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Video Game / Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time

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Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time (Mario & Luigi RPG 2x2 in Japanese and Mario & Luigi RPG: Partners in Time in Korean) is the second game in the Mario & Luigi RPG series, released in 2005 for the Nintendo DS.

The game changes a few game mechanics from the first one, and teams the brothers up with their time-travelling baby selves, who previously appeared in the Yoshi's Island games as well as some of the sports game spinoffs.

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 moves in battle have been replaced by Bros.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

Tropes appearing in this game:

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: Level 100. If you've fought everything, by the endgame the baby Mario Bros will likely be in the mid 30s and the adult Mario Bros are likely around the low 30s.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: The Shroobs in general. Their only stated reason for invading is that their home planet was dying, but that hardly justifies destroying Hollijolli Village on Christmas and turning Toads into fuel for their flying saucers.
  • Alien Invasion: By the Shroobs against the Mushroom Kingdom.
  • The All-Solving Hammer: Baby Mario constantly attempts to solve things by hitting them with his hammer.
  • All There in the Script: The Post-Final Boss, Bowser possessed by the remains of Elder Princess Shroob, cannot be targeted in battle to see its name since it never gives the Mario Bros. a chance to attack and must be defeated through counterattacks and Deadly Dodging. However, the game files reveal it to be named Shrowser.
  • And I Must Scream: The fate of some Toads early in the game, who were turned into inanimate mushrooms by the Shroobs. Poor Toadiko and later Toadbert. Fortunately, they are revived at the end, but that doesn't make their fate any less unsettling.
  • Angry Fist-Shake:
    • Luigi when Stuffwell lands on him after coming out of the first time hole.
    • After falling below Gritzy Desert, Baby Mario snaps Luigi back to consciousness with a hammer whack to the head. He wakes up and scolds the babies for it. This makes the babies cry, causing Mario to get angry once he wakes up, causing Luigi to cry.
  • Arc Words: The Shroobs continuously repeat a single two-character phrase throughout the game. Only later, when their speech is subtitled, do you find out what it means: DESTROY!
  • Badass Adorable: Baby Mario and Baby Luigi, of course! Little though they may be, they still play an essential role in the games' combat encounters.
  • Badass and Baby: The Mario Brothers and their baby counterparts make up the adventuring party throughout the majority of the game, and kick plenty of ass together.
  • Bad Boss: Elder Princess Shroob frequently outright kills her henchmen during her (two, unless you count Shrowser) battles against the Mario Brothers. Princess Shroob, in contrast, though prone to yelling at her minions when she gets angry, is generally respected by her Shroob army, who are willing to offer her drinks and build her a statue.
  • Bad Future: Inverted, as it's the past that is in shambles whereas the present is peaceful. However, Princess Shroob does attempt to play this straight by infiltrating the present in disguise as Peach, but is foiled when Bowser kidnaps her and accidentally brings her back to the past.
  • Badly Battered Babysitter: Both of the bros have to keep their younger selves safe during all the
  • Balloon Belly: Baby Mario can get like this by guzzling from a water source.
  • Bandit Mook: Dark Boos, who steal an item from the Bros should their attack connect. They flee with it the next turn if not defeated in time.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Baby Bowser teams up with his present counterpart to battle the Marios. While they're together, they have effective dual attacks, in addition with Baby Bowser providing Bowser with Mushrooms to keep himself fighting.
  • Big Bad: Princess Shroob. Or rather, her older sister...
  • Big Brother Instinct: The bros are protective of each other in every game, but there's a particularly noteworthy scene in this game involving both Mario and his younger counterpart. When the Star Gate badmouths Luigi and essentially threatens him with lifelong imprisonment, resulting in him crying, Mario has enough and objects, saying that Luigi was not lying and angrily accusing the Star Gate of being a Hypocrite (it asked Luigi a question with three answers, then said that the right answer was the fourth one and called Luigi a liar when he noticed the contradiction). At the same time, Baby Mario repeatedly hits it with his hammer, showing that, despite the adventure usually keeping it the other way around, he's still as eager as ever to defend his grown-up little brother. Thankfully, it all turns out to be a Secret Test of Character.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Kylie Koopa disguises herself as a Shroob and ambushes the ones ambushing the heroes on the mothership.
