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Paper Mario 3DS is the fourth installment in the Paper Mario series, and is the first Paper Mario game to be released on a handheld console.
The plot of the game revolves around Mario, Luigi, and their new companion, Destie, while they go on a mission to collect the eight Chromatic Hearts and various Solortic Paintings that have been spread across the Mushroom Kingdom. The Solortic Paintings are found in various locations across the Mushroom Kingdom. These paintings are parts of the Aeon Time string. After every chapter at the start, there are various minigames where Bowser and Peach are playable characters similar to Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door and Super Paper Mario.
Prologue, Part 1: The Aeon Time String
*Ahem. . . today we'll be reading the story of The Aeon Time String. Legend has it that the Aeons have created the time string themselves. However one dark and stormy night, a strangely shaped creature tried to steal the string but caused it to explode and spread the Chromatic Hearts. The Chromatic Hearts were eight different parts of the Aeon Time String, and because of that incident, no one knows where the Chromatic Hearts are located.
Prologue, Part 2: The Dry Minions' Invasion
Mario, Luigi, and Peach are in Mushroom Castle drinking some Koopa Tea. Professor E. Gadd arrives and shows the Mario Brothers. his latest invention, Destie, a speaking 3DS that appears to have human features. Professor E. Gadd explains that the robot will aid them in difficult situations. Suddenly, the door bursts open and Goombas, Koopas Hammer Brothers, and Cubone Guys (Shy Guys with skulls on their heads) burst into the room. A villain named Doctor Clotch, a crazy time wizard, appears and starts a battle with Mario. After defeating the wizard and escaping from the minions. Mario, Luigi, and Destie manage to escape the castle. Bowser shows up, and angrily, he explains that Clotch has stolen his minions and turned them into scary skulled monsters. Destie suggest that they go through Toad Town and find witnesses about the Clotch incident at Peach's Castle. Luigi says that he is going to join Mario, because he thinks that he could help beat up Doctor Clotch with Mario.
Chapter 1: Attack in Everloft Tower
Upon arriving to Everloft Village, the first thing Mario and Luigi notice is that there is a very small creature that is glimmering. She introduces herself as Kersitly, the sister of the mayoress of Everloft Village. Destie asks if she has seen Doctor Clotch flying across the village. She says that someone took a stop at the village and stole a Chromatic Heart, but then this person ran into Everloft Tower. She says that the person, indeed, looked like a doctor. The village's policemen have filed a report on him and are out for his arrest. Kersitly asks if she could join them, since she studied about the Chromatic Heart. Mario agrees and Kersitly is the first partner of the game. The crew exits the valley and continues the paths of Everloft Prairie. Soon, Mario and Luigi come across a wall that blocks their way to the tower. Two Hammer-Goombas (Goombas holding hammers) were guarding the entrance, but they notice the crew and start a battle. After the crew defeat them, two hammers are collected from the Goombas. The Mario Brothers crack open the locked entrance with their hammers while Kersitly and Destie continue through the wall, with the Mario Brothers following behind. After exploring the tower and defeating various Goomba enemies, Mario soon finds an old rival of his, Goomboss, the king of the Goombas, and his rookies, the Goomba Brothers. The crew defeat Goomboss and the Goomba Brothers. Goomboss drops the first Chromatic Heart, which Mario picks up. The crew carries on with finding Clotch. A graffitied switch is revealed on the background wall. Mario uses Destie's ability to get into the virtual dimension and hit a real switch in it, and after hitting it, a large painting falls from the ceiling. Mario picks it up and the crew take it back to Mushroom Castle.
Chapter 2, Part 1: Toad Town
After turning in the first of the Chromatic Hearts, the crew heads right outside of Mushroom Castle. They are now in Toad Town, where they meet Merlon, who knows about the painting and names Solartic Painting. He also mentions that Mario and Luigi can go inside the painting to uncover secrets. Luigi says that Doctor Clotch possibly went inside the painting, so the crew step inside to give it a shot.
