X-Naut (originally known as Boomer Gangers) are soldiers that work for Sir Grodus and Lord Crump of the X-Nauts; they all appear in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. The name X-Naut could be a reference to the game of noughts and crosses, also known as tic-tac-toe. They are short and individually weak, but rush to defend their leader, Lord Crump, if he is threatened. It is unknown what is behind their uniform, as they do not show their true appearance, just like a Shy Guy.
In battle, they attack by charging into Mario or jumping on top of him. They can also use potions to heal each other or make themselves huge; increasing their Attack. They also appear in Bowser's platforming levels, where they attack by charging at Bowser if they spot him.
Several X-Nauts were encountered in the Great Tree as they and Crump searched for the Emerald Star. The surviving X-Nauts were forced to retreat when Crump was defeated. During the boss battle with Lord Crump in Keelhaul Key, a platoon of X-Nauts helped him. Also, some were encountered in the X-Naut Fortress, including X-Naut PhD's and Elite X-Nauts. At least four X-Nauts aside from Crump survived, and are shown in the ending sequence: A regular X-Naut soldier, an X-Naut PhD, and two Elite X-Nauts.
A large army of X-Nauts (exceeding any count of X-Nauts seen in the Great Tree or X-Naut Fortress) is often summoned by Lord Crump. When Mario defeated Crump the first time, he summoned the X-Nauts (which included a regular X-Naut named Johnson) to attack Mario, but they accidentally attacked Crump instead while Mario and Goombella escaped. Later, on Keelhaul Key, Crump brought the army of X-Nauts with him on a battleship to attack Mario and take the Sapphire Star back from him. They fought against the Toads and Cortez's Embers, and eventually Crump called them in to assist him in the fight against Mario, but when Crump was defeated, he and the army retreated. Shortly afterward, when Crump encountered Bowser and Kammy Koopa in Twilight Town, Crump summoned the army of X-Nauts again. Bowser and Kammy retaliated by summoning various members of the Koopa Troop (Hammer Bros., Koopatrols, and Magikoopas). Crump threw a Superbombomb at them, but as it was broken it didn't work. Bowser set it off with his fiery breath, destroying both armies (though Bowser, Kammy, and Crump survived).
In recent years, X-Nauts have (according to Super Paper Mario) been featured in two sci-fi TV shows: Starship X-Naut and The Grodus Chronicles (the latter of which is only known to have featured one X-Naut whose lover had dumped him). There have been many seasons of Starship X-Naut, and the show is a favorite of geeks such as Francis. Apparently, he favors people who would dump somebody over a conversation about the propulsion system of the X-Nauts' spaceship on the show. An X-Naut made a cameo appearance on the Nintendo Monopoly board.
Varieties of X-Nauts
- X-Naut troopers are the lesser X-Nauts, also the weakest. These types of X-Nauts are field troops and the lowest of Grodus' underlings. When led by high-ranking commanders, such as Lord Crump, they can use more attacks.
- Elite X-Nauts
- X-Naut PhDs
- Sir Grodus - Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
- Lord Crump - Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
- Johnson - Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
- Due to the lack of voice acting in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, the pronunciation of "X-Naut" is unknown. It may be pronounced like the letter "X", which is supported by Goombella's tattles using the article "an". However, it can also be pronounced "cross", as suggested by Goombella's tattle on X-Yux.
- In Super Paper Mario, there is a Sammer Guy by the name of Laughing X-Naut.