YMMV / Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga


  • Annoying Video Game Helper:
    • The Hammerhead Bros.' But Thou Must! attitude towards their Hammer tutorial, complete with pretending to allow you to skip it and then coming back, can really make them come across as this.
    • The Koopa Troopa that teaches Mario and Luigi how to fight as a pair pulls a similar tutorial skip fakeout. If you decline the tutorial, he pretty much says, "Okay, but if you get beaten due to your ignorance, it would be all your fault." Once you get to a mandatory fight against a Goomba, however, the Koopa suddenly reappears and gives you the tutorial anyway, claiming that Bowser would get upset with him if he doesn't.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Bowser has become this in hindsight, thanks to his more badass and competent appearances in Bowser's Inside Story, Dream Team and Paper Jam. Superstar Saga is arguably the Mario game that shows Bowser at his most patheticnote , as he spends most of the game either as an amnesiac sidekick to Popple or a passive vessel for Cackletta, all while being kicked around by the universe and not having a single boss fight as himself other than the tutorial fight. As such, fans of Bowser's later appearances tend to dislike how he was portrayed in this game, while other fans find his comic relief antics amusing and enjoy his Butt-Monkey role across the RPGs. Some in the latter camp argue that if Bowser wasn't benched in the story, then there wouldn't be as much focus on the other villains, and Superstar Saga was one of the very few Mario games at the time not to have Bowser as a main villain.
  • Broken Base: Superstar Saga is the Sacred Cow of the Mario & Luigi series, so the remake caused some breakage. Many fans were disappointed by the design standardization, feeling that the game's Early Installment Weirdness with regards to character designs was one of its major charm points and that it feels soulless without them. They also dislike the removal of some unique NPCs and the Geno cameo (not helped by this game coming out after several Mario RPGs where Nintendo didn't include any truly new characters), and it uses the still-contested graphical style of Dream Team and Paper Jam. Other fans are just happy to see an RPG as unique as Superstar Saga getting attention during the Dork Age of Mario RPGs, enjoying the updated graphics and seeing the redesigns and removals as a consequence of time passing or a way of tying it in with the rest of the series.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Clumphs. They've got massive HP and generally come in pairs, making for a very long fight. And they're no slouches in the power department either, as they sport one of the biggest non-boss attack stats in the game. They can be instantly defeated by Mario's Firebrand, but it's random and you got no experience by doing it. Even worse? They're Joke's End enemies, meaning you must battle them alone along with the other monsters in the zone. And if you're controlling Luigi (who has the Thunderhand ability instead of Firebrand, meaning no instant defeat with him), prepare for a lot of pain.
    • The Gunner Guys in The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. They only have one attack, but it comes in two varieties and it's hard to determine how it will attack you. And if they hit you, you will not only take a lot of damage, but the risk of getting immobilized too. The same dungeon also features Hammer Bros (which generally appear along Gunner Guys, for extra fun). Hard-to-dodge and very powerful attacks make them one of the most dangerous enemies in the game.
  • Ear Worm: The main battle theme. Even the Bros. dance along with it.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Fawful, mainly for his hilarious dialogue and personality. His popularity earned him a small role in the sequel and has even gotten him promoted to the Big Bad in the third game.
    • Popple will be taking this status, too, see? He even made a reappearance in Dream Team, albeit only for a bit part.
  • First Installment Wins: A lot of fans consider Superstar Saga to be the best of the Mario & Luigi series, only possibly rivaled by Bowser's Inside Story.
  • Game-Breaker: The Mush Badge, which increases the Brothers' power depending on how many mushrooms they have. Go ahead and buy 99 of each mushroom. No one will stop you. This also makes Great Force more usable. Great Force doubles the damage you deal while also doubling the damage you take; that second part doesn't matter so much because, with both Great Force and the Mush Badge, you can destroy almost every boss in one round.
    • Get Great Force ASAP, which is after Chucklehuck Woods. Have one Brother equip that and have one equip the Bonus Ring, which you must have if you have Great Force. If you fight every enemy in the game after and take little damage, you can one hit kill almost any enemy in the game. Bosses can get taken down in two turns. With the Bonus Ring, which doubles Experience if you don't get hit, Great Force's side effect of the Bros. taking double damage starts meaning less, especially with bosses, which have Save Albums right before them... needless to say, a Great Force-Bonus Ring combo destroys anything, enough to the point where it's plausible to take out late-game bosses without Bros. Attacks, including the final boss. Not as game breaking as the above example, but still makes the game pathetically easy.
    • The matching pants that complete the ensemble—the ones that boost your Stache stat (chance to crit for extra damage) based on your Mushroom count.
    • Utilise Chopper Bros. extensively at level 3, and focus your level up bonuses on BP, ATK and SP, and you have a boss-killer attack, even if you don't use the advance version of the move.
    • Get the Advanced Thunder Bros. If you get it right, then it reduces the enemy's attack so that they only do 1 damage with each hit. And, it works on most bosses! It only hits one enemy, but since many of the bosses have only one section, that frequently doesn't matter.
    • The easiest way to max out all of your stats is to drink nothing but Teeheespressos. This is because Woo Beans and Hee Beans are the only two beans that are both infinite and easy to collect, regardless of the fact that you can't specifically choose which stat you want to raise with Teeheespressos.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Troopeas, Elite Troopeas, Paratroopeas and Scaratroopeas. Why? Not only do they have very high defense, they can also heal or even resurrect other enemies in battle, including themselves, making them extremely annoying if you can't defeat them in one or two hits.
    • Magikoopas, for the very same reason as Troopeas (healing enemies and hard to kill), but with the extra feature that they can also boost other enemies or themselves, and attack with very powerful fire spells.
