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After The Thousand-Year Door remake, its finally time for Paper Luigi

Paper Luigi holds his hands out.
Digital Trends

After decades of campaigning from fans, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is back and better than ever. The GameCube classic’s new Nintendo Switch remake is reintroducing players to one of Nintendo’s best games. The RPG is still fresh and delightful thanks to its eclectic cast of characters and hilarious writing that still holds up 20 years later. With the fight to revive the adventure done, its now time for fans to rally behind a new cause — and I have the perfect one in mind.

It’s finally time for Paper Luigi.

I’m not suggesting a Luigi spinoff just for the sake of giving Mario’s brother something to do, either. The Thousand-Year Door historically laid the groundwork for a perfect Luigi RPG thanks to a side-splitting running gag that’s told throughout the adventure. That joke returns in the remake and it’s as funny as ever. With more eyes on Luigi’s rambling saga than ever before, it’s the right moment to capitalize.

Early in Mario’s adventure, Luigi begins appearing in the town of Rogueport. The first time Mario talks to him, he begins to weave a tale of his own adventures while Mario has been off finding the Crystal Stars. He tells a long, ridiculous story about his quest to find the “Marvelous Compass.” The longer Mario’s journey goes, the more Luigi reveals his own story, which involves heading off to the Waffle Kingdom and saving Princess Eclair.

Luigi hands Mario a letter in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.
Nintendo

The Marvelous Compass saga is The Thousand-Year Door‘s funniest moment. Luigi’s story gets more absurd with each chapter, and he’s absolutely awful at telling it. He goes deep into long, mundane details, to the point that Mario and his companions start nodding off in each chapter. You’re left wondering if any of this actually happened or if Luigi is just trying way too hard to impress his brother with a tall tale.

While the story is dubious, it provides some fertile ground for a true Paper Luigi spinoff. The story beats are already written thanks to Luigi’s exhaustive retelling, with the villains and plot twists set. We even know who Luigi’s companions would be, as they appear with him in Rogueport. I’m dying to know more about Jerry the Bob-omb and Blooey, a Blooper whose earned the nickname “White Torpedo.”

Though what especially intrigues me about a full Marvelous Compass game is its potential as a comedy. Luigi is an unreliable narrator in The Thousand-Year Door and that could create a hilarious dynamic in his own adventure. I imagine him pulling off improbable heroic feats in larger-than-life battles that look absolutely ridiculous. The meticulous nature of his storytelling could make for some great comedy too, tasking players with doing some obsessively tedious tasks.

All of that would create a “have your cake and eat it too” moment for Nintendo. It would allow the company to continue characterizing Luigi as a clumsy, but lovable goofball while still giving him a big solo adventure that presents him as a hero. He’s gotten that moment a few times in the Luigi’s Mansion series, but he deserves to save Princess Eclair (even if that quest doesn’t end in romance).

For now, we’ll just have to experience that through fans. You can find several projects by dedicated Paper Mario players looking to adapt Luigi’s adventure, from a comic adaptation to full fan games. Those will have to do for now, but I’m praying that the community can rally together to make this happen one day. If it got Nintendo to finally remake The Thousand-Year Door, anything is possible.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is now available on Nintendo Switch.

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Giovanni Colantonio
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