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  • Accidental Innuendo: The elder of Seaside Town (who is actually Yaridovich) says he got his position by "pleasing my superiors, which is something I do well."
  • Base-Breaking Character: Mallow. Some consider him just as much of an Ensemble Dark Horse as other common fan-favorite Geno. Others dislike him for being a cutesy crybaby, relatively irrelevant to the main plot, and being overshadowed ability-wise by the other characters.
  • Best Boss Ever:
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    • Sure it's just a tutorial boss that you have to try to lose, but the opening fight with Bowser is epic in concept. Mario gets to the throne room and finds it empty, then looks up and sees Bowser laughing at him from atop one of two chandeliers hanging in the room, Toadstool strung up between them. Mario hops on to the other chandelier as they rise up and the two duel high above the throne room, culminating with Mario attacking the chain holding Bowser's chandelier and making it release him to a Disney Villain Death. Which Bowser then reverses by throwing a hammer up to weaken Mario's chain and bring him down with him.
    • Johnny Jones. After exploring the very long Sunken Ship level to get to his throne room, he engages you with a quartet of pirates. Unlike other bosses, Johnny doesn't call more minions if you dispose of them... only because when you do so, he laughs at how good of a fight you're giving him, and challenges Mario to a one-on-one brawl. The fight then becomes a Duel Boss as Mario and Johnny brawl with Mario's allies and Johnny's pirates cheering them on.
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    • The Axem Rangers, a parody of Power Rangers / Super Sentai where each of them have a unique fighting style, and when you beat them all they channel their power into their airship to fire a Wave-Motion Gun. The fight itself is epic, made even moreso by FINALLY getting the sixth Star Piece that you've by this point been put through hell to find.
    • Exor. Mario and his allies ascend to the highest turrets and engage a giant sword so huge its handle is bigger than your three party members combined. With the image of Exor emerging from Bowser's Keep being the iconic image of the game that all the marketing featured prominently, it's arguable that the entire game has been building to this moment.
    • Culex, the Bonus Boss. Mario goes toe-to-toe with a Greater-Scope Villain refugee from the Final Fantasy series, and prevails.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
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    • Mario can temporarily transform into his 8-bit version in Booster Tower. Even he seems confused by the incident, shaking his head as if to snap himself out of it.
    • The entire sequence with Boomer in the return trip to Bowser's Keep. Boomer is some kind of robot samurai, who challenges your party to a duel in Bowser's throne room as though you were his sworn rival... despite the fact that he'd never even appeared in the game up to that point or even been hinted at. You battle him atop the chandeliers in an homage to the first boss fight in the game, and when you defeat him, he suddenly coughs and laments his defeat while Mario shows sympathy for him. Boomer says that as a samurai he is ready to die, and commits suicide by cutting the rope of his chandelier. Following this, the Shy Guy holding up your chandelier lugs you up to the top of the Keep while jaunty music plays and your party members dance a jig. The whole sequence comes completely out of nowhere and is never explained or mentioned again.
    • There's also the whole sequence with Bundt. Okay, we've crashed Booster's wedding, the chefs come in with the cake, and furious over the wedding being called off and their work being for nothing, they attack, makes sense. Wait... the wedding cake is alive and that's the boss of Marrymore? Huh?
  • Breather Level: Star Hill. It's a pretty short area where you find a Star without any interference from the Smithy Gang or any boss fight whatsoever. The original player's guide even calls the star you find here a reward, after all the trouble you went through in Booster's Tower and Marrymore. Made up for by the hell you're gonna be going through after through to get the next two stars.
  • Cult Classic: Regarded as such, especially in the United States. The SNES game did receive critical acclaim, but its success was limited because the Nintendo 64 was released four months later with a far more commercially successful and famous game, Super Mario 64, and the game was released against an increasingly-successful and robust PS1 library, to boot.
  • Demonic Spiders: Dry Bones and their variant Vomers in Barrel Volcano and the battle gauntlets in Bowser's Keep. They're immune to physical attacks, and can only be killed by special attacks or an item called Pure Water. Woe betide you if you fight them in Bowser's Keep and have neither Pure Waters nor Flower Points.
