Paper Mario Color Splash Articles RSS Feed | Paper Mario Color Splash RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Paper Mario's 5 Most Memorable Moments Thu, 09 Jul 2020 12:24:06 -0400 Josh Broadwell


Paper Mario Color Splash's True Ending


Paper Mario: Color Splash was bound to be a divisive Paper Mario game, but it still has its fair share of good moments.


Spoilers ahead, of course.


Conceived in that odd period where Nintendo insisted it knew what fans wanted and needed because the Wii and DS sold well, Color Splash continued Sticker Star’s unfortunate — and unnecessary — trend of trying to distinguish itself separate from RPGs. The result was still ultimately an RPG (go figure), but one with a few vital points taken out.


The trade-off was getting to enjoy the gorgeous environments and colorful characters Mario encountered this time around. Huey might not get the most attention, being cursed as the obligatory tutorial character. But he’s one of the best side characters since The Thousand Year Door. That’s largely down to having more personality than the likes of Kersti, who was basically just a Starlow rehash, or the Pixls who just… existed. 


Huey’s a scrappy lil’ guy with a wide range of emotions, some quick-witted retorts, and a penchant for breaking the fourth wall in as dry a way as possible. Maybe it’s because you’re in his world, restoring color that he represents, but Huey also seems more closely tied to Mario and the Color Splash journey.


So you really feel it at the end when that one thing happens, much more so than the end of Sticker Star. It’s the first time since TTYD where Paper Mario managed to pluck the heartstrings again, even more so because you don’t necessarily see what happens next unless you get the secret ending.


There are no Disney-style Mario tears to bring Huey back to life this time. It’s a subtle moment where Huey (in the yellow circle) rejoins the fabric of his world, and this story comes to an end.




Our picks for the best Paper Mario moments are just the beginning. The series is brimming with memorable moments, so sound off in the comments and let us know yours! Paper Mario: The Origami King is set to release on July 17, here's to hoping for many more memorable moments to this new entry to Mario's most unique spin-offs.


Luigi as Mr. L


Poor Luigi. He’s been in the limelight just as long as his sainted brother, but despite having his very own (and very fun) spinoff series, Luigi never gets the same kind of love and attention. Paper Mario adds insult to injury most of the time.


In the original, Luigi quietly stews in his own jealousy while Mario’s off on a grand adventure. His only reward for tending the home fires, making sure meals are cooked, and generally whiling the time away by pining for a better life is leading the parade on Mario’s return. Mario’s parade — not his.


In The Thousand Year Door, Luigi tries setting off on his own adventure paralleling Mario’s. He’s off to rescue Princess Eclair in the Waffle Kingdom. Do we get to hear about it? Only in long bouts of exposition. 


Super Paper Mario finally sees Luigi come into his own. He’s briefly playable, but more importantly, he’s a recurring enemy. He even has a big destiny and important role to play, as foretold by the ancients.


Granted, Count Bleck brainwashes Luigi and turns him into Mr. L. to “help” him fulfill that destiny. But you gotta know Mr. L constantly harassing Mario, attacking him, and trying to be the hero was really just the true Luigi crying out for validation and love. Poor Weegee.


Bowser Doing Anything in The Thousand Year Door


Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga started Bowser on his road to comedic relief. But Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door proved the Koopa King’s talents were decidedly not strongest in the evil villain department.


TTYD shifted Bowser from the primary antagonist role he occupied in the original Paper Mario to that of wannabe bad guy always left behind.


Bowser never catches up to Mario, let alone Peach, until the very end. Which is just fine, since it leaves plenty of room for a variety of antics between him and Kammy Koopa.


These are definitely some of the game’s — maybe even the series’ — funniest moments, whether Kammy’s mourning the loss of her brown bag blimp lunch after Bowser refuses to take a ride or Bowser’s terrorizing the inhabitants of Rogueport.


His role in TTYD also made Bowser playable for the first time ever in Mario games, which is kind of a big deal. It probably isn’t a stretch to say the Bowser segments were the precursor for the Mega Mushroom. You have two goals: destroy as much as possible and get swole while doing it.


These aren’t touching like Peach’s segments. They’re just fun because breaking things is fun and breaking things as Bowser is even more fun.


Peach + TEC


The first Paper Mario introduced a side story for Peach. It was an interesting way to give Peach a new level of relevance while showing off life under Bowser’s occupation, but it also felt somewhat non-essential.


Peach outwits Bowser’s cruel and dense guards to find information that helps Mario on his quest. Maybe it would have been different if Peach’s segments were more common.


Either way, non-essential is definitely not how you could describe Thousand Year Door’s side story for Peach. It’s miles ahead of the original, and aside from being probably more relevant to the overall story than Mario’s own actions, it actually managed to be touching as well.


Slight spoilers follow.


Peach is once again held captive in an enemy stronghold. This time, she strikes up an unusual friendship — unusual because it’s with a computer, the X-Naut main system TEC XX. It’s friendship for Peach but something more for TEC, who falls in love with the Mushroom Kingdom’s most eligible princess. That’s a strange scenario that could easily just seem farcical.


