Geno's Absence From Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions Has Fans Grieving

Our old Super Mario RPG friend is nowhere to be seen.

News by Matt Kim, .

If you boot up the enhanced Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions remake this week, you might be surprised to know that a familiar face won't have his cameo this time around.

According to reports, this week's release of the 3DS remake of 2003's Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga won't feature Geno's cameo in the Star 'Stach Smash arcade game like he did in the Game Boy Advance version.

In the original 2003 Superstar Saga, Geno appeared in his doll form to give instructions on how to play the arcade game. In the 3DS version however, he's completely missing with nothing taking his place. Instead, the instructions simply pop-up on screen. You can see the differences below in this video from GameXplain.

Geno is a fan favorite in the Super Mario RPG series. So when news of his absence started circulating after the embargo lifted for Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions, fans grieved for their missing puppet.

As part of the RPG line of Mario & Luigi games, the original Superstar Saga included little references to the first Mario RPG, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, which was developed by SquareSoft for the SNES. As a result, Square still owns the rights to characters from the Mario RPG, which might explain his absence in the 3DS remake. The agreement between Nintendo and Square-Enix to use the character's likeness either fell through, or wasn't renewed.

Interestingly enough, Geno was partially available in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. Although not a proper character, a costume based on Geno was released for the player's Mii Gunner character as DLC, alongside the DLC fighter Cloud Strife and Midgar battle stage. Presumably the whole set of Square characters came as a result of the deal with Square Enix to get its characters in Smash Bros.

We reached out to Nintendo and Square-Enix for an official statement.

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Comments 10

  • Avatar for PreposterousWhitey #1 PreposterousWhitey A year ago
    This really bums me out. Between this and recent statements from SMRPG's director, we seem to be moving backwards from the days when having Geno as a fighter in Smash seemed feasible.

    Gotta wonder why exactly Square keeps such a death grip on the characters. Not like they'll ever use him for anything else.
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  • Avatar for riderkicker #2 riderkicker A year ago
    Time to buy SS on GBA.
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  • Avatar for nimzy #3 nimzy A year ago
    @PreposterousWhitey The grudges that spawned from "the Great Betrayal" still influence Nintendo and Square to this day.
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  • Avatar for Funny_Colour_Blue #4 Funny_Colour_Blue A year ago
    @nimzy gimme examples nimzy!
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  • Avatar for MetManMas #5 MetManMas A year ago
    It's a shame that li'l cameo's gone, but I always had a sneaking suspicion that Geno would get sent to the woodsman's block when the remake happened. Paying Square Enix royalties was likely a factor, but Nintendo cracking down on Original the Character (Do Not Steal) additions in the newer RPGs (mostly Paper Mario though) surely played a part as well.

    Really though, what I'll miss more than Geno is the Koopa Troopas dressed in pilot garb. Game straight up replaced 'em with generics.Edited October 2017 by MetManMas
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  • Avatar for Roto13 #6 Roto13 A year ago
    Real talk: Geno was the least interesting character in super Mario RPG. Fight me.
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  • Avatar for MetManMas #7 MetManMas A year ago
    @Roto13 I like the general concept of Pinocchio If Astro Boy, but I agree. Geno's personality was one-note, a character entirely driven by the goal of "Fix Star Road." Bowser had more personality, Peach (née Toadstool) had more personality, the various NPC residents of the world had more personality (Booster the Proto-Wario* being a particular fave of mine). Hell, Mario had more personality and that guy only spoke in the art of pantomime!

    But seriously, Mallow, the other Original the Character companion in the game, had way more personality than Geno ever did. He may be a little bit of a crybaby on occasion, but Mallow has flaws! He has goals besides fixing a damned road!

    * I know, Wario existed before Booster, but I mean personality-wise. This was before the Wario Land sequels and WarioWare and Nintendo 64 multiplayer games, back when Nintendo didn't really know what to do with Mario's stout yellow caricature. This was a time when Wario was dropping buckets on heads, terrorizing Toads in the woods by summoning puzzle-based monster parties, being added to localizations of Bomberman games. Edited October 2017 by MetManMas
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  • Avatar for davedalrymple11 #8 davedalrymple11 A year ago
    I seem to remember that the GBA game's manual or credits noted that Geno was used with permission from Square Enix. The original game came out right around the time that Nintendo and Square had just started working together again, so it's no wonder that things were so rosy.
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  • Avatar for Roto13 #9 Roto13 A year ago
    @MetManMas Mallow actually has a character arc. An entire chapter of that game was about discovering his past and using that to grow as a person. It's been a while since I played it and I might be wrong, but I don't remember Geno having anything like that.
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  • Avatar for MetManMas #10 MetManMas A year ago
    @Roto13 It's been a while since I played too, but I still remember the game well enough to know that Geno didn't have a character arc past his introduction as a spirit possessing a child's toy. He's just a puppet loaded for bear trying to fix the Star Road.

    Like, Shadow from Final Fantasy VI had more development than that guy even before getting into the dream sequences detailing his past, and he was strictly a temporary (and usually optional) party member in the World of Balance and permanently missable in the World of Ruin if you left him on the Floating Continent. Edited October 2017 by MetManMas
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