Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga

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Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga


Mario and Luigi- Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions.jpg

"Let's-a go!"



Protagonist: Mario
Genre: Role-Playing
Platforms: Game Boy Advance
Virtual Console (Wii U)
Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: Game Boy Advance
NA: November 17, 2003
JP/EU: November 21, 2003
AU: November 28, 2003
Wii U Virtual Console
WW: April 3, 2014
JP: April 30, 2014
3DS Remake
JP/HK: October 5, 2017
NA/EU: October 6, 2017
AU: October 7, 2017
KOR: April 12, 2018
Developer: AlphaDream
Publisher: Nintendo
Made in: Japan
Franchise: Mario & Luigi
Next Game: Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga is a role-playing video game developed by AlphaDream and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy Advance in November 2003. It is the first installment of the Mario & Luigi RPG series. A remake for the Nintendo 3DS was released in October 2017 called Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions.

Why It Rocks

  1. Colorful and vivid graphics.
  2. Lots of fun and humor, both in the story and dialogue.
  3. Easy but satisfying combat.
  4. Many traditional Mario elements, such as characters, locations, enemies, etc.
  5. Bowser returns, but this time, he is not the main antagonist.
  6. This time, the story is set on a completely new kingdom: the Beanbean Kingdom.
  7. The battle system is different from that of traditional games of the genre, with emphasis on timing and more elaborate attacks (much like Paper Mario).
  8. Cooperative gameplay between Mario and Luigi.
  9. Both Mario and Luigi must combine skills to solve puzzles and progress through the story.
  10. Many combat elements are borrowed from the Paper Mario series.
  11. Mario and Luigi can unlock and use Bros. Attacks, which requires players to cooperate between Mario and Luigi's actions to perform powerful combination attacks.
  12. Items such as Mushrooms are used for healing, peppers for boosting stats and 1-Up Mushrooms for reviving fallen bros.
  13. Superstar Saga features an enhanced remake of the Mario Bros. arcade game (much like the Super Mario Advance series).
  14. The game also supports rumble functionality when used with the Nintendo GameCube's Game Boy Player accessory.
  15. Many improvements and features have been added in the 3DS remake.
    • Boo Biscuits are included in this game, behaving as they did from Mario & Luigi: Dream Team and Paper Jam.
    • Many bosses now drop new gear such as Hoohooros dropping the Hoohooros Slacks or Rookie dropping the Rookie Badge.
      • Most bosses now always drop their items or gear when defeated.
    • Enemies can now drop a third item that can only be obtained via the Game Boy Horror SP.
    • Accessories can now be obtained throughout the entire game and not just from Professor E. Gadd.
    • Some items heal a different amount of HP or BP than they did in the original game:
      • Mushrooms heal 30 HP instead of 25.
      • Ultra Mushrooms heal 80 HP instead of 120.
      • Ultra Nuts heal 65 HP instead of 100.
      • Syrups restore 15 BP instead of 20.
      • Super Syrups restore 35 BP instead of 40.
      • Ultra Syrups restore 60 BP instead of 100.
    • Each blend in Starbeans Cafe requires fewer beans, from 25 (25 for single bean, 15/10 for two beans) to 10 (10 for single bean, 6/4 for two beans), and the stat boosts given are reduced by half.
      • Because of this, the player can obtain all seven of E. Gadd's accessories much sooner.
    • The Great Force now resembles the Triforce and gives the traditional item jingle from The Legend of Zelda series.
    • The rare item drop affect from the Game Boy Horror SP now only applies to the bro who has it equipped, rather than affecting both regardless of who has it equipped. The bro who does not have it equipped now can only force a rare drop through a Bros. attack, or countering a counterattack caused by a Bros. attack.
      • The time limit to collect ten Hoohoo Spirits in Hoohooros's minigame has increased from 30 seconds to 35.
      • The amount of Hee Beans rewarded from mini-games have been altered slightly. Some minigames have their point goals lowered to make earning Hee Beans easier.
      • The amount of blocks needed to be hit in Jojora's block minigame in Joke's End has decreased from 30 to 25.
        • Many character sprites are apparently derived from the sprites of Mario & Luigi: Dream Team and Paper Jam, causing their appearance to be different with respect to the one of the original game.
          • Troopeas are bipedal rather than quadrupedal, wearing shoes and otherwise more closely resembling their Koopa Troopa counterparts, apart from the beansprouts on their heads.
          • The Koopalings take on their modern designs rather than their original ones.
          • The NPC Koopa Troopas from the Koopa Cruiser no longer wear flight uniforms.
          • The Toads in Peach's Castle and Little Fungitown are now regular Toads with differently colored spots and vests rather than differing in height and clothing.
        • The large, pudgy Koopa Troopas that block paths have been replaced with larger, ordinary Big Koopa Troopas.
        • Mechakoopas replace Mecha-Chomps in Woohoo Hooniversity.
        • Dr. Toadley replaces Psycho Kamek in Little Fungitown.
        • The top faces of Oucher Glasses appear to have happy faces rather than sad ones, as the mad faces on the bottom stay the same.
        • Bink's design has been changed from his original Donkey Kong-like appearance to that of a generic S.S. Chuckola crew member.
        • Boomerang Bros. from the original game are now named Beanerang Bros. and are treated as a separate species to the standard Mushroom Kingdom ones (which are found in Minion Quest). They also drop Oho Gear in all versions.
        • Cheep Cheeps and Puffer-Cheeps are replaced by Spiny Cheep Cheeps with the same behavior.
        • Several enemies that had duplicate names but different palette and stats have been renamed to be "Elite" versions, akin to what Elite Troopea was to Troopea. These include Elite Pestnuts, Elite Chuck Guy, Elite Gritty Goomba, Elite Dry Bones, and Elite Limbo Bro.
        • Cackletta's soul is now larger than in the previous version; has a blue jewel on her forehead; has light yellow eyes instead of darker yellow, bloodshot ones; has arms that are now color coded to match the elements they use, and is now a 3D model instead of a 2D sprite (as with Shiny RoboBowser).
          • When low on health Cackletta's entire body turns bright red, the eyes and heart turn green, and the jewel becomes gray.
          • Cackletta raises her index finger rather than her middle finger when using her spinning fire attack.
          • The game can be saved after beating the final boss in the 3DS remake.
          • The shopkeeper of the Information Booth no longer sells information to the brothers, and instead looks at the player's records, awarding items based on their progress with blocks, beans, the number of battles won, the number of enemies defeated, the number of Excellent attacks done and the number of battles fled from in the 3DS remake.
  16. The soundtrack is awesome, and it also fits the atmosphere of the game pretty well (especially the boss battle music).

