Video Game: Super Paper Mario
"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.
This game provides examples of...
- Abnormal Limb Rotation Range:
- Bowser's arms flail around in circles when he's surprised or having an Oh, Crap moment. Lampshaded by Dimentio, who refers to him as "the arm flailer" at one point.
- Mimi cracks her neck and spins her head around in circles before turning into a Giant Spider.
- Absurdly High Level Cap: You will need more than 20 million points to reach Level 99.
- Action Girl: Princess Peach, believe it or not, after getting rescued in the second chapter, decides that it's time to stop getting kidnapped, go out there, and kick some ass.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot:
- Wracktail, the evil prototype of Fracktail.
- Dimentio 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.
- And Now You Must Marry Each Other: Bowser and Peach. Peach is literally forced into saying "I do". Bowser obviously doesn't have to be forced to say the same.
- 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).
- Apocalypse Maiden: Luigi. No, really. He gets Brainwashed by Nastasia and further manipulated by Dimentio.
- Apocalypse How: Count Bleck's plan is to bring about a class Z.
- 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.
- Arc Villain: The odd-numbered chapters, except for Chapter 1:
- Chapter 3: Francis, where the conflict in that chapter is having to rescue Tippi from him.
- Chapter 5: King Croacus, who had the Cragnons kidnapped and enslaved.
- Chapter 7: Bonechill, leader of the Skellobits who invaded the Overthere.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In Chapter 7-2, when you encounter Bowser, he complains that he's hungry, among other things.
- Artifact of Doom: The Chaos Heart.
- Ascended Extra: Luigi only made cameo appearances in the previous game. In this game, he plays a huge part in the plot.
- Ascended Glitch: Well, not exactly, but there is a throwaway line referencing the original Minus World from Super Mario Bros. 1.
- Ash Face: Subverted; after tricking you into opening an exploding chest, Mimi complains when this doesn't happen.
- Asshole Victim: Count Bleck's father (See Calling the Old Man Out and Parental Marriage Veto.).
- 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.
- 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.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Count Bleck. Or is he?
- 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.
- Chaos Is Evil: The Five-Bad Band is trying to destroy The Multiverse with the Chaos Heart.
- Check Point Starvation: You cannot save during either of the Pits Of 100 Trials at all.
- The Chessmaster: Dimentio, outwitting everyone by the end of the game.
- 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.
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).
- The Collector: Francis.
- 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.
- Complaining about Shows You Don't Watch: Mocked with one of the True or False questions Francis's door gives to Peach before entering Francis's room.
- 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.
- Counting to Potato: Slim
Slim:"OOOOONNNE! TWOOOOO! THREEEEE! FIIIIIIIVE! FOUUUR! EEEEIGHT! SEVENTEEN!!!! THREE-POINT-ONE-FOUR!!!! ONE MARZILLION!! TENNNNN!!!"
- Cute but Cacophonic: Mimi, judging by the jagged purple Speech Bubbles. Of course, in that form, she's not so much "cute" as OH MY GOD WHAT IN THE NAME OF MIYAMOTO'S FLOOPY HAIR IS THAT.
- 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.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: A Koopa in World 3, who upon seeing Mario actually collects a Mega Star to power himself up and chase down Mario.
- Darker and Edgier: Super Paper Mario may well be the single darkest game in the entire Mario franchise, let alone the Paper Mario spin-off series.
- Dark Is Not Evil: As creepy as the Underwhere is, the people there are all pretty nice.
- Flopside is Flipside's dark counterpart, but it isn't evil either.
- Deadly Euphemism: "Princess Peach, do you take Bowser to be your lawfully wedded husband 'til your games be over?"
- Deep South: Specifically, Louisiana. Taken to the extreme that Mario actually becomes a slave on Mimi's estate.
- 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.
- Descending Ceiling: Traps in Merlee's Mansion and Castle Bleck.
- Designated Girl Fight: Peach and Mimi face off in the last chapter of Super Paper Mario.
- 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.
- Duel Boss: In Chapter 3, there's Mario vs. Bowser. Chapter 8 brings us Bowser vs. O'Chunks, Peach vs. Mimi, and Luigi vs. Dimentio, all followed with both opponents suffering Disney Deaths.
