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File:Paper Mario Group 2501.jpg

The first game in the Paper Mario series (called Paper Mario 64 for the sake of differentiation), released for the Nintendo 64 in 2001

The game starts when Mario and Luigi get an invitation from Princess Peach to attend a party at her castle. When Mario goes to have some alone time with Peach, the ground suddenly shakes and the castle suddenly rises into space with all of the guests still inside. It turns out that Bowser built his castle underneath Peach's and rose both of them up into space in a giant Koopa Clown Car. Bowser then appears and reveals he had stolen an artifact called the Star Rod from Star Haven, which he uses to effortlessly defeat Mario and throw him out the window to the world below.

Mario later wakes up in Goomba Village, where he receives a telepathic message from a star to go to Shooting Star Summit. Once there, the star, named Eldstar, tells Mario to find the seven star spirits, who have been kidnapped by Bowser's forces all over the Mushroom Kingdom. Mario then sets off, meeting a quirky cast of partners along the way.

Tropes used in Paper Mario 64 include:
  • Action Commands: Nearly every action has one.
  • Adult Fear: The Yoshis of Lavalava Island go into a panicked frenzy when their children get lost in the dangerous jungle.
  • Always Night: Shooting Star Summit and Forever Forest. You can actually see the sky fade into darkness as you approach either area, and then back to daylight as you leave.
  • An Ice Person: The Crystal King.
  • Anticlimax Boss:
    • Tubba Blubba turns out to be pathetically weak once he's no longer invincible (the chapter's actual Climax Boss was instead his own heart, which you fight right beforehand).
    • Even more so is Monstar, whose attacks never do more than 1 damage.
  • Anti-Grinding: The game refuses to give you Star Points if you defeat enemies that are too weak.
  • Badass Adorable: Anti Guy fits this pretty well, seeing as he's harder to beat than most of the bosses, and yet he says everything with hearts.
  • Badass Mustache: Mario and Luigi, who else?
  • Bait and Switch Boss: The Koopa Brothers reappear in Bowser's castle to fight you... before being knocked out by the actual Recurring Boss, Jr. Troopa.
  • Balcony Escape
  • Bonus Boss:
    • The Dojo Master, as well as the other disciples of the dojo. As you progress through the game, you can keep coming back for new dojo fights, each getting progressively harder until you reach the Master at his full strength.
    • In Chapter 4, the Anti-Guy guards a chest with a powerful badge; you can either beat him or bribe him with his Trademark Favorite Food (it must be cooked, and although the ingredients are easy to obtain, no recipe for Lemon Candy is ever given). He has no special abilities - just high hp and extremely high attack power.
      • The Anti-Guy appears again in the final chapter. At one point you take a three question quiz, and getting all wrong (you'd really have to do so intentionally) results in a fight with 'three' Anti-Guys at once.
    • Kent C. Koopa appears somewhere in the late game, blocking an early path to another town and demanding a rather hefty payment for safe passage. You can pay him the money, beat him up, or take the quicker underground shortcut like you normally do.
  • Book Ends: The prologue and epilogue involve the Mario Bros. being invited to a get-together at Peach's Castle. The only difference is that you're walking around in the castle in the prologue, and around town in the epilogue.
  • Boss Remix
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Goombario. Sometimes he catches himself doing it and apologizes.
  • Butt Monkey: Professor Kolorado. It's not apparent at first, but by the time Chapter 5 rolls around and he accompanies you to Lavalava Island, he's a walking slapstick comedy, getting minced by rolling spike Thwomps, falling 50 feet, and scorching himself in lava multiple times. Not to mention his wife who's usually annoyed that he's almost never at home and always doing expeditions, and eventually begins to send him letters demanding he return home immediately.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: You'll quickly notice that this game is a lot lighter than the sequels are.
  • Chain of Deals: The letter quest, which had you shuttling all over the Mushroom Kingdom delivering everybody's mail. Although it's worth it for a badge that dramatically boosts your evasion stat.
  • Character Development: Mostly regarding to Twink and Peach.
  • The Chew Toy: Kolorado, definitely.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: The entire penguin population of Shiver City, with the exception of Herringway, has a loose grip on reality and a really excitable nature. Mix this in with a serious penchant for gossip, and the slightest rumor can make them all go completely nuts.
