|Paper Mario: Shards of Hope|
|Predecessor||Paper Mario: The Fallen Kingdom|
Prologue: The Moon Town
A brown book that looks centuries old is on a table. It opens up and tells the tale of the Hope Shards, mystical stones containing magical abilities. There are a few of them, all different colours and each have a purpose. Each Hope Shard is gaurded by a Hope Hero. A town dedicated to researching and finding these magical stones is located on the far side of the Mushroom Kingdom. This town is Twirupia, home of the Twilight Moon. The Twilight Moon controls the night. Every night, it glows with immense power, protecting the Mushroom Kingdom from evil forces. The book closes and the camera turns to another book, red and blue. This book opens and our story begins...
Mario is walking in Toad Town with Luigi by his side. He sees Princess Peach and speeds up, Luigi struggling to keep up with him. Peach greets Mario with a kiss and hugs Luigi. She says that she is waiting for a special letter from Eclipton, the mayor of Twirupia. Parakarry appears and searches through his bag, dropping a few letters and parcels in the process. He eventually finds the correct letter, hands it to Peach and flies away. Peach opens the letter and the two Bros. look in.
I apologise in advance for any inconvenience that I may cause you. Twirupia is in deepest need of help. Would you, Mario, Luigi and anybody else you wish come to Twirupia? As the Twilight Moon is no longer emitting energy, the entire Mushroom Kingdom could be in grave danger. We strongly believe that it has something to do with the Hope Shards. Please come soon.
Yours sincerely, Eclipton."
Many pages turn over and we see Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toadsworth on a boat. You can explore this boat and talk to Peach, Luigi and Toadsworth. Admiral Bobbery is steering the boat. Once you talk to him, the boat will arrive at Twirupia and the four passengers get off. They are greeted by Eclipton with a warm welcome. He agrees to show the four around the town. After showing them around the dock, they approach the large library in the center of the town. Suddenly the sky becomes darker, much to everyone's surprise. An airship is seen fying through the sky above the town and Bowser jumps out. The citizens run, Luigi and Peach among them. Mario must now battle Bowser, with Toadsworth and Eclipton teaching him how to battle. With Bowser defeated, Peach and Luigi return and Eclipton explains that Bowser shouldn't have been able to arrive in Twirupia. He blames it on the Twilight Moon losing power. Bowser slowly gets up and climbs back into his airship. The five enter the library and eclipton opens a secret entrance at the back. In the room is a pedestal with a glowing purple crescent moon. Eclipton introduces it as the Twilight Moon. There are also various shaped holes in the pedestal which the citizens of the town presume are meant for the Hope Shards.
Eclipton begins to tell the history of the Hope Shards, which we have heard earlier in the Prolouge. Suddenly, a metallic arm crashes through the ceiling, grabbing the Twilight Moon. They look up to see Bowser on his airship, looking down at the hole in the roof. He begins to boast about what he will do with the power of the Twilight Moon when, to everyone's surprise, the Twilight Moon glows, destroying the whole airship. Bowser and millions of minions fall from the airship. Mario and Luigi quickly evacuate the library of all but one Paragoomba. The books begin to float around, much to everyone's worry. The energy from the Twilight Moon blasts everybody away. Mario wakes up in Twirupia, but it seems different. The Paragoomba from the library is here too, as well as Luigi and Eclipton. What had happened? It seems Mario was the last to wake. Eclipton and the Paragoomba look around in awe, while Luigi stands nervous. Mario asks what had happened and Eclipton says that they are in Twirupia from 200 years ago.
The Paragoomba, clad in a blue suit, realises he hasn't introduced himself yet. He does so, calling himself Goombini, a travelling Paragoomba magician. Eclipton decides that they should search for a way back to the present. He suggests that they split up, him with Luigi and Mario with Goombini. Luigi protests, saying that he would prefer to venture with Mario, but Eclipton refuses. The two head off, leaving Mario with his first partner, Goombini. Goombini tells Mario that he knows a good bit about various things, mainly books, and that he knows a spell to find out more. He lets Mario know that whenever he wants to know more about a place, person, enemy or anything else, he can just ask him. As the duo approach a rundown house in the east, Goombini's wand begins to tremble. He assures Mario that he shouldn't worry. The two enter the house and find a painting of a flowery meadow. Goombini's wand begins to shake out of control. It casts a spell on Mario and Goombini and the two are transported into the painting. Goombini is shocked at what just happened, exclaiming that not even his former magic tutor was able to do that. You can explore the meadow for a while, or you can simply approach the frame and use Goombini's magic to escape the portrait.
The duo head back to where they started, only to see a mage-like character standing there. He is clad in white and wears an orb with a star design on his cloak. He seems to be leafing through a book, which Goombini recognises as a history book from the library in the present. The mage looks up and gasps upon seeing Mario and his partner. He asks where they are from, to which Goombini answers. He introduces himself as Merlock, the leader of the Hope Heroes. He claims that the Hope Heroes are an ancient group of heroes, capable of incredible feats. He and his siblings each carry a Hope Shard, an artefact with strong magic. He gestures to his orb as his Hope Shard. Every millenia, the Hope Heroes must gather in Twirupia to ensure that the Twilight Moon continues to shine. They cast a powerful spell on the Twilight Moon which keeps its power strong for another thousand years. 400 years ago, the Hope Heroes were called to Twirupia with great haste. This turned out to be a trap, for a demon harnessed the Twilight Moon. The only way to keep the demon away from the Twilight Moon was to cast a hugely powerful spell. This spell defeated the demon, but also trapped the Hope Heroes in books. Merlock shows the book to Mario and Goombini and begs them to bring him out of it. Just then, Luigi and Eclipton return. Goombini casts a spell on the five of them and they appear out of the book.
