Pixls are an ally species of Mario and company. Their first, and currently only, appearance is in Super Paper Mario, where they serve as a replacement for the partner system of the previous Paper Mario titles. In Super Paper Mario, the Pixls help Mario, Princess Peach, Bowser and Luigi by giving them special moves, like picking up items or enemies and throwing them, serving as explosives, or even acting as a floating platform for Mario and the others to ride on. The name "Pixl" comes from the word "pixel", the smallest possible portion of an image, and may also be a reference to "pixie", another name for a fairy, which gives the Pixls their name in Japan, Fairin. When Super Paper Mario was still in production and no official English name for the Pixls was known, many fansites called them "Fairens", based on their Japanese name.
The playable Pixls are Tippi, Thoreau, Boomer, Slim, Thudley, Carrie, Fleep, Cudge, Dottie, Barry, Dashell and Piccolo, as well as the robot Pixl, Tiptron. Unlike the other Pixls, Tippi was not created by the Tribe of Ancients, but started out life as a human named Timpani, and was turned into a Pixl by Merlon as a desperate attempt to save her life when he found her close to death. While the player can only have one of the other Pixls out at a time, Tippi is always in play, except for when she was captured by Francis and when the heroes were briefly sent to The Underwhere by Dimentio. At the end of the game she marries her lost love Count Bleck (formerly known as Blumiere) and disappears, regaining her human form in another world. After that, the player can retrieve Tiptron from her creator, Francis. Tiptron will remain with the player from that point onward, performing the same Tattling function as Tippi did.
3,000 years before the time of Super Paper Mario, a powerful magician among the Ancients created the first twelve Pixls. He accomplished this by transferring a spirit into a vessel that he created for a specific purpose. It has been theorized that the spirits were from people, such as Flip-Flop Folk or humans, who had been given Game Overs, which is supported by the fact that Merlon would one day contain Tippi's human soul within a Pixl form. After the magician's own death, his apprentices learned how to make many more Pixls based on his original twelve. They became known as "thinking tools" for the Ancients, who eventually became rather dependent on their Pixl helpers. Through the work of many Pixls, the Ancients prospered as they never had before.
One day, however, a catastrophe occurred. 1,000 years after the invention of the Pixls, a huge Pixl, calling herself the Pixl Queen, suddenly appeared. Most Pixls were well-contained spirits, but she was believed to be a demonic spirit contained in a Pixl vessel, although it was later revealed that she was not only a human, but possibly the magician's own daughter, who grew ill and perished while he was conducting his research. While her exact motivation is unknown, one theory is that the Pixl Queen was horrified by how the Pixls were used by the Ancients and she used her powers to command the other Pixls to rebel against their masters. Devastated by the loss of the Pixls they had become so dependent on, the Ancients found themselves unable to build and rule their empire, and were easily enslaved by the Pixl Queen.
In the midst of the ruin, the descendents of the magician's apprentices and inheritors of the twelve original Pixls appeared, defeated wave after wave of Pixl soldiers, and freed the enslaved Ancients. They used Catch Cards to trap the mind-controlled Pixl soldiers and then healed them. They saw their friends fall in battle one by one, yet persevered anyway. The last survivor managed to make it to the castle of the Pixl Queen, however she used her powers of illusion to hide and bombard him with horrific images. Fortunately, one of the Pixls at the fighter's side had the ability to see the truth (paralleled by Tippi's Tattle ability 2,000 years later), and together they fought and defeated the Pixl Queen at the cost of the Pixl's life.
The vanquisher of the Pixl Queen then discovered the truth: she had been the first Pixl created, even predating the "original" 12 Pixls used to defeat her. She had been created from a human soul by the magician with knowledge he took from the Dark Prognosticus, so to prevent another catastrophe from ever happening, the survivor of the fight with the Pixl Queen took the book from her and disappeared. He then founded the Tribe of Darkness, which would come to be known as the thieves of the Dark Prognosticus, long suspected of using the dark knowledge contained within the book for their own ends, while in reality, they were also protecting the tome from truly evil uses.
Despite the hiding of the Dark Prognosticus, the Ancients had grown fearful of the Pixls. Their Elders decided to limit the power of all Pixls and outlawed their creation. However, as a result of the Pixl uprising and the unavailability of their Pixl tools, the Ancients declined and disappeared and their technology was, for the most part, lost. Only the eleven surviving members of the original twelve Pixls were believed to still be in existence, scattered around the worlds. They were eventually brought together by Mario and the other Heroes during the course of Super Paper Mario. They were joined by a twelfth, newly created Pixl, Tippi, who was eventually replaced by the robot Pixl, Tiptron.
In a pre-release version of Super Paper Mario, a ladder-like Pixl that did not make it into the final game can be found.
An unseen and unnamed Pixl is mentioned by Heronicus. Speaking to him after the game is beaten will reveal that he spent much of his life seeking a legendary Pixl, only for a rockslide to occur the moment he found it. Forced to choose between his comrade and the Pixl, Heronicus chose to save his friend, and the Pixl was lost forever.
When Mimi impersonates Merlee and tries to trick Mario into accepting an offer, she mentions "Breadward, a Pixl made of oats and lard." Given Mimi's habit of lying to Mario, it is doubtful that this is an actual Pixl.
After the player buys Tiptron from Francis, he mentions that he will soon start making Tiptron Mk. II, an upgraded version of Tiptron. However, if he ever actually makes Tiptron Mk. II remains unknown as he provides no further dialogue on its update afterwards.
The Pixl Queen, as told by bartender Carson, is a Pixl who arose long ago. She had the powers to control other Pixls and started revolting against the Tribe of Ancients.
Carson's story speaks of "twelve original Pixls", one of which defeated the Pixl Queen but died.
Names in other languages