Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (known in Japan as Mario & Luigi RPG 3!!!) is a Nintendo DS game developed by AlphaDream and published by Nintendo. It is the third title in the Mario & Luigi series, preceded by Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga for the Game Boy Advance and Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time for the Nintendo DS, and succeeded by Mario & Luigi: Dream Team for the Nintendo 3DS. Unlike its predecessor, this game makes greater use of the DS touch controls and microphone.
After the Mushroom Kingdom's citizens begin to fall victim to the Blorbs, a mysterious disease that affects Toads and makes their bodies swell to enormous proportions, Princess Peach summons a conference to find a solution for the problem. The conference is attended by Mario, Luigi, Dr. Toadley's intern, some Toads, and Starlow, a star sprite. As Peach is explaining the effects to the attendees, Bowser barges into the room, trying to be a part of the meeting too. However, since his interruption is interpreted as an attempted assault, he is attacked and quickly defeated by Mario. Peach and Starlow then use their powers to send him away to Dimble Wood. After recovering from his defeat, Bowser receives an item called a "Lucky Mushroom" from a mysterious merchant in a gray cloak. Unbeknown to Bowser, the cloaked person is actually Fawful, who tricked Bowser and also was the cause of the blorb epidemic (by selling "Blorb Mushrooms" to the toads). His present quickly turns out to be a Vacuum Mushroom, an Item which causes strange effects to take place in Bowser's body and enhances his breath. The enhancement gives Bowser the ability to inhale everything, but also allows Fawful to control his actions. Using this newly gained influence, Fawful then sends Bowser back to Peach's meeting, where he uses the Vacuum Mushroom's powers to inhale everyone. Bowser falls unconscious, and Fawful sends his minion to take him away.
After being inhaled, Mario reawakens inside Bowser's body, being reduced to microscopic size. While traveling through the Trash Pit, he eventually stumbles into Starlow, and then Luigi. After being reunited, the trio sets out to find Princess Peach. They acquire hammers before leaving the area. As they try to escape the place, they find a Nubbin, an object resembling an exposed nerve. They activate it by hammering it, which rouses Bowser. He awakes inside Cavi Cape Cave, where he discovers that he has lost the ability to breathe fire. After leaving the cave he meets Fawful, who proclaims that he is planning to claim Bowser's Castle as his own and to conquer the whole Mushroom Kingdom. Fawful then flees, and before Bowser can give chase, he is halted by Midbus, a minion of Fawful. Bowser battles him, but because his body was weakened by the Vacuum Mushroom, he is quickly defeated. When Midbus leaves, Bowser then sets out northeast, towards his castle. Before he can get there, he has to cross Plack Beach which lies between Cavi Cape and his home. Soon after he begins his journey homeward, he is confronted by a mysterious voice explaining the concept of Chakroads to him, portals allowing him to quickly traverse the Mushroom Kingdom.
At Plack Beach, Bowser meets Broque Monsieur, a famous block collector, trapped on a small island. Bowser agrees to help him when Broque Monsieur offers him the Vacuum Block, an object that gives its user the capacity to use a powerful suction attack. Bowser pulls on the rope connected to the island and with help from the Mario Bros. yanks the island onto the beach. Now rescued, Broque Monsieur gives Bowser the Vacuum Block and teaches Bowser the vacuum ability. With that new power, Bowser comes across the Sea Pipe Statue, which Fawful has imbued with the power of self defense, and it attacks him. After Bowser deactivates it, the statue turns back into a water fountain. Drinking from it, Bowser inadvertently opens a path allowing the Mario Bros. to advance further into him. They enter the Pump Works and deep inside, they find the Stingler, a key-like item that opens the path to the Flame Pipe where Scutlet blocks Bowser's flame. After the bros. defeat Scutlet, Bowser is able to breathe fire again. He uses this rediscovered skill to continue northward, and defeat Broggy, Broque Monsieur’s pet dog. Bowser then heads into Dimble Wood.
