyName Chester]], and Box Boy. They're all [[BossInMookClothing pretty tough]] and drop some useful items when beaten.
* ClimaxBoss: Any battle against a member of the Smithy Gang, especially since they normally occur at the end of each world.
* CognizantLimbs: Several examples, including the evil clock Countdown and the FinalBoss.
* ConflictKiller: A giant sword falls out of the sky after Mario and Bowser go at it. [[EnemyMine They join forces to defeat this new opponent.]]
* ContinuityNod: Mario can become 8-bit for a short time in Booster Tower.
* CowboysAndIndians: Gaz plays a game involving Mario and Bowser fighting each other. Humorously, Gaz has Bowser [[RootingForTheEmpire kill the Mario doll]], much to Mario's shock and dismay.
* CreditsMedley: The ending sequence depicts the entire cast participating in a parade with floats. The medley rolls through several variations on the Mushroom Kingdom; We're also treated to Smithy's goons and their {{leitmotif}} one more time.
%%* CryingWolf: Gaz... or so his mom thinks.
* DangerouslyGenreSavvy: The entire Smithy Gang is pointedly ''not'' stupid, they come to realize Mario's patterns and use them to their advantage, and also begin seeking the Star Pieces when they find out how powerful they are. Starts right at the beginning of the game when Exor, annoyed at Mario coming to Bowser's Keep after they just invaded, collapses the bridge, keeping Mario out for most of the game because not even ''he'' can jump ''that'' far. This culminates with the battle for the sixth Power Star, when after most of the Smithy Gang has been beaten despite their various tricks and schemes, [[spoiler: the Axem Rangers]] decide the best way to solve the Mario problem is to [[spoiler: grab the star and run like hell]].
* DeadpanSnarker: One of the Toads in Mushroom Kingdom who delivers this line regarding why he didn't stop the thief Croco.
--> "''[[AskAStupidQuestion Because I left my bazooka at home.]] Sheesh! Cut me a break here!''"
%%* DebugRoom: A rather limited one, unfortunately. It's speculated that most of it was cut out before the final release.
* DefeatMeansFriendship: [[spoiler: Grate Guy]] reforms his ways and opens a casino after you defeat him.
* DegradedBoss: Gray "Machine Made" copies of the Smithy Gang bosses are churned out by Smithy's factory.
* TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything:
** When using the Hurly Gloves, Bowser [[GrievousHarmWithABody tosses Mario at his foes]]. If Mario is under a status effect, Bowser tosses a doll instead.
** When you confront Mack, two Shysters try to jump on Mario's head and he deflects them, knocking them off the platform and so only the remaining four aid Mack in the fight, those two survive to flee and tell Smithy what happened. If you approach the platform from the sides and thus walk past the Shysters, when Mack does his DynamicEntry the two are knocked backwards off the platform to keep the story straight.
** [[spoiler: Smithy's second form's default head (before he reforges it into a tank, a mage, a chest or a literal StoneWall) has an attack animation despite said default head not having any attacks. While this would normally be considered DummiedOut content, if you'd notice that said second form's defeat animation involves involves the head playing its attack animation over and over again, you'd realized that the developers accounted for the very unlikely event of you defeating Smithy before he even has a chance to reforge his head into a different form.]]
** In Mushroom Kingdom, there's a young Toad running around quickly in a square path. Jump onto her 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.
* DigitizedSprites: Almost all of the sprites in-game are pre-rendered 3D graphics.
%%* DiscOneFinalDungeon: Booster's Tower and Marrymore.
* DoWellButNotPerfect:
** 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.
%%* DualBoss: Loads.
* DuelBoss: 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.
* DungeonShop: Toad runs a shop within the final dungeon.
* EasterEgg:
** Walking behind one of the curtains in Booster's Tower will transform you into 8-bit Mario.
** The above-mentioned cameos of Link and Samus, who only appear for a short time after certain events are completed.
** There's a character hidden behind the left-most house in the Mushroom Kingdom whose dialogue changes with pretty much every major plot event. Hacking and emulation revealed that this character doesn't have a sprite.
** An Easter Egg exclusive to the Japanese version of the game plays a short cutscene of Toad mocking the concept of {{Classic Cheat Code}}s if you pressed a certain button combination.
* EasyLevelsHardBosses: 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.
* EnemyMine: The first time, though not the last (discounting spinoffs), that Mario and Bowser work together.
* EscapeBattleTechnique: The game has the standard Run Away command, but it can sometimes fail, causing your turn to be wasted. Halfway through the game, you could get the See Ya! item that lets you run away from fights successfully.