    • Malibuts. While they're not very strong, they retaliate as soon as you attack them, even if it's not their turn, and their attack have a fairly long animation, making countering them annoying and time-consuming.
  • Good Bad Bugs: Strength and Defense Buffs (and Debuffs) become permanent once you die. And they still stack with temporary buffs/debuffs.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The final battle involves Bowletta inhaling Mario and Luigi. Sound familiar now?
    • And this isn't even the first time... and Bowser could chew Luigi to bits.
    • Remember the entry about the Mushroom vs. Beanbean exchange rate? Now consider that Mario & Luigi: Dream Team ends with the Zeekeeper showering 80 million coins on Pi'illo Island, which would be used as a tourist attraction. Guess the big bird didn't really take inflation into account....
    • The penultimate battle against Fawful is a Shielded Core Boss. The final battle in Bowser's Inside Story is also a Shielded Core Boss, taken Up to Eleven. The Bros. have to attack the Dark Core above Dark Fawful's head, which they can't reach unless they take out his limbs, which they can't attack unless they take out his eyes. They can't even fight Dark Fawful at all until Bowser inhales him after making Dark Bowser spit him out.
    • In the intro, it is shown that Cackletta had replaced Princess Peach's (or rather Birdo's) voice with explosive vocabulary. Now even her words are bombs!
  • Ho Yay: Luigi is flattered by Prince Peasley. Also Birdo toward Popple, depending on what gender Birdo you think is.
  • Memetic Mutation: I HAVE FURY!
  • Moral Event Horizon: Cackletta destroying Beanbean Town twice.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • Joke's End's music. Yes, there's background music that can turn into this because of how repetitive is. It's also the temple music from before.
    • "OH! Help me!"
    • The dreaded Hanna-Barbera "zing-out" whistle that plays whenever someone runs away during a comical moment. You're gonna be hearing that a lot throughout the whole game, mostly once during any cutscene.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
  • One-Scene Wonder: The very popular Geno makes a brief appearance as the host of a minigame in Little Fungitown. Some of his more dedicated fans have admitted to buying Superstar Saga once they heard of his brief appearance here. Unfortunately, his cameo is removed from the 3DS remake, likely due to not wanting to pay royalties to Square Enix again.
  • The Scrappy: Jojora, who has no reason to attack the Mario Bros. other than to serve as the boss of a really long and difficult dungeon. Her antics also serve to delay the exchange between Mario and Bowletta.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Now that the main Super Mario Bros. platformers make a point of having Luigi playable and prominent, the jokes about his second-fiddle status and him staying behind to "protect the homefront" can lose some of the impact they originally had in 2003.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: Teehee Valley's theme sounds almost like a slowed-down version of Hungarian Dance No. 5 in G minor by Brahms.
  • That One Boss: Some bosses in the game can be rather frustrating.
    • Two such bosses are Queen Bean and Cackletta.
    • Trunkle can be a real pain depending on how you choose to fight him. The worst part about the mutant Sudowoodo thing is that there's no indication that you have to (let alone the fact that it's even possible) attack the orange in his hair instead of the beast itself.
    • Whichever friend of Jojora that you pick, it'll end up as this trope. If nothing else for taking too long. Especially if she uses her kissing attack to eat HP from your face or you try attacking her whenever Jojora is on the battlefield.
    • While Cackletta's Spirit isn't quite one, the beginning of the battle is. Both Mario and Luigi have only one hit point, and she gets to go first, unleashing a barrage of attacks that the player knows nothing about. And losing—that is, getting hit even once—means you have to fight Bowletta all over again.
  • That One Level: Joke's End, in large part due to extended sequences where each Bro has to explore alone through enemy-filled territory and due to the labyrinthine design. Even the final dungeon is easier to navigate.
    • Walking along the Seabed can be a pain due to the slow movement speed and awkward swimming controls. Special mention must go to the sections where you have to swim over a bunch of spikes.
    • Teehee Valley is much shorter than Joke's End, but it compensates by sticking the player with a fairly annoying Escort Mission which ends with the battle against Trunkle, who is rather tricky unless you know what you're doing.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks:
    • Fans weren't happy that some of the original GBA version's more cartoony animation and effects were downplayed in the 3DS remake (for example, the Toads no longer get Blank White Eyes when Cackletta and Fawful steal Princess Peach's voice at the beginning of the game, and when the Mario Bros. and Bowser meet her afterwards, her tears are no longer Ocular Gushers, but instead exist as mere particles that don't even hit the ground).
    • Some fans are also annoyed the remake changed some of the more unique character designs, such as the Koopa Troop members getting the standard Koopa design instead of the GBA version's helmeted design.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The Beanstar ultimately plays no role in the story besides needing to be recovered and then reassembled, which is really a shame because this is a highly sought-after wish-granting trinket we're talking about here. Heck, you never even see it awake outside of its backstory and for a few seconds during the credits, which has led many to wonder what its personality was like (if it had one; it does seem sentient). This is especially glaring during the endgame: since Peach had been rescued by then, she could've woken it up so the Bros. could wish for a way to access Bowser's Castle in the sky, but they get there with Blablanadon instead.
  • What an Idiot: After Mario and Luigi put the Beanstar back together, they get a message from Bowletta, where they want Mario and Luigi to hand the Beanstar over to them at Joke's End in exchange for Princess Peach's freedom. After the message is done, Prince Peasley proposes to use a fake replica of the Beanstar to give to the baddies to trick them without giving up the real deal. Unfortunately, Fawful sees through the trick and knocks out Luigi when he shows the fake Beanstar, and steals the real one from him. The question here is, why bring the real Beanstar in the first place?

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