  • Big Eater:
    • Baby Mario and Baby Luigi sure love Yoshi Cookies! So much that they eat all of Baby Bowser's ill-gotten gains. He isn't amused.
    • Later, Baby Bowser finally does get to eat a whole ton of cookies, resulting in a tummy-ache.
  • Bombardier Mook: Fly Guys carry large bombs, and during battle will try to drop these on Mario or Luigi's head.
  • Boss Bonanza: The end features a minigame fight with the Shroob Mothership, then normal boss fight with Princess Shroob, then her older sister, and then said sister's One-Winged Angel form. THEN there's a Post-Final Boss, Shrowser, after that.
  • Boss Remix: Bowser's battle theme remixes his leitmotif (which has two variations, for his young and adult selves).
  • Buried Alive: Petey Piranha does this to himself in his battle with him, although he only does it up to his oversized head.
  • Butt-Monkey: While the Mario & Luigi series loves to poke fun at Luigi, this game ramps it up to eleven and makes him a veritable Cosmic Plaything. Luigi is not only an Iron Butt Monkey (he takes a huge amount of abuse in game from enemies, objects, and Baby Mario's hammer), but suffers through the entire game as a No-Respect Guy on top of it (a few of the Toads spend a not-insignificant amount of time suggesting Luigi leave the world-saving to Mario), and his baby counterpart himself finds it amusing whenever he is injured. The Toads don't even think too highly of him when everything is over until they do cheer loudly for his name at the last second.
  • Call-Back:
  • Canon Immigrant: The Ice Flowers first appeared in the Super Mario-kun manga, and would later make its first appearance in a mainline Super Mario game in Super Mario Galaxy.
  • Carrying the Weakness: Elasto-Piranhas, which are weak to fire, drop Bro Flowers, this game's Fire Flower equivalent.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Subverted with the giant Shroob key, which turns out to just activate a trap.
    • Played straight with the Hydrogush 4000.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Toadbert and his drawing.
  • The Chessmaster: Princess Shroob is very thorough with her plans for conquest. She anticipates the bros.’ movements and plans ahead for countermeasures, like how they would try to rescue Princess Peach in Gritzy Caves while she was disguised as her to conquer the kingdom in the present and how if all else failed to terminate the brothers and she would get defeated, made sure the front gate of Shroob Castle would only open with the other five Cobalt Star shards imprisoning her sister.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: The Shrooboids, oversized Shroob monsters that appear sporadically as bosses. This first is green, the second is blue, and the third is red. The localization appears to have missed this, instead grouping off the Red and Green Shrooboids as Elder and Younger, while the Blue was recast as the otherwise unrelated "Shrooboid Brat".
  • Climax Boss:
    • The fight against Bowser and Baby Bowser, who kidnapped the false Peach. Together they're pretty strong (being able to heal and attack twice a round) though it's possible to separate the duo to make the fight a lot easier.
    • Before them, the fight with Petey Piranha qualifies, as he ate Peach and Kylie.
  • Cognizant Limbs:
    • The final boss has seven parts, though only three — Elder Princess Shroob's legs, crown, and head — actually need to be destroyed.
    • You still do one damage if you hit the head, which is the main target, and avoid taking out anything else. Said Final Boss has 3000(US)/2000(Everywhere else) HP.
  • Collection Sidequest: Finding the buried beans to trade for goodies at Fawful's Shop.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Cool Chair: Princess Shroob has one that can hover, and has legs. She uses it during her battle with the Mario Brothers.
  • The Corruption: Shroobified enemies tend to have darker palettes, and a mixture of Red Eyes, Take Warning and Black Eyes of Evil.
  • Crosshair Aware: Sunnycide's egg-throwing attack is telegraphed by a targeting cursor just like the one in Yoshi's Island. This makes sense because it is essentially a Yoshi egg that has been mutated into a monster.
  • Darker and Edgier: This game is much darker than the first one, and doesn't get any competition for the title of darkest Mario game until Super Paper Mario. You bear witness how the aliens are very prone to destruction and chaos, abducting innocent people to harvest their life force for their ships, a giant Yoshi alien that swallows Yoshis to later turn them into monsters through modified eggs, the same aliens enjoying the suffering of others by holding massive celebrations by feeding their captives to Piranha Plants, polluting the water into alien swamp water, not showing any remorse for trying to attack babies, assimilating their bizarre culture into the kingdom, and lastly the implication that Princess Shroob didn't care in the slightest to piece back the Cobalt Star to release her elder sister just so she could be in total charge of the invasion.
