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This time, saving the world will be more than hitting the Question Block...
"Listen, Mustache, you and your overgrown turtle-friend can take a hike! Go! Scat! Make like Mario and jump outta here!"
Snifster 1 (mistaking Mario for an impersonator).

Super Mario RPG (subtitled Legend of the Seven Stars in its original English release) is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: it is the first Eastern RPG in the Mario brand, developed by Square and published by Nintendo in 1996 for the SNES. It was also a Trope Codifier of Mascot RPG spin-offs for video game franchises that you wouldn't think would lend themselves to a Role-Playing Game format.

During a routine princess-saving by Mario, a giant sapient sword plants itself into Bowser’s Keep, booting everyone inside out, and is taken over by a mechanical menace named Smithy, who plans to Take Over the World with his army of living weapons, with the sword, Exor, acting as a gateway between worlds. Soon afterwards, a messenger from the stars named Geno (or rather, "♡♪!?") informs us that Exor 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.

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). This would also be the first Mario game to feature extensive storytelling and characterization, and introduced the concept of Bowser being portrayed as a more complex and potentially sympathetic character. Nintendo would take these themes and run with them, producing a series of pseudo-sequels without Square's involvement, Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi, though the latter series would have involvement from both SMRPG directors and composer. 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. The original Super Mario RPG itself, however, has made consistent reappearances in places where Nintendo collects retro games; the respective Virtual Consoles for both Wii and Wii U (before their respective stores shut down) have carried the game in all regions, and SMRPG is also among the 21 games included on the SNES Classic Edition.

A Video Game Remake was released for the Nintendo Switch on November 17, 2023, developed by ArtePiazza. The remake features upgraded 3D graphics, a rearranged soundtrack done by original composer Yoko Shimomura (with the option of using the original soundtrack as well), post-game rematches against harder versions of bosses, a Monster Compendium, support for languages other than Japanese and English, and other new additions such as a Combination Attack.

Trailers: June Direct, September Direct, November Overview Trailer, Launch Trailer.


This video game contains examples of the following tropes:

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  • 100% Completion: Hidden chests, the Frog Coin store in Seaside Townnote , Grate Guy's Casino, Yo'ster Isle, getting everyone to Level 30...
  • Absurdly Low Level Cap: Downplayed. The cap for levels is largely well-suited for the length of the journey, especially due to the lower XP numbers played with. The cap for Flower Points is generally reached at around the start of the endgame (and that's without having mastered the several ways to get a bunch of them in the midgame), but this is addressed with a late item that effectively doubles the pool for characters who have it, and the Switch remake adds a way to hoard extra Flower items so you can keep score.
  • 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 and spell can be improved with a well-timed button press. You can even reduce or negate the damage from most enemy attacks. Naturally, 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. The remake even lampshades this with the Hammer Bro's journal entry:
    They pretended there was only one, but when the battle started, suddenly there were two. Where in the world was the other one hiding?
  • 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.
  • Advertised Extra: Yoshi appears with the main cast on the Japanese box art, suggesting that he's pivotal to the story. However, his role is pretty minimal, and you can play the whole game without ever running into him.
  • After-Combat Recovery: Dead characters are revived with 1 HP and still gain experience at the end of battle.
  • Amplifier Artifact:
  • Another Dimension:
    • Smithy's Factory is located in a dark and gloomy void dimension, with Exor serving as a bridge between the worlds.
    • Culex is from another dimension, and remains in a strange dimensional rift in Monstro Town because Mario's world is uninhabitable for him. The standard meaning of this trope only applies in the English version. In the Japanese version, Culex's talk of dimensions instead refers to the fact that he's a two-dimensional being who cannot comprehend Mario's three-dimensional world.
  • 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.
    • Mario (and by extension his party) cannot take damage outside of battle. Environmental hazards can take coins out of Mario but they'll never deplete health. This makes some of the tricky platforming more manageable as you don't have to worry about adverse effects.
  • 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.
  • Armored But Frail:
    • Orb Users in Boosters Tower have 80 defense which is huge at the point you fight them at. They only have a measly 8 HP, which means that any attacks that can get past their defense will one-shot them.
    • Dry Bones and their Underground Monkey variant Vomers die if they take any damage... but they are also completely immune to physical damage, requiring magic attacks to take down.
  • Armor of Invincibility: The Lazy Shell armor 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 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. It also happens to hide the existence of the Smithy Gang entirely, which is evident in the Forest Maze segment which shows Wizakoopa firing at Mario and Mallow where Geno shows up (in the actual game, this is the fight between Bowyer). In the remake, no scenes were altered, but it still does hide the existence of the Smithy Gang.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Nearly 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. 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. Averted with Geno's Geno Flash and Peach's Psych Bomb, which are both powerful non-elemental attacks that are great against the game's later enemies and bosses. Psych Bomb especially is likely the strongest special move in the game thanks to Peach's naturally strong magical abilities, with the only real issues being that Peach is usually better off healing and its power will be crippled if she is wearing the Lazy Shell.
    • Geno's Geno Whirl can inflict 9999 damage if you time it just right. Very awesome, but also a waste of FP if you use it on every single enemy and it costs 8 FP per use. Nearly every boss is also immune to the spell's damage cap.
  • 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.
  • Battle Against the Sunset: The battle against Yaridovich takes place on a coastal cliff with a red sunset.
  • 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.
  • Beef Gate: By exploiting a glitch in Kero Sewers, you can reach a pipe that leads to the much later area Land's End. A nearby Shy Away talks to you after you exit the pipe, saying "This is a dead end, so it's best to turn back now." You can try to fight them if you want, but it certainly won't end well, so it's best to just listen to the Shy Away's words.
  • 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 and cuts down the chandelier he's standing on. Mario seems to protest, but Boomer won't have any of it.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The word the Magikoopa utters in Bowser's Keep to create an infinite coin box is "hoʻokalakupua," which is Hawaiian for "magic". (The remake replaces this with a new, punny spell.)
  • Blocking Stops All Damage: Proper timing on your Action Commands against enemy physical attacks can halve or completely negate the damage. Magic and special moves, unfortunately, can't be blocked.
  • Book Ends: The game starts with Mario facing a hammer-wielder as the first boss (Bowser or the Hammer Bros, though the former only uses them after the fight) and ends with Mario's party facing a hammer-wielder as the last boss (Smithy).
  • Bootstrapped Theme: "Beware of Forest Mushrooms", the Forest Maze theme, is considered far more memorable and iconic of Super Mario RPG than even "Fun Adventure, Cheerful Adventure", the game's actual title theme.
  • Boss-Altering Consequence:
    • If you use a Fire attack against Croco, it will set his tail on fire, and he'll waste a turn trying to put it out.
    • Using Thunderbolt against Mack will stun him for a turn.
    • During the boss fight against Jonathan Jones, if the player takes out all four of his Mooks, he'll challenge Mario to a one-on-one duel, which causes the fight to become a Duel Boss.
    • Exor lacks the Contractual Boss Immunity to the Geno Whirl's One-Hit Kill effect, meaning that after you take out its eyes, and know the timing for Geno Whirl, you can take it out instantly.
  • 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 Optional 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 an industrial 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.
  • 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."
    • Croco's dialogue "You're a persistent bugger!" was changed to "You're a persistent pest!" for the European Virtual Console release to avoid getting a 12 rating from PEGI.
    • The Switch remake removes the gambling from Grate Guy's Casino; it replaces the minigames with others, though, so whether or not this makes the game worse is a matter of personal taste.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The Magikoopa in Bowser's Keepnote  is acting as a minion of Smithy until Mario and co. defeat him.
  • 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 has to make the trek the long way around on the world map and 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 he accepts 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. Two of the other dolls in the box are also cameos (difficult to parse on the SNES, but blatantly obvious in the remake): Disk-kun (the mascot of the Famicom Disk System) and a Stunt Race FX vehicle (probably intended to be F-Type based on its make and red paintjob, but the colors don't exactly match).
    • You can see models of an Arwing, a Blue Falcon, and a Fire Stingray in the shop of Barrel Volcano.
    • 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. Outside of the game, he also give commentary in the game's manual.
    • One of the portraits in Booster's Tower looks like Wario. Seeing how Booster is an expy of Wario, this makes sense.
    • Amidst all the Nintendo cameos, there's exactly one explicit Squaresoft cameo in the game: a toy Magitek Armor on the desk in the first room of Booster Tower. Like the toybox items, this is hard to parse on the SNES but is more visible in the remake.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: Mario must always be the first member of the party.
  • Cap:
    • The game's level cap is one of the lowest eastern examples at 30; on the other hand, getting there requires 9999 Experience Points, a massive figure given how little the payouts from enemies are.
    • The amount of coins the party can hold is limited to 999, and some items can sell for more than half of that. The Switch remake adds 9000 to the cap, largely averting this dilemma, though the Frog Coin cap is still left at its astronomical 999.
    • 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, so managing inventory space becomes a challenge. The Switch remake goes the route of giving every item individual cap amounts, and providing an automatic storage bin back at Mario's House (which the game doesn't tell you about until you need it) for all of your treasure-hoarding needs.
  • 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 claims that his Geno doll grew several feet taller and strolled right out the door. His mother doesn't believe him, even when you visit Gaz's house later on with Geno in your party.
  • Chain of Deals: One can be gone through in Moleville: buy a set of Fireworks for 500 coins, trade them with another mole for a Shiny Stone, trade that in the item shop for a Carbo Cookie, and finally give it to a mole girl sitting on a bucket, netting you a Frog Coin and letting you enter the bucket for a trip through the Midas River course where all your earnings are kept instead of being given to the Toad that normally runs it. The chain can be repeated afterwards. Interestingly, the earlier items in the chain are more valuable in some ways, as the Shiny Stone is the key to the superboss's door and the Fireworks add extra flair to the ending sequence depending on how many are in the player's inventory.
  • Characterization Click Moment: Super Mario RPG is notable for being the point when the franchise began developing Bowser from a Generic Doomsday Villain into a sympathetic and likable Anti-Villain with a strong sense of respect for Mario and a Boisterous Bruiser streak, something which has remained largely a constant in the franchise ever since.
  • Character Name Limits: Belome creates clones of party members which are called "X Clone", except for Princess Toadstool, whose clone is called "Toadstool 2".
  • Chest Monster:
    • A more traditional example with Pandorite, Hidon, Box Boy, and Chester, who take the form of treasure boxes with a monster face within. They're all pretty tough and drop some useful items when beaten.
    • In the Forest Maze, some of the mushrooms lying about are healing items that can be picked up, while some of them are Amanita enemies that will show their true form and try to attack you if you get near them.
    • Booster Pass has the Artichoker enemies that disguise themselves as the standard "artichoke" bushes around the area. Touching them results in a battle.
  • Climax Boss: Any battle against a member of the Smithy Gang, especially since they normally occur at the end of each section of the game before acquiring a Star Piece.
  • Cognizant Limbs: Several examples:
    • Corkpedite's head/legs and body are separate enemies.
    • Count Down's bells, the Ding-A-Lings, act separately from the clock face. In fact, the Ding-A-Lings appear to be in charge, since the clock just attacks in a set order, even though Count Down is the main target.
    • The giant sword Exor is made of four different targets. The actual boss is the small skull head on the pommel, but the giant face on the sword's hilt has three independent parts (Left Eye, Right Eye, and its mouth Neosquid), and the eyes have to be defeated before you can target the skull.
    • The final boss's body acts separately from its head, with the head being the main target. Beating the body is only temporary, and it'll soon start attacking again.
  • 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.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: An odd player example, where everyone shares a Flower Point pool, and having everyone spam magic is thus impractical unless you're hoping to end things quickly.
  • Continuity Nod: By walking behind a certain set of curtains in Booster Tower, Mario can briefly turn into his sprite from Super Mario Bros.; trying to leave the room in this state will cause Mario to run back through the curtains and return to normal.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity:
    • Geno Whirl does 9999 damage when done with a frame-precise timed hit. All enemies have less than that; the Final Boss has 8000 HP. Bosses are immune to this attack, however, except for Yaridovich's clone and Exor.
    • Pure Water will instantly destroy undead enemies, but when used against undead bosses it will only deal a fixed (but respectable) 130 points of damage.
  • Cowardly Mooks: There are a number of mooks that will often turn tail and run:
    • Crooks and their Underground Monkey equivalent Sackits will often turn tail and run when their turn comes up.
    • Shy Rangers will flee as soon as they get their turn (unless they're afflicted with a status ailment, for some reason). They're also normally much faster than player characters, requiring speed-increasing equipment to outspeed.
    • In the second visit to Bowser's Castle, having Bowser in the active party can scare away Gu Goombas (Pro Goombas in the remake), Terra Cottas, and Malakoopas.
  • 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.
  • Crossover: While fighting Culex, there's some brief overlap with Final Fantasy. Even though Culex himself is not from any Final Fantasy games, his boss theme is from Final Fantasy IV, and although not directly alluding to anyone specific in the franchise, his design and characterization are somewhat reminiscent of Kefka from Final Fantasy VI and Golbez from Final Fantasy IV respectively, the iconic crystals from the series are also present in the battle, and are fought against like in Final Fantasy V, and when (and if) you win, it uses the classic Final Fantasy victory fanfare instead of the usual victory music. Culex is also modeled like a boss in the FF games up to Final Fantasy VI, with his sprite being a static 2D image rather than an animated pre-rendered model; the Japanese version uses this as the reason he (a 2D being) wants to challenge Mario (a 3D being).
  • Crying Wolf: Gaz's mom thinks that he's just being overly imaginative 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 the Star Road.
  • Cue O'Clock: Countdown is a giant clock Boss that attacks in a fixed order based on what "time" it is. For instance, at 7:00, it will use Water Blast.
  • Cumulonemesis: The Mokura enemies are poisonous green clouds. They're initially immune to regular attacks thanks to their gaseous nature.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: In Moleville, you can approach Bowser and his army from the same stairs that they'll later use to exit the scene. Even when marching right past Mario, none of them will notice him.
  • Dance Party Ending: The game ends with the Mushroom Kingdom throwing a parade while the credits roll.
  • Darker and Edgier: While downplayed as it retains the series' usual wacky humor, this was by far the darkest Mario title at the time of its release, owing largely to Smithy and his gang being absolutely irredeemable dimensional conquerors who are trying to permanently transform the Mushroom Kingdom into a dead, dark world full of machinery and weapons instead of innocent life. They make the "Bowser has kidnapped the princess again" plots of previous games look like child's play.
  • 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 mellow out 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: Smithy's factory is in the business of mass-producing "Machine Mades", grayscale copies of the Smithy Gang bosses that Mario has bested up till then.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • 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.
    • If you stand atop the head of the small Mushroom Girl located in the Mushroom Kingdom map that is running in a square-circle, after a few seconds pass, Mario will automatically get off, shake with dizziness and fall face-down to the ground. And then get up and shake his head to get rid of the remaining dizziness.
    • 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. Afterward, 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 Kero Sewers, there's a pipe that leads to the late-game area Land's End and a chest containing Cricket Jam, a sidequest item for Frogfucius. While the pipe is on a platform too high to jump to, it's possible to reach it by getting into a fight with one of the Boos in the area and fleeing from it; enemies have a form of Mercy Invincibility when fled where they won'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 Shy Away 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.
    • Many of the fallen wishing stars on Star Hill contain wishes from characters, and two such wishes (Frogfucius wishing for Cricket Jam, and Mallow's parents wishing for their son to come home) will be fulfilled during the game. If you revisit Star Hill after such events, their wishing stars will say something different.
    • 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 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.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: Mario whistles his theme song while showering.
  • 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 return to Bowser's Keep and confront Exor properly.
  • Distressed Dude:
    • The first time you cross the Mushroom Way, you can save Toad from several enemies, the last of which is the Hammer Bros. mini-boss. It isn't actually required surprisingly enough, though definitely recommended since Toad gives you good rewards each time you save him.