  • Cognizant Limbs: The Lava Piranha. Notably, the fifth bosses in the two sequels follow his trend.
  • Collection Sidequest: The Star Pieces, which return in the sequel as well.
  • Combined Energy Attack: Used in the end of the game.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Mt. Lavalava. Reaches its logical conclusion when Misstar flies Mario and Kolorado out of it when it begins to erupt, and Kolorado's head is just grazing the surface of the lava as it shoots towards them.
  • Cosmetic Award: The Diploma for beating The Master. Other than just changing three conversations in the whole game, its Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Cowardly Boss: Tubba Blubba's heart.
  • Credits Montage
  • Crosshair Aware
  • Critical Status Buff: There are a number of Badges that boost Mario's attack power, defense, or evasiveness when his HP is low (5 points or less). "Danger Mario" is one Self-Imposed Challenge exploiting this by combining as many as possible and keeping Mario at 1 HP for as long as possible.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: The first Jump upgrade changes the timing of Mario's Jump action command, because it includes a Ground Pound. The second Jump upgrade changes the timing of the action command back, because it replaces the Ground Pound with a Spin Jump. This makes getting down the timing for Power Bounce tedious, to say the least.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Kammy Koopa proves to be this, investigating leads about Mario's progress throughout the game, and hindering him however she can. This comes to a head when she anticipates the possibility of Mario rescuing all seven Star Spirits, and prepares for it. The only reason Mario comes out okay is because of a Deus Ex Machina.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Lady Bow (succeeded by the Yoshi in the second game) specializes in doing a lot of damage in a flurry of attacks that do one damage each. Because of this, she can't do any damage to monsters with defense. She gets an upgraded attack later that deals two damage per hit for a grand total of ten - higher damage than any of your other partners can pull off in a turn.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Lakilester. After you beat him, he asks what you're fighting for. No matter what answer you give, he digs it and decides to join you.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Dry Dry Desert, Dry Dry Outpost, and Dry Dry Ruins. Apparently, one "dry" doesn't get the point across.
  • Detective Drama: The penguin murder mystery. Also gets paid homage to in the sequel.
  • Determinator: Jr. Troopa traverses through a mazelike forest, swims across the ocean twice, travels to barren icy lands and follows you into space to fight you. Just because you stepped foot in his playground once.
    • In fairness, all subsequent fights are probably more about him getting even after his defeat(s).
  • Distressed Damsel: Subverted somewhat, some sections have you take control of Peach sneaking around in the villain's lair trying to find information for Mario.
  • Disc One Nuke: If you try hard enough to scavenge the world for Star Pieces, you can buy such things as the Power Plus badge early on in the game. Once you get the Super Boots, you've got Ultra Boots attack power a few chapters early. On that note, a subtler example in that you can go and get the Ultra Boots as soon as Lakilester joins you and use them against Huff N. Puff.
    • The Star Storm power edges pretty close to this; you get it at the beginning of the fourth (out of eight total) chapter, and it deals 7 unblockable damage to all enemies on the field (in comparison, your regular attacks will never do more than 6 damage without any power-boosting badges). It costs two units of Star Power, which makes it just a bit too costly, but it still shreds through Mooks for most of the game.
  • Do Not Call Me Paul: Spike does not approve of being called Lakilester.
  • The Dragon: Kammy Koopa. Too bad you don't have a real fight with her.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Peach gets an umbrella that lets her take the form of others as a game show prize from a Koopatrol. She uses this to her advantage, although she doesn't find much out aside from Kammy apparently working on something special for Mario.
  • Dronejam: The Koopa Bros. keep you from moving to Koopa Village in Chapter 1, and the penguins in Shiver City will prevent you from leaving the area after you become the prime suspect in a murder.
  • Drop the Hammer: Mario.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: You can fight an enemy, Bzzap!, in Chapter 3. It isn't formally introduced to you until Chapter 6.
    • May double as Boss in Mook Clothing, depending on your level and build. It does 6 damage in one shot, but has a paltry 3 HP of its own. How many of these do you fight exactly?
    • Fighting a Koopatrol and Hammer Bro. in Shy Guy's Toy Box is also possible.
  • Easter Egg: In one room, you can transform Mario into his 8-bit form, complete with the classic tune.
