Video Game / Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga

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Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga is the first game in the Mario & Luigi spinoff series of the beloved Mario franchise, released in 2003 for the Game Boy Advance, and for the Wii U eShop in April 2014.

In one of the most elaborate original games made for the Game Boy Advance, Mario is sent to the Beanbean Kingdom, which conveniently adjoins the Mushroom Kingdom. Luigi reluctantly goes along after Mario and Bowser join forces. The Big Bad Cackletta reportedly has stolen Princess Peach's voice (yes, her voice) in order to activate the Beanstar, an artifact with the power to grant wishes.

Superstar Saga has a remake for the Nintendo 3DS, called Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions, that was released October 2017, updated to the same graphical style of Dream Team and Paper Jam. As indicated by the addition to the game's title, included in this remake is a new mode called Minion Quest: The Search for Bowser, which features Bowser's minions banding together in order to rescue their master.

Minion Quest's tropes can be found here.

Tropes appearing in the original game:

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: The level cap is 99, and you'll most likely be around level 45 by the time you reach the final boss.
  • Accidental Misnaming:
    • Characters invent names for Luigi, because they keep forgetting his name.
    • Popple keeps referring to Mario and Luigi as "Red and Green" because he doesn't care to know their names.
  • Action Insurance Gag: At the end of the early gameplay scenes, Bowser's Koopa Cruiser is destroyed by Fawful. Talking to one of the Koopa Troopas found afterwards yields the comment, "The K-Koopa Cruiser... We haven't finished... paying it off.."
  • Adipose Rex: Queen Bean is a rare female example.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: The Chuckolator, an animated barrel of soda created from infamous jokes and puns.
  • Apathetic Citizens: One of the Beanbean Castle Town residents asks you to find his pets for him once the town's started to rebuild from the attack. He tells you the little critters "aren't super-motivated, so they're probably still around town someplace". He seems to be of a type since he can't be bothered to go find them himself.
  • Artistic License – Economics: At the start of the game, the exchange rate between Mushroom Kingdom coins and Beanbean coins is pretty shabby, something like 100M = 10B. Later on, Prince Peasley cockily bets 99,999,999,999,999 Mushroom Kingdom coins that he'll find the Plot Coupons first; even with the poor exchange rate, this is a pretty sweet deal. But when he makes good on the bet at the end of the game, the converted value of his promised ante is...99 Beanbean coins, meaning that over the course of a single game, the Mushroom Kingdom's economy has crashed so irretrievably that statistically, even the houseflies are begging for change in the streets of the nearest stable economy (probably Beanbean). Although it does take Money for Nothing to its logical conclusion.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Trunkle's tree on its head, as using several Bros. attacks on it can take it out before it is able to divide.
  • Baleful Polymorph:
    • Prince Peasley was turned into a dragon and trapped inside an egg before the game's events began — the dragon is a very early boss fight. Apparently Mario and Luigi beating the stuffing out of the dragon breaks the spell.
    • Woohoo Hooniversity professors are shown to get turned into Laser Snifits.
    • Bowser after being possessed by Cackletta. His face becomes Cackletta's and he gains some "female anatomy", to say the least.
  • Balloon Belly: Whenever Mario drinks out from a water fountain and at one point, the Chuckola Reserve.
  • Barrier Change Boss: Mom Piranha's elemental weakness changes depending on her colornote , and is healed if hit by the wrong element.
  • Berserk Button: Jojora doesn't react well when you attack her friends. On the other hand, she doesn't seem to mind too much being attacked herself, as she has killer defense. However, she will leave if you counter her attack.
  • Beta Couple: Toadsworth and Lady Lima.
  • Big Bad: Cackletta, who wants to conquer the Mushroom Kingdom with the power of the Bean Star.
  • Bishie Sparkle: When Prince Peasley flips his hair, the entire screen goes white. Downplayed on one occasion due to the prince being shrunken.
  • Bland-Name Product: The Starbeans Café is an obvious take-off of the real-world Starbucks chain.
  • Book Ends:
    • The first time you see the Beanbean Kingdom, it's been destroyed. Towards the climax, when you come back, it's been destroyed again.
    • You ride the Koopa Cruiser to the Beanbean Kingdom at the start of the game, which serves as the site for several tutorials and the first mini-boss, who ultimately destroys it. Between the last and second-last dungeons, you ride it again after its repair job. These instances are roughly thirty hours of gameplay apart.
  • Boss Bonanza: The game has a separate boss fight for each of the seven Koopalings in Bowser's Castle, followed by Fawful, Bowletta, and the Essence of Cackletta.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: One of the Dummied Out scenes in Starbeans Café has Wario say "Now that I’m here, this game’s finally gettin’ good!" and later "Don’t you have free drinks for celebrity guest stars in this game?".
  • The Bus Came Back: The Koopalings return after being absent for more than a decade since Super Mario World. They got Put on a Bus again until 2009.
  • But Thou Must!: You're forced to sit through the Hammerhead Bros.' tutorial even if you've mastered how the hammer works.
