Part 2: Update Two: Mario Goes For A StrollLast time, we beat up Bowser and got kicked out of his castle by a new resident. So, let's get this show on the road.
Mario was the most popular in the voting, so that's our savegame name.
: Mario, what's with the silent treatment?!
: I wonder, you little jackass.
:You're not telling me something. It's Bowser again, isn't it? Oh no, here we go again! Mario, would you please bring her back, like you always do?
I suppose we can do that. We'll just ignore the gigantic sword and pick up Toadstool.
This is the world map screen. There's no free traveling in Super Mario RPG; you just pop from place to place, but only if you've either been there before or have to go there. There's no sneaking to places early in this game.
Mario approaches the door like he owns the place, ready to put foot-to-ass for Toadstool.
Then he notices the giant sword and, appropriately, freaks the hell out.
: This castle now belongs to us, the "Smithy Gang".
: So, instead of kicking Bowser's ass, I now have to beat up a castle-stealing gang of blacksmiths? Eh, it's better than that turtle again, I guess.
: It's our first step to taking over the world! And if it weren't for nosey characters like YOU...We'd practically OWN this world! So let's see you deal with this!
And Exor, the giant sentient sword, proceeds to...Start gabbing really fast. Super effective there, chief. Also, spoilers, the sword is named Exor.
...I stand corrected.
With the bridge destroyed, all Mario can do now is stare at Bowser's Castle from the distance. I guess to get back there, we'll have to cross the world.
Son of a bitch. If I have to cross those Chocolate Islands, I'll be so upset.
Fast-forward back to Mario's Pad, to where we'll need to report this to Toad. Why we don't just go straight to the castle is beyond me.
Well, I guess we did forget Toadstool. But I'm sure that's not what Toad meant.
: No? What happened then?
Mario has the best way to explain things.
: The bridge to Bowser's Keep is out now? Just wonderful... We must inform the Chancellor of Mushroom Kingdom at once! Let's go, Mario.
Toad, having rushed out before us, races back in quickly enough to knock Mario on his ass.
: ...Oh? That bump on your head reduced your "HP" level. One of Mushroom Kingdom's famous items ought to perk you right up!
Toad then asks us if we know how to use items, but since we all do, I'll just skip this tutorial.
: Oh, I see. You're just so well-traveled and experienced, Mario! Uh, now why did I rush back? I had...Something to tell you.
That seems like a hell of a thing to forget, Toad.
: I just barely made it back in one piece! Mario, please do something. Do you know about Timed Hits?
Since the name tells us all we need to know (and the tutorial isn't particularly interesting) we'll just skip it. If you really want to know about it, just hit "A" at the right time to do more damage. As OFS told us last update, if you time it "more right", you'll deal double damage. At worst, you'll only deal 50% more, which still isn't bad.
: Hey, you better watch out! He knows about Timed Hits. He's got more bark than bite, huh? Uh, why did I rush back? I had...Something to tell you. That's right! We need to tell the Chancellor about Toadstool! I'll see you over at Mushroom Kingdom. Just in case, take these with you.
Toad gives us three Mushrooms. They restore 30 HP when used in or out of battle.
Toad leaves and we're finally able to access the menu. Item does exactly what you think it would.
Here's our status; Mario's stats are more geared toward physical attacks. All the stats do exactly what you think they do, too. It's good to keep in mind that with high enough speed, it's possible to get consecutive turns in battle.
Special not only tells us what a skill does, but also helpfully informs us of the next level when we'll get a new skill. I forget about that second feature more often than not.
Equip does exactly what you think it does and the Special Item menu is currently empty.
With that out of the way, we head over to Mushroom Way to make our way to Mushroom Kingdom.
We're almost immediately assaulted by a group of Goombas. Super Mario RPG is one of those fancy RPG's that has its enemies on the map, so you can pick and choose which ones you fight. It's pretty handy when you're too strong for an area and want to skip the fights.
This fight also has the distinction of being the first fight to give us experience, but no coins. At the end of battle, you can see if an enemy is going to give coins or not, as a coin will explode out of the defeated enemy.
In the next fight, something semi-rare happens. Sometimes, when an enemy is defeated, one of those flowers will pop out of them. This one restores a character's HP to full. The others can either double attack or defense, while there's a third one I'll cover in a minute.
I'd show you more of this area, but look at this screenshot. It's boring as shit to play through, and even more boring to look at. If you look at the chest though, these are occasionally scattered around areas. This one holds coins, but others will hold mushrooms that restore HP to full or fully restore Flower Points (MP in all but name).