  • Deadly Dodging: How you beat the Post-Final Boss, Shrowser.
  • Death Mountain: The exterior of Thwomp Volcano. The interior, Thwomp Cavern, is naturally lava-filled. There is also the cliffs of Yoshi's Island.
  • Defanged Horrors: As a Mario Bros. game, it clearly refrains from reveling in gruesome imagery, but there's some pretty horrific stuff going on that it glosses over. Take the Yoob, the giant Shroobified Yoshi that idly rampages across Yoshi's Island and consumes its inhabitants one by one. It doesn't actually eat them; located within its innards is a factory where the Yoshis are converted, one by one, into Yoob eggs. Stuffwell and all four Mario Bros react with revulsion. The boss of that area is possibly the heart of Yoob, so you're also killing Yoob by killing Sunnycide.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Zigzagged with Bowser: His adult self is a big part of the plot in the previous game, but in this one, he only shows up for a boss fight before being thrown out of the plot. His younger self, however, is a major antagonist.
    • Fawful went from being The Dragon to Cackletta in the previous game to being a shopkeeper in this one. He does, however, foreshadow his role as the Big Bad of the next game...
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • The brothers and their baby selves normally yell "Nintendo!" and appear together on the title screen. Except on a fresh save file before meeting the babies, then it's just the adult brothers. If you save and exit to the title screen during the one point where you play as the babies before they meet up with their older selves, a section that will only last a few minutes in a typical playthrough, only the babies yell "Nintendo!" and appear on the title screen.
    • During the battle against the Goomba summoned by Kamek, you're normally forced to use two Green Shells for the tutorial on using Bros Attack items with Mario, Luigi, and the babies. If you only have one or zero Green Shells in your inventory by using them all up before this encounter, Kamek will accidentally give you Green Shells before summoning the Goomba.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Toadbert and Kylie Koopa, for freaking out and not just explaining to Mario and Luigi the truth about the Cobalt Star until they happened to be at a very vulnerable spot during the Star Shrine.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: You go through the Shroob Mothership about ten hours into the game.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: There are two scenes in which Luigi plays the "father"/parent less comfortable with kids role and Mario plays "mother"/parent who's a natural with kids role toward their baby counterparts.
    • In one scene, Mario and Luigi are knocked out from being swallowed by Yoob. Baby Mario and Baby Luigi are awake and loudly wailing and crying. Luigi wakes up first and is immediately annoyed with the crying. He attempts to cheer them up, acting silly in ways that worked before. They don't. He repeatedly tries to wake up Mario since he's better with the babies to no avail. He gets even more annoyed...and then remembers that he has something babies love: Yoshi cookies! The cookies get the babies to stop crying...only for Mario to finally wake up.
    • In another scene, once again Mario and Luigi are knocked out this time from being dropped into the caves below the Koopaseum. This time, Baby Mario and Baby Luigi are not crying. Instead, Baby Mario tries to wake up Luigi multiple times by crying out his name. When that doesn't work, Baby Mario does what he always does with a problem: uses his hammer and smacks him in the head. It works, waking up Luigi, who immediately gets angry at Baby Mario and yells at him for what he did, making him and Baby Luigi cry. He panics, and then Mario wakes up and gets mad at Luigi, scolding him for causing them to cry.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • This game introduces the item-based minigame-styled special attacks used in all future games, but takes the item metaphor literally, as the special moves you can use require consumable items (unless you use certain badges that allow you infinite specials under certain circumstances), removing the BP stat entirely.
    • This is the only game in the series where beans aren't used to boost your stats, either directly or indirectly; instead, they're a secondary currency used to purchase powerful badges from a hidden shop.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The Shroobs cause a lot of destruction and several of the people the Mario Bros. meet are shroobified or have their vim sucked out of them, but in the end, after all the crap the world of the past went through, the bros' efforts pay off and the Shroobs are defeated, undoing all the damage they caused.
  • Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion: An entire alien army is bested by four plumbers, and two of them were infants! Hell, one of said infants' tears were all it takes to undo the damage they've done!
