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Duel-Ready Johnny Boss Rematch Guide - Super Mario RPG

Matt Chard

Once you’ve completed Super Mario RPG for the first time, you can load up your clear data to challenge some of the most difficult bosses the game offers in a rematch, all of whom will reward you with a new accessory. "Johnny" iconJohnny from the Sunken Ship is one of those, but this time you’ll face him alone, and the only thing your allies will do is cheer you on from the sidelines. Defeating Johnny is an important prerequisite to fighting the game’s super-boss, Culex as he drops the Extra-Shiny Stone which is needed to open the sealed door. Read on to find out where to fight this difficult rematch, and how to defeat “Duel-Ready Johnny”.

Duel Ready Johnny is one of the boss rematches post-game in Super Mario RPG.

Where to Find Duel Ready Johnny Rematch

Before you can fight any of the post-game bosses, you’ll need to load up your clear data which will place you back in "Mario's Pad" iconMario’s Pad, but this time, Toad will give you a Star Voucher. This allows you to sleep in the most expensive room in "Marrymore" iconMarrymore. Head over there, go to the inn, and hand over your voucher. Now, follow Toad to your room, turn off the light, and go to sleep. You’ll get a short scene with Geno, and when you wake up, Geno will suggest heading to Star Hill. Make your way through Star Hill until you have a couple of scenes with Geno, and then open your world map. Fast travel to Sunken Ship - Pirate Base, and talk to Johnny who respects your qualities in a battle. He’ll propose a one-on-one duel where you won’t be able to use any items, and this is where the difficulty of the battle comes from.

Best Equipment to Fight Duel-Ready Johnny

Equipment Name
Weapon Lazy Shell
Armor Hero Shirt
Accessory Quartz Charm / Ghost Medal

Firstly, the best weapon in the game for Mario is the Lazy Shell which can be obtained by giving the Seed, and Fertilizer to the Gardener in Rose Town. If you don’t have that then the Ultra Hammer is the next best, but as this is a duel, ideally you should be using the former as all the extra damage you can get matters. The best armor for Mario is the Hero Shirt, which can be purchased for 100 Coins from "Croco" iconCroco in Bowser’s Castle. Finally, for the accessory, you will want the Quartz Charm which is obtained from defeating Culex (not the rematch version). If you haven’t defeated it yet, then take either the Ghost Medal (doubles defense) or Jinx Belt (Attack, Defense, Speed Up). If you’re competent at timing the action prompts, equip the Jinx Belt, however, if you need help with them, equip the Ghost Medal as this allows you to mess up a couple of the action prompts, and still get through the battle. You can obtain the Ghost Medal by completing The Three Musty Fears minigame, which you can read about in our The Three Musty Fears Guide while the Jinx Belt can be acquired by defeating Jinx in Monstro Town.

(1 of 2) If you don't have the Quartz Charm from Culex yet, equip the Ghost Medal instead as this will double your defense in combat.

If you don't have the Quartz Charm from Culex yet, equip the Ghost Medal instead as this will double your defense in combat. (left), For the party, bring Geno, and one of Bowser, or Peach. (right)

Best Party Allies for Duel-Ready Johnny

Icon Member Ally Buff
PeachIconSuperMarioRPG.png Peach Magic Defense Up
MallowIconSuperMarioRPG.png Mallow Magic Attack Up
GenoIconSuperMarioRPG.png Geno Attack Up, Speed Up
BowserIconSuperMarioRPG.png Bowser Defense Up

As this battle is a duel, you don’t need to select a party member for their skills. However, Johnny allows you to pick two allies to cheer you on from the sidelines, which means you can still use their ally buff. If you look above, the only ally who is useless for this battle is Mallow, as you won’t be using any Magic Attacks with Mario. Out of the other three, it’s personal preference. If you’re good at timing the action prompts, you won’t take a lot of damage, so Geno has the more useful ally buff, but if you struggle with the timings of these, you will want to take either Peach for the Magic Defense Up or "Bowser" iconBowser for the extra defense. Now, Johnny has four main attacks, and these are split between two magic, and two physical attacks, so take the ally that protects against the attack you’re struggling on the timing with. Personally, Diamond Saw and Fire Saber had the more difficult timings, so we took Peach, but if Johnny’s melee attack and Skewer are causing you problems, take Bowser. So, take Geno, and Bowser, or Geno, and Peach depending on what attacks hit you more.

