Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (known as Mario & Luigi RPG: Paper Mario MIX in Japan and Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Bros. in Europe and Australia) is a game in the Mario & Luigi series for Nintendo 3DS that crosses over with the Paper Mario series. As a result, the game uses the same graphics and engine as its predecessor and contains elements from Paper Mario: Sticker Star. The plot revolves around Mario, Luigi, and Paper Mario trying to stop the two Bowsers from taking over the Mushroom Kingdom using their combined armies. It is the second Mario & Luigi game for the Nintendo 3DS and the fifth game overall in the series.
The story begins with Luigi and a Toad entering the attic of Princess Peach's Castle, looking for the source of a draught. They soon find a hole above a bookcase, and Luigi investigates. Suddenly, the Toad gets chased by a Scaredy Rat, which entered the room through the hole, and Toad leads the Scaredy Rat to Luigi, causing him to get scared and fall to the floor. The dust on the floor makes Luigi sneeze, knocking him backwards into the bookcase. This causes a book to get knocked over and open, releasing the Paper Mario world characters within. This ultimately releases the Paper characters into the Mario & Luigi world, spreading across the Mushroom Kingdom. Paper Toads flutter down and are sighted near Toad Villages, while Bowser's enemies begin to meet. Luigi and Toad meet Paper Peach, who introduces herself to Mario, Peach, and Starlow. Mario and Luigi agree to help Paper Peach seek out the Paper Toads spread across the Kingdom.
Mario and Luigi find the Paper Toads hiding in the castle. Afterwards, they explain that more of them were confronted by Goombas, however, a few were able to escape. The brothers go to the castle's workshop and discover Nabbit has stolen all of the Bros. Attacks that the Toads had prepared. Mario and Luigi tell them that they will use the two they recovered before Nabbit escaped. While trying to leave the castle, they find Toadette, who shows them a miniature papercraft resembling Mario. Meanwhile, some Paper Toads arrive to give the protagonists a Copy Block they had constructed.
At Sunbeam Plains, Mario and Luigi are greeted by two Goombas from the paper world, which they battle and crumple. Meanwhile, Bowser meets Paper Bowser, who, after some disagreements, team up together and agree to kidnap Peach and Paper Peach. Bowser Jr. also meets his paper counterpart, Paper Bowser Jr. and, unlike their fathers, the two become friends. Additionally, Kamek and Paper Kamek meet and shortly begin to insult each other, which continues throughout the game.
Mario and Luigi are eventually cornered by a large group of Paper Goombas, who defeat the Mario Bros. Shortly afterwards, Paper Mario arrives to defeat the Paper Goombas and save Mario and Luigi. After the battle, Mario and Luigi unite with Paper Mario, and the newly-formed trio set off to find the Paper Toads.
Soon after meeting Paper Mario, the trio learns of Bowser and Paper Bowser's kidnapping of Peach and Paper Peach, respectively. The Bowsers then arrive and return to their castle, sending Petey Piranha to attack the trio and slow their pursuit. After the group defeat Petey Piranha, they eventually reach the exit of Sunbeam Plains; which Paper Kamek blocks using a Papercraft Goomba. Toadette then arrives, and tells the group that she can help them pass the Papercraft Goomba, given that the trio can find some more Paper Toads first. After enough Paper Toads are rescued, Toadette creates Papercraft Mario to destroy the Papercraft Megacrinkle Goomba blockade, allowing the trio to access Doop Doop Dunes.
In the Dunes, the trio spot Bowser's Castle in the distance, which they must cross the desert to reach. On the way to Bowser's Castle, their progress is put to a halt by a Mega Pokey and the Paper Tower Power Pokey after climbing some quicksand. The trio regroup and learn the Trio Hammer, and eventually reach the top of the quicksand stream again, this time crossing a bridge leading towards Bowser's Castle. However, the big Pokey duo stop them once again; attacking the bridge causing Mario and Co. to fall into Doop Doop Dunes Grotto. They soon find that in order to progress they must jump really high in order to defeat the Pokeys. Reaching another Toad Village; Mario, Luigi and Paper Mario rescue more Paper Toads for Toadette's workshop to create a trampoline. After using the trampoline to reach and defeat the two Pokeys, the group prepares to proceed, but are again blocked by the Kamek duo and their latest papercraft, Papercraft Kamek. Toadette once again arrives with the new Papercraft Luigi, the trio defeats the Kamek duo and proceeds.