But repeated conversations and interactions where TEC proves his devotion, plus that bittersweet dancing mini-game and TEC’s final sacrifice, make it touching and add a great deal more weight to Peach’s role in Thousand Year Door, particularly when considering what TEC knows about the X-Naughts’ plans.


Yes, it’s technically a series of best moments, but Peach and TEC’s story is still one of the best Paper Mario moments.


Meeting Your First Partner


Meeting Goombario in the original Paper Mario might seem like a strange choice for one of the best Paper Mario moments, but it was a sign of something big and new for the famous plumber and a big step up from his previous RPG adventure.


Don’t get me wrong. Super Mario RPG is a great game with plenty of memorable characters (looking at you, Geno). It’s also very much a Mario-meets-Squaresoft game.


All of Mario’s new partners and friends in Super Mario RPG, and even the villain, are slightly random. A talking cloud-mellow, what's basically Pinocchio in blue, and an evil sword thing determined to supplant Bowser as Chief Bad.


There’s nothing wrong with that. Heck, it’s the kind of adventurous experimentation a lot of games need anyway — but Mario embarking on a brand-new adventure with Mario characters by his side like we see in Paper Mario is something special.


Here was the start of a journey delving into the Mushroom Kingdom and putting its stars at the forefront instead of leaving them as supporting cast. And more than that, it gave everyone much more personality, even former enemies.


The irony of a Goomba idolizing Mario (how many of your forebears has his squashed, Goombario?) is uniquely Paper Mario, but even aside from setting the game’s comedic tone, it showed there was a lot more to the Mushroom Kingdom than just jumping high.


Paper Mario is one of Nintendo’s most beloved spinoff series, and it’s not hard to see why. Every game, even the iffy ones, are oozing with charm and character. And every game has at least one big standout moment that grabs your heart, breaks new ground for the series, or is just incredibly fun and ridiculous.


With Paper Mario: The Origami King lurking just over the horizon, we’ve combed through the Paper Mario series and picked out five of the best Paper Mario moments ever.

Is The Paper Mario Series Dying? Wed, 04 Jan 2017 11:00:02 -0500 Rob Kershaw

The once-celebrated Paper Mario series has had a rough few years. At one point it was considered to be one of the highlights of the plumber's deviation from the platformers which made him famous. However, recent releases in the RPG series have seen diminishing returns, and with good reason: they're simply not as good.

Where Did The Story Go?

The first game in the series, Paper Mario, was a revelation. It followed on from Super Mario RPG genre-wise, but established an entirely unique aesthetic in the process. It looked great, it sounded great, and proved that the iconic character really could hold his own in a genre more traditionally populated by teenagers with blue spiky hair and huge weapons. The Thousand Year Door took things even further, with reams of text and a wonderfully weird story that was lauded by players and critics alike.

But with the release of Sticker Star on 3DS, something changed. The focus shifted away from the story-heavy elements that embodied the core of the previous titles, in favour of more accessible gameplay. This, in part, was due to Miyamoto himself questioning whether a story was required in the latest iteration. He may have had a point: the 3DS already had another RPG series in the form of Mario & Luigi, and there was a risk of saturating the handheld with two similar franchises.

However, it could be argued that Mario & Luigi is a comedy RPG series, in comparison to the (ever-so-slightly) more serious tone of Paper Mario. The mechanics of the brothers' franchise were also much different to the solo plumber's quest in Paper Mario. Either way, something was lost in Sticker Star and subsequently the Wii U's Color Splash, despite the relentless meta-jokes and self-referential winks to the red one's career. Humour alone does not make a story, as critics were quick to point out.

Where Did The Fun Go?

A lot of the blame for the decline in Paper Mario's quality can be laid at the feet of the gameplay. Sticker Star simplified many of the game's elements to the point of dreary repetition. Encounters were frequent, and the actual combat was dull. Color Splash basically substituted stickers for cards, but went one step further by attempting to incorporate the Wii U's GamePad into proceedings. The result was disastrous; each round involved you selecting the cards you wanted to use, then selecting the power of each card, then flicking the cards at the TV from your controller. The GamePad's process added literally nothing to the game that couldn't have been handled on-screen, other than extending the length of combat to tortuous levels.

Combat also turned out to be a closed loop of pointlessness. Rewards from battles were either coins which could be used to buy cards, or cards themselves. There was no levelling up, no experience to be gained. At times, your HP would be increased when you reached particular points in the game, but otherwise there was no incentive to fight. After a few hours of playing, you'd be forgiven for dodging battles as frequently as the game would allow.

Fun, it wasn't.

Where Did The Sales Go?

Even taking into account the gameplay changes, when it comes to commissioning a new iteration in a series, the bottom line is king. Unfortunately, sales is perhaps one of the biggest issues the Paper Mario series is suffering from. Color Splash bombed horribly. VGChartz reports that it sold 420,000 units as of November last year. Compared to Sticker Star, that's a drop of over 80% in sales.

Of course, the 3DS has performed admirably worldwide, unlike the Wii U's nosediving unit sales, but when you consider that the original sixteen-year-old title on N64 sold three times as many copies as Color Splash, Nintendo will surely be weighing up the series' future when the Switch is launched.


