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Super Paper Mario (JP) (also called SPM or Paper Mario 3 is the third installment in the Paper Mario series. Though the first two games were role-playing games with platforming elements, Super Paper Mario is centered around platforming, and has RPG elements.

In this game, you are able to take control of Mario, Peach, and even Bowser. It was originally supposed to be launched on the Nintendo GameCube, then it was later merged over to the Wii in September of 2006 (with a Wii U port on eShop a decade later). While the game was thought to be a standard 2-D game, it was soon revealed that 3-D elements would also be combined with the 2-D elements to make a brand new type of game.

This game has a considerably darker theme than most other Mario games. Examples of this would be the storyline of the impending doom of all dimensions, Sammer's Kingdom being destroyed into a completely white void, and the supposed death of Luigi, Peach, and Bowser at Castle Bleck.

This game appears to revive the original partnership of Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, with Peach, Bowser, and Luigi being partners rather than original, new Mario characters. It is also a rare occurrence of Peach being a playable character rather than the damsel in distress, the first being Super Mario Bros. 2.

Gameplay

This game revolves around platforming and RPG mechanics, making it a truly unique and original game. Each of the four main characters that will join your party during the game have special abilities.

First in the group - Mario. Mario has the ability to switch the view from 2-D to 3-D anywhere he goes, and will challenge the game in new puzzles unseen before in any other game. Princess Peach can use her umbrella to glide across stages, allow her to get to places inaccessible to any one else in the team.

Bowser, while bulky and slow, is more powerful than any other character, and will truly shine while in combat. He also has the ability to breathe a steady stream of fire. Luigi rounds off the party, and can jump higher than any character, giving him access to high up places.

Pixls

Main article: Pixl

Mario and co. will also come in possession of unique sparkly creatures called Pixls, each one giving the players abilities while they are in use. The first of these Pixls, and probably the most popular and known, is Tippi. Tippi acts as a guide to enemies, the landscape, and so forth, and will even find hidden objects and doors that can't be seen by anyone else. As you progress through the game, you'll find 8 essential Pixls, and 3 that are optional if you search for them. The name "pixl" is a play on the word "pixel", as pixls are pixelated. The Pixls replace the abilities given by the Black Chest Demon and Toadette.

Combat

As mentioned before, the game centers around platforming elements rather than turn-based gameplay. In the game, you'll be able to simply jump on your enemy to damage them. However, for a greater amount of damage, Mario and team can also use some of the multiple different Pixls that you'll obtain throughout the game, as well as use items (like a fireburst) and special attacks (such as Bowser's fire breath and Luigi's super jump, which sends him soaring off of the stage and then slamming into his enemy).

However, as expected, Mario's team can also suffer damage from enemies. If all of his heart power runs out, then he will get a game over, requiring you to start over at the last save point. Sadly, if one character gets damaged, the rest of the team's heart power will also lower.

Chapter

Chapter 1

chapter 1-1 The adventure unfolds

chapter 1-2 A foot in the foothills

chapter 1-3 The sands of yold

chapter 1-4 Monster of the ruins

Chapter 2

chapter 2-1 Bogging to Merlee's

chapter 2-2 Tricks treats traps

chapter 2-3 Breaking the bank

chapter 2-4 The basement face off

Stylish Hits

Stylish hits are one of the only things that allow you to use the unique features of the Wii-remote. Once you jump on an enemy, you can quickly shake the Wii remote to make the character do a stylish move that gives them extra points. Once you do this, a whole gang of Koopas, Shy Guys, and others will jump for joy around the edge of the screen.

Leveling Up

As in the previous Paper Mario games (and most, if not all, RPG's), you have the ability to level up by defeating enemies. In this game, you can also gain experience points by doing other actions as well such as picking up an item and so forth. Once you obtain a certain amount of experience points, you'll level up, and either your heart power or attack power will increase. Points are displayed at the top of the screen in a similar fashion to the score in old Mario sidescrollers.

Points

Another thing unique to the game is the points feature. Unlike past games, which gave points based on experience, the points system in Super Paper Mario acts like the point counters in the original platformers, receiving a certain amount of points for each enemy killed.