As they approach Bowser's Castle; Bowser decides to blast them with cannonballs. The first shot misses, but breaks the bridge leading to the Castle, and the second knocks out the trio. Wendy O. Koopa, Roy Koopa, Larry Koopa, and Ludwig von Koopa arrive to take them away to the Twinsy Tropics Dungeon. The Bowser Jrs. also arrive to collect the book that contained Paper Mario's world, which Luigi dropped after being hit with the second cannonball.
The trio wake to find themselves in a prison cell. After escaping their cell, they battle their Hammer Bro. wardens to retrieve their items and Command Blocks. They then find out the arrested Toads are being forced to mine Fire Ore by Bowser and Paper Bowser. Also, in the dungeon, they learn the Trio Grab and find the Paper Goomba they fought in the Paper Mario tutorial, who gives them Battle Cards in exchange for freeing him. While in the dungeon, they notice a gate with a round-shaped indent in the centre, before proceeding to escape the dungeon. However, before the group can escape, they face off against Wendy and Roy. Meanwhile, the Bowser Jrs. annoy the Kameks into giving them a vacation to Bowser's Mount Brrr Villa. They take the caged Princess Peachs with them. They also try to tell Bowser about the book containing the Paper Mario universe, but he ignores them.
The group, alongside the freed Toads find themselves stranded at Twinsy Tropics. After collecting a few Paper Toads at a nearby Lakitu Info Center, they build a boat and, using Paper Mario as the sail, return to Sunbeam Plains. After returning to Peach's Castle, a group of Toads tells them they saw the Princesses at Mount Brrr, which can be accessed through Gloomy Woods. The trio then head back through Sunbeam Plains in order to progress to Gloomy Woods. Along the way, they encounter Paper Petey Piranha, who blocks the way. Once the group defeat him, they progress onwards.
Arriving at Gloomy Woods, they reach another Toad Village; where some Toads tell Mario and Co. to stay on the east side of the forest, because the west side is haunted. They also meet a starving Wiggler who claims to be the guardian of the forest. Paper Kamek soon appears to block the path with junk, which Wiggler considers littering. After feeding him a berry, he breaks some opening the way, but falls asleep short on food, blocking the way himself. After getting more berries from a Paper Paratroopa, Wiggler requests a Melon, which a nearby Yellow Yoshi has. After challenging the Yoshi to a race, they feed the melon to Wiggler. After breaking a couple of gates, with bombs and even hitting Nabbit for another Bros. Attack, the team encounters the Kameks. Kamek initially fights the group, but is overpowered with bombs. Paper Kamek, however, possesses Wiggler, and forces him to battle the team. After he is defeated and Wiggler is freed, Wiggler turns into Flutter and flies them to Mount Brrr.
At Mount Brrr, the Bros. watch as King Bob-omb, Iggy Koopa, Lemmy Koopa, and Morton Koopa Jr. shower the land with stronger enemies and new terrain. They learn the Trio Drill, and, with the help of Toadette, the Bros. make it to a Toad Village, where they prepare to build a Papercraft to combat the Bowser Jrs. and save the princesses. However, even after Papercraft Bowser Jr. is defeated by the new Papercraft Peach, the two Bowser Jrs. manage to escape with the Princesses and the book unharmed. They accidentally leave behind a Red Medallion, which opens the gate in Twinsy Tropics Dungeon. In order to go there, they cross Doop Doop Dunes again.
While crossing Doop Doop Dunes, they encounter Nabbit twice, learning two more Bros. Attacks, and face off against the Chargin' Chuck Corps that arrested them and took them to the dungeon earlier. They then meet up with the Paper Goomba from the beginning of the game that they saved and travel to the dungeon with him. Here, the Paper Goomba betrays Mario and Co. to the Fire Bros, who have taken over as wardens; taking the Red Medallion with him. After getting the medallion back, they open the gate which leads to Bowser's Castle. Before they can proceed to the castle, they fight Larry Koopa and Ludwig von Koopa, who try to stop them.
Arriving at Bowser's Castle; Mario, Luigi and Paper Mario learn the Trio Glider before encountering the two Kameks and their new Papercraft King Boo, piloted by Morton Koopa Jr. and Lemmy Koopa. Luckily, Toadette arrives on time with Papercraft Yoshi. After the trio's Papercraft is victorious, Kamek kidnaps Toadette to prevent the production of more Papercrafts, and prepares to build his own ultimate Papercraft Bowser with the help of his paper form. The group begin searching for Toadette and rescue her shortly afterward from a Fly Guy, and also encounter the Bowser Jrs. on guard duty.