In the library, with the book open in front of them, Merlock tells Mario to search for the other Hope Heroes and their Shards. In battle, Mario can summon Merlock to assist him. This works like the Crystal Stars in Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. Luigi then notices that Peach and Bowser are gone missing. Toadsworth enters the library and says that they must have been transported into books too and that they will most likely be found as Mario looks for the Hope Heroes. Merlock gestures Mario over to the Twilight Moon. He places his Hope Shard on the pedastal, in its respective hole. The Twilight Moon glows and a book appears from one of the shelves. Mario's adventure is only just beginning.
Peach wakes up in a crystalline cage. She looks around and sees that there is no key conveniently lying around. A cage beside her contains a mage girl. Her red cloak is tattered from trying to break out. Peach says hello to the mage but gets no reply. She tries again, but to no avail. Finally, the mage sees Peach and greets her. Peach asks where they are, to which the mage replies with some book. Peach introduces herself and the mage does the same. She introduces herself as Merlace, a Hope Hero. However, her Hope Shard has been stolen. Peach asks who stole it, but Merlace doesn't know. Merlace asks if Peach can get them out of these cages, but Peach doesn't know.
She looks around her cage for anything she could use to break out. She doesn't find anything to help her get out, but she does find a crystal hologram sender. She decides to call Mario on it and give him some information.
Chapter 1: Guilty as Charged
The book is entitled The Big House. Goombini prepares to transport himself and Mario in, when a hologram of Princess Peach appears. She explains that she is in a crystal cage with a Hope Hero who has lost her Hope Shard. She promises to gather more information for Mario, as she has done in the past. Mario seems worried, but Luigi comforts him. Goombini transports himself and Mario into the book.
Mario appears in a large, bustling city. Goombini explains that they are in Cardiavla, home of the Crystal Heart. He suggests that they check out the museum. On the way there, they pass an elderly Koopa Troopa being robbed by a Bandit. A battle ensues. The Koopa Troopa thanks Mario with an item of his choice. She also requests that Mario escorts her to the Museum. Mario happily agrees, seeing as he was going there anyway.
Chapter 2: The Golden Fruit
Chapter 3: Starry Eyed, Starry Skies
|Mario||Mario is back and better than ever! Along with his partners and Notes, Mario will save the princess and gather all of the Hope Shards in no time!||Mario can use Notes to conduct tasks that would normally be impossible. He can also use his Hammer.|
|Peach||The princess of the Mushroom Kingdom is determined to get back to her own story! With her new friend, Merlace, Peach is searching for the Garnet Shard. She also hopes to free Merlace from her book.||Peach is playable in interludes. She will also send holograms to Mario containing important information.|
Merlace is a young Hope Hero and the partner of Peach. Her Hope Shard has been lost and she needs Peach's help to find it. With the help of her amulet, she can send holograms to the Twilight Moon pedastal.
|Peach's partner in the Peach interludes. She has the same role as Twink from Paper Mario.|
|Bowser||The Koopa King is back in paper form! He and Merraculus are looking for a way out of their story. He hopes to turn Merraculus against the other Hope Heroes for his own sake.||Bowser is playable in interludes. He also appears in the main story a few times.|
|Merraculus||Merraculus is a Hope Hero and the toughest of them all. He wields the Shadow Shard, which is a pretty powerful Hope Shard.||Merraculus is Bowser's partner in his interludes. He has the same role as Twink in Paper Mario.|
|Luigi||Mario's green-clad brother is ready for an adventure! Granted, not the biggest adventure. Luigi has Toadsworth by his side and is trying to defend the Mushroom Kingdom!||Luigi is playable in interludes, much like Peach and Bowser.|
|Toadsworth||Toadsworth is Peach's right hand man. After Bowser's attack, Peach, Mario and Bowser were transported to different stories. Now it's up to him and Luigi to defend the Mushroom Kingdom!||Toadsworth is Luigi's partner, in a sense. He gives Luigi tips.|
|Goombini is Mario's first partner, found in the Prologue. He is a Paragoomba magician who is well known for his trademark Flashbonk.||
||Goombini can use his magic to jump into books, paintings and other items.|
|Nabbz is a Nabbit and an expert theif. He can steal and pick-pocket silently. After framing Mario, he realised how much wrong he did, and set out to help Mario by putting his talent to good use.||
||Nabbz can easily steal or swap out items without attracting attention or triggering traps.|
|Azalea is a young Bzzap gardener who simply adores blossoms of all kinds. She has a soft voice and can be shy at times. But when her friends are in need, there's no one stronger!||
||Can grow different types of flowers in soft soil, ranging from giant beanstalks to bouncy flowers.|
|The three young Star Sprites act as one. Glee is very optimistic, Sorrow is worriful and Vex is constantly angry. They work well as a team and play somewhat differently from other Partners.||
||Splits Mario into three forms. You can switch between the three Marios at any time. To return to normal, bring the three together.|
|Shyla is a female Shy Guy who loves gossip and is very popular. She wields a heavy handbag where she stores masks.||
||Shyla can disguise her team by putting masks on them.|
Notes replace Curses from Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door as abilities that Mario can use. However, these focus more around the paper theme than before. To use a Note, you must select the desired Note in the pause menu then press the requested button. Each Note has different instructions and outcomes.