%%* EternalEngine: The Factory.
* EvilChef: Chef Torte and his assistant aren't really evil, just kinda grumpy (but you would be too if someone ''[[WhatTheHellHero jumped on top of your cake]]''). They attack you later on, but they [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere run away]] once [[GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere the cake starts moving.]]
* EvolvingAttack: Unlike the other party members, who have a variety of special moves, Mario only gets two types: [[GoombaStomp jumping on enemies]] and shooting {{fireballs}} at them. Later variations do more damage or target multiple enemies, but cost more FP. Also see MagikarpPower for a more subtle version of this.
* EvolvingTitleScreen: The title screen hides the sword in Bowser's keep until the early sword drop cutscene has happened.
* FaceFault: Hilariously happens a great many times, with heroes, villains, and [=NPCs=].
* FallingChandelierOfDoom: The game opens with Mario dueling Bowser on a giant chandelier, which inevitably crashes [[DisneyVillainDeath with Bowser stuck to it]]. This happens again during the battle with Boomer, who breaks the suspension chain as a form of [[BetterToDieThanBeKilled seppuku]].
%%* FetchQuest
* FinalBossNewDimension: After fighting Exor, he swallows you up into a level called Gate. This strange void eventually merges into the Factory, the location of the 7th Star Piece.
%%* FirstTown: The Mushroom Kingdom.
* FixedDamageAttack: The Star Egg does 100 damage to all enemies and can be used an unlimited number of times, while the Rock Candy does 200 but can only be used once. The Attack Up buff increases the damage to 150 and 300, respectively.
* FlunkyBoss: 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.
* FlyingCar: The Royal Bus that's made out of clouds and driven by a Lakitu. It's under control of King Nimbus, who lives in a cloud city. [[spoiler: Mario and the gang eventually used it to go to Bowser's Castle despite the broken bridge.]]
%%* FrenchJerk: Chef Torte and his flunky.
* FryingPanOfDoom: Frying Pan is [[InfinityPlusOneSword the best weapon]] for Toadstool. It make a hilariously satisfying ''whang!'' sound when it connects, too.
* {{Gainaxing}}: Queen Valentina, when she's struck in combat. This is a particularly strange one as the game has a fairly young demographic and the exaggerated up and down bouncing is absolutely comedic.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar:
** In the battle at Nimbus Land, every time you hit Queen Valentina, her breasts [[GainaxBounce shake.]] Seriously, this happens in a game approved for ''everyone'', kids and adults alike. Her hair is also appears to be dead parrot. [[spoiler:It reacts to her being hit however.]]
** Johnny's currant juice? Well, it may or may not be a [[FrothyMugsOfWater substitute for wine]], which currant berries can be used to make.
** Poke around Toadstool's room and you'll get a message saying Mario "found Toadstool's ????". Her grandmother will immediately run over and tell you to stop rummaging through her things, before giving you a mushroom to go away. Try it again when Toadstool's actually in the party and she won't let you anywhere near it. It's never revealed what the item in question actually is, but given the character reactions, most adult players can come up with a few ideas...
* GiantMook:
** The giant Bob-omb.
** The GiantSquid, King Calimari, is a Blooper on steroids.
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: Punchinello is a LampshadeHanging 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... In fact, the only reason you fight him is because he believes that defeating you will make him famous.
* GlobalCurrencyException:
** 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.
* GrayRainOfDepression: Sort of. It starts raining when Mallow cries, and it seems as if the rain is his tears. Eventually turns into a BrickJoke when [[spoiler: Mallow reunites with his parents]]. Mario had the foresight to at least take out his umbrella before it rained.
%%* GreenHillZone: Mushroom Way.
* GuideDangIt:
** 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.
** 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 ''Franchise/Pokemon'' [=PokéGod=] rumors a run for their money.
** For those of us who have played a LowLevelRun of ''SMRPG'', there is a way to convert Mario's standard 3FP Jump attack into an almost necessary DiscOneNuke. 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 [[VideoGame/PunchOut Glass Joe]]. Powering up Jump and collecting experience turns it into a GameBreaker of epic proportions.
** 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, landing not on an invisible platform, but on part of the background that shouldn't even be possible to step on. Even if you blockade Toad into that position later in the game, it won't work, for whatever reason you can't jump high enough save for that one time.
** The 3D maze puzzle in the Sunken Ship. The problem is that 90% of the maze is obscured. Sure you could feel your way around it, but you'll more than likely go in circles.