  • Butt-Monkey: Poor Bowser. He gets curbstomped by Fawful, gets stuck in a cannon, gets fired out of it, hits his head so hard he loses his memory, works as Popple's lackey for some time as "Rookie", finally regains his memory but falls who-knows-how-far from the Beanstar, gets possessed by Cackletta, gets his castle blown up, gets beaten up by the Mario Brothers, then finally gets blown up with the castle and hits the screen, and is then dragged home by the plane and it's implied that he got a cold. He's not gonna try to kidnap Peach for a while.
  • Call-Back: The Koopalings are fought in the same order they were in Super Mario World, and the same three pairs (Iggy and Larry, Morton and Roy, and Lemmy and Wendy) are again given similar fighting styles, with Ludwig joining Morton and Roy at least in the original game.
  • The Cameo: Geno from Super Mario RPG shows up to teach you how to play the Surprisingly Easy Miniquest, with Square Enix's permission.
  • Camera Abuse: After Cackletta's spirit is destroyed and Bowser turns back to normal, he gets blasted out of his castle as the Self Destruct Sequence finishes, and hits the screen, cracking it. He then slides down the screen before falling into the ocean far below.
  • Captain Ersatz: Popple is suspiciously similar to Croco.
  • Cash Gate: You need 100 coins to get a hand massage, which is required to learn the dash and walking backwards moves.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Remember Blablanadon from the Hoohoo areas? He's the only way to access Bowser's Castle at the end of the game.
  • Cloud Cuckooland: Beanbean Kingdom, full stop.
  • Cognizant Limbs:
    • Cackletta's arms and head need to be destroyed before her heart can be targeted.
    • You have to smack Queen Bean's arms for her pointy crown to fall off, but you can bypass all that if you've learned Splash Bros. Advance, though you may still wish to destroy the arms to prevent her from using her shockwave attacks that can hit both brothers.
    • Hermie III's claws can be targeted. He'll counter every attack used against him with his claws if his claws aren't down.
  • Collection Sidequest: Finding all the coffee beans, including the hidden Hee beans.
  • Combination Attack: The main draw of the game is the way Mario and Luigi team up for puzzles and fighting. In all, their Bros. Moves are the Splash Bros, Chopper Bros, Fire Bros, Bounce Bros, Knockback Bros, Thunder Bros, Swing Bros, and Cyclone Bros.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: A Toad in Little Fungitown is playing an arcade game like this.
  • Console Cameo: The Game Boy Horror SP is a modified Game Boy Advance SP.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Upon defeating Popple in his final battle, Birdo Turns Red and declares that "this is as far as you go!" This is the same line she would open her boss battles with in the Super Mario Advance version of Super Mario Bros. 2.
    • The moment Mario enters the castle's plaza, a Toad hopes his vacation hasn't slowed him down, referencing Super Mario Sunshine.
  • Cross Dresser: Luigi dressing up as Princess Peach (even doing a Noblewoman's Laugh, if only to conceal his mustache).
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: At the start of the game, Fawful one-shots Bowser with an attack that would otherwise take five or so hits to defeat a Bro.
  • Damsel in Distress: In a unique twist, Princess Peach isn't kidnapped... but her voice is. Well, she still gets kidnapped later, but it isn't the usual "whole game" deal. Even then, it's not Peach's voice that's kidnapped. It's Birdo's. Apparently, anyone can put on a pink dress and a wig and pass for Princess Peach, since Birdo, Luigi and even an alien do it throughout the various Mario & Luigi games.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Luigi gets his moment to shine during a few plot points, such as having to go to a haunted house when Mario is incapacitated.
  • Dead All Along: The grizzled old bean in a rocking chair who oversees the minecart minigame seems harmless and rocks in his chair with his trusty bright green dog at his side, he makes mention of how he's come to the end of his road. After you play the minigame and come to the end of the minecart tracks, he spontaneously fades into view right before you enter the room to greet you. Old dude's a ghost.
  • Death Mountain: Hoohoo Mountain. Hoohoo Village is located halfway up the mountain, but it was formerly populated by the Hoohooligans. The climb up the mountain shows their weapon Hoohooros, and jokes written on the walls in Hooroglyphs, an ancient form of writing.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: This happens to all the bosses, even if they are alive in the cutscene that follows.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: To an extent. After Tolstar is defeated, he reappears when the Brothers are cornered and accused by a group of Beanbean guards, vouching for your innocence.
  • Developers' Foresight: The Tutorial Bowser, as with all the Bowser boss fights during the game, is programmed to be healed if it's hit with a fire-based attack and be vulnerable to thunder-based attacks. It's only possible to use these attacks on the Tutorial Bowser via hacking, since at the point in the game you're supposed to be fighting him, you only have Mario, and he only has one attack at the time: The element-neutral "jump" attack.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Cackletta the first time you face her, and she has somewhat nasty attacks to boot.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: Woohoo Hooniversity houses the fight with Cackletta... and the second showdown with Popple and Rookie.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: Fawful's infamous "Mustard of Doom".
  • The Drag-Along: Luigi, at first. In fact, the literal example at the beginning (where Mario runs to Peach's Castle while dragging Luigi who is tangled in a rope tied around Mario) provides this trope's page image.
  • The Dragon: Fawful, but later he wishes he was the main villain. He later gets his wish in Bowser's Inside Story.
