Mario & Luigi (series)
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The Mario & Luigi series (Mario & Luigi RPG in Japan) are a series of role-playing games based on the Mario series developed by AlphaDream for Nintendo's handheld systems, starting in 2003 with Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga for the Game Boy Advance. Each title has the player controlling Mario and Luigi to fight the antagonists. More playable characters have been introduced since the second game.
The Mario & Luigi series features both brothers responding to a specific input, Mario being controlled with "A" and Luigi "B". Like Super Mario RPG and Paper Mario, the Mario & Luigi series features a turn-based battle system. Enemies are encountered on the overworld, and the player can interact the enemy and enter into a battle scene. In battle, Mario and Luigi can attack either by using one of their basic attacks (jumping or with a hammer) or by using a special Bros. Attack (Special Attack in the third game). In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga and Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, the Bros. attack consumes Bros. Points (BP) (in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story they are Special Points, and in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time the Bros. Attacks. are instead items). The Mario & Luigi series battle system also comes with the ability to avoid attacks by jumping or counterattacking by using the hammer, depending on the attack. Enemies often signal which brother they are going to attack.
On the overworld, the player can jump using the brothers' respective buttons, and can hammer by pressing another button to switch to the hammer commands. In all four Mario & Luigi games, the brothers can also receive various new abilities to enter otherwise inaccessible spots. For instance, the Mario Bros. can use the High Jump ability to reach higher areas. The overworlds commonly feature various obstacles and platforming challenges that require the player to make use of various techniques to pass them.
As in most role-playing games, each character has a different stat. When characters level up by earning enough experience points (or alternatively use special items made from beans in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga), their stats elevate. Players can decide which stat to add a bonus via roulette, but they should be aware that the numbers that boost the star will eventually decrease if consistently chosen.
Stats are also temporarily increased or decreased when peppers are consumed or from enemy attacks.
The series features many items. Items can be obtained if the characters hit blocks, win battles, win minigames, and others. Mario and Luigi can buy items at various shops with coins they earned in battles and blocks. Clothes and badges are earned usually as a prize while key items are needed to advance the storyline or complete a sidequest.
Beans are consumable items found in all Mario & Luigi games, but in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, special beans are found, and they can be blended in Starbeans Cafe. The Bean Juice made from a blend of these beans can increase stats. In Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, beans are used to buy badges. In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, and Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, beans are used to increase stats.
Badges can be equipped on the playable characters to give them extra effects or more power in battle. Badges are bought in shops, earned as prizes, or found in defeated enemies. Characters can equip only one badge at a time. In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, only the Mario Bros. can equip badges. The badges are part of a gauge that fills when an action command is executed well. When the gauge is filled, the Mario Bros. can use various actions including healing themselves.
The main protagonists can also equip clothing to increase stats, such as DEF, HP, and SPD. Clothes can be bought at shops, earned as prizes, or found in defeated enemies. Some clothes are exclusive to Mario while only Luigi can wear others; some clothes are compatible with both. In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, clothes can provide extra effects. In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, clothes received additional types including overalls, gloves, socks, boots, and accessories for Mario and Luigi, and shells, arm bands, rings, and fangs for Bowser. Characters can equip more clothing if their rank go up (the maximum is three), but they can equip only one of each type.
Appearances in other series
Super Smash Bros. series
Artwork from the Mario & Luigi series appeared as stickers in Super Smash Bros. Brawl: Cackletta, Luigi with Baby Luigi, Luigi, Mario with Luigi, Prince Peasley, a Shroob, Stuffwell, and Toadsworth. Additionally, one of the random names in Brawl when naming something (for example, naming a friend code) is FWFUL, obviously referencing Fawful. Additionally, Gritzy Desert's music from Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time is selectable as the Mushroomy Kingdom's stage music.
A cover of the battle theme, "Try, Try Again" from Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, appears in the Paper Mario stage in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and in Woolly World in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. As the original track, it was composed by Yoko Shimomura. Additionally, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U features original versions of "Tough Guy Alert!" in Woolly World and "The Grand Finale" from Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story in Mario Galaxy.
Super Mario-Kun has devoted a few volumes to Partners in Time and Bowser's Inside Story. The art style on the covers even reflect the Mario & Luigi art style (especially seen in the color of Mario and Luigi's insignias). Although the storylines are similar to the story in game, there are multiple variations and twists. General examples include Mario and Luigi being able to speak fully, and Baby Mario and Baby Luigi are capable of talking as well. More specifically, Yoob, for example, is actually a friendly giant Yoshi that Sunnycide manipulates while Tanoomba can transform into clones of Mario and company to cause mischief. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, however, does not have entire volumes devoted to its story.
Similarities between games