Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (known in Japan as Paper Mario RPG) is a 3D fantasy turn-based RPG developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo for the GameCube in Japan (on July 22, 2004), North America (on October 11, 2004), and Europe (on November 12, 2004).
The sequel to the 2001 game Paper Mario, The Thousand-Year Door has our hero Mario embarking on a new quest (with the help of an ancient magical map) to find the seven Crystal Stars used to unlock the Thousand-Year Door, which is believed to have legendary treasure behind it. Along the way, he must foil the plans of the X-Nauts: a band of extraterrestrials who also seek the Door's treasure to conquer the world.
Similar to the previous game, Princess Peach is again kidnapped and is playable at certain points of the game to investigate the motives of her kidnappers (this time being the X-Nauts). Players also control Bowser in special side-scrolling platformer segments of the game (as he seeks to also capture the Princess for himself).
The Thousand-Year Door continues the interactive turn-based battle system that Mario RPGs have been known for. Unlike most turn-based RPGs, the player cannot merely pick a move and watch a cinematic. Instead, they are prompted to do button commands while pulling off the move. Performing the action commands correctly will yield higher damage. For example, if Mario were to jump on a Goomba, the player could push A right when he lands on the Goomba and Mario will do a double-jump attack. The player 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, the player 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 the player try to draw a circle around the enemy as many times as possible to cause damage, while others make them 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 after performing the action command. Getting the crowd really excited will help refill the 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 it's possible to play as Peach and Bowser. In the parts where Peach is the main character, she moves 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.
Similar to the original Paper Mario, The Thousand-Year Door has Mario enlisting numerous traveling companions to aid him both in and out of combat.
Known in the Japanese version as Kurisuchiinu, Goombella is a friendly (and sassy) Goomba who is studying to become an archaeologist. She joins Mario in Rogueport after they defeat Lord Crump in the prologue.
Similar to Goombario, Goombella can provide information about the group's current location (as well as provide knowledge of various characters the group encounters) out of combat. In combat, she can also use her Tattle ability to provide information on a chosen enemy (including stats such as HP, attack power, and defense), which also unlocks a HP meter for all enemies of that type. She can also headbutt enemies.
- Headbonk - Jumps on top of an enemy twice. (0FP)
- Tattle - Reveals HP and other information from enemies. (0FP)
- Multibonk - Jumps on enemies multiple times, attacks between 1 and 7 times. (3FP)
- Rally Wink - Gives Mario a 2nd turn. (4FP)
Known in the Japanese version as Nokotarou, Koops is a friendly (and timid) Koopa Troopa who seeks to avenge his father by fighting the dragon Hooktail. He joins the group in Petalburg before they set out to Hooktail Castle.
Similar to Kooper, Koops can withdraw into his shell out-of-combat and be launched by Mario at a distance, which can be used to activate unreachable switches and grab far-off items. In combat, he can toss his shell at enemies who are on the ground.
- 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)
Known in the Japanese version as Kurauda, Madame Flurrie is a friendly (and pompous) wind spirit and a former famous actress. She joins the group in Boggly Woods after they retrieve her necklace.
While out of combat, she can use her powers to blow away enemies (evading them) and reveal hidden passages. In combat, she can blow away normal enemies out of combat.
- 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)
Known in the Japanese version as Chibi Yosshii and in some later games as Mini-Yoshi, a customizable newborn Yoshi joins the group after being found by the group (as a Yoshi Egg) before fighting the Armored Harriers in the Glitz Pit. Unlike other partners, players can pick the Yoshi's name and has numerous color schemes (which is chosen at random). He's also brash and has the tendency to call Mario "Gonzales".
While out of combat, Mario can ride on the back of Yoshi to move faster and float over obstacles (similar in function to Parakarry and Lakilester). In combat, he has numerous techniques from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (including ground pounds, gulping enemies and spitting them at others, and launching eggs at enemies).
- 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)
Known in the Japanese version as Bibian, Vivian is a ghostly witch and part of a trio of minor villains known as the Shadow Sisters. After being teased by her sisters throughout the game (leading to an inferiority complex), she breaks off the trio and joins Mario's group in Twilight Town.
While out of combat, Vivian can use her abilities to hide the team underground as a method for evading enemies (similar to Lady Bow). In combat, she can use this ability to help Mario avoid enemy attacks.
- 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)
Known in the Japanese version as Bareru, Admiral Bobbery is a friendly Bob-omb and a renowned sailor. He joins the group in Rogueport after they convince him to stop grieving about his dead wife.
Similar to Bombette, Bobbery can blast open certain walls and objects (with giant cracks on them) out of combat. In combat, he can detonate next to enemies to deal powerful damage.
- 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)
Known in the Japanese version as Chuchuriina, Ms. Mowz is a friendly (and flirty) Squeek and a thief of rare badges. Although she isn't required to join the group to complete the game, she can be recruited through a special sidequest (after obtaining the Ruby Star).
While out of combat, Ms. Mowz can be used to sniff out hidden items. In combat, she can steal enemy items/badges and attack while ignoring enemy defense.
- 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)
Unconventionally, 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: the 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.
- Kammy Koopa: This witch Koopa is one of Bowser's higher-ups who fights alongside him. She addresses Bowser by funny names such as "Your Chunkiness". 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 requires the power of the seven Crystal Stars to be awoken.
- Rawk Hawk: One of the mini-bosses and the Glitz Pit's second champion. He wants to disqualify Mario 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 Mario can find Luigi somewhere in Rogueport and hear 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.
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 Rogueport 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 Rogueport, it consists of 100 floors going down, each floor contains an enemy, each floor get gradually harder until the party gets to the 100th floor where they face Bonetail, Hooktail's and Gloomtail's long lost relative. Every 10th floor of the pit is a safe floor where they 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 Mario buys a replacement contact lens for Zess T. she will let him into the West side of Rogueport, but she also cooks items for Mario, letting him turn items into more useful food items. If he gives 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 the player the enemy's 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.