Design by Marty Smith
Following in the footsteps of the first Paper Mario game for the Nintendo 64, and last years Mario & Luigi: Superstars for the Game Boy Advance, Paper Mario 2: The Thousand-Year Door has been a hotly anticipated title for Gamecube owners. Not only does it feature the most famous character in the history of videogames, but its also an RPG on a console that features all-too-few quality titles in that genre. It also offers a lengthy 30 to 40-hour campaign in which Mario attempts to - what else? - save Princess Peach.
Which isnt to say that thats all hes trying to do; far from it. In addition to the standard Princess-rescuing duties, Mario will have to travel all around the world, assemble the seven Crystal Stars, and explore what lies behind a door that only opens once a millenia. In his travels, hell encounter numerous friends and even more numerous enemies; hell ply his trade as a professional wrestler; hell learn how to turn his body into a plane, a boat, and a tube; and, most importantly, hell woo all the ladies with the most impressive mustache in video games. And hell do it all without saying a word - what a classy guy!
So, if you want to get through a game with insults even whackier than the infamous "Spoony Bard" of old, this is the place to be, since Gamespots unofficial guide to Paper Mario 2 features a complete walk-through, including tips and stats for each boss monster youll find and details on how to unlock the games secret character. In addition, well let you know how to get the most out of your teammates in combat, what Badges you should look out for, where to find all of the games Shine Sprites, and much more. Enjoy!
Table of ContentsCharacters
Mario will convince quite a few different characters to join him in his journey, each of which will bring valuable combat and field abilities to the table. Although youll undoubtably find yourself using some characters more often than others, youll have to use each of your partners abilities to make it through the game, so its worth taking the time to get to know them!
One of the most important aspects of your characters is their ability to be upgraded. You can do this at Merlons shop, which is directly next door to Franklys house in Rogueport. In order to upgrade one of your partners, youll need three Shine Sprites, which are found across the game world. (Check the Miscellaneous chapter for a complete list of Shine Sprite locations.) After an upgrade, a character will gain a bit more health and attack power, as well as a new combat ability. Later in the game, youll be able to upgrade all of your characters a second time, giving them even more health and offensive capabilities, as well as a final combat move.
Ah, Mario. What can you say about a character that initiated so many of us into the world of video gaming? Hes had a remarkably lengthy career, what with all the defeatings of Bowser and the foilings of Wario, but, as Paper Mario proves, hes still willing to drop everything and run off in the hopes of finding treasure, when the opportunity arises.
In Paper Mario, Mario is the core of your little adventuring party, and has a number of unique abilities, such as how he can use Badges and Special Powers and how he can use two different forms of attack during battle. Hell also usually be the strongest of your party members, if only because he can earn extra health at each level-up, if you choose to allocate your points there. Hes the tank of the group, so know him and love him. And keep him alive; if Mario dies, its game over for you!
Mario cannot be upgraded at Merlons Shop; he earns extra HP, FP, and BP when he levels up. Levelling up is accomplished by gaining 100 Star Points, which you earn after every battle (think experience). In order to gain new combat abilities, Mario will have to find new equipment around the game world; he can improve his boots and hammer attacks in this manner.
Attacks And Abilities
Jump: Marios basic jumping attack can hit an opponent twice, if you manage to hit the A button just before it lands. Useful against air opponents and opponents in the rear lines.
Spin Jump (2 FP): After you get the Super Boots, youll be able to use the Spin Jump in battle. In most cases, this isnt going to be worth the 2 FP, as it usually only adds one damage to your attack when compared to a normal Jump.
Spring Jump (4 FP): Marios Spring Jump ability is much harder to time correctly than either of the previous jumps, due to the way you take a few seconds to land on your targets head. If you can time it properly, though, you can deal quite a bit of damage, and it appears to penetrate through your opponents defense, but dont quote us on that.
Hammer: Hammering is Marios other basic attack. Although you dont get the opportunity to hit twice, as you do with Jump, you should deal around the same amount of damage when you time the release of your analog stick properly (which is extremely easy to do). The default Hammer can also easily be made into a Stylish move by pressing A as soon as the hammer makes contact.
Super Hammer (2 FP): When you use Super Hammer, Mario will deal a large amount of damage to the enemy in the front lines of the opposing group, and then knock them backwards into each other ground enemy behind them. The rear enemies will only take light damage, though, so this generally isnt worth spending your FP on.
Ultra Hammer (4 FP): Ultra Hammer is essentially a beefed-up version of Super Hammer, where the enemies in the rear take slightly more damage from the contact with their flying friend. Still, this isnt quite as cost-effective as Koops Power Shell ability, so youll only want to use it in emergencies. Note also that enemies that are rooted in place, such as Chomps, wont be knocked backwards by Super or Ultra hammer attacks.
Goombella is the first party member youll get, and shell be among your most useful party members throughout the game. Although she replicates Marios standard jumping attack, shell supplement with the very useful Tattle ability, which will let you keep track of how much HP each of your enemies has. Later on, shell learn Multibonk, which, when done well, is probably the most damaging attack in the game outside of a Supernova. Shes also notable for being one of the few female characters in that isnt powerfully attracted to Marios soupcatcher of a mustache. More power to her, we say.
Goombellas out-of-combat command will let her give you any compelling information about the area youre in, such as hidden areas, details on NPCs, and so on. This isnt often very useful - not as useful as Ms. Mowzs information, at any rate - but she can give you hints on difficult puzzles.
Attacks And Abilities
Headbonk: Headbonk, Goombellas basic attack, is identical to Marios basic Jumping attack. Youll get one free shot on any enemy, even those in the rear of the battle lines, and if you hit the A button again just as you make contact with your foe, Goomy will ricochet up and bounce again for double damage. Getting the timing right for the second hit isnt difficult at all, so learn it and love it.
Tattle: Every RPG has to give you some way to check your opponents abilities, and Tattle is Paper Marios version of the cheat sheet. When you Tattle an opponent, Goombella will give you a readout of any particular weaknesses or strengths that they have, as well as give you their vital stats. The best part of this is that, after you Tattle a particular monster, youll be able to spot their HP in each future fight against other instances of that monster. This even works against bosses, so if you wind up having to fight the same boss enemy twice (which happens a few times), if you check their health during the first fight, youll automatically get an HP readout for them during the second fight without having to re-Tattle.
Multibonk (2 FP): Multibonk is what makes Goombella a king-killer. When you use this ability, youll be able to continually jump away atop an opponents head, dealing extra damage each time you hit. Although the damage dealt will drop by one after each hit, you can still string together four or five extra hits for one damage apiece at the end of the move, letting Goomy easily deal seven or eight damage with a long string of hits. Although the move description seems to indicate that you can keep doing this until the enemy dies, the timing gets much more difficult as you move on, making it very difficult to do more than ten damage at a go. But for two FP, were not going to complain about that.
Rally Wink (4 FP): Activating this ability will let Mario take another attack during the same round, even if hes already done something. This can be useful if you want him to perform a Special ability, or if theres a spiky creature that Goombella cant attack safely.
Although Koops is going to be constantly bringing you down with his bummer of an attitude - show some assertiveness, man! - hes also one of the best characters to have in your party. Hes got a strong main attack thats easy to get Stylish and a couple of fantastic FP attacks that damage all ground-based enemies. His main weakness is that he cant attack flying foes; when you spot a Paratroopa or other aerial baddie, youll want to flip him for Goombella or someone else that can actually deal damage to it. Koops is also the only member of your party to get a natural point of Defense, but, on the other hand, hes also susceptible to being flipped onto his back when an enemy uses a jumping attack, just like normal Koopas you fight against.
When youre on the field screen, Koops is able to retract into his shell and shoot himself out at objects and enemies. If you hit an enemy with Koops, youll get a First Strike and some free damage. More importantly, though, this ability can be used to retrieve items that are out of reach, or to flip switches that are inaccessible. Many switches will also trigger the movement of another item, so youll need to use Koops levitation ability for these; if you hold down the X button after you "shoot" Koops out, hell hold himself in place until you let go, at which point hell complete his path back towards his point of origination. Using this ability, youll be able to fire Koops away from an elevator switch, hold the button while Mario makes his way to the top of the elevator block, and then release Koops to flip the switch. Pretty handy!
Attacks And Abilities
Shell Toss: Koops basic attack sees him retracting into his shell and launching himself at an enemy. Although this attack can only hit the first ground enemy in the opposing group, it still does appreciable damage, and is easy to make Stylish by hitting A just as you impact your target.
Power Shell (3 FP): Now this is useful. For a mere 3 FP, Koops will send his shell through all ground enemies on the screen for full damage each time. Although you can only hit enemies on or near the ground - flying enemies wont be affected - this doesnt change the fact that Power Shell will often let you dish out much more damage than it costs in FP. Although this is true of a number of powers, its rare for such a cheap ability to be able to affect all enemies on the screen. If youve been Tattling enemies, you should be able to predict exactly how much damage youll do to each of your targets, which will let you predict exactly how many enemies will be killed off when you use this.
Shell Shield (4 FP): If you use Shell Shield, youll be able to increase Marios defense for a single turn. There are a number of abilities that have a similar effect, and none of them are terrifically useful, so you might want to save your FP for something with a bit more utility, such as...
Shell Slam (6 FP): Shell Slam is almost exactly the same as Power Shell, save that it penetrates enemy defenses, meaning that enemies with high Defense, such as Clefts and Chomps, will take full damage from the attack. In most instances, Power Shell will be just as useful, but when you do face off against high-defense enemies, its always nice to have Shell Slam as a backup.
This member of the Yoshi species isnt actually named Yoshi by default - you can choose what name you want to give him (it?) when he joins your party. We, being artistes of the highest order, chose to call him "Yoshi," but you can choose to pick a far less creative name for him if you wish to be a philistine.
Yoshis primary claim to fame is his speed and flight abilities. On the field map, Mario will be able to ride around on Yoshi, which will double your partys movement speed; youll also be able to use Yoshis fledgling wings to scoot across any small gaps that you come across. In battle, he can also fly over atop enemies and bounce on them repeatedly, or gobble one up and spit them at the next-closest enemy.
Attacks And Abilities
Ground Pound: As mentioned, Yoshi can attempt to use his wings to fly above enemies and enact a little pounding punishment. This is considered to be a jumping attack, so he will take damage if an enemy is spiky, but when Yoshi does successfully pull this off, youll get a ton of damage. This isnt as useful against armored enemies, though, as Ground Pound hits multiple times for small amounts of damage, instead of once for a huge amount.
Gulp (4 FP): Gulp is somewhat similar to Marios Super Hammer or Ultra Hammer attacks, in that it deals a lot of damage to an enemy in the front of a group and hurls him backward to hit whomever is behind him. Although the second character takes almost the same amount of damage as the enemy in front, enemies behind the second dont take any damage at all, making this most useful when youre facing off against only two ground enemies.
Mini-Egg (3 FP): Mini-Egg is one of the many abilities that can effect a status change on your enemies. In this instance, Yoshi can attempt to miniaturize enemies with his eggs, which will reduce their attack power on subsequent turns. This has some use against high-damage enemies, but in most cases, youll want to focus on dealing damage rather than lessening the damage that your opponents do.
Stampede (6 FP): Yoshi, despite having never seen another member of his species during this game, apparently has the ability to call in a hundred friends or so to come along and smash into any ground-based enemies. Koops Shell Slam will usually be more useful than this.
Vivian is initially hostile to Mario and friends, due to the fact that shes a member of the Shadow Sirens, an evil trio of sisters thats working for the X-Nauts. After you help her out, though, shell join up with your gang, bringing along some unique combat abilities.
On the field, though, Vivians special ability allows you to hide away in the shadows. When activated, shell pull Mario into the shadow realm, making it impossible for enemies to see you and rendering you immune from such things as fire and spike traps. You cant move while youre in the shadows, but it does come in handy nonetheless.
Attacks And Abilities
Shade Fist: Vivians Shade Fist can hit flying enemies, and attacks from the front, giving you a rare method of hitting those annoying flying/spiky enemies that can so often baffle most of your other characters. It can also sometimes set your target alight; the resulting flames will deal extra damage on subsequent turns.
Veil (1 FP): Veil is the combat equivalent of Vivians field ability. When activated, Vivian and Mario will suck themselves into the shadows for a turn, meaning that all enemy attacks during that turn will deal zero damage. Unfortunately, coming out of the shadows will also prevent Mario and Vivian from attacking or taking any other actions, meaning that your enemies will be able to attack again immediately. Why is this useful, then? Well, its primarily intended to avoid attacks from enemies that have charged themselves up to deal obscene amounts of damage to both party members; typically, youll take far less damage during the "free" attacks after you hide than you would from the huge attack that theyve stored up.
Fiery Jinx (6 FP): Fiery Jinx is your typical damage-all-enemies attack, save for the way that it will deal residual flame damage to afflicted enemies.
Infatuate (4 FP): Another status-effect ability. In Vivians case, Infatuate allows her to confuse enemies, which will sometimes cause them to attack each other instead of Mario.
This busty diva, as the name might imply, is an embodiment of the wind element; in combat, she can use her wind powers to literally blow away your enemies, or obscure Mario in a cloak of fog. Outside on the field, though, is where shes most useful; youll often have to use her mighty breath to rip away paper from the background or to blow enemies out of your way.
Attacks And Abilities
Body Slam: With her Body Slam technique, Madame Flurrie can use her girth to slam an enemy for big damage. Getting a successful Body Slam off is simple; just move the targeting cursor into the aiming reticule and leave it there until Flurrie launches herself. Note that this is considered to be a jumping attack, so Flurrie will take damage if she tries this on a spiky enemy. You can make this Stylish by hitting A just as Flurrie hits the ground.
Gale Force (3 FP): Gale Force is useful against some enemies, but not all of them. When used, it can auto-kill some of the enemies on the screen (in effect blowing them off the stage), but wont usually kill off everything. Larger enemies, or those that are rooted to the ground, are generally less likely to succumb to the force of her breath than are smaller, flying enemies.
Lip Lock (4 FP): Using Lip Lock, Flurrie can steal an enemys health and add it to her own. Since Flurrie will usually have plenty of HP when compared to other characters, its usually more efficient to just use a Body Slam; itll deal the same amount of damage and wont cost you any FP in the meantime.
Dodgy Fog (6 FP): When youre facing off against enemies that rely on physical attacks, Dodgy Fog can actually be quite useful, since it greatly reduces the likelihood that such attacks will hit Mario. (Flurrie herself will be hit normally, but if shes in the rear slot, most enemies will still attack Mario by default.) Whats more, this lasts for a few turns, so it can potentially save Mario from a couple dozen damage!
This old grognard is the last party member youll obtain, but hes one of the hardiest. After upgrades, hell have the highest HP count of any member of your party (save Mario), and hell match it with his powerful ability to detonate himself. On the field, youll be constantly using this to blast away at cracked walls, both to reveal secrets and to clear a path for you to proceed with the main storyline. In combat, Bobberys ability to blow himself up will lead to some prime hurtings for your enemies.
Attacks And Abilities
Bomb: Someone call the Department of Homeland Security, because Bobberys gonna blow! With this attack, hell wander over to a ground enemy and blow himself up for a mild amount of damage.
Bomb Squad (3 FP): Bomb Squad is useless in most fights, if only because it takes so long to go off. When you fire off the three bombs that consist the Bomb Squad attack, your enemies will take a turn, then youll have a turn, then your enemies will have another turn before the bombs explode. In other words, most normal fights will be over before these bombs even go off! During boss fights, Bomb Squad can actually be an efficient manner of dealing damage to a single target, if you can aim them properly.
Hold Fast (4 FP): Hold Fast is another effect that wont see much use, since its largely a reactive ability. When you activate it, enemies that come into contact with Bobbery will themselves take damage. Youll usually want to save your FP for offensive abilities.
Bob-ombast (9 FP): Although this ability is among the most expensive in the game, it makes up for it with pure destructive capabilities. When you successfully pull off a Bob-ombast, every enemy on stage, be they ground-based or flying, will take a heaping helpin of damage. This doesnt do too much more damage than do other all-enemy attacks, so if youre going up against an array of ground enemies, youll usually be better served by Shell Slam, but when you have a number of enemies in different positions, you can be sure that Bob-ombast will weaken all of them considerably. Against single large enemies, though, like most bosses, the damage dealt is not great enough to warrant the high FP cost.
Ms. Mowz is the only "secret" character in the game. After you complete Chapter Four, youll notice that a mini-quest will have gone up on the Trouble Board in Rogueport, offered by someone only identified as ???. If you complete the quest (by using Flurrie to reveal a hidden treasure chest in Hooktails lair at the top of Hooktail Castle), Ms. Mowz will join you on your adventure. Shes quite handy to have around, too, if only because her field ability will let you find any hidden items.
There are some things you should note about the item-finding ability, though. The first is that shes not very precise in her responses to your queries; using it is more like playing a game of hot-or-cold than it is like getting any specific advice. Shell point herself in the direction of whatever item shes sniffing about, at least, so you can keep walking in that direction until she flips the other direction; when this happens, youll know that the item is directly north or south of your position. When you get really close, shell say, "Theres something right under our noses!" When that happens, pick up your visual scanning and start shaking trees and looking behind obstacles and such, because theres something nearby. If you really cant find anything, try Spin Jumping; Ms. Mowz can pick up on Star Pieces hidden underneath the ground, and this is what youll often find.
Note that Ms. Mowzs ability can and will pick up on objects that you cant access yet. If you use her around town before chapter five, for instance, shell point you in the direction of objects that youll need to use Bobbery or your boating special ability to get to, even though you dont have those yet. So if you honestly cant find something thats shes pointing you towards, try coming back after completing a chapter and see if you have any better luck with your recently-obtained abilities.
Attacks And Abilities
Love Slap: It isnt difficult to max out the Love Slap meter, but when you do, itll hit your opponent and disregard his or her Defense, making it perfect to use against solidly-built enemies.
Kiss Thief (2 FP): Kiss Thief is one of the more unique abilities in the game. You may have noticed that some enemies actually carry items around with them, even though they dont often use them. With Kiss Thief, you can use Ms. Mowz to actually steal these items from your enemies and add them to your own inventory!
