List of Paper Mario glitches
This is a list of glitches in the game Paper Mario. Unless otherwise noted, all glitch names are conjectural.
Captured as a Koopatrol
In the Chapter 6 event during the intermission, if the player times the Sneaky Parasol right when the Koopatrol spots Princess Peach, she becomes a Koopatrol, but they still treat her as Peach, resulting in them taking her back to her room while she is in disguise. This also works on a Hammer Bro in the library; this is the result of a lack of landing sprite for the Koopatrol.
This can also be seen by using sequence breaks to bring the Sneaky Parasol to earlier Peach intermissions. Guards are not programmed to respond to her being in disguise outside of Chapter 6, so they will always capture her.
By pausing the game right after Mario and Herringway enter the mayor's room, Herringway can be morphed into a normal Bumpty or become invisible. This can also be done right before initiating a conversation with the detective during Chapter 7. If invisible, he will reappear when the room is left. If Herringway becomes a normal Bumpty, the game will freeze when the mayor gives him the present, and a debug screen will follow. In the Virtual Console release, the game will not freeze, and he simply will become temporarily invisible when certain "carrying" sprites are supposed to be used; otherwise, he gains a "happy" expression and sometimes rapidly flaps his flippers.
Mayor Penguin cutscene glitch
In Shiver City, standing next to the edge of the Mayor Penguin's house and mounting Lakilester causes Mario to clip inside the house without using the door, meaning the textures for the walls do not load, even during the cutscene with the mayor.
To perform this glitch, the player must have the Charge and Ice Power badges equipped. Leveling up FP and having FP restoring badges and items is also recommended. The player must continuously charge their jump ability's attack power until its attack is high enough. Jumping on a fire enemy (such as an Ember) will cause Mario to do -1 and -0 damage, being 101 and 100 damage respectively.
This happens because the Ice Power badge was poorly designed. It does not check for the maximum of 99 damage, meaning the player deals over 99 and invalid placeholders are used to represent the numbers.
Shiver Region Toad to normal Toad
In Shiver City or Starborn Valley, the player should go into the Toad House and take a nap. After the nap, the player should pause the game. The Shiver Region Toad should then become a normal Toad. This does not affect anything within the game.
Watt missing her sparks
If Watt uses her Electro Shock on an enemy and it fails to do any damage, she will not have any lightning bolts emanating from her. This has been tested on fake Magikoopa clones and Bowser under the influence of the Star Rod.
Happy Flower badge duplication
On the east path of Flower Fields, there is a set of three trees that will drop a Happy Flower badge when hit in the correct order. If the badge is left uncollected and the trees are hit again in the same order, another Happy Flower badge will spawn. This can be done repeatedly to spawn multiple Happy Flower badges. All can be collected (and will appear in the badge menu), but the game will function as if there is only one.
Looping sliding sound
To do this glitch, the player must do the loading zone storage glitch. The player must go to a room in Mt. Rugged with a slide. The player must store the loading zone by jumping up the slide until the sliding animation starts. Mario then enters the room stored, but the sliding sound effect loops. This glitch persists until the game is reset.
At the bridge connecting Goomba Road and Toad Town, there is a glitch in which Parakarry can disappear for a couple of seconds. First, the player must walk down the staircase, then spin towards a corner with a bush. If this is done correctly, Parakarry should disappear for one or two seconds.
Loading zone storage
To perform this glitch, the player must be in any area with a loading zone. Mario must jump onto the zone for one frame, jump off, land for one frame and repeat. To move while doing this glitch, the player must move with the control stick, and make sure its position is neutral one frame before landing. After being on the ground for two frames or more, the effect of the loading zone will occur.
Odd Key early
This glitch bypasses wall collisions and abuses Mario's hitbox when the hammer is used to obtain items. The player should go near the northeast corner of the house outside where the Odd Key is positioned, next to Tayce T.'s house. Mario should face east next to the east wall of the house in between Tayce T.'s house, Spin Dash without changing position, face west, and then use hammer, all before the spin finishes. If timed correctly, the hammer will ignore wall collision and extend into the house, obtaining the key. This glitch does not allow the player to enter the house early, since the door can only be unlocked from the inside.
Out of bounds
This glitch makes it possible to move off the screen using small passageways, or a glitching trampoline.