Plot

The story begins with the Mario Bros. relaxing at home, wishing for adventure, when Toad come running up to their house, informing them that Princess Peach has been kidnapped. Upon hearing this news, Mario and Luigi set off to save her from Bowser, whom they suspect to be the kidnapper.

However, it is not true. Once they arrive, the evil Count Bleck, a mastermind who refers to himself and others in third person, uses his control of black holes to take everyone, except Mario, in Bowser's Castle into his own keep. He has possession of a book named Dark Prognosticus which tells of a marriage of a powerful king, Bowser, and a pure-hearted princess, Peach, that will open a dimensional rift ("The Void") that will swallow the whole universe.

Count Bleck warps Bowser, Princess Peach, Luigi, and all of Bowser's minions into an alternate dimension, where he was forcing Bowser and the Princess to be married. While Bowser gladly accepted, Princess Peach refused, but was forced by Count Bleck's assistant, Nastasia, to say "I do", using her super hypnosis. Luigi, also in the area, wakes and tries to stop Bleck. But the Chaos Heart appears, Bleck begins laughing evilly and flees the scene.

Meanwhile, back at Bowser's Castle, Mario wakes up to find an unfamiliar creature. A butterfly-like organism transports him to the town of Flipside, a town between dimensions. The butterfly, who goes by the name of Tippi, takes Mario to an old wizard named Merlon. Merlon informs Mario of the situation, but presents the "Light Prognosticus", which contains a method of destroying the Chaos Heart. Mario matches the description of the hero in the book, so Merlon entrusts him with an object called the Pure Heart; this, along with seven others, has the power to defeat Count Bleck.

While the events of the game take place, the back story is slowly revealed through the text-based dialogue of two mysterious lovers named Timpani and Blumiere. Timpani was a human woman and Blumiere was the prince of the Tribe of Darkness. Blumiere's father does not approve of his son's romance, and somehow makes Timpani disappear. In his sorrow, Blumiere takes up the Dark Prognosticus, which was kept by the Tribe of Darkness for generations, and destroys his own world. Towards the game's end, Timpani and Blumiere are revealed to be Tippi and Count Bleck.

When Mario and his teammates reach Castle Bleck, Bowser, Peach, and Luigi are presumed lost in several battles, leaving Mario to face Bleck alone. When the battle begins, it seems Mario cannot harm Bleck, due to a shield surrounding him. Suddenly, Mario's friends rejoin him and the Pure Hearts surround Bleck, destroying his shield. After Count Bleck is defeated, Dimentio, one of Count Bleck's minions, appears and informs everyone present that he will now command the Chaos Heart and destroy all worlds. With this, he sends Tippi, Count Bleck, and his minions to another dimension.

Dimentio, Luigi, and the Chaos Heart form a creature named Super Dimentio. At first, it cannot be harmed. Meanwhile, Tippi convinces Count Bleck that it is not too late to make up for all the bad things he's done. Count Bleck's minions agree to follow him no matter what he decides. Eight new Pure Hearts are formed from the emotions which Count Bleck feels and they make Super Dimentio vulnerable. Mario and company destroy Super Dimentio and Luigi is saved. However, the worlds are still at risk due to Dimentio leaving a shadow of his power behind to keep controlling the Chaos Heart until the void destroys all dimensions as a final act of spite. However, Tippi and Count Bleck sacrifice themselves by declaring their love for each other to use the Pure Hearts one more time to counter the Chaos Heart to save all worlds, and Mario and his party are flung back to Flipside where Merlon congratulates them for their success. While they and Bleck's minions mourn the disappearance of Bleck and Tippi, they come to the conclusion that they must be living happily together somewhere wherever "there" may be, with Bleck's minions resolving to help create the ideal world the Bleck truly wanted to honor his memory; one of love and peace, not war. Merlon then organizes for them to celebrate by having Saffron make a bunch of delicious snacks for them to eat, which they leave to enjoy together.

Development

After wrapping up development of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, director Ryota Kawade wanted to make "other type of games" using the Paper Mario series[1]. Kawade brainstormed many ideas for a new Paper Mario game that would retain the series' humor, puzzles and leveling system while featuring a new twist, eventually settling on the concept of switching between 2D and 3D (an idea which came to him during a train ride, where Kawade was thinking about the Bowser platforming segments in The Thousand Year Door while looking at the other end of the train). The idea was presented to Nintendo, which suggested that an action-adventure game would best demonstrate the concept.