Is it the end for the once-lauded franchise? That depends on two factors: the appetite for another chapter, and the performance of the upcoming Switch. Fans were vocal about the perceived "dumbing down" of the last two Paper Mario games, and in particular the similarities in Color Splash's gameplay which many felt were simply Sticker Star's mechanics retooled for the Wii U.

Similarly, Nintendo will likely wait and see what the uptake of their new hybrid console is before pitching another Paper Mario title. If their failed console taught them anything, it's that more of the same simply isn't going to sell. It's also not beyond the realms of possibility that they'll be facing off against another Mario & Luigi title, given the portable nature of the Switch. The future isn't looking too rosy for the paper plumber's RPG outing but, as is so often the case, Nintendo may yet surprise us all.

What are your thoughts on the Paper Mario series? Can it bounce back? Let us know in the comments!

How the Paper Mario Series Went Rogue and Needs to Come Back Mon, 07 Nov 2016 02:00:02 -0500 Angelo De Bellis

The recent bout of portable and console Paper Mario games have strayed from the well-established RPG formula used in the original titles, causing the very identity of the series to decay. The series simply doesn’t feel like it once did.

The transition began with Sticker Star and continues in Paper Mario: Colour Splash, though to a much lesser extent than its handheld predecessor. What once began as a competent RPG series, albeit with far fewer intricacies than a traditional game within the genre, has become a mess of action, adventure, and RPG elements. Combined, these genre crossovers don’t make for very enjoyable Paper Mario games.

Certain advances are totally acceptable when it comes to modernizing a franchise, but I’m sure many fans have easily detected that the Paper Mario series has been superseded by the Mario and Luigi series. The comedy and nonsensical joy inherent in the Paper Mario series is still there in Sticker Star and Color Splash, but the battle systems and travel systems have all been replaced with features that aren’t all that compelling.

A Hunt for Weapons

A total shock to the beloved series, Paper Mario: Sticker Star does away with the leveling system by forcing you to collect stickers as a stand-in currency for attacks. In the former games, basic attacks would permanently exist, and only specialized attacks required collecting. And even once you've discovered these specialized attacks, called badges, you’d be able to use them during any battle, so long as you had enough BP to do so.

The worst feeling in both Sticker Star and Color Splash is running out of attacks. Because you have to find attacks -- yes it sounds weird to even mention it -- they can run out rather quickly if you’re not careful. But this type of management is not fun or complex in the way that conserving SP or items is. If you’ve run out of stickers in the 3DS game, you have to go hunting for more moves, and in Color Splash you have the option of spending coins once a turn to nab an additional attack, but it’s all so tedious.

Source: KoopaTV

Just include the attacks and make the battle systems more robust! In previous games, when a battle began, you’d get right into it. In Sticker Star you have to select a sticker from your collection on the 3DS touchscreen; even worse, the Wii U Paper Mario has you select and ready battle cards from the GamePad, paint them, confirm that painting is complete, and then swipe them up to the battle screen on your TV. It’s obnoxious and needlessly obtuse.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door did not subscribe to this kind of tedium. You were able to attack at the start of battle with a quick selection screen, and the complexity was found in the various party members you took along with you on your journey. That’s how it should be done -- complexity in battle systems should not mean profuse frustration caused by cumbersome selection sequences. The complexity of the battle systems in the new games are more with the battle procedure than the battle itself.

Throw Me a Bone... Please

The most apparent loss when it comes to the systems adopted by modern Paper Mario games, is the leveling up system. As mentioned earlier, Paper Mario: Sticker Star made the audacious move of sacrificing statistics for stickers, and what is an RPG without stats? Perhaps it was a calculated maneuver to make the series more viable for youngsters playing on the go, but it’s not a decision that I see benefitting the series.

Source: IGN

In the original Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Mario leveled up by collecting 100 stars gained from battle. You could then up his stats like HP, FP, or BP, leading to a sense of progression. In Sticker Star and Color Splash, there aren’t really any progression systems that make battling feel like an endeavor to advance Mario’s abilities, save for the ability to upgrade Mario’s paint hammer in the latter title. Even then, it’s only a twinkle of an RPG element.

This omission really makes battles feel inconsequential. Every battle encountered only serves to progress the game. The lack of a feedback loop points to a once-RPG gone rogue, then having its identity pulled from a bunch of other genres, however, this isn’t a good look.

Mixed Identities

Say what you may about the recent Mario and Luigi games, but they have certainly come into their own. Though they may be riddled with awkward text and some uninspired locations lending themselves to bland stories, but the battle systems are very RPG-like and quite varied. The series, once an interesting derivative of the Paper Mario series, or the other way around depending on how you look at it, now employs systems that should have been injected into the new Paper Mario games.

In Paper Mario: Color Splash, after the ritual of selecting and painting battle cards, you are treated with an effortless A button command used to execute attacks. Whether you’re attacking with Mario’s crushing boots or heavy-headed hammer, the input method used to initiate the attack is all the same. Needless to say, it becomes rather tiresome after but a few turns.

The latest Mario and Luigi game, Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam, made use of bountiful RPG elements when it came to battle. The Bros. attacks offered varied gameplay in the middle of battle, tasking both brothers and Paper Mario to use unique input patterns to conquer their enemies. It’s a much better approach than timing presses of the A button to win.

