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August 3, 2015

Super Paper Mario (Part 6)

Super Paper Mario review
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4
Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8


Cut out that angelic choir! NOW!
I hate Messiah references. Not because it’s a throwback to religion; I’m a non-practicing catholic who has learned his church words very well, and I acknowledge that religion, while flawed and frequently used for awful purposes, can also be of great help in times of turmoil. I hate Messiah references because we see it everywhere. Superman is all about the trope, and it’s been made obvious almost to the point of insult in Man Of Steel. Never mind the fact that Superman caused a whole lot of damage… It’s been done in so many places, too: The Matrix, Star Wars, Frozen, Harry Potter, Mass Effect, Aang in Avatar: The Last Airbender… It was even mocked in South Park. And now we’re getting it here. I’m just tired of Messiahs, of prophecies, of "Chosen Ones", of saviors, all those plot devices… But I’ve given myself the mission to complete this review, and complete it I will! Nothing will stop me!

Nasties! Stop attacking the angels, you boneys!
When we left at the end of Part 5, Mario’s team, full again, had reached the Overthere. Sadly, it appears something is wrong. The Nimbis, residents of this cloudy land, are under attack by skeleton-like creatures, the Skellobits! Heaven’s under attack! …Mirroring the part of the Bible about the apocalypse. See? See what I mean? Anyway, in order to save Grambi, they need to rebuild the rainbow bridge. But for this, they need three stones, each one in possession of a sage in the Overthere. So the group has to rescue three Nimbis, get their stones, and build the bridge. A long quest, sure, but nowhere as annoying a quest as 7-3 was.



Say what you want, but a fire breath is real useful when the bad guy
is a psychopathic freezer.

By the way, those Nimbis have faces like the Canadians from South Park. I don’t think that reference was intentional.

I don't get it. Do they mean that Canada is Heaven, or that most angels
are Canadian, or- never mind, that was probably unintentional.
I guess. I don't know. Maybe. Not sure.

So, Mario and Co. reach Grambi’s room… and see the elder is under attack. An army of demonic Skellobits come to block Mario’s way! But one of the sages of the Overthere arrives, with an army of angelic Nimbis, to fight off the army. Angels versus demons… Man, this scene is Dan Brown’s pixelated wet dream.

Yes. Those are hundreds of Nimbis and Skellobits fighting. And dying.

“Now war arose in heaven. Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back[…]” Revelations 12: 7-9, in the freaking Bible. I didn’t make that up. This part of the game mimics the Book of Revelations in the Bible. Seriously. Add to this that the Book of Revelations is about the apocalypse, and look at that giant Void in the background, and there you go. Complete Bible reference. Which reminds me, since the Void is also in the afterlife of video games, that means that even if you’re dead, you’re still gonna be annihilated. This hole in the fabric of reality transcends all. There will be no afterlife, no Heaven, no Hell, because this thing will gobble it all up; and it will have gobbled up everything else, too. In the video game universe, even if you’re dead, you’re not safe. That’s… chilling.

Holy crap, this monster is huge!
When Mario enters Grambi’s temple-house-residence-whatever, he sees the elder attacked by a six-winged demon coming out of a machine… Bonechill! This monster means business! Well, duh, he is meant to represent Lucifer… because, ya know, when you do a Bible re-creation, you go all the way, you don’t just stop halfway through. And the Bible says Lucifer was a six-winged angel... Anyway, earlier reports say that Bonechill was attacking the Overthere to lay his hands on the Pure Heart, but a new twist comes up; Bonechill reveals that Luvbi IS the Pure Heart! ….what? That bitch? That’s no Pure Heart, that’s an awful young angel who was never taught manners!

