Hooktail Castle is a location that is found during the events of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door in Chapter 1. Although not explicitly stated, it is the first major dungeon in the game, as it takes place in a closed location. Like Koopa Bros. Fortress from Paper Mario, it features many traps and enemies, a boss at the top of the castle, four keys to unlock four doors, and a quest reward at the end. It is the castle where Hooktail, the dragon who is terrorizing Petalburg, is fought and resides. Mario, and his partners — Goombella and Koops — travel here to defeat Hooktail and collect the Diamond Star. The castle is full of many traps and enemies that Mario and his partners must avoid and defeat. The enormous rooms in the castle provide a resting place for some of the Koopas that have fallen victim to Hooktail's ways — however, not all of the skeletons found throughout the castle remain in an eternal rest.
The in-game map description reads, "A massive castle built to accommodate Hooktail's bulk. It's full of lethal traps."
Though not much is known about the entire history of Hooktail Castle, some backstory was revealed throughout Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door in stories and rumors talked about amongst the many creatures Mario meets along his travels. According to some stories told by Grifty, Hooktail Castle was built long ago in order to harbor one of the Crystal Stars. Despite Hooktail Castle being created to contain one of the Crystal Stars — which were scattered across the world in order to keep the Shadow Queen at rest — Hooktail was the guardian of the castle as well as one of the Shadow Queen's pets. It is unknown if the castle was originally created vacant, and then later taken over by Hooktail by purely coincidental means, if it was taken over by Hooktail purposely to guard the Crystal Star in hopes of somehow helping the long-dormant Shadow Queen, or if Hooktail was specifically put into the castle to guard the Crystal Star, although this seems the most likely as the Map states the castle was built to "accommodate Hooktail's bulk".
It is presumable that Hooktail Castle was once inhabited by beings other than Hooktail quite some time ago, as the castle features some torture devices including the Rack, a flail, and a ball-and-chain. Many of the rooms are filled with the corpses of Koopas, but it is unknown as to how long they were there. There were also some prison cells found in the castle, similar to those found in castles from fourteenth-century Spain and Scotland; one of these prison cells has the skeletal remains of a Koopa residing behind it.
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
Mario and his partners can enter Hooktail Castle via a pipe that leads them into the background where the castle is structured, unless they placed the Sun and Moon Stones (from Shhwonk Fortress) in the proper slots in the first part of Petal Meadows. Upon first entering the castle, they find a Recovery Block and a spring that leads them to a plane panel. Below the plane panel is a garden with a broken bridge that hovers above a moat — at the end of this moat, they can also collect an HP Plus badge (when using Koops). As they soar across the moat, they reach a tall set of purple doors that lead them into the heart of the castle.
Immediately after entering this part of the castle, they encounter many Koopa Troopas and Koopa Paratroopas that are ready to attack. They can also find the Power Bounce badge within a red ? block here. In the next room, they find many skeletons of Koopas that fell victim to Hooktail along their travels, including the remains of Kolorado's father (which Koops mistakes for his). His skeleton is found clutching a note addressed to his son, Kolorado, as a warning about Hooktail and her weaknesses. The note contains his last words, as he wrote it while dying. In this note, Mario and his partners discover that finding something that begins with a 'cr' and ends with an 'icket' will help them defeat Hooktail.
At the far end of the room, they find a Red Bones guarding the doorway to the next room. Once they awaken it, the room quickly becomes flooded with countless Dull Bones, which push Mario and his partner away from the door. After Mario uses his hammer to whack his way to the Red Bones, they engage in battle. Mario eventually wins, gaining access to the next room.
Through the next few rooms, Mario and his partners encounter many more Dull Bones, collect the first Shine Sprite in their path and reach the first locked castle door. The red Castle Key is on a high platform that can be accessible from the yellow and purple switches which make the arrow-imprinted blocks go up and down. Mario can use Koops' Shell Toss ability to hit the switches while he jumps up the stairs. If Mario jumps on the purple block, it will take him to the square-shaped hole in the wall with the Star Piece on a ledge. Mario can jump on two Stone Blocks to reach the big black/yellow block that can take Mario to a wall ledge to jump across and reach a Star Piece. With the black and yellow block up, Mario can use Koops to hit a red ! Switch to flip the staircase to the other side and use Koops' shell to grab the key and unlock the door to the next room. They reach the fourth room with a Save Block and a large green block that goes up.