One Disjointed Step at a Time

More than just the battle system melting out of the series, recent Paper Mario titles have taken systems that don’t make much sense; unless, in some sick twist, the creators want to make the Paper Mario franchise a Super Mario Bros. game. I’m talking about the use of overworld map screens.

My revulsion toward a map system may seem a little misplaced, but let me remind you that it’s the map system that lays out how the game will progress. The map systems guide and segues one sequence of events to another, making the newer Paper Mario games feel more like short levels than fully developed areas. And maybe that makes sense for a 3DS game, because you can pick up the game and play in short bursts, but for a console Paper Mario, I refuse to believe the staccato approach is better than the exploratory experiences offered by the senior games.

Source: Nintendo Wire

If Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine are akin to the Paper Mario of the past -- with enclosed spaces that include more than one objective hidden amongst other interactive elements -- then the Super Mario Bros. games are akin to the current generation’s Paper Mario titles -- with short, often linear objectives to reach the goal.

Whiteout on the Page

I know, I know. You’re probably freaking out about my omission of Super Paper Mario, the Wii game that played ever so closely to a Super Mario Bros. game. I’ve left that game out of the argument because it did maintain the deep RPG elements of previous titles. Even though it did away with the turn-based systems emblematic of the series, the level grinding, puzzle elements, and party systems remained secure.

Source: Amazon

It may not be popular opinion, but I think Super Paper Mario did an admirable job of upending the tea table while still oozing with Paper Mario traditions. When Paper Mario: Sticker Star landed in my hands, it wasn’t hard to tell that the removal of the battle system made the game suffer. In Super Paper Mario the dimension mechanic that enabled you to switch the game from 2D to 3D, along with the exclusive abilities of the Pixls, more than made up for the neglect of the battle system. With a well-balanced approach to game design, Super Paper Mario was deserving of the illustrious Paper Mario name.

Turning the Page

There is much to be done when it comes to reeling the series back in. Paper Mario: Color Splash does do a better job than Sticker Star did, at least with the frugality imposed by the paint system exhibits a glimmer of RPGish elements -- but the progression systems, and puzzle-like elements provided by the inclusion of party members are all lost. That and the structure of the game remains more portable-inspired. Hopefully, once the stickers fall off, and the fresh coat of paint dries, a new Paper Mario game -- something a little more rooted in its days of yore -- will show up on the Nintendo Switch.

Paper Mario: Color Splash - How to get Plum Park's second Mini Paint Star Thu, 13 Oct 2016 00:25:43 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Plum Park may be one of the areas I remember best in Paper Mario: Color Splash, and if you've made it all the way through and gotten the first Mini Paint Star in the area you very well may agree. It's the second area you come across that's a little challenging and three iconic characters from the series (one of which being hidden) make an appearance.

It's all fun and games until you can't find a Mini Paint Star, though. And Plum Park's second one is nowhere to be seen when you make your way through the park the first time around.

Once you purify the park's waters via a Petea pummeling the park's waters become safe to traverse and the flowers that were closed when the water was poisoned are now in full bloom, which is exactly how you got the first Mini Paint Star.

The second one is also inside a blooming flower but even if you wander the park a couple times over you're not going to get a single glance of its location nor are you going to hear the sparkling sound. Instead you've got to pay attention to what walkways are available.

When you first enter Plum Park make a right at the entrance garden just as you did when the water supply was poisoned.

Now here's the hard part:

On this screen, look just below the bridge for a lily pad and jump on it. What's that you see? The edge of a Mini Paint Star?

Jump on the next two lily pads and then onto the flower to grab it up.

I may have lied about this one being hard to get. It is one of the easiest to get in Color Splash and is only two screens into the area. There just aren't any indicators it's nearby.

Let this serve as a reminder to keep your eyes open for small hints and hidden walkways. I'll remember Plum Park for a few reasons, none of those reasons being this Mini Paint Star.

Paper Mario: Color Splash - How to get Chateau Chanterelle's Green Mini Paint Star Thu, 13 Oct 2016 00:19:37 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Chateau Chanterelle may be one of the smallest areas in Paper Mario: Color Splash, but it plays some key parts in your adventure during the early parts of the game. Hosting two Mini Paint Stars and a vital item to progressing at one point, you're probably going to be coming here one or two more times than you'd like.

Getting the first Mini Paint Star in Chateau Chanterelle is easy enough, but what about the green one you see on top of the barn? Also pretty easy, provided you have a keen eye.

First things first: Make your way through the professor's house and out to the Princess's house -- Princess's house being the doghouse out in the backyard.

Press A at the front of Princess's house to slip inside, once you do so walk right and head up.

You'll come to the area behind the barn that's closed off from the outside (you can paint the gate to make it usable). From here you can check the two barn doors to see what's inside, which you should definitely do.

To get to the Green Mini Paint Star you need to make sure both barn doors are closed, then get in the right position to use the Cutout ability.

Getting in the right position can take a bit to align just right. If you're having trouble take a look at the image below to see where Mario should be standing to make the Cutout work.

Cut out the dotted line, walk on up, and voila! You now have another Mini Paint Star to add to your collection and have opened up another area.

This won't be the last time you're here at Chateau Chanterelle, but next time you're here on more cryptic business. Don't worry about that for now, just keep pushing forward with Huey and finding those Paint Stars.