One particular enemy to note in regards to this ability is the Amazy Dayzee, which is often found in the Twilight Trail leading up to Creepy Steeple. These guys almost always carry an Ultra Shroom when you encounter them. Theyre mindlessly difficult to actually defeat, so a good strategy is to switch Mario and Ms. Mowz, let Mowz steal the Shroom, then have Mario run away. Its worth losing a few gold to nab an Ultra Shroom, as they normally retail for 200 gold in the Downdeep shop.
Tease (3 FP): Another status effect ability, Tease lets Ms. Mowz dizzify enemies for a relatively low cost. As per usual, though, you might as well be doing damage to your opponents rather than confuse them.
Smooch (10 FP): For being the most expensive ability in the game, youd think Smooch would have some earth-shaking effect, wouldnt you? Well, if you were expecting a hugely useful ability, look elsewhere, as all Smooch does is heal Mario for 10 HP. If hes desperately close to death, and you just happen to have Ms. Mowz in the party, and you happen to have a ton of FP, and you dont have enough Star Power to use a Sweet Feast, then maybe, just maybe, you might want to use this. Otherwise, it sucks.
Although battling in Paper Mario isnt as complex as it is in some RPGs, that doesnt mean that the game is lacking in options. Indeed, on any given turn youll have to decide whether or not you want your character to perform an attack, use a special move, use an item, switch places with another character, defend, appeal to the audience, and so on. Luckily, everything is turn-based, so you dont have to worry about the constant threat of enemy attack, as you would in the voguish real-time RPGs that all the hip kids seem to be playing these days.
Before A Fight
Know Thy Foe
If we can interject an editorial opinion here, lets go ahead and admit it: Paper Mario 2 is a pretty easy game, for the most part. Few, if any, of the roving bands of monsters will threaten your party with extinction. (Which isnt to say that this never happens; wait until you run across an Amazy Dayzee to see what we mean.) Still, that doesnt mean that you should just run around expecting to have a bunch of simple fights between the bosses, does it? Well...actually, yes, thats exactly what it means.
Anyway, you may come across the occasional enemy that actually poses a threat to you, such as the aforementioned Amazy Dayzee. In most cases, this is going to be because of an opponents defensive capabilities than their offensive capabilities; even if a foe can only deal one damage per turn, theyll still eventually win if you cant hurt them at all. For this reason, preparation and planning become important.
To begin with, you should never wander outside of town without some kind of offensive item in your possession. There are numerous examples of these, and many have the ability to attack multiple enemies at once (such as the Ice Storm, Shooting Star, Thunder Rage, and so on). With one of these in your possession, you can rest easy in the knowledge that, even if an enemy is immune to all of your regular attacks, youll still have some way to deal damage to it.
Jackie Chans First Strike!
This ties in with the previous tip a bit. One of the good things about Paper Mario is that there arent any random encounters; every enemy that you come across (save for the bosses) will be visible on the field map. If youre using the games First Strike mechanic (and you should be), tailor your first strike to the kind of enemy youre facing off against.
This is especially important against spiky enemies! If youre going up against a Chomp or a Spiky Goomba, for instance, and you jump on them in the field map for a first strike, Marios going to wind up taking damage when he lands, which is not a good thing. You can, however, use your hammer to make a first strike against a flying enemy, although you wouldnt be able to hit them with a hammer in a normal fight.
The second thing to be aware of before you make your first strike is your choice of teammate. Some characters just arent effective against certain enemies; Goombella, for instance, isnt going to be of much utility when youre facing off against a bunch of Embers, while Koops wont have any effect at all against a Lakitu. It is true that the enemy on the field map is only one member of the enemy party, and that there may be other foes within the group that your teammate can attack, even if he or she cant attack the one that you see, but still, its worth planning for the worst-case scenario and shifting around your teammates to ensure that you can deal with a group full of the enemy on the field map.
During A Fight
The Order of Battle
After a fight begins, Mario and his teammate will attack first, unless your opponent managed to get a First Strike on you. When you do start a fight, you should take advantage of this first turn to deal as much damage to your opponent as possible, especially if you know how much HP they have (thanks to Goombellas Tattle ability) and feel confident that you can kill the majority of them before they can take their turn. Your ability to do so arrives from knowledge of your own abilities (i.e. you should keep track of how much damage you can deal with each attack; this isnt randomized, as it is in most RPGs) and some simple math.
Know When To Switch
There are two uses of the word "switch" in the battle system. One occurs when Mario and his teammate switch positions on the stage. Normally, Mario will attack first in any given turn, but if you wish for your teammate to attack first, press the Y button and theyll shuffle around so that the teammate comes in front.
This is obviously useful against enemies with weaknesses or strengths against a certain attack, or if you will be able to kill extra enemies by virtue of the switch. For instance, if you have Mario and Goombella in a party, and are facing off against a Hyper Goomba and a Hyper Spiky Goomba, then you could use Mario to jump on the Hyper Goomba and kill it, but Goombella would then be unable to attack, since she cant hurt the Hyper Spiky Goomba. In these kind of situations, it would be better to let Goombella attack first and kill the Hyper Goomba, then let Mario attack second and off the Spiky with his hammer. Its common sense, people!
In addition to changing the order of attack, though, this will also place your teammate in front of Mario. When this occurs, the teammate will take most of the single-target attacks by default, allowing Mario a bit of time to rest.
The second "switch" term refers to the method by which your teammates can switch between themselves in the middle of battle, a la Final Fantasy X. Since you can only have one teammate on the stage at a time, you will need to use this ability (found in the Tactics menu) to switch out in case one teammate is low on HP, cant attack your enemies, or has a special attack that you need to use. The unfortunate part of this is that, when you switch out your teammate, youll lose half your turn: if Mario switches out teammates, he wont be able to perform any other action that turn, while if your teammate initiates a switch, the new teammate that comes into battle wont be able to do anything until next turn. This is another good reason to go ahead and choose your teammate based on the enemies that you see on the field screen; if you dont, and your teammate cant attack for whatever reason, youre going to have to switch them out and will probably take more damage than you wouldve otherwise due to the fact that youre losing an attack.
Utilize Your Audience
One of the conceits of Paper Mario is that all the worlds a stage, with Mario and his friends as the players. As such, each of your battles will take place before an audience, complete with adoring fans, with a few hecklers thrown in for good measure.
Your audience is important because theyll help you fill up your Star Power meter, which in turn will let you use your Special Moves more often. (See our Miscellaneous chapter for details on these.) In order to get more Star Power, though, youll have to perform moves that will please your fans and will have to encourage more fans to show up.
The easiest way to get a boost to your Star Power is to use a Stylish attack. A Stylish attack is initiated in the same way as a normal attack, but if you press A at a certain time during the attack, your character will flourish a bit, and do a dance or something else to entertain the crowd, who will reward you with extra Star Power, usually on the order of half a point or so.
Stylish attacks, as mentioned, are initiated when you tap A during a normal attack, but the timing on them changes for any given attack. In general, though, youll want to tap A either just as you hit your opponent (as with Marios Hammer or Koops Shell Toss attack) or just as your character is touching the ground (as with Flurries Body Slam). You can discover these timings by accident, if you wish, or you can buy the Timing Tutor Badge from Charlieton in Rogueport, which will show you when to tap A to make your moves Stylish. This only costs one BP to equip, so its worth trying out if you dont know how to make everything stylish.
Building Your Crowd
Your crowd size will naturally fluctuate as you battle. (Note that there is a maximum crowd size based on level; this begins at 50 onlookers and caps at 150.) If you want to increase the size of your crowd, youll have to build up a reputation for daring in combat, such as by using Stylish attacks, Special Moves, and so on. You can also displease your crowd, though, by performing such actions as running away. If you turtle up too much or run away too often, youll find your crowd size slowly but surely dwindling away.
There is one method to gain a huge boost to your crowd population, though, and thats to gain a Bingo! Every time you pull off an Action Command (such as by accurately timing Marios Hammer attack for extra damage, or by getting Goombella to jump on someone twice), youll notice an icon pop up next to your Star Power gauge. There are five icons in total: a Mushroom (representing HP); a flower (representing FP); a star (representing Star Power); a crowned star (representing all of the above; and a green mushroom (representing poison).
When you line up two icons of the same type, then perform another successful Action Command, the stage will be overlaid with a large slot machine, where your goal is to hit the button and line up a third matching icon. Well be honest and say that we never got the hang of doing this every time the wheels come up - it moves super-fast! - but if you manage to get good at it, then each successful Bingo! (which occurs when you line up three icons) will almost completely fill up your crowd. In addition, youll gain a complete restoration of whatever stat the icon represents. E.g., if you line up three mushrooms, youll get a complete health restore; if you line up three crowned stars, youll gain full HP, FP, and Star Power! The one to avoid is the poison mushroom; if you line up three of those, your HP, FP, and Star Power will all be cut in half.
After A Fight
As in most RPGs, Paper Mario allows you to level up your characters, although in this case, only Mario levels up as a direct result of the experience that you gain in battle. When you do so, youll have to choose to increase either your health points by five, your flower points by five, or your badge points by three.
In the early portion of the game, youll probably want to get Mario another ten health points during the first couple of level-ups, with more coming later as you find yourself getting outclassed by enemies. For the most part, though, youll want to sink your level-ups into BPs, if only because theyre so much more flexible than anything else. Even if you level-up and gain three BP, for instance, you can take those three BP and use them to equip an HP Plus to emulate raising your HP, but youll still be able to remove the Badge and equip something else if you dont find the extra HP useful. There are so many different Badges and different Badge effects that increasing your BP is almost always going to be useful, while increasing HP is generally only required for boss fights. (That said, youll still want to up your HP every once in a while; you wont want to head into the final boss fight with less than 50 or 60 HP.)
FP can be safely ignored, for the most part; so long as you get your number here up to 25 or so by the end of the game, you should be set. Youll find yourself using Sweet Feast fairly often to recover your HP in the boss fights; youll be able to easily regain any FP youve used during the same power use.
Prologue: A Rogues Welcome
In the beginning, there was Mario, and, for once, a game featuring him doesnt immediately start off with the Princess getting kidnapped. (Dont worry, that occurance is imminent, although it occurs offscreen.) As the game begins, the opening cutscenes will see Mario travel to Rogueport, where hes supposed to meet up with Princess Peach. Unfortunately, Rogueport is something of a rough town, as the name would imply, and Princess Peach is nowhere to be found.
After taking your first steps off the boat, use the save point near the dock. Save points are easy enough to use; just jump when youre underneath them and itll save your progress. You cant make multiple saves from a save point, as you can in a game like Final Fantasy X, but you shouldnt need to; you can always come back to areas where you suspect you missed an item or special event. (If you do want to make multiple saves for redundancys sake, you can choose to copy a save to another slot from the games main menu.)
As you proceed into town, youll come across the vaguely-named Lord Crump, whos accosting a cute little Goomba. You cant avoid a fight with this guy, but its extremely unlikely that youll lose.
Boss Fight: Lord Crump
All you need to do here is Jump or Hammer on Crump until he keels over. Afterwards, hell announce that its "Go Time," which of course means that its Time for you to Go. Leave him and his gang of goons behind and proceed up to the town square.
In the town square, Goombella and yourself will exchange a more proper introduction, and shell ask to join your party. Let her in, and shell ask you to take her to Professor Frankly, but unfortunately, she doesnt know where he is! Take this opportunity to explore the town; there are only two screens that really have anything of interest to you at the moment. The rest of Rogueport will be inaccessible to you for the nonce.
To begin with, start looking around the town square. Before you enter any buildings, though, check around the crates on the right side of the square to find your first Star Piece. Star Pieces are used to buy new badges for Mario, so youll want to make sure that you find as many of them as possible! Theres another one through the alleyway in the north-center section of this part of town; if you walk up that way, then check out the delapidated building to your left, youll grab another Star Piece behind a mattress thats leaning against the wall. Theres yet another one found atop the cooks house; youll have to go into the inn, jump up to the second story, walk out the door there, then jump up onto the roof from the walkway to find it.
Now that youve obtained those, you can start exploring the town more thoroughly. If you attempt to move off to the left side of town, youll come across an old Mushroom whos lost a contact lense. You cant "win" this encounter; all you can do is crush the contact lense and ask for a replacement at the item shop. Regardless, the left side of town will be blocked off for a while, as the crone will refuse to let you pass until you replace her lense. Instead, head right. Note that youre going to lose half your coins as soon as you exit this screen, so you might want to take the opportunity to buy some stuff at the item shop before that occurs; losing half of 10 gold is much less painful than losing half of 100.
As mentioned, though, youll be hit by a pickpocket as soon as you move off the screen. Theres nothing you can really do about this at the moment; youll just have to suck it up and deal with the financial ruin. Cheap! At any rate, Professor Franklys house is on the right side of this screen, so head in to say hi.
After a long talk, Professor Frankly will show you to a pipe leading into a dungeon beneath the city, which coincidentally is where the Thousand-Year Door is located.
First, take the first left door to meet a fortune teller, but get the Star Piece hidden nearby first. The fortune teller has nothing of interest to tell you - yet - so head back to the initial screen and fight your way through the Goomba gang that has an all-too-healthy libido for a Mario game.
Youll be acquainted with the three varieties of normal Goomba enemies here. Theres a regular joe Goomba, a spiky-head Goomba, and a flying Goomba. This is your first introduction to the rock-paper-scissors element of Paper Mario; the first Goomba can be eliminated with either jumping or hammer attacks; the spiked one is immune to Jump attacks; and the flying Goomba cant be hit by Marios hammer. All of these fools have two HP, so one attack for each should do the trick.
When youve passed by the Goombas, make your way around to the floating platform and take it across the gap to the pipe. After heading down, youll get your first taste of what field enemies will look like, as youll spot more Goombas wandering around the room. On the field, youll be able to hit monsters with your hammer or a jump attack (just like normal Mario platform games). When you do so, this will let you get a free strike on your enemies; in essence, this is a free attack that comes at the start of the battle. If you use Marios hammer on these guys, youll usually be able to kill them outright with your first strike, so its worth practicing! Note that your enemies can also get a first strike on you, should they aggressively bump into Mario on the field before he has a chance to hit them, so be careful. This is also the first time that youll be able to grab items from defeated enemies; after the battle, theyll drop coins and other items on the field map, so grab them before they disappear.
Beyond the monsters, though, there are two treasure boxes here, so smash them with your hammer to get at the goods inside, then do the same for the two large boxes blocking your path to another pipe before heading down. You can explore the leftmost doorway, but theres nothing that you can do beyond it at the moment.
Down the pipe, youll come across two more enemies, as well as a Star Piece hidden behind the large yellow block. When theyve been put down, knock the blue square on the ground to reveal a set of steps leading up.
At the top of the stairs, youll have to walk to the left and drop down to reach the platform with the black key, which you probably spied during your walk through the room below. When youve grabbed it, head through the door at the top of the steps to earn the terrible curse of paper airplaneishness! There are a number of these cursed chests throughout the game; each one will contain a terrible, evil demon that will "curse" Mario with another special ability.
The Thousand-Year Door
Now that Mario has gained the ability to turn into a paper airplane, you can finally reach the Thousand Year Door. To do so, walk out of the chest room, find the arrow panel near the top of the stairs, and jet off towards the left side of the screen. It isnt too difficult to control yourself in flight; all you need to do is tilt the analog stick left or right when you need to start moving up or down. A little practice should let you get the hang of it, and you can easily remount the stairs and try again if you fall short of the goal.
When you approach the Door, Goombella will point you towards the conspicuous pedestal in the middle of the room. Jumping atop it will let the Door reveal the location of one of the Crystal Stars, and will let Mario learn a new Special Move. Youll automatically warp back to the Professors house, where hell school you on how to use your new move and give you your first Badge.
Now that you have a goal, its time to find Petal Meadows! You can explore the town if you wish, perhaps take a rest, or you can hop back in the pipe leading to the sewers if you wish to head out straightaway. Before exploring the dungeon to find the new pipe, you can head left to meet Dazzle, the Star Piece collector, whos situated near the fortune teller. You should only have three Star Pieces at this point, so you wont be able to get anything all that good; its best to just save your currency for now and come back when you can get something of value. Dazzles best Badges cost 15 Star Pieces, so you should probably hoard them up until you reach that mark.
Inside the sewers, youll have to head right on the initial screen and change into an airplane to reach the next screen. You should see a large papery tail coming up out of the water here, so whack it to get into your first boss fight with a large Blooper.
Boss Fight: Blooper
The Blooper isnt too difficult to defeat. Its protected initially by two tentacles, so defeat them both (they each have 3 HP) to force the Blooper itself to drop down to the floor. While its vulnerable, wail on it with your new Smash attack until it dies. Itll take a few turns, since it has 12 HP, but you shouldnt be taking too much damage in return.
After the Blooper returns to the sea from whence it came, a couple of movable platforms will appear; ride them to find the pipe leading to Petal Meadows. Dont worry if youve come across parts of the dungeon that seemed inaccessible; youll be able to more fully explore the Rogueport Dungeon as you find new friends and unlock new abilities for Mario.
Chapter 1: Castle And Dragon
Welcome to Petal Meadows, home of sunshine and fallow fields. Youll get your first hint of whats to come when you start walking to the right; a gigantic dragon will give you a Maverick-esque flyby on its way to a castle in the distance. Not much you can do about it for now, so keep moving on. Dont miss the various treasure cubes scattered about; Marios Close Call Badge is in a red one on the second screen. Also on the second screen is a pipe that will take you to the top of the screen when entered, revealing a hidden heart power-up; you cant reach it yet, but note the location.
On the third screen, search the tall grasses near the river to reveal another pipe. This will take you into the background layer of the screen, where youll find both a Star Piece and a blue box, which, when hit, will construct a bridge over the river! Slam it, then go back into the pipe and proceed onward into Petalburg.
Like any other town, Petalburg has an inn and item shop, so feel free to heal up or buy items, if you need any. The important things to do here are to talk to the Mayor in the pink house on the second screen (hes got a badge in his yard, but you wont be able to reach it until you can fold yourself sideways) and Koops, who lives in the next house to the right. When youre ready to move on, proceed to the right into the meadows east of the village.
Youll encounter your first Koopa Troopa enemies here. These guys are the first enemies thus far to have any amount of defense, which reduces the amount of damage that you deal. Luckily for you, though, you can reduce their defense to zero by jumping onto their heads; this will knock them onto their shells, preventing them from using their defence, and will also prevent them from attacking.
