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Video Game / Mario & Luigi

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Mario & Luigi is a series of Eastern RPGs for Nintendo handheld systems, starring the eponymous Super Mario Brothers. It's the third Role-Playing Game series to star Mario, the first being the one-shot Super Mario RPG made by Squaresoft and the second being the Paper Mario series. Developer AlphaDream produced every title in the series up until their bankruptcy and closing in October of 2019, and every game thus far has featured a soundtrack composed by Yoko Shimomura.

On the surface, the games are fairly standard RPG stuff, with a field screen, a map, and a battle screen, equipment and items to collect, a smattering of statistics, and a suitably grand adventure. What sets it apart is how it integrates classic Mario elements into an RPG. The two leads are joined at the hip, the field screen is negotiated with platform action, and all sorts of action elements are added to the battles, up to elaborate "Bros" attacks which can be shockingly demanding. Enemy attacks can be avoided completely with proper timing and can even result in counter-attacks.

Also, as the title implies, Luigi, ever the Lesser Star in most Mario games, is given a much more prominent role here than in any other Spin-Off game other than Luigi's Mansion and its sequels. Many of the jokes revolve around his tradition of staying behind during Mario's other adventures and how hardly anyone knows who he is outside of the Mushroom Kingdom. But at the same time, he also gets to make a name for himself through his own heroics in each entry of the series, to the point where he eventually earns the remembrance of characters who start off unable to remember his name.

There are seven games in this series, two being remakes:

Tropes in the series as a whole:

  • Accidental Misnaming:
    • Luigi, at least to Bowser and his goons, who instead call him "Green Mario," "Green 'Stache" and the like. By the end of Dream Team, Bowser finally remembers his real name after having deemed him a Worthy Opponent this time around. And again in Paper Jam, where even though Bowser calls him "green guy" at the first time he says it in the final battle, the second time, he actually calls him "Luigi".
    • At one time in Paper Jam, Starlow even receives the same treatment in her final battle against Bowser and Paper Bowser as she's called "yellow thing."
  • Action Commands: Very vital in combat. Aside from boosting your attacks, they can also be used to dodge or even counter enemy attacks.
  • Adventure Duo: This sub-series has one of the most notable portrayal of the Bros. with this dynamic. Mario is more levelheaded and serious, while Luigi is the quirky, cowardly sidekick, who's often the butt of the jokes.
  • After Boss Recovery: In the first two games, the Bros. will always be healed after every boss they fight (and fallen ones will be revived).
  • Alertness Blink: The occasional !. This can stand for anything from an Oh, Crap! to a sudden realization or idea to a warning from enemies.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The final levels of the first three games are castles that have been taken over by villains.
    • Superstar Saga has Bowser's Castle being controlled by Bowletta.
    • Partners in Time has Peach's Castle in the past, taken over by the Shroobs.
    • Bowser's Inside Story has Peach's Castle taken over by Fawful and Midbus, with it being turned into a giant robot as well.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Superstar Saga and Partners in Time have wildly different cover art depending on the region: in Japan, they're minimalist pieces featuring the Bros. standing together and one or two of the other major characters on a white background. Everywhere else though, they depict very action-y scenes with the Bros. springing into action and the main villains in the background, either looming ominously or causing havoc. Starting with Bowser's Inside Story, the minimalist Japanese cover style would become standardized for all localizations, including Saga's remake (although promotional art in the style of its international cover exists).
  • Amusing Injuries: All over the place. Luigi and Bowser are the most frequent victims, and the ending picture of Bowser's Inside Story shows Bowser in really bad shape, and poor Luigi must get hit on the head over 20 times in Partners in Time. This is such a prevalent feature of the series that its even the basis for several gameplay mechanics, with the bros frequently needing to flatten each other into human pancakes to solve puzzles and hurl each other around to do attacks, though when done successfully they generally take these ones in stride.