Paper Mario: Color Splash - How to find the Bone to beat Iggy in the Golden Coliseum Mon, 10 Oct 2016 11:49:11 -0400 Ashley Shankle

The fight against Iggy at the Golden Coliseum is interesting if nothing else. Like most of the bosses in Paper Mario: Color Splash you need a specific Thing in your deck of cards to best him, and if the admittance Shy Guy is any indication that Thing is a Bone. He does say it enough, after all.

Wandering around the Coliseum, you meet some Shy Guys trying to find a weapon they stole from Marmalade Valley. It's obvious this weapon is the Thing you need, but if you travel to Marmalade Valley to find another Bone to take to the fight a Toad will tell you it's been stolen. You can't buy a new one from the Wringer in Port Prisma either, and the know-it-all Toad tells you the item is in the Golden Coliseum.

From here you head back to the Coliseum and speak to the admittance Shy Guy inside the Golden Coliseum he asks if you're bad to the bone. Normally you'd say yes -- that seems like the natural thing to do -- but instead you need to respond with "I.. I don't know..." and the Shy Guy sends you on your way.

Now you can finally explore the area to find the Bone.

From here you need to go back outside the Coliseum and go left toward the spectator area, which was closed before you declined to fight but is now open.

You've got to make your way from the third level of the stands to the first, which is a downward trip filled with blank spots to paint, disgruntled fighters to combat, Fuzzies to dodge, and cards to pick up.

The entire trip is hard to describe but it's easy to figure out which way you're supposed to go from here -- though you will have to use an Unfurl Block at one point, and you need to go behind the stairs on the first level of the stands (check the signs on each floor).

On the ledge outside the first level of the stands you'll notice a spot where there are two blocks that fall when you step on them with two Fuzzies patrolling the area. Let the block to the left without spikes under it drop you, then walk left.

Finding the Bone from this point on is easy. When you reach the spying Goomba, walk right for a save point and the Bone.

Bottle Opener

You can also find a Bottle Opener in the Coliseum's spectator area, which also requires you to adventure around the first floor of the area but without purposefully falling as you did to get the Bone.

You don't need the Bottle Opener to beat Iggy, but it's good to go ahead and grab it now.

As for Iggy himself, be sure to use the bone once he and his two minions are out on their chariots. Iggy will call out his minions once he is at half health, and on the turn right after he won't be present. Do not use the bone until all three enemies are on the field.

Paper Mario: Color Splash - Where to find the spike to open Kiwano Temple Sun, 09 Oct 2016 12:33:01 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Once you open up Kiwano Temple in Paper Mario: Color Splash you've found a fair amount of Mini Paint Stars and have opened up a lot of areas, so figuring out where you're supposed to get the spike to open the door to the temple can be a bit of a brainteaser.

Kiwano Temple is a pretty spiky place so your first instinct is probably to try to scour the area, but the exact spike you need is elsewhere.

Luckily the spike isn't too far away, nor is it too hard to get. Remember that huge spike on the professor's desk at Chateau Chanterelle? That's the key you need to get into Kiwano Temple, and the professor will be happy enough to give it to you.. once he's not depressed anymore.

The professor is still face-down wallowing in his own emotions since Princess, his now-giant Chain Chomp companion, has run away. You've got to figure out how to get him out of his funk and it seems bringing back his beloved Princess is the only way to do so.

The professor's assistant Toad mentions that Princess might come back if she smells her favorite snack, and if her rampage in the excavation site at Marmalade Valley is any indicator her favorite snack is bones.

You should still have the Bone card in your inventory. If not head back to Port Prisma's Harbor District and squeeze a fresh bone for your card collection. Now head to Chateau Chanterelle.

Go into the backyard and press the Y button to use Cutout on these two boards next to Princess's house.

Place the Bone card in the Cutout slot and wait for Princess's return. After it's all said and done the professor will give you the Sharp Spike on his desk.

All you have to do now is head back to Kiwano Temple, brave the spikes, and unlock the door to continue your quest to collect the Paint Stars and return color to Prism Island.

Paper Mario: Color Splash - How to win at Toad Shuffle Sat, 08 Oct 2016 08:00:59 -0400 Ashley Shankle

The Five Fun Guys are putting on a show at Bloo Bay Beach and you're invited.. to be scammed!

After finding all five of the quintuplets they ask if you'd like to participate in Toad Shuffle, a game that would normally be easy if the Five Fun Guys weren't blatantly cheating. Unfortunately you need to win to get the Blissful Beach Key.

The yellow Toad host always hands the key to the Toad who got stuck in the clam and crumpled the top of his head. Logically you as the player should easily be able to pick the crumpled Toad, right?

Unfortunately the event is rigged against you. No matter how well you pay attention and try to look for the key to change hands during the dance you just can't pick the right Toad when it comes time to choose.

At this point in the game Paper Mario: Color Splash has already had you put your mind to the test and come up with some less than obvious solutions to the game's puzzles and Toad Shuffle is no different.

The yellow Toad specifically tells you not to touch the Five Fun Guys but you're going to need to in order to win at Toad Shuffle -- don't worry, the yellow Toad won't say anything. Don't stress about hitting other Toads by accident, either. Once you paint the crumpled Toad the other paint disappears.