  • Ending Fatigue: After maintaining a brisk pace through the first two thirds, the game slows to a crawl once you beat Yaridovich and get the fifth Star Piece. The trek for the sixth star takes you through Land's End, Bean Valley, Nimbus Land, and then Barrel Volcano. All of these areas are rather long, have at least one boss in them (Nimbus Land has two, as well as skippable miniboss fights, and Barrel Volcano has three) and Nimbus Land also has a lot of cutscenes to sit through. But at last you get the sixth star in the volcano. Then it's on to Bowser's Castle which is even longer than the previous areas and at one point forces you to fight your way through four of six random hallways, which variably pit you against difficult platformer segments, logic problems, or just a gauntlet of enemies. And when you finally get to the end of the castle, after beating the third of three bosses, guess what? There's still one more dungeon to go, even longer than Bowser's Castle, with six bosses before you get to Smithy at last, and the stage is full of clones of Smithy's minions that are themselves minibosses. When Bowser steps out at the entrance to said dungeon and basically says "I'm done, I'm not going any further," the player is probably agreeing with him.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Boshi, due to him having a very unique design from all other Yoshis (who generally look the same aside from different coloration). Note that he is otherwise completely irrelevant to the main plot.
    • Geno. Not only is he one of the most popular characters in the game, but likely the entire Mario franchise. His fans have been clamoring for him to appear in other Mario spinoffs for years, even going as far as to demand he appear in Super Smash Bros. (which generally doesn't favor one-off characters from spinoffs, mind you). Hell, even Masahiro Sakurai himself wanted Geno to be in Smash, and he got a bone thrown with a Mii Gunner costume. He's that popular.
    • The Axem Rangers are the most popular among the villains thanks to their memorable parody of Super Sentai/Power Rangers.
    • Culex is very popular for being a Shout-Out to Final Fantasy, an epic Bonus Boss and Greater-Scope Villain, and an Affably Evil Noble Demon.
  • Evil Is Cool: More like jerkasses are cool, but whoever on the development team thought "let's give a Yoshi a spiked collar and sunglasses" deserves major props for coming up with Boshi.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Queen Valentina, mainly for her Impossible Hourglass Figure and what happens when you physically attack her in her boss battle.
  • First Installment Wins: Many consider this game to be the best of Mario's RPGs, partly due to being unique and never followed up with a true sequel unlike the others.
  • Foe Yay: 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.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Toadstool. With a Timed Hit, her Group Hug spell will heal enough HP to likely restore everyone to full and also heals status ailments, for a measly 4 FP. Then she gets Come Back, which revives a party member at full HP with a Timed Hit, also just for 4 FP. And her ultimate weapon is one of the best in the game and allows her to hit just as hard as Geno or Bowser. Having her in the party makes you pretty much invincible unless a group of enemies concentrates their fire on her, or a really powerful group attack kills everyone at once.
      • Toadstool gets even more broken with the Lazy Shell armor and the Quartz Charm. The Lazy Shell provides a massive defensive boost (including immunity to not only elemental attacks but status effects) at the cost of a crippled offense and speed, and the Quartz Charm boosts Offense and Defense by 50%.
    • Geno's magic attacks are the most powerful in the game. For a while, Bowser is more useful to the team than him, but by the end of the game the best team to use is by far Mario/Toadstool/Geno. There's also Geno Whirl, which deals 9999 damage on a timed hit. Sure, it doesn't work on bosses, but it works on most normal enemies— including some of the beefiest ones in Barrel Volcano and Nimbus Land.
    • The Work Pants are more useful than any armor you pick up afterward thanks to its stat boosts while everything else just boosts defenses. This is especially the case for Bowser, as it provides better defense than the any of his armors up to the Barrel Volcano store, provided you had the foresight to equip him with one, as he shows up after you've completed Moleville.
    • Using the Quartz Charm or the Jinx Belt (received by Culex and Jinx respectively) on a character makes their stats boost up to insane levels. In addition the Quartz Charm makes you immune to all status effects including instant death.
    • The Safety Ring and Safety Badge. Both prevent all status effects and aren't hard to get (though one is in an out of the way place). The Safety Ring however, also makes one immune to all magic and instant death attacks. If you're good with timed defenses, the character equipped with this has no trouble staying alive.
    • The Lazy Shell armor. It turns whoever wears it into a Stone Wall who probably will never faint unless you're really unlucky. And you can attach this armor to anyone, including Princess Toadstool.
    • The Super Suit boosts speed by 30 and every other stat by 50. You want it? Jump on an enemy with the Super/Ultra Jump in battle and keep it up for another 99 times then talk to a certain NPC in Monstro Town. Good luck.
      • In the process of doing this, you'll earn the Attack Scarf for Mario by doing 30 Super Jumps. Put both of these items on Mario and his speed stat will be so high that in the fight against Culex, he'll get a turn before Culex's monologue!
