Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time

Released: November 28, 2005

Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, is a role-playing video game developed by AlphaDream and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS video game console. It is the sequel to Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, and the fifth game in the Mario RPG series. Its graphics and general style greatly resemble Superstar Saga's.

Partners in Time


In the introductory sequence, Baby Mario and Baby Luigi are on their way to a play date with Baby Peach when they come upon Baby Bowser trying to kidnap the princess. However, after defeating the future Koopa King (who refers himself as Prince at this point of time) the castle becomes besieged by UFOs Also known as the Shroobs.

Back in the present, news has spread that E. Gadd has invented a time machine, powered by the Cobalt Star, and Princess Peach is using it to visit the past. But when the time machine returns, it is occupied not by the princess, but an alien creature (a Shroob). Thankfully, the Mario Brothers were around to defeat the alien. After beating the alien, the brothers come upon a time hole, a rift in the time/space continuum connecting the present with the past. Both brothers end up in the past, along with the sentient suitcase Stuffwell, where they meet up with more of the alien forces, now attacking HolliJolli village. The brothers do well against the invaders, but a UFO overhead blasts the brothers with a giant energy orb, incapacitating them.

Meanwhile, the Koopa Cruiser is flying overhead, with the young Toadsworth, the baby princess, and baby Mario and Luigi. However, Shroob UFOs attack the ship, and the babies reach the bridge just before Baby Bowser defeats them. The Cruiser suddenly drops in altitude, and hovers over Hollijolli village. Baby Bowser is planning on returning to his castle for a snack, but baby Princess Peach's crying forces him to shoot a spiked ball to flatten the Shroobs menacing Mario and Luigi. The babies are sent to investigate, and defeat some remaining Shroobs, before taking Mario and Luigi aboard.

Young Toadsworth explains that after Baby Bowser's kidnapping attempt of Baby Peach, the Shroob UFOs arrived and devastated Toad Town as well. Baby Bowser, however, summoned Kamek and the Koopa Cruiser, destroying some of the UFOs and allowing Baby Bowser to escape with his captives. The Cruiser passes over Princess Peach's castle, now called Shroob Castle. Princess Shroob, the leader of the Shroobs, communicates with them in an unknown language, before firing a missile that shoots down the Koopa Cruiser, causing it to crash into Baby Bowser's castle.

Partners in Time

Mario and Luigi come to find their younger counterparts, and on their way out, they find a shard of the Cobalt Star. They meet with the young Toadsworth, and jump into the time hole, returning home. Young Toadsworth follows them, thinking they might endanger the young princess's playmates. Back at the castle, they find out about more time holes, including one to Toadwood Forest. The group enters the forest, and finds Toadia, who was with Princess Peach in the time machine. She reveals that Princess Peach was kidnapped by the Shroobs, and that the aliens are harvesting vim from Toads to power their flying saucers in Vim Factory. A UFO turns her into a mushroom, and she tells Mario to gather the shards of the Cobalt Star.

The brothers enter the factory, but a strange contraption captures the adults, and the babies are forced to fight Shroob-controlled Hammer Brothers alone. Victory allows them to get hammers of their own, and they manage to free the adults. The four proceed into the heart of the factory, and fight Swiggler, a Shroob wiggler that powers the UFOs. They find another Cobalt Star shard, but Bowser arrives, dizzies the four, steals the shards, and escapes.

The brothers return to the present, and learn of new time holes, and of commotion in the garden. The young Toadsworth, who is quite protective of the baby princess, is being chased by the elder Toadsworth, who believes that the time machine has transformed Peach into an infant. The two, however, reconcile their differences enough to entertain the Princess; their doing so provides new moves for the brothers at certain points in the game.

Mario, Luigi, and the babies make their way to Yoshi's Island, where the Yoshis hide from a monster known as a Yoob; a Shroob equivalent of a Yoshi that swallows Yoshis whole. Kylie Koopa, a Koopa reporter, is on the scene, looking to cover the story. Kamek is also on the island, looking for cookies for Baby Bowser. The brothers pursue him to the top of the island, and after the babies eat all his cookies, the prince retreats while Kamek attacks the brothers. Kamek is defeated, and the brothers catch Baby Bowser, but he eats the shards. While the brothers attempt to force the shards out of Baby Bowser's stomach, Yoob climbs up the cliff, and a UFO causes him to dramatically increase in size. He swallows Mario, Luigi, the babies, and Baby Bowser.

