A sequel to 2001's Paper Mario on the Nintendo 64, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door was released exclusively for the GameCube on October 11, 2004 in North America, July 22, 2004 in Japan and November 12, 2004 in Australia and Europe. The game was highly praised and earned several awards for Best GameCube Game of the Year and Best Role-Playing Game of the Year. It also received nominations for Best Overall Game of the Year from some publications.
Prologue: A Rogue's Welcome
The adventure unfolds, (literally) when Princess Peach one day decides to go on a trip with her
guardian, Toadsworth. After an unexplained turn of events, they end up in the hostile town known as Rogueport, a hive of scum and villainy. Sometime during their visit, Peach decides to slip away from the distressed Toadsworth, possibly annoyed by his worry-some nature. While exploring the town further however, she gets approached by a mysterious cloaked figure who surreptitiously hands Peach a treasure chest. She then goes on to state that the treasure chest can only be opened by "one with a pure heart". Unable to keep her curiosity in order, the princess impatiently opens the chest to discover a worn down old treasure map. Apparently incapable to search for the treasure herself, she sends it to Mario in hopes of receiving his help once again.
One bright and sunny day Mario and Luigi, while lounging in their private accommodation, receive a letter (brought by a familiar face from the previous title.) from Princess Peach. It contains a withered ancient looking treasure map and a letter asking Mario on a treasure hunt along with Peach, and to meet up in the nefarious Rogueport. After all these years still inept to turn a request from the lovely Princess down, Mario sets off on his journey to Rogueport.
Upon arriving in Rogueport, the captain of the vessel that transported Mario from The Mushroom Kingdom once again points to the fact that the shady Rogueport is no place for any good-hearted plumber. However, Mario, unshaken in his resolve, assures the captain everything is fine and dandy, and thus powerless to stop the poor man, the gentleman sails away, leaving Mario behind on the docks of this murky port town.
Quickly accustomed to his surroundings, Mario hastily makes his way down the docks to unite with Princess Peach, only to come upon a scene the likes only seen in fairy tales. (Pun intended.) Being the true nobleman he is known for, Mario steps in for the lesser party and thus gets acquainted with a Goomba called Goombella. She immediately grabs this chance to use Mario as her escort and somewhat turn the tides on the opposing force. However, nonfluctuating and somewhat entertained by this display, the character announces that he, Lord Crump, along with his group of minions, the X-Nauts, will easily prevail, and throws himself unwavering into battle.
After being pummeled several times by the flamboyant duo, Lord Crump orders his group of X-Nauts to lay waste to their enemy. In a split second, hundreds of bodies pile up on the supposed location of the pair, and hundreds more continue to do so. Blinded by their own body mass however, the X-Nauts do not notice the duo escaping to the main plaza.
Arriving there however, Mario quickly takes note of the fact that Peach is nowhere to be found. Unhinged by this, Mario quickly stumbles upon Toadsworth, who is quick to inform the fact that Peach has gone missing. Supposedly though, Toadsworth has worse matters to contend with and better places to be, quickly bolting inside the local inn only to stay there for the entirety of the game.
Sometime before this, Goombella had informed Mario of a scholar rumored to live within the city borders named Professor Frankly. Making his way through town, Mario deals with muggers and dastardly fowl, but presses forward to only by chance encounter the professor in his "lab". Having met Goombella before, Frankly mistakenly recalls her for somebody else, only to be somewhat scolded. Handing out the map, Frankly let's out an unmistakable "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEH?!" before informing Mario that he has recovered a great archaeological treasure. The map is tied to a great one thousand year old legend that a great treasure sleeps within the vicinity of the sewers of the city. This treasure is hidden within the very depths of the city's foundation behind a great passageway only known as "The Thousand Year Door".
Having traveled down innumerable warp pipes, passageways, and sewer sections, Mario finally confronts the massive monstrosity of masonry known as "The Thousand Year Door". Showing no signs of patience or slowing down, Mario quickly descends the staircase to this hall of mysteries, and presents the Magical Map to the door via a pedestal. A bright light and what looks like the glorious aurora of a goddess later, a speedy look at the map reveals that a new location has been indicated as the resting place of a so called "Crystal Star". If seven of these are presented to the door, it will grant access to those that seek to do so.