  • Drop the Hammer: Mario and Luigi get hammers after the second dungeon, and they are upgraded twice over the course of the game.
  • Dual Boss: Popple and his various "rookie" sidekicks.
  • Dummied Out: The game code contains dialog for several different characters giving you the different accessories from mixing bean juice: Wario for the Greed Wallet, Samus Aran for the Power Grip, Link for the Great Force, Fox McCloud for the Bonus Ring, Captain Olimar (who speaks in boxless dialogue) for the Cobalt Necktie, and the racer from Excitebike for the Excite Spring. Professor E. Gadd would only show up to deliver the Game Boy Horror. TMK has the scripts for the lost cameos.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The game has a number of mechanics that don't appear in future installments, namely the ability to switch leaders (in other words, make it so that Mario's following Luigi and not the other way around, for the purpose of using certain techniques), the Firebrand and Thunderhand powers (though techniques such as the Fire and Ice Flowers are usable in later games), the fact that the hammers the Mario Brothers obtains get upgraded twice over the course of the story (to break blocks they couldn't before), the fact that you can change the difficulty of the Bro Moves to make it harder or easier in exchange for altering the amount of BP it uses and its power, and the fact that it's possible for Mario and Luigi to figure out how to do variations of their existing Bro Attacks.
    • These are the only Mario and Luigi games where the Bros. Attacks are based around the techniques Mario and Luigi learn to navigate around the overworld. As a consequence, they're the only games in the series where they're acquired automatically (except for the two secret Bros. Attacks) instead of one collecting items in order to perform them (Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time) or collecting enough Attack Pieces (Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story onwards). Consequently, this is the only Mario and Luigi game not to have a variation of the Green Shell/Red Shell Bro attack.
    • This is the only Mario and Luigi game not to have an Exposition Fairy of some sort.
    • Several recurring Mario enemies are given unique designs, including Dry Bones walking on all fours, thin and birdlike Boomerang Bros. and Hammer Bros. that are much fatter (making them look more like Sledge Bros. than typical Hammer Bros.). Later games use the standard designs of these enemies, while the remake only leaves Dry Bones unchanged; the Boomerang Bros. kept their designs but were reclassified as a separate type of enemy called Beanerang Bros., while other classic Mario enemies, such as Hammer Bros., use more standard designs.
    • Bowser (and his other identities as Rookie and Bowletta) are much shorter (he's about the same height as Mario) than the other appearances of him, which is even more obvious when his updated sprites are used in the remakes.
  • Easter Egg: Mario jumping on Bowser in the cannon gives three coins, as coins play a major role later in the cutscene and it's possible to lose all of your coins beforehand by running from the Fighter Flies.
  • Eating the Enemy: Attempted by Bowletta during the final boss fight. They pretend to be defeated, only for a bomb to knock out the Bros., and they inhale the Mario Bros. up. Unfortunately, this became their undoing, as it led to a Womb Level where the Bros. were able to take on the Essence of Cackletta, and destroy her heart, thus ending Cackletta for good.
  • Embedded Precursor: Superstar Saga includes the Game Boy Advance remake of the Mario Bros. arcade game. It's the same remake included with the Super Mario Advance games.
  • Enemy Mine: Bowser. However, he helps the brothers only because he doesn't like other bad guys taking what he wants. Sadly, it doesn't last long, though, as throughout the whole game, events conspire to prevent him from helping for anything other than getting to the Beanbean Kingdom.
  • Escort Mission: Escorting Princess Peach through Teehee Valley to Little Fungitown. You have to keep her onscreen at all times, make sure there are no enemies heading towards her, and work quickly to open the gate at each section of the valley. If you don't do one of the first two, she gets kidnapped. Mario and Luigi must rescue her and try again. However, the player can make this easier by defeating every opponent on the field, then escorting Peach.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Popple helps Mario move the Beanstar out of harm's way and bows respectfully to him before a battle.
  • Evil Laugh: Cackletta tends to... well, look at her name.
  • Evil Tastes Good: Fawful and his delicious doom mustard on victory bread.
  • Evolving Attack: If you use Bros. Attacks enough times, one of the Bros. will take a second to think and then talk to the other, allowing you to do a different version of the attack, often with its own unique properties. The alternate Spin Bros. attack, for example, does less damage to normal enemies than the original, but it also allows Mario to jump on The Spiny and do double damage to it.
  • Expy: The Beanstar could be considered pretty similar to Jirachi.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Birdo, after falling in love with Popple (if it is the same Birdo).
  • Finger Snap Lighter: Firebrand works more-or-less like this.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Sniper Bills, one of the enemies in Bowser's Castle.
  • Flipping Helpless: The brothers can't get past the giant Koopas until they've learned the fire dash attack. Using said move on the Koopas will knock them over, at which point they'll choose to stand in a place that's not in your way.
  • Flunky Boss: Mom Piranha, who is accompanied by respawning piranha plants.
  • Food Eats You: The Chuckolator, a giant monster made of soda that the Bros. fight in Chucklehuck Woods.
  • Foregone Victory: Mario can't lose the first fight with Bowser, no matter what you do. Even if you miss every single action command, Mario will win.
