Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey is a game in the Mario & Luigi series released for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan on December 27, 2018 and in January 2019 worldwide. It is an enhanced remake of the 2009 Nintendo DS game Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story. The remake also features another story where Bowser Jr. takes action on an adventure, similar to Minion Quest: The Search for Bowser, with two important differences: a slot for an additional first officer who will have its own actions just like Bowser Jr. as well as formations for the troops.
The game is the second enhanced remake of the Mario & Luigi series, the fourth game in the series to be released for the Nintendo 3DS, and the seventh game in the series overall, as well as the thirty-first and the final Mario game released for the Nintendo 3DS. It is also the final Mario & Luigi game released by AlphaDream before filing for bankruptcy, although they would assist Sega on the development of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 before going bankrupt overall.
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story
Like in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions, Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey has updated graphics, soundtrack, and controls, looking visually similar to Mario & Luigi: Dream Team and Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam. The story is mainly the same as it was in the original game. However, some additions and alterations to the gameplay have also been made.
List of changes
1 - though they are instantly defeated by Bowser in overworld, Bowser can meet them by battling against other enemies.
Note that all the X bosses will only award coins after their first defeat. All these bosses are fought by Mario & Luigi.
4 - must fight 6 other X bosses consecutively before the battle.
List of Shops
Bowser Jr.'s Journey
This new addition to the main story sees Bowser Jr. as the titular character. While Bowser is occupied during the main story, this story sees Bowser Jr. on an adventure to cure the blorbs himself after it causes numerous minions to balloon up to an immobile state. The gameplay is very similar to Minion Quest: The Search for Bowser in the case that it involves two armies automatically fighting each other in waves, with occasional quick time events that can sway the battle in the player's favor, such as captain commands which use CP, Button-mashing or button timing to defeat enemies, and the new special "Team-up" attacks that can be executed if the player has multiples of the same unit on the field. The rock-paper-scissors triangle of weaknesses returns, with Melee units being strong against Ranged units, ranged units being strong against Flying units, and Flying units being strong against Melee units. In this game, Bowser Jr. is always the captain and has the ability to change his unit type, though an additional First Officer slot is also available for Kamek or any of the Koopalings, with that unit having their own set of special abilities.
The story begins in Bowser's throne room in his castle. Bowser Jr. is seen rolling into the room on what appears to be a Goomba afflicted by the blorbs. Kamek explains the disease to Bowser, telling him there seems to be no cure as of yet. Their discussion is interrupted by Birdley, who appears to tell Bowser that a conference for blorb prevention is going on at Peach's Castle. Bowser, angry he was not invited, storms off to the castle with Kamek to crash the meeting. Unbenownst to Bowser, Fawful and Midbus are watching close by, ready to take over the castle (and also implied to have played a role in Bowser's not being invited to the meeting, specifically to lure him out of the castle). Fawful orders the Best Fitness Friends, Kaley, Dieter, and Beef, to infiltrate the castle while he goes to capture Bowser at Peach's Castle.
Bowser Jr. is seen fighting Captain Goomba and his Goomba squad multiple times for sparring practice. Nearby, Wendy and Roy discuss what to do about the blorbs, when the Best Fitness Friends appear to sell them their products. Although Roy shoos them away initially, they soon realize that their formula, Skeletone Formula:D, is able to cure the blorbs. Roy receives the recipe to make more Skeletone, which requires a Giga-carrot, an Omega Onion, and Ever Ice to create. Ludwig discusses a plan with the rest of the Koopalings to find the ingredients and cure the blorbs, while Bowser Jr., overhearing, sets off to find the cure himself, thinking it is what his dad would want of him. Ludwig decides to train Junior by teaching him the ropes of battle, using Captain Goomba, Boo, Shy Guy, and Koopa Troopa as examples. Bowser Jr. insists that he already knows how to battle, and does not like Ludwig patronizing him. He goes on to prove himself in subsequent battles. Roy joins Junior's team, followed by Ludwig and Morton. Larry challenges Junior, followed by Iggy and Wendy together, and finally the four minion captains again with King Bob-omb. Junior and the Koopalings (minus Lemmy, who stays behind to guard Bowser's Castle), set off to Dimble Wood to obtain the Giga-Carrot. In the distance, Kaley, Dieter and Beef begin their plan to take over the castle.
