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"Listen, Mustache, you and your overgrown turtle-friend can take a hike! Go! Scat! Make like Mario and jump outta here!"
Snifit 1 (mistaking Mario for an impersonator).
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Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: it is the first Eastern RPG to be developed under the Mario banner. It was famously developed by Square and published by Nintendo in 1996 for the SNES. This gives it the honor of being the last Mario game made for that system.

During a routine princess-saving by Mario, a mechanical, bearded menace named Smithy takes over Bowser's Keep by piercing it with a gigantic sword-ship. Soon afterwards, a messenger from the stars named Geno (or rather, "♥♪!?") informs us that the blade also shattered the Star Road,note  which grants the wishes of everyone in Mario's world. Unless the Star Road can be repaired by finding and re-assembling the seven Star Pieces, no wishes will ever come true again. With the help of his companions (including, for the first time, Bowser), Mario sets off to smash the Smithy Gang and save the world.

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The game was one of the first to engage in a full-on Lampshade Hanging frenzy regarding the tropes of both the Mario series and Square's own RPGs. Mario has no speaking role (because he's the silent RPG protagonist), so he has to act out all of his 'lines' in mime (including doing an impression of Bowser). Nintendo would take this theme and run with it, producing a series of pseudo-sequels without Square's involvement, Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi. Nintendo and Square would eventually collaborate again, starting with Mario Hoops 3-on-3 on the Nintendo DS.

Due to licensing problems, very few of the characters that made their debut in this game have recurred in later Mario games, including fan-favorite Geno. Super Mario RPG itself, however, has made consistent reappearances in places where Nintendo collects retro games; the Wii and Wii U both carry the game on their respective Virtual Consoles in all regions, and SMRPG is also among the 21 games included in the SNES Classic Edition, though at present the title remains absent from the Nintendo Switch's game library.

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This video game contains the following tropes:

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  • 100% Completion: Hidden chests, the Frog Coin store in Seaside Town,note  Grate Guy's Casino, Yo'ster Isle, getting everyone to Level 30...
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Kero Sewers is one of the earlier dungeons and plays this straight, being a large sewer that empties out into the Midas Waterfall. Its enemies include rats, fish, and undead monsters.
  • Action Commands: Probably the Trope Codifier in Role Playing Games: every attack, spell, and item use has a benefit if you time an extra move right. You can even reduce or negate the damage from an enemy attack using a timed button press. Naturally, both of Super Mario RPG's Spiritual Successors, Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi, take this mechanic and elaborate on it in different ways.
  • Actually Four Mooks: Mostly seen with enemy encounters; scripted fights and boss battles usually have the same number of enemies both on the map and in battle, though not always. The lone-on-the-overworld Hammer Bro faced as the Warmup Boss somehow becomes two in battle. Considering Mario is explicitly capable of (somehow) concealing several other characters on his person while he walks around, it's possible others in this world have the same ability.
  • Addressing the Player: You're required to have a profile name. It ends up being the password to the balcony in Booster's Tower. However, Mario doesn't know this, which causes problems for a player doing a second playthrough.
  • After-Combat Recovery: Dead characters are revived with 1 HP and still gain experience at the end of battle.
  • Amplifier Artifact:
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: Booster's plot to marry Toadstool seems sinister... until over time you realize he has absolutely no clue what marriage is, let alone any interest in being with Toadstool after the "wedding". He just thought the idea of a wedding party sounded fun. After a chaotic ceremony, swallowing a gigantic cake monster, and getting a kiss from Bowser and/or Mario, he promptly leaves, content with his "wedding" party, and never bothers the heroes again.
  • And Here He Comes Now: Mario crashes through the roof of a mole's house just as said moles are wondering about him.
  • Anthropomorphic Food: Bundt, the surprisingly difficult cake boss. There's also a giant carrot enemy in Booster Pass.
  • Antidote Effect: Princess Toadstool starts with two healing spells that make the status-curing Able Juice/Freshen Up nearly worthless. Most effects only last a few turns and they disappear out of battle, so they are minor inconveniences if she's not in the party.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Die and you respawn with your levels retained, and there's always a chance to save and heal before major bosses. In fact, a lot of rooms before the bosses have a chest, hidden or visible, with a Mushroom inside to fully restore your stats. Or, in the case of Yaridovich and Valentina, you fight them when you go to a certain location and thus can go to another town and rest up at an Inn (one of which is always free to use) or Mario's Pad.
    • In one of the platforming rooms in Bowser's Keep, you're required to leap over a series of moving platforms over a pit of lava. Failing ten times you get kicked out of the room, which is the second of three in a gauntlet of minigames. Fortunately, the platforms stop moving when you're jumping so you don't need to time your leaps, if you fall off you respawn on the platform you were on before you jumped, and if you attempt to walk off normally Mario will stumble back to safety. If you die in one of the two battle corridors, you're simply booted back out to the selection room, same as if you failed the action or puzzle sections, rather than returing to the last save point.
    • All characters receive the same experience from battle, even if they are not in the active party, and knocked out characters still receive experience as well (and automatically revive with one HP at the end of the fight). This way no character will ever fall behind in usability, aside from inherent differences.
  • Antlion Monster: Land's End has whirlpools of sand, from which ant-like monsters named Shoguns pop out if you get too close.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Johnathan Jones' diary tells of his ship getting entangled by King Calamari.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You're limited to three active party members even though you end up with five characters, though they can be swapped in and out from the pause menu at any time.
  • Armor of Invincibility: The Lazy Shell. Like the name implies, it lowers the wearer's offensive stats but gives them nearly unbreakable defense, making it ideal for a support character like Toadstool.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Star Hill features an enemy called Mastadoom, which is an elephant skeleton, complete with a trunk.
  • Ash Face: A massive Bob-omb in the Coal Mines goes off, but thankfully only inflicts this to the party without causing any destruction.
  • Attract Mode: The game has a lengthy one that largely shows scenes to introduce the characters in ways that never actually happen in the game in the way they are shown.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Every character's last special move is a Herd-Hitting Attack that deals high damage. Generally, these are too FP-expensive to use on normal enemies often, and too weak for boss fights. Toadstool's Psych Bomb is bad because she's better off healing, Bowser's Bowser Crush works off his poor magic attack, Mallow's Star Rain has touchy timed hits (but is very strong if perfected), and Mario's Ultra Flame is generally weaker than Ultra Jump before it. Geno's Geno Flash is the best of the bunch, if only because it's a stronger version of his useful Geno Blast.
    • A lot of the special moves arguably fall into this category, mostly the ones learned later on. They look flashy and cool, but their animations take longer than just plain attacking and by the mid-point of the game you will probably be doing just as much damage or more with physical attacks as you can with specials, unless the enemy has a very specific weakness or resists physical damage. Mallow and Geno still get a lot of good moves late in the game, but Mario, Bowser, and Toadstool almost never need their later techniques.
  • Bag of Sharing: Exists in the traditional sense, but also strangely for an RPG, Flower Points (the game's equivalent of Mana) are also shared between everyone.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Booster Tower is initially painted as a fairly normal building (the starting room is designed like a basic reception area), and the music is a chill elevator theme. Only once Booster makes his debut a few rooms in, riding on a miniature train and acting kooky, does it become clear that the dungeon is actually a circus-like place filled with gags and weird enemies. The music also shifts to wild jazz at this point.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Your party members can be turned into mushrooms and scarecrows. In addition, the Sheep Attack can turn enemies into harmless lambs who float away.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Everyone affected with the sleep status will produce a crassly obvious Snot Bubble, except Toadstool, who daintily catches some Z's.
  • Behind the Black: There are some hidden passages that exploit this. One path (the one leading to Shy Away) isn't even hidden; it's completely invisible unless you just happened to be trying to walk off of Nimbus Land the wrong way and walked into the path by accident.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: When Mario's party defeats Boomer, he elects to "go" on his own terms rather than letting Mario finish the job. Mario for his part, actually offers to let Boomer live, but he rejects it, opting instead to drop the chandelier he's on.
  • Betting Mini Game:
    • Grate Guy's Casino has blackjack and a slot machine, which can be played to get Frog Coins.
    • If you get a "Lucky" flower, you can play a mini-game after battle where you can potentially double, keep, or lose all the experience points or coins you earned from the battle, via a random Shell Game.
  • Bicep-Polishing Gesture: Bowser does this in the Japanese version. It was changed in the other versions because the gesture also resembles the bras d'honneur gesture, which is roughly the equivalent of the middle finger to many Western cultures.
  • Big Fancy Castle: The Mushroom Kingdom has its own decorated royal castle, and later parts of the game feature Nimbus Castle and Bowser's Keep. All three of these serve as dungeons of varying lengths, though the former two eventually get emptied out.
  • Blocking Stops All Damage: Proper timing on your Action Commands during defense could completely eliminate damage from an enemy physical attack; otherwise, they take half the normal damage.
  • Bonus Boss: Monstro Town has two: Jinx, the diminutive martial-arts master who has to be fought three times, and Culex, a two-dimensional Final Fantasy-esque villain whose battle theme comes directly from Final Fantasy IV.
  • Boss Bonanza:
    • Barrel Volcano ends with Czar Dragon, which decomposes into Zombone for a second phase, followed by a short hallway before fighting the Axem Rangers, which themselves are two forms (first the five Axem Rangers, then the head of their Blade battleship).