  • Forgettable Character: Luigi. People often seem to forget/not know his name, and what they do call him usually references the color green. For example, early in the game, we get "Mario and... Mr. Green Mario Brother Guy!" A guard in front of Beanbean Castle addressed "the famous Mario and Lui-uh... other guy", forgetting the name in mid sentence. In a later scene, the same guard noted, "A very Mario-esque fellow and a Loo...uh, some other guy!"
  • Frothy Mugs of Water:
    • There is a hilarious segment in which the characters are involved with what is obviously a wine-making business, with grapes and grape vines, fermenting, vintages, etc. — which all the characters describe as "soda". It's not so much censorship as a joke. In the airport, soda is banned on-site and will be confiscated. It is wine in the German version, however.
    • Starbeans Cafe serves "Bean Juice." Not coffee. Bean juice. Quite a bit of gameplay is even dedicated to finding specific beans to use in particular "blends." There were going to be cameo appearances by other Nintendo characters who would come and drink the coffee, but they were written out of the game.
  • Gambit Pile Up: Most allied NPCs are chessmasters at one point or another, with instances including Peach and Lady Lima completely anticipating Cackletta's fake gift and kidnapping of the princess's voice, countering the plan by swapping out her and Birdo before the opening cutscene, and nobody knowing what was going on until halfway through the game. Cackletta also manipulated crazy situations, such as making you fix the plumbing to cancel the castle security system. Even Mario and Luigi get in on it by swapping Luigi and Peach to have him infiltrate the Koopa Cruiser.
  • Gender Bender: Bowletta has Cackletta's personality and visuals in Bowser's body, even making the characters confused.
  • Global Currency Exception: Those 100 coins you got at the beginning of the game turn out to be Mushroom Coins, and are worth 10 Beanbean Coins. (This doesn't matter, as you have to surrender them immediately.) And later, when you get 99,999,999,999,999 Mushroom coins, they're worth... 99 Beanbean Coins. But how could the exchange rate fluctuate so fast? The only logical, foolproof explanation is the Rule of Funny.
  • Gold-Colored Superiority:
    • Golden Beanies have higher stats than the standard Beanie.
    • The best Hammers in the game are golden.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: The thief Popple and his various partners.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The four Beanstar shards. Notably, Mario and Luigi must find eight fruit to collect one of the shards — making it an example of Catching These Things to Catch All Of These Other Things.
  • Grand Theft Me: Happens to Bowser when Cackletta's ghost needs to quickly possess a new body in order to survive. This causes some Pronoun Trouble about whether the result is male or female.
  • Green Hill Zone: Not necessarily the first area of the game, but the Beanbean Fields definitely count as this.
  • Groin Attack: One of the Amusing Injuries you can inflict on Luigi: Use the Hammer to shrink Mario, then have Mario jump and have Luigi high-jump at the same time... You can get coins this way, but Luigi's health will gradually drop.
  • Ground Wave: At least one of the Koopalings causes ground waves by stomping when the heroic brothers fight him.
  • Hub Level: Hoohoo Castle Town. Along with Beanbean Castle being located to the North, along with E. Gadd's coffee shop, and several shops for clothing and badges.
  • Human Hammer-Throw: The Swing Bros. attack has Mario swing Luigi around and throw him towards an enemy.
  • Hypno Pendulum: Technically a Hypno Staff, but in any case, Psycho Kamek uses it to hypnotize Luigi into thinking he's Mario so he's brave enough to go to Guffawha Ruins.
  • Implausible Boarding Skills: How do you cross the ocean to get to Joke's End? Easy, Mario can use Luigi as a surfboard simply by hammering him into a convenient slot.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: Luigi's second Bros. Move, gained near the start of Chucklehuck Woods, allows him to turn Mario tiny by hitting him with a hammer.
  • Instant Expert: Mario and Luigi's Bros. Attacks. Reading the Secret Scrolls once for two moves is apparently enough as well. It's also played with, though, in that there's a hidden, more difficult form of each Bros. move — appropriately named Advanced — that can only be unlocked if the player successfully pulls off the move a large number of times.
  • Intentional Engrish for Funny: Pretty much everything Fawful says. note 
  • Item Crafting: The various coffee beans are brought to Professor E. Gadd's coffee shop and blended into stat boosting drinks. He also gives out accessories (and a skit) every time a new type of drink is brewed.
  • It's All About Me: Hermie attacks you because you barged in looking for a MacGuffin and happened to be a world-famous superstar, distracting his friends from fussing over him. Fortunately, in an optional sidequest, you can get him a replacement star that has a mutual relationship with him.
  • It's Up to You: At one point, Prince Peasley challenges the Mario Bros. to see who can get the most plot coupons, with a large bet hanging on the line. The prince fails to get even a single one, as when trying to get his first one, he gets shrunken down and eaten. In addition, at the beginning of the game, Bowser offers himself and his army to help the Mario Bros., only for them to be shot down. Ultimately subverted. You never needed to get involved in the first place, due to steps taken prior to the start of the game.
  • Knows a Guy Who Knows a Guy: Jojora is the buddy of the cousin of the descendant who once owned Joke's End.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Bowser loses his memory and ends up as Popple's dopey sidekick. He remembers it just after the second fight with Mario, but by then his mind's all but prey for Cackletta.