Inside Yoob's belly, the brothers advance by helping the Yoshis, who push Chomp Rocks out of their way. They find an amnesiac Toad named Toadbert, who was in the time machine with Peach. He possesses a drawing of a memory he has, which, while smudged with dirt, apparently shows Princess Peach fending off Princess Shroob with the Cobalt Star, which supposedly shattered as a result. He also points out a monster named Sunnycide, which guards the eggs. The brothers find Sunnycide, and see Baby Bowser in one of the eggs. Defeating Sunnycide, Yoob releases all the eggs and shuts down.

Baby Bowser plays hero to the Yoshis, and after devouring a pile of cookies to protect them from the babies, coughs up the shards. The shards knock him off the island, and the Yoshis recognize Mario and Luigi as their saviors.

Partners in Time

Another time hole opens, this time to Gritzy Desert, which Mario and Luigi travel through after learning another move. Mario and Luigi attempt to enter the Koopaseum, but are spotted, and a Shroob patrol charges them. Kylie Koopa, however, informs them that Princess Shroob and Peach are inside, and that there is a secret entrance. The brothers activate statues throughout the desert to open the entrance, and reach the Koopaseum.

Inside the Koopaseum, Princess Shroob makes a brief speech to the Shroobs, and then a UFO drops Peach into Petey Piranha's mouth. Meanwhile, some Shroob guards capture Kylie (but, inexplicably, not the Mario brothers). The brothers enter the arena, and defeat the Shroobs that attack, but some hammer-wielding Shroobs pound a hole in the floor and drop them into the Gritzy Caves.

Inside the caves, the brothers witness Kylie being dropped into Petey Piranha's mouth, and pursue and defeat the Piranha. Kylie escapes, and shows the brothers a key to the Shroob Mother Ship that she found. She also reveals that Princess Peach was in the Piranha, but was spat out shortly after Kylie was swallowed. The brothers find a third Cobalt Star Shard, and Kylie becomes spooked while admiring the shards, seeing someone looking back at her. Mario and Luigi find Princess Peach locked deeper in the cave, but, to their horror, see what appears to be a Shroob parasite on her face.

Princess Peach is treated in her bedroom, but soon, Bowser arrives and kidnaps her, despite becoming temporarily ill after swallowing some Shroob slime from Peach's face. The gas he emits incapacitates everyone else in the room, and he runs out with the Princess. However, young Toadsworth charges him with the baby princess, and he jumps over the two, crashes through the walkway, and lands in a time hole. Mario and Luigi chase after him, to Thwomp Volcano.

On the summit of Thwomp Volcano, Mario and Luigi find Peach's crown, but the volcano erupts. They reach the young Professor E. Gadd's laboratory, and, after putting out a flaming Thwomp that crashes into the lab, change the older Professor E. Gadd's memories, and inspire him to create the Hydrogush 4000. He shoots water through the time hole, and cools down the volcano. This angers a Thwomp couple, who had been waiting for the eruption, and Mrs. Thwomp attacks the brothers. She is defeated, and her husband, who supports treating women well, allows Mario and Luigi to enter the volcano after hearing that they wish to rescue Peach.

Bowser contemplates using Thwomp Volcano as a second castle when Baby Bowser shows up and thinks of the same idea. The two insult each other for some time, but by the time the brothers have arrived, they have teamed up, and attack. They are defeated, and blown into the air by the eruption. They land on the Shroob mother ship, but Bowser falls off and goes into a time hole. The mother ship blows a hole in the mountain, and takes Princess Peach aboard. The Mario brothers follow her.