  • Establishing Character Moment: Baby Mario establishes his personality in Baby Bowser's Castle by happily leaping from a great height to meet up with the Mario Bros. However, Baby Luigi is much more hesitant and doesn't jump until the Mario Bros. assure him that he will have a safe landing by using Stuffwell.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Shroobs often act like this to the Toads, even having an enemy in-game known as the Shroobsworth. The Shroobs also have evil counterparts to other Mario characters, such as Princess Shroob to Princess Peach, Yoob to Yoshi, and the Shrooboids to Mario and Luigi (note that the elder one is red and the junior green).
  • Evil-Detecting Baby:
    • When Princess Shroob arrives in the Mushroom Kingdom disguised as Princess Peach, Baby Peach is seemingly the only one to recognize her, as she cries right in front of her.
    • Also, Baby Luigi. He cries when he sees the spirit of the Cobalt Star (which is really the Elder Princess Shroob sealed inside).
  • Evolving Title Screen: There are three variants of the title screen depending on progression. The first features just the older Bros shouting "Nintendo!" at the AlphaDream logo and posing on the clock hands; this stays from the start of the game to when the Bros are defeated at Hollijolli Village. For the brief time when the babies are the only party members (saving on the Koopa Cruiser and resetting is the only chance to see it), they replace the older Bros for both the shout and the clock hands. Once the duos are united, the third title screen stays for the rest of the game, featuring all the Bros shouting "Nintendo!" and having four clock hands total.
  • Exotic Entree: When Baby Bowser is choking on stolen cookies, he is offered milk from Kamek, who insists it's from an evil cow. It goes well with good cookies, apparently.
  • Exposition Fairy: Stuffwell the talking suitcase, who also serves as the inventory.
  • The Faceless: Princess Shroob's face is not actually seen up until the point you enter the Koopaseum. Later, when she poses as Peach, a Shroob mushroom on her face is part of her disguise. With a wig, dress, and gloves, she looks exactly like Peach.
  • Fair-Play Villain: Exceptions aside, most enemies only perform attacks that the players can defend themselves from. For example, if you are only playing as adult Mario and Luigi without the babies, the enemies won't do attacks that require you to use the hammers, since only the babies have them.
  • Fission Mailed: Losing to the Shroobs in Hollijolli Village is needed so that the Baby Mario Bros. can join you.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Doubles as Meaningful Background Event. When Princess Shroob reveals to the brothers that she had disguised herself as Princess Peach as numerous Shroobs enter the room and they all begin laughing that they are going to destroy Mario and Luigi. However, one of the Shroobs is not laughing along with them. That Shroob is then revealed to be Kylie Koopa in disguise.
  • Flanderization:
    • Luigi's cowardice and ineptitude are inflated to their limits in this game, to the point where he seems as childish as the babies. In his defense, taking care of babies is stressful enough when you're not also busy saving the world.
    • Toadsworth goes both ways. In Super Mario Sunshine, he was obviously worried about Peach, but remained somewhat level-headed about it. Come this game, his past self is paranoid to the point of believing his present self is trying to kidnap Peach. Once the misunderstanding is cleared between the two, Past Toadsworth tries to flatten Baby Peach with their Bros. Ball move while Present Toadsworth is against it. They succeed, leaving Present Toadsworth in shock while Past Toadsworth teaches the Baby Cakes move to the Marios by himself.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • All the times when the Cobalt Star behaves unusually or makes the Shroobs react violently to it is not because it's acting up randomly, but because the Elder Princess Shroob is trying to break free from her imprisonment and trying to communicate to her subjects (in this case the imprisoned and defeated Junior Shrooboid) to release her.
    • The above only gets further foreshadowed when Baby Luigi is the only one who starts to cry when the "spirit" of the Cobalt Star starts talking to them in the Star Shrine. Because it's really Elder Princess Shroob.
    • After the fight with Petey Piranha, Kylie Koopa takes a close look at the shard obtained from him, she gets frightened because she saw something inside the shard look back at her.
    • When Princess Peach (who is Princess Shroob in disguise) returns to Peach's Castle. Baby Peach immediately starts crying.
    • In the Star Shrine, Toadbert asks the player to wipe the smudges off of the picture that he showed them earlier. It reveals that there is another Shroob princess.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Play any other game featuring Petey Piranha as a boss besides New Super Mario Bros.. He's a simple Warm-Up Boss with little plot importance in each, with the trend continuing in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (albeit with a stronger counterpart). In THIS game, however, he eats Peach and Kylie, is a Climax Boss, and is rather challenging in battle. (So, in a sense, the trope is inverted.)
