So far we've tried to stay away from them. When I'm talking about RPG elements, I'm first of all talking about building up your character to make them more and more powerful. It's sort of there. As you progress through the game, you collect power-ups that make your character stronger or give them new abilities. But the reason I don't think they count is because once you die, you lose everything, and you have to start over from scratch. Unless you find a Fire Flower, of course, but I don't really understand how that works. The characters that had RPG elements in their own games don't have them in this one. The result is that they have a ridiculous amount of power-ups and the loss from dying is that much bigger. In their own games, they would respawn with their items. Here, everything is gone. Some characters had health in their games. Not initially an RPG element. But once you can increase the amount of health you have, like in Legend of Zelda by finding a piece, or in Simon's Quest by levelling up, it plays into the theme of growing stronger, and thus becomes an RPG element. In SMBC health is, once again, sort of there, but in a different form. You take a hit, and normally you die, but if you have a Super Mushroom you just lose that and have to take another hit to bite the dust. It's not an rpg element because even though you have to find a mushroom to be able to withstand more than one hit, you can't collect more than one, and can't do anything to collect more than one. It's a constant variable, whereas in RPGs you increase your variables, grow stronger. In Legend of Zelda and Simon's Quest, you can buy stuff from vendors using a currency (Fun fact: the currency additionally acts as ammunition for some weapons in both games) The vendors sell either ammo, some of which can also be dropped by monsters, items such as healing potions that only work once, or more permanent items like weapons or upgrades (Things that make your character stronger). The last category have been turned into power-ups in SMBC, the first one is dropped by fallen enemies, and the middle one is not present for several reasons. In both Legend of Zelda and Simon's Quest, money is most easily aquired by grinding. In fact, in Simon's Quest grinding is the only method possible for getting hearts. In Legend of Zelda you at least had the option to, for instance, play The Money-Making Game. Or maybe you knew the locations of the friendly Moblins. This, among other things, makes it the better game. Because grinding is tiring and time-consuming. Just to clarify, what I consider grinding is not simply killing monsters to get stuff. It's killing constantly spawning monsters to get stuff. In Metroid and Mega Man, for instance, you get health and ammo by killing monsters. So you can leave and go back to the area to kill the same monsters over and over until you have full health. In Castlevania you get items from monsters and candles, and if you ascend some stairs to the next floor and then go back, any monsters and candles you destroyed will have respawned. You can use this to stock up on hearts before fighting Dracula, for instance. In SMBC no monsters respawn (Except podoboos maybe), but there are levels where they spawn endlessly. The Cheep Cheep levels, Bullet Bill levels, levels with Bullet Bill Blasters and levels with Lakitu. These can be used for grinding for ammo and 1-ups (for Mario and Luigi). In the original SMB you could also grind for lives using the 1-up trick, but that's a feature that has been taken out of SMBC, even though it grew to be intentional in the Lost Levels and All-Stars. The second defining feature (in my opinion) of an RPG is that it has some degree of non-linearity. At first sight, some might say that SMB is strictly linear. Hell, with classic scrolling on you can't even go back! But the fact is that very early in 1-1 you come to a crossroad. You can either go down the pipe to get lots of coins and, more importantly, faster to the end of the level, or you can stay on the surface and get more powerups before you reach the end. Using Warp Zones, you can skip over a lot of the game. You can reach and defeat Bowser either as small, Super or Fire Mario, and either by blasting him with Fireballs or using the Axe. You have many options when it comes to playing the game. Legend of Zelda is an even better example. People do Swordless runs, where they try to reach Ganon without using the sword, and 3-Heart runs, which is the same but the only restriction being to not collect any heart pieces along the way. Hell, some people have even done 3-heart swordless runs! In Simon's Quest, you don't have to be full level beat the game, and the Metroid series is well-known for it's minimalist runners. In Mega Man, however, you have to beat all 8 Robot Masters before you can proceed to Wily's Stage, and whenever you beat a Robot Master, you get their weapon whether you like it or not. So even though it has a theme of growing stronger, it's still not an RPG. So I guess my definition of an RPG-video game is not that you Play a Role in the Game. It's that you can build up your character to make them stronger, but you don't have to. Introducing RPG elements into SMBC, either in the form of a character or a game mode, might make a good game. SMB is that kind of game where it's linear in that there is only one direction, but non-linear in that there are several paths to the goal. Additionally, opportunities for grinding are very rare. Not only can you choose to skip upgrades or levels to finish the game in a harder or faster way, you might do it by accident or not even knowing it if you don't know the game very well, so even if you finish the game once there are still several other different ways to play it. If upgrades were hidden in the levels, or sold by Mushroom Retainers at the end of worlds, then if you used warps or other shortcuts you might miss them and play the game in a different way than you maybe intended. In another playthrough, you might get the item you missed last time but forget another one. If you didn't have enough money to afford the item for sale because you chose the surface instead of the underground shortcut filled with coins in 1-1, then you would have to be more thorough when playing through the following levels if you were to be able to afford it when reaching the next vendor. If you skipped over alot of the game, you would earn less experience, putting you at a lower level when facing the final boss than you could've been, meaning you'd have less abilities or hits to take before you'd die. However, SMBC is very much an arcade game at heart, a game which you can just pick up and start playing without having to put too much thought into it. Introducing RPG-elements would just make it too complicated. But in that case I think we should also take out the ridiculous amounts of powerups some characters have, because they really don't work too well with the current system when there are this many.