You might also run across your first level-up around here. Upon levelling-up, youll be able to choose to increase your HP, FP, or BP. At this point in the game, the only thing that makes sense to increase is HP, so up it and save the others for later.
Inside the first part of the stone castle, youll come across two Bald Clefts whom, at this point, can only be defeated when you use your Superguard or a POW Block Item. The Superguard is difficult to time properly - you have to hit your B button just as they hit you - but you can use your Defend technique to take no damage from their attacks while you try to get the proper timing down.
Continue moving to the right until you come to another small guard house, but before you go inside, check your inventory to make sure that you have a POW Block! You shouldve gotten one out of a treasure block earlier; if you used it on the Clefts, youll need to head back to town and buy another one. The Bristles here are harder to get your Superblock off against, so its best to just bite the bullet and use your offensive item to kill them.
Keep moving to the right, and be sure to check all of the grass for additional items. In the screen beyond the Bristles, youll come across a block which you can hit for a full health recharge, but itll cost you five gold. Considering that this is half of what the inn charges, you shouldnt pass it up, so heal before moving into Shhwonk Fortress and saving your game.
Paper Mario, Come On Down!
The Thowmp here makes it seem like you have a devestating fight ahead of you, but in fact, his method of torture is...a game show? Hell ask you up to seven questions; answer any five right to proceed.
First question: Whats hidden here?
Answer: Stone Keys.
Second question: What does a Fire Flower and a Mr. Softener cost?
Answer: 16 Coins.
Third question: What is the name of the Mayor of Petalburg?
Fourth question: Where is the Crystal Star?
Answer: Hooktail Castle.
Fifth question: How can you get from Petal Meadows to Roguetown?
Answer: By pipe.
Sixth question: Which of the following creatures have hands?
Answer: Koopa Troopas.
Fifth question: What number question is this?
After you beat the baddie in the quiz, hell let you through to the basement of Shhwonk. In the first screen here, youll nab the very handy Multibounce badge for Mario, so equip it if you have any free slots.
Inside Shhwonk, youll have to find both the Sun Stone and the Moon Stone, which are located in either of the corridors heading left and right. Grab them both, then return to the pipe room for a boss fight against a Gold Fuzzy.
Boss Fight: Gold Fuzzy
Statwise, the Gold Fuzzy isnt all that intimidating; its his little helper, the Fuzzy Horde, thatll lay the beatdown on you. The Horde has 20 HP, and although its only listed as one Attack when you scan it with Goombella, itll attack five times per round. You can guard against the impacts to take no damage, but youll still probably want to take out the Gold Fuzzy as quickly as possible, as the Fuzzy Horde retreats when hes killed, thus obviating the need to fight them at all!
Heading to Hooktail
When youve beaten the Gold Fuzzy, hell let you return to Petalburg. Do so, killing all of the enemies in your path to earn more experience, then speak to the Mayor and save your game before exiting the town via the left path. Youll gain a new party member as soon as you do so. Koops, a Koopa, will let you fire his shell out at objects and enemies on the field screen, and is required to unlock the path to Hooktail Castle, so keep him in your active party for now, replacing Goombella.
In point of fact, you can use Koops special ability immediately. If you recall the secret pipe which you unlocked on your first pass through this screen, you can now head up to the top of it and fire Koops at the heart icon to pick up Marios very handy Happy Heart badge. When you have it, proceed to the left to find the stony pipe that you have to use to enter Hooktail Castle.
In order to unlock the pipe, you first need to place the two Keys in the pipes on either side of the central pillar. This will unlock two blue cubes that have to be hit simultaneously. The secret here is to use Koops special ability; when you fire him, you can hold down the X key to prevent him from returning to you, thus allowing you to walk over to the other cube and hit it when you release Koops. So, stand next to the leftmost cube, facing left, and press X to shoot out Koops, but hold the button down. While Koops is in his holding pattern, walk over to the rightmost cube and, as soon as you let go of X, use your hammer to smash the cube next to you. Koops should hit the leftmost cube at the same time, thus unlocking the pipe and letting you proceed onto the castle.
Inside the castle, youll find a new save point, so hit it and start exploring the environs. If you head out through the left doorway here, youll come to a ruined bridge. You wont be able to get past it, but if you scout around at the bottom of the grassy patch, youll find a path leading down to a new badge for Mario, the fearsome HP Plus, which lets him gain five extra HP while he has it equipped. Bonus! When youre ready to move on, head back to the save spot, then jump off of the catapult and airplane down from the upper level balcony to the far side of the bridge.
When you reach the interior of the castle proper, youll note that youll be running across a lot of Troopa enemies. Since Koops cant jump, he wont be of much use during battle against these enemies, so you should switch him out for Goombella. In addition to the enemies, youll also pick up Marios Power Bounce Badge, which lets him continue to jump away on top of an enemy for eight or nine consecutive jumps. Decent, but not very useful against the upcoming boss, so you might not want to equip it yet...
In the next room, Koops will come across...the corpse of his father! Fret not, it turns out its a case of mistaken identity; one would hope that Mario games havent fallen prey to that particularly brand of morbidity just yet. The corpse will let you know about Hooktails secret weakness, though, so read the letter in its clutches to get the skinny. Also in this room is a red key, but you cant reach it just yet.
Boss Fight: Red Bones
Red Bones will be flanked by four Dull Bones; all together, these guys are ready to put the hurt on you! Youre unlikely to be able to hurt them with jumping attacks, so switch in Koops, if you still have Goombella in your party. Red Bones has to be the last enemy you defeat here, or hell continually regenerate, but that shouldnt matter overmuch, as Koops special shell attack that hits all enemies will clear out all of the Dull Bones on the field, leaving only Red Bones himself. Switch your attack position so that Koops hits first, and have him attack everyone, or any Dull Bones that Red Bones regenerates. When Red Bones himself is the only person on the field, use Koops normal shell attack and Marios hammer; hell fall soon enough.
In the next room, youll start to see Dull Bones appear as normal enemies on the field. Do your best to hit them with your hammer for First Strikes, as this will usually let you kill all of them without taking any damage. On the eastern end of this room, youll come to a locked door with an array of cubes around it. First hit the purple cube to drop down a stepping stone, then hit the cube with the golden triangle inside of it (omg, its a Triforce!!!?!?!?!one!!!) to send the larger golden elevator up towards the ceiling. When thats done, shoot Koops at the red alarm cube to swing the steps around, allowing you to access the first red key that youll obtain. After you have that, you can bring the yellow elevator back down, shoot Koops off to the left of the switch, then jump on top of the elevator and ride up to obtain another Star Piece.
Most Games Aspire To Multidimensionality - Not This One, Though
In the next room over, youll come across a green elevator cube, but theres nothing up top that you can use just yet, so keep moving to the right. The room there features a couple of enemies, so blast them, then use Koops to unlock the prison gate via the red switch. The next Curse chest is here, but you havent seen a key yet! You cant go back through the prison gates, but there is a door leading to the right...dont worry, its the last one in this direction.
The treasure chest in the room here contains the Black Key you need to unlock the chest. Avoid the spike trap panels as you walk to it, though; after you get the Key, youll have 45 seconds to escape, and its easier to make it out if you can backtrack the path, rather than have to guess it all. You should have more than enough time to walk the path either way.
When you unlock the chest, the demon within will inflict upon you another terrible curse: Mario will now be able to turn sideways and slide through paper-thin gaps! The horror! You can use your newfound ability to shimmy back through the prison bars (and to obtain the Attack FX R Badge nearby, which youll need at the end of the chapter). You may also recall that red Castle Key you passed earlier, in the room where Red Bones and his gang horded you; youll need to head back and retrieve it, then return to the room with the green elevator and use the key on the door above the save point. You cant get the Badge here - yet.
Finding Your Way Up
In the next room, start smashing the blue buttons to reveal new passageways heading left. Eventually, youll have to jump out the window into the background to proceed, but before you do, double back and head right - theres a Star Piece hiding on the ledge behind the window there.
Theres another green elevator in the next room to the left, so use Koops to activate it and head up. Youll notice a Mushroom on a ledge as the elevator ascends; drop off of the upper ledge while walking towards the upper end of the screen to find it. Youll need to become paperish, but that shouldnt stop you. This actually isnt a Mushroom - its a Life Mushroom, which will restore one of your party members back to life if they take lethal damage.
Anyway, the only path available to you at the top of the elevator leads left, to Ms. Mowz, a dashing thief whom Koops seems rather smitten with. Remind him of his girlfriend, and of the inevitable heartache of interspecies romance, and get him back on task. Theres a Castle Key and a Star Sprite here, as well as a couple of restorative items; get them all and unlock the elevator rooms other door.
After destroying the enemies in the rightmost room, get on the yellow elevator and ride it up to the rafters of the room. These things are incredibly narrow, so youll need to be careful as you proceed! You wont take damage if you fall off, but youll have to get the elevator back down and ride up again, which is just annoying. Youll note an airplane station up here; before switching over, though, walk to the northern set of rafters and proceed to the right to find another Star Piece.
The next room to the right is actually the same room as where you probably last saved your game, only much further up. If you knock the yellow elevator down to the bottom, you can ride it to grab the Badge that you had to pass up earlier: its a Last Stand P, which cuts the damage your teammate takes in half while Mario is in Danger mode. If you get it, youll have to go through a few rooms to reach where you were before, but once you do, youll be able to use Koops to retrieve one more Castle Key from near where the elevator was. It unlocks a door up the stairs, near another Star Sprite. This should be your third, so you can look forward to upgrading one of your allies when you get back to Rogueport.
Next up is a bridge that leads up to a tower, the same tower that Hooktail apparently flew into before. Outside, youll have an opportunity to save and heal up, if you so desire, and desire you should, because you now face...
Boss Fight: Hooktail
Hooktail can be a bruiser if you didnt pick up the Attack FX R Badge; this is what all the hints about crickets have been referring to. See, if you equip it (which is free), your hammer strikes and other attacks sounds vaguely like something that might be chirping. Ergo, its Hooktails hidden weakness. Look, no one said it was going to make sense; just roll with it.
Anyway, if you have the Attack FX Badge on Mario, youll be able to make Hooktail woozy, which will reduce most of his attacks to a single damage. His primary attack is to burninate both of your party members, but hell also occasionally stomp on the lead character. When you take off 25 health, hell start with the tricksies on the little hobbits, asking you questions and trying to get you to let up on him. Refuse to cease the beating, no matter what he asks! After he realizes that youre not going to give in, hell eat half the crowd of mushrooms, gaining back ten HP. Thats...well, thats pretty awesome, come to think of it. Regardless, deal another ten damage and hell be toast, and youll have your first Star Crystal.
Before you get back on the main adventure path with Mario, youll witness a cutscene involving Princess Peach and her - you guessed it - captors. These guys apparently want Peach to tell them where the map is, but shes not budging!
Eventually, youll gain control of Peach herself. You need to find a way to send Mario a message. The plan, obviously, is to go take a shower, which will get the bad guys computer hot and bothered, which will encourage it to find out more about this crazy thing called love. Who knew Princess Peach could be so cunning?. Anyway, the computer will let you (Princess Peach) send Mario a message. Afterward, youll take over for the formidable Bowser for a short scene, wherein he determines that if anyones going to capture Peach, its going to be him.
Interlude, Part 2
Now that you have your first Crystal Star, you can return to Rogueport and show it to the Thousand Year Door to get the location of the second. Before you jump up onto the pedestal, though, use your newfound paper-thin transmutation to jump on the catapults in the Doors room and locate another Star Sprite.
After you visit with Professor Frankly, wholl clue you in to the location of the next Crystal Star, you can finally explore a bit more of Rogueport. Your first stop should be to power up another of your party members at the magicians shop, next door to Franklys place. Goombella is a slightly better choice than Koops for now. After that, though, you can return to the item shop and grab the contact lense which you need to access the western part of town. Theres another item shop there, a casino, a lottery, and a train station, as well as a few Star Pieces: one hidden behind a trashcan on the far left end of the screen, one found by jumping up behind the pipe in the middle of the screen, and one behind the wall leading to Rogueport Plaza. There isnt too much else thats relevant to you at this point in the game, but feel free to look around. You can go skinny and drop through the grate in the middle of town to explore Deepdown, a hidden town underneath Rogueport, if you wish.
When youre ready to move on, head back to the Rogueport Dungeon and proceed down to the Thousand-Year Door again. Eventually, youll come across one of the creatures that Frankly described, so shimmy through the bars of the nearby door and talk to it. It calls itself Punio, of the Punies, and wants you to come back with it to Boogly Woods to help clear out the X-Nauts!
Chapter 2: The Great Boggly Tree
Welcome to the headache-inducing Boggly Woods, apparently designed by someone thats colorblind. Its populated by Clefts and Spikes, both of which are difficult to kill, so you might want to just run from battles until youre able to deal a bit more damage than you can now. Keep proceeding right, ignoring the X-Naut assassins, until you reach the Boggly Tree. Unfortunately, the tree itself has been locked off, precipitating the need for your little band to find Flurrie, a wind spirit, to help you locate a secret entrance. Before you leave, grab the FP Plus Badge in the waterfall in the right side of the screen.
The next screen to the right has a couple more enemies, so ignore them as best you can until you reach the far right edge of the lower area. Although its tough to spot, theres a small passage at the bottom of the screen that will take you up into the background tree layer, from which youll be able to raise up the pipe and airplane platform, as well as grab a Star Piece. If you shoot Koops off to the left of the airplane platform, you can also get another Shine Sprite. (Theres also a hidden treasure block above the seventh white circle here, containing a Power-Down, Defense-Up badge. Jump to hit it!)
After raising the airplane platform, glide over to the eastern platform and grab the Quake Hammer badge from the box there, then proceed on to the right. This is the screen that Flurries house is on, so shimmy through the fence, grab the Volt Shroom to the right, then take the pipe to the left to reach her homestead. Dont miss the Star Piece near the pipe!
Unfortunately, although somewhat predictably, Flurrie wont be able to help you just yet - it appears as though the Shadow Sirens have stolen her favorite necklace, without which she wont leave her house. Youll have to get it back, so make your way back to the entrance to the Boggly Woods, avoiding enemies as much as possible, to avoid taking unnecessary damage.
Boss Fight: Shadow Sirens
Beldam | HP: 9 | Attack: 1 | Defense: 0
Marilyn | HP: 12 | Attack: 2 | Defense: 0
Vivian | HP: 10 | Attack: 1 | Defense: 0
Marilyn, Vivian, and Beldam are fairly easy to defeat, especially if you use Marios Power Bounce Badge or Goombellas Multibonk ability. All of the baddies are susceptible to jumping attacks, so if you can get your timing down, you should be able to take them out with a single special attack each. The main dangers here are Beldams spells; shell occasionally shrink one of your party members, reducing your Attack to zero, or enlarge Marilyn, causing her to do extra damage. If you can Power Bounce or Multibonk, take out Marilyn first, then Beldam, then Vivian. Youll gain Flurries Necklace if you do so, as well as a bunch of experience.
The Great Boggly Tree
After returning the necklace to Flurrie, shell hop into your party. You can then return to the Boggly Tree and use her to blow away the covering over the Secret Entrance. Inside, youll have to fight off two X-Nauts, but that wont be too difficult, as they possess no Defence and only four HP apiece. Afterward, the rest of the Punies will come around to greet Mario, in their own way; theyll refuse to help out, though, until you rescue the rest of their friends.
Rescue The Punies
Said friends are further up the tree, so start your ascent! Itll be a few screens before you stumble across the Punies cage, so beware of enemies on the path. When you do reach the Elder, though, youll discover that you, as of yet, have no way to get them out of their cells. The remedy lies one room to the left, where an X-Naut will drop a key when defeated.
After unlocking the Elder (you cant unlock Punios sister and the rest of the gang just yet), return to the entry room of the Tree and talk things over with her. Shell let you take a bunch of the Punies along with you on your adventure, as well as give you the Puni Orb, which youll need to unlock further areas of the Tree. To begin with, head back up to the second screen here, gather all of the Punies on the black platform, then place the Orb into the pedestal; if you have enough weight on the platform, itll depress, revealing a new pipe.
The next room here is actually one to the right of the Elders screen, so unlock the metal door and save your game, if you wish, then return and drop down to the watery area to find a Star Sprite. Dont forget to shake all of the grass that you see; theres a Thunder Rage item here, and therell be other good stuff in the rooms to come.
When youre ready to move on, return to the metal door and place the Puni Orb in the pedestal nearby. The Punies will all gather nearby, allowing Flurrie to blow them off the edge. Theyll slowly float back up in bubbles, allowing you to blow them across the gaps to the far side of the room. Join them, then ride the pipe down.
This next screen features another puzzle that Flurrie will let you bypass. If you head to the left edge of the screen, youll spot a large paper pot on top of a airplane platform; blow it off to use the platform, then double back to grab a Star Sprite. Regroup with the Punies, then take the pipe on the right side of the lower level to come to another screen. Immediately after you arrive, though, go right and head through a gap in the wall for a little rumble with the Jummi clan, after which youll be able to head yet one more screen to the right, where youll find the Blue Key, which you can use to unlock the cell holding Petuni and the rest of the Punies. Do so, and youll have a small army of Punies at your disposal.
Lets Go To War
When you get the 101 Dalmations on your side, return to the room below the last Star Sprite and start heading left. The Piders that drop down from the ceiling will frighten off your Punies as you navigate the walkways, so youll have to kill both groups if you want to get all of your Punies to the left side of the room. Flurries Gale Force ability is a decent, albeit expensive way to hit all of them, or kill them outright. Regardless, if your Punies get scared off of the walkway, youll have to drop down to retrieve them before moving on. As a note, if you use Flurrie to blow on the left side of the lower part of this screen, youll reveal a secret shop!
The next screen to the right features another royal rumble between the Punies and the Jabbis, which you should be able to win, thanks to your superior numbers. Proceed on through to the next room, then drop down the pipe and scout behind the lower portion of it to find another Star Piece. The next room to the right features another Puni Orb pedestal, and although its a trap that will imprison all of your Punies, youll still need to hit it to move on. Do so, then drop down the pipe that appears (after shimmying through the bars) to find another set of columns similar to those in the other Jabbi hive, as well as a black box you can smash for an as-yet-unrevealed effect. (Theres also another Star Piece hidden behind the pipe here.) Note the sequence of glyphs on the pillars. Or not; well tell you what they are when you need to know!
