Super Paper Mario (スーパーペーパーマリオ Super Paper Mario?) is a platform/role-playing video game developed by Intelligent Systems, a division of Nintendo. It was originally developed for the Nintendo GameCube, but it was released for the Wii. The style of gameplay is a combination of the previous Paper Mario titles and Super Mario Bros. titles. Unlike the RPG-style gameplay of the previous Paper Mario games, the game combines platforming gameplay, RPG, and puzzle elements. It is the third game in the Paper Mario series.
Super Paper Mario was created out of a desire to combine the familiar look of the Paper Mario series with a new style of gameplay. Chief director Ryota Kawade was on a train thinking about ways to adapt a mini-game from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door in which the player controls a large Bowser in a short side-scrolling stage; he noticed that the other end of the train looked like a stage in a Mario game and envisioned switching between two and three dimensions. When producer Kensuke Tanabe was told about the idea, he decided to make the sequel an action-adventure game, but retained some role-playing elements to establish the game in the Paper Mario franchise. Kawade and Tanabe also felt that these elements, as well as the ability to switch between two and three dimensions, would make the game more accessible to players unaccustomed to action games. The team played side-scrolling Mario titles for inspiration, envisioning how the levels would look in 3D.
Super Paper Mario was announced by Nintendo on May 11, 2006 at E3 for the Nintendo GameCube. On May 30, 2006, Nintendo set a release date of October 9, 2006. That summer, the game was "quietly moved" to the Wii.
PAL copies of the game contain a glitch if the language is set to UK English, German, or Spanish. In Chapter 2-2, after Mario finds a key, the game will freeze if Mario speaks to the character Mimi without first picking up the key. Nintendo of Europe is replacing the game disc for no charge with a version that does not contain the glitch. Nintendo of Europe announced details of the replacement on their website in November 2007.
At the beginning of the game, the player controls Mario directly, and later obtains Princess Peach, Bowser, and Luigi as playable party members. The player controls the characters by holding the sideways like an NES controller. While the causes the character to jump, akin to the A button in Super Mario games for NES, the controls Pixls, kindred spirits that perform special actions. Mario and his party must use these new abilities, such as turning sideways to slip through cracks, hammering down large blocks, or planting bombs to defeat foes, to advance. One of these allows Mario to run, making the on the analogous to the on an NES controller, though Mario's other standard abilities, such as grabbing, require different Pixls. With the Pixel Tippi or Tiptron, the player can also point to the screen with the Wii Remote to find out their next objective, identify features on the screen such as hidden objects and find out information about an enemy or character. Both the current character and Pixel can be switched out at any time during the game, though characters and Pixls are occasionally separated from the main party, rendering them unplayable for a time.
Super Paper Mario, like other Paper Mario games, incorporates both RPG and platforming elements in its gameplay, with a more established emphasis towards platforming in this installment. The main hub city called "Flipside" provides a location for Mario and his party to talk to residents, shop, and rest, as well as to open doorways to other worlds. There also exists a mirror version of Flipside called "Flopside" that becomes available in the last half of the game with improved items and shops. After obtaining the fourth Pure Heart, Flopside must be discovered in order to find the fourth heart pillar. To do that, the player must first find the Mirror Hall. A mirror version of Merlon called Nolrem also lives there. As it turns out, only Merlon and Nolrem knew about Flopside (it was created by the ancients so only the heroes could find the last remaining Heart Pillars). Flopside also retains a darker color and atmosphere than in Flipside. Unlike previous Paper Mario games, there is no turn-based fighting (with the exception of one unique boss battle in the 7th level against the Underchomp); instead the player faces foes directly on screen as in a usual Mario platforming game, and through experience gains and special items, the amount of damage dealt per hit can be increased. The player also must watch the party's health taken as damage from foes, though this can be restored with special health items that can be brought along or, in classic Mario fashion, restored by various Mushrooms in question blocks (the character immediately consumes it so it doesn't need to be used via the item menu). The traditional scoring system used in most platforming games doubles as the experience point system. After jumping on an enemy, the player can shake the controller for extra points. The player can also collect Catch Cards for all the major characters and enemies; possessing an enemy card will double damage dealt for that enemy and more copies of the same card result in damage increasing further. The maximum Attack stat one can achieve is confirmed to be 99 for Mario, Peach, and Luigi, and 198 for Bowser, while the maximum HP stat is confirmed to be 999. The only possible way to achieve either of these stats is by using many Attack Plus and/or HP Plus items, which are bought at the Flipside Arcade for 2,500 Flipside Tokens each. Using any more of these items after reaching the maximum in the respective stat will result in a +0 bonus in the respective stat.