The rest of the adventure is something you yourself will have to find out by playing the game and absolutely loving every second of it. Mario will travel to clandestine lands and territories, meet fearsome and enigmatic enemies and even visit a certain star that visits you at night. All the while accruing new party members, amassing new skills and discovering perplexing secrets and treasures. The only thing this storybook needs is a reader, so please, don't judge a book by it's cover. (Corny!)
- Mario: Mario is the main character of the game. All of the ladies are apparently very attracted to him. He is silent throughout the entire
game, but you can make some dialogue choices during the game for him. He can level up after getting 100 star points (experience points) and choose to upgrade his health, his flower points, or his badge points. The only way you can increase how much damage he gives and receives is by finding equipment throughout the game to upgrade his boots and hammer. You can also find badges that upgrade his stats.
- Peach: Peach is captured in the X-Naut base. There are portions of the game where you play as Peach to find out more information a bout the X-Nauts to help out Mario.
- TEC: TEC is the mega-computer for the X-Nauts and is built under the notion that it is absolutely perfect in every way. TEC is capable of having emotions although it is not exactly sure what those are and uses Peach to find out what it is. Despite being "perfect", TEC overrides its original programming and begins helping Peach by letting her find out more information about the X-Nauts and then relaying that information to Mario on his cell phone.
During The Thousand-Year Door, Mario finds lots of partners who tag along during his journey. Each have their own special abilities in and out of battle.
Goombella is the first partner you will get in the game after saving her from a group of X-Nauts. Out of battle, she will give you information about the place you are in, and tell you some information about the NPCs.
Abilities (In Battle):
- Headbonk - Jumps on top of an enemy twice (0FP)
- Tattle - Un-reveals HP and other information from enemies (0FP)
- Multibonk - Jumps on enemies multiple times, attcks between 1 and 7 times. (3FP)
- Rally Wink - Gives Mario a 2nd turn (4FP)
Koops will join your party after he gains enough courage to go into the dangerous Hooktail castle and look for his dad, who has been missing for a long time. Out of battle, you can shoot Koops' shell to hit switches and retrieve items that are far away.
Abilities (In Battle):
- Shell Toss - Fires himself into one enemy (0FP)
- Power Shell - Koops spins up his shell and rams into all ground based enemies (3FP)
- Shell Shield - Summons a giant shell to cover and protect Mario (4FP)
- Shell Slam - BArges through all ground enemies and penetrates their defence (6FP)
By far, the weirdest looking of the partners, Flurrie will join your party when a local tree-dwelling group gets trouble from the X-Nauts. Out of battle, she can blow away enemies so you don't have to go into combat.
Abilities (In Battle):
- Body Slam - umps through the air landing on her opponent (0FP)
- Gale Force - Flurrie blows away all small/weak enemies out of the battle (4FP)
- Lip Lock - Flurrie puckers up and kisses her opponent and steal their health points (3FP)
- Dodgy Fog - Flurries causes a fog which protects Mario (4FP)
During chapter 3, you find an angry hot dog stand owner who can't control one the jumping eggs he was going to use as an ingredient. After Mario saves the egg from being eaten, he later discovers that it has hatched into a little baby Yoshi. You can name the Yoshi, and the color of the Yoshi you get varies by the time passed between finding the egg and the egg hatching. Out of battle, you can jump on Yoshi's back to move twice as fast. He can also hover for small distances to get Mario across gaps.
Abilities (In Battle):
- Ground Pound - hovers up and pounds into an enemy multiple times (0FP)
- Gulp - Inhales and enemies and spits them back out into the enemy behind them damaging both (4FP)
- Mini-Egg - Throws multiple eggs at enemies causing them to shrink lowering their attack power. (3FP)
- Stampede - calls a herd of Yoshis to damage all enemies (6FP)
Vivian initially starts off as an enemy. She then later joins your group because it turns out that Mario was the only person that ever really cared about her. Out of battle, she can hide Mario underground to avoid combat.