* HardLevelsEasyBosses: Anyone who played other Squaresoft/Square-Enix games, or who is playing the story a second time would find the bosses in this game quite easy in comparison. What is not as easy, however, is trying to navigate the stages/courses/routes/dungeons. Unlike in most other Square-Enix [=RPG=]s, you actually need to run/jump as with most other Mario games, and the axiometric pseudo-3D view used in this game combined with awkward controls makes this easier said than done.
* HeKnowsAboutTimedHits: The TropeNamer, although it's not nearly as bad as other games that came after it. Still, the game doesn't bother to try and segregate the game's mechanics instructions from its story.
* HeroicMime: Mario. He even transforms into Princess Toadstool and Bowser during his pantomimed explanation of what happened.
* HoldYourHippogriffs: 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!!"
* InfinityPlusOneSword: Lazy Shell, Frying Pan. The Super Jacket armor and Attack Scarf accessory are also {{Game Breaker}}s, but they're at least ridiculously hard to earn.
* InfinityMinusOneSword: The Ultra Hammer, found in the last dungeon. The Lazy Shell, the strongest weapon in the game, can be found before you even get the sixth star.
* InnSecurity: Entering Rose Town's inn gets Mario knocked out, and Geno awakens that night. At first, the Seaside Town inn is free... but the "innkeeper" will take the chance to [[ParanoiaFuel watch you sleep]]. Monstro Town's "inn" (actually just a room with a bed) is also free, but happens to be haunted by the 3 Musty Fears.
%%* InstrumentOfMurder: Mallow's cymbals.
* InvisibleMonsters: Mokura, who starts out as the invisible Formless. The game treats it like an obscure BonusBoss.
* IsometricProjection: The entire game sans a few cutscenes are portrayed within this angle.
%%* ItemGet: The Star Pieces, as illustrated by the page picture.
%%* ItsAllUpstairsFromHere: Booster's Tower.
%%* JungleJapes: Yo'ster Isle. Fully optional.
* KingMook: 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.
* KleptomaniacHeroFoundUnderwear: Mario can case Princess Toadstool's room to find her "???" - and a retainer will immediately run up and swap it for an item. If you wait until she's a party member, you'll be treated to a freak-out on her part.
* LampshadeHanging:
** 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, [[spoiler: 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.]]
* LastChanceHitPoint: There are a few OneHitKill moves that you can block (using a [[ActionCommand timed button press]]). Doing so will allow you to survive with 1 HP. A perfect block will allow you to take no damage.
* LazyBackup: Mario gains 4 party members (not counting himself), but can only have two of them in his party at a time.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall:
** Culex. He uses the ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' boss theme, has the [[PlotCoupon four crystals]] used in the early ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' games, and even talks about meeting Mario and the group again after he is defeated. He is a walking ShoutOut to ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'', after all.
** The Thwomp in Monstro Town will ask Mario if he likes the background music. "Don't you dig these vibes?"
* {{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 [[spoiler:first]] boss theme for Smithy himself.
** [[spoiler: Smithy's final boss theme is very different from the other boss music, but the main leitmotif actually does play on bass for a few seconds. Listen to it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jI1BudS4Ego at 1:00 to hear the riff.]]
%%* LethalLavaLand: Barrel Volcano
* LettingTheAirOutOfTheBand: Happens every time you get a GameOver. Also happens in-story when Mario blacks out after being hit with the Geno doll's ArmCannon.
* LevelGrinding: Happily averted in this game, although considering that the max level is 30, this is almost a given.
%%* LevelsTakeFlight: The Blade.
* LoneWolfBoss: Punchinello is the only major boss you fight for a Star Piece that isn't affiliated with the Smithy Gang.
* LostForever:
** 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. GuideDangIt 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.
** Beating Croco's Crooks in the Coal Mines will earn you extra Flower Points. But only if you choose to fight Croco last instead of immediately.
* LostInTranslation:
** During the second battle with Belome, if Princess Toadstool is active in your party and Belome eats her, he'll say, "Mmm, tastes peachy..." ''Super Mario RPG'' was the last Mario game to use her DubNameChange; ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'', released that same year in North America, phased it out.
** There's the item called the Red Yoshi Essence, or the Lazy Shells being Heavy Troopa's shells, and 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.
** Another punny name lost is Chomp Chomp's original name is Wan Tsu (read: Japanese pronunciation of "one two"). The joke is that Chomps were originally called "Wan Wan", which is an onomatopoeia for a dog's bark.
** The Magikoopa you fight in Bowser's Keep before reaching Boomer and Exor isn't a mere random Koopa Trooper - it's [[VideoGame/YoshisIsland Kamek]]. Like with ''VideoGame/MarioParty9'', his name was goofed up in the localizing.