These Boots Were Made For Supering
And youll need to know them more or less right away, so it all works out. Although you cant free your Puni cohorts just yet, you can return to the other Jabbi hive that you destroyed earlier, where a sequence of blocks has risen that will let you enter the pillar code onto the pillars there. (The sequence is: eight-pointed star, moon, rabbit thing, five-pointed star.) This will unlock a passage leading to a large treasure chest, in which youll find Super Boots! This set of superlative footwear will let you increase the damage dealt by your jump attacks, and will also allow you to smash through the many x-marks-the-spot locations youve been passing by throughout the tree. The first spot you can bust through is located one screen below the Boots themselves; drop down to find another Star Sprite and the Charge Badge.
Now, return to the cage thats holding the Punies in place and smash through the floor inside. You can use the Puni Orb to lock them into place while Flurrie blows them into the room below, but youll probably have to try a few times to get them all, as some of them like to line up where they wont go into the hole. Once all 101 are free, drop down after them and group back up, then head upstairs to the smashable hole over the pipe in the tree stump.
Finding The Crystal Star
Youre now able to access areas of the tree even farther below the areas in which you already were, so get going. After a quick romp through a few enemies, youll come to a set of pillars that the Punies wont pass over, so jump across, head up the nearby pipe, and use Koops to hit the blue switch above the water. (Jump on top of the blue block, shoot Koops off to the left, then jump off of the block and let Koops go when the switch reappears.) This will flood the room below, letting the Punies pass across the lilypads, and will give you access to a Shrink Stomp Badge and a new Shine Sprite.
Head down the pipe to reach another Puni Pedestal which, when activated, will bring you down to a room with a save point and a healing block. You should know that youre near the end of the dungeon by the appearance of these in the same screen, so be sure to take advantage of the save point before moving on!
Indeed, calamity strikes as soon as you use the next Puni Orb Pedestal. It unlocks the Crystal Star, sure enough, but its quickly stolen by Crump, who activates a time bomb, which will detonate in no fewer than five whole minutes. This should give you plenty of time to get out of the Tree, so start heading back to the Elders position. Youll have to fight against a couple of X-Nauts (and check the shrubs in this room for a Star Piece, by the way), but if you fought against the rest of the enemies in the Tree as you adventured through it, you should have a clear path back up.
Boss Fight: Magnus von Grapple
Crump has a rather grandiose name for his mechanized suit of armor, but youll find that its easy enough to defeat, especially if you happened to power up Goombella back in Rogueport, or have Marios Power Stomp Badge equipped. Magnus will resist one point of damage, so youll need to have people that can jump for at least two points per hit; Mario should be able to do at least two damage per attack if you can time his double jump correctly. With Goombellas Multibonk or the Power Stomp, you should be able to knock off five or six damage in a row without any trouble.
Youll find that Magnus actually doesnt do much damage; the highest he can do is two damage to both party members with a stomping attack that shakes the ground. When he detaches his hands, though, youll want to take care of them straightaway, as they do four damage per hit. When you get Magnus down to three or four health, though, concentrate all your fire on him and take him down! After you do so, youll gain the Emerald Crystal Star, which will end the chapter.
First off, youll regain control of Princess Peach for a short time while she, uh, dances with TEC. This is a simple enough mini-game; hit the B, A, and Z buttons when they pop up on screen, and you should get through the dance without a problem. Afterwards, TEC will let you send another email to Mario.
Next up is Bowser, wholl have to maneuver through a short platforming level, a la Super Mario Bros. You can use his fire breath to burn away any irritants in your path, or just stomp on them. If you get the pieces of meat hidden away in the level, you can also increase Bowsers size until hes just about as big as the screen itself.
Interlude, Part 2
Finally, its time to bring the next Crystal Star back to the Thousand-Year Door and unlock the next map location. Before you head back to Rogueport, though, return to Flurries house to pick up a Super Appeal Badge and a Star Piece (by doing a Spin Jump to the left of the makeup table.) On your way to the Door, youll notice that theres another piece of paper beneath the set of steps that you unlocked earlier; if you let Flurrie blow on it, itll be stripped away, revealing a Badge that will automatically heal your party members during battle. Your Spin Jump ability can also unlock no fewer than four more Star Pieces. If you jump up and hit the jump button in mid-air, youll sometimes note parts of the floor dislodging; if you Spin Jump just to the side of one of these panels, youll get a Star Piece. Theres one in the room with the pipe leading to Boggly Woods, one in front of the Thousand Year Door pedestal, one in the room where you obtained the airplane ability, and one in the first screen of the dungeon beneath Rogueport. Gotta catch em all! (If youve been saving up, you can probably afford the Power Plus Badge from the Badge vendor near the pipe leading to Rogueport, which is very useful.)
After you speak to Frankly, power up your party members (you should have enough Shine Sprites to level them both), then beat up Gus, who guards the entrance to the slums to the right of Franklys house. Youll now be able to get past him without having to pay 10 gold each time, so thats a bonus. When you enter the slums, shimmy between the two houses to reveal a secret alleyway, containing a Star Piece hidden behind a barrel and the entrance to the Robbos hideout. Hell offer to tell you how to get in touch with Don Pianta...if you pay him 64 gold. You can pay him, if you wish, or you can just read the next paragraph to figure out what to do. If you do find our advice useful, please send 64 gold directly to us. Its only fair.
When youre ready for your audience, go to the item shop in the west end of town, near Don Piantas casino. Buy a Dried Shroom and a Dizzy Dial, in that order, then, when the teller asks you what your favorite color is, tell her "yellow." Voila, youll be allowed in to see the Don. Hell ask you to find his daughter Francesca and her "friend," Frankie. Theyre at the port, where Mario initially rode into town; on your way there, you can find two more Star Pieces by Spin Jumping near the wanted Goomba (in the seedy alleyway north of the gallows) and in the port area itself.
When you speak to Francesca and Frankie, theyll ask you to forget you ever saw them. If you want to be a good guy, you can agree to their request, and then tell Don Pianta that you cant tell him their whereabouts. Regardless of your choices in this dialogue, the young lovers will return to the Don to explain their reasons for eloping, youll get your blimp ticket, and you can be on your way to Glitzville! Before you head out, check behind the pipe leading to the Blimp station for a Star Piece; theres another one underneath a floorboard near the end of the train.
Chapter 3: Of Glitz And Glory
When you arrive in Glitzville, you can start picking up items around town. If you climb atop the crates on the eastern edge of the screen and do a Spin Jump onto the blue switch, itll open a path to a Power Plus P Badge, which will increase all attacks of Marios partner by 1 while he has it equipped! Definitely something youll want to put on when you have enough room for it. Besides that, there are five Star Pieces scattered around this screen:
1: Behind the telephone booth on the left side of the screen.
2: Underneath the poster on top of the Fresh Juice shop. Youll have to use Koops to retrieve this one.
3: Hidden underneath a floorboard south of the blimp launcher.
4: Hidden behind the shrubs near the main building to the north.
5: Behind the counter in the juice bar.
Theres also an Inn Coupon north of the juice bar, and a Shine Sprite; to reach this latter, hit the area beneath it with your hammer and jump from the block that appears. All in all, not a bad haul!
When you head inside the Glitz Arena, do a Spin Jump next to the poster featuring a pair of Bob-ombs to receive another Star Piece, then head through the main doors to witness a match between Rawk Hawk and some no-name chump. No-name chumps never win in wrestling, but the more important thing to notice is that Hawks belt features none other than the Crystal Star youve come to win. The "choice" between stealing it and fighting for it results in the same outcome: youre going to need to ascend to the higher ranks of a vicious bloodsport. Unfortunately, the developers chose not to include a training montage set to inspirational 80s music, so youll just have to sing "Youre The Best Around" to yourself to make up for that disappointment. We did.
Lets Get Ready To Rummmmmmble!
Speak to one of the men in black outside the doorways on either side of the main hall to obtain access to the backstage area. You can find another Last Stand Badge inside the open box down the hall; keep going until you reach an unlocked door. After a bit of an interlude with the fight promoter, Mr. Grubba, youll have to sign a contract; then youll be able to fight!
You start out at rank 20, and youll have to fight your way all the way up to rank 1 if you want to obtain the Crystal Star. This isnt a simple matter of winning 20 fights in a row, though; each round will have certain conditions attached to it. For instance, one fight might require you to win in less than five rounds, while another might require you to Appeal to the crowd once or twice before dealing the finishing blow. The only way to increase your rank is to follow the guidelines, so be sure to note what they are before you enter the ring! Theyre random, so you wont get the same rules each time. Lastly, note that you can sleep in the bed in your locker room for a complete HP and FP restoration between each fight.
As you make your way up the ladder, stop and head outside to save your game between every few matches. Youre allowed to leave the locker room after a match, but only if you dont reserve a new one first. There isnt much to do in Glitzville beyond fight, though, so theres no need to wander too far, with one exception: when the Koopa tells you about a new egg-based meal being served at the Hot Dog Stand outside the building, head outside to find an egg bounding about the main square. If you chase it for a bit, itll jump up to the roof of the Hot Dog shop; use the airplane platform atop the juice stand to fly over to reach it. If you free it, then let it follow you around, youll eventually wind up with a new party member, so youll definitely want to do so! (In actuality, you dont have any choice, but still: think positive.)
Before your last fight in the minor leagues, youll witness Jolene escorting a new fighter, Sir Swoop, into the minor leagues. Your next fight, against the Armored Harriers, is rigged; you wont be able to win, no matter what you do, so dont use up any items or star powers. Just let the baddies wail on Mario until he keels over.
After the match, youll return to your locker room in shame, but at least theres a pleasant surprise waiting for you: the egg thats been following you around has finally hatched into a Yoshi! Hell join your party; you can even pick his name. Hes the key to getting into the Major Leagues; the next time you face the Armored Harriers, youll be able to use his Gulp ability to spit the Harriers at each other. Two instances of this should be enough to defeat them.
In the major leagues, youll find that both Yoshis Gulp attack and offensive items will be indispensable, the latter coming in most handy when you get the "no special moves" proscription. You can buy a couple of simple ones at the item shop outside the Pit. When you reach rank eight, youll also be rewarded with a Super Hammer by someone calling himself only X. After he emails you, go to the juice bar outside of the Pit and grab it. The Super Hammer lets you smash through the biggest variety of blocks, such as the one in the minor-league locker room.
Speaking of which, youll soon get an email from X asking you to do exactly that, so proceed back to the minor-league room, smash the block with the Super Hammer technique, then jump atop the computer desk and use Yoshi to "fly" across to the piece of paper atop the bookshelves. The paper will be confiscated soon enough, leaving you without much to do except resume your conquest of the major leagues. The matches start to become somewhat devious as you gain more ranks, with small twists like having two fights in a row, so youll want to save your game between every round! Youll eventually even fight against the great Bowser himself as an add-in fight, so stay on your toes.
Eventually, X will email you again and tell you to visit the phonebooth outside the Pit, where youll obtain the key that unlocks the storage room door in the arena. Head there, then use Flurrie to blow away the metal that covers up the crates; they then become smashable, so smash away! Youll find a Charge P Badge, and the switch that reveals the stairs to the attic. (Theres also a Star Piece underneath a floorboard downstairs.) In said attic, youll find a Shine Sprite, and youll also be able to ride on Yoshi to find a Charge P badge and a block that conceals a hole leading to the arenas network of pipes. From there, you can spy on Grubba and Jolene as they discuss some matters of concern to you. "Squeak" when youre prompted for input to avoid any problems, then return back to your locker room and get back on your career track.
As you proceed up the ladder, youll notice more odd goings-on. For instance, you may have received cake earlier, which completely healed you; before your bout for second place, youll get another "gift," only this time, the cake-like confection considerably constrains your combat capabilities! Crikey! In other words, dont ea, er, dont consume it.
"I Must Break You!"
The only fight that will likely give you significant trouble, outside of the upcoming boss, is the Koopinator fight for rank one. This is the character that Hawk Rawk was making such short work of in the first battle that you witnessed in the Glitz Pit, but hes no pushover; hes got armor and five attack to deal with. If Mario starts getting hurt too much, switch him to the rear and cycle through your friends as appropriate to spread the damage around.
After Koopinator falls, youll receive yet another email from X, instructing you to remove all of the Gonzales posters from the main hall. Do so (using Flurries blow maneuver), and youll receive the key to unlock the locked door inside the storage room. Check out that area to find King K and your friend from the minor leagues, whove apparently been squashed beneath a giant box. Dastardly! Theres a Star Piece hidden near the bodies, so grab it before returning to the locker room.
Youll now be ready to face the one, the only, the Rawkinest of Hawks. (Before you do, it might be wise to make sure that you have an offensive item, such as the lightning bolt that the Item Shop sells, in your inventory.) Unfortunately, theres a bit of conspiracy afoot (in case you havent already noticed), which will leave you locked in a run-down locker room without any way to get to the ring! To get out of the locker room, youll need to use Flurrie to blow through the poster of Princess Peach, and then take a lovely ride through the toilet sewage pipes to arrive back at the major leages locker room. From there, save your game and hit the ring for the boss fight.
Boss Fight: Rawk Hawk
For our money, the Koopinator might even be tougher than Rawk Hawk, if only because you can actually use jump attacks on this chump. And jump youll probably want to do; as with Magnus von Grapple, either Mario or Goombella will be able to dish out plenty of hurt with their string-of-jumps attacks. Regardless, deal enough damage to Rawk Hawk, and hell eventually jump up to the rafters and start shaking items from them onto your group. Hes difficult to hit while hes hanging onto the beam, so use your offensive item to knock him down before dealing the finishing blow.
When you find yourself in the Champions Room, use Yoshi to glide across to the vent, then Super Hammer it to pieces before walking through. Youll overhear someone that your partner identifies as Grubba talking about the missing fighters, so smash through the other side of the vent and start rifling his desk. Youll find both a paper detailing where the true Crystal Star is, as well as a Star Piece; theres also a Star Piece hidden away behind the plant in the lower-left corner of the room. Head out to the ring one last time!
Boss Fight: Macho Grubba
Macho Grubba may be intimidatingly big, but his Achilles heel is his lack of Defense; every time you damage him, itll be at full effect, which means that, as usual, youll be able to pound him with Marios Super Bounce and Goombellas Multibonk until the cows come home. He can increase his attack, and will do so often, which will let him hit for seven points of damage each time, though. He can also increase the number of attacks he performs per round, so you can expect him to buff himself and attack without needing to pause. Use whatever restoratives you need to keep your fighters alive long enough to pound Macho Grubba into submission, after which youll obtain your precious Crystal Star. Hope it was worth killing all those poor fools who were only trying to earn a few dollars to feed their families. Yeah, some hero you are, Mario.
Princess Peachs next little song-and-dance with TEC involves her having to dress up as an X-Naut and speak with Grodus. TEC will outline all you need to do to complete this interlude; just use the change stall in the locker, then walk to the right to speak with Grodus before changing Peach back into her dress and returning downstairs to talk to TEC again.
Bowsers scene is even shorter than Peachs. All you need to do is shake the bushes that the Punies are hiding in until you reveal the elder. (Shes in the rightmost bush.) After Bowser learns of Marios prowess, hell be shocked into a stupor.
Interlude, Part 2
Back in Rogueport, you can use your newfound Super Hammer to open up a couple of new areas. If you travel to the west side of town and drop through the grate there, youll be able to use Yoshis minimal flight ability to unlock another Shine Sprite, as well as a Star Piece. Theres also a door leading to a wooden pipe here; try to go down, though, and youll be rejected.
On the other side of town, theres a room below the pipe near Frankleys house with a massive block and two blue switches. If you bust the block, youll be able to flip the switches with a Spin Jump, which will unlock new shortcut paths to the Great Boggly Tree and Petalburg. Theres also a Shine Sprite here, so grab everything and head back to the Thousand Year Door to get the next Crystal Star location.
Frankly will point you in the direction of someone named Darkly, although he wont tell you where he is, except vaguely. If you leave the Professors house and rub up against the wall leading to the town plaza, you should reveal a side alley behind Merlons house; Darkly is hidden away back here, so talk to him to unlock the passage to Twilight Town. Theres also a Star Piece hidden away on the crates at the end of the alley, so grab it. To wrap up your Rogueport rampage, use Yoshi to fly across the river on the far eastern side of town to find two more Shine Sprites. One of these is located when you fly across south of the bridge, the other is found by shimmying through to the Robbos hideout and flying from there.
If you want to buy Badges, head back to the vendor underneath the pipe here before heading on to Twilight Town.
Chapter 4: For Pigs The Bell Tolls
There isnt much to see in Twilight Town, as it appears that all of the villagers are slowly but surely getting piggified by a terrible curse. Most of the NPCs here are already pigs, so you shouldnt expect much in the way of in-depth conversation. After getting the basics of the problem from the mayor of the town, start exploring a bit. Theres a woman in the first house to the right that will trade a Shooting Star item for any food item in your inventory, as well as three Star Pieces scattered about. The first is in the gap to the left of the mayors house, the second is hidden in the grasses on the first screen, and the third is behind a fence above a tree near the graveyard on the second screen. You can also talk to the Item Shop proprietress to learn about her husbands lost key to the storeroom; when you find this, youll be able to loot the place, so keep an eye out as you head into the forest.
The first screen of the wilderness has an abandoned farmhouse, which contains a Black Key. As you progress, youll notice that all of the enemies here are Hyper Goombas. These guys are more powerful than the Goombas you fought at the beginning of the game, obviously, but the same basic tactics apply.
On the second screen, youll come across an item block; stand atop it and jump to reveal a Super Shroom. The third screen contains a tree that blocks the path; use Koops to scoot under it and grab the Shop Key, then return to town and unlock the item shops storeroom. Youll earn the terrible curse of the Mario Roll-up when you unlock the chest within (along with the awesome Defend Plus Badge in another chest), so use it to pass underneath the tree and continue on. Use Flurrie to blow away the haystack at the end of the path, and youll find a pipe leading to the woods.