    • Once you can buy Kerokero Colas (either at Tadpole Pond with the Soprano Card, or by staying at the Suite in Marrymore), you won't need any other healing item. Colas are expensive (200/150 coins, respectively, depending on where you buy them), but they heal the entire party and restore FP to full all at once. Similar items like the Max Mushroom (which only heals one party member to full) and Royal Syrup (restores FP to full) can either only be bought at the Very Definitely Final Dungeon or can't be bought at all, often rendering them Too Awesome to Use. Colas can be bought repeatedly, so as long as you have access to one of the infinite coin tricks (and there are plenty of them), you can fill your inventory with them and treat the other items as Vendor Trash.
    • The Ghost Medal is a light one. It boosts defense by 50% at the start of battle, and is gotten fairly easily (search for three hidden flags in the game, which are all hidden in areas without any enemies and that you can get to in less then a minute, and the only one that is really out of the way is in Yo'ster Isle). Oh, and it can be equipped on anyone, so that means that putting it with the Lazy Shell on Toadstool gives her a Defensive buff of 191 from armor. The only downside is that you get it from the Three Musty Fears in Monstro Town, and you only first meet them in the latter part of the game.
    • The Scrooge Ring. It cuts FP usage for the wearer in half, meaning that Toadstool's Group Hug and Come Back only costs 2 FP, and all of Geno's powerful attacks cost less than 10 FP to use. The only thing balancing it is that it requires 50 Frog Coins to buy.
      • And speaking of Frog Coins, you can easily get an infinite supply from Sgt. Flutter at Land's End if you get good at the platforming in the game and complete his cliff-scaling challenge in under 12 seconds, and he will give you 5 Frog Coins every time you complete it.
  • Good Bad Bugs: There's a way to glitch the level-up system in a way that characters learn each other's spells instead. The best way to take advantage of this is to have Toadstool (with the highest magic attack) "steal" Geno and Mallow's spell lists.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Ho Yay: In Marrymore, when you interrupt Booster's attempt to marry Toadstool, it's possible to end up with Bowser kissing Booster, either of them kissing Mario, or both of them kissing Mario.
  • Hype Backlash: While Geno is still a massive Ensemble Dark Horse in the franchise, his sheer number of requests for Super Smash Bros. has led several people to consider him overrated, believing the character's fandom love to be overblown considering his lack of appearances beyond RPG and a cameo in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Booster, considering the fact that he did kidnap Princess Toadstool, just like Bowser, but really he's just lonely and wants to have friends.
    • Bowser, courtesy of being an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain. All he wants is his castle back, but his efforts to take it back result in his troops abandoning him until he's alone. When you find him crying outside Booster Tower, jealous of the fact that Booster has such a nice home, you just want to give the big guy a hug.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • The Axem Rangers, due to their attacks and such, but also because of their rather, um... morphinomenal traits.
    • Geno. His stats, his weapons, his attack methods, his appearance... you'd be hard-pressed to find anything about him that isn't awesome.
  • Memetic Loser: Conversely, Geno also tends to get this due to the extremely fervent group of people convinced that he will be in the next Smash game (and being proven wrong at just about every turn), a faction that has been extant since Brawl and kind of never went away, despite Geno's popularity only having lowered since then due to RPG now being very old.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The EYE is protecting Exor!!
    • Geno better be in this game. note 
    • Rawest Forest note 
    • What if the Forest Maze had lyrics? Here's NintendoCapriSun with a remix you never knew you needed. (Animated version.)
      I am in the forest walking around
      But my friend Geno cannot be found
      I've been looking up, and I've been looking down
      And there's no sign of that blue assclown
      He was once a doll, but now he lives
      Life out of nowhere, so hey, what gives?
      I have heard the monsters in here can be hell
      Will Mr. Blue Sky be fine by himself?
    • Video remixes of "Fight Against an Armed Boss" (a.k.a. the theme that plays whenever you fight a boss affiliated with the Smithy Gang) are quite popular on Nico Nico Douga. One video based on JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future is particularly well-known among western audiences.
    • After Supper Mario Broth posted a full artwork of Fat Yoshi, he became prime shitposting material due to his goofy appearance alone.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • That wooshing sound a boss makes as it disappears upon being defeated, which is often followed by the jingle of coins.
    • The super star music, more than usual - you get exp for all the enemies you kill with it, so grabbing a star is usually a sure level up or two for the entire party.
  • Nightmare Fuel: More details on the series page.
