|Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door|
|Release Date(s)|| July 22, 04 [Japan]|
Oct 11, 04 [North America]
Nov 12, 04 [PAL]
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, released in Japan as Paper Mario RPG, is a role-playing game developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube. It was released in Japan on July 22, 2004, in North America on October 11, 2004, and in Europe on November 12, 2004.
The Thousand-Year Door borrows many gameplay elements from its predecessor, the Nintendo 64 game Paper Mario, it's prequel. These elements include a turn-based battle system with an emphasis on action as well as a paper-themed universe. For the majority of the game the player controls Mario, although Bowser and Princess Peach are playable at certain points. The plot follows Mario's quest as he tries to retrieve the seven Crystal Stars and rescue Peach from the X-Nauts, an alien species introduced in The Thousand-Year Door.
The game was well received by critics, with an average score of 88 percent from Game Rankings. In general, critics praised the game's engaging plot and gameplay, but criticised it for not being a big progression from its predecessor. The Thousand-Year Door won the "Console Role Playing Game of the Year" award at the 2005 Interactive Achievement Awards.
 Game information
- Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door combines turn-based battles with action elements.
- Timing Action Commands help you dodge or inflict damageand impress the crowd to give you power for super attacks.
- Fold into a paper airplane and take to the air, turn sideways to slip through narrow passages and roll into a tube to bounce to safety
- Buy new abilities at the badge shop!
- Different mini games, such as a quiz show or the ability to control Bowser in a sidescrolling action sequence.
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door opens with a short introduction about a prosperous seaside town called Rogueport that was destroyed by a cataclysm and then sank into the depths of the earth. After the site of the town was completely purged of all evidence of its existence, another, new town called Rogueport, was built there. A legend about a mysterious treasure then soon spread through the town. Princess Peach, who was on vacation, visits the town and meets a merchant. The merchant gives her a small box, which is said to only open for one with a pure and noble heart and says that if Peach can open it she can have whatever is inside. Peach is of course granted with the heart to open the box, and she now becomes in possession of the magical treasure map. She then sends it to Mario accompanied by a letter telling him to meet her in Rogueport to join her for a treasure hunt. Mario sets sail for Rogueport and after arriving at the docks, does not find Peach. He soon after encounters a Goomba girl, named Goombella, being harassed by a mysterious figure named Crump, whom he helps her escape from. Upon showing Goombella the map, she asks him to take it to her archaeology professor, Frankly. The two meet with Frankly and he identifies the map as a magical map that reveals the location of seven items known as the Crystal Stars, which are the key to unlocking a magical door located in the ruins beneath Rogueport known as the Thousand-Year Door, behind which the legendary treasure of Rogueport is believed to lie. He asks Mario how he got the map and Mario tells her that Peach gave to him and he remembers that she came to see him and believes she started to look for the treasure without him. The three then enter the sewers and unlocks a chest that has someone asking for help, but when he opens it he gets cursed with the ability to transform into a paper airplane. When they approach the door with the map, the map shows a castle with the star to the east of Rogueport. Mario's only hope of finding her is to pursue the Crystal Stars, hoping that he will encounter her along the way. Unknown to Mario, Princess Peach has actually been kidnapped by a group known as the X-Nauts, led by Sir Grodus, who had heard that she was in possession of the map, and kidnapped her only to find that the map was gone. Despite this, Grodus refuses to release her, claiming that he needs her for an undisclosed purpose. During her confinement in the X-Nauts' fortress, Peach encounters a computer called TEC. Though a computer, TEC seems to have an affection for Peach and gradually provides her with information about the X-Nauts' plot and allows her to send e-mail messages to Mario. It is eventually revealed that the "treasure" hidden behind the Thousand-Year Door is actually a demon known as the Shadow Queen. Nearly one thousand years ago, this demon descended upon the prosperous city which lay where Rogueport now lies and destroyed it. She afterwards forged the seven Crystal Stars and used their power to dominate the land. However, her reign was crushed when four heroes managed to steal the Crystal Stars and used them to imprison her inside of her own palace, which she had constructed on the ruins of the prosperous city. They afterwards hid the Crystal Stars in remote locations across the land to prevent them from being found, but knowing that they might one day be needed again created a magical map which could lead its bearer to their locations. Grodus seeks to recover the Crystal Stars and resurrect the demon, whose power he