Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga is a turn-based action RPG for the Game Boy Advance, developed by AlphaDream and published by Nintendo. It was released in November of 2003 for the Game Boy Advance and later as a Virtual Console title for the Wii U in April of 2014. The plot revolves around Mario and Luigi traveling to and exploring the Beanbean Kingdom to recover Princess Peach's voice from an evil witch, Cackletta, and her pupil, Fawful.
In addition to being the first installment in the Mario & Luigi series, this game is also the third Mario RPG following Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars and Paper Mario respectively. It would itself be succeeded by Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time for the Nintendo DS in 2005. Notably, the game takes heavy inspiration from Tomato Adventure, AlphaDream's first Game Boy Advance RPG, featuring very similar graphics, sound effects, and even allusions to certain characters. This game features rumble support if played on a Game Boy Player. The remake of the Mario Bros. arcade game featured in the Super Mario Advance series of games was also included with Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.
A remake of this game for the Nintendo 3DS, titled Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions, was released in October of 2017, featuring a new, exclusive sidequest mode coinciding with the main story. As such, it is the first and currently one of only two installments in the Mario & Luigi series to receive a remake. The second would be Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, which received a remake titled Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey a decade later.
The Goodwill Ambassador from the Beanbean Kingdom and her assistant arrive at the Mushroom Kingdom to bring a gift from Queen Bean for Princess Peach. However, it turns out to be an act of deceit; the ambassador and her assistant are actually villains named Cackletta and Fawful, who quickly steal Peach's voice and escape with it into the dark sky.
Meanwhile, Mario and Luigi are at their house when Toad runs by to alert Mario to the ordeal; Mario runs off to Peach's Castle while inadvertently dragging Luigi behind him. Inside, the Bros. run into Bowser trying to kidnap Peach. After Mario defeats Bowser, a Toad then tells them that Peach's voice was replaced with an explosive vocabulary. Bowser, scared the princess might wreck his castle if kidnapped, reluctantly agrees to help Mario retrieve Peach's voice.
Mario and Bowser get ready to leave in the Koopa Cruiser along with the crew of Bowser Baddies. As they are about to leave, Luigi comes to say his final goodbye. Bowser mistakenly thinks Luigi wants to join his Baddies, so he takes him along. Along the way, the group encounters Cackletta, who sends Fawful in to fight the Bros. After a brief battle, Fawful uses his headgear to destroy the cruiser, sending everyone onboard plummeting down to Stardust Fields.
Mario and Luigi crash land in the Beanbean Borderlands. They soon meet the Border Bros, who let them pass after they play the Border Jump game. After learning the Spin Jump and High Jump from the Starshade Bros., Mario and Luigi soon find Bowser stuck in a cannon; its operator, Tolstar, tells the Bros. to get 100 Beanbean coins in order to secure Bowser's release, and they eventually retrieve enough to satisfy Tolstar's bribe. Instead of helping out, however, Tolstar decides to attack the brothers, but is soon defeated. Soon after, one of the Starshade Bros. arrives and lights the fuse of the cannon Bowser is stuck in, shooting him across the kingdom.
The brothers soon make it to Hoohoo Village, where some Beanish soldiers mistake them for foes. After being permitted entry to the town, they soon leave to find Fawful tormenting a soldier. He mocks the brothers by placing a rock statue in front of them, blocking their path to Beanbean Castle. They decide to visit the Hammerhead Bros. back at the village to obtain Hammers from them. However, the Hammerhead Bros. cannot make hammers because the material that they have is too brittle. They need a Hoohoo Stone, so the brothers climb up the Hoohoo Mountain to retrieve one from the summit.
