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Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, often shortened to, and officially known in Japan as, Super Mario RPG (スーパーマリオRPG, Sūpā Mario Āru Pī Jī), is an action role-playing game developed by Square (now Square Enix) and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). It was originally released on March 9, 1996 in Japan and on May 13, 1996 in North America. Nintendo ported the game, with minor differences, to the Wii's Virtual Console service in 2008 to regions around the world. It is the first role-playing video game in the Mario series. The game contains token similarities to other Square role-playing video games, such as the Final Fantasy series, with a story and action-based gameplay derived from the Super Mario Bros. series.
The game's story focuses on Mario and the teammates he meets as they seek to eliminate Smithy, the game's main antagonist, who has stolen the seven star pieces of Star Road, a road where all the world's inhabitants' wishes become Wish Stars, allowing them to be granted. The game features five permanent playable characters. Super Mario RPG was directed by Yoshihiko Maekawa and Chihiro Fujioka and produced by Shigeru Miyamoto. Yoko Shimomura composed the game's score, which was released on a soundtrack album in Japan shortly after the game's debut.
Super Mario RPG was the final Mario game released for the SNES as well as one of the last games Square produced for Nintendo hardware until Chocobo Land: A Game of Dice in 2002. Square did much of the development of Super Mario RPG under direct guidance from producer Shigeru Miyamoto. The game was well-received upon release, and it was praised particularly for its 3D rendered graphics and humor. The game spawned the Mario RPG series, and two successive RPG-themed spiritual sequels followed: the Paper Mario series and the Mario & Luigi series, both of which use certain conventions established in the original.
The game world is set in a geographically diverse land, including mountains and bodies of water. Each region has distinct characteristics held by its inhabitants; Mushroom Kingdom is inhabited by Toads, Moleville is inhabited by moles, Monstro Town is populated by reformed monsters, Yo'ster Isle is where Yoshi and his eponymous species reside, and Nimbus Land is an area inhabited by cloud people. Bowser's Castle is another prominent location in the game, as it holds the portal to the main antagonist's home world.
The main protagonist is Mario, whose ultimate goal is to rescue Princess Toadstool from Bowser. Soon after the start of his journey, the Smithy Gang invades the world. While attempting to stop the group, Mario is joined by Mallow, a cloud boy who thinks he is a tadpole; Geno, a doll possessed by a celestial spirit from the Star Road; Bowser, whose armies have deserted him out of fear of the Smithy Gang; and Princess Toadstool, who was lost in the turmoil that occurred when the Smithy Gang arrived. The Smithy Gang is led by Smithy, a robotic blacksmith from an alternate dimension with aspirations of world domination.