I hate to go the obvious route for a joke, but...
"What a twist!"
Whatever, the fight is on against Bonechill. Some say this boss is too easy; Meh, I felt it was just the right difficulty. When Bonechill is defeated, it rots away, and the army of Skellobits is stopped. As a result, Jaydes comes to the Overthere and Luvbi has the truth revealed to her: She IS the last Pure Heart. They raised her as their daughter, because no one would expect the Pure Heart to be given a life. …Hey, that still sounds impossible to me even in the context of that story. …So you can give life to things that don’t live, can you give one to something like Francis? Either way, Luvbi accepts her role as savior of the multiverse, reverts into a Pure Heart, and gets in the possession of Mario. Yay, we have all the Pure Hearts now! And good riddance Luvbi …what? I didn’t say anything. Did I say something? Oh, that thing I crossed. Yeah, no, it wasn’t about Luvbi, I swear! And even if it was, it’s not like I wish her… any harm… since, ya know, in the end she’s sorta gonna help saving the world… and stuff…

ACK! How can I remain such a heartless jerk to her?
Must not cry... must not cry... quick, think of something else!
Titanic's ending... Drawn To Life: The Next Chapter's ending...
...Hatchiiiiiii.... Ah, fuck it. *BAWLS*

Anyway, on their return to Flipside, Mario’s team heads to Flopside and puts the final Pure Heart in the last pillar. The last door opens… at the top of the black tower in Flopside. You could go… but at this point of the game, there are plenty of things to do:
-Discovering all of Saffron and Dyllis’ recipes;
-Look for all 256 collectible cards in the game;
-Buy maps from a merchant named Flamm, hidden in Flopside. His maps lead you to locations with hidden cards for the collection, which you find by using the Pixl Fleep on the spots marked with an X;
-Attempting to beat the Flipside Pit of 100 Trials, and then maybe the Flopside Pit of 100 Trials, which you must complete twice if you want to face its boss;
-Getting the last few Pixls, whether it’s Barry, Piccolo or Tiptron. Oh wait, you must have beaten the game if you want to get Tiptron. Whoopsie.

Pretty much the only thing you can’t do now is pass the Sammer Guys’ Challenge of 100. They won’t be back until you’ve stopped the Void, and I really, really want to try it again, so we better go through World 8 right now.

Well, it can't get any darker than that.
This castle just looks white. In reality, it's all black.

The four heroes of the (ugh) “Prophecy” appear in front of a large black castle in the middle of the Void. Wait, they can live inside the Void? That’s… bizarre. Anyway, Mario has to make his way through numerous rooms where he mostly fights mooks from Bowser’s army. Once again, some Pixls are required to go through certain sections; as an example, you need Cudge to hammer the heads of Koopatrols, since they’ve got a spike on their heads and Mario would hurt himself trying to stomp them. Then there’s the Dry Bones who can only be destroyed with bombs. At the same time, Luigi, Peach and Bowser’s abilities are required to get a key that opens a locked door. Because of course.

Can two strongmen - alright, a strongman and a turtle-dragon -
be strong enough to hold up a ceiling?
As they approach the end of the level. The group encounters O’Chunks, who challenges them to a fight yet again. Bowser volunteers to kick that pixelly Scotsman’s ass. Yep, you HAVE to use Bowser for this fight. Thankfully there's no restriction on the Pixls you can use in the fight… Anyway, Bowser defeats O’Chunks, but then the ceiling falls. O’Chunks holds it so it won’t fall on them, and Bowser decides to lend a hand. Bowser tells the others to run away, to the next room! Mario, Luigi and Peach do so, but then they hear a loud bang. It appears Bowser and O’Chunks have just been crushed. Be thankful they’re made of paper…

I KNEW IT! I KNEW IT!
MIMI, I HATE YOU!
I never forgave you for reintroducing slavery to the world.
I HATE YOU!
Sometime during Chapter 8-2, Mario, Luigi and Peach see Merlon, who tells them the Light Prognosticus announced that by punching a certain exclamation mark block, they’ll have an advantage over the vill- IT’S FUCKING MIMI! YOU THINK I’M FUCKING STUPID ENOUGH TO FALL FOR THAT? I KNOW IT'S MIMI! But apparently, the heroes are, indeed, stupid enough. I mean, the next door is locked, that button is there all of a sudden, and “Merlon” couldn’t possibly have come here. It’s so obviously Mimi it kinda hurts. Just like how it really hurts to see the heroes be this stupid and fall for the trick. Because you have no choice. You must press the button to move forward. You must play into the deceit and fall for it. You know what? Fuck it. This game isn't trying, why should I? In response to this extremely obvious twist, I will make an extremely obvious joke.


