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Paper Mario: Pen Power (known as Paper Mario RPG 5 in Japan) is the fifth installment in the Paper Mario series, with the first being Paper Mario. It was developed by NepetaLast (t∣b∣c), and released for the Wii U in 2014. The plot of the game revolves around Mario, who emmbarks on an epic journey with the help of FLUDD and his partners to save the Mushroom Kingdom from an invasion of inky invaders. Mario must follow odd notes to save different areas from their own dangers and save the day.
|CH1||Highflyin' Forest||King Scuttle|
|CH2||Yarn Hills||Bowser Jr.|
|CH4||Shy Guy City||Thieftail|
|CH5||Overcast Cascades||B-BOT 2000|
|CH6||Ghost Ship||King Boo|
|CH7||Star Hill||Startail||Mario heads to Star Hill to complete his journey, but as he climbs, he realizes that he is not quite done yet. At the summit is an entrance to a much grander land of clouds with a great Star Temple at the middle that he must reach.|
|CH8||Ink Airship||Ink Collosus|
In terms of gameplay, Pen Power brings over many of the core mechanics from past Paper Mario games and enhances them with fresh new ideas. The game is generally a standard RPG, with an overworld and battles that take place when an enemy is encountered. There are many twists on this concept, however, which make the game a unique experience.
The overworld is a large 3D space which Mario can walk around freely in. Unlike past games where different parts of the level where put into seperate areas, most of the levels in this game are composed of only a few different zones, making the game feel much more free and unobstructed. The camera is also a lot loser than before and provides lots of different angles. Similarly to the paint from Super Mario Sunshine, the overworld sometimes is covered in nasty Ink that corrupts characters and blocks Mario off.
Mario can perform a large amount of actions in addition to moving around. He can jump, swing his hammer, spin dash, or use a select few other abilities. Unlike previous games, Mario's basic moves are never upgraded. Most of his special abilities, instead, are accessed through partners or F.L.U.U.D.. Mario always has one partner behind him at all time and each one has a special ability that can be used at the press of the button. These abilities vary but are usually required in order to progress through the game. FLUDD has four different nozels that perform different tasks. They are:
- Squirt Nozzle: Mario shoots a jet of water in front of him, clearing a lot of Ink. This also can spray back enemies or perform other specific functions.
- Hover Nozzle: Mario hovers in the air for a short time, shooting water down at the same time.
- Rocket Nozzle: Mario shoots high into the air but has limited horizontal movement while doing so.
- Dash Nozzle: Mario shoots forward at high speeds, beating time limits and destroying some objects.
Each battle is a turn based like most standard RPGs. Mario can act every turn from the list of avaliable commands, and his partner can act as well on the same turn. When attacking, the player can deal more damage by using Action Commands, which requires good timing and other special skills depending on the attack. Avaliable actions are shown below:
- Jump (Mario only): Allows Mario to use jump attacks and any jump-related skills that he has learned through his equipped Stickers. These attacks generally are good for attacking airborne enemies, but are not very good for hitting enemies with protection.
- Hammer (Mario only): Allows Mario to use his hammer and any hammer-related skills that he has learned through his equipped Stickers. These attacks generally are good for attacking enemies with protection, but are not very good for hitting airborne enemies.
- FLUDD (Mario only): Allows Mario to use his FLUDD. Although FLUDDs moves do not use up any FP, they generally do not do much damage and are only useful for specific situations. See the Partner section for specific moves that can be used by FLUDD.
- Skills (Partner only): Allows the Partners to use specific skills they have learned. Each one starts off with a standard attacking skill and a special skill that uses FP, but by upgrading through Lumas they can learn two additional skills.
- Stickers: Allows Mario and his Partners to use the effects of Stickers during battle, such as healing, attacking enemies with special abilities, or switching out equipped Stickers for new ones.
- Tactics: Allows Mario and his Partners to use tactics during battle, such as
- Run: Mario and his Partners run from the battle
- Charge: Mario or his Partner charge and deal more damage the next turn. Requires the right Sticker to be equipped.
- Defend: Mario or his Partner brave themselves for the next enemy attack.
When an enemy attacks Mario, certain timing actions must be performed, the same as when Mario or his partners are attacking. He might have to press A right when the enemy hits, or jam the A button to block an enemies attack. If the timing is alright, Mario will stop some of the damage, depending on the attack, but if Mario gets the damage perfectly correct, he will not only stop all damage but also deal damage back to the enemy in a counter attack.
