Paper Mario

Paper Mario

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Paper Mario is a role-playing and adventure game series set in the Super Mario universe, and known for its unique pop-up book-style aesthetic. There are currently six games and one spinoff in the series.


In 1997, early concept art for a Nintendo 64 game titled Super Mario RPG 2 was revealed, which featured a mixture of 3D images and sprites from the SNES title Super Mario World (shown below).


Paper Mario (Nintendo 64)

Due to complications with Square Soft, the developers of Super Mario RPG regarding intellectual property rights, Nintendo changed the game's name to Mario Story in Japan and Paper Mario in international releases. The game was subsequently released in 2001 to critical acclaim. Gameplay involves the protagonist Mario working towards rescuing Princess Peach from the primary antagonist Bowser by locating Star Spirits, solving puzzles and defeating enemies using a turn-based combat system. An integral part of gameplay was the partner system, where one of many party members were selected to help in battle and in the field to solve puzzles using unique abilities.

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door

In 2004, a direct sequel, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, was released for the GameCube console and expanded mechanics established in the original Paper Mario (trailer shown below). Beginning with this title, Japanese releases adopted the international naming of Paper Mario for all future games in the series. The Thousand Year Door is regarded as many as a masterpiece and as the best entry in the series.

Super Paper Mario

In 2007, Super Paper Mario was released for the Nintendo Wii, which incorporated RPG-elements from the previous titles with new platform mechanics and switching from 2D to 3D (trailer shown below). The installment met mixed reception due to eschewing former staples of the series, such as turn-based battling, in favor of sidescroller-like gameplay. However, it was later looked back at more fondly by fans, due to being the last game in the series to feature more unique character designs and a more complex story more in line with previous entries than the entries that followed.

Paper Mario: Sticker Star

In 2012, Paper Mario: Sticker Star was released for the 3DS (trailer shown below). The entry met a mixed to positive critical reception; however, fans of the earlier games were upset by the lack of original characters, species, and locations, to the exclusion of partners and the original battle system, as well as the required use of Thing stickers in ambiguous puzzles to progress.

Paper Mario: Paper Jam

Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam is a spinoff of the Paper Mario series set in the Mario & Luigi franchise released in 2015 (trailer shown below). The entry received mixed reception, with gameplay being received positively, while criticisms included a formulaic story, level, and character design.

Paper Mario: Color Splash

Paper Mario: Color Splash is an action-adventure video game released on the Nintendo Wii U on October 7th, 2016 (shown below). In the game, players explore Prism Island, where they use paint to restore colorless objects, solve puzzles, and fill in consumable cards used to battle against enemies. Gameplay elements iterate and expand on those introduced in Sticker Star.


Shufflegate refers to an online controversy surrounding a joke made in Color Splash, which many interpreted as a reference to the “Five Guys Burgers and Fries” joke mocking indie game developer Zoe Quinn during the beginning of the GamerGate movement.

teënage shirtbag @UnburntWitch な L-Follow what the f--- did I ever do to you, Nintendo, that y'all had to make my suffering into a f------ joke Let's watch the Five Fun Guys dance and shuffle! Man, is this sonna ruin my career?! I can see the headline now: Shufflegate: Exposed! RETWEETSLIKES 1,652 1,710 包 4:24 PM 22 Jun 2016 £71.7K 1.7K

Paper Mario: The Origami King

Paper Mario: The Origami King was released on July 17, 2020, receiving generally positive reception. The game opted to replace the previous consumable attack system, replacing it with a "ring battle" puzzle-based system, where the player must rotate and shift a ringed grid in order to align enemies and gain a 50% attack bonus. While some praised the game as a step back towards the original 3 games in terms of writing, others were left unsatisfied.

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (Remake)

On September 14th 2023, for the final announcement of a Nintendo Direct, Nintendo released a trailer for a remake of Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (shown below). The announcement was received extremely positively, receiving over 510,000 views and 34,000 likes in 10 hours.

Online Presence

On September 2nd, 2005, a page for Paper Mario was created on the Mario Wiki.[2] On December 16th, 2007, the Paper Mario Wikia[3] was launched. On October 13th, 2011, a Paper Mario entry was created on TV Tropes] On February 27th, 2012, the /r/papermario[1] subreddit was created for discussions about the video game series.


Fan Art

On DeviantArt[5], the keywords "paper mario" yield over 49,300 results as of December 2016, featuring various illustrations, sculptures and other Paper Mario-themed fanart (shown below).



Francis is a boss character from Super Paper Mario known for his stereotypical geek appearance, obsession with video games and odd speech pattern. Online, Francis is often quoted by fans of the series, and images of the character have been used as reaction images in message boards.

"I love going on message boarcs and complaining about games l've never played" True False

Search Interest

External References

[1] Reddit – /r/papermario

[2] Mario Wiki – Paper Mario

[3] Wikia – Paper Mario

[4] TV Tropes – Paper Mario

[5] DeviantArt – paper mario

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