After the yellow Toad hands the key to the crumpled headed green Toad, whack on him with your Paint Hammer to mark him as the Toad with the key. Then let the Toad Shuffle commence as usual.

The Five Fun Guys will try to trick you once again but your keen puzzle-solving and painting skills have trounced their trick: the host Toad quickly accepts you've bested them at their own game and hands over the Blissful Beach Key.

Now you can continue on your way over to Blissful Beach and keep searching for those Paint Stars.

Paper Mario: Color Splash - How to open the hatch at the very start in Port Prisma Sat, 08 Oct 2016 05:00:02 -0400 Ashley Shankle

There are a lot of puzzles to unravel in Paper Mario: Color Splash and the very first one is thrown in your face within the game's first few minutes in Port Prisma. Luckily the game's very first puzzle is easy peasy as long as you have a keen eye.

When you arrive in Port Prisma and walk into the town square you come across what looks like a hatch with five colored off-shoots and three colored orbs in the middle. You have to light up the three orbs to unlock this hatch and progress.

The red and blue orbs are easier to figure out than the yellow, but here's how to light all three orbs and keep pushing forward in Color Splash. (Sorry, I took screenshots after finishing each task.)

Red orb

Go to the back brick wall of the square and look for a red brick sticking out of the wall. Jump under the brick to knock it back up into place to light the red orb.

You can see the red brick after being knocked into placed in this image.

Blue orb

Go to the front right side of the square and look for a set of four bricks sticking out of the ground. Press the B button and hammer the bricks back into the ground to light the blue orb.

Mario is facing the bricks in this image after hammering them.

Yellow orb

Go to the front left side of the square and take a good look at the flowerbed at the very front of the screen. Notice how the middle one looks a little off? Jump up onto the flowerbed and hold the A button next to the odd flower to set it right and light the yellow orb.

The middle flower is key.

As mentioned this puzzle is very simple! But I myself wandered around for a couple minutes trying to figure out how to light the yellow orb. Hopefully this short guide saves you some time so you can get on with the game and restore the color to Port Prisma and its surrounding areas.

Full Version of Paper Mario: Color Splash Released Early on Accident Sat, 24 Sep 2016 12:47:17 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

Paper Mario: Color Splash, the upcoming action-adventure installment in the Paper Mario series, was released two weeks earlier than intended by Nintendo due to an accident on the Wii U eShop.

On September 22nd, Nintendo loaded Paper Mario: Color Splash onto the eShop in order to make it available for pre-purchase, but accidentally put the entire game up for purchase. The game was successfully downloaded by numerous people during the day that it was up, but Nintendo noticed their mistake quickly, and removed it the very same day.   

Paper Mario: Color Splash is the newest installment in the long-running Paper Mario series, and is an installment that will focus more on exploration and puzzle solving, rather than the RPG-style gameplay that the series is best known for. The game is expected to release on October 7th in North America and Europe, October 8th in Australia, and October 13th in Japan.  

You can watch the most recent trailer for Paper Mario: Color Splash below:

What Made Paper Mario 64 and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door So Special? Fri, 23 Sep 2016 10:00:01 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

The Paper Mario series has come a long way since its debut on the Nintendo 64 back in 2001. What started as a creative take on the typical turn-based JRPG has gradually taken steps further and further away from its initial RPG formula, toward a radically different pseudo-RPG style of game that most people don't seem to be quite as fond of.

Ever since Super Paper Mario's release for the Wii in 2007, many people have been down on the Paper Mario series, saying that the last true installment was the last traditional turn-based RPG the series had -- the beloved Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. While this isn't true for every fan of the series, the general majority seems to believe that the classic RPG times of the Paper Mario series, which at this point is the shorter period for the series, was it's heyday.

But why is that? There are many JRPGs that gather devoted fanbases, whether it be large chunks of a whole series like Final Fantasy or one-hit wonders like Skies of Arcadia, so what makes the early Paper Mario games so special? What makes these two console RPGs starring Mario, the most well-known PLATFORMER hero of all time, stand out as such highly revered classics? 

Let's find out.

We're going to approach both games simultaneously and systematically, in order to get to the general positive qualities of both titles before getting into the specifics. With that said, let's start with the biggest selling point of nearly every RPG of any kind -- the story.

Something that, in Japan at least, the series was initially named for.

The Story -- A familiar and yet far cry from typical Mario.

The general setup for both Paper Mario on the N64 as well as Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door are admittedly pretty typical for the Mario series, and nothing we haven't seen before... at the start, at least. While both installments do start with the classic standby of "the princess has been captured and you must save her", they both go off the rails into uncharted territory very quickly.

While both games hit a lot of familiar notes by the standards of standard Mario plots, the stories told are notably deeper than their Platformer progenitors, and were clearly written with the intent to evoke both the emotional and the imaginative. This is evident in Intelligent Systems' signature excellent character banter and world building present throughout the games.  

From the NPCs, to your party members, to even the semi-mute Mario himself, every character is funny, helpful, or lends to world-building. Princess Peach in particular is the probably the most fleshed out she's ever been in these two games. The audience gets to see her with a wide assortment of emotions, whether she's indignantly angry for being forced to cooperate with the enemy, being understanding of an inexperienced child, or shy as she attempts to explain the concept of love to a computer using personal experience. 

