Professor Toad is a Toad who first appears in Paper Mario: The Origami King. A college professor of ancient history, who also doubles as an archaeologist, he joins forces with Mario and Olivia and helps them destroy the yellow streamer. He is easily distinguished from other members of his species by his brown explorer's outfit and yellow-spotted cap, mostly concealed by his pith helmet, as well as the shovel and notepad he always carries with him.
In the overworld, Professor Toad is able to decipher ancient text that is unreadable to Mario and Olivia, and use his shovel to dig up sand and dirt, sometimes revealing coins and treasures; this makes him the only partner in the game to have abilities outside of combat. In battle, Professor Toad (being the only Toad ally to possess an attack) uses Dig This, flinging coins dug from the ground and dealing 24 damage (36 if the Ally Tambourine is equipped) to enemies in a hammer or jump formation. However, sometimes no coins will be dug up, causing the attack to fail. When not doing either of these, he can ride in the Boot Car, where he will share some humorous dialogue with Olivia. Professor Toad also holds the distinction of being the only partner who can rejoin and assist Mario in battle whenever he revisits the district he found him in.
At some point prior to the events of Paper Mario: The Origami King, Professor Toad began pursuing ancient legends, most notably the legend of Captain T. Ode, and the Scorching Sandpaper Desert's Sun Altar that guarded his preserved body. While staying at the hotel in Snif City, he managed to find some clues as to how to open the Sun Altar, placing some Sun Incense on it afterwards, but due to the sun being stolen by the Hole Punch, he ended up causing a desert storm and getting eaten by Mega Paper Macho Pokey.
Paper Mario: The Origami King
When Mario and Olivia arrive at the Snif City Royal Hotel, they ask the bellhop for someone who can decipher mysterious writings written around the desert. The bellhop, believing they work for Professor Toad, gives them a key to his room. There, the duo find his journal, leading them to the Sun Altar. When they get back to the room, the bellhop reveals Professor Toad was asking for an object they had on display, and gives Mario one of the objects: a Sun Incense. Mario and Olivia then head back to the Sun Altar and place the Sun Incense for worship, creating a desert storm and revealing the Paper Macho Mega Pokey that ate Professor Toad.
Eventually, Mario defeats the Mega Pokey, freeing Professor Toad. After greeting them, he reveals he can read the mysterious writings, written by the Ancient Ones, of whom he is studying. Figuring that the desert is too dangerous to trek alone, he decides to tag along with the two, insisting that they return to the hotel and examine its murals. After reading the ones in the hallway, and then the ones in the suite (provided they get the key from Luigi after winning a guessing game), the trio learns of a special ritual, and choose Olivia to lead it. They then perform it successfully and unlock the Fire Vellumental Cave. Professor Toad decides to remain in the first room for the sake of his safety. It is also revealed that he has pyrophobia.
Once Olivia has gained the Fire Vellumental's power, she and Mario rejoin the professor, and the three set out to examine the four Toad Towers throughout the desert. After lighting the torches within each one, and also digging up some differently-shaped jewels to place in their eyes, the trio reveals an Earth Vellumental Magic Circle that Olivia uses to raise up the Temple of Shrooms. This time, Professor Toad decides to tag along, albeit still expressing his cowardice, especially when encountering the faceless Toads. After solving a series of puzzles, he stands back to let Mario defeat the Hole Punch, destroy the yellow streamer, and free the sun, which automatically settles back into the sky.
With the sun back out, Professor Toad discovers that the Sun Altar has awakened, allowing the trio to access the frigid cavern hidden underneath. They find Captain T. Ode there, preserved in ice, before freeing him with the Fire Vellumental's power. Professor Toad expresses excitement at his quest now being complete, and the effects it will have on his career. However, it is here where Professor Toad parts with Mario and Olivia, stating that he feels more comfortable in the desert.
Following the removal of all five streamers and the passing of King Olly, Professor Toad reneges on his previous statement and goes to Toad Town, partaking in the Origami Festival at the end of the game. If the player looks closely on one of the mid-credits screenshots, he has returned to Shroom City.
A Collectible Treasure of Professor Toad (No. 63) can be found after the Temple of Shrooms is unearthed. Mario must go to the back of the temple and have Professor Toad dig into a glowing spot to reveal the treasure.
Professor Toad is a friendly character who is highly passionate about his double career as a professor and archaeologist. He is enthusiastic about uncovering the mysterious writings left behind by the Ancient Ones, and shows no hesitation in assisting Mario and Olivia on their journey. As an academic, the professor is known for giving lectures; in one of his dialogues with Olivia, he expresses his preference in giving lectures over singing. Despite this, he ponders about taking singing and dancing lessons so he, too, can perform ancient rituals. In a comical twist, the professor is shown dancing alongside Mario as part of the ritual to unlock the Fire Vellumental Cave. Professor Toad's conversations with Olivia tend to be humorous as well, such as stating it was "dark and scary, but educational" when he was inside the Paper Macho Mega Pokey.
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Names in other languages