You saw that one coming miles away, didn’t ya? You knew what it was gonna be, am I right?

Oh, but Mimi doesn’t stop there. She literally re-uses the old tricks she used in World 2; the hanging mushrooms that make Mario fall into a trap… disguising into Merlee… AGAIN…

Because it worked so fucking well back then! Ah, why must Mario’s team act like a bunch of flipping IDIOTS when Mimi is around? Ahem. “MERLEE” then asks the heroes what they fear/hate most. Whatever you pick will be in the next rooms. You say you’re scared of a Goomba? Here, fight one! Say you aren’t a fan of Fuzzies? Here, fight one! Say you hate Francis? Hello, you can fight him again! …Which is what I choose each time, because I just like to kick this insulting stereotype’s teeth in at every chance I get. Because screw this asshole.

In the fourth room, they meet “MERLEE” again, but she gets angry and reverts to Mimi. All together with me in 3, 2, 1…. NO SHIT!


Hey, Mimi, here's a fun possibility to explore... you get your neck snapped...
and instead of transforming into a spider, you DIE. How's that for a fun
experimentation of your powers? Would ya like that? Because I really,
really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really want to try...
...
...
...
...Wow, I crossed a line here. I may have gone too far.

That's not exactly what I have in mind when I think
of a catfight.
Mimi insults Peach, so the Princess decides she’s had enough and challenges Mimi to a battle. Of course, that means you can only control Peach in this fight. It’s a tough one, I won’t lie, but Peach eventually wins. The ground shakes again, Mario and Luigi run to the next room… and can’t go back. Meanwhile, a pit opened under Peach and Mimi, and though she tries to save Mimi (she’s got too much heart), Peach slips and falls down with her shapeshifting opponent. Now the Bros are all by themselves. Like in the glory days.

Two Dimentios? Damn, it just keeps getting better!
Chapter 8-3 is… guess what? A MAZE! Because of course we haven’t had enough of those! Auuuurrrrgghhhh! The harder part is to find your way through the rooms, solving 3D and 2D puzzles, and finding keys to open doors… but there is one section of this level that I loathe. The mirror halls. See, everything in Castle Bleck is… well, black with white outlines. So the only way to tell the mirrors apart from secret passageways is to stay nearby and see if a reflection shines across the mirrors. If there’s no reflection, you can enter! What makes it some subtle form of Platforming Hell is that, sometimes, a platform is only one block wide, so you gotta watch your step when you land. Did I mention Luigi tends to slide off a bit when he lands? And thus, you fall in the pit if he gets on a single-block platform?


HOLY-!
Oh, and that’s not all; Hall 1 has Dimentios showing up in the reflections, throwing spells at the two. These can make you fall into pits pretty easily. Thank God you lose only 1 HP when that happens…Hall 2 hides an army of thousands of Dimentios. No, really. Not joking. Thousands. Four digits. The game almost lags at that part. The Dimentios are meant to take you away from treasure chests located at both ends of the room, so you must jump your way across and then open the chests, revealing a key you then use to open the door and go forward.

I've heard of clone jutsus before, but this is ridiculous!