    • After Mack and his Shysters attack the Mushroom Kingdom, you have the option of saving the Toads from the Shysters, with the exception of the Chancellor, whom you have to save in order of progress.
  • Double-Edged Buff: Characters afflicted by the mushroom transformation regenerate a small amount of lost health every turn but are otherwise incapable of acting during combat.
  • 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 Mines. 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.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: Mallow is surprised that Nimbus Kingdom has a prince with the same name as him, oblivious to the fact that he's the real prince.
  • Dual Boss:
    • The first proper boss after the tutorial is a pair of Hammer Brothers, despite only one appearing in the overworld. The Monster Compendium data in the remake even lampshades this.
    • 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 will eventually escalate to the boss insisting on going one-on-one with Mario (unless you exploit an oversight in leaving at least one of his flunkies alive, in which case Johnny will never speak up about this).
    • The throwdown with Valentina has Dodo, who 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.
  • Dwindling Party: After getting launched out into nowhere by the violent impact of Exor's arrival, Bowser gathers some of his remaining troops into a small army to fight back against the Smithy Gang and find a way back into his castle. The effort ends terribly in vain as all of his troops end up deserting him due to the Smithy Gang being too strong and unfamiliar for them.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Booster's birdcage contains a miniature version of Dodo, long before he appears during Nimbus Land's story.
    • After Yaridovich tries to run away with the fifth Star Piece, he grumbles that Blade is taking too long to pick him up. You don't find out Blade is the Axem Rangers' battleship until the fight with them.
    • A friendly fan-like creature in Monstro Town can be interacted with before the party reaches the next location where you encounter it as an enemy.
  • 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, as in-game she was usually addressed to as "Princess". 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. Tellingly, the Nintendo Switch remake swaps all mentions of "Toadstool" with "Peach".
    • The game's humor relies heavily on poking fun at all the tropes used in RPGs and the Mario franchise and pop culture references. Later Mario RPG games wouldn't use these quite as much.
    • Mario himself can be quite mean-spirited (most notably, he attempted to charge at Gaz, intending to hit a child for saying Geno is more popular than Mario, and Mallow has to hold his hand to stop him) and is a heck of a Silent Snarker at times. Later RPGs would tone it down, making Mario into more of an All-Loving Hero.
    • In addition to standard RPG armor and accessories, Mario & friends can be equipped with new weapons that grant unique effects to each party member's basic attacks. Alternate weapons stop showing up in later Mario RPG games, with both Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi instead featuring new/improved attacks as permanent options that the player acquires during the game.
    • Related to the above, Mario's basic attacks in Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi are limited to jumping on enemies and hitting them with hammers. RPG is the only game he can throw punches or kick Koopa shells at enemies, and where even jumping is a special attack that requires Mana Points to use.
    • This is the only RPG which places any real emphasis on Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors, with many spells hitting with elemental damage and many opponents having hidden elemental weaknesses/resistances. Later Mario RPGs have significantly simpler Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors that consist of common-sense interactions like ice-themed enemies being weak to fire or flying enemies floating out of reach from hammers.
    • Relatedly, while it's still not a good idea for Mario to use Jump moves on spiky foes (without the Jump Shoes accessory), the only consequence is that the monster won't take damage. Future RPGs would see Mario hurt himself by putting the boots to these enemies, just like in the platformers.
    • Enemies will regularly reuse each other's spells. Flame Wall, for example, is shared by Mack, Pandorite, Octolot, and Magikoopa. In later Mario RPGs, all enemies have unique attacks, and the only shared moves are between an enemy and its stronger variations.
    • Mario's inventory is finite and static, unlike the Mario & Luigi series (where it's infinite) and the Paper Mario series (where carrying capacity is upgradable during Mario's adventure).
    • Most of the enemy designs are pretty weird and look quite out of place in comparison with the staple Mario enemies. Instead of the quadrupedal turtle-like Spinies, for example, Lakitu drops the Spikey, a bipedal spike ball with arms and a shadowed face with glowing eyes.
    • The mushroom citizens here are quite large: the usual small-sized Toads are children, and they grow up to be taller. Later RPGs and games have standardized the Toad citizens into being shorter than Mario even as adults.
    • This is the only Mario RPG that features some sort of Crossover with a non-Nintendo franchise, with superboss Culex being a Final Fantasy reference, even if not directly alluding to anyone specific in the franchise, though his design and characterization are also somewhat reminiscent of Kefka from Final Fantasy VI and Golbez from Final Fantasy IV respectively. The iconic crystals from the series are also present in the battle, and are fought against like in Final Fantasy V. Finally, the classic Final Fantasy victory fanfare is used for his battle instead of the usual victory music.
    • Mario himself is subjected to a lot of slapstick and physical comedy, making him quite the Butt-Monkey. Later games usually have Luigi in this role instead, if this even happens at all.
    • The Final Boss himself holds the last Plot Coupon. The only other Mario RPG that does this is Paper Mario: Sticker Star, while each of the others has the last coupon collected prior to The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. Interestingly, in both games, said final coupon is yellow, and placed in the center of all the others.
  • 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. Talking to Link will play the "Puzzle Solved" jingle from the Zelda series.
    • There's a character hidden behind the left-most house in the Mushroom Kingdom whose dialogue changes with most major plot events. 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 input a certain button combination. The gag was added to all regional versions in the remake.
    • Beds can be jumped on, and will continually bounce Mario until he jumps off.
    • In the save menu, when being asked if you want to override your save file and repeatedly choose "No", Mario may make his "Muted" pose, or one where he faces left with Exor's eyes. This is also present in the remake.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: For most of the game, normal battles don't pose too much of a threat; a Timed Hit from a normal attack can take out many of them in one blow, Mallow has Thunderbolt to handle groups of enemies in the early-game, and in return most of them don't hit that hard outside of the occasional Elite Mook. It's also possible to skip fights entirely by just avoiding enemies on the field. Bosses are another story: they tend to have a lot of HP, attacks that inflict heavy damage, and can inflict debilitating status ailments, perhaps on the entire party. Many of them also have flunkies to assist them and can respawn them infinitely. This is in addition to almost every boss having a unique gimmick that the player won't be prepared for unless they know it's coming - Bowyer can lock your commands, Bundt needs its regenerating candles blown out, Johnny Jones can force Mario into a Duel Boss battle, Belome can clone party members, etc.
  • Eating the Enemy:
    • Belome, a dog-like monster found in Kero Sewers, will succumb to hunger pangs after a few turns and swallow one of your party members whole. Fortunately, Mario and friends can pummel 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.
    • Yoshi can eat enemies when summoned with a Yoshi Cookie and convert them into items. If he can't eat an enemy, he gives a Yoshi Candy instead.
  • 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.
  • The Elevator from Ipanema: Welcome to Booster Tower, which as the name implies plays in the lobby and bottom floor of Booster Tower, and sounds like something you'd hear in an elevator or while being put on hold over the phone.
  • End of an Age: In a couple ways: this was the last Mario title released on the Super Nintendo, as well as being the last time Square would work with Nintendo to bring a new game to a Nintendo console before they jumped to Sony's PlayStation. The two companies would not collaborate on a new title until Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles on the GameCube.
  • Enemy Mine: This game marks the first time, though not the last, that Mario and Bowser work together. Bowser claims that Mario's party is temporarily a part of the Koopa Troop, but it's clear this is just for show, seeing as said army has all but abandoned him.
  • 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.
  • Equippable Ally: A Chomp locked in a room within Booster Tower is freed and taken in by Bowser, who can throw her like a flail and even bite on an enemy with a Timed Hit for extra damage.
  • Escape Battle Technique: The game has the standard Run Away command, but it can sometimes fail, causing your turn to be wasted. The reusable "See Ya!" item works every time.
  • Eternal Engine: The Gate/Factory, the assembly-line void where Smithy makes all of his minions. Its platforming obstacles include large nuts and bolts and conveyor belts.
  • Evil Chef: Downplayed. 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.
  • 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.
  • Fantastic Fireworks: The ending sequence concludes with a brief firework show. At the end, one final bang takes the shape of a mushroom, a Fire Flower, or a star. (This depends on how many Fireworks items you bought in Moleville.)
  • 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 are 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. If the character using them has the Attack Up buff active, it increases the damage to 150 and 300 respectively.
  • 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 use it to get to Bowser's Keep and bypass the broken bridge.
  • Foe Romantic Subtext: Play your cards right in Marrymore and you can get Bowser (and Booster) to kiss Mario! In the same scene he asks Toadstool for a kiss when she promises one to Mario for rescuing her. Alternately, you can trick Bowser and Booster into kissing each other, while Mario gets the traditional Smooch of Victory.
  • Forced Transformation: Your party members can be turned into mushrooms (can't act for a few turns, but heals a bit each turn) and scarecrows (an inverse Silence, cannot use attacks/items for a few turns but can still cast spells). In addition, the Lamb's Lure and Sheep Attack can turn enemies into harmless lambs that float away.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: In the decades after the SNES became obsolete and out-of-production and its games were emigrated to file sharing sites, some unfortunate players discovered the fatal "Breaker Beam Bug" in which the game stops working on their emulators when the "Breaker Beam" special attack is used. In other words, the Breaker Beam breaks the game.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: The cutscene with Toad when meeting the Chancellor at the Mushroom Kingdom the first time changes depending on whether Mario rescued Toad from the enemies along Mushroom Way.
  • 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.
  • Germanic Depressives: Chef Torte speaks with a ridiculous German accent, and is 'very' serious about finishing the masterpiece of a wedding cake he's been working on. When Mario ends up crashing the wedding, Torte and his assistant go ballistic.
  • 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.
    • The most famous in the game is Bundt, a cake who comes to life with no explanation and decides to attack you. The only sort of hint you get is Chef Torte and his apprentice working especially hard a wedding cake, but this is hardly foreshadowing for a boss fight.
    • 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. Averted in the remake where his monster entry clarifies he is indeed a creation of Smithy.
    • Cloaker and Domino are weird creatures who appear from nowhere, command a couple of giant snakes, and have no plot relevance to anything. They seem to exist primarily to pad out the Gate section of the Factory. Unlike the rest of Smithy's top brass, they don't even appear to be mechanical.
    • Count Down, a giant alarm clock. You suddenly run into it during your trek through the weapons factory. It's never mentioned before or after the fight. Especially with all of Smithy's main bosses having a weapon theme, this thing sticks out like a sore thumb.
  • A Glass of Chianti: Valentina (who's always holding a margarita) and Johnny (who we're told prefers 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 accessories.
    • 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 their value. 100 points earns a bomb of your choice.
  • Going Through the Motions: There's a funny example in Moleville, where Mario does the joyous "Star-Piece-holding" pose to behold the hole he made in Dyna and Mite's ceiling. This was kept in the Switch remake!
    • Every animation a bad guy has can be viewed in their specific entry in the Switch remake's Journal. This even includes the spells they cast.
    • The Switch remake has a slight visual bug with Geno's special moves that require charging; around a second before you're supposed to actually start charging, the animation loop of his cape fluttering will abruptly stop and restart.
  • Gold-Colored Superiority: The new Infinity +1 Sword for each character in the remake, which can only be gotten in the post-game, notably features a golden sheen.
  • Goroawase Number: The Muku Cookies you can buy in Seaside Town while Yaridovich mascarades as the town's villagers cost 69 Coins each, using them in battle summons an enemy called Mukumuku, who attempts to attack the party but fails, causing it to heal them by 69 HP. The numbers 6 and 9 can be said as Mu and Ku.
  • Grail in the Garbage:
    • The Travelling Toad's shop in Moleville eventually puts a "metal plate" up for sale. It's actually a Frying Pan, Toadstool's strongest weapon.
    • Although the Shiny Stone acquired in Moleville seems like a lousy investment, it's actually the key to Culex's dimension in Monstro Town..
  • 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.
  • Guerrilla Boulders: On Booster Hill, an endless number of barrels roll down, without a seeming source or limit.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • 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 the head of the Toad that was travelling with you to the castle 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 another 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.
    • 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 12 times to win the Bright Card. He gives you useless items, so most 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 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 occasionally rare but non-unique items).
    • 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.
    • The timing on "timed hits" (and timed dodging as well) isn't always obvious, and it's usually pretty finicky.
    • The Mystery Egg's use. You equip Toadstool with the B'tub Ring, an 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. The remake makes this more obvious, as the B'tub Ring was re-localized to the Nuture Ring and the Mystery Egg's Flavor Text has a hint:
      "Raise with pure love and a nutur-ring heart."
    • Most of the weapons and accessories have very vague in-game descriptions. They often neglect to mention what their most important effects are, such as 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 a Disc-One Nuke. The Jump attack's power rises 1 point for every two uses (up to +125 extra power), eventually becoming the hardest-hitting move in the game. Jump will carry you through the early game right until you get Bowser, which is coincidentally when Mario starts turning into Glass Joe.
    • It's difficult to tell what the spell "Shredder" actually does, and since it's only used by the Final Boss and the Superboss, the suspense can be a little alarming. It actually removes attack and defense buffs from the party.
    • There is a Frog Coin in the Pipe Vault that can only be reached by run-crouching under a gap half of Mario's height. The game never explains how to crouch (pressing down while running) and this is the only time the mechanic comes up. The big clue is that the Pipe Vault is a Nostalgia Level and it harkens back to one of Mario's moves in the original platformers, but the isometric perspective can throw players off and it relies on knowledge from other games.
  • Healer Signs On Early: Mallow is your first recruit, and he learns HP Rain early at Level 3, which restores a small amount of HP to one party member.
  • 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.
  • Helpful Mook: The Geckits in Land's End are permanently confused and have a chance to hit their own allies or even themselves, easing fights for you. The game even humorously "warns" the player "CAUTION: Confused monster!" when they do so (in the remake, it uses "The Geckit is confused!").
  • 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.
  • 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!"
  • Holy Water: The Pure Water item (referred to as Holy Water in Japanese) is mostly used when battling undead foes. It will instantly defeat regular undead enemies, and deal a high but fixed amount of damage against undead bosses.

