Everything You Need to Know About Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
A classic returns on Nintendo Switch.
Nintendo had a lot of first-party games to show off during the September 2023 Nintendo Direct, but none is more anticipated than Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. This beloved 2004 GameCube RPG is getting a remake for the Switch. Following the reveal that Super Mario RPG is being remade this year, The Thousand-Year Door’s announcement means the next year is going to be huge for fans of old-school Nintendo RPGs.
Here’s everything we know so far about the Switch remake of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.
What is the Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door release date?
So far, Nintendo hasn’t revealed a release date for Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. All we know is that it’s set to come out in 2024. It’s not available to pre-order on the eShop yet, which could signal that there’s still a while to go before its release.
Given that Super Mario RPG launches in November 2023, it would make sense for The Thousand-Year Door to wait until later in the year so they don’t compete. But for fans who’ve been waiting nearly 20 years to play it again, it’ll be worth the wait.
Is there a Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door trailer?
Yes! Nintendo announced the game with a trailer at the recent Nintendo Direct, giving fans their first look at Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door’s updated graphics and classic gameplay.
What is the Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door story?
One of the reasons why The Thousand-Year Door got so much praise for its first release was its story. It begins with Princess Peach telling Mario about a treasure map she bought, which reportedly leads to the Thousand-Year Door, beyond which a great treasure from a ruined kingdom can be found. In typical Mario fashion, Peach is promptly kidnapped and Mario enlists the help of new allies to find the secret behind the treasure map and the Thousand-Year Door.
What makes the story so memorable is how it’s exceptionally well-written. The Thousand-Year Door is a funny, whimsical adventure that takes Mario to several distinct locations not seen in other Mario games. Along the way, he also teams up with characters who would typically be enemies in the main Mario series, like Bob-ombs and Goombas.
The Thousand-Year Door’s unique look also contributed to the original’s success. It uses the paper cut-out style started in Paper Mario, which is getting a refresh for the Switch release. As the Nintendo Direct trailer shows, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door on Switch retains the vibe of the original, but with much more impressive graphics. With the increased power of the Switch compared to the GameCube, The Thousand-Year Door’s backgrounds look more like actual folded paper, giving a unique feel to what’s already a great adventure.
What is the Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door gameplay like?
Along with its graphics, the original Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door was lauded for its combat. Like the first Paper Mario, it uses a turn-based combat system with some timing elements mixed in. After issuing commands to party members, you can time your button presses to match up with the action onscreen and either power up your attacks or avoid damage. Flower Points take the place of mana in other RPGs, letting you use special attacks.
The most powerful abilities take Star Power to use, which is tied to another unique mechanic. When you enter battle, an audience of Toads, Koopas, and other Mario characters sits down to watch. If you perform well, they’ll cheer and recharge your Star Power. But perform poorly and they can turn on you and throw objects at your party.
Another twist is that Mario isn’t your only character. For most of the game, Mario is of course the star, but some segments put you in control on Princess Peach and Bowser. These parts of the game are much shorter than Mario’s sections, but they mix up the gameplay and let you play out Peach and Bowser’s own storylines.
Many of the most-liked RPG elements of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door were abandoned for later entries in the series. That’s part of what makes The Thousand-Year Door so beloved, and why fans are so eager to see it return on a modern console.