Meanwhile, the Princesses escape and greet the team, but are shortly caught by the two Bowser Jrs. They initially mean to fight, but realize they forgot to hide the book, so they flee instead. Mario and Co. chase them down, and they hand over a fake book. This fools the team long enough for them to recapture the Princesses, but are promptly beaten by the trio. In their last moments, Bowser Jr. reflects on the fun he had with Paper Bowser Jr. and realizing that it was his fault they lost because he refused to destroy the book. The two Bowsers come in and mourn their loss, and Mario's team decide to escape the castle, leaving the book behind.
The group then find themselves back at Sunbeam Plains once again, and head back to Peach's Castle. Meanwhile, the Bowser duo take their revenge by destroying Peach's Castle with cannonballs, and flying their own castle above Mount Brrr using their newly-built rockets made of the Fire Ore the Toads mined. Toadette then realizes she can build a staircase with the Paper Toads from the summit of the mountain. She promises to meet the Mario Bros. there.
The team begins to make their way through Gloomy Woods again to get to Mount Brrr, but end up on the haunted west side. Both Mario and Paper Mario are promptly kidnapped by King Boo and his minions, leaving Luigi alone to find them. After a pep talk from Starlow and facing off against various puzzles, he finds Mario in a field of shadowy clones. After finding the real Mario, they proceed to rescue Paper Mario. Once they find him, they reunite; but after hearing eerie laughter, they realize that the Paper Mario they rescued was King Boo in disguise. They proceed to battle him, but halfway through he threatens to tear up the real Paper Mario, having a Paper Boo carry him in to prove his point. However, the Mario Bros. defeat the Paper Boo, and the three of them finish King Boo off, and continue through the woods. Soon, they encounter Roy in his Clown Car, who challenges them to a minigame. After defeating Roy; they then meet up with Flutter once again, who flies the trio back to Mount Brrr.
At Mount Brrr, the group rescues all the remaining Paper Toads to build the staircase, and proceed to venture to the summit using new paper terrain that has been produced. They meet many Lakitus investigating the falling Paper Terrain and Paper Enemies before reaching the fortress. Four Goombas and two Hammer Bros. corner them, but King Bob-omb soon appears and stops them from defeating the team. He states that even if they are defeated, word would still spread, and no one can know of his operation. He then proceeds to start a timer to the operation's self destruction, which would wipe out everyone nearby who could spread the word. The minions all flee, while Mario and Co. challenge and defeat him before the timer runs out; successfully preventing the explosion. Two Lakitus then arrive at the summit; with a large delivery of Paper Toads who build a staircase to the newly dubbed Neo Bowser Castle. If all the Paper Toads have been rescued; the extra Paper Toads then join the group as a new Bros. Attack for Mario; the Toad Trail. The group then ascends the Paper Toad staircase while dodging more cannonballs towards Neo Bowser Castle.
When they arrive, Iggy taunts them and signals to the rest of the Koopalings that Mario, Luigi and Paper Mario have arrived. The group then encounters Nabbit for the final time, who is wanted for robbing Bowser. They engage in a chase, where the Mario Bros. can chase and fight Nabbit for coins, but also work with him to fight the Shy Guys, Chain Chomps, and Broozers chasing him. Afterwards, Nabbit leaves them with the remaining Bros. Attack as thanks. They then find Toadette, who is defending Papercraft Mario, Luigi, Peach and Yoshi. However, the Kameks release their new Papercraft Bowser, which burns them all to a crisp. Toadette mourns the loss of her work, but then realizes that she could build a Papercraft out of the same material, Fire Ore, which she asks the trio to collect around the castle.
The first Fire Ore is already in Toadette's possession. The second is guarded by Bowser, Wendy, and Iggy who are in their Clown Cars. They are knocked out of the sky with Bombs by the group. In a last ditch effort, Morton attempts to blast down the final ore with cannonballs, which are deflect back at him. The ore is used to assemble Papercraft Fire Mario, which then defeats Papercraft Bowser. In anger, the Bowsers and Kameks destroy the bridge to the rest of the castle, forcing the Mario Bros. to reassemble it. However, before they cross the reassembled bridge, Lemmy, Iggy, and Morton activate a timer that allows the castle's biggest cannon to charge up for a powerful final blow to destroy any remains of Peach's Castle, which the Princesses are reassembling. The Mario Bros. quickly break the cannon before proceeding.
