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.