The developers and Nintendo considered that retaining the leveling system was important, as it would allow less dedicated players to still enjoy the game and make it stand out from traditional Mario games. The graphics and character design were deliberately designed to be surreal and unusual to invoke the idea of "a Mario world that's not really a Mario world" and because the idea "to show something that the player has never seen before" was considered a pillar of Paper Mario.

When asked by Nintendo Power if the next Paper Mario would return to the series' RPG roots, Kawade claimed to be uncertain if they would continue on Super Paper Marios concept, return to the gameplay style of the previous games, or be a completely different type of game, but he concluded that "we want a challenge and to take on new things". Producer Kensuke Tanabe similarly stated that he would "look for a new and different style".

Similarities to the previous Paper Mario games

As with Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, this game contained many similarities and reused elements from the previous two games:

  • All three intros began at the Mario brothers' house.
  • All three games featured interludes where the player had to maneuver Peach through the enemy base.
  • Peach plays an integral role in each of the first three games. In the first, she is captured and helps Mario on his quest through Twink. In the second, Peach is captured and is used as a vessel for the Shadow Queen. In this game, she is a main playable character and one of the Heroes of Light.
  • All three games had a small, peaceful town within Chapter 1, as well as a fortress/dungeon-like area as the final area of the chapter. (This is also seen in the game's successors' first worlds.) Also, like in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, a large dragon was a boss that was fought at the end.
  • A red palm tree was seen in the desert, just as it was in the first Paper Mario. As with that one, something had to be done near it in order to trigger something.
  • Like Paper Mario this game has a chapter that involves climbing a mountain and crossing a desert to reach a ruin.
  • Merlon, Merlee, and Merluvlee reappear in this game.
  • As with Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Super Paper Mario also featured a partner that was used to blow up cracks in walls and reveal hidden areas.
  • This game also contained a partner with the power to evade enemy attacks, as well as getting past floors with rising spikes.
  • Super Paper Mario also contained a partner that could get Mario over spikes and other dangerous terrain.
  • All three games include a reptile as a Chapter 3 boss.
  • In both Paper Mario and Super Paper Mario, the boss of Chapter 2 is chased by a creature with dog-like qualities. In Paper Mario, Tutankoopa is chased by a Chain Chomp. In Super Paper Mario, Mimi is chased by a Gnaw.
  • In all three, the second and fourth chapter bosses work for the main villain (although Doopliss does not join Grodus until after he is defeated in Chapter 4). If Smorg was working for Grodus, then this applies to the sixth boss as well.
  • In both Paper Mario and Super Paper Mario, Mario has to run away from a chapter boss who chases him because they are invincible and cannot be defeated until the end of the chapter. In Paper Mario, Mario has to run away from Tubba Blubba. In Super Paper Mario, Mario and Peach have to run away from Mimi in her spider form.
  • Also, all three games have a chapter boss that is invincible until the end of the chapter. Paper Mario being Tubba Blubba, Paper Mario The Thousand-Year Door being Doopliss, and Super Paper Mario being Mimi. However, unlike Tubba Blubba and Mimi, Doopliss never actually chases the player, although they must run away from him in battle if they guess his name wrong when he asks them.
  • This game featured a plant boss at the end of Chapter 5, just as the first Paper Mario did.
  • Lady Bow and Parakarry made cameos in this game, just as they did in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.
  • As with the first and second Paper Mario games, Mario's first ally knows how to use the Tattle ability.
  • As with Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, this game, too, contained a main villain that was being used as a pawn the entire time by one of his minions, and an ally to get possessed by the game's final boss.
  • In both Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and Super Paper Mario, the main villain's name resembles an expression of disgust, and his minion who is using him has a name resembling a word related to insanity.
  • In all the three games, a character says "Still your tongue" to another character whose name starts with B.
  • Super Paper Mario, just like the first game, featured a cutscene where an enemy asked questions about Mario and company's weak points, and the kinds of things they hate.
  • Super Paper Mario has a childish shapeshifting character, just like the previous game.
  • All three Paper Mario games had at least one party member that had to be fought first before they become playable.
