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Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, often shortened and officially known in Japan as , is a hybrid adventure/console role-playing game developed by Square (now Square Enix) and published by Nintendo. Nintendo first released the game on March 9, 1996 in Japan and on May 13, 1996 in North America. Europe did not officially receive the game until over twelve years later, when it was released for the Wii's Virtual Console on August 22, 2008, marking the longest time difference between a game release for different regions in Nintendo's history. It was re-released for the North American Virtual Console on September 1, 2008.

Super Mario RPG is the final Mario game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System video game console, as well as being one of the last games Square produced for Nintendo hardware until Chocobo Land: A Game of Dice in 2002. Square did much of the development of Super Mario RPG, under direct guidance from producer Shigeru Miyamoto.


In Super Mario RPG, Mario, Bowser, Princess Toadstool, Mallow, and Geno fight as allies in the first console role-playing game (RPG) in the Mario series. It contains token similarities to many other Square role-playing games such as Chrono Trigger and the Final Fantasy series with a story and action-based gameplay based on the Super Mario Bros. series.

Much of Super Mario RPG's gameplay is outside of monster battles. In the field, the game plays much like an isometric platformer, in which both traditional Mario features and new ones play a key role. Mario's enemies are visible in the field; a battle ensues only if he comes in contact with one. This allows the player to evade unnecessary battles, though some fights are necessary to advance the plot. Avoiding battles also means acquiring fewer experience points, which will slow the process of levelling up and potentially make unavoidable battles more difficult.

Mario in a battle against several enemies

Battle system

The player starts the journey controlling only Mario. Ultimately, the player will gain a party of five characters, though only three characters can be utilized at once. Each of the five characters has a unique set of attacks and techniques. For example, Toadstool uses primarily healing abilities whereas Geno and Bowser have offensive attacks dealing high damages. Mario is always in the player's party, whereas the other two characters can be switched before battles.

The combat uses a traditional turn based system without active time elements. One of the more innovative features of the combat was the inclusion of timed button press sequences which became a mainstay of every Mario role playing game. As well as selecting attacks, the player is usually required to perform action commands to increase the damage or power of special abilities/magic spells. These consist of both prompted and unprompted timed button presses and other movements to determine the power of the character's attack, a concept that was carried over to some later role-playing games such as Final Fantasy VIII. The need to perform action commands in between navigating menus requires the player to be engaged in the battle the whole time.

As with many other role-playing games, items are an important tool in battles, and there is also the option for the player to have a character defend themselves instead of attacking, using an item, or performing a special move. There is also the option to escape battle, which may or may not work at any given time and is generally not available for use during battles meant to advance the plot.


Characters and setting

The game world is set in a geographically diverse land, including various mountains, bodies of water, and other terrains. Each region has distinct characteristics held by its inhabitants; Mushroom Kingdom is inhabited by Toads, Moleville is inhabited by moles, Monstro Town is populated by reformed monsters, Yo'ster Isle is where Yoshi and his eponymous species reside, and Nimbus Land is an area inhabited by cloud people. Bowser's Castle is another prominent location in the game, as it holds the portal to the main antagonist's home world.

The main protagonist is Mario, whose ultimate goal is to rescue Princess Toadstool from Bowser. 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 creature 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.


The game begins with Mario entering Bowser's Castle to rescue Princess Toadstool. During the battle, a giant sword breaks through the Star Road and crashes into Bowser’s castle, sending Mario, Princess Toadstool, and Bowser flying in different directions, as well as scattering the seven star fragments. Mario makes his way to the Mushroom Kingdom, where the mushroom chancellor insists that Mario recover the princess and then discover the purpose of the giant sword.

Upon leaving Toadstool's castle, Mario bumps into Mallow, a strange-looking tadpole who has lost a frog coin to Croco, a local thief. In order to end his rain of tears (and the actual rain that accompanies them), Mario agrees to help him, but when they return to the castle, he finds that the kingdom is overrun by creatures claiming to be part of the Smithy Gang. He and Mallow enter the castle and are met by the first boss in the game, a giant knife/spring-like creature named Mack. When Mack is defeated, they find a mysterious Star Piece, which Mario takes in hopes of finding out more about it later.