    I to P 
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every song that plays in a fight is entitled "Fight Against [X]".
  • I Fell for Hours: Upon walking out the back door of Nimbus Palace that leads to a free-fall, Mario assumes various poses as falls down several screens before landing.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Just about everyone uses improbable weapons in this game - including shells, Cymbals, parasols, frying pans, and even each other.
  • 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 Optional Boss and isn't nullified by Shredder.
  • 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 Superboss in the game.
  • Informed Attribute: The Sea is a cave with a small sea area at the end. In the official strategy guide, it's called "By The Sea" and "The Sea Caves" and the guide says the locals call it "Sea".
  • 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 who are actually very friendly and set up a game for Mario which rewards him with a free item.
  • 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 Optional Boss.
  • Isometric Projection: The entire game sans a few cutscenes is portrayed with 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.
  • Joke Item:
    • Playing Knife Guy's and Grate Guy's minigames frequently "rewards" Mario with poor healing items in the form of Wilt Shrooms, Rotten Mushes, and Moldy Mushes (in decreasing order of effectiveness, with the last healing a single point of HP). They can't even be used in battle, leaving them as little more than inventory cloggers.
    • The Triplets in Monstro Town's store sell a type of Mushroom that "Recovers 30 HP, but..." The "but" is that they inflict the Mushroom status to whoever eats it, which gives them health regen at the cost of being unable to act until it wears off. 30 HP is equivalent to a normal Mushroom, which are already very inefficient by that point in the game, so there's no reason to use these except novelty.
  • 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, she'll scold Mario for rooting through other people's belongings.
  • 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 and the English Switch remake, using Mallow's Psychopath 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 with a timed button press. Perfect timing will block the move entirely, but a decent try will leave the character alive with 1 HP.
  • Last Lousy Point: There are 30 invisible treasure boxes and you can get an accessory halfway through the game that will alert you if an invisible treasure box is in the area. Many players had gotten 29 out of 30 boxes and were stumped to see that the last missing one was in the main hallway inside the Mushroom Kingdom's castle. How do you get it? Jump on Toad's head as he opens the door when you enter the castle for the first time and then jump up above the doorway to reach the box. Missed it and saved afterwards? Too bad, start the game over. At the very least, the box only contains a frog coin. Thankfully, the remake lets you bounce off of any Toad's heads at any time.
  • 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. Averted in the remake where you can freely switch party members and can do so automatically if a party member in battle is downed.
  • Leaked Experience: This game gives everyone experience for a battle, regardless of whether or not they participated or even survived. Truly a sign of a more entry-level RPG. However, your party members are always a set level and have a set number of experience points when they join. With some fine-tuning, you can set it up so that everyone has the same amount of experience points and levels up at the same time.
  • 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.
  • Let Me at Him!: When Geno informs Gaz that he's going to join Mario on a quest and Gaz agrees that Mario needs all the help he can get, Mallow has to physically restrain Mario from decking the kid.
  • Letting the Air out of the Band:
    • The music falters this way every time you get a Game Over.
    • In a non-gameplay scene, this also happens 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.
  • Logical Weakness: The Chest Monster enemies are 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.
    • The Geno Clone created by Belome is weak to Fire. Given that Geno is an animated wooden doll, fire would burn him more than it would compared to the others. Similarly, the Bowser Clone is weak to Ice, presumably because turtles are cold-blooded creatures where extremely cold temperatures would cause them issues.
  • 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. Likewise, Croco, Belome, Booster, Johnny, and Valentina have no affiliation with Smithy either, and are mostly a smattering of brigands, jerks and weirdos that Mario's party happens to stumble across.
  • 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 in favor of the modern Peach.
    • 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 may be Bowser's right hand, Kamek. In the original Japanese, casting the Psychopath spell on this enemy (who is here called "Kamezard") reveals the thought "Is that... 'that' child?". This may refer to Mario, who was a baby when Kamek first encountered him in Yoshi's Island.
    • 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 
    • In the Japanese version, Culex mentions that he's a two-dimensional being. He challenges Mario to a fight in order to gain understanding of the power of the third dimension. This explains why Culex looks straight out of a 2D Final Fantasy, and why he looks so out of place compared to everything else in the game. Since the English version completely ditches this, this detail gets lost.
    • The Cricket Pie in the original version was a Senbei (a type of Japanese rice cracker) and the Cricket Jam was Yokan (A wagashi (Japanese confection) made of red bean paste, agar, and sugar.)
  • The Lost Woods: 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.
  • 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: Flower Points are used to perform special attacks/spells.
  • Mana Meter: Your Flower Points show you how much mana you have for spells. Unlike most examples of mana meters in RPGs, all characters draw from a shared Flower Points pool.
  • Mana Potion: Syrups restore Flower Points, which are used perform special attacks.
  • Market-Based Title: "Legend of the Seven Stars" was a subtitle given to the original English release. In Japanese, this game didn't have a subtitle.
  • Mascot RPG: A Trope Codifier, at least for spin-offs. Super Mario RPG is to that sub-genre what Super Mario Kart is to the Mascot Racer.
  • Match-Three Game: There are several chests they give out different items whenever a mushroom, flower, or star is match on a roulette. This is one of the games available at Grate Guy's casino.
  • 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, true to its name, includes a maze-like section where Mario has to choose the right path to proceed.
    • 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 transliteration of the English 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. As noted in the Switch remake section, the character is renamed "Speardovich."
      • 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. Unlike coins in the overworld and chests where one coin represents ten coins, one coin from the chest represents only one coin worth of currency.
  • 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 Starslap. 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 that 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 Calamari's Tentacle Rope attack ignores immunity to fear.
    • Equipping Mario with Jump Shoes lets the player ignore enemies' immunity to Jump attacks.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Walking behind a certain column in Booster's Tower will cause Mario to transform into his 8-bit self.
    • Several types of enemies are immune to Mario's Jump attacks. These include Spinies, Pirahna Plants, and numerous types of ghosts; in other words, enemies that are immune to Mario's Jumps in his standard platformers. On the other hand Jump does extra damage against chest enemies, some types of Goomba and Koopa, and skeletal undead, the typical enemies that are vulnerable to being stomped.
      • Particular mention to Dry Bones; they can't be killed by normal attacks, but any special attack will instantly defeat them, reflecting how vulnerable they are to Mario's jumps. However, Dry Bones that appear in the field can only be permanently removed by a Star; once beaten they'll collapse and rise again a few seconds later, just like in the platformers.
    • The Pipe Vault area is a one-tile wide linear path based on classic Mario platformer games and has an appropriate focus on jumping over enemies to avoid fights. It even has a "bonus" level found by going down one of the pipes.
    • All of the shooting stars you can find on Star Hill are from characters that can be encountered in the game, with the exception of one that says "I wanna be a great plumber like my brother Mario."
    • Gorilla-type enemies named "Chained Kong" appear, and one of the minigames in Bowser's Castle recreates the original Donkey Kong game, with players making their way to the top of a tiered room as a Chained Kong throws barrels down at them to knock them back.
    • The bee-type enemies look very similar to Zingers in the Donkey Kong Country games.
    • The Wind Crystal is weak to getting jumped on by Mario. This is likely a call-back to Barbariccia, the fiend of wind in Final Fantasy IV. During her battle, she can only be harmed by a Dragoon's jump attacks when she kicks up the wind.
  • 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.
  • Narrative Shapeshifting: In order to explain things to others, Mario transforms his appearance into other characters like Bowser and Croco.
  • 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. Valentina herself does this at least once too complete with the movement.
  • Nobody Here but Us Statues: Mario gets disguised in this manner (with a full-body gold paint job) to infiltrate Nimbus Castle. It works perfectly, except that there's a minigame involved: an irritated Dodo marches in and takes out his frustration on the statues, and you have to jump his beak. Jump too early, or get hit by the beak, and he catches you. If you succeed, you get a special item (the Feather), but still drop your disguise after a couple of guards take out their frustration on you with spears.
  • No Item Use for You: Bowyer shoots arrows to disable buttons on your controller, thus preventing Mario from either attacking, casting spells or using items. Later, in the Moleville Mines, Croco will challenge you to a fight. After he loses half of his HP, he will steal all of your items, and you won't be able to use them again until you defeat him.
  • Non-Indicative Name:
    • Both Croco and Lakitu will use an attack called "Chomp". It doesn't involve biting at all, but instead has them throw a random mook (none of which are Chain Chomps) at the target to deal damage. There is a biting attack in the game, though it's called "Carni-Kiss". The remake instead calls Chomp the more sensible "Monster Toss".
    • In most games, a Drain ability will damage the target's HP while healing the enemy, steal MP from the target, or something similar. In this game, it's a relatively weak fireball attack due to the fact that, in Japanese, it's called Fireball. The English script for the remake instead calls them Hot Shot and Fire Saber.
    • Bundt is a wedding cake, not a bundt cake. The remake even has its Monster Compendium entry lampshade this.
    • The Alley Rat enemies are encountered in a sunken ship, not an alley.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. However, it can potentially come in handy:
    • In the fight against Birdo, her 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.
    • Slightly later, you have to fight the Axem Rangers' airship the Blade, whose Breaker Beam is a magic attack that hits your party for massive damage and can't be blocked with a timed hit, but can only be used every other turn, allowing the player to mitigate damage by defending on the turn it unleashes it.
  • 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.
  • Obviously Evil: It's painfully clear that something is off when Mario first arrives in Seaside Town. The citizens are all dressed identically and speak in a Creepy Monotone; if you sleep at the Inn, you see the innkeeper watching Mario when he wakes up; a large building is being guarded (and Mario can peek inside the window to reveal that there are people inside); and, most tellingly of all, the "town under attack" theme plays despite it being bright and sunny. Unfortunately, there's no way to avoid walking into the extremely obvious trap that the Town Elder lays for you, and you have to recover the fifth Star Piece from the Sunken Ship and give it to him regardless of his transparently evil nature.
  • 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.
  • Only Smart People May Pass: While progressing through Bowser's Castle toward the end, Mario reaches six doors, two of which are a gauntlet of brain teasers, hosted by a green Hammer Brother named "Dr. Topper". On the menu: peg-jumping puzzles, counting games, trivia quizzes about the game itself, and an "Who finished what place in a triathlon?" word problem.
  • Outside-Genre Foe: Mario has dealt with alien invaders before, but living, talking biomechanical weapons from another dimension are new. Culex takes this even further, being an Eldritch Abomination right out of Final Fantasy who only appears in 2D sprites compared to the pre-rendered 3D sprites of the main game.
  • Palette Swap: Most of the tougher variants of enemies come in different colors; for example, Spikey is red while Spikester is green and Oerlikon is purple, K-9 is blue while Chow is orange, and Goby is red while Mr. Kipper is green.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: When Mario arrives in Seaside Town, the local Elder (as well as all of the citizens) are dressed in identical gray clothes, speak in a strange, stilted tone, and are generally suspicious. Played with in that while it's obvious the Elder is a member of the Smithy Gang, it's impossible to know what member, so technically the disguise "works" insofar as you don't know who he really is (turns out it's Yaridovich).
  • 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.
    • A few rare items (three bomb types, Muku Cookies, and Bad Mushrooms) normally only obtainable through using Yoshi Cookies on certain enemies or the points shop in Moleville can also be bought in Seaside Town, but only before getting the fifth Star Piece and subsequently liberating the town. Ice Bombs end up becoming even more remote; only Muckles in Nimbus Land can be turned into them via Yoshi Cookies, and they vanish from the game after retaking the palace, leaving the points shop as the only way to get more.
    • 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.
    • When the Mushroom Kingdom is under siege by Mack the Knife, some of the Toads will reward you with items for rescuing them.
    • 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.
      • Note that while the items from the other examples can be farmed indefinitely through other methods, the Amulet and Feather can only be obtained via the aforementioned methods. If you saved your game after failing to win either of them, too bad.
  • 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.
  • Potty Emergency: At one point, the player visits Marrymore, a wedding chapel. There, you meet one child who has to go to the bathroom so bad they shake. Eventually it gets so bad that talking to the child will cause them to run out of the chapel to take care of business.
  • 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.
  • Power of the Sun: Corona (Flare in the remake) is a powerful fire based move used by very few end-game bosses. Its animation is either a yellow orb with a yellow beam circling around the screen (SNES) or a sun with solar wind circling around it (Switch).
  • Power Up Letdown: Moves or items that cure status effects are very useful for obvious reasons, especially Toadstool's Group Hug. There's one small issue, however, in that these don't differentiate between negative and positive status effects. One of the best items in the game, Red Essence, grants three turns of invincibility through a status effect, and using a status-curer without thinking can end the invincibility early and waste a very limited resource.
  • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.

