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Francis is a video game-obsessed chameleon in Super Paper Mario, who serves as the main boss of Chapter 3, The Bitlands. Francis is a large, anthropomorphic geeky chameleon, an archetypal asocial nerd who kidnaps Tippi after declaring her a rare collectible. He is also known to have captured another Pixl named Carrie. He then vows to take pictures of her and place them on the website, Digibutter.nerr, a forum for butterfly obsessives. He names Tippi 'Francine' and calls her that throughout the game. However, by the time Tippi and Count Bleck left, Francis calls her Tippi. Amongst his many interests, Francis is an otaku (an anime obsessive) and enjoys watching anime, as well as collecting and playing video games, owning cats and cat-like things, and making a pass at any "hot babes" he encounters. He lives in Fort Francis, where his large collection of Meowmaids guard his belongings, tidy his anime collections, record his favorite television shows and so on. Francis has a catchphrase, "hi-technicaaaaal!", which he employs to describe anything he finds cool, awesome, or "schweet."
Francis is socially inept and composes himself poorly around others, and as a result has no offline friends. When he is confronted by Princess Peach, he is too shy to talk to her directly, and instead engages her with a dating sim named Swoon.exe, where he talks to her briefly about his interests.
Peach wants Tippi back, but Francis refuses to give her up, and the heroes must battle him. Francis has an array of attacks against the player: as a chameleon, he can change his coloration to disappear into his surroundings, thereby avoiding attacks. This ability leaves the player with few intervals to attack him; that is, unless Mario flips into 3-D, where Francis's moving shadow is visible. Francis's most devastating weapon is his prehensile tongue, with which he can swallow any of the heroes whole and slowly damage them by chewing. Lastly, Francis can employ his technology in battle; his laptop can summon an army of Meowbombs, and his camera temporarily blinds Mario and his friends when the flash goes off. Upon defeat he runs away, yelling "Mercy!", and Tippi is released.
After Francis' first defeat, Francis can not be found in Fort Francis. One of the Meowmaids says Francis is in hospital after having hurt himself while playing video games.
Francis can be fought as an optional boss later on in Castle Bleck, after Mimi transports him to the castle to finish off the player. More specifically, the three remaining heroes (as Bowser was lost arguing with O'Chunks) could choose to fight him again after Mimi, disguised as the friendly Merlee, asked Mario which things he found most challenging, which always included an easy enemy, a hard enemy, or a helpful item. The hard enemy for Mimi's third and last question was Francis, and, if Francis was chosen for that question, Mimi (having Mario's input on what obstacles challenged him most) managed to place him in a room in Castle Bleck. Francis had apparently been watching one of his favorite television programs before being warped into the castle, and, despite his confusion, he yearned to have Tippi back so much that he talked himself into thinking that his Reclinatron 4500 chair had, manipulating his very dreams, warped him to Tippi. He then engaged battle once more with Mario and the party, determined to steal Tippi once again, now more than ever, but, despite this rematch occurring much later in the game, his statistics and attacks are identical to those in the first battle. Francis was, of course, defeated, and after his defeat he warped away, claiming he would simulate the battle on his computer to see what had kept him from winning.
If the player returns to Fort Francis after beating the game, Francis will show his greatest creation to them: Tiptron. However, because he is saving to buy Starship X-Naut Issue One, Francis asks for 999 coins from the player to acquire her. After the player buys Tiptron, he reveals plans to build Tiptron Mk. II, an improvement on the original. Francis then orders a Meowmaid to fetch Nibble-Ums to fulfill his hunger before he begins his work. Francis is never shown to have finished Tiptron Mk. II, but it is implied that he did eventually. It is notable that Francis calls her Tippi instead of Francine as the player is given the offer of buying Tiptron.
In addition to Starship X-Naut Issue One, Francis is a source of many other references to other Mario titles. As well as a Starship X-Naut TV show, there is a Starship X-Naut: Space Bloops videogame; another game is titled Larry Koopa: Zombie Heartbreaker, presumably starring Larry Koopa, which Francis was hoping to purchase. The Grodus Chronicles, another X-Naut-related television show was also mentioned, as was an anime featuring Tubba Blubba (of the first Paper Mario): The Blubbening. Francis owns several dolls of Princess Peach, Whacka, Petuni, Punio, Vivian, the Yoshi Kid in all colors, a Bub-ulb and Pennington from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, and he has posters of Petuni, Lady Bow and Bootler. On his shelf, players will also find multi-colored Yoshi Eggs next to the aforementioned dolls. Francis also wants an Excess Express train set, a Ms. Mowz doll with "real smooching action", a product called Cyborg Wart, a Magnus von Grapple action figure, and a Tanooki Suit made with real Tanooki fur. Francis's game console collection includes a NES, an indigo GameCube, an SNES, a Nintendo 64, a Game Boy and a Virtual Boy on his shelf; lastly, if the player flips Mario into 3D, a large television screen with a Wii and a Wii Remote becomes visible.
Francis's mother is mentioned in an optional part of his encounter with Princess Peach. After starting up his Swoon.exe program and explaining its function, the first question Francis asks her is "What is your name?". Peach can choose from three answers, the second (and most passive) of which is "Tell me your name first!". Francis will thus obey her order, noting to himself that Peach is "a stickler for etiquette" and recalling his similar mother. Remembering his mom also levels up Francis's "passion" metric in the simulator, for unknown reasons.
Francis's desire for a girlfriend, coupled with his social inaction, leads to the aforementioned Swoon.exe exchange. Francis will only allow "hot babes" to enter his room, and his door is programmed to reject any males, such as Mario and Bowser. Peach is admitted to the chamber, and Francis immediately seeks to romance her with the program.
Names in other languages