** Bowser's ultimate unique armor - the... Heal Shell? That doesn't suit him at all, unlike the other four characters. If it was the [[SpellMyNameWithAnS Fear Shell]], that would be much more fitting...[[note]]It doesn't help the Japanese name is Hiiru Shell(ヒールシェル), which doesn't even sound like "Fear"[[/note]]
** The Shy Guys that hold the chandeliers together on the second visit to Bowser's Keep are named Chandeli-ho. This is in fact a portmanteau of "chandelier" and "Heiho", the Japanese name for Shy Guys.[[note]]Interestingly, unused data suggesting that one was originally intended to be a target in battle like Kinklink gives it the more Western name of "Hangin' Shy".[[/note]]
* LowLevelRun: It's possible to beat the entire game including [[BonusBoss Culex]] at level 3.
* MacGuffinDeliveryService:
** Yaridovich, who threatens to [[CoolAndUnusualPunishment tickle]] the real townsfolk if you refuse to hand over the [[MacGuffin Star Piece]]. [[ButThouMust You have no choice but to comply]] (or else your reward will be meager).
** The [[PsychoRangers Axem Rangers]] snatch the Star Piece from Mario as soon as he gets it after defeating the Czar Dragon guarding it.
%%* MagikarpPower:
%%** The Mystery Egg.
%%** Mario's Jump. See GuideDangIt above.
* MakeAWish: The [[BenevolentGenie Star Road]] can grant wishes, and you even get to visit the place where they fall before being granted; [[KleptomaniacHeroFoundUnderwear Mario can read them, and Mallow gets angry if you read his wish]]. The [[MacGuffin Star Pieces]] are [[CosmicKeystone required to restore the proper cycle of wishes]], and it is vital to do so, as there is more to wishes than just the wisher's personal life; Mario's own successes are often aided by [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming the many people wishing for him to do so]].
* ManaPotion: Syrups restore Flower Points.
%%* MaximumFunChamber: The building where the villagers of Seaside Town are being held. See CoolAndUnusualPunishment.
%%* TheMaze: The Forest Maze.
* MeaningfulName:
** 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 [[DontExplainTheJoke marshmallows.]]
** Smithy's goons are all modeled after weapons:
*** [[Theatre/TheThreepennyOpera Mack]] is a [[KnifeNut knife]].
*** '''Bow'''yer is, not surprisingly, a bow. It's is also the profession of someone who makes bows. (Just like a fletcher is someone who makes arrows.)
*** "Yari" means "[[BladeOnAStick spear]]" in Japanese. Yaridovich's design is decidedly spear-like.
*** Exor's name is likely based on "Excalibur", seeing as he's a sword.
*** The '''[[AnAxeToGrind Axe]]'''m [[PsychoRangers Rangers]] name speaks for themselves.
*** Smithy himself is a weapon maker, i.e., a '''blacksmith'''.
*** In fact, all of the non-repentant bosses you fight over ownership of the Stars are based heavily on things used to harm people. Punchinello, while not being one of Smithy's men, is very clearly shaped similar to a bomb.
* MetalSlime: The Shy Ranger will randomly appear with Pirahna Plants, and has an insanely high speed, high defense, and immunity to all four elements. Beating it rewards the player with a buttload of experience.
* MinecartMadness: 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.
* MiniGame: There are all the gambling games, a scavenger hunt you are asked to do for some ghosts, someone who challenges you to find all the hidden treasure boxes, Parakoopas who challenge you to climb a wall within a time limit, a challenge to do as many super jumps in a row as you can, races on Yo'Ster's island, a pond where you make different music by jumping on tadpoles, and a game where you collect coins going down a waterfall in order to be rewarded with frog coins.
* MinigameZone: 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.
* MonsterTown: Monstro Town is populated with Goombas, Koopa Troopas, Twomps, and other classic Mario enemies along side some other monsters unique to Mario RPG like the Starfish. They do not fight you or anything, they all seem pretty peaceful.
* MotorMouth: The Gardener in Rose Town, who often rambles stories in excitement if you give him the items required to fetch the Lazy Shell.
* MusicalSpoiler: As if the patently creepy behavior of the townspeople wasn't enough of a clue, the presence of the "town in trouble" theme is a dead giveaway that something is seriously not right in Seaside Town.
* MyRulesAreNotYourRules:
** Averted, enemy groups have an FP pool too. Usually you'll either win or lose long before theirs runs out, though.
** Played straight with King Kalimari's TentacleRope attack, which ignores immunity to fear. Equipping Mario with Jump Shoes lets the player invert this and ignore enemies' Jump-attack immunity.