Flipping and character-specific abilities
While the concept of a "paper" Mario (existing in only two dimensions) still continues through the game, a frequently used power obtained early in the game allows the player to "flip" Mario into the third dimension at nearly any point in the game. When this occurs, the current 2D level is rotated to become 3D in a third-person view; obstacles that may have blocked progress in 2D can simply be walked around in 3D, or hidden blocks or enemies may become visible. There are also numerous secrets to the 3D version of the level. The game takes into account when players flip into 3D in midair (where there was a solid platform for them to be on in 2D Mode) by allowing the player to make a single jump in an attempt to hit solid ground. In the game, this is represented by Mario flapping his arms about frantically and a speech balloon with the graphic for the "2" button presented above Mario's head. Generally, Mario can only spend a short amount of time in this 3D form before taking damage (1 HP each time Mario exhausts his 3D mode gauge, though the gauge refills instantly when exhausted or if he is hit by an enemy) and gradually refills while he is in 2D mode, though completing a certain sidequest removes this penalty.
Only Mario has the power to flip into 3D as well as being able to duck to avoid some attacks; the other party members have other unique abilities:
- Peach can float using her parasol to reach ledges that are out of reach for regular jumps. Her parasol is also useful as a shield and can block almost every type of attack. However, she cannot block trap gimmicks, such as spiked floors.
- Bowser can breathe fire, allowing him a powerful distance attack, and does double the damage with his physical attacks compared to the other characters. However, his larger size makes him a bigger target and his weighty movement makes it difficult to dodge attacks. Also, Bowser's fire breath does not work on every enemy and he is unable to climb ladders or vines.
- Luigi can charge a super jump to reach high places and do damage to foes directly above him. As in other games, Luigi has poor traction and he slides a bit when trying to stop his movement, making it likely he might run into an enemy or fall into a chasm or trap.
There is a total of eight worlds in the game, all split into four chapters (with the exception of World 6), with both the second and final sections culminating in a boss fight. For all but the last chapter, the goal is to collect a Pure Heart which is then used somewhere in Flipside or Flopside to unlock the door to the next chapter. Save points are located strategically throughout Flipside and Flopside and through and between sections. A save point will refill all health and star points; if the character's health points drop to 0, the player must restart at the last save point, though the player can escape to Flipside at nearly any point in the game if the situation is looking dire. Though this has the cost of having to restart the entire unfinished chapter upon return to it, Mario will retain any items obtained and some puzzles will remain in their previous state. The player can return to any section of a finished chapter.
Additional side quests also can be performed once the player can access these areas through the use of the Pixls and new characters. Two quests, the Pit of 100 Trials in both Flipside and Flopside, yield rewards that are very worthwhile: a secret Pixl companion and the ability to flip to 3D for an unlimited amount of time. Every level also contains hidden treasures which can only be located using treasure maps sold in Flopside and a special Pixel, which encourages revisiting previously completed levels. There is also a recipe book to fill, which can be done by bringing ingredients to the two restaurants in Flipside and Flopside.
In light of a recent kidnapping of Princess Peach, Mario and Luigi head to Bowser's castle to retrieve her, only to find that Bowser wasn't responsible for it, as he and his army were only just about to go there to kidnap her themselves. It is then revealed that the true kidnapper is Count Bleck, a sorcerer who wields an ancient, prophetical tome called the Dark Prognosticus. In addition to Princess Peach, he kidnaps Luigi and Bowser, and brainwashes Bowser's Koopa army. The Count then employs the hypnotic powers of his right-hand woman, Nastasia, and forces the marriage of Princess Peach to Bowser in order to, as the Dark Prognosticus foretells, unleash a destructive power known as the Chaos Heart. Count Bleck uses the Chaos Heart to open an inter-dimensional rift known as "The Void", which will eventually grow large enough to engulf the entire universe.
Mario meets a butterfly-like Pixl named Tippi, and a wizard named Merlon, who have come in search of Mario. They inform him that he matches the description of the Hero, described in another prophetical tome called the Light Prognosticus (made to oppose the stuff in the Dark Prognosticus), who is able to halt the impending doom of The Void. In order to banish the Chaos Heart and reverse the destruction, the Hero requires the eight Pure Hearts, artifacts created from genuine love. Mario and Tippi set off to collect the Pure Hearts and stop Count Bleck's plan, eventually teaming up with Princess Peach, Bowser, and Luigi along the way.
