Main characters: The Mario Brothers | Allies | The Koopa Kingdom (Bowser — Bowser Jr. — The Koopalings — Other High-Ranking Subordinates — Bosses) | Assorted Nasties
RPG characters: Super Mario RPG | Paper Mario (64 — The Thousand-Year Door — Super — Sticker Star — Color Splash — The Origami King) | Mario & Luigi (Minion Quest: The Search for Bowser)
Spinoff series: Yoshi's Island | Luigi's Mansion | Mario Golf | Mario Tennis | Super Mario Maker | Donkey Kong series (Kongs) | Wario series (Wario and Waluigi)
Crossovers: Punch-Out!! | Super Smash Bros. | Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games | Skylanders | Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
Other media: Super Mario Bros. (1993) | The Super Mario Bros. Movie
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The Four Captains
The four main protagonists of the story, typical "minions" that have risen up as the de facto leaders of the Koopa Troop while Bowser is missing.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: As far as how they function in combat goes they each function almost exactly the same as their standard counterparts, however their stats are significantly higher level for level than any of the non captain units in the game, being able to fight off multiple similarly leveled enemy units simultaneously with ease. In many cases even if those units have the advantage over them in Tactical RockPaperScissors.
- Elite Mook: Their combat skills and appearance aren't any different from other minions of the same type except for having a flag on their heads, but they're significantly stronger than their non captain counterparts.
- From Zero to Hero: From the minions' perspective, of course. All four members started out as just ordinary mooks with no outstanding features. After proving themselves as excellent captains, they became some of the most respected minions in Bowser's army, so much that even the Koopalings respect them.
- No Name Given: Played straight for all of the captains except for Captain Goomba, who actually gives his name to Bowser as "Goomba" at one point.
- No-Sell: They all have access to the captain command "Deny" which will immediately shut down any enemy skill as long as it's still charging.
- Scissors Cuts Rock: They're so much stronger compared to normal units that when fighting nearly any unit one on one that beats them in Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors they'll still win most of the time unless they're severely outleveled by a normal unit or fighting a similarly leveled enemy captain.
- True Companions: Captain Shy Guy speaks for the others when he says he'll follow Captain Goomba to the bitter end.
- We Cannot Go On Without You: Justified, If they fall in battle the remaining members of the unit will panic and flee, however the same applies to enemy squad captains.
An average Goomba who gains the starring role in Minion Quest when his fellow minions pressure him into accepting the role of captain after Bowser goes missing — and becomes one of the major contributors to the events of the entire story of Superstar Saga, both Mario Bros and Minion Quest.
- Ascended Extra: A very, very exaggerated example. In the original game he was a Goomba that didn't stand out from any of the other Goombas in any way, only showed up for one scene in a tutorial fight, had no speaking lines and was never mentioned again. In the remake, he's the star of his own game mode and is shown to have inadvertently been a major contributor to the events of the story.
- Been There, Shaped History: Captain Goomba is directly responsible for some of the events in Superstar Saga, most notably Bowser's amnesia, Prince Peasley getting eaten by a Piranha Bean, and Mario eating a Poison Mushroom instead of the Invincishroom.
- Berserk Button: DO NOT hurt anyone in his squad. And don't hurt Bowser.
- Break the Cutie: When Bowser, as Rookie, attacks him and chooses to follow Popple instead of the Captains, he breaks down and cries. The other captains cheer him up.
- Butt-Monkey: He practically has it worse than Luigi! Bowser Jr.'s Journey has him be the punching bag to Bowser Jr.
- Character Development: From scrawny, no-good Goomba to flag-bearing, fearless captain of an army.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He's not the greatest fighter or the smartest leader in the world, but press his Berserk Button and he'll stomp you in the ground with the help of his squad.
- Determinator: Stops at absolutely nothing to find Bowser. Even as Bowser (as Rookie) is barraging him with flames, he still tries to get Bowser to join his side.
- Death or Glory Attack: His unique captain command is Clash of Captains where he first shows off by charging directly through the entire enemy army, taking attacks from all of them along the way, and then calling their captain a coward, forcing them into a one on one duel with him. Whoever wins the duel will immediately win the battle since the win condition for a battle is defeating the enemy team's captain.