In the forest, Bowser runs into Broque Monsieur again, this time inside his shop, asking him to recover some Blitties for him. Bowser also finds some trapped Goombas, who were caged by Fawful. Near the end of Dimble Wood, Bowser meets up with Sergeant Guy, Corporal Paraplonk, and Private Goomp, whom are attempting to retake the castle using a Banzai Bill cannon, but they realize they are out of ammunition. Bowser then heads to a farm maintained by a family of Wigglers looking for a Banzai Bill. He finds a giant carrot and, thinking it would be a nice alternative to a Banzai Bill, plunks it out, making the Wiggler guarding it furious. Bowser asks if Wiggler has a Banzai Bill, which luckily, he does. He tells Bowser to eat the carrot in sixty seconds if he wants the Banzai Bill. After completing the task (with the aid of the bros. in the Gut Check), Bowser reminds Wiggler about the Banzai Bill, but Wiggler seems to forget the previous conversation. Wiggler is furious with Bowser for eating the carrot, and attacks him. After being defeated, Wiggler gives Bowser the ammunition, telling him to leave immediately. Bowser starts to head back to his minions, but is stricken with horrible pain. The Mario Bros. find the source, a giant worm-like creature named Durmite, who is running rampant inside Bowser. A battle emerges, and after defeating Durmite, it shrinks down to the size of Mario’s foot and takes off. They explore the area and find Toadbert. After the bros. hit a switch in that area, Bowser learns the Sliding Punch.
Bowser returns to the cannon and fires the Banzai Bill at his own castle. Midbus, however, lifts the castle over the missile, and lands the castle in Dimble Wood, on top of Bowser. Heading to the Rump Command, the Mario Bros. reawaken him with adrenaline, unintentionally growing Bowser to the size of his castle. He engages it to battle, which significantly damages it enough for Midbus to retreat. Bowser shrinks to normal size and travels north through the newly created path, chasing after the castle, going through Bumpsy Plains and Bowser Path along the way. Midbus eventually fires a giant iron ball at Bowser, which he launches back at Midbus, knocking the castle back to the ground.
At the castle, he discovers that his minions have been brainwashed by Fawful. When he enters the newly-opened Fawful Theater, he finds no seats to sit on, but a brainwashed Goomba takes him to a VIP seat. Fawful then appears and announces that Bowser is his special guest, and Bowser is launched onto the stage. Fawful brings out Midbus, and Bowser is forced to battle him in a caged fight. After Bowser defeats Midbus, he is taken by some Boos to a winner’s feast. Here, the Boos trick Bowser into eating so much food that he becomes morbidly obese and falls in the floor, stuck from his extra weight.
While exploring the newly opened area, the Mario Bros. find Princess Peach. However, she is kidnapped immediately by Kretins. They chase the creature through the Flab Zone, until they are cornered at a dead end. After battling Alpha and Beta Kretin, they learn the plot of Fawful’s plan, which involves the Dark Star, an evil ancient artifact under Toad Town, and Peach herself. As they try to find a way out, Fawful uses a laser-like machine to pull Peach from Bowser, kidnapping her. Midbus then place a treadmill directly under Bowser. He falls onto it and literally burns all the extra calories and accidentally sets fire to some Bob-ombs which explode, launching Bowser to the Tunnel.
While making his way through the tunnels, he meets a few of his Monty Mole minions, who are creating a secret escape route for Bowser connecting to Toad Town Tunnels. With Bowser’s help, they finish the path to the underground Toad Town. Bowser heads through a path that activates a security system, knocking him unconscious. This causes a pipe blocking a path in the Pipe Yard to break and fall, allowing the trio to exit Bowser’s body. They find themselves in Toad Town Tunnels too, and head to stop Fawful from gaining the Dark Star.
Fawful takes the Dark Star and heads for Peach’s Castle. Just as the bros. are about to enter the castle, barriers are formed by the Dark Star’s power, leaving no entrance available. They then head for Doctor Toadley, searching for an answer to the cure for the Blorbs, another unsolved problem. Just as they enter his office, Bowser enters and engages the bros. in a battle.
After Mario and Luigi defeat Bowser, the doctor explains to the three of them that they need to collect the three Star Cures to cure the blorbs and possibly find a way into the castle. He then tells them that the first Star Cure is held by Durmite, which the Bros. give chase to inside Bowser's body.
