|Paper Mario: Rhyme and Rhythm|
|Developer(s)||Nintendo, Intelligent Systems, Pyro Enterprises, Blender Minimum, Plasma Productions, Pixelburst Gaming|
|October 10th, 2016|
|1-player story mode|
|Predecessor||Paper Mario: Color Splash|
Paper Mario: Rhyme and Rhythm is a Paper Mario collab being developed by Pixelburst Gaming, Plasma Productions, Blender Maximum, and Pyro Enterprises. It features Mario embarking on a new journey across the world in an attempt to stop a mysterious new villain from silencing all of existence forever.
Story: Act 1
Prologue: Silence Steals The Show
The story begins on a beautiful summer day in the Mushroom Kingdom. In Toad Town, a lone Paratroopa flies towards the mailbox of the castle, inserting a couple letters into the mailbox before flying off. Inside the castle, Princess Peach and Mario are talking about something over cake when Toadsworth arrives with the letters. While most appear to be junk mail, magazines, and a letter from the Koopa King Bowser, one catches the princess's attention; an invitation.
The letter contained two tickets and a map to the island of Bandland, as well as a flier advertising a concert. Seemingly, a famous singer named Merlodi was to perform in the island capital of Band Central Station, and Princess Peach and a single guest were invited to come and join. Peach immediately decided it would be a fun outing, and Mario was soon accompanying her on a small boat to the Bandlands... with Luigi in a rowboat desperate to catch up.
Eventually, the duo arrived at Band Central Station, with Toadsworth accompanying them. While Toadsworth checked into the hotel, Mario and Peach went off to check out the concert hall, as well as meet the singer advertised on the flier. Eventually, they found Merlodi, a beautiful Shaman talking to a large crowd of fans. When the crowd cleared, Merlodi went up to the duo, expressing her gratitude for the princess arriving and hoping that the two of them had a fun experience. With the introductions out of the way, Merlodi went backstage with her backup singers to practice; Mario noticed that one of them looked suspiciously familiar. Peach told Mario not to interrupt, but the plumber could not be dissuaded.
As Peach and Toadsworth sat back and waited for the concert to begin, Mario made his way backstage trying to be as sneaky as possible. Making his way through the long hallway and avoiding a few guards, he managed to find himself a hammer and knock down a portion of the wall. Entering an empty area behind it, he walked for a bit before ending up on the other side of the wall from the main dressing room. Inside, he heard some of the backup dancers talking about how Merlodi had gone missing and expressing their concern, but a surprisingly gruff voice told them to not worry and go on with the show. As he heard the group leave, Mario hammered down the wall, revealing the lone suspicious member... Bowser wearing makeup and a dress.
Backstage, Bowser is talking to Kammy Koopa on a cell phone. Mario tries to interrupt Bowser, but he keeps yelling at Mario because he's on the phone, eventually leading to both of them engaging in a battle. When they are finished fighting, Bowser reveals to Mario that he was only planning to kidnap Peach and force Mario into another gimmicky one-off adventure involving three-dimensional objects, useless paper references and jokes, and strange inconsistent subplots. A speaker announces that the concert is about to begin, intriguing both Mario and Bowser, who are aware of both that Merlodi is missing and that the concert is not going to start for a few more hours.
When they get back on the center stage, Mario and Bowser see a mysterious woman. Bowser tells Mario that it is, in fact, not Merlodi, and he does not know who she is; however, when she steals Peach from the audience, they both suddenly begin to react. The woman threatens them silently by revealing that she has Merlodi hostage behind a nearby curtain. While Bowser continues to attack the woman, Mario frees Merlodi and sets her to escape, but the woman, hurt by Bowser's attacks, somehow slows down time and tries to run away, catching Merlodi. The woman proceeds to seemingly remove the "soul" from Merlodi's body, transforming her into a new form of an orb. The woman then leaves the stage and escapes as time reverts to normal.
All the people on the stage remain dumbfounded as the pop music enthusiast wizard Merlon runs up and explains to them that he got to the concert before anyone else. He then tells Merlodi that he's sorry about her transformation; she has become a Sound Spirit, and there is no known way to transform her back. Merlon theorizes that the woman is after Peach, and so Bowser offers to take her into hiding. Both Peach and Toadsworth object to this decision, but Merlon tells her that it's the safest path for her to take in his projections. Suddenly, Merlon receives an e-mail. Upon checking it, he becomes incredibly worried and angered. According to the message, a mysterious woman with a description eerily similar to the villain has poisoned Fort Piano's sole Music Star, a treasured piece of history said to one day bring power to a legendary hero. Mario decides to head to the fort, believing that he will find the woman hiding there, but he does not get the chance to leave before Merlodi, as a transformed Sound Spirit, asks to go along under the new name of Moderato in hopes to get her body back from the villain.
Soundswapping is a technique Mario learns early in the adventure, which is somewhat akin to the paperization and cutting techniques in Sticker Star and Color Splash respectively. Utilizing Soundswapping, Mario is capable of recording sounds in the environment and pasting them into other areas. For example, one could record the sound of a bell ringing in one area, then utilize it in another area in order to transfer the sound elsewhere. Sounds are also capable of applying a property to the object they're pasted on as well, such as using the sound of a crackling fire to set an object ablaze.
Sounds that can be Soundswapped with display a small blue soundwave icon next to Mario's HUD when they play. The environment can be examined by pressing the Y button, letting Mario track the sound's source.
Recorded sounds can also be sped up or slowed down before they are pasted into the environment, causing the playback to be affected accordingly.
Three of Mario's partners are dedicated to changing the speed or tempo of the game in battles and the overworld. These partners are called Moderato, Andante, and Allegro (all placeholder names). Speed changing will also affect the world's gravity. Moderato keeps the world normal, Andante slows down and forces low gravity onto objects, and Allegro has high speed and gravity. These three partners stay on Mario's hat from the entirety of the game and can be switched out at any moment, but Andante and Allegro are not available to use until they are unlocked.
- Redwind Woods
- Fort Piano
- Treble Cliff
- Bassline Bay
- Libretto Theater
- Key of Seas
- Dancing Blues Resort
- Pipe Organ
- Tromme Boneyard
- Band Central Station
- Capella Dunes
- Beatbox Badlands
- Dub Steppe
- A beach area with pink lemonade for water. Multiple structures can be seen reminiscent of Cookie levels from Super Mario World.
- A seaside resort in the aforementioned pink beach area.
- A forest made of flute-like trees.
- A beehive-like structure resembling a disco ball.
- A large fancy building similar to an opera house.