  • Art Evolution: Compare the ingame-graphics of Superstar Saga with those of Partners in Time and Bowser's Inside Story. While the general style stays quite the same, the sprites get much more detailed in the latter two games, thanks to them being released on the Nintendo DS instead of the Game Boy Advance. Dream Team brings 3D graphics to the series for the first time — but still keeps the same overall art style.
  • The Artifact: Bean collecting. Every game has the player dig up beans from specially marked spots in the ground, either to consume directly or use as currency for a special sub-quest shop. This makes perfect sense in the first game, which is set in a kingdom that's bean-themed to the same extreme as the Mushroom Kingdom's mushroom theme, and it works well in the second as an excuse for a cameo from the first, but as the series has gone on the beans have been further and further removed from the overall theme of things.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Mario and Luigi's gibberish sounds Italian...
  • Author Usurpation: While AlphaDream has created quite a few games, Mario & Luigi has overshadowed all of them.
  • Bash Brothers: Quite literally with the titular characters. The games also feature quite a few sibling tag-teams. The first game alone has the Starshade Bros., Sledge and Mallet, Cork and Cask, and Gigi and Merri, all siblings who have a red-green contrast.
  • Big Brother Instinct: While the series' titular brothers have always looked out for each other, this series puts the most consistent emphasis on it, so much so that it's a critical part of the gameplay - if either brother should ever be knocked out in combat, the other will be horrified and instantly jump in to keep them safe from any further attacks. This heavily penalizes their combat reflexes and leaves them very vulnerable, incentivizing the player to do exactly what a protective brother ought to do - either escape to live and fight another day, carrying the unconscious brother as you do so, or use an item to revive them as quickly as possible.
  • Black Bead Eyes: As part of the games' art style, many supporting characters are stylized with these.
  • Breakout Character: Due to his popularity in the fandom, Fawful was upgraded to Big Bad in the third game.
  • Butt-Monkey: Poor Luigi. At least he regularly gets to wallop Mario on the head. Bowser gets kicked around quite a bit as well. Luigi's status as a Butt-Monkey is considerably lessened in Bowser's Inside Story. He still gets the shaft, but not nearly as much (or as forced) like in the preceding titles in the series. Ditto with Bowser, who becomes one of the main characters.
  • Cap:
    • Levels stop at 99, and you can only carry 99 of each item.
    • As far as Bowser's Inside Story goes, damage caps at 9,999. It's somewhat impractical though, because only one thing will even have that much HP (Exactly that much.) and it still requires you to power it up. It's Bowser X. Without the Challenge Medal, he has 8,000 HP.
  • Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp": Critical hits = "Lucky hits" (in addition to what the games call critical hits: using an attack that an enemy is weak to), Skill/Luck = "'Stache", MP = "BP" ("Bros. Points") in the first game and "SP" ("Special Points") in the third, though the remake uses the series standard "BP", calling them "Brawl Points" in Bowser's case.
  • Character in the Logo: One version of the general series' logo features silhouettes of Mario and Luigi running on top of the title of the series, visible on the viewer's left.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Fawful, to the point where half of his face is covered in shiny teeth.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Anything interactive that's red is usually going to be used by Mario, and anything green by Luigi. Bowser and Paper Mario's HUD elements are orange-yellow, which is the median color between red and green.
  • Combination Attack: All of the special attacks are these. Even Bowser's Specials involve teaming up with his minions.
  • Counter-Attack: During the enemy's turn, you can dodge their attacks and hit them back with jump and hammer attacks. Hypothetically, you can even get through an entire game without taking any damage at all aside from a small handful of Always Accurate Attacks.
  • Cowardly Sidekick: Luigi's comical anxiety is exaggerated in these games to fit the Denser and Wackier tone, though in the fourth game, his dreamy side begs to differ.
  • Critical Hit: A weird example. In-game, the term "critical hit" is used to refer to Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors advantages, whereas actual critical hits are called "lucky hits".
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Invoked by certain enemies throughout the game; some will switch between attacks you have to jump to dodge and attacks you have to do nothing to dodge. Also, later enemies will especially take advantage of players who press both Bros' buttons at the same time to dodge instead of figuring out which Bro is being attacked by making it so that dodging with the Bro not being attacked will cause him to be hit while jumping.