  • Funny Background Event: In Gritzy Desert, while Kylie Koopa is talking to Mario, Luigi is being chased by a Shroob and the babies are pursuing it with hammers. Luigi also gets hit by the hammer and eventually collapses with a "Mamma mia!"
  • Gaslighting: Yep, in a Mario game. It's done by the Star Gate to Luigi as part of its Secret Test of Character.
  • Generation Xerox: This is where Baby Bowser starts looking exactly like Bowser Jr., his future son.
  • Glasses of Aging: Toadsworth from the past doesn't wear glasses, implying that he started wearing them because of his age.
  • Going for the Big Scoop: Kylie's personal goal in the game is to write a book about the Shroob Invasion. Although she gets eaten by Yoob and Petey Piranha, she succeeds.
  • Gold-Colored Superiority: This game has the Koopeleon, which appears in the early area of Toadwood Forest, followed by a golden version of them that appears much later inside Thwomp Volcano. Although the gold one has lower health than the original, it compensates by having a higher defense and attack power.
  • Green Hill Zone:
    • As soon as the adventure really begins, the brothers are transported to a grassy area on the outskirts of Hollijolli Village. Cue the Mood Whiplash as soon as the brothers reach town.
    • The main area of Yoshi's Island is also rather green.
  • Ground Wave:
    • During the Swiggler boss fight, the boss will counter with several damaging shockwaves that take the form of the ground rippling if attacked head on.
    • When the Trampoline attack item is being used, the entire ground briefly ripples and jiggles for every successful stomp performed, even if the current target is floating in midair.
  • Here We Go Again!: The two sets of Mario Bros' singsong way of calling to each other prior to the fight with Shrowser has this vibe.
    Baby Luigi: Mario!
    Baby Mario: Luigi!
    Adult Luigi: Mario!
    Adult Mario: Luigi! Let's-a-go!
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: When Mario and Luigi first encounter the Shroobs, they get drawn into a fight with three Shroob enemies. Each of these enemies has about 15 HP and a simple attack pattern... but there's also an UFO flying overhead with a countdown timer set to three turns (after which it'll take the bros out but good). At their current power level, it's barely possible to take down one of these guys in that time frame. This segues into the Babies pulling off a Big Damn Heroes and using these same three Shroobs as a tutorial fight for Bros. Items.
  • Hub Level: Princess Peach's Castle in the present functions as this, since the characters never venture outside of the present-day castle. Notably enough, this is the only game in the series to feature a hub level, as all the other ones feature interconnected overworlds instead.
  • I Hate Past Me: Bowser ends up meeting his past self in Thwomp Volcano, and the two of them proceed to fight over which one gets to use the place as an evil lair. They eventually decide to team up, but neither one ever figures out the other's identity.
  • Inconvenient Itch: Most of the Toads that are being sapped for energy in Toadwood Forest talk about the situation at hand or beg the Mario Bros. to stop the Shroobs. However, there's one Toad who simply says "Nose... itches...".
  • Intrepid Reporter: Kylie Koopa is always out for the next scoop.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: Hollijolli Village's background music is based around a depressing-sounding version of Jingle Bells.
  • Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: Not exactly "killed", but the Shroobs have a chronic habit of invoking this. Whenever a character tries to explain a single word about the Cobalt Star and what it contains, he or she will be shroobified before getting to finish. The only exception is Princess Peach herself, who instead gets interrupted constantly until Baby Bowser fully reassembles the star. Toadbert is initially an exception because he's suffering from amnesia, though he does show the Bros. a picture detailing Peach's battle with what appears to be Princess Shroob.
  • Large Ham: Bowser, as usual. Given a twist by his unintentional fall through a Time Hole, where he meets his younger self, Baby Bowser (who can only be described as a Small Ham). The two team up and battle the Bros. despite both Bowser and Baby Bowser being unaware of who the other is.
  • Last Villain Stand: The Elder Princess Shroob.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The interior of Thwomp Volcano.
  • The Lost Woods: The Toadwood Forest is home to enemies such as ghostly Shy Guys, is set at night, and has paths blocked off by thick tree growth.
  • Make My Monster Grow: The Shroobs do this to Yoob. One can only wonder how the subsequent Womb Level properly functioned prior to the size change.