During Mario’s search for the princess, on which Mallow accompanies him, he meets a star spirit who has taken control over a doll named Geno. After another boss fight against a bow-like creature named Bowyer, Geno joins Mario as well, telling him that the Star Piece is a part of the shattered Star Road, where he normally resides. Geno (who chooses to go by the doll's name, which is easier for the others to say) is tasked with finding all seven of the shattered pieces of Star Road, which are held by members of the Smithy gang, in order to repair it. Mario and Mallow agree to help Geno in his search.

Mario eventually finds Bowser, who is trying to reassemble his forces. They join together to save the princess, as she is about to be forcibly married to Booster (a childish, bearded character with little social skills). When Toadstool has been rescued, Bowser joins Mario's party and the player is able to switch characters for the first time. Princess Toadstool initially goes back to Mushroom Kingdom, but quickly joins the party as well.

When Mario and his group have recovered most of the Star Pieces, they learn that the last one is held in Bowser's castle. Upon battling their way through the assembled enemies and making their way back to the giant sword, they discover that it is actually the gateway to Smithy's factory, where Smithy mass produces his army. In the end, Smithy is defeated, and the collected Star Pieces are used to repair the Star Road.


The game was officially unveiled by both Mario creator and producer Shigeru Miyamoto and co-director Chihiro Fujioka at the 1995 V-Jump Festival event in Japan. Miyamoto led talented teams at Nintendo and Square who spent more than a year developing, as Nintendo Power wrote, “the most stunning graphics of any RPG at the time.” The story takes place in a newly rendered Mushroom Kingdom based on the Super Mario Bros. series. A town of mining moles (Moleville), tropical forest (Forest Maze), mushroom castle (Mushroom Kingdom), thundering waterfall (Midas River), giant bean stalk (Land's End), and villages crowded with mushroom people were a few of the exterior locations. Square reported the game was about 70% complete in October 1995, when Nintendo Power announced Mario finds himself riding Mode 7 rail cars, which exist in the Moleville mines. Square created all the interior elements such as columns and stairways and exterior elements using Advanced Computer Modeling (ACM) techniques. Special lighting effects create the shadows and reflections that were meant to improve the 3D elements.

With guidance from Miyamoto, Square developed the game in Japan combining parts of its traditional RPGs, Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger, with Nintendo's platform games. Square's Final Fantasy series was the model for the battle sequences while the tradition of Super Mario Bros. games demanded a lot of action. Mario must dodge a salvo of Bullet Bill in the Sunken Ship, recreate a tune by hopping across musical tadpoles in Tadpole Pond, and hop to turn a huge nut so that it travels along the thread of a bridge made from a giant bolt in the Factory. Mario's ability to jog in eight directions and jump up or down in three–quarter perspective gives him a large range of motion. Mario's radically new screen perspective is reminiscent of action games such as Equinox, but at the current stage of completion, the mix of adventure and action game play elements placed it in a category closer to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.

When Nintendo of America (NOA) received a 60% complete version in November, the biggest surprise was that there was an actual RPG battle system, contrary to what NOA heard earlier. The battle screens, using pre-rendered sprites just like the rest of the game, include attack animations of equipped weapons.

In December, further development delayed the game for the translation as well as improvements to the game play. For example, the Chancellor before named the Mushroom Retainer, was now the "minister". Plans were to continue through February for the North American version, forecasting the release from Winter to Spring.

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is one of only three games outside Japan for the SNES to utilize the Nintendo SA-1. (The other two are Kirby Super Star and Kirby's Dream Land 3.) Compared with standard SNES games, this additional microprocessor allows higher clock speed, faster RAM, greater memory mapping capabilities, data storage and compression, new DMA modes (such as bitmap to bitplane transfer), and built-in CIC lockout (for piracy protection and regional marketing control).

The game's sound effects employed the SPC700. The sound chip's built-in function was not something unique to this game, with a primitive simulation of a reverb effect through a short delay (or echo). The game features 210 sound effects.