  • Eggshell Clothing: Jr. Troopa.
  • Eleventh-Hour Superpower: Even the Star Beam gets cancelled out by Bowser's final-stage buff. Cue the Peach Beam.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: One of the few RPGs not to emphasize the system; yes, one exists, but it's little more than the general opposition of fire and water. Instead, the game chooses to emphasize a sort of Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors approach instead. For example: Pokeys have spines all over; Spiked Goombas only have spines up top. Any direct attack on a Pokey (such as Bow's Smack) will hurt the user, while only direct attacks from above (such as Parakarry's Dive) will hurt the user when attacking a Spiked Goomba. Indirect attacks always work.
    • And then there's that one enemy: The Spiked Parabuzzy. It has wings, so your hammer can't reach it. It's spiked, so you can't jump on it. What do you do? Well, Throwing Your Hammer Always Works...
    • Some of this does manage to go through though. That badge that gives you ice powers in Shy Guy's Toybox becomes very useful against the Lava Bubbles on Lavalava Island.
  • Elite Mooks: The Koopatrols.
  • Encounter Repellant: Several Badges allow you to avoid combat with enemies that no longer give you Star Points.
  • Enemy Scan: Tattle.
  • Enter Solution Here
  • Exact Eavesdropping: This happens several times per game.
  • Exit, Pursued by a Bear: Happens to Tutankoopa with his Chomps after defeating him.
  • Expy New variations on old enemy families appear. One example is the Clubba family, a variation on the Super Mario Bros 3 Spike enemies. (In Japan, Spikes are known as Gabon, and Clubbas are known as Gabon Hei, where "Hei" means "Soldier").
  • Fairy Battle
  • Fake Weakness: You can have Peach tell Bowser that Mario is vulnerable to healing potions; he'll then scatter them throughout the next game area. Also an example of Too Dumb to Live; he believes that Mario hates mushrooms after decades of rivalry.
    • Gets lampshaded by Kammy when she wonders if the healing items and power ups are really things Mario fears after she conjures them up.
  • Fan Nickname: Solid Peach.
  • Fantastic Racism: Implied.
  • Flunky Boss: King Goomba, Tutankoopa, General Guy, the Lava Piranha, Huff n' Puff and the Crystal King.
  • Funetik Aksent
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: At the end of Chapter 5, Jr. Troopa finally catches up to you... only when you leave the island. When he fights you back at the pier, Jr. Troopa's health is significantly dropped due to swimming across the ocean. Twice.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: During one side quest, you have to return a video tape for a character. After you return it, the character says something along the lines of "You're probably wondering what was on that tape... I'll tell you when you're older." This is repeated in the other two games.
    • Wait. . . Mario's got a mustache. Just how old should he be before he's old enough? o_O
  • Giant Space Flea From Nowhere: The Blooper, Electro Blooper, and Super Blooper, who all appear out of nowhere screaming "BLOOPER!" in huge text while you're exploring the sewers below Toad Town. Although, by the time you see the Super Blooper, the shock has all but worn off.
  • Glass Cannon: The Bzzap! enemy. It does damage comparable to that dealt by late-game bosses, but it has less HP than some Mooks in the very first dungeon. You can encounter a group of them much earlier than you're supposed to, earning you tons of experience.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: Jr. Troopa.
  • Good Feels Good: Lakilester.
  • Goomba Stomp: One of Mario's main attacks, the other being his hammer. Ironically, only Goombario and Goombella, both of whom are Goombas themselves, have similar jump attacks.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: In the prologue.
  • Ground Pound
  • Guide Dang It: Some puzzles, recipes, and other optional things.
  • Heel Face Turn: Lakilester.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits
  • Hive Mind: Huff N. Puff. When damage he splits off into several Tuff Puffs which have their own sentience. They refer to Huff himself as Master, despite being smaller parts of him. So it seems Huff is made of roughly 80 individual Tuff Puffs that you knock off and then kill as the battle goes on. As they're knocked off, they are seperated from the central mind and become independent (but still loyal) once more.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Bowser at the beginning of the game.
  • Hub Level: Toad Town.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Bowser mecha.