    • Bowser's Keep has three nearly consecutive bosses: a Magikoopa, Boomer, and Exor. There's also a chance to fight a Boss in Mook Clothing, Chester, right before the Magikoopa.
    • The Gate/Factory that comprises Smithy's lair. Just getting in requires that you defeat Count Down, followed by Domino and Cloaker, a Dual Sequential Boss (whose second stage is another Dual Boss). Inside the Factory proper, Mario has to fight through four levels of factory management, the first three of which have bodyguards while the Factory Chief has his own autonomous secret weapon. Smithy, a two-phase fight, comes after all of these. Duplicates of many of the previous bosses now appear as regular mooks throughout the Gate area, and most of them aren't any weaker than they were in their initial appearance, though theoretically Mario and friends should be much more powerful by now.
  • Boss Corridor: The Factory's final stretch. A number of helmeted bureaucrats stand between you and Smithy.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing:
    • Mokura/Mokuka, a green cloud who appears on the overworld like a normal enemy, has powerful magic attacks that target the entire party, and far more HP than any other enemy in the area. He does try to avoid you, and the game treats him more like a boss, so he could also be considered a lesser Bonus Boss.
    • The chest monsters, mainly the later ones that spawn enemies. Box Boy, for example, uses Carni-Kiss and powerful magic spells, and summons Fautso, which can put your entire party to sleep.
  • Boss Remix:
    • The "Armed Boss" theme, played when fighting against Smithy's goons, is a remix of the background music played in a town troubled by one of them. Likewise, the first battle theme of Smithy is a remix of the theme.
    • Inverted by the music for Bowser's Keep, which is a slower and calmer remix of Bowser's boss theme from Super Mario Bros. 3. After that, the theme is remixed again for Bowser's boss battle in this game.
  • Bouncing Battler: Three of Mario's special attacks are him jumping on enemies. It's also lampshaded here: after Mario beats Jinx, a professional martial artist, Jinx and his student decide to incorporate Mario's jumping techniques into their own fighting styles and spend the rest of the game bouncing up and down on one spot trying to emulate Mario.
  • Bowdlerize: In the original Japanese script, Bowser tells Mario to "Get ready to die." Obviously, this wouldn't fly over with the western censors so it got changed to "Be prepared for the great beyond."
  • Brick Joke: Once Booster's wedding is over, he returns to his tower, and revisiting his tower shows that he's waiting on his balcony for another princess to fall from the sky. Later in the game, Valentina jumps off Nimbus Land to escape after being defeated; she lands right into Booster's arms, and the two attempt to get married in the epilogue.
  • Broken Bridge: Exor the giant sword breaks the bridge to Bowser's Keep so that Mario can't just walk in and immediately take on Smithy. He finally finds a way back in once Nimbus Land's Royal Bus is back on service.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • You are given the option of telling Mallow that you will not help him, but doing so causes him to keep crying until you agree. Since his crying causes it to rain, this is a bit of a big deal.
    • In the Coal Mines, you eventually come across an area that circles itself with no other way to progress except for a trampoline. Jumping on it makes Mario crash into the ceiling and he falls unconscious, which allows Croco to steal all of Mario's coins. You can't bypass the trampoline and even if you were to ignore Croco's theft of your coins, you still have to hunt him down in order to open up the next area.
    • Once you rescue Toadstool, if you try to leave Marrymore in the way that doesn't go back to the castle, your party members will come out one by one convincing you to go the other way. What makes this odd is that both exits are functionally identical, since they just take you to the world map anyway.
    • After sending Toadstool back to the Mushroom Kingdom palace, she escapes to rejoin the team. Mario cannot leave the town until accepting Toadstool back.
  • The Cameo:
    • Samus and Link are resting in hotels at certain points in the game. Samus can also be seen as a doll in Booster's toy box.
    • You can see models of an Arwing, a Blue Falcon, and a Fire Stingray in a certain inn.
    • Luigi is only seen at the very end of the game leading the parade. You also get to see his wish on Star Hill if you know where to look.
    • One of the portraits in Booster's Tower looks like Wario. Seeing how Booster is an expy of Wario, this makes sense.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: Once your party roster grows beyond three members, you can switch up your party as you see fit, but Mario can never be forced out of the party at all.
  • Cap:
    • The game's level cap is one of the lowest eastern examples at 30.
    • The amount of coins the party can hold is limited to 999, and some items can sell for more than half of that.
    • FP caps at 99, which can be reached during or before Barrel Volcano with a bit of luck and searching.
    • The item cap of 20 is much lower than most games of the era, managing inventory space becomes one of the challenges. You even get a little visual reward during the game's ending if you sacrifice some of your inventory space in order to hold some fireworks from Moleville.
  • Carrying the Weakness: Most undead enemies drop Pure Water, which instantly defeats undead enemies.
  • Cartoon Juggling: Knife Guy's idle animation is endless juggling, cascade-style.
  • Cassandra Truth: Gaz claimed that his Geno doll grew and went out the door. His mother doesn't believe him, even when you visit Gaz's house later on with Geno in your party.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Mallow's ability to summon rainstorms when crying, which appears several times. The last time, Mario gets out an umbrella after Mallow runs inside the Nimbus Land castle by himself, anticipating the teary reunion between parents and child.
  • Chest Monster: Four of them: Pandorite, Hidon, Box Boy, and Chester. They're all pretty tough and drop some useful items when beaten.
  • Climax Boss: Any battle against a member of the Smithy Gang, especially since they normally occur at the end of each second of the game before acquiring a Star Piece.
  • Cognizant Limbs: Several examples, including the evil clock Count Down and the Final Boss.
  • Company Cross References: Link and Samus show up in certain hotels throughout the game.
  • Conflict Killer: A giant sword falls out of the sky after Mario and Bowser go at it. They join forces to defeat this new opponent.
  • Continuity Nod: Mario can become 8-bit for a short time in Booster Tower.
  • Cowboys and Indians: Gaz plays a game involving Mario and Bowser fighting each other. Humorously, Gaz has Bowser kill the Mario doll, much to Mario's shock and dismay.
  • Credits Medley: The ending sequence depicts the entire cast participating in a parade with floats. The medley rolls through several variations on the Mushroom Kingdom; We're also treated to Smithy's goons and their leitmotif one more time.
  • Crying Wolf: Gaz's mom thinks that he's just being overly imaginitive when he says that his Geno doll got up and walked out of the house, even though it actually did thanks to being inhabited by a being from Star Road.
  • Cumulonemesis: The Mokura enemies are poisonous green clouds. They're initially immune to regular attacks thanks to their gaseous nature.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Mario's ability to tell stories allows him to become a Master of Disguise and to temporarily suspend the laws of physics.
  • Deadpan Snarker: One of the Toads in Mushroom Kingdom, who delivers this line regarding why he didn't stop the thief Croco.
    "Because I left my bazooka at home. Sheesh! Cut me a break here!"
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Losing a battle sets you back to your last save point used, and they appear quite frequently so you are never set too far back in progress. While you do lose any coins or items gained, you still keep your levels and experience points so you aren't overwhelmed from fighting tough enemies again.
  • Debug Room: A rather limited one, unfortunately. It's speculated that most of it was cut out before the final release.
  • Defeat Means Friendship:
    • Knife Guy and Grate Guy become normal NPCs after their boss fight, once Booster stops caring about Toadstool. Knife Guy stays in Booster Tower and hosts a juggling minigame, while Grate Guy opens up a secret casino.
    • Johnny, after you defeat him, hands you the Star Piece without complaint and confronts Yaridovich by blocking his way when he tries to escape after stealing it.
  • Degraded Boss: Gray "Machine Made" copies of the Smithy Gang bosses are churned out by Smithy's factory.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • When you confront Mack, two Shysters try to jump on Mario's head and he deflects them, knocking them off the platform and so only the remaining four aid Mack in the fight, those two survive to flee and tell Smithy what happened. If you approach the platform from the sides and thus walk past the Shysters, when Mack does his Dynamic Entry the two are knocked backwards off the platform to keep the story straight.
    • In Booster Pass, you can find an Apprentice Snifit who hopes that if he defeats Mario, he'll be promoted to Snifit 4 in Booster's Tower. With his pitiful stats you have to go out of your way to lose to him, but if you do he runs off happy at his victory, and the next Apprentice you find here says he wants to be Snifit 5. This proceeds up to a fifth Apprentice aspiring to be Snifit 8. If you ascend to the top of Booster's Tower you can find the victorious numbered Apprentices basking in the pride of being made Snifits, and the fifth one grumbling that Booster only wants seven Snifits so he's off to Grate Guy's Casino. The four Apprentices all also have unique dialogue if you talk to them.
    • Smithy's second form's default head (before he reforges it into a tank, a mage, a chest, or a welder's mask) has an attack animation despite said default head not having any attacks. While this would normally be considered Dummied Out content, if you'd notice that said second form's defeat animation involves involves the head playing its attack animation over and over again, you'd realize the developers accounted for the very unlikely event of you defeating Smithy before he even has a chance to reforge his head into a different form.
