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Sequence Breaking / Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

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Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has a progress number that it updates at specific moments throughout its eight chapters to track the player's location in the game's overall sequence. There are so many ways of performing Dungeon Bypasses and getting past Broken Bridges that the fastest way to beat the game breaks the sequence forwards and backwards several times over by triggering these moments in order to collect items as convenient, finishing in under three hours.

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Examples:

  • A scene in Hooktail Castle where you have to hammer away a large mass of Dry Bones to uncover a Red Bones can be skipped with a frame-perfect jump at the right moment when you approach the Red Bones, as it initially lies in front of the door it guards. This tricks the game into thinking you're about to trigger a battle with the Red Bones, because while the cutscene pushes you backwards, the game still thinks you are at the door where the Red Bones was.
  • Paper Mode is useful for several clip outs due to reducing Mario's hitbox, allowing him to get closer to walls that he should be otherwise. It's often used to skip around the loading zone exiting an area to walk on its boundaries. Chapter 2 contains two such uses of this:
    • The Cage Skip is the most prominent one, allowing the player to fall into a room below and enter a pipe on an otherwise insurmountable platform. The name is because it avoids a scene where the Punis are trapped in a cage, and it also skips the Super Boots that are otherwise required to get them out of it.
    • The first battle between the Punis and Jabbis can be skipped this way by walking around the room to the door behind the hive that the Jabbis are defending.
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  • Also in Chapter 2, when Mario moves too far from the Punis, they'll lose him and not follow him into other areas. By jumping continuously and moving only while in the air, the game will not make the check to remove them from his group, allowing for a lot of puzzles that involve getting the Punis across a room to be nullified.
  • The Jump Storage or Super Jump glitch, caused by making the event flags associated with a jump fail to complete, allows Mario to fly to ridiculous heights as long as he can find a location on the game's scenery where his y-coordinate (vertical) position increases by walking on it, and then holding A. The event flag discrepancy can be triggered through the text storage glitch, where Goombella's Tattle is used right before starting a Spring Jump to keep the properties of the textbox while regaining control after the jump is cancelled. These two glitches can be used to derive many other sequence breaks.
    • The earliest of these encounterable but ironically one of the last discovered is the Blimp Ticket Skip, where you can use Jump Storage to fly past the fence and the Cheep-Cheep blocking the blimp to Glitzville, allows you to finish Chapter 3 without doing anything for Don Pianta.
  • Chapter 3 itself can be shortened dramatically by performing a precise jump in Grubba's Office to reach the Air-Vent Passageway used to enter it at the end of the chapter, which moves the game forward to that point. However, either the Super or Ultra Hammer is required to get back in to the office. Since the Super Hammer is found in Chapter 3, you must previously perform any skip in Chapter 2 that leaves an Event Flag behind. After getting the hammer, you have to throw fights in the Glitz Pit to lower your rank to 16, return to Boggly Woods to set the game back to Chapter 2, and finally return to Glitzville so Grubba can re-introduce you to the Glitz Pit in his office, which is the only other time you're allowed in it. You also have to decline his offer in order to be able to move around the office and do the jump.
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  • Developers' Foresight actually prevents an obvious sequence break in Chapter 4. There's a character who can only be defeated if you know his real name. The game pulls up a text entry screen so you can guess his name. Initially, you have no idea what it is, and have to go on a quest to find out. And if you know it anyway because you've played the game before or looked it up, he went ahead and stole one of the letters in his name straight off the text entry screen (and yes, it's case-sensitive). You learn what his name is in the same room that you get the letter back.
  • Ms. Mowz, an optional party member, can cause a glitch that allows Mario to control his movement direction while being launched sky-high whenever he falls into any body of water, allowing him to jump to places normally too high for him to reach. This is notably used to access the blue pipes in Rogueport Sewers, granting early access to Keelhaul Key and Poshley Heights.
  • It turns out the scripted mini-boss in Chapter 5 that triggers Bobbery's party-joining sequence is loaded below the room from the beginning. By clipping past the loading zone leaving the entryway to Pirate's Grotto and walking around the edge, it's possible to reach the fight and bring the game into Chapter 5.
  • Pirate's Grotto can be entered without bringing Flavio to the entrance (who gives you a jewel needed to solve a puzzle at that point) by using a glitch to clip into the wall surrounding the room where the entrance is. After reaching the right end of the room while in a clipped state, Bobbery can blow open the way in.
  • The Ultra Hammer usually sits in a chest that tantalizes you for three-quarters of the game from a platform in Rogueport. There are two ways of getting up there early and showing it who's boss:
    • Using Jump Storage allows you to fly up to the platform with the chest that contains the hammer.
    • A Japanese-version-exclusive method involves a glitch called Flurrie supersliding, where you use Flurrie's ability at the same that you open a door and it will cause you to slide. The glitch is possible on all versions, but for some reason, the Japanese version lets you move vertically relative to the screen while international versions go horizontally. A vertical slide is required in order to get on the seam on the outside of the building behind the chest, making it exclusive to the Japanese version. Since this glitch loads the stuff inside the building, the chest is invisible and has to be found and opened blindly.
  • You do not have to get all seven Crystal Stars to unlock the titular Thousand-Year Door. The game only checks for the seventh one, because normally you have to get each one to unlock the next. This can be exploited by clipping into the room with the teleporter you're supposed to use to return from the moon base where the seventh star is, which is conveniently located in the hub area. This allows you at the very least to skip completely a backtrack-heavy quest involving awakening General White in order for him to operate the cannon to the moon. How much else of the game gets skipped is dependent on which method is used to break in, which may use different partners and abilities or even versions of the game.
    • The most popular method uses the Flurrie superslide glitch explained above, and this version also requires the Japanese-exclusive vertical movement to reach it. There are multiple setups for the superslide with the goal of opening the door a first time to move the camera to make the teleporter room vertical to it, but without entering the room all the way due to being in Paper Mode. This can be accomplished by buffering the entry animation through using Bobbery or storing the Paper Mode state while regaining the ability to interact with things using text storage or strange collision on a pillar in the area outside.
    • Another method, viable for the English version as well, involves storing text boxes by activating the Spring Jump ability right after using Goombella's Tattle.
    • Lastly, storing a jump allows Mario to straight up clip through the wall of the building using Paper Mode, due to the wall being slightly curved outward. It's odd.
  • Much of the Palace of Shadow can be skipped through a very complicated series of glitches and Some Dexterity Required. In essence, you have to clip Yoshi out of bounds and both ride and hover with him frame-perfectly in order to fall through the floor in the hallway that later gets lowered. This skips the entire Tower of Riddles that causes the lowering, and as a result the boss fight with Gloomtail that unlocks the tower. It drops you off two rooms away from the last bosses of Grodus, Bowser, and the Shadow Queen.
  • The fight against the Shadow Sirens in Chapter 8 can be skipped rather simply by jumping over a railing on the small footbridge leading up to the fight, avoiding the trigger for the fight.
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