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I recently played through The Thousand Year Door for the third time. This was after 12 years since my last playthrough, so I felt like making this thread to talk about the game, and how great I think it is. Yep.
For those who don't know, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door is the second entry in the Paper Mario series, developed for the Gamecube and released in 2004. It's a rather unique take on the JRPG genre, with mechanics like timed hits that make the overall turn-based combat structure feel real-time in execution. It's also got some platforming segments and familiar Mario species like Goombas and Boos, which cements the game as part of the Mario universe. Yet, this game also goes places that most Mario games never even consider. It's incredibly imaginative and inventive, with a surprisingly engaging, charming story to experience. I hope that one day, this game can get rereleased somehow, so that more people can experience it.
So, what are your thoughts on the game? How do you feel it compares to other Paper Mario games, or the Mario series in general?
Here's my more detailed post with my thoughts on the game
So... during this most recent playthrough, I decided to only upgrade my badge points every time I leveled-up! The majority of the game actually felt pretty reasonably designed around this self-imposed challenge. The last few bosses however, including the final boss, were a huge pain. I think I lost to the final boss fight like five or six times before I finally won. It was worth it though. I can't believe there was so much about this game that I'd forgotten over the 12 years since my last playthrough.
I absolutely love this game to pieces. It's hands-down one of the best games ever made. Anyone who hasn't played The Thousand Year Door is missing out. This game hits that sweet spot of fun story and engaging turn-based/real-time-hybrid gameplay that I wish more games could pull off. EarthBound has a similar level of story quality (though its gameplay is pretty standard for JRPGs), and Undertale also did a wonderful job all-around. I can't think of too many other games off the top of my head that I've enjoyed which were like this, and were not also a Mario RPG. There's just something really special about Mario RPGs oh my gosh.
The game's cast of characters is really great, with Vivian being hands-down my favorite. I heart her! Even when I played through the game my first time with no prior knowledge, I related to her quite a bit. Later on, I learned that the Japanese version of the game depicted her as transgender, which was something removed from the game when localized in English. Learning that about her just made me like her more. Growing up, she was like the only transgender character I knew of who wasn't a cringeworthy transphobic cliche, and who I could really relate to. Playing this game again reminded me of her, and how cool she is. I'm not personally a huge Birdo fan, lol, but Vivian is awesome. I'm thankful for her inclusion in this game
The rest of the cast is wonderful too. After Vivian, my favorite characters would probably be Goombella (she's absolutely hilarious), Rawk Hawk (he's hilarious too), the Chapter 4 boss, and TEC. This game's writing was handled quite well, and kept me engaged throughout the majority of the game. I haven't played the last couple Paper Mario games, but from what I've heard, they deviated away from this game's gameplay and story presentation quite a bit, which makes me sad. Intelligent Systems really showed a knack for charming story and engaging gameplay elements with this game. I hope they can get a chance to make a new Paper Mario in the vein of this and the N64 game.
One of the best games I've ever played. I never got around to Paper Mario 64, so can't compare there, but I found TTYD to be superior to all other Paper Mario games across any system. Color Splash, however different than TTYD, would take a high spot alongside Door, though. It's not the same, but boy is it a great game.
I'd love to see another Paper Mario in the vein of TTYD, however if we never do I'm glad we got such an outstanding GameCube title that can live on throughout the rest of gaming.
I do find it interesting you enjoyed Vivian so much, I'm glad! For me she was the only part of the game I didn't like, actually. So it's interesting to hear another perspective!
Can't say I disagree! A BP-only run is really fun and my favorite way to play, although I actually found it less challenging than when I increased FP and HP as well (you can use BP to equip the Flower Plus and Heart Plus badges to kinda work around that anyway). Vivian's my favorite character too, even.
Besides the refined battle system, TTYD's main strength is in its creative scenarios. Chapter's 3, 4, and 6 are particularly memorable. I just wish the game was a tad tighter in both its main quest and sidequests, which require a lot of back-and-forth. The Trouble Center quests might be the main offenders here, with most of them boiling down to traveling back and forth between distant areas to help someone.
It's one of my favorite RPGs, but I might place the original Paper Mario just a hair above it, since it defined the whole smartly-developed combat system and all.
@J.K. Riki I don't have a Wii U, but if I ever do get one, I plan on checking out Color Splash. How exactly is it, if it's not like TTYD?
@TriforceBun Yeah, the Heart and Flower Plus badges help with that. Even with them though, I only found two Heart Plus and two Flower Plus badges throughout the game, so I went into the final boss with 20 HP and 15 FP
Yes, I love the game's creativity. The first grassland chapter feels like a pretty standard Mario setting (though still with unique charm), but it's almost like that one chapter is there to help reassure the player that yes, they're playing a Mario game. The main hub of the game (a slum ridden with organized crime), and almost all the later chapters, take on pretty unprecedented settings for a Mario game (like wrestling tournaments or train mysteries), yet they all manage to feel like a valid part of the overall Mario universe I found it nice to see new settings instead of just the standard grass/desert/lava/ice/etc. worlds.
I'll admit though that the backtracking can get pretty tedious. I never noticed it when I first played the game, but when replaying it, the parts where you have to go back and forth through each area can be annoying. Chapter 5 felt like the worst offender to me in that regard, in the area leading up to the chapter's dungeon.
@Zero I should replay the N64 game sometime. I remember thinking it was really cool, but it also felt kind of like a semi-reimagining of Super Mario RPG, but without the Final Fantasy elements. The Thousand Year Door in comparison, felt more to me like an original game, that built off of the groundwork established by the N64 game.
@mrbiggsly At the moment, no. I wouldn't be surprised if it were one of the games released on the Gamecube Virtual Console if that ever becomes a thing though. Both Paper Mario, and even Super Mario RPG came out on the Virtual Console, so there's likely not any rights issue holding The Thousand Year Door back.
Well... TTYD is very, very RPG. Extremely RPG. Maybe the most RPG Mario game since Mario RPG, lol. Color Splash is more like a turned based action game, I guess? Which sounds weird, since TTYD is similar. But, for example, you don't really have stats in Color Splash. That part is removed in favor of exploration, painting, and cards. There's story, but it's just enough story to let you explore and hear hilarious jokes made by all the toads in the game. And the jokes are hilarious.
I guess the best way to explain it is Color Splash is like an RPG with no numbers, ha ha. I dunno, I'm probably doing a bad job at trying to convey what the game is. Honestly, it's fun. It should be played and enjoyed, but it's just not like TTYD.
I'm hoping it does. I never finished the game, and I have a copy of it and a Gamecube, but my tv doesn't even have a AV input on it, so I can't play it. I'm really hoping to get to play it on the Switch.
Me too. I'd like to play it again, and finally beat that 100 floor challenge or whatever it was they had. I got SO FREAKING CLOSE. I was one turn away (after dozens of tries) and then the boss killed me on the last possibly chance it had to beat me. I was so mad I quit forever, ha ha.