    • In Kero Sewers, there's a pipe that leads to the late-game area Land's End and a chest containing Cricket Jam, a late-game rare item. While the pipe is on high ground too high to jump to, it is possible to reach by getting into a fight with one of the Boos in the area and fleeing from it; enemies have Mercy Invincibility when fled where they don't trigger a fight when touched for a few seconds, and the player can thus use the Boo as a stepping stone to get up to the pipe. The chest contains a Flower instead (it'll still contain the Cricket Jam when you come back later), and if you go down the pipe into Land's End, the exit is on low ground where the ledge above is too high to jump, and the Shyster nearby will warn you to turn back because there's no way out from here.
    • If the mushroom people at Rose Town get frozen by an arrow while facing the exit, they'll remark on Geno passing through.
    • The Hammer Bros, Terrapins and Bowser within the prologue fight all have Psychopath quotes should you hack the game to allow access to that move before you obtain Mallow.
    • Many of the fallen wishing stars on Star Hill contain wishes from characters, and two such wishes (Frogfucious wishing for Cricket Jam, and Mallow's parents wishing for their son to come home) will be fulfilled during the game. If you revisit the Star Road after such events, their wishing stars will say something different.
  • Digitized Sprites: Almost all of the sprites in-game are pre-rendered 3D graphics.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: Mario goes straight to Bowser's Keep to save Princess Toadstool, only for the real villain's living base of operations to crash through the castle, flinging him, Toadstool, and Bowser away. It takes the rest of the game to reach Bowser's Keep and confront Exor properly.
  • Do Well, but Not Perfect:
    • The Goomba stomping minigame in the Pipe Vault. In order to get prizes, you have to get a score of at least 20 points at first, and then beat your previous record by at least two points, so it makes the most sense to get 20, 22, 24, and so on until beating the score isn't feasible anymore.
    • The minecart mini-game in the Moleville. You get a prize each time you get a new record time. Since you are guaranteed to eventually reach the end of the course no matter how badly you screw up, the best strategy for the first run is go as slow as possible: hold down the brakes the entire time, leap off the track at every turn, and deliberately miss every jump. Then in subsequent runs, do only slightly better each time. You'll get rewarded every time you beat your old record.
  • Dual Boss:
    • Knife Guy and Grate Guy, the jester bosses of Booster Tower. While both are alive, they can stack on top of each other to gain stronger attacks.
    • Valentina and Dodo are an odd version. The battle starts with Dodo confronting the middle party member in the lineup, taking them into a solo fight. Following that, the remaining two party members fight Valentina, and once she takes enough damage, Dodo and the separated party member will return and make the fight into a conventional dual boss.
    • Cloaker and Domino, followed by (depending on which one you beat) Cloaker and Earth Link, or Domino and Mad Adder. In the second phase, only the boss's snake needs to be killed, but depleting the rest of its rider's HP will stop them from attacking alongside it.
    • Factory Chief and Gunyolk. Factory Chief is much weaker and uses single-target status effect attacks, while Gunyolk uses the party-hitting Breaker Beam every other turn and spends other turns using strong magic.
    • The chest monsters Box Boy and Chester, which respectively summon a Fautso and a Bahamutt.
  • Duel Boss: The battle with Johnny with eventually escalate to the boss insisting on going one-on-one with Mario (unless you exploit an oversight in leaving at least one if his flunkies alive, in which Johnny will never speak up about this). Then there's the throwdown with Valentina, where Dodo will whisk whichever ally you put in the middle away for a little session of single combat until you tire him out.
  • Dungeon Shop:
    • Shops start appearing in dungeon areas late in the game, such as a Shaman's shop in the Sea/Sunken Ship, Croco selling the strongest armors in Bowser's Keep, and Toad's Last Stop Shop within the Factory a few rooms before Smithy.
    • Hinopio's "Hino Mart" in Barrel Volcano combines an equipment shop, an item shop, and an inn. Hinopio seems very surprised to see Mario, hanging a lampshade on the fact that he doesn't get many customers. The owner is the only employee, running between the three counters, and the accommodations at the Inn are a bit spartan; agree to spend the night and Mario wakes up face-down on a very uncomfortable-looking pile of crates.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Booster's birdcage contains a miniature version of Dodo, long before he appears during Nimbus Land's story.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: This is the one and only Mario game with any significant amount of in-game text to refer to Princess Peach under her older English name "Princess Toadstool", which had been relegated mostly to instruction manuals and supplementary materials up to then. Mario RPG is also the last piece of official Mario media to use the name "Princess Toadstool" in any capacity before Super Mario 64 switched her name permanently.
  • Easily Forgiven: The resident who lives on the hill in Rose Town will still give Mario directions for a secret spot in the Forest Maze after he steals from his two treasure boxes.
  • Easter Egg:
    • Walking behind one of the curtains in Booster's Tower will transform you into 8-bit Mario.
    • The cameos of Link and Samus. Samus only appears for a short time after a certain event is completed, while Link can appear anytime after the proper story progress.
    • There's a character hidden behind the left-most house in the Mushroom Kingdom whose dialogue changes with pretty much every major plot event. Hacking and emulation revealed that this character doesn't have a sprite.
    • An Easter Egg exclusive to the Japanese version of the game plays a short cutscene of Toad mocking the concept of Classic Cheat Codes if you pressed a certain button combination.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: The normal enemies you encounter aren't too tough and will likely die with one strike from a Timed Hit, and enemies can often just be avoided if you're not up to a fight. Bosses, on the other hand, make frequent use of group-hitting attacks that do heavy damage, a lot of them have status-inducing attacks which may also be group-hitting, and many bring Mooks to assist them that respawn when killed. This in in addition to unique gimmicks to catch you off guard — Bowyer locks button commands, Bundt has to have candles blown out, Johnny Jones fights one-on-one, etc.
  • Eating the Enemy:
    • Belome, a dog-like monster found in Kero Sewers, will eat your party members after a while. Fortunately, Mario and the other members can beat him into spitting them out. In the second fight at Belome Temple, Belome creates a clone of the party member after tasting them.
    • After defeating Bundt/Raspberry, a monstrous wedding cake, Booster eats it in one bite.
  • Enemy Mine: The first time, though not the last, that Mario and Bowser work together.
  • Elemental Powers: The attack elements of this game are limited to fire, ice, lightning, and "jump", which only applies to Mario's jump attacks. There aren't any other elements in the game, even though one of Culex's crystals is earth-elemental and uses appropriate attacks (Sand Storm, Boulder, and Water Blast). A lot of the most dangerous magic attacks are Non-Elemental so they can't be blocked by the Safety Ring.
  • Enter Solution Here: In Johnny's ship, you have to spell out a six-letter word. There are six clues: an "s" is in the word, it's found on the bed of the ocean, the word has two vowels, the word has four consonants, the word has two consonants side-by-side, and that the "r" comes before the "l". Note that two of the clues makes two others redundant. It's also possible to enter some words that seem to meet the requirements (e.g. "Corals"), but are rejected in favor of the correct answer.
  • Escape Battle Technique: The game has the standard Run Away command, but it can sometimes fail, causing your turn to be wasted. Halfway through the game, you can get the See Ya item that lets you run away from fights successfully.
  • Eternal Engine: The Gate/Factory, the assembly-line void where Smithy makes all of his minions. Its platforming obstacles include largs nuts and bolts and conveyor belts.
  • Evil Chef: Chef Torte and his assistant aren't really evil, just kinda grumpy (but you would be too if someone jumped on top of your cake). They attack you later on, but they run away once the cake starts moving.
  • Evolving Attack:
    • Unlike the other party members, who have a variety of special moves, Mario only gets two types: jumping on enemies and shooting fireballs at them. Later variations do more damage or target multiple enemies, but cost more FP. His basic Jump move also gets stronger as it's used, as a form of Magikarp Power.
    • The Lamb's Lure, an enemy-removing item, will turn into the Sheep Attack once "the flock is full", meaning it's succeeded enough times. The Sheep Attack affects every enemy in the fight instead of just one at a time.
  • Evolving Title Screen: The title screen hides the sword in Bowser's Keep until the early sword drop cutscene has happened.
  • Expy: Booster is pretty much this game's version of Wario, being a stout, goofy man who lives in a castle and antagonizes Mario.
  • Face Fault: Happens a great many times, with heroes, villains, and NPCs getting in on the act.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: It's pretty obvious that something is wrong in Seaside Town the first time you go there — the store sells "Bad Mushrooms" and "Muku Cookies" instead of the stuff most stores stock, and the citizens act suspicious — but there's really nothing you can do until you get the fifth Star Piece for its mayor.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: The game opens with Mario dueling Bowser on top of giant chandeliers help up by Chain Chomps, which inevitably fall down when the Chain Chomps get hurt. This happens again during the battle with Boomer (with the chandeliers now held up by Shy Guys on ropes), who breaks the suspension chain as a form of seppuku.
  • Fetch Quest: Sleep in a bed in Monstro Town and you're challenged to play hide and seek by three ghost enemies called the Three Musty Fears. Interact with the objects mentioned in the dream, come back to Monstro Town inn, and the Fears reward you by placing the Ghost Medal in Mario's accessory slot.
  • Final Boss, New Dimension: After fighting Exor, he swallows you up into a level called Gate. This strange void eventually merges into the Factory, the location of the seventh Star Piece.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: Just like in Final Fantasy, this serves as the basis for elemental damage. The party doesn't have much control over the elements: Mario has three fire spells, Mallow has two lightning spells and an ice spell, and everything else is considered neutral. The only other option for elemental damage is Fire and Ice Bombs, which can only be bought for coins at one point of the story and are hard to get afterwards.