As it turns out, it is revealed Fawful obtained the "Lucky Shroom" from Dieter to use on Bowser. Upon approach to Dimble Wood, Bowser Jr. witnesses Dimble Wood being inhaled by Bowser after eating the Vacuum Shroom. Kamek appears to brief the group on what happened before leaving, and leaves to look for Bowser once again, whom he lost sight of. After making their way through Dimble Wood, Ludwig begins to sense an uneasy feeling of being watched, and leaves the squad to find out. Soon after, they come across a few Shy Guys who were brainwashed by Fawful. Although Iggy points out the possibility of brainwashing, they dismiss the idea and trudge on. As they continue through the woods, the morale between Bowser Jr. and the Koopalings decreases. The Koopalings continue to belittle and patronize Bowser Jr., while Bowser Jr. continues to insist he does not need their help. Roy abandons the group, fed up with Bowser Jr.'s behavior and insisting that only he should be rude or selfish. Kaley appears to warn the remaining Koopalings of the attack on the castle, so Wendy and Larry leave to go investigate, unaware that their plan was to lure all the Koopalings out of the castle and leave the base defenseless. Beef is able to dispatch Ludwig, and the Best Fitness Friends plan the defeat of the others. Finally, Junior, Iggy, and Morton reach the Giga-Carrot, but since it is too big to pull out, Junior takes a small bite of it instead to take back. Kamek then finds Junior once more and joins him.
Junior, Morton, Iggy, and Kamek head to Cavi Cape to search for the Omega Onion. They pass by the large hole at the exact moment Bowser uses the Chakroad, causing the two groups to miss each other. Junior later frustratedly dismisses Iggy. Iggy leaves, only to get pushed off a cliff by Kaley, Dieter, and Beef, revealing their secret name as the Brute Force Federation. They decide to go for Roy next; meanwhile Junior takes Iggy's lone clown car to use in battle. The group finds an Oho Jee carrying the Omega Onion, so they battle him for it. Afterwards, Kamek tells Junior the location of the Ever Ice, which was actually stored in the cryogenic chamber of Bowser's Castle. Kamek had acquired it under Bowser's orders to please Junior, but after he did not want it anymore, Kamek had stored the ice in the chamber in hope Junior might have wanted it in the future. Junior, Morton, and Kamek head back to Bowser's Castle, with Kaley, Dieter, and Beef close behind, revealing that they plan to steal all the ingredients Junior collected to unleash the secret power of Skeletone Formula:D.
Meanwhile, Bowser's castle is sent airborne by Midbus and is en route to Dimble Wood to attack Bowser. Dieter easily dispatches Lemmy, with Larry and Wendy watching from behind a wall. They help Lemmy, and although they try to escape, they are distracted by the castle landing (on top of Bowser), followed by Dieter trapping them in barrels. However, the rumbling of the castle due to Giant Bowser causes Larry and Lemmy to escape.
Upon approach to the castle, Junior realizes that it is gone, and are confronted by several Goombas welcoming them to "Fawful Theater". After fighting the Goombas, several more come blabbing about Fawful Theater. Despite the castle's absence, Junior heads down into the basement with Morton and Kamek. Upon reaching the cryogenic chamber, they retrieve the Ever Ice after a dangerous encounter with the Shroobs. Though all the ingredients have been collected, they still need to put all the ingredients together to make Skeletone, so Kamek suggests visiting Broque Madame at Blubble Lake for help. Before departing, however, Kamek makes Junior swear to aid the minions under the control of Fawful, regardless of whether it would impress his father or not. When they visit Broque Madame, Junior and the minions work together to give her a massage, and afterwards, she creates two hundred servings of Skeletone Formula:D. On their way back to Bowser's Castle, however, Kaley and Dieter appear, steal the Skeletone, and mix it with another substance called Malodorius Fibbian to create the dangerous Malatone Formula:X. They use this formula to brainwash Morton, who dispatches Junior and Kamek into a nearby lake. The evil trio reveals their plan to eventually betray Fawful as well once the entire army has been infected with Malatone.