- Dueling Player Characters: After the group has been split Mario manages to find Bowser and they have a fight due to some misunderstandings, he comes to his senses afterwards and rejoins of course.
- E = MC Hammer: The background of Lineland features floating mathematical equations consisting of random symbols and various Mario icons such as Fire Flowers and mushrooms.
- Emergency Transformation: Tippi, who had to be turned into a Pixl by Merlon.
- Everybody Hates Hades: Subverted. Queen Jaydes, ruler of the Underwhere, seems pretty intimidating at first, but it's quickly revealed that she's pretty nice off-duty.
- 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.
- Even Evil Has Standards: This is Bowser's reaction to seeing what happens to worlds consumed by the Void.
- 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.
- Evil Versus Oblivion: Bowser and Count Bleck. Later, Count Bleck and Dimentio.
- Exact Words: The prophecy only said that the Man in Green would harness the Chaos Heart to destroy the universe. It never said anything about the Man in Green doing so willingly...
- Fairytale Wedding Dress: Peach's, even though it was just a white version of her usual dress.
- 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.
- Fallen Angel: Bonechill is implied to be a fallen Nimbi.
- 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.
- The Ferryman: Charold, for a fee of four coins, will take people across the River Twygz and avoid the Underhands.
- Five-Bad Band
- Five-Man Band:
- 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.
- Girls with Moustaches: Happens briefly to Peach if you feed her the wrong fruit in the Overthere.
- Global Currency Exception: 1 million rubees to pay for the vase.
- Go Out with a Smile: Dimentio. He's got a reason to be happy, though, as he's taking the whole multiverse with him.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: "DOOFUSES!" from Mimi; it makes sense, though, as she's intentionally meant to be childish.
- Gravity Screw: On the Planet Blobule, Mario can jump much higher than usual. The Whoa Zone allows him to walk on the walls and ceiling.
- Green Aesop: The Cragnons learn one at the end of chapter 5.
- Handwave: The game doesn't even bother coming up with a decent reason for why Luvbi comes back.
- Simple. She wished on herself.
- A logical explanation is that they loved Luvbi when she was a Pure Heart, so perhaps they just created a new one.
- The other possibility is that just like how the Pure Hearts are recreated twice during the ending, Grambi and Jaydes's love for Luvbi created a new White Pure Heart that also took on Luvbi as a form.
- It's also possible that Luvbi had become enough of a 'person' so that when she died, she got to go to the afterlife. She wasn't actually a nimbi, after all, so maybe the afterlife made an exception?
- Happy Harlequin Hat: The Monster Clown Dimentio has a variation of this.
- Heel-Face Turn: Most of the main villains, including Count Bleck, team up to help you stop Dimentio.
- Hell Invades Heaven: An army of Skellobits from the Underwhere invades the Overthere, where an army of Nimbis rises to fight it.
- Heroic Sacrifice:
- Done by Count Bleck and Tippi to destroy the Chaos Heart.
- Also, Bowser and O'Chunks to keep the others from getting crushed by the ceiling in Castle Bleck.
- How Do You Like Them Apples?: The Golden Apple, as well as the Pink, Blue, Yellow, Red, and Black Apples scattered throughout Chapter 7-3.
- Hub Level: Flipside and Flopside.
- Humanity Ensues: Nastasia is probably a transformed bat.
- Humongous Mecha: The Brobots.
- Hurricane of Puns: Listing all the punny names, events, and other innuendos in this game could take up an entire article on its own.
- Each and every one of the Sammer Guy's 100-Man Army has a punny name (examples: See ShoutOut), complete with pre- and post-battle text.
- Hypnotize the Princess: Peach in the beginning of the game, to make her cooperate with being married to Bowser.
- I Can't Use These Things Together: Bowser, when he attempts to climb ladders.
- Incoming Ham: BLEH HEH HEH! BLECK!
- Dimentio. "We meet again, like two angry, burly dinosaurs with indigestion!"
- I Need to Go Iron My Dog:
Mr. L: I uh... got to go deflavorize the Brobot's uh... Flavorizer.
- Inevitable Tournament: The Sammer Kingdom.
- 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.
- Inn Between the Worlds: Flipside and Flopside, which are said to exist between dimensions.
- 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.
- Invincibility Power-Up: The Super Star turns the character into a giant 8-bit version of themselves.
- It Makes Sense in Context: "Look, nobody likes having their butterfly kidnapped by a geek, but it's dangerous!"
- I Was Quite a Looker: The Hag Sisters.
- The Jester: Dimentio. He even provides the page's image.
- Kick the Dog: Nastasia is killed by Dimentio shielding Count Bleck from one of his attacks. His response: "What an adorably hopeless gesture".
- Lampshade Hanging: It's more or less at the core of the game's humor.
- Large Ham: O'Chunks, Francis to an extent, Squirps to an extent as well, possibly Super Dimentio, and so on. The characters that end up memorable tend to be this.
- Last of His Kind: Squirps.
- Leap of Faith: Occasionally appears.
- Appropriately enough, the theme of the final boss, Super Dimentio, who is a fusion of Dimentio, the Chaos Heart and Luigi, is a mixture of their individual leitmotifs.
- Count Bleck's theme undergoes many repeats and variations, forming the backbone of the soundtrack, along with the main fanfare and the "Memory" theme.
- 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.
- Lost Aesop: The ending of the game basically said, "Prophecies are meaningless, now let's eat!"
- Love Freak: Luvbi.
- Love Makes You Evil: Count Bleck.
- Love Redeems: See above.
- 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.
- MacGuffin Girl: Luvbi is the white Pure Heart.
- Magikarp Power: Piccolo.
- Marathon Level: The Pit of 100 Trials.
- Meaningful Name: Nastasia, which means "She shall rise again". She survives an apparently fatal attack.
- Especially brilliant, in that most players merely see a play on words between the word "nasty" and the name "Natashia", suggesting that it's just a name for a villain.
- Also Luvbi (as in "love" - hearts), who transforms into a Pure Heart.
- Me's a Crowd: At one point in Chapter 8-3, Dimentio floods a hallway with copies of himself. While they don't harm you, they are in your way and push you back to the center of the room.
- Mirror Boss: The boss(es) of the Pit of 100 Trials in Flopside are like this.
- Mirror World: Flopside is a mirror image of Flipside.
- Moe Anthropomorphism: A canon example: Luvbi is a Pure Heart in the form of a Nimbi.
- Monster Clown: Dimentio. Heck, he's essentially the expy of Kefka Palazzo.
- Mood Whiplash: A lot of the later chapters get dark.
- Let's see: One world gets sucked into the Void, leaving nothing but a white void left, and in the second part of the Bonus Level of Heaven, the Void actually appears in the background!
- 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.)
- Mook Bouncer: The Back Cursya and Gnips.
- 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.
- Morton's Fork: Luvbi is faced with one when she finds out that she is the last Pure Heart: if she chooses to become the Pure Heart again, she will die (and since they are already in the afterlife, experience Cessation of Existence). However, if she does not do this, then the heroes will not be able to stop the destruction of all worlds, meaning that everyone in the multiverse will cease to exist, including those who are already in the afterlife. She will experience Cessation of Existence either way. Her Heroic Sacrifice seems a little less heroic considering that.
- Fortunately, she appears again in the Overthere after the game is complete.
- Mr. Exposition: Merlon.
- My Greatest Failure: Not explicitly shown, but the Violent Glaswegian O'Chunks used to be a military commander, until a betrayal cost him the lives of all his men.
- Mythology Gag: The Pal Pills are very similar to a brigade of miniature Marios who briefly appeared in the Super Mario World cartoon 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.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Mimi.
- No Fourth Wall
- No Hero Discount: Bestovius outright asks you why you, as the hero, should be able to learn his world-saving technique for free. (You can if you resist paying for long enough.)
- Non-Fatal Explosions: Lampshaded:
Mimi: But... But... That explosion didn't even turn you black with soot! That totally didn't even hurt you at all! This stinks!
- Nonstandard Game Over:
- 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.
- Noodle Incident: One of the Sammer Guys was King Sammer's personal trainer, until an unfortunate sit-up incident.
- 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.
- A mine passage in chapter 5-3 is identical to level 2-1 from the same game, complete with the hidden vine that takes you to coin heaven.
- 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
- 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.
- Oh, Crap: More specifically, "OH CRAG!"
- Omnicidal Maniac: Count Bleck. Until he learns that the love of his life is still alive, that is. Then he becomes more of a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.
- 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.
- Ominous Floating Castle: Castle Bleck.
- Optional Party Member: Barry, Dashell, Piccolo and Tiptron.
- Overly Long Gag: Super Paper Mario loves these, least of all being the repeated block-hitting and hamster-wheel running in Merlee's Mansion.
- Paper Thin 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
- Painting the Medium: Tiptron's tattle cursor moves more slowly and hesitantly than Tippi's, hinting at her serious identity crisis. Her text boxes are also shaped like other machines', while retaining Tippi's rainbow border.
- 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.
- Party in My Pocket
- 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.
- Perspective Magic
- Pet the Dog: Count Bleck's treatment of his minions.
- Playable Epilogue
- The Player Is The Most Important Resource: Played for Laughs; the "Almighty Player Who Watches Over Us" is said to be the only one who will understand the fourth-wall breaking control instructions.
- Potty Emergency: In Chaper 4-2, Squirps ends up having to go to the restroom, but it was occupied by Fleep the Pixl.
- Power of Love: The game's main theme.
- Press Start To Game Over: You can end the game right at the beginning by repeatedly refusing to help Merlon.
- Promoted to Playable: Bowser.
- 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.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Mimi, possibly.
- Punny Name: Every Pixl has one based on their ability - Tippi gives you tips, Thoreau throws things, Boomer blows obstacles and enemies up, and so on.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad
- 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.
- Really 700 Years Old: Squirps, but there's other 1500-year-old characters as well!
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Mimi gives one to Peach. Big mistake.
- Record Needle Scratch: Happens to the music played during Tippi's Flashbacks when she realizes Count Bleck is really her lover, Blumiere, who presumably kills his father in vengeance for banishing Tippi to walk all the worlds until she dies.
- 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 of that.
- 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.
- Retraux: The Bitlands.
- Robot Maid: Giant cat robot maids, in fact.
- 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.
- Save the Villain: As she begins to fall, Peach grabs Mimi, surprising her into turning good.
- Saving the World: Or worlds, rather.
- Scoring Points: Though due to the RPG Elements the score also doubles as an experience system.
- 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.
- Self-Made Orphan: Blumiere, a.k.a. Count Bleck, is heavily implied to have done this. To be fair, his dad was a Jerkass (see Parental Marriage Veto above).
- Sequel Escalation: The previous game merely involved Saving the World; this game has you traveling across dimensions to save the multiverse.
- 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.
- Shout-Out: Tons.
- Nearly every Sammer Guy has a Punny Name of some sort, mostly relating to other characters or elements in the greater Mario series. See here for a full list.
- Francis has a Pink Princess poster.
- It may just be a coincedence, but the Queen of Underwhere is named Jaydes.
- The Underchomp battle is an Unexpected Gameplay Change based on the old-school Dragon Quest games. And just like the Cerberus, putting it to sleep with Piccolo is the easiest way of dealing with it.
- Nastasia's dialogue in the English version is very reminiscent of a certain office manager.
- One of the worlds is called "Lineland", after a location in Flatland, which is, of course, about a 2D being who gets introduced to 3D.
- Also, Fracktail ends up being driven crazy by the Big Bad, forcing Mario to fight it and only regains control over itself when Mario delivers the final blow and perishes soon thereafter, just like Volvagia and Link from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time's manga.
- Speaking of Fracktail and Zelda, one of the phrases Fracktail spouts while glitching out is "I AM ERROR."
- Also with Fracktail when defeated his eyes turn into the Wii-Shop loading logo.
- Shows Damage: Bonechill and Mimi; the latter looses one of her spider legs every time you damage her enough.
- Sickening Crunch: Mimi, of course.
- Sissy Villain: King Croacus IV.
- The Sociopath: Dimentio.
- 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.
- Spider Limbs: Mimi.
- Spoiler Title: Once you enter the second segment of Chapter 6 and see that it's titled "The End of a World", you know what's coming.
- Stalked by the Bell: Mimi on level 2-4 and the game's Pit of 100 trial levels.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Count Bleck and Tippi, on account of the Parental Marriage Veto.
- The Starscream: Dimentio actually usurps the throne at the end of the game.
- Stealth Pun: The River Twygz in the Underwhere is a parody of the River Styx in Greek Mythology. Now say them aloud. Styx sounds like sticks, Twygz sounds like twigs.
- Storybook Opening
- 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
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.*
- 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.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: Unlike the previous games.
- 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.
- Take That: "I love going on message boards and complaining about games I've never played!"
- 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!"
- Ted Baxter: Flint Cragley.
- That Man Is Dead: Subverted. Count Bleck gives this speech, but ends up turning good at the end all the same.
- The End of the World as We Know It: Count Bleck's trying to cause the end of The Multiverse as we know it.
- Theme Naming: Fracktail and Wracktail.
- 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.
- Squirps and most of the Cragnons also do this.
- Throw-Away Country: Sammer's Kingdom.
- To Hell and Back:
- 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.
- True Companions: Perversely enough, Count Bleck and his henchmen.
- Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Dark Prognosticus.
- Tomes of Prophecy and Fate: The Dark Prognosticus and the Light Prognosticus.
- Took a Level in Badass: Peach.
- Totally Radical: The Floro Sapiens, once you get to know 'em. Their hippy-like speech patterns may be a bit of a Stealth Pun — they're flower children!
- Unexpected Gameplay Change: Besides the Unexpected Shmup Level, there's the Underchomp battle, which plays like a Dragon Warrior battle.
- The Unfought: Nastasia.
- 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.
- Vague Age: Mimi.
- Verbal Tic: ...said Count Bleck!
- Nastasia has one too, 'k?
- So does Squirps! SQUIIIIIIRP!!!
- There's also the Crags, brah.
- Flint Cragley should be here too, Cragley ho!
- Francis thinks that TV Tropes is hi-technicaaaaaaaaaaal, NERR!
- And Old Man Watchitt, WATCH IT!
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: "A bump from a poor, defenceless Whacka. Restores 30 HP and cures poison. ...How do you sleep at night?"
- 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.
- Villainous BSOD
- When the Pure Hearts depower Dimentio allowing you to defeat him.
- Before that, Count Bleck goes into a mild one after getting overthrown by Dimentio.
- Villainous Harlequin: Dimentio, of course.
- Villain Teleportation: Done repeatedly. Dimentio and Bleck even have the nerve to do it during battle!
- Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Well, game, rather. But Count Bleck's pretty vile for a villain in a Mario game, wanting the destruction of all worlds. Of course, Dimentio is MUCH more vile.
- Violent Glaswegian: O'Chunks.
- Visual Pun: At one point, you have to feed Peach the correct apple to wake her up. One of the incorrect ones turns her into a literal peach.
- The trees in the background of the Underwhere are composed of squares hanging from branches, or family trees. Best not to dwell on that for too long.
- Voice for the Voiceless: Tippi is this for Mario.
- We Can Rule Together: Dimentio does this. You can accept for a Nonstandard Game Over.
- 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 of acts 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.
- Whole Plot Reference: Chapter 7 is the Divine Comedy.
- Wicked Cultured: Dimentio
- Wild Teen Party: It is implied that the remaining unbrainwashed members of the Koopa Troop intended to throw one of these while guarding Bowser's fort in the Bitlands when he joins Mario and Peach.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Count Bleck. Hoo boy.
- Word Salad Title: Parodied with Francis's manga collection: Android Love Patrol.
- Wutai: Sammer's Kingdom. Which is completely wiped off the map by the Big Bad.
- Wrong Side of the Tracks: Flopside is like a run-down, depressing version of Flipside.
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: The Nimbis speaketh this way.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Dimentio, to Mr. L. This serves the secondary purpose of allowing Luigi to join the heroes.
- 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!.