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Super Mario RPG turns an iconic boss bug into a feature

I will not fight Exor normally, ever

Mario and the rest of the Super Mario RPG gang looks ahead towards Bowser’s Castle with Exor in it Image: ArtePiazza/Nintendo via Polygon
Julia Lee (she/her) is a guides producer, writing guides for games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Genshin Impact. She helped launch the Rift Herald in 2016.

Super Mario RPG might have gotten a fresh coat of paint in its new Nintendo Switch remake, but it definitely has retained its charm. Nearly all of the notable bits have made it back, whether it’s Link sleeping in the Rose Town inn or Exor’s funny interaction with Geno Whirl.

That’s right: What was originally a bug in the original 1996 SNES version of the game has remained in the remake, only now, it’s a feature. In the fight with Exor, the big sword that crashes into Bowser’s Castle, the boss has several parts your team members can attack. Depleting the health of one of Exor’s eyes will remove the boss’ wider protection, allowing you to do damage to its overall health.

After an eye is gone, if you use Geno to cast “Geno Whirl” on the boss and press A with perfect timing, Geno will deal 9,999 damage to the boss, effectively beating it in one blow. You can see the original bug in action below.

Speedrunners — and folks who don’t want to deal with the boss normally — have been using this exploit for years, but seeing it “officially” make it into the remake is pretty funny.

The gist of it, according to this 15-year-old GameFAQs thread, is that removing the protection against Exor also removes its resistance to critical hits — which is something all bosses in the game have. Since Geno Whirl is a guaranteed critical hit (if you time it right), well, Exor just dies from the staggering damage. Exor doesn’t have that much HP to begin with.

I personally did not play the original game. I was literally a baby when it came out. So you can only imagine my surprise when my brainy, Super Mario RPG-loving friend told me “Haha, try doing this funny thing, but I doubt they kept it in,” and then I was greeted with 9,999 damage.

All that being said, you can still take down Exor the regular way if you don’t want to take advantage of the old-bug-now-feature.

The next level of puzzles.

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