  • Older Than They Think: This game marks the first appearance of Peach's Castle and not Super Mario 64, although here the castle looks very different from the design that would be standardized in 64, and it is called Mushroom Castle in this game.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • The Flower Points system. Flower Points (FP) are the game's MP system for special attacks, but unlike most RPGs where characters have their own individual MP pools, FP is shared by the party. Most special attacks worth using in the late-game cost at least 10 FP, probably more, FP caps at a maximum of 99, and Maple Syrup to restore FP only restores 40 points (the Royal Syrup restores 99 but is very rare).
    • Following Geno through the Forest Maze, you hit two points where Geno stops appearing and you have to get past five screens until you can just follow Geno like normal again. Even then it's still a pain with all the random battles trying to distract you and forget where you're supposed to go. The arrows help direct you, but of course the game doesn't hint at that, and it's still difficult even if you do know.
    • The inventory system. Not only does it have a paltry amount of space (around 20 slots), but unlike traditional RPGs where multiple copies of consumable items are put in the same slot, consumables you get in this game go into individual slots.
      • It isn't helped by the fact that EarthBound, which came out 2 years earlier, had the same issue, but gets around it a little. EarthBound only has 14 item slots per character, but by the end of the game you have 4 characters (totaling 56 item slots), while Super Mario RPG only has 20 item slots period.
  • Serial Numbers Filed Off: Change around the character and location names and you'd swear you were playing a Final Fantasy game based on the story and gameplay. A definite case of Tropes Are Not Bad though, because it's still a great game worthy of being in either franchise.
  • Squick: Would eating rotten mushrooms in the middle of a fight induce vomiting or healing, do you think? And how gross do you think the inside of Belome's mouth is, especially after having recently eaten your teammates?
  • That One Attack:
    • Sand Storm, a powerful group attack that not only deals considerable damage to your entire party but also induces the Fear status, which cuts offense and defense in half.
    • Yaridovich's Water Blast is multi-target and hits like a truck even if your party is decently-levelled when you face him. It's not uncommon for the battle to be going swimmingly until Yari pulls this and causes a Total Party Kill. And despite its name, it's Non-Elemental, so the Safety Ring won't protect you from it.
    • Dark Star is the most powerful special an enemy can have and easily scores triple-digit damage even on a high-leveled, fully-armored player. At least unlike the move it's based on (Mallow's Star Rain), it only targets one character.
    • Petal Blast, which inflicts the entire party with the Mushroom status, preventing the character from taking any action for three turns until it wears off. And numerous end game bosses use it. If the party all gets transformed into Mushrooms, it's pretty much a game over unless you get very lucky, and unlike petrification in other RPGs, it's not an instant game over; you have to sit and watch as the enemy beats you senseless with no way to fight back. And to add insult to injury, the Mushroom effect gives a slight HP regen, dragging your demise out even longer.
    • Shredder is a rare ability that nullifies any stat boosts you gave yourself during the battle (not that the game tells you this). Did you know it also applies to stat-boosting equipment? Fortunately, only the Final Boss and the Bonus Boss can use this move.
    • Smithy brings those Those Two Attacks, Meteor Swarm and Magnum. Meteor Storm is an extremely powerful multi-hit move, and Magnum is a One-Hit Kill move almost impossible to time against to prevent the KO. And the form that can use these attacks can get two turns in a row.
  • That One Boss: Easy Levels, Hard Bosses is on the main page for a good reason, but even then, some bosses are just brutal.
    • Croco's rematch in Moleville. He's proportionately as strong as the first time relative to the point of the game you're in, but when his HP gets low, he'll steal your party's items and start spamming Chomp, an extremely powerful physical attack with some wonky timing to defend against. Without items, your own source of healing is Mallow's HP Rain, but if you were careless with special attacks up until then then you're probably low on FP for it. For that matter if Mallow or anyone else dies, you have no way to revive them.
    • Bundt, a living cake. Its gimmick is that when you attack it, you knock out one of its five candles, and then when it takes its turn it relights one; an attack once its candles are all out KO's the top part of the cake and leaves the lower half for a more conventional battle. In the meantime, Bundt's two parts each get turns to attack, and they can use Sand Storm, a powerful group magic attack that inflicts Fear, cutting their Attack and Defense in half. Fearless Pins will block Fear, if you have them from back in Rose Town, and even if you do Sand Storm still does a lot of damage. If Bundt can cripple your party enough that you need to use multiple characters to heal up, it'll set back your efforts on the candles, and if you can't spare two party members every turn to attack, then you have a stalemate on your hands.
