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WMG / Paper Mario: Color Splash

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Upgrades will be able to be not only found, but bought.
One of Sticker Star's biggest genuine flaws was the lack of incentive to play through battles, unless you were low on coins or simply felt like battling. Hopefully this game will address this issue; it's already confirmed so far that only coins will be gained from battles (Unless they change their mind down the line), but maybe said coins could be saved to buy upgrades in addition to finding them.
  • Partly Jossed; battling also yields cardboard hammers, the game's EXP / Star Points equivalent. Collecting enough hammers increases Mario's maximum paint capacity.

The game will be more like the Pikmin games
Basically there will be non-card items Mario can use to buff his cards. Some of the cards will be used to create paths (although looking at the first trailer, it looks more like there would be Splash powers to do this function). And not all cards won't go away immediately but instead have the chance to stay with Mario if the card kills the enemy.
  • Jossed. You can't use any other items than cards in battle.

The game will have debuffing cards.
This game would be asking you to use some of the cards to inflict debuffs, similar to Pokémon, and might provide bonuses to the player, if the player uses cards in a certain order. Sequels are expected to evolve from their predecessor, so a more complex battle system would make sense, even if it's not a RPG.
  • Confirmed. The Lemon and Salt & Pepper Things cause a load of damage to enemies and blind any (non-boss) enemy that survives.

Bowser will be the Big Bad.
Self explanatory.
  • Confirmed. Bowser (who's covered in black, thanks to the power of the black paint) threw the Big Paint Stars away before Mario arrived, and is one of the main reasons why Prism Island is being drained of it's color. Not only that, but he kidnaps Peach while Mario is busy restoring the color in the land, much like in Super Mario Sunshine.
    • However, Peach states in a hologram that she sends to Mario right after she's kidnapped that Bowser "seems different somehow", so there might be a plot twist about Bowser just being The Dragon to the game's real Big Bad, and therefore he might be not the Final Boss this time around.
    • Given that Sticker Star did something similar as Bowser was actually being possessed by the last Royal Sticker, it might be the same thing for Color Splash.
    • Double subverted, the black paint is a Greater-Scope Villain. However, a possessed Bowser (thanks to the black paint) still acts as the Final Boss.

Wart will be the Big Bad.
Shy Guys seem to play a pretty important role this time around. And while Bowser has commanded them in the past, he's been the Big Bad for the last few RPGs at this point; it's about time that someone else gets a chance to be the main villain.
  • Fully jossed. While Wart is actually mentioned by one Toad in-game, Bowser is the Big Bad.

Kersti will appear again at some point.
Because why not.
  • Jossed.

Nintendo will see the massively negative response that the initial trailer got and will hastily retool the game to be more like the first two Paper Mario games.
Just an idea.
  • Assuming a Christmas 2016 release, all they'd really have time for is: reducing Mario's HP down to 10 or 20, tweaking early game enemies to match that HP, increasing enemy coin count dramatically, and moving some stat-up items into shops.
  • Likely to be jossed. Since the game is scheduled for an October release, they likely won't have time to retool the game heavily. Well, unless they miraculously decide to push back the release date.
  • Maybe the next game after Color Splash will be revamped to be more similar to the previous games? Though, given that they said that they want Sticker Star to become the new standard, it's rather unlikely...
    • Yeah. It is. We can dream, though.
    • Unless sales might convince them otherwise. I mean, look at Metroid: Other M.
  • And now that the game is leaked, and from what I read so far, yeah, jossed.

The game is a lot more complex than we thought, especially compared to Sticker Star.
It's not likely that they'll retool this game to be like the first two, and this being the third game in a row to use the "actual paper world" idea (the second being Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam) make it clear that this aspect is here to stay. However, considering the kind of depth that Paper Jam gave paper characters, it stands to reason that compared to the rather simplistic approach of Sticker Star, Color Splash will significantly build on what little we saw in the trailer to make a story that's actually worth playing through. After all, a good enough story can keep people playing a mediocre game.
  • If it's anything to note, activating cards in combat requires filling them in with paint, making the paint levels something like a Mana gauge to limit how many cards are used at once. This should make the cards reusable, one of the major turnoffs from Sticker Star in conjunction with the above.
    • A mana-esque mechanic means there's more to combat than HP, like the Flower Points from the first two games. If Nintendo has fixed Sticker Star's problems while still keeping its aesthetic, we just might be looking at a rebirth of Paper Mario for this game.
  • Maybe something similar will happen as it did with Super Mario 3D World. The first trailer made it look "same-y" compared to other Mario titles around the time, and got a mixed reaction. But then came the second trailer...
    • Eh, it sorta happened with the Rescue V trailer but it still left many unconvinced...
  • Given that the game mostly plays like Sticker Star but with a new paint feature, and still retains elements such as the Thing weakness system, yeah, Jossed.