Every time Mario wins a battle, he'll earn Star Points. When Mario's Star Point Level gets up to 100, he'll choose whether to upgrade his Heart Points, Flower Points or Badge Points. Choosing HP and/or FP will raise Mario's HP or FP by 5 and choosing BP will raise Mario's BP by 3. Mario stops levelling up at 99; however, it is very hard to reach this level because, starting from level 1, the Star Point Value for every enemy decreases by one with each level up. Every 4 levels, mario will also go up a rank.
Mario has 5 ranks. Every 6 levels, Mario goes up a rank, and whenever he goes up a rank he can choose one of the extra effects listed below:
- All Shine Sprite Blocks and Inns are free.
- Mario's speed is increased.
- Mario gets 15% all items in stores.
- Another page is added to the Sticker Book.
- FP costs are reduced by 1 for most attacks.
A young inventor named Dubba is located in Westpoint Avenue and has created a machine that will borrow the energy of Star Beings so that it can be transferred into other things. After visiting for the first time, Mario is able to find Lumas in specific locations and collect them in various ways. After collecting 3 Lumas, he can take them to Dubba and have a party member upgraded. When upgaded, their stats are increased and they gain a new move. After the Ultra Bulb is collected, they can be upgraded again for even better stats and another move. There are 42 Lumas total.
Stickers are objects that help Mario and his partners on his journey. Most of them change and heal his stats such as Heart Points (like Mushrooms), Flower Points (like Honey Syrup), Attack (like Power Punch), Defense (like Courage Shell), and some gives the player Status Ailments (like Repel Cape), but some damage the enemy (like Fire Flower) and/or give them status ailments (like Mr. Softener). Mario may hold on to 12 items on his body but he can store 30 items at any Item Shop and withdraw them at any time there. The amount of items Mario can hold will be doubled after he reaches Maple Syrup rank.
Throughout the game, Mario, just like the past game, uses partners. His partners have purposes in both the overworld and battle. They can be upgraded by Dubba by giving him 5 Luma. Every partner knows two moves upon joining the party, learns the third after being upgraded to Super Rank, and masters the final move after attaining Ultra Rank.
|F.L.U.D.D||A robot given to Mario by Professor E. Gadd at his laboratory to help Mario clean up the world. Relays advice and directions throughout the game.Not a typical partner; is always usable, has a different button, and is only useable in battle during some of Mario's attacks, albeit with each attack in it's own window. The first upgrade are required to beat the game and both are found at E. Gadd's lab.||Squirt Nozzle||Mario sprays the enemy with water. Hurts primarily goop enemies and only affects the enemy in front.|
|Hover Nozzle||Mario jumps up and use the Hover Nozzle to jump on an enemy. Any enemies on the way will be hit with water.|
|Rocket Nozzle||Mario rockets into the air and lands on an enemy. Cleans off the partner completely.|
|Turbo Nozzle||Mario rockets past the enemies, hurting all ground-based foes|
|???||Snifit. Using him in the overworld causes him to charge up a projectile, which can be released to hit and active far away switches.|
|???||Thwomp. Using him in the overworld allows Mario to hold onto him as he crashes down, similarly to a ground pound, which can break certain materials in the ground or flip tiles.|
|Boneshackle||A freelance Dry Bones artist who always carries his fishbone guitar with him so he can jam out some sick grooves whenever he feels. Using him in the overworld will allow him to play music, which can activate certain events and wake up enemies or lull them to sleep.|
|A Fizzlit. Using him in the over world allows Mario to dip into the ground as a pool of electricity, similarly to Vivian's role in TTYD. While in this form, enemies cannot see Mario, and he can go through electrical circuits or under small gaps.|
|????||A Skeeter. Using him in the overworld allows Mario to hand on and cross bodies of water. As they cross water, Mario can jump on his back to hit switches in the air.|
|Ookooky||A sassy Octoboo who lives in the deep caves of Overcast Cascades. She is very angry about the recent developments in the region and is willing to fight for her species freedom, which is why she joins Mario on his journney. In the overworld she can shine her light on things, which is useful for traversing caves and finding secrets.|
|Bruiser||A stowaway Broozer on the S.S. Spooks. He looks like he' s rough and tough on the outside, but its just a facade; on the inside he's just a nice guy who's a little freaked out by all this supernatural stuff on the boat. In the overworld he can punch forward and break blocks; if they are suspended in the air, his forward motion can carry Mario forward as he hangs on.|
|Prologue||Hologram Koopatrols||HP: 125|