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Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga/Regional Differences

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This is a sub-page of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.

While each version was only released a maximum of 11 days apart, there are a surprising number of regional differences between Japanese and non-Japanese versions.

Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions is based on the Japanese version of the game, so it keeps all of its gameplay differences.

To do:

Title Screen

International Japan China (Proto)
Mario & Luigi- Superstar Saga-title.png MLSS-TitleJ.png MLSS-TitleC.png

The Japanese title screen features a rather different design from the international one, including a different "PRESS START" font. In addition, the title screen theme does not begin right away; the suitcase hits the cloud and opens, and the theme begins after the title starts to come out of the suitcase. The Japanese version even added audio for when the suitcase hits the cloud and opens.

International Japan China (Proto)
Mlss-scores.PNG Mlssj-scores.PNG Mlssc-scores.png

In addition, the Mario Bros. Classic game has no default top score in international versions of the game. The default top score for the Japanese version is 20000 points and phase 3.

If the player waits long enough on the title screen, the game fades into a demo mode which shows the cutscene where Cackletta and Fawful steal Peach's voice. This is only present in the Japanese version. To make room for the demo mode, two debug rooms (IDs 0 and 1) were replaced.

The unreleased iQue prototype seems to be based off of the Japanese version.

Sprite Differences

Peach's Castle

International Japan
Mlss-castle 1u.png Mlss-castle 1j.png
Mlss-castle 2u.png Mlss-castle 2j.png
Mlss-castle 3u.png Mlss-castle 3j.png
Mlss-castle 4u.png Mlss-castle 4j.png
Mlss-castle 5u.png Mlss-castle 5j.png
Mlss-castle 6u.png Mlss-castle 6j.png
Mlss-castle 7u.png Mlss-castle 7j.png

Peach's Castle's mushroom designs were widened in the Japanese version to resemble the Super Mushrooms we all know and love...Except for those windows. Those are okay.

International Japan
MLSS-ToadU.png MLSS-ToadJ.png

In the Japanese version, when Toad rushes in the house to find Mario, a D-Pad will appear in the corner to tell the player that they can now start playing. This tip is absent in international versions.

International Japan
Mlss-house u.png Mlss-house j.png

In addition, this photo of Peach now has longer, eye-covering bangs to resemble her actual appearance more.

To do:
Rip the sprites that are different in those screenshots and replace the screenshots with them.


Some of Bowser's sprites are slightly different between the two versions. The Japanese version touches up Bowser's left/right graphic, giving his mouth, hair, and eyebrows extra detail. Rookie's sprites were altered accordingly. In addition, the sprite when Bowser flies into the screen after escaping his castle is changed.

To do:
Add Rookie's sprites
International Japan

Star 'Stache Smash

International Japan
Mlss starstachesmash us.png Mlss starstachesmash jp.png

Mario and Luigi's heads look more 2-D in the Japanese version of Star 'Stache Smash.

Room Differences

Differences relating to rooms and their layout:

Rooms 0, 1

In the international versions, the game's two debug rooms are assigned to six different room IDs (0, 1, 5, 8, 9 and 512). The Japanese version replaced rooms 0 and 1 to add a titlescreen demo mode that shows the opening cutscene if the player waits long enough at the titlescreen.

Barrel in Room 145 (Chucklehuck Woods)

In Chucklehuck Woods, a barrel was moved.

International Japan China (Proto)
MLSS Room145 US.png MLSS Room145 JP.png MLSS Room145 CN.png

Heart Block in Room 173 (Oho Oasis), 184 (Sewers), 290 (Teehee Valley)

Heart Block (Japanese version)
MLSS-Heartblock1.png MLSS-Heartblock2.png
Heart Block (Chinese prototype)
MLSS-Heartblock1-iQue.png MLSS-Heartblock2-iQue.png

This heart block, which comes from Paper Mario, is only in the Japanese and Chinese versions and only at three locations: Beanbean Castle Sewers, Oho Oasis, and Teehee Valley. It's free to use and fully restores the brothers' HP and BP. It reappears in subsequent games. This block appears more frequently in Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions.

Starting Stats

International Japan
Mlss bp us.png Mlss bp jp.png

Mario and Luigi both start the game with less BP in the international versions. The Mario silhouette sprite is also different.

Stat Progression

  • Attack progression is higher on the international versions.
  • BP progression is higher on the Japanese version.
  • Level up bonuses are higher on average on the international versions.


International Japan

Lakitu is more helpful on the level-up screen in the Japanese version. He tells the player to use the D-Pad to select a stat to upgrade, and to press B to cancel the upgrade.

Learning Advanced Bros Attacks

In Stardust Fields, the brothers learn Spinjump and Highjump in a tutorial and henceforth can use Splash Bros and Bounce Bros in battle. Just two rooms later, there is second tutorial where those Bros Attacks are demonstrated to the player. After successfully using a Bros Attack a certain number of times, the brothers learn the advanced version of it. There are differences regarding this between the international and the Japanese versions:

In the international versions, successfully landing a Bros Attack will always count towards the number of uses needed until the advanced version is learned, even the Splash Bros that you do in the second tutorial. However, if you reach the required number of uses, the advanced version can not be learned until after the second tutorial is completed. On the Japanese version, landing a Bros Attack will only start counting after the second tutorial is completed. (The game uses a flag to control this - the 8th bit in 0200433d).

