Let’s just ignore the woeful approach of the end of Mario’s 35th anniversary, or the completely-ignored 35th anniversary of the Zelda series for a moment. 2021 is also a big year for Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, the game that fused Final Fantasy and Mario to create a timeless, timing-based, turn-based strategy action game that’s beloved by pretty much anyone that’s ever played it.
We have Super Mario RPG to thank for both the Paper Mario and the Mario & Luigi series…es of games, both of which were spawned out of the collaboration between Square and Nintendo. By adding a story, humour, and plenty of personality to the already-established Mario formula, Square created a game that played with the tools in Nintendo’s toybox like never before.
Sadly, the game-changing collaboration would be a one-off, with Square changing tack towards the PlayStation and Final Fantasy, and Super Mario RPG – despite being the father of two different game series(es) – would never receive a sequel. Perhaps that’s for the best, considering how the Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi games have been floundering for the past few years.
The Super Mario RPG is one of those games that’s aged pretty darn well, so even though we’ve gone 25 years without seeing its likes again, we can still boot up our SNESes (or our Virtual Consoles) and give it a go, just like old times. It was a game that came about at an exciting time for both Square and Nintendo, when new ideas were being thrown at the wall, and this one just happened to stick.
Merry birthday, Super Mario RPG, and thank you for all you’ve done. Now please, add Geno to Smash.