desires to use to conquer the world. Unknown to him, however, the seal placed on the demon's palace would only last for a thousand years, and that this time limit had nearly expired. Throughout his travels, Mario eventually succeeds in finding all seven of the Crystal Stars and uses their power to open the Thousand-Year Door, intending to enter the Shadow Queen's palace and destroy her. Upon reaching the entrance to her chamber, he encounters Grodus with Peach as his hostage and does battle with him. He is defeated, but Mario is attacked by Bowser, who at last manages to find him and Peach. With Bowser distracting Mario, Grodus manages to escape with Peach into a corridor leading to the area where the Shadow Queen is imprisoned. He summons her and and offers Peach as a new body for her to inhabit, as her old body had been destroyed during her confrontation with the four heroes. Upon possessing Peach, the demon begins to spread darkness across the skies, signaling her return to domination of the world. Grodus orders her to destroy Mario, but taking a dislike to being ordered, strkes Grodus with bolts of black lightning and destroys him, and afterwards confronts Mario. During the ensuing battle, the demon reveals herself to be too powerful for Mario to defeat. Just as it looks as though Mario has lost, the seven Crystal Stars become animated and fly to different location across the region. Upon encountering the Crystal Stars, the inhabitants of each region are able to use the Crystal Stars as a medium through which they see the battle between Mario and the Shadow Queen which will decide the fate of the world, and begin to cheer for Mario's victory. The people's wishes temporarily weaken the Shadow Queen's hold on Peach. With the last of her power, Peach heals Mario and fills up all of his gauges. Then, the final battle begins. After their victory over the Shadow Queen, Mario and Peach return to the Mushroom Kingdom, although the player can choose to go back to Rogueport and continue gameplay.
Battle system Battles in The Thousand-Year Door borrow heavily from the original Paper Mario, Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga, and Super Mario RPG. The turn-based system, in which players select an attack, defense, or item from a menu, is augmented by timed button presses that, when performed correctly, can result in substantial attack or defense bonuses. In contrast to both Paper Mario and Superstar Saga, battles in The Thousand-Year Door happen on a stage in front of an audience. As the characters perform more advanced attacks, the audience grows, and Star Power is awarded based on the size of the audience. Having Star Power in turn lets the player perform special moves. However, when the player fails to execute a timed button press in time, some of the audience members may run away. The size of the auditorium in which battles take place is affected by the fame ranking, which increases every ten levels up until Level 30. The player begins with a fame ranking of "Rising Star" (50 seats), then "B-List Star" (100 seats), then "A-List Star" (150 seats) and finally "Superstar" (200 seats). In The Thousand-Year Door, Mario's party members now each have their own Heart Points and they may receive any attack that Mario can receive. When a partner's Heart Points are reduced to 0, the partner becomes inactive for the rest of that battle and later battles until at least one of its Heart Points are restored. If Mario's Heart Points are reduced to 0, however, the game ends even if partners are still available. Flower Points are shared between Mario and his party members. Defeating enemies awards various numbers of Star Points to Mario; for every 100 Star Points, Mario is able to level up, choosing between three character statistic enhancements. Selecting Health (HP) adds the specified number of points to Mario's maximum Heart Points, allowing him to last longer in battle; opting for Flower Points (FP) gives Mario and his partners additional ability to perform special moves; and finally selecting Badge Points (BP) increases the number of badges Mario can equip at any given time. In The Thousand-Year Door, Mario's maximum level is 99, as opposed to 27. Also, there is no limit to Heart Points, Flower Points, and Badge Points as in the original Paper Mario. Eventually, individual enemies may give him no Star Points; however, Mario will gain at least one Star Point after winning a battle. Badges Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door retains the "Badge" system introduced in Paper Mario. Equipping a Badge can do various things; some Badges provide boosts in offense and defense, some provide additional attacks, some increase the player's character statistics, and others only cause aesthetic changes to the game. There are many Badges in the game, and each one has a unique power. Each Badge (besides the ones that only have aesthetic effects, such as the Attack FX Badge series, or detrimental badges like Double Pain) takes a certain number of Badge Points, or BP, to equip; as noted above, players can increase Mario's total BP when he levels up. There are also "P" Badges, which have the same name as their standard counterparts but with a "P" tacked to the end (e.g. "Pretty Lucky P") which affect Mario's partners rather than himself. In The Thousand-year Door, Badges can be bought and sold at certain shops, a change from Paper Mario.
