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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 the original North American version and subsequent localizations. The game's remake, Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions, is based on the Japanese version of the game, so it keeps all of its gameplay differences.

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.

The unreleased iQue prototype is missing a copyright date.

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

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

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

Translation Differences

To do:
Document what a NOE translator says in an essay.

Koopa Cruiser

NA Japan
Mlss koopa cruiser photograph US.png Mlss koopa cruiser photograph JP.png

When the brothers get their passport photos taken on the Koopa Cruiser, the photographer tells them to "Say CHEEP CHEEP!" In the Japanese version and other localizations, the line reads "Say cheese!"

Stardust Fields

NA Japan
Mlss stardust fields area 64.png Mlss stardust fields area 51.png

The section of Stardust Fields where the Mario Bros. meet the Starshade Bros. is called "Area 64" in the North American version, but strangely enough is called "Area 51" in the Japanese version and other localizations.

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
MLSScastle.png MLSScastle JP.png
Mlss-castle 6u.png Mlss-castle 6j.png
Mlss-castle 7u.png Mlss-castle 7j.png

The design for the mushroom motif in Peach's Castle's was made to look more like the Super Mushrooms we all know and love...except for the 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. In the remake, a prompt depicting the Nintendo 3DS Circle Pad appears in all versions.

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

In the Japanese version, the picture of Peach hung in Mario's house has her with longer bangs, which fits her actual appearance more.


International Japan

Some of Bowser's sprites were touched up in the Japanese version, namely his left/right facing graphic, giving his mouth, hair, and eyebrows extra detail. Rookie's sideways sprite was altered accordingly. Moreover, the sprites used when Bowser flies into the screen after being blown off his castle were changed slightly.


International Japan

As mentioned above, Rookie's left/right facing graphic, among a few others, were given extra details. Moreover, every sprite showing his green eyes were edited to make them black, just like that of regular Bowser.

Mario's Silhouette

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

The sprite of Mario's silhouette which appears in the menu was touched up in the Japanese version to make it look more on-model.


International Japan

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

Hammer Tutorial Background

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

Sledge and Mallet's tutorial has a different battle background depending on the version. The North American and European version use the Beanbean Castle Grounds background, despite the tutorial taking place at the foot of Hoohoo Mountain. This mistake was fixed in the Japanese and Chinese version of the game.


International Japan China (Proto)
Mlss hammertutorial us.png Mlss hammertutorial jp.png Mlss hammertutorial cn.png

Also visible in the aforementioned battle tutorial 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.

Starbeans 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 special accessories are left to obtain from it.

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.

Audio Changes

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

Stats Changes

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.

Stat Progression

Attack progression and level-up bonuses are higher in the international versions, while BP progression is higher in the Japanese version.

Miscellaneous Stats

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.

Items Changes

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 N/A 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, out of all the unused equipment, only the Oho Gear would go on to be legitimately obtainable... and only in the Japanese localization.

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)
Super Mushroom 50 HP 45 HP
Ultra Mushroom 120 HP 75 HP
Nuts 20 HP Each 25 HP Each
Super Nuts 40 HP Each 45 HP Each
Ultra Nuts 100 HP Each 75 HP Each
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
Super Nuts 90 120
Ultra Nuts 140 260
Max Nuts 220 340
Max Syrup 150 280
1-Up Mushroom 80 70
1-Up Super 240 420
Golden Mushroom 60 105
Red Pepper 50 30
Green Pepper 50 30

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

Mush Badge Nerf

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

Boss Differences

To do:
Include the enemy stat differences as seen here.


When attacking one of his rocks, it will be destroyed immediately in the international versions, but will be destroyed only after your attack is finished in the Japanese version. This fixes a softlock that can occur if you learn an Advance Bros. attack on the same turn you break a rock.

Also, you always receive the coins for destroying two rocks, no matter how many you actually destroyed during the battle, which results in 4 coins (2 per rock). In the Japanese version, the rocks don't drop any coins.


In addition to the stat differences, Trunkle also received a few other changes:

  • Any time its head-tree is damaged, in the Japanese version, it will immediately restore 40-47 HP.
  • The white mushroom brought in the vacuum attack 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.

Cackletta (Woohoo University)

In the international versions, you always receive the EXP and coins for defeating Cackletta and two of her fakes, no matter how many you actually defeated during the battle. Because both Cackletta and her fakes award 300 EXP and 100 coins each, this results in a whopping 900 EXP and 300 coins. The Japanese version fixed this by only awarding you EXP and coins for the real Cackletta.

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 not in the Japanese version.

In the international versions, whoever has the highest Speed stat gets the first turn which is usually Cackletta unless you have the First Strike effect. In the Japanese version, you always get the first turn regardless of Speed.

After being spit up by Bowletta, the stars from her explosion animation are colored a solid yellow in the international versions, unlike every other boss whose stars flash rapidly between yellow and blue. This was changed in the Japanese version to match the stars from other bosses' explosions.

Miscellaneous Changes

Debug Rooms

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 title screen demo mode that shows the opening cutscene if the player waits long enough at the title screen.

Chucklehuck Woods Barrel Puzzle

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

In Chucklehuck Woods, a barrel was moved around closer to the switch.

Heart Block

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, the message displayed accurately translating to "HP fully restored! BP fully restored!".

This block would go on to reappear in subsequent "M&L" games, as well as appearing more frequently in the game's remake, Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions.

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 a 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).

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, and Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions increased the damage dealt even further to 4 HP. You can't convert any more HP if the next coin jump would result in Luigi having 0 HP.


International Only

Scripted Enemies with 5000 HP

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. In the Japanese version, health cannot be depleted below 4999 health as an additional fail-safe. 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 occurring during the victory screen or the game softlocking due to the absence of enemies that can be attacked.

Fountain Glitch

In the international versions, pounding a drop of 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.

Pepper Glitch

Red Pepper and Green Pepper boost Pow and Def by a factor of 1.5 in the international versions, which was nerfed to 1.25 in the Japanese version. The Japanese version also fixes a glitch where if a brother dies while his pepper is active, the effect will stay for the rest of the battle.

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.

Dizzy Bowletta

M&LSS Dizzy Bowletta Glitch.png

If the player should use the advanced version of Cyclone Bros. during the Bowletta fight, manage to get her dizzy, and then "defeat" her while she is still in that state then she will act out the entire cutscene that follows while still being dizzy. This glitch was fixed in the Japanese version if she was Dark Bowletta while being "defeated".

A similar thing will happen with Cackletta Soul's arms and heart if the head is made dizzy.

Teeheespresso Glitch

M&LSS Starbeans Cafe Brew Glitch.png

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.

Unfitting Music

If the player turns Mario into Mini Mario and then have him walk into an area where the music changes, then the player should notice that the music didn't change. Even though this happens with most areas, it doesn't happen with all places. This can also result in comical effects, such as the underground theme playing in Beanbean Castle Town. Having Mini Mario entering pipes always results in this glitch. However, this will not work upon exiting the warp pipe in Joke's End. The lack of music changes also happens with the Luigi Dunk and even with the advanced Firebrand and Thunderhand techniques, although it works less frequently. These glitches have been fixed in the Japanese version.

Rock Skipping

In the international versions, the Bros. can clip through rocks by using a glitch called "Barrel Storage".

Jump Course Skip / Trigger Zone Skipping

In the international versions, in Stardust Fields, you can skip having to climb up to the flag. A trigger zone near the exit normally stops the brothers, but it can be bypassed by positioning the brothers next to it and using Spin Jump. If done correctly, the back brother will stand past the trigger zone. When switching the brothers around the corner, it will cause the front brother to stand past the trigger zone and be able to enter the loading zone to go to the next room.

Badge Tutorial Skip

In the international versions, by using a similar approach to the aforementioned jump course skip you can skip the badge tutorial that follows outside the castle after defeating Queen Bean.

Roy Cutscene Audio

When Roy ambushes you in the international versions, the sound effect for him falling to the ground plays for a short while after he has already landed. There is also no sound effect the first time he lands. The Japanese version corrects this by having the falling sound be cut short by a *thud* sound effect as he hits the ground, which properly synchronizes the audio to the scene.

Japanese Only

Fire Dash Glitch

In 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.

Barrel Clipping

After using a glitch called "Barrel Storage", the stored barrel commands allow you to turn Luigi into a Barrel when one is not available. This also has a side effect of being able to swap between the Bros when you normally wouldn't be able to. Due to the Japanese version's poor collision detection you can clip through walls horizontally by swapping the bros rapidly while Luigi is a barrel.

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