A subplot in The Thousand-Year Door that is both unexpected and surprisingly touching.

Your party members were also all excellent characters. They all had their own motivations for joining Mario, vastly different personalities from one another, and perhaps the most intriguing part of all, they were all different types of enemies that Mario would usually fight. By having this jumbled crew of friendly monsters follow Mario throughout the game, the world felt even more immersive and real, as it showed that evil minions of Bowser were not all that the likes of Goombas and Koopas could be.

These games took colorful cartoon monsters, most of whom aren't even close to human, and made them into likable and believable characters.

The settings explored were also much more fleshed out and believable in these two RPGs than any traditional Mario Platformer could claim. Even if in both games you explored the familiar grasslands, ice worlds, and castles, they were all far from just pallet swapped backgrounds with different colored enemies. They were all far from the Mario norm, even if they felt familiar, and going to each new area felt like crossing over to a brand new continent. 

Every area in classic Paper Mario has a different story to tell. Whether it's the mysteries of the dirty dealings of the floating wrestling league the Glitz Pit, or the desert village of Boos who live in fear of being eaten, they all have a different tale to tell.

The best thing that these different locations did for the games is how they subtly connected to each other, and gave the Mario universe a grander sense of scale and cohesiveness than it had ever had before. These locations coupled with these characters made the world feel truly alive, as you encountered tribes of insects living in giant trees, or a sleazy port-city full of criminals both Toad and enemy-monster alike.  

Not to mention they all looked and felt distinct and atmospheric as well.

What other RPG let you travel around inside a magical toy box by train?

The Combat -- Simple and easy to learn, yet still deep and involving. 


The first two Paper Mario games had a combat system unlike any other. 

Paper Mario built off of the strong foundation that Super Mario RPG laid down before it, and its combat reflects that fact more than anything. The use of timed hits during combat for both offense and defense allowed for actual tactile input during battles, which put more control into the player's hands and made the combat more than just strategy like most other turn-based games.

While the story and combat are the biggest aspects of the two games and obviously matter, and are themselves unique, the little things are what really make the early Paper Mario games so great because their immersive detail and sheer quantity allowed the world of Mario to feel the realest and most alive it ever has.

Additionally, something that made Paper Mario's turn-based combat so unique -- as well as easily accessible to beginners or newcomers -- was its use of smaller numbers. In most RPGs, you'll likely be going up against early-game bosses with a health bar in the hundreds or possibly thousands, but in Paper Mario, you'll be up against a first boss with 20 maximum health. This made keeping track of how much damage you were dealing the easy part, and made figuring out the specific weaknesses and strengths of a given enemy the real challenge.

The combat also allowed for adaptive difficulty for players in the form the badge system. It allowed players to use their set number of Badge Points to equip badges that could aid them, or even handicap them, in both the overworld as well as combat.

This allowed for players to customize their play-style in a way that suited the situation, or themselves, depending on what they wanted to improve, and on whether or not they wanted to make the game harder for themselves. This allowed for hundreds of level up strategies paired with badge combinations in any given playthrough, which created an enormous sense of player freedom, as well as replay value.  


Just one page of the badge collection screen. Dozens of badges; Hundreds of possibilities.

In conclusion...

Honestly, explaining what made both of these games good is a genuine challenge, as there are hundreds of tiny little details that are all integral to the experience, and all of them are legitimate reasons for both the games' intricate, multi-faceted, diamond-like quality. Everything from optional emails you could get from side quest characters, to the audience cheering you on as you battled, to the countless characters with punny names, it's ALL important. All of it. They're games whose beauty isn't really done justice by just a handful of words.

While the story and combat are the biggest aspects of the two games and obviously matter, and are themselves unique, the little things are what really make the early Paper Mario games so great because their immersive detail and sheer quantity allowed the world of Mario to feel the realest and most alive it ever has.

With Nintendo clearly veering the Paper Mario series away from its native satirical and anarchic style, towards a more casual and less challenging type of psuedo-RPG with the two most recent installments, it seems very likely that we will never see a game in the Paper Mario series quite like the first two ever again. 

While that is a sad way of looking at things, it isn't necessarily a true, and we can all take comfort in the fact that no matter what changes the series goes through for better or worse, Paper Mario on the N64 and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door will always be there. They exist in a joyous spin-off universe that no ret-con or prequel could ever truly lessen, no matter what they might do.

Even if you don't necessarily like where the series has gone since Super Paper Mario, and you think Nintendo should just go back to the original formula, at least there is one additional positive to a world where Paper Mario isn't a true RPG anymore. That being if Nintendo never quite matches the first two entries in terms of quality, that just makes Paper Mario and The Thousand-Year Door even better and more unique than they already are.

The simplest way to explain why Paper Mario on the N64 and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door are great is that they feel rich and complete. They're paper thin, but far from two-dimensional.

 A picture is worth a thousand words. These games are both worth volumes.