In the Field Controls:
Control Stick - Walk and Run
Z Button - Display Stats
Start/Pause - Open Menu Screen
Up - Gear, Right- Badges,
Down - Journal
Left - Party
Y and R Buttons- Use Mario's Abilities.
Y - Plane Mode
R - Paper Mode
R + Control Stick - Tube Mode
X Button- Use Partners
A Button- When Quote box displays, press A to Talk. When Exclamation mark displays, press A to investigate. When a Star displays, press A to read the next message
B Button- Use hammer On Battle/Menu Screen Controls
Control Stick- Move Cursor: C Stick- Press to continue reading messages
Y Button- Let partner attack first
X Button- Attack when audience is throwing items at you
A Button- Confirm an Action
B Button- Cancel Action/Return to Previous.
- Bow (along with Bootler, her butler) and Parakarry, partners from the original Paper Mario, make an appearance (non-playable) in this game. There are various other references to characters and locations from the first Paper Mario present throughout the game.
- Graphically updated, yet disassembled sprites of all the partners from Paper Mario are found in the ROM, but do not make any appearances.
- In the X-Naut base, Mario can drop into the changing room through the ceiling transforming him into an 8-bit Super Mario Bros. version and the music changing to the Super Mario Bros. theme music. Partners also become 8-bit as well. This wears off by leaving the room. An easter egg like this has appeared in every home-console based Mario RPG to date.
- The game has many in-jokes and references regarding Intelligent Systems' Fire Emblem series, older titles in the Mario series, and other games that exist on Nintendo consoles and handhelds.
- The game also breaks the fourth wall several times, by referring to the Mario series and occasionally having characters speak at the player (which most of the times leaves Mario's partners confused).
- Every single female who joins Mario's group at one point gives him a kiss.
- The young toad in Petalburg town makes references to projects of Intelligent Systems. He mentions Fire Emblem, both Paper Mario games, and a sequel to The Thousand-Year Door, which according to him will please Luigi fans. Which, as stated in the comment, in the sequel of this game (Super Paper Mario) Luigi, along with Mario, Peach, and Bowser are the playable characters.
- A reference to Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga is made at least twice: When Bowser visits Poshley heights, Pennington will ask him who he is. One of the answers is "A Master Shadow Thief". If you select this, Bowser will say "I'll be takin' that, see?" An obvious reference to Popple. Also, Bobbery asks for a Chuckola Cola as his "last wish".
- Many charaters in the game have trouble telling who Mario is (which is somewhat unusual due to Mario's fame) and will sometimes mispronounce his name (this is mostly done by the more eldery characters in the game). The Petalburg Mayor "Kroop" calls him "Murphy" & The "Puni Elder" calls him "Marty-o". A few even confuse him with his brother Luigi, like the detective "Pennington". Mario also goes by the stage name "The Great Gonzales", when he fights in the Glitz Pit (as a result of this, Mario's Yoshi partner in the game will refer to Mario as "Gonzales" for the rest of the game). Also Mario's (a.k.a. Gonzales') fellow Glitz Pit fighter & "homey", "King K" (a K.P. Koopa) refers to him by the nickname of "G-Money". The one-eyed Bob-omb Sailor, Pa-Patch nicknames Mario, "Captain 'Stache" (as in the word, Mustache) during Mario's journey to Keelhaul Key, this is due to Mario's prominent Mustache. Also the three Shadow Sirens do not know what Mario looks like because Beldam (their leader) forget to bring Mario's picture. Thus the three Shadow Sirens will ignore him completely (at least until Beldam finds it). Mario even has his name and body stolen by the shape-shifter Doopliss.
- The in-game clock, which keeps track of how long the player has played on that file, will never exceed 99 hours and 59 minutes, even if continues to play longer.