The Twilight Trail
The first screen here may hold an enemy thats almost impossible to defeat: an Amazy Dayzee. This thing can hit both party members for 20 damage, and will heal itself with a 50-point Shroom at least once during a fight. Needless to say, if you see one, you should run! Get yourself skinny and pass through the path between the trees as soon as you can; if you lose money running from a fight, leave it behind and take advantage of your termporary immunity to get away from the beast.
Proceed deeper into the forest. Flurrie will be required to move on at a couple spots; once when you reach a seeming dead end at a tree (blow on it to reveal a door) and once when you reach a large rock (blow on the grey spot nearby to reveal a hole; Spin Jump onto the boards underneath and push on the rock in the background to reveal the path).
Eventually, youll come out at the Creepy Steeple. Youll notice another save spot and portable inn setup, so do whatever you have to do to ensure that youre ready for the trials ahead. If you wish, you can jump down the nearby well and fight your way through the horde of Buzzy Beetles and Spike Tops to win the Tornado Jump Badge; youll get plenty of experience in addition to that reward, as well as more than enough gold to pay for a healing afterward. Note that you will have to come through here again eventually, so if you want to hold off until then, feel free to do so.
When youre ready to enter the haunted house, roll up and slide underneath the gap in the wall. Theres a Star Piece above the wall, near the locked gate here. Inside, note the gap in the wall immediately north of where you enter the house; roll through here for a Shine Sprite, a Star Piece, the Cookbook and another Badge for Mario. Theres another optional area found by pushing the statue of the Crystal Star at the end of the hall; down at the bottom of the ensuing pit, you can gain an Ultra Shroom by correctly answering the question of the ghost that comes out of the treasure chest (the answer is 200), and youll also get a Flower Saver by blowing away the wallpaper above the catapult.
After you release all of the ghosts, youll find a single member of their ilk in the upstairs hallway. If you want to earn a bit of experience, talk to him and promise that you wont be mean. The ghosts will start to swarm you; Super Hammer them off of you twice to reveal the Atomic Boo.
Boss Fight: Atomic Boo
Ye Olde Atomic Boo will usually attack both of your party members at once, so be sure to enter this fight healthy. As per usual, he can be best dispatched by using both Mario and Goombellas multi-hit jump attacks. After you beat him, youll gain 20 Star Points and a Lucky Start Badge.
Climbing The Steeple
After he goes down, the front hall will become populated by Boos, so leave the room and come back if you want to farm for Star Points. If youre close to leveling, you can probably earn one fairly easily here, especially if you combine with Goombella or Flurrie for her Gale attack. Regardless, youll eventually have to go through the southernmost door here and smash the red switch. After doing so, go through the nearby door and walk up the stairs to find a Steeple Key. (At the base of the stairs, theres another Star Piece hidden beneath the floorboards.)
After you have the key, return to the stairs and exit through the northern door to find another red switch. When you hit this one, the stairs will shift to another position; the middle door doesnt lead anywhere, so hit the switch twice to unlock the path to the door. (You can also get a Golden Leaf by shimmying through a gap in the fence here and hitting the tree nearby with your hammer.)
Now that youre able to reach the locked door, head towards it, unlock it with the Steeple Key, and head up to the top for a boss fight.
Boss Fight: ???
??? is very easy to beat, for a chapter-end boss; bop him on the head a few times with Mario and Goombella, and hell keel over just like that. Unfortunately, even though it may appear that you obtained the Crystal Star, youll find that something unpleasant has occurred; ??? has actually switched his body with yours, leaving you in control of a shadow version of Mario! Youll have to make your way back to town on your own; all of your party members will have snuck off with the "real" Mario, leaving you alone.
When you get back to town, Mario will confront you. You cant guess his name at this point, so just enter something at random and run away from the ensuing fight. Further inside the town, youll run into Vivian, whos searching for the Superbobomb in the grass near the beginning of town. If you help her find it, shell join the party!
Now that you have Vivian to tag along, youll be able to listen to the conversations of the birds in the trees around town - all you have to do is press X when the dialogue prompt shows up. The only birds with anything relevant to say are in the tree near the graveyard, on the far eastern side of town, near the gate. Theyll reveal that theres someone locked up beneath Creepy Steeple who knows ???s name, so back you go. This is fun, isnt it? Yep, nothing wed rather do than walk around all day, either.
Back To The Steeple
When you reach Creepy Steeple, drop into the well and start busting through the Spike Tops there. Vivian cant hurt the Spike Tops, and Mario cant flip them over, so you might have to resort to offensive items to get through those groups, unless you want to continually run. Regardless, when you have a chance youll need to walk up to the grate on the right side of the screen and start pushing it up the ramp. After pushing it a bit, activate Vivians power and draw back into the shadows, which will let the grate run over you. When its past, pop back up and be on your way!
When you reach the end of the rolling paths, youll come across a room with only a single bird inhabitant. Check the chests first; among the prizes are a Power Plus Badge and the Letter P, which youll need to name the Mario interloper. After you grab it, use Vivians power to overhear the birdie saying the bad guys real name: Doopliss.
Now that you have the true sobriquet of the nefarious usurper, return to Twilight Town and spell it out for him. Hell be a wee bit surprised that you actually managed to find it out, but wont give up the ghost just yet; instead, he runs off in the direction of Creepy Steeple, so youll have to run all the way there again, and follow him up into his little bachelor pad at the top of the tower to face off against him for the last time.
Boss Fight: Doopliss
For the duration of this fight, Doopliss will actually fight as Mario, with your teammates on his side! You might not be used to boss fights against numerous enemies, but it doesnt complicate things all that much, as youll only want to attack Mario anyway. (If you manage to kill off one of your teammates, another one will pop in to take his or her place.) So, go all-out with attacks on Mario; Vivian will eventually fight at your side and help you wail away. After Doopliss runs away, youll really get the Crystal Star.
After the chapter ends, youll find yourself controlling Princess Peach during another interrogation with TEC. Hes willing to give you a bit of information, but his programming wont allow him to just come out and give it to you, so youll have to pretend to play along in another quiz show to get it. The answers are as follows:
1: Thousand-Year Door Opens.
2: To conquer the world.
3: A 1,000 year old demons soul.
4: Bring the demon back to life.
5: Crystal Stars.
Next up is another Bowser mini-game; this time hell be underwater. The same rules apply from the last game, so swim around and dont let any of the falling X-nauts bomp you on the head.
Interlude, Part 2
When you return to control of Mario, drop down from the pipe to Twilight Town and head towards the Thousand-Year Door to get the location of the next Crystal Star. Frankly will point you in the direction of the docks for more info on how to get to Keelhaul Key, but you dont actually need to go there; talk to Flavio in the Inn, then again at the docks to learn about Admiral Bobbery, a legendary navigator. You can find his hideout by using Yoshi to fly across the river on the eastern side of town, then jumping up on top of the locked house and rolling into the chimney. Unfortunately, hell pretend not to be who he is, so return to the Inn and talk to the bartender to confirm your intel. After another trip back and forth, youll finally get Bobbery to join your group. Dont forget to check the back room of his house for another Shine Sprite.
Before you leave on your trip to Keelhaul Key, though, there are some more items around town for you to pick up. Vivians shadow-hide ability will let you maneuver your way through one of the spike traps in the Rogueport Dungeon; youll find the door leading to it behind a set of bars in between two yellow blocks two screens below Franklys house. Your reward is a handy Spike Shield Badge, which will let Mario stomp away on spiky enemies without taking damage. In addition, you can find another Shine Sprite on the west side of town; enter the house with the circular window on its door and use your rolling ability to drop into its backyard.
In addition to these relatively mundane adventures, you can actually add another member to your party at this point. If you check the Trouble Board next to Bobberys house, youll note that one of the Troubles is listed with the name ???. No, this isnt Doopliss back to haunt you; its actually Ms. Mowz. Shell ask you to find a Badge thats hidden away in Hooktail Castle. If you head all the way back to the Castle and use Flurrie to blow away the floor of Hooktails lair, high in the tower, youll find the badge. Its a long walk, but at least youll have Yoshi along this time to help you out. Anyway, when you bring the badge back to Mowz, shell join up! She has the ability to sniff out hidden items on any given screen, so its definitely worth bringing her along.
Chapter 5: The Key To Pirates
Unfortunately for you, your ship is attacked by ghosts on the way towards Keelhaul Key! Its every man for himself as the vessel goes down, but luckily enough, you and your cohorts make it to an unidentified island safely enough. Youll have to protect Flavio, et al, from a trio of the "ghosts" soon after you land; theyre easy enough to beat, but keep in mind that the flames atop their heads act as spikes - no jumping attacks, in other words.
On the screen containing your camp, youll have access to two Star Pieces, one in the ocean near Flavio, and one behind the rock to the right of the Inn. If you then head off to the left side of the screen, returning to where you were when you first gained control of Mario, you can find another Star Piece underneath a patch of grass near the screen transition with your Spin Jump. (Use Ms. Mowz to get a fix on this, if necessary.) Theres also a Whacka in the far northwestern corner of the screen; hit him with your hammer to receive an item that gives you back 25 HP and FP when used! Whats even more amazing is that this guy continually pops his head up if you wait awhile, then come back, allowing you an essentially infinite number of these things. Youd think hed wise up to the fact that all you want to do is concuss him after a while, but no; hell pop up at about the same frequency with which normal enemies respawn.
Rescue Your Friends!
Now that youve cleaned out the first two screens, youre ready to move on into the jungle. Dont forget to shake the grasses; the first grass beyond the camp has another Star Piece. Theres also a couple of item boxes on this screen.
The second screen into the jungle is where matters are complicated a bit. Youll note the item box on the path; get on top of it and jump to reveal a brick to which youll have to guide Yoshi to get past. Yoshi will also come in handy when trying to get the Shine Sprite on the left side of the screen. Theres another item box on the top path, as well as a Jammin Jelly hidden away. If you want this last treasure (which restores 50 FP), youll have to stand close to the bottom edge of the top path and use your Super Hammer technique to reveal the box, which is directly beneath the box containing the Thunder Rage.
On the bridge to the right, youll witness Bobbery fighting off a couple of the ghosts, allowing you to rescue two of your teammates. After you regain control of Mario, return to the bridge and check the bushes for an Inn Coupon. You can also drop down to the bottom of the left side of the bridge to reveal a path to a pair of Coconuts; the right side of the bridge also has a semi-secret area; if you get sideways on the eastern end of the bridge, youll obtain the Ice Power Badge.
Proceeding on, youll encounter a pair of Embers standing guard around a conspicuously conspicuous tree. Kill them, then hit the coconut tree with your hammer to reveal none other than Bobbery, faint to the point of death. And he was only three days from retirement! His dying wish is for a sip of Chuckola Cola, which only Flavio has; bring him back one of the Coconuts, though, and Flavio will hand over the Chuckola to your care. Bring it to Bobbery to get him to join your group, then retreat to the camp, where Flavio will join up (temporarily) as you attempt to find the treasure beyond the spooky dead end near the coconut tree.
Mario And The Goonies
After you return to the dead end with Flavio, examine the skull-and-bones on the wall to prompt a question for Flavio. He does indeed have a gem that will fit perfectly into the indentation on the wall - funny how things just kind of work out like that. Youre not through the door yet, though; if you paid attention to Flavios song, youll know that you have to Spin Jump three times on the red statue, then whack the blue statue four times with your hammer. Doing so will open up a small porthole through which Bobbery can be thrown. After all thats done, youll finally be able to enter the pirate cavern. (Before heading in, check above the rocks near the waters edge to find another Star Piece.)
Theres a Star Piece inside the antechamber to the Pirate Grotto; look immediately inside the cave entrance to find it, then save your game and get to hustling.
Soon enough, youll come to a cave proper, with more powerful Embers lurking about. Fight them off, then start looting the place. To begin with, you can find a Shine Sprite if you jump above the prow of the first sunken ship here; youll have to make the jump blind, though, since you wont be able to see much due to the overhanging stalagmites. You can find another Star Piece across a small jump nearby, but dont worry about the item on the ship to the right; you cant get it just yet. Use Yoshi to cross the spike trap.
Dodging A Bullet
In the next room, youll face off against the venerable Bullet Bills. These guys are getting launched from cannons far off to the right, so try to time your jumps so that you get a First Strike on them as they arrive; you should be able to defeat the groups easily if you do so. (You can actually jump over them if you time your jumps properly, but this is difficult to do.) Youll have to fight your way through the Bill Blasters, as well, but they shouldnt be much harder than their smaller counterparts.
Moving forward, youll find the winch that will open the sluice gate, but you dont have the handle for it! Its on the boat near the spike trap earlier, but again, you cant get it yet, so keep going to the right. Save your game at the save spot, then ascend the cave to find another Shine Sprite. You remember how to get a cube thats just off of a ledge, right? If not, whip out your Super Hammer and start Mario a-twirling while hes standing directly next to it.
Theres a blue switch near the waterfall, but its too high to Mario to reach. As with most dungeons, the answer lies with your newest party member; in this case, its Bobbery. Throw him onto the platform and hell trip the switch, letting you pass through. In the next screen, theres a Star Piece hidden underneath the floor just beyond the doorway, but beyond that, the room is clear.
In the storeroom to the left, youll be able to grab the Grotto Key, but only if you resort to the old-school method of having Koop levitate in midair while you scramble around to stand atop the small elevator. Once youre in position, let Koop hit the switch, then grab the key. You should do this twice, actually; the second time, jump on top of the elevators weight, instead of to the key platform, and youll ride up to where a Shine Sprite is hidden. (Theres also a Star Piece in the open barrel in the foreground.)
Mario Makes Like A Boat
Return now to the save point, save your game, and unlock the door nearby. You can find a Star Piece in the first room if youre willing to beat down the flying creepies and Spin Jump around until it pops up from beneath the floor. The second area here has another Shine Sprite, which you certainly are finding a lot of. In fact, after you roll yourself up into a tube and make your way underneath the spike trap here, youll find yet another Shine Sprite. Bonk the area underneath it with your hammer to reveal a stepping-stone.
From here on, youll have to proceed to the left for a few screens until you reach a half-sunken boat. Inside it, youll find the last of the cursed chests. Dont worry if you havent found the key; itll appear on an enemy nearby as soon as you talk to the chest. Unlock it to receive the paper boat ability, then use it on the nearby boat platform and get back to the save point.
Now that you can boatify Mario, youll have to return to the boatlaunch above the save point and get back into the water. If you then float down the waterfall and head left for a few screens, youll come to the Gate Handle which you had to bypass earlier; grab it and use it to open the sluice gate near the save point.
After the gates open, you can return to the boatlaunch and head through the gate while in boat form. Follow the path - theres not much opportunity for exploration here - until you reach a thoroughly pipified room, complete with Mushrooms stranded on a boat. Youll need to maneuver through the pipes in the background and foreground until you reach the two blue switches in the background; smash both of them to let the Mushrooms escape from their wooden prison. Doing so will also open up the path to the pirates treasure!
Boss Fight: Cortez
Although Cortezs stats might not appear all that impressive, you have to consider the fact that he has three forms, each of which has 20 HP, and that hell also eat half the crowd at one point to completely regain his health. Still, if you enter this fight at full health, you shouldnt feel too pressured by the big bad pirate, as his offensive output isnt significant enough to threaten you with death, if you proceed quickly.
Cortezs first two forms are relatively easy to defeat, as they are straightforward single-target battles. Bonk him on the head or do whatever you normally do when faced with a big baddie, but save your Star Power and items for his third form, which consists of his head and no fewer than four smaller targets, as his swords will join him in the struggle. The swords can do plenty of damage if you let them, so youll want to clear all of them out with either Earth Tremor, Art Attack, or an offensive item before concentrating on Cortez himself. Keep something in reserve, though, as Cortez will eventually heal himself up and bring all of the swords back from the grave.
In all, Cortez isnt too horrible to deal with, even if you dont have any offensive items in your reserve. Just make sure you keep enough Star Power for at least two Earth Tremors in reserve until the final form, and you should be able to defeat him and earn your sixth Crystal Star.
The X-Nauticus Pirates
Now that you have your new Star, exit the ship and save your game. If you were particularly taxed by Cortez, youll also want to use the small restore cube on the deck of his ship, as theres another tough fight coming up.
After making your way out of the Grotto (by using Bobbery on the crack in the wall), youll be confronted with none other than Crump, now having shed his pirate disguise. Youll need to bring Flavio back to Cortez, in an attempt to get him to take his ship out on the open waters; a fight with Crump quickly ensues.
Boss Fight: Crump
Crump is only difficult if you used up all of your health and Star Power on Cortez, and then neglected to heal up afterward. This fight has a large annoyance factor, though, because hell continually summon in groups of helper X-Nauts that will regenerate when killed; youll thus want to focus all of your efforts on the man himself. Note that the groups of X-Nauts cant be knocked backwards, so moves like Marios Super Hammer or Yoshis Gulp wont do much good for hurting Crump, whos hiding in the rear. Use Marios Jump attack and another character that can easily attack enemies in the rear to finish him off.
Princess Peachs next little run-in with TEC involves a little bit of Mission: Impossible-esque subterfuge. Your mission, and you must choose to accept it, is to enter Grodus private chambers and hook it up to the network so that TEC can analyze data on one of his disks.
To begin with, follow TECs advice and head upstairs to the potion lab. The correct formula here, from left to right, is red, blue, yellow, green, if youre too lazy to decipher the clues left scattered around the lab. When you have the reagents in their proper places, fill the beaker as it travels along the assembly line, then heat it for 30 seconds. (A silent count in your head should be sufficient; you can also get a clock or stopwatch if you want to be precise.)
After you turn invisible, its off to Grodus chamber, to the right of his throne room. There isnt much l33t h4xx0ring involved here; just grab the disk off the shelf, plop it into the computer, and youre done. Return to TECs room to finish off the scene.
Bowsers scene is thankfully much simpler. All you really need to do here is talk to Crump to start a chain of events that lead to a West Side Story-ish rumble.
Interlude, Part 2
Back in Rogueport, you can start exploring a bit with Marios new boating ability. If you use it on the platform near Cortezs ship, you can find a little hidey hole with a Star Piece and an HP Drain Badge. Theres also a Double Dip Badge in the east side, found when you boatify yourself near the Robbos hideout.