  • Darker and Edgier: While the series is generally the opposite, the fact that they're RPGs calls for the threats the bros face off against to have much sharper teeth than the usual Mario fare. While perhaps not as dark as Paper Mario has gotten, the game still features surprisingly serious foes with darkly malevolent plots.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • Luigi gets a much more prominent role in these games than he does in most other games in the franchise, particularly in Superstar Saga and Dream Team.
    • Bowser's Inside Story is, naturally, one of these for Bowser, serving as his playable debut and giving his personality, thoughts and characterization a much greater degree of focus and development than he usually gets.
    • Partners in Time for the babies, especially Baby Luigi who's usually the one who needs to be saved.
  • Deadly Dodging: A significant feature of the series as a whole so there's no resting on your laurels when you're being attacked. The brothers usually dodge either by jumping or using their hammers depending on what move is being used. It can be pretty difficult at times, especially when you have to control three characters at once in Paper Jam.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: The bosses explode into stars when defeated.
  • Denser and Wackier: Without question, these games are some of the silliest games in the franchise, with a strong focus on comedy, goofy wordplay, and bizarre situations.
  • The Drag-Along: Luigi, literally so in Superstar Saga: when Mario gets the news that Bowser is attacking the Mushroom Kingdom again, he immediately rushes out of his shower and jumps into his clothes, while Luigi is hanging them. This results in Mario running to the castle with the rope still attached to his clothes... and Luigi all wrapped in the rope.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Superstar Saga has a few differences from the rest of the series:
    • There are no Exposition Fairies. Not even Starlow, who became a series mainstay from Bowser's Inside Story onward.
    • There are extensive gameplay segments where the bros are separated, rather than having them together most of the time.
    • In battle, there's an attack block that contains all three of the bros' solo attacks, as opposed to separate blocks for jump and hammer.
    • The Firebrand and Thunderhand techniques have only appeared in the first game.
    • Rather than using fancy items, Bros. moves have Mario and Luigi simply using their abilities in tandem.
    • First striking an enemy with a hammer doesn't do any damage, and stuns the enemies instead.
    • Using certain moves requires making Mario and Luigi switch places. In later games, and even in the remake of Superstar Saga, the brothers cannot be switched freely, and Mario is always in the lead.
    • The first two games lack any Post Endgame Content. The third game introduced a Boss Rush consisting of powered-up "X" versions of normal bosses with an ultimate superboss at the end, an addition which stuck for the rest of the series.
  • Emergency Energy Tank: The Max Mushroom, which completely restores a selected brother's HP; the Max Syrup, which restores all Bros. Points; the 1-Up Super Mushroom, which revives a KO'd brother with max HP, and the Golden Mushroom (replaced by Star Candy in the third game), which restores all HP and BP. Also the Double 1-Up Mushroom introduced in Paper Jam which can revive two brothers at once although not with as much HP as an ordinary 1-Up Mushroom.
  • Escape Battle Technique: The series has a "Flee" option for this. In the first three games, you have to hammer the A and B buttons to make Mario and Luigi run while coins fall out their pockets; Dream Team, you just hit the run command and immediately flee the battle. As per the norm, it doesn't work in boss battles.
  • For the Evulz: The only explanation for around half of Fawful's actions. He decides to stop this after he's defeated in the third game.
  • Geodesic Cast: There are a more than a few same-sex sibling pairs dressed in red and green floating around the games' universe, like Mallet and Sledge from Superstar Saga, Gramma Red and Gramma Green in Partners in Time, and the Massif Bros. in Dream Team.
  • Glass Cannon: Mario tends to have higher attack power and speed in the games, but suffers from lower health points and defense points, which are Luigi's strong areas.
  • The Goomba: The first four games put their own unique spin on the Goomba. The Trope Namer also appears in all games, playing different roles in each.
