Friday, January 22, 2016

Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam -- Save the Princesses. Save the Kingdoms. With Paper Power.

Our story starts in the Mushroom Kingdom, at Peach's Castle. A Toad enters a dark room filled with books and other things in storage. He says he feels a draft. A tall, shaking shadow appears in the doorway. Toad thinks the draft is coming from this room. The shadow belongs to Luigi, who enters the room. He's afraid of something, possibly the room. Toad agrees that the room is a little creepy. Toad opens the curtains to let in some light. Toad notices a hole in the wall above the bookcase, but his legs are too short for him to reach it. Luigi volunteers to check it out.

Hop up the box and drawers and a Scaredy Rat exits the hole. Toad asks if Luigi's scared of a little mouse, then tells him to finish checking out the hole in the wall. On the bookcase, Luigi cowers in fear. Luigi challenges whatever else may be in the wall. Toad asks him to check if that's where the draft is coming from. Luigi sticks his head partway into the wall and says, "Wow". Toad calls for help. The Scaredy Rat is chasing him around. Toad climbs up onto the bookcase and almost knocks Luigi over, while the Scaredy Rat follows him. Toad tells Luigi the Scaredy Rat is right behind him and Luigi jumps to the ceiling. When he lands, he kicks up enough dust to make him sneeze, sending him flying into the bookcase behind him. This knocks a book with a mushroom on the cover off the shelf. It hits Luigi on the head and opens up. It starts glowing.

Tons of paper characters fly out of the book. They blow the roof off of one of the castle turrets and fly all over the Mushroom Kingdom. Toads in the nearby village notice the paper characters floating down into their town. In a field, a Goomba notices there are more recruits than he bargained for, as Paper Goombas have mixed in with the regular ones. A Paper Toad asks where he is and a Toad notices he's flat. Another Paper Toad is concerned that the Toads are round. Some Paper Paratroopas show off for some Koopas, who are impressed and let them join up as Bowser's minions. Back in Peach's Castle, the onslaught of paper has stopped. One character gently floats to the ground. It's Paper Peach.

In Peach's throne room, Mario and Starlow are gathered. Some Toads can't believe something. Toad and Luigi enter the throne room, followed by Paper Peach. Peach, Mario, and Starlow freak out. Starlow asks Luigi what's going on, then says he doesn't, of course. Peach and Paper Peach look at each other, wondering if the other is her. Mario freaks out some more. Starlow's seeing double and Paper Peach may faint. Luigi jumps in and tries to explain. Toad tells Mario to see what the princesses have to say about the situation. There are two item blocks with a coin each. Talk to a princess and Peach says she can't believe there's another dimension and her. Paper Peach is equally shocked. Opening the book sent her and the others flying out of their world into this one. She thinks the way back home is through that book. Starlow promises they'll take good care of her. Paper Peach doesn't know who Starlow is. She's a representative of the star spirits and guide of Mario and Luigi. Starlow suggests some sightseeing while they try to figure out how to send them home. Peach agrees and is pleased to meet Paper Peach. Mario talks to Paper Peach and is love-struck. Peach wonders why he never speaks so formally to her. She thinks he's feeling shy. Luigi starts talking to Paper Peach and is equally love-struck.

A Toad runs in and starts talking to Paper Peach. He then wonders who she is. He reports about the new flat Toads that suddenly appeared. They're very scared. Peach instructs him to gather the Paper Toads so they can be welcomed properly. He'll try, if they can stop freaking out long enough to listen. Mario volunteers to talk them down. Luigi joins Mario. A Toad gives them a guide. This allows them to access the Menu. Both bros can now move around. One Toad wonders if they'll have to change the name to Peaches' Castle. He loves the stained glass window and would hate to change it.

Exit the throne room and you'll find a Toad telling the Paper Toads they don't need to hide. They're having a difficult time finding them. Both princesses appreciate the help. There are 8 Toads to find here. One is on top of an item block in a set of three. He doesn't want to be eaten and thinks the bros look like Mario. He can't believe Mario is the Mario from this world. Mario says they'll help them all get home. He folds up and goes into Mario's pocket. Up the stairs and to the left is a Paper Toad hiding behind Paper Peach. Tell her the Paper Toads may be closer than she thinks and it will come out of hiding. She thinks he found an interesting hiding spot. He thinks Mario and Luigi want to hurt him. Paper Peach calms him down and he says he was only pretending to hide and keeping an eye on her. Go downstairs and near the banister on the right is a sleeping Paper Toad. He thinks he's dreaming because the bros are rounder and Luigi looks capable. There's a shaking three-color block nearby. Hit it and will bounce from Mario to Luigi and back again when you hit it. The last three hits will reveal three Paper Toads. They want to run, but notice Mario and feel safe. Nearby under a mushroom pillar is another. He says there's nothing to see here, but Mario insists and he surrenders. He's excited to be rescued by celebrities. The last one is cleverly disguising himself as the reflection of a Toad to the left of the staircase. Interact with the Paper Toad to chase it out of hiding. He's freaking out and can't find his friends.

With the last Paper Toad found, everyone gathers in the throne room. The Paper Toads are ecstatic to find Paper Peach and crying because they're in this world and many other Toads are missing. On a field somewhere, seven Paper Toads land, wondering where they are. Someone sinister notices the skinny Toads. Some Goomba appear and want to round up the Paper Toads. The Goombas surround them, but a few escape. Back in the throne room, the Paper Toads wonder if their friends have been creased or crumpled or torn into millions of pieces. Paper Peach remembers something: Bowser and some of his minions came out of the book as well. She doesn't want to think about what could happen if the two Bowsers joined forces. She says the fate of the world rests on the bros' shoulders and asks them to find her lost paper subjects. Peach thinks this may be their greatest challenge yet: them vs. two Bowsers and their combined minion forces. Paper Peach says things may look brighter once they find Mario. Starlow mentions that Mario is right here, but Peach understands what Paper Peach means.

And that begins the fifth adventure into the Mario and Luigi series. I'm looking forward to playing it, as I've wondered if there would ever be a crossover of the Paper Mario and Mario and Luigi games. Surprisingly, there's no mention of Paper Luigi. Perhaps he didn't make it out of the book. Either way, we'll keep an eye out for him. I'm now off hiatus. I have not completed the last level of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker yet and it looks like I won't be able to anytime soon (it's quite challenging). In the meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this game with me.

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