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Video Game: Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
The second game in the Mario & Luigi RPG series, released in 2005 for the Nintendo DS. The Japanese name is Mario and Luigi RPG 2x2.

The game changes a few game mechanics from the first one, and teams the brothers up with their time-travelling baby selves, who previously appeared in the Yoshi's Island games as well as some of the sports game spinoffs. Princess Peach travels to the past and is promptly kidnapped when the Mushroom Kingdom of the past is invaded by the alien Shroobs. Our Heroes go into the past to find her and have to collect the crystal shards that formed the Cobalt Star that was used to power the time machine in the first place while teaming up with their infant selves as well. Other than that, it's still pretty much the same game with some limited usage of the DS's features. The move-sets were altered to give each pair (bros and babies) unique items and moves, such as only the babies using hammers, and the Bros. moves in battle have been replaced by Bros. items instead.

Tropes appearing in this game:

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: Level 100.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: The Shroobs in general.
  • Alien Invasion: By the Shroobs against the Mushroom Kingdom.
  • And I Must Scream: The fate of some Toads early in the game. Poor Toadiko and later Toadbert. Fortunately, they are revived at the end, but that doesn't make it any less scary.
  • Angry Fist-Shake: Luigi when Stuffwell lands on him after coming out of the first time hole. Also when Baby Mario snaps Luigi back to consciousness with a hammer whack to the head. This makes the babies cry causing Mario to get angry causing Luigi to then cry.
  • Badass Adorable: Baby Mario and Baby Luigi of course!
  • Bad Boss: Elder Princess Shroob frequently outright kills her henchmen during her (two, unless you count Shrowser) battles against the Mario Brothers...
  • Balloon Belly: Baby Mario can get like this by guzzling from a water source.
  • Bandit Mook: Dark Boos, who steal an item from the Bros should their attack connect. They flee with it the next turn if not defeated in time.
  • Big Bad: Princess Shroob.
  • Bigger Bad: Elder Princess Shroob.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Kylie Koopa disguises herself as a Shroob and ambushes the ones ambushing the heroes on the mothership.
  • Big Eater: Baby Mario and Baby Luigi sure love Yoshi Cookies! So much that they eat all of Baby Bowser's ill-gotten gains. He isn't amused.
  • Boss Bonanza: The end features a minigame fight with the Shroob Mothership, then normal boss fight with Princess Shroob, then her older sister, and then said sister's One-Winged Angel form. THEN there's a Post Final Boss, Shrowser, after that.
  • Boss Remix: Bowser's battle theme remixes his leitmotif (which has two variations, for his young and adult selves).
  • Buried Alive: Petey Piranha does this to himself in his battle with him, although he only does it up to his oversized head.
  • Butt Monkey: While the Mario & Luigi series loves to poke fun at Luigi, this game ramps it Up to Eleven and makes him a veritable Cosmic Plaything. Luigi is not only an Iron Butt Monkey (he takes a huge amount of abuse in game from enemies, objects, and Baby Mario's Hammer), but suffers through the entire game as a No Respect Guy on top of it (a few of the Toads spend a not-insignificant amount of time suggesting Luigi leave the world-saving to Mario). And then there's the Stargate, who abuses Luigi so thoroughly that he got himself an entry under The Scrappy on this game's YMMV page.
  • Catch Phrase: Stuffwell and his "BACK TO ADVENTURE!"
  • Chekhov's Gun: Subverted with the giant Shroob key.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Toadbert and his drawing.
  • Climax Boss:
    • The fight against Bowser and Baby Bowser, who kidnapped the false Peach.
    • Before them, the fight with Petey Piranha qualifies, as he ate Peach and Kylie.
  • Cognizant Limbs:
    • The final boss has seven parts, though only three — Elder Princess Shroob's legs, crown and head — actually need to be destroyed.
    • You still do one damage if you still hit the head, which is the main target, and avoid taking out anything else. Said Final Boss has 3000(US)/2000(Everywhere else) HP.
  • Collection Sidequest: Finding the buried beans to trade for goodies at Fawful's Shop.
  • Cool Chair: Princess Shroob uses one during her battle with the Mario Brothers.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • The Corruption: Shroobified enemies tend to have darker palettes, and a mixture of Red Eyes, Take Warning and Black Eyes of Evil.
  • Darker and Edgier: This game is much darker than the first one. You've seen the And I Must Scream trope in the list, above, right? It gets worse.