Plentiful Items Abound
In the Rogueport Dungeon, you can now bust through some of the cracked walls with Bobberys bomb attack. The crack immediately to the left of the pipe leading down from Franklys house will lead you to an Adjustment shop; if you need to shift around some of your level-up choices, you can do so here. For instance, if you regret having chosen to increase your HP instead of your FP at your last level-up, you can exchange one for the other, but itll cost you! Bobbery can also smash through the fallen pillar that blocks the east side of the dungeon from the town underneath Rogueport.
If you make your way to the western section of the dungeon, you can now access the secret area that lies at the eastern end of the canal that runs along four screens or so. The boatlaunch for this is far off at the western end of the canal, with the passageway leading to it hidden to the left of the pipe that drops you down near the Thousand-Year Door. If you follow the canal, youll net two Shine Sprites (with another one thats inaccessible at this point), as well as an ever-useful Defend Plus badge. Lastly, theres another boatlaunch near the pipe leading to Petal Fields (to the right of the first screen underneath Franklys house), which will lead you to another Shine Sprite. Yet another Shine Sprite can be located to the left of the item shop in the western side of town; use Bobbery to destroy the wall and waltz on through to find it.
The last important task to complete before the beginning of the next chapter is given to you by Merlon, the teammate power-upper person next to Frankly. If you speak to him, hell give you a bit of a riddle to solve; in essence, he wants you to get something from Hooktail Castle. Travel back there and start proceeding ever rightward towards where you were cursed with the ability to turn sideways. (Theres another Star Piece that you can find here, as well. If you slip through the bars in the room where you were attacked by Red Bones and Spin Jump around, you should be able to shake it from the floorboards at the left side of the room.)
To the right of the cursed chest is the spike trap room from which you escaped so long ago. Now that you have Bobbery along, though, you can use him to bust a hole in the eastern wall, which will lead you to a Up Arrow item. If you bring it back to Merlon, hell be able to upgrade your team members to rank two! You certainly wont have enough Shine Sprites to upgrade all of them, but you should be able to buff two or three of them at least, so choose the ones that you consistently find yourself using in a fight and leave the rest for later. Goombella and Koops are good choices, if youre stumped.
Back On Track
Now that youve sailed around and blown up every wall in sight, you can get back on the quest for the Crystal Stars. To start, talk to Don Pinata on the west side of town; hes apparently been laid low with loneliness since Francesca left with Frankie. Awww.... Its up to you to cheer him up by bringing Francesca back to Rogueport.
Francesca and Frankie are still on Keelhaul Key, so head back thataways and track them down in the jungle. As is always the case, theres a bit of complication to this bounty-hunting task; Francesca has lost her ring, and wont leave the island without it. Its up near the large tree where Bobbery was hiding earlier, so grab it and bring it back, then head back to Don Pinatas place in Rogueport to get your train ticket.
Chapter 6: 3 Days of Excess
Something strange is afoot aboard the Excess Express, and its up to Sherlock Mario to find out what! As soon as you gain control of him, youll discover a note that vaguely implies that something bad might befall the train unless you get off before it reaches Poshley Heights. In the real world, the train would be immediately stopped and evacuated while bomb-sniffing dogs searched every inch of it, but in Marioland, the only way to prevent disaster is apparently to let mustachioed plumbers investigate on their own time.
When youre ready to move out, grab the Dried Shroom from the dresser (if you want it, that is) and the Shine Sprite from the box near the lamp, then move out. The other treasure in this area comes in the form of a Star Piece hidden underneath the floor of room 004.
A Succession of Mysteries
After you end your thievery of your sleeper car, head left until you come to the trains conductor. Speak to him about the note, then grab the Star Piece in the drawer in room 008 before heading back to the kitchen. It seems that a pot of stew has gone missing...hmmm.... Luckily for you, theres copious evidence, in the form of stains on the carpet, that will point you to room 003. Grab the pot from the drawer here, and that little mystery will be resolved without much fuss.
When you report back to Pennington, hell send you down to room 008 to check out the Bob-ombs. How these guys got past the station screening is anyones guess, but it doesnt appear that they are interested in destroying the train; instead, youll be asked to find the youngest Bob-omb a present for his birthday. If you talk to him, youll find out that he wants an autograph; you may think that he wants one from Zip Toad in room 001, but if you speak to the conductor, youll learn that he actually desires one from the engineer, so head down to the rightmost end of the train and talk to the man behind the wheel to receive the paper from him, then return it to Bub to nab a Shine Sprite. Theres also a Star Piece beneath the floorboards near the engine itself.
Next up is the Mystery of the Missing Blanket, given to you by the conductor himself. After you pick up the quest, talk to the waitress in the dining car to get her little favor as well; she wants you to find her Shell Earrings. (You can also speak to Toodles in room 002 to get a mini-quest for her, as well.) When youre ready to find the blanket, head down to room 003 and talk to the gourmand within; hell tell you about hearing strange noises in 004. Vivian is your key to locating the culprit here; hide away anywhere in the room, and a ghost will appear. Speak to it to learn what it desires most: it appears that it left a diary in the baggage compartment, and wants to have it back so that it can shuffle off this mortal coil.
When you next speak to the conductor, hell let you into the baggage hold, wherein youll find the diary by squeaking through a couple of boxes. Return it to the ghost, and youll get your blanket, which goes to the conductor, who gives you the super-awesome ultimate present of a mushroom. Sigh...you cant kill him for his poor sense of gratitude, but you can whack him with your hammer for a bit if you like.
Day 2: More Of The Same
After the dawn of a new day, rife with possibilities, creep down to Penningtons cabin to learn about a briefcase that was stolen from Mr. Ferret. Your first clue in the case is located on the other side of the train, in room 001, so nab it and bring it back to Pennington, wholl task you with finding Zip Toad.
Said rascal is actually hiding out in your room, as youll find when you visit it again. Use Vivians ability to hide out until he appears, then chase him down to conclude the mystery of the Great Train Threat. Before you leave the train to check out Riverside Station, return the Earrings and the Gold Ring to their owners to pick up some small rewards, including a Star Piece.
Unfortunately, the train is being blocked from leaving the station by a raised drawbridge. All of society depends on the timely running of trains, so its up to Mario to get it unstuck! Talk to the small Mushroom man next to the bridge to get the Station Key, which will unlock the station proper.
When you reach the interior of the musty, unused building, start heading right. Youll need to unlock the stairs leading up in the second room by rolling underneath a grate and hitting a switch. From there, proceed ever-upward until you reach the great gear room, then leap across the gears and through the station machinery to find another Station Key. To get past the first set of gears, try to wait until both the yellow and green gears flip into place at the same time, then quickly leap across to the other side. Theres a Star Piece behind the pedestal which holds the Station Key, so grab it before returning to the bottom of the stairs and unlocking the door there.
Down We Go
There are a few enemies in this little outside area, but you can avoid almost all of them if you scout for a small slot at the bottom of the first set of stairs and roll up into a tube to fit inside. Youll get an HP Plus Badge, and youll drop down directly in front of the door leading to the next area. Youll also miss a Shine Sprite, though, near the eastern edge of this screen, so maybe it isnt the wisest idea. You wont know that theres a door at the end of the path, unfortunately; youll have to use Flurrie to blow the posters off of the wall to reveal it.
Inside the next room, fight off the annoying Spiky Parabuzzies to get to a series of tube passages. (The Spikies are difficult to damage with any character; you may want to try Flurries Gale or the Earth Tremor attack to kill them.) Inside the tube passage, youll drop down to a flat surface; youll need to roll right, then hit the jump at the bottom of the ramp, and then drop down into the hole on the next surface in order to reach the upper platform at the bottom of the room. It looks a lot more complicated than it is, but theres only two possible outcomes to your journey, and you will of course be able to try again if you land in the wrong place. (Theres also a P-Up, D-Down Badge in the maze; after falling down the hole, make the jump leading to the left to find it.) Just keep moving to the left whenever possible, and you should eventually reach the next door.
These Boots Were Made - Oh, Wait, We Already Used That One
The Elevator Key beyond said door is locked up nice and tight, and is in fact inaccessible to you at the moment. Youll need to walk past this room and kill off the Goombas in the library beyond to reach it. The Goombacide will reveal three switches; this is apparently a time-based puzzle, where you have to hit the 1 switch first, hit the 3 switch two seconds later, and then hit the 10 switch on the tenth second after you start. This is simplified by the fact that you can just bash away on the switches with your hammer without resetting the puzzle, so do so and head upstairs to grab the Ultra Boots, which let you jump super-high!
Now that you have the boots, make your way across the piping and fall down to the Station Key room. Before grabbing it, though, walk into the library again and grab the Shine Sprite, then use Yoshi and the Ultra Boots to access the Key. (Youll have to stand underneath its shelf and knock it with your super-jump to get it.)
With the Elevator Key, you can now unlock and use the elevator in the first screen of the station, so ride it down to the basement and use Flurrie to clear out the pests that hide the drawbridge switch. After dropping the drawbridge, use your Ultra Boots to grab the Close Call P Badge near the door to the station, then head out and get back on the train.
The Express Incident
After you wake up, head up to the engineers station for a bit of a surprise - it appears that the beasts from the station basement have attacked the train! Youll need to save the conductor from their grasp, so head back to the baggage compartment and bang away at the enemies until you free both him and the waitress.
When you get to the roof (by clipping onto the pipe from behind the boxes), youll have to fight your way through the crowd of Smorgs with either your hammer or Flurries breath. Youll probably want to use your hammer, and have your teammate be whomever you normally use in boss fights, because theres another one upcoming.
Boss Fight: Smorg
Defense: 1 The Smorg is one of the most difficult monsters youve yet faced, thanks to its propensity both for turtling and for dealing a lot of damage. Faced on its own, it has no way to resist any damage, and cant deal any on its own, but it will generate three tentacles with which to slam you around. Each will do five damage a turn (for fifteen total damage - ouch!) and whats more, while it has a tentacle alive, the main Smorg body wont take any damage at all.
The obvious course of action is to kill off the Smorgs tentacles, then wail on the beasts heart. Use whatever you need to kill off the tentacles, preferably all at once - offensive items, special attacks, Earth Tremor, etc. - but save some FP for killing the heart, as it will only be vulnerable for a turn or two while it regenerates its arms. Goombellas Multibonk and Marios new Spring Jump are both good candidates, but youll have to be careful about hitting jumps properly; you dont press A as soon as your character intersects the outline of the heart, but rather when youre somewhere closer to the middle.
After you kill off the Smorg, youll finally arrive at Poshley Heights. There are no fewer than three Star Pieces on the first screen: one underneath the circle where the ferret stands, one in the bushes off to the right of the screen (you can walk into them in the "crack"), and one obscured by the furniture below the pool. In addition, the leftmost house conceals an HP Drain P Badge; youll have to fold yourself sideways and walk through the narrowest of slots, hidden in the wall near the roses on the table.
On the second screen, you can find another Star Piece behind the foliage near the first house, as well as an Inn Coupon behind the pasta stand. On the third screen, theres only a Shine Sprite to occupy your attention before you head into the Poshley Sanctum by examining the sign on the door.
Although Beldam and Co. may think that theyve received the Crystal Star, Pennington will inform you that its actually hidden away elsewhere in the museum, and that they absconded with only a replica. So, its a museum that displays a single item, but the item thats on display is actually fake? Makes sense.
Anyway, to reach the Crystal Star, stand on the red spot on the ground and Spring Jump up to the pipe. Work your way to the right and jump up to the highest level to find an airplane platform; from the other side of the room, its an easy walk to a blue switch, which unlocks a pipe below. After you head through it, youll find yourself inside the painting on the rear wall, which turns out to house a replica of the museum itself. If you dont want to deal with the Boos in the room, ride Yoshi and avoid them. Before you grab the real Crystal Star, though, repeat your pipe adventure to find a Shine Sprite and an L Emblem badge.
After guiding Mario back to Pennington, you get to sit through another melodrama involved the Princess Peach and TEC. No running around required this time; just flip through the dialogues and youll be done in no time. Bowser, on the other hand, will have to run through another of his mini-game levels during another Keystone Kops attempt to find a Crystal Star.
Interlude, Part 2
Back in Rogueport, Mario can now unlock his Ultra Hammer by knocking the large treasure chest in the plaza off of its stand. With it, you can finally knock through the grey blocks in the Rogueport Dungeon. Theres one near the pipe leading to Twilight Town, but it unlocks a pipe that you dont quite need to enter yet. In this same area - below the grate in the west side of town - you can also find a pipe that you can Spring Jump to reveal a Flower Saver P Badge. Further down, youll come to a huge grey block, which you can destroy with the Super Hammer technique; as with the room next door, this contains two blue shortcut pipes, except these go to Keelhaul Key and Poshley Heights. Also in this room is an FP Plus Badge.
There are also multiple Shine Sprites that have become available to you. If you return to the room where you obtained two Shine Sprites earlier, you can reach the last one with your Spring Jump technique now. Theres also a Shine Sprite available in Downdeep Town; stand between the two buildings atop the moving platform and Spring Jump when youre next to the pipe. You can then walk to the right to find the Shine Sprite. And, last but not least, you can earn a Defend Plus P Badge by using your Spring Jump in the watery room that led to Petal Meadows lo those many chapters ago. Just jump to the Pipe, shimmy over to the left, then use Bobbery to blow the wall (despite the fact that no crack shows). You can also shimmy right on the pipe to find another Star Piece.
After all that is done, show your Crystal Star to the Thousand-Year Door, then talk to Frankly twice. Hell point you in the direction of the pipe that you unlocked earlier, and youll be on your way to the penultimate chapter of the game.
Chapter 7 - Mario Shoots The Moon
After landing on the icy outskirts of Fahr Outpost, start doing your dance with Ms. Mowz to find items! On the first screen, theres a Star Piece underneath the ice near the pipe, as well as a Double Dip P badge in an invisible item cube in front of the last tree before the screen transition. On the second screen, theres a very well-obscured Shine Sprite behind the second tree which youll need to jump around to find; on the third, theres a Heart Plus P in an item box, as well as a Star Piece hidden near the screen transition to the right. When you reach the town proper, youll be able to find a Star Piece behind the wall at the bottom of the first screen; on the second screen, you can nab another Star Piece by Spin Jumping near the large cannon, an Inn Coupon near the steps leading to the Inn, and another Star Piece by searching behind the boxes in the building to the far right. Phew!
Finding The Bob-ombs
Of the two Bob-omb NPCs that you have to find, Goldbob is by far the easier to track down; hes located in Poshley Heights, near the train station. You can use the blue shortcut pipes beneath Rogueport to get there quickly, so do so and offer to give him all of your money in exchange for permission to use the cannon. Hell ask you if youre sure a half-dozen times or so, so keep saying yes, yes, yes! Dont worry; although it appears that he takes all of your cash, hell actually give it right back to you immediately after giving you the Goldbob Guide.
Next up is General White, and hes a much tougher nut to crack. To find him, youll have to play something of a world-spanning scavenger hunt. Its not very inventive, and definitely isnt much fun, but you gotta do it, so get going! First off, speak to the Koopa near the western entrance to Petalburg. (Dont forget about the shortcut pipe; its in the next room over from the one leading to Poshley Heights.) Then head off to Keelhaul Key to speak to the Bob-omb there, wholl point you to Glitzville. Theres no shortcut to that floating city, so youll have to take the blimp.
When you speak to the proprietor of the juice shop, hell point you towards the Great Boggly Tree, where a Puni will point you to "someplace dark." Head to Twilight Town and speak to the woman standing in front of the inn, wholl only tell you that General White looked tired. Quite a clue! Regardless, you can now head back to Fahr Outpost and speak to the mayor; youll spot General White heading into a building nearby. If you follow him in and repeatedly bonk him while he lies on the bed, hell wake up, and you can speak to the Mayor to be on your way...to the moon!
The moon is rather devoid of interesting things to do, save for getting pounded by the Clefts that like to blend into the background by hunkering down and looking like normal rocks. However, each screen here has a cracked rock that can be destroyed by Bobbery; the items to be found are a Stopwatch, a Volt Shroom, a Power Punch, a Ruin Powder, and a Courage Shell. Nothing particularly worth seeking out, in other words; if you just want to get on your way to the X-Naut facility, head three screens in either direction, until you reach an area guarded by a phalanx of Yuxs. One of the cracked stones here conceals a pipe that leads to the X-Naut Fortress.
After defeating the initial X-Naut charge, heal up and save your game, then start heading right. Youll eventually come to a room with a number of colored panels; follow the path thats shown when you first enter the room to make it to the chest and obtain the Elevator Key. You can use this to unlock the elevator in the hall outside; ride it down to Sublevel 2.
When you reach your destination, head all the way to the left to reach another disco-panel room. The path here wont light up as it did before, but itll be displayed on the boards at the rear of the room (some security!), so you shouldnt have a problem getting the Card Key. After you have that in your possession, you can start exploring the green doors on this floor; the important ones are the second, which contains a teleporter that will take you down to Downdeep Town, and the fourth, which will give you the code that unlocks the door on Sublevel One. Before you head up, though, keep going right until you reach Grodus inner sanctum, where another Card Key awaits.
Back on Sublevel One, you can enter the code into the door on the right end of the hallway to unlock it. Inside, youll have to face off against another Thwomp in an exciting round of trivia!
Answer 1: Elevator Key
Answer 2: Koopie Koo
Answer 3: 6
Answer 4: Hooktails Belly
Answer 5: Prince Mush
Answer 6: A Ring
Answer 5: Number Seven
For your daring success, youll obtain another Elevator Key; use it on the elevator near Grodus chamber to unlock Sublevel Three and Four. Four doesnt have anything in it that you can use, so head to three and proceed through the door at the left end of the corridor to find another electric-floor test. This one is a bit trickier than the first; instead of following a set path, youll have to walk along as the floor panels light up ahead of you. The annoyance potential is rather high here, due to the fact that the path will turn backwards and will even double back onto itself at one point; if you step off the path or wait too long to move, youll have to start all over! That said, the only other penalty is a one-HP hit, so dont worry too much about getting it done right off the bat.
After you get the last Card Key, move to the right end of Sublevel Three and swipe the cards in the card readers there. From left to right, you should swipe red, yellow, green; this corresponds to the order that theyre in in your inventory, so it shouldnt be too hard to remember.