  • Hypocrisy Nod: During the course of the game, there's a news bulletin in Toad Town that has different news articles on the front Mario can read and underground gossip on the back. One time, the back reads, "Both people who read and write these messages must have nothing to do but gossip. Of course, I'm one of 'em."
  • Idiosyncratic Combo Levels: Nice, Good, and Super.
  • Idle Animation: The characters fall asleep if you don't move them for too long.
  • Implacable Koopa: Jr. Troopa just WON'T STOP.
  • Incest Subtext: Believe it. In the Japanese version, one of Quizmo's questions is What best describes the relationship between Mario and Luigi? One of the answer options is "LOVERS".
  • Inconsistent Dub: Watt is referred to as both a "he" and a "she," depending on where the text is. Officially, she's female.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: Merlon and his family. A character in the second game tells you that they are from a special tribe that names their members based on their profession.
  • Infernal Retaliation: After you seemingly defeat Lava Piranha, he comes back in a second phase where his attack is increased and he's on fire, preventing physical attacks.
  • Invisible Anatomy
  • Item Crafting: Cooking, which either improves one item or combines two items for a greater effect.
  • Just Add Water: Cooking.
  • Just Eat Him: Tubba Blubba terrorizes the Boos by turning them into snacks.
  • Killer Rabbit: The Anti-Guys, and Amazy Dayzees if they choose to attack.
  • King Mook: Tubba Blubba is a much larger, invincible variation of the Clubba enemies. However, Tubba is also a small subversion in that in his normal state he's really vastly weaker then the average Clubba and something of a crybaby to boot; his incredible powers came from the fact that Bowser used stolen wish magic to separate and hide Tubba's heart, which rendered Tubba's body as an invulnerable puppet. Tubba's heart is the true boss fight, as normal Tubba has only 10 HP.
    • King Goomba is about as straight as it gets; Bowser enhanced him with the power of the Star Rod and left him to govern the lands west of the Mushroom Kingdom. Unlike Tubba, he retains his enhanced powers, though he shows up in other games using the moniker Goomboss.
    • This is technically all over the place in the Paper Mario series, as most bosses can generally be considered the strongest members of their species; many of these bosses are actually variations of the trope, mainly as though the developers said "Well, we've already got a King Mook, what else can we come up with?"
      • The Koopa Bros are a selection of four Koopa Troopas mixed with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
      • Tutankoopa is a koopa with a running motif of Pop Ancient Egyptology.
      • General Guy is a Shy Guy with, well, military stylings.
      • Lava Pirahna is a gigantic Pirahna Plant with fire powers. Especially during round two.
      • Huff N. Puff is a giant Ruff Puff, and, when damaged, breaks up into a a smattering of tiny "Tuff Puffs", which can attack or be reabsorbed to heal Huff... unless Mario and company can destroy them first.
      • The Crystal King is a subversion, being unique among Bowser's minions.
      • Jr. Troopa technically counts, though he's a miniboss example; by the end of the game he has powers that far outshine the average koopa.
  • Large Ham: A good portion of the series' humor revolves around just how over the top some of the characters speak and act, especially the villains.
  • Leitmotif: Several bosses have distinct theme music, most notably, the Koopa Bros.
  • Lemony Narrator: "Who stuck that weird thing into the story?" (referring to the picture of Kammy taped into the picture of the Star Spirits in the intro)
  • Level Up Fill Up
  • Limit Break: Mario's "Special Moves" are powered by limit break points called "Star Power". Mario gets eight of these special moves over the course of the first game and each uses a different amount of Star Power.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Lampshaded. Twink sees Peach's dresses are all the same, and she is adamant that they are different.
  • Long Speech Tea Time: It's a Running Gag in the series to make Mario fall asleep during a long, dull story.
  • Lovely Assistant: Parodied with Chuck Quizmo's assistant, a Toad named Vanna T
  • The Magnificent: Bowser gets several titles.
  • The Man Behind the Monsters
  • Metal Slime: Amazy Dayzees, which could qualify as Bosses in Mook Clothing if they ever bothered to stay and fight.
  • Mini Game
  • Mirror Routine: Done by Duplighosts in the Crystal Palace.
    • Subverted in that they do it horribly at one point. When Kooper comes back with four of them, they're disguised as Kolorado, Goompa, Luigi, and Koopa Koot. Kooper gets really mad if you pick the wrong one on purpose.