  • Fixed Damage Attack: The Star Egg does 100 damage to all enemies and can be used an unlimited number of times, while the Rock Candy does 200 but can only be used once. The Attack Up buff increases the damage to 150 and 300, respectively.
  • Flavor Text: For most items:
    • Quartz Charm: "A shining source of power!"
  • Flechette Storm: Attacks like Thornet (which poisons its target) and Fungispike (which turns the target into a mushroom) involve enemies shooting a dart-like projectile at party members.
  • Flunky Boss: Several. Jonathan Jones subverts this a bit: he has flunkies, but when his HP drops to half and his minions are defeated he'll challenge Mario to a little one-on-one for the Star Piece.
  • Flying Car: The Royal Bus that's made out of clouds and driven by a Lakitu. It's under control of King Nimbus, who lives in a cloud city. Mario and the gang eventually used it to go to Bowser's Keep despite the broken bridge.
  • French Jerk: Chef Torte and his assistant speak with ridiculous French accents, and are mean enough to attack Mario's party after they crash the wedding they made a cake for.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: The Frying Pan is the best weapon for Toadstool. It make a hilariously satisfying whang! sound when it connects, too.
  • Gainaxing: Queen Valentina, when she's struck in combat. This is a particularly strange one as the game has a fairly young demographic and the exaggerated up and down bouncing is absolutely comedic.
  • Game Within a Game: Beetle Mania is an arcade-style game played by a Toad in the Mushroom Kingdom. After the halfway point of the game, Mario can buy the game device from him so he can play Beetle Mania from the pause menu at any time. It's a simple high-score game where a beetle shoots Koopa shells to cause chain reactions without getting squashed by them.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Johnny's currant juice? Well, it may or may not be a substitute for wine, which currant berries can be used to make.
    • Poke around Toadstool's room and you'll get a message saying Mario "found Toadstool's ????". Her grandmother will immediately run over and tell you to stop rummaging through her things, before giving you a mushroom to go away. Try it again when Toadstool's actually in the party and she won't let you anywhere near it. It's never revealed what the item in question actually is, but given the character reactions, most adult players can come up with a few ideas...
    • In the Wedding Chapel, if Mario takes too long to collect all of Princess Toadstool's dropped items and every candle in the room lights, instead of Toadstool kissing Mario she misses him and Bowser and Booster wind up kissing him!
    • The Japanese name for Goombette is "Mamekuribō," literally "bean Kuribō"note . The word kuri in Japanese can mean, among other things, "rub." Combining these, the Psychopath message for Goombette translates, roughly, to this: "Rub the bean, rub the bean, rub, rub… rub! Splosh~". Yeah. The English line is completely different because the pun doesn't work in English, but even if did it's hard to imagine this one staying in.
  • Giant Mook: Punchinello eventually replaces his Bob-omb minions with Mezzo Bombs, a large Bob-omb variety exclusive to the fight. His finishing move is to summon an even bigger Bob-omb called the King Bomb, but it crushes him when it falls and only inflicts an Ash Face on Mario, Mallow, and Geno.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere:
    • Punchinello is a Lampshade Hanging of this, you hear nothing about him prior to the fight, and Mallow states outright that he's never heard of him. And he wants to be famous. In fact, the only reason you fight him is because he believes that defeating you will make him famous.
    • Cloaker, Domino, and their giant snakes are weird creatures who appear from nowhere and have no plot relevance to anything. They seem to exist primarily to pad out the Gate section of the Factory. The first two don't even appear to be mechanical life forms either.
    • Count Down, a giant alarm clock. You suddenly run into him during your trek through the weapons factory with no prior mention and no mention of him afterwards. Especially with all of Smithy's main bosses having a weapon theme, this guy sticks out like a sore thumb.
    • Boomer, in Bowser's Keep. A samurai guy who fights on a chandelier? All of these enemies are ostensibly members of the Smithy Gang, but don't follow its weaponry theming and have no role outside of their boss fights.
  • A Glass of Chianti: Valentina (a margarita) and Johnny (currant juice).
  • Global Currency Exception:
    • The main currency of the game is coins, but tadpoles/frogs only accept much rarer Frog Coins. This includes the Frog Coin Emporium in Tadpole Pond, which has rare Fright Bombs and stat-buffers, and the frog student in Seaside Town, who sells one-of-a-kind items and equips.
    • There's a shop in Moleville that only sells three of the bomb-type items (Fright, Fire, and Ice), and they don't take money at all. Instead you trade them items, and receive points based on how rare the item is.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: It starts raining when Mallow cries, and it seems as if the rain is his tears. Eventually turns into a Brick Joke when Mallow reunites with his parents. Mario had the foresight to at least take out his umbrella before it rained.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Finding Grate Guy's Casino, and for that matter getting in. There's a guy in the Marrymore Inn that will give you hints, but not very helpful ones. First, you have to beat Knife Guy's juggling game 10 times to win the Bright Card. He gives you useless items, so casual players would just ignore him after a couple tries. Then, go to Bean Valley and enter the top pipe in the group of five. If you stand in a certain spot and jump three times, a platform will appear that when jumped on takes you to a secret area that holds Grate Guy's Casino.
    • If you talk to Grate Guy several times he'll ask if you want to play a game of "Look The Other Way". If you guess right a total of 100 times, he'll reward you with the Star Egg, an item that deals 100 of damage to all enemies on the field and can be used again and again. Nothing in the game indicates that he'll give you anything other than junk and occassionally rare items from this.
    • The Mystery Egg's use. You equip Toadstool with the B'tub Ring, a item in Marrymore's store, and use the Mystery Egg on her turn ten times. On the tenth time, it will turn into the Lamb's Lure, which calls upon a sheep to remove an enemy from the fight. Use it another 48 times, and it will turn into the Sheep Attack, an item that turns most non-boss enemies into sheep and ends the battle.
    • Most of the weapons and accessories have very vague in-game descriptions, often not mentioning what their most important effects are, namely the ones that invisibly grant Attack Up/Defense Up when worn.
    • There's a way to convert Mario's standard 3-FP Jump attack into an almost necessary Disc-One Nuke. The Jump attack's power rises 2 points every time it's used (up to 125 times), making it into the most powerful move in the game (100 Super Jumps might be more powerful, but you'll never learn the attack if you do the Level 3 challenge), and will carry you right until you get Bowser, which is coincidentally when Mario starts turning into Glass Joe. Powering up Jump and collecting experience turns it into one of the strongest moves in the game.
    • The timing on "timed hits" (and timed dodging as well) isn't always obvious, and it's usually pretty finicky.
    • The hidden chest in the Mushroom Castle. You can only get it when you first enter, before you'll even know it's there. To get it, you have to stand on Toad's head and jump onto the doorway at the end of the hall, landing not on an invisible platform, but on part of the background that shouldn't even be possible to step on. Even if you blockade Toad into that position later in the game, it won't work, for whatever reason you can't jump high enough save for that one time.
    • The 3D maze puzzle in the Sunken Ship. The problem is that 90% of the maze is obscured. You could feel your way around it, but you'll more than likely go in circles.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: The Trope Namer (coming from a scene where Toad tells this to an enemy after the player opts out of his tutorial), although it's not nearly as bad as other games that came after it. Still, the game doesn't bother to try and segregate the game's mechanics instructions from its story.
  • Heroic Bystander: The citizens of Nimbus Land inadvertently do this when they surround Valentina during her escape attempt to ask her questions; the delay gives Mario and the gang enough time to catch her and engage in battle.
  • Heroic Mime: Mario. He even transforms into Princess Toadstool and Bowser during his pantomimed explanation of what happened.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: When first entering the Moleville Coal Mines, one of the moles there reacts at Mario's presence with the line, "Well, I'll be a Goomba's uncle!!"

    I to P 
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every song that plays in a fight is entitled "Fight Against [X]".
  • Infinity +1 Sword:
    • Mario and Princess Toadstool have secret weapons that are a cut above their normal final weapons: the Lazy Shell for Mario (gotten from the Rose Town gardener sidequest) and the Frying Pan for Toadstool (available as the last item from the treasure-hunting Toad in Moleville). Mallow, Geno, and Bowser are stuck with standard-issue final weapons available in specific doors of Bowser's Keep's door gauntlet.
    • The Attack Scarf accessory and Super Suit armor count as this in terms of equips and can be obtained even earlier, but take the very difficult task of 30/100 consecutive Super Jumps to obtain.
    • The Quartz Charm, a strong accessory that secretly grants Attack Up and Defense Up at the start of every battle, is given out by Culex, the hardest Bonus Boss in the game.
  • Infinity -1 Sword:
    • The Ultra Hammer for Mario, found at the beginning of the Gate, and the Super Slap, found in one of the Bowser's Keep hallways. Mario and Toadstool can get stronger weapons before even entering Bowser's Keep, though these have a slight advantage of lower damage variance (making it less likely that the game will roll a lower damage amount when used).
    • The Jinx Belt accessory isn't as strong as the Quartz Charm (it gives a flat stat bonus instead of a multiplier), but is gotten from an easier Bonus Boss and isn't nullified by Shredder.
  • Inn Security: Entering Rose Town's inn gets Mario knocked out, and Geno awakens that night. At first, the Seaside Town inn is free... but the "innkeeper" will take the chance to watch you sleep. Monstro Town's "inn" (actually just a room with a bed) is also free, but happens to be haunted by the Three Musty Fears.
