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Sprite of Culex, a secret boss from Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars.
First appearance Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (1996)
Latest appearance Super Mario RPG (Nintendo Switch) (2023)
“I am matter... I am antimatter... I can see your past... I can see your future... I consume time... And I will consume you!”
Culex, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

Culex is an optional hidden boss who appears in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. Culex is a being from the alternate world of "Last Illusion," who desires to do battle with warriors from Mario's world. He appears to be a type of demon, having dark purple skin, red twisted horns and wings, a red mark along his torso, a jagged tail, and several crystals surrounding his waist. He also emanates what appears to be dark energy.

Culex serves as the game's superboss: alongside the Crystals, he is an even more powerful boss than the main story's antagonist, Smithy, as he has 4,096 HP, the second most of any encounter in the game (behind only Smithy's second phase). Culex, combined with the Crystals, has 12,396 HP, which exceeds both of Smithy's phases combined.

Culex's appearance contains many allusions to the Final Fantasy series; the creators of Final Fantasy, Square, also created Super Mario RPG. He is depicted in the hand-drawn pixel art style of the SNES Final Fantasy games, contrasting with the pre-rendered 3D models of the rest of the game. His overworld sprite is significantly smaller than how he appears in battle, which is another characteristic taken from Final Fantasy. The songs that play during his encounter and battle are arrangements of music from the Final Fantasy series.

In the Nintendo Switch remake, Super Mario RPG, Culex initially retains his original two-dimensional 16-bit appearance, offering a stark contrast to the game's revamped and updated 3D graphics. Additionally, he retains the music from the SNES version of the game even if the new soundtrack is set to play. However, a post-game rematch gives him a full model, named Culex 3D, along with the Crystals; this rematch also features rearranged music.


Mario's confrontation with Culex in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars.
Culex appears to Mario.

Culex resides in a cross-dimensional region found behind a sealed door in Monstro Town. According to one of his neighbors, a Piranha Plant, Culex is "always mumbling about Crystal-this and an Evil-that." The sealed door that leads to Culex requires a Shiny Stone, also mentioned by the Piranha Plant. When Mario enters the region, Culex greets him and explains his story. He then challenges the party to a battle, which the player can either accept or refuse.

Mario, Toadstool, and Geno face Culex and the Crystals.

In battle, Culex is aided by four Crystals – the Earth Crystal, the Fire Crystal, the Water Crystal, and the Wind Crystal. These Crystals have magical attacks that correspond with their elemental power. All four Crystals can be defeated independently before targeting Culex, but if Culex falls, any remaining Crystals shatter one by one on their next turn.

If Mario's party wins, Culex rewards Mario with the Quartz Charm. Culex then leaves Mario's dimension as Mario is transported back to Monstro Town. The door to Culex also vanishes, leaving a solid rock wall in its place.

In the Nintendo Switch remake, he can be fought again after beating Smithy. The fight itself becomes accessible once the Extra-Shiny Stone is collected after beating Johnny's post-game rematch. Because of the Star Road being repaired by Mario and his party, they consequentially granted the various wishes of powerful people. This ultimately included Culex, who wished to gain the power of the third dimension. He then drew them back to his realm to fight them in this new form. In this form, he uses either Meteor or Final Claw every five turns, the former deals damage equal to maximum HP minus 1 to all active party members and the latter deals 9999 damage to one party member. He also attacks twice each turn after all the Crystals are defeated. Similarly to Bowyer's battle, the A Button, Y Button, or X Button buttons can be disabled for several turns, rendering the party unable to use the commands from those buttons. Finally, if the player attempts to defeat Culex while leaving any Crystals alive, the Crystals sacrifice themselves to bring him back with full health.[1]

After Mario's party wins, he is reduced back to his 2D sprite due to the forces of malevolence fading and is forced to retreat to regain his 3D form, although not before keeping count of the amount of turns it took to defeat him in battle. He will also provide the player with a Crystal Shard. After defeating Smithy once this battle is won, Culex appears in the credits scene with Monstermama and the other characters, briefly appearing in his 2D form behind the background.

One question that Dr. Topper can ask in Western languages is what Jinx, Goomhilde, and Culex have in common. The correct answer is: "They live in Monstro Town." In Eastern languages, this question is instead what Blooper, Leuko, and Cheep Cheep have in common, with the correct answer being "They live in the sea."

Profiles and statistics[edit]

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars[edit]

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars enemy
Sprite of Culex, a secret boss from Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. HP 4096 FP 200 Speed 50
Location(s) Monstro Town Attack 250 Magic attack 100
Role Boss Defense 100 Magic defense 80
Bonus Flower None Yoshi Cookie None Morph rate 0%
Evade 0% Magic evade 0% Spells Shredder, Flame Stone, Dark Star, Meteor Blast
Weak None Strong Fear, Poison, Sleep, Mute, Critical Sp. attacks None
Coins 0 Exp. points 600 Items None
Psychopath "A little off, eh?"

