Paper Mario
Genre Role-playing game
Developer(s) Intelligent Systems
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Composer(s) Yuka Tsujiyoko
Series Paper Mario
Platform(s) Nintendo 64, iQue Player, Wii (Virtual Console)
Release Date N64
NA February 5, 2001
JP August 11, 2000
PAL October 5, 2001
iQue Player
CHN June 2004
Virtual Console
NA July 16, 2007
JP July 10, 2007
PAL July 13, 2007
Mode(s) Single-player
ESRB:80px-ESRB Everyone.svg - Everyone
PEGI:60px-PEGI 3.svg - 3 and older
ACB:90px-OFLC small G.svg - General

Paper Mario
North America

Paper Mario, Mario Story in Japan, is a role-playing game developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64. It was later released in China on the iQue Player and re-released in Japan, North America, Europe, and Australia on the Wii's Virtual Console. The game was later followed by Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door for the Nintendo GameCube and Super Paper Mario with an upcoming installment for the Nintendo 3DS.


The game is set in the Mushroom Kingdom, beginning as Mario and Luigi are relaxing in their house when the mail Parakoopa, Parakarry, arrives with a letter. Mario sends Luigi to fetch the mail, which turns out to be an invitation from Princess Peach to a party. Mario and Luigi then head to the castle, and as Mario is about to have some quiet time with Peach, Bowser appears. After Bowser's invasion and victory over Mario, the castle becomes attached to Bowser's fortress, which serves as the location for playable side quests of the kidnapped Peach. In the main quest, Mario tries to retrieve all of the Star Spirits on land, where most of the locations are linked to the central Toad Town, which acts as the game's hub area. The story's main conflict arises when Bowser invades Star Haven, the residence for the seven Star Spirits, and steals the Star Rod.


Paper Mario combines traditional role-playing game elements with concepts and features from the Mario series. For the majority of the games, the player controls Mario, who can jump and use his hammer to overcome physical obstacles placed in the game's overworld. Many of the game's puzzles and boundaries are based upon the abilities of Mario's partners, who each have a specialized skill required for progression in the game. The player accumulates partners as they advance into different locations; only one partner can accompany Mario in the overworld, although the player can interchange between them at any time. These characters also assist Mario in the game's turn-based battles, where damage inflicted against them results in temporary paralysis as the characters do not have individual HP statistics. Attacks in the game are similar to those in traditional RPGs, although the player can influence the power of a move when attacking or defending by timing a button-press accurately or performing some other action command as required. Mario and his partners have a finite capacity to perform special moves, with each of these consuming a particular number of flower points (FP) when performed. Such statistics can be increased by earning Star Points (experience points) in combat to level up. There is also an on-screen gauge to display Star Energy, which is required to perform another type of move that accumulate in number as the player advances through the game. The player can locate hidden battle upgrades in the game's overworld, which promotes one partner character to a new rank at a time.

Progression through Paper Mario depends upon interaction with the game's non-player characters (NPCs), who will often offer clues or detail the next event in the storyline. As in other RPGs, the player can find or purchase items from NPCs to help in and outside of combat. Badges can also be obtained that yield bonuses ranging from added moves to gradual health restoration during combat; each consumes a set number of Badge Points (BP), meaning Mario can only equip a limited number of badges at a time. Princess Peach is playable at particular points in the game as a recurring sidequest. The objectives and actions of each transition to Peach vary, although most are stealth-based.

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