Inside the Shroob Mother Ship, Mario and Luigi find Peach, but are surrounded by Shroobs and learn a surprising secret. The Princess Peach they believed they rescued from Gritzy Caves was not Princess Peach, but Princess Shroob in disguise. Kylie Koopa, however, while disguised as a Shroob, frees them, and uses the key on the Mother Ship, but she and the brothers fall out. Baby Bowser bursts through the roof and hides inside the ship. Kylie lands on Toadbert's head and causes him to remember everything. The brothers land in Toad Town, and find out that Star Hill is nearby.

Partners in Time

The brothers climb Star Hill, noticing that the shards are becoming agitated. They defeat a Shroob Commander, and learn from the Star Sprite inside the Cobalt Star that the Star is the key to defeating the Shroobs, and that Princess Shroob shattered it. A shard is hidden in the Shrine, and once five of the six are collected, the brothers can enter Shroob Castle. Baby Luigi, however, is frightened by the Star Sprite. They enter the Star Palace in search of more shards. After a humorous and touching scene in which Luigi must prove his courage to the gate by striking an Aurora Block (the star gate considers him unworthy, and, when asking him who helped him find the Block, gives him an impossible question to test his brother and the babies). The brothers find a shard. Toadbert and Kylie arrives, and Toadbert reveals that he possesses another, but says that with a restored Cobalt Star, the Shroobs will still be impossible to defeat. He runs ahead, and Kylie runs after him. Mario and Luigi find the two wounded deep inside the temple. Toadbert tells them to rub the dirt off his sketch, which reveals a small Shroob figure near the figure that is believed to be Princess Shroob. Before he can reveal what it is, an Elder Shrooboid turns him and Kylie into Shroobs. Mario and Luigi defeat him and claim the fifth Shard.

The brothers enter Shroob Castle and make their way to the third floor, where the Shroobs have constructed a giant statue of Princess Shroob. They learn that Princess Peach is being held near the top. Peach hears Mario's voice when the brothers see her, but the screen showing Peach cuts off. Unfortunately, they are initially unable to get there because of a Chain Chomp changing the direction of a pipeline, dropping them into the basement. They, however, defeat the Chain Chomp, escape the basement and reach the statue, climbing to the top. Near the top, however, the Cobalt star leaves them.

Princess Peach, who is trapped behind a giant force field, greets them, and asks how they got inside. Mario and Luigi explain that they are gathering Cobalt Star shards, but Princess Peach is horrified. Before she can explain, the Shroob Mother Ship attacks the statue. Mario and Luigi use another saucer to attack the Mother Ship, shooting it down by shooting the other saucers that collide into it. Princess Shroob emerges from the crashed Mother Ship, and attacks Mario and Luigi, who defeat her.

The Cobalt star returns, but Princess Peach runs away from it. She says that she has the central piece to complete the star, but she "cannot allow that to happen." Baby Bowser comes out of nowhere, steals Peach's shard, and reunites it with the Crystal Star. Soon afterwards, the dying Princess Shroob tells her "sister" that it's her turn, just before dying, and the Cobalt Star turns Baby Bowser into a Shroob mushroom. Princess Peach reveals that another Shroob Princess, the twin sister of Princess Shroob, is inside. Peach reveals that the "elder princess" (the one inside the star, despite their supposedly being twins) attacked her as soon as she arrived, but she sealed the Princess away with the star, and shattered it; restoring the original shape restored Princess Shroob's powers. However, the younger princess, who was previously believed to be the only princess (obscured by the dirt in Toadbert's sketch, not the one facing the Cobalt Star) captured her. Princess Shroob's Twin emerges from the Colbalt Star and attacks the brothers with two forms, before being defeated and turning into a mushroom herself.

Partners in Time

Princess Peach is grateful to the Mario brothers, yet is concerned with how to rid the kingdom of the Shroobs. Baby Luigi bounces on Baby Bowser's Shroob mushroom when Baby Mario jumps on top of his head, causing him to cry. As it turns out, Baby Luigi's tears restore Baby Bowser to normal. Hearing this, Professor E. Gadd uses the Hydrogush's liquid, with the same chemical properties as baby tears, to wipe the Shroob mushrooms from the past Mushroom Kingdom. He then repairs the time machine, powering it with the time holes, and takes Princess Peach and the brothers home.

