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Mario's GBA RPG was released in November 2003 and features an exclusive player duo of Mario and Luigi. When the princess's voice is stolen, Mario journeys to the Beanbean kingdom to get it back, and Luigi gets dragged along the way. It is possible to dodge every attack in the game.


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3:26 by Damien Moody, done in 29 segments.

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Author's comments:

Thanks go out to AquaTiger and the other SDA-ers for giving the motivation to get off my ass and re-do this one, and also for all the info/criticism.

Rather than bore you with the details of each segment, I'll just answer what will probably be some questions some of you will have:

Q: Isn't it faster to use the last coin box rather than fighting the two sets of enemies in Stardust Fields?
A: Yes and no. I timed it to being 19 seconds faster using the coin box, however Luigi will be one level down for both Dragohoho AND Queen Bean. I need those levels for extra damage to cut rounds off the fights.

Q: Why did you sometimes wait so long before stopping the Level Bonus Reel?
A: I managed to find a few "sweet spots" that would stop on a 2 or 3 more often. In the beginning I needed all the POW I could get so I abusing this as much as I could. I was using the sound the reel makes to determine when to stop it. Also note that Luigi's and Mario's "sweet spot" differed at times depending on which bonus reel they got.

Q: Speaking of the Level Bonus Reel, why didn't you do for +3s more often?
A: The +3s diseappear altogether after a short period of time, and appear less frequently the more times I choose POW as my Bonus stat. Getting +2s was hard enough at times, +3s were nigh (and on some occasions, completely) impossible to get.

Q: Why did you stop going for +2s and +3s?
A: For Wiggler, that battle was tough enough without manipulation. Beyond that, I didn't feel it was worth it. The badges do well at increasing POW, and later the Mush Badges trump pretty much everything.

Q: You seemed timid around some of the enemies. Why not just try and blaze past them and restart if it doesn't work?
A: Blazing past some enemies just plain doesn't work, and others it isn't worth losing the segment over. One second to take a different path / wait for it to move isn't too big of a deal. Some of the segments were hard enough without adding this to the mix.

Q: Why pick up so many Mushrooms? Why not just buy them later?
A: Money issues. I would have wound up with less mushrooms (and thus, less damage) if I hadn't been grabbing them.

Q: You picked up items that you really didn't need, like Syrups and 1-Up Mushrooms. What purpose did they serve?
A: I needed money, plain and simple. I can only get so much from bosses, so I needed them to sell so I could afford more Mushrooms.

Q: OK, so why did you only pick up some items, but not others that were also barely out of the way?
A: Certain items just seemed to take too much time to get, others didn't. I got what was convenient. I'm sure there were a few that I could have gotten that wouldn't have cost me much time, but they really wouldn't have made any difference.

Q: Why didn't you spend all of your money on Mushrooms in Lil' Fungitown? Why only 40?
A: There's two spots coming up that I needed money for: The Relaxation Room (200 coins) and for Chuckola Bounce (500 coins). If I had spent any more I wouldn't have had enough for both.

Q: Why didn't you open the Warp Pipe in Lil' Fungitown? You can get some good stuff here later...
A: Unneeded items. The only things worth it are the Scandal Jeans for Luigi (Luigi gets a turn before Mario) and the upgraded Mush Badges (A and AA). I could easily manipulate to have Luigi go first with the #1 Trousers, and the POW boost from the Mush Badge A and AA wasn't enough to justify wasting the time to buy them.

Q: Why did you wait so long to sell all your stuff?
A: High levels mean a high Stache stat, which in turn means I can sell stuff for more coins.

Q: If you were just waiting for a higher Stache stat, why not take a couple level bonuses for it? (Thanks to Radix for pointing this one out)
A: The short answer: It wouldn't have saved all that much time in the end. Seeing as Luigi doesn't have a multi-hit attack to abuse until the final Cackletta fight (thus needing high POW), and the fact that I milk the hell out of Mario's attacks so Luigi could get more Knockback Bros. off, it really wouldn't have saved time until the Bowletta/Cackletta fights, which would have only been a handful of seconds.

Q: Why did you get only the Greed Wallet and not the Bonus Ring?
A: The Bonus Ring I found to be completely unnecessary due to the inclusion of the Mush Badges. Not only was the extra POW not needed, it also saved me time in the form of not sitting through even MORE level ups...

Q: That Laser Snifit in Woohoo Hooniversity had it's nose up Luigi's ass! Why didn't it trigger a fight?
A: Don't ask me - this game works in mysterious ways sometimes...

Q: That Gritty Goomba in the 1st room in Teehee Valley was practically looking up Peach's dress! Why wasn't she captured!? For that matter, why didn't the Goombas always move, and how the hell did she walk THROUGH that one in the 3rd room!?
A: I found a trick that allows me to manipulate when the Goombas will start moving. If they're not on screen, they generally won't be "active" and thus won't move. In the 3rd room, this also allows me to bypass the Goomba above the ledge since by not being "active" it can't capture Peach. As for the 1st room...your guess and my guess would be equally good.