Peach's Colors will get drained as well as The Toads...
This will probably happen when the Big Bad shows up.

Bowser will see his personality from the previous games return.
Probably the one thing universially complained about was the lack of a talking Bowser in a Paper Mario game.
  • Confirmed. Bowser is the Big Bad again, but he can talk now, much like in the pre-Sticker Star games.

Splatoon Shout-Out
Since this game's gimmick revolves around colors and painting, its obvious that another successful IP that revolves around paint will be referenced somewhere... But where?
  • Given that Splatoon was originally going to be set in the Mario universe, perhaps we'll get to meet ink-shooting Bloopers as enemies?
  • Jossed. No Splatoon references as far as anyone here has seen, and I haven't seen any.

The card system will be closer to the Battle Cards from Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam than stickers.
I.e. cards are drawn from a limited deck of about 10 and are discarded when used. When the entire deck is used up, all discarded cards are shuffled and redrawn, so they don't disappear forever once used up.

The games were most likely in development around the same time, so it's entirely possible that Paper Jam took a leaf from a game that was already being worked on to further the crossover. It could also work as an Author's Saving Throw to make combat less tedious and useless than in Sticker Star, considering several things:
1. If cards aren't exhaustible items, that would make it easier to farm for coins to buy better cards in the First Town's shop.
2. Hypothetical Shiny or Megaflash cards (or their equivalents) wouldn't be Too Awesome to Use like in Sticker Star, although they might take up more "slots" in a deck.
3. We already know that cards are somewhat rarer than stickers were in the previous game (e.g. they don't drop after defeating an enemy), which supports the deck system. Why make them rarer if you aren't going to make them multiple use?

  • Jossed. Cards work mostly the same as stickers did in Sticker Star, only that you can paint them to make them stronger.

The game will parallel Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door in many ways.
On top of the "ancient main town" and "train level" archtypes confirmed to appear...
  • The first chapter will heavily involve Koopas and a dragon-type boss.
    • While the first dungeon, the Crimson Tower, slightly resembles Hooktail's Castle, Koopas don't have a big role there, and the area boss is Morton, so Jossed.
  • The second chapter will take place in a forest with a weird artstyle.
    • One of the main areas does involve a forest, but its art style is far more typical than the one from the Boggly Woods.
  • The third chapter will be very festive, even having almost all fights take place in a battle arena where upon losing a fight you don't get a Game Over but Mario is left at one HP and to complete the chapter you have to reach the top rank of the battle arena.
    • There is a Glitz Pit-like area in the game, but it's very different in execution. Not only you don't progressively fight enemies like in the former, but you have to explore it and get a Bone Thing Card (which is the required Thing weakness for the area boss), before taking on several enemies at the same time and then fight the boss himself (Iggy) to get the Yellow Big Paint Star.
  • One chapter will take place in outer space.
    • Confirmed. Black Bowser's Castle is set in outer space, and you reach it via Rainbow Road with the help of Luigi in his kart. The difference is that said area is the last one you'll explore in the game, as opposed to the penultimate one like the X-Naut Fortress in The Thousand-Year Door.
  • The final chapter will take place underneath Port Prisma.
    • Jossed. The final area is Black Bowser's Castle, which is set in outer space, much like Bowser's Castle in Paper Mario 64. Not only that, but you never get to see Port Prisma's underground, unlike with Rogueport.

If the true final boss isn't Bowser, they'll be connected to the Sticker Comet in some way.
As a form of Arc Welding.
  • Jossed. The true final boss is Bowser. And the Sticker Comets do not make an appearance.

The Koopalings will make an appearance.
In Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, Roy asks why the paper versions of him and his siblings didn't fall out of the book holding the Paper Mushroom Kingdom. Wendy replies, in her own words, "they're probably doing something more important back home."

Sounds like a good way to foreshadow the Koopalings' Paper Mario debut here.