  • Marathon Boss: The Final Boss battle, which features two phases, both of which have a lot of HP, with the second one being a Shielded Core Boss.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • When you first arrive in the past, the first area has a bouncy, lively rendition of the original Mario theme, but then you get to Hollijolli Village, where you have a sad version of "Jingle Bells".
    • The destroyed Toad Town section of the game is immediately followed by the celestial peace of Star Hill.
  • My Future Self and Me: The gameplay hook for this game has the adult and infant Mario Bros. teaming up inside and outside battle. Having both generations of Bros. together in battle lets you use attacks and Bros. Items in new ways, such as double jumps and fireballs that can target air enemies. Bowser and Baby Bowser also have their own boss fight, and have multiple team attacks they can use on the heroes.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Assembling the Cobalt Star, which takes 95% of the game, undoes everything Peach sought to avoid from the start of the game and unleashes the Elder Princess Shroob.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Princess Shroob's plan to take over the modern day Mushroom Kingdom while disguised as Peach would have probably been much more successful had Bowser not shown up and attempted to kidnap her, hurling them both back into the past in the ensuing chaos.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: The only Game Over that can happen outside of battle. When you get to use the Shroob flying saucer, its controls need the plumbers to hit four blocks by jumping. If you fail, the flying saucer falls as the screen fades to black and the plumbers freak out, while you get mocked by Princess Shroob's creepy laughter.
  • Noodle Incident: Used by the gate to the Star Shrine when it talks to Luigi.
  • No Name Given: The True Final Boss, Shrowser, has no in-game name, with its name being taken from an official strategy guide.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Zig-Zagged. Defeating the Princess Shroobs does not undo the damage the Shroobs have done to the Mushroom Kingdom of the past, and Elder Princess Shroob’s dying words heavily imply that the invasion is far from over. However, Baby Luigi’s crying reverses the Shroobification of Baby Bowser. Professor E. Gadd then uses the Hydrogush 4000 to spray a solution identical to baby tears through the time holes, all over the past Mushroom Kingdom, which destroys the Shroobs' Alien Kudzu and cures those turned into mushrooms. But even that doesn't reverse all the destruction over the kingdom, which the story oddly glosses over.
  • Ocular Gushers: Baby Luigi, Baby Mario, Baby Peach, and Luigi all do this frequently.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The events detailed during The Reveal about the Cobalt Star surely must've been a sight to behold.
  • One-Winged Angel: The Elder Princess Shroob transforms into a giant, even more monstrous version of herself with Cognizant Limbs when defeated once. Even after that, she possesses Bowser for one last showdown with the Mario Bros. and their baby counterparts.
  • One-Time Dungeon: You can only explore the Koopa Cruiser (When playing as Baby Mario and Baby Luigi) and the Shroob Mothership once. After that, you can't return to those areas again.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Princess Shroob attacks the brothers directly only after they anger her enough by destroying her mothership.
  • Papa Wolf: Mario and Luigi come to this, their baby counterparts, whom they teamed up with, defended and came to act as their father figures
  • Perpetual Frowner: Peach, for some reason. Given the scenario, however...
  • Point of No Return: Used and subverted: The fight against the Shroob Mothership is the point of no return, but Stuffwell warns you about it. Even better, after you pass the PONR, he gives you the possibility to go back to before the fight, asking you every time you hit a save point.
  • Portal to the Past: They conveniently start appearing all over Peach's Castle after E. Gadd's Time Machine returns useless.
  • Post-Final Boss: When Mario, Luigi, and the babies return to the present after defeating the Elder Shroob Princess, what's left of her possesses Bowser (turning him into "Shrowser") for one last battle.
  • Press X to Not Die: All you can do in the final fight against Shrowser is dodge/deflect his attacks long enough for him to whittle down his own health bar.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Fawful. I WILL! HAVE! FURY!
  • Punny Name: Throughout with enemy names. Notable punnily named characters include:
    • The returning Prof. E. Gadd. Egad!
    • Sunnycide, a giant egg, as well.
  • Rival Final Boss: An interesting example: After you've beaten the Elder Princess Shroob, you have to face Bowser again, after he accidentaly ate her remains. This can count as both a subversion and playing the trope straight; while you face Bowser, he gets his extra power from the Big Bad and her spirit is even a vital part of the fight.