Now that youve reached the guts of the X-Nauts base, youll have to maneuver your way through the rafters and gears that make up the interior of the fortress before youre able to proceed. To begin with, use Bobbery to flip the blue switch at the end of the small corridor you begin with, then shimmy through the bars nearby and let Vivian escort you underneath the sheet of metal that blocks your passage on the runway. From here, jump onto the platform thats moving up and down, then make your way across to the green pipe up top.
Youll wind up in the background now, with more moving platforms to jump around on. Watch the way they move for a second, and you should be able to discern how to get to the Ultra Shroom above the pipe exit; after you grab it, you can jump off the rightmost platform onto the gears, moving from there to the next green pipe next to the set of red steps. This will take you back into the foreground, where a pair of platforms will let you off at a blue switch.
After flipping the switch, youll be able to reach the next door, but theres a problem; you havent gotten the key yet. To reach it, drop off the bottom end of the platform next to the door and use the airplane platform there to fly as far west as possible, and voila; youll have your door key. Return to the door and head through for an unpleasant surprise....
Boss Fight: Magnus Von Grapple 2.0
Although Magnus might "only" have an attack of six, you should expect to take more damage than that on a regular basis. His two basic attacks, a drill maneuver from above and the release of a sharp whirly-thing (thats a technical term) from his belly, will each do six damage to both party members, but he can also still release his rocket arms, both of which will attack for nine. In addition, he can also suck up audience members at shoot them at you, for up to ten damage. Sure hope you brought along some healing items.
Even though his stats have been increased, though, the strategy to defeat Magnus hasnt changed much since the last time you faced him. As before, your first targets should be his arms, when theyre detached; they only have five HP, so you should be able to kill them easily with either Mario or Goombella (or offensive items), leaving only Magnus himself to deal with. So far as he goes, the same pair of characters can deal massive damage with their multi-hit jumping attacks, so go to town. You will be taking damage as the fight proceeds, though, so keep your Star Power up for a Sweet Feast, or use any healing items that youve managed to horde in your inventory - you havent been able to heal up for a while, so it might be worth your time to actually use these before the fight begins.
After the boss fight, youll take control of Bowser for a moment, then warp straight back to Mario - no Peach cutscene this time around. Take Mario down to Sublevel Four to talk to TEC, then head back to the teleporter and Rogueport. Despite Franklys sense of urgency, you can feel free to take your time browsing around the town. In particular, this might be a good time to investigate the Pit of 100 Trials near the Thousand-Year Door; you wont be able to complete the entire thing at this point in the game, but you can get down to level 50 and obtain a very handy item before you face off against the end boss. Check our notes on the Pit in the Miscellaneous chapter of this guide for more info. Regardless, youll probably want to check out the Item Shops on the west side of Rogueport and in Deepdown for Life Shrooms and Ultra Shrooms, which will come in exceedingly handy in the final bossfight.
When youre ready to rock, head down to the Thousand-Year Door and say open sesame!
Chapter 8: The Thousand-Year Door
Inside the Palace of Shadow, youre going to be facing off against enemies that are about as tough as you might expect to find in the final dungeon of an RPG. Thankfully, they drop commensurate amounts of Star Points, so you should find yourself earning levels without too much trouble.
The first few screens are devoid of anything save monsters, for the most part. On the second screen (the stairs) you can find a Stopwatch by looking north of the western doorway. On the fourth screen, youll face off against a number of spike traps, but you wont be able to tell where they are; walk slowly, though, and theyll pop up before you reach them, allowing you to walk around them. The fifth screen sees the return of the venerable firetrap; jump over the ones on ground level, and use Vivian to avoid any that float just off the ground. (Theres also a Boo Sheet in an invisible cube over the platform where the Phantom Ember lurks.)
Its on the fifth screen that youll face your first major challenge: a battle with Dark Bones. You should remember the basic process from your trials in Hooktail castle; youll need to fight your way through the crowd of skeletons to get to Dark Bones, but here, hell actually move around in the melee, forcing you to track him down. When you do, though, you shouldnt have a hard time eliminating him and his cohorts; if you have enough Star Power, blast the group with a Supernova and mop up Dark Bones with your secondary character. Hell drop the key that will let you unlock the door leading east.
Eventually, youll come to a room with a pair of staircases and two doors on either side. In order to pass on from this area, youll need to figure out which door on the right side to pass through in order to move on; if you move through the incorrect door, youre going to have to start over. The secret is in the torches on the walls; the correct door will always have the torch nearby lit up. The sequence is nonetheless invariable; choose bottom, bottom, top, top, bottom, top, bottom to pass on.
The (Other) Underground City
Whomever this powerful demon is, he or she has good taste. Although the large park here is well decorated, there isnt much for you to do except to heal up and save your game, then move on. After four looong hallways, youll come to the first boss fight of the Palace.
Boss Fight: Gloomtail
Gloomtail, Hooktails big brother, fights in much the same way as his sister did way back in Chapter One, save with much better stats. Hes much more likely to hit both team members at once with his jump-and-slam attack; you can guard against this, but its quite difficult to do so, and will only cut a single point off of the ten points of damage that youll receive. In addition to that, though, he also has poison breath, as well as a super-ultra-mega-Dragonball Z attack that will come after he charges himself up. Take Goombellas advice and spend your turn before this attack goes off by using Vivians Veil ability to take yourself out of the path of the 16 or 18 points of damage coming your way. Gloomtail will be able to attack immediately after you pop up out of the ground, but no matter what he does, it wont be worse than the Megabreath.
After Gloomy is dead, hell spit up the Star Key. Return to the underground city and blow open the pipes on either side of the area with Bobbery. After travelling through them, youll be able to boat your way up to the tower in the northern end of the room, so head on inside.
Inside the tower, youll be tasked with tracking down eight Palace Keys. Theres one in each room of the tower, so get hunting. If you want to try and solve the puzzles for yourself, feel free to do so; flip to the next page if you want some spoilers! (You can also use Goombellas information ability for hints.)
- Lower Left: Bang on the left block three times, then hit the right block twice.
- Upper Left: This room and the room above it are tied together. All you can do for now is to destroy the grey block on the ground floor, so do so and move on.
- Upper Right: The wall on the right side of the room is ethereal; walk through it and bop the block to earn your key.
- Lower Right: Use Flurrie to blow away the invisible blocks in the middle of the room to get the key.
- Lower Left: You have to kill the Bones here in order of their strength, from weakest to most powerful. This just happens to correspond to their position from left to right as you enter the room, so hit the white Bones first, then the pink, grey, and black. Your keychest will appear when theyve all been killed in the appropriate order.
- Upper Left: This room corresponds with the room below it. You should be able to smash two more grey blocks at this point, so do so, then return to the room below and smash the final grey block. After all the blocks are smashed in both rooms, you should be able to pick up both keys.
- Upper Right: Although the wall here appears solid, you can actually use Bobbery to destroy it and reveal the path to the key.
- Lower Right: Lastly, hide with Vivian to reveal the blue block. Itll disappear when you come out of the shadows, so try to remember where it is; you can still hit it when its invisible.
Pop quiz, hot shot: What does an orrery have to do with the floorplan of a dungeon? Apparently quite a bit. When youve collected all eight keys, head up to the third floor and use the Star Key to unlock the gigantic solar system model there. After activating it, and placing the eight Palace Keys into the pedestals that pop up, youll notice that the hallways leading to Gloomtail have been replaced by more puzzle rooms.
Unfortunately, before you can proceed down to the lower levels of the dungeon, youll get ambushed by another boss fight. Be sure to hit the save point and heal up before you head east, or you may have to do the entire palace over again.
Boss Fight: Shadow Sirens (And Doopliss!)
Beldam | HP: 30 | Attack: 5 | Defense: 0
Marilyn | HP: 40 | Attack: 7 | Defense: 0
Doopliss | HP: 40 | Attack: 7 | Defense: 0
Doopliss is the weakest link of this bunch; since you learned his true name, he cant wield powerful magics, remember? All hes really capable of is morphing into one of your characters and using their standard attacks, but he shouldnt be able to do more than four or five damage a turn to one character. You can safely ignore him, if you wish; the two Shadow Sirens are the real threat here.
Beldam is your most pressing concern, as she has freezing breath that can potentially rob both of your party members of a full turn, thus increasing the chances that Marilyn will knock you out. Luckily, she has the lowest life of the bunch, and can be taken out with a couple turns worth of a Mario and Goombella jump-fest. Marilyn is the heavy hitter, though; her lightning attack will deal seven damage to each party member by default, but she can charge up for an extra seven damage. She can even stack charges, which allows her to bust out with over 20 points of damage on both party members if she gets a big shocker off. Needless to say, you dont want this to happen, so either kill her quick or use Vivian to avoid the blow when it comes.
Doopliss is completely ineffectual, as mentioned, so save him for last, then bonk him over the head a few times until you defeat the gang. You should get the largest Star Point reward youve seen yet, so hopefully youll gain a level out of all this. If not, heal up before saving and moving on through the eastern door.
Downward, Ever Downward
Now that youve unlocked a passage further into the Palace, youll have to discover how to maneuver through said passage. To begin with, fight off the Dark Wizzards at the bottom of the steps, then use Flurrie to blow away the paper that covers up a corridor near the eastern wall. After you reach the top of the obscured stairs, youll have to Yoshi across to the doorway. Inside the next room, youll come across a veritably ancient form of puzzle; hang Koops in place near the red switch, then release him when Mario is ready to jump onto the platform that juts out when its flipped.
The next room features a couple of elevator puzzles. To begin with, walk up the steps to your right and hit the green switch; this will drop the green elevator in the eastern screen, allowing you to Yoshi across the gap thats created. Of course, you only find another gap on the other side; you cant jump this, so drop down and use Koops to raise the purple elevator before quickly jumping on it before it can rise up. When it reaches the top of the shaft, Yoshi across to the red switch. Place Koops in position to hit the switch, then drop down to the red elevator before letting him go. While the elevator rises, walk off of it into the small passage leading east. Theres one final jump to make, but due to the low height, youll have to roll yourself up into a tube in order to leap successfully across the chasm.
In the next room, you wont appear to have a method of getting across the spike traps, but look up: pipes, a plumbers best friend! Spring Jump to them until you come to a doorway into another geary room. If you want, you can head all the way to the western side of the lower level to grab a Shooting Star; if not, just jump up onto the steps near the door and throw Bobbery off the ledge to hit the switch below, then jump across before the platform retracts.
Upstairs, youll be faced with a locked door, which obviously means theres a key somewhere around. Its difficult to spot, but its actually to the east of the save point; youll have to ride Yoshi off of the small wooden platform at top speed (but not while jumping - just run off), which should see you fall onto another small platform below. From there, you can Yoshi across to get a Palace Key.
Youre now able to get through the locked door, so get moving! Youll have to roll into a tube to get all the way up to the top of the steps; when you do reach the pinnacle, youll want to hit (counting from the right) the first, third, fourth, and sixth switches to activate the platform machine in the eastern room. Hop onto it, ride it around once for a Life Shroom, and be on your way.
The large block of stone in the next room doesnt give much away; theres only the smallest crack in the corner that indicates something off about it. Sure enough, its a false front; use Flurrie to blow it away, then smash through the floorboards (another old chestnut of a move) to fall down. The item block in the corner of the room can be stood upon and jumped upon to reveal a Point Swap item; joy, hallelujah, etc. You probably have enough good items at this point to just leave it behind.
After maneuvering over the narrow pathway to the next large room (the last puzzle room in the game - yay!), airplane over to a platform and head through the door there. Theres no trickery involved with the red switch here, but you do have to move quickly if you want to catch the platform before it retracts. As ever, Yoshis your man, so hit the switch, jump on Yoshi, scootch over to the platform and jump across. You should have barely enough time to get past before the platform retracts; your reward is a Palace Key. You can now return to the airplane platform (by dropping off of the doors platform and heading west), and then airplane over the first platform onto a platform on the far eastern side of the room. There is a Life Shroom and a Shooting Star on the platforms between the door and the eastern side; dont forget that you can hit B in midair, if you want to get these.
The next hallway features a healing cube and a save point; use them both before moving on.
Boss Fight: Grodus
Grodus is essentially a big Yux enemy; he possesses the same small orbiters that protect him from damage. When he has four Grodus Xs in orbit, hell be completely encased in an energy shield, but even when he doesnt have a complete shield up, each orbiter will add one to his defense, and he can regenerate up to two Xs a turn, even if he also attacks.
Needless to say, you have to take out the Xs before going after Grodus. Unfortunately, since hell be growing back more Xs each turn, youll have to rely on attacks that can hit all three enemies. Offensive items, Multibounce, Flurries Gale ability, etc.; there are plenty of said abilities that can do the trick. Grodus himself can do plenty of damage, but you wont have time to both attack him and heal yourself, so concentrate on attacking, and eventually hell go down.
Boss Fight: Bowser and Kammy Koopa
Like, omigod, this is soooo unfair! Hope you didnt expect to heal up after Grodus, as Bowser and Kammy will quite literally drop in for a small chat. You know, the kind of chat that involves roasting Mario with flaming breath.
Anyway, Kammy and Bowser make quite the team. As you might expect, Bowsers the muscle; hell do seven damage to each of your party members with his breath more often than not. If hes not being king of burnination, hell be stomping on your teammate; when this happens, that teammate wont be able to use their Attack menu for a few turns, and will thus essentially be worthless to you. Youll have to switch out when this occurs.
Kammy is actually more of a nuisance than Bowser is, at least in the beginning of the fight. She has a variety of attack moves that will burn you, or hit you with lightning, or so on, but the real threat from her is that she can heal up to eight damage per turn, either for herself or on Bowser. This will obviously slow down your offensive quite a bit, so youll need to get rid of her as quickly as possible, with jump attacks and anything else at your disposal. After shes down, Bowser will be comparatively easy, so long as you can keep your health reserves up. Dont forget to switch out for a new partner whenever someones in danger of dying.
The Finalest Fight
Now, you still have one last boss fight to go, so if you used up most of your Star Power, youll want to retreat back to the airplane room and fight the Embers on the floor until you either gain a level or refill your Power with Stylish moves. (You can also pick up the Life Shroom and Shooting Star if you used up any items in the above fights.) When youre ready for the final showdown, heal up and save your game, then follow Grodus into the chamber behind the overturned chair.
When you enter the lowermost chamber of the Palace, youll be forced to watch through some looooong dialogues until you get to fight the end boss. Dont just mindlessly press the A button, though; there is one opportunity for interaction with the Shadow Queen, wherein shell ask whether or not you wish to become her servant. Anyone who played the original Dragon Warrior way back when should know what happens when you decide to team up with the ultimate baddie in an RPG - its a one-way ticket to Game Overville. Say her nay, and get ready for the final fight!
Boss Fight: Shadow Queen
The final boss is so much harder than the rest of the bosses in the game, it's not even funny. If you thought the one-two punch of Grodus and Bowser was bad, then welcome to a whole new world of hurt!
To begin with, lets describe the basic forms of the Shadow Queen. Her first form is that of a simple human being; shell attack with lightning, for the most part, and boost her stats periodically. You shouldnt have any troubles here; just bash away with your highest-damage single-target attacks. Do NOT, however, use up any items during this portion of the fight, whether for healing or otherwise. Use your Star Power for healing, if necessary; everything else should be reserved for the second portion of the fight.
After you chop off around half of her health, the Shadow Queen will lift the veil and reveal her true form. You cant hurt her at all during the first three rounds after this transformation, so keep your characters out of trouble and try not to die. After the third round, another epic-length cutscene will ensue, after which both the Shadow Queen and Mario & Co. will be restored to full health and stats.
This battle is mostly about preparation, which doesnt help you much if youve rushed through the game. Your Star Power really needs to be full before you fight her, and you should try to save it for an emergency Sweet Feast during the second part of the fight, after you get your health back. Beyond that, you need to take a look at your badges and level. Mario should ideally be at level 25, at the very least, with around 60 health, if not more. (Dont forget to check your Badge inventory for Health Plus Badges.) Youll want to use as many Attack Plus and Attack Plus P's as you can; Defend Plus becomes less important here, as the Shadow Queens main attack seems to penetrate your defense. HP Plus and FP Plus Badges make good replacements for Defend Pluses. Other good choices include the Quick Change Badge, which you can buy from Dazzle; this will let you act with a teammate during the same turn you switch them, and youre going to be switching a whole lot in this fight. Pretty Lucky can also be bought from Dazzle, and will let Mario dodge around one-quarter of the attacks that come his way. Other than that, Power Bounce (for the Shadow Queen) and Feeling Fine are both good choices. (If you get smacked down during your fight, dont forget that you can walk all the way back up through the dungeon to Rogueport to get more items, or to try your hand at the Pit of 100 Trials.)
You also need to make sure that you have enough items to get you through the fight alive. Life Shrooms are particularly worth having; sometimes you just cant prevent a boatload of damage from hitting your teammate before you switch him or her out. If you can make it down halfway to the bottom of the Pit of Trials (itself a tough challenge), you can find an item that can double your inventory size; if you can get this, then load up on Ultra Shrooms, Life Shrooms, and the Jammin Jellies, and you should have a much easier time with it. This certainly isnt required to beat her, but it helps.
Beyond that, it's pretty much a matter of switching out your teammates when they get low on HP and ensuring that Mario doesn't die. The first form isn't too rough; it's when you get to the second form that you really need to start blasting away. The hands will regenerate after every turn, but they're still worth taking out with one of Koops' multi-opponent attacks or Bobbery's Bob-ombast, or offensive items, if only because you'll be saving 10-12 damage when you take them out. You definitely want to have Goombella examine her, preferably on the first form, so you know how close you are to killing her.
The Shadow Queen will also periodically charge herself up for +7 Attack; when this is the case, you can be sure that each of your characters will take around 15 damage on the next turn, in addition to whatever the Shadow Hands do, so youll want to either have Vivian use her Veil technique or just ensure that you have enough health to survive the onslaught. Your teammate will usually be the weakest link here, but if you have enough Life Shrooms in your inventory, you wont have to worry overmuch about keeping them healed up; if they die, theyll come right back to life and you can switch them out for someone else.
