Scorching Sandpaper Desert
Scorching Sandpaper Desert is a location in Paper Mario: The Origami King, a desert divided into several smaller sections, all of which are shrouded in darkness due to the missing sun. It is located in the yellow streamer district, explored directly after the Breezy Tunnel. A coffee shop can be found here, as well as the green Sensor Lab. In addition, one of the four desert towers is found here, along with the Sun Altar and a village ruins area located in the southeast corner of this desert. Fortunately, the Boot Car is unlocked recently, allowing for easy exploration and travel over the desert and its surrounding areas.
When Mario and Olivia first exit the tunnel and enter the desert, Olivia comments on its size and unusual darkness, believing the sun is the source. She then realizes the sun is actually missing, replaced by a dark hole in the sky. As she begins to wonder and ponder how this happened, she decides to ignore it and focus on trailing and finding the yellow streamer. The most obvious point of interest is the tall tower in the northwest part of the desert. This is one of four towers in the desert areas. Mario must use the Diamond Jewel buried at the foot of the statue to activate the tower from the inside, placing the jewel in the hollow eye. This turns the tower to the northwest, shooting a laser down into Scorching Sandpaper Minor. After finding the other jewels and activating the other towers, Mario is able to complete a Magic Circle, allowing him to use the Earth Vellumental to access the Temple of Shrooms.
Before Mario can clear all of the towers, he must head to the hotel in Snif City and obtain the Sun Incense from the front desk. He must place this at the Sun Altar, located northeast in the main desert area. This summons Mega Paper Macho Pokey, who creates a sandstorm trapping Mario. Mario must defeat him by hammering a sticker on each segment, made easier by using the Boot Car to reach a segment before he sinks back into the sand. Defeating Mega Paper Macho Pokey frees Professor Toad, who becomes Mario's ally as he explores the desert. Later on, Mario must head south of the altar to find six bird statues facing different directions. He must hammer them a certain number of times to get them to stare directly in the center. Doing this reveals a microphone, requiring Olivia to sing a special song to make the Fire Vellumental Cave appear nearby.
One of the four towers is located in northwestern territory of this desert. Additionally, the Sun Altar is in the northeast region, with a village ruins area to be found southeast. To the right of the ruins is a hidden area, where the door to a coffee shop can be found. Inside, Mario can order a "Mega Tasty Coffee" from a Sledge Bro for 100 coins. Doing so triggers a cutscene in which a depressed Mini Goomba orders another cup, the contents of which are quickly drunk by a hoard of other Mini Goombas.
There is a special pipe shortly southwest of the altar which can be used as a shortcut to the other universal pipes. On the west end of the kingdom is a small ledge with the door to the green Sensor Lab. Notably, in the southwest edge of the desert is a ring of rocks. Mario can have Professor Toad dig in the center of them to recover a Shriveled MAX UP Heart. Mario can bring this item to the spring in Whispering Woods to turn it into a regular MAX UP Heart, giving him 5 additional HP.
There are several small spots of light throughout the desert and its surrounding areas. After Professor Toad is rescued, Mario can have him dig in any of these spots to reveal an abundance of coins, or perhaps a collectible treasure. These spots remain after the desert is restored to its original state. If Mario leaves the desert, the professor does not follow him. However, Mario can return at any time and have the professor join him until he leaves again. After the sun is restored to the sky, the entire desert lights up in addition to revealing a set of stairs beneath the altar. These stairs lead to a freezer where Captain T. Ode is trapped in a large chunk of ice. After he is rescued, he requests they take him to his submarine in the museum and set out to The Great Sea in search of the next streamer.
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