  • Sad Battle Music: The Final Boss music, "Another's Requiem".
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Cobalt Star holds Elder Princess Shroob.
  • Sealed Evil in a Six Pack: Or in this case, a five-pack. The protagonists spend the game collecting several shards of the Cobalt Star. Only when they collect and put the pieces together do they realize that the star actually contained the leader of the invading aliens who was trapped inside by Princess Peach, and that by putting the star together, they release her.
  • Self-Damaging Attack Backfire: A major enemy — the Post-Final boss — doesn't let you attack at all. However, its attacks mysteriously come back and hit it if you can dodge them.
  • Sequence Breaking:
    • The Bros. Ball, when used in the correct position on a gate, can be used to scoot into Shroob Castle without collecting all five Cobalt Star shards.
    • Similarly, the Bros. Ball allows the adult Bros. to go out of bounds in order to glitch their younger selves onto the scaffolding in the first area of Shroob Castle.
    • Glitching out of bounds near the top of Yoshi's Island allows one to avoid fighting Kamek.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Stuffwell is rather fond of this.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The Gritzy Desert. Also features some ruins and the Koopaseum giving a Temple of Doom feel.
  • Shout-Out:
    • There are various references, such as the opening, the mothership crash, and Princess Shroob's chair, that pretty much make the game a Mushroom Kingdom War of the Worlds. Complete with the alien invaders having a Weaksauce Weakness.
  • The Pocket Chomp item is released from a red and white ball.
  • The Safety Badge (increases defense, lowers offense) is a reference to Crash Test Dummies seat belt PS As where they rebranded the seat belt as the "safety belt" to emphasize that buckling your seat belt keeps you safe.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The main area of Hollijolli Village is a snowy town that is also stuck in a perpetual Christmas.
  • Snowy Sleigh Bells: The theme from the destroyed, Christmas-themed Hollijolli Village features sleigh bells. Rarely has this trope been used in such a depressing way.
  • Sole Entertainment Option: The arcade housed inside a VOLCANO!
  • Some Dexterity Required: Because the game uses all four buttons for its Action Commands, it can become very disorienting and easy to lose what button press you need to input next if only because of muscle memory alone. Some even say that the green shell, the first bros. move, is one of the harder ones in the game to pull off because of this.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The ending credits theme, which sounds downright sinister compared to what you'd expect from an ending theme in a video game.
  • Spanner in the Works: Like in the first game, Bowser causes everyone a headache by choosing to kidnap Princess Peach at the worst possible moment. This time it turns out to be a good thing however, as "Princess Peach" was actually a disguised Princess Shroob.
  • Speaking Simlish: Everyone. The Bros' version sounds vaguely Italian, with a few recognizable words; the Shroobs are entirely tonal.
  • Sucking-In Lines: Serves as a tell for the Snoozorb enemy. If the lines are spinning, the laser they shoot will go overhead, meaning that you shouldn't jump.
  • Sugar Apocalypse: What happens to Toad Town and Hollijolli Village. The latter is probably more unsettling, as it happens right as Mario and Luigi are watching, and right during Christmas.
  • Take That!: The Brainwashed Hammer Bros. speak entirely in 1337-speak in the English release. After they're freed from the mind control, one of them remarks "Seriously, who talks like that?!"
  • That Liar Lies: The Star Gate accuses Luigi of this when Luigi was only given three options instead of 4: Everyone! The Star Gate is the true liar, but it's all part of a test.
  • Theme Naming: All Shroob lifeforms and otherwise Shroobified enemies will be indicated not only by their appearance but by the structure of their names. Natural Shroobs tend to have the full word "Shroob" in their name, while Shroobified classic Mario Bros. enemies tend to have "S-", "Shr-", or "-oob" appended somewhere to their name.
  • Time Travel: The plot is half this and half Alien Invasion.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: It's probably best not to analyze this at all, as the time travel doesn't even try to make sense.
    • There's a great timey-wimey scene that combines Meanwhile, in the Future… with Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory — The Bros give younger Professor E. Gadd a "Eureka!" Moment, and we cut to older Professor Gadd, who is having the idea at the same time, and is aware that it's because his memory is changing.