Abilities (In Battle):
- Shade Fist - Punches an enemy which may cause them to burn (0FP)
- Veil - Drags Mario underground protecting him from the next attack (1FP)
- Fiery Jinx - Set all enemies on fire (6FP)
- Infatuate - Blows a kiss to the enemy, possibly confusing them (4FP)
Unlike all of the other partners, Mario is seeking out Admiral Bobbery to add to the party, not the other way around. After you break into his house and convince him to get out and stop grieving about his wife, he will join your party. Out of battle, you can toss him and he will walk straight and then blow up to flip switches or break weak walls.
Abilities (In Battle):
- Bomb - Bobbery blows up attacking one enemy (0FP)
- Bomb Squad - Fires three bob-ombs which will blow up later in the match(3FP)
- Hold Fast - Causes damage to any enemy that physically attacks Bobbery (4FP)
- Bob-ombast - Causes massive damage to all enemies (9FP)
While you do see Ms. Mowz around in the game, you have to do an optional side-quest to get this mouse-thief to join your party. Out of battle, she can find treasures and hidden items for you.
Abilities (In Battle):
- Love Slap - Attacks enemies and pierces their defence (0FP)
- Kiss Thief - Steals enemies badges or items (2FP)
- Tease - Makes all enemies dizzy. (3FP)
- Smooch - increases Mario's HP by 10 (10FP)
Different from what you would expect, Bowser is not the main villain in this game, however he does play an important role. Instead the baton is being passed over to Lord Grodus leader of the X-Nauts, a new group of enemies to the Mario franchise.
- Lord Grodus: The leader of the X-Nauts. His plans are to capture all of the Crystal Stars and use them somehow to take over the world. Peach is involved in these plans.
- Lord Crump: Lord Crump is Grodus' right hand man. Apparently very skilled, he enjoys stroking his ego on various occasions. He has a personal mechanized suit entitled Magnus Von Grapple.
- Bowser: Bowser might not have the lead villain role, but he still plays a big role. Mario fights him a couple times during the game. Bowser is on a mission to kidnap Peach from the people that have already kidnapped her. There are also portions of the game where you play as him. These portions are tributes to the Super Mario Bros. games for the NES.
- Kammy Koopa: This witch Koopa is one of Bowser's higher-ups who fights along side him. She addresses Bowser by funny names such as "Your Chunkieness". She mostly serves comic relief throughout the game.
- Shadow Sirens: The three sisters: Beldam, the short one with a blue hat; Vivian, the one with a red hat; and Marilyn, the big one with a yellow hat. This highly dysfunctional group is helping Lord Grodus by trying to remove Mario from the picture and are often fighting each other. Beldam is very mean towards Vivian and often blames her for things that are her own fault. Marilyn is the strongest group and the least social, usually only speaking with various grunts.
- Shadow Queen: The game's final boss. She must use the power of darkness to defeat Mario & co. but to use the power of the 7 Crystal Stars to be awaken.
- Rawk Hawk: One of the mini-bosses and the Glitz Pit's second champion. He wants to disqualify him by using cheats but, decided to fight fair and square for the belt.
It should also be noted that Mario's brother, Luigi, also is part of the game, however he has very little to do at all with the main story. Luigi is actually embarking on his own adventure which shares many parallels with Mario's. At the end of each chapter you can find Luigi somewhere in Rogueport and read his hilarious take on his adventures. He also brings different partners with him every time, whose stories of the events are often very different from that of Luigi's.
The Thousand-Year Door continues the interactive turn-based battle system that Mario RPGs have been known for. Unlike most turn-based RPGs, you cannot merely pick a move and watch a cinematic. Instead, you are prompted to do button commands while pulling off the move. Performing the action commands correctly will yield higher damage. For example, if you were to jump on a Goomba, you could push A right when you land on the Goomba and Mario will do a double-jump attack. You can also push A or B while being attacked to lower the amount of damage received or do a counter-attack and damage the enemy a small amount. In addition, Mario can jump on top of the enemy or hit them with his hammer outside in the overworld to damage enemies before the battle even begins. However, the enemy has this ability as well.