Before they can face the Bowsers, however, they fight the Kameks one final time. Despite their best efforts, the Mario Bros. defeat them. As they lay defeated, Kamek compliments his Paper counterpart, who shares his sentiments. He then states that he thought of him as a brother, albeit uglier; causing the two to engage in an insult match, before Mario and Luigi silence them. Bowser and Paper Bowser then command the Koopalings to finish off the Mario Bros. Wendy and Roy attack first; followed by Larry and Ludwig, and then finally Iggy, Lemmy, and Morton; who are all eventually defeated by the trio. They proceed to challenge Bowser and Paper Bowser themselves, who reveal they plan to trap the Bros. in the now empty book, whose contents became the Paper terrain that was shot across the land, leaving them in an empty abyss, which they plan to burn. However, both of them hint that they wish to trap the other one in with them. After a lengthy battle, Paper Bowser merges with his entire paper army to create a suit of armor for Bowser; creating Shiny RoboBowser. However, even this wasn't enough, as after the battle, Bowser is sent flying off of Neo Bowser Castle, and plummets to the ground. Paper Bowser makes one last attempt to grab the book, but Paper Mario makes it there first, and the trio lock him in it.
Back at Peach's Castle, with the Princesses and Toads gathered at the entrance, the group reunites with their friends. Toadette orchestrates a Papercraft parade, where they tour the lands bringing the terrain and enemies back to the Paper World, meanwhile Nabbit steals Melons from the Yoshis in the audience. Afterward, Peach, Mario and Luigi say goodbye to Paper Mario, Paper Peach and the Paper Toads who return to their world. However, Bowser then falls from the sky and starts causing trouble again, and the game ends with Mario and Luigi going off to stop him once again.
The overall gameplay is mostly similar to the previous Mario & Luigi games, though with the addition of a new party member alongside Mario and Luigi, Paper Mario. Players control Mario, Luigi, and Paper Mario simultaneously (Paper Mario using ). Because the player now has two characters following after Mario, all three characters can be made to jump simultaneously with the button, which also causes the three to flutter in the air briefly when held. By continuing to hold the button after jumping simultaneously, players can charge up a dash. All three characters also possess hammers. By using all three hammers in quick succession (, , and then ), the trio will unleash a Trio Hammer, or powerful shockwave, that can destroy large blocks. Other moves include the Trio Drill, a reworked version of the Drill Bros; the Trio Glider, that acts like Mario's Paper Airplane from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, and the Trio Grab, which can reach far distanced things and throw them.
In battle, players control all three members of the group. Paper Mario, in a first for the series, fights alongside but independently from Mario and Luigi, unlike the Baby Bros. in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, the only other installment to feature characters fighting alongside the Mario Bros. This allows the trio to take three actions in one turn. While Mario and Luigi control similarly to the way they did in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, Paper Mario's abilities set him apart from the other two. Paper Mario is able to create copies of himself as a battle command, which increase the damage he can do in his attacks: He can land as many jumps as he has copies, and when he uses his hammer, the copies will split and target all enemies on the field. Paper Mario loses a copy for each hit he takes, but can replenish them on his turn before using another battle command. His jump dodge allows him to flutter, letting him briefly stay in the air longer than Mario and Luigi can.
Players are able to use Bros. Attacks with Mario and Luigi, working like they did in previous games. In addition, a new variation of special attacks called Trio Attacks can be performed with Paper Mario. These attacks will have all three members attack enemies with a giant cardboard hammer to paperize them before executing the attacks.
At certain points, the trio will take part in Papercraft battles, which are the equivalent to the giant battles from the previous two games. Each time, they'll control different Papercraft characters, each with their own unique abilities, and each of the five battles will end with a Papercraft Boss.
Another new addition are Battle Cards, replacing the badge system, also from the previous two games. The player creates a deck of 10 Battle Cards, one of which will be played each turn. These range from boosting stats, dealing damage, or lowering an enemies stats or level. Each one needs a different amount of Star Points to use. amiibo are compatible with the game, each giving the player a special set of support cards to use in battle. The cards will reset once they've all been played.
Mario & Luigi series
Paper Mario series
Cameos on Battle Cards
Items and objects
Lakitu Info Center
The Lakitu Info Center plays an important role in this game. It is a cloud-shaped building found in the various Toad Towns. The player can talk to two Lakitus: the one on the right offers to play new missions whose goals are catching Paper Toads. The player must obtain a certain number of them to progress through the story. The one on the left lets the player replay already cleared missions (but also minigames like Toad Quizzes) and also try Hard Mode of some of them (which make a mission harder by doing things like adding or reducing timers). By clearing a mission for the first time (Hard Mode included) the player can earn Medals. Obtaining a set number of Medals gives an exclusive Battle Card. A pipe on the left of each building, which passage is freed once the player reaches the second Lakitu Center in Sunbeam Plains, leads to the Arcade. Here, the player can buy Lakitea for 20 Coins (which fully heals the party) and play in the Boss Battle Ring, the Papercraft Battle Ring and the Attackathlon, which, respectively, lets the player face harder variants of the game's bosses, replay Papercraft battles and play extended, more complex versions of the Trio Attack, and also get rated by their performance.
Five Toad scolars, found in Sunbeam Plains, Doop Doop Dunes, Twinsy Tropics and Mount Brrr, host quizzes with trivial questions mainly about the game's story and characters. To earn a one-time prize (3 Beans of a certain kind) the player must answer 3 questions out of 5 correctly—however, there is not a time limit. If the player keeps giving right answers, they will also gain some Coins. The questions are picked randomly from a pool and their wrong answers may vary. From the afromentioned Lakitu Center the player can also play Hard Mode versions of the Toad Quizzes. While the answers are unchanged, the player must correctly answer to all 8 asked questions. To further increase the difficulty, the player must also face a 10 second timer for each question.
Differences from other Mario & Luigi games
Pre-release and unused content
The game is produced by Akira Otani, Toshiharu Izuno, and Yoshihiko Maekawa and directed by Shunsuke Kobayashi and Hiroyuki Kubota. The music for this game is by Yoko Shimomura with Will Co., Ltd providing the Papercraft battles.
In the past, the Mario & Luigi games primarily used two buttons, but the developers wanted to break new ground by making a third button active in combat. Characters were brainstormed until the developers thought of a second Mario, where the Paper Mario character would fit the third character role neatly. This implementation has then turn the idea of a crossover. Though Paper Luigi was considered to be the fourth character, the developers thought that adding a fourth button for a fourth character will be too difficult and complicated to enjoy the game. According to Kobayashi, the trickiest thing to implement in a crossover was to make Paper Mario, a main character, stand out.
Though the first draft of the story involved the characters going back and forth between the Mushroom Kingdom and the paper world with many twists to the narrative, the developers thought it was too complex and that no one will enjoy it, so that it was rewritten many times to be simplified, where greater emphasis was placed on the character interactions between each other. Though emphasis has been placed on Paper Mario to make him stand out, the developers wanted equal attention to all characters, where they mention that it was a "big job" to balance everything. The developers also mentioned interest in adding original characters to the plot, but decided against it since they already have many characters to work with, and it would be too challenging to fit them at an appropriate appearance in the story.
When asked about the gameplay, battle designer Jun Iwasaki emphasized on narrowing the focus. His first thought was making use of three buttons, which were promptly brainstormed with lots of ideas on paper, until the developers chose the one that looked the best and tested them with a prototype. Hiroshi Ohata, the battle programmer, explained that battles are first created without animations and other visual effects. He has stated that they always make sure the gameplay is very responsive at a basic level, so they perform many experiments to test the gameplay elements. What works and what doesn't is based on people who playtest the game during development.
Yoko Shimomura, the composer for the game's music, felt that since Paper Mario is joining the battle, she opted for a lighter, more upbeat tune to the game's soundtrack. When asked which music is her favorite, she stated that her songs are "like her children" and is unable to choose one, though she did say that Mountaintop Secrets, the background music for Mount Brrr, "has a certain fantastical atmosphere that isn't usually found in the Mario world, and having the opportunity to put a song with that kind of feel into a Mario game is something that's quite unique to the Mario & Luigi series, I think."
Natsuko Kemi, the game's graphics designer, emphasized on the details of the animations and graphics on the characters. For example, Luigi's walk cycles is based off his walk cycles in Luigi's Mansion.
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam has received generally positive reviews from professional critics, scoring a 76 based on 65 critics in Metacritic. and a 76.70% based on 44 reviews in GameRankings. General praise has been given out to the battle system, gameplay, and the humor, as well as removing the amount of tutorials present in the game's predecessor, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, though it has been criticized for the simple story and playing too safe for the franchise. Lee Garbutt from God is a Geek, writer of one of the more positive reviews, giving the game a 9/10, praised the game's battle combat and the humour though stated that the game was too simple for hardcore JRPG fans and the amiibo implementation was superfluous. Daan Koopman of Nintendo World report gave the game a 7.5/10. He called the game "cute" and praised the interactions between the characters, but criticized the pacing in the review, highlighting the Toad Rescue missions being the primary problem of being too excessive. On a more critical note, Mark Brown of Pocket Gamer UK gave the game a 6/10, criticizing the game for being too safe and also lamenting the lack of a diverse cast of characters, and failing to live up to the standards set by preceding games, though he notes how some charm is left and that the gameplay is fun.
References to other games
References to other media
Names in other languages