  • Confirmed! Morton is seen in some footage from E3 2016. A video revolving around the Golden Colosseum shows Iggy getting in on the action.
  • And in the game itself, the Koopalings all act as the main boss of each major area, with the exception of Roy, who's fought right when entering Black Bowser's Castle and is followed by Bowser himself after getting through the castle.

Luigi will once again be Demoted to Extra, even moreso than in Sticker Star and Paper Jam.
Luigi will not even make a physical appearance. At most, a picture of him that has to be colored in will appear as a puzzle or Easter Egg.
  • Jossed. He has a similar role to Sticker Star, but finding him now has a purpose - He gives you loads of coins whenever you do.
    • He also has a role in the plot too. He sends letters to Mario which will give him hints on what to do. And he helps Mario and Huey go to Black Bowser's Castle by kart.

There will be a lot of Sunshine shout outs.
They are on a island on break after all....
  • Possibly jossed. There don't seem to be any explicit references to Sunshine in particular.

Paper Rosalina will appear.
Could be a good way to drum up interest.
  • Jossed. Rosalina doesn't appear at all.

The game will add/bring back lesser-used Palette Swaps of enemies, to fit with the color theme.

Such as Gloombas and Hyper counterparts. If this game ends up following the "only established characters" rule to the point of excluding even those, there's still a shot at Blue and Yellow Koopas making a return, since they appeared in a main-series platformer.

  • This is making me wonder if the Koopa Bros. will have a role. After all, they are known for their colors.
  • Confirmed, sort of. The Shy Guys have different variants including their colors from Shy Guy's Toy Box.

The game will be a Bait-and-Switch that starts out looking like Sticker Star, but later turns into something more along the lines of The Thousand Year Door.
Jossed. The game's plot is mostly told like in Sticker Star, only a bit more fleshed out so that it isn't a full blown Excuse Plot like the former.

The Bonus Boss will be DJ Octavio.
  • As an amendment to this, he'll team up with Gooper Blooper for a crazy dance battle.
    • Jossed, not only does DJ Octavio not appear, neither does Gooper Blooper. On top of that, there's no Bonus Boss either, just like in Sticker Star.

Color Splash is trying/going to be the middle ground between the Pre-Sticker Star games and Sticker Star itself.
  • So far this seems to be the case. More detailed locations, more dialogue, a sort of experience system, more fleshed out story, and just a level of charm that looks to approach the Pre-SS games.
    • The game is closer to the earlier games in many ways, but in other ways the game feels like Sticker Star 2: Colorful Boogaloo like many predicted. The colorful and detailed places along with the excellent writing are something you would see in earlier games, but the gameplay, story, character variety and several other things can stop the game from feeling like a Sticker Star clone rather than a proper new entry in the series.

Bowser will make an appearance... but it'll be as The Dragon.
The Koopalings and Bowser Tape point to Bowser's involvement in some form, but who says he has to be the final boss...?
  • Based on what's currently known about him, that being that he wants to "share the dark gift of black paint to the world", and that Peach notes that he seems "different", it's heavily implied that Bowser is actually Brainwashed and Crazy, so this may actually be true.
    • It's kind of hard to say, but the Big Bad is actually the black paint itself as opposed to Bowser, since after the final battle, it's revealed that he doesn't know what's going on, even asking Mario if "there's a kart race scheduled for today". That said, while not the Big Bad himself, Bowser still acts as the Final Boss, even if possessed.
      • The black paint is controlling Bowser, but the game never really goes any further than that, leaving the black paint as a Greater-Scope Villain. Not to mention, Bowser was the one who caused the whole "black paint" thing to happen, though it was actually an accident and not on purpose, unlike what it appears at the beginning.

Wingo will be the Big Bad.
  • Jossed. Wingo doesn't even appear in the game.
    • Although Draggadon does make an appearance, for those interested.

Bowser Jr. will be the Big Bad and/or Final Boss.
Given how this game is paint-oriented, and that Jr. used a paintbrush in a few Mario games, it's only natural that he would have a larger role in the game.
  • Jossed, Bowser Jr. is completely absent from the game, ironically for a game centered around painting and after being an important character in Sticker Star.