Mario Bros.' House out of bounds
The easiest place to go out of bounds is the Mario Bros.' House, in the secret basement. The player must set Kooper as their partner, stand behind the Trampoline, and hold the control stick down and press to launch Kooper. After that, Mario will jump to the normal floor of his house, then immediately clip under the secret basement. While Mario is still falling, the player must hold to clip outside. All actions are still functional, such as talking to Luigi. Re-entering the home at this point will cause the back wall and carpet to display incorrectly.
Harry's Shop out of bounds
The player must first progress through the game until they gain access to Harry's Shop's storeroom. Next, they must use Parakarry next to the wheel to clip onto the back wall. The player must carefully navigate the back wall to the other end. Fortunately, falling into the out of bounds will cause Mario to return to the last solid spot he stood on. Once the player is successful and clips outside, it can be seen that only Harry Shop is visible, though the spring to Shy Guy's Toy Box will be visible if the player approaches the building containing it. In this state, entering a building other than the shop will keep it invisible and load any objects within. If Mario clips into the building to the left of the shop by navigating out of bounds however, the Toads inside will remain invisible. Exiting at this point will restore Toad Town's visibility but keep the shop in a broken state.
Toad Town out of bounds
To perform this glitch, the player must be in the central area of Toad Town, near the gate leading to where Peach's Castle once was. When the yellow Toad moving from one side to another stops at either side, Mario must spin in between the Toad and the ground, and then quickly hammer. Mario will then clip through the wall. The player can navigate through the ground by falling out of bounds, but then Mario will be warped to a valid position. Alternatively, instead of spinning and using the hammer, the player can do a Tornado Jump with the Ultra Boots to clip through the wall.
Text storage is useful for various glitches. The player should perform the trampoline softlock up until hitting the Save Block. Instead of merely jumping into the block, Mario should jump towards the block from nearby, and perform a well-timed spin jump as Mario brushes underneath the block. This will allow Mario to move while the Save Block is still active, allowing the player to save anywhere. Text storage can also be used from this by opening the partner menu, and then selecting "No" on the save menu, for other glitches.
Mario can be stuck in his talking pose after the character starts talking. If the player starts talking as Mario is going up onto a ledge, Mario will be moving while the character is talking. If the player goes up onto the ledge, Mario will go back to normal after going back down, but if the player stays down, none of the controls will work and the game will have to be reset. The glitch works best in Kooper's house in Koopa Village.
If Mario interacts with the fireplace in Boo's Mansion while Parakarry is the active party member, Parakarry will continue to fly in place without following Mario. The glitch will end when he is switched for another partner, is pressed, or Mario leaves the room.
Swim on land
To swim on land, the player must go to the very end of the snow in Shiver City, then jump and hold or repeatedly tap C Down. If done correctly, Sushie will land under the dock. Mario and Sushie can then swim anywhere, but can not enter pipes. The glitch ends when Mario goes back to the dock.
If Mario tries to go to Shiver Mountain, they will land in ice and cannot hit the switch, this can be remedied by swimming below the back wall and going around the switch. If Mario goes to the Frost Piranha-populated part of Shiver Snowfield, the slopes will not be easy to pass, requiring diving below the "water" in different places to try to get past. Going down the slope in this area makes it difficult to get out. Encountering an enemy, but finishing with Sushie still as the active party member will temporarily cancel the glitch, but it will reactivate after going through a loading zone. However, encountering three enemies in one room without changing screens will softlock the game, as the game underflows the number of cut scenes that Mario is in. This glitch can be used to skip the Scarf and the Bucket by swimming under the wall in which they are needed to get past. While it is not possible to get all the way to Crystal Palace using this glitch, multiple sequences can be skipped on the way. The glitch can then be deactivated by encountering an enemy, and switching Sushie for another partner.
Bowser's Castle treasure room crash
In Bowser's Castle, if the player tries to enter the room with the door to the treasure before the lava has been cleared by jumping into the doorway, they will land in the lava and take damage, but also trigger the loading zone. The treasure room will appear, with Mario nowhere to be found; the game will freeze a second after the player entered the room, crashing into a debug screen with a floating point exception in the Nintendo 64 version. The debug screen does not appear in the Virtual Console release.
Try to have Lakilester assist Mario by facing left and dismount him near the very corner closest to the loading zone. The end result should be Lakilester very close to the loading zone hovering over the lava and Mario very close to the lava without touching. This will help Mario be pushed slightly closer to the loading zone than jumping alone by abusing party member movement algorithms, making the crash easier to perform.
Double Dip Egg Missile crash
To perform this glitch, the player must have the Double Dip badge and an Egg Missile. During the Lava Piranha boss fight near the end of Chapter 5, the player must use Double Dip and use an Egg Missile on the boss. For unknown reasons, the game will crash. Performing this in any other fight does not crash the game.