After you defeat the Shadow Queen, all will be returned to its normal happy state. Youll be treated to a lengthy cutscene involving the fates of your compatriots, and then the even longer end credits. If you want to continue your adventures, let the end credits roll, then press A when the "The End" screen appears; Mario will return to Rogueport and you can keep exploring the game world according to your whims.
The trouble center in Rogueport is located in the far eastern edge of town, next to the building where Admiral Bobbery is holed up. Its intended to give you a means of exploring the world besides going through the main storyline, but many of the side quests given here arent worth touching, if only because their only reward is gold, which you should be finding scads of in your normal travels. There are a few that give unique rewards, however; well point out any notable ones below. Note that not all of these will be available at the beginning of the game; more are unlocked after you complete each chapter.
Koopook: Try To Find Me!
Koopook is hiding out in Hooktail Castle, just below where you first encountered Ms. Mowz. After running into him, hell give you the Special Card, which unlocks a mini-game at the Casino.
Plenn T.: Order Me An Item!
This is a simple fedex mission. The shop in Rogueport has run out of Courage Shells, and want you to get five of them so that they can restock their shelves. You can buy five of them in Petalburg for five gold apiece; return them to Plenn T. for an Ultra Shroom, which costs 200 gold!
Pine T. Jr.: Help My Daddy!
Pine T. Jr.s father has gone into the Pit of 100 Trials and hasnt returned! Youll need to go down there, locate Pine T. (hes on the 18th level) and bring him back out (by descending to the 20th level and using the pipe there). In return, youll nab the Silver Card, which unlocks a new mini-game at the Casino.
???: Elusive Badge!
After speaking to Ms. Mowz atop the Item Shop in Rogueport Plaza, travel to Hooktail Castle and use Flurrie to reveal the treasure chest in Hooktails lair. Bring the badge back to Ms. Mowz, and shell join your party.
Frankie: Important Thing!
This is one of the easier quests to complete, albeit the one with the vaguest headline. When you take it, talk to Frankie outside the item shop on the west side of Rogueport, then check for the lost ring on the east side of town. Return it to him, and hell give you the Gold Card, which will open up a new mini-game at the Rogueport casino.
Toodles: I Must Have That Book
Mario takes a seamy trip into the underbelly of erotic addiction in this sordid tale of lust and betrayal! And surprisingly enough, that description is technically accurate; it seems that Ms. Jolene has borrowed a beefcake book from Toodles in Poshley Heights, who would like it back. Retrieve the book and return it to its rightful owner to receive the Platinum Card, which also unlocks a mini-game at the casino.
Pit of 100 Trials
The Pit of 100 Trials is an optional dungeon thats located one room to the west of the Thousand-Year Door. Inside, you wont find any inns, any save points, or any way to heal your characters up; all that awaits you is death! Well, death, and a few spectacular prizes.
You can enter the Pit as soon as youre able to reach the pipe leading to it, i.e., almost from the time you begin the game. You shouldnt attempt to plumb its depths until youre fairly well-powered, though, as the lower levels of it (there are 100 in all, hence the name) hold some incredibly powerful foes, including the hardest boss in the game.
So, why bother with it? Because theres some cool loot to be found inside, thats why. On every tenth level of the Pit, youll find a new treasure chest with an item that is unlikely to be found anywhere but inside the Pit. Some of these are useful, many are not. In any event, weve included a list below for your edification.
At level 100, theres also a special boss: Bonetail. This is the most intimidatingly powerful boss in the game, and packs no fewer than 200 HP, along with 8 Attack and 2 Defense. Since you cant save your game or rest before this fight, youll have to conserve as many healing items as possible during your descent in order to have a chance.
|10||Sleepy Stomp Badge||You can use your jump attack to put enemies to sleep.|
|20||Fire Drive Badge||Lets Mario attack all ground enemies and set them on fire.|
|30||Zap Tap Badge||Electrifies Mario, which deals damage to enemies that touch him.|
|40||Pity Flower Badge||Mario will sometimes regenerate one FP when he takes damage.|
|50||Strange Bag||Lets you carry twice as many items as you normally can. Incredibly useful, and relatively easy to get!|
|60||Double Dip Badge||Allows Mario to use two items in a single turn.|
|70||Double Dip P Badge||Allows Marios teammate to use two items in a single turn.|
|80||Bump Attack Badge||Weak enemies will be automatically defeated when you hit them on the field map.|
|90||Lucky Day Badge||Enemies will miss Mario fairly often when they attack.|
|100||Return Postage Badge||Mario reflects half damage back onto enemies that use physical attacks.|
Special Move List
Mario gets a new Special Move each time he recovers a Crystal Star. Special Moves, although they act much like magical attacks, dont use FP; they use Star Power, which is recovered with normal and FP-based attacks (although you only get a small amount of Star Power from these), by Appealing to the crowd, and by executing Stylish attacks.
Sweet Treat (1 SP): Your first Special Move will be among the most useful in the first half of your adventure, as its one of the very few non-item methods of gaining HP back. When activated, you have to rapidly tap your analog stick to the left to shoot out stars towards a variety of icons. Icons include the heads of both of your party members, which restore HP, and flowers, which will restore FP. Also included in the icons are three poison mushrooms, though, which will prevent you from shooting stars for a few seconds if you hit one!
Your potential maximum restoration from this ability is eight HP for both members and eight FP. Thus, it will start out being very useful, but will start to become less effective as time goes on.
Earth Tremor (2 SP): Earth Tremor is one of the all-around best Special Moves youll obtain in your travels, and is especially effective just after you get it. When activated, youll have to press the A button precisely when a meter passes over certain marks on a bar; it sounds confusing, but youll understand when you see it. There are five different bars, each having more marks and moving more quickly than the previous one. If you can complete all of the bars correctly, Earth Tremor will deal six damage to all of your enemies, regardless of their Defense; if you dont get them all, youll deal anywhere from one damage (if you manage to flub the very first bar) to five damage (if you make them all except the last). After a bit of practice, though, its easy to get maximum damage from this power every time you use it, and at the cost of only two SP, its among the most efficient and effective abilities in the game.
Clock Out (2 SP): Clock Out is another status-effect ability; in this instance, youll be able to immobilize your opponents by tossing a bomb over them. In order to increase the effect of the bomb, rapidly tap the button that appears over the heads of your enemies. We never got much mileage out of this; most bosses are immune to the effect, and in most normal fights, wed just as soon deal damage to our enemies and get the fight over more quickly.
Power Lift (3 SP): Ah, an ability that lets you buff yourself! When activated, youll have to guide the cursor over the up arrows and hit them, while avoiding the poison mushrooms that appear. If you hit enough up arrows, youll increase Mario and his teammates Attack and Defense for a short while. Its very difficult to get anything above +2 Attack and Defense, but this will still help you out quite a bit, especially when combined with multi-hit attacks like Power Bounce or Multibonk.
Art Attack (4 SP): Art Attack is another pure-damage ability. When you try it out, youll have to trace lines around your enemies; each time you enclose them with a line, theyll take a few damage. The more of their body you get inside the lines, the more damage you can do! You get around 10 seconds to encircle them as many times as possible. This is obviously more useful against smaller enemies than against extremely large ones; you might even try to use this against an Amazy Dayzee and see if you cant do 20 points of damage to it in one fell swoop!
Sweet Feast (5 SP): Sweet Feast is essentially the same power as Sweet Treat, save for the inclusion of some larger icons, and the fact that more icons overall will fall from the top of the screen. The max amount of restoration is around 24 HP per character and 24 FP or so.
Showstopper (2 SP): Showstopper is unique among the Special Moves in that it doesnt attempt to damage or infict a status effect on your opponents; rather, it attempts to obliterate them completely! Youll have to tap buttons as they appear on the screen in order to activate this ability; the more buttons you can tap, in order, without missing any, the better the chances that youll actually be able to kill your enemies.
Showstopper seems like a powerful ability, and it often is when used against weak enemies, but it cant be used against bosses, and youre usually better off going for the sure thing and just sticking with out-and-out damage. Against high-defense opponents, or enemies that are difficult to attack, though, Showstopper might be worth the two SP.
Supernova (6 SP): The last Special Move that youll obtain in Paper Mario is Supernova. Although its expensive, its also worth the cost, as it will let you deal more damage in a single blow than will any other item or attack in the game. And all you have to do is tap the A button! Its very, very easy to get this thing up to maximum damage, and when it hits, itll deal 15 damage to everything on the field, regardless of defense.
The only "problem" with Supernova is that it costs so much. Unfortunately, Supernova is most useful against bosses, but against bosses, youll probably want to save your Star Power for use with Sweet Feast, since healing is so much harder to come by than damage is.
Finding and Using Badges
There are a total of 85 Badges in Paper Mario. Many of these youll find in your adventures, but there are a couple of other ways to obtain them.
Buy Them: There are three places where you can buy Badges. The first is Dazzle, who hangs out in Downdeep town, below Rogueport. When you take the pipe below Franklys house, head one screen to the left and there he is! Dazzle will trade you Badges in exchange for the numerous Star Pieces you find throughout the world. Unfortunately, he only has three Badges that have any real use: a Power Plus, a Power Plus P, and a Quick Change; the rest can be safely ignored.
Next up are two vendors in the central area of Rogueport. Charlieton resides near the gallows and will often have a few Badges for sale; he changes his inventory periodically, so check back every once in a while. Ms. Mowz Lovely Howz, which can be found by entering the inn and exiting through the door on the second floor, also sells plenty of badges.
Gamble For Them: You can gamble at the Pianta casino on the west side of Rogueport. When you win, youll get your winnings in Piantas, which are effectively a form of alternate currency. (You can also exchange gold for Piantas, if you wish.) When you have a good bankroll of Piantas, talk to the teller behind the bars to exchange them for prizes, with Badges among those.
Although you can find many dozens of Badges during your travels, you wont be able to use all of them; not all at once, anyway. The amount of Badges that you can use is restricted by your current Badge Power. Mario starts his adventure with a mere three BP; you can increase this number by three each time you level up, but youll have to do so at the expense of extra health or FP. Still, though, Badges can have such a large effect on your ability to kill enemies that theyre usually worth the lower HP or FP.
Many of the Badges that you encounter give you special abilities or attacks, and some of these can be somewhat useful, but in general, youll want to dedicate all of your BPs towards using three specific Badges: Power Plus, Power Plus P, and Defend Plus. Power Plus will increase all of Marios attacks by on; Power Plus P will do the same for whomever his current teammate is; and Defend Plus will increase Marios Defense by one as well. (There are Defend Plus P Badges, but theyre usually not worthwhile, if only because Mario will usually be in the front lines and will thus be the target of most enemy attacks.)
You can find the Power Plus and Power Plus P Badges from Dazzle; each will cost 15 Star Pieces, so save up for them and buy them as soon as possible. You can find another Power Plus Badge in the dungeon underneath Creepy Steeple, where the bird reveals Doopliss name; a second Power Plus P will be found atop the juice bar in Glitzville. Defend Pluses can be found in the item shop in Twilight Town (after you obtain the roll-up curse from the chest there), as well as in a secret room in the dungeon underneath Rogueport (accessible when you obtain the ability to turn Mario into a paper boat.) These six Badges will take up 34 BP between them, but are worth every penny, since theyll have an impact in every single battle that you take part in, and cost no FP to activate.
Beyond that, a few other Badges stand out as being worth mention. One of the first Badges youll obtain is the Multibounce Badge, which pops up in the Shhwonk Fortress in Chapter One and lets Mario inflict a single jump attack on all enemies that youre fighting with; this is especially useful against Koopas, as theyll either be knocked out of the air or knocked onto their backs when hit, but can be used as liberally as you like, since it only costs one FP per use. Also of note is the Power Bounce, found in Hooktail Castle, which allows Mario to emulate Goombellas Multibonk attack and bounce multiple times above a single enemy.
Lastly, the Quick Change, which can also be bought from Dazzle, will let you switch out partners in the middle of a fight without eliminating their action for that round. This isnt important in many fights, but in some boss fights, where you have to switch out characters to prevent them from dying (such as in the final boss fight!), it can let you get in a lot of attacks that you would normally lose.
There are also a number of less-powerful Badges out there, with a variety of fun effects, such as costume and sound effect changes. You mightve noticed that in some of the screenshots in the walk-through that Mario is dressed like Wario; this awesome effect is gained via a Badge you can buy from Charlieton. It costs a lot of gold - around 350 or so - but its worth every penny. You can also find a Luigi costume Badge in Poshley Sanctum.
Shine Sprite Locations
Shine Sprites are among the most valuable of the "hidden" items in the game, because theyll let you upgrade the battle capabilities of your partners. Unlike Star Pieces, though, which youll find plenty extra of, there are exactly as many Shine Sprites - 48 - as youll need to upgrade all of your teammates twice. Heres a list of all of them. If youre towards the end of the game and realize that you mustve missed one, ask at the fortune teller near Dazzle; shell point you towards any remaining Shine Sprites for a mere ten gold.
Rogueport (Five Sprites)
There are five Shine Sprites in Rogueport, although none of them will be accessible as you start the game. The first two will be accessible when you obtain Yoshi in Glitzville; bring him back to town and float across the river near the house with a padlock on its door. You can find one Shine Sprite on top of the houses near Merlons dwelling, and another behind the padlocked house. To find the latter, shimmy through the alleyway between Bobberys house and the Trouble Board and float across the river with Yoshi there. The other Shine Sprite in this area is inside Bobberys house, but you wont be able to obtain that until just before chapter five.
On the west side of town, you can use Bobbery to blow open the cracked wall next to the item shop to find a Shine Sprite. Theres also one behind the houses in the northeastern corner of the screen; use your rolling-up ability to fall down a hole in the rightmost house and youll nab it easily.
Rogueport Dungeon (Eight Sprites)
There are more Shine Sprites down here than in any other area in the game! The first is located in the same room as the Thousand-Year Door; shimmy through the iron grates on the eastern side of the screen, jump up to the higher platform, airplane across to the other side of the room, and repeat the process to find your Shine Sprite.
Next up is a Shine Sprite located next to the shortcut pipe to Petalburg. This can only be obtained after youve gotten the Super Hammer from Glitzville, and is on the second level of screens below Rogueport. You can also obtain a Shine Sprite at this point by falling through the grate on the west side of Rogueport and using Yoshi to fly across to the platform to the left of where you land.
When you obtain the boat curse, three more Shine Sprites become gainable. One is in the room where you initially fought the Blooper to travel to Petal Meadows, and two more are found at the end of the long canal on the second level below Rogueport. To find these last two, drop down from the west side of Rogueport, take the pipe leading down to the second level of the dungeon, and then head towards the pipe leading to the third level. Before you head down it, though, walk to the left of the pipe to find a hidden passage leading to a boat launch.
When you have the Spring Jump, the last two Shine Sprites become available. One is in the same room at the end of the canal that you obtained the two previous Sprites; the second is in Downdeep town. Stand between the two buildings above the elevator block, find the pipe here, and Spring Jump before moving to the right to find your prize.
Hooktail Castle (Three Sprites)
All three of the Shine Sprites here are easy to find. One is in the first room beyond where you fight with Red Bones; one is in the room where you encounter Ms. Mowz; and the last is at the top of the large set of steps before you head outside and start walking towards Hooktails tower.
Boggly Woods (One Sprite)
On the screen before Flurries house, youll have to reach an elevated airplane platform. When you do reach it, shoot Koops off to the left to find the Sprite.
The Great Tree (Four Sprites)
When you obtain your first 11 Punies and are forced to surround them with bubbles to get them across a gap, drop down to the bottom of the room and search for the Shine Sprite. The second Sprite here is obtained by using Flurrie to blow away a large obstacle atop an airplane platform; ride the platforms down to obtain your Sprite.
After you grab the Super Boots, you can Spin Jump into the first wooden panel nearby to find another Shine Sprite, while the last one is obtained by filling the water-room after you unlock all 101 Punies from their cages.
Glitzville (Two Sprites)
The first Sprite here is on the first screen, next to the entrance to the Pit; hit the shadow beneath the Sprite to pop up a block which you can jump onto to find the Sprite. The second is on the second floor of the storage room inside the Pit itself.
Twilight Trail (One Sprite)
The last tree on the screen before the entrance to Creepy Steeple will hide a Shine Sprite. Jump up and down while the tree obscures Mario to find it.
Creepy Steeple (Three Sprites)
The first Sprite here is located in the same small room that holds the Cookbook. You should be able to spot a small hole in the wall near where you enter through the front doors; roll through it to grab the Sprite. The other two Sprites are both obtained after Vivian joins the party and you fall down the well.
Keelhaul Key (Two Sprites)
The first Sprite here is located on top of a single small block on the screen where you first see Chomps; youll have to use Yoshi to fly over to it. The next is to the right side of the bridge screen; jump behind a tree to grab it.
Pirate Grotto (Five Sprites)
When you enter the cave proper, youll have to jump across a half-sunken ship. Stand on the prow and jump to reveal a hidden Sprite. The next Sprite is found in the same room as the save point, at the top of the stairs. You can either use your Super Hammer technique while standing on the edge of the ledge, or use Koops ability while standing on the top step to locate it.
The next Sprite is located in the same room as the Grotto Key. Jump from the elevator to the weight that suspends it, then ride the weight up to the top and jump off to find a Sprite. After you unlock the door near the save point with the Key, and head through to the spike trap, check the left side of that area to locate a Sprite suspended over the water; use Koops to get this one. Lastly, immediately after the spike trap youll come across another Sprite, which you can hammer beneath to reveal a hidden block.
Excess Express (Two Sprites)
One of the Sprites here is located in the room in which you begin; just walk behind the table to find it. The other is obtained after you give Bub the engineers autograph.
Riverside Station (Two Sprites)
The first Sprite here is located in the clear in the exterior area behind the station, while the second is obtainable in the library after you gain the Ultra Boots.
Poshley Heights (Two Sprites)
One of the Sprites is obtainable with a Spring Jump; you can find this one outside Poshley Sanctum. Inside the Sanctum, you can find another one by using your Spring Jump to explore the room where the Crystal Star is located. (The real Crystal Star, that is.)
Fahr Outpost (Two Sprites)
On the second screen from the entrance from Rogueport, stand behind the second tree from the left and jump to reveal a hidden Sprite. The last Sprite in the game (yay!) is located in the clear on the right side of town.