Topic: (Too early) musings: The future of Paper Mario... something closer to trad Zelda?

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Some musing I had playing the latest Paper Mario could be basically summed up this way:

A: Actually, I don't find it too bad of a game and even enjoy some of the puzzles the new battle system throw my way?

B: Thousand Years Door definitely sadly isn't coming back, bar a remastered port or something

C: This said, the more I play this game... the more it reminds me of traditional -Zelda- games???

'C' is one of the more notable point I keep coming to, to the point I'm starting to wonder if some of this was intentional beyond just the Great Sea area's pastiche involving that very Wind Waker-esque Diamond island and divine-themed sky tower itself feeling like quite the parody shoutout to Wind Waker again(especially once knowing of what exactly awaits at the final destination after that tower, for re: parody).

This said, beyond parody there's a couple of other things that gives me lot of "Zelda in papery Mario clothes" feelings.
For one: the dungeons, particularly Velumental dungeons. It's not only just the "elemental temple" vibe which feels very traditional Zelda but also the traps, the puzzles in particular. Paper Mario always had it's share of themed-dungeons, but I didn't recall them filled with that many puzzles/etc to solve along the way. That puzzle aspect felt VERY traditional Zelda-like at times.

Hidden hearts upgrade but also the accessories system to a lesser degree also reminded me of Zelda games a fair bit. In a way the game might have ditched XP and levels but it nonetheless kept the idea of character upgrades... just in the "find the hidden upgrade/etc-buy or find the accessories gear" kind of way that's... honestly not that far from older Zelda games?

Another aspect: much was made about the puzzle rings battle system, but I feel like that let something else slip under the radar: those battles actually fought in real time, paper machos but particularly Paper Macho -bosses-.

Fighting the Paper Macho Blooper, Pokey and "Paper Mistake Buzzy Beetle" one of the thought that kept occurring to me is just how much these bosses remind me... of classic Zelda battles. From the slightly more top-down arena perspective adopted during these fights, to the beat and pace of boss attacks fitting the pattern-like nature of Zelda bosses fights among other things.

It's way too early to speculate but it makes me wonder if, in lieu of a return to RPG-proper mechanics of early Paper Mario, the future of the franchise might not be indeed fitting more something taking places the hole of the "action adventure with puzzles/etc" of traditional pre-BOTW Zelda(and thus letting post-BotW Zelda build up on what they've started with BotW and see where that lead them).

Admitedly it's over simplified but it does make me wonder if the next(or one of the next) Paper Mario games might not become outright a real-time action game... but one based on the more topdown-ish perspective of older style Zelda games than the platforming of Super Paper Mario.

Of course with how the devs seem to want to shake things up every new titles these days, even something that seem like a potentially easy prediction could be proven wrong by something else coming out entirely out of left field so... who knows.

Edited on by Ludovsky



Yea, you know, you're not too off base with how you explain it. The lack of traditional exp per battles but instead growth through the hearts (some through storyline, but a lot through optional exploration) does feel a lot like Zelda.

I think you have a bunch of good points. The real-time hammer battles do feel a lot like some of the older 2D Zelda bosses; get a hit in on the weak point, retreat, wait for the pattern, go back for another hit, etc. (I know that seems super vague, but those who played will know what I'm talking about.)

I wonder if the reason I really enjoyed Origami King was that I didn't play much of Thousand Year Door. My friend had TYD back in the day, and I watched him play it for a couple sessions, but I never actually played it myself. They are definitely taking it in more of an adventure direction with super light rpg elements, but like you said, who knows what will come next.

Everyone complains about game franchises becoming stale, but then they also complain when the devs try something new. You can't win and rarely can you please all genre audiences with one game. I would LOVE a more Zelda/adventure direction, and maybe a revival of Super Mario RPG for those looking for the traditional numbers-and-party rpg experience.



@damien33ad I haven’t played Origami King yet ( I’m hoping to get it in my Bday ) but I’m actually thinking I’ll like the combat. I enjoyed Color Splash and I found the combat to be decent. I think this one will be no different. TTYD tho is amazing. You’ll love it(probably) make sure you don’t skip around too many fights cause I was under leveled near the end and the bosses were terribly hard.


Switch Friend Code: SW-0772-1845-0995


Sorry to hear that. I love Origami King, battle system and all. Just replayed it for the second time 100%, actually. One of my favorite games of all time. I'd give it a 10/10. I really can't think of a Switch game I just whole heartedly enjoyed more than this one. Olivia is my favorite new character in any Mario game, period. The writing and themes are simple on the surface but so heartwarming and intensely funny and full of some depth if you want to really think about it all.


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