  • Instrument of Murder: Cymbals are one of the weapon types for Mallow, which he bangs together to deal damage. The second set of them, the Sonic Cymbals, is his strongest weapon.
  • Invincible Minor Minion:
    • The Lakitu you encounter early in the game. All it does is drop enemies for you to fight (which it stops doing after a certain point), and even if you use a cheat device to reach him, you'll find out he has no collision detection, so you can't fight him at all. A later Lakitu in Booster Pass actually can be fought.
    • Nipper Plants/Chompweeds only appear in the Pipe Vault and take Mario's coins if he touches them. They have unused battle data but can't be encountered in a fight.
  • Invisible Monsters: Mokura, who starts out as the invisible Formless and can't be hit by any normal moves. The game treats it like an obscure Bonus Boss.
  • Isometric Projection: The entire game sans a few cutscenes are portrayed within this angle.
  • Item Get!: The Star Pieces are showily presented above Mario's head when he receives them.
  • It's All Upstairs from Here: Booster's Tower requires you to jump to the top up several stories worth of stairs.
  • Journey to the Sky: While searching for the sixth Star Piece, Mario and his team are sent to Bean Valley, at the end of which is a series of beanstalks that leads to Nimbus Land, a city in in the clouds where Mallow was born.
  • King Mook: King Calamari is a Giant Squid version of Bloopers. Megasmilax is well, a giant Smilax, an enemy never encountered until you fight it, but both the normal and mega varieties are species of Piranha Plant.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero Found Underwear: Mario can case Princess Toadstool's room to find her "???", and a retainer will immediately run up and swap it for an item. If you wait until she's a party member, you'll be treated to a freak-out on her part.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • The general reaction from NPCs to Bowser having kidnapped the princess is a rather blasé and/or exasperated "What, again?"
    • After beating the Axem Rangers, they use their ship weapon against you. In the Japanese version, using Mallow's Psycopath will net you a remark about how it was not used right from the start.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: There are a few One-Hit Kill moves that you can block (using a timed button press). Doing so will allow you to survive with 1 HP. A perfect block will allow you to take no damage.
  • Lazy Backup: Mario gains four party members (not counting himself), but can only have two of them in his party at a time, and the other two won't join battle if any of them fall.
  • The Legend of X: The game's title is Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars.
  • Leitmotif: The Smithy Gang has one, which is remixed three different ways: as background music playing in any town they've invaded, as the boss theme for Smithy's lieutenants, and as the first boss theme for Smithy himself. Smithy's final boss theme is very different from the other boss music, but the main leitmotif actually does play on bass for a few seconds.
  • Letting the Air Out of the Band: The music falters this way every time you get a Game Over. Also happens in-story when Mario blacks out after being hit with the Geno doll's Arm Cannon.
  • Level Grinding: Mostly not needed thanks to the low level cap, but the final dungeon does have Degraded Bosses to fight if you haven't hit the cap yet.
  • Levels Take Flight: The Blade is a Cool Airship where the Axem Rangers are battled.
  • Lone Wolf Boss:
    • Despite his weapon-based design falling in line with members of the Smithy Gang, Punchinello isn't affiliated with them. He's just some weirdo that comes across a Star Piece and fights over it with Mario.
    • Croco, Belome, Booster, Johnny, and Valentina have no affiliation with Smithy either.
  • Logical Weakness: The Chest Monster enemies are the only ones specifically weak to "jump" element attacks. Since they're disguised treasure boxes, which Mario opens by jumping into them, it makes sense that they'd take extra damage when he attacks by stomping on them.
  • Lost in Translation:
    • During the second battle with Belome, if Princess Toadstool is active in your party and Belome eats her, he'll say, "Mmm, tastes peachy..." Super Mario RPG was the last Mario game to use her Dub Name Change; Super Mario 64, released that same year in North America, phased it out.
    • Belome's name is a pun on "Bero", tongue.
    • Another punny name lost is Chomp Chomp's original name is Wan Tsu (read: Japanese pronunciation of "one two"). The joke is that Chomps were originally called "Wan Wan", which is an onomatopoeia for a dog's bark.
    • The Magikoopa you fight in Bowser's Keep before reaching Boomer and Exor isn't any random Koopa Troopa - it's actually Kamek as revealed in his Psychopathnote . For the first and only time, he was given a somewhat unique name in the Japanese version ("Kamezard", a portmanteau of "Kame(k)" and "Wizard"), though the localization seems to have missed the obvious connection like a few other recurring enemies.
    • Bowser's ultimate unique armor — the... Heal Shell? That doesn't suit him at all, unlike the other four characters. It's probably meant to be the Heel Shell, as in the lovable baddie from Professional Wrestling. note 
    • The Shy Guys that hold the chandeliers together on the second visit to Bowser's Keep are named Chandeli-ho in a dialogue box. This is in fact a portmanteau of "chandelier" and "Heiho", the Japanese name for Shy Guys.note 
    • "NokNok Shell", Nokonoko being the Japanese name for Koopa Troopas. Apparently, Ted Woolsey didn't get the memo.
    • The translations for a few of the enemy spell names are weird, in particular the "Drain series". The original names of Drain, Mega Drain, and Drain Beam are Fireball, Light Saber and Geyser respectively. None of these attacks have an HP-stealing component, so it's unclear where the "drain" naming came from.
    • The enemy known in every other Mario game as "Koopa Paratroopa" is here known as "Sky Troopa", while the flying Shy Guy known as "Beezo" in Super Mario Bros. 2 is here called "Shy Away".
    • Exor's mouth is translated as "Neosquid", a bizarre name that doesn't line up with the Japanese text. There's no official explanation for the mistake, though it's speculated to be the result of misinterpreting a sprite Explanation .
  • MacGuffin Delivery Service:
    • Yaridovich, who threatens to tickle the real townsfolk if you refuse to hand over the Star Piece. You have no choice but to comply (or else your reward from the real mayor will be meager).
    • The Axem Rangers snatch the Star Piece from Mario as soon as he gets it after defeating the Czar Dragon guarding it.
  • Magikarp Power: The attack power of Mario's Jump special increases by 1 every time you use it, all the way up to +127 ATK. Of course, the game makes no mention of this whatsoever and it does not apply to the Super Jump or Ultra Jump.
  • Make a Wish: The Star Road can grant wishes, and you even get to visit the place where they fall before being granted; Mario can read them, and Mallow gets angry if you read his wish. The Star Pieces are required to restore the proper cycle of wishes, and it is vital to do so, as there is more to wishes than just the wisher's personal life; Mario's own successes are often aided by the many people wishing for him to do so.
  • Mana Potion: Syrups restore Flower Points, which are used perform special attacks.
  • Maximum Fun Chamber: The building where the villagers of Seaside Town are being held. It's just a regular house, and refusing to hand over the fifth Star Piece will cause the person demanding you to give it up to enter the house... and tickle one of the occupants inside.
  • The Maze:
    • The Forest Maze is a woodland dungeon named after its mazelike nature. The first maze section is a room of six tree stump holes, which have to be searched to find a Wiggler that'll open the path forward. The second is a traditional "find the right path" maze; on the first visit, Mario can follow Geno's path through the woods to reach Bowyer, and there's also a treasure room reached by going in certain directions.
    • One of the Sunken Ship puzzle rooms is a three-dimensional maze, where Mario has to blindly platform through a box structure to reach a rare item and a clue to a word puzzle.
    • Land's End features a maze of quicksand pits in its desert section. The correct pit is signified by the Shogun ant hiding in it, which has to be fought each time to progress.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Geno written in Japanese is ジーノ (jiino). jiino is the Japanese pronunciation of "xeno" (there is traditionally no "zi" sound in Japanese). The word prefix xeno- is Greek for "alien," "strange," "guest." Geno is a being from Star Road that visits Mario's world to retrieve the Star Pieces.
    • Mallow's bodily consistency is like that of marshmallows.
    • Smithy's goons are all modeled after weapons:
      • Mack is a knife.
      • Bowyer is the profession of someone who makes bows.
      • "Yari" means "spear" in Japanese. Yaridovich's design is decidedly spear-like.
      • Exor's name is likely based on "Excalibur", seeing as he's a sword that gets embedded in a big stone object.
      • The Axem Rangers name speaks for themselves.
      • Gunyolk is a big cannon operated by a yellow, blob-like creature - a gun operated by a yolk.
      • Smithy himself is a weapon maker, i.e., a blacksmith.
  • Metal Slime: The Shy Ranger will randomly appear with Piranha Plants in the Pipe Vault, and has insanely high speed, high defense, and immunity to all four elements. Beating it rewards the player with a buttload of experience, and using a Yoshi Cookie on it may turn it into a KerokeroCola, the best healing item available.
  • Minecart Madness: After working your way through the Coal Mines and beating the chapter boss, you must escape via a mine cart over three courses. This later becomes a mini game if you talk to the mole outside.
  • Mini-Game: There are all the gambling games, a scavenger hunt you are asked to do for some ghosts, someone who challenges you to find all the hidden treasure boxes, Paratroopas who challenge you to climb a wall within a time limit, a challenge to do as many super jumps in a row as you can, races on Yo'ster Isle, a pond where you make different music by jumping on tadpoles, and a game where you collect coins going down a waterfall in order to be rewarded with frog coins, among others.