However, they are soon stopped by a wall of Boo Blocks, which Durmite ran past. Bowser runs into a propeller machine that he activates by sneezing. The tower comes out of the water, and lands on Bowser. To cure him, the trio heads back to the Rump Command, increasing Bowser’s size again. Bowser then attacks the Tower of Yikk and defeats the moving tower. Bowser returns to normal and enters the quiet tower. He enters a room, where he finds the ghost of Yikk, who is owner of the tower.
Yikk explains his invention, the Boo-ray Machine, that enables various effects on Boo-related things. From the ray, the Mario Bros. are able to go through the Energy Hold inside Bowser and catch up to Durmite. Then they battle her, in her sage form known as Wisdurm. After she is conquered, Wisdurm turns into a butterfly and willingly gives the first Star Cure to them. They find the exit, and enter a new area where they activate the Body Slam, allowing Bowser to leave the Tower.
Bowser immediately finds Private Goomp, then asks him if he has seen a Star Cure. Private Goomp tells Bowser about a Star Cure-like object in Bowser’s vault at his castle. Making his way back to his castle, he finds that the railroad he had helped with near Toad Town has been installed through the vault. Worse, the railroad is now property of Fawful, and is used by the Fawful Express which is driven by the Monty Bros..
The Fawful Express prepares to leave Bowser’s Castle, whilst Bowser is on the tracks, looking for the safe with the Star Cure. As Bowser tries to stop the train from crushing him, he trips, and is crushed into a rock. The Mario Bros. quickly grow Bowser in size, much larger than the train. Bowser takes revenge, and destroys the train. Returning to his vault, Bowser finds the safe the Star Cure is in, but he has forgotten the code. The Mario Bros. journey to Bowser’s Memory Banks, where they battle blocky duplicates of themselves. Once they defeat their counterparts, the creature that attacked them reveals that it is the guardian of Bowser’s Memory. It shows the bros. that the safe’s combination has been damaged in his memory, and that the bros. need to repair it. After they solve the puzzle, Bowser abruptly remembers it, and sings it in a short poem. He finally opens the safe, and grabs the second Star Cure. Private Goomp, Sergeant Guy, and Corporal Paraplonk quickly shove Bowser in the safe, saying that Fawful promised them extra rations for their work. Angry at his former minions for betraying him, he swallows the Star Cure. The Mario Bros. find it in the Gut Check and head back through the pipe to Toad Town.
Doctor Toadley tells the Mario Bros. that the final Star Cure is somewhere above Plack Beach. His intern gives them Birdley to guide them to the last Star Cure. Journeying there, they discover a mountainous path that they never visited before. At the top of the path, they meet the last sage, Chakron, who is also the owner and inventor of the Chakroads. He explains that he would give the Mario Bros. the last Star Cure, but is stuck in his 1000-year pose, and needs help breaking free. After failing to move him an inch, he hints that a special attack in Dimble Wood would help. The trio then heads for Dimble Wood, where they search for the Attack Pieces for Snack Basket. After finding six of them and gaining access to a new area, Mario is kidnapped by a Sockop. Luigi chases it, but ends up trapped in a knocked-out Sockop. In a scene reminiscent of Super Mario Bros. 3, Luigi uses this new ability to hop across thorns, and rescue Mario. In the process, Luigi is able to collect the remaining attack parts and complete Snack Basket. Heading back to Chakron, the three of them use the new move, and succeed. For releasing Chakron from his pose, and giving him a new pose he intends to hold for 100 years, he gives the bros. the final Star Cure.
Mario and Luigi return to Doctor Toadley at the clinic. Taking all three Star Cures, the doctor creates the Miracle Cure, which he uses to cure the blorbs. After completing the process, all the infected Toads are now back to normal. Then the Miracle Cure returns to the Mario Bros., and they take it to the gates blocking Peach’s Castle. Using the Miracle Cure, they are able to break the barriers and head into the castle.