At the end of each chapter, another story is told of a passionate relationship between two people, Lord Blumiere and Lady Timpani, that was ended by the hand of Blumiere's disdainful father, who banished Timpani and left her to die. The identity of these characters and their relationship to the story is initially unknown. Tippi is later revealed to be Timpani, and "Count Bleck" is the pseudonym of the inconsolable Blumiere, who, unknowing of Timpani's rescue by Merlon, wanted revenge for his love's disappearance and sought to bring existence to ruin.
Upon collecting all of the Pure Hearts, Mario, Timpani, and company confront Blumiere in his castle. They defeat Bleck but fail to halt The Void's destruction. The Chaos Heart falls from Blumiere's possession and into another minion of his, Dimentio, a psychotic jester. Dimentio continues to use the Chaos Heart to speed up the destruction but is destroyed by Mario through use of the Pure Hearts.
Blumiere and Timpani then restore their true love for each other, which banishes the Chaos Heart, seals The Void, and returns the order of the universe back to normal, effectively nullifying the prediction in the Dark Prognosticus.
Chapter 1: Lineland
Mario travels through Lineland and meets up with the wizard, Bestovius, who teaches him how to flip into 3D. After climbing through Mount Lineland, Mario reaches Yold Town, where he meets a Thoreau, a Pixel, and proceeds to Yold Desert. Mario comes across O'Chunks, who he defeats with ease. After that, he heads to Yold Ruins where he meets Fracktail. after registering Mario in his databanks as the hero of legend, Fracktail is more than willing to grant him the Pure Heart. However, Dimentio sees this as only too easy, and corrupts Fracktail's databanks, making him act violent and hostile. Mario defeats Fracktail for the second Pure Heart, given to him by Merlumina, a co-author of the Light Prognosticus.
Meanwhile, in Castle Bleck, O'Chunks shamefully returns after having lost to Mario. Bleck sends his second minion, Mimi, after the hero instead. Nastasia, meanwhile, rounds up more of Bowser's minions to be hypnotized and attempts to do the same to Peach, but she is mysteriously teleported away.
Back in Flipside, Mario heads straight to Merlon's house. There he discovers that a girl has fallen from the sky. This girl turns out to be Princess Peach, who is awoken by being fed Spicy Soup. She joins Mario as the second hero, and they head for the Heart Pillar (with the help of Princess Peach and Thoreau), which leads them to Gloam Valley.
Chapter 2: Gloam Valley
The heroes travel through Gloam Valley, befriend a Pixl named Boomer and reach Merlee's Mansion, where they come across a maid who tells them to go through the door on the bottom floor. In the next room, they accidentally break a vase, landing them in a 1,000,000 Rubee debt. They begin working off the debt, but find it to be long, tedious work. However, they come across another Pixl named Slim, who helps them bypass lasers to reach a secret vault containing 1,000,000 Rubees. They pay their debt but, shocked that they were able to pay such a huge debt, the maid attacks them (she turns out to be Mimi, another of Bleck's minions). In Merlee's basement, they find Merlee, who tells them to be careful. Mimi chases them through the mansion, eventually cornering them in the girls' bathroom and transforming into Merlee. However, the real Merlee appears at the right time. Mario and Co. ask each Merlee questions to decide who is the real Merlee. After the fake is revealed, she goes crazy and becomes a spider-like being. Mario and Co. defeat her for the third Pure Heart. As they leave, Merlee informs them that they will meet 2 more heroes in their quest.
Back in Castle Bleck, the count sends his last minion to face Mario, Dimentio. Nastasia rounds up the rest of the escapees, including 2 Goombas and Luigi.
Meanwhile, in Flipside, Mario uses his Pixls Boomer and Slim to find the next Heart Pillar, leading them to The Bitlands
Chapter 3: The Bitlands
After the heroes arrive in The Bitlands, Tippi gets attacked by a chameleon and is taken, hostage. After conquering the Bitlands whilst Tippi-less, Mario and Co. follow the instructions of a message, falling between 2 red pipes to come across World 1-2 of Super Mario Bros. After bypassing this area, they commence war against Bowser's Koopa Troopa army, destroying the castle in the process. After defeating Bowser, Mario and Peach convince him to join them in their quest. The heroes are forced to proceed underwater, where they find a Pixl named Thudley and must defeat a Big Blooper. They then escape the water and climb a tree and battle against Dimentio in Dimension D. They ride the wind and eventually reach Francis' fort, Fort Francis. After searching the Fort, they find the two keys to Francis's room. However, only "totally hot babes" are allowed to enter, so Peach enters and must endure Francis's computerized attempts at trying to woo her. Peach loses her patience and destroys the machine, commencing battle with Francis. After defeating him, they reclaim Tippi. Her happiness results in the appearance of the fourth Pure Heart.