Midway, they confront a statue named Hoohooros whom challenges the Bros. to a battle. Once they overcome Hoohooros, it allows them to continue up the mountain. When the Bros. finally reach the summit, they find a Hoohoo Stone, but it falls off the mountain. This awakens Blablanadon, who is mad at what they did. After the Bros. explain the incident, Blablanadon apologizes and explains that he has been sitting on a strange egg for some time. Suddenly, the egg hatches, revealing Dragohoho; the creature knocks Blablanadon away and fights the brothers. They defeat the monster, and it transforms into Prince Peasley, the prince of the kingdom, who thanks the Bros. for freeing him. Blablanadon flies the Bros. back to Hoohoo Village, where they meet the Hammerhead Bros. again. With the Hoohoo Stone that fell into their cabin, the Hammerhead Bros. are able to make them the hammers they require.
Using their hammers, they demolish Fawful's statue and travel down Hoohoo Mountain towards Beanbean Castle Town. Along the way, they find a cave with an old man and his Beanish dog, who asks them to ride the Mysterious Mine Carts. Afterwards, the Mario Bros. reach Beanbean Castle Town, but they find the town in ruins because of an attack from Cackletta and Fawful. The brothers quickly go to Beanbean Castle, where they meet up with Lady Lima, the kingdom's ambassador. They tell her what's going on, but she does not believe their story, and decides to test them by sending them down to the castle sewer to fix a leaking pipe problem.
Once it has been fixed, the brothers meet up with the real Lady Lima and some servants, where they learn that the Lady Lima they met earlier was actually Cackletta in disguise, and fixing the castle's plumbing disabled the security system which protects the Beanstar. The brothers catch up with her, but arrive too late as Cackletta takes the Beanstar away and sends a deranged muscular Queen Bean to attack them. After defeating her, Mario and Luigi are then sent by Lady Lima to get the Chuckola Reserve to allow Queen Bean to spit out the Belly Blech that caused her to become muscular.
Later, the Mario Bros. make it to Chateau de Chucklehuck to find the reserve. They end up in an unexpected fight with Popple, the shadow thief, and his partner, Rookie, who are both defeated. The brothers soon meet Cork and Cask, the owners of the brewery, who teach them Mini-Mario and Luigi Dunk. Mario and Luigi later retrieve three Chuckola Fruit to give to Chuckleroot. When they reach Mother Chuckola, they find the creator of Chuckola Cola, Bubbles, who is busy telling jokes to the Chuckola Reserve. The soda then transforms into the Chuckolator. After a battle with the Bros., it is defeated and reverts into normal soda, causing an enraged Bubbles to create a tremor that sends the brothers and the soda underground. Mario lands in the soda and Luigi heads back to Beanbean Castle by doing a barrel run.
Back at the castle, Luigi jumps on Mario to squirt out the Chuckola Reserve into Queen Bean, returning her to normal. Peasley then arrives to inform everyone of Cackletta's presence in Woohoo Hooniversity, prompting Queen Bean to send the Mario Bros. there to investigate. At the Hooniversity, they solve a series of puzzles to unlock the Sun Door and reach Cackletta and Fawful. The evil duo are about to awaken the Beanstar using Peach-bots that are installed with Peach's voice. When Cackletta activates them, however, they make a strange noise that drives the Beanstar crazy. The star causes a tremor, sending the robots and itself falling to the floor below. The Mario Bros. then appear, and Luigi bashes Fawful into the ground with his hammer, leaving Cackletta to fight them alone.
After the Bros. best Cackletta, Fawful gets back up, and uses his headgear to suck up her essence, dissolving her body. As he is about to battle the brothers, Peasley arrives and throws him out of the building. The prince departs, leaving the brothers to go down to the basement to retrieve the Beanstar. There, they find Popple and Rookie with the Beanstar, and fight for it. As the Bros. finish dealing with the thieves, a Peach-bot falls down and makes the strange noise again, irritating the Beanstar. Mario, Luigi, Popple, and Rookie grab a hold of it as it flies out of the Hooniversity. They soon each let go and fall in turn; Rookie suddenly remembers that he is really Bowser before he is the last to fall, along with the Beanstar itself when it breaks into four pieces.
Mario and Luigi land at Oho Oasis, where they learn the Firebrand and Thunderhand moves in the Fire and Thunder temples. Meanwhile, Fawful finds the injured Bowser lying on the ground and implants Cackletta's soul inside, turning him into Bowletta. The Mario Bros. soon meet Peasley again, saying that Princess Peach is arriving at the Beanbean International Airport. They arrive and find that Piranha Plants led by Mom Piranha are infesting the runway, and set out to take care of this problem, allowing the Toad Express to land safely.
Back at the castle, the Mario Brothers find out that Peach's voice had never been stolen. It was really Birdo disguised as the princess at the time who lost her voice, hence why the Beanstar reacted so adversely at Woohoo Hooniversity. Peach knew about this all along, as Peasley came and told her about Cackletta's plan beforehand, but she had been unable to explain things to the Mario Brothers due to Bowser's arrival. Later, Peach decides to visit Little Fungitown, with the Mario Bros. escorting her.
They arrive at the only known route to Little Fungitown, Teehee Valley. Before reaching the town, they are confronted by the rock creature, Trunkle, whom they overcome. At Little Fungitown, the Bros. decide to go to the arcade, where Mario plays Star 'Stache Smash and wins an "Invincishroom" - which is actually a misidentified Poison Mushroom. He eats it, but ends up in the hospital, where he has contracted Bean Fever. The only cure for this disease is Crabbie Grass from Guffawha Ruins. Luigi intends to travel to the area to find the grass, but loses his nerve when he finds out about a bone-crushing monster living there. To try and calm himself, he goes to Psycho Kamek (Dr. Toadley in the remake), who hypnotizes him into thinking that he is Mario. The newly-emboldened Luigi goes to Guffawha Ruins.
Soon after confronting the "monster", who is actually just a stone head wishing people would stop making rumors about him, Luigi finds some Crabbie Grass. He goes back to the Little Fungitown hospital, but is struck by lightning. He then spots Peach in the Koopa Clown Car. The fiend in the vehicle is Cackletta, who has possessed Bowser's body to become Bowletta. She makes off with Peach, and Luigi rushes into the hospital to revive Mario. Luigi tells Mario about what had just happened, and both of them quickly return to Beanbean Castle.
Back at the castle, Lady Lima comes with a message from Bowletta, who is requesting that they retrieve the four pieces of the broken Beanstar, and bring them to her in exchange for the princess. The Mario Bros. and Prince Peasley agree to do this task.
Mario and Luigi go out to get the first Beanstar piece, which is in the S.S. Chuckola back at Teehee Valley. After the ship is sent into the Oho Ocean, the Mario Brothers follow the floating Beanstar to Gwarhar Lagoon. Here, they learn Dash and Tickle from the Jellyfish Sisters. They later discover that the Beanstar piece is being used as an ornament for Hermie III. The brothers soon receive the piece after a battle with Hermie.
The next piece is from the fashion stylist Harhall, who gives Mario and Luigi the piece after they color fabric with Designbombs. The third piece is back at Chucklehuck Woods, where they have to play a game in the Winkle Colosseum and surpass the Winkles. They soon find Popple again, and defeat him to retrieve the third piece of the Beanstar. The last piece comes from Boddle after they get Neon Eggs for his Yoshi Theater sign.
They return to the castle with the star, where Lima has brought another message from Bowletta. She now wants them to bring the Beanstar to her at Joke's End. Prince Peasley gives them a Fake Beanstar to try to fool the villains, and the Bros. then surf to Joke's End.
There, they meet a fairy-like girl named Jojora. Eventually, the brothers reach Jojora's room at the top floor, where she is having a tea party. She requests that the brothers invite one of her friends over, who is a snow woman that attacks Mario and Luigi. They defeat her, and Jojora flees from the scene. Soon after, Mario and Luigi find Fawful, who is waiting for them to hand over the Beanstar. Luigi approaches him, and gives him the fake one, but Fawful is not fooled; he blasts Luigi and takes the real Beanstar. Mario comes up with a plan involving the extra dress Toadsworth gave to them before they went to Joke's End. Bowletta, who has the real Peach, soon spots Mario with another Peach. The other Peach says that the one the villains have is fake. Angered, Bowletta tosses what she believes to be the "fake" Peach overboard and takes the "real" one back to the repaired Koopa Crusier.
Back at the Koopa Cruiser, Bowletta and Fawful are celebrating their success, until Bowletta finds out that the princess is really Luigi in disguise. Fawful chases him, followed by Bowletta, until he manages to escape the cruiser with the Beanstar. Upset, Bowletta decides that she and Fawful will go to the Mushroom Kingdom for something.
Back at Teehee Valley, Luigi crash-lands into a sand pit and sinks in. Mario manages to find him underground, but the two end up fighting Popple again. Popple is defeated, along with his new partner, Birdo. Afterwards, the brothers head back to Beanbean Castle Town.
The brothers find that the town is under fire again. It appears that Bowletta is using Bowser's Castle to attack the town, in retaliation for the brothers getting the Beanstar back from her, and then having it returned to Beanbean Castle. At Beanbean Castle, Lima suggests that they should try and find something to help them fly to reach Bowser's Castle. The brothers head back to Hoohoo Village to ask for Blablanadon's help. He accepts, and takes them up to Bowser's Castle.
At the castle, Mario and Luigi meet the Koopalings, along with Fawful, who possesses some new gadgets. After trumping them and several other foes with the ranks of Bowletta's new army, the Bros. make their way to Bowletta herself; she reveals her plan to take over the Mushroom Kingdom after she is done gaining control of the Beanbean Kingdom. The brothers fight her and supposedly win, until a Time Bob-omb comes and suddenly takes them out. Bowletta reveals that she had been only faking her defeat, and eats them alive. In her body, the Mario Bros. fight Cackletta again, this time in her spirit form. Mario and Luigi soon manage to defeat Cackletta once and for all. She spits them out of Bowser's body and vanishes, reverting Bowser to normal. Peasley then comes to address the brothers, saying that he has planted a detonator in the castle, and it will explode shortly. The brothers escape the castle via Blablanadon in time, but Bowser crashes into Oho Ocean, only to be later rescued by Prince Peasley.
Later on, Peasley drops by with a huge present for the brothers. As the heroes return to the Mushroom Kingdom via Peach's airplane, Peasley's present turns out to be Bowser, who is dropped off at his other castle. The plane lands at Peach's Castle, and fireworks erupt. It is then shown that the adventure was made into a movie being shown in the Yoshi Theater, where the screen zooms out to show the Yoshis sitting in the theater and applauding.
Though much of the action of this game takes place in the Beanbean Kingdom, Mario and Luigi can still venture around several areas in the Mushroom Kingdom. All of the Beanbean Kingdom locations' names, except for Yoshi Theater and Little Fungitown, have different names pertaining to laughter. The following is a list of various areas the brothers journey to throughout the course of the game:
The game also has several secret caves which can only be visited by either Mario or Luigi acting separately from one another. These areas start as 2-dimensional, side-scrolling levels in the traditional platforming style. A rare item can be obtained from a Presenter if the caves are completed.
To start a battle, Mario or Luigi must touch an enemy. They can also perform a First Strike by jumping on or hammering the enemy in the over-world. Respectively, this will damage or stun the enemy before the battle starts. Since the game is a turn-based RPG, Mario, Luigi, and enemies take turns attacking each other. The player can use good timed attacks to deal more damage. If Mario and Luigi take damage from enemies in the overworld or their backs are touched, they trip and are unable to move until their turn.
Each brother has their own Heart Points, Bros. Points, POW, DEF, SPEED, and STACHE points. When they finish a battle, they each gain Experience Points. With enough Experience Points, they can level-up and increase each respective statistic.
During a Solo Move, Mario or Luigi use one of their basic attacks solo. Both bros. have solo move techniques that they can use in any battle in the game. Note that all of these techniques listed below must be learned by progressing through the game except for Mario and Luigi's Jump.
Bros. Attacks are attacks that Mario and Luigi can use in battle by working together to deliver more damage. They all use a different combination of buttons to hit.
There are three different modes present for each Bros. Attack. Mode 1 consists of slow motion and visual button commands appearing when the command needs to be pressed, acting as a guideline for players. Mode 2 removes the slow motion, but retains the visual button commands. Mode 3 removes both the slow motion and visual button commands, and in turn, fewer Bros. Points are used for the Bros. Attack and depending on the move it will deal more damage.
When choosing the item icon, Mario or Luigi can use an item to recover HP or BP. Other items, such as Refreshing Herbs, can heal status effects, and red or green peppers will raise POW and gain weight or raise DEF and lose weight respectively. When one of the bros. passes out, the other bros. can use a 1-Up Mushroom or 1-Up Super the revive them. However, once an item is used, the bro's. turn is over.
Mario and Luigi can both run from battle when they choose the run icon. When getting away, the player must hit either the or to make a Bro run. However, if they do not do this quickly, one of the bros. will drop a large amount of coins. When both bros. have left the screen, the player will end up back in the overworld and continue their adventure. This feature works better if one of the brothers has passed out. Instead of running, the remaining brother picks him up and carries him away, halving the number of coins lost.
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga allows the player to completely avoid enemy attacks. Mario and Luigi can either use their hammer or jump moves to avoid attacks. With their Jump move, Mario or Luigi can simply jump over the attacking enemy. When using the Hammer to avoid attacks, the player must hold Mario or Luigi's respective button (Mario is , Luigi is ) and release just as the enemy or their weapon hits.
Mario and Luigi can also use these moves to counterattack. When they jump over an enemy, they may land on them, causing damage. Mario or Luigi can also hit enemies with their Hammer during their turn.
Mario and Luigi can also use some techniques out of battle. Once again, all of the following techniques must be learned by progressing in the game, except for jumping.
Techniques when in the front
Techniques when in the back
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 as separate enemies. Statistics listed are from the North American and European versions, with stats from the Japanese version in parentheses if they differ. Statistics from the remake may vary.
There are 28 bosses in the game. They are listed below in chronological order. Note that Popple (3rd encounter) and Piranha Bean can be fought in either order.
The stats of the derivatives of bosses will also be shown if they are not zero.
1 - Can only be fought by Mario
The following are items that are used in only battle.
There are various sidequests Mario and Luigi can complete outside the main story. These quests vary in results. Certain sidequests become unavailable at a certain point in the game. There are a few sidequests available in Toadtown Square before they leave the Mushroom Kingdom, after which they cannot be completed.
Green Warp Pipes
There are nine green Warp Pipes in the game. These pipes help Mario and Luigi travel faster around the Beanbean Kingdom. The pipes are at Stardust Fields, Beanbean Castle Town, Beanbean Outskirts (north, south and east), Chucklehuck Woods, Gwarhar Lagoon, Joke's End, and Little Fungitown.
In the game, Mario and Luigi can collect Chuckle Beans by coming across beanholes -- Xs or other distinguishing features on the ground -- all throughout the Beanbean Kingdom. There are 197 Chuckle Beans from beanholes. Beans can only be collected out of the ground after the player learns the Luigi Dunk move at Chateau de Chucklehuck. Chuckleroot's granddaughter also explains how to drill into the ground and pick up beans.
Hidden ? Block locations
In the game, Mario and Luigi can also discover hidden ? Blocks containing elusive Hoo Beans throughout the Beanbean Kingdom. By jumping around at suspicious platforms or patterns, or in seemingly "empty" dead-ends, the Mario Bros. can uncover invisible blocks containing single Hoo Beans. There are 42 hidden blocks in all.