Chapter 2, Part 2: The City of the Shyler Sands
The crew arrives in Shylerankh Desert, a beautiful city in the middle of a vast desert. It is famous for having a community of friendly Shy Guys, in which are trying to finish off the Shyler Sphinx once and for all. Defeating the Shyler Sphinx requires three tablet pieces gain access to the entrance of the sphinx. Mario, Luigi, Destie, and Kersitly do jobs around the city to get the three tablet pieces. Once Mario and his team arrive in the sphinx, they enter the Shylympics, a popular place in which fighters train and battle. Our heroes spot the second Chromatic Heart on the Champ's Belt, held by Massif Dragle. Athletes are starting to go missing and there's a lot of talk about corruption in the city's government, so Destie uses her powers to investigate. The mayor of the city, Shyler Shampuntkin, temporarily joins the crew to make sure everything turns out alright. Things take a turn for the worse when it turns out a corrupt official, Massif Dragle, is pulling the strings and has a large group of minions at the ready. Mario and his team battle him and defeat him and his minions. The crew has obtained the second Chromatic Heart, and the mayor returns to work, although Mario, Luigi, and Destie can return to him at any time to request for his assistance in battling, though this time, he would count as a partner.
Chapter 2, Part 3: Clotch's Base
At Clotch's base, Bowser, Peach, and Bowser's minions are trying to uncover Clotch's plans. They learn that Clotch is trying to steal Bowser's minions so he can swap their powers and make them travel back in time to take over the world. Peach discovers that Mario has already got the first two Chromatic Hearts.
Chapter 3, Part 1: Luigi Takes the Court
After Mario and his team come out of the painting, Professor E. Gadd uses his DS Protifacser 3000 to seek the second Solartic Painting. He says that it's somewhere in Kooopalosa Mines, a quiet mining community. The mines have become a popular tourist attraction due to life down there not changing much, allowing people to discover what ancient times were like. Mario and his team arrive to see that there is an investigation going on to find 48 different cartloads of precious Koopa Stone Shells are stolen. The crew has to find the culprit - and fast! Falsely framed for a catastrophic bridge collapse accident, the local heist master, Bandart joins the brothers as the third partner to clear his name. The crew try to enter the court, but the guard suspects the current partner (which, if never changed manually, would be Bandart), Mario, and Destie of being bad, so he only allows Luigi to enter. Luigi has to find some witnesses who knew about the incident and saw that the Bandit gang caused it. In the court room, Luigi is known as witness and is asked questions by Tri-Bomber, a TNT Bob-Omb that starts an argument with Luigi. Luigi has to use the evidence or else the party will be thrown in prison, restarting from the last save. If Luigi answers the questions right by using the evidence, then Tri-Bomber will throw a tantrum for losing and then he will battle Luigi. Luigi wins and then Tri-Bomber explodes, revealing the third Chromatic Heart. The judge then apologizes for accusing Mario and co. for destroying the bridge. The police arrests the Bandit gang while Bandart is left off from arrestment. Luigi is given his own statue in the market town square for burning Tri-Bomber. The statue releases the second Solortic Painting, Mario picks it up and they head back to Msuhroom Castle.
Chapter 3, Part 2: Dimentio Trouble
At Clotch's base, Bowser and Peach are trying to find a way to escape with the minions, but they run into Dimentio. who possesses Bowser's Goombas. Peach, however, is teleported away before she can be hypnotized. Bowser breaths fire on Dimentio's face which leaves ash marks that will remain for the whole game. He then gets trapped inside a hexagon and is sent to an unknown land.
Chapter 4: A Ghastly Goul's War
Mario and Luigi arrive back at Mushroom Castle, where they see Princess Peach on the ground, whom they revive with Superspicy Curry, making her breathe fire for a few seconds. Peach insists on joining Mario in his quest so they can save Bowser and his minions from Clotch. Before Mario can accept it, he and his party are teleported to Clikle Clockle Carnival. Destie informs Mario that the next Chromatic Heart is located inside the town's castle, which is haunted by a group of Soul Guys that have kidnapped a family of Boos and Peepas. To get them back, Mario and co. must uncover some dark secrets about the castle. Our heroes meet the journalist Dooplight, who is interested in uncovering these strange mysteries in the town and the castle. After a battle with the Soul Guys, the family is rescued, and then they give Mario the next Chromatic Heart.