Dimentio returns to Castle Bleck, informing the count of his failure. Bleck has no choice but to send "him" to stop the heroes.
Back in Flipside, the group use Thudley to locate the fourth Heart Pillar, sending them into Outer Space.
Chapter 4: Outer Space
Having reached Outer Space, Mario realizes he can't breathe. The group returns to Flipside to retrieve a Goldfish Bowl they can use as a helmet and returns to Outer Space, where they find Squirps, who leads them to Planet Blobule where Squirps takes a bathroom break, and they give toilet paper to a Pixl named Fleep so that he can do his business and then join Mario's party. In the Whoa Zone, they tackle Mr. L and his Brobot to collect the fifth Pure Heart.
After returning to Flipside, Tippi passes out. Mario and Co. decide to leave her with Merlon while they go and search for the next Heart Pillar, using Fleep to access Flopside, meet Nolrem and find the Pillar. After retrieving the now-conscious Tippi, they head off to the Land of the Cragnons.
Chapter 5: Land of the Cragnons
Here they follow the Floro Sapiens, who have been terrorizing and kidnapping the Cragnons until they run into O'Chunks again. However, this time Dimentio transports them to Dimension D, for a much more interesting battle. Afterwards, they leave the beaten O'Chunks to go find another Pixel, Cudge, who helps them access the Floro Caverns. There, they find Flint Cragley's cameramen and use his Key to find a deeper end of the Floro Caverns. They discover that the Floro Sapiens have been brainwashing the Cragniens using Floro Sprouts. Mario and Co. found another Pixel, Dottie. They then fought O'Chunks (who was brainwashed via a Floro Sprout) in Dimension D again, and received the Sprout from him, enabling Mario and Co. to enter the brainwashing facility. However, after defeating King Croacus and claiming the sixth Pure Heart, they discovered that the Cragnons were damaging the Floro Sapiens by polluting the waters. The Crags apologized for this and promised to stop throwing their trash into the rivers.
Back in Flipside, Mario and Co. used their new Pixls, Cudge and Dottie, to find the next Heart Pillar, leading them to Sammer Kingdom
Chapter 6: Sammer Kingdom
In Sammer's Kingdom, Mario and Co. were welcomed by Jade Blooper. After having defeated him, they are informed by King Sammer that, to gain the Pure Heart, they will have to go through all 100 of the king's men. However, when they reach the twentieth gate, Count Bleck announces the imminent destruction of Sammer's Kingdom. Tippi reasons with him, and he leaves. At the twenty-fifth Gate, King Sammer allows them the Pure Heart early, saying it is in a chest on the twenty-sixth Gate. However, they find nothing but a bomb. King Sammer reveals himself to be Mimi and attacks the crew. After defeating her, she says she was merely stalling for time until the Void completely annihilated the Sammer's Kingdom, which it does. They are sent from the Kingdom straight back to Flipside and attempt to enter the Sammer's Kingdom again. However, they find a Land of Nothing. After a long walk across this white mass, they come across Mr. L and Brobot L-Type. After defeating Mr. L, he relinquishes the Pure Heart, which is nothing but a heart-shaped rock, and the crew leave. Mr. L, meanwhile, is "destroyed" by Dimentio.
Back in Flipside, the group asks Merlon what to do about the Pure Heart rock. Dimentio offers a solution, sending Mario, Peach and Bowser to the Underwhere, the land for those whose games are over.
Mario proceeds across the Underwhere to find Queen Jaydes, who wishes for her daughter, Luvbi to go to King Grambi in the Overthere. But first Mario must return Luvbi to her. Mario takes Luvbi to her mother, meeting Luigi in the process, who decides to join him. After taking Luvbi to the queen, Jaydes sends Mario and Co. back to Flipside with the Pure Heart (no longer a heart-shaped rock).