    • The first game, Superstar Saga, takes place in the Mushroom Kingdom's neighboring country, the Beanbean Kingdom, where everything is bean-themed instead of mushroom-themed. Their Goomba equivalent is the Beanie, a creature who looks like a bean with a face and two feet. Actual Goombas also appear in the game as training bosses. It should be noted that the actual weakest enemies in the game are Fighter Flies, who live on the border between the two kingdoms.
    • The second game, Partners in Time, takes place during an Alien Invasion. The weakest enemies in the game are alien Goombas called Shrooblets. Actual Goombas also appear later on, once again being tougher than normal.
    • The third game, Bowser's Inside Story, is a "Fantastic Voyage" Plot through Bowser's body. The weakest enemies inside Bowser are single-celled Goombas called Goombules. The weakest enemies outside Bowser are Chuboombas, chubby Goombas who love candy. Actual Goombas also appear as Summon Magic. Flaming Goombas that stomp enemies, no less. The same Goombas are also Bowser's only way of countering one of Dark Fawful's attacks, by punching them into him, no less.
    • The fourth game, Dream Team, features Grombas as the weakest enemy in the overworld, while Drombas are the weakest enemy in the Dream World. Actual Goombas appear as (somewhat late) midgame enemies where they usually work together with Fly Guys or each other to try to overwhelm Mario and Luigi, either through Zerg Rush (with other Goombas) or through Death from Above (with the help of the Fly Guys). They are even used as cavalry, being carried into battle by the Fly Guys to increase their numbers. Both Goombas and Fly Guys also have stronger versions of themselves that appear as mid-to-lategame enemies. Finally, Goombas remain one of the only enemies that are faced in both the real world, and the dream world (the latter as assisting enemies in a boss battle with the Elite Trio, one of which is a Goomba), and Dreamy Goombas can be summoned by the Final Boss, Dreamy Bowser.
    • The fifth game, Paper Jam, which takes place in just the Mushroom Kingdom, is the first game to just use standard Goombas, and Paper Goombas, in their usual role as the weakest enemies.
  • Goomba Stomp: The bros' first attacks are always jumps. There's also always some sort of Bros. Attack that involves powered up jumps.
  • Luck Stat:
    • 'Stache increases chance of critical hit and improves prices in stores.
    • Bowser's equivalent stat is called 'Horns'.
  • Magic Mushroom: Even more mushrooms are added, with plenty of interesting effects. The most prominent is the Vacuum Shroom, which starts off the third game by giving Bowser the ability to inhale stuff, such as the Mario Bros.
  • Man Hug: Mario and Luigi do this fairly frequently after one or both have been rescued from danger, another way of showing how much they care for each other.
  • Mana Potion: Syrups restore Bros. Points.
  • Market-Based Title: 'Dream Team Bros. and Paper Jam Bros. in Europe, for some reason.
  • Mascot RPG: A popular example of this trope alongside its sister series Paper Mario.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: The boxarts for the series tend to depict Mario, Luigi, and a few other characters relevant to the game on a stark white background. While other regions didn't adopt this style until Bowser's Inside Story, Japan used it on both Superstar Saga and Partners in Time; other regions' covers for the respective games are much more action-packed. Interestingly, after using the same design for all markets for three straight games, the remake of Superstar Saga goes back to the split designs, albeit differently. The Japanese and American versions use the same white background style as the original game's Japan boxart (although with a few more characters), while the European cover sticks to the old Western design.
  • Mirror Boss: Several.
    • The first game has the recurring Popple and Rookie fights, where the bandit crook teams up with a partner (either an amnesiac Bowser or Birdo) to fight against Mario and Luigi. The second one even has them pull Bros. Attacks like the protagonists.
    • In the second, it's Bowser and Baby Bowser, where the Koopa King is carrying his younger self just like the Bros.
    • The third has Bowser Memory M and Bowser Memory L, who are blocky copies of Mario and Luigi based on his past memories of them. For Bowser there's Midbus, who is essentially just "Bowser if he was a pig/armadillo and later had ice powers"; and Dark Bowser, who is a dark copy of Bowser created from the Dark Star stealing his dna along with Fawful helping it from inside parallel to the Bros. inside Bowser.