- The Ditz: The other captains and even other Goombas make constant remarks about his stupidity.Goomba: Huh. I think I can see that aura too...
Captain Goomba: YOUCH! Who's responsible for this? Who built a wall here?!
Goomba: There's an aura all right. An aura of stupidity...
- The Dog Bites Back: Early on in the game, Prince Peasley mocks him and leaves after completely angering him. Later on, Captain Goomba finds a Piranha Bean watching him, and, after spotting Peasley again, makes the Piranha Bean spot him, telling it how tasty he looks, revealing Captain Goomba is the reason why Peasley was eaten by the Piranha Bean later on in the story.
- A Dog Named "Dog": He's a Goomba and he gives his name to Bowser as "Goomba". None of the other captains identify themselves by name at any point.
- Dueling Player Characters: While not obvious until Minion Quest is unlocked, the Mario Bros fight him early on in the game for a tutorial battle. You never get to fight the Mario Bros while playing as him however.
- Foil: Captain Goomba is a run-of-the-mill, average Mook in Bowser's army whose group's main claim to fame is being the weakling, average scraps who run right at Mario and Luigi in large numbers and get killed repeatedly. The Mario Bros are literal legends who constantly stomp all over all the unlucky Mooks who get in their way. They both started off as low, common, working-class people and became legends.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: He turns from a random soldier in Bowser's army into arguably Fawful's worst nightmare, and through sheer willpower and loyalty, manages to bring an entire army back from certain defeat and lead it to victory.
- The Good Captain: And no one thought he was the guy to do it.
- Hero of Another Story: To the Mario Bros. The one time they interact—aside from the tutorial battle—is when Mario and Luigi see Captain Goomba cheer his squad into storming Beanbean Castle.
- The Leader: Of the entire squad of minions.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: He may be a ditz. But go after his squad and push him too far? As Fawful knows, you're in for a world of hurt.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Early on, he jumps off of a waterfall in order to take a shortcut down the side of a mountain. During his fall he conks Bowser on the head hard enough to make him lose his memory which ends up being the cause of most of the problems in both Superstar Saga and Minion Quest.
- No-Respect Guy: Despite being the main captain of the squad, nearly everyone else barely respects him due to his ditzy nature. They begin to slowly warm up to him later on in the story, though.
- No-Sell: Fawful's brainwashing spray has no effect on Captain Goomba, as he possesses true minion spirit.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Captain Shy Guy's Blue.
- Undying Loyalty: Whatever happens, no matter what, he will not give up on Bowser. EVER.
- Use Your Head: In true Goomba fashion, his main attack is charging head first and his special skill is the Rocket Headbutt.
- Working-Class Hero: An ordinary soldier in Bowser's army just trying to rally his comrades back and rescue their leader.
Captain Shy Guy
A Shy Guy met in the Beanbean Kingdom and the only captain who actually deliberately asks to be a captain. Joins Captain Goomba as a captain after realizing how clueless Captain Goomba is.
- Deadpan Snarker: Especially to Captain Goomba.
- Dope Slap: More like "Dope Turnip". He does this quite a few number of times at the other captains.
- Hidden Depths: At the Cutie Battle Contest, C. Goomba and C. Boo suggests that C. Shyguy would make for a nice "cute" mascot for their team. This immediately causes him to be very self-conscious about his appearance as well as getting stage fright.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He sticks out as the most abrasive captain of the four. Though he still has his share of friendly moments, particularly with Captain Goomba.
- The Lancer: He serves as a deadpan, more rational foil to Captain Goomba's hot-headedness and ditz-like tendencies.
- Pet the Dog: At one point in the story, Sergeant Guy tries to persuade him to join the other side to which he disagrees. Why? Because he thinks that Captain Goomba is "good people".
- Produce Pelting: Throws turnips as his main attack, and throws a giant one with his special skill.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The snarky, cool-headed Blue to Captain Goomba's impulsive, hot-blooded Red.
- The Smart Guy: Of the four captains, C. Shyguy seems to be the most adept one. He immediately realizes how incompetent C. Goomba is at his job and decides to help him.
