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Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
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Console: Nintendo GameCube
Year: 2004
RFG ID #: U-076-S-03550-A
UPC: 045496962050 (00101)
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Publisher: Nintendo
E (ESRB): Mild Cartoon Violence

Genre: RPG
Players: 1
Controller: Standard Controller
Media Format: GameCube Optical Disc x1
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Collection Stats:

  • 434 of 7611 collectors (5.7%) have this game in their collection
  • 30 of 7611 collectors (0.3%) have this game in their wishlist.
  • 1 of 7611 collectors (0%) have this game for sale or trade.

In a long line of Mario games comes Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. Developed by Intelligent Systems, the people behind the Advance Wars and Fire Emblem Series, this game was placed in the hands of a team that knows how to make rather good games. Paper Mario is no exception to this trend. Capitalizing on the massive universe of Mario and the continual trend of Peach getting captured, this game creates a story that is hilarious and deep. I find myself laughing a little bit inside when Peach makes fun of herself for being captured, as though she always expects it to happen. These touches, combined with an excellent battle system lead to an extremely entertaining game for the Nintendo Gamecube.

The back of the case reads as follows:

What Sleeps Behind the Door?

Time passes, the pages turn... and a new chapter unfolds in an unfamilar land! Get ready for a two-dimensional role-playing adventure for the ages as Mario returns to paper form to discover a mystery that sleeps behind an ancient, legendary portal called the T Thousand Year Door. The quest is long, the dangers many, and this time, Mario will have to make full use of his papery qualities just to survive.

  • No need to go it alone! You'll need to rely on sidekicks to survive, and even enemies have roles to play...
  • Take to the stage! Impressing the crowd builds power for super attacks, but don't disappoint the audience, or you'll pay!
  • Don't fold under pressure! Fold into a paper airplane, turn sideways to slip through cracks, and much more.
  • Stay on your toes! Stomp foes, swing your hammer, and use timely button presses to do damage!

Ever since the incarnation of Super Mario RPG, there has been a Mario RPG for the Nintendo home consoles. For the Gamecube Intelligent Systems, the developer famous for its until quite recently Japan-only franchise Fire Emblem created the the third incarnation of a Mario RPG. Banking off the success of the N64's Paper Mario, Intelligent Systems released its sequel, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door.

The story of Paper Mario starts out like most other Mario Games begin -- Princess Peach has been kidnapped and it is up to Mario to rescue her from the evil enemy. More specifically, Princess Peach and Toadsworth are vacationing in the seaside town of Rogueport when Peach discovers a treasure map. Knowing that Mario loves adventures, she mails the map to him back in the Mushroom Kingdom, suggesting that he go on the adventure. Shortly after mailing the map she wanders off and is kidnapped by an organization known as the X-nauts, who from the beginning we know little about. Upon arrival in Rogueport, it becomes Mario's mission to rescue Peach from the X-nauts. He enlists the help Professor Frankly, who informs Mario that the X-nauts are out searching for the Seven Crystal Stars. Beneath the city of Rogueport lies an ancient city with the Thousand Year Door, a door that can only be opened by breaking the seal controlled by the power of the stars. Legend says that behind the Door lies a monumental treasure, and that the map Mario possesses is a guide to the location of the Seven Crystal Stars. It then becomes the mission of Mario to locate the Seven Stars in order to rescue Princess Peach from the X-nauts.

And so, the adventure begins with Mario venturing all across the Paper Mario world, and in his encounters he meets many people, gains many partners, sees many worlds, and gets to hear all about the adventures of Luigi in the Chestnut Kingdom. The story progresses through the use of chapters, as the title and art style would suggest, the game is very much modeled after a book. Complete a chapter, and the Mario moves onto the next one. While there are these chapters, (8 of them to be exact) the game does not magically jump from one area to another. Rather, the city of Rogueport and its sewers act as an exchange of sorts -- to go from one area to another Mario must travel through Rogueport first. The player is not completely clueless in where to go, as after each chapter Mario has acquired one more Crystal Star and with the newly acquired star Mario is able to see where the next star is on the map by standing in front of the Thousand Year Door. Professor Frankly then tells the player where that star is located, and generally how to get there. This leads to a linear storyline with nonlinear gameplay. Since the story is are an essential and crucial part of RPGs, and not knowing how they go leads to more fun, I will no longer talk about the storyline. Therefore, let's talk about gameplay

