YMMV: Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door


  • 8.8: Game Informer originally gave the game a 6.5. This would have been bad enough, but the reviewer's primary complaint? The writing was bad. The ensuing fan backlash actually prompted two letters of apology. The first one claimed that the reviewer gave the score not of his opinion, but guessing how well consumers would like it. This caused more complaints about the review, so a second apology letter was written with the exact opposite message.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Macho Grubba from Chapter 3. Despite having a whopping 60 HP, which is massive for this point, considering that the last boss only had 30 HP and the next one will only have 40 HP, he's still incredibly easy to beat. It doesn't help that all of his attacks are insanely easy to Superguard.
  • Ass Pull: TEC's return to life at the end of the game. Not even TEC is sure how this is possible, though he suspects Peach has something to do with it.
  • Awesome Music: See AwesomeMusic.Paper Mario.
  • Best Level Ever: The Glitz Pit in Chapter 3. It is primarily battle-focused with no two enemies being the same, the plot is interesting, and even Bowser pops up at the most appropriate time.
  • Bite The Wax Tadpole: Doopliss' name can either make Polish gamers giggle or disgust them, as this word sounds like "Dupoliz", which in Polish language literally means "Ass-licker".
  • Breather Boss: Hooktail if you have the Attack FX R badge equipped. It progressively lowers Hooktail's attack power, gets rid of her defense point, and makes it possible for Hooktail to miss with her attacks. Not using the badge, however, turns this into something else entirely.
  • Breather Level: The Excess Express in Chapter 6, for the most part. It's more puzzle-oriented than battle-oriented, but it does have a "dungeon" portion with some fairly tough enemies, including an enemy who is obscenely difficult to deal with for the games' standards.note 
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: It seems to be the general opinion that if you even think of leveling up anything but Badge Points, then you're a complete idiot who doesn't know how to play the game properly.
  • Crack Pairing: Vivian and Doopliss are very often shipped together for no apparent reason.
  • Demonic Spiders: Amazy Dayzees. Their attacks can deal twenty points of damage, and put both of your characters to sleep. Also double as a Metal Slime. Fortunately, they usually run away, and give out more star points than any other enemy in the game.
    • Some of the later monsters in the Pit of 100 Trials can be BRUTAL. Namely, Wizzerds of any sort, Arantulas, and even the dreaded Amazee Dayzees can show up (sometimes not alone!). Pretty much any enemy on levels 81-99 are beyond brutal and dangerous, as well as exclusive to the pit.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • You can find a lot of fan art of Vivian...usually with, ah, exaggerated assets.
    • For a character that only plays a major role for a short time, Jolene is pretty popular with the fans. Might be because of her Sugar and Ice Personality and being one of the more attractive Toads.
    • Rawk Hawk, to the point where he's one of only three Paper Mario characters to get a nod in Paper Mario: Sticker Star, along with Parakarry and Goombella.
    • Doopliss. The Chapter 3 and 4 areas are chock full of darkhorses, it seems.
    • Flavio. See Unpopular Popular Character below.
  • Even Better Sequel: To some people who played this game after the first.
  • Evil Is Sexy: To some, Possessed Peach could qualify.
  • Game Breaker: The "Danger Mario" setup. By setting his max HP at 5 thanks to Chet Rippo and equipping tons of Power Rush badges, Mario can deal obscenely huge amounts of damage. Add to that the Spike Shield, which allows you to jump on spiked enemies safely, Close Call, which sometimes causes enemies' attacks to miss when Mario is in Danger mode, Ice Power, which allows you to jump on fire enemies safely, and several Life Shrooms in case Mario dies, and you can kiss the difficulty good-bye. This is alleviated somewhat by the fact that you can only make the best use of it late in the game, as you need Bobbery to reach Chet Rippo, but it still makes the rest of the game (As well as the Pit of 100 Trials, if you haven't cleared it already) a breeze.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The tune for X's emails in the Glitz Pit, which is the World 6 music from Super Mario Bros. 3.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Years earlier in the live-action parts of the The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, a professional wrestler took on the role of Mario. In Glitzville in this game, Mario takes on the role of a professional wrestler, the Great Gonzales.
    • In the scene before you recruit him, Bobbery thinks that Mario has adventures in the afterlife...
    • And then we have this little exchange between Peach and TEC:
    Peach: TEC! You terrible machine! So your goal is to conquer the world, is it?
    TEC: Of course. After all, I was built for that purpose.
  • It Was His Sled: The Thousand Year Door was set up to seal the Shadow Queen. It's kept a secret at first while gradually revealing this to the player, but it quickly became very well known.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Was anybody actually worried over Peach's "death" after the final boss fight?
  • Magnum Opus: Regarded by critics and fans alike as the best installment in the Paper Mario spin-off series, being an Even Better Sequel than the original, and a Tough Act to Follow for the two subsequent games.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Sir Grodus shutting TEC-XX down. As the player's guide says: "If you don't feel much animosity toward Sir Grodus at this point, you will by the time the event is over."
    • How about Grubba trapping King K and Bandy Andy under a box and leaving them to (presumably) die after draining their powers with the Crystal Star?
  • Name's the Same: Twilight Town shares the name and "always at dusk" property of another Twilight Town. Mario's version is a bit creepier, though, and don't expect to meet Roxas.
    • Also with Petalburg. Don't expect to find any Pokémon there. You will, however, find Sun and Moon Stones nearby.
  • Narm/Narm Charm: Depending on who you ask, the scene where everyone cheers you on in the fight with the Shadow Queen is either groan-inducing or effective.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Let's just say that there's a very good reason why the Rogueport citizens feel uneasy whenever they're near the Thousand-Year Door. It's fabled in legend as the door leading one to a grand legendary treasure. It's actually the gateway to the Palace of Shadow, where the Shadow Queen has remained sealed for a thousand years.
    • The tune that comes with X's e-mails as well as Grubba's when he threatens you (from the ice world in Super Mario Bros. 3). It doesn't help that the controller rumbles whenever you receive one of these calls, which will often jolt the player's focus.
    • The Shadow Queen is basically a nightmare incarnate. And when she actually makes an appearance in the story, the first thing that happens is the entire world is plunged into darkness. Instantly. It gets worse from there.
    • The 'victory' music that plays at the end of a battle and your partner has been knocked out. Ugh...
    • While Mario explores the unused rooms of Glitz Pit, finding the half-dead forms of two of your former opponents. It doesn't help that they were two of the nicest characters in the level.
    • From Chapter 6, waking up the third day to find that all of the passenger on board the Excess Express have been abducted by a weird tentacle monster made up of smaller creatures that are abundant enough to swarm the entire train, covering every single window.
    • The abilities of the Chapter 4 boss, Doopliss. The boss himself might be Nightmare Retardant, but him first turning the villagers into pigs, then performing identity theft in the most literal manner possible is definitely scary. Hits home if you try to take the pipe to Rogueport during the second bit; you can't, because that pipe requires you have something with your name written on it...and you no longer have a name.
  • Nightmare Retardant: Doopliss has abilities that remain terrifying throughout Chapter 4, but that doesn't change the fact that the one responsible for the town's curse is a Bedsheet Ghost in a party hat and bowtie who is sitting in an easy chair watching TV when you first meet him.
  • Padding: Some of the fight conditions Grubba sets down for you can be this such as "Don't attack for the first three turns" or "Let your enemy damage you five times" as it only unnecessarily drags out the fights.
    • Then there's the backtracking in Chapter 4.
  • Player Punch: Sir Grodus shutting TEC-XX down, if you really felt for TEC.
    • Seeing Doopliss possess Mario's body and running around pretending to be him, while the player is unable to do anything about it just yet or even return to Rogueport, can be a little jarring.
  • The Scrappy: Flurrie is easily the least popular partner, which can mostly be attributed to her design and attacks.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: Lampshaded by Peeka; any time you hang out in the Pianta Parlor, she points out that rescuing the Princess is important, but also encourages you to have fun.
  • Spoiled by the Format: Did you really think Chapter 4 would be finished in about 15–20 minutes?
  • That One Attack: X-Yux's primary attack can immobilize you, and it can only be neutralized with a well-timed Superguard. If that doesn't kill you, then its attack when it has four mini X-Yux shielding it definitely will.
  • That One Boss: The Shadow Queen is quite hard, even by Final Boss standards, although Bonetail himself is harder. Despite having only 1 Defense and her Attack being outmatched by a boss from 10 minutes ago, she gets multiple attacks per round, as well as being very difficult to time for dodges, so the damage starts racking up very quickly. She also has an attack that will drain your HP, and at one point, eats the audience's SOULS to restore her health. Oh, and there's a pair of very long unskippable cutscenes before the real fight starts. Have fun.
    • Magnus 2.0. He's got That One Attack where he sucks up the audience in a hose and rapid-fires them at you, dealing completely massive damage unless you can block correctly. Hope you still have Star Power left for Sweet Feast and/or Power Lift!
    • There's also Bowser's appearance out of nowhere in the Palace of Shadow, primarily because, Mario is probably on low health from the preceding battle with Grodus, and Bowser and Kammy have quite a bit of health for this battle. Thankfully, Showstopper works here.
    • Hooktail if you don't have (and/or equip) the Attack FX R badge, since Hooktail has an attack power of 5 and 20 HP, then when she's defeated, she replenishes half her HP. Oh, and she has a defense of 1, which is a lot for that early in the game.
  • That One Level: Chapter 4 is infamous for the amount of backtracking.
    • Pirate's Grotto from the fifth chapter, particularly with the part where Boat Mario has to get past some rolling waves.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Jolene's brother and the Glitz Pit's first champion, Prince Mush. After you beat Grubba and the Crystal Star releases him, he could have been a good Bonus Boss along with Bonetail and the Atomic Boo. He was at one point intended to be a bonus boss... but instead, after the end of Chapter 3, you never see him again.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Despite being universally hated in-game, Flavio has a surprising fanbase.
  • The Woobie: Vivian would be very difficult not to feel sorry for. To elaborate, she's blamed for literally everything that goes wrong for the Shadow Sirens, has a necklace she found taken from her by Beldam and repetitively kicked around by her sisters, and she's implied to be a transsexual. The player is quite surprised that it took her that long to finally be fed up with Beldam's abuse, and join up with Mario.
    • Hell, Bobbery qualifies, too.
    • Jolene and Prince Mush certainly qualify too. Their family was poor, Mush disappeared as a result of Grubba's machine resulting in Jolene having to work for Grubba to find her brother and Jolene seems to be putting on a brave face the whole time. It helps that Jolene is popular with the fans and a lot of fans thought Mush would've been a cool Bonus Boss.
    • Even Mario qualifies to some extent. Having your body and name stolen by a Jerkass, and no-one recognizing you with nothing but your jump, a hammer, some badges, and whatever items you had. While everyone talks about how great you are. Not to mention having your girlfriend transformed into the Big Bad before your eyes.
    • Luigi is either this or Iron Butt Monkey due to a certain request in Poshley Heights. Basically, a fangirl of Luigi's wants to meet him, and in order to do that you need the L Emblem. When you show up, the real Luigi also shows up and she thinks YOU are the real one, practically crushing poor Luigi. That's right, if you want 100%, you have to be a dick to your own brother.
    • TEC-XX is this. Knowing nothing about love, helping Peach try escape, and trying to cheer her up when she misses the Mushroom Ball. But then he is shut down by Grodus, and uses the last of his power to tell Mario where Peach is and activates the teleporter back to Rogueport. He gets better at the end of the game, but still...