Audio Changes

To do:
Include more voice differences from this video[[1]]
Sound International Japan
Luigi's status and equipment screen
Learning an Advanced Bros Attack
Lucky Hit
Opening Inventory

Text Box Icons

Hammer Tutorial

International Japan China (Proto)
You expected a witty statement? Too bad. At least they say "please" in the Chinese prototype.

The tutorial to use the hammers in battle has different battle backgrounds in each version; a Beanbean Castle Grounds background in the international version, and a Hoohoo Mountain background in the Japanese and Chinese versions. Also visible in the comparison above are the different button icons for A and B used in dialogue boxes between each version.


International Japan China (Proto)
No, not the M. Night Shyamalan movie. Mlss sign-north jp.png Mlss sign-north cn.png

The sign north of Beanbean Castle Town does not point to Beanbean Castle Town in the Japanese and Chinese versions; it is also missing an arrow for the direction to Hoohoo Mountain. Also evident in the comparison above is that the arrow icons used are different sizes between the three versions; this affects every sign in the game.

Café Menu

International Japan
MLSS-CafeU.png MLSS-CafeJ.png

While making a brew at Starbeans Café, an E. Gadd emblem will mark previously made drinks in the Japanese version. This makes it easier to keep track of which accessories are left to obtain from it.


Pretty much all the enemy, equipment, and item stats are different between the international and Japanese versions.

A complete breakdown on stats and armor can be viewed here.


Enemy Drops

Some of the items that enemies drop were changed between versions.

Enemy Drop (International) Rare Drop (International) Drop (Japan) Rare Drop (Japan)
Birdo Ultra Syrup Red Pepper Max Syrup Lucky Ribbon
Boomerang Bro Ultra Mushroom None Oho Gear Shroom Bells
Eeker School Slacks Smart Pants Syrup Smart Pants
Hermie III Max Nut Lucky Ribbon School Slacks Red Pepper
Lemmy Max Syrup Green Pepper Green Pepper Bowser Fist
Ludwig 1-Up Super Red Pepper Piranha Suit Red Pepper
Morton Max Nut Bowser Fist N/A Max Syrup
Piranha Bean Piranha Swing Piranha Suit Piranha Swing Super Nut
Trunkle 1-Up Mushroom Lucky Bros. Lucky Bros., Super Nut N/A

Curiously, the Oho Gear (dropped by Boomerang Bros. and is called Oho Wear in the Japanese version) was unused in the American release. Despite being fully functional (and having its name & description fully written and completely translated into German, French, Italian, and Spanish), it was buried in the game's code and is only legitimately obtainable in the Japanese localization. The gear is equippable to either Mario or Luigi and raises defense by 28 points.

Healing Items

Most of the items that restore a set amount of HP or BP were altered to recover less points.

Item HP/BP Restored (International) HP/BP Restored (Japan)
Mushroom 25 HP 25 HP
Super Mushroom 50 HP 45 HP
Ultra Mushroom 120 HP 75 HP
Nuts 20 HP Each 25 HP Each
Super Nuts 40 HP 45 HP
Ultra Nuts 100 HP 75 HP
Syrup 20 BP 20 BP
Super Syrup 40 BP 35 BP
Ultra Syrup 100 BP 55 BP

Item Prices

Most of the item buy and sell prices were changed between versions.

Item Cost/Sell (International) Cost/Sell (Japan)
Mushroom 24 20
Super Mushroom 60 50
Ultra Mushroom 100 110
Max Mushroom 180 280
Nuts 50 50
Super Nuts 90 120
Ultra Nuts 140 260
Max Nuts 220 340
Syrup 24 24
Super Syrup 50 50
Ultra Syrup 80 80
Max Syrup 150 280
1-Up Mushroom 80 70
1-Up Super 240 420
Refreshing Herb 30 30
Golden Mushroom 60 105
Red Pepper 50 30
Green Pepper 50 30
All Starbeans Café drinks 100 100

A complete breakdown on items' prices can be viewed here.

Mush Badge

Mush Badge, Mush Badge A and Mush Badge AA grant the "Shroom Force" effect which adds a flat damage value to each hit the wearer deals to enemies in battle depending on how many Mushrooms, Super Mushrooms, Ultra Mushrooms and Max Mushrooms the player has in their inventory.

In the international versions the calculation is as follows:

(Mushrooms * 51 + Super * 51 + Ultra * 64 + Max * 76) / 256

The attack bonus was nerfed considerably on the Japanese version:

(Mushrooms * 20 + Super * 25 + Ultra * 30 + Max * 51) / 256

Enemy and Boss Differences


  • When attacking one of his rocks, it will be destroyed immediately in the international versions. It will be destroyed only after your attack is finished on the Japanese version.


  • In addition to the stat differences, any time Trunkle's head-tree is damaged, it will immediately restore 40-47 HP in the Japanese version only.
  • The vacuum attack that Trunkle uses brings in various obstacles from the left side of the screen. One of them is a white mushroom that heals 5 HP in the international versions, and 8 HP in the Japanese version.
  • When his vacuum attack ends, Trunkle heals his body for 10 HP in the international versions. He heals a bit more in the Japanese version, because each object he swallows heals him for a different amount; 4 HP per Gritty Goomba, 8 HP per mushroom, and 2 HP per poisonous mushroom.

Fawful (Final)

  • During the final battle with Fawful, the international releases use Popple's battle theme. In the Japanese release, this was changed to Cackletta's battle theme from Woohoo Hooniversity.

Cackletta (Final)

  • BP is replenished between Bowletta and final Cackletta in the international versions, but it isn't in the Japanese version.
  • Whoever has the highest Speed stat gets the first turn in the international versions, but you get the first turn always regardless of Speed on the Japanese version.

Chuckolator Jokes

Bubbles's plays on words from the Japanese game wouldn't make much sense in English, so the English version has a different set of jokes for him. They did manage to put pig, drawer, and horse jokes in both versions, however.

The first three jokes listed for each version are told before the battle with Chuckolator.

Japanese version

"Futon ga futtonda" (Translation: "The bed got sucked up and flew away")

"Nomisugi wa kanzō ni ikanzō" (Translation: "Drinking too much is no good for your liver")

"Kono matsutake ma!ttake–" (Translation: "These matsutake mushrooms... Whoa, they're expensive!")

"Tansu ni attansu" (Translation: "It was in the drawer")

"Tokoya ni iku toko ya" (Translation: "I'm about to go to the barber")

"Uma ga umatta" (Translation: "The horse was buried")

"Neko ga nekonda" (Translation: "The cat fell fast asleep")

"Buta o butanaide" (Translation: "Don't hit the pig")

English version

"What do idiots drink? So-duhhhh!"

"What do sodas call their dads? Pop!"

"A hippie's favorite soda? Granola cola!"

"Who hears hoarse horses?"

"Funny pigs are real hams!"

"Do bats like baseball?"

"What do sheep count to sleep?"

"Do drawers wear drawers?"

Coin Jump

The coin jump in action.

By having Luigi do a High Jump onto small Mario and having Mario jump before Luigi can land, you can do a coin jump. This subtracts 1 HP from Luigi and converts it into 1 coin in the international release; this was adjusted to 2 HP per coin in the Japanese version. You can't convert any more HP if the next coin jump would result in Luigi having 0 HP.

Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions increases the damage dealt even further to 4 HP.


Fountain Glitch

In the international versions, pounding a water ingested Mario in front of a fountain several times leads to a glitch causing Mario and Luigi to run out of bounds into different directions. This works as long as the Hammer tutorial in Chateau de Chucklehuck hasn't been completed. This glitch is not present in the Japanese version.

Fire Dash Glitch

On the Japanese version, if you have Mario use Fire on Luigi while close to falling off a ledge, the brothers will enter a glitched state. This glitch can cause them to warp a screen length away and end up inside of walls. It is entirely absent in the international release.

Switching Places

When switching the brothers' places, the game has a wall collision check in place for the back brother. Assuming the front brother was inside a wall due to a glitch, the back brother will not enter the wall during the switch, but on the Japanese version he will still end up inside the wall at the very same location as the front brother. In the international versions, the back brother stops at the wall and will stay there even after the switch is over.

Scripted Enemies that have 5000 Health

Scripted enemies and bosses are given 5000 extra health and extra max health to make sure the player doesn't deplete their health down to zero, which would automatically trigger their death and possibly trigger a victory screen before it is supposed to happen. On the Japanese version, health cannot be depleted below 4999 health as an additional failsafe. But on the international versions, by using maxed out stats, the Mush Badge and infinite Bros Attacks, the player can deal over 5000 damage and deplete their health to zero which triggers some interesting glitches such as dialogue occuring during the victory screen or the game softlocking due to the absence of enemies that can be attacked.

Pepper Glitch

Red Pepper and Green Pepper boost Pow and Def by factor 1.25 on Japanese, factor 1.5 on the international release, respectively. In the international versions there is a glitch: If a brother dies while his pepper is active, the effect will stay for the rest of the battle. This doesn't occur in the Japanese game.

Information Store Glitch

In the international versions, if you repeatedly talk to the hint guy in Beanbean Castle Town, eventually his dialogue box will glitch up, causing the game to freeze. This glitch is absent in the Japanese version.

Teeheespresso Glitch

If the Bros. are split up, the player can't give Teeheespresso to the active brother. Instead, the stat symbol sprite gets scrambled for a split second. The inactive brother, however, can drink the Teeheespresso, despite the fact that the player can't give any other items to the inactive brother. This glitch is not present in the Japanese version.

(Source: A special thanks to for a majority of this page.)