Note: if at any time you're low on health or FP, do not hesitate to walk back to Mario's Pad to rest and save your game.
The first area features an infinite supply of Goombas walking through. If you want to grind, you can do so here, but it will take a while. Otherwise, follow the way since it's pretty linear. Open the treasure box on the way, it contains some coins which will be helpful soon. Once you're around the corner, you'll see Toad being in trouble. While you do not need to rescue him (he will be fine on his own), you should do so as he gives you some useful items. In the first fight, you have two Goombas to battle against. Punch them into oblivion and Toad will give you a Honey Syrup as a thanks. This item restores flower points, essential for special attacks such as Jump. Collect the coins contained in this treasure box as well, then proceed into the next area.
If you walk forward you'll be ambushed by Goombas. Kill the Goomba resting on the spinning flower and you'll be able to use it yourself. Jump onto the left hill to find a treasure box containing a flower, which raises your maximum flower points by one. The middle hill is empty, so jump onto the right hill to find Toad being held captive by a Sky Troopa. Sky Troopas are formidable enemies, but are weak to jump attacks - use that to your advantage. Toad will then give you a Flower Tab, which raises your maximum FP by one just like the flower does, but heals it as well. Use it right now by pressing to open the menu, selecting Item, selecting the Flower Tab from your item list and pressing again to use it. Then, exit the menu using . Jump down to the right and open the Treasure Box there to get a Recovery Mushroom, which instantly fills up your HP. Then, proceed into the next area.
Here, you'll encounter Spikeys. These enemies are invulnerable to jump attacks, so you need to punch them. As a miniboss fight will soon follow, it is recommended to level up at least to level 2 or even level 3 before proceeding. Simply run back to the first area and battle against the infinite Goombas until you have reached your level, then return here. Run all the way through and if you rescued Toad before, he will be held captive here (if not, the boss will be standing here alone). After the short talk, simply approach him to fight.
Miniboss: Hammer Bros.
You'll have to fight two of them. They have two attacks: a normal attack which does not hurt a lot and can be blocked, and Hammer Time which does major damage, so watch out.
Use Jump on one of them twice to eliminate him. After you did that, the other Hammer Brother will perform Valor Up, which doubles his defense. Use Jump on him too, and once you run out of flower points simply punch him. You may need to heal once but otherwise, it should not be a particularly hard battle. Besides EXP and coins, you'll get a Flower Jar for defeating the Hammer Bros., which raises your flower points by three.
Once they're dead, if you've rescued Toad, he will note that they left behind a Hammer. (If you did not rescue Toad, the hammer will be just lying around for you to collect). The hammer powers up your regular attack, so equip it immediately: press to open the menu, select Equip, navigate to the Hammer and press twice to equip it. Then, go to the Mushroom Kingdom.
|Pick Me Up||5|
You are now in the first town. There's lots of things to do here but for now, just run straight ahead and into the castle.
Now you need to watch out - there's a hidden Treasure Box that can only be collected once in the game, and that is now. Toad will talk to you and then start walking, once he does that jump onto his head and when he reaches the opposing door, jump up onto the door and jump again to uncover a hidden Treasure Box with a Frog Coin inside. These green coins are special and you'll need them later in your game. Once you've done that, follow Toad until you're in the Chancellor's Room. Mario will now retell everything that happened. Once you're done talking, try to leave and the Chancellor will stop you to give you a Map, a mildly useful utility you can access from your menu anytime. Try to leave again and the Chancellor will stop you again to tell you to head to the Vault Guard. To reach the Vault Guard, go back into the main hall, and go down the right exit. The Vault Guard will be waiting for you, so talk to him and he will allow you to open all the Treasure Boxes to tell you what's inside. Once you've done that, leave the castle. Also, if you want a free mushroom, 'talk' with the chair in the Toadstool room. A lady will come and give you the mushroom.
Try to go down and a cinema will ensue which shows a little puff ball attempting in vain to follow a swift crocodile. He fails and starts to cry, so go down and talk to him to calm him down. During the little conversation you'll be asked to help the little puff ball, whose name is Mallow and who is apparently a frog, to follow the crocodile. Say yes and Mallow will join your party. Now, the building right next to you (with the star) is an inn, where you can sleep for a little money and most importantly save your game. The building further down with a mushroom sign is the item shop, where you can buy some helpful items for your party. Mallow will tell the shop owner his coin was stolen. The shop owner will then give you a Pick Me Up to help you. This item revives party members that have fallen in battle and will be something you will depend on. Talk to the shop owner again and you can buy stuff. At the very least, get a Shirt and Pants. If you want, you can also buy the Jump Shoes (but it isn't required). In any case stock up on Honey Syrups and Pick Me Ups.
- Two hidden treasures
At the back of the shop are stairs leading down. Go down and speak to the toadstool man. He will instruct you to move in front of him and then jump to reveal a hidden treasure flower. Note that there is a second hidden treasure in the far right corner. The only way to reveal it is to jump on top of the toad and then off of him to reach it. The easiest way is to go up the stairs and back down and the toad should be relatively close.
Now, equip the Shirt and the Pants and leave the Item Shop. To the right is an excited Toad who has seen the crocodile running past but failed to stop him. This crocodile will then swoosh past you, so leave the area and follow him into Bandit's Way.
A short discussion will start after which Croco runs away. The area does not contain anything spectacular (but there's a Save Point in the bottom left corner if you feel the need to save again), so just run down and into the next area.
In this area, jump on the flower and onto the hill. Then, you will need to jump on these blocks to collect coins. If you fall down you'll find some tougher enemies for you to battle against. Anyway, jump all the way across and walk down the hill and you'll find another spinning flower. Jump to the right towards the blue flower to uncover a hidden Treasure Box with a KerokeroCola inside. This is a very good item which heals all HP and FP of the entire party, so it's best to keep it for late game. After that, proceed to the next area.
Walk through this area again, there are some enemy ambushes here with more powerful enemies so watch out. (This is probably a good area to test Mallow's Thunderbolt special attack in.) Just follow Croco all the way to the end and into the next area.
Here, you'll see Croco being impatient and running off. The Treasure Box contains an invincibility star - this is a very good item as it allows you to kill any enemies just by running into them, and you're awarded the full experience points. So get it and run into all enemies you see and you may get one or several level-ups. Once you've done that go into the next area.
This is a dead end, so Croco will have to hide. There are some Sky Troopas in here if you still need some EXP. (The Treasure Box at the beginning contains a Recovery Mushroom for you to heal afterwards) You will need to ambush him from behind and surprise him three times, and once you've done that, you'll engage in battle with him.
This fight is actually pretty tough. If Mario's level 3, use Fire Orb on Croco which will cause significant damage and also force him to skip a turn. Mallow should either use Thunderbolt or heal/use items. Croco's physical attack does quite a lot of damage so watch out for that. Once you've dished out a large part of his health, he will use a Weird Mushroom to heal. He skips the following turn so try to dish out a lot of damage. The bombs he will throw occasionally can easily knock out a weak party member in one shot so beware and use Pick Me Ups if a party member faints. Just continue to dish on him and heal when needed and hopefully you'll survive this battle.
You'll get a Flower Tab from beating this battle. You'll also get a Wallet. A springboard will drop to the sky and return you to the save point. From here, leave the area and go back to Mushroom Kingdom.
In Mushroom Kingdom, you'll notice the entire area has been invaded by Shy Guys on jumping sticks. You can go straight ahead into the castle to fight the boss, but you're probably too low leveled to do so now. Go south and rescue the blue guy. He will notice you have his wallet. You can give it to him and get a Flower Tab in return, or sell it later for 123 coins, it's your choice but it will anger him. In any case, go into the westernmost building and you'll find a family whose house is infested by 2 Shy Guys. Kill each and every one of them and then head up stairs to help the little boy and they'll give you a Flower Tab as a sign of their gratitude. Now, go heal and then return to the castle. Go to the right and rescue the Toad being attacked by two Shysters, then go down and grab all the Treasure Boxes. Then, run up and through the door. Go to the right and you'll find the Vault Guard, talk to him and he'll give you the Wake Up Pin, which protects against sleep attacks.
Equip it to someone, then return to the main hall and rescue the Toad being chased by the Shyster. He will run up, so follow him through the left passageway. Walk all the way through up to the door, where two Shysters will challenge you to a battle by taunting you can't jump higher. Inside, the Toad will give you another Flower Tab. You can talk to the Grandma here who will heal you, you can also save here. Walk back to the main room and grind until Mario is at level 5 and Mallow is at level 4 (You'll need it), then proceed to the throne room, where you will have your first boss fight in the game.
Mack should not cause many problems. His Flame Wall attack is reasonably powerful and attacks both party members at once. Around level 5 for Mario and Mallow, however, the attack will only deal 3-4 damage per party member. Mack will also call in an infinite amount of Shysters to aid him, but at level 4 or 5, a well-timed Thunderbolt will wipe all Shysters out immediately.
You could kill all Shysters except for one and not bother about them, but it seems easier to just kill them all. Have Mario use Jump against Mack, while Mallow uses Thunderbolt or heals. If for any reason your HP drops below 15 for either character, heal with mushrooms or HP Rain. Sometimes Mack jumps out of battle, if this happens concentrate on the Shysters, he will eventually reappear. This is a battle of attrition, but you will likely win.
Once you win you'll acquire your first Star Piece! Two Shysters who have seen everything will run off to "warn the boss". Afterwards, talk to the Chancellor and everyone will re-form. Mallow has the idea of asking his grandfather, which means a trip to Tadpole Pond. But before you do this, return to the Item Shop. The shop owner will be quite thankful that you returned the coin to him and give you a Cricket Pie in return. You might want to purchase the Antidote Pin while you're here, since it will be helpful in your later quest.