  • Lightning/Fire Juxtaposition: Mario and Luigi get Fire and Lightning abilities respectively. This might be due to their personalities. Mario, a hero, is brave and consistent, though his Fire powers existed before this game as the Fire Flower powerup. But Mario is also aggressive and impulsive, showing a little hotheadedness. Luigi, who is slightly lazy and cowardly (you could say that he's gone in a flash), is also more expressive in his emotions and funnier (he might have a spark of life in him). When Luigi does act, he can make all the difference, and he is as brave as his brother during events with strong enemies. Hence, the partnership between the two.
  • Literal Metaphor: Mario and Luigi have to jump the border from the Mushroom Kingdom to the Beanbean Kingdom early on. To do so, they play a game called "Border Jump", which is like fancy jump-rope.
  • Lost Woods: Chucklehuck Woods. Even the music sounds foreboding and the area is the largest seen yet at the point the brothers first come to see it.
  • Man Hug: Mario and Luigi hug each other at least three times during their adventure; the first time being in Woohoo Hooniversity after Luigi is freed from a barrel mishap, the second time after rescuing Peach from her temporary Teehee Valley kidnapping during the Escort Mission (though you can do this again if you let her be kidnapped again), and the third time is when Mario frees Luigi from his tied-up status.
  • Me's a Crowd:
    • When Trunkle starts running out of health, he'll create four couples of himself, one of which has his weak point inside. He'll then shuffle it around so that Mario and Luigi will have a harder time figuring it out.
    • Cackletta will split into three when you fight her, though each clone will only attack the Mario Brothers once per round. However, if Mario or Luigi attack the wrong one, it will burst into a swarm of bats.
    • Lemmy and Wendy can use this tactic, though they both had a tendency to give away who the real one is. It's more helpful for Wendy since she has a Time Bob-Omb, making for a good stalling tactic.
  • Metal Slime: Gold Beanies. There's a rare chance of finding one after the brothers defeat a Pestnut (there's usually just a regular Beanie inside) and they run away the moment their turn comes around, but they drop a relatively large amount of experience and the Spiny Badge, which lets you stomp spiked enemies. They later appear in Dream Team, where they're much stronger.
  • Minecart Madness: An old Beanish man offers this minigame. Notably, compared to other mini-games, it's rather easy, though it's possible to lose gems if you don't watch your surroundings.
  • Mugging the Monster: Popple and Rookie attempt to rob Bubbles of the legendary Chuckola Reserve. Unfortunately for them, he is stronger than they thought and rather crazy.
  • Mutually Exclusive Powerups: The Piranha Bean will give out either the Piranha Badge or Piranha Suit, depending on whether or not it's fought with a certain item equipped.
  • Mythology Gag: The plan to disguise Luigi as Peach and turn him over to the villains first appeared in the comic Super Mario Adventures, which was printed in Nintendo Power over a decade earlier.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Fixing Beanbean Castle's plumbing deactivates the forcefield around the Beanstar. Of course, you have to do this to progress.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Cackletta and Bowletta.
  • Nobody Poops: Lampshaded when Gadd wants to take a leak. Luigi solves this by vacuuming Gadd into the Poltergust 3000.
    Professor E. Gadd: WHERE'S THE RESTROOM?
    Clerk: Boss! You never built any toilets in this place!
  • Not Quite Dead: Unfortunately, the Mario Brothers do not realize about Cackletta's soul transfer until it's too late.
  • NPC Roadblock: Throughout the game, there are multiple large Koopas standing in areas just narrow enough that you can't go around them. You can't do anything with them until Mario and Luigi learn the fire dash maneuver, which allows them to ram the Koopa so hard that he gets knocked over, after which point he gets up and stands in a more convenient location.
    "Derr...No matter what you hit me with, you can't knock me down!...I think."
  • Ocular Gushers: Peach, who is actually Birdo in disguise, does this at the beginning of the game, and Luigi does it when telling Mario that Peach got kidnapped by Bowletta.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: Bowser's Castle.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Mario and Luigi at the beginning of the battle against Cackletta's spirit due to the brothers being reduced to 1 HP and always moving second (if they are not overleveled). Can be Defied if either Mario or Luigi is wearing the #1 Trousers, Anuboo Jeans, or Beanstar Pants and uses a healing item.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: This game has the Chuckolator. Which is literally living soda that grows stronger by the power of jokes.
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic: The Trunkle boss dies to one or two hits of the Chopper Bros. attack to the forehead.
  • Painful Pointy Pufferfish: The Puffer Cheeps are globefishes that initally look like mere blue Cheep Cheeps, but harming them will cause them to inflate, revealing quills that damage the plumbers should they jump on them. Damaging them once more will deflate them.
  • Palmtree Panic: Oho Oasis and Gwarhar Lagoon are tropical seaside regions in the eastern part of the Beanbean Kingdom.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The first few arcs of the plot stem from the fact nobody tells Mario and Luigi what's going on until about a third of the way into the game. This is justified, as Bowser managed to make his way towards Peach before the Mario Brothers did. Fortunately, it doesn't impact the brothers too much, as they still manage to cure Queen Bean after a Beanbean Castle assault and defeat Cackletta for the first time.
