Super Paper Mario is a platform/role-playing video game developed by Intelligent Systems, a division of Nintendo. The game began development for the Nintendo GameCube but was later ported to the Wii, possibly because the Gamecube already had Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. 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 sequel to Paper Mario: the Thousand-Year Door and is the third game in the Paper Mario series.
At the beginning of the game, the player controls Mario directly, and then later obtains Princess Peach, Bowser, and Luigi as playable party members. The player controls the characters by holding the Wii Remote sideways like an NES controller. While the 2 button causes the character to jump, akin to the A button in Super Mario Bros. games for NES, the 1 button 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 1 button on the Wii Remote analogous to the B button on an NES controller, though Mario's other standard B-button abilities, such as grabbing, require different Pixls. With the Pixl 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 Pixl 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 the other Paper Mario games, borrows both RPG and platforming elements in its gameplay, with a noted shift towards platforming in this installment. In this game, you get to switch from 2-D to 3-D whenever needed to solve problems on how to get past that particular part of the level. The main hub, 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 Flopside, a mirror version of Flipside that becomes available in the last half of the game with improved items and shops. After obtaining the fifth Pure Heart, Flopside must be discovered in order to find the fifth Heart Pillar. To do that, the player must first find Mirror Hall. Just about every Flipside character has a Flopside correlative. As it turns out only Merlon and his Flopside correlative 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 the previous Paper Mario games, there is no turn-based fighting with the exception of one boss battle in the 7th chapter 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. The traditional scoring system used in most platforming games doubles as an 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 the damage dealt to that enemy. The maximum Attack stat one can achieve is confirmed to be 99 for Mario, Peach, and Luigi, and 198 for Bowser and the maximum HP stat one can achieve 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. To fully upgrade the heroes, you need at least 1.47 million coins for buying the respective items. Using any more of these items after reaching the maximum in the respective stat will result in a +0 bonus in the respective stat. Additionally, with the maximum Attack stat, one can deal a maximum amount of damage of 158,400 on an enemy.
Flipping 2D to 3D and Other 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, objects or enemies may become visible. There are also numerous secrets to the 3D version of the level. The game takes account for players flipping 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 (normally 1 HP per time Mario exhausts his 3D mode gauge, the gauge refills instantly when exhausted or is hit by an enemy and gradually while he is in 2D mode), though completing the Flopside Pit of 100 Trials twice removes this penalty. If you defeat Shadoo, the boss appearing upon getting to the hundredth floor a second time, you can find cards to help your characters. For example, the Mario card lets Mario have infinite 3D time.
- Princess Peach
There are a total of eight Chapters in the game, each split into four smaller sections with the final section and often others 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 Blocks are located strategically throughout Flipside and Flopside and through and between sections. If the character's HP drops to 0, the player must use a Life Shroom if that player has one in his inventory, or else restart at the last save point. The player can escape to Flipside at nearly any point in the game. Although this has the cost of having to restart the entire unfinished chapter upon returning to it, Mario will retain any items obtained and some puzzles will remain in their solved state. The player can return to any section of a finished chapter.
Additional side quests also can be performed. 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 that can only be located using treasure maps sold in Flopside and a special Pixl, Fleep, which encourages revisiting previously completed levels.
Contains spoilers! Read at your own risk.
At the beginning of the game, in light of a recent kidnapping of Princess Peach, Mario and Luigi head to Bowser's Castle to retrieve her upon Toad's message, only to find that Bowser wasn't responsible for it. It is then revealed that the true kidnapper is Count Bleck, a sorcerer who wields an ancient, prophetical tome, the Dark Prognosticus. In addition to Princess Peach, he kidnaps Luigi and Bowser and brainwashes Bowser's Koopa and Goomba 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 The Void an inter-dimensional rift, which will eventually grow large enough to engulf all universes.
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, the Light Prognosticus, who is able to halt the impeding 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.
On Mario's journey, he encounters a number of antagonistic forces that attempt to stop him from retrieving the Pure Hearts, such as a race of mind controlling sentient plants, a die-hard otaku, a nerd named Francis, and a massive horde of demons. Some of Mario's more prominent foes include Count Bleck's minions: O'Chunks, a dim-witted but loyal warrior with phenomenal brute strength; Mimi, a sadistic shapeshifter obsessed with wealth; Dimentio, a psychotic and dimension-crossing jester; and Mr. L, a mysterious masked villain with a flair for robotics who is actually (and somewhat obviously) a brainwashed Luigi. Dimentio is eventually revealed to be secretly working against Bleck's vendetta; he spirits Peach away from Bleck's clutches and reunites her with Mario; Bowser eventually joins up with Mario due to Peach's insistence. Dimentio also covertly assists Mario by sowing distrust between Bleck's minions; at one point Dimentio "kills" both Mario's group and Mr. L, though in actuality he merely restored Luigi's memory and sent them all to the afterlife unscathed, resulting in the brothers' reunification and the cleansing of a Pure Heart that had been nearly destroyed by The Void. Both Mario and Bleck are unaware of Dimentio's standalone agenda.