  • Deadly Dodging: How you beat Shrowser.
  • Defanged Horrors: As a Mario Bros game, it clearly refrains from reveling in gruesome imagery, but there's some pretty horrific stuff going on that it glosses over. Take the Yoob, the giant Shroobified Yoshi that idly rampages across Yoshi's Island and consumes its inhabitants one by one. It doesn't actually eat them; located within its innards is a factory where the yoshis are converted, one by one, into Yoob eggs. Stuffwell and all four Mario Bros react with revulsion.
  • Disc One Final Dungeon: You go through the Shroob Mothership about ten hours into the game.
  • Dummied Out: The "Scoot-Bloop" enemy, which would have originally appeared in the Vim Factory.
  • Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion: An entire alien army is bested by four plumbers, and two of them were infants! Hell, one of said infants' tears were all it takes to undo the damage they've done!
  • Evil Counterpart: The Shroobs often act like this to the Toads, even having an enemy ingame known as the Shroobsworth. The Shroobs also have evil counterparts to other Mario characters, such as Princess Shroob to Princess Peach, Yoob to Yoshi, and the Shrooboids to Mario and Luigi (note that the elder one is red and the junior green).
  • Evil-Detecting Baby:
    • When Princess Shroob arrives in the Mushroom Kingdom disguised as Princess Peach, Baby Peach is seemingly the only one to recognize her as she cries right in front of her.
    • Also, Baby Luigi. He cries when he sees the spirit of the Cobalt Star which is really the Elder Princess Shroob sealed inside.
  • Exotic Entree: When Baby Bowser is choking on stolen cookies, he is offered milk from Kamek, who insists it's from an evil cow. It's goes well with good cookies apparently.
  • Exposition Fairy: Stuffwell the talking suitcase.
  • The Faceless: Princess Shroob's face is not actually seen up until the point you enter the Koopaseum. Later, when she poses as Peach, a Shroob mushroom on her face is part of her disguise. With a wig, dress, and gloves, she looks exactly like Peach.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Play any other game featuring Petey Piranha as a boss besides New Super Mario Bros.. He's a simple Warm-Up Boss with little plot importance in each. In THIS game, however, he eats Peach and Kylie, is a Climax Boss, and is rather challenging in battle. (So, in a sense, the trope is inverted.)
  • Fission Mailed: You have to lose to the Shroobs in Hollijolli Village so that the Baby Mario Bros. can join you.
  • Flanderization: Luigi's cowardice and ineptitude are inflated to their limits in this game, to the point where he seems as childish as the babies.
    • Toadsworth was also flanderized in this game: In his debut game, Super Mario Sunshine, he was obviously worried about Peach, but remained somewhat level-headed about it. Come this game, he's paranoid to the point of believing his past self to be a criminal who turned Peach into a baby to kidnap her, and doesn't trust him too much even after he learns the truth. Though on the plus side, it does give him more of a personality than he had in Sunshine.
  • Foreshadowing: Plenty.
  • Funny Background Event: In Gritzy Desert, while Kylie Koopa is talking to Mario, Luigi is being chased by a Shroob and the babies are pursuing it with hammers. Luigi also gets hit by the hammer and eventually collapses with a "Mamma mia!"
  • Going for the Big Scoop: Kylie's personal goal in the game is to write a book about the Shroob Invasion. She succeeds.
  • Gold-Colored Superiority: The game had a golden version of a early mook that appears halfway through the game. Although this one has lower health than the original, it compensates by having a higher defense and attack power.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: When Mario and Luigi first encounter the Shroobs, they get drawn into a fight with three Shroob enemies. Each of these enemies has about 15 HP and a simple attack pattern... but there's also an UFO flying overhead with a countdown timer set to three turns (after which it'll take the bros out but good). At their current power level, it's barely possible to take down one of these guys in that time frame.

    This segues into the Babies pulling off a Big Damn Heroes and using these same three Shroobs as a tutorial fight for Bros. Items.
  • I Hate Past Me: Bowser ends up meeting his past self in Thwomp Volcano, and the two of them proceed to fight over which one gets to use the place as an evil lair. They eventually decide to team up, but neither one ever figures out the other's identity.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Kylie Koopa is always out for the next scoop.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: Hollijolli Village's background music is based around a depressing-sounding version of Jingle Bells.
  • Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: Not exactly "killed", but the Shroobs have a frustratingly chronic habit of invoking this. Whenever a character tries to explain a single word about the Cobalt Star and what it contains, he or she will be shroobified before getting to finish. The only exception is Princess Peach herself, who instead gets interrupted constantly until Baby Bowser fully reassembles the star.
  • Large Ham: Bowser, as usual. Given a twist by his unintentional fall through a Time Hole, where he meets his younger self, Baby Bowser (who can only be described as a Small Ham). The two team up and battle the Bros. despite both Bowser and Baby Bowser being unaware of who the other is.
  • Last Villain Stand: The Elder Princess Shroob.
  • Make My Monster Grow: The Shroobs do this to Yoob. One can only wonder how the subsequent Womb Level properly functioned prior to the size change.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: The Cobalt Star shards.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • The destroyed Toad Town section of the game is immediately followed by the celestial peace of Star Hill.
    • When you first arrive in the past, the first area has a bouncy, lively rendition of the original Mario theme, but then you get to Hollijolli village, where you have a sad version of "Jingle Bells".
  • My Future Self and Me: The gameplay hook for this game has the adult and infant Mario Bros. teaming up inside and outside battle. Having both generations of Bros. together in battle lets you use attacks and Bros. Items in new ways, such as double jumps and fireballs that can target air enemies.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Assembling the Cobalt Star, which takes 95% of the game, undoes everything Peach sought to avoid from the start of the game and unleashes the Elder Princess Shroob.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Princess Shroob's plan to take over the modern day Mushroom Kingdom while disguised as Peach would have probably been much more successful had Bowser not shown up and attempted to kidnap her, hurling them both back into the past in the ensuing chaos.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: the only Game Over that can happen outside of battle. When you get to use the Shroob flying saucer, its controls need the plumbers to hit four blocks by jumping. If you fail, the flying saucer falls as the screen fades to black and the plumbers freak out, while you get mocked by Princess Shroob's creepy laughter.
  • Noodle Incident: Used by the gate to the Star Shrine when it talks to Luigi.
  • Ocular Gushers: Baby Luigi, Baby Mario, Baby Peach, and Luigi all do this frequently.
  • One-Winged Angel: the Elder Princess Shroob.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Princess Shroob attacks the brothers directly only after they anger her enough by destroying her mothership.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Peach, for some reason. Given the scenario, however...
    • She does look perfectly happy in her official artwork, though.
  • Point of No Return: Used and subverted: The fight against the Shroob Mothership is the point of no return, but Stuffwell warns you about it. Even better, after you pass the PONR, he gives you the possibility to go back to before the fight, asking you every time you hit a save point.
  • Portal to the Past: They conveniently start appearing all over Peach's Castle after E. Gadd's Time Machine returns useless.
  • Post Final Boss: When Mario, Luigi, and the babies return to the present after defeating the Elder Shroob Princess, what's left of her possesses Bowser (turning him into "Shrowser") for one last battle.
  • Press X to Not Die: All you can do in the final fight against Shrowser is dodge/deflect his attacks long enough for him to whittle down his own health bar.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Fawful. I WILL! HAVE! FURY!
  • Punny Name:
    • Prof. E. Gadd. Egad. Geddit?
    • Sunnycide, as well.
  • Sad Battle Music: The Final Boss music.
  • Schrödinger's Plumber: The Copy Flower makes practically an infinite number of clones of the bros. The one that messes up is the real one, so theoretically all of the Bros. that attack are real and fake at the same time (until you mess up, anyways).
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Cobalt Star holds Elder Princess Shroob.
  • Sealed Evil In A Six Pack: The protagonists spend the game collecting several shards of the Cobalt Star. Only when they collect and put the pieces together do they realize that the star actually contained the leader of the invading aliens who was trapped inside by Princess Peach, and that by putting the star together, they release her.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Stuffwell is rather fond of this.
  • Shout-Out: The Snoozorb's appearance and sleepy motif brings to mind an infamous Metroid boss.
    • There are various references, such as the opening, the mothership crash and Princess Shroob's chair, that pretty much make the game a Mushroom Kingdom War of the Worlds.
  • Sole Entertainment Option: The arcade housed in a freakin' VOLCANO.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The ending credits theme, which sounds downright sinister compared to what you'd expect from an ending theme in a video game.
