How do you evolve a franchise with an almost-static main character? You look to his antagonist: Bowser, King of the Koopas. Also known by his objectively superior Japanese name: Great Demon King Koopa.
They’re missing from the English-language version, sadly, but the original Japanese release of 1996’s Super Mario RPG on the SNES features a bunch of enemies who are very into Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon, Neon Genesis and even a Sega game.
I’ll admit it: I’ve never played Super Mario RPG. But when I heard its theme music played in that amazing medley FreddeGredde did earlier this week, I thought “Wow, that is a great melody!”