* MythologyGag: Walking behind a certain column in Booster's Tower will cause Mario to transform into his 8-bit self.
* NintendoHard:
** Getting the Super Suit 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. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5s4mPl2Iu0Y This]] is the only non-TAS video with a run of the former, and it ''still'' expresses frustration over the latter.
* NobleShoplifter: 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.
* NostalgiaLevel:
** One of the rooms in the "action" segments in Bowser's Keep very closely resembles ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong''.
** Appropriately enough for Mario's first JRPG outing, the game opens in Bowser's Keep, [[VideoGame/SuperMarioBros a lava-filled castle with white interiors]].
* NobodyHereButUsStatues: Mario painting himself gold and hiding amongst Valentina's statues.
%%* NoobCave: Mushroom Way.
* ObstacleSkiCourse: Booster Hill is a steep slope leading to Marrymore. Mario tries to catch Booster on this hill before he can marry Toadstool. Unfortunately, there a dozens of rolling barrels in his path.
* OffModel: Some of the returning characters and enemies look different than their official appearance, even before this game. Example: The Goombas look flat in this game.
%%* OminousFloatingCastle: Smithy's Factory, which is also a near endless EternalEngine.
* OneHitKill: The "Magnum" attack. Also, Pulsar and Corkpedite Body's self-destruct "[[TakingYouWithMe Migraine]]", Jinx's "Silver Bullet" attack, Glum Reaper's "Scythe", and Cluster's less common "[[TakingYouWithMe Psyche]]".
* OneOfTheseDoorsIsNotLikeTheOther: In the Forest Maze, The correct path to take is the one that the player sees Geno taking.
* OneSizeFitsAll: Work Pants, the Lazy Shell armor and (if you manage to get it) the Super Suit.
* OutOfCharacterMoment: An upset Mario was going to punch a kid! Good thing Mallow stopped him in time.
* PantyShot: Inverted hilariously with an extremely rare '''male''' version: as the party is falling down inside of Exor's to the last area, the camera is pointed downward with everyone falling head-first -- except for Toadstool, who is feet-first.
* PartyInMyPocket: 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.
** Similarly, at one point after Bowser joins the party a Mushroom Kingdom citizen will start to tell you what an awful, evil person he thinks Bowser is. Bowser growls from (apparently) inside Mario, causing the guy to ask wildly what that horrible noise was.
%%* PerversePuppet: Remo Con and Puppox.
* PintsizedPowerhouse: Jinx is a martial arts master you challenge three times in Monstro Town. He is wicked fast and specializes in one-hit-KO moves. He is also less than half Mario's size.
%%* {{Pirate}}: Pirate ''sharks'', in fact. Surprisingly logical combination, actually...
* PlayingCardMotifs: Mario's special attacks involve a spade aura, Mallow's a club, Bowser's a diamond, and Toadstool's a heart. Geno ends up with a star aura.
* PlotCoupon: Star Pieces.
%%* PopQuiz: Dr. Topper's Quiz.
* PowerFist: Several of the weapons. Mario gets ones that give him a longer punch combo, then ones that make his fists huge, Mallow gets something similar, Princess Toadstool gets a larger hand to slap enemies, and Bowser's best weapon is called '[[ThisIsADrill Drill Claw]]'.
%%* ThePsychoRangers: The Axem Rangers.
* PuzzleBoss:
** 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. [[spoiler:Actually, Bowser has relatively little HP but just doesn't die after it's depleted, and subsequently takes no damage anymore, forcing you to hit the chain.]]
** The battle against Birdo. 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. [[GuideDangIt 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 severly hurts Birdo.
*** An NPC in the same area actually hints at it, but many players thought "when you shield yourself" simply meant executing a timed-defense.
** Bundt has no HitPoints. Use [[EnemyScan Psychopath]] on it and its HP reading will come up zero. Its health is only dictated by the number of lit candles on its head, each candle getting snuffed whenever you land a hit. But one relights every time Bundt has his turn. So one must continually pelt Bundt with attacks nonstop to ensure the first phase of this battle ends quickly. The second phase gives the boss back a set amount of HP.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: A middle-aged Italian plumber, a child made of clouds, a doll, a giant turtle, and a [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses princess]].
* RainbowMotif: The seven star pieces are colored this way.
* RainOfArrows:
** Smithy's second form has a spell called this. He also has two other variations, Spear Rain and Sword Rain, that pretty much do the same thing.
