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Paper Mario is a video game released for the Nintendo 64 in 2000/2001 and later in July 2007 for the Virtual Console. This game is the first Paper Mario game in the series and focuses on Mario and the other characters being entirely made of paper.
This game was originally going to be called Super Mario RPG 2 as a tentative name and was originally in development for the failed Nintendo 64DD, but then changed development for the Nintendo 64, due to the commercial failure of the 64DD. Due to Square not helping with the game to avoid confusion, the name was changed to Super Mario Adventure, then Paper Mario.
Back around the time Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars was released, there was a small piece of information in the Epic Center section of Nintendo Power that Nintendo was hiring for SMRPG's successor, rumored to be coming for the already-previewed Nintendo 64.
Years passed with no news. Then it was revealed that the project had taken some turns - what came of it was Paper Mario - not a sequel of any sort, nor even in the same vein as SMRPG, but a Mario-style RPG nonetheless.
Where Super Mario RPG was a role-playing game with some platforming elements and Mario lore thrown in, it could be said that Paper Mario was a Mario game, an experimental genre, and turn-based RPG elements all stirred together into a fascinating stew. The plot revolved around Bowser stealing a magic star rod to grant wishes and stuff, of course in the process Princess Peach gets kidnapped, in her own castle no less. The gimmick was that all the characters and environments were made of flat paper - however, this was more of a graphical style than anything (the paper idea would not be fully fleshed out in gameplay terms until the sequel, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door).
Battles were initiated similarly to Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. Enemy parties appear on the traveling screen, and combat begins with contact - the player can run to avoid battle, risking being caught from behind (enemies get first attack), or charge headlong into it with bravery and perhaps foolishness (player gets first attack). Turn-based commands followed, where you could choose attacks for both Mario and his companion, of which, though you could accumulate many throughout the journey, only one could be used at a given time. Mario could jump or use his hammer, leading to simple strategies like "don't jump on the spiky shell," as well as use items, try to flee, and conduct special plot-related powers. Mario's companion could do the basic attack/item/flee routine as well, with each character having unique attack abilities.
Character statistics were built up in three forms: health points, flower points for using special abilities, and badge points. Just as in SMRPG, a level-up gave the choice between enhancing any one of these. Badge points were consumed by equipping badge items, which each had their own effect, from the redundant (adds five health) to the powerful (enables a hammer attack to hit all enemies at once) to the utilitarian (causes more money to result from winning battles).
Super Mario RPG used "timing" in battles for both attacking and defending. Paper Mario took this concept in full form - attacks were made doubly useful if you hit the button at the right time or with the right pattern, and attacks could be absorbed or even bounced back at the opponent depending on button-presses. These concepts would later be expanded upon in Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga.
However, like many of Nintendo's games during the PlayStation era, masses of gamers distanced themselves from the title due to its happy, friendly graphical style. RPG enthusiasts were also unfulfilled with the combat; in the end of the game, the most powerful attack might do 10 damage. However, many Nintendo fans found in Paper Mario an interesting and fun genre-twist that held a great deal of promise.
- Prologue - A Plea From The Stars
- Chapter 1 - Storming Koopa Bros. Fortress
- Chapter 2 - The Mystery of Dry, Dry Ruins
- Chapter 3 - The "Invincible" Tubba Blubba
- Chapter 4 - Trials in the Toy Box
- Chapter 5 - Hot, Hot Times on Lavalava Island
- Chapter 6 - Dark Days in Flower Fields
- Chapter 7 - A Star Spirit on Ice
- Chapter 8 - A Star-Powered Showdown!
- Goombario- His ability is telling Mario useful information of people, places, and enemies.
- Kooper - His ability allows Mario to shoot his shell in front of him, hitting switches and enemies.
- Bombette- Her ability is to explode taking down barriers and making holes from cracked walls.
- Parakarry - His ability allows Mario to fly over short distances and deliver lost letters.
- Lady Bow - Her ability makes Mario invisible.
- Watt - Her ability allows Mario to see in really dark places.
- Sushie - Her ability allows Mario to ride and dive in the water.
- Lakilester - His ability allows Mario to traverse spiked and lava areas.
Other Notable Enemies
- The Goomba King - The giant Goomba found in his fortress.
- Anti-Guy - A tough Shy Guy found in the Shy Guy Toy Box.
- Kent C. Koopa - A giant Koopa Troopa that blocks the path to Koopa Village after chapter 5.
- Tubba Blubba's Heart - Tubba Blubba's Heart, without it, he's invincible.
- Jr. Troopa - A young annoying Koopa Troopa that pesters Mario throughout the game.
- Buzzar - A bird that guards the path to Dry Dry Desert on Mt. Rugged.
- Monstar - A giant ghost like enemy that appears in Chapter 7 (just a bunch of Star Kids in disguise)
- The Dojo Members - Defeat the Dojo members to earn different level cards.