Super Mario RPG (Nintendo Switch)[edit]


Super Mario RPG enemy
Sprite of Culex, a secret boss from Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. HP 4096 Weak Elements N/A Drops N/A
Exp. 732 Weak Statuses N/A Rare Drops N/A
Found in Monstro Town
Monster List profile He crossed dimensions in order to come here from the world of "Last Illusion," a story about crystals. Too bad he's still so two-dimensional.
Thought Peek "I feel...a bit out of place."

Culex 3D[edit]

Super Mario RPG enemy
Culex 3D
Culex 3D in Super Mario RPG (Nintendo Switch) HP 9999 Weak Elements N/A Drops N/A
Exp. 732 Weak Statuses N/A Rare Drops N/A
Found in Monstro Town
Monster List profile You beat the toughest fight in the game! Thanks for playing all the way to the very end!

-The Development Staff
Thought Peek "You shall bear witness to the power of post-game content!"
Other stats for Culex 3D[2]
FP 999
Attack 255
Defense 135
Magic Attack 110
Magic Defense 100
Speed 50
Evade 0%?
Spells Meteor, Meteor Blast, Shredder, Dark Star, Flame Stone
Special Moves Final Claw
Element Resistances None
Other Resistances Lamb's Lure/Sheep Attack, Geno Whirl, Pure Water, Yoshi Cookie
Coins 0
  • Thought in other languages:
    • Japanese:
      (Translation: Know this! The power of end content!!)

Regional differences[edit]

Culex's alignment and motives differ drastically between the Japanese and English versions.[3]

In the Japanese version, Culex claims to be a timeless overlord made of pure evil. As a two-dimensional being, he is perplexed by the three-dimensional forms of Mario's party, so he demands a fight to try and understand them. Upon defeat, he recognizes the party's strength and positive energy, and he and his pocket dimension disappear until the day he finally gains the solidity of the third dimension.

In the English version, Culex is said to be the "Dark Knight of Vanda" sent by the Dark Mage, but his plans came to a halt after discovering that Mario's world is uninhabitable to him and his kind. He remains in a secure location in the hopes that the world's "strongest knight" will seek him for a challenge before he departs. He has nobler mannerisms, and attempts to leave Mario's company on good terms.

The remake changes Culex's depiction to be consistent in all languages. It is primarily based on the original Japanese version, in particular his perplexion for the three-dimensional forms for Mario's party that acted as his motivation for fighting them, and his nature as an evil being rather than a noble one. In Western languages, his Dark Knight of Vanda title and ties to the Dark Mage are retained.

Allusions to Final Fantasy[edit]

Culex himself is an allusion to the Final Fantasy series, as Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is developed by Square, who are the creators of the Final Fantasy series. Culex has two different sets of game sprites, one for the overworld and a much larger one for battle, with the former being from a more top-down perspective instead of isometric like other enemies. His overworld sprite resembles enemy designs in the 2D Final Fantasy titles, and these sprites do not have as complex animations and frames, reminiscent of early Final Fantasy games. This is particularly pronounced in the Nintendo Switch remake, which reuses Culex's sprite from the SNES version instead of updating him to match the new art style. Moreover, the three music tracks associated with Culex are rearrangements of three music tracks from the Final Fantasy series: his battle music is a rearrangement of "Battle 2", the boss battle theme from Final Fantasy IV; the music that plays when he is defeated is a rearrangement of "Victory Fanfare", the victory music present throughout the Final Fantasy series, and the ending conversation is an arrangement of the Final Fantasy "Prelude". In the Japanese version, Culex mentions「次元じげんのはざま」(jigen no hazama, dimensional rift), which is the same as a location in Final Fantasy V. Culex's English name appears to have a similar origin as Golbez from Final Fantasy IV, who is named after the Golubaeser fly, as "Culex" is a genus of mosquito. His English Dark Knight of Vanda title may also be a reference to Cecil from the same game, introduced as a Dark Knight of Baron. In the Nintendo Switch remake, his in-game description in the Monster List claims that he hails from the world of "Last Illusion", a play on the name "Final Fantasy", and that said world is based on "a story about crystals", a common narrative device in the earlier Final Fantasy titles. In addition, his defeat animation in the remake has him disintegrating in both his standard and 3D Culex fights, referencing a common defeat animation for final bosses in the Final Fantasy games.


Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars[edit]

For a full list of quotes, see here.
  • "Greetings. I am Culex, Dark Knight of Vanda. I've crossed into this dimension to fight for the Dark Mage. But this world is uninhabitable for me and my kind. I must return to my own world. Before I go, though, I would like to challenge your strongest knight. Will you accept my challenge? You will enter combat against me?"
  • "You are wise to hesitate. Without any weapon or armor, you have no chance."
  • "En garde!"
  • "I am matter... I am antimatter... I can see your past... I can see your future... I consume time... And I will consume you!"
  • "A little off, eh?"
  • "Perhaps in another time, another game, we may have been mortal enemies... Let us part as comrades in arms."
  • "Take this. Treasure it as a keepsake of our fight."
  • "Farewell, champion knight!"

