“Archaeology is about mystery. And you know, without mystery life is rather bland, hm? Maybe you should write this stuff down Mario.”
Professor Kolorado is an adventure-loving, bold Koopa explorer and archaeologist in Paper Mario. A former student of Professor Frankly, Kolorado lives in Koopa Village, but is rarely home, preferring to go out on quests for ancient artifacts, to the displeasure of his wife. He is the idol of his neighbor Kooper, who eventually becomes his assistant at the end of Paper Mario. Kolorado is a parody of Indiana Jones, as they are both named after an American State and they are both legendary archaeologists. Both wear similar outfits and go on quests for unique artifacts, and Kolorado is also chased by a Spiny Tromp similar to the Boulder scene from the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. He also bears some similarity to Flint Cragley from Super Paper Mario.
Not much is known of Kolorado's life before Paper Mario, though according to a Toad in Toad Town, his interest in adventuring was inspired by Koopa Koot when he was once a famous explorer. In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Goombella informs Mario that Kolorado was a student of the renowned Professor Frankly. Kolorado seems to have followed the footsteps of his father, a fellow adventurer who died while exploring Hooktail Castle. It is unknown whether Kolorado knows about this or not. Kolorado later married and settled down in Koopa Village. However, he left the village frequently to explore unknown lands, frustrating his wife. Because of his journeys, Kolorado became well-known and respected in the archaeological community and also became the personal idol of Kooper.
Mario first hears of Kolorado during his visit to Koopa Village. Kooper mentions that Kolorado is his role model, and if Mario enters his house, he meets Kolorado's wife, who is angry that her husband is constantly away from home. Mario and Parakarry find a letter addressed to Kolorado on Mt. Rugged and plan to deliver it to him.
Mario and his partners first meet Kolorado in person on the edge of Dry Dry Desert, which they were going to cross in an attempt to rescue the Star Spirit Mamar. Kolorado, along with a group of fellow explorers, is there to find the treasure of Dry Dry Ruins. When Mario discovers and subsequently explores Dry Dry Ruins, he finds an Artifact that the player can give to Kolorado. Kolorado gives Mario a Star Piece as thanks if the player chooses to do so. Later on, Kolorado sends a letter to Mario's House, stating that he finally found the ruins (although Mario never told him that he had already found them), but did not find any treasure there. Moustafa also sends Mario a letter saying he saw a "suspicious looking Koopa" messing around the ruins, referring to Kolorado.
Mario encounters Kolorado again in the Toad Town Port after rescuing the fourth Star Spirit, Muskular. The explorer is attempting to find a way to Lavalava Island in order to find a legendary treasure there. Mario finds a whale who agrees to carry the two adventurers to the island after Mario cures it of a stomachache caused by Fuzzipede. Kolorado then accompanies Mario to Yoshi's Village and when a path is opened to Mt. Lavalava, he rushes ahead to the volcano. On the way, he is saved from the inhabitants of Jade Jungle twice by Mario, although the player has the option on both occasions to ignore Kolorado and continue through the jungle, after which Kolorado would somehow escape the enemy on his own and berate Mario for not helping him.
Kolorado ventures into the volcano with Mario, but is unable to find any treasure or even progress through the treacherous caverns without Mario's assistance. At one point, he is run over by a Spiny Tromp trap. At the halfway point of Mario's battle with the Lava Piranha, Kolorado attempts to aid him, but is badly burnt and runs away. After the plant's defeat, Kolorado, Mario, and the newly freed Star Spirit Misstar venture deeper into the near-erupting volcano to try to find a way out. At the end of the volcano, a chest is discovered on a high ledge, and Kolorado makes a near-fatal reach for it as lava rises behind him. He is scooped up at the last minute by Misstar, and the band of adventurers narrowly escape from the volcano as it erupts.
Kolorado is distraught at his lost treasure, despite Misstar telling him he should be glad to still have his life. Kolorado is too miserable to leave Yoshi's Village until Mario finds the Treasure Chest, which miraculously survived the eruption and was simply blown to a section of Jade Jungle. After Mario gives him the treasure inside it, the Volcano Vase, to Kolorado, the overjoyed explorer trades a Magical Seed for the treasure and accompanies Mario back to Toad Town.
Once back in Toad Town, Kolorado tells Mario that he plans to go back to Koopa Village and see his wife. However, during his return trip, a large Koopa called Kent C. Koopa blocks the path to Koopa Village and demands one hundred Coins for passage. Mario helps Kolorado by defeating the burly Koopa, and Kolorado spends the remainder of the game in Koopa Village with his wife, though he mentions plans to explore the Crystal Palace.
Through the rest of Paper Mario, Kolorado is alluded to in two of Goombario's Tattles, in both of which Goombario impersonated Kolorado and his love for treasure. A Duplighost in the Crystal Palace also disguises himself as Kolorado, bizarrely intending to trick Mario into thinking he was Kooper.
After the game is completed, Kooper becomes Kolorado's assistant and leads him to Shiver City, where they are ready to embark on an expedition to the Crystal Palace, fulfilling Kolorado's past plans. When they get there, though, they are stopped by Parakarry, who delivers a party invitation from Princess Peach to Kooper and gives Kolorado a message from his infuriated wife, forcing him to forestall the expedition and return to Toad Town. Kolorado is later seen alongside his wife in the game's ending parade, where they wave to the player atop the Whale and are sprayed into the air by its spout.
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
If Mario reads Lumpy the Ratooey's journal, he discovers that at some point Kolorado went back to Dry Dry Desert and that Lumpy encountered him there during Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. Kolorado helped Lumpy make his dream of finding oil a reality by providing him with shelter.
Kolorado is consistently portrayed as extremely courageous, willing to go into the depths of Mt. Lavalava to find treasure. As Raphael the Raven comments, this bravery often gives way to foolishness; Kolorado is also an ignorant character in his comical and constant misnamings of the whale (much to the whale's annoyance) as a tuna and Misstar as a starfish. Kolorado is a generally friendly character who is willing to help, but despite his intentions, never actually aids Mario in his quest. In fact, he is shown to be very weak; during his time on Lavalava Island, he is attacked by both Jungle Fuzzies and Spear Guys, and is unable to fight back against either of them, requiring Mario to assist him. This is demonstrated when Kolorado attempts to help Mario in fighting the Lava Piranha; although he rushes courageously at the monster, he is easily beat back.
Kolorado is obsessed with finding treasure, and his wife comments that he is rarely at home, always going on some expedition. Although there is no voice-acting in Paper Mario, Kolorado's text seems to hint at a stereotypical southern English accent, as he often uses phrases such as "tally-ho", "old boy", "old chap", and "old bean". A similar accent was also applied to Admiral Bobbery in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.
“He's the archaeologist, Kolorado. He's famous as both a scholar and an explorer. Unfortunately, he's also renowned for his carelessness. He's wild about treasures and ancient secrets, so he's always taking off around the world on some adventure.”
In Paper Mario, Mario can find two letters from Kolorado on the desk in his home as the game progresses.
There is also a letter addressed to him, which Mario finds on the upper-left ledge of Mt. Rugged and gives to Parakarry in Chapter 2. After Parakarry joins Mario's party, the two can deliver the letter to Kolorado, for which he will give a Star Piece as a reward.
Names in other languages