    • Yaridovich, primarily due to Water Blast, an extremely powerful non-elemental attack. Toadstool is practically required to survive the fight, and even with her help Yaridovich is a pain, since the princess is a Squishy Wizard who can be downed by Yaridovich's normal attacks easily.
    • Barrel Volcano has Czar Dragon and Zombone back to back to back. Czar Dragon has Iron Maiden to inflict Fear, Water Blast, and continually summons Helios which will ram themselves into party members on the next turn to blow up and deal heavy damage. Then immediately when you kill it, it rises again as Zombone, with Boulder (a group attack even worse than Water Blast), Blast and Storm (powerful single attacks) and Scream (Fear).
    • Immediately after Czar Dragon and Zombone are The Axem Rangers. They start as a Wolfpack Boss. Pink will heal her allies and turn the party into mushrooms, Green spams powerful group spells, Yellow spams powerful physical attacks, Black gets to attack twice per turn and counterattack, and Red is a Jack-of-All-Stats with a ton of hitpoints. This battle is made worse because most FAQs give bad advice.note . And when you KO them the fight still isn't over, because they power up their main cannon to fire Breaker Beam at you, one of the strongest group attacks in the game. At least the cannon only fires every second turn, you'll need it to heal everyone up in time to survive the next blast.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • Mallow's certainly a likable character, but his battle prowess is less than adequate compared to other characters once you finish Marrymore. Princess Toadstool is a much better dedicated healer than Mallow (most of her healing moves being able to restore everyone to full health and remove status effects) and her Frying Pan allows her to hit as hard as Bowser, and Geno is by far the best offensive character when he gets Geno Blast around the same time Mallow learns Snowy.
    • Bowser has it even worse. Mallow has Psychopath, elemental attacks, and potentially the strongest attack in the game Star Rain note  While Bowser has great attack and defense, his magic defense is SHAMEFUL, and starting at roughly the halfway point of the game, enemies, especially bosses, start using magic all.. the... freaking... time... And unlike Mallow, who, with proper use of the level up bonuses can overcome some of his problems, Bowser's magic stats will always be lousy.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • Speak to a particular Chow in Monstro Town, and it will tell you how many Super Jumps you've managed to make in a single use of the technique. What some players never realize is that you can go back and receive an extremely handsome reward if your record hits 30 Super Jumps, and a much, much better one at 100. This requires perfect timing, rock-solid concentration, and lots and lots and lots of practice.
    • The Mushroom Derby is also known to be very frustrating to some players.
    • Getting to Grate Guy's Casino is more a Guide Dang It!, but getting his Star Egg—a rare item that always does 100 points of damage to ALL enemies onscreen which can be used infinite times—is this. You have to win his "Look the Other Way" game 100 times—which is pure luck. There's no strategy or planning involved—it's literally just choosing right or left and hoping for the best.
    • The Surprise Boxes. Any players who literally haven't consulted a guide beforehand would be guaranteed to have one measly Surprise Box hidden in the world even after poking everything. Where is it? Princess Toadstool's Castle. Only at the beginning of the game. Basically it involves the specific Toad you've been talking to on the way there. Before he runs off to the Throne Room in the main hall, you have to jump on his head and then jump on the archway where the Surprise Box is. No, you can't simply come back for it later with a different Toad who periodically walks in front of that archway, as the first Toad somehow makes you jump higher when using him as a springboard. Even worse, you'll later meet a Chester who tells you how many Surprise Boxes you haven't found and there's a detection item which makes a noise when a Surprise Box is present, pretty much making it permanent in that room by the time you get it.
  • Values Dissonance: A mild example of it caused Bowser's victory pose to be changed. In Japan, his pose was a Bicep-Polishing Gesture. That gesture isn't used in America, and it looks very similar to slap-the-crook-of-your-elbow, which means roughly the same thing as the middle finger. Bowser's victory pose was thus changed into a double fist clench in non-Japan versions.
  • Vindicated by History: While it wasn't an outright failure at release, Mario RPG was overshadowed both by the wildly successful PlayStation, and the impending release of Nintendo's own Nintendo 64, with its own Mario title of some renown, meant that many SNES players were moving on to bigger things, with Mario RPG being a comparative blip on the gaming radar. Today, however, it is a much beloved title and many consider it to be one of the greatest games in the Super Nintendo library.
  • The Woobie: Many characters count for this, but Mallow really stands out in this area. It rains when he cries. Which he does. A lot.
  • Woolseyism: Although the terminology is questionable, the man himself led the localization, so you can expect quite a bit of this. The biggest example being Bowser's haiku.

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