    • In the fourth, there's Dreamy Mario, a dreamy copy of Mario created by Antasma. There's also the battle with Bowser and Antasma, in which the latter enters Bowser just like Dreamy Luigi does with Mario. Their attacks even feature Bowser using Antasma clones, just like what happens with the Luiginary attacks.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: There are many jokes at Luigi's expense about him being the Garfunkel to Mario's Simon.
  • Name and Name: The series is named after the Sibling Team that stars throughout it: Mario and Luigi.
  • Nerf: The remakes of Superstar Saga and Bowser's Inside Story nerfed the Advanced Chopper Bros, Advanced Knockback Bros and Magic Window respectively by having all three attacks last for a certain amount of attacks instead of indefinitely like in the original versions.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain:
    • Fawful goes from being a joke of a shopkeeper in Partners in Time that incessantly mutters about revenge... to actually carrying those muttered threats out in Bowser's Inside Story, where he's the Big Bad!
    • Likewise, Bowser went from Butt-Monkey to a Hot-Blooded Badass, though not without some help from Mario and Luigi.
    • As of Dream Team and Paper Jam, Bowser has most definitely got rid of his Villain Decay phase.
  • Numbered Sequels: In Japan only. Elsewhere, they went with subtitles instead. The second one is Mario and Luigi RPG 2 x 2 (the two brothers and two babies) and the third is Mario and Luigi RPG 3!!! The fourth goes back to normal titles with just Mario & Luigi RPG 4: Dream Adventure. Numbering was dropped for Paper Jam, with the Japanese name being Mario & Luigi RPG: Paper Mario Mix.
  • Oh, Crap!: Mario and Luigi do this a lot. Heck, each game has its own theme that plays when things go dire, and it's heard multiple times.
  • Once an Episode:
    • Bowser is a Recurring Boss in every game.
    • The games seem to have fallen into the tradition of having Bowser as a tutorial boss (in the second game, it's Baby Bowser). Dream Team broke this tradition by having Antasma as the tutorial boss instead. Paper Jam doesn't have a tutorial boss at all, especially as you can skip the battle tutorials, and lets you get on with it.
    • Also, a Womb Level is present in the first three games, getting larger as the series progresses. In the first one, it's merely the setting for the final battle. In the second one it's the second half of the second "world". In the third game it takes up about half the game.
    • Another element present in the first three games is collecting the pieces of a special star. The first game has the four pieces of the Beanstar, the second game has the six pieces of the Cobalt Star, and the third game has the three Star Cures that combine to form the star-shaped Miracle Cure. This is Averted in Dream Team, however: the Plot Coupon is the pieces of the Ultibed which is... a bed that is the only way to get the Bros. to the Zeekeeper. Completely Averted in Paper Jam where you do not actually collect any Plot Coupons at all required to defeat any bosses or whatever.
    • The final boss of the first three game also has an uncanny habit of entering Bowser and using his powers, as well as being defeated while inside him. In the first one Cackletta's soul possessed him to become Bowletta, and then died after the Bros. were sucked inside him and fought her personally, in the second the Elder Princess Shroob's ghost possessed him to become Shrowser, and was killed when all of Bowser's attacks missed and hit her ghost instead , and in the third the Dark Star entered his body to copy his DNA and become Dark Bowser, who was even destroyed when Bowser inhaled its power source and let the Bros. whale on it. Subverted with the fourth one, where Bowser himself is the final boss. However, he still eats something to power himself up: the shards of the Dream Stone. Paper Jam has Bowser and Paper Bowser go all Fusion Dance.
    • There is a fake Peach in every game except for the third. The first has Luigi and Birdo, the second has Princess Shroob, and the fourth has Kamek. The fifth is an interesting case, as Paper Peach is the one to deploy the decoys to trick the Bowser Jrs.