- Summon Magic: His signature Captain Command, Call for Backup, calls in a random minion to join the battle.
- Undying Loyalty: No, not towards Bowser but to... Captain Goomba. Near the end of the story, C. Shy Guy admits that he actually admires C. Goomba and that he reminds him of Bowser. At Bowser's castle when up against the Koopalings, C. Shy Guy outright says that he'll follow C. Goomba until the "bitter end".
- The Woobie: In-Universe. The cute battle contest only serves to demoralize his already low opinion of himself.
A Boo that Captain Goomba and Captain Shy Guy find in Chucklehuck Woods. Despite his protests, Captain Goomba forces him to become one of the captains.
- And Then What?: A Played for Laughs example. When Captain Shy Guy asks what Boo will do after he conquers Chucklehuck Woods on Iggy's orders, he gets nervous and says he'll do plenty of things and stuff, though he later admits he hates the place.
- Combat Pragmatist: His signature Captain Command is Sneak Attack, which attacks the enemy captain from behind.
- Cowardly Lion: Like most Boos, he's timid and often turns invisible when threatened or otherwise frightened during cutscenes, but he can still lead a squad and tear through non-captain enemies like the other captains.
- The Drag-Along: Initially he didn't want to become one of the captains, though Captain Goomba unwittingly forces him to do it.
- Only Sane Man: Downplayed, but he's the most "regular" in terms of personality.
- Signed Up for the Dental: He originally just wanted the little flag the captains wear to block the sunlight. Getting roped into actually being a captain and helping wasn't part of his original intentions.
A Koopa Troopa found in Teehee Valley. He loves making puns to the dismay of everyone except Captain Goomba.
- Almighty Janitor: Was the head of cleaning at Bowser's Castle before the quest.
- Death or Glory Attack: His signature Captain Command, Shell Shock, which attacks all enemies near Captain Koopa but lowers his defense afterwards.
- The Heart: The nicest and most upbeat of the captains. The first thing he does when he finds the others is exclaim "Buddies!"
- Martial Pacifist: At one point, C. Koopa suggests that maybe instead of fighting Popple, they should instead peacefully talk with him to make amends and to locate Bowser. Needless to say, this backfires, prompting the four captains to fight his army.
The Goomba Squad's "scout" that searches for any brainwashed minions that need to be reformed by them.
- Mission Control: Seems to fit this role.
- Nice Guy: He's one of the few characters that have never insulted Captain Goomba in any way, and is in general really passive.
- Non-Action Guy: He doesn't like the thought of battling.
- No Name Given: Despite being one of the more prominent characters, his name is never stated.
- Put on a Bus: Does not reappear in Bowser Jr.'s Journey despite his role in Minion Quest
- Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: He plays quite a big role in the story, yet, he is never mentioned in any of the game's advertising.
- Spanner in the Works: Cackletta and Fawful might have gotten away with deceiving Captain Goomba and the Minions, if he hadn't been listening in on their conversation.
Hoohoo Mountain Goombas
A group of Goombas from the Koopa Cruiser who persuade the at-first unnamed Goomba into becoming their captain. They are first seen at the second level of Hoohoo Mountain.
- Deadpan Snarker: Whenever Captain Goomba does something incompetent or acts clueless, the Goombas shoot out their share of snark to cope with it.
- No Name Given: Somewhat justified given the fact they're all actually named "Goomba".
- Pet the Dog: They are genuinely impressed when Captain Goomba creates the "Captain Commands".
- Small Role, Big Impact: They only appear during the first few levels, but they're the sole reason why Captain Goomba even decided to take charge.
- Whatever Happened to the Mouse?: Zig-zagged. Technically speaking, you can actually make them appear at any time by putting them in your current team, but they serve virtually no significance after the first world and don't even appear in any more cutscenes after.
A recurring Golden Beanie that attacks the Goomba Squad.
- Metal Slime: Its main purpose beyond beating it once is to exploit the fact it gives a lot of experience points.
- Plot-Irrelevant Villain: Shows up in multiple levels, yet has no bearing to the main plot and does not appear in any cutscene.
- Recurring Boss: A recurring Beanie that shows up in several levels to challenge the captains.