Super Mario RPG for the SNES recently got a remake for the Nintendo Switch. While the game shows its age in some areas, it serves as the foundation for popular Mario RPG series like Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi. In this article, we’ll explore 4 key ways Super Mario RPG’s legacy lives on.
1. Core Gameplay Mechanics
Many core gameplay mechanics originated in Super Mario RPG and got carried over to later Mario RPGs:
- Restoring HP with Mushrooms
- Using Flower Points/Bro Points for special attacks
- Mario’s jump in world exploration
- Equipping badges and shirts
- Action commands in battles
- Choosing which stat to boost when leveling up
These familiar elements continue to be present in Paper Mario, Mario & Luigi, and other Mario RPGs. They help create a sense of continuity and nostalgia for fans.
2. Writing and Humor Styles
While Super Mario RPG’s writing was simpler, later Mario RPGs expanded on its humor and worldbuilding. Games like Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga delivered more complex stories and jokes that built upon the foundation.
3. The Canceled Sequel
Originally, Super Mario RPG was going to get an N64 sequel. But this sequel got reworked into the original Paper Mario game instead. As a result, Paper Mario carries over many conventions from Super Mario RPG. In a way, Paper Mario serves as its “spiritual successor.”
4. Setting Expectations
Through its familiar elements and conventions, Super Mario RPG has left its mark on what fans expect from Mario RPGs. Things like Mushroom power-ups and victory dances after leveling up have almost become “unspoken rules” that help define the genre. So while the games may change, Super Mario RPG’s influence remains.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: How does Super Mario RPG compare to newer Mario RPGs?
A: As an older SNES game, Super Mario RPG shows its age in certain areas like simpler writing and combat mechanics. But newer Mario RPGs built upon its foundations and carried forward many core mechanics that create a sense of nostalgia.
Q2: What Mario RPGs were most directly influenced by Super Mario RPG?
A: Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi continued many conventions like action commands and Mushroom power-ups. Paper Mario also originated as the canceled N64 sequel to Super Mario RPG.
Q3: Do all Mario RPGs feel connected because of Super Mario RPG?
A: Many core mechanics and tropes tie the Mario RPGs together. Things like level-up victory dances and Toad NPCs can be traced back to Super Mario RPG, setting fan expectations.
While Super Mario RPG reveals its age in some ways, its spirit lives on through Paper Mario, Mario & Luigi, and other Mario RPGs. From mechanics to storytelling to fan expectations, Super Mario RPG provided a foundation that continues to influence the genre today. Its legacy helps keep the Mushroom Kingdom full of adventure.