Bad Qualities

  1. The final boss, while amazing, is notorious for its unfair difficultly.
  2. In the 3DS remake, Mush Badge A and Mush Badge AA deal less damage than in the original game.
  3. The game has heart blocks, but they are only in the Japanese GBA release and the 3DS remake, meaning Americans have to use items to restock in the GBA version.
  4. There is no boss rush mode, even in the remake.
  5. Prince Peasley can be a bit annoying at times.


Superstar Saga received universal critical acclaim, and is named one of the best Game Boy Advance games of all time. The game's comical dialog and themes in particular were lauded by critics. Eurogamer's Tom Bramwell commented that "each line of dialogue and identifiable cameo is handled with a loving sense of humor."


  • The "M" and "L" on Mario and Luigi's respective caps are now red and green respectively, instead of both being black.
  • Mario & Luigi now make sounds whenever they are hit in battle as well as during Bros. Attacks.
  • The level of an enemy is now displayed next to their name when targeting them in battle.
  • Several cameos have been added to the Mario Bros.' House:
    • There is now a trophy from Mario Kart 8 on a shelf and a Wii Wheel hanging next to it.
    • Mario's tennis racket and golf club can be seen on a shelf above and leaning on Mario's bed, respectively.
    • Mario's hardhat and tool belt from Super Mario Maker is hanging beside the workbench on the first floor of Mario's House.
    • Mario's Cap is now on the clothing line outside of the house rather than on the coat-stand inside, fixing a minor continuity issue when Mario puts on his clothes. In the original game, his cap suddenly appears on his head once he's all dressed up.
    • A carpet in front of the Bros.' beds looking like a Yoshi Egg has been added.
    • Mario's yellow Cape from Super Mario World can be seen on the coat hanger.
    • A pendulum clock has been added to the wall.
  • Each area has a unique stamp when the game is saved, whereas in the original, there was only one stamp. For example, Peach's Castle has a mushroom stamp whereas the Koopa Cruiser and Bowser's Castle have Bowser's head as a stamp.
  • After Tolstar tricks Bowser after giving him 100 coins, Bowser calls him a "swindler" rather than a "welcher." This may have been changed because the older term is offensive slang in the United Kingdom.
  • The cannon that Bowser gets stuck in during Stardust Fields now flies away upon firing him out, rather than blinking away after the camera pans back to Mario and Luigi.
  • The Starbeans Cafe clerk no longer asks the player if they wish to continue making more drinks after making one.
  • Bean depressions are now known as bean hollows.
  • Dr. Mario sound effects are added when fighting Viruses in Woohoo Hooniversity.
  • Sledge and Mallet now inform Mario and Luigi that they've moved after defeating Mom Piranha and tell them to come by.
    • They are also not in the cave until then. In the original, they could be visited any time after Oho Oasis.
  • Geno no longer explains the minigame, Star 'Stache Smash, with a disembodied text bubble replacing him. This is likely due to licensing reasons, as Square Enix owns the character of Geno.
  • The monitor that Bowletta uses to communicate with the heroes in Beanbean Castle is now a Nintendo 3DS (blue the first time and pink the second time), rather than the original game's Game Boy Advance.
  • The original map of the Beanbean Kingdom from the original version of this game can be found in the captain's quarters of the S.S. Chuckola.
  • The underwater sections in Gwarhar Lagoon have a greener tint and a slightly different battle background from the sections in Oho Ocean Seabed.
  • One of the two Toads that was convinced into winning an Invincibility Mushroom now wonders if it might pump up his muscles rather than the possibilities of clearing up his skin.
  • When Mario gains Bean Fever, while in this state, his HP is reduced to 1 and his BP to 0, but when he is cured by the Crabbie Grass, his HP and BP will be full.
  • The underground sections in Teehee Valley use the same battle background from the Guffawha Ruins.
  • The posters in Yoshi Theater, which used to reference other Nintendo franchises such as Kirby, Wario, and The Legendary Starfy, are now replaced with new posters depicting films involving characters from previous Mario & Luigi games, such as Broque Monsieur, Broque Madame, and Broggy, a Shroob invasion, and Prince Dreambert.
  • There is now a night sky in Joke's End when climbing up to the fourth and fifth floors.
