This is part of a planned series of posts analyzing, discussing and generally having fun with Super Paper Mario, my favorite Wii game. If you find it ridiculous that I am spending so much time analyzing a very cheesy Mario game, you should probably ignore this.
MULTITUDES OF SPOILERS LURK WITHIN!!
Super Paper Mario may be a wonderful game, but even the best of stories have their plot holes. And so I’m sorry to say that the story of Super Paper Mario, which isn’t even the best in the first place, has rather has a lot. The best of stories also often have many unanswered questions, and Super Paper Mario, not being the best, has even more. But Super Paper Mario is good enough that I wanted to catalog all those plot holes and unanswered questions…mostly for my own use as I came up with insane theories filling the holes and answering the questions, but who knows, maybe you could find some use for this list too!
- Did Tippi fall in love with Mario? At the end of chapter 3, after the heroes save her, Tippi is very happy and is “full of concern,” thanking Mario for rescuing her. Then after chapter 4, Tippi says that she “could just hang around with Mario forever,” only to suddenly pass out. (Supernatural punishment for showing interest in someone other than Blumiere?) After she’s revived, she says, “I want to be near Mario…” And then we have chapter 7, where Luvbi teases Tippi mercilessly about being interested in Mario, and Tippi can only stammer and blush. (Though how a butterfly can blush is rather beyond me.) But after this it seems that she begins to remember her past and realize who Count Bleck is, so any feelings she had for Mario are set aside…or are they? Does she just decide to disregard any love she has for anybody else so she and Blumiere can save the world with the Power of Love™…?
- What exactly is the chronology of the whole story? Blumiere is supposed to have been part of the Tribe of Darkness, yet Nolrem, who is only a descendant of the Tribe, seems very old. Does that mean Count Bleck is even older? In that case, is Tippi quite old too? Perhaps she’ll die of age as soon as she gets transformed back into human form?
- Why did Count Bleck tell his minions to stay put before chapter 6? I quote Nastasia in the Castle Bleck scene after chapter 5: “YOU GO NOWHERE! We wait! It’s the count’s direct order! His word is absolute! Be a good little minion and DO NOT MOVE UNTIL TOLD!” (But then Dimentio shows up and convinces them to go and try to defeat Mario and co. anyways.) Why did Count Bleck order this? Was he afraid his minions would get destroyed if they went to Sammer’s Kingdom, since it was on the verge of being obliterated by the Void? Was he beginning to give up? (Particularly after the previous Castle Bleck scene, in which Nastasia said that she wasn’t sure they could succeed, and spoke of Timpani.) Or did he just want his minions to rest and regain their strength?
- Exactly who counts as a hero? Sometimes it seems like Mario is the central hero and the other members of his party are subordinate, but at other points it seems like they’re all heroes of the same rank.
- Why does Bleck do nothing to investigate the possibility of Timpani being alive after meeting Tippi in chapter 6 and beginning to wonder about her identity? Had he lost hope of finding her? Had he lost hope of stopping the prophecy? Both seem quite likely; he says in the Castle Bleck scene after chapter 6, “Could that Pixl have been…Timpani? No, no. Completely impossible. I should know that better than anyone. Besides, it’s far too late to do anything now.” And then after chapter 7, he says, “The prophecy can no longer be stopped by Count Bleck. No one can stop it.” But did he also give up hope of Timpani caring about him anymore after his conversation with her in chapter 6 (when she graced him with such lovely lines as “Why would you want to do something so…unspeakable?”, “That’s…horrible!”, “You’re wrong…and sick!”, etc.), and after he heard Dimentio report that Tippi had said, “I must stop Blumiere”? (By the way, that’s not actually what Tippi said. She said, “We have to stop that Blumiere.” But then, Dimentio is not known for his reliability.)
- Why, in the ending, does Bleck say (multiple times!) that he does not “have long to live”? Was he weakened enough by his fight with Mario that he would die soon? Perhaps he was being sustained by the power of the Chaos Heart or maybe the Dark Prognosticus, and so once he lost them he couldn’t stay alive for very long? Maybe this is because he’s very old as I hypothesized above?
- What happened to the Dark Prognosticus, anyways? The narrator says at the very end that “the Dark Prognosticus again faded into history.” But what happened to it?! The best answer I can come up with is the Awesome Nastasia Theory.
- Did Blumiere kill his father or destroy the Tribe of Darkness or something along that line of things? The only clues we have are that 1) the Tribe of Darkness disappeared at some point and 2) in the Blumiere and Timpani scene (for lack of a better name) before chapter 8, Blumiere says to his father after stealing the Dark Prognosticus, “I will erase every inch…of this blasted world!”, and then at the end of the scene we hear crashing and smashing sounds. But seriously, are sound effects canon? What if I had had my sound off? What if I had trouble hearing it? And what if, like I did when I first played the game, you thought that the crashing and smashing sounds were part of Tippi’s memory that she apparently recalled right after the Blumiere and Timpani scene, where she says, “No! Blumiere! You mustn’t! Darling… How could you… Oh… Darling… You… Why…”?
- How did Nastasia know that Bleck and Tippi would be in Dimension D in the ending, as she apparently said to O’Chunks and Mimi that she “felt” they’d be there? And how did she know to shield Count Bleck from Dimentio’s blow? Did she realize Dimentio’s scheme? Does she just have a fictional character’s near-perfect intuition? Or is the Awesome Nastasia Theory correct…?
- Who is the “sweet lass” that O’Chunks wished he had declared his love to in chapter 5? Nastasia? Presumably, from what he said at the end of the game and if you talk to him in Flipside after the game is finished…
- Did Dimentio write the Dark Prognosticus? This seems to be quite a popular theory among fans, despite the fact that the only evidence I can find for it is in Carson’s story about Dimentio. He says that Dimentio pursued Count Bleck of his own accord, but Bleck initially turned him away. Then the count read about someone like Dimentio in the Dark Prognosticus, and so he agreed to let Dimentio join him. Carson comments, “Why was he mentioned in the Dark Prognosticus? Sounds fishy to me!” So, obviously, Dimentio wrote the Dark Prognosticus so he could orchestrate his whole plan with having the heroes defeat Count Bleck and then destroying the world himself! Except why then did the Dark Prognosticus include prophecies of other events, as the prologue and quite a few of Garson and Carson’s stories indicate? How did Dimentio know so much about those other events, and about the power of the Chaos Heart and the Void, etc., for that matter? And then to have written the Dark Prog he would either need to be really old or be capable of time travel…
- Why on earth didn’t Mario respond or even look surprised when Tippi and Bleck had their dramatic conversation right before the fight with Bleck? Shouldn’t he be alarmed if the antagonist and his faithful sidekick start calling each other “dear Timpani” and “my Blumiere”? Is Mario just stupid? But then how come the other heroes (who were out of commission during that first conversation) weren’t surprised when Tippi and Bleck had another dramatic conversation after Bleck was defeated? Are they all just stupid? Or are they all just used to this kind of thing happening, since they live in stories? Or what?
There you have it. Let me know in the comments if you’ve come up with other explanations for these mysteries and plot holes, or if you’ve found some of your own!