  • Pronoun Trouble: Queen Bean uses "he...she...uh, IT" to refer to Bowletta, the result of Cackletta pulling a Grand Theft Me on Bowser.
  • Rare Candy: The Bean Coffees. While Woo Beans and Chuckle Beans are plentiful, Hee Beans are only won in minigames, and Hoo Beans are stored in invisible blocks. There's an optional late-game minigame that awards Woo, Hoo, and Chuckle Beans, with the top prize being two of each after getting the first top prize.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Throughout their adventures in Chateau de Chucklehuck, the Bros. learn of Bubbles, the original founder and owner of the chateau and the rumored creator of Chuckola Reserve, a mysterious soda so shrouded in legend that some doubt its existence. Every indication is given that this character is long dead... until, of course, Mario and Luigi meet him in the heart of Chucklehuck Woods, where he reveals he's been perfecting his soda for the past 1000 years. And what does perfecting soda for a millennium do? Grant it life and make it try to kill you, apparently.
  • Recurring Boss:
    • Popple is fought multiple times throughout the story, and Fawful is fought after the tutorial battle with him.
    • Bowser, even being fought alongside Popple twice. You actually fight him a total of four times.
  • Royal Rapier: Used by Prince Peasley.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something:
    • Princess Peach and the Beanbean royalty had Cackletta's initial plan foiled before the game even started.
    • Prince Peasley also saves the Bros. from Fawful twice, and blows up Bowser's Castle to stop the attack on the Castle Town in the end.
  • Rump Roast: Mario's Firebrand move when he's behind Luigi involves lighting a fire under Luigi's buttocks, causing him to run at breakneck speed.
  • Saharan Shipwreck: Complete with a Skeleton Crew. They were carrying a shipment of Chuckola Cola, until one sailor drank too much and broke a hole in the ship. Mario and Luigi inadvertently give the ship its proper burial.
  • Say My Name:
    • One of the Bros. would scream the other's name if he dies during a battle.
    • Luigi screams Mario's name in complete horror right when he comes down with the "bean fever".
  • Sdrawkcab Alias: Used to hide the word "fatso".
    Skeleton: "Old Bloat is even more of an "ostaf" than before!... Whuzzat? You dunno what an "ostaf" is??? Seesh! It's simple! Try spellin' it backwards!"
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Peach's voice was never stolen; it was actually Birdo whose voice got taken away. Which explains why the Beanstar didn't like the voice.
  • Shielded Core Boss: Fawful, the second time you fight him.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Teehee Valley. It was at one point a seabed until the sea dried up.
  • Ship Level: The S.S. Chuckola, which is landlocked in Teehee Valley. The skeleton sailors here are holding one of the four Beanstar pieces hostage from the brothers, though they're willing to provide it to them if they help Old Bloat out from a crack in the wall. Unfortunately, they end up sinking before they can provide the Beanstar piece, causing it to head to Gwarhar Lagoon.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Nintendo had a few taken out — the coffee shop was supposed to have a different Nintendo cameo for each new drink, but Professor E. Gadd's role was expanded at the last minute. The accessories he gives out are all references to the characters that would have been giving them out instead.
    • The Chuckola Bounce minigame features monsters that spit rocks at you called Chuckoroks.
    • The barrel section in Woohoo Hooniversity is resembles a level from Donkey Kong.
    • One of the Hammerhead Bros., after giving Mario and Luigi their hammers, says "Now you're playing with power!" That was an advertising slogan that was used until the mid-late Super NES era.
    • The Viruses from Dr. Mario are enemies in Woohoo Hooniversity, and can be defeated by having more than one be the same color by jumping on them (the remake has a chime from the game playing when you do this).
  • Slapstick: Try having whichever brother is in the rear use their abilities on the other before you've learned the proper Bros. Techniques.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Joke's End is cold and frozen.
  • Sole Entertainment Option: A video arcade in Little Fungitown, and a cinema to the north of Beanbean Castle Town.
  • Solo Sequence: There are a few situations in which one brother is out of commission, forcing the other to go alone. In addition, there are many puzzles in which the brothers separate for short times, emphasizing the teamwork in Teamwork Puzzle Game. One dungeon consists of both characters having a solo sequence at the same time. It's Joke's End.
  • Stealth Pun: Joke's End is the place all bad jokes go due to their frigid reception.note 
  • Stuck in Their Shadow: Happens In-Universe. Characters recognize Mario, but either forget Luigi, or acknowledge that Luigi is the brother "left behind". This references older games (Super Mario RPG, Super Mario 64, the first Paper Mario 64) where Luigi stayed at home while Mario did everything. This is subverted in-game when Luigi is mistaken for a wannabe recruit.
  • Tennis Boss: Larry Koopa takes this literally, as he uses a tennis racket for one of his attacks.
  • Temple of Doom: The Guffawha Ruins which Luigi has to visit, since they contains the cure for Mario's Bean Fever.
  • Theme Naming: The places around Beanbean Kingdom are named after types of or onomatopoeia for laughter.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Luigi finally gets some recognition (including actually being called by his name) when the brothers meet some in-universe fans.
  • Training Boss: Bowser, as the tutorial. He does one point of damage to you (Mario has 11), and is automatically defeated when he is damaged on the sixth turn. Your only battle command is to attack him and hence damage him, so it's impossible to lose this fight.
