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Gamepad icon.png
Select controller:
SNES, Nintendo GameCube, Virtual Console
SNES control Nintendo GameCube control Virtual Console control Usage
Neutral Dpad Neutral control Neutral lstick Walk
B Button B button B button Jump
Y Button Y button Y button Run
A Button A button A button Talk
X Button X button X button Menu

If you touch an enemy you will initiate combat.


Combat may seem tricky at first, but quickly becomes intuitive. Your character is surrounded by buttons as follows:

  • X Button: Item
  • A Button: Attack
  • B Button: Defense/Run away
  • Y Button: Magic

So if you want to attack, hit A Button. If there is more than one enemy, you then select which enemy using Neutral Dpad and hit A Button again. Then at the moment of impact, you should hit any button to attempt a "timed hit" to deal more damage (you can also use any button to defend against an attack at the moment of impact).

If you want to use an item, you press X Button to bring up the menu, then you select the item using X Button again. If you are given the option of who to use the item on, select the desired character, and confirm that with X Button. There is a myth that you can time items similar to attacks to receive a freebie, but this is not true. It is decided whether you will receive a freebie as soon as you use the item, and nothing in the game's code indicates a check for a timed hit.

You always use the same button to continue an action until it is completed. If you start to use an item but decide to attack instead, before you confirm one last time, you would hit A Button to cancel using the item and start an attack.

You can use timed hits with many magic spells, including healing, but some instead work using repeated tapping of Y Button, by holding it down to charge and then release, or by rotating Neutral Dpad.


You don't actually have access to this particular feature in this introduction segment, but in general it will take you to another screen filled with options, which you can press B Button to back out of. These options will include:

  • Items: Mario and company can store a whopping total of 29 items, which can do things like restore health/life, restore flower points, attack enemies, or induce special effects. With no way to store or keep items in reserve, you'll be feeling the limitations of the 29-item limit very quickly, so get used to selling items which you can buy anywhere, such as mushrooms, and try to keep valuable items which can't be found many places or are unique. (such as Rock Candy)
  • Status: This option will let you see the basic stats for each character, what they would be with and without their current equipment, and how many experience points until the next level.
  • Special: This option will let you view the special attacks each character has, use "healing" techs outside of battle, and see how many levels until the next special ability is available.
  • Equip: Equip and use armor/weapons/accessories. Again, you can only store 29 things, plus whatever you equip on people. Accessories tend to be the rarest, so get used to selling old armor and weapons.
  • Special Item: A list of various "quest related" items you may be carrying, serves no purpose other than to prove to the player that you actually are carrying that cricket jam somewhere.
  • Map: Shows the map of the Mushroom Kingdom.
  • Switch: Let's you switch around party members. This option won't be available until you have four party members.


  • L Button or R Button: honk the mine cart's horn inside Moleville Mountain.