Q: Your Barrel-ing was a little weak...
A: Yeah, I know...technically I call it a 3 minute time-waster since you can't end it early. After watching it myself, I was rather puzzled as to why I didn't catch some of the easier lines I could have made.

Q: Where did all that damage come from during the Hermie III fight?
A: The Mush Badges. Despite what the description says, the Mush Badges DO NOT boost POW. Instead, they add straight damage...and as a bonus, it's done AFTER all other damage calculations are made! Effectively, it makes the minimum damage equal to whatever my Mush-Bonus is plus one. Thus the reason Mario did such a tremendous amount of damage.

Q: You suck at Chuckola Bounce...
A: Yup, definitely not one of my best performances. This is just really another time-waster, although it may be considered entertaining to observe my level of suckage here...

Q: You could have easily killed Popple in Chucklehuck Woods with Mario...why did you milk Chopper Bros. and have Luigi finish him off?
A: To learn the Advance Bros. attacks you have to use the normal versions a certain number of times. Luigi takes more uses of Knockback Bros. than Mario does of Chopper Bros. to learn the Advanced version, so I had to sneak in extra uses whenever an opportunity presented itself.

Q: Why did you unequip the #1 Trousers for the Jojora/Chucklissa fight?
A: If Jojora goes first, then I won't end up wasting a round attacking him. If I attack Chucklissa while Jojora is still on the screen, he'll perform a counterattack which will heal both of them, so I needed him off screen as soon as possible.

Q: Why didn't you just manipulate to hit the correct Lemmy the first time?
A: It's not possible. I tested it, and the first time Lemmy will always appear one position clockwise from the one I hit. It seems the game doesn't decide which one is the real one until you've hit one.

Q: WTF!? Why didn't Cackletta's Heart revive the other body parts!?
A: I managed to find a useful bit of information: Cackletta's Heart technically gets a turn even if it's not exposed! Apparently all body parts have equal speed, which means the game randomly decides which part goes in which order. If the Heart's turn comes up and it's not exposed, it gets skipped. Since the Arms were killed by a counterattack, and the Heart's turn had already passed, it wasn't allowed to revive the other parts until it's next turn...granted, I didn't GIVE it a next turn...

Q: Why didn't you just use Chopper Bros. Advance against Cackletta instead of wasting all that time learning Knockback Bros. Advance?
A: Knockback Bros. Advance is about ten times easier to chain than Chopper Bros. Advance. Pay close attention to the windows when I have to hit the button on Chopper Bros. Advance...I took a look using Freeze Frame on my DVD Recorder and found that after the fifth hit, the target window for Luigi jumping is somewhere between 2 and 6 frames (1/30th to 1/10th of a second), depending on whether or not I can hit the button one frame early/late of not. Rather than deal with that, I just went with Knockback Bros. Advance since I knew I could chain it reliably.

And now, some things I learned while making this run:
-Mario needs 19 uses of Splash Bros. to learn the Advance version, while Luigi only needs 8 to Learn Bounce Bros. Advance.
-On the flip side, Mario only needs 32 uses of Chopper Bros. for the Advance version, while Luigi needs a whopping 43!
-The Mush Badges add direct damage instead of boosting POW as the description would have us believe.
--Mushrooms and Super Mushrooms add .199 damage.
--Ultra Mushrooms add .25 damage.
--Max Mushrooms add .299 damage.
--1-Up Mushrooms, 1-Up Supers, and Golden Mushrooms add nothing.
-The Bros. Rock does absolutely NOTHING when equipped on Luigi! However, if Mario has it equipped, it acts as if BOTH Bros. have it on...
-Spin Jumping up stairs while moving toward the top of the screen will increase speed by a fair bit.
-Popple has an unusually high Defense for a Thief...
-Tanoombas need to be shot. Repeatedly.
-If I ever see another Lakipea it'll be too soon.
-Red Viruses are the bane of my existence.

Single-segment with large-skip glitches: 1:18:51 by 'altabiscuit'.

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Author's comments:

Shoutouts to mugg1991 for his tool assisted run of this game. Without it I wouldn't have started speedrunning the glitched route for Superstar Saga.

A few important notes about this run:

- Unnecessary encounters are a really bad thing. Running away from fights loses too many coins so you have to finish any fights you get. Fortunately, I had no unplanned encounters.

- The glitches used in this run skip large amounts of the game. By the end of the game I finish at Level 11. Because of this everything can kill me in one hit during late game.

- To make up for my lack of levels and damage I buy the Mush Badge, which adds a flat damage bonus based on the number of mushrooms in my inventory. I spend some time in the first half of the run collecting items and coins to afford the badge and get mushrooms.

The damage values for the Mush Badge are as follows:

0.199 - Mushroom & Super Mushroom
0.250 - Ultra Mushroom
0.299 - Max Mushroom

The total damage is rounded down.

Aside from some minor movement errors this run was very good. The rest of the comments here will be general comments and explanations for each of the major segments.