Please don't let Paper Mario: Color Splash be like Sticker Star Tue, 28 Jun 2016 06:59:07 -0400 JessDambach

Paper Mario: Color Splash, the next installment in the Paper Mario series, is coming out October 7, 2016. And there's a lot of talk right now about whether Color Splash is going to suck or not. The series' previous games, Super Paper Mario and Sticker Star, were not received well by players -- with Sticker Star being the least favored game in the Paper Mario series.

So let's look at why Sticker Star was a bad game, and what mistakes Color Splash can avoid in the hopes of being a much better game.

Why Sticker Star was awful:

Horrible Battle System

The battle system for Sticker Star is a RPG sort of system that allows leveling up. The problem with this lies in the fact that it doesn't really serve any sort of purpose. You fight by collecting stars, so skill or level isn't really much of a factor. And the stars you need to kill bosses aren't actually found on any of the enemies that you can battle, either. So there is literally no point in leveling up or fighting those enemies.

No Storyline

Most of the game is based on adventuring and its horrible gameplay/combat system. There is not a good story -- or any sort of story, really. There's nothing fleshed out, nothing that makes the player want to know what is next.

Other Annoyances

One of the worst parts about this game was that when you fight the boss for a level, you need a specific star to defeat it. But that star is not easily found, and you must search for it everywhere. It could even be at the very beginning of the level. This gets annoying going all the way through a game.

To put it simply, Sticker Star got all its essential RPG elements wrong. But does that mean Color Splash is doomed to the same fate? Watching the trailer (which you can view above), the objective of the game is to save the colorful Prism Island from being drained of its colors. This at least has some promise.

But what does the upcoming Color Splash need to do so that it doesn't go down in history as the third bad Paper Mario game in a row?

Better Battle System

If Color Splash chopses to use an RPG battle system that allows you to level up, then it needs to have bosses that requires you to be a certain level to defeat them. If Color Splash uses a similar idea of using stars (or some other type of object) to defeat the boss, those stars need to be found on the smaller enemies, or dropped closer to the boss in the level. If the smaller enemies don't drop anything valuable for progress, they need to have some other reason for being there -- or they shouldn't be there at all.

Good Story

Just have a storyline, instead of all gameplay. Even if everything else sucks about the game, at least some people will play it just for the story -- which will make it at least better than Sticker Star.

Not be Annoying

If you need something to progress in the game, don't hide it at the beginning of a level or in an unnecessarily random place. It's understandable if the developer wants to make the game more difficult. But if someone has to go all the way back to the beginning of the level just to pick up one item that you can't face the boss without, have a reason for it that makes sense. 

The good news is, it at least looks like Color Splash has something going for it. The graphics in the trailer look like they're of good quality, which is better than nothing. Let's just hope that the game learns from the Sticker Star flop. If Nintendo solves at least a few of the issues, Color Splash could end up being one of the best games in the series instead of becoming Sticker Star 2.

Paper Mario: Color Splash earning massive amounts of dislikes from fans Sat, 18 Jun 2016 16:52:26 -0400 TheSmartestMoron

While not as disliked as the Metroid Prime: Federation Force trailers on YouTube, Paper Mario: Color Splash's reception is not quite positive either. If you watch the video on YouTube, you'll notice the glaring split down the middle between likes and dislikes for this Paper Mario game.

The game is set to be similar to Sticker Star according to an earlier article, and that may have a large, negative impact as well. Paper Mario: Stick Star was a 3DS game meant to be similar to other Paper Mario games such as the original and The Thousand Year Door. However, it changed up the formula quite a bit compared to the other games.

While critics praised the title, fans did not. Complaints mainly stem from the combat system focusing less on RPG mechanics the series was known for and replacing them with tedious elements (like stickers required to jump on an enemy), as well as a weaker focus on story and original characters. Most fans were left unsatisfied with a lot of the stuff they loved about Paper Mario missing in a Paper Mario game. For more details, you can check out the review on Gameskinny.

There's no doubt some people like the game trailer however,  given some reviews and positive feedback still present for Sticker Star. Likely another reason why it hasn't gone into Metroid Prime: Federation Force level of dislikes either. You can compare the trailer of Color Splash with this:

 Whether or not this affects the game in the long run is still up for debate, as all the details about this game have yet to be revealed.

Paper Mario: Color Splash is set to release October 7th, 2016 on Wii U.

Paper Mario: Color Splash Gets a Release Date Tue, 14 Jun 2016 18:18:00 -0400 Joe Passantino

According to IGN, Nintendo announced at E3 today that Paper Mario: Color Splash will be available for Wii U on October 7.

The premise of Color Splash is that Prism Island is losing its color, and Mario must restore it using his brand-new paint hammer. As Nintendo's Bill Trinen explained in a March Nintendo Direct, paint not only restores the island's color, but also revives colorless Toads and livens up Toad Houses. Painting cards in battle will also activate them for use.

Color Splash is the Paper Mario character's first appearance of 2016, having previously co-starred in December's Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam. However, it is the first actual Paper Mario game since 2012's Paper Mario: Sticker Star.

As Paper Mario fans await the series' next installment, they can check out GameSkinny's review of Sticker Star. True stalwarts of the franchise might also want to check out one gamer's thoughts on its four previous games.

Does this colorful Paper Mario concept excite you? Let us know in the comments below!

Image Source: IGN