  • Tree Top Town: Little Fungitown is a town built by Toads on top of a series of mushrooms.
  • Trrrilling Rrrs: Luigi says "Thunder" this way when selecting the Thunderhand ability.
  • Under the Sea: The floor of Oho Ocean.
  • Un-Evil Laugh: Fawful has a goofy, high-pitched laugh, in contrast to Cackletta's witch-like cackle.
  • Unstoppable Rage: The brothers first meet Queen Bean after Cackletta forced her to eat a Belly Blech Worm, which turned her into a muscular brute that only focused on violent destruction.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • Popple has the habit of adding "see?" to the end of his lines, see?
    • Perhaps you noticed the elderly researcher in Castle Town, and his brother in the Yoshi Theater. Both say "perhaps" often.... Perhaps! (Note: The former uses the word pretty much anywhere in his sentences, whereas the latter always sticks them at the end.)
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Poor Luigi gets on the receiving end of this if you attempt a High Jump when Mario is mini, and have Mario jump just before Luigi lands on top of him. You earn one coin for pulling this off, but Luigi loses one HP in return (4 HP in the remake), and looks like he got racked in the balls. It's hilarious to pull off, though.
  • Video Game Stealing: Swing Bros. Advanced can allow the Bros. to steal an item from an enemy.
  • Vile Villain, Laughable Lackey: Fawful was Cackletta's Dragon, and his strange way of talking was played for laughs.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Queen Bean — at that point, the game quits playing around with you and expects you to really know how to do timed attacks, dodge, and counter. Fortunately, taking out her arms will weaken her.
  • Warm-Up Boss:
    • Tolstar, who simply throws spiked balls at our heroes, occasionally trying to fake out our heroes by tossing them above their heads. He eventually starts attacking more when his HP goes down.
    • Before Tolstar comes Fawful, who introduces the concept of enemies telegraphing their attacks to distinguish which brother they are attacking.
  • Weapons-Grade Vocabulary: Peach's (actually Birdo's) voice is stolen and replaced with Cackletta's explosive vocabulary. The characters keep having to scurry out of harm's way whenever she speaks. Then she attempts a full paragraph, and blows out every window in the castle.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Hammering Mario or Luigi or setting fire/electrocuting Luigi or Mario before they have learnt the appropriate moves will cause the unlucky bro to yell at his tormentor.
    • Peach wants to go to Little Fungitown. Luigi thinks it's a bad idea. Mario whacks Luigi on the head with his hammer and says "Let's go!" Problem solved.
  • Wicked Witch: Cackletta is a witch and uses magic to attack.
  • Womb Level: The final boss battle takes place inside Bowser/Bowletta's stomach, though it strangely looks more like a volcano interior than a stomach. In the remake it looks even less like a stomach.
  • The Worf Effect: At the start of the game, Bowser gets knocked out in one hit by Fawful. The same attack takes at least 5 hits to down a bro.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Actually averted here, due to the heroes being one step ahead. No, not the Bros., the royalty. The villains fail to obtain both Peach's voice and the Beanstar due to a Batman Gambit by the Princess herself, thus they start bombing the Beanbean Kingdom out of rage.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Once Luigi learns how to properly shock his brother with the Thunderhand on the field, the Bros. gain the ability to move in sync with one another as well as the ability to walk backwards. Why Luigi needs to electrocute Mario order for them to accomplish this is a mystery.

Tropes appearing in the remake:

  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • The very odd-looking Boomerang Bros. from the original game are renamed to Beanarang Bros. for the remake so they could keep the same design. Traditional Boomerang Bros. appear in Minion Quest. Averted with the quadrupedal Dry Bones, which keep the same name even though bipedal Dry Bones are also present.
    • The tougher Palette Swaps of certain enemies went by the same names as the first versions in the original game, but here they get the "Elite" descriptor, which was originally exclusive to the Elite Troopea.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Geno's cameo is gone in the remake.
    • Psycho Kamek is gone and is replaced with Dr. Toadley.
    • Mecha-Chomps from Woohoo Hooniversity are replaced with Mechakoopas, a standard Bowser troop that appeared in Dream Team and Paper Jam. Both of these enemies share a mechanic where they malfunction after taking a hit, swapping the meaning of their attack signals.
    • The now-obsolete Power Grip is gone entirely. The new fifth cameo item, the Secret Specs, is a Virtual Boy.
  • The Artifact: In the original, when Mario jumps on Bowser while he's stuck in Tolstar's cannon, he gets three coins. This was done in case Mario and Luigi were to run from the two Fighter Flies before Tolstar and lose all of their money, which Tolstar would take in his introduction. In the remake, there's no way to lose money until Hoohoo Village, but the three coins are still there.
  • Art Evolution: Several of the familiar enemies who had a different appearance in the GBA game were redesigned to look more like they do in the main games as well as later Mario & Luigi games (for example, Hammer Bros. have paler beaks and aren't barefoot anymore). This also extends to their Beanbean Kingdom derivatives, like Troopeas, who went from being quadrupeds to bipeds.