The game will be filled with a bunch of mean-spirited Take That, Audience! And Critics in the style of Teen Titans Go!
Well, not the Japanese version which consider that unnecessary and below them, but I could see the Nintendo Treehouse making the English adaptation pulling this stunt. (Which will probably hurt their already controversial reputation), but make jokes about how fans don't appreciate the new games, possibly even mocking the past games, and calling the adventure in Sticker Star their best adventure.
  • Given the apologetic nature of Paper Bowser's trophy in Smash Bros for 3DS and how Treehouse mentioned The Thousand Year Door instead of Sticker Star when they promoted Paper Jam, it's unlikely Treehouse are interested in causing any extra trouble. If anything, they seem more aware of Sticker Star's reputation than the Japanese branch.

Alternatively, the English adaptation will be filled with Self-Deprecation
It is unlikely that the game will return to the original style, especially since Nintendo believes that Sticker Star is what a Paper Mario game is supposed to be. Complete with Lampshade Hanging on Sticker Stars notoriety, with even one character Leaning on the Fourth Wall, and missing what would be considered past mechanics in the series.
  • The game does have a ton of Lampshade Hanging when it comes to many things, such as nobody expecting that Bowser would kidnap Peach (even though literally everyone saw it coming), and the overabundance of generic Toads when going to the circus where Lemmy is fought.

Bowser won't be the Final Boss.
Since Bowser has been the Big Bad three times in a row when it comes to the Mario role-playing games and he appears to be the Big Bad yet again in this game, it might be fair to say that it's time for a new villain already, let alone Final Boss. In fact, there's some evidence that it might be like this; Bowser is implied to be Brainwashed and Crazy and we have yet to see if some other characters are in the game, so there's a chance that this might be a subversion.

The Black Paint Bowser is Bowser Jr. in disguise
Aside from the fact that Peach mentions that somethings seems off about Bowser despite still not wanting to hurt her, the appearance of Black Paint Bowser is extremely similar to the shadowy texture of Shadow Mario. Finally, when Black Paint Bowser jumps onto his air ship— which looks exactly like the one Bowser Jr. drove in Sticker Star, down to the hole in the hull made by a Bonzai Bill— he jumps onto the bowsprit instead of the deck, which is something only Bowser Jr. has been known to do.
  • Bonus points if Mario and the true Bowser actually pull an Enemy Mine to put a stop to Jr.; that is, if he's working against the latter.
    • Unfortunately Jossed. Junior doesn't appear at all in the game.

The creators are going back to their roots.
We've gotten a remix of the Star Spirits' Theme, one Sledge Bro wears a pair of sunglasses not unlike the Koopas in Paper Mario 64, and a possible true villain other than Bowser. This seems to be indicating they're starting to make choices closer to the original two Paper Mario games either to satisfy the fans or simply because they miss the old Paper Mario like most of us do.
  • I guess that if they truly wanted to go back to the roots, this game wouldn't be like Sticker Star at all; if anything, it would be much closer to Paper Mario 64 and The Thousand-Year Door in terms of gameplay, alongside many other things.
    • Somewhat Jossed. Bowser (possessed by the black paint) is the villain, and the plot is a bit on the thin side, but the writing is definitely a return to form and the gameplay has improved quite a bit upon Sticker Star.

After release, Color Splash will go from being hated by most of the fandom to being a Broken Base.
  • Looks that way. After the leak, a lot of people have warmed up to the game, so this may happen.
    • However, the leak also finally revealed that the game, while having much better writing than the previous game and fixing some issues, is repeating several of Sticker Star's flaws, such as the already controversial battle system, required Thing weaknesses, return of Thing puzzles that require tedious backtracking if you don't have the needed Thing, and some particularly bad cases of That One Level (such as an Unexpected Gameplay Change-based stage where you run a ship when going to Fort Cobalt). Added to the fact that the story, while more involved than that of Sticker Star along with the improved writing, isn't that great especially when compared to the acclaimed stories of The Thousand-Year Door and Super Paper Mario.
      • To be honest, most bosses give obvious hints toward the Thing you're supposed to use. Also, a lot of the time, the required Thing is in the same level you fight the boss in. I'm just glad the game actually has a plot, even if it's almost an Idiot Plot. Not trying to defend the game or anything, but just saying.
      • I don't think the problem relies on the Thing weakness itself, but rather, on the way it's executed. If it wasn't actually required to win fights and merely helped you on the boss fight by being a somewhat effective tactic (as in, Morton being unable to use a fire hammer after using the Fire Extinguisher Thing, but having around half of his health left and still giving a reasonable challenge) rather than making the bosses stop putting up a fight after that, it would be far more tolerable. And I feel like the plot could've been a lot more complex than it ended up to be (especially with the Roy rumors), but in the end it felt like Sticker Star all over again, just more fleshed out so that it doesn't seem like an Excuse Plot.
    • When it comes to said ship stage, you have to do tedious things such as going through some mushroom-shaped islands that hardly look the same and then turn into the right direction (which is very difficult to do already) and then do certain minigames including one where you have to break the targets and attain a score of 70, which is very tedious and isn't helped by the bad camera angle; it got so bad that there's Anti-Frustration Features that give you 20 points per target, making the ordeal a lot easier. One of the most annoying aspects about this stage is that if you go through the wrong direction or fail to do a minigame right, you'll be forced to fight an enemy and then do that task all over again. Some have even said that they would rather backtrack around the whole world and look for General White than ever going through that area ever, which is certainly saying a lot.
      • Yeah, the ship stage does look bad, but to be honest, it looks to be about as bad as it gets.
    • If anything, Color Splash is agreed to be an improvement over Sticker Star, as it fixes some of the latter's issues and has writing on par with the earlier games, but still doesn't even reach the level of quality seen in the pre-Sticker Star games, due to continuing the same style of gameplay and repeating several of Sticker Star's flaws. And given that Sticker Star was better received back when it was released than it is now, the same thing might happen with Color Splash.
      • Certainly agreed. Who knows, though? Anything can happen, and to be honest, a lot of haters are mainly just complaining that it's not The Thousand Year Door. All in all, though, Color Splash is nowhere near the level the first two games are at, but it's certainly an improvement over Sticker Star.
      • Agreed. That said, I feel that most detractors have more reasons than just "not Thousand-Year Door to dislike the game, like the flaws inherited from Sticker Star, or even the fact that the developers want to stick to that style, ignoring that most fans dislike that formula and is a major source of the backlash against Color Splash.
  • So at the end, we got both.

There will be some kind of reference to Paper Jam, either through an item or someone mentioning it directly.

The Toads killed all non-Toad species in the Mushroom Kingdom during Super Paper Mario, which explains why there are only Toads in Sticker Star, and remains that way by Color Splash.

Black paint is based off/similar to Dark Matter.
No, not that Dark Matter.
  • Maybe it is similar that Dark Matter. After all, Black Paint's effects range from general corruption to a strange mix of brainwashing and possession. Not only that, but it also steals color, something which Kirby Dark Matter (and its expy) has also done before.

Paper Bowser Junior's absence in this game
He was busy fending himself from the Mario Bros. in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam and was beaten badly enough to be in no condition to fight by the time Color Splash happened.

Color Splash takes place a few weeks after Paper Jam.
To go with the above.

The Parallel World is a reference to pannenkoek2012.
But before I can go into more detail, we need to talk about parallel universes!

Paper Mario was created by squeezing regular Mario.
Hey, it worked for Huey.

Black Bowser is not the first Black Paint entity to exist in Mario's world.
Whether possessing another or some standalone entity, a creature like Black Bowser must have existed sometime in Prism Island's past. This, in turn, would lead to Huey's creation, to deal with it.

Enemy cards are created as a result of defeated mooks deciding to fight for the strongest side.
These are the ones who see Mario as the superior combatant and decide to follow him instead. So it's only natural that card drops happen more frequently after you beat the game—they know you defeated Black Bowser of all people! But then, they aren't so bold with Mario as to face their former superiors, hence why they run away in boss battles.

A "Do Not Mix The Paint" sign would not have avoided the plot as Huey believes.
There were warnings to never touch the Sticker Star, but Bowser ignored those in his greed. Just like then, if there had been a warning sign for the fountain, Bowser would have ignored it and dove in anyway to satisfy his selfish desires.

Huey returns to Port Prisma
regardless of completion status.All that's different is the point of night that's shown. If you didn't 100% it, you're just seeing Port Prisma at a random point in the middle of the night. If you do, you're shown the exact point of night Huey falls back into the fountain simply to reassure you that he's OK.

Hypothetically speaking, if Color Splash had had a Partner System, Toad would've been the "Goomba-style" partner.
The fact that he'd read all about Prism Island prior to the trio landing there would've made him a perfect candidate to use the Tattle ability if partners were used.

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