After searching for an entrance to the castle, they run into a giant pile of trash. As Starlow ponders over why it’s there, Midbus comes in and activates the robotic Junker, which attacks the bros. After receiving enough damage, Junker malfunctions again, rampaging around wildly, freeing Bowser and opening a path in the process. However, Bowser has been in the safe for so long that the small space has given him a horrible back pain. Heading through the secret path to a nearby pipe, the Mario Bros. find themselves once again inside the Koopa King. After searching quite a bit, they find Toadsworth inside the Lumbar Nook. He explains that to heal his back, the Mario Bros. must drill into the center of the back. After a very long time (so long that Toadsworth and Toadbert drink some tea to relax), the shock causes Bowser to loosen up his back, enabling him to use the Spike Ball move. After that, Bowser sets off in search of Fawful and the Dark Star.
During his search, Bowser is confronted by giant Piranha Plants that burn him and force him into curling up into a spike ball. The bros. then go to the Chest Station to give impulses that make Bowser fly up so he can fight the Piranha Plants. Not long after defeating them, Bowser finds Fawful and Midbus waiting for the Dark Star to awaken. To aid Midbus, Fawful grants him an ice-based power up, transforming him into Blizzard Midbus to attack. After defeat, Midbus's entire body freezes, with icy air blowing from his nose. Meanwhile, Fawful is absorbing Dark Star’s power, with Bowser punching him before it is complete. Laughing at how that was fun, the awoken Dark Star enters Bowser's body, into the Airway. The heat is so strong that Bowser has to breathe in the cold air emanating from the frozen Midbus. With the help of the cold air, Mario and Luigi chase the Dark Star, with it escaping several times and absorbing some of Bowser’s DNA. When they finally trap it into a dead end, Dark Star finally attacks the Marios in battle. Even after defeat, the Dark Star has enough DNA to allow recreating most of Bowser’s body and power for himself. It escapes from Bowser and runs off, with Bowser chasing after him.
Bowser finds Fawful in the conference room after he defeats the Super Peach Castle, which Fawful had activated. The dark power Fawful absorbed allows him to transform into Dark Fawful. Bowser then fights Dark Fawful, and destroys his body. Somehow, though, he survives as a dark ball of energy. Dark Fawful escapes, but is absorbed by Dark Star. With the two parts back together, the Dark Star completes the transformation into Dark Bowser, and escapes through a hidden passage.
Bowser fights Dark Bowser in a final minigame when the two engage in a quick Spike Ball battle, with Dark Bowser escaping to a tower of the castle. Bowser finds Dark Bowser on the tower high above the Castle, with the princess next to Dark Bowser, unconscious. Bowser battles Dark Bowser, with Bowser punching his belly, causing Dark Fawful to be ejected from his body, enabling Bowser to vacuum him up. With Dark Fawful and Dark Star Core inside, the Mario Bros. are able to attack all of them. After a long battle, the Dark Star Core and Dark Fawful are defeated, leaving Dark Bowser unstable. Mocking him, Bowser punches Dark Bowser until he can’t take any more and explodes. The explosion frees the Mushroom Kingdom from the Dark Star’s influence forever.
Inside Bowser’s body, Dark Fawful is still alive and speaks to the Mario Bros. As he fakes remorse over what he has done, he tries one final attempt to destroy the Mario Bros., and explodes. This explosion actually causes all of the people inside of Bowser to be sent back to the Mushroom Kingdom. The now-conscious Peach, along with other Toads, move to congratulate the Mario Bros. on a job well done. Bowser, confused and angered, realizes that the Mario Bros. were inside his body. When Starlow tries to calm him by telling Bowser to forget the past, Bowser recognizes Starlow’s voice as "Chippy". When she confirms this, Bowser goes crazy. The Toads and the Princess flee from the scene, and as Bowser promises another epic battle with the Mario Bros., the credits roll. Mario and Luigi then defeat Bowser and he is carried back to his castle by his minions.
Afterward, Bowser is seen lying in a bed at his castle, nursing injuries given to him by the Mario Bros. Private Goomp, Sergeant Guy, and Corporal Paraplonk arrive, begging and apologizing for their treason and wanting to rejoin his army. Just then, Birdley comes flying in and drops a present on Bowser’s bed, with Starlow popping out. She reveals that she came to check on him, afraid that he might attack Peach's Castle again. However, Bowser says he merely wants to fix his castle before doing any more evil. Afterward, still angry at the truth, Bowser yells at Starlow to leave, which she does. Bowser yells at the three traitors, telling them to go fix his castle. They are speechless, since that meant that they are back in the Koopa Troop. They run off, yelling only thanks, leaving Bowser to himself. Looking around to see if anyone was there, Bowser opens the present, and finds a cake with himself, Mario, Luigi, and Peach on it.
