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- A villainous one from the beginning of the game: Bowser storms Star Haven, kidnaps the star spirits, and takes the Star Rod, all without any sort of opposition. He then proceeds to use this power to come far closer to actually KILLING Mario than any other instance in the entire series. If it's not entirely clear how much of an accomplishment that is, not even the end of the universe managed to kill the hero.
- Sometimes you can get rare Lil' Oinks. The Golden ones drop Ultra Shrooms and Silver ones drop Jammin' Jellies. You can combine the items to make the best healing item in the game, the Jelly Ultra.
- Seeing Dry Dry Ruins come out of the ground for the first time.
- Defeating The Master at full power in the first game. The Crowning Music of Awesome that accompanies it makes it even better.
- Defeating Tubba Blubba and freeing the Boos.
- If you don't use Watt in the room right before General Guy, Shy Guys will swarm you and slap Mario around.
- Everything about General Guy; he made an awesome, fun boss with great music.
- Kolorado tries to attack Lava Piranha while it's on fire. Granted, the only thing that comes of it is a Rump Roast, but props for actually trying to come to Mario's aid, as that's definitely a step beyond most other Mushroom Kingdom inhabitants!
- Misstar saving the party from the erupting volcano.
- Helping the Sun rise in Flower Fields.
- Peach gets several throughout the game for refusing to stay locked up and trying to help Mario however she can by spying. She can even send him powerful items and badges, and the Sneaky Parasol event makes it better.
- The citizens of the Mushroom Kingdom all wishing for the Princess to be alright as you ascend to the final level. Even the one who just wants to eat Shroom Cake.
- Then there's Kammy Koopa being defeated by Twink.
- During the last chapter's first cutscene, the game hands us one. After Kammy Koopa tells Bowser that Mario has saved all of the Star Spirits, he ties up Princess Peach and decides to kill Mario himself. Twink of all people jumps in to try and save Peach by attacking the Koopatrol. Sure, it doesn't work any better than Kolorado and the Lava Piranha, but again, at least he tries.
- Peach wishing for the Star Beam to gain power after Bowser cancels it out.
- Another villainous one by Kammy: she's very cunning all throughout the game, which includes not trusting Peach's answers when Bowser questions her about Mario's weaknesses and seeing through Peach's clever disguise late in the game. On top of all that, she subverts a major villain cliche by preparing a secret weapon for Mario's arrival, even saying, "Do you really think we were foolish enough to just sit back and watch as you save the Star Spirits?"
- Watt and Lakilester can actually hurt StarRod!Bowser for 1 HP. Not So Invincible After All?
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door
- Hooktail being a stupefying Wake-Up Call Boss. With or without her weakness figured out, once you've got her on the ropes, she'll try to trick you into letting her go. Deny her attempts again and again, and she'll settle for a last resort — eating the audience. In one fell swoop, Hooktail is back, ready for more, you've lost a huge advantage, and your understanding of how the game is going to work is lying in pieces on the floor.
- The Glitzville chapter. Battle tournaments, screaming fans, and a super-creepy mystery? Badass.
- Not to mention getting to name a Badass Adorable Yoshi, and if you know the "waiting how many minutes" trick before running from a Hopeless Boss Fight, you can also get the color you want the Yoshi to be as well.
- During Mario's stint in the Glitz Pit, the Goomba Bros. welcome him by cheating and jumping Mario and his partner with a First Strike. Now, they're obviously doomed to a quick and painful punishment, and at this point Mario and company will have the power and tools to waste them in one turn, but why waste an Establishing Character Moment? This moment can be made even better by simply guarding and completely No Selling their sneak attack. The most delicious version is, of course, if you superguard the poor bastard. Step aside, punks, the Great Gonzales has come to town.
- The climax of Keelhaul Key. Two awesome sailing ships, one the high-tech spike covered X-Naut ship, the other a haunted pirate ship commanded by the boss you just beat, face off in the bay and launch a full-on boarding battle, culminating in a boss fight against Lord Crump and his minions in attack formations. Now that is how you finish a chapter!
Lord Crump: Buh! Buh! Buh-huh-huh! I got ammo to spare! How's THAT for "boom-bassa-boom"?!Cortez: You fire cannons here... Without my permission? You have nerve, mortal! *cue epic Big Damn Heroes as the ship bursts through the side of a cliff*Lord Crump: WHAT THE...
- Even more awesome in that the entire crew Mario and co. sailed with joins in the ship battle, and so do all the stragglers that you rescued, including Francesca and Frankie, an innocent newlywed couple!
- Just preceding that is a moment for Flavio of all people. He scores this moment by successfully convincing Cortez to lend his ship to the cause, by threatening to have Mario beat the ghost pirate up further while he takes the Skull Gem (the source of power of Cortez's ship, stolen from him by Flavio's ancestors long ago) and throws it into the ocean, never to be found. As he himself says, he didn't become the richest man in Rogueport by not knowing how to negotiate.
- Also the launch of the Big Cannon in Chapter 7.
- Plus what's not awesome about fighting a mech in a high tech base on the moon?
- In Chapter 8 Vivian tells off Beldam, who has been mistreating her all their time together, and fights her alongside Mario.
Vivian: I'm with Mario all the way! Today, Sis, I am going to punish YOU, do you hear me?
- Bonus points if the player has Vivian actually in the fight, and then has Vivian beat down Beldam personally.
- After the fight, there's a more minor one if you "talk" to them with Koops. He says "Let's leave these wimps, Mario." It really shows how much stronger and more confident he is.
- During the final battle, everyone around the world starts to cheer for Mario. They're on the edge of despair and plunged in darkness, but seeing the Crystal Star show up in their area reminds them of Mario's impact on them in his adventure, and it revitalises their hope. It definitely reflects on the player too— you've come so far, and seeing all these characters rooting for you and showing the progress you've made, is just amazing. It definitely counts as a Tear Jerker and a Crowning Moment Of Heart Warming all at once.
- The climax of Chapter 6, in which the little dust bunny things from the day before invade the train and take almost every passenger onto the roof, at which point they merge together. It's Mario vs. a multitentacled monster on the top of a train known for extremely high speeds. Combined with the music, it's absolutely amazing.
- Anytime Mario and company Super Guard successfully, the awesomeness of the SG being directly proportional to the flash and power of the attack. In some cases, there are opportunities for Awesome Moments against weak enemies, such as if Mario Super Guards against the Goomba Bros.' sneak attack during the opening bout of the Glitz Pit. (Depending on the requirements, Mario may be free to whale on them in his next opening turn, which only amplifies his entrance to the put).
- Chapter 4 gives us Doopliss's Villainous Breakdown. when you tell him his name.
- Stylish moves. Nearly every player attack has a point at which you can press the A button to add some flair to it. Figuring them out and executing them is fun, and they're useful too, as the crowd loves them, meaning they earn star power. Even better: some stylish moves can be chained to another stylish move.
Super Paper Mario
- In Chapter 7-4 of Super Paper Mario, Rebbi arrives with a brigade of Nimbis to help Mario and co. get past massive squadron of Skellobits and Skellobombers. Also counts as the closest that Super Mario Bros. will ever get to depicting Armageddon!
Rebbi: THOU ART TOAST!
- In Chapter 8-2 of Super Paper Mario, you have to fight Mimi (AGAIN) at the end, but this time you can only play as Peach. Nothing is better than kicking the most annoying boss's ass using Peach, of all characters. And to top that off, creepy but awesome music plays in the background.
- Even better is what happens immediately before the fight. Mimi insults Peach for being a stereotypical Damsel in Distress, causing Peach to get angrier than we've ever seen her before and go after Mimi. When Mario and Luigi attempt to back her up, she firmly demands that they leave the fighting to her, and they respond by backing away slowly and giving Peach the space she needs to square off.
- Don't forget that Peach reveals her annoyance at being the Damsel Scrappy. Then, after the battle she attempts to save Mimi's life. If that doesn't save her from the scrappy heap, nothing will.
- After that, Luigi manages to beat Dimentio without even using Pixls! Granted, it ended up playing into Dimentio's plan in the end, but that's still awesome for the Man in Green.
- Tippi's "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Super Dimentio shortly before his death.
Tippi: Nothing is decided entirely by fate, you know... All things determine their destinies. Good-bye now, Dimentio. We'll add a footnote to the prophecy about your failure.
You believed in your prophecy, and we believed in mopping the FLOOR with you!
- Dimentio got told off by a rainbow-colored butterfly!
- Bowser's line makes it even better:
- Oh yeah, and Dimentio's Taking You with Me move that could only be canceled out BY MARRIAGE. He didn't rely on the heroes being dumb enough to do absolutely nothing, as most villains tend to do.
- Every time you get a Mega Star, you transform into a humongous pixelated version of yourself which allows you to destroy anything in your path while a kick-ass version of the series invincibility theme plays in the background.
Paper Mario: Sticker Star
- Bowser defeats Mario so thoroughly at the start that he's folded and crumpled up when Kersti finds him.
- One Toad at the beginning of the game is hiding behind a bush waiting to ambush Bowser.
- Bowser Jr. uses paperization to wad up a bridge Mario needs to cross, then throws it to the top of a cliff that can only be reached from the other side of the bridge. A bunch of Toads save the day by stacking together to form a staircase.
- Any time Mario warps reality with the power of Stickers, Paperization, and Things.
- At the end of World 1, a team of Goombas show resourcefulness with their papery bodies and group together as the boss. Suddenly they're a Not-So-Harmless Villain.
- Goombas and Koopas have skills to back up their words this time around, and gleefully mock Mario as they show off their sticker power.
- Restoring the oasis with the Faucet in World 2.
- The unveiling of Drybake Tower in World 2.
- Wiggler swimming across a poisoned ocean to get Mario and Kersti to the island.
- The boss of World 3, Gooper Blooper, getting Hoist by His Own Petard, should the player use the proper Thing sticker (sponge). Mario gets an awesome Theme Music Power-Up and the boss won't be able to hit him. Kind of cathartic after all the problems the boss has caused for the forest.
- The final boss battle. Bowser just keeps throwing wave after wave at you, culminating in the prerequisite One-Winged Angel. All of this even more awesome by getting a Theme Music Power-Up at the end, thanks to Kersti's sacrifice, and going to town on the boss.
Paper Mario: Color Splash
- A villainous one for a team of Shy Guys; after you coerce a Shy Guy to repaint the Mini Paint Star on Ruddy Road, he and his cohorts roll up the entire level in an attempt to kill you.
- Justice Toad proves himself useful when he spontaneously grows a key out of his head and uses it to help you get a Mini Paint Star.
- The blue Toad who wants to sail to the edge of the world becomes an awesome surfboarder when you use the Fan Thing to help him get back to shore.
- A Soggy Shy Guy is bullied for not being part of the crowd, but determines to be himself and stay a single-layer Shy Guy of awesomeness. He also thanks Mario for saving him from the waterwheel.
- Getting through Iggy's coliseum trap is awesome, especially if you use a Super Star.
- For those who like the fighting in this game, the Koopaling battles do not disappoint. Not only do they have awesome backing music, but their attacks are very unique. Even after using the correct Thing, most of them still manage to give it their all. One truly remembers the climactic feel of boss battles past when fighting the Koopalings.
- For a Toad, the Sunset Express's conductor proves quite awesome when serious during the train level. Instead of just standing around in panic like the rest of the Toads when Larry hijacks his train, the conductor grabs a handcar with Mario and takes chase. Then during the boss fight, he joins in to chase off the Shy Guy who keeps healing Larry through the smokestack. Even Larry himself remarks on how courageous this is for a Toad.
- Roy went to night school and fights smart, stealing Mario's paint before he can even attack, using it against him to hinder his actions, then covering the screen in black paint.
- After all the Big Paint Stars are saved, Mario tries to reach Bowser's castle, but the rainbow to get there is too steep to climb. Who comes to the rescue? Luigi, in a powered-up Kart complete with the infamous death stare.
- The entire raid on Black Bowser's castle. After Mario falls through a trap door, he fights off Roy, then poses as a bucket-carrying Shy Guy on an assembly line to sneak into where they're making bombs. He sets off giant Bob-Ombs with smaller ones, destroying the blank paint tank, but also making the paint chase him by rising and flowing down a hallway. When that's done, he returns to where he fell to face off with Bowser once and for all. The music and scenery really make the whole thing.