Updated 08/27/2011: This post was originally published on May 28, 2007. It was lost in a migration from another blog but recently recovered from a backup.
While writing that post I had opted not to include was my opinion at the time that this game did not have enough replay value to merit purchasing it. I have since beaten the game and my opinion has reversed. There’s a lot more to do after completing the normal story.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Super Paper Mario includes a few challenges that a player could attempt before or after finishing Chapter 8. The challenges I’m referring to are the 100 round fights of Chapter 6, the Flipside Pit of 100 Trials, and also the Flopside Pit of 100 Trials.
Last weekend I tackled all three and in all cases I recommend entering each challenge with the greatest quantity of shroom shakes you can gather.
My first attempt at Chapter 6 got me as far as Chapter 6-3 before I decided to give up and head back to Flipside. Note that if you quite any section of Chapter 6 before completing all four chapters you will have to start at the beginning of Chapter 6-1. The only exception is if you resume from a saved game, but in that case you’ll begin with the same amount of HP and items that you had when you last saved.
For my next attempt I entered with about 8 shroom shakes, with each shake being the type that restore 20 HP at a time. By the time I had won my way to round 90 (Chapter 6-4) I was out of shakes and probably 20 HP down from my max of about 70. I managed to make to round 96 but wasn’t able to defeat my opponent before running out of HP. I tried to resume from my saved game but again was defeat in round 96 and rather than go through another 21 rounds again I decided to head back to Flipside. I have yet to go back and finish Chapter 6.
For Chapter 6 I recommend using Bowser and the Pixl Barry. Bowser can defeat most enemies easily by simply holding “down” to breath flame, often knocking out the opponent before he can attack. This isn’t always the case. Some opponents will immediately jump to attack and this is where Barry comes in handy. He’ll deflect their attack and in many cases stun them long enough for Bowser to turn, breath fire, and win.
Some enemies move fast enough that they simply need to be lead into moving back toward Bowser, who will breath fire and catch them before they can move far enough away.
Other enemies will move out of range and/or strike with a wave of energy. These waves can be reflected back by using Barry at the right moment.
The fast, tiny guys will almost always escape Bowser’s fire and often will jump on the first attack. In this case I recommend jumping first and timing it to hit their heads and activate Barry just before striking them. The small guys generally only have about 7 or 8 HP.
Don’t focus on the little ninjas that come hopping out. In most cases Bowser’s fire will defeat the main enemy before they can do damage.
Invariably, you’ll find the timing doesn’t work out at some point and you’re trying to avoid an attack. Use Barry. At the least he may be able to stun your enemy and give you time to reposition. Often I found myself jumping to attack and firing Barry as I came down on their heads.
My first attempt through the Flipside Pit of 100 Trials wasn’t bad, though I wasn’t very prepared. I made it to the entrance of room 50 before leaving the pit. My second attempt went much better with a load of shroom shakes (mostly the 10 HP variant). On that attempt I successfully completed all 100 Trials.
In the 100th room you have to fight a dragon and the method is the same as was used at the end of one of the original chapters. I don’t remember if I won anything of significance, but was given a message that something greater was waiting in the Flopside pit.
I the Flipside pit I found that Bowser and Carry were a good combination. Boomer was also frequently used to clear out enemies on lower levels.
The Flopside pit was a bit more difficult. In fact, I only ventured into it once with about six shroom shakes (the 50 HP variant). Though tiring to go through all of those levels I made it to room 100 by a hair. By the time I reached the entrance to room 90 I was once again out of shroom shakes and getting beaten badly but lucked out when I found a character waiting to sell items. I was able to buy just enough to get through the final rooms.
Unfortunately, to benefit from beating the Flopside Pit requires defeating the pit twice!
Once again Bowser was my hero of choice though I used Barry most often and frequently used Boomer, though almost never used Carry.
Normally, Bowser cannot jump and breath fire at the same time. However, using Carry he can jump and flame since he’s standing on a platform. This is a trick handy for taking out enemies who move to quickly to place a bomb (or you don’t want to get in front of them for more than a second).
A disembodied voice in the 100th room told the heroes that they most go through the pit a second time to prove their worth. From reading hints online I believe that by defeating the pit a second time I’ll receive a special card that allows Mario to stay in 3-D for an unlimited length of time. I haven’t attempted a second journey into the pit; I’ll need to stock up on 50 HP shroom shakes first.
Barry is an extra Pixl not essential to the story line. He can only join your party after you’ve beaten the game but is an invaluable asset. Almost every enemy or moving object can be stunned/deflected if it cannot be defeated by Barry. Barry can also be used to deflect a number of projects including hammers, magic spells, and poisons.
I did not find the ability to flip between 2-D and 3-D essential to defeating either Pit. However, it does come in handy if you want to save time by dropping past the bricks to the bottom. One trick I forgot to use is to flip to 3-D after finding a key that you can’t reach easily (some enemies, such as the turtles that kick shells, will kill themselves or be killed by others from time to time). According to posts on the Web the key will also fall through the bricks to the bottom.
All-in-all there is a lot to do in this game after “beating” it and I highly recommend this game to any Wii owner. There are additional challenges, such as hunting for 48 items hidden within the game (you must purchase maps to be able to discover these items) or acquiring additional Catch Cards.
I’ve decided to stop playing and wait until I purchase my own copy. It’s become an addiction that I simply had to set aside. So far, I’ve completed 30-35 hours worth of playing…which is more time than I usually dedicate to this type of game in such a short period of time (about one week).