Square Enix Forces All Staff to Play Super Mario RPG in Order to Learn How to Make Good RPGs Again

Insiders at Square Enix have revealed the use of a company-wide program called “RPG Juku” in order to improve the quality of their RPG games. The first game they used was Square’s Super Mario RPG.


An unnamed intern at Square Enix gave us the details about the “RPG Juku” initiative. Square Enix president Yoichi Wada introduced the program with the following:

In 1996, Square released a game called Super Mario RPG. We were blessed with the opportunity to work with Nintendo on that project. Today, this game is still received extremely well. Many critics have even praised this game more highly than recently released titles like Final Fantasy XIII. In order to improve Square Enix’s output in terms of their RPG games, all staff must play Super Mario RPG in a program we call “RPG Juku.” You will have three days to complete the game.

After the three-day period, top executives asked employees what they thought was good about the game. Many said the unique battle system, the interactivity with the environment, and the minigames were good aspects about Super Mario RPG. One employee was fired after they said that “the ease from going to point A to B on the world map” was one of the top features of the game.

Response was more divided when employees were asked on how to improve the game. One employee recommended that “the tutorial should be longer and mandatory” after they could not figure out how to do timed hits despite beating the entire game. Some employees suggested adding more cutscenes and turning the game into an MMORPG.

Wada cancelled the “RPG Juku” program after it was discovered that employees really enjoyed playing Super Mario RPG and continued to play it after the three-day period. Executives worried that they would spend too much time on the next proposed game which was to be Secret of Mana.

The intern also told us that the program was very insightful saying, “I wish I could get a time machine and have worked on good games like Super Mario RPG instead of things like Final Fantasy XIV.”

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52 Responses

  1. Zup says:

    But did they beat Culex?

  2. Munch says:

    Thank god Square Enix at least tried such a program. It shows that they know that they are really not doing as well as of late.

    Now, if only other companies had this practice of making the major directors/developers play good video games before trying to make their own.

  3. Beware says:

    Sadly, they tried a similar technique and Rare, but it just resulted in everyone after the third day crying uncontrollably about their jobs there

  4. ephoenix6 says:

    they should have made them play ff7, ff8, 3 (or 6 in Japan?), or chrono trigger.

  5. Michael says:

    Now all those developers are going to turn into zealots demanding the return of Geno.

  6. Vaarna Aarne says:

    It’s funny because Super Mario RPG is not an RPG.

  7. Buster Nutz says:

    Did anyone else notice the suggestions to improve the game were also the reasons why thier current games suck?

  8. Andrew says:

    Making a sequel. that’s how you make this game better. You make another one.

    And stop putting tutorials in games! If the gamer can’t figure it out, they don’t deserve to play it! Those casuals are what Angry birds are for!

  9. King says:

    If only this happened for real…

  10. King Reggin says:

    All Japanese products are trash anyways. I only buy AMERICAN products because I have not once had a American product break, unlike these horrible RPGs.

  11. -_- says:

    It’s not??? I played and I’m pretty sure it is a RPG.

  12. Poopi MicPoopyman says:


  13. Rainbow Dash says:

    If you’re such an RPG hater, why are you here? Do you spend your entire existence trying to prove why you’re so much better than everyone else?
    Oh wait. You’re “AMERICAN.” You buy American because you feel obligated to support your country and “everything is better at home” when really you’re missing the true point of being American.
    Being American is respecting everyone regardless because we are the cultural melting pot. If we don’t like something, we bring about the change. We don’t complain about it and bitch and “troll” because you like to feel right.
    So yeah. Continue to post hate. Continue to act like America is so much better when in reality you’re part of the problem.

  14. tawhaki says:

    hate to break this to you… pretty sure he was trolling

  15. Dr. Killjoy says:

    Hope it works. They should play FF6 while they are learning about good RPGs.

  16. Tempered says:

    “Response was more divided when employees were asked on how to improve the game. One employee recommended that “the tutorial should be longer and mandatory” after they could not figure out how to do timed hits despite beating the entire game. Some employees suggested adding more cutscenes and turning the game into an MMORPG.”

    Are you kidding me? This is whats making RPGs these days bad.

  17. joel says:

    I would assume that’s the joke.

  18. thexend says:

    you, sir, are an idiot.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Well aparently EA Maxis games break thus the reason for upset Sim City players not being able to play or how about Diablo 3 that was rough also!

  20. Sojo says:

    They should have let them go on to play Secret of Mana.

  21. K-RO says:

    “One employee was fired after they said that “the ease from going to point A to B on the world map” was one of the top features of the game.”