Oklay, this is a face I've seen enough today.
TIME FOR SOME ASSKICKING!
In the next room, you fight off Dimentio… but first of all, you have to chase him across small pieces of the seven previous worlds, using Fleep to find switches that allow you to go from a world to the next. Gee, never seen that before! Amirite, Twilight Princess? You finally come back in Castle Bleck; well, that was almost useless. The only good thing is that it allowed Mario and Co. to look for healing mushrooms. Dimentio attemps to make an offer the Bros can’t refuse, but to his shock… they refuse. He insults Luigi’s mustache and, thus, unleashes green fury. It’s another 1-on-1: Luigi versus Dimentio! Go, Luigi, kick his nonexistent ass! When defeated, Dimentio decides to off the two of them, trapping himself and Luigi into a box and exploding both of them. Mario is alone now, into World 8-4.

He is indestructible! This is hopeless!
...Nah, it's never hopeless.
8-4, which leads towards the very definitive final battle against Bleck, but first Mario has to go through, guess what? ANOTHER GODDAMN MAZE! This is like: Paper Mario: The Maze Game! It’s amazing! Still, Mario and Tippi eventually reach the main room, as they are welcomed by Bleck. Once again, he gloats about his victory, and while Tippi tries to speak to Blumiere, she appears incapable to reach her past love. Bleck decides to attack, and the Chaos Heart makes him invulnerable. However, we soon see Bowser, Peach and Luigi coming to help Mario! They somehow all survived their “deaths”! …Alright, that’s an ass pull, but I’ll let it slide… What’s more, the eight Pure Hearts appear, surround Bleck and remove the invincibility. We can hurt him now!

The battle is a bit difficult, mostly because Bleck can summon mini-black holes and he teleports around, but it’s still possible to hurt him. When defeated, Bleck crashes to the ground and asks the heroes to finish him off. Tippi tries to reason with him again, and just as Bleck starts to think about reforming… Dimentio appears from behind and attacks! Nastasia takes the bullet for the Cout and dies. Gee, main character death? Goddammit Super Paper Mario, will you stop trying to be edgy? It's not working!


In other words, a load of bullroar. And yet, even less
entertaining than actual stage magic shows.
Dimentio reveals that, all this time, his plan was to have someone else do all the dirty dark prophecy work for him, then letting the so-called Heroes of Prophecy defeat that scapegoat. After which the Pure Hearts’ power would have been used up, and thus nothing would stand in Dimentio’s way! …What a smug jerkass. I hope he doesn’t have a face under that mask, because I want to punch it. Ah ha ha haDimentio also reveals that Luigi is still under his control. He takes the Chaos Heart for himself, and throws Luigi at it, resulting in…


BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! HA… HA…. B-HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! MAWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

This is… the most ridiculous final boss I have ever seen in my entire life! And I’ve seen plenty. But this one is, hands-down, the silliest, stupidest design for a final boss I’ve seen in my entire life. I mean, look at it. Is this supposed to be taken seriously? I can’t. I just can’t. You should. Who thought this up?

I mean, you should know that in the Mario series,
the good guys always win.
Finally, Dimentio decides to add himself to this thing – wait, if Dimentio wasn’t in it when the merge occurred, why is it half-jester? I mean, it has Luigi and the Chaos Heart, only that. So where does the jester tutu come from, since Dimentio isn’t even in the mix yet? Ah, whatever. Dimentio merges with the thing, not changing its physical appearance in any way… and Super Dimentio becomes invincible, repeating the same damn story from five minutes ago. However, he succeeds where Bleck failed, as the universes visited by Mario through this journey get gobbled up by the Void. Oh, but what’s that? Bleck’s minions have sworn loyalty to their leader, and are helping him… like FRIENDS? It seems this proof of “friendship” revives the Pure Hearts, who are ready for a second round. Hey, maybe friendship really is magic after all. Super Dimentio, that moronic pathetic excuse of a final boss, loses its own invicibility.

And the fight is on against this stupid abomination of nature. First of all, it's I have heard enough. I will not tolerate this any longer.

Praise the Lord Dimentio, for he shall end all. Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha.