About Super Mario RPG


NA Box front

NA 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.

3D Remake

NA Case

On November 17, 2023, the 3D Remake of Super Mario RPG was released for the Nintendo Switch worldwide. As shown in the official trailer, new features include cartoon-like cut-scenes and changes to the battle system. During battle, in the left-hand corner is the “Action Gauge”. This percentage-based meter increases as you successfully press “A” for stronger attacks and dodging enemy attacks. There's also a Chain counter that keeps track of how many successful “A” actions you pull off, further boosting the Action Gauge. When the gauge reaches 100%, you can execute a special move that aids you in battle.

Another feature they added is the ability to rematch bosses. After defeating a boss, you can fight them again for a more challenging battle. The game doesn't offer a harder mode, so this is Nintendo's way of (optionally) giving us a challenge.

Aside from the new features, the rest of the game remains the same, albeit with fresh 3D graphics. If you want to see how the 3D remake looks like, I have screenshots in this shrine.

The Story

Opening sequence

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!

Super Mario RPG was released toward the latter end of the Super Nintendo's lifetime. Hence, this game was the pinnacle of Square Enix's (Squaresoft's) craft for producing a quality 16-bit RPG. That's one of the reasons why this is such a high-quality, well-made game. This was one of their last 2D games before they made the jump to 3D on the PlayStation 1.

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.


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. The PlayStation 1 was freshly released half a year ago (at the time), so that's what people were talking about. Darker games such as Resident Evil were also becoming more popular. Super Mario RPG was childish in comparison.

It was until the early 2000s when video game emulation became popular when I decided to give Super Mario RPG a try. I became hooked! It made me wish I had given the game a chance when it originally came out.