|“||What Sleeps Behind the Door?||„|
In The Thousand-Year Door, Mario is a paper character in a pop-up book enveloping his adventure. Expanding on the paper mechanic from Paper Mario, TTYD Mario learns how to fold himself into different shapes, such as a boat to travel over water and an airplane to glide across gaps.
Princess Peach, along with her servant, Toadsworth, visit Rogueport, a run-down seaport town filled with criminals and shady characters. She meets a merchant who sells her a mysterious map which she sends to Mario, asking him to meet her there in order to search for treasure. When Mario arrives at Rogueport, Toadsworth who mentions that Peach ran off ahead of them in search of the treasure. In the meantime, she is captured by the X-Nauts and taken to their fortress where she is being held hostage. Mario, using the map Peach sent him, sets off on an adventure to find the seven crystal stars, unlock the secrets behind the Thousand Year Door and ultimately rescue the Princess.
Like its predecessor, Mario has the ability to befriend various partners during his adventure. Partners now have their own health counter, which, when it hits 0, they are KO'd for the remainder of the fight. Each partner has several abilities, and are able to upgraded with the use of Shine Sprites.
In the order obtained:
- Goombella: A sassy but highly intelligent female Goomba. She can give Mario information about the place he's in or the characters he meets.
- Koops: A weak-willed Koopa with an overprotective girlfriend. Mario can fire his shell which can hit far away switches, collect far away items, or provide a first strike in battle.
- Flurrie: A luxurious and flirtatious wind spirit that blows gusts of wind that can reveal secrets and disorient enemies.
- Yoshi: A newborn Yoshi with a bad-boy attitude. Mario can ride him for faster travel and flutter jump over small gaps. Yoshi can be named to the player's liking.
- Vivian: A former Shadow Siren. Her power hides Mario, avoiding enemies' sight or getting through obstacles.
- Bobbery: A stoic and seasoned Bob-omb sailor. He can explode on command, destroying weak surfaces or providing a first strike in battle.
- Ms. Mowz: A mysterious treasure-seeking mouse. She can sniff out nearby treasure.
- One recurring joke throughout the game is that several characters seem to ignore or forget Mario's name - he is referred to as Marty-O, Murphy, The Great Gonzalez and Luigi.
- Another recurring joke throughout the game is that Mario receives several kisses from various characters, including all of his female partners.
- Ms. Mowz is the only optional party member in the game.
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