Junior is found by Kamek washed up on Plack Beach. Although he maintains his bratty attitude, Kamek tells Junior that his behavior has isolated everyone around him, and asks him to treat all the minions with more respect. As Junior takes out the charred drumstick that Morton gave him earlier, he reflects on all of the times he berated the Koopalings and tears up. This marks a turning point in Junior's behavior for the rest of the game; he soon begins to enjoy the minions' company and speaks more politely to whomever he talks to.
Junior rescues Kamek after he is attacked by an army of Drillbit Crabs, and the two continue through Plack Beach to find anyone. They are soon attacked by several Goombas who were under the effects of Malatone Formula:X; meanwhile Kaley and Dieter were distributing lots of Malatone to lots of minions. Junior decides to keep the promise he made to Kamek about saving the minions, and has Kamek come with him to be his witness. The two eventually find Iggy, who had acquired amnesia from his fall off the cliff. The star sage Kuzzle appears, claiming Iggy as his grandson "Charlie," so they fight him to help him regain his memory. Iggy rejoins the squad, and the three pursue Kaley and Beef, who are on their way to Dimble Wood in a hurry looking for Ludwig, who seemed to have escaped the castle. Heading into Dimble Wood, they reach Kaley and Beef and prepare to fight. However, Ludwig had been disguised as Beef the entire time, and had actually defeated him a while ago and locked him in a Bob-omb storage room in Bowser's Castle (this can be seen in the main game). Ludwig reveals all of the Best Fitness Friend's goals, and defeat Kaley to end the chase. Ludwig presents Junior with RenewaLeaf, a substance that can remove the brainwashing of Malatone Formula:X, and informs Junior that the other Koopalings are at Blubble Lake.
At Blubble Lake, the Koopa Paratroopa Trio tell Junior that Larry and Lemmy ran in the direction of the castle, so Junior and his group head there. Along the way, they run into Mario, Luigi, and Starlow, with Starlow reassuring Junior that Bowser is working very hard. They find Larry and Lemmy, who are trying to help Bowser after he was crushed by the Tower of Yikk. As Bowser grows giant, Larry and Lemmy try to run in to help him, but get injured in the process, forcing Junior to rescue them before they get crushed, despite several brainwashed minions getting in the way. Junior apologizes to Larry and Lemmy for his behavior, and the group, now with four Koopalings, head to Bowser's Castle to find Wendy, Roy, and Morton.
Upon approach to Bowser's Castle, they find it has returned to its original spot. Kaley, Dieter, and Beef (who escaped from the Bob-omb storage room) arrive on the scene with Wendy in a barrel, and easily dispatch Junior and the Koopalings. Before they can finish them off, however, Captain Goomba, Captain Boo, Captain Shy Guy and Captain Koopa Troopa all appear to help fight them back. Junior and his squad manage to deter the Best Fitness Friends and rescue Wendy, then give chase towards the castle. At the castle, they find Roy, who, ever since he left the group, was mercilessly attacked by numerous waves of brainwashed minions. On the verge of collapse after finally reaching the castle, Kamek heals him, but Roy is still too full of himself to listen to Junior, and continues to belittle him. Junior challenges Roy to a 1-on-1 duel out of love and wins, exhausting all his energy in the process. Roy, touched by this, rejoins the group, and they finally make their way to the final area.