  • The original game featured a cutscene upon entering Bowser's Castle, where Fawful informs Bowletta about the arrival of Mario and Luigi, and she summons the Koopalings. This cutscene is missing from this game, since in Minion Quest Bowletta disguised as Bowser orders Captain Goomba and the other minions of Bowser to attack Mario and Luigi instead.
  • The Koopalings are now given a full amount of dialogue since they lacked such in the original game.
  • The mini Mechakoopas in Ludwig's section of Bowser's Castle have been replaced with purple versions of the windup toys in Woohoo Hooniversity.
  • Roy Koopa now explains the Time Bob-omb's function instead of an on-screen text.
  • The ground during the final battle now has a design of Cackletta's grin.
  • Bowser's reaction upon it being revealed that he was in fact Peasley's "gift" varied from the original game. Originally, he was shown sneezing (implying that he caught a cold presumably from his fall into the ocean earlier). Now, he is shown sobbing before proceeding to rage out, implying that he was not fond of being stuck inside the package.
  • The credits now show the plane's destination from behind. Originally, they were shown to the side of the plane. As such, when it passes over Bowser's castle, Bowser just falls offscreen.
    • Toadtown Square was renamed "Peach's Castle".
    • Beanbean Outskirts was renamed "Beanbean Fields".
    • Beanbean Castle Sewers was renamed "Beanbean Castle Sewer".
    • Four new Warp Pipes were added, bringing the total amount from nine to thirteen: one in Hoohoo Village, one at the Mine Cart Platform at Hoohoo Mountain Base, one in Chucklehuck Woods near Winkle Colosseum, and one at the start of the surfing minigame in Oho Ocean.
    • Because the player has access to the map on the touchscreen, maps on the walls of areas no longer appear.
    • There are now ? Blocks in the game that contain soundtracks that are added to the Music Player.
    • Beanbean troops now block the pathways to the north and south Beanbean Fields until the player defeats Queen Bean.
    • Invisible beanholes that can be found by Mini-Mario or the Game Boy Player are now made visible.
    • The Magikoopa in the second room of Bowser's Castle is no longer seen.
  • Various music has been replaced. The music for the Star 'Stache Smash has been replaced with an arrangement of Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam's mini-game theme, the music for the Barrel and Chuckola Bounce mini-games is replaced with an arrangement of Mario & Luigi: Dream Team's mini-game theme and the tutorial music is an arrangement of Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time's tutorial music.
  • Instead of the music stopping when Peach's Castle explodes, the music keeps playing as it explodes.
  • When getting a game over, an arrangement of the death jingle from Super Mario Bros. can be heard, while in the original game, the battle music continues playing.
  • The music no longer changes during the scene where Dragohoho hatches from his egg; instead, the Hoohoo Mountain theme keeps playing until the boss battle starts.
  • When Mario & Luigi enter Beanbean Castle during both times the town is under attack, the devastation theme keeps playing instead of the Beanbean Castle theme.
  • Professor E. Gadd's theme is now taken from Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon rather than being an arrangement of his theme from the original game.
  • Sledge and Mallet's cave home in Beanbean Fields now plays the Beanbean Fields theme instead of the Hoohoo Village/Beanbean Castle Town theme.
  • Rather than Gwarhar Lagoon's music playing after the S.S. Chuckola moves out of Teehee Valley and into the ocean and crashes, no music plays.
  • When Mario confronts Bowletta and Fawful on top of Joke's End, Cackletta's theme plays instead of the Joke's End theme.
  • The battle music that was used for Fawful in Bowser's Castle is now the battle music that was used for Cackletta in Woohoo Hooniversity just like in the original game's Japanese release, rather than that used for Popple as in the original game's releases outside of Japan.
  • When the Time Bob-omb KOs Mario and Luigi during the Bowletta battle, the music stops, then the same music plays again. In the original game, Cackletta's theme plays both times.




3 months ago
Score 1
I love the Final Cackletta Battle (The Final Boss) Theme. It's the best theme in this game!


2 months ago
Score 0
One of my childhood games

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