After some travel, they eventually reach a room with a few Dull Bones and a Paragoomba. The player can use Koops to raise the cell by pressing a red ! switch. The cell leads them to another room with a mysterious black chest, which is identical to the previous one. They quickly move to the room in the right and collect the Black Key in a chest. As they attempt to make their way out of the room, spikes pop out of the ground forming a maze. To Mario and his partners' dismay, the ceiling is also covered in sharp spikes and is lowering quickly towards the ground, which will crush the heroes if they do not escape within 50 seconds. The protagonists escape the treacherous room and insert the black key into the chest. The demon that resides in the chest then curses Mario - from then on, he can turn paper thin and squeeze into even the narrowest of spaces by pressing and holding . Mario and his partners makes their way back, collecting a red badge called Attack FX R in the left prison cell. This badge is the secret weakness of Hooktail mentioned by Kolorado's father and Ms. Mowz.
As Mario and his two partners progress farther and farther up the castle, they elevate themselves up to the second level by the big green block in the fourth room. They can find the second locked door; the second key is in the cell room with Kolorado's dead father behind bars and requires Paper Mode. The trio arrive up to the third room's second level with a Recovery Block. There is a switch that makes the first bridge appear so that they can cross over a gap. Mario can use Koops to hit the second switch and create another bridge, then head to the third gap with no switch. This time, they can use the window that does not have any bars on it, which is low enough to jump through, and a Star Piece can be found behind the windows at the start. He can jump through the other window and enter the west door. They enter a room with many Dull Bones and another large green block on the ground. Mario can use Koops again and elevate up to the third level. A Life Shroom can be seen on a ledge on the left wall and can be collected if Mario drops down from the third level in front or behind the bars.
Mario and his partners eventually enter a treasure room (that was guarded by a Dull Bones) and encounter a mysterious thief named Ms. Mowz, who had come to the castle to steal rare badges, but leaves out the window after chatting with Mario and giving him a kiss. In that same room, Mario and his partners found a Mushroom, a Honey Syrup, and the third key in all three of the four chests. They unlock the door in the green elevated block room and progress further up the castle. They then enter room with a few Dull Bones at the bottom and a plane panel at the top. Mario can use the big black and yellow block to elevate up to the two ceiling ledges. While on the ceiling, Mario can obtained the last Star Piece at the east end. Mario can glide his way down to the door's ledge. Mario and his partners come down the steps a little to collect the last red key. To obtain the last key, Mario can hit the yellow block to remove the large black and yellow block downward, then Koops can be shot at the key. If Mario goes down the gap, he can obtain the Last Stand P badge. Mario can open the last (big) locked door and collect the last Shine Sprite.
After going up two flights of stairs and traveling across the outside ledge of another room, Mario and his partners eventually reach a long bridge high in the air. This bridge is infested with Koopas and lead up to an extremely high tower with a Spiky Goomba on duty. At the top of this tower, Mario and his partners encountered a Save Block, Recovery Block, and an enormous pair of purple doors that led into a large circular dormitory. Through these doors, Mario and his partners encounter Hooktail. After a long battle, the dragon is defeated. The gang celebrated and continued to find the Crystal Star. Suddenly, the red dragon regurgitates a blue shell out of her stomach. The blue shell reveals to be Koopley, Koops's long lost father. Koopley gives Mario the Diamond Star, something he had found in Hooktail's belly and had kept as a souvenir.
Once Hooktail is defeated, Koopook will post a trouble at the Trouble Center asking participants to find him in Hooktail Castle. If Mario locates him on the ledge near the green elevator block, he will reward Mario with the Special Card. After Chapter 5, Merlon will be awaiting for Mario outside his shop in Rogueport. He tells Mario and his partners of a fortune he had received; this fortune told of a room hidden in Hooktail Castle. If Mario and his partners return to the room with the spikes and head to the right wall of the room, they will discover a large crack in the wall that Admiral Bobbery can blast through. In the secret room, they discover the Up Arrow, an item that helps Merlon power up Mario's partners to Ultra Rank.
Enemies found in Hooktail Castle
Items found in Hooktail Castle
Names in other languages