Super Mario RPG (Nintendo Switch)[edit]

Post-game wishes on Star Hill
  • "I, the Dark Knight of Vanda, await the one destined to challenge me." (before having been defeated)
  • "I have returned, having attained even greater power. I await the one destined to challenge me once again." (after having been defeated)
  • "I await the destined one's return..." (after having been defeated as Culex 3D)

Culex 3D[edit]

  • "Denizens of the three-dimensional world... Our paths cross once more."
  • "You have used your great strength to grant the wishes of powerful people."
  • "The force of your strength resonated with my wishes, enabling me to attain greater evil power and return to this plane."
  • "You shall see this power firsthand!"
  • "Heh heh... Feast your eyes!"
  • "This new form is worthy of your three-dimensional world!"
  • "I return to this world remade."
  • "I am matter and antimatter. I am past, present, and future. I will consume all of time and space!"
  • "My evil power is in harmony with this three-dimensional world. And now, it will crush you!"
  • "You shall bear witness to the power of post-game content!" (thought)
  • "Unbelievable. You defeated me at my strongest, in my three-dimensional splendor."
  • "The forces of malevolence have faded. I have lost my depths, diminished once more to the form of a flat plane."
  • "I will withdraw to that land to regain my three-dimensional power and then await your return."
  • "It took you [#] turns to defeat me this time."
    • "The gap between your power and mine has proven greater than I thought. I must admit it. There are none more powerful than you!" (24 turns or fewer)
    • "We are nearly evenly matched." (25-40 turns)
    • "That is quite a long time." (41 turns or greater)
  • "I await the destined one's return..."
  • "So, you denizens of the three-dimensional world come before me once again. I will fight you as often as you wish. Let the mightiest prevail!" (Rematch)


Names in other languages[edit]


Language Name Meaning
Japanese クリスタラー
Derived from "crystal" and the agentive suffix "-er"; possibly also evoking a mix of "crystal" (a symbol of the Final Fantasy franchise) and "star" (a symbol of the Super Mario franchise)

Chinese 水晶塔拉
From「水晶」(shuǐjīng, "crystal") and transliteration of the Japanese name

Dutch Culex
French Cristax
From cristal ("crystal") and the slang suffix -ax
German Crystallux
From "crystal" and possibly lux (Latin for "light")
Italian Krystax
Crippling of the word "crystal"
Korean 크리스터러
Crystaler; transliteration of the Japanese name

Spanish Culex

Dark Knight of Vanda[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese このあくすべてをすべるもの
kono yo no aku no subete o suberu mono
controller of all evil in the world

Chinese (simplified) 我统御这世上的一切邪恶
Wǒ tǒng yù zhè shìshàng de yīqiè xié'è
I control all the evil in the world

Chinese (traditional) 乃統御世間萬物之惡的存在
nǎi tǒngyù shìjiān wànwù zhī è de cúnzài
controller of all evils in the world

Dutch Zwarte Ridder van Vanda
Black Knight of Vanda
French (NOA) chevalier noir de Vanda
black knight of Vanda
French (NOE) chevalier obscur de Vanda
dark knight of Vanda
German Dunkelritter von Vanda
Dark-knight of Vanda
Italian Cavaliere Oscuro di Vanda
Dark Knight of Vanda
Korean 이 세상의 모든 악을 다스리는 자
i sesang-ui modeun ag-eul daseurineun ja
controller of all evil in the world

Spanish caballero oscuro de Vanda
dark knight of Vanda

Culex 3D[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese クリスタラー (立体りったい)
Kurisutarā (Rittai)
Culex (three-dimensional)

Chinese (simplified) 水晶塔拉 (立体)
Shuǐjīngtǎlā (Lìtǐ)
Culex (three-dimensional)

Chinese (traditional) 水晶塔拉 (立體)
Shuǐjīngtǎlā (Lìtǐ)
Culex (three-dimensional)

Dutch Culex (3D)
French Cristax 3D
Culex 3D
German Crystallux 3D
Culex 3D
Italian Krystax 3D
Culex 3D
Korean 크리스터러 (입체)
Keuriseuteoreo (Ipche)
Culex (three-dimensional)

Spanish Culex 3D


  1. ^ bloodbro2010 (December 2, 2023). Culex revives full health if you let a crystal survive. Reddit (r/MarioRPG). Retrieved December 2, 2023.
  2. ^ Super Mario RPG Speedruns - Misc. stats and data. Google Sites. Retrieved January 2, 2024.
  3. ^ Culex is Quite Different in Japanese Super Mario RPG. Legends of Localization. Retrieved February 2, 2016. (Archived April 1, 2016, 03:53:55 UTC via Wayback Machine.)