** This is Bowyer's preferred method of attacking Rose Town, constantly firing arrows into it from the forest. When someone is struck with the arrow, they are paralyzed in place, unable to move, but still able to talk. Rather fitting considering that he's a giant bow and all of his minions are sentient arrows.
* RearrangeTheSong: Does the music for the fight with Bowser at the beginning of the game sound familiar? It should! It's his boss music in Super Mario Bros 3! A slower remix of it is used when you return to Bowser's Keep late in the game as the second part of the Bowser's Keep theme.
* ResetButton: An item called Earlier Times lets you redo a battle from the beginning again.
* RhymesOnADime: 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!
* RocketPunch: Geno's unarmed attack has him shoot his arm at the elbow. Later, he gets a weapon [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin called precisely this]] to shoot both of his arms at once.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: More than half the party is filled with royals; [[EvilOverlord King Bowser]], [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses Princess Toadstool]], and [[WarriorPrince Prince Mallow]].
* {{Sampling}}: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpFXLxw2X60 Still, the Road is Full of Dangers]] from [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2ISRMSIyX8 Russian Dance (Trepak)]]
* SaveThePrincess: Starts off with Princess Toadstool being kidnapped and Mario rescuing her from Bowser, only for their fight to be interupted and for all three of them to go flying in different directions. Mario initially sets out to get Toadstool back and has to rescue her from Booster, but after saving her they decide they need to stop to primary enemy, Smithy, a task Princess Toadstool joins the team to complete.
* SayItWithHearts: Birdo's text balloons consistently use hearts. Sometimes she is being overtly flirty, and sometimes to effect is just off-putting when she tacks them on to statements about how she is being hurt.
* ScarfOfAsskicking: The Attack Scarf, a Mario-only accessory that can only be obtained by doing 30 Super Jumps in a row. There's also the Rare Scarf, which can be used by anybody and boosts defense.
* SceneryPorn: Just like the ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry'' series, it uses CG models rendered as DigitizedSprites. And it looks just as good, if not better, than a lot of the early N64 games.
%%* ScrollingText
* SecretAIMoves:
** Bowser can shoot his spikes out of his shell when you fight him early in the game. When he finally joins your party however, that move is not available.
** Not to mention the clones that Belome create are capable of using moves you can never have.
* SecretShop: Of sorts. It's actually an out-of-the-way casino, and you'll need a card to get in.
* SequenceBreaking:
** By running away from an enemy in Kero Sewers and [[GoombaSpringboard jumping on their head]], you can get an item box and go to an area that you normally couldn't get until over halfway through the game... but TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything, and the item box contains a single Flower instead of the Cricket Jam you'd normally get, and a BrokenBridge prevents you from going anywhere in Land's End (and an enemy even has special dialogue if you try this).
** You can also skip the first major boss by making a very precision jump. The game continues on as normal, but the Star Piece option never shows up in the menu.
* SequentialBoss: Boomer and Exor are fought back-to-back with no chance for healing, and then the battle with Smithy has two parts.
* ShiftingSandLand: The desert at Land's End.
* ShoutOut:
** The encounter with Culex uses three themes from the ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series: the Prelude, the standard victory fanfare and the remixed ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' boss battle music.
** Not to mention that while the credits roll, there's an [[Ride/DisneyThemeParks Electrical Parade]]! (Well, the lights come in partway through, but the music is a definite Shout Out from the start.) [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bP5eQsDSII Link]]; parade starts at 5:23.
** Jinx's Japanese name is [[Creator/JackieChan Jackie]].
** Czar Dragon's name is shared with a boss that was DummiedOut from the original version of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI''. Although the boss appeared in that game's UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance UpdatedRerelease, it was retranslated as Kaiser Dragon, making the connection with this game's Czar Dragon less obvious ([[GeniusBonus unless one knows that "Czar" and "Kaiser" both come from "Caesar.")]]
** That ChestMonster on the Sunken Ship, Hidon, shares its name with a boss, also from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI''.
** The Axem Rangers are living shoutouts to both ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' and ''Franchise/SuperSentai''.
** Cloaker announces his fight with "[[ComicBook/FantasticFour It's clobbering time!]]"
** Bob-bomb: "[[Film/ForrestGump Small is as small does.]]"
** You fight [[Franchise/FinalFantasy Bahamutt]] as a mini-boss who was summoned by another monster. Averted in that this was a {{Woolseyism}}, his original name is Doshi (which explains why he looks like a Yoshi with wings)
** Franchise/DonkeyKong appears as numerous enemies named "Kong" specifically using the ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry'' design.
