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A map is an item used in all of the Mario role-playing games. It shows Mario's current position in a certain area, and is usually received near the start of the game. In the Super Mario series, a map is used to travel through each world and to interconnected worlds in several games. In some games, such as Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, the map is more of a feature rather than an item; these maps (which are sometimes called map screens) are mere portals to the other places in the game.
Super Mario series
Map screens have appeared in side-scrolling games such as Super Mario Bros. 3 (which was the first Mario game any type of map appeared in) and Super Mario World, which had a fully connected (or seamless) world map. New Super Mario Bros. U also features a seamless world map, much like Super Mario World. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is the first Mario 3D platformer to use a world map despite still using a hub like earlier 3D installments. Super Mario 3D Land portrays all world maps as simply just a straight line, and the first 3D platformer without any hubs whatsoever. Super Mario 3D World also features a world map, but in the style of Super Mario Bros. 3, as the worlds are separated between each other and are only connected via Clear Pipes. Super Mario Odyssey has the various Kingdom's brochures serving as maps in the game. In order to travel to areas in the kingdom that are farther away much faster, Mario can simply teleport there using the brochure. Additionally, the game features a globe that allows Mario to travel to a different kingdom if Mario throws Cappy at it. In Super Mario Sunshine, the map was similarly "given" to Mario towards the beginning of the game (this time by a Pianta known to play for the Doot Doot Sisters), although this Map is not literally given as Mario could use it before it was "received" from the Pianta.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
The Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars map is notable for being both a feature and an item, as it is used as a feature but given to Mario (by the Chancellor) as if it were an item.
Paper Mario series
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door features a Magical Map which Princess Peach recieves from Beldam (who was disguised as a merchant) at the start of the game and mails to Mario. This map is used to find the Crystal Stars.
In Super Paper Mario, the player can purchase maps from Flamm. These maps will lead Mario and the heroes to hidden treasures throughout the game. All maps are purchased with coins. Once the heroes find the area with the hidden treasure, they must use the Pixl Fleep, move him over the treasure spot on the screen and press to flip and find the treasure. Many of the treasures are Catch Cards, and sometimes a character's Catch Card can even be found using a map before the character appears in the game, such as King Sammer, Welderberg, and Brobot L-type.
Mario & Luigi series
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga and its remake feature the Beanbean Map which shows Mario and Luigi's current position. Mario and Luigi acquire the Beanbean Map by beating the Border Bros' game of Border Jump. In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, a map can be viewed at any time by pressing SELECT, although if Mario and Luigi are outside Bowser's body, the map will be displayed on the bottom screen permenantly. In Mario & Luigi: Dream Team and Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, the map is always displayed on the bottom screen and works the same way, except in the former while in the Dream World, the map can only be viewed by touching the map icon or pressing the .
List of maps in Super Paper Mario