    Fut the Wuk? This is a very good point and is one of the reasons their current games suck, lack of control over your characters on a world map that lets you decide where to go. If they fired this guy I can’t see this doing much good.

  22. drfumbles88 says:

    square-enix has been on a downward spiral sense they became square-enix they lost something along the way with there games and that was character every squaresoft game i played always left a good feeling, memorable moments, a game that i would play over and over again because it was that damn good. When ever i saw a new squaresoft game coming out i knew i was in for a treat unlike square-enix where i look at there games and have to wonder is it going to suck? The thing that made squaresoft a great company was its ability to produce one hell of a RPG that square-enix has lost, if they really want to improve the quality of there RPGs instead of replaying one remake one with updated graphics but keep the core game play and story the same and maybe then they might have an idea how to improve there RPGs and become what squaresoft used to be

  23. Tim says:

    You are ABSOLUTELY right it wasn’t one of the first classic RPGs Square ever made…

  24. Craig says:

    I’m not sure what’s funnier, the article or the comments where people think this is not a parody. Brilliant!


    just because of your name, i’m going to start hating RPGs and become a FREEDOMLANDER

  26. Anon says:

    Back in the day a tutorial was called GAME MANUAL. You figure it out, or accept you suck at games and move on.

  27. Talynca says:

    One improvement would be the ability to counter-attack. Leave the A Button as Attack and Block, but add the B Button for counter-attack, which requires more accurate timing, but fails completely if you miss. They did this in Legend of Dragoon.

    A sequel might not work, but Square-Enix could easily duplicate the battle system and continue on in the Final Fantasy series. You could have knights attack with timed sword attacks, and Mario’s punches already tie into the Monk class. Add some more variety in weapons and spells, but still leave it easy to play and learn, without needing a tutorial.

    Personally, I liked the music and battle system (fast paced, characters attack immediately, no load time back then), and it was also simple. It was my first RPG, and I still play it today. In fact, it’s probably my most-played RPG of all time.

    I also liked the graphics and style. The 3/4 3D showed you everything you needed, and it wouldn’t be hard to polish it up to the level of graphics already shown in the instruction manual.

    The game wasn’t too long, but it had enough secrets to add replay value. And it was fun. The cameos from other games was a nice touch, and jumping added to the exploration. Plus you didn’t need to level grind to win. You had spells and items to add to the fun, but you could still win without a healer.

    Given the success of this game, I really don’t know why no one has tried to duplicate something like this. Even an all-out clone of a sequel would be a huge cash cow for Nintendo and Square-Enix. And with the power of independent game developer programs, even fans could make something similar to this.

  28. James says:

    I do believe that this is part of the issue with Square, and is a great tool to play these jems of the past to learn what was good. If they want to continue making Final Fantasy games, then have them play Final Fantasy I, VI, and IX.

    I do not want any more Final Fantasies with flashy women, futuristic art design, linear game play, and non-existant gameplay. If they want to do that, then why not make it a new series like Final Fantasy Alpha or Final Fantasy Alternative, NOT Final Fantasy XIII etc… I want a Final Fantasy with the crystals, the White and Black mages, jobs, either ATB or Final Fantasy XII-style battles, and best of all, non-liner game play and a walkable world map (prior to Final Fantasy X, as well as a medieval-style setting like that in Final Fantasy IX. But yea, Keep the Chocobos.

    Oh, and speaking of Super Mario RPG, I would like a true sequel to that. Yea, Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi is good and all, but I want a true sequel with Mario, Peach Toadstool, Mellow, etc. as party members.

  29. Hahahah, this is too good to be true. Tbh, I’d rather be working on Final Fantasy VI than work for any modern VGC.


  30. Chunk Basker says:

    Just fire all the upper management and find a crew that will put heart and soul into creating titles that are actually worth a damn. AND STOP FUCKING UP GOLDIES LIKE SECRET OF MANA UP!

  31. Joseph Licea says:

    They couldn’t figure out timed hits? I don’t even.

  32. dfu90fd9 says:

    They could learn a thing or two about dramatic plots too. Your not a frog obvious cloud boy! Oh! The humanity. Much better than time space mind dimension bending lady- clouds instilling ideals of hope and the laziest of all jrpg preachiness. Not to mention the quality of shops. You can jump on the shopkeeps head and talk to them from behind the counter! Whoa

  33. Anonymous says:

    I think they need to play final fantasy 7 again ????????

  34. Anonymous says:

    Now they should bring back geno after they played this game

  35. I am who I am says:

    This whole thing is fake. Square Soft never did this. I wish they did, honestly, but fired for liking the map? And what’s the intern’s name..? Exactly.