There is an alternate ending that happens when the player beats the game over level 40, thus getting the Final ranks for both Bowser and the Mario bros. In the ending, Chakron's voice congratulates the player.
As in the other two Mario & Luigi games, there is no "Endless Play" feature. As such, if the player plays the game after it is beaten and the ending is done, the game will just start from the last save point, before the final battle.
Each brother and Bowser have their own HP, SP, POW, DEF, and SPEED, as well as STACHE points for the brothers, and HORN points for Bowser. When they finish a battle, they each gain EXP Points and Coins. With enough Experience Points, they can level-up and increase each respective statistic.
Mario and Luigi's battle system
The battle system with Mario and Luigi is similar to the battles from previous titles. There are now six categories of attack during battle, as opposed to Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time's five, or Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga's four. These are Jump, Hammer, Attack Pieces (Bros. Items), Items, Bros. Badges and Escape. The Bros. can defend with their jump and their hammers. The Jump makes Mario and/or Luigi jump to dodge an attack or to counter-attack. The Hammer is used to counter-attack. The music played while battling is the same as the music played during the debut trailer, as seen in the Japanese site.
A new element has been added to battles, a gauge at the bottom of the screen with Mario and Luigi's heads on either end. When Mario or Luigi pull off an action command, that brother's end of the bar fills slightly. When they meet in the middle, it's possible to use a Bros. Badge move. The effect varies with the equipped badge. The normal effect is to restore 20% of both brothers' HP. Badges can be bought in one of the shops in Toad Town. Some of the badges require that the action commands be pulled off perfectly (EXCELLENT is displayed), and some only need GOOD!. An extra block that appears in the battles can be used to swap the badges that brothers use.
Bowser's battle system
Bowser has almost the same battle system as Mario and Luigi's, but with a few differences. He has different options: Punch replaces Jump, Fire Breath replaces Hammer and Enemy Attacks replaces Attacks Parts. However, he doesn't have Bros. Badges. Instead, Bowser gains a vacuum ability after the player advances further through the game. He can swallow enemies with this new ability to make Mario and Luigi fight them in his belly. He can also swallow parts of enemies that can restore his HP, raise defense or attack power, or rescue a Blitty. Bowser's defenses are the Punch and the Shell. Bowser's Punch can counter-attack an enemy, while his spiky shell can hit enemies that try to jump on his head or protect him from attacks.
Enemy Attacks are special attacks that use mostly members of Bowser's army, which are Goombas, Koopas, Shy Guys, Bob-ombs, Magikoopas and Broggy. These attacks require the stylus to perform. These characters need to be liberated to unlock these attacks.
Bowser also has his very own battle system, used when he turns giant. He fights alone against equally-sized enemies during these segments. During these battles, the player holds the DS sideways like a book, and can perform moves with the touch screen and microphone. Sweeping the touch pen across the touch screen will make Bowser execute a Mega Punch against his enemy, while breathing into the microphone will make him breath fire. Mushrooms will occasionally appear during certain boss battles, which are used to heal Bowser. These battles are turn-based battles.
General battle system
The battle system for both the Mario Bros. and Bowser is similar to that of previous titles, but it also includes various degrees of performance for the Action Commands. In contrast to the binary "did you hit the button on time or didn't you" method of other titles, this game separates performance on Action Commands into five levels:
When leveling up Mario and Luigi, and Bowser occasionally reach a rank. When this happens new criteria is added to the game such as being able to equip more clothing or being able to shop at certain places. Here is a list of the ranks:
Mario & Luigi
Mario & Luigi Specials
There are many items that appear in the game that the heroes must obtain in order to advance in the game. Most of these items require the players to go through some trial, whether it be a challenge, facing a boss, or through other means.
These are the items that appear in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story. Please note that some of the items used in this game have appeared in the previous installments.