  • Minigame Zone: Grate Guy's Casino. It's actually hard to find and access, not very large, and not very profitable aside from the Star Egg. Booster's Tower is also supposedly a very fun yet eccentric amusement park, with clowns, an indoor railroad, and dolls.
  • Money for Nothing: Regular coins become mostly useless towards the end of the game, and even the much rarer Frog Coins don't allow you to get anything that can truly be considered broken. After beating Bowser's Keep, one of Bowser's minions creates a chest that gives you infinite money, as long as you're patient enough to keep hitting it.
  • Monster Town: Monstro Town is populated with Goombas, Koopa Troopas, Thwomps, and other classic Mario enemies alongside some other monsters unique to Super Mario RPG like the Starfish. They do not fight you and are all pretty peaceful.
  • Mook Depletion: Throughout the early game are several scenes of Bowser commanding his Koopa Troop forces. Each time, there are fewer and fewer, the rest deciding Screw This, I'm Outta Here!, until finally Bowser asks Mario's party to join the troop because nobody else stuck around.
  • Mook Promotion: Parodied. Going out of your way to lose to the Apprentices in Booster Pass makes Booster promote them to proper Snifits, numbering 4, 5, 6, and 7. Another Apprentice tries to become Snifit 8, but there's no room for him.
  • Motor Mouth: The Gardener in Rose Town, who rambles stories in excitement if you give him the items required to fetch the Lazy Shell.
  • Musical Spoiler: As if the patently creepy behavior of the townspeople wasn't enough of a clue, the presence of the "town in trouble" theme is a dead giveaway that something is seriously not right in Seaside Town.
  • My Little Panzer: The Geno doll's Establishing Character Moment indicates that it has a Rocket Punch capable of knocking Mario out with a direct shot at his forehead.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules:
    • Averted with FP, as enemy groups have an FP pool too. Usually you'll either win or lose long before theirs runs out, though.
    • King Kalimari's Tentacle Rope attack ignores immunity to fear. On the other hand, equipping Mario with Jump Shoes lets the player ignore enemies' Jump-attack immunity.
  • Mythology Gag: Walking behind a certain column in Booster's Tower will cause Mario to transform into his 8-bit self.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Gunyolk is named after Nintendo's own Gunpei Yokoi. While there is a one-letter difference, in most English dialects, Yokoi's surname is pronounced yolk-oy anyway.
  • Noble Shoplifter: When the Mushroom Kingdom is under attack, the item shopkeeper can be found cowering in the back of the shop, with a sign on the counter saying to take what you want and leave the money. Reading it allows you to buy items as if the shopkeeper was there, with no option to leave without paying.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Valentina's Castle theme has the sound of a woman laughing in the typical "Oh ho ho ho ho" style.
  • Nobody Here but Us Statues: Mario paints himself gold to hide amongst Valentina's statues. There's a short minigame where Mario has to avoid blowing his cover as Dodo pecks at the statues; winning nets you the speed-boosting Feather, and losing starts an optional fight with Dodo.
  • Nostalgia Level:
    • One of the rooms in the "action" segments in Bowser's Keep very closely resembles Donkey Kong.
    • Appropriately enough for Mario's first JRPG outing, the game opens in Bowser's Keep, a lava-filled castle with white interiors.
    • The Pipe Vault, which is one square wide to simulate the original platformers, has a bunch of classic enemies (and Frogog for some reason), and even has one part where you slide underneath a small gap by ducking as you run.
  • No-Sell: Characters that take no actual damage from an attack will not flinch in the animation. The Safety Ring makes all elemental attacks cast on the user ineffective, as well as status effects, and it and other late-game accessories nullify instant death attacks. Spiky enemies such as the classic Spinies are completely immune to Mario's jump attacks and they'll take no damage if you jump on them, but wearing the Jump Shoes lets Mario jump on them normally and bypass the immunity.
  • Not Completely Useless: The Defend command is rendered largely moot by timed hits, which can reduce or even nullify damage without taking up a turn. Then there's the fight against Birdo, whose eggs can only be reflected by the Defend command. Reflecting the eggs will turn them into active targets, which means they can then be destroyed to inflict massive damage to Birdo.
  • Obstacle Ski Course: Booster Hill is a steep slope leading to Marrymore. Mario tries to catch Booster on this hill before he can marry Toadstool. Unfortunately, there's dozens of rolling barrels in his path.
  • Off-Model: Some of the returning characters and enemies look different than their appearances even before this game, such as Goombas being somewhat scrunched up.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: Sinister pipe organ sounds are used for some dungeon songs, such as "The Dungeon is Full of Monsters" and both visits to Bowser's Keep.
  • One-Hit Kill: The "Magnum" attack, used mostly by Bill Blaster enemies and Smithy's tank head. Also, Pulsar and Corkpedite Body's self-destruct "Migraine", Jinx's "Silver Bullet", Glum Reaper's "Scythe", and Cluster's less common "Psyche". Some of them can be blocked, while others are nullified by accessories.
  • One of These Doors Is Not Like the Other: In the Forest Maze, the correct path to take is the one that the player sees Geno taking.
  • One Size Fits All: Work Pants, the Lazy Shell armor, and the Super Suit all fit any party member who wears them, including the huge Bowser.
  • One-Winged Angel: Smithy, after you defeat his first form. He has a temper tantrum that sends the party into a junkyard-themed Amazing Technicolor Battlefield, and turns himself into a metallic skull that is reshaped by his hammer-wielding body.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: An upset Mario was going to punch a kid! Good thing Mallow stopped him in time.
  • Outside-Genre Foe: Mario had dealt with alien invaders before; but living, talking biomechanical weapons from another dimension?
  • Party in My Pocket: Played with repeatedly:
    • After a conversation is supposedly concluded, all the characters prepare to step back inside Mario. The speaker then remembers something and when he says, "Oh and one more thing..." all the characters bump heads. A moment later, when the speaker has finished for real, they start to move into Mario again, and Mario makes them stop until he's ready.
    • The other party members are also apparently literally inside Mario (or merged with him, or something), rather than metaphorically. Check out the reaction of the Mushroom Chancellor and his court when Bowser steps out. You'd think they'd have noticed the giant turtle-dragon if he'd actually been present prior to this.
    • Similarly, at one point after Bowser joins the party a Mushroom Kingdom citizen will start to tell you what an awful, evil person he thinks Bowser is. Bowser growls from (apparently) inside Mario, causing the guy to ask wildly what that horrible noise was.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • The Surprise Box in the Mushroom Kingdom castle can only be reached during your first visit. This is because you have to vault off a Toad to reach the platform the box is on, and he only runs down the hall under the platform once.
    • Samus's cameo is only available during a certain period of the game. However, as soon as Link appears in a similar manner, he stays there the whole game.
    • Some of the items you can buy from Seaside Town can only be acquired before you liberate it, or can only be gotten by using Yoshi Cookies on enemies. On the bright side, most of them aren't that good so you won't miss much.
    • Beating Croco's Crooks in the Coal Mines will earn you extra Flower Points, but only if you choose to fight Croco last instead of immediately.
    • Scoring exceedingly well the first time in the Goomba Thumping game can make getting the second prize, a Flower Jar, impossible. This is because each prize's threshold is your last high score plus two.
    • If you fail the "hide behind the curtains" event in Booster Tower, you'll have to fight Booster instead of receiving the Amulet from him.
    • If you fail to fool Dodo, you will not get his feather and instead you will have to fight him.
  • Perverse Puppet: Remo Con and Puppox, self-manned marionette enemies that appear in Booster Tower and the Gate respectively.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Jinx is a martial arts master you challenge three times in Monstro Town. He is wicked fast and specializes in one-hit-KO moves. He is also less than half Mario's size.
  • Pirate: Late into the Sunken Ship, the party fights shark pirates, led by their captain Jonathan Jones, who is keeping the fifth Star Piece for himself. They're surprisingly casual for pirates, with Jones giving up the Star Piece after a fair fight, and they help corner Yaridovich before he can run off with the Star Piece.
  • Playing Card Motifs: Mario's special attacks involve a spade aura, Mallow's a club, Bowser's a diamond, and Toadstool's a heart. Geno ends up with a star aura.
  • Plot Coupon: Mario and co. need to collect the seven Star Pieces to restore Star Road, which was destroyed by the Smithy Gang.
  • Pop Quiz: Two of the doors in the six-door gauntlet of Bowser's Keep are puzzle rooms, hosted by a green Hammer Bro named Dr. Topper. One of the rooms is a multiple-choice quiz about various parts of the game, while the others are logic and quick-thinking puzzles.
  • Power Fist: Several of the weapons. Mario gets ones that give him a longer punch combo, then ones that make his fists huge, Mallow gets something similar, Princess Toadstool gets a larger hand to slap enemies, and Bowser's best weapon is the Drill Claw.
  • Puzzle Boss:
    • The fight against Bowser in the game's start. You can attack him but he eventually stops taking damage and the princess tells you to attack the chain instead so that Bowser falls.
    • The battle against Birdo. Although you can beat Birdo by sheer force, it can be a long battle with lots of healing and reviving, unless you grind up levels to get past her defense. What you aren't told about the fight is if you have your characters use Defend, the eggs will bounce back to Birdo's nest and become targets. Destroying the eggs afterwards creates an explosion that severely hurts Birdo. An NPC in the same area actually hints at it, but it's easy to interpret "when you shield yourself" as meaning executing a timed-defense.
