Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Diary

While on regular sewer patrols, Rogueport sanitation staff happened upon this ragged old book found next to a pile of bones – later determined to be from a variety of species. The following is a transcript of the book’s contents.

Goombella

Entrance
I’m here. I heard about this place in one of my lectures, but I never thought I’d actually get to see it. Mario and I have been prepping for this for days. Zess. T’s been rushed off her feet preparing lavish meals for us to take down – but I guess we’ll need creature comforts and the odd plate full of dynamite. Koops has even waxed his shell.
Enough writing – I’ve got to go. This is the Pit of 100 Trials.

Floor 1
Well, things aren’t too difficult, but I guess we’re only on the first floor. There’s a heck of a way to go yet. We had to fight a Gloomba – they’re a pretty distressing species, with eyes sunken into their grey skin, driven mad by the darkness. Mario took this guy out with his hammer (blood everywhere) but we couldn’t stay.

Floor 7
The threats we’re facing down here are non-existent so far – stuff we had to fight when I first met Mario. Koops just took out five Spinias in one go – they didn’t stand a chance. Serves them right for all standing in a line.

Floor 9
I think Koops gets kind of freaked out by the Dull Bones. We just fought a couple and he started screaming “traitors!” and ramming them with his shell. I had to remind him they’re possessed. Still, we’re an eleventