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Paper Mario: The Book of Ages is a 3D game for The Nintendo FHH and is rated E.
Mario's on a journey once again as he discovers an ancient tome known as the Book of Ages. This book, allowing its user to manipulate time to their will, is sought by a new threat to the Mushroom World: Chronos, the Time Mage. With the book at his disposal, Chronos could alter the timelines in such a way that he could make himself a God. But to do this, nine pages from the Book must be acquired that have been scattered across the lands. Hurry, Mario: Time itself is counting on your success!
This is where the Book of Ages was unearthed, and also serves as the hub for the game. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Goomba Gulch is an Old-West style town smack in the desert, with a harbor and train station, as well as the Ruins of Time. Professor Frankly and Goombella return from TTYD as your confidants when you get the Pages of Time. In fact, Goombella is returning to Frankly's office with Goombuster in tow when they're both jumped by Kristos. Since they both know each other, Goombella instantly tells Goombuster to get behind Mario as he and Kristos square off in Mario's first fight.
Goombella may be confined to Frankly's two-story office for the adventure, but she still serves an important role in the game as a source of information. Thanks to being Frankly's assistant, Goombella also is the go-to girl for what are known as Chrono Fusions, where you take optional artifacts from across time to be made into useful items; for instance, the characters can all become immune to jumping on spiked enemies by getting a few pieces of armor that have been scattered across the land.
Then, of course, there is the Nexus Gateway: a massive Time Gate in the sun-baked Ruins of Time that can only be accessed by bringing all 9 Pages of Time and the Book of Ages together. It is the Nexus Gateway that leads to The Nexus: the realm that links all timelines and realities with each other (Side note: in my RP on the Ambrosia SW Boards, The Nexus is how the inhabitants of my Universe travel across time and dimensions to reach their destinations), and is the realm that Chronos seeks to dominate. But we'll get to that a little later.
Situated in the mountains a little way to the west, Kooptropolis is, naturally, populated primarily by Koopas. However, there are also reformed Hammer Bros., Boomerang Bros., Fire Bros., and Sledge Bros. who live their lives peacefully, independent of Bowser's rule, and call this bustling city their home. It's also here that you meet Koopella, who is serving out disciplinary action to a few local Hammer Bro guards who keep watch in the city. And for good reason – she's the Captain of the Guard of the city, and it doesn't look good if she's got slackers in her ranks.
The security's even tighter, however, because there's been a recent influx of Bandits trying to clean the city of any valuables. Their hideout, the Thieves' Citadel, is protected by switches, which in turn are protected by a pair of stones. Once Mario and Goombuster retrieve a pair of keystones in Kooptropolis' Sewers, Koopella joins the group to assist in the assault on the Citadel to do battle with the Bandit Lord, Hooke. Defeating Hooke leads to disorganization amongst the Bandits, and Mario finds the first Page of Time in Hooke's treasure vault.
Mapleton is a small town in the fields north of Goomba Gulch. It's a bright and cheery place, and is deeply connected to its past, with Toads making up its inhabitants...or so Mario and friends think. At first, all seems fairly normal, but when some Time Knights stroll through the town and the residents actually cheer for them, they soon know something's up.
On the west side of town, Mario witnesses an X-Naut entering a small, run-down building. Upon entering the structure, Mario is ambushed and imprisoned by the X-Nauts. But when Crump and Grodus (or what's left of him) see their old adversary, they order his release. The X-Nauts, now no longer a threat to the Mushroom Kingdom, have hired themselves out as mercenaries, fighting for whomever pays top coin for their work. They operate out of the building, codenamed Base X-23, for all missions in Mapleton.
It turns out that the X-Nauts have discovered all the Toads in Mapleton are in fact Time Knights in disguise, but they can't act because they would have to abandon their post. So, Crump and Grodus send Johnson, a green-colored Elite X-Naut, to assist Mario in his attack against Chronos and his Time Knights. With Johnson's assistance, Mario and friends head back to Frankly's to learn about activating their first time gate.
When they do so, they discover that the Time Knights are fighting Mapleton's real Toads in the past. Once the town is saved in the past, the Toads reappear in the present, firmly ousting the Time Knights from their home. Before they leave, however, the Time Knights summon a massive beast, Fuzzilla, from the past. A giant reptilian Fuzzy, Fuzzilla must be defeated to save the town and get the second Page of Time.
The jungle-encroached Solitude Isle is the home of one of the Time Knights' many Chrono Strongholds, dark bastions that solidify their power. As Mario and Co. make their way through the jungles, they stumble across Spy Gal, as she emerges from the thicket like a ninja and executes a pair of Time Knights on patrol. Soon after joining, Spy Gal helps Mario and the gang infiltrate Stronghold Alpha, which is monitored by security cameras. Thanks to Spy Gal's Cloaking, however, they slip into the base to do battle with Kristos in his assault tank, the Chrono Killer. After he's defeated, the crew grabs the third Page of Time and proceeds onward.
Forest of Ages:
The Forest of Ages is a rather dark place, similar to Twilight Town, Twilight Trail, and the Creepy Steeple. The moment Mario and friends enter the woods, they witness Peach being hauled off in a Prison Wagon. Mario must follow the Time Knights to save her, where it becomes clear they intend to haul her across a bridge to a Time Knight Ship. Koopella, however, tosses one of her hammers to break the bridge and forces the Knights to fight Mario. Once they fall, Peach is freed and quickly joins with the pudgy plumber.
The group soon realizes that the Forest of Ages is actually a semi-sentient forest, and most of the trees themselves are aware of all the goings-on in the world. The Tree of Eternity, the biggest and oldest tree of all, informs the group that their next page is inside him, but a horrible monstrosity has also made their home inside him. They enter him, in classic OoT style, through his mouth, and do battle with the beast within: the great spider, Rachnid. Squashing the oversized arachnid yields the Fourth Page of Time.
The twisted, nightmarish metropolis of the future, Chrono City is what Goomba Gulch is destined to become in a world controlled by Chronos. When they explore the city, Mario and friends bump into Jenna, a veteran Time Knight who is aware of Mario's travels. After he defeats her, Jenna stumbles backwards, over the edge of the city. Mario, in an act of mercy, races forward to grab her and pull her up.
Eternally grateful, Jenna promises that she will always remember Mario's kindness and repay him someday. Just after she leaves, members of the Freedom League, comprised of various races who have broken free of Chronos' slavery, offer Mario and friends assistance into breaking into Chronos' Citadel. By making their way through the various secret passageways, the team successfully infiltrates Chronos' lair. Just before they reach the next Page of Time, they're trapped by Chronos himself.
Chronos then summons Jenna, who recognizes Mario and the others instantly, and is unsure what to do. On the one hand, Chronos is ordering her as her master to execute Mario and secure the Book of Ages. But at the same time, she had been saved by the very man she is now being asked to kill. With a blast of her staff, she releases them from Chronos' prison, and is instantly branded a traitor. Jenna, now having little choice but to join Mario, fights Chronos' pet, a metal dragon known as MechTail. After they destroy the beast, the fifth Page of Time is theirs.
Located at the base of the mountains near Kooptropolis, Glitterville is reached by Mario and friends via an Old West-style train. As one could guess, Glitterville is a mining town, and its chief exports are Gold, Silver, and even some Platinum that is mined from...well, the mines. Glitterville's main claim-to-fame, however, is the home of the Smash League, an International Fighting Organization. And the centerpiece of the town is the Glitterville Colosseum, where the fights take place.
As Mario and friends watch one of the fights, the plaque that the current Champion, Clawgrip the Crab (yes, from SMB2), seems to have an engraving of the next Page of Time! (Alright, I admit, I'm drawing some inspiration from TTYD, here.) So, the team decides to sign up as fighters. They meet the Colosseum's promoter, a Dayzee named Old Blue. He speaks like a New Yorker, and he's the one who gives Mario his new handle: the Amazing Jumpman. Then his assistant and manager of the Colosseum, Roger the Ratooey, leads Mario and his team to their locker room to begin fights.
About midway through the fights, Bowser rampages onto the fighting arena stage to stomp Mario once and for all, with Kammy Koopa in tow. However, as typical of the Man Vs. Koopa fights, the Amazing Jumpman and his team shows the big lug what happens when he and Mario dance, firmly laying the smackdown on him.
After the fight, Bowser is outside the Colosseum, practically in tears over how his archenemy consistently beats him. Mario then speaks to the Koopa King, and explains the situation to him. When Bowser stubbornly refuses to join, Jenna and Peach try to reach out to him, which, after a bit of convincing, works.
As the Amazing Jumpman and his team scour the Colosseum for the Page of Time, there appear to be strange goings-on at the Glitterville Mines. Miners frequently report strange cave-ins, and three of the drifts are wracked by fire. Towards the end of the chapter, it turns out that Old Blue has a different alias: the massive Dayzee Rex, who looks considerably less pretty than other Dayzees. Blue was using the Page of Time to speed his evolution to the monstrous form when people got too nosy. Roger's brother, in fact, used to work at the mines when Dayzee Rex stormed through, trapping him in there.
The reviling Rhododendron believes that the ONLY export Glitterville should have is the fights at the Colosseum; what's more, the mining activity does not agree with his earth-loving mindset. With Bowser at the front, Mario and the gang whack the villainous weed and reclaim the sixth Page of Time.
Mt. Cragnon is the highest peak in the game, and the trail that leads up it isn't far from Goomba Gulch. However, you won't be able to pass it at first, because the bridge leading to it is out - even if you could somehow break the game, the entrance is blocked by a wall of ice and snow. By the time Glitterville is finished, however, and Bowser's in your party, you can start your trek up the mountain.
Mt. Cragnon, unsurprisingly, is populated by Cragnons; however, these ones have come from Downtown of Crag and across dimensions to settle in the Mushroom Kingdom. The peak is also the main base of the Bob-Omb Aero Corps, and these hotshot flyers have a definite sense of duty about them. When you first get there, you're greeted by Commander Bridget, who explains that the Time Knights are laying siege to the mountain via Stronghold Beta, a flying fortress. Bridget and her troops have been wanting to retaliate, but that would require them to infiltrate the fortress itself, and the Aero Corps specializes in Aerial Combat, not Land Assault.
Mario offers his assistance, which is gladly accepted. They take off amid a swarm of fighters and strike at Stronghold Beta, crippling its outer defenses and allowing the team to break into the base. Bridget names her the Commanding Officer of the mission, and joins the party soon after that. Inside the base, Mario and his pals discover yet another atrocity of the Time Knights: experimentation on various creatures' DNA to make the ultimate security beast. Their end result is the revolting FrankenKoopa, a Koopa who's been patched together from various odds and ends, and seemingly invincible. But Johnson, always the eagle-eyed one, detects that the electrodes that power FrankenKoopa are his source of power. After the electrodes are destroyed, FrankenKoopa falls quickly.
However, once they recover the seventh Page of Time, it becomes clear that Stronghold Beta's Power source was the very entity they defeated! Now the base is plummeting towards the countryside at a frightening rate; they have 5 minutes to get off the base before it's Game Over for everyone. A warp inside the base (with plenty of Time Knights running interference) teleports them back to Goomba Gulch and safety.
Castle of Koopa:
As they return victorious from the siege of Stronghold Beta, Kammy Koopa flies up and informs King Koopa that the castle is under attack by the Time Knights! Bowser, not one to sit idly as his home is destroyed, immediately leads Mario and Co. to the warp pipe leading to his Headquarters: the Valley of Bowser.
The castle is defended by Lord Bowser's Koopa Troop, but when Mario and Co. arrive, they find themselves in the middle of a losing battle. They witness Arcanus, an orange-colored elite member of the Magikoopas, hopelessly leading a counterattack by Bowser's Minions. As he attempts to transform his attackers into sheep, he accidentally says the spell wrong, and turns himself into a sheep! Once Bowser, Mario, and the others fight off the Time Knights, Arcanus tells them that his spellbook is the only thing that can change him back (he tried reciting the transformation spell from memory).
Once the book is brought to the sheep, Arcanus recites the undoing spell and returns to normal. Thankful for Mario's assistance, and never one who would fight against Bowser, he eagerly joins alongside his master to take back the Castle.
In the darkest corners of the Castle, Mario and his friends find a Time Gate that leads back to a more peaceful-looking Valley of Bowser; however, it is known as the Valley of Koopas in the past. It is here that the group discovers Bowser's Royal Heritage, and that his Great Grandfather, Horatio Augustus Koopa, ruled his Empire fairly and justly, even so far as being at peace with the Toads.
The real troubles begin, however, when Wart, who escaped from Sub-Con with Chronos' help, plans on executing Horatio. It is this event that caused the downward spiral of the Koopas, and what turned most of them evil. The reason being, one of Wart's minions, Beezly the Beezo, masquerades as a Toad and attempts to backstab the great ruler when he's in his throne room. However, Bowser, now seeing the error of his ways, realizes that he was only evil because of his ancestor's execution by an impostor.
Filled with divine rage, and seeking to right the wrongs of the past, Bowser confronts Beezly and puts a stop to the plans of the vile Toad. Castle Koopa, while still intimidating, soon assumes a holier appearance in the present, and now there are Toad Guards as well as those that would be typical of the once brutal tyrant.
In an act of pure revenge, Wart, furious that his plans failed, kidnaps Junior and holds him for ransom. But Jenna and Arcanus, combining their knowledge, free the Koopa King's son from the oppressive amphibian and begin the fight against Wart. Once the Frog is no more, Bowser shows them the treasure vault where he keeps the eighth Page of Time safe. There is only one page that remains...
The final journey of Mario's trek across time begins at Frost Island. Located in the frozen northern seas, it's pretty chilly around here; probably even more so than Fahr Outpost was. Bumpties (with Canadian accents, eh) and peace-loving Fuzzies make this island their home. However, some not-so-friendly wildlife, along with Frost Piranhas and Ice Puffs, also lay claim to this island.
However the main worry is underground. Way underground. The last Time-Knight Stronghold, Stronghold Gamma, is several hundred feet beneath the island. However, there's a drilling station that's about to make its way down to the final Page of Time.
After a bit of jaunting across the world, the group catches up with the operations leader, a Monty Mole named Colonel Dredger, and the party proceeds to the molten core of Stronghold Gamma as they embark on their final journey. It is rumored that Chronos makes his main base here in the present, and the team hopes to stop him before he leaves.
However, once they reach the end of the base, Chronos has already escaped; only Kristos remains, and introduces the team to Chrono Killer 2.0, able to manipulate time at will, as well as being more heavily armed. When it's destroyed, Kristos is flung across time and space (more TTYD inspiration), doomed to roam the reaches between dimensions forever. At last, all nine Pages of Time are theirs!
All Timelines and Dimensions intersect here, in the region of Null-Space known as The Nexus. However, it seems that there is one more Time Knight Stronghold here – Stronghold Omega, bigger and more nefarious than the rest. It is unclear how the Time Knights constructed this base, but it will be here that the group seeks to banish Chronos from the world, and put a stop to his plans once and for all.
As they make their way through Stronghold Omega, the group notices the strange artistry strewn about the Base; the figures repeatedly displayed are Chronos and some other individual...but who, exactly, isn't clear.
After countless battles, they meet with Chronos at last. After they fight, they celebrate, thinking that all is well, when Chronos snatches the Book of Ages from Mario's grasp! They chase after him, and find a dark altar deep within the base, where they discover the true villain.
|Mario||Our precious hero who always saves the day is off on another adventure.||Using a Hammer, Doing High Jump, and is able to turn to anything in paper mode.||(Sweet Treat) (Winds of Change) (Clock Out) (Power Lift) (Art Attack) (Sweet Feast) (Hyper Charge) (Show Stopper) (Supernova) (Time Travel)|
|Goombuster Goomba||One of Goombella's former classmates at U Goom, is the first partner Mario comes across when he witnesses the Goomba being harassed by Chronos' Time Knights and their leader, Kristos, Chronos' Right-Hand Man. Keeping in line with the other Goombas of the Series.||he can use tattle to tell you about the place you're in when you press B.||(Headbonk) (Tattle) (Multibonk) (Morale Boost)|
|Koopella the Hammer Sister||Koopella looks sweet enough at first glance, but in reality, she's a bit of a tomboy and she doesn't take insults lightly. You'll find her first dishing out some verbal lashings to some Town Guards in Chapter 1.||In the field, you can use her shell toss to activate switches and attack enemies for first strikes. Also, just like the previous Koopas, you can hold her in place and move around.||(Shell Toss) (Hammer Throw) (Shell Barrier) (Hammer Barrage)|
|Johnson, the X-Naut||A former member of the Secret Society of X-Nauts, Johnson has joined Mario at the behest of his superiors to fight the new threat that Chronos presents to the world. You meet Johnson when you run into Crump and what remains of the X-Nauts in the Second Chapter.||In the field, Johnson can use his X-Ray Goggles to reveal hidden items and the true forms of subjects; which is good, because some of Chronos' minions disguise themselves as ordinary NPCs!||(Charge) (X-Ray Vision) (Flask Toss) (Earthquake)|
|Spy Gal the Shy Guy||Spy Gal is a female Shy Guy who specializes in Stealth and Reconnaissance. You meet her first when you have to infiltrate a Time Knight Stronghold which has already captured one of the Pages of Time.||In the field, she activates her cloaking device and turns you and your partner invisble, making it impossible for your enemies to find you.||(Dash Attack) (Cloak) (Hostage Rope) (Swift Strike)|
|Jenna the Time Knight||Jenna was originally one of the Time Knights serving Chronos, but she is banished from the organization when she has an ethical crisis. Ordered to execute Mario and his friends, she can't bring herself to do it, considering that prior to her execution orders, Mario and his companions save her before she plummets to her doom. Her joining the group coincides with the group's first meeting of Chronos, who witnesses her betrayal and banishes her from his order.||In the field, Jenna can slow down time to enable you to cross platforms or other obstacles that normally move too quickly in real time.||(Chrono Blast) (Stasis Field) (Fast-Forward) (Chrono Destruction)|
|Commander Bridget||Bridget is the leader of the Bob-Omb Aero Corps, a special air wing crewed mainly by Bob-Ombs. She sports an Pilot's helmet and is yellow-colored. You'll meet her first at her Air Base when the team receives word that their next Page of Time is located in a Sky Fortress.||In the field, Bridget, like Bobbery and Bombette, walks forward a few steps and then explodes, either to engage enemies, blast holes in the wall, or activate switches.||(Bomb) (Mines) (Air Guard) (Air Strike)|
|Arcanus the Magikoopa||Arcanus is a powerful magic user, but he's a bit clumsy and his spells often backfire, with embarrassing results (you'll find him turning himself into a sheep by accident when you first encounter him O.o). The last member to join Mario's party, Arcanus is spotted first when he and some other members of Bowser's Koopa Troop are fighting a losing battle against Chronos' Time Knights at Bowser's Castle. He joins you when you revert him back from his embarrassing sheep form.||In the field, Arcanus allows you and your party members to fly on broomsticks, increasing speed and allowing you to travel over otherwise dangerous terrain.||(Broomstick Bash) (Magic Attack) (Arcane Drain) (Arcane Explosion)|
Arcanus- as commander bridget, find goomba gulch and then leave but return as Mario and then find a page of time. Then you spot him turning himself into a sheep later.
johnson, the X-naut- unlock arcanus, then find the second page of time.Then you see him.