    • Bundt has no Hit Points. Use Psychopath on it and its HP reading will come up zero. Its health is only dictated by the number of lit candles on its head, each candle getting snuffed whenever you land a hit. One relights every time Bundt has his turn, so one must continually pelt Bundt with attacks nonstop to ensure the first phase of this battle ends quickly. The second phase gives the boss back a set amount of HP.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: An Italian plumber, a child made of clouds, a doll, a giant turtle, and a princess.

    R to Y 
  • Rainbow Motif: The seven star pieces are colored this way.
  • Rain of Arrows: This is Bowyer's preferred method of attacking Rose Town, constantly firing arrows into it from the forest. Rather fitting considering that he's a giant bow and all of his minions are sentient arrows. When someone is struck with the arrow, they are paralyzed in place, unable to move, but still able to talk. There's also an attack called "Arrow Rain."
  • Reality Ensues: A spring in the Coal Mines placed by Croco as a trap causes Mario to bounce into the ceiling abruptly, knocking him unconscious.
  • Rearrange the Song: The music for the fight with Bowser at the beginning of the game is his boss music in Super Mario Bros. 3. A slower remix of it is used when you return to Bowser's Keep late in the game as the second part of the Bowser's Keep theme.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: As you take the other Axem Rangers out of the fight against them, Axem Red hilariously chews them out.
  • Reset Button: An item called Earlier Times lets you redo a battle from the beginning again.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Belome, when casting the game's first instance of the Scarecrow status, S'crow Funk:
    "Stick for a body, head full of straw, give me a scarecrow, rah, rah, RAH!"
  • Rocket Punch: Geno's unarmed attack has him shoot his arm at the elbow. Later, he gets a weapon called precisely this to shoot both of his arms at once.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: More than half the party is filled with royals: King Bowser, Princess Toadstool, and Prince Mallow.
  • Sampling: "Still, the Road is Full of Dangers" from Russian Dance (Trepak).
  • Save the Princess: The game starts off with Princess Toadstool being kidnapped and Mario rescuing her from Bowser, only for their fight to be interupted and for all three of them to go flying in different directions. Mario initially sets out to get Toadstool back and has to rescue her from Booster, but after saving her they decide they need to stop to primary enemy, Smithy, a task Princess Toadstool joins the team to complete.
  • Say It with Hearts: Birdo's text balloons consistently use hearts. Sometimes she is being overtly flirty, and sometimes the effect is just off-putting when she tacks them on to statements about how she is being hurt.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: The Attack Scarf, a Mario-only accessory that can only be obtained by doing 30 Super Jumps in a row. There's also the Rare Scarf, which can be used by anybody and boosts defense.
  • Scenery Porn: Just like the Donkey Kong Country series, it uses CG models rendered as Digitized Sprites. And it looks just as good, if not better, than a lot of the early N64 games.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: If Bowser is in your active party while going through Bowser's Keep, several of the enemies you encounter may run away as soon as the battle starts.
  • Scrolling Text: The dialog in the game is presented as such.
  • Secret A.I. Moves:
    • Bowser can shoot his spikes out of his shell when you fight him early in the game. When he finally joins your party, that move is not available.
    • The clones that Belome create are capable of using moves you can never have.
  • Secret Shop: Of sorts. It's actually an out-of-the-way casino, and you'll need a card to get in.
  • Sentient Stars: Geno is one that possesses a doll to fight with the rest of the party.
  • Sequence Breaking:
    • There's a normally inaccessible pipe and item box in Kero Sewers to an area that you normally couldn't go to until over halfway through the game... unless you maneuver enemies into a specific position, fight with them and Run Away, which causes them to become solid objects and let you go jumping on their head. There is Developers' Foresight, however, and the item box contains a single Flower instead of the Cricket Jam you'd normally get, and a Broken Bridge prevents you from going anywhere in Land's End (and an enemy even has special dialogue if you try this). Trying to fight the enemy will allow him to slaughter you.
    • You can skip the first major boss by making a very precise jump. The game continues on as normal, but the Star Piece option never shows up in the menu.
  • Sequential Boss: Boomer and Exor are fought back-to-back with no chance for healing, and the battle with Smithy has two parts.
  • Shoot the Medic First: When taking on the Axem Rangers, targeting the pink ranger first is suggested by the official guide book because if Pink is active, she will heal her party members. This is actually bad advice — Green does by far the most damage of the Axem Rangers with his spells, and he has lower hitpoints and defense than Pink, so he should be taken out first, followed by Pink.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The encounter with Culex uses three themes from the Final Fantasy series: the Prelude, the standard victory fanfare and the remixed Final Fantasy IV boss battle music.
    • While the credits roll, there's an Electrical Parade! (Well, the lights come in partway through, but the music is a definite Shout Out from the start.)
      • When Princess Toadstool's castle is illuminated at night, it bears more than a passing resemblance to Sleeping Beauty's Disneyland residence.
    • Jinx's Japanese name is Jackie.
    • Czar Dragon's name is shared with a boss that was Dummied Out from the original version of Final Fantasy VI. Although the boss appeared in that game's Game Boy Advance Updated Re-release, it was retranslated as Kaiser Dragon, making the connection with this game's Czar Dragon less obvious.
    • That Chest Monster on the Sunken Ship, Hidon, shares its name with a boss from Final Fantasy VI.
    • The Axem Rangers are living shoutouts to both Power Rangers and Super Sentai.
    • Cloaker announces his fight with "It's clobbering time!" Punchinello also says this when he summons Mezzo Bombs.
    • Bob-omb's Psychopath text: "Small is as small does."
    • You fight Bahamutt as a mini-boss who was summoned by another monster. This was a translation addition; his original name is Doshi (which explains why he looks like a Yoshi with wings)
    • Donkey Kong appears as enemies named "Guerilla" and "Chained Kong", specifically using the Donkey Kong Country design.
    • The Box Boy enemy can summon an obese genie minion called "Fautso", a pun on "fatso" and Faust.
    • In the Japanese version many of the enemy thoughts that can be read using Mallow's Psychopath ability are references to other media, including, but not limited to, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Virtua Fighter, Giant Robo, and Fist of the North Star.
    • Frogog's Japanese name is Richard and Ribbite's name is Richard II.
    • While stopping Mario from fighting Bowyer without thinking things through, Mallow said he can't just go all out like Bruce Lee.
    • The puppet enemies, Remo Con and Puppox, can use a special attack called Eerie Jig that transform a character into a scarecrow. The Japanese name of the skill is Mysterious Dance, meaning that it shares the name with an ability used by the marionette monsters in the Dragon Quest series.
  • Skippable Boss:
  • Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke: Once Punchinello is defeated, he summons a massive Bob-omb as a last-ditch effort to win. It goes off without any major damage to the local mineshaft or any of your party members.
  • Smooch of Victory: Depending on how fast you recover the Princess's accessories in Marrymore Chapel, Mario can receive one of these from Toadstool, Bowser or Booster.
  • Snot Bubble: The "sleep" status effect. Lampshaded by the Big Boo of the Three Musty Fears: "Check those bubbles coming out of his nose!"
  • Spiritual Successor: The Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi series are this for this game. The former was even known as Super Mario RPG 2 early in development, while the latter was developed by a company founded by former Square employees that worked on Super Mario RPG and shares a composer with this game.
  • Springs, Springs Everywhere: Springs with happy faces painted on them allow Mario to leap up to new sections of a dungeon or otherwise potentially ludicrous heights... except in the Coal Mines, where one spring will shoot Mario directly into the ceiling and cause him to fall unconscious. Croco promptly appears and steals all his money.
  • Star Power:
  • Stealth Pun: You recruit Mallow just before you walk into a marshy area. Marshmallow?
  • Stone Wall:
    • The Lazy Shell armor will turn anyone into this when it's equipped, raising their defense and magic defense through the roof but at a severe cost to their offensive power. Stick it on the Princess and your party is effectively unbeatable unless your opponent has a One-Hit KO move or you run out of Flower Points.
    • The Rare Scarf is an accessory that further boosts both defense stats; pairing both the Shell and the Scarf is useful against Culex and Jinx, who have incredibly damaging attacks.
    • The Safety Ring protects from One-Hit KO moves, Standard Status Effects, and certain elemental attacks. Using it in conjunction with the Lazy Shell will render a character Nigh-Invulnerable as long as you have a lot of syrups.
  • Storming the Castle: Mario does this at the beginning of the game in Bowser's Keep. And it is done again for the final Star Piece, except that it is not The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
  • Storm of Blades: Three of the most powerful enemy magic attacks are "Sword Rain," "Spear Rain" and "Arrow Rain," all of which are unique to the final boss fight against Smithy. During the first stage of the fight Smithy can summon lackeys that know "Sword Rain", while during the second phase of the fight Smithy can use all three attacks, but only when he morphs his head into the "Magic Head" form.
  • Strange-Syntax Speaker: Nya! Both this and a regular Verbal Tic, Bowyer uses. Nya!
  • Sugar Apocalypse: Smithy intends to turn the Mushroom Kingdom, normally a Sugar Bowl, into "a world filled with weapons".