    • A Wiggler is always a boss, between the Wiggler living in Chucklehuck Woods in the first game, the Shroob-Wiggler hybrid Swiggler in the second, the vegetable farming Wiggler in the third, the Wiggler from the fourth who is fought with Popple and a temporarily Brainwashed and Crazy Wiggler in the fifth.
    • Mario and Luigi always hug each other in the games as well.
  • The Pin Is Mightier Than the Sword: Badge equips. In Superstar Saga and Partners in Time they're stat boosting accessories, while in Bowser's Inside Story and Dream Team they're a power up meter.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Luigi in all five games, despite being anything but plucky.
  • Prolonged Video Game Sequel: On average, the first two installments can be completed in about twelve hours of gameplay each, not counting sidequests, while the third is only slightly longer by about four hours or so. However, the next two can take up to thirty hours to be completed (again, without sidequests) on average.
  • Pun-Based Title: Starting with Partners in Time, the English titles are pun-based. The first is a pun on the phrase "partners in crime" while reflecting the Time Travel theme of that game. Bowser's Inside Story is quite literal — the Mario Bros. end up accidentally getting swallowed by him. Dream Team refers to both Mario and Luigi themselves and the sleep and dream-based nature of the gameplay. Even the spinoff Paper Jam is a pun, playing off of the Paper Mario crossover.
  • Recurring Boss:
    • Bowser will always be fought more than once in every M&L game.
    • Also, a Wiggler is fought in every game.
  • Repeating So the Audience Can Hear: How Mario and Luigi's conversations with NPCs go, since Mario and Luigi only speak in a way that other characters can understand. There's only two exceptions: the first when Luigi is disguised as Peach to trick Bowletta and the second where Dreamy Luigi temporarily loses physical form in Dream's Deep.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Parodied by Fawful who sings an elaborate rhyming song but is unable to think of something that rhymes with his name (the only rhyme being awful, in a song describing himself) for the last line and settles for "And the...rhyme with...that."
  • Sequel Escalation: Stats of both the Mario Bros. and enemies get higher in each game, and the damage calculation becomes more unforgiving to match. The first game has a simple damage formula that just subtracts POW and DEF multiplied by different values depending on the attack. Starting with Partners in Time, the damage formula is POW*LV/DEF (multiplied depending on attack), which makes being underleveled far more unforgiving. Starting with the third game, enemy attacks do twice as much damage as they would have in the second.
  • Sequential Boss: Every final boss in the series comes in at least two parts. The one for Bowser's Inside Story is slightly different, given that one part is outside Bowser and one part is inside. Averted with Dream Team. Dreamy Bowser is the only Final Boss.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Fawful combines this with Intentional Engrish for Funny. In fact, in the first game, he had an extremely long speech where he said "comeback" at least three times.
  • Sibling Team: Mario and Luigi, more commonly known as the Super Mario Brothers, are the protagonists of each and every title of the series, though after the first game, they tend to share the limelight with someone who isn't a sibling.
  • Significant Name Shift: Bowser can't be bothered to remember the name of Luigi, the brother of his Arch-Enemy, Mario, and instead refers to him as "Green 'Stache. Once the Bros. win the day at the end of Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, Bowser promises the brothers that he will be back, before shouting their names, and once he's about to say "Green 'Stache," he backtracks and finally calls Luigi by his real name.
  • Speaking Simlish:
    • Mario and Luigi speak in a vaguely Italian sounding gibberish babble, in addition to each other's names and affirmative noises. It's pretty well done and at least sounds somewhat Italian. Otherwise, the bros are Heroic Mimes. Paper Mario doesn't even have Voice Grunting when he joins them in Paper Jam, probably to separate him from the other Mario.
    • Also, each character has their own unique "voice" — different sounds with different pitches are used for each character when their dialogue is scrolling, but it's much simpler than the Mario Bros' version. Bowser's in particular sounds a lot like his usual voice.
  • Talks Like a Simile: Fawful: Who could forget the "mustard of your doom!" speech?