Shiver Snowfield letter crash
Tidal Wave crash
To perform this glitch, the player must obtain Sushie and upgrade her to Ultra Rank. In a battle, the player must get at least 14 correct inputs in a Tidal Wave. The player should notice the game slowing down and eventually crashing. While this process is still intensive on Virtual Console releases and will cause various effects, these versions of the game will not crash.
In the Nintendo Switch Online version of Paper Mario, if the player hits the right-most tree in the left area of Shiver City, the game will crash. This is because this specific tree tries to load the address 80A5F400, which is outside of the normal address range. In the original version, the value gets set to 00, so no crash occurs on original Nintendo 64 hardware. This crash also does not occur in the Wii and Wii U Virtual Console versions.
Peach warp softlock
By performing the Peach warp glitch in Chapter 8, Mario will trigger a Peach cutscene that does not exist. Bowser's Castle will simply float forever like at the beginning of each cutscene.
To perform this glitch, the player must go to the area in Mt. Lavalava with the Fire Shield badge. The player must use the trampolines to reach the area with the Save Block. Then, the player must fall off the left edge of the platform, bounce off the second trampoline only, jump under the Save Block and select the 'No' option. Mario becomes stuck until the game is reset.
This happens because the springs use a cutscene to prevent Mario from falling off while jumping up them. When Mario hits the bottom spring, he enters a cutscene, increasing the cutscene counter by 1. When he hits the top spring, he leaves the cutscene, lowering it by 1. If only the top spring is hit, the count drops to -1 (underflowing to 255) cutscenes. Once the Save Block is hit, the cutscene counter glitches out and becomes confused, assuming the player is in a cutscene that will never end, meaning Mario cannot move and the game is softlocked.
Final Bowser glitch
By using Goombario immediately when walking into the final Bowser cutscene, Mario's momentum is maintained and multiple text boxes will appear at once during the cutscene. By waiting for each set of animations to finish and then proceeding to the next text box, text can be progressed before the characters finish speaking.
Trigger skips are glitches which advance the game to a certain story position, whether that means skipping part of the game or returning to an earlier chapter. When Mario does certain actions, the game updates the story position. For example, entering the whale's mouth in Toad Town will set the game to the beginning of Chapter 5 when Fuzzipede is fought, even if Chapter 5 was already beaten, or the player has not beaten Chapter 4. This can lead to many other glitches.
Odd House early
By jumping at a precise spot on the wall of the Odd House next to where Tayce T. lives, then making a frame-perfect jump off that spot into the roof of the house (which has no collision), Mario can enter the Odd House early. Mario can then enter the pipe and enter Rip Cheato's room in Toad Town Tunnels. Since the breakable wall that leads to Rip Cheato's room can be destroyed from the inside, this glitch can be used to skip to Chapter 5 as long as Bombette is in the party.
Peach intermission re-triggers
When the player completes a chapter, the game transitions to that chapter's Peach intermission, even if the player used sequence breaks to re-trigger it after completing a later chapter. If Peach unlocks the door to the first floor in Chapter 4 and the door to the front of the castle in Chapter 6, those doors will still be unlocked upon re-triggering previous Peach intermissions. This leads to many other glitches.
Peach in Bowser's Castle
Normally, it is not possible for Peach to enter Bowser's Castle. The only time Peach can leave her castle is during the Chapter 6 Peach intermission, where she uses the Sneaky Parasol to disguise herself as one of Bowser's troops, and a Koopatrol gives her the front door key and tells her to find a lazy Clubba who is shirking his duties. If Peach tries to enter the door to Bowser's Castle, Twink tells her the door is locked. The game is only programmed to stop her from entering Bowser's Castle during this specific Peach intermission, which normally prevents her from ever entering, since this is the only Peach intermission where she can leave her castle. However, if the player completes the chapter 6 Peach intermission, then uses sequence breaks to re-trigger and complete an earlier chapter, any doors unlocked in previous Peach intermissions will still be unlocked. Therefore, Peach can leave her castle, and Twink will not stop her from entering Bowser's Castle.
Since the developers never intended the player to be able to enter Bowser's Castle as Peach, doing so has many unintended side effects. Entering Bowser's Castle automatically puts the game in a Chapter 8 state, and characters and enemies will treat Peach as if she is Mario. If Peach gets into a battle, the encounter will be set up like Peach and Twink's battle against Kammy Koopa. However, enemies will attack Peach instead of Twink, and the game crashes when she is attacked due to her lacking the standard hurt animation. This makes battles impossible to win, and since Peach has no run command, getting into a battle with Peach effectively softlocks the game. Peach getting hit by a First Strike crashes the game for the same reason, but if Peach lands on top of an enemy, she will First Strike it with no issue as long as the enemy is not spiked.
If Mario has not already fought Jr. Troopa in Bowser's Castle, he will appear and challenge Peach to a battle upon entering the Guard Door room. Therefore, Jr. Troopa must already be defeated for Peach to explore any further. Peach can enter a cell where some Toads and a Bumpty are being held if Mario previously unlocked it. Peach can take a nap in the cell, which results in an animation glitch where part of Peach's sprite is cut off but otherwise works normally. Attempting to push a Bowser block will crash the game. Peach can only get as far as the room with B. Bill Blasters, since the room's narrow, linear design prevents her from getting past them.
Peach fighting Bowser
If Peach reenters her castle after entering Bowser's Castle, it will be in an endgame state: all of the guards will be gone, examining objects such as Peach's mirror will load Mario's text for them instead of Peach's, and the background music will be the endgame one instead of the Peach intermission one. The Toad in the closet will think Peach is Mario and let her sleep in the bed, resulting in the same animation glitch as napping in the cell. If the player has not defeated Bowser in the hallway, he will appear and battle her. When attempting to attack him with Twink, he will fly off after hitting him and never return, softlocking the game. If Bowser was already defeated in the hallway, Peach can continue all the way to the top and enter the final battle with Bowser. Bowser's fire attack will crash the game as usual, but his stomp and claw attacks do not. The claw attack discolors Peach's sprite and poisons her, but the game fails to process the poison effect correctly and softlocks. The stomp attack will remove one of Mario's battle commands upon being hit, even though Peach does not have them to begin with, and the battle continues like normal. However, even if Bowser only uses his stomp attack, Peach has the same amount of HP as Mario, and if it reaches zero, the game crashes.
Sneaky Parasol in earlier Peach intermissions
If the player does not turn off the game in between completing the Chapter 6 Peach intermission and re-triggering a previous Peach intermission other than the Chapter 5 one, Peach will still have the Sneaky Parasol. Using it on anyone encountered outside of the Chapter 6 Peach intermission (except for Gourmet Guy, who is unaffected) will always disguise Peach as a Koopatrol due to that being the default disguise. The guards are not programmed to react to Peach being disguised outside of Chapter 6, so they will capture her on sight even while disguised. Entering the first floor hallway while disguised in any Peach intermission before Chapter 6 results in a graphical glitch where the disguised Peach's animation will be frozen holding a flashlight out in front of her, and her body moves in a zigzag motion when she walks. Baking Gourmet Guy's cake while disguised is not possible, since only the first two ingredients can be added before talking to Twink is necessary to continue, and the Koopatrol is too short to interact with him.
Entering Bowser's Castle and triggering Chapter 8 results in the same glitches as when Peach is not disguised, though attempting to enter Jr. Troopa's room or the roof of Peach's Castle while disguised will crash the game. It is still possible to explore Bowser's Castle beyond Jr. Troopa's room in disguise by using the Sneaky Parasol on an enemy or one of the prisoners. It is possible to take a nap while disguised, though Peach will simply stand next to the bed without jumping in.
The player must go to Mount Lavalava and make sure Bombette is active.
Once there, the player should perform the Save Anywhere glitch, then open the partner menu. They must make sure the save cursor is over "No", but the partner selected is the one already out, to avoid closing the partner menu. The player must then press , which will allow Mario to move during the partner menu.
Next, Mario must throw Bombette towards the loading zone to the right of the Save Block, then, while hovering the cursor over Sushie in the partner menu, perform a spin jump into the loading zone right before Bombette explodes. This is difficult as Mario goes behind the partner menu and cannot be seen. Immediately upon landing, the player should perform the Loading Zone Storage glitch with frame-perfect jumps to the left until Mario falls off the ledge.
When the game transitions to the next room, Mario will be riding Sushie in the ground. By carefully angling Sushie and bobbing down into the ground at certain points, Mario can progress to the end of the volcano to the eruption sequence. Once the volcano erupts, the game plays the next Princess Peach cutscene, instead of the one at the end of Chapter 5. This can be used to skip entire chapters. If done during Chapter 8, no Peach cutscene exists, and the game will softlock as Bowser's Castle floats endlessly on-screen.