  • Monster Town: Found all over the games populated by members of enemy races that are friendly to Mario.
  • Mook Bouncer: The UFO creatures in Tubba Blubba's mansion.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Nearly all of Mario's companions are heroic individuals of the various enemy types. Other friendly versions of the enemies also appear, implying that not all of them work for Bowser.
  • Mythology Gag: K64, the train that travels between Toad Town and Mt. Rugged, looks a lot like the train from Kalimari Desert in Mario Kart 64. The music that plays during the train ride is a remix of the Kalimari Desert theme.
  • Never Say "Die": Blatantly averted in Chapter 7, which contains liberal usages of words like dead, death, kill, killer, murder, etc...
  • Nigh Invulnerability: Bowser while using the Star Rod.
  • Ojou: Bow
  • Ominous Floating Castle: Bowser's Castle. Mario as a series loves these levels.
  • One of These Doors Is Not Like the Other
  • One Steve Limit: Vanna T.'s Japanese name is Kinopiko, which is also Toadette's Japanese name.
  • Palette Swap: There's a zillion of them in each game....
  • Paper Fan of Doom: Bow uses one.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: You can get yourself into a fight with some Bzzaps! (bee-like enemies) in Chapter 3, though they're Chapter 6 enemies. Thanks to the game's usage of Anti-Grinding and the Bzzap's Glass Cannon status, you can use them to reap plenty of experience.
  • Perky Female Minion: Kammy may count; most moments starring her show that her personality is pretty upbeat for someone who gets verbally abused as often as she does.
  • Playable Epilogue: Of the "explore after the final boss but load the game before it" variety. Which turns out to be nearly in the same situation as the playable prologue.
  • Pop Quiz: Chuck Quizmo can be found in random spots and will give you a question every time you talk. Successfully answering a question gets you a Star Piece, and he has 64 different questions.
  • Power of Love: The Star Spirits only grant good and selfless wishes, so when Peach and the grand majority of the Mushroom Kingdom wishes for the Star Spirits to be powerful enough to defeat Bowser, the Right Makes Might-o-meter goes Up to Eleven, into full Deus Ex Machina territory. Powered by love.
  • Powers as Programs: The Badge system works this way. Some badges contain special moves for Mario's hammer and jump, while others contain status buffs or immunities for Mario or his partners.
  • Preexisting Encounters
  • Punny Name: The Toads of Toad Town all have names that end in "T." This creates several punny names describing them, such as Tayce T., the chef.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: You're joined by a Mario fanboy, a wannabe archaeologist, a pink exploding tomboy, an absent-minded postman, a ghostly Ojou, a baby spark of electricity, a fussy nanny fish, and a p-whipped cloud-riding punk.
  • Rainbow Speak
  • Random Effect Spell: Mysteries, which can give you a surprising number of good things. They cost only 1 coin (3 in the sequel), so they're not a bad investment.
  • Recurring Boss: Jr. Troopa.
  • Recurring Traveller: Chuck Quizmo, Kolorado and the Castle Maids.
  • Redundant Researcher: Kolorado.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Merlee always talks like this.
  • Rock of Limitless Water: The Crystal Stone, needed as part of a Fetch Quest in the Flower Fields.
  • Say It with Hearts: And stars, and musical notes...
  • Scenery Porn: The cartoony, paper environments in all games are just amazing to look at. Especially in Star Way, where you can look back at the path you came from and see how awesome it is.
  • Second Place Is for Winners: During one of the sections in which you control Peach, you take part in a game-show-like quiz. First prize is a rather helpful item you can send Mario, but the consolation prize is the Sneaky Parasol, necessary to complete the game.
  • Secret Diary: Bowser and Luigi each have one.
  • Sequential Boss: General Guy.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Mihn T.'s Japanese name is Lip. Both characters are associated with flowers.
    • In the same vein, Herringway the penguin novelist.
  • Shows Damage: Happens with a few bosses, such as Huff N. Puff.
  • Shrinking Violet: One of the Dryites in Dry Dry Outpost is very much so this. Though well-informed, he says everything through his friend and shies away if Mario tries talking directly to him.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Tayce T. from the first game and Zess T. from the second game are sisters, and near opposites in terms of personality.