At the end of each chapter, another story is told of a passionate relationship between two people, Blumiere and 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 are initially unknown, though 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 Blumiere but fail to halt The Void's destruction. The Chaos Heart falls from Blumiere's possession and Dimentio picks it up; he reveals that he has studied the Dark Prognosticus extensively and that he wishes to use the Chaos Heart and the Void in conjunction to create an entirely new universe in his image. Dimentio brainwashes Luigi into becoming Mr. L once more, saying that the Dark Prognosticus revealed him as the ideal host for the Chaos heart; Dimentio fuses the Chaos Heart, Luigi, and himself into one entity called Super Dimentio, who has complete control over the Void; Super Dimentio uses this power to shatter the Pure Hearts, and begins making his new universe.
However, Blumiere and Timpani's renewed love for one another, as well as the feelings of loyalty felt towards Blumiere by his remaining minions, restore the Pure Hearts; Mario and Timpani use their power to battle Super Dimentio, who upon defeat splits back into three parts: Luigi, the Chaos Heart, and Dimentio, who perishes. However, Dimentio's lasting influence on the Chaos Heart causes the Void to expand uncontrollably, threatening all of existence.
Blumiere reveals the wedding chapel in Castle Bleck that was used to marry Peach and Bowser, and he and Timpani then restore their true love for each other and exchange their vows, which banishes the Chaos Heart, seals The Void, returns the other characters to Flipside and restores order in the universe, effectively nullifying the prediction in the Dark Prognosticus. However, Blumiere and Timpani disappeared after the rebirth of their love; it is assumed by the company they did not survive.
Merlon cheers up Mario and company, as well as Blumiere's minions, stating that they are likely in a better place, and everyone leaves to celebrate their victory with a meal. After the credits, Blumiere and a human Timpani are shown together in a place resembling paradise.
The game begins with Mario and Luigi sitting at the desk at their house. They decide to head up to Bowser's Castle after hearing word of Princess Peach's kidnapping, suspecting Bowser to be the perpatrator. However, when they get up there, it turns out that Bowser is only just planning his attack, and a mysterious figure named Count Bleck is the real mastermind behind the capture. Bleck then kidnaps Bowser, Luigi and Bowser's entire cast of minions. Mario is found unconscious in the castle by a Pixl named Tippi, who directs him to Flipside, home of the wizard, Merlon. Merlon explains to Mario that Count Bleck is following the orders of a book called the Dark Prognosticus, which writes that the destiny of the world is for it to be disintegrated by the Void. Merlon's book, the Light Prognosticus, is very similar, but writes that the four heroes of legend will save the world from the destruction caused by the Dark Prognosticus and the Void. Merlon tells Mario that he must locate 8 Pure Hearts and the other 3 heroes in order to conquer the Void. Merlon gives Mario a head start, giving him the Pure Heart he recovered. Tippi guides Mario to the first Heart Pillar, which, when combined with the Pure Heart, activates the entrance to Lineland.
Meanwhile in Castle Bleck, Nastasia, Count Bleck's secretary, reports inter-dimensional activity caused by the hero of legend. Bleck sends his minion O'Chunks to deal with the problem.
Chapter 1: Lineland
Mario travels through Lineland and meets up with the wizard, Bestovius, who gives him the power to flip into 3D. After climbing through Mount Lineland, Mario reaches Yold Town, where he meets a Thoreau, a Pixl, 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. File:SPM Lineland.jpg
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 hypnotised, and attempts to do the same to Peach, but she is mysteriously teleported away by Dimentio.
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
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 from Barry,a secret Pixl, 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 Giant 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 computerised 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.
If the player goes back to level 3-1 and presses UP whilst next to the bush,Barry will join their party.
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 Bobule 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 terrorising 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 Pixl, 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 Cragnons using Floro Sprouts. Mario and Co. found another Pixl, 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 apologised 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's Kingdom.
Chapter 6: Sammer's 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 seperated. Dimentio informs Luigi that he has been plotting against Count Bleck throughtout 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 fight 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 with Luigi and the Chaos Heart to create Super Dimentio. Mario and Co. attempts to battle Super Dimentio, failing miserably due to the Chaos Heart's power. Tippi and Bleck realise 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, and the Black Hole disappears into the distince. Then, Mario and Co. return to Flipside with Nastasia coming back as well.
Merlon assures Mario that Tippi is in a much better place, and the end credits roll.
- Super Paper Mario is the first and (so far) only Paper Mario game in the Paper Mario series to not have a Turn-Based Gameplay.