Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey (whew) hit the Nintendo 3DS on January 11. It's a 3DS upgrade to 2009's RPG of the same name (sans Bowser Jr.).
Shortly after the adventure starts, Bowser inhales Mario and Luigi. The brothers get a super up-close and personal look into Bowser's digestive bits and conduct most of their fights a mere three doors down from the Koopa King's colon. It's a wickedly funny game, and easily the best Mario RPG title since 2004's Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door.
Unsurprisingly, Nintendolife's interview with Nintendo and AlphaDream over the creative process for Bowser's Inside Story talks about some weird ideas that never quite panned out. There was, for example, a plan to have Bowser balloon to alarming proportions (in the game, characters afflicted with "The Blorbs"—secondary characters for the most part—blow up Violet Beauregarde-style). Oh, you thought Nintendo fetish fanart got weird with Bowsette? Things could've been so much stranger.
The Mushroom Kingdom is afflicted with The Blorbs after unfortunate Toads scarf down "Blorb Mushrooms." One of the game's producers, Nintendo's Yoshihiko Maekawa, tells Nintendolife the theme of rotund characters goes hand-in-hand with its themes of health.
"There was this idea of maybe having Bowser eat too much and get fat. But the idea of The Blorbs has to do with health," Maekawa says. "And the dynamism has to deal with the gameplay element. The theme of health has to do with the story element."
The term for The Blorbs in Japan is "Metakoro." According to the Mario Wiki, "'Meta' likely from 'metabo,' which is a slang for 'overweight' in Japanese. Koro is likely derived from 'korokoro,' meaning 'rolling.' 'Byō' simply means 'disease.'"
What's next for the Mario & Luigi story? Surely there are plans for a Switch game? Slow your roll. Both Maekawa and producer Akira Otani say they're not working on any follow-up projects, and "Nothing has been planned." That's disappointing to hear, but plans can change at the drop of a Mario hat. I'm not bothered by Nintendo's decision to re-release the Mario & Luigi series, and I certainly wouldn't be opposed to seeing a remake—heck, even a port!—of The Thousand Year Door come down the proverbial pipeline sometime soon.
The last brand-new installment of the Super Mario RPG series was 2015's Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam for the Nintendo 3DS.