Geno (ジーノ, Geno) is a character from the Mario universe. Unlike most characters from this universe, he was not originally created by Nintendo but instead by Squaresoft (now Square Enix) for the 1996 title Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars.
Geno is one of the two original party member characters from Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, the first Mario RPG title. Geno is a warrior from Star Road who allies himself with Mario, Princess Peach (known then as Princess Toadstool), Bowser, and Mallow on their quest to defeat Smithy. Geno's true form is enigmatic, represented in-game by a small star; as an agent of the Star Road, he is implied to be an angel-like being who claims to serve "a higher authority." His true name is given as "♥♪!?" (which he describes as "hard to pronounce"), so he suggests using "Geno", the name of the doll that he has chosen to possess.
During Mario and Mallow's visit to Rose Town where it was besieged by the Smithy Gang's lieutenant, Bowyer, the two heroes arrived at the Toad Inn where Mario witnessed a Toad child named Gaz playing with his dolls of Mario, Toadstool, and Bowser. Agreeing to Gaz's mom's request to play with her son, Mario pretended to be Bowser while Gaz pretended to be his favorite doll, Geno. Gaz played too roughly, however, when Gaz used Geno's "Super Star Shot" to hit the Bowser doll, but ended up hitting Mario instead, knocking the plumber unconscious.
That evening, ♥♪!? appeared at the inn in his star form. Spotting the dolls, ♥♪!? chose to inhabit the Geno doll as he appeared the strongest out of the dolls. Possessing the doll, ♥♪!? assumed Geno's identity. Geno initially had trouble walking, running into a wall before he left the inn.
The next morning, Gaz told his mother that he saw the living Geno walk out of the living room. While Gaz's mom did not believe him, Mario and Mallow explored the Forest Maze to find the animated Geno doll. Geno entered the Forest Maze to challenge Bowyer and retrieve the green Star Piece found by Bowyer's minions. Mario and Mallow decided to join Geno in his battle against Bowyer, and together, they defeated Bowyer and retrieved the green Star Piece. After defeating Bowyer, Geno reveals his origins as the warrior from the Star Road and assumed his Geno form to fight the Smithy Gang. He also explained that without the seven Star Pieces, the Star Road could never be repaired, and everyone's wishes would never come true. Geno then joins Mario and Mallow in their quest to defeat Smithy, recover the seven Star Pieces, and repair the Star Road.
When Mario, Mallow, Geno, Bowser, and Princess Toadstool collected the seven Star Pieces and defeated Smithy, Geno left his doll and returned to his star form. Geno brought the seven Star Pieces to repair the Star Road, returning the power of wishes returned to the world.
Due to Super Mario RPG having been developed by Squaresoft, its original characters are owned by them rather than Nintendo despite the fact these characters were created for the Mario series and not for any other franchise. As a result, they have made very few appearances in other media; Geno's only game appearance after his debut was in a brief cameo role in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga in the minigame Star 'Stache Smash (with a quick mention of Square Enix as the copyright holder in the game’s credits). Notably, this cameo was removed in the game's remake, presumably for licensing reasons.
While Geno does not appear in Brawl, Sakurai considered him for potential inclusion as a fighter since he knew about the character's popularity and felt he could easily fit in the game. However, this consideration fell through, presumably due to him being owned by Square Enix rather than Nintendo.
Geno appears as the basis of a downloadable content costume for Mii Gunners. Nintendo also released a QR code for those who wish to have the exact Mii used in the costume's advertising. The Geno costume was released simultaneously with Cloud, Midgar, and the Chocobo hat, collectively introducing Square Enix content to Smash.
Geno appears as a profile icon in the game's online mode.
As a costume
Geno returns as a downloadable content Mii Gunner costume. The design has not been significantly updated from its Super Smash Bros. 4 appearance. The costume was revealed to return during the Mr. Sakurai Presents "Sephiroth" presentation on December 17, 2020, and later released alongside the other Round 8 Mii Fighter costumes on December 22nd, 2020. The trailer has many references to Super Mario RPG, with the song Beware The Forest's Mushrooms playing in the background. In the trailer, Geno first appears after using the Warp Star in Living Room, referencing Geno's origin as a toy before it was inhabited by ♥♪!?, whose true form is represented by a star. Geno then battles Piranha Plant and Donkey Kong, representing the Chewy and Guerrilla enemies. Finally, Mario and Peach stand with the Geno Mii, recreating an in-game party lineup.
Geno also appears as a spirit in the game's Adventure Mode, World of Light. His Spirit Battle has the player fighting Sheik (representing Geno himself) along with Mario, Peach, Bowser, and a gray Kirby (representing Mallow), who comprise the primary cast from Super Mario RPG. He is a Legend-class spirit and can be found in the Light Realm's outer-space section in the map's northern portion, roughly northwest of Peppy Hare's training facility.