  • Sic Em: Tends to happen in the cutaway scenes between chapters.
  • Smooch of Victory: When you return Goombaria's Princess Peach doll, she gives Mario one of these and a Star Piece.
    • The fifth Star Power, Smooch, has Misstar kiss Mario on the cheek to heal him for 20 HP.
  • Sound of No Damage: A soft "clink", like a small object falling into a tin cup, is heard when an enemy fails to damage Mario with an attack (or vice versa). It's always accompanied by a small yellow star graphic, instead of the large white star indicating damage.
  • Spiritual Sequel: Of Super Mario RPG.
  • Sprite Polygon Mix: Though technically they aren't sprites, they're flat 3D models. (This can be noticed whenever someone turns around.)
  • Standard Status Effects
  • Star Power: The star spirits.
  • Star-Shaped Coupon
  • Stealth Based Mission: Every Peach section is 80% this. Tubba Blubba's Castle also requires a bit of sneaking around with your new Boo partner.
  • Storybook Opening: Bowser hijacks the intro by sellotaping Kammy onto the background.
  • Super Drowning Skills
  • Suspicious Videogame Generosity: There is a health-restoring block and a save point before each major boss.
  • Sweet Tooth: If you want to get the Power Plus badge the Anti-Guy is guarding without fighting him, you can bribe him with a Lemon Candy.
    • To say nothing of Gourmet Guy's cake fetish...
  • Ted Baxter: Kolorado, to an extent; this type of character joining you in the fifth chapter is a recurring element in the series.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Played straight and lampshaded.
  • Theme Naming
    • Most of the Toads have Punny Names that end in the letter "T" (Felissa T., Mihn T., etc).
    • Another theme throughout the entire series is having the wizards' names begin with "Merl" in homage to Merlin.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: During the You Can't Thwart Stage One/Final Boss Preview battle at the very beginning of the game, Mario is reduced to two Heart Points, and Bowser decides to finish him off with an attack worth 10 Attack Points! (It's important to note that you only have 10 HP to start with.)
  • Toy Time: Shy Guy's Toy Box
  • Useless Useful Spell: The curses you can inflict on yourself in the game give random effects out on occasion, such as doubling your attack power/defense, your experience, or the money you earn from your victory. Unfortunately, said curses have a high tendency to activate when there's absolutely no need for them, such as stomping on the average Goomba, getting double Star Points when you only got one from the battle, and having your defense raised when the only enemy left is flipped on its back unable to do anything.
  • Verbal Tic
    • Fuzzies...MEEEOOORK!!!
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Bowser's castle floating in space.
  • Video Game 3D Leap: While Super Mario RPG, of which PM is a Spiritual Sequel, was technically already in 3D to begin with (using computer-rendered sprites and backgrounds a la Donkey Kong Country), this game upgrades to fully three-dimensional geometries - well, except for the characters.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential
    • Hitting the Whacka.
      • Hit the Whacka eight times, and he dies for good.
      • And if you talk to him in between the whacks leading up, he apparently becomes more and more incoherent and confused. So not only do you kill him, but you give him brain damage leading up to it as well.
    • Poor Goomba.
    • When an enemy is impersonating one of your partners and you have to hit the one you think is "fake", you can "accidentally" attack your real partner.
  • Voice for The Voiceless: Mario's various partners act as this for him.
  • Wasted Song: "Sun's Tower".
  • We Cannot Go on Without You: And HOW.
  • Welcome to Corneria: Subverted with the residents of the Hub Level, who will change their dialogue after each chapter (many having mini-stories of their own) but played straight with most of the other locations, where the residents typically only have pre-chapter, sometimes mid-chapter, and post-chapter dialogue that stays the same for the rest of the game. Some get post-game dialogue, as well.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: After you defeat Lakilester in battle, his girlfriend, Lakilulu, will ask you politely to spare his life. If you answer "No" she will get angry, throw a Spiny at you, and ask you again.
  • What Could Have Been: Paper Mario was originally planned out as a sequel to Super Mario RPG, but Square (known now as Square Enix) and Nintendo had had a falling out a few years prior, so the name had to be changed.
  • You All Look Familiar: A favorite target of one of the game's frequent Lampshade Hangings.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One
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