Why There Are No New Characters in Mario & Luigi Paper Jam
Well, it’s finally been revealed… sort of. Basically, a day or so ago, there was a ‘Miiting’ with AlphaDream, developers of the Mario & Luigi series. In that meeting, they got asked quite a bit why there were no original characters in Mario & Luigi Paper Jam, and why only those from the main series made appearances.
Their answer? Well, it’s explained in this video:
Didn’t get that or don’t want to read? They thought it would ‘interfere’ with the concept of the ‘normal’ Mario characters meeting their paper counterparts. Which half makes sense, except…
Ninety nine percent of this game isn’t about that at all.
Think about it. What characters in Paper Jam meet their paper counterparts? Mario, Peach, Bowser, Bowser Jr and Kamek. Yes, we left out Luigi, cause Paper Luigi is basically a cameo who appears in the music player and never really comes face to face with his ‘real’ world counterpart. And with the exception of some early bosses (like the Pokey Duo), that’s literally all the interaction we see between paper characters and real ones.
Oh sure, some Paper Toads appear. Big deal, they’re basically mini game collectables. Paper Petey Piranha appears, but he’s just… completely irrelevant to the story, and never even meets his counterpart.
Above: Paper Petey’s appearance is mostly irrelevant.
And then we get the ton of generic Mario characters who have no paper counterparts, never meet anyone remotely similar to themselves and have about as much of a ‘thematic’ role in Paper Jam as the OCs did in the first four games. Like King Boo. He never appears in Paper Mario, he has absolutely nothing to do with the storyline and his only real ‘connection’ to the plot is that his minions are sometimes made of paper. Or King Bob-omb. He’s a very cool Super Mario 64 throwback (his attacks are literally almost entirely inspired by his battles in the original Mario 64 and Mario 64 DS), but he’s got nothing to do with the Paper Mario series. Same with the Chargin’ Chucks, the Koopalings, Nabbit, the Wiggler boss (surprisingly), etc. But guess what? They’re also some of the best parts of the game. AlphaDream’s reasoning makes no sense at all.
Above: These two have a huge connection to Paper Mario, right? Wait, they don’t. But they’re awesome in their own right, and make the game better. That’s what matters.
Let’s also not forget Kamek and how his paper counterpart was Paper Kamek from Sticker Star rather than Kammy Koopa from the original two games. Want a counterpart comparison? Have him meet his original Paper Mario series alternate universe equivalent, the one with an amusing personality and a unique design.
There’s also talk in the Miiting of Paper Luigi being originally planned as possible, but cut because they wanted a control scheme using three main buttons rather than four.
Isn’t that a bit silly, given that Partners in Time handled that whole concept pretty well? Four characters, of which one uses the X button and one uses the Y button. No reason Paper Mario and Luigi couldn’t be controlled a similar way.
Above: Instead, he sits in a deck chair listening to the music for the entire game. You don’t even meet him in the actual game, just the sound test.
Either way, that’s apparently AlphaDream’s reasoning, and we’ll just have to wait til the English version of the Miiting if we want a bit more ‘clarification’ on any of it. But what do you think about this? Does it make sense? Or do you think AlphaDream are just trying to cover up ‘executive meddling’ as the real reason why original characters were so sparse in Paper Jam?