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The Koopa Troopas in this game are all replaced with soldiers called Terrapins (never mind that Koopa Troopas have already been shown to walk on two legs at this point). The Sky Troopas managed to stay, though. Even the cooks in Marrymore are Terrapins, as well. This is all due to the game's translation — their Japanese name is "Nokohei", "hei" being the Japanese word for Soldier and "Noko" being half of their Japanese namenote . With this regard, their Japanese name could more properly be translated into English as "Koopa Soldier".
  • Taking You with Me: The Cluster enemy's "Psyche!", a One-Hit Kill that it uses as a Counter-Attack unless you defeat it with one hit. Cluster's Palette Swap, Pulsar, has "Migraine", which has the same effect. Corkpedite's Body will also use Migraine if the head is destroyed first.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Played with. Mario and Mallow have a conversation with Geno after interrupting the duel between him and Bowyer, only for Bowyer to stomp the ground to get their attention and yell at them for ignoring him. The three promptly assume their regular positions and the fight begins.
  • Tentacle Rope: One of King Calamari's attacks consists of dragging a character away offscreen. When they return, they are inflicted with the fear status, which splits their attack and defense in half and makes them tremble violently.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: Mario whistles his theme song while showering.
  • This Cannot Be!: The Axem Rangers and Smithy have outbursts of this nature when they're defeated.
  • Too Awesome to Use: KerokeroColas (full HP/FP heal for everyone), Rock Candies (massive damage to all enemies), and especially Red Essences (three turns of invincibility); the first is very expensive and can't be bought until after finishing Toadofsky's sidequest unless you stay in Marrymore's hotel, the second is a rare item from boxes and using Yoshi Cookies on certain enemies, and the third is even rarer and can only be gotten rarely from Grate Guy outside of boxes. Thankfully, you have a chance of getting a "freebie" whenever you use any item, so luck (or Save Scumming) can allow you to use them multiple times.
  • Took a Level in Badass: One of Bowser's subordinates, Jagger the Terrapin, had an epiphany not long after the start of the game and decided to train his mind and body at Jinx's dojo so he could be a more effective minion for his boss. Bowser, upon finding this out, forgives him for what would technically be desertion and wishes him well on his goal.
  • Took a Shortcut: How else would Toad get to the second-to-last room in the game, which is in the middle of the enemy's factory?
  • Trauma Inn: All of them cost money to stay in, except for the one in Rose Town and Mario's house (obviously). In the Marrymore Inn, it's even possible to delay checking out until you're broke, requiring Mario to pay off the debt by serving as a bellhop.
  • Trick Boss: Czar Dragon. After being "defeated", it immediately comes back as Zombone, who is fought in the second phase.
  • Turns Red:
    • A variety of enemies will boost their attack or defense when things are getting dangerous for them. Wigglers actually do turn red when doing this.
    • Johnny does this if you kill his flunkies and shift the battle to a Duel Boss, becoming notably stronger.
  • Uncommon Time: The music in Smithy's Factory has a very strange time signature of 13/8.
  • Underground Level: Kero Sewers, the Pipe Vault, and the Coal Mines. All three of them are dark underground areas, with the former two being based around the underground pipe-filled areas of Mario platformers and the latter being a standard mining cavern in Moleville.
  • Underground Monkey: Most enemies have at least one palette-swapped variant that shows up later in the game, with a few, such as Spikeys, having three.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The minigames put much more emphasis on isometric platforming in comparison to the main maps.
  • Unwilling Suspension: Toadstool is suspended from a ceiling rope when Bowser captures her.
  • Vendor Trash: Goodie Bag, a secret item in Booster Tower. Although it is an unlimited source of free coins, the fact that you only get one per use during battle makes it the slowest method of getting money.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • When you recover a Toad's wallet from Croco, you can sell it for money. You shouldn't, because he rewards you with a much-harder-to-obtain Frog Coin if you return it.
    • If you help the guy out in Rose Town by opening his house, you can steal from the chests inside. When he enters, he'll ask if they're okay. If you left them alone - okay, great, you get some directions in the Maze and coins from the chests. If you didn't, they contained two Flowers which are more valuable and harder to come by than coins.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: If you choose to allow the Elder of Seaside Town to be tickle tortured just once by Yaridovich, the reward he gives you for saving the town will change from a Flower Jar to something less valuable. Allowing him to be tickle tortured repeatedly will ultimately downgrade his reward to just one worthless coin.
  • Vile Villain, Laughable Lackey: In Nimbus Land, Valentina was a scheming, seductive usurper, but she had a lazy, fat, bumbling lackey in Dodo whose size and temper are Played for Laughs.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Smithy when defeated in his first form by Mario and allies, with the minions even try to calm their boss down to no avail.
  • Visual Pun: Mack rides around on his giant knife like a pogo stick or a jack hammer. Or perhaps a jack-knife.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss:
    • Croco serves as a wake-up call to players that haven't used all available options in battle properly. Mallow is too physically weak to damage the boss and spamming Thunderbolt will quickly drain your FP and leave none for Mario to use his special attacks since the party shares FP instead of having it individually. Croco also introduces attacks that can't be blocked with button timing and uses an item to heal himself. Unless the player uses the defend command for Mallow and learn how to ration FP and items, they will be in for a very rough fight.
    • Bowyer also serves as a wake-up call gimmick boss. After depleting some of his HP, Bowyer will lock out the battle commands (attack, items, and abilities) you've used most the past few turns and he will utterly destroy you if you don't quickly adapt to having an option taken from you. This is also the battle where Geno joins, so it's necessary to quickly learn his timed hits so he can help damage Bowyer instead of being a Glass Cannon liability.
  • Warm-Up Boss: The Hammer Brothers on Mushroom Way. They're the first boss to be a real challenge (Bowser's fight is mostly to establish the story), and require some blocking and timed hits to be defeated without danger.
  • Weapon of Choice: Very few of the main characters, excepting Bowser (who is normally a villain) and Geno (who is a doll with custom toys), use standard weapons per se; Mario has his hammers and shells, Mallow uses staves and cymbals, and Toadstool uses whatever the hell she can find. Actual role-playing game weapons such as swords, knives, and arrows are for Smithy and the villains, who explicitly want to create "a world of weapons", and this is kept consistent throughout the game.
  • What Does This Button Do?: Mallow wonders this about a giant green switch button inside the Smithy Factory. When he jumps on it, he's lifted into the air by a giant crane. You will use this same method to reach Smithy in his chamber.
  • What the Hell, Player?:
    • In the first room of Booster Tower, among some normal enemies, there are two Spookums apparently having a conversation. Like normal enemies, if you touch one, you will enter a battle; however, after defeating one, its partner will continue talking for a bit, then look around, panic, run to the corner and stay there, shuddering, until you defeat him.
    • After meeting Mallow in the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario can choose to either help him get the frog coin back or refuse. Refusing three times will have Mallow cry, surprised that someone like Mario could be so mean. Talking to a nearby NPC afterwards will have her tell you that she doesn't care how high you can jump because being mean is just uncool.
    • A child NPC in the Mushroom Kingdom will ask Mario if he can jump as high as him with enough practice. Say yes and the kid will bounce on his bed hyperactivity. Telling him "Yeah right, kid" will have him stop jumping and get upset at you for crushing his dreams.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: After the final boss, there's a few scenes that wrap up the game's story before the ending parade:
    • Mallow is officially crowned the prince of Nimbus Land.
    • Bowser is repairing his castle, and gets mad at a Shy Guy that hijacks his Clown Car.
    • Johnny Jones enjoys the sunset in the area where Yaridovich was fought.
    • Croco has moved to Yo'ster Island, and befriends Boshi after losing a race to Yoshi.
    • Frogfucius and his student (the one who was in Seaside Town) attend a concert conducted by Toadofsky.
    • In the middle of his wedding to Valentina, Booster runs off, to the befuddlement of Dodo and the Snifits.
    • Mario and Toadstool return to the Mushroom Kingdom.
  • Where It All Began: The first stage you enter is Bowser's Keep, when Exor flings you out and makes the original path you took impossible to take again. Ultimately you need to reenter the castle to challenge the invader. To do this you travel the long way around, eventually forming a complete circle on your map.
  • Who Dares?: In Johnny Jones' lair after Mario dodges an attempted takeout: "How dare you dodge the barrel!"
  • Wind Is Green: Culex is accompanied by four colour-coded crystals each representing one of the four elements. The Wind crystal is green, and uses electrical attacks plus Petal Blast.
  • Wish Upon a Shooting Star: Inverted: wishes become shooting stars in the Star Road and get granted when they collide with the ground.
  • Wolfpack Boss: Two of them in the main story: first is the Axem Rangers, where you fight all five of them, then Count Down and the two Ding-A-Lings. The Bonus Boss is also one of these — Culex and the four elemental crystals.
  • Work Off the Debt: If you overstay your welcome in the Marrymore Inn and you don't have enough coins to pay the increased bill, you get to be a bellhop. It can be done purposefully for the fun of it or for the occasional really good tip in forms of rare items like Max Mushrooms or Flower Boxes.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Some of the returning characters and enemies look different than their official appearance, even before this game. One example is the Hammer Brothers, which look like thugs in this game, in comparison to their usually cutesy appearances within the other games.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: The party finally manages to exorcise Exor, only to realize the portal to Smithy's factory is still open. Now that he's gotten his castle back, Bowser is content to leave everyone to rot, but Geno persuades him that Smithy could crash it again.

"No, you may NOT sleep in the princess's bed! Have you no manners?"

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