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"Ahem! Today... I'll tell you the story of the lost book of prophecies. This prophetic book was a mysterious tome full of stories of future events. Of course, many people desired this book, wishing to glimpse their futures. But no person, after obtaining this amazing book, ever found happiness. The reason? The book held frightful secrets not meant for people's eyes. The book came to be called the Dark Prognosticus and was sealed away. This... is the tale of the forgotten book's last owner. It is a tale of love..."
The third installment in the Paper Mario series of RPGs, Super Paper Mario mixes it up a bit by being...well, totally different from its predecessors. Instead of being a turn-based RPG with action elements like the first two games, Super Paper Mario is a side-scrolling platformer with RPG elements. One of the most interesting features of the game is the ability to switch between 2D and 3D view at will - a lot of puzzles can only be solved in 3D, and switching to 3D will often show enemies and items that you couldn't see (or interact with) before.The plot is noticeably darker than the previous entries. Mario and Luigi hear that Princess Peach has been kidnapped (again) and go off the Bowser's Castle. Except that he didn't do it. At that moment, a strange guy named Count Bleck appears with Peach and takes Bowser, the Koopa Troop, and Luigi to his stronghold, Castle Bleck. Mario is left out cold until he is awoken by Tippi, a Pixl. She brings him to the town of Flipside. Meanwhile, Bleck forces a marriage between Bowser and Peach, summoning the Chaos Heart and causing a rift called The Void to appear. Mario must fight Bleck and his strange Five-Bad Band to save the multiverse.
Dimentio actually turns Fracktail into this, forcing you to fight him.
Alas, Poor Villain: After you defeat King Croacus in Chapter 5, the Floro Sapiens will come by and tell Mario and the gang that he wasn't evil at all. He only kidnapped and brainwashed the Cragnons because they were dumping their trash in the river and contaminating the water the Floro Sapiens drank from.Oops. Ultimately subverted in that he survives his defeat.
All The Worlds Are A Stage: Before Dimentio allows you fight him at the end of Chapter 8-3, you first have to chase him through sections from the seven previous worlds.
Anti-Hero: Given that Bowser, the regular Big Bad of the Mario series is on the side of the heroes, he is definitely this. You even have to fight him a few times and he's mostly down for the quest because for one, if all of the worlds are destroyed then he won't have anything left to rule over, two, he enjoys taking on and defeating enemies, and three, he does it to try and impress his supposedly new wife, Princess Peach.
Anti-Villain: Count Bleck, who - despite wanting to unmake the world - genuinely cares for his henchmen, and is driven by the loss of his love rather than actual evil (even helping the heroes near the end after being reunited with her).
Applied Mathematics: The first few levels feature "joke" equations in the background, made up of random numbers and mathematical symbols combined with famous Mario icons such as the Fire Flower and mushrooms.
Arbitrary Headcount Limit: One active main character (and one Pixl) at a time, even though for much of the game all four, or at least more than one, of the main characters are traveling together, along with considerably more than one of the Pixls.
Batman Gambit: Dimentio needs the heroes to retrieve the Pure Hearts and use them to beat Count Bleck in order to steal the Chaos Heart and remake the universe. If the heroes fail, Dimentio cannot get the Chaos Heart and would end up getting erased from existence just like everyone and anything else.
Beware the Silly Ones: Francis can be deadly if you don't take him seriously as a boss because of his character. But you just know you can't take him seriously.
Be Careful What You Wish For: When you begin the game Luigi is talking to Mario saying that he wants some "KERBLOOEY" events to happen. Needless to say they end up meeting Count Bleck who plans on ending all of existence. And later on in the story the game has plenty of Wham Moments, starting in Chapter 6 when the entire world of Sammer's Kingdom gets destroyed. And then there's Luigi, himself.
Big Bad: Count Bleck. At least, until he gets usurped by The Starscream, Dimentio. After all, his villainy was nothing more than the effect of sadness and regret
Bigger Bad: Count Bleck's father, who kickstarted the events by banishing his son's love into another dimension and leaving her for dead..
Big Fancy Castle: Castle Bleck and Fort Francis. Bleck being a villain, a Man of Wealth and Taste, and filthy rich, it's obvious he'd get such a gorgeous castle, but you wouldn't really expect a nerd as big as Francis to live in a massive castle.
Body Horror: Mimi's Transformation Sequence is quite freaky for an E-rated game.note She basically spins her head like in The Exorcist, only instead of turning around sideways, her head turns vertically. It certainly doesn't help that the end result is a Gonkified version of her with giant spider legs coming out of her upside-down head. Plus there's the whole cracking neck thing...
Flip to 3D; her head is full of gears.
Bonus Boss: Three: Wracktail at the bottom of the Flipside Pit of 100 Trials, Shadoo at the bottom of the Flopside Pit if you go down twice, and End Boss, the 100th Sammer Guy. They are also the only optional bosses in the game, barring the Francis rematch. While End Boss is the only one that can't be fought until the postgame, Shadoo is considered to be the hardest of the three and must be defeated after Wracktail.
Three, if the Duel of 100 counts. (It's not quite the same thing, though - you still have to do it all at once, but you have the option to save every 25 fights and you can leave at any time.)
Book Ends: Mario is the only playable character in the very first and very last levels. Lampshaded by Tippi: "It reminds me of when we first met..."
Also, the introduction sees the wedding of Peach and Bowser, which causes the Void to open. The final scene sees the "wedding" of Timpani and Blumiere, in the same dimension, at the same altar (lampshaded by Luigi: "Hey, I remember this place!"), which causes the Void to close. Interesting in that the first occasion was a wedding that wasn't for true love, and the second wasn't really a wedding, but was for true love.
And the game begins with Tippi waking up Mario, then taking him to Flipside, where we see the Void for the first time. The final scene sees Luigi, the first character alongside Mario to be seen in the game, waking up Mario on Flipside tower, where we see the Void for the last time.
Flipside tower is also the first playable area in and after the game.
The first and last scene are the only scenes in the game in which the player doesn't know where Tippi is.
Boss Bonanza: Castle Bleck is divided into four sub-chapters, each of which ends in boss fight: O'Chunks, Mimi, Dimentio, and Count Bleck, respectively. After Bleck's defeat is the Super Dimentio fight.
And also if you refuse to look for Luvbi when Jaydes asks.
And again in Chapter 8-3 if you agree to help Dimentio overthrow Count Bleck.
In a different vein, the interaction with Carrie the Pixl in Fort Francis has her asking you what you thought of Francis. She'll agree completely with you no matter what you said.
Carrie: So what you're saying is, Francis is awesome and irresistible. A stallion basically. I was thinking the exact same thing!
There is one time in which it is played straight: when "Merlee" (who is actually Mimi in disguise) asks you to sign a contract that is obviously bad for you, if you select "Sign" twice, the next set of choices are "No way!" and "Forget it!".
Calling the Old Man Out : It's implied that Blumiere's first act as Count Bleck was to kill his father. It's also implied that he wiped out the Tribe of Darkness.
When Luvbi discovers her true identity as a Pure Heart she believes that Grambi and Jaydes' overprotectiveness was not out of love, and that they did not let her enjoy life, knowing that her time was short.
Cerebus Syndrome: The darkest Mario game yet. The game starts to go into this full-stop in Chapter 6 and its aftermath. Basically, the main characters actually witness a world getting destroyed, and they have to explore the empty void to look for the now defunct Pure Heart. After the end of the chapter, Dimentio murders the entire playable cast. They get better, but damn.
Chain of Deals: There's a very long one that makes you backtrack across all the worlds you previously visited, but thankfully, it's optional.
The Chosen One: It's stated that Mario, Luigi, Peach and Bowser are the Heroes of Light chosen by the Light Prognosticus. Luigi is the Chosen One for the Dark Prognosticus, being the Apocalypse Maiden.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Kammy. She was a major character in the first two games, but is absent from this one with no explanation. This might have been done because giving her a role alongside the now playable Bowser would be awkward.
Cloudcuckoolander: The Pixls (except for Tippi). They don't have many lines, but what little dialogue they do have is extremely bizarre.
Although, given the fact that some of them have been locked up for 1,500 years, it's somewhat understandable that they wouldn't be fully sane.
Thoreau: I express concern when the Ancients stuffed me in that chest 1,500 years ago. But now I see my worries were unfounded!
Although, even the ones like Barry and Dottie that weren't imprisoned anywhere (we don't know how Dottie got in the Floro Caverns, and Barry was just kinda wandering around the Bitlands) are a little strange (although, they may be the most normal).
Collision Damage: Being based on traditional Mario platform games than turn-based RPGs, it plays this straight with pretty noticeable knock back. Which is odd, because 2D Mario games have never had knockback before or since.
Console Cameo: The recipe computers look like Nintendo DSs, and the cards needed to expand their list of suggested recipes resemble DS game cards. One item in the Chain of Deals is also apparently a DS.
Also, all Nintendo consoles can be seen in Fort Francis. Even the Virtual Boy.
Said purple Speech Bubbles were previously used by the Shadow Queen, an ancient demon who served as the Final Boss in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, and her undead pet dragon Bonus Boss Bonetail.
Defeat Means Friendship: Subverted more than once with Bowser, who joins due to reasons completely different from the defeat, and clearly states the first time that he is only doing it for his own benefit, not that of the heroes. Specifically, so he can take his castle back AND ensure there's a world that he can actually take over in the first place. Acts as a nod to another game in the series.
Deliberately Monochrome: Castle Bleck. Nothing but pure blackness with white outlines. Also, Sammer's Land after it's destroyed in chapter 6: Nothing left but empty white space and occasional blackened ruins.
Bowser and O'Chunks' battle is a Designated Big Guy Fight.
Dialogue Tree: Inverted. You can only have one of the heroes out at a time, and the dialog of other characters (say, pre-fight Boss Banter) will change to reflect that.
Did Not Do the Bloody Research: Just before Luigi fights Dimentio, Dimentio provokes Luigi by calling his mustache a "Shag." Obviously, the term did not reside well in Great Britain, as the word was a coarse verb for sexual intercourse, so it was changed to referring to Luigi as being a pushover.
Disc One Nuke: It's possible to clear the first Pit of 100 Trials and get the optional Pixl, Dashell, before you finish Chapter 2. Much more devastating is the number of levels you will gain from completing the pit. You'll have far more hit points and attack power than you should have by chapter 2. Of course, this is more of an example of Level Grinding than disc one nukage.
Everybody Knew Already: Merlon claims that only he and Nolrem know about Flipside and Flopside existing within their own towns. There are a few NPCs who mention the opposite town and mention having been to the opposite town. Also, it's mentioned that Bestovius only teaches his flipping technique to the hero. Several NPCs make reference to going places they can't possibly go without flipping, and many Mooks can flip as well.
Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Dimentio used the Heroes to get the Pure Hearts, and allowed them to use them on Count Bleck so that he could get the Chaos Heart easily. He honestly thought that the heroes using the Pure Hearts meant that they were gone for good. He ended up legitimately shocked when, due to Bleck/Blumiere, Tippi/Timpani, O'Chunks, and Mimi's love for one another, the Pure Hearts had returned and stripped him of his invincibility.
Evil-Detecting Dog: After you free it, the guard dog creature in Merlee's Mansion immediately proceeds to chase after Mimi. His reaction to seeing "Merlee" for the first time in the chapter is also a nice bit of foreshadowing.
First you have Count Bleck and Sir Grodus, who are both highly arrogant, wield powerful scepters, and are the initial Big Bad of their respective games, at least until they both turn out to be the Disc One Final Boss.
And then you have Dimentio and Beldam. To start, both of them were initially the respective Evil Genius for their game's Five-Bad Band, and are both explicitly subordinate to the Big Bad. They are both highly-skilled in magic and deception, and are revealed prior to the final battle that they were behind the events of the game
And finally, Super Dimentio and the Shadow Queen alike are eldritch abominations and are final bosses that are "resurrected" with one of the protagonists of each game.
Fake King: The first time you meet King Sammer, he's real. The second time, it's actually Mimi impersonating him.
Fake Weakness: Mimi tries shapeshifting into Merlee and asking Mario his weaknesses...in a place where Merlee has no business being. She'll put power-ups and helpful items out if you tell her you're weak to them. And you can even get her to spawn a boss from a previous chapter.
Fartillery: O'Chunks uses this as his exit in the first three encounters, but he actually uses this as an attack against Bowser as Super O'Chunks.
In Super Paper Mario, this is possibly how the Cherbils attack. If you use Tippi to tell you about the creatures, she says "some say the gas comes from its mouth. Others say it comes from... elsewhere." Due to the creature's appearance (basically a set of eyes and a large pair of cheeks), it's difficult to tell which end it's coming from.
Free Sample Plot Coupon: Mario gets the first Pure Heart handed to him before the player even officially has control of him. Hilariously, you can avert But Thou Must by refusing multiple times to accept the item, eventually leading to the giver just giving up and a Non Standard Game Over before the game even begins.
Genre Blind: When Toad mentions at the beginning that Peach is kidnapped, Luigi ponders who would do such a thing before deducing it must be Bowser. At this point in the series history, it shouldn't take more than 1/64th of a second to figure that out. Of course, it doesn't help it's also one of the few times it's not him.
In Medias Res: The wedding scene that plays during the Attract Mode. Chronologically, that scene occurs during the span of time when Mario is blacked out, after Count Bleck captures Bowser, the Koopa Troop and Luigi partway through the introduction.
Innocent Innuendo: A lot of what Squirps says, like wanting to be squeezed and twisted into small spaces and also twice asking the player if they were in love with him (whether it was Mario, Peach, or Bowser didn't matter).
In the End, You Are on Your Own: Subverted when Mario gets separated from his teammates one by one in Chapter 8, but they come back together to assist him in the final boss fight.
Living Crashpad: Bowser and O'Chunks were last seen holding up a Descending Ceiling. The camera cuts to Mario and his friends in another room, and we hear the ceiling come down, suggesting Bowser and O'Chunks were crushed. Later, we see Princess Peach and Mimi fall down a hole in the floor, into their apparent doom. Eventually, Bowser and Peach return unscathed during the battle with Count Bleck.
Tippi: You're all here... But how?
Bowser: I fell through the floor before I got flattened by the ceiling.
Peach: I fell through, too, and landed right on Bowser! It was a surprisingly soft landing...
Loners Are Freaks: Francis. He gets incredibly nervous once Peach shows up and is so awkward and inept at normal face-to-face socialization that he needs to use a special program just to interact with her. On top of that, the program is a dating sim.
For those who don't get it... Count Bleck finally sees the error of his ways, and helps the heroes save the world by restoring power to the Pure Hearts, and then, after Dimentio is defeated, marries his true love, Timpani, to stop the Big Bad's last resort, and undoes the Chaos Heart's damage. Unfortunately, this kills them in the process.
Except The Stinger reveals a shot of what appears to be a couple standing in a meadow, one of whom is wearing a top hat, which suggests that it's Count Bleck/Lord Blumiere and Timpani. Whether their location is another world or something else entirely, though, is up for debate.
What's more, the Void grows larger as the game progresses, and if you revisit an older level, you may see the Void in the background when it wasn't visible before. (Revisit World 1-1 after the Void has grown a couple times to see this effect.)
Moon Logic Puzzle: At one point in Chapter 5, you progress to a series of floating blocks. The only way to make the pipe appear to get to the next area is to it the blocks in order in a long, complicated sequence. The only way to know the sequence (without using an external source) is to talk to one of the villagers, whom you have to say please to five times (by repeatedly typing the word "please") before he gives you the very long pattern. Definitely a Guide Dang It for those who don't bother to Talk to Everyone.
Mythology Gag: The Pal Pills are very similar to a brigade of miniature Marios who briefly appeared in the Super Mario Worldcartoon episode "Rock TV". They also use the 8-bit Mario sprites, complete with death animation.
That's not the only one. These types of gags make up much of the game's humor, to the point where listing all of them would make this page even longer than it already is.
The Needless: Played with. Mario can't survive in space without oxygen yet he only needs to use a fishbowl as a helmet to avoid suffocation.
Never Say "Die": Whenever death is mentioned, it's referred to as a Game Over if you're not related to flowers, in which case it's referred to as wilting. This is actually played for laughs, rather than censorship. At one point, your whole party visits the after life and gets a chance to speak with the dead, all of whom have died in ways you'd expect to die in a Mario game. When your party is ready to leave the after life, they even get a literal continue.
Actually, during the Final Boss battle, Dimentio says "dies" when relating to Count Bleck.
And the queen of the afterlife says that she has power over life and death. It seems more like the word "life" is simply interchangeable with "game".
Interestingly, it seems that the afterlife in the games is laid along the same lines as in Greek Mythology.
Refusing to put the helmet on while you're in space, and than saying you enjoy not breathing.
Tippi: Ugh. Who's stupider? You? Or me, for listening to you... No more... Good-bye.'
The very start of the game, you can refuse the Pure Heart that Merlon tries to give you by saying "No" three times (with Merlon getting increasingly desperate each time.) After that, he'll wander off worrying, you get a text screen saying that the universe was destroyed, and it's Game Over. This is before you even get to control Mario.
No Sneak Attacks: Averted; at one point, Dimentio DOES appear in Merlon's house as the heroes are delivering the petrified Pure Heart, and, after a brief dialogue, kills them without giving them a chance to fight. However, he only did this to send them to the afterlife so they could get the eighth Pure Heart, as well as to reunite Mario and Luigi, as part of his grand Batman Gambit.
Nostalgia Level: A room in chapter 3-1 is identical to level 1-2 from the original Super Mario Bros, complete with warp zone.
Not Me This Time: Peach is kidnapped at the beginning. Immediately, Mario and Luigi go to Bowser's castle to rescue her. However, it turns out that Bowser was in the middle of a rallying speech in preparation for invading Peach's castle and did not actually do anything yet.
Number of the Beast: Well, sort of referenced. They used 667 instead of 666 for one of Dorguy's questions referencing the unlucky numbers.
"Shayde B buys 667 pens for 13 coins and buys 108 notebooks for 42 coins each.
Off the Rails: Instead of finding Slim and emptying the rubee vault in Chapter 2-3, the player can get all 1,000,000 rubees they need by simply earning the cash they need. It'll take about six hours to do (minimum!), but it's possible.
You still need Slim to reach the end block though.
He was actually a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds from the start, as the reason why he even attempted to summon the Chaos Heart in the first place is because the love of his life was believed to have been killed, and spent a lot of time trying to search dimensions for her, never finding her.
Overly Long Gag: Super Paper Mario loves these, least of all being the repeated block-hitting and hamster-wheel running in Merlee's Mansion.
"Um... Um... Um..."
PaperThin Disguise: No one on Mario's side ever knows who Mr. L really is. Not even Mario himself, who only finds him "familiar".
Inverted and played with in Mimi's first appearance. She disguises as Merlee to fool Mario, leading to a Quiz Game Show in which you're supposed to guess which one is the real deal from the answers. But there's no info on the real Merlee to be used as reference at that point, so it would seem like it's merely a lucky guess, and Mimi's plan would have worked greatly, were it not for the fly that was fluttering around the real Merlee all the time due to hiding in the toilet.
Parental Marriage Veto: Blumiere's father to Timpani and Blumiere. Of the 'she's the wrong race' type. This involved banishing Timpani to the edges of the universe, as well as damn near killing her. Let's just say it didn't turn out well for the father.
To the point where if a cutscene calls for more than one playable character to be on camera, the others have to appear or disappear Behind the Black. A notable instance takes place during the Overthere Stair level — in the cutscene where Peach returns to your party, whichever character you are using (Mario, Luigi, or Bowser) feeds her a black apple to wake her up, which tastes disgusting. Her Wild Take knocks the single character off camera, then Mario, Luigi, and Bowser all walk back on camera. After a while of discussion, Luvbi interrupts, and the camera moves to get her in frame, conveniently leaving Mario, Luigi, and Bowser out of the shot again. Peach remains on camera for the rest of the cutscene, and when gameplay returns, Mario, Luigi, and Bowser are no longer standing there — you're controlling Peach now, but you can switch back to one of the others.
Party Scattering: Dimentio sends Mario and gang to the Underwhere, the Mario-verse equivalent of Hades. Mario wakes up alone and has to team up with Luigi before they can escape, then go back and reunite with Bowser and Peach so they can advance the plot.
Perky Female Minion: Inverted; Nastasia is gloomy and Count Bleck is perky. Played straight by Mimi.
Prophecy Pileup: Zigzagged; both the Light and Dark Prognosticus tell the tale of the end of the world and the heroes who would challenge it, but Merlon openly states that the Light Prognosticus was only written to counteract the Dark one, and isn't actually prophetic. Though the game is very confusing on this point; the characters all act as though the Light Prognosticus is just as valid and consult it for advice, and in the end, it is the one that ends up fulfilled.
Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Your partners are the lady who's typically your Damsel in Distress, the giant monster who's typically your arch-nemesis, and your typical sidekick, who bears a striking resemblance to one of the Big Bad's minions. And you have about a dozen Fairy Companions, all of whom have their own eccentricities from thinking a princess in a pink dress is worth lots of girth to constantly singing in a French accent.
Reluctant Warrior: Fractail initially intended to simply let Mario pass on by to acquire the Pure Heart without any conflict. Unfortunately for the both of them, Dimentio took care ofthat.
Replacement Goldfish: Tiptron for Tippi, despite a mild identity crisis on whether she really is Tippi or was created by Francis. Trust me, you will want to buy Tiptron — still heartbreaking to see the circles at the ends of her antennae, though.
Rousing Speech: Debatable, but when Dashell is obtained, he gives quite the rousing speech, including the line "You! Must! Treasure! Life! You've got to! Got to! GOT TO!"
RPG Elements: This game is a platformer with RPG elements like attack stats and health. This is the inverse of the other Paper Mario games, which are RPGs with platform elements.
Rule of Three: In the final chapter, three sets of Pure Hearts were used up to counter the Chaos Heart: One set, which Mario and the Party spent the entire rest of the game acquiring up to that point, was used to remove the barrier protecting Count Bleck; The second set, created from Bleck/Lumiere and Tippi/Timpani reigniting their love for each other, was used to do the same to Dimentio when he usurped Bleck's control over the Chaos Heart; And the last set, created when Bleck and Tippany got married, was used to stop the Chaos Heart from destroying all worlds.
Sdrawkcab Name: The Flopside counterpart of Merlon nicknames himself "Nolrem" to avoid confusion.
Secret Diary: Dimentio quotes Mimi's and asks if she was dreaming about "pools of gems and hunky pool boys." Mimi turns into Bowser as she yells at Dimentio for reading her diary, in a Continuity Nod to the first Paper Mario.
Self-Imposed Challenge: If you really wanted to, you could earn back the rupees for Mimi's vase in the way that she wants you to rather than the much easier and faster way that the game provides for you. It is not recommended.
Serious Business: It's implied left and right that Francis lost friends over arguments about their favorite shows.
Shaped Like Itself: This game gives us the "Dark Dark Boo", a dark version of an already dark enemy.
Shipper on Deck: Luvbi spends at least half of her screentime speculating about relationships between the characters.
This is arguably an example of Fridge Brilliance, since Luvbi is actually one of the Pure Hearts and would thus be made completely out of love, so it is absolutely logical and perhaps even expected for her to be interested in the love affairs of others.
Something Completely Different: Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door are both RPGs with Turn-Based Combat and other typical RPG Elements. Super Paper Mario, on the other hand, features real time combat and is more of an adventure game with several RPG elements. Only time will tell whether another Super Paper Mario game will come and make it its own series.
Sorry I'm Late: Midway through the battle against Count Bleck, Mario is joined by Peach, Bowser, and Luigi.
Straw Fan: Francis is the absolute epitome of this trope. In one of his private rooms, you can find and read this "Geeklog" entry:
Geeklog Date: 11.26 Mood: Ranty
The sun is bright outside so I'm going to stay in and watch "The Blubbening". Season One has better writing and voice acting than the later seasons. I mean, COME ON. Everything went totally downhill after the big dream sequence. Still, the animation in the scenes where Tubba Blubba battles robots is schweet. Season Three was obviously just a vehicle for selling action figures and vehicles! I never understood why they changed the sound effect when the princess appears. It was "Deet-dinga-deet-ling!" then suddenly it was "dinga-deet-dinga-ling!" As if no one would notice! Pffft! True fans care about important stuff about that. They should totally run the show without commercials and let fans suggest story lines! That's what fans want, and we're the only ones that matter. I guess I'll still buy "The Blubbening" box set. The preorder bonus is a costume! While I wait for it to come, I'll go online and tell everyone it's stupid.
Stupidity Is the Only Option: In 2-3, you wind up having to pay off a 1,000,000 Rubee debt for breaking Mimi's vase at the very beginning of the level. You could just ignore the vase, thus never bringing up the debt in the first place... but the game won't let you leave the area this way, so you have no choice but to break it.* Slightly justified in that, without going through the level, you wouldn't be able to get Slim, who is needed for the rest of the game.
And another when Merlon makes you hit a block, opening a pit beneath you that you fall into, despite his dialogue heavily hinting that something is amiss.
No way is this not deliberate though. If you refuse enough times, he even lampshades it, explaining how event flags work and how you need to fall for the trap to progress the game.
Super Cell Reception: The Queen of the Underworld makes a phone call to the King of Mario's-equivalent-to-Heaven. That's not a normal phone whichever way you look at it.
Except for a small pool of polluted water in the Cromag village. Which foreshadows the true motive behind the Floro Sapiens' invasion.
Super Speed: The secret pixl, Dashell, allows your character to run much faster. Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach can be seen to outrun a sound wave without Dashell, though Bowser is just barely slower.
Supporting Protagonist: Mario. Despite being the main hero of the Light Prognosticus, the game isn't about him. It's about the tragic romance of Tippi and Bleck, Luigi's role in the Dark Prognosticus, and Dimentio taking advantage of the three.
Surprise Creepy: Especially if you're coming from one of the other games in the series.
More like Francis himself. They even parody the fact that the Internet itself is a cat-person with Fort Francis being full of cats (Either that or parodying Catgirls).
Rumor has it that review copies of the game replaced this with something to the effect of, "I will give a game a lower score because I think my readers won't like it." This is a dig at GameInformer's review of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.
A Sammer Guy deep within the Duel of 100 is a dig against Real Is Brown.
Taking You with Me: Dimentio decides that if he can't create his own perfect world, then he'll destroy all worlds instead.
Talks Like a Simile: Dimentio. His talent for weird similes that still somehow make sense is rivaled only by his prowess in dimensional magic.
"And so I arrive, like a sudden windstorm at a kindergarten picnic!"
Theme Song Reveal: There's a clever one hidden rather well: Count Bleck's theme is the "Memory" theme played in ragtime and transposed to a different key.
There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Very possible to pull off. The basic Goomba has one single hit point. There is an item that temporarily doubles your attack. There is a Pixl that doubles your attack with a butt-stomp. There is a card that globally doubles your attack. By leveling up and obtaining certain power-ups, you can reach a maximum of 198 attack for Bowser (the other characters cap at 99). Finally, you can hold a maximum of 99 cards of an enemy, and each card multiplies the damage you deal to it. So in conclusion, with the maximum circumstances, you can give a poor weak Goomba a total damage of 2 x 2 x 2 x 198 x 100 (99 cards = 100x damage). This sums up to a brutal 158,400 points of damage.
Third-Person Person: ...said Count Bleck! He is probably reading his own dialogue from the Dark Prognosticus, so this is justified. Or it's just a Verbal Tic. However, he does occasionally refer to himself in first-person, which gives further weight to the quoting-from-the-Dark-Prognosticus theory.
Your whole party is seemingly given a Game Over, and end up in The Underwhere. Luckily, the Queen is pretty friendly and gives you a Continue when it's revealed that you aren't really dead and shouldn't be there.
And then the door to Chapter 7 brings you right BACK into the Underwhere, because that's where the final Pure Heart is located. And then you get back. So it's a double dose of this trope in the same game. Although the second trip was via dimension-hopping both ways, not death.
Treacherous Spirit Chase: In the final chapter, Mimi appears before you disguised as Merlon and Merlee, both of which are so ridiculously obvious that if you keep talking to her, she'll lampshade the Stupidity Is the Only Option of this situation, as Mario falling for her extremely obvious trap is the only way to progress.
Unlimited Wardrobe: Mimi, in one of the few video game examples of this trope. She goes through ten separate outfits in the relatively short game. Contrast the Limited Wardrobe that applies to every other character.
Unwinnable by Design: Early in the game, when asked to help out, you can ignore it, by choosing the "No" option three times. You'll get a game over, and since there hasn't been a Save Point yet, have to start over at the very beginning. Before you even take control of Mario.
Hit the Whacka eight times, and he dies for good. By the way, he was the Last of His Kind. Well, not exactly. Maybe in the Paper Mario series, but about a million of them appear in Mario Party 6 on the Snowflake Lake board.
Afterwards, you can find a Cragon woman in his place waiting for him. She figures out he's gone and cries "Bring back my Whackaaaaaa". As if you needed to feel even worse.
And if you talk to him in between the whacks leading up, he apparently becomes more and more incoherent and confused. So not only do you kill him, but you give him brain damage leading up to it as well.
Try reading all this dialogue, I guarantee you will feel like a monster, the poor thing loses its sense of self. Damn you recipes...
Do you know what? You don't even NEED to whack Whacka at all in Super Paper Mario. Do you know why? Because you can buy Whacka Bumps in the Flipside Arcade.
Makes you wonder where the Arcade gets those Bumps...
Wedding Day: The game opens with Peach being forcibly wed to Bowser. Amusingly, he insists on referring to himself as her husband for the rest of the game, and even sort ofacts like it, lending credence to the theory that he's in love with her.
When Bowser sacrifices himself in Count Bleck's castle, Peach turns around to look at him one more time before she goes. It may not just be Bowser.
Wham Episode: Chapter 6-1, in which Sammer's Kingdom succumbs to the void, making the Pure Heart useless, followed by Dimentio sending the party to the Underwhere, setting up Chapter 7.
What Happened to the Mouse?: In Chapter 1, Tippi instantly recognizes Dimentio when they first meet him. How Tippi knew him or why she recognized him was never explained or mentioned again afterward.
Where I Was Born and Razed: It is implied that, after the heartbreak of Blumiere's (Count Bleck's) love, Timpani (Tippi), being exiled to multiple dimensions by his father and presumably killed, that Blumiere ended up wiping out his race, the Tribe of Darkness.
White Void Room: Sammer's Kingdom becomes a blank white expanse after being consumed by the void, only leaving behind small bits of debris.
He does it again later - and to Count Bleck, no less.
Your Makeup Is Running: Mimi taunts Peach this way right before their duel. As if she needed more of a reason to tick her off...
Your Soul Is Mine: Catch Cards capture an enemy's soul and turn them into Cards. The more Cards one has of a species, the more power Mario (and the other heroes) have in their attacks on them. This includes Koopas and other creatures we know are fully sentient. What the hell, Mario?
Making it worse is the fact that many players use capture cards to make huge fortunes by capturing vast numbers of Amazee Dayzees with them, which are also fully sentient. It's no wonder that the species is so rare, You Monster!.