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Here’s all you need to know about battling in Super Mario RPG


The Super Mario RPG™ game is out now, and it packs oddball characters, a charming story, and some flashy battles into one experience. That last bit is what this article is all about!

To address the Wiggler in the room, we’re going to assume you’re completely new to this game and maybe even RPGs in general. However, the genre veterans out there may still want to stick around for some more advanced tips later in the article.

OK, let’s start with the basics!

The basics

Throughout this oddball journey, you’ll be controlling a mustachioed hero named Mario (perhaps you’ve heard of him?).

You’ll be doing all sorts of Mario stuff like jumping around while making cool sound effects, finding items, and chatting with locals. However, unlike most Super Mario games, touching an enemy won’t squish them—you will be zapped into a turn-based battle where you take control of three characters.


Why yes! In these types of battles, all the characters will wait their turn to perform an action (even the enemies). Don’t ask us why they decide to take turns—maybe they’re just polite.

When it’s your turn to act, you’ll choose an action from your menu of Action Commands. We’ll get into the details below, but generally you can attack physically or magically, toughen your defense, use an item, or run away if things get too hairy. Each of your characters is also good at different things, so experiment around and see what they can all do. For example, Mario is a great all-rounder, Peach is fantastic at healing, and Geno is about dealing high damage with attacks like Geno Whirl.

In this updated version of the game, you also can trade out characters during a battle when you have four or more party members. This can be handy if a particular lineup isn’t working well against the enemies you’re currently fighting.

Take action with Action Commands

OK, Action Commands are where it’s at when you want to, uh, act. You’ll see four menu options:

  • Attack: These are your bread-and-butter standard attacks. Equip better weapons to do more damage!

  • Special: Choose from your character’s selection of Special moves. Some of these do damage, while some can help in other ways like healing—part of the fun is learning what each technique does. Special moves also cost a certain number of Flower Points to use, so plan your moves accordingly.

  • Item: Low on health? Need more Flower Points to pull off a fancy Special? Use an item! Items will help you in battles, so don’t forget to stock up before a tough fight.

  • Other: You can use this mysteriously named option to either defend against enemy attacks, review the tutorial, or attempt to Run Away from the battle. Running away doesn’t always work, so be careful!

Advanced stuff

OK, that’s pretty much the gist of the battling basics, and you’d probably do just fine knowing that stuff. But if you’re feeling a little more ambitious, here are a few advanced techniques to learn:

  • You can time your button presses with Action Commands to increase damage dealt or decrease damage received (an exclamation point will appear above your character’s head until you start to get the hang of the timing). And if you time it perfectly, you will even damage all enemies at once!

  • Keep timing your Action Commands well and you’ll build up your Chain count. Higher Chain counts may give you small boosts to your party’s stats.

  • Pulling off Action Commands also has another benefit: Every successful Action Command will slowly fill up your Action Gauge. When it’s full, you can unleash a Triple Move—where all three of your characters perform a flashy move together. If you have less than three active characters, you can choose Toad Assist to give your side an additional benefit.

  • Special moves typically have a way to spice them up. For example, some have you press any button repeatedly to cause more damage. Sometimes you’ll need to hold a button until stars appear. Or you’ll need to rotate the Control Stick. The game will remind you what to do, but practice makes perfect when it comes to becoming a battle master!

OK, we hope this battle system rundown helped you out! If you’d like to buy the game, please use the link below.


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