Mario is off to collect the 7 crystal stars, hope he can defeat whatever is being held behind the door
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door is the second game in the Paper Mario series made for the Nintendo. Released in 2004 on Gamecube, this was an addition to the same ideas presented in the 64 version. RPG and Adventure elements with a linear storyline outside of only saving Princess Peach. New allies, power ups and badges provide an entertaining adventure for anyone that plays.
Plot: The story begins with Princess Peach arriving at Rogueport, a rough and tumble town near the Mushroom Kingdom. She is purchasing a magic treasure map from a local vendor. Peach then gets kidnapped by a villainous group called the X-nauts, but not before sending for Mario to join her treasure hunt. Upon Mario arriving in Rogueport, he immediately locates the map left by Peach, discovers the 1000 Year Door and slowly tracks down the 7 crystal stars following the map’s instructions. While following the maps directions, Mario periodically receives messages from Peach about her kidnappers and their intention to find all 7 crystal stars themselves. This sends Mario not only on a path to find the stars, but to save Peach once again.
Gameplay: Paper Mario: Thousand Year Door contains the same adventure and RPG elements that were presented in the 64 version. Mario levels up with experience, while his partners upgrade using “sun sprites” found throughout the game. The battle system is based on Mario’s performance with a crowd present. Mario and his partner fight using timed hits to make the crowd happy and apply good or bad effects to the people on stage. While progressing through the adventure, Mario receives “curses” that turn him into a paper plane or boat to assist in exploring new areas for treasure. The partner’s primer abilities also help in exploring for treasure throughout the game. 35 plus hours of gameplay gives the story time to flesh out with extra side-quests to complete.
Difficulty: A major challenge of the game is the timed hits in battle. Timed hits apply more damage to opponents and appeal to the crowd. Having bad timing can result in the crowd leaving slowly, throwing dangerous items at Mario and his partner, or less damage dealt to enemies. Anyone who finds this difficult may not succeed at the game. Attack items can be found and purchased to give the player an extra edge in battle, but do not deal as much damage as timed hits. Mushrooms found or purchased heal the party as there are not many healing abilities provided. Having proper badges equipped brings variety to each battle and makes Mario learn different timed hits and strategies when fighting various enemies. Exploring visited areas to re-explore can be time-consuming, but pays out with treasure and bonuses in the end, usually making Mario stronger.
Music: Yuka Tsujiyoko composed both Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. She creates a great atmosphere with the soundtrack for this game. When in Rogueport, a seafaring theme plays to guide Mario along. When in Glitzville, the crowd cheers as arena music blasts all around Mario. Eerie ambience and bell tolls are heard when visiting Twilight town. The music reminds players of other Mario games with bouncy and catchy tunes that adds great quality to the story.
Summary: The Paper Mario games are unique in their own regard, reminding me of older RPG’s like Earthbound and Dragon Warrior(s). They are simple and enjoyable for all ages, playing the game when it was released in 2004 and again in 2015 has shown me this. The Thousand Year door is a particular favorite of mine because of how fun it is and when hearing Luigi’s side adventure, it always makes me laugh. The battle system is simple to understand and just takes time and practice to maximize damage. The story is very involved and is written well so everyone playing enjoys the adventure. Definitely a game that will become a classic and I recommend playing.