The fourth Paper Mario game, after Super Paper Mario and before Paper Mario: Sticker Star. Okay, it's actually a fanfic, not a game, but it is a completely original Mario adventure in the Paper Mario style.It starts out much like Thousand-Year Door does, with Mario learning that Peach wants him to join her on a trip to a far-off land, Chronoside. A Goomba thief steals Mario's hammer, and Mario chases the the thief into the Temple of the Sun. There, they witness King Shroude kill the six Guardians of Day in an attempt to create a world of perpetual night, separating Chronoside into Dayside, where it's always Day, and Nightside, where it's always night. Now Mario must recover the six Sun Souls and find six new Guardians of Day in order to reunite the two worlds.The story can be found here.(Note that whenever a reference to a chapter is made in the examples, this refers to the chapters of the game, not the chapters of the fanfic. Like all Paper Mario games, Temple of the Sun has eight chapters.)This fanfic provides examples of:
Acquired Poison Immunity: Maizee, who's been trapped in the Poisoned Factory so long that she's grown immune to the effects of even the strongest toxins.
Dark Action Girl: Rizz and her minions, Sall and Bess. Also Maizee before her Heel Face Turn.
Anti-Hero: There really isn't much that's heroic about Goomblaine, who really only got roped into helping Mario out because it was his fault that Mario was in the Temple of the Sun when King Shroude attacked the Guardians of Day. Not until he becomes the Master of Day, anyway.
Hot Sauce that creates a huge explosion when mixed with Orange Juice: probably a reference to the Nitro Honey Syrup from TTYD. Appears in the same chapter, too.
Two come from Peach, where she references what the villians of the past two Paper Mario games wanted to do with her.
Peach: Let me guess- you're trying to resurrect and ancient demon, and you need my body for it to possess? Or maybe you're trying to destroy the universe, and you need me to marry someone in order to create an interdimensional rift that will swallow everything up?
Shroude: You have a VERY active imagination Princess.
Hanner: You clearly don't know the first rule of adventuring. Open every chest you find.
Dulia: I thought the first rule of adventuring was to go into every house you find, because for some reason the people living there probably won't care and might actually give you stuff. Am I the only one who's noticed that?
Darker and Edgier: A logical progression given that each game in the series is a bit heavier than the previous one, but Chapter 4 is where things start getting really dark. Then Chapter 5 is even darker.
Deceptive Disciple: The leader of the Mouser Gang turns out to be Bronson, the deputy of Golden Spur Ranch. The operation at Mustard Mines was just a ploy to get Sheriff Snatchel to leave town and leave Bronson in control.
Deconstruction Fic: Even despite Paper Mario being big on deconstruction to begin with. Look no further than Mario's character arc and Peach's ultimate role in the story.
Divided We Fall: Happens in Chapter 6 when the Darkstriders convince Ferdinand that he's unwanted.
Fantastic Racism: Mario himself goes through this twice, first when he meets Stubba (a Clubba), due to the status of both Tubba Blubba and Grubba, and then again when he meets Dulia (a Duplighost), due to Doopliss stealing his identity in Thousand-Year Door. Hanner even calls Mario out on it being "another Stubba thing" when she sees his reaction to learning that his fifth partner is to be a Duplighost. He's also a lot quicker to get over it with Dulia, precisely because remembering the loneliness he felt during that incident allows him to see that Dulia's feeling the same way.
Hoist by His Own Petard: After the Abominable Snowwoman boss of Chapter 2 fails to defeat the heroes, the Darkstriders try to do the job themselves...and are promptly beaten up by said boss, angry at them for lying to her about Mario being responsible for the rockslides.
Bulbin, the Chapter 5 boss, fights the party on a bridge above a pit of acid, and spends much of the battle trying to break the arena and send them into the acid. This isn't Boss Arena Idiocy because they defeat him before the bridge breaks, but after the battle ends with the boss still alive and Maizeerefuses to kill him, the bridge breaks and he plummets to his doom.
How Dare You Die on Me!: Snatchel takes a flame attack from Blackout Bowser for Maizee, and is slower to recover after the battle than the rest of Mario's partners. Cue the Slap-Slap-Kiss.
If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Once Bulbin is rendered helpless, Mario gives Maizee the chance to finish him. She refuses. Then the floor collapses beneath him and he falls into the acid pit below.
Let's You And Her Fight: The Chapter 2 boss is spurred into fighting Mario and friends by the Darkstriders convincing her that Mario was responsible for the rock slides. When she finds out that this isn't true, she attacks the three of them.
Limit Break: As a nod to past Paper Mario games, Mario receives a Special Move every time he recovers a Sun Soul. The Special Moves are listed below in the order in which they're learned.
Second Wind heals Mario and his partners in dire situations with a refreshing breeze, like Refresh/Smooch and Sweet Treat/Feast.
Freeze Frame briefly stops enemies in time using a green frame of light, similarly to Time Out and Clock Out.
Miracle Grow causes Mario and his partners to grow huge and thus have their Attack raised, like Power Lift.
Fire Away attacks all enemies with bolts of fire, directly dealing damage like Star Storm and Earth Tremor.
Principles Zealot: The Guardians are somewhat of a religion in Chronoside. Goomblaine's parents were nonbelievers. They had their house burned down and were killed by religious zealots. Goomblaine stopped believing in the Guardians after that, feeling that if they were real, they wouldn't have allowed that to happen.
Psycho Serum: Maizee's mutant Putrid Piranhas are dosed up with successively more of this. By the end, they're so insane that they no longer even recognize Maizee and attack her. Luckily she's been working with these poisons so long that she's immune to them.
And then Bulbin himself takes it, despite knowing the risks.
Recurring Boss: Jaff, Pell, and Nobb are fought multiple times, as are Maizee and her Putrid Piranhas.
Ripple Proof Memory: Aside from Mario and Goomblaine, who were inside the Temple of the Sun when Chronoside was split, the only ones who realize that time has essentially stopped are those who are destined to become the new Guardians.
Saying Too Much: Mario lets slip that the reason they want to get to Mustard Mines is so they can get time moving correctly again. Turns out to have been the perfect thing to say when the sheriff holding them in prison at the time has noticed that something's wrong with time and lets them out, on the condition that they let him join them on their trip. (Of course, they have to oblige, not only because he's holding them in prison but also because the fact that he knows that time is all messed up means he's one of the new Guardians.)
Later, Maizee and Bulbin confront each other, and not knowing that Mario and friends are already in the same room as they are, the latter reveals his Man Behind the Man status right before trying to kill the former.
Shipper on Deck: When Maizee kisses Snatchel, Hanner's reaction is "Finally!"
Stealth Mentor: Maizee repeatedly helped the party from the shadows, wanting them to beat her every time and eventually free her from Bulbin's control. Naturally, despite having heard a confession from the Man Behind the Man, Mario's still a little reluctant to trust her since the last villain to claim that he'd been on Mario's side all along turned out to be the Big Bad.
The Starscream: Rizz, sort of. Not actually trying to usurp King Shroude, but rather trying to undermine Jaff and take his place as The Dragon. And actually ends up helping Mario at one point because she believes that he can defeat Jaff, but won't be able to defeat Shroude.
Temporal Theme Naming: The names of the six (actually seven) Sun Souls. There's the Dawn Soul, the Morning Soul, the Sunhigh Soul, the Meridiem Soul, the Eve Soul, and the Dusk Soul. Interestingly, they correspond with the location they're found in; for instance, the Dawn Soul is found in Fleet Forest, where it's perpetually sunrise, and the Eve Soul is near Viney Valley, where it's always early evening.
The seventh Sun Soul, having power over the other six, is the Day Soul.
Theme Naming: All of these named Darkstriders have four-letter names with a doubled letter at the end.
Odd Name Out: The king of the Darkstriders is named Shroude, however.
Tomboy and Girly Girl: After finding the third Sun Soul, Hanner says she hopes the next Guardian is a girl, because there weren't enough girls on the team. Mario points out that she isn't terribly feminine herself. Sure enough, the next Guardian is the very feminine Dulia.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Like the other future Guardians, Ferdinand noticed that the sun didn't move in the sky...he just figured that everything happens for a reason and went with it.
Wall Jump: Unlike in previous games, the Ultra Boots now give Mario this ability.
Wham Chapter: While Temple of the Sun is Darker and Edgier than most Paper Mario games starting fairly early on, Chapter 5 is where things start getting really heavy.
What Could Have Been: The boss of Chapter 6 was originally going to be a "big pig thing", but was changed for being too similar to Midbus from Bowser's Inside Story, which hadn't been released when the story began.