    R to Y 
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The heroes of the game are an Italian plumber who never speaks, a living cloud boy who was raised by frogs and thinks he's one too, a heavenly being possessing a wooden doll, a giant turtle-ox-dragon thing who's also a disgraced dark lord, and a princess.
  • Rail Enthusiast: Booster Tower has model train tracks running throughout, and Booster himself rides on a miniature train that's about the size of a go-kart.
  • Rainbow Motif: The seven Star Pieces are colored this way. Less so in the remake where the indigo Star Piece is changed to pink.
  • Randomized Damage Attack: The Masher's primary trait. While it has a higher max attack rating than most of Mario's weapons up to a certain point in the game, it also has far far lower minimum attack rating, meaning that it can either do several hundred points of damage, or six.
  • 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.
  • Red Herring: The game never clarifies who exactly Smithy is, nor does it use the name Exor, until you enter battle against Exor. Every indication up until then is that Exor is Smithy, until you're sucked into the sword's mouth into Smithy's domain.
  • 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!"
  • 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 interrupted 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 their 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 thirty 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, the game uses CG models rendered as Digitized Sprites.
  • 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: ♡♪!? is a star who serves "a higher authority". What he can do in this form isn't known, as he doesn't interact with any of the characters as a star. However, when possessing the Geno doll, he's capable of conversing and battling alongside the rest of the party.
  • Sequence Breaking:
    • 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.
    • 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 Developer's 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.
  • Sequential Boss: The Czar Dragon in Barrel Vulcano falls into the lava and is immediately reborn as Zombone, forcing you to fight another boss straight away. Though afterwards you chase the Axem rangers you at least get the chance to use some healing items, however you beat them in a fight and they unleash the Blade, forcing you to fight their giant Transforming Mecha.
    • Boomer and Exor are fought back-to-back with no chance for healing, and the battle with Smithy has two parts.
  • Ship Tease: After the events of Marrymore, Peach comments that she hopes she does get married someday, to which Mario acts rather excitedly.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The first Smithy Gang boss is a giant knife named Mack, nodding to a song entitled "Mack the Knife".
    • 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.
    • One of the moles in Moleville sings a couple lines from the song Do-Re-Mi but then says those aren't the lyrics to the Moleville Blues.
    • 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. His Psychopath thought in the Japanese version is "You're ten years too early!"
    • 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."
    • Stinger's Psychopath text in the English release quotes the line "Strike the pose!" from the 1990 Madonna song "Vogue".
    • 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. Even the Guerilla's Japanese name, Dosokey Yong, is a visual pun on Donkey Kong's name, with two of the katakana in "Donkey Kong" swapped out for similar-looking ones.
    • 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.
    • When the Shysters attack the Mushroom Kingdom, the Lookout Toad says, "I'm shaken but not stirred!"
  • Skippable Boss:
    • An unintentional one due to a glitch in the game, but the fight with Mack can be skipped entirely.
    • Booster's three Snifit henchmen show up in separate parts of Booster Tower as mini-bosses, but can be ignored without issue.
    • If you manage to survive the curtains minigame, you don't have to fight Booster.
    • Dodo counts twice. The first fight can be skipped by avoiding his pecking while hiding as a statue. The second time you can plow right through him while under the invincibility effects of a Super Star as he tries to flee the castle. You only have to actually fight him the third time, alongside Valentina.
  • 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.
  • Sleepy Enemy: Jawfuls spend the first few turns of each fight fast asleep, not waking up until that period elapses. Bowser's Keep features a stronger variant known as Forkies, which function almost identically but are described as being "enraptured" at first, only "[coming] to their senses" when attacked.
  • Slower Than a Snail: Croco references this trope when he makes his getaway from Mario and Mallow.
    "Har, har! Youse mugs'll NEVER catch me! A snail could outrun you morons! Later!"
  • 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. (The latter two by accident.)
  • Snot Bubble: Characters under the "sleep" status effect (except for Toadstool) sport large bubbles of this sort. Lampshaded by the Big Boo of the Three Musty Fears: "Check those bubbles coming out of his nose!"
  • Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness: The game tries to explain this by implying that the best armors in the game were stolen by the treasure hunting master thief, Croco. Indeed, at the end of the game, Croco does sell some of the best purchasable armours. Amusingly, the very last consumables-selling shop in the game is plain 'ol Toad, carrying the best consumables in the game for no adequately explained reason.
  • Speak of the Devil: In Moleville, a group of moles are talking about how a couple of kids are trapped in a mine, and that the mine entrance is too high for them to reach, commenting that if Mario were here, he could make the jump. They then realize that Mario is standing right there, even commenting "Speak o' the devil!"
  • 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:
  • Status-Buff Dispel: The enemy ability "Shredder", which not only cancels buffs from spells and items, but also equipment. The good news is that there are only two enemies that can use it. The bad news is that those two enemies are Smithy and Culex.
  • Stealth Pun: You recruit Mallow just before you walk into a marshy area. Marshmallow?
  • Stomach of Holding: In Booster Tower, Snifit #3 will spit out Bullet Bills that, if contacted, makes you fight a Bill Blaster cannon (and is the only way to encounter those). He has no shortage of those inside him until you fight him to remove the threat.
  • 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, 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. 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.
  • Stumbling in the New Form: When the star spirit from Star Road first takes control of the Geno doll in Rose Town, he initially struggles to use the new form properly without running into something before he exits Gaz's house.
  • Sugar Apocalypse: Smithy intends to turn the Mushroom Kingdom, normally a Sugar Bowl, into "a world filled with weapons".
  • Superboss: Monstro Town has two: Jinx, the diminutive martial-arts master who has to be fought three times, and Culex, a two-dimensionalnote  Final Fantasy-esque villain whose battle theme comes directly from Final Fantasy IV.
  • 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". When these same enemies returned in Paper Mario, they were given the much more appropriate name of "Koopatrol", preserving the portmanteau in the original Japanese.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: When Mario first arrives at Seaside Town he is told by a sign "Hello, visitor! Welcome to Seaside Town. I assure you that we are the real inhabitants of this town, have nothing to do with the Smithy Gang and are certainly not keeping anyone locked up in that house that's off limits."
  • Take That!: In the Japanese version and English Switch remake, the Blade's Psychopath message is it asking to be used first, which considering its masters the Axem Rangers are clear parodies of Sentai shows with a Humongous Mecha, is a jab at those shows where the heroes almost never consider using their giant mech to squash the Monster of the Week at the start.
  • 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.
  • Tap on the Head: A spring in the Coal Mines placed by Croco as a trap causes Mario to bounce into the ceiling abruptly, knocking him unconscious.
  • The Teapot Pose: Valentina, the Arc Villain of Nimbus Land, has a battle sprite depicting her putting her left hand on her hip and her right hand high while holding a martini glass.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: A perfect timed hit with Geno's Geno Whirl spell will inflict 9999 damage to the enemy, which is way more than enemy would have in HP (the final boss has 8000 by comparison). Naturally, bosses are immune to it.
  • There Was a Door: This is Toad's reaction to seeing Mario suddenly falling into the pipe on top of his house with a crash.
    Toad: Hey Mario! Lots of people use something called a "door" to go in and out of their houses...
  • Third Party Stops Attack: Mario and Mallow find Geno in a confrontation with Bowyer, one of Smithy's minions, in the Forest Maze. When Bowyer fires an arrow at Geno, Mario jumps in and knocks it away.
  • This Cannot Be!: The Axem Rangers and Smithy have outbursts of this nature when they're defeated.
  • This Is a Work of Fiction: The Guerrila (JP: Dosoki Yung) is an enemy that resembles Donkey Kong. In the Japanese version, using Psychopath on him yields a disclaimer stating that "This character has no relation to any persons, living or dead. Any resemblance is purely coincidental." In the Western versions, it is changed to him telling the player to not confuse him for... somebody else.
  • Tickle Torture: If Mario refuses to give the star piece to Yaridovich's demands, he tickles the town's mayor mercilessly until he gives in (The more you resist his demands, the number of Flowers you get from him afterward is reduced to merely one).
  • 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, Mushroom Boy, and using Yoshi Cookies on certain enemies, and the third is even rarer and can only be gotten rarely from Grate Guy or by the Dream Cushion in Nimbus Land 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, has an epiphany not long after the start of the game and decides to train his mind and body at Jinx's dojo so he can 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.
  • 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.
  • Unblockable Attack: Enemy magic does not obey the game's timed hits system and will always hit for full damage. Elemental spells can be nullified with appropriate equipment, but most magic is some flavor of Non-Elemental.
  • Uncommon Time: The music in Weapon World has a very strange time signature of 13/8.
  • Undead Fossils: Mastadooms are enemies resembling animated, half-submerged mammoth skeletons—notably, and inaccurately, with skeletal trunks.
  • 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.
  • Unending End Card: The SNES version stops on a big star with "THE END" text in front of it. There's no way to leave this screen without resetting — but unlike most examples of this trope, music will begin playing if you wait a few seconds (specifically, a music box rendition of the Super Mario Bros. ground theme). This is no longer the case in the Switch version, which instead allows you to save and continue on to the Post-End Game Content.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change:
    • Most of the minigames put much more emphasis on isometric platforming in comparison to the rest of the game, which is a JRPG with some simple platforming areas.
    • In Bowser's keep, you come to an area where you have to complete four of six minigames to proceed. Two are just gauntlets of enemies, two are platforming obstacle courses, and the final two are tests of intelligence, including a rather complex logic problem.
  • Unique Items: Many of the weapons each character can equip can only be acquired once:
    • Mario: The Hammer he wins by defeating the Hammer Bros. in Mushroom Way is unique. A much later weapon also called "Hammer" can be purchased in Seaside Town, but it has different mechanics. In addition, the Masher in Booster Tower is unique, is are his Penultimate Weapon the Ultra Hammer (found in the Factory) and his Infinity +1 Sword, the Lazy Shell (found in Rose Town).
    • Mallow: The Froggie Stick he is given by Frogfucius if you deliver the Cricket Pie is a unique weapon, as is his ultimate weapon, the Sonic Cymbals (won in the Six Doors trials in Bowser's Keep).
    • Geno: His ultimate weapon, the Star Gun (won in the Six Doors trials in Bowser's Keep). Geno is the only character whose first available weapon (the Finger Shot) can be purchased from stores, although if you revisit Gaz after Rose Town, he gives you a free one.
    • Bowser: The Chomp in Booster Tower is truly one-of-a-kind, as is his ultimate weapon, the Drill Claw (won in the Six Doors trials in Bowser's Keep).
    • Toadstool: Her starting weapon, the Slap Glove (which is already equipped when she joins the party), as well as her Penultimate Weapon, the Super Slap (won in the Six Doors trials in Bowser's Keep) and her Infinity +1 Sword, the Frying Pan (sold as a one-of-a-kind item at the special store in Moleville, as the "Metal Plate").
  • Unwilling Suspension: Toadstool is suspended from a ceiling rope when Bowser captures her.
  • Variable Terminal Velocity: In the tutorial boss fight at the beginning of the game, Mario and Bowser are fighting atop twin chandeliers held by Kinklinks. Bowser's chandelier eventually drops, followed by Mario's a few seconds later—but somehow Mario catches up.
  • 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. The Toad will still give you directions if you apologize to him for stealing his treasure.
  • 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.
  • Visual Pun:
  • 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-Based Characterization: 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.
  • Whack-a-Monster: The Pipe Vault contains a Goomba thumping minigame where Goombas pop in and out of a set of four pipes and Mario must jump on as many Goombas as he can in a thirty-second time limit. Ironically, a mole is running this.
  • Wham Line:
    • Parodied early in the game, when Frogfucius reveals a shocking truth to Mallow... shocking to him, not the player, as it's very obvious in hindsight.
    Frogfucius: Mallow, my boy. I've kept this from you until now, but you're... not a tadpole!
    Mallow, The Tadpoles and Lakitu: Say WHAT?!
    • Played straight near at the end of the game, when The Factory Clerk mentions this bombshell of a line before fighting him, confirming that the Machine Mades you fought earlier are just mass produced copies intended to invade the Mushroom World.
    Clerk: This, despite the fact that Claymorton, Bowyer, Speardovich, and the Axem Rangers were defeated. At this rate, Smithy will have a new army in no time.
  • 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?:
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • What's Up, King Dude?: A few of the citizens of Nimbus Land comment on once being able to freely wander the castle and visit the royal family, but that this is no longer possible since Valentina took over. Once you defeat Valentina and reunite Mallow with his parents, the true king and queen, the castle is once again open to the public.
  • "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.
    • Johnathan 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 Johnathan 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 Classical 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 Superboss 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 from 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.