In the castle, they find and cure Morton, thereby completing the Koopaling team. Now with all the Koopalings with him, Junior takes the moment to sincerely apologize for his past behavior and admits he only wanted to show-off before for his father. He also promises to be much better with them in the future. Junior, now filled with a stronger sense of leadership, leads the Koopa Troop to the final area, where the Best Fitness Friends await. As the world goes dark from the power of Dark Bowser, the Koopalings reminisce on Bowser ordering them to look after Junior, and discuss if they managed to do that well enough. Junior and the Koopalings then encounter Kaley, Dieter, and Beef in the throne room. Upon arriving, Dieter has Junior question the morality of himself and the Koopa Troop. Junior is under the impression that they are the good guys, while the Koopalings are well-aware they are bad guys. Junior comes to the conclusion that good and evil are subjective terms, and that everything is relative. Afterward, Junior and his forces engage in the final battle with the Best Fitness Friends. The trio sends out numerous waves of enemies, and eventually all three of them attack at once. When that fails, the three morph into a giant monstrous Malatone-infused creature with incredible power. Nevertheless, Junior and his troop defeat them for good, reclaim the Skeletone, and take back the castle's control.
Junior and the Koopalings walk out to the castle balcony just in time to witness the Dark Star exploding outside. As Junior decides to wait for Bowser to return, they are interrupted by Roy, who had been distributing the cure to all the Goombas. The game ends with Junior following after Roy, to enjoy a party with all the minions. In the post credits scene, Junior attempts to console his dad after his loss to Mario and Luigi. He gives his father the Skeletone, which inadvertently turns him into Dry Bowser after he eats it all.
The player can go on extra challenges after the game is done, such as a fight with Bowser, in which Bowser and Bowser Jr. are seen to be evenly matched. Bowser can be recruited as a partner, and the remaining challenges include various fights with Malatone-infused minions in Plack Beach and finally a battle with dark Koopalings and Bowser in Bowser's Castle.
Nintendo eShop description
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey has had a poor launch sales record, being one of the worst-selling Mario games to date since the Virtual Boy, having comparable sales figures to download-only titles and Mario's Tennis, a stark contrast to the original release it was based on which remains to be the best-selling Mario & Luigi title. In Japan, it sold under 9,500 units in the first week and dropped off the top 20 charts by the second week. In comparison of the time period released and another rerelease of an older Mario game, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe has sold 381,469 units in a lesser period of time. Comparing to other Nintendo 3DS ports of the Mario series released at a similar time frame on their first week, Luigi's Mansion and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker sold 27,000 and 20,547 units respectively. Famitsu's sales tracker reported the game as selling a total of 34,523 units over its Japanese lifetime, making it one of the worst-selling games in the entire Mario franchise.
Though not cited as a direct cause, the Mario & Luigi series developer AlphaDream would eventually shut down after filing for bankruptcy on October 1, 2019, citing "sluggish revenues" as one of the factors. One gaming journalist also claimed that he was told by an inside source that Nintendo had "axed other 3DS plans" due to the game's poor sales.
References to other games
While not much is known about the remake's development, several key details were shared in an interview with Game Informer shortly after the game's launch. According to AlphaDream producer Yoshihiko Maekawa and Nintendo producer Akira Otani, the main reason they remade Bowser's Inside Story for the 3DS instead of the Nintendo Switch was due to timing; they could easily build the game based on existing assets and, more critically, they wanted to retain the dual-screen elements of the original title such as the minigames and Giant Battles. The reason they skipped over a remake of Partners in Time was because they wanted to remake the best received title in the series. Additionally, they wanted to take the opportunity to explore the parent-child dynamics between Bowser and Bowser Jr., which manifested in Bowser Jr.'s Journey.
Pre-release and unused content
During the Nintendo Direct on March 8, 2018, badges were shown to be available much earlier than in the original. In the final release, badges are obtained at the same point as in the original. It is unknown if this change was actually intended for the final product.
There are unused sprites in the game's files of Ludwig in a Clown Car like Iggy's, and unused sprites of Iggy on the ground in battle. Among the unused sprites also include Bloopers, Golden Eggs, Toads with colors other than red, and differently colored Magikoopas on broomsticks.
Date Released: 5 February, 2019
Nintendo eShop Update Content Description:
Date Released: 19 March, 2019
Nintendo eShop Update Content Description:
Names in other languages
Bowser Jr.'s Journey