  • Spanner in the Works:
    • Like in the prequel, Bowser causes everyone a headache by choosing to kidnap Princess Peach at the worst possible moment. This time it turns out to be a good thing however, as "Princess Peach" was actually a disguised Princess Shroob.
    • Baby Bowser plays this trope in a much worse fashion, suddenly appearing in Shroob Castle to assemble the Cobalt Star after the Bros. were told not to. Cue Final Boss.
  • Speaking Simlish: Everyone. The Bros' version sounds vaguely Italian, with a few recognizable words; the Shroobs are entirely tonal.
  • Sucking-In Lines: Serves as a tell for the Snoozorb enemy. If the lines are spinning, the laser they shoot will go overhead, meaning that you shouldn't jump.
  • Sugar Apocalypse: What happens to Toad Town and Hollijolli Village. The latter is probably more unsettling, as it happens right as Mario and Luigi are watching, and right during Christmas.
  • Take That: The Brainwashed Hammer Bros. speak entirely in 1337-speak in the English release. After they're freed from the mind control, one of them remarks "Seriously, who talks like that?"
  • That Liar Lies: The Star Gate accuses Luigi of this when Luigi was only given three options instead of 4: Everyone! The Star Gate is the true liar but it's all part of a test.
  • The All Solving Hammer: Baby Mario constantly attempts to solve things by hitting them with his hammer.
  • Theme Naming: All Shroob lifeforms and otherwise Shroobified enemies will be indicated not only by their appearance but by the structure of their names. Natural Shroobs tend to have the full word "Shroob" in their name, while Shroobified classic Mario Bros. enemies tend to have "S-", "Shr-", or "-oob" appended somewhere to their name.
  • Time Travel: The plot is half this and half Alien Invasion.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: It's probably best not to analyze this at all, as the time travel doesn't even try to make sense. There's a great timey-wimey scene that combines Meanwhile, in the Future with Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory — The Bros give younger Professor E. Gadd a Eureka Moment, and we cut to older Professor Gadd, who is having the idea at the same time, and is aware that it's because his memory is changing.
    • A less apparent example occurs with Princess Shroob disguising herself as Peach to take over the Mushroom Kingdom of the present. It is quite clear that the Mario Bros. and their baby counterparts are the only people in the Kingdom capable of fighting off the Shroob invasion, so every time they return to the present before the Shroobs are defeated, they are leaving the past Kingdom completely vulnerable to Shroob takeover. Princess Shroob shouldn't need to go to the present because the present Peach's Castle should be Shroob Castle without anyone to fight against it over the timeskip.
  • Underground Monkey: Many enemies and bosses are "Shroobified" versions of standard Mario enemies. One good example is the Tanoomba (itself an Underground Monkey of the basic Goomba), which gets a Shroob variant (the Tashrooba) in the final dungeon.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: The Shroobs. Murderous invaders who attack innocent civilians, entrap Toads and drain their vim for UFO fuel, and turn the entire world into Mordor. They express no concern for the concept of innocents and are quite happy to attack even Baby Mario & Luigi. And they attack Hollijolli Village right on Christmas Eve.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Given what a short temper Princess Shroob has, it's not surprising that she eventually goes berserk following the destruction of her Shroob mothership...
  • Warm-Up Boss: Baby Bowser (for Baby Mario) and Junior Shrooboid (for Mario). Naturally, you can't lose either fight.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: How to dispose of evil toxic fungal life-sucking alien Bio-Weapons? Cry on them.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Tons. The captured toads, though revived at the end, are never directly rescued, Yoob is literally left hanging, Junior Shrooboid just vanishes, and Toadiko and Toadbert are never seen returning to the present. The last one, however, is addressed in the sequel. Toadbert made it back.
  • Where It All Began: The endgame takes place in Shroob Castle, which is the Shroobified version of Peach's Castle, the first area you explore. The Post Final Boss fight with Shrowser also takes place in Peach's throne room, where you first fought Baby Bowser and Junior Shrooboid at the very beginning.
  • Wingdinglish: How the Shroob language is presented.
  • Womb Level: Yoob's stomach.
  • Would Hurt a Child: None of the bosses which are obviously sapient show any hesitation in attacking Mario and Luigi while they are carrying their baby selves on their backs. Not to mention that killing their baby selves would affect other characters more than just emotionally.

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Mario & Luigi: Superstar SagaTurnOfTheMillennium/Video GamesMario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story
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alternative title(s): Partners In Time; Mario And Luigi Partners In Time
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