In the game, Mario and Luigi can find Monty Mole-like Presenters throughout the Beanbean Kingdom that will reward them with items, clothing, or badges when found.
An adventure so big, you'll need both Bros.!
Prepare for an epic journey beyond the borders of the Mushroom Kingdom as Mario™ and Luigi™ team up for a hilarious, action-filled adventure!
During a normal day of royal duties, Princess Peach meets with the ambassador of the neighboring Beanbean Kingdom. However, an act of amnesty turns into an act of theft! The evil Cackletta and her awful assistant, Fawful, disguised themselves for the chance to steal Princess Peach's voice. Before the Mushroom Kingdom can fall under Princess Peach's despair, Mario and Luigi will need to work together as they cross the border to the lands of Beanbean Kingdom. Take a break from the adventure and play a quick game in Mario Bros. mode, featuring an enhanced version of the original NES game. With all this awesome action, you'll have hours of fun!
References to other media
References in later games
Some notable quotes in the game include:
In the Japanese version, when Toad has entered the Mario Bros.' House, a directional pad appears on-screen to the bottom-left.
In the Japanese version, Mario and Luigi respectively start out with 14 and 16 BP. In other releases, both start with 10.
In the Japanese version, whenever Mario or Luigi level up, a in Lakitu's speech bubble indicates that up or down is used to select a stat. If one is selected, a appears in the speech bubble, indicating that said button cancels the selection. These controls remain functional in overseas releases, but are no longer shown in a speech bubble.
In the Japanese version, the Hammerhead Bros.' tutorial shows Hoohoo Mountain setting, but Beanbean Castle grounds in all other versions. The button sprites in the dialogue box are also different.
In the Japanese version, the sign found directly north of Beanbean Castle Town does not give directions for Beanbean Castle Town, and it only has one arrow for Hoohoo Mountain. The arrow signs are smaller in overseas releases to accommodate for more directions.
Mario and Luigi's heads in Star Stache Smash are different for the Japanese and overseas releases.
In a Starbeans Cafe menu, there is a red E. Gadd icon next to each drink that Mario and Luigi have already made.
Pre-release and unused content
Many characters from other Nintendo franchises were apparently going to appear in Starbeans Cafe, such as Fox McCloud, Link, and Olimar. These characters were replaced by E. Gadd in the final game; the dialog of the characters can still be seen in the game's code.
A mysterious, cloaked Beanish character was also left unused. Its purpose in the game is unknown.
Most of the glitches found in the game are graphical related, such as misplaced Bob-omb sprites and incorrect action icons being shown when facing Bowletta. A notable graphical glitch is seen in Little Fungitown, where Mario and Luigi are able to stand on thin air. Some other glitches cause the game to play incorrect music or sound effects. For example, in the northeast of the Teehee Valley entrance, instead of Luigi making his normal sound effect when he empties himself of water, the sound of an Oho Jee speaking will play instead. There is also a glitch to go out of bounds in Oho Ocean that can be done by hammering Mario or Luigi and playing the surfing minigame, then at the start of the minigame going back to the island.
The Japanese video game development studio AlphaDream developed Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. Satoru Iwata was the executive producer, while Takashi Tezuka was the production supervisor. The music heard in the game was produced by Yoko Shimomura.
For a month, a knock-knock joke contest was held on the game's website. Each week for four weeks, a submitted joke was chosen to advance to the Grand Prize round. The semifinalists received a Game Boy Advance SP and a copy of the game. In the Grand Prize round, the winning joke was chosen by the contest's celebrity judge, Kathy Griffin. The grand prize of the contest consists of a Nintendo GameCube, Wario World, Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, F-Zero GX, Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire, Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, Donkey Kong Country, a Game Boy Player, a Nintendo GameCube–Game Boy Advance Link Cable, a Memory Card 251, a GameCube messenger bag, and "a year's worth of online comedy-writing classes at Writer's Village". The grand prize-winning knock-knock joke was the third week's winning joke and goes as follows:
Names in other languages