Chapter 5: Cataquack Catastrophe
Mario and his team travel to Grantido Bayside where they trekk through the jungle and swim to all sorts of islands to find the next Chromatic Heart. Mario goes down a large marine sinkhole to find the wreckage of a sunken ship. The rest of the crew follow behind, although Destie experiences malfunctions while underwater. Deep underwater, the crew has to explore the trenches and underwater caverns and save some of the missing villagers as well, who were washed into sea after the typhoon. A villager tells Mario about a gang of Cataquacks stealing their pirate ship. Then the ship crashes into the sea, allowing Mario and co. to battle the gang and receive a Solartic Painting.
Chapter 6: The Solartic Kingdom
The Solartic Painting leads Mario and company to the Solartic Kingdom, a magical kingdom where Lartics give Mario and his pals a tour through the kingdom's main village. On the tour, they run into Dimentio, he informs them that the kingdom is about to be destroyed but when Destie confronts him, he beats a hasty withdrawal. Dimentio fights the party, and after they defeat him, the world is demolished and they are forced to flee back to Mushroom Castle.
The Painting still remains but instread of a happy kingdom, all that remains, is just a twisted burning wreck of pencils, erasers and burned cardboard. They soon find the Chromic Heart, but Dimentio appears with his Mr L. Bot to try and stop the heroes from getting the Chromic Heart, but loses the fight and the Heart.
Meanwhile, at Clotch Castle, Dimentio lets Clocth know about Mario and company, collecting five of the Chromic Hearts and asks about the remaining three. Clocth says that they are kept in a secret machine, the Diode. Only the remaining ones' powers have be drained out of their system to power the machine.
Chapter 7: Mario Reshoots To The Moon
Back at Mushroom Castle, the heroes are despondent over the now-useless Chromic Heart, when Dimentio shows up, he appears to destroy Mario, Luigi and Peach. Kersitly wakes up and finds herself on the moon. She wanders around the area breezily meeting Stonie Tim, A friendly moon cleft, he agrees to help Kersitly find Mario and the other partners. After finding the team, Stonie Tim joins the gang. The find a wreck of the X Naut Fortress, where they find Bowser, who doesn't remember how he got there in there in the first place. He joins up as a playable character to help get past the four Stone Thwomp. The Thwomp drops a Solartic Painting, sucking the party inside.
Chapter 8: The Chromic Hearts
The Solartic Painting takes the party to Clocth Castle , the five Chromatic Hearts begin to react. As Mario places them on the wall, he can paperize the wall and flip it, revealing the main entrance door. At the castle, Mario and company face and once again battle Dimentio. With him out of the way, Mario is able to continue on to Clocth at the top of the castle. Bowser stays behind to rescue his minions and turn them back into their normal selves, Peach stays behind to battle Dimentio for the last time in the game and Mario and Luigi continue on to face off against Clocth.
Finding the Diode, Destie plugs his charger into the machine and says that the machine is powerered by the remaining Chromatic Hearts. Mario hammers the machine and it breaks in half. Collecting the last three, Mario and Luigi jump to the final area. Clocth who still refuses to give up on destorying the Chromatic Hearts battles Mario and Luigi, trying to fight him, but Clocth is completely shielded by the Diode's energy. Fortunately, Bowser (who fell through the floor before the ceiling collapsed), Peach (who landed on Bowser), arrive to help Mario, with the uniting of the four heroes shattering the shield and leading to his defeat in the subsequent battle. Clocth pleades for the four heroes not to kill him. Dimentio emerges and says that he wants to kill the four heroes because of the fact that he lost against them in Super Paper Mario.
Clocth refuses to let this happen because of the Chromatic Hearts that he wants, Dimentio simply takes control of the Diode's remaining parts himself, thanking the heroes for using the Chromatic Heart's energy to defeat Clocth. Clocth wakes up and grabs Dimentio and implants the Floro Sprout from Super Paper Mario, which cause a huge reaction getting the two of them sucked inside a dark hole. The dark hole also sucks the castle inside. Mario and Company flee the castle before this happens.
The Solartic Painting takes the party back to Mushroom Castle, Trying to trap the Solartic Painting inside the castle basement, results in the intire Solartic Worlds getting blasted out of the paintings along with the monsterious Shinny Quake Dimentio. Dimentio posses Bowser and traps him inside his head, the remaining heroes, who are unable to damage their new foe. All hope seems lost until Bowser's minions break through the shield, with their community spirt they shared with Bowser in the past, bringing the Chromatic Hearts together and turning into a dreamy diamond. They defeat the enemy, Bowser is unharmed but unconscious. Dimentio and Clocth burn and die in the explosion.
Mario and company, find the Diode and place the eight Chromatic Hearts inside its energy sockets. Refueling the Aeon Time string. Everyone in the game then has a celebration in Toad Town for reviving the Time String.
Paper Mario 3DS has four playable characters who are the same ones from Super Paper Mario but they have different abilities and available in different places.
|Mario||Mario can smash things with his hammer by pressing the X button to reveal some Whackas, Catch Cards and other items.||Available from the start.|
|Luigi||Luigi has the ability to do a Spin Dash move to get aceleration while moving. He can also do pretty high jumps. He can also hammer stonger blocks and boulders||Available from the start|
|Princess Peach||Peach can use her parasol to float in the air, which is required to get across large gaps.||Complete Chapter 3|
|Bowser||Bowser has the ability to breathe fire and scare people, what an ability..||Complete Chapter 6|
'Party Members '
Party Members return from the first two games, they give Mario and crew new abilities. There are six of them in total. One of them can be requested for his assistance in battling, through Chapter 2, he would count as a partner.
|Destie||Photobomb FP 0 , Tattle FP 1, Voice String||A robotic human voice simulated 3DS that has the ability to take magical photograps in which Mario can be sucked in and alter the reality of the real world. This can make Mario release a huge attack on an enemy.||Available from the start|
|Kerstily||Flowery Wind 0 FP, Fashion Kiss 3 FP, Slap FP 6||Kerstily is a cute and sweet mystic Peagese dog like creature that is the younger sister of the mayouress of Everloft Village. She has a certain relationship with Luigi and is a helpful hand for Destie. She likes a lot of fashion.||Available after Chapter 1|
|Shyler Shampuntkin||Sombrero throw FP 0||The Mayor of Shyler Sands. He tends to over-exaggerate and is quite forgetful, but he's loyal and will never forget good things done to him by his friends, or when it's time to eat, of course. He is quite shy towards strangers but is strong against them when he is insulted by them.||Available durning Chapter 2|
|Bandart||Headbutt FP 0 , Thief Whip, Dash 5 FP, Double Hit FP 7||He is the local heist master. After Mario and Company are falsely framed for a bridge accident he helps Mario clear his name. Throughout the adventure, Bandart gives loyalty to Mario and company.||Complete Chapter 3|
|Dooplight||Ghost Dive FP 0, Lantern Throw FP 3, Duplicate FP 6||A mysterious but awkward Duplighost that dislikes the darkness and uses a lantern, also considering it his loop. He joins Mario during the events of Chapter 4 when Mario and company are saving the family of Boos and Peepas from a crazy gang of Soul Guys. Dooplight is a journalist, who is interested in uncovering these strange mysteries in the town and the castle.||Available during Chapter 4|
|Stonie Tim||Star Fleet FP 0, Spike Drive FP 4, Moon Cleft Whistle FP 8||A friendly Moon Cleft that helps Kerstily find Mario and company when they get sent to the moon by Dimentio. Unlike other Moon Clefts, this one holds a rivalry between Goldbob and General White from Paper Mario; The Thousand Year Door because of the fact that they are both rich. Stonie Tim has a sort of friendship with Bowser and Peach, because of the fact that Bowser kidnaps her everytime, which he finds funny.||Available During Chapter 7|
Stickers are the only items to appear in Paper Mario 3DS, they work and function the same way as badges from the first two games. They serve as the only method of attack, items to solve puzzles, and the like. Stickers can be found anywhere in the Solartic Worlds, being stuck across the environment and inside red question mark blocks. In battle, they can be thrown up onto the battle stage. They can also be used to restore Heart Energy, some stickers are used by the bosses.
