Friday, November 24, 2023

Super Mario RPG Remake: Postgame Uberboss Strategy

This was a pretty cool remake that did everything it needed to do and had everything it needed to have (except Queen Valentina's boob-jiggle). It pretty much could have just ended at the normal end and I would have been happy with what we got. So it was pretty awesome when it turned out to have a bunch of postgame fights. Here's how I beat them.


-After beating the game, talk to Toad in Mario's Pad, stay at the Marrymore Suite, and go read the seven pink stars at Star Hill. Good to see Star Hill get a little more use, super-underutilized area.

-Get everyone to level 30. Why not, right? It isn't required for winning these fights, since most of them are puzzles that can't really be brute-forced, but going in without being at optimal strength isn't a great plan.

-Get at least 3 Red Essences. The easiest three I found were: Two from Nimbus Land inn (stay there until you get the bad dream, reset every couple attempts to save money). One from Bean Valley in a hidden box. There's also one in Forest Maze, but it's near the end of the dungeon and you only need (and can carry) 3. SAVE these 3 for the final uberboss. If you get more than 3, they're also useful in the Booster fight.

-Bring any Rock Candy you can as well, though it isn't as crucial. I unfortunately used all of mine on the main game's finale (and Culex), not knowing there'd be a postgame. These, like Red Essences, help a LOT with the final uberboss. Best place to farm Rock Candy is from the Mushroom Boy in Seaside Town. Go there and give him 10 Mushrooms, then go buy more, repeat. Took me about 20 Mushrooms to get 3 Rock Candy, but I think I was pretty lucky because they only have an 8% conversion rate. Get 3 Rock Candy for the Culex fight, but if you get more they're also useful in the Booster fight.

-Get the Attack Scarf and Troopa Pin (Medal now). These things in particular are easy to miss. The Troopa Pin now requires you to finish the course in under 11 seconds rather than 12 like on the SNES. The reason to go after these items is that you need their speed bonuses for the 7th superboss.

-Get the Quartz Charm and Lazy Shells, and everyone's best equipment from the doors in Bowser Keep. I mean, duh.

With level 30 and 3 Red Essences, and hopefully some Rock Candy, we're ready to go. Here they are in the order that I won the fights, though bear in mind that the first six can be done in any order (7th has to be last).

Belome: Can be poisoned by Bowser (makes the fight real easy). Every time a clone spawns, it has to be defeated before the fight continues. Kind of an annoying fight because it's so drawn-out, which poison helps a lot with. Does -10% damage every time your foe moves, so it starts out SUPER powerful and then dwindles over time. These postgame bosses have tons of HP so poison should outdamage all of your characters early in the fight. Easiest of the postgame fights, and the dullest because of the clones bringing things to a halt.

Johnny: Can be either super difficult or super easy depending on how good you are at timing parries. Bring Geno and Toadstool for support bonuses (can also try Bowser instead of Toadstool if Johnny's physical attacks are landing a lot). Put Mario in both Lazy Shells for the defense and Git Gud at parrying Skewer. Once you figure out the timing (right before he jabs) it isn't bad. Block enough of those and Mario eventually wins. Though bear in mind that it takes a while, and there isn't really much for tricks besides Getting Gud.

Jinx: This is just a matter of filling the Triple Tech gauge while staying alive. No real tricks to this one either. It seems like one of the toughest fights because Jinx has a plethora of instant-death attacks, but if you stick to using moves that you know how to get timed hits on (pretty much all of Geno's spells are good in this way) and keep healing/reviving, the fight will end before too long. So yeah, seems worse than it actually is. Just don't use moves that you might mistime because that triggers counters (in addition to not increasing the gauge).

Bundt: This fight is blistering until you realize Sleepy Time works on the Torte chefs. The game kind of tells you to do that with the pre-battle cutscene showing both of them snoozing. Get sleep on them and recast it every couple turns to make sure it stays on. If they're allowed to be up for even a short amount of time they can trigger a one-shot of the party. Timed critical hits are bad here because the runoff AOE can wake them up. So put them to sleep and just use regular attacks without timing on the boss until it eventually falls apart. Nothing to it. Without sleep, the battle is incredibly tough, with the boss having an AOE that one-shots the party if the chefs light all of its candles.

Booster: The 2nd-most annoying one, poison works on him/his cronies and so do fear and mute. I didn't bother with mute because it was so high-resist, but I got poison on him right away and then fear when I could. More importantly, Mario with Work Pants and Zoom Shoes is fast enough to interrupt him most of the time. One good timed-hit with Lazy Shell is generally enough to knock him out of his charge and keep him from one-shotting the group. Used the Mario/Geno/Princess triple tech to become invincible for one train attack that I wasn't gonna be able to stop, so you have that one escape. If you have more than 3 Red Essences you can put one of those on if worse comes to worse. Taking out the front Snifit might make the fight significantly easier since he speeds up Booster's countdown. I ignored him to focus on Booster and had a rough go of it, so it's doable either way.

Punchinello: Most annoying fight, just a matter of getting really good at block timing the Bob-ombs. Hit block right before they get to you and you never take damage, otherwise it's one-shots. Have to get 15 of them to hit Punchinello. Usually one attack from Mario and one from Bowser is enough to flip one, or an attack from one plus an AOE from one of the other three. Much like Johnny, this is a fight where you just need to Git Gud. And much like Belome, it requires lots of patience. Might want to do this earlier since Bowser's ultimate weapon is so good and you'll want to get the most out of it. If I could do this over again I'd beeline to this fight first. As it was I only got to use Bowser's ultimate for one more fight.

Culex: Surprisingly, putting Work Pants on everyone is the way to go here. The speed and attack bonuses are more important than anything else. The Lazy Shell armor becomes a detriment for maybe the first time all game due to the massive speed hit. Peach needs to be able to act fairly often in this battle, and most importantly you need for your characters to move before the crystals do on Turn 1. Since he opens the fight by reducing everyone to 1 HP, if he annihilates your party in Turn 1 with a bunch of extra attacks before you can heal, it sets you back for the whole fight.

I also got the Combo meter up to 20 before the fight. Not sure if it even really does anything after 6, but it doesn't hurt. The meter is retained through restarting the game which is nice. It gives your first attack (which should be a Mario Super Jump) a major boost, helping take down the Wind Crystal. I tried to get around 15-20 on the first Super Jump, which takes off just over half the Wind Crystal's HP. The rest can be knocked off with a couple Rock Candy. The first couple turns are crucial for having the fight under control.

Red Essence on Peach shortly before he recasts Meteor will help her get everyone else back up and running. I found that Mario/Bowser/Mallow's Clown Car Barrage triple tech was the best opener (does huge damage to all the crystals due to its elemental properties) while Mario/Bowser/Geno's Shooting Star Shot was the best late-fight move once the meter refilled.

The fight gets easier as the crystals get shattered, and once Culex is the only one left it's just a matter of time. He loses Meteor at that point and gains a single-target 9999 damage attack that can be blocked entirely. The Wind Crystal needs to get taken out first because it has the lowest HP and the most annoying HP (Petal Dance). After that Fire and Water are both good targets for the next one to down, and then Earth. That last one doesn't really have any weaknesses, but it should be nearly done by the time the others are gone just from taking AOE collateral damage.

The only other real thing to worry about is Petal Dance when the Wind Crystal uses it on the first turn. If it shrooms the entire party, just reset. If one person resists it, they can use an item to restore the party's status (or if it's Toadstool she can Group Hug). I tended to err on the side of bringing by best accessories to this fight, especially +Speed, so I didn't worry about status resistances. That first Petal Dance is likely the only time any statuses will come into play, anyway.

There's no big Quartz Charm type reward for winning this fight, just a crystal for the Key Items tab showing you won it. Similar to a Dragon Quest superboss, you can re-challenge him and try to beat him in fewer turns.

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