** The Box Boy enemy can summon an obese genie minion called "Fautso", a pun on "fatso" and {{Faust}}.
** In the Japanese version many of the enemy thoughts that can be read using Mallow's Psychopath ability are references to other media, including, but not limited to, {{Evangelion}}, VirtuaFighter, GiantRobo, and FistOfTheNorthStar.
** [[VideoGame/ForTheFrogTheBellTolls Frogog's Japanese name is Richard]] and Ribbite's name is Richard II.
* SkippableBoss: An unintentional one due to [[GoodBadBugs a glitch in the game,]] but [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvfVODDJ6L4 the fight with Mack can be skipped entirely.]]
* SmoochOfVictory: Depending on how fast you recover the Princess's accessories in Marrymore Chapel, Mario can receive one of these from Toadstool, [[FoeYay Bowser]] or [[{{Squick}} Booster]].
* SnotBubble: The "sleep" status effect. Lampshaded by the Big Boo of the Three Musty Fears: "Check those bubbles coming out of his nose!"
* SpiritualSuccessor: The ''VideoGame/PaperMario'' and ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigi Mario & Luigi]]'' series are this for this game. The former was even known as ''Super Mario RPG 2'' early in development, while the latter shares [[Creator/YokoShimomura a composer]] with this game.
* StarPower:
%%** The star pieces.
** Geno's magic, which involves [[FrickinLaserBeams lasers]] and other [[LightEmUp beams of light]], makes a star aura appear around his body; his [[ChargedAttack best spell]] has him shoot a [[ThePowerOfTheSun small sun]], which then [[StuffBlowingUp explodes]]. His best weapon [[VisualPun literally shoots stars at the enemy]], as well.
* StealthPun: You recruit Mallow ''just'' as you walk into [[spoiler: a marshy area. Marshmallow?]]
* StoneWall:
** 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 OneHitKO move or you run out of [[{{Mana}} Flower Points]].
** The [[ScarfOfAsskicking Rare Scarf]] is an accessory that further boosts both defense stats; pairing both the Shell and the Scarf is useful against [[BonusBoss Culex and Jinx]], who have incredibly damaging attacks.
** The Safety Ring protects from OneHitKO moves, StandardStatusEffects, [[UpToEleven and certain elemental attacks]]. Using it in conjunction with the Lazy Shell will render a character NighInvulnerable.
* StormingTheCastle: Mario does this at the beginning of the game in Bowser's Castle. And it is done again for the final Star Piece, [[spoiler:Except that it is not TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon]].
* StrangeSyntaxSpeaker: Nya! Both this and a regular VerbalTic, Bowyer uses. Nya!
* StupidityIsTheOnlyOption: 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...
* SugarApocalypse: Smithy intends to turn the Mushroom Kingdom, normally a SugarBowl, into "a world filled with weapons".
%%* SugarBowl: The overworld map certainly has elements of it.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: The Koopa Troopas in this game are all replaced with soldiers called Terrapins (never mind that Koopa Troopas have already been shown to walk on two legs at this point). The [[CallARabbitASmeerp Sky Troopas]] managed to stay, though. Even the cooks in Marrymore are Terrapins, as well. This is, however, a subversion brought about [[LostInTranslation due to the game's translation]] - their Japanese name is "Nokohei", "hei" being the Japanese word for Soldier and "Noko" being half of their Japanese name[[note]]Their full Japanese name is "Noko Noko".[[/note]]. With this regard, their Japanese name could more properly be translated into English as "Koopa Soldier".
* TakingYouWithMe: The Cluster enemy's "Psyche!", a OneHitKill that it uses as a CounterAttack unless you defeat it with one hit. Its later PaletteSwap, Pulsar, has "Migraine", which has the same effect. Corkpedite's [[CognizantLimbs Body]] will also use Migraine if the head is destroyed first.
* TalkingIsAFreeAction: 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.
%%* TemptingFate: A dialogue after finishing minecart level.
* TentacleRope: 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.
* ThemeTuneCameo: Mario whistles his theme song while showering.
%%* ThisCannotBe: Axem Rangers and Smithy.
* TooAwesomeToUse: [=KeroKero=] Colas (full heal for everyone), Rock Candies (massive damage to all enemies), and especially Red Essences (3 turns of invincibility). Thankfully, you have a chance of getting a "freebie" whenever you use any item, so luck (or SaveScumming) can allow you to use them multiple times.
* TookALevelInBadass: One of Bowser's subordinates had an epiphany not long after the start of the game. He [[TheGoomba sucked royally]] and decided to train his mind and body 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.