    • A less apparent example occurs with Princess Shroob disguising herself as Peach to take over the Mushroom Kingdom of the present. It is quite clear that the Mario Bros. and their baby counterparts are the only people in the Kingdom capable of fighting off the Shroob invasion, so every time they return to the present before the Shroobs are defeated, they are leaving the past Kingdom completely vulnerable to Shroob takeover. Princess Shroob shouldn't need to go to the present because the present Peach's Castle should be Shroob Castle without anyone to fight against it over the timeskip.
    • The Shroob invasion as a whole. There's absolutely no record of it, which is completely bonkers, because the Shroobs were destroying everything they looked at. Even if you assume current normalcy is because the Shroobs were defeated in the past, that only raises questions because it shouldn't have been the Mario Brothers who solved the problem; as the first example indicates, Professor Gadd's altered memories indicate the Brothers were never there at all in the first place. Headaches ensue.
    • A record of their defeat does appear even before the final battle is fought. In the present, a Toad comments about the invasion by a book Kylie Koopa did manage to write and how the alien threat was repelled. He admonishes the brothers from asking him how it went down since they are dealing with it, though...and also because the last page about it was torn.
  • Underground Monkey: Many enemies and bosses are "Shroobified" versions of standard Mario enemies. One good example is the Tanoomba (itself an Underground Monkey of the basic Goomba), which gets a faster Shroob variant (the Tashrooba) in the final dungeon.
  • The Unfought: Despite being hyped as a major threat for the entirety of Yoshi's Island, Yoob is never fought directly by the Bros, with Kamek and Sunnycide filling in the role as the bosses of the area.
  • Unique Enemy:
    • The regular Shroobs in Hollijolli Village; Only three are fought in the entire game.
    • The Guardian Shroobs in the Shroob Mother Ship; Only two appear in the overworld, with a total of nine appearing in the whole game. After the Mario Bros. fall out of the Shroob Mother Ship, Guardian Shroobs cannot be battled again.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Baby Bowser suddenly appears in Shroob Castle to assemble the Cobalt Star after the Bros. were told not to. Cue Final Boss.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: The Shroobs. Murderous invaders who attack innocent civilians, entrap Toads and drain their vim for UFO fuel, and turn the entire world into Mordor. They express no concern for the concept of innocents and are quite happy to attack even Baby Mario and Luigi. And they attack Hollijolli Village right on Christmas Eve.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Given what a short temper Princess Shroob has, it's not surprising that she eventually goes berserk following the destruction of her Shroob mothership...
  • Walking Spoiler: Elder Princess Shroob.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Baby Bowser (for Baby Mario) and Junior Shrooboid (for Mario). Naturally, you can't lose either fight.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: How to dispose of evil toxic fungal life-sucking Alien Kudzu? Cry on them.
  • Wham Line: A couple in a row. Throughout the game, you collect the Cobalt Shard pieces and presumably try to save the world with it. Peach has the final Cobalt Star piece in her possession, and could regain its original shape...and then she says something that changes the scene entirely.
    Peach: But I cannot allow that to happen!
    • Shortly afterwards, Baby Bowser puts it together himself, and then we get this line from Princess Shroob that finally reveals what the Cobalt Star's true purpose is:
      Princess Shroob: Now it's your turn...SIS-TER!!
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Tons. The captured Toads, though revived at the end, are never directly seen rescued; Yoob is literally left hanging, Junior Shrooboid just vanishes, and Toadiko and Toadbert are never seen returning to the present. The last one, however, is addressed in the sequel; Toadbert made it back.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer…: Baby Mario's solution to everything is by banging it with a hammer, or when he wants to do pranks almost all the time.
  • Where It All Began: The endgame takes place in Shroob Castle, which is the Shroobified version of Peach's Castle, the first area you explore. The Post-Final Boss fight with Shrowser also takes place in Peach's throne room, where you first fought Baby Bowser and Junior Shrooboid at the very beginning.
  • Wingdinglish: How the Shroob language is presented.
  • Womb Level: Yoob's stomach.
  • Would Hurt a Child: None of the bosses which are obviously sapient show any hesitation in attacking Mario and Luigi while they are carrying their baby selves on their backs. Not to mention that killing their baby selves would affect other characters more than just emotionally.


Video Example(s):


You'll save, right?

Stuffwell hastily advises the Mario Bros. to save their progress since they're about to face the last battle.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / OminousSavePrompt

Media sources: