Mario & Luigi 3 Boss Analysis
Friday, September 10, 2010 at 5:23PM
Richard Terrell (KirbyKid) in Skill

Mario & Luigi 3 (M&L3) is one of my honorable mention GOTY of 2009. Read about the basics of the battle system in the link. 

For this article I want to highlight the boss battle between Bowser and Midbus using the DKART system and cover the depth or interplay design as well. Watch the video first without annotations. Skip to 3:00. 



Part 2


The skill spectrum of M&L3 is more diverse than most JRPGs because it's an action RPG. Engaging the real time skills of reflex, timing, and dexterity, battles involve more than just knowing the optimal strategy. 








The depth of M&L3 battles generally extends beyond the interactions of a single turn in the turn based combat. By killing enemies, hitting enemies with specific attacks to start chain reactions, sucking up enemies for Mario and Luigi to fight, or by leaving elements in the field the decisions of one turn can be extended or suspended across turns. Int his way, the battle state can support decaying and/or cause and effect counters. In this battle between Bowser and Midbus, the counters are mostly preventative falling on the players side of control, while Midbus merely uses mixups to throw off your ability to counter his moves. For these reasons, though the battle isn't very deep, its interplay design is varied and engaging. 



The design of every M&L battle is intricate, interesting, and unique. When you encounter enemies and bosses for the first time, your lack of knowledge will make it difficult to counter attack. With repeated exposure, you'll learn how to counter attack, which helps you live longer and kill faster. The way the enemy mixups are designed, you can trick yourself when you know 80% of an enemy's mixups. These moments can be frustrating and hilarious at the same time. Like most RPGs and most strategy games, knowledge is the most stressed skill making it the most effective to have. But when you enjoy the journey acquiring the knowledge, such a game is even more enjoyable. 

Article originally appeared on Critical-Gaming Network (
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