One of the reasons why I like Partners in Time better than Super Star Saga is the locations you visit in the game. I was never sold on Super Star’s bean and laughter theme and the Beanbean Kingdom seemed bland compared to other Mario RPG settings. Partners in Time, however, takes our heroes to some fantastic and inspired locations.
The game takes typical Mario Bros. settings (mountain, cave, island, desert) but always adds some sort of twist to them to make them stand out. Well, except for the desert. It has a motif of sand covered train tracks and overturned steam engines but they don’t add much to the place. this exception aside, the game does have some fantastic locals.
Early in the game the brothers visit a forest where captured toads are trapped in trees that are slowly sucking away their life force. You can see their roots poking up through the ground, filled with energy that is flowing towards a massive factory. Here, the toad’s energy is transformed into fuel for the shroob’s flying saucers.
Later, Mario and Luigi get eaten by Yoob, a giant shroob yoshi. This section of the game must have played a part in inspiring Bower’s Inside Story. Yoob’s stomachs are filled with all sorts of fun cartoony organs and giant skeletons of koopa troopas Yoob must have ate. My favorite detail is that the map on the top of the screen show’s Yoob and when Baby Mario and Luigi dive into his stomach lining with one of their special moves he grimaces in pain.
Unfortunately, because of Partners in Time’s black sheep status there’s not any pictures of these locations on the web. If you want to see them play the game I guess?
Other great locations include a Toad village that has been destroyed by the Shroobs with nasty looking purple spores covering everything, a serene hillside made out of fallen stars, and an underground cavern filled with gigantic petrified piranha plants. But my favorite is Thwomp Volcano. It’s an entire mountain made out of thwomps, the large angry blocks that have been trying to crush Mario since Super Mario Bros. 3. Because of their cube shape the entire mountain looks like a heap of (very angry) blocks that someone hastily piled up. It’s a really neat effect and a very unique place in the Mario cannon and again there’s no pictures of it! THANKS INTERNET.
Google image search, you’ve failed me again.