--Intro/Stardust Fields--

Solid segment and good stat bonuses to start. I also got some decent Mushroom drops from enemies.

During the encounters at the end of Stardust Fields I spend turns using Splash Bros on Mario. I need to use it 20 times to unlock the Advance version which is used later.

--HooHoo Mountain--

Aside from the high jump mistake shortly after Hoohooroos this segment went very well. Avoiding encounters while Mario is full of water is very important during this section due to how much time is lost for losing water in addition to the encounter.

I get an encounter during the first half of the mountain on purpose to level up Mario to make the next three boss fights faster.

One note with the Dragohoho fight at the end. I saved time by unlocking Splash Bros Advance and killing the boss on the same turn because the animations for both triggered at the same time. My high power stats also made it so I didn't have to use Bounce Bros with Luigi very often.

--BeanBean Castle Town Sewers--

This area is one of the hardest places in the game to avoid encounters. Some encounters lose over a minute so it's generally better to play it safe to avoid the Superflies.

The Queen Bean fight is where Splash Bros Advance shines. The Advance version deals double damage to spiked enemies which allows me to kill Queen Bean much faster than the intended way. I also had enough power to kill her in four turns.

--Chucklehuck Woods--

Saved time on the Popple fight because Luigi did not unlock Bounce Bros Advance. Bounce Bros Advance unlocks after 8 uses.

The barrel room in Chucklehuck Woods is where things start getting crazy. Using a frame perfect trick to store barrel commands on the bros I'm able to manipulate their action commands to just about anything I want, including things they are not normally supposed to have (High Jump on Mario or Spin Jump on Luigi). The barrel room was basically setup for the glitches later in the run. The screen glitches out during this segment because the game doesn't know how to handle the bros having invalid action commands. Fortunately, this does not cause the game to crash.

--BeanBean Overworld--

Using glitched commands I can give the bros action commands temporarily. I use this to give Luigi Thunderhand in order to get Super Hammers early. I use Super Hammers in conjunction with the glitched actions to get to Little Fungitown early to buy the Mush Badge.

--Teehee Valley 1--

The fastest way to get to Little Fungitown is through the back entrance of Teehee Valley which is normally only accessible by Luigi. I used the glitched commands to displace Luigi's height in order to jump over the black rocks blocking the way. The same technique could be used to jump over the gray rocks as well but it is faster to get Super Hammers and use them instead.

The hat teleporting trick I use to get to Little Fungitown early is done by high jumping on Luigi while he is underground. I take very small movements while doing this trick because even the slightest wrong move would have gotten me stuck in a wall and ended the run. Hat teleporting is used twice in the run and is easily the most dangerous glitch.

Once in Fungitown I buy the Mush Badge and some Mushrooms and move on. I only need to buy one Mush Badge because the attacks I use for the rest of the game only uses Mario's Pow stat.

--Teehee Valley 2--

With the Mush Badge I have the power I need for the next fight. Using more glitched commands I do the same rock jump and hat teleporting tricks from before to get over the big wall just before the dry bones room.

The Dry Bones room is notorious for killing runs. Normally you are in the section of the game with solo Mario near the end of the game. Dodging the Dry Bones is easy solo but a lot harder with two. I had pretty good patterns in this room.

Once inside the pipe I give Mario Firebrand temporarily in order to unlock the door and move on to the Popple and Birdo fight. Defeating Popple here triggers end game because this is the last boss fight you would do before unlocking Bowser's Castle on a normal play through.

--Little Fungitown revisited--

I lost some time here messing up one of the spin jumps when going for the room with the Red and Green peppers. I was very fortunate to not get an encounter due to that mistake. The peppers room also has a trick where you can send Luigi up a wall when he is a barrel. This same trick is used in Bowser's Castle to skip the entirety of it.

Before heading back to Castle Town I make a quick stop at Fungitown again to buy more Mushrooms and a Mush Badge AA which has a greater power bonus than the regular Mush Badge. From here I go back to Castle Town to trigger the final cut scene.

--Bowser's Castle--

I use a barrel climb to enter in the escape route for Bowser's Castle which skips nearly all of it.

Most of the game does not have much randomness but this final boss fight with Bowletta and Cackletta's soul is where time can be lost depending on what attacks she decides to use. I didn't have good luck on Bowletta because of two star storm attacks. Cackletta on the other hand I had insanely good luck with only one fire spin and one arm spin. It is easily the best luck I ever had with that fight.

During the Cackletta fight I use the Red Pepper Glitch to permanently increase Mario's power by 50% for the entire fight. The glitch is triggered by reviving Mario with a 1up after using a Red Pepper on him. The power bonus stays with Mario for the rest of the fight while removing the negative effect of being heavy. This is why I intentionally let Mario die early in the fight.

Overall, I'm really happy with how this run turned out. There were a few minor movement errors, but everything else went very well. I got all tricks on the first try, great stats, insane luck on the last couple fights, and no unnecessary encounters. I've been running this game for a little over a year now and it's amazing to see how far it has come.

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