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Super Mario RPG: Legend Of The Seven Stars is a collaboration between Nintendo and Squaresoft. It is in many ways similar to OTL's game, with five playable characters: Mario, Mallow, Geno, Bowser, and Princess Toadstool, known in this game and in all subsequent Mario games as Peach. The game is graphically very close to Super Mario World 3, with 3-D isometric gameplay and quite detailed backgrounds (in other words, a lot like OTL's Super Mario RPG in graphical style, but somewhat smoother and with more background 3-D and object animation). The soundtrack, composed by Yoko Shimomura, is a whimsical mix of Mario music and original compositions (identical to OTL's soundtrack save for a couple small changes due to butterflies, and a few added songs due to the additional areas present). The game features some limited voice acting, including narration from Leslie Swan (the voice of Peach), and a few phrases from various heroes (Mario says “Lucky!” when he gets a Lucky flower in battle, for example). The game's battle system is the same as OTL's, featuring turn-based combat and timed hits and defending. However, there is an added element, certain attacks that can be defended can also be countered, allowing Mario and his allies to score an extra hit on a foe after blocking their attack. A few enemies and bosses are damaged extra by counter attacks and the damage from regular attacks is reduced, making this a strategically important element of the game.
The plot itself is largely similar to OTL's. Princess Peach is kidnapped by Bowser and Mario raids Bowser's castle in order to save her, only for a giant sword to crash down from the sky, scattering the three to the winds. The sword announces that Bowser's castle is Smithy Gang property now, kicking off the events of the story. Mario ventures to the Mushroom Kingdom first, where he meets up with Mallow and eventually liberates the castle from a dagger-shaped foe named Mack. Next, Mario and Mallow visit Toadfucius, who tells Mallow that he is not actually a frog as he believes and advises him to go with Mario on his journey. After some more adventuring, the group comes across Rose Town, which is under siege from an evil bow-shaped foe named Bowyer. Mario and Mallow team up with a mysterious doll/man named Geno, defeating Bowyer and liberating the town. Here's where the game begins to divert from OTL somewhat. The next place the group visits is Moleville, but unlike in OTL's game, the town is under siege from an evil lady with a whip named Lashina, another member of the Smithy Gang. After going through the Moleville Mines and defeating Punchinello, the group realizes that Lashina has the third Star and they must go to her factory in order to get it back. While at the factory, the group sees that Lashina is furious after a breakup with a man named Booster, who dumped her after Princess Peach landed on his tower. After defeating Lashina (before the group can face her, they must once again fight refurbished clones of Mack and Bowyer) and claiming the third Star, Mario and friends venture to Booster Tower (recruiting Bowser just outside). They venture up Booster Tower and meet Booster himself, who in this game must actually be defeated to advance (and he's not easy, though Knife Guy and Grate Guy are omitted from this game). After a chase up a hill, the group reaches Marrymore, where Mario crashes Booster's wedding and rescues Peach. The group returns to the Mushroom Kingdom, where Peach joins the group for the next part of their journey, a trip to Star Town, where a clue about Mallow's true home is said to be. The clue, however, is a trap laid by the fourth member of the Smithy Gang, a cannon-like man named Boomer, who abducts Mallow and takes him to Star Hill, which, instead of being a peaceful place like IOTL's game, is a battlefield wrecked by explosions from Boomer and his minions. Eventually, Mario and friends reach Boomer. After beating him in battle, he gives them a choice: they can save Mallow or the Star. The group picks Mallow, but thanks to Mario's slick jumping they manage to save both. After that, the group ventures to a seaside resort where the next Star seems to have been pilfered by a pirate named Jonathan Jones. After a trip through a sunken ghost ship and a confrontation with the pirate himself, the star is claimed, but upon the group's return to Seaside Town, they are threatened by Yaridovich, who demands they hand over the star or the townspeople will be in danger. They give Yaridovich the star, but stop him before he can make his escape and defeat him in a tough battle. The heroes then venture through Land's End, Monstro Town, and Bean Valley to make their way up to Nimbus Land, where Mallow's real family lives (though Mallow doesn't know it yet). These areas are largely the same as IOTL, though there is a small difference: the group encounters the Axem Rangers for the first time at Land's End, and there is a boss battle in this area: a pair of Chargin' Chucks. Finally, the group reaches Nimbus Land and uncovers the intrigue of Queen Valentina, an imposter to the throne who has locked Mallow's parents in a dungeon. After Valentina is beaten, the group journeys to Barrel Volcano. They defeat the Czar Dragon and are about to claim the Star when the Axem Rangers suddenly arrive and take the Star away, forcing Mario and friends to chase them to their airship. Unlike ITTL, the airship is a dungeon of its own, with similar music to the classic airship theme in Super Mario Bros. 3. At the end, the Axem Rangers are confronted, but once you defeat them, their Breaker Bot is its own boss, and one of the toughest in the game at that. Finally, the sixth Star is claimed, and Mario and friends return to Bowser's Castle. They venture through the castle, defeat the giant sword Exor, and make their way to Smithy's Factory. As you venture through the factory, beating tough bosses along the way, Smithy's backstory is revealed. He is said to be the wish of a realm that watched all the other realms advance in technology while they were left in the dust. The entire realm wished for a way that it could elevate its technology to those of its neighbors, resulting in the birth of the robot Smithy. It began to build, and build, and build, but soon it became too powerful to control, and started wiping out the neighboring realms before turning on the realm that wished it into being. Smithy's factory was built on the ruins of this realm, its people trapped as mindless slaves (and Geno is the only free person of this realm that remains). After Smithy is defeated, Mario and friends use their wish to restore this realm and its people, and Geno can at last return home, while the Mushroom Kingdom and Princess Peach are safe once again.
Released in North America for the Super Nintendo CD on August 12, 1996. Despite a significant amount of pre-release hype and advertising, the game doesn't succeed quite as much as Chrono Trigger or Tale Phantasia, critically or commercially. It's still regarded as an excellent game, but doesn't quite rise to the level of the two earlier major RPGs to be released that year. Criticism primarily revolves around the simplicity of the game's storyline, which is considered somewhat juvenile compared to the previous two major RPGs, even with Smithy's somewhat darker origins. Despite these issues, the game is still the top selling Super Nintendo CD game of the month and comes to be regarded as an RPG classic.