  • Super Paper Mario contains a Pit of 100 Trials, as well; and just as it is in the second game, it is entirely optional, and contains a boss that is supposedly more difficult than this game's final boss, and, in the case of the Flipside pit, is very similar to the first boss.
  • In Chapter 8-2, Mario and company are lured into a trap by Mimi, where she tricks them into hitting a blue ! Block, similar to how Yellow Ninjakoopa set a trap for Mario, where he would hit a fake ? Block that caused him to fall through a trap door, as well as the trap that Lord Crump set in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, which was activated by placing the Puni Orb in a fake pedestal.
  • The final stages of all three games involve a shapeshifting villain masquerading as a familiar character that assists Mario and company throughout the game: a Duplighost impersonates Princess Peach in Bowser's Castle in the first game, Doopliss impersonates Professor Frankly at the Palace of Shadow entrance in the second and Mimi mimics Merlon within Castle Bleck in this game.
  • The final battles of all three Paper Mario games involve a villain becoming invincible, where the items that were collected throughout the game have to be used against them to remove their invincibility barriers.
  • The final bosses of both Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and Super Paper Mario offered Mario and his allies a chance to join them, and if "yes" is chosen, then the player gets an instant Game Over.
  • In addition, the final bosses in both of these games had the goal of ending the world, and before both of the final battles, some of the previous worlds are shown about to end.
  • In both Super Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, there is a new character that is the main antagonist for most of the game, but ends up getting betrayed/injured by the true final boss. Also, the final bosses of each of these games were Mario's friends who were forced to fuse with the main villain.
  • Although Chapter 7 didn't take place in a snowy region like it did in the first two Paper Mario games, it did contain a boss with power over the ice element, just like the first Paper Mario.
  • As with the previous game, Super Paper Mario had an ordinary enemy by the name of "Johnson", as well.
  • Super Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door both have legends involving four heroes.
  • All the three Paper Mario titles involve battling a giant Blooper at some point in the game.
  • All the three chapter 5 bosses have more than 1 form.
  • Each Chapter 5 features a non-partner character that goes along with Mario to the chapter's location, and at least one point enters the "dungeon" with him (Kolorado, Flavio, and Flint Cragley). All three have a significant part to play near the end; Kolorado gives Mario an item needed to enter the sixth chapter in return for the treasure, Flavio negotiates with Cortez to fight off an attack by Crump, and Cragley informs the Cragnons of the reason behind the Floro Sapiens' invasion and tells them to stop throwing trash into the river.
  • All of Mario's partners in this game were a final boss in at least one of each of the 3 released Paper Mario titles, Bowser in Paper Mario, Peach in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (possessed by the Shadow Queen), and Luigi in Super Paper Mario (hypnotized and combined with Dimentio).
  • In this and the previous game, there is a segment where the floor is flooded with a swarm of enemies. In Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, this happens with Dull Bones in Hooktail's Castle and the Dry Bones in the Palace of Shadow while in Super Paper Mario, this happens with copies of Dimentio in Count Bleck's castle.
  • Also, in both games, there is a major battle between armies of the enemies, one side being the good guys and one side being the bad. The two sides fight each other and the good side wins. In Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, it is Grodus' army vs. the capsized civilians. In this game, it is the Skellobit army vs. the Nimbis.
  • In this and the second game, there is a segment where the player has to help Peach in some way using an item. In Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, Peach herself creates a potion, and if it is made incorrectly, she can turn either big or small. In this game, she is asleep and the player has to bring her a fruit that can wake her up. If the player brings her the wrong fruit, she will turn either big or small as well. The smoke effect when Peach is given said item is similar as well. Also, while bringing her the wrong item won't do anything, the player must bring Peach a Spicy Soup (made by bringing a Fire Burst to Saffron) after Chapter 1 to wake her up. It is mandatory to do so, because Peach is needed numerous times throughout the game.
  • All three games require the player to be in at least the fourth chapter to cook two things together.
  • All three titles required Mario to go through a fortress to progress though the game. Koopa Bros. Fortress in the first, X-Naut Fortress in the second, and Francis's Fort in Super Paper Mario.
  • Like the first two games, the Chapter 5 boss is located in a cave.

