— "Power some see the word as a malevolent force that corrupts, others believe it to be a gift protecting the innocent, however; they're all wrong. Power is the essence of the universe, which emits an unresistable aroma for those worthy of it, but the only mortal deserving enough to claim the throne of strength would be me. Don't you see? The populace of the cosmos are nothing but a meal to feed my creation, if I am to protect the Earth then sacrifices must be made for the greater good!" - Lord Ecliow
, Paper Mario: The Meaning of Power
Paper Mario: The Meaning of Power is a RPG for the Wii U. This game is the sixth installment in the Paper Mario series, set five years after the events in Super Paper Mario.
Prologue: Dawn of Power
Goombella, one of Mario's partners from a previous adventure, has become the Dean of her old college the Universitry of Goom and has remodeled it on behalf of her old mentor, Professor Frankly, who has since passed away. One of Goombella's students, Goombrain, had recently won a national science fair, in honor of this event the trophy will be given to him by Princess Peach in the Mushroom Kingdom. Mario and Luigi are invited as guests to attend the ceremony at Peach Castle, which they gladly accept. After the ceremony, a party is held during this time Goombella introduces Goombrain to the Mario Bros., who is honored to meet them as he has idolized the two for a long time. Goombella says that Goombrain was born with three fangs instead of two, which is very rare for a Goomba and has developed mechanical arms that are remotely controlled via a chip implanted in his brain.
After two hours, twenty unexpected guests arrivie wearing black hoods and when the bouncer asks to see their invitation, he is knocked out. The mysterious figures enter the party and approach Mario, the one in the very front asks if he is the man called "Super Mario" and Mario nods, he and the others take off their hoods and the man introduces himself as General Ecliow, leader of an army called the Power Seekers. Ecliow has heard tales about Mario being described as a powerful warrior in red and blue and eager to see if he lives up to the reputation he's gained, asks Mario to battle him and despite Luigi and the others uncertainty about Ecliow, accepts his challenge. Mario is quickly defeated by Ecliow, who is disappointed by Mario's performance and remarks that his other nineteen elite warriors had given him a better fight than Mario did, Ecliow then orders his men to take the other guests prisoner and all expect Goombrain and Mario are captured. Ecliow gives Goombrain a message that if Mario ever wants to see his friends again, then he must find the strength needed to best him with these departing words, Ecliow and his men disappear.
After Mario regains consciousnes, Goombrain explains to him what had transpired and Mario feels responsible for losing his friends by letting his overconfidence get the better of him, but Goombrain is able to convince him otherwise and says that they must find a way to defeat Ecliow, which Mario agrees. However; they both realize that Ecliow is in a completely different league from Mario and regular training wouldn't do any good, so the two begin to ponder for a way that Mario can gain the necessary power to beat Ecliow in a duel and while coming up with a solution, Goombrain remembers something that Goombella told him about. Long ago, an army of beings the likes of which no one had ever since invaded the Earth none knew where they came from, but one thing was clear they wanted to take control of the planet. The people of Earth fought endlessly against th invaders, but they possessed technology far more advanced and despite the best efforts of the citizens to develop new weapons, they were still outmatched. It had seem that all hope was lost until of group of twenty warriors appeared to aid the troops in battle, they had tremendous power and with their combine efforts were able to completely purge the Earth of the threat and win the war.
However; the battle had servilely injured many, including all twenty warriors and they had little time left. Fearing that another powerful force could again threaten the planet, it was decided that the warrior's power needed to be contained for the future. Using the technology gained from the enemy, the people of Earth were able to transfer their strength into twenty gems before the warriors had died, these gems became known as the Stamia Gems. Goombrain believes that if Mario collects all twenty gems then he will receive the power of the great warriors, Mario not having a better plan agrees with Goombrain's, but has no idea where to start looking. Goombrain thinks that more information is stored away on the University of Goom's main computer located in Goombella's chambers, Mario asks Goombrain if he can guide him to the campus, which he is more than happy to do and Mario gains his first party member.
Arriving at the university, Mario and Goombrain make their way to Goombella's chambers battling a few enemies along the way, providing Mario with a tutorial on how to battle and finally arrive at there destination. Mario tries to access Goombella's computer, but is unable to bypass the security on it until Goombrain reveals his robotic arms have the ability to hack into any system, with the security breached the two locate the file pertaining information on the Stamia Gems. Goombrain discovers a map of possible locations of the Stamia Gems that Goombella has spent most of her life searching for and they also discover that one of the gems is located inside a vault somewhere in the room. They manage to find and open the safe, only for the gem along with the wall is gone, however; they follow the footsteps left behind and puruse the theif through Goomba Woods. The two discover the criminal to be a giant mechanical statue of Goombella ( known as Gruesome Dean Obliterator) operated by one of Ecliow's henchmen, which transforms into its battle mode and fights the two. After its defeat, Goombrain realizes that Ecliow is also after the gems as well and they must find them all before he does, Mario obtains the Red Stamia Gem along with the special, Delightful Restore, which restores a small fraction of the party's HP in battle.
Chapter 1: Council of Conquerors
The second gem closest to their location is in Victory Ruins, located in Norse Valley and in order to reach Victory Ruins one must travel down Norse Canal, which is connected to Norse Valley. Goombrain tells Mario that there is a pipe far south of the campus that leads straight to Norse Valley and after stopping by the Grand Badge Emporium, receiving some free badges, arrive at Norse Valley. Making their way through the valley, the two are dragged into conflict with some of the locals fighting a Bilgesnipe, anicent beasts in Norse mythology, and when it lunges at Mario he retaliates by throwing his hammer at its soft spot allowing the leader of the group fighting to finish it off. Afterwards, the man introduces himself as Ragnashock, King of the Neo-Vikings, he thanks the two for aiding him in combat and to show his appreciation invites them to a feast at his fort, which Mario and Goombrain accept. At the banquet hall, Ragnashock introduces his two strongest warriors Voltsagg and Sledge, a Spark Bro. a.k.a an electric Hammer Bro., Ragnashock in explains that the Neo-Vikings were founded in honor of Ragnashock's great-great grandfather, who was a excellent blacksmith that forged weapons with materials given to him by Odin, Ruler of Asgard, himself and greatly benefited the original Vikings in war.
One such weapon belongs to Ragnashock, an axe that can attack with lightning, modeled after the hammer the Norse god, Thor, used. A few minitues after the feast begins, Mario and Goombrain have to go because their is something important they need to do, when asked Mario and Goombrain trust their new friend and tell him they are after a Stamia Gem in Victory Ruins, a gem of which Ragnashock has never heard of, but still wishes them luck in their quest. As the two leave, they hear a loud noise and renter the room to find Sledge fighting one of his Hammer Bro. minions, angry at him for giving Sledge a defected hammer eariler during the battle against the Bilgesnipe. Mario and Goombrain notice that Ragnashock, nor anyone else is stopping the fight and are instead cheering Sledge on and helping him, so they intervene and after fighting a couple of Hammer Bros. stop Sledge. Sledge inraged by the fact his two new allies are protecting a weak and fragile Hammer Bro. threatens to kill them, but Ragnashock interrupts and says that to settle this dispute Beat ( the Hammer Bro. getting his ass whooped) must battle against one of their Bilgesnipe and if he wins Sledge will spare Beat, Mario, and Goombrainm, but if he loses they will show them no mercy.
Once in the arena, the Bilgesnipe is unleashed and Mario and Goombrain, who are spectating, see that this Bilgesnipe is two times the size of the one they saw eariler, and is covered with battle armor. Beat is outmatched and easily overpowered, but before the Bilgesnipe can finish Beat of, Mario and Goombrain jump in and help Beat defeat it. After the battle, Ragnashock is furious for Mario's and Goombrain's interference and orders his men to lock the three away in the dungeon. Inside the cell, Beat thanks the two standing up for him despite being a complete stranger to both of them, Beat explains that Sledge was the previous ruler of Norse Valley, he was a kind and generous leader who watched over and protected his people from harm's way. One day, Ragnashock and his men appeared and order Sledge to step down from his position as king or his people would faced his wrath, Sledge refused however; and fought Ragnashock in battle and lost.
Since then Ragnashock has taken the title of King, forced the Hammer Bros. to serve in his army, and turned Sledge into a cruel and hateful person. Mario and Goombrain promises Beat that they will defeat Ragnashock and restore peace to Norse Valley and Beat asks to join the two in helping them take down the Neo-Vikings, they accept him and Beat joins the gang. Using his ability to hit buttons from a long distance, they escape the cell and as they make their way out of the fort, they learn Ragnashock is actually one of Ecliow's twenty elite warriors and is headed to Victory Ruins to retrieve the Stamia Gem for him. Mario and the others use Beat's ship to sail down Norse Canal, where they come across Sledge and his men and defeat them. Arriving at the entrance they make the way through the ruins, fighting Voltsagg along the way and finally encounter Ragnashock, who has the Stamia Gem in his sights. Mario defeats Ragnashock and gains the Blue Stamia Gem and a new move known as Thunder Tidal.
Back at Ecliow's castle, Ecliow's second in command, Illusia tells her master that Ragnashock had been defeated by Mario and has obtained the Stamia Gem. Ecliow is furious for losing Ragnashock and orders Illusia to tell the others to be on alert for Mario. Meanwhile in the dungeon below, Peach, Luigi, and Gombella are trying to find a way out of their cell, but to no avail they begin wondering where the other Toads are being held captive and if Mario is alright. Just
Chapter 2: A Match for the Ages
Chapter 3: Trouble amongst Tribes
Chapter 4: Sharp Shooter Showdown
Chapter 5: Crouching Elite, Hidden Ninji
Chapter 6: Bounty on your Tail
Chapter 7: A Frosty Frenzy
Chapter 8: Magic and Mysteries
Chapter 9: The Galactic Interstellar Defense Force
Chapter 10: Fangs of Fear
Chapter 11: The Wiggler in the Night
Chapter 12: The Samurai of Grace
Chapter 13: A Blast of the Past
Chapter 14: Crashing and Crusing Islands
Chapter 15: The Chronicles of Narith
Chapter 16: A Mecha Mayhem Meltdown
Chapter 17: Knights of the Wrong Table
Chapter 18: The Road to Gold
Chapter 19: Duel to the Death
Chapter 20: A Powerful Finale Fight
Note: The order of the Partners listed are not the actual order of who joins Mario when.
- Goombrain- Goomba
- Beat- Hammer Bro
- Sam- Broozer
- Harry- Magikoopa
- Taz- Monty Mole
- Uni- Wiggler
- Chief Toma- Toad
- Ba-Beard - Bob-omb
- Shurki- Ninji
- Hosh- Luma
- Splint- Whittle
The gameplay retains the orginal structure from the first two Paper Mario games including the turn based battling system, special attacks, and audience members. This time, however; Mario can use action commands during certain battles to block or reflect attacks, along with this there are some moments where Mario can dodge enemy fire by jumping or dodging left and right so long as the buttons on screen are pressed on cue. Mario's partners also have their own FP (Flower Points) bar that increases by upgrading them just as in the first two games. To upgrade Mario's party, he has to collect a certain number of Power Stars that he might come across during his journey, this time, however; they can be upgraded up to three times.
Mario's gang as in its predecessors use their abilities to help out Mario, but some of the partners abilites are used differntl. For example, Taz can dig underground to hit hidden switches, but the player must guide him by using the Wii U controller to maneuver him to his goal. Coins also serve the same function as they can be used to purchase items and badges, furthermore Star Pieces return and collecting a certain amount can unlock new badges. Badges, like coins, serve the same function as before, but now there are over 300 badges that can be purchased and unlike previous games where they were all scattered throughout the world, all of them can be found at a place known as the Grand Badge Emporium using both Coins and Star Pieces to buy them.
Finally, the leveling up system retains its trend from the previous games gaining 100 Star Points to level up either your HP(Health Points), FP, or BP(Badge Points).