Paper Mario is much like many other RPGs. It's turn-based, you have a bunch of partners, there is a massive storyline, and the worlds have plenty of puzzles. But this game also has its quirks, which make the game special. Throughout the game Mario is "cursed" with special paper abilites, such as becoming a paper airplane and completely flattening oneself. Additionally each partner has a special field skill that can be used to reveal secrets. All of these skills and "curses" are required to progress the game, and they make the game very enjoyable. Rather than always sticking with the most powerful character all the time the player has to switch between partners, and it leads to an extremely varied, interesting experience. The way battles are done is also different than the way most battles are done. In an homage to Chrono Trigger, every battle can technically be avoided by the player -- that is the player decides which battles he or she wants to play. While some battles are unavoidable, most can be avoided if the player chooses to do so. The arena that battles are done in is also unique. All battles are done on a stage, complete with an audience that judges the player's performance. If the player executes an attack well the audience rewards him by cheering, which refills the star power of Mario. Star Power is necsessary to do special moves. The audience also will throw things onto the stage, some things that help, and some things that hurt. To avoid those that hurt, Mario or his partner can go out into the audience area and whack the person who was going to throw something, causing them to cry their way out of the stage area. The stage itself is dynamic, as things change depending on the enemy and the area. Certain enemies will cause the set pieces to fall over, and periodically, the set falls over on its own. Certain bosses will sometimes abuse the stage area, ranging from eating the audience to shaking the rigging. All of these cause damage to Mario unless successfully defended against. Defense is special in this game, as the player can limit the amount of damage Mario and his partner take by hitting the A button at the right time. A button combination also ensures that the player executes an attack perfectly as well. Also, Mario is able to equip badges, which act as status changers in the battle stage.

Presentation plays a lot into this game as well. The graphics are top-notch. Intelligent Systems went for a richly animated, colorful 3-D world inhabited by many 2-D sprites. When entering a building the environment assembles itself much like one would expect a pop-up book page to setup. Each indvidual area is deeply varied, ranging from the lush tropical forests of Keelhaul Key and gentle plains of Petal Meadows, to the darkness of Twilight Town and the frozen tundra of Fahr Outpost. The overall effect is gorgeous. The music of the game is superb as well, each area has its own music, and it is varied enough to make it extremely enjoyable. One would find it very nice to know that there is some old-school Mario music in there as well. The overall presentation is in many ways an homage to older Mario games through the 2-D sprites and remixes, and at the same time it embraces the current generation by having lush detailed environments and wonderful music.

Paper Mario is a great game, with a great story, and a whole lot of fun packed in. The surprises (or anti-surprises) one discovers in this game makes it one that is extremely enjoyable. With over 45 hours of gameplay, this game is must-have for any RPG fan and Gamecube owner.

RF Generation Review Score


Extra Media:

Nintendo Power Official Guide Front
Nintendo Power Official Guide BackNintendo Power #185- Nov 2004
Nintendo Power Flyer
Health And Safety Precautions Booklet

Console Reg. Type Title Publisher Year Genre
Nintendo GameCube J S Paper Mario RPG Nintendo 2004 RPG
Nintendo GameCube AT, DE, CH S Paper Mario: Die Legende vom ─onentor Nintendo 2004 RPG
Nintendo GameCube France S Paper Mario: La Porte MillÚnaire Nintendo 2004 RPG
Nintendo GameCube United Kingdom S Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door Nintendo 2004 RPG
Nintendo GameCube Netherlands S Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door Nintendo 2004 RPG
Nintendo GameCube U S Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door [Player's Choice] Nintendo 2004 RPG
Nintendo GameCube U S Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door [Best Seller] Nintendo 2004 RPG
Nintendo GameCube U S Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door [For Display Only] Nintendo 2004 RPG
Nintendo GameCube Canada S Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door [Best Seller] Nintendo 2004 RPG
Nintendo GameCube Canada S Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door [Player's Choice] Nintendo 2006 RPG
Nintendo GameCube Canada S Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door Nintendo 2004 RPG
Related Games:

Console Reg. Type Title Publisher Year Genre
Nintendo DS U S Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time Nintendo 2005 RPG
Nintendo Game Boy Advance U S Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga Nintendo 2003 RPG
Nintendo 64 U S Paper Mario Nintendo 2001 RPG
Nintendo SNES U S Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars Nintendo 1996 RPG
Nintendo Wii U S Super Paper Mario Nintendo 2007 RPG
Game Trivia:

  • Ms. Mowz, the badge stealing bandit, can actually become a party member should the player complete a certain trouble
  • If Mario reads the Diary of the Ghost Toad on the Excess Express, the ghost appears and kills Mario!
  • Hooktail, the dragon lurking in the castle of Petal Meadows, has a morbid fear of crickets.
FAQ's/External Links:

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door on Gamerankings
Easter Eggs:

  • In Glitzville, during the title match, one of the spectators calls Mario "Jump-man", and then shrugs it off.
  • Completing certain troubles at the trouble center will allow the player several mini-games
  • By wearing certain badges, Mario can look like, Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi.
Page Credits:

Michael Collins: Page design, HTML code.
Eddie Herrmann: Perl script.
David Murnan: scans, screenshots, Overview, Review, Game Trivia, Easter Eggs, Misc.
Anthony Terzi: Related Games, Misc
IamtheHBOMB: UPC, Media Quantity, Game Rating, Rating Content Descriptor.
Samada: Scans
Tony Bowe: Related Games
Clint Severs (cverz2): Photos
Adam Bickley: UPC
raffa1985: Variation Tie-In
Zagnorch: Photos
Flee: Photos
Bear78: Photos

Last Updated: 2017-08-16 21:13:50
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