  • Theme Naming: Everywhere! Beans and laughter in the first game, sticking the word "Shroob" into anything villainous in the second game, Fawful adding parts of his name to his minions, like Crawfuls, in the third game, references to sleep in the fourth game, and adding the word "Paper" on everything coming from Paper Mario's world in the fifth game.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Bowser took levels in badass as the series went along. In Superstar Saga, he's a Butt-Monkey. In Partners in Time, he's an actual threat, albeit a minor one. In Bowser's Inside Story, he's one of the protagonists, though he still has some Butt-Monkey tendencies. In Dream Team, he's one of the main villains alongside Antasma, is taken seriously as a threat, and eventually ends up replacing Antasma altogether. In Paper Jam, he shares the role of Big Bad along with Paper Bowser.
  • Underground Monkey: Most Mario and Luigi games feature derivatives of classic Mario Bros. enemies, though sporting a new theme particular to the game — the regular enemies tend to take secondary roles instead, and sometimes don't appear at all.
    • Superstar Saga takes place in the Beanbean Kingdom, where everything is based on beans and which is inhabited by enemies like the Troopea, rather than the Koopa Troopa, or entirely new derivatives of foes who happen to live in the location, like the Yo-Yo Bros. spun off from the Hammer Bros.
    • Partners in Time involves an alien invasion, so many of the enemies are Shroobified versions of common Mooks. The Shroobs themselves are villainous Underground Monkeys of the Toads.
    • Bowser's Inside Story has two major sets. There are physiology derivatives within Bowser himself, which resemble regular enemies based on organs and cells, and the Fawfulized enemies on the outside.
    • Dream Team features, naturally, dream versions of common enemies.
    • Paper Jam has the normal and paper versions of many classic enemies.
  • Verbal Tic: In the Japanese version, Gerakobits (Fawful) repeats all of his "ru" sentence endings ten or twenty times. Whether or not the sentence actually ends with a "ru" rurururururururu. The warbling effect isn't unlike Penchinon. While translations of Fawful's dialogue in other languages don't keep this, it can still be heard in his Voice Grunting.
  • Victory Pose: The brothers strike these at the end of battles. Mario's tend to come across as cool, while Luigi's tend to be awkward, or like he's trying too hard to be cool like Mario. Leveling up comes with an extended victory pose.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: The series has a peculiar mix of Denser and Wackier and Darker and Edgier elements that result in this. The games' tone is extremely goofy and jokey, with a much greater degree of slapstick, comic situations and bizarre misunderstandings than either the main Mario games or other spinoffs. At the same time, the series also tends to use much darker and more serious villains than the franchise's standard, including genocidal aliens, ancient dark entities and scheming nightmare lords.
  • Visible Silence: Quite prevalent in humorous moments, with each dot spread apart by about a half second, in contrast to the usual speed of the text.
  • Voice Grunting: A few plot-important characters, such as Bowser and Fawful, have short voice clips that're used in conjunction with their "speaking" sounds. It's usually used in between text boxes, when Speaking Simlish won't have the same effect (like Fawful's giggling).
  • Wrap Around: Many enemies have this, such as charging off one side of the screen and coming back from the other. Some of Mario and Luigi's Bros. Attacks result in this as well, mainly if you fail them.
  • Zerg Rush:
    • Lampshaded earlier by Bowser in Bowser's Inside Story: "marching straight ahead into the enemy's feet" is apparently all the Goombas learn during their military training. Bowser's Goomba Storm combination attack plays it straight, but if pulled correctly, it shifts to Death from Above via flaming Goombas.
    • The Goombas uses this as their sole attack in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team. In other words, all the Goombas attack at the same time, attempting to ram into the Mario brothers.


Video Example(s):


Paper Bowser's Banishment

After both Bowser and his Paper Counterpart from the Paper Mario series is defeated, Paper Bowser tries to get the book, but Paper Mario, Mario, and Luigi grab it first, banishing Paper Bowser back to the Paper Mushroom Kingdom, much to the Paper King of the Koopas's anger, saying he wanted to conquer the Mushroom Kingdom itself.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / VillainousBreakdown

Media sources: