''Paper Mario''
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Developer(s) Intelligent Systems
Publisher(s) Nintendo Co., Ltd.
Release date(s) Nintendo 64
August 11, 2000
North America
February 5, 2001
PAL region
October 5, 2001
Virtual Console
July 10, 2007
PAL region
July 13, 2007
North America
July 16, 2007
Genre(s) Role-playing game
Mode(s) Single-player
Ratings ESRB: E
PEGI: 3+
ACB: General
Platform(s) Nintendo 64
Media 320-megabit cartridge
Input methods Nintendo 64
Nintendo 64 Controller
Wii virtual console:
Wii Classic Controller
Nintendo GameCube controller

Paper Mario, in Japan titled Mario Story (マリオストーリー Mario Sutōrī), is a role-playing video game released by Nintendo for their Nintendo 64 console on August 11, 2000. Paper Mario was subsequently released in North America and Australia in 2001.

Paper Mario is the first installment of the Paper Mario series. This series has tackled four titles thus far, and has appeared on four separate Nintendo consoles. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is the first of these sequels, featured on the Nintendo GameCube. Another non-RPG title, Super Paper Mario, was released on Nintendo's Wii, and Paper Mario: Sticker Star, the latest installment in the series was featured on the Nintendo 3DS.

Development Edit

Paper Mario was developed by Intelligent Systems throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s. Led by Toshitaka Muramatsu, Takahiro Ohgi, and Hironobu Suzuki, the team worked on the project with "amateur gamers in mind."[1] The project began as a sequel to Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars and was at first titled Super Mario RPG 2.

Release Edit

Paper Mario was released initially in Japan on August 11, 2000. The game was subsequently released in North America and Europe on February 5 and October 5 of 2001 respectively. The system was later released on the Nintendo Wii's virtual console in July of 2007.[2]

Plot Edit

Spoiler warning: significant plot details follow. Please read with caution.

Paper Mario takes place within the Mushroom Kingdom where Mario must venture off into the farthest reaches of the country to save his beloved Princess Peach from the evil King Bowser. Bowser, in the prologue to the game, steals the sacred Star Rod and captures the seven Star Spirits, imprisoning them within large cards, and scatters them across the Kingdom. Mario confronts Bowser for the first time within Princess Peach's Castle, during a party held by the Princess. Mario is instantly defeated by Bowser and his new-found power. Bowser's Castle lifts up from the ground and raises Princess Peach's into the sky.

After being defeated by the invincible Bowser, aided by the Star Rod, Mario is launched to Goomba Village where he sets off on his adventure throughout the Mushroom Kingdom, traversing with new partners and allies as he ventures to unknown lands. On the way, Mario gathers party members of various Mario series races and the help of the seven Star Spirits he saves during his journey.

Upon rescuing the seven Star Spirits and venturing into the sky at Star Haven, Mario is transported to Bowser's Castle where he saves several Toads and makes his way onto the top of the Castle where Princess Peach's Castle lies. Once inside, Mario fights Bowser again, this time with the power of the Star Beam in tow. Mario defeats Bowser, but Bowser flees off to the roof of the castle. At the roof, the final showdown is fought between the two rivals, but Mario cannot defeat Bowser with the Star Spirits alone. Twink, a star child sent to aid Princess Peach, aids Mario in the battle, allowing him to defeat Bowser.

Once Bowser has been defeated, the Star Spirits thank Mario for his efforts and lower Princess Peach's Castle safely to the ground. Afterward, Mario and his party attend a party held by Princess Peach, and at this party a parade is held, and the Mushroom Kingdom begins a time of peace.

Spoiler section ends here.

Gameplay Edit

Paper Mario is played like a traditional Role-playing game in which the player must traverse an overworld and battle various monsters and enemies during their adventure. Mario is given five different statistics during his adventure:

  • Heart Points (HP) which determine Mario's health
  • Flower Points (FP) which Mario must use to use certain attacks in battle
  • Badge Points (BP) which allow Mario to use badges
  • Star Points which are Mario's experience points
  • Star Energy which is the amount of energy Mario has to use the abilities of the Star Spirits

The level cap Mario can reach in Paper Mario is twenty-seven, and the maximum HP and FP Mario can reach (with the use of HP and FP Plus badges) is sixty-five. Mario's BP reaches a maximum of thirty, and Mario's Star Energy reaches a maximum of seven.

In addition to Mario, many party members are given to Mario throughout his adventure, and each of these partners has their own unique ability that helps Mario collect new items or access certain areas. Princess Peach is also a playable character for a short period of time between each chapter in the game.

Collectibles Edit

Mario can collect many items throughout his adventure. He can find badges that can give him statistical upgrades, new battle techniques, or change the usage of certain items/effects. Mario can also find Star Pieces to collect which will give him badges if he collects enough. Tayce T., a chef in Toad Toad, the largest settlement in the game, will make items for Mario if she is given the right items. Mario's progress in collecting items is viewed on the chalk board within his own home.

Battle Edit

The game sports a turn-based battle system in which each turn, each enemy attacks followed by a turn for Mario and his party to attack.[3] Mario obtains hammers, boots, badges, and many other items to aid himself in battle, and there are several strategies to find to defeat certain enemies. Paper Mario also features new action commands which are used to perform techniques and attacks to their full potential. Different attacks, performed by Mario or his party, require specific action commands which may be a certain flick of the control stick, or rapidly or accurate pressing of buttons, among other commands.[4]

Reception Edit

Paper Mario received a generally positive reaction from critics. While some complained about the game's easiness and basic gameplay, many other critics believed the game to be an exciting and refreshing game to the RPG genre.[5][6] Many critics lauded the game's performance and the game has become a nostalgic masterpiece to some.[7] Some critics even say that the game holds up into the newer generations of gaming, proving the game's lasting legacy.[8]

Scores from major publications Edit

  • Electronic Gaming Monthly — 9.33/10[9]
  • Eurogamer — 9/10[10]
  • Famitsu — 33/40[11]
  • GameRankings — 88%[9]
  • GameSpot — 9.5[7]
  • IGN — 9/10[12]
  • Metacritic — 93%[13]

References Edit