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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 60HP, which is massive for this point, considering the last boss only had 30HP and the next one will only have 40HP, he's still incredibly easy to beat. Although only if you do it quickly, as he uses his turns to buff himself up to monstrous levels.
  • 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.
    • Pretty much any Bowser segment.
  • Bite The Wax Tadpole: Doopliss' name can make Polish giggle or disgusted, 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. Even if you don't use Danger Mario, this is still considered the only way to play.
  • Demonic Spiders: Amazee Dayzees. Their attacks can deal twenty points of damage, and put both of your characters to sleep. Also double as a Metal Slime.
    • 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!).
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Doopliss/Vivian... for some reason.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Defeating Bonetail nets you a grand total of... one Star Point. Players will naturally rage at this... until realizing that this is the game's way of saying "You just beat the hardest enemy in the entire game. You don't need to level up anymore!"
    • Cortez's forms. First, a four-armed skeleton holding each of his weapons. Then, a hunched-over skeleton with some gem in the torso. And finally, his head and his weapons. Why do his forms progress like this? He's falling apart.
    • How come the impenetrable defenses of the Iron Cleft brothers never manage to get further than 10th place in the Glitz Pit? Because the guys directly above them are Spike Tops. Iron Cleft have unbeatable defenses, but only have an attack of 4, Spike Tops have a defense of 5.
      • However, one of the Iron Clefts explicitly states that their spikes can "penetrate any substance" (exact words), so it's Fridge Logic, really.
      • That's what he says but if you super guard you'll take no damage so it can't be true. There are attacks that can't be super guarded too (and thus, may really pierce through anything)
      • Also, while their spikes may certainly be capable of penetrating any substance, there's no indication that the Iron Clefts have trained enough to be able to produce the force necessary to do so.
    • Each time someone questions who got turned into a pig, they end up as the next victim. "Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee."
    • There are a few hints in Chapter 4 that Mario isn't himself after the first Doopliss battle. These include his posture when standing and holding up the Crystal Star, his tinny voice, and the fact that the game doesn't declare a newly learned Special Move upon "chapter completion". Also, if you have the W Emblem badge equipped during the battle (changes Mario's color scheme to that of Wario's), he will suddenly change back to his normal color scheme.
  • Fridge Horror: At the bottom of the Pit of 100 Trials is Bonetail. This means that a giant, skeletal dragon has been living underneath Rogueport all this time. Who knows? What if it didn't start out skeletal?.
    • At one point you must look behind a crate. You'll see a few of Mario's new friends lying on the ground, not moving. You can say they're stunned, until you see the flies.
      • The situation is somewhat helped by the fact that they react to Mario talking to them (one gasps out a warning, while the other gives a wordless response), proving that they're alive. And they both show up perfectly healthy at the end of the level. On the other hand, consider that they aren't the first fighters that have had their energy drained. They're rescued and Prince Mush (the other known victim) is found, but what if there were others?
    • In Rogueport, there seems to be some dried reddish-brown stuff on the ground. One could easily pass this off as dirt, until you realize that it's next to the gallows, and that it's found nowhere else in town...
      • It was found in one other place in the Japanese version. Next to a Toad-shaped chalk outline.
  • Fridge Logic: Glitzville is presumably in the skies of the Mushroom Kingdom, yet pretty much nobody there recognizes Mario or Bowser!
    • Rogueport and the areas connected to it seem to take place in an area separate from the mainland of the Mushroom Kingdom; not everyone recognizes Mario. Jury's still out on Bowser.
  • 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 sound the Fuzzies make when they bounce? That now belongs to the Stock Sound Effects. Good luck not worrying every time you hear it.
  • 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.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Like you would really kill Peach off in the climax. Seriously, why'd they even bother?
  • 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 Pokemon 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 bathroom in the Glitz Pit. Seriously, what the hell, Nintendo?
    • The tune that comes with X's e-mails (from the ice world in Super Mario Bros. 3).
    • 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 exploring 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's abilities 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.
  • 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 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 5th 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.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Fahr Outpost features an all Bob-omb cast of townspeople. Okay. Then they start speaking with Russian accents and vehemently denying that they have a superweapon... eeesh.
    • Though it's only a weapon by real life standards. In the game's world, it's only treated, referred to, and ever thought of as a mode of transportation.
    • It's probably meant to be a Shout-Out to popular-culture images of the Russian space programme and the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
    • The guide actually lampshades this:
      "Considering most of the Bob-ombs speak with Russian accents, those of you who grew up in the '60s may feel a bit nervous when you see the enormous weapon rise from a silo. Resist the urge to hide under a desk and tuck your head between your legs."
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Despite being universally hated in-game, Flavio has a surprising fanbase.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Despite being something of an Anticlimax Boss, Macho Grubba can also be this. He has a status buff that allows him two actions to your one per turn, and can buff himself up with various status effects, including bonus attack, bonus defense, and chance to dodge. Oh, and he has twice the HP of the last chapter boss, and 50% more HP than the chapter boss after him. Only two things work in your favor: first, the time he spends buffing himself means he'll be attacking you less; second, he's more vulnerable to negative status effects than any other chapter boss in the game--including Immobilize.
  • The Woobie: Vivian would be very difficult not to feel sorry for.
    • 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.

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