The castle celebrates, and Mario and Luigi enter the throne room, to find an unconscious Bowser. Bowser eats Princess Shroob's Twin's mushroom, though, and turns into Shrowser. Seeming he feels better than ever, he challenges the brothers once again, yet the brothers defeat him. The ending then plays, with Young Toadsworth, baby Princess Peach, and the baby brothers returning to the past as Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach wave goodbye.

Game mechanics

The gameplay in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time is quite comparable to that of its predecessor, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga , in terms of its overworld and battle system, but many apparent differences exist between the two games. It also should be noted that the game does not use the Nintendo DS's touch capability for its gameplay, save for one moment in a brief cut-scene.


The player is able to control the four main protagonists (Mario, Luigi, Baby Mario, Baby Luigi) either as a quartet or alternatively in separate pairs. As a group of four, Mario and Luigi carry their baby counterparts on their backs. The player can choose to separate the adults from the babies, so that the adults can go one place whilst the babies go another. The pairs can also perform special moves while they are separated. The special moves are gained as the player progresses throughout the game.

Most action occurs in the DS Touch Screen, while in the Top Screen a map of the immediate vincity is laid-out. The map highlights in what room Mario, Luigi, and the babies are in, location of Save Albums, and any other important things. In some cases, the babies can enter a passage and the action inside the passage is moved to the Top Screen, while the adults remain on the Touch Screen.

The player enters battle if touched an enemy (or confronts a boss) in the overworld.

Partners in Time


The general battle system rules from the first game remain intact (solo moves are jumping and hammering; enemy attacks can be avoided or countered), but some changes were applied. If the player has both the adults and babies grouped together, solo jump and hammer commands can be enhanced by pressing the adults' and babies' buttons in perfect timing to inflict more damage. Bros. Commands have been replaced by Bros. Items- items the player can purchase in shops or obtain from Blocks. Bros. Items are used to inflict more damage on the enemy and may be used by two or more of the playable characters.

If all four characters are in battle, only adults receive damage (or loss of HP) until they pass out, and their baby counterparts become their understudies. If one of the babies pass out, the adult cannot be revived until his younger self is revived first. If all four characters pass out, the player receives a Game Over and must start over at the last save point.

However, the battle system changes if the player goes into battle without one pair or the other. First off, Bros. Items that require all four characters to operate (Cannonballers, Trampolines, etc.) are disabled. If only Mario and Luigi go into battle all enemy attacks that can only be defended using hammers are disabled because only the babies obtain hammers. Moreover, even if one pair is in perfect condition, but the other pair lose completely in battle, the game ends.

Additionally, both DS screens are used to display all action occurring in battles.


Playable characters

  • Mario - The older and the braver of the Mario brothers, Mario is always up for an adventure.
  • Luigi - The younger of the Mario brothers, Luigi is quite cowardly when it comes to fighting monsters.
  • Baby Mario - Mario's younger self, Baby Mario is just like Mario in every good way.
  • Baby Luigi - Luigi's younger self, Baby Luigi tends to cry a lot.

Partners in Time

Major non-playable characters

  • Princess Peach - The danger-prone princess of the Mushroom Kingdom. She uses Professor E. Gadd's time machine to visit the past and becomes captured by doing so.
  • Toadsworth - Princess Peach's loyal and anxious butler. He comes in contact with his younger self via the means of a time hole, who takes refuge in the present. Both Toadsworths entertain Baby Peach during the period of the game.
  • Professor E. Gadd - Inventor of the time machine and Stuffwell. The Mario brothers meet his younger self in the past, who then was examining the properties of Thwomps.
  • Stuffwell - A robotic suitcase who aids in the quartet's adventure by storing items and mostly clothing.
  • Bowser - Kidnaps Princess Peach after she returns to the present.
  • Baby Bowser - King Bowser in his infancy. His goal is to reclaim what he believes to be his treasure: the Cobalt Star shards and Yoshi Cookies.
  • Shroobs - The aliens who reside in the Mushroom Kingdom area in the past.
  • Princess Shroob - The ruler of the Shroob race and main antagonist in the game. She kidnaps Princess Peach when she arrives from the future.

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