As Mario obtains more Crystal Stars, he gets special moves he can use in battle. For these special moves, you must play a mini-game in battle to receive the benefits. These moves involve causing massive damage, healing Mario and his partner, and boosting Mario’s attack and defense stats. These mini-games include a variety of things. One of them makes you try to draw a circle around the enemy as many times as possible to cause damage, while others make you time button-pushing in order to damage the enemy. The more Crystal Stars Mario gets, the bigger his star meter gets, which lets him pull off bigger special moves and lets him use the smaller ones more often. One of The Thousand-Year Door’s more unique battle features is how the game takes place on a stage. As the battle starts to get more chaotic, props will fall down on the combatants, stage crew will accidentally drop lights, and there is even crowd that will get involved with the battle. If Mario and his partners pull of the action commands correctly, more spectators will join the crowd. The reverse also holds true; if Mario and his partners fail to perform moves correctly, crowd members will start leaving. Mario can also get style points by pushing certain buttons (The game doesn’t tell you; you have to find out about style moves by experimenting) after performing the action command. Getting the crowd really excited will help refill your star meter so Mario can perform more special moves. Crowd members will also throw items at Mario; it could either be an item to regain health, or a hammer to cause harm. Mario or one of his other party members can quickly jump on top of the crowd members to stop the item from being thrown and effectively scare that spectator away.
|Crystal Star Required||Power||Description|
|Map||Sweet-Treat||Can replenish up to 7HP and 8FP for both party members and cure status aliments.|
|Diamond Star||Earth Tremor||Causes an earthquake which can do up to 6 damage to all ground based enemies.|
|Emerald Star||Clock Out||Immobilizes all enemies temporarily.|
|Gold Star||Power Lift||Boost attack and defense power for both party members temporarily.|
|Ruby Star||Art Attack||Circles the enemies as many times as possible to cause damage to them all.|
|Sapphire Star||Sweet Feast||Similar to Sweet-Treat, but Mario and his partner can replenish up to 24HP and 24FP.|
|Garnet Star||Showstopper||If done successfully, will KO all enemies unless they have more than 12HP or are classed as a 'boss'.|
|Crystal Star||Super Nova||Can causes a total of 15 damage too all enemies.|
Outside of battle there are some fairly simple puzzles that must be solved. These usually involve using the partners’ special abilities. There are also many paper forms that Mario can turn into. These involve turning into a paper airplane, a paper roll up, a paper boat, and more. These forms all help move about levels in ways that couldn’t be accessed by foot. There also parts of the game where you can play as Peach and Bowser. In the parts where you play as Peach, you move around in the base that she is captured in to collect more information about the enemy. She then uses the computer, TEC, to send emails to Mario about this information.
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door contains plenty of bonus missions outside of the main quest line. including side-quests, collectibles and challenges.
Trouble Center Side Quests
The Trouble Center is where Mario goes to collect side quests, these quests can range from finding a lost key in Rougeport or finding the prices of items in a shop to more harder quests such as finding legendary cook books to finding hidden badges that certain a thief wants.
The Pit of 100-Trials
The Pit of 100-Trials is located underneath Rougeport, it consists of 100 floors going down, each floor contains an enemy, each floor get gradually harder until you get to the 100th floor where you face Bonetail, Hooktail's and Gloomtail's long lost relative. Every 10th floor of the pit is a safe floor where you can rest, save the game, buy items or badges or leave the pit.
Badges can be equipped onto Mario giving him extra abilities, these badges can be obtained by finding them in the environment, buying them from shops, trading star pieces for them or being gifted them by characters from the game. Each badge has certain badge points which Mario only has a certain amount he can equip, he can get more BP by leveling up. The most rarest badges in the game can change Mario's attire, the W emblem changes his attire to Wario, the L emblem changes his attire to Luigi, and if they're both equipped Mario will wear Waluigi's attire.
Zess T.'s Food
Once you buy a replacement contact lens for Zess T. she will let you into the West side of Rougeport, but she also cooks items for you, you can turn items into more useful food items. If you give Zess T. the legendary cookbook from Creepy Steeple she will be able to cook two ingredients at the same time for you.
One of Goombella's abilities is Tattle which allows her to show you the enemies HP, defense and attack power. Once she tattles an enemy it goes into her tattle log. There are 124 separate enemies in the game which have to be tattled to fill up the Tattle Log.
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