* TookAShortcut: How ''else'' would Toad get to ''the second last room in the game'', which is in the middle of the enemy's factory?
* TraumaInn: All of them cost money to stay in, except for the one in Rose Town and Mario's house (obviously). In the Marrymore Inn, it's even possible to delay checking out ''until you're broke''.
%%* TrickBoss: Czar Dragon.
* TurnsRed:
** 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 DuelBoss, becoming notably stronger.
* UncommonTime: The music [[spoiler: inside Exor]] has a very strange time signature of 13/8.
%%* UndergroundLevel: Kero Sewers, the Pipe Vault and Moleville Mines.
%%* UndergroundMonkey: With so many enemies, it's almost inevitable.
%%* UnexpectedGameplayChange: The minigames, and even those have you alternating genres as well.
%%* UnwillingSuspension: Toadstool when Bowser captures her.
%%* VendorTrash: Goodie Bag.
%%* TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon: The Factory.
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential:
** When you recover that guy's wallet from Croco, you ''can'' sell it for money. [[spoiler:You shouldn't, because he rewards you with a much-harder-to-obtain if you return it.]]
** If you help the guy out in Rose Town by opening his house, you can steal from the chests inside. When he enters, he'll ask if they're okay. If you left them alone - okay, great, you get some directions in the Maze. If you ''didn't'', they contained two Flowers.
* VillainousBreakdown: [[spoiler: Smithy]] when defeated in his first form by Mario and allies, with the minions even try to calm their boss down to [[UnstoppableRage no avail]].
* WakeUpCallBoss:
** Croco serves as a wake up call to players that haven't used all available options in battle properly. Mallow is too physically weak to damage the boss and spamming Thunderbolt will quickly drain your FP and leave none for Mario to use his special attacks since the party shares FP instead of having it individually. Croco also introduces attacks that CAN'T be blocked with button timing and uses an item to heal himself. Unless the player uses the defend command for Mallow and learn how to ration FP and items, they will be in for a very rough fight.
** Bowyer also serves as a wake up call gimmick boss. After depleting some of his HP. Bowyer will lock out the battle commands (attack, items, and abilities) you've used most the past few turns and he will utterly destroy you if you don't quickly adapt to having an option taken from you.
** Yardovich is a very tough boss if you haven't optimized properly: he hits hard, has a lot of HP, and to make it even more difficult, he splits in two halfway through the fight and gets twice as many actions.
* WarmupBoss: Hammer Brothers. This battle stops constantly for Toad to explain to you have different things are done.
* WhatTheHellPlayer: 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.
** If you have rescued Toadstool from Booster, you'll bring her all the way to the Mushroom Kingdom, where you have a big conversation with the Chancellor. After the conversation, exit the castle, and you might be thinking that a "Toadstool clone" will come out of nowhere, so you have to exit the Mushroom Kingdom. The result? You can't leave the Mushroom Kingdom because (the real) Toadstool will say "Wait! Don't leave me!" That means she has to join you a second time.
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue:
** Mallow is officially crowned the prince of Nimbus Land.
** Bowser is repairing his castle, and gets mad at a Shy Guy that hijacks his Clown Car.
** Johnny Jones enjoys the sunset in the area where Yaridovich was fought.
** Croco has moved to Yo'ster Island, and befriends Boshi after losing a race to Yoshi.
** Frogfucius and his student (the one who was in Seaside Town) attend a concert conducted by Toadofsky.
** In the middle of his wedding to Valentina, Booster runs off, to the befuddlement of Dodo and the Snifits.
** Mario and Toadstool return to the Mushroom Kingdom.
* WhereItAllBegan: The first stage you enter is Bowser's castle, when a landing spaceship flings you out and make the original path you took impossible to take again. Ultimately you need to reenter the castle to challenge the invader. To do this you travel the long way around, eventually forming a complete circle on your map.
* WhoDares: In Johnny Jones' lair: "How ''dare'' you dodge the barrel!"
* WorkOffTheDebt: 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.
* XMeetsY: It is best described as SuperMarioBros meets Franchise/FinalFantasy, to ''awesome'' effect.
* YouDontLookLikeYou: Some of the returning characters and enemies look different than their official appearance, even before this game. Example: The Hammer Brothers look like thugs in this game, in comparison to their usually cutesy appearances within the other games.
* YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle: The party finally manages to exorcise Exor, only to realize the portal to Smithy's factory is still open. Now that he's gotten his castle back, Bowser is content to leave everyone to rot, but Geno persuades him that Smithy could crash it again.

->''"No, you may NOT sleep in the princess's bed! Have you no manners?"''