Chapter 7: The Underwhere
The next Heart Pillar, found with Luigi's help, takes them straight back to the Underwhere, where Queen Jaydes has a new task for them: escort Luvbi to the Overthere. In Underwhere Road, they meet Bowser, three Dorguys and a ravenous Underchomp, who they engage in turn-based battle with. In Overthere Stair, they find that Peach has eaten a Golden Apple, sending her into a Deep Sleep. They use a Black Apple to revive her. In the Overthere, they free Nimbis, fight Skellobit and defeat Bonechill to put the citizens of Overthere and Underwhere at rest. However, it is revealed that Luvbi is a Pure Heart, and transforms after having said one last goodbye to her parents.
Mario and Co. now have all their Pure Hearts, and can after placing the final Pure Heart into a Heart Pillar, they can finally travel to Castle Bleck via Nolrem's Tower in Flopside.
Chapter 8: Castle Bleck
In Castle Bleck, Mario and Co. must tackle familiar-but-stronger enemies, including Bowser's former minions. They also come across O'Chunks, Mimi and Dimentio, which means the four heroes are separated. Dimentio informs Luigi that he has been plotting against Count Bleck throughout the game. He was the one who teleported Peach away from Nastasia's clutches, and he deliberately sent Luigi to the Underwhere to join Mario. Meanwhile, the hero of legend proceeds to Bleck's lair, where he fights Bleck with little success. However, with the help of Luigi, Peach, Bowser and the Pure Hearts, Mario is able to thwart Bleck. However, Dimentio intervenes and "destroys" Nastasia, imprisoning Bleck and Tippi in Dimension D and fuses Luigi with the Chaos Heart to create Super Dimentio. Mario attempts to Jump on Super Dimentio, failing miserably due to the Chaos Heart's power. Tippi and Bleck realize their love for one another, which destroys the Chaos Heart's power, leading to Super Dimentio's utter destruction. After that, Tippi and Count Bleck leave to pursue the love they have yearned for so long. Mario and Co. return to Flipside.
Merlon assures Mario that Tippi is in a much better place.
- Big Blooper
- Mr. L and Brobot
- O'Chunks and King Croacus
- Brobot L-Type (controlled by Mr. L)
- Count Bleck
- Super Dimentio
- Wracktail (optional)
- Shadoo (optional)
Reviews for Super Paper Mario were generally positive. As of December 31, 2007, the game has sold 2.16 million copies worldwide, with 500,000 of those copies being sold in Japan alone.
- This is the first (and, so far, only) time Luigi is playable in a Paper Mario game.
- This Paper Mario game features more partners than any other Paper Mario game.
- This is the only Paper Mario game where each chapters are divided into sections.
- It is odd that Mario and friends cannot breathe in space without a helmet in this game. In both Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door where Mario goes into space to confront Bowser and to land on the moon, Mario doesn't need a helmet.
- Luigi is the only character in the game to not be playable in the very last fight with Super Dimentio. That is because he is needed for the transformation.
- He is, however, usable for the fight against Count Bleck.
- Mario actually fights two of his own teammates twice in this game: Bowser and Luigi (who is actually Mr. L at those times).
- This is the only Paper Mario game where the main plot doesn't involve rescuing Princess Peach.
- This is the only Paper Mario game where Mario permanently loses one of his traveling partners, in this case, Tippi. However, Mario can buy a replica from Francis named Tiptron for 999 coins.
- After defeating End Boss, the final enemy in Sammer's Kingdom, you obtain Catch Cards that have Mario's partners from Paper Mario. Additionally, if all 100 floors of the Flopside Pit of 100 Trials are defeated, the player will obtain Catch Cards with Mario's partners from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.
- During the Francis segment, the player can give Peach a "Pink Princess signed poster". This may be a reference to Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.
- ↑ Super Paper Mario release notes. Joystiq. Retrieved on 2006-05-19.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Williams, p. 76.
- ↑ Williams, p. 78.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Williams, p. 77.
- ↑ Williams, pp. 76–77.
- ↑ JKR (2006-05-11). E3 2006: Super Paper Mario. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-03-07.
- ↑ Harris, Craig (2006-05-30). Nintendo's Latest Line-up. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-03-07.
- ↑ Hatfield, Daemon (2007-01-22). Paper Mario Unfolding in April?. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-03-07.
- ↑ Super Paper Mario announcement. Nintendo (2007-09-19). Retrieved on 2008-04-25.
- ↑ Nintendo - News - Super Paper Mario announcement
- ↑ Thomason, p. 45.
- ↑ Thomason, p. 46.
- ↑ Financial Results Briefing for the Nine-Month Period Ended December 2007 pp. 6. Nintendo (2008-01-25). Retrieved on 2008-01-25.
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