Another coin chest and Toad's being menaced by a Goomba. I'd show you the fight, but just imagine Mario punching three Goombas to death.
If somebody wanted to draw that, I wouldn't object.
Toad gives us a Honey Syrup, which restores Flower Points. There's three levels of syrups and mushrooms, with the middle level restoring a big chunk of either HP or FP, and the final level restoring HP or FP to full.
But let's go somewhere more interesting now.
Later areas get more interesting, I swear. But, in this area, there is that spinning flower. After defeating the Goomba on top of it, Mario can hop on.
Though, before I tell you that it lets Mario jump extra far, defeating that group of enemies gains us our first level.
Every level, all of the character's stats will raise, which is helpfully shown here.
At every level, we also get to raise either HP, Attack and Defense or Special Attack and Special Defense a little bit more. It's not always a solid increase of 3, though. That's the highest the bonus can be, and what stat will get the max bonus changes from level to level.
Since Mario is always going to be in the party and primarily meant to be an ass-kicker, I'll be trying to get some sort of attack raise for him every level. If you were wondering, the regular Attack and Defense increase was only 1, which really isn't worth it.
Getting flung over to the left here, we open our first chest that has a flower in it. This not only fully restores FP, but also increases our max by 1.
Up top, there's nothing but another battle. To the right here, though, Toad is in trouble again. I'm starting to sense a theme for this first area.
After rescuing his spotted little head, he gives us a Flower Tab.
It increases FP by 1, but doesn't restore it to full. It annoys me missing a single FP, but it's not really a big deal.
Slightly further to the right is another floating chest. When you attempt to snag it, a Goomba hidden behind those trees and the rock rushes out at you. It's actually pretty sneaky, since the Goomba is completely hidden. It's still easy to crush.
These mushrooms restore HP and FP to full and gives a pretty cool green effect across the screen. They also respawn if you leave the area completely, so you can grind that way pretty easily.
Exiting to the right, we enter the final area of this first "dungeon" (I'm hesitant to call it that, since it's just as much a tutorial area as Bowser's Keep was). We also meet the last new enemy type here.
The Spikey's can hit fairly hard, but aren't dangerous, like every enemy in this area. They're also immune to Jump, since they're covered in Spikes.
Defeating that Spikey gives me a "Lucky!" flower. It's the final type I said I'd explain later. When you get one of these, you get either the opportunity to double your coins or experience earned in that battle.
All you gotta do is find Yoshi, after the eggs scramble around. I'd show you, but just imagine that one con in the subway who tells you to find the pea. We've all seen how it works a thousand times, so I won't bore you with it.
I grinded for a bit to get to level three, since it was fairly close. Mario learns "Fire Orb" this level, which lets him fling fireballs at enemies. I chose Attack as the bonus this level, netting an extra two Attack points and an extra point of Defense.
Moving along, we find Toad in trouble. Again.
: HEY! Are YOU lookin' at me? My hammer and I don't like you!
: Mario! You better be careful. He's definitely got a mean streak!
Approaching the Hammer Bro upsets him greatly.
: Now ya got my hammer angry! Ya shouldn't have done that!
Since the Hammer Bro split himself into two, he is obviously a witch (or a boss). And I will not tolerate witchcraft. And how does one deal with a witch?
Light their asses up. You can hit "Y" repeatedly here to increase the amount of fireballs and damage.
It does fairly good damage, and with the Hammer Bro having only 50 HP, doing 4/5ths of his HP in one shot is pretty damned good.
Hell, I could have used straight physical attacks and still dropped him in two shots.
When you defeat a boss enemy, they explode into multiple coins. It's kinda neat.
Upon defeating one of the Hammer Bros, the other will use Valor Up, which increases their Defense and Magic Defense.
It doesn't help. Also, a Flower Jar increases FP by 3.
: Mushroom Kingdom's just ahead. We're almost there, Mario. Hey! Where did this hammer come from? Hmm...Hey, do you know what this is?
It's a hammer, Toad. Unless you suddenly have a burning desire to make a birdhouse, I don't see why it's so amazing.
: It has the Hammer Bro's insignia on it. No one stands a chance against you when you whomp them with this.
And with that, we have our first weapon, the Hammer. Equipping it increases our Attack by 10 points and now I have a new timing to get down.
And with that, Toad leaves.
We shouldn't get too far behind. Toad might get picked up by a pterodactyl or the Cloverfield monster if we're not there to rescue him.
Alright, folks, tune in next time for a new party member and another boss battle! Also, we get to buy somebody pants!
(Also, look, I learned how to transcribe!)