Many Status Ailments appear in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story. Each type affects the heroes and enemies with their own variables. Many of these status effects are both new and previously found in the prequels. Many enemies can inflict the diseases, as well as some attacks that the three heroes can learn. To relieve the effects, the player can use a Refreshing Herb or - depending on the type - can wait for it to run out of their systems.
The following is a bestiary for all enemies encountered in the game Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story. Please note that some of these enemies are variations of a single enemy or were fought in a grouped-battle. For convenience, these variations are listed separately.
*Indicate only Mario & Luigi can battle them.
The following is a bestiary for all bosses encountered in the game Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story. Please note that some of the bosses are fought necessarily, some being optional bosses, such as the X bosses, and some bosses require Bowser to become giant to brawl them.
While Mario and Luigi adventure through Bowser's Body, Bowser is walking around the overworld. Mario and Luigi can influence Bowser. They can pinch nerves to make Bowser panic. They can also touch Bowser's muscles to give him a power-up. Equally, Bowser can change the course of the Mario Bros.' adventure. For example, he can flood them by drinking from a fountain. After a certain point in the game, Mario and Luigi can go to the Pipe Yard and use Warp Pipes to exit Bowser's body and explore the overworld, and then use the pipes to enter Bowser's body again.
Overworld icons have slightly changed. They now display the health of the character. Bowser uses two buttons in the overworld, X to punch, and Y for firebreath. Later in the game, Bowser learns new moves such as a dashing punch, ground-pounding, and curling up into a spikeball (much like the way he attacked Mario in Super Mario Galaxy). Mario and Luigi use A and B respectively to jump. At one point they gain hammers. Mario can destroy rocks and crates, while Luigi can hit Mario to make him mini so as to reach previously inaccessible areas. Later in the game, the Marios learn new moves such as the Spin Jump and the Drill Bros. They also encounter items in the overworld that help them perform moves to reach a goal or an item. The items include a gas pump that seems to be shooting out helium. Mario can fill himself up with helium and float into the air like a balloon. If Luigi is to grab his legs at that time, they are able to perform a floating high jump, somewhat similar to the move found in the first installment of the series. They can also find a Blue Koopa shell that Mario can put on. Luigi can whack him with his hammer to shoot Mario over previously inaccessible areas to hit switches. This move is very similar to the move the Koopa companions use in the Paper Mario series.
While Bowser explores a 3-D overworld, Mario and Luigi explore a 2-D world inside his body, much like a traditional platformer, though they can go into the 3-D overworld at any time once the Pipe Yard is available. The actual overworld is connected just as it was in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, unlike Partners in Time's linear levels. The overworld is up to 4-5 times larger than Superstar Saga's overworld. The map in this game consists of a beach, a forest, a cape, the road to Bowser's Castle, Toad Town, Bowser's Castle, Peach's Castle, Grasslands, a railroad, underground, and a lake. In the Nintendo Power review, it was stated that there are tons of sidequests, much to explore, and plenty to do in the free roam overworld.
*Only Mario & Luigi can access.
Differences from other Mario & Luigi games
While a direct sequel in the Mario & Luigi series, Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story still has several differences compared to the first two Mario & Luigi games.
References to other games
References in later games
All enemies have an attack pattern for Mario and Luigi, even if they do not face them in the game. There are also several unused voice clips for Yoshi, coming from Yoshi's Story; there are also unused music from Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, although it won't play correctly. Early screenshots also show Treevils bing battled at Plack Beach.
If the player does more than 10,000 damage to an enemy then the game will freeze. Also, before the fight with Scutlet if the players re-enter the Pump Works and hit the Save Block the message will say that Bowser can breathe fire again, even though the Flame Pipe is still blocked.
The game's producers were Toshiharu Izuno, Akira Otani and Yoshihiko Maekawa, with Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka acting as senior producers and Satoru Iwata and Tetsuo Mizuno acting as executive producers. The game's director was Hiroyuki Kubota and Makoto Aioi was the main programmer.
Mushroom Kingdom Tribune
The Mushroom Kingdom Tribune is a promotional newspaper sent by Nintendo via e-mail. This newspaper includes information about the release of Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story.
This newspaper includes "Reviews from the Mushroom Kingdom", which are quotes from the game characters:
Names in other Languages