While Mario and his partners are battling enemies, they can attack enemies with extra power using the Action Command.
Countdown: Tilt and hold the circle stick left, then release when the red light flashes. Tricky Timing: Pressing the X button to hammer the enemy before it lands on Mario or Luigi.
Aiming: Aligning a cursor in the center of the targeting reticule.
Button Mania: Holding on to or repeatedly tapping a button or input an entire sequence.
Tilting Traversing: Tilt the Nintendo 3DS to guide the rolling balls into the red lights. Skilful Tricks are extra commands to please the crowd more and gain more Heart Energy.
To perform a guard action command, one must press the A button while holding the circle pad down. when Mario's opponent is about to strike him. Guarding reduces the damage he takes from enemy attacks and help the player resist status effects. The player must time it right, though.
Guard: To perform a Guard move, the player must press A and hold the circle pad down to dodge enemy attacks, reducing the damage they do by 1, and also protecting Mario from negative status effects. The player will have 8 frames (roughly 2/15 of a second) to guard.
Super Guard: To perform a Superguard move, the player must press the B button while holding down the circle pad to dodge enemy attacks, negating the attack completely and sometimes damaging the attacker--generally a Superguard deals 1 damage to an enemy who attacks directly and none to foes who attack at range, but it does deflect Pokeys ranged attacks back at them. The player will only have 3 frames (or 1/20 of a second) to superguard, making it more difficult to time than a regular guard.
Ultra Guard: To preform an Ultra Guard move, the player must press the X button to hammer an enemy and dodge enemy attacks, negating the attack completely and sometimes damaging the attacker--generally by 2 damage.
Every time Mario wins a battle, he will earn Star Points. When Mario's Star Point Level gets up to 100, the player can choose whether to upgrade Mario's Heart Points, Flower Points or Sticker Points. Upgrading HP or FP will increase the upgraded stat by 5 and choosing SP will raise Mario's SP by 3. Mario stops levelling up at 99. Each stat has its own maximum value, which it cannot be upgraded beyond. For HP and FP, this value is 200, but for SP, this value is 99; however, it is impossible for the player to have all three stats simultaneously be at their maximum value at any one time, since the lack of level ups prevent at least one of the stats to be at its maximum.
Mario or Luigi can level up in the overworld as well, very similar to Super Paper Mario
Much like Paper Mario, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door and Super Paper Mario, there are items found in the overworld of Paper Mario 3DS that, when collected, allow Mario to upgrade his partners to learn new moves and increase their HP. In this game, Coin Shrooms from New Super Mario Bros.2 fulfil this purpose. The price of upgrading a partner is always 6 Coin Shrooms. There are 42 Coin Shrooms altogether in the game.
The Audience determines how much Heart Energy the party recovers. It consists of various enemies and allies, and sits and cheers as the group attacks. If Mario or his allies use the Appeal action or a Stylish Move, they will recover more Heart Energy . The audience is even used by various bosses. Goomboss uses the Goombas in the Audience to attack a part member from behind, Massif Dragle uses Bulky Bob- ombs to blow up the background wall so it can fall on the party and Dimentio spawns evil aliens in the audience to hit Mario or Luigi. The Audience occasionally takes active participation in the battles; some spectators throw helpful or hurtful items, while others may incapacitate other audience members, making Heart Energy difficult to recover. Bingo! An icon will appear next to the Heart Energy Meter whenever the player successfully uses the Action Command of an attack. If the player has two matching icons and if the player executes an additional Action Command, Mario can take the Bingo wheel for a spin. If the player gets all three similar icons then it will refresh the party's HP and FP all the way.
The Sloartic Paintings are parts of the Aeon Timestring which community has created. These paintings can be entered and transport an individual to the place where the painting was created, much like a portal. These locations do exist in the Mushroom World and thus are in the present. These areas all have an exclusive optional mini-boss that may be fought for its rare drops as well as the shops which sell exclusive and very rare items. The Mini-Bosses can be fought at any time and also be repeated. Defeating one of these Mini-Bosses gains Mario a special artifact upon their first defeat. Collecting all the artifacts by defeating all these Mini-Bosses gains Mario the Supernova Sticker and the Ultra Happy Sticker for the partners.