About Super Mario RPG

History


US Box front

US Box back

Japan Box

Super Mario RPG is an RPG by Squaresoft and Nintendo, released in Japan in March 1996 for the Super Nintendo. Two months later in May 1996, it was released in North America. It was the final Mario game released for the Super Nintendo, as well as being one of the last games Square produced for Nintendo hardware until 2002.

Squaresoft poured into Super Mario RPG their traditional RPG battle system and gameplay. Except for our main character, Mario, who can run and jump around exactly as he does in his platform titles. Similar to Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario RPG utilized gorgeous pre-rendered 3D graphics. Squaresoft applied this same process to Treasure Hunter G, which in Japan they released three months after Super Mario RPG.

The Story

Mario is off to rescue Princess Toadstool from Bowser (again). At the start of his journey, the Smithy Gang arrives and attacks the Mushroom Kingdom, sidetracking Mario. While attempting to stop the group, he is joined by Mallow, a cloud boy who thinks he is a tadpole, and Geno, a doll possessed by a celestial spirit from the Star Road. He is also joined by Bowser, whose armies have deserted him out of fear of the Smithy Gang, and Princess Toadstool, who was lost in the tumult that occurred when the Smithy Gang arrived. The Smithy Gang is led by Smithy, a robotic blacksmith from an alternate dimension with aspirations of world domination.

Battle System

A sample of a battle

It's everything you would expect from a Squaresoft RPG; Super Mario RPG is a very traditional RPG. The only major difference is the feature that allows you to make most attacks and special moves more powerful by timely pressing "A" or other buttons.

For example, regular attacks are stronger if you tap A right at the moment your attack hits the enemy. Special moves prompt you with what to do to make them stronger. For example, Geno's special moves revolve around simply holding down the A button. Bowser's special moves require you to roll your thumb around the D-pad.

My Opinion

Super Mario RPG is a high-quality, gorgeous game! It's so entertaining. The story is what you'd expect from a Mario game. Mario's play control in the isometric world of the game is surprisingly smooth. The pre-rendered 3D graphics were done very well. And for the first time, Bowser joins the fight alongside Mario! If I were to complain about anything, it would be the low difficulty. This game was intended for as much of a wide audience as possible, especially younger audiences. Regardless, this is a super cute game that I would recommend to any Mario fan.

Memories

I don't have a strong recollection of Super Mario RPG in the mid '90s when it came out. I remember seeing it covered in Nintendo Power (Nintendo's popular magazine in the United States). However, no one at school talked about it. It seemed like Nintendo didn't put too much effort into its marketing. I wasn't that motivated to play the game either. I think it was because the PlayStation 1 was freshly released half a year ago (at the time) so that's what people were talking about. Darker games were also becoming more popular; Super Mario RPG was childish in comparison.

I waited until the early 2000s when video game emulation became popular to play Super Mario RPG. For reasons I don't remember, the game didn't impress me and hold my interest. It took me until the late 2000s to give it another try. It was then that the game impressed me. I was finally able to appreciate it for its excellence. It's very well made. I still come back to it now and then.