Yōko Shimomura (Parasite Eve, Legend of Mana, and the Kingdom Hearts series) composed the music for this game. She incorporated arrangements of music by Kōji Kondō (Super Mario and the Legend of Zelda series) and Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy series) as part of the score. Three tracks from the Final Fantasy series (more specifically Final Fantasy IV) appear.

Super Mario RPG Original Sound Version

Super Mario RPG Original Sound Version (code PSCN-5047 / PSCN-5048) is the official soundtrack for Super Mario RPG. NTT Publishing released it in Japan on March 25, 1996. This 2-CD set contains 61 songs, although the game features 73 tracks.49 (Hexadecimal)=73

Yōko Shimomura composed the music.

Track listing


Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars received very good reviews, including an 8.75/10 from Electronic Gaming Monthly, and audience-made "best game of all-time" lists consistently feature the game, such as 26th on GameFAQs and 30th at IGN. Japanese audiences also received Super Mario RPG well with 1.47 million copies sold, making it the third best selling game in Japan in 1996.

Though various aspects of Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars have received somewhat mixed opinions, the settings of the game have been well received overall and have garnered praise for the quality of the graphics and visual style in particular. Nintendo Power s review claimed the excellent 3D graphics helped the game appeal to a much wider audience than most traditional RPGs. In March 1997, Nintendo Power nominated the game for several awards, including "Best Graphics", in a player's choice contest, though Super Mario 64 won "Best Graphics". praised the graphics, stating that they "are the best seen on the Super NES." Electronic Gaming Monthly stated that "the graphic element is strong enough to resemble a Mario title but still retains the role-playing theme at the same time", and commented that the "graphics of Mario RPG is typical of Nintendo, using clean and colorful graphics along with nice animation." RPGamer called the backgrounds "beautiful" and stated that they "perfectly bring the Mushroom Kingdom and surrounding areas into 3D. IGN gave it a 9.5 out of 10."


Officially, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars does not have a direct sequel. Considered to be its thematic and, according to Adam Sessler of X-Play, a “spiritual sequel”, two successive RPG-themed Mario series, the Paper Mario series and the Mario & Luigi series, followed certain conventions established in the original. For example, the use of "Flower Points" instead of Magic Points, timed action commands during battles, and the collection of the seven stars. In fact, Nintendo originally titled Paper Mario as Super Mario RPG 2. Square's involvement in the original game made direct sequels legally impossible without Square's permission, involvement, or both, so Nintendo changed the title to Paper Mario. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga did feature the Geno doll, with "Regardless of the above-mentioned, the copyright of Character "Geno", reserved by Square Enix Co., Ltd." in the end credits after the typical "All Rights Reserved by..." portion.

Some of the game's team members, including some from Square, went on to work on the Mario & Luigi series. These developers include the two directors Yoshihiko Maekawa and Chihiro Fujioka, as well as music composer Yōko Shimomura. However, they provided different styles and mechanics than those of Super Mario RPG.

Various locations and characters from the game appear in the children's book Mario and the Incredible Rescue released by Scholasticmarker in 2006.


  • On May 30, 2008, Nintendo released information that Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars will be released on the Virtual Console in Japan in June 2008 for a price of 800 Wii Points. On June 13, 2008, the OFLC rated Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars for release in Australia. On June 24, 2008, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars was re-released on the Virtual Console in Japan.

  • On August 22, 2008, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars was released for the first time in Europe, as part of the 3rd Hanabi Festival alongside a re-release of Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels on the European Virtual Console after being available for a limited period during the first Hanabi Festival. Certain animations, namely those for the "Flame Wall" and "Static E!" attacks, were dimmed to avoid possible seizures. Also, some of the colors were adjusted.

  • On September 1, 2008, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars was released on the Virtual Console in North America, under the distinction of being the 250th Virtual Console game released in that region.


  1. Smithy: "Hurrumph! Better yet... Why don't YOU give me YOUR stars. Why, then I could easily conquer this world! Then we could get rid of all wishes, and create a world filled with...WEAPONS!!"
  2. The unveiling of Super Mario RPG from the V-Jump Festival in 1995.
  3. SMRPG arrives on the Wii Virtual Console for sale at 800 points.

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