Differences from the other Paper Mario games

  • This game is a side-scroller, unlike the other Paper Mario games.
    • As such, this is the first and so far only Mario RPG to lack turn-based battles (aside from the Underchomp battle).
  • A score system is used for leveling up, rather than Star Points.
  • For the first time in the series, Peach's design uses her current main dress.
  • This is the only game in the Paper Mario series to not feature Kammy Koopa or Kamek.
  • For the first time in the series, damage cannot be inflicted on Bowser with a standard jump attack.
  • The trend of Mario gaining a special attack from the game's key objects was broken, starting with this game.
  • This is the only game in the Paper Mario series to be alluded to in its predecessor.
  • Unlike the first two (as well as its successor), the fifth chapter does not take place on a tropical island.
  • This game (as well as Paper Mario: Color Splash) does not have an ice-themed locale.
  • There is no parade (or anything similar to one) during the credits.
    • It does, however, have pictures of the game shown during the credits.
  • Starting with this game, Mario's house was not shown during the ending.
  • This is the only game in the series with Luigi as a playable character.
  • This is the only game in the series where the final boss theme does not change after the intermission.

Gallery

  Main article: Super Paper Mario/gallery

Trivia

  • The save data description is "Interdimensional adventure!"
  • A Gold Fuzzy made an appearance on the back cover of the guidebook, but no Gold Fuzzies appear in-game.
  • When Fracktail is checking his database for Mario, his eyes change to the Wii Shop Channel loading logo.
  • The little characters that surround you and temporarily provide a shield are based on the characters from Super Mario Bros.' The sounds they make when they jump or die are identical to those of that game.
  • Many of the areas are based on those of Super Mario Bros.
  • Acquiring a Mega Star will turn your character into a giant 8-bit sprite of themselves.
    • There is also an instance of a Koopa Troopa acquiring a Mega Star, thus becoming its respective 8-bit sprite.
  • The player is referred to throughout the game as the "one who watches"
  • Bowser calls himself the "ultimate end boss", referencing his history as the end boss in Mario games
  • The large starred doors you go through to get from area to area are from Super Mario 64.
  • One of the Sammer Guys is named The Thousand Year Roar, a reference to Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.
    • Another one is named Guy Who Fry, a reference to Fry Guy from Super Mario Bros. 2.
  • Upon acquiring Cudge, Mario is able to use the Golden Hammer from Wrecking Crew.
  • The battle with Underchomp is done in a classic RPG style similar to EarthBound or Pokémon.
  • Upon passing the test of Doorguy the Second, he claims your Brain Ages must be young.
  • Though Yoshi does not appear in this game, there is a rock shaped like him. One of the Sammer Guys is also named "Belly of the Yoshi" (possibly referencing Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, as you are swallowed by Yoob, who is a "shroobified" Yoshi, in that game).
  • When speaking to Mimi (disguised as Merlee) at Castle Bleck, she will ask you three questions regarding what you fear. Two of the choices are enemies while one is simply an item. A similar situation happened in Paper Mario (with Peach being asked what Mario likes).
  • While Piccolo is out, the sounds for stomping on an enemy and jumping will be changed to those from Super Mario Bros.
  • A Nintendo DS shaped object called the Dining Specialiser is found inside both kitchens in the game (the initials are D.S.).
  • One of the Sammer Guys is known as "Laughing X-Naut".
  • In a 2007 interview, Seth Gordon, director of The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, expressed his desire to create a film adaptation of Super Paper Mario. With the rising popularity of 3D movies, his idea for an adaptation involved constantly switching between 2D and 3D. However, Gordon also mentioned that, even though The King of Kong was screened for Nintendo, he has not been given an opportunity to speak with Nintendo about the idea.[2]
  • During the cutscene in which Count Bleck's barrier is broken, Princess Peach speaks a line that was likely intended for Bleck: "What is now happening to... Count Bleck?!"
  • When Bowser is fought as a boss, he cannot be jumped on normally due to his spikes. However when playing as him, this property vanishes and he is vulnerable to damage from above.
  • A tie-in browser game was released in 2007 called Super Paper Mario Memory Match.

References

  1. Williams, Drew (May 2007). "Super Paper Mario: The Interview". Nintendo Power Issue 215: p 76–78.
  2. Gameworld Network (archive) (Accessed on 6-9-09)

External links


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