    Remake Exclusive Tropes 
  • Adaptation Deviation:
    • Although much of the dialogue remains intact from the SNES English script, some parts were touched up a bit, usually to make it closer to the original Japanese script. For example, in the beginning where Bowser's chandelier is about to fall, Bowser gives his Chaindelier several words of encouragement to have it hold on whereas in the original he simply tells it to hang on. Likewise, when the castle starts rumbling, Peach gets surprised and says the castle is rumbling whereas in the original, she shrieks out that she's going to fall. There's also the instance of Pa Mole telling his wife to calm down being changed from "Settle down, woman!" to "Settle down, Ma!", likely to avoid making the character look sexist.
    • The sign on Mario's home was changed from Pipe House (SNES version) to Mario House (remake). Likewise, the welcome sign at Booster Tower no longer has Japanese letters.
    • At certain parts of the story, Mario's party members will tell you where to go next and can dabble in some banter among themselves. Likewise, visiting Vista Hill will have Mario's party members discuss the current situation in the story depending on how far you progressed and who is in the party at the time. This was not present in the SNES version.
    • The remake has a limit on how many items of each type you're allowed to carry and anything over the cap gets sent to Mario's storage box at his house. The original game had let you carry as many multiples of the same item you could as long as you had the space for it.
    • Originally, Bowser's troop leaders in Rose Way didn't have names. The remake gives them names (Jagger for the Terrapin, Goomhilde for the Goomba, and Wizakoopa for the Magikoopa), which has the former two showing up in Monstro Town and the latter appearing in Bowser's Keep in order to link them with their AWOL status from Bowser's army as they did in the original. Jagger existed in the original game, but his identity wasn't revealed until you met him in Monstro Town.
    • In the original game when Gaz's Geno doll hits Mario, it was a rocket punch. The remake changes it to a barrage of pellets.
    • When Mario attempts to go after Bowyer before Geno appears, Mallow would pull Mario back and say "Who do you think you are, Bruce Lee?" The remake drops the Bruce Lee reference, possibly because the Lee estate is known to be very litigious about their late patriarch's name, or possibly because someone at Nintendo finally realized that it wouldn't make any sense for citizens of the Mario world to know who Bruce Lee is. The names of real-life explorers from the Sunken Ship password clues have also been changed to fictional ones, supporting the latter theory.
    • The password Booster uses to unlock the door to the balcony is based on your active Nintendo Switch profile name. The original game would use the name you gave to your save file.
    • Mario's victory pose no longer has him flash the “V for Victory” sign. Similarly, Bowser's victory pose was changed so he no longer does the Bicep-Polishing Gesture (Japanese version) or the double fist pump (non Japanese version). Mallow and Peach's "V" sign poses were also removed and they were given new victory poses.
    • Luigi's wish at Star Hill now says that he wants to help out Mario rather than be a great plumber like him.
    • Valentina and several Nimbus Land citizens no longer call Dodo fat, although one or two still point out his big size.
      • Several other plump characters likewise have their names changed to avoid making reference to their weight; Tub-O-Troopa becomes "Grand Koopa," and "Heavy Troopa" becomes "Big Troopa." Fautso the genie was renamed "Jinnie."
    • Garro's description of Mario has him pointing out his features representing his love for his brother whereas the SNES version had him describe Mario as a sad blue collar worker.
    • Croco originally had the Signal Ring, but the remake gives the Signal Ring to an elderly Toad in the basement of the Mushroom Kingdom's item shop. The remake gives Croco the Echo Signal Ring, which has it beep faster the closer you are to a hidden treasure box.
    • Originally, Culex's defeat had him "explode" in stars like any other enemy. In the remake, his sprite shakes and fades away as a reference to how boss enemies in the SNES Final Fantasy games would fade when defeated. Culex's normal physical attack also has his sprite flash white before he attacks, which is also a reference to how Final Fantasy enemies would do the same (he didn't do this in the SNES version).
    • When Peach loses her accessories in Marrymore, her crown and brooch are now visibly missing from her person until they're returned to her.
    • Nearly every enemy thought seen through Mallow's Thought Peek skill (Psychopath in the SNES version) were rewritten for the remake. Only a few remained untouched.
    • Several attacks that could not be blocked originally (such as the Lightning Orb spell and Croco's bombs) can now be mitigated with a timed hit.
    • Enemies suffering from status effects will be visibly shown in a similar manner to the player's party. The SNES version didn't have it, so you had to guess whether or not enemies were actually suffering from status effects. If they have the sleep status, they even get a sleeping animation.
    • When he was defeated in the original game, Smithy's sprite would use its attack animation in a loop upon being defeated depending on what form he was in. The remake has him revert to his default head/skull form and then bash his head with his hammer when defeated.
    • The fifth Star Piece is recolored from deep blue to pink, likely to make it stand out more from the first Star Piece.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • The remake now includes a Monster List, which is a more detailed counterpart to the Tattle Logs, though has more in common with the bestiaries in Final Fantasy games.
    • There's a new Scrapbook feature that keeps track of the plot events that occur in the game. Most of the entries are written in-character by Mallow or Geno.
    • The Stinger now involves Mallow — who's holding the Geno Doll — and Bowser joining Mario and Princess Peach on their star-shaped float at the end of the parade.
    • The "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue includes two new scenes - one of Gaz and his mother playing together with his dolls and one of the Monstro Town stars entertaining a small crowd.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: In the SNES version, Dodo's comedically oversized helmet covers his eyes and obstructs his vision when he tries to peck Mario, which is why he doesn't see the "statue" jumping out of the way. While the remake's version is technically still there, the new 3D perspective and more subdued animation make it very difficult to make out if you're not already aware of this, making it unclear for new players why Dodo doesn't see anything suspicious.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • The original SNES game was released when Princess Peach was still being dubbed as "Princess Toadstool" in Americanote . The Switch remake has her going by her modern (and original Japanese) name "Princess Peach" for this take on the tale.
    • The remake has a number of name changes to bring them closer in line with the original Japanese script and modern localization standards:
      • Yaridovich is now named Speardovich, Mack the Knife is now Claymorton, the Goomba leader is Goomhilde, the Magikoopa leader is now named Wizakoopa, the Ding-A-Lings that fight alongside Count Down are now named Ring-A-Dings and Smithy's Mask Head is now called Casket Head.
      • Frogfucius is known as the "Frog Sage" while Hinopio, the Toad who ran his business in the volcano, is now Cinder Toad.
      • The name of Mallow's ability "Psychopath" is now "Thought Peek" while Bowser Crush is now Mechakoopa Stomp along with the Troopa Shell now being called the Paratroopa Shell.
      • The Heal Shell is now the Heel Shell while the Koopa Troop is now Bowser's Minions.
      • Mokura is now Gassox while Mukumukus are now Throphers, with their cookies now being Thropher Cookies.
      • The translation error that resulted in Exor's mouth somehow getting named "Neosquid" in the original game's English version has been fixed. Now, Exor's mouth is referred to as... Mouth.
      • Peach's Polka and Nautica dresses are now Lovely and Sailor Dresses.
      • The Rare Scarf and Scrooge Ring are now Defense Scarf and Flower Ring.
      • The frog-themed drinks have been renamed from Froggie Drink (which is still frog-themed), Elixir, Megalixir and Kerokero Cola to Tadpola Cola, Frogleg Cola, Finless Cola and Croaka Cola.
      • Sparkies, Fireballs and Pyrospheres are now Lava Bubbles, Lava Blubbles and Lava Babbles.
      • The Big Boo is Boo and Lil' Boo is now High Boo, though Boo in Dr. Topper's group still keeps his name.
      • Fire Orb, Super Flame and Ultra Flame are now Fireball, Super Fireball and Ultra Fireball.
      • Drain and Mega Drain are now Hot Shot and Fire Saber, due to the fact that they were fire spells and didn't drain anything.
      • When the Speardovich copies use Multiplier, the resulting monsters are now called Jabits instead of Drill Bits.
      • The Jester's Full House and Wild Card attacks are now Card Toss and Card Rain.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: The Lava Blubble's Monster List entry reads "Their blue bodies bobble and bounce, blowing blistering bursts of Fire Saber, leaving the brave boiling and bereft."
  • Advertised Extra: Defied. Unlike the original Japanese box art, Yoshi is nowhere to be seen on the remake's cover.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Breezy Mode is now available for inexperienced players which allows the player to hold more items, has enemies that are weaker, and makes carrying out Timed Hits easier.
    • The game now autosaves when you move into a new area. Saving the old-fashioned way is still possible, however.
    • The game now adds a '!' marker to indicate the perfect timing for a Timed Hit until you are familiar with it, and a perfectly timed regular attack now hits all opponents.
    • While outside of battles, pressing X or Y will pull up shortcuts to use items or magic.
    • Duplicates of items no longer occupy their own slot in your inventory and are now neatly stacked together in one slot. This benefits Yoshi Cookies in particular due to them having a carrying capacity of 20 (double the standard item cap), making it much easier to justify carrying them around and trying them on lots of enemies.
    • If you reach the cap on an item, it'll be sent to the box in Mario's house which you can come back later for.
    • Attacks now let you know if a monster resists it or is weak to it. This includes Yoshi Cookies, making it clearer as to whether an attempt to use one failed from immunity or just random chance.
    • The Lucky minigame is no longer randomized; you can now reliably track it by sight rather than having to make a blind pick.
    • The remake adds a tag to enemies' magic attacks saying that they can't be blocked, something the original game wasn't clear about when teaching you about timed hits. Moreover, magic as a whole is no longer inherently unblockable; many spells have been given guard windows with retimed animations to match, while "Can't block!" is reserved for party-wide magic and non-damaging status moves.
    • Fast traveling is now possible from the map in the pause menu. Because of this, the springs that launched you into the World Map have been mostly removed due to redundancy. You can also fast travel to specific zones on the map as well, such as being able to go directly to Belome Temple without needing to go through Land's End or Monstro Town.
    • Certain large areas (namely the Forest Maze, Pipe Vault, Booster Tower, Sunken Ship, Land's End, Bowser's Keep, and Weapon World) that are filled with enemies but have a reason to backtrack through them will be given multiple entry points from the world map as you progress.
    • Party members can now be swapped during battle. On top of that, if both of Mario's active companions get knocked out, the ones on stand-by will automatically tag out with them so long as they're not unconscious, averting Lazy Backup.
    • If a party member is incapacitated from the sleep or mushroom status, you have the option to swap them out for another party member that is able to fight and not waste a turn. Likewise, KO'd party members can be swapped out.
    • In the original game, it was rather easy to reach the coin cap of 999, thus making most coins wasted in the long run unless you specifically avoided the coin block chests. The remake turns the cap into a four figure instead of a three figure, meaning reaching the cap is a lot harder and extra coins won't end up going to waste.
    • You can get the Signal Ring as soon as you reach the Mushroom Kingdom, allowing you to hunt for the invisible treasure boxes right at the start so you don't miss any. The original game had the ring in Nimbus Land, which you didn't visit until the last third of the game where you likely passed by many invisible treasure boxes throughout your journey. The Signal Ring will alert you of an invisible treasure box with in-game text so you don't forget.
    • The hidden treasure box in the Mushroom Kingdom's castle can now be accessed at any time rather than just when you first enter it due to Toads wandering nearby that you can jump on.
    • Mallow already knows Thought Peek when he joins Mario, allowing you to examine monsters from the get-go. In addition, Thought Peek now lists a monster's weaknesses.
    • The Mushroom Derby now supplies visual cues.
    • Originally, the Forest Maze's save block was set right before the maze itself, which could annoy players that were defeated by Bowyer and had to navigate the maze full of enemies again. The remake moves the save block to right before the Bowyer fight so that you can immediately fight him again if you lose and not have to go through the maze again.
    • In the original game's Forest Maze, on the second screen of the maze proper, Geno would be just barely offscreen at the bottom right and leave the screen before you could see him, forcing you to make a process of elimination guess of the ways you know he didn't go, which could leave younger players or people who got distracted confused about which way he went. In the remake, not only does the screen show Geno the entire way through, he starts much farther back and even trips and takes a few seconds before walking through, making a gag out of it while also clearly signposting that you need to follow him specifically.
    • The Goomba-Thump mini-game was rather infamous for its reward system, where the score needed for rewards would jump to your score+2, making it extremely difficult to achieve all rewards unless you meticulously invoke Do Well, But Not Perfect to minimize the increase in score. In the remake, the score needed to achieve rewards will always be the previous high score+2, going from 20 to 22 to 24 to 26 to 28 and finally to 30, making it much easier to achieve all rewards.
    • The Monster List Agent in Booster Pass will fill in an incomplete entry's Thought Peek for three Frog Coins each in case you weren't able to do so such as for bosses and their minions, including the ones before Mallow joined you as a starter gift. Once you load the game on an Endgame+, the completely missing entries are partially added so the Monster List Agent can update them.
    • Booster's Monster List entry is automatically added if you're able to avoid being detected during the curtain minigame at Booster Tower, meaning you don't have to choose between obtaining Booster's Charm or intentionally failing the minigame so you can complete your Monster List. A similar thing happens to Cloaker and Domino later regarding their Power Up Mount Bad Adder/Mad Adder which has the opposing entry added if you fought the other one.
    • Originally, the Feather accessory could be missed permanently if you failed to avoid Dodo's pecking at the Mario "statue" and were forced to fight him. The remake has the Toad in Moleville selling a Feather for 250 coins if you missed out on the one in Nimbus Land. If you did get the first Feather anyway, you can still buy the second one. The other missable accessory, Booster's Charm, will be given out in the postgame after winning Booster's rematch if the curtain minigame was failed.
    • In the hall of the six trials in Bowser's Keep, if an action or battle course is too much to handle, you have the option of giving up and returning to the doors so you can try a different path.
    • If you lose a boss rematch, the boss will skip its introductory dialogue and ask you straight out if you want to fight the next time you talk to them.
  • Art Evolution:
    • The game's graphics have been redone from the ground up, sporting various touch-ups that weren't possible with the SNES original. Camera angles in cutscenes are dynamic instead of being locked to an isometric view, animations are smoother with more tweaking between keyframes, the game has real 3D models instead of Digitized Sprites, the overworld now features graphics beyond the playable area instead of just a voidnote  and prominent lighting is used in places where the original didn't have it (such as the rays of sunlight in Peach's throne room now casting reflections on the marble floor, or bright, colorful light sources in the scene where Mario gets washed down an underground river). Additionally, the game's art style finds a middle ground between past and present, taking the look of most 21st century Mario media and refitting it for the SNES game's stout, toylike designs. This includes the Beezosnote , who now match the modern Shy Guy design, as well as the Snifits and the Snifsters, who now match the modern color designs of Blue and Black Shy Guys.