  • Art Shifted Sequel: In comparison to the previous 3DS Mario & Luigi titles, the game is primarily pixel-based like the original Game Boy Advance version instead of a Sprite/Polygon Mix. It also runs at a full 60 frames per second, instead of 30.
  • But Thou Must!: Averted with the Hammerhead Bros.' tutorial, which can now be skipped and is even the default option. They even drop the guilt-tripping (i.e., "Ouch! Try bein' polite, will ya?"). You can refuse their help with awkward silence when they insist on showing you. The Koopa on the Koopa Cruiser also allows you to skip his tutorial, but the field move tutorials in Stardust Fields, Chateau de Chucklehuck, and Gwarhar Lagoon still cannot be skipped.
  • Call-Back: The seven Koopalings are still fought in the order from World in the main game, and again with the same pairs with the same strategies. Ludwig, however, gets a completely unique fight like he did in World rather than being grouped with Morton and Roy like in the original.
  • Call-Forward: Dr. Toadley appears in this game (in place of Psycho Kamek), though he first appeared in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story.
  • Console Cameo: The remake replaces the Power Grip with a Virtual Boy. The arcade games at the Little Fungitown Game Center and Bowletta's messages in the remake use a Nintendo 3DS.
  • Continuity Nod: In Mario's slightly redesigned house is a trophy, a Wii Wheel, a tennis racket, and a golf club.
  • Death-or-Glory Attack: This is now the tactic of Ludwig von Koopa, throwing a giant orb at you that will kill instantly whoever gets hit, while having to block smaller orbs.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: If you have problems with the Action Commands for Bros. Attacks, you can opt to switch to an Easy version that makes the commands easier; however, Easy Bros. Attacks will eat up an extra 50% of the normal cost.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: After leaving the castle for the first time, Luigi will still sulk over not getting a badge, even though enemies can drop them before that point (and he most likely has one equipped by then).
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: While all of the bosses originally had some relevance or foreshadowing, Trunkle can no longer be seen before his boss fight and has no extra appearances, making him this.
  • Interface Screw: Iggy Koopa does this in the remake when you fight him in Bowser's Castle now, swapping your stats around on the bottom screen.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Just like Shiny RoboBowser, Cackletta's Soul is a 3D model instead of a sprite, though her arms are still 2D.
  • Retcon:
    • Bowser's amnesia was caused by being shot out of Tolstar's cannon in the original, but here it's caused by Captain Goomba falling on his head during the events of "Minion Quest".
    • Bowletta's voice and roars, which were unique to her in the original, are replaced with Bowser's growls.
    • Cackletta's Soul's right and left arms are now blue and red respectively, though her design remains unchanged.
    • In the original, the Koopalings were The Voiceless, even their roar was just a noise at best. Here, they have their usual voice acting and can talk, even in Bowser's Castle (Roy Koopa himself explains the Bob-Ombs instead of the game). This is likely to follow the fact that they could talk in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam.
    • In the original game, it was implied that the Koopalings and most of Bowser's army were brainwashed to serve Bowletta in the endgame. Although Fawful does brainwash the Koopalings in the Minions Quest game, it is retconned when you fight them in Bowser's Castle in the remake, that they (under Captain Goomba's command) were ordered to defeat Mario by Bowser ... who was just Bowletta in disguise. This also removes the scene where Bowletta calls the Koopalings as you enter the castle in the original game entirely.
    • Thanks to an in-story mixup by Captain Goomba in "Minion Quest", the 'Invincishroom' Mario eats in Little Fungitown is clearly a Poison Mushroom. Causes a bit of a plot hole as a result, since there's still dialogue about possibly getting sick eating things from other regions.
  • Scenery Porn: The game's graphics look wonderful, having taken Dream Team and Paper Jam's artstyle and improved upon it. Bowser's Castle especially due to the lighting.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop:
    • Heart blocks, which were previously exclusive to the Japanese version of the original, appear in all versions here.
    • An icon telling players to move shows up when Toad is controlled to make it more obvious he is being controlled. Similarly, the Mario Bros. have a conversation to alert players they need a hammer to leave Hoo Hoo Village.
    • Bros. Attacks now have red and green rings to help the player with timing the attacks.
    • Zig-zagged with Cackletta's Soul: while it can be restarted without having to beat Bowletta again and having the boss's Speed reduced (so a reasonably leveled Bros. pair will have a chance to heal from the previous HP to 1 attack before being hit again), she got a massive buff to HP and a lot more attacks than the GBA version, making her a Marathon Boss.
  • Shout-Out: The Limbo Bros. have a new attack animation in which they launch themselves in a flying headbutt with a pose identical to E.Honda.
  • Took a Level in Badass: While a lot of the bosses have been buffed to some extent, Trunkle gets the biggest treatment by making the fight more complex while making it implausible to end the fight in one turn.
  • Turns Red: Similar to Paper Jam, once you get a boss at low health, they'll start to get angry and turn reddish, something that was only done with Bowletta in the original game.
  • You Don't Look Like You:
    • Bink, originally a Donkey Kong-looking skeleton, now looks identical to the rest of the S.S. Chuckola's crew.
    • Inverted with the Koopa Troop, who now look closer to the way they do in most other Mario games.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/MarioandLuigiSuperstarSaga