How to Defeat Duel-Ready Johnny

Recommended Level HP
30 (25 minimum) 2,000

The most difficult challenge you’ll face in this battle is defeating Johnny before your health runs out, as you can’t heal in any way whatsoever. Now, if you get the timing of the action prompts down, you shouldn’t have much trouble, but two of his attacks, Diamond Saw, and Fire Saber are particularly difficult to defend against as they have a delay just before they hit you, and this can lead to you messing up your timings. Here are all the attacks that Johnny has at his disposal:

Normal Attack - Thrust

Johnny will pull back the trident, and wait for approximately one second before thrusting into you. The action prompt will appear just before the tip of the trident reaches you. This will come at you pretty quickly, so press Joy-Con-ButtonA the second you see the trident extend toward you.



Skewer has the potential to one-shot you, especially if Johnny has used Vigor Up beforehand. He will lower the trident from an upright position, and lower it in front of you. The tip will spin briefly before it shoots out of the handle into you. Once again, you’ll want to time the button press as soon as you see the tip extend. You should attempt your timing to the audio instead of the visual as it is easier to judge when to press Joy-Con-ButtonA. When you hear the spinning sound stop, immediately press the button.


Diamond Saw

This is a tricky attack to block. Johnny will conjure up two diamond blades which will fly past you and go off-screen. Shortly after, the blades will come back behind you, and attack you. You want to press Joy-Con-ButtonA when the blades come at you from the back. They will rush past you, wait off-screen for just under a second, and then come back at you quickly. Press the button about half a second after they reappear to avoid the attack. Once again, the audio helps with the timing. The blades will have two whoosh-like sounds, one when they go past, and one when they come back. Block when you hear the second whoosh coming to an end.


Fire Saber

Arguably the most difficult attack to block. Johnny will conjure a purple beam from his hook, wave it about, and then swipe downwards toward you. You will want to press Joy-Con-ButtonA as the beam comes down, but this comes at you quickly, so you’ll need to be quick. As with most of the attacks, use the audio instead for the timings. It will make three distinct sounds before the beam comes at you; press the button just after the third sound.


Vigor Up

This is a simple attack-up buff for Johnny. When combined with his thrust, or Skewer attack, it can be deadly. Doubly so for Skewer as that can potentially kill you in one hit depending on your level, and equipment. Although this may be a coincidence, it appeared that he would predominantly use melee attacks after this buff.


Tough Up

Similar to the Vigor buff, this is a buff for Johnny, but this will increase his defense instead. Like Vigor Up, it appeared that he predominantly used magic attacks such as Diamond Saw, and Fire Saber after using this, but it could just be a coincidence.


There you have it, that’s the entire arsenal of Duel-Ready Johnny. This battle is easy, or difficult depending on if you can time the blocks correctly. If you don’t, he’ll chip away at your health until you die, and because you can’t use items in this battle, you have no way of healing yourself. In terms of your offense, you can only use timed normal attacks, as Johnny will take barely any damage from special moves.


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  • Guide Release
    17 November 2023
  • Last Updated
    28 November 2023
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Super Mario RPG is a wonderful and whimsical remake of the 1996 classic Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. You’ll need to assemble a group of heroes (starting with Mario of course!) to embark on a quest to repair the wish-granting Star Road! Along the way you’ll encounter enemies from the Smithy Gang, and you’ll unlock access to a whole cast of nostalgic playable characters, from Princess Peach to Geno the puppet to the adorable Mallow.

This guide includes everything you need to make your way through the Super Mario RPG remake. Whilst this game is a faithful remake of the original, the game developers, ArtePiazza, have also included some fun post-game match-ups for those who are looking for an extra challenge and a departure from the OG game! We’ve got walkthroughs for the following:

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