    • Mario has new animations for running and swimming. In the original, Mario’s running animation looked more like he was power walking and he didn’t actually have a proper swimming animation.
    • While much of the game's visual style remains in place, many series regulars have seen refinements to their designs to bring them closer to modern depictions, such as Dry Bones becoming less angular and gaining gloves and shoes, Birdo gaining her diamond ring she's had since Mario Golf Toadstool Tour, and Paratroopas gaining shoes and a somewhat more anthropomorphic frame.
    • Culex 3D is this in spades, going from a limited 2D pixel sprite to a full modern 3D model which looks just like his concept art.
    • And most prominent is Princess Peach (and to a lesser extent Bowser) using her modern appearance, swapping out her old dress with the one she's worn since the Gamecube Era.
  • The Artifact:
    • The Toad in Marrymore who offers to buy the Bright Card is still present, but his general role to hold the Bright Card safe is removed since it's now a Key Item which doesn't take up a slot like the previous iteration, who now only exists as a quick way of getting coins or Frog Coins which is diminished by the more abundant sources for both.
    • The inns to restore HP and MP become this compared to the original. Because fast travelling through the menu is a thing, many inns such as the one in Barrel Volcano become slightly redundant as it is possible to just fast travel to Mario's Pad and recover HP for free. However, some inns provide extra items and content for the player such as the ones in Marrymore and Nimbus Land.
  • Art-Style Clash: Culex still retains his original Super Nintendo sprite in battle, making him stand out more now that Mario and co. are rendered with actual polygons vs. being digitized sprites. Averted should you unlock the rematch against him, where he gains a 3D form.
  • Ascended Extra: Booster in the original game was an Optional Boss, with the boss for his part of the game being the wedding cake. The remake gives him a proper boss fight in the Endgame+.
  • Ascended Glitch: A few major oversights in the original game were kept as intended features.
    • It's still possible to skip part of Claymorton's cutscene, namely the part where two of his Bodyguards dispose of themselves by knocking each other off the stairs, by jumping behind them. In which case, they just get so excited that they bounce themselves into the holes they're usually seen in.
    • The usual limitation on the Geno Whirl's One-Hit Kill ability in boss fights does not apply to Exor, much as it didn't due to a programming oversight in the original game.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The reveal trailer for the remake initially uses the original's graphics in 16-bit pixel sprites to show the cutscene in which Peach gets kidnapped. When it was originally shown in its associated Nintendo Direct, viewers would be led to initially assume the original game is simply being added to Nintendo Switch Online's library of SNES games... at least, until a hi-res ball of light similar to Geno's true form floats around the scene, before cutting to the remake's higher-fidelity graphics, confirming that the title will not simply be rereleased, but remade.
  • Balance Buff:
    • The inventory system has been completely reworked. Instead of having an overall inventory limit, now each item has its own limit on how many you can hold at a time. While this does mean you can't stack the best healing items like the original game, it also means a lot of the other items normally considered Awesome, but Impractical due to being too specific to justify eating up inventory space (Pure Water and the like) are now worth keeping around. This even extends to Honey Syrup, as most players in the original would just hoard their flower tabs and boxes to completely restore FP over using them.
    • Mallow has gotten some slight buffs to his spells and physical attacks compared to the original to make him more worth using in boss battles over the other characters, with more enemies having weaknesses to his elements. FP management being much easier due to the reworked inventory system and being able to switch characters out at any time also means his field hitting spells are a lot more enticing.
  • Beehive Barrier: These now appear in front of a character when they Guard unlike the SNES version, where the only way to tell if a Guard was successful was by guessing if the damage was reduced or outright removed.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • Kerokero Cola has been renamed Croaka Cola, a play on Coca-Cola.
    • Culex's Monster List description adds another Final Fantasy gag to him by stating he comes from the world of "Last Illusion".
  • Boss in Mook Clothing:
    • "Special Enemies" are beefed up versions of regular enemies which can appear randomly in battle (and have the same exact stats otherwise). They have higher stats and can take far more punishment than their regular counterparts. Additionally, they are invulnerable to Geno Whirl's instant kill effect just like most bosses and other various enemies are. While some aren't terribly difficult, there's some that are even capable of a Total Party Kill depending on the attacks and skills they use. Upon defeating them, you do get a Frog Coin though.
    • The Machine Made versions of the Smithy Gang are already tougher than the average mook, but are weaker than the real deals. That said, they're also capable of becoming Special Enemies as well, meaning that a Machine Made Bowyer (whose regular counterpart already had more health than the first Bowyer battle) or Yaridovich can be just as tedious as their initial battles.
  • Bowdlerize:
    • The mushroom girl in the Mushroom Kingdom who wants to marry Mario when she grows up and says "just give me time to grow into my mom's wedding dress" now wants to be Mario's sidekick instead.
    • Croco calls Mario a "persistent pest" instead of a "persistent bugger", which is a change consistent with the European Virtual Console version.
    • The enemy "Shyster" was renamed to "Shymore," which makes it match the renamed Claymorton (formerly, Mack), but also avoids using a term some consider antisemitic.
    • Bowser's victory pose has been changed in all versions of the game due to the fact that it resembled the Bicep-Polishing Gesture, often confused with the bras d'honneur in countries outside of North America. His new pose is a reference to his Super Mario Galaxy artwork.
    • In Grate Guy's Casino, the Blackjack game is replaced with a Memory Match Mini-Game and all games are free to play due to numerous ratings boards having adopted stricter rules regarding gambling since 1996.
    • In the SNES version, Valentina's breasts jiggled whenever she was hit. In the remake, they don't and she simply flinches.
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • The "Crystal Shard" dropped by 3D Culex does nothing except be "a symbol of ultimate strength."
    • The Monster Trophy you get for completing the Monster List is just for show, being a Key Item that you can't equip.
  • Brick Joke: Before parting ways with Mario and friends, Culex says he will gain the power of the third dimension someday. After nearly thirty years, he does gain that power for his rematch.
  • The Bus Came Back: The remake is Geno's first appearance in a mainline Nintendo game since the original release of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga in 2003. Mallow, meanwhile, is making his first appearance altogether since the original Super Mario RPG.
  • Combination Attack: Introduced in the Remake is the Triple Move maneuver, an attack that can only be unleashed once a gauge in the corner of the screen is filled up during battles is filled up. The attack also comes with all new short cutscenes such as Mallow and Geno sliding across a Rainbow Road and Mario, Mallow and Bowser in the Koopa Clown Car.
  • Company Cross References: Disk-kun and R.O.B. appear as dolls in Booster's toy box.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • The default controls have you press A when confirming to use an item or a spell, as opposed to the original where you had to press a submenu's respective button to confirm the action. Thankfully, there's an option to use the classic controls if you still want to use them. Played straight with the new shortcut menus for restoring stats via skills or items, which use the A button format regardless. Using items outside of battle now requires pressing X instead of opening the menu, which can trip people up.
    • When doing the Yoshi races in Yo'ster Isle, you must tap A and B based on the button cue that shows up. Even if you're tapping to the beat, if you're not tapping the correct button, Yoshi's going nowhere. The original game didn't care what button you were pressing, as long as you were pressing them to the beat.
    • If you've played the original before then played the remake, you'll have a lot of this due to changes in timing and tells of the Action Commands (as they're called in the remake). Also applies in reverse.
      • The animations in general in the remake may make it harder to time against at first for players coming from the original. While the original game did play in 60 FPS, the animations themselves were jerky enough that you could pluck out which frame of animation to use as a cue. Thankfully, Breezy Mode makes knowing when to hit the button much easier.
      • Most of the single target magic abilities in the remake can be defended against. The original game didn't have this, so it becomes jarring when you realize you can (and probably should) defend against them.
      • When to press a button to defend against some attacks have also changed. For example, when fighting the Hammer Bros and they do their hammer toss, the timing in the original was pressing a button on the last hammer making contact. In the remake, this got changed to pressing a button on the first hammer making contact.
      • Players who used some sort of tell in the animation or audio for enhancing character skills with a timed button press will need to relearn the cue, as the remake mucks with them. For instance, in the original, Mallow's Shocker had a sound effect before the bolt showed up which was useful as a timing cue. In the remake, no sound effect plays, so you have to rely on the animation for your cue.
  • Development Gag: The Thought Peeks for Terrapin, Bowser, Hammer Bro and Chaindelier you can get from the Monster List Agent in Booster Pass are all based off of invokedDummied Out Psychopath entries from the original game.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Defied. The Remake uses Peach's modern (and original Japanese) name instead of reverting back to Toadstool just this once.
  • Endgame+: After the credits roll and you reload your updated save file, it starts with Mario sleeping at home, having apparently dreamt about Smithy's defeat just before confronting him. Toad wakes him up and gifts Mario a Stay Voucher for the expensive Marrymore Inn suite, which sets up the boss rematches.
  • Foreshadowing: After unlocking the Sound Test in Endgame+, you'll notice that three tracks on the modern side are locked: "It's been sealed." Given that said tracks are clearly those related to Culex whose SNES tracks are present and unlocked, suggests that things will be different next time around. The rematch against him features fully-arranged music tracks fitting with the new era.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • In the original game, Gaz's attack on Mario when playing with the Geno Doll was implied to be a Rocket Punch, but it's been changed to a barrage of pellets now. This makes sense when you bring Geno to see Gaz and Gaz gives him the Finger Shot, Geno's weapon that he forgot to take with him.
    • At the Kero Sewers warp pipe for the first time, Mallow goes on ahead and enters the pipe without Mario. If Mario were to leave the area without entering the pipe, Mallow immediately exits the pipe and tells Mario that he will go anywhere Mario is going. Even before entering the pipe, Mallow is still part of Mario's party, explaining why he will follow him. Bowser does something similar in Marrymore if Mario decides to leave the church instead of help Bowser break down the door
    • As Bowser's former henchmen, Gu Goombas (Pro Goombas in the remake), Terra Cottas, and Malakoopas will get confused and hit themselves due to Bowser's presence. If Bowser is in the active party, they will flee immediately rather than fight their former boss.
    • During the rematch against the Bundt and Tortes, the two Tortes are extremely sleepy from having worked all day and night on the cake. The two are vulnerable to being put to sleep where they will spend several turns doing so if inflicted with sleep from Peach's Sleepy Time or being hit by a Sleep Bomb.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The Toad Assist can work anytime, even when Toad is shown to be in a position where he cannot help Mario. This occurs as early as Mushroom Way where Toad Assist can be used, even where Toad is currently being attacked by enemies along the way such as a Goomba and a Paratroopa.
  • Guide Dang It!: The game's Monster List includes if you read an enemy's mind with Mallow's Thought Peak or not. Filling the list can be harder than it looks — putting aside that some enemies are rare and only pop up in certain formations, the game isn't always clear on when visually identical enemies are given separate entries in the menu (like King Calamari's two tentacles, or Dodo when fought alone versus when fought alongside Valentina). There's also a lot of enemies in the game (both bosses and Elite Mooks) who can summon other enemies to assist them, and often they're the only enemy in the game who can call that specific enemy; if you beat them before they summon their allies, you'll miss out on an enemy entry you may not have even know existed. Fortunately, there's an unseen NPC in Booster Pass who will fill in Thought Peak entries for a fee of 3 Frog Coins, including ones you missed, and beating Smithy fills in any enemies the player may have missed during their playthrough.
  • Herd-Hitting Attack: Getting a Timed Hit results in all enemies in battle getting hit in this version.
  • Idle Animation: The characters have some of this during battles if they're not active for awhile. For example, Mallow stretches, or adjusts his pants sometimes.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Endgame+ adds these for the remaining party to match with Mario's Lazy Shell and Peach's Frying Pan:
    • Mallow gets the Sage Stick from Belome, which got stuck in his throat until the battle against him dislodged it. It is a golden Froggy Stick known as the Sage Stick which belonged to the Frog Sage years ago until he lost it to Belome. Unlike all his other weapons, the Sage Stick increases Mallow's Magic Attack along with his Physical Attack.
    • Geno gets the Stella 023 from Booster after "playing" with him and his new Engine 023. It is a powerful laser attachment which was meant to be used by his train, but forgot to attach it in the first place. He gifts it to Geno since his train is out for repairs.
    • Bowser gets the Wonder Chomp from Punchinello, who after his defeat offers to show his handiwork by upgrading Bowser's Chain Chomp with a golden sheen.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: The Enduring Brooch, a new accessory gained from defeating Extra-Fancy Bundt in the postgame, doesn't grant any stat bonuses but enables the wearer to survive a lethal attack with 1 HP once per battle.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Japanese commercials and previews released at the beginning of November 2023 don't make it a secret that Culex is in the game, considering he's an Optional Superboss that doesn't become available until the latter half of the game. In fact, a lot of pre-release footage of the game has revealed a lot of late-game and end-game content, including almost all of the major bosses (examples being the Axem Rangers and even Boomer) and even footage from as late as the Smithy Factory itself.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: Breezy Mode gives the player more experience points after a battle in contrast to Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam where it reduced the amount of experience points the player gained and the remakes of Mario And Luigi Super Star Saga and Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story where the amount of experience points gained was unchanged.
  • Lazy Backup: Defied. If the current party is all defeated on the enemy's turn, the members in reserve will automatically switch in, assuming they are not knocked out prior themselves.
  • Limit Break: The "Triple Move" acts as one, which can be used once a gauge reaches 100% during battles, with successful Action Commands helping fill the gauge faster. You initially start the game with a roulette of different effects, (this later becomes the standby version if at least one of your active party members are unable to act) until the battle against Bowyer unlocks the full set. These range from extreme attacks to support.
  • Marathon Boss: Lampshaded by the final Superboss Culex 3D, who is the strongest boss in the game with plenty of health and hard-hitting attacks you need to recover from. After his defeat, he outright tells you how many turns it took you to defeat him and invites you to try again later for a smaller score.
  • Market-Based Title: Defied. As "Legend of the Seven Stars" was a subtitle given to the original English release and didn't have one at all in Japanese, the 2023 remake drops it entirely, and it is referred to only as "Super Mario RPG".
  • Monster Compendium: New to the remake is a Monster List, which feature every enemy fought in the game, with some Flavor Text for each one. To complete an entry, you have to use Thought Peek on any enemies you come across which stores them for later review. There's a Monster List Agent hiding in Booster Pass offering to fill in any incomplete entries for four Frog Coins and gives you the entries before Mallow joined you for free.
  • My Name Is ???: Like in the original, Geno's name is displayed as "???" until he calls himself Geno. In the remake, his name tag in the battle UI is also displayed in question marks whereas his name was openly displayed in the original game.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Mushroom Castle now has a blue roof despite having a red one on the overworld in the SNES release, in order to keep it consistent with the map and the distant shot of it in the end credits which depicts the castle with a blue roof.
    • The remake's box art is based on the original Japanese boxart.
    • The button prompts in battles are still color coded, even though the Switch’s buttons are uniform. A is red, B is yellow, X is blue, and Y is green, which matches the Super Famicom's layout. This applies to Bowyer's battle as well. Interestingly, the Super Famicom layout is used in all versions of the remake, including the North American version which originally had purple button prompts that matched the SNES controller.
    • The file select/save screen has its borders based on the Japanese version of the original game.
    • The background art on the pause menu is the same as the one from the original.
    • In the level-up screens, Mario's dance now resembles The Mario.
  • Nerf:
    • The player can only carry certain amounts of items such three Croaka Colas (which recover the entire party's HP and FP) and six Pick Me Ups at a time.
    • You can no longer sell extra Flower Tabs, Flower Jars and so on for quick cash.
    • The Safety Ring accessory only reduces elemental damage by 70% instead of granting full immunity like in the original.
  • No Fourth Wall:
    • The enemy list is rife with meta-humor, such as referencing the first boss's unexplained Actually Four Mooks moment or making up unnecessarily long names just to complain about character limits.
    • Toad himself breaks the fourth wall on the mere fact that the game is a remake when explaining saving methods, noting that the autosave feature is new to this version and then explaining that Save Blocks are still there to use, "just like the good old days."
    • Culex outright says "You shall bear witness to the power of post game content!" in his rematch.
  • Ominous Fog: On the map screen, the Mushroom Kingdom and Rose Town become enveloped in a dark fog when they are attacked by the Smithy Gang.
  • Parody Magic Spell: Instead of casting a spell in Hawaiian as in the original script, Wizakoopa now summons a source of infinite coins with the spell "Uget watchoo peifore!" ("You get what you pay for.")
  • Permanently Missable Content: Averted.
    • The hidden chest in Mushroom Castle is made to be no longer missable, as there is now a Toad NPC that can be used to reach it after Claymorton is defeated.
    • The two missable accessories, Booster's Charm and the Feather, can be gotten later on from different sources if the player messes up the minigames they're tied to. Played straight with the Feather from the minigame for players who want two Feathers but at least one can always be obtained regardless of the player's performance in the minigame.
    • Any monsters you may have missed entirely (such as the King Bomb and Jinx Clone summoned by Wizakoopa) whose entries will be marked as "????" are added to the Monster List after defeating Smithy for the first time, although you still having to pay Frog Coins to the Monster List Agent to have them filled in.
    • Played straight with getting flowers in the Booster Hill minigame depending on how well the player performed, a Mushroom from Granny in Peach's castle and the treasure in the house on the ledge in Rose Town based on the player's actions. However, these items can be easily obtained elsewhere at shops while there are more than enough flowers found that the player can reach the maximum Flower Points at 99. If the player performs poorly in the Booster Hill minigame the first time, some flowers can be found if the player plays it again.
  • Post-End Game Content: Several bosses can be fought in rematches, where they're much tougher than they were before.
  • Psychic Block Defense: Using Thought Peek on Shy Ranger now gives an updated thought addressing Mallow's attempt:
    Shy Ranger: I'm on a mission. Stop reading my mind. Over and out.
  • Red Herring: The expanded utility of Mallow's Thought Peek reveals a few odd enemy weaknesses early in the game that can never be exploited. For example, Bundt is listed as being vulnerable to mute, but mute can only be inflicted with Peach's Mute magic, and Bundt happens to be the last boss fought before she joins the party (Bundt is refought in the postgame, but it lacks this weakness there).
  • Retraux:
    • Culex’s design wasn’t updated to a 3D model, and still uses his sprite from the original. This strengthens the contrast between him and everything else in the game. That is... unless you unlock the rematch against Culex, in which he transforms into a full 3D model, which gives him a MASSIVE boost in strength, effectively making Culex the hardest of the boss rematches in the remake. In other words, this makes Culex the superboss of the superbosses.
    • The battle with Culex will play the original's version of his theme during his fight, no matter what version of the soundtrack you've selected. Invertedly, the battle with Culex 3D in the post-game plays a new remix of his theme, also regardless of soundtrack selected.
    • The end credits will start off with a blown up replay of the 16 bit parade from the original version, until night falls, at which it will transition to modern HD graphics, and recorded music.
    • Most of the minigames received a new coat of paint... except for the "Beetle Mania" minigame, which appears exactly as it did before in the SNES release with the Super Mario World background and the crusty pre-rendered Koopa shells. The only addition is an HD Game Boy-esque border to keep it at the original's 4:3 screen ratio.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The front desk at Booster Tower has a Imperial Gestahlian Magitek Armor model on it.
    • Johnny's Monster List entry mentions that he thinks he became "king of the pirates".
    • The High Boo's Thought Peek is the stomp-stomp-clap beat from "We Will Rock You".
    • In an homage to the game's thematic predecesor, some of the Triple Moves seem inspired by Final Fantasy. "Starry Shell Spike" resembles Tidus' Blitz Ace, as Mario leaps up and does a backflip kick to kick Bowser at enemies while Peach throws up a star to them; "Shooting Star Shot" has Bowser throw Geno and Mario into the air and Mario then throws Geno even higher, similar to Cloud's allies throwing him up to Bahamut Sin; and "Clown Car Barrage" is a Fire, Ice, Lightning attack that bombards the enemy with projectiles of the three elements, similar to the recurring attack Tri-Disaster.
    • Booster's Thought Peek in his second fight has him bemoan about his Impossible Grade model. This references Bandai's model kits, most commonly their Gundam model kits, that are listed with a "Grade" at the end.
    Booster: I feel like I just knocked my prized Impossible Grade model off the shelf while cleaning it.
  • Squashed Flat: This was implied to happen to Mario if he was crushed by a Thwomp, but this explicitly happens in the remake.
  • Status Buff: All five characters now provide a passive, party wide buff while in active combat. Mallow buffs magic attacks, Geno buffs physical and speed, Bowser buffs defense, and Peach buffs magic defense. Mario buffs the speed of the special gauge fills, but since you Can't Drop the Hero, it doesn't really provide a notable difference.
  • Stylistic Suck: On top of the remade graphics and animations, the models still behave like their original sprite counterparts by rigidly spinning around and jumping in place without animations during non-dynamic cutscenes.
  • Super-Deformed: The remake uses the Mario characters' modern designs with stubby "chibi" proportions to make them resemble their original SNES sprites, in a more subdued variation of the artstyle used for the Switch remakes of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening and Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, also both originally sprite-based top-down games.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Booster Tower is certainly an impressive sight to behold, the Tower being so large that its namesake has to ride in a Cool Train to traverse the building. According to Booster's Monster List Entry, the mounting expenses for the Tower and its trains is taking a huge bite out of his finances, so much so that he can't even afford to fix the door Bowser broke down.
  • Thanking the Viewer: A traditional one appears at the end of the credits where most of the cast appear on stage to thank the player. A second one from the developer team appears in Culex 3D's Monster List description, congratulating the player for defeating the toughest challenge available and thanking them for playing the game to the very end.
  • Tile-Flipping Puzzle: In the return to Bowser's Keep near the end of the game, one of the puzzles consists of a 4x4 grid of buttons, pressing a button causes the immediately adjacent buttons to switch from pressed to un-pressed and vice versa, you cannot manually un-press a button, and the goal is to make all the buttons pressed.
  • Title In: Whenever Mario enters an area, the name of it appears in the bottom-left of the screen.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Culex's existence was spoiled in some promotional material, though it's not much of a spoiler anymore, anyway. This was however likely to deflect from the bigger spoiler that Culex has a second battle where he gets a completely updated 3D model, which was well hidden until the game's release.
  • Truer to the Text:
    • Most Mario game remakes change the designs of mainline characters, especially minor Toads, to be more consistent with the modern designs. The trailer for the remake shows that nearly everyone was given designs that line up with their appearances in the original game, albeit adapted to their modern designs.
    • In the original game, Culex's Fire Crystal had a sun-themed attack named "Corona", which is renamed "Flare" in the remake; while it's most likely at least partially due to real-life circumstances, it's also more accurate to the actual Flare spell used by Final Fantasy bosses, which Culex is a parody of.
    • Some enemy names were corrected to match up with other Mario games, like Shy Away being changed to Beezo.
    • A good chunk of Thought Peek quotes in the English script have been rewritten to hew closer to the original Japanese text. For example, the Guerrilla's Thought Peek has been changed to "I am a work of fiction. Any resemblance to preexisting apes is purely coincidental.", though their "Don't confuse me with someone else!" from the original English version has been incorporated into their Monster List description.
    • In the English version, Culex now questions why Mario and friends are three-dimensional. This is more faithful to his depiction in the original Japanese version. This is probably because the second rematch with him, where Culex DOES become three-dimensional and boasts that he now also possesses their 3D power, wouldn't make much sense otherwise.
    • The Thought Peek rewrites even extend to Shout-Out lines:
      • In the original Japanese script, the Jester's Thought Peek quote was a direct quotation from Kaitou Saint Tail, namely the titular character's By the Power of Grayskull! declaration where she requests forgiveness from God for using "no gimmick or trick" (a Japanese phrase used as the equivalent of Nothing Up My Sleeve). The original version of the Super Mario RPG localization had handled it by simply making it a generic "I've failed my King," removing both the reference and its religious elements. The remake's English script retranslates it as "Note that I've nothing up my sleeve," which, while still not maintaining the explicit reference, more appropriately invokes the original context of the quote.note 
      • In addition, the Crook's Thought Peek is "Must...not...run away!" a nod to Shinji's "I mustn't run away" which was the Crook's Thought Peek in the original Japanese version. In the original English version it was simply "You can't run away! Ha!". Likewise, the Thought Peeks of both Valentinanote  and Hippoponote  have their Neon Genesis Evangelion references restored as well.
      • The Pulsar's Thought Peek is now "By the stars, you'll regret hitting me!" which is a nod to Sailor Moon's "In the Name of the Moon, I'll punish you!" and the Thought Peek in the original which was "Hit me and you will be punished when I go up in smoke!" whereas the original English version just had it saying "I'm a mini-Pulsar".
      • Terrapin's purchasable Thought Peek is "'Sup! I'm a Terrapin! I wish my gramps could see me now!" which is a nod to Goku's "Ossu! Ora Goku!"/"Hey, it's me, Goku!" greeting at the end of the original Dragon Ball (adopted as his catchphrase throughout the series) and Goku's dead grandfather who Goku thinks turned into a Dragon Ball and the Terrapin's unused Though Peek quote in the original which was "Yo, I'm Nokohei! Are you watching, Grandpa?!" while in the original English version, the unused quote was "Yo! What's going on?"
      • Stinger's Thought Peek is "The buzzer is about to sound for you!" which is a reference to the original Japanese Thought Peek which was "My beat keeps the rhythm!" which was a reference to "The beat of my blood keeps the rhythm!" a line spoken by Jonathan Joestar. In the original game, the English Psychopath entry was instead shortened to "Strike the pose!", a reference to the Madonna song Vogue.
      • Hammer Bro's purchasable Thought Peek is "Think you know what my hammer can do? Think again, pal!" which is a nod to the original Japanese Thought Peek which was "My hammer tonight is a little bit different, turtle-turtle." which was a reference to one of Zenigata's Character Catchphrase “My Zantetsuken tonight is a little bit different."
      • Boomer's Thought Peek is "The time for words is past." which is a reference to the original Japanese Thought Peek of "There is nothing more to be said." which is a reference to Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory, specifically during a battle between Anavel Gato and Kou Uraki.
  • Variable Mix:
    • When getting a high enough Chain by successfully executing Action Commands, extra percussion is added to the battle music currently playing, which lasts until you mess up an Action Command.
    • While riding on the barrels on the Midas River, a new, more frantic version of the music plays.
    • The rematch against Culex now plays a new version of the Final Fantasy IV boss theme. This version will play no matter what soundtrack you've selected.
  • Video Game Remake: The game is a remake of the 1996 SNES title and is similar to the original game in gameplay and visuals. The isometric perspective seen in the original game is also present, as is using "Timed Hits" for both offense and defense.
  • Visual Pun: Valentina's cocktail glass has a lime slice in it rather than a cherry like in her original official render, making it resemble a margarita cocktail, which her Japanese name translates to.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: If you were confident enough to defeat Smithy and Culex and think you can walk to the post-game boss matches without a hitch, Belome will serve as a rude awakening for those who are unprepared. His health is a whole lot higher with a lot of defense, meaning that he's already a Damage-Sponge Boss that's going to take out. Additionally, every time he eats a character, Belome himself is invulnerable to damage until that barrier is defeated. If that character happens to be Peach, she can even heal him as well. Additionally, he'll spam Light Bubble and Aurora Flash, prolonging the battle by putting everyone to sleep. If he happens to run out of FP, he'll spam Lulla-Bye instead, meaning his sleep shenanigans won't be put into an end. The following battles with the possible exception of Jinx are a lot more difficult - requiring far more unorthodox strategies and perfect timing to avoid your entire party getting wiped out, culminating with a showdown against 3D Culex.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: Played for Laughs with Culex's log in the Monster List, which avoids saying that he's from Final Fantasy despite the obvious reusal of themes from Final Fantasy 4 and both that and this game being involved with Square Enix. It instead says he's from "Last Illusion", both words being synonyms for "final" and "fantasy".

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

Alternative Title(s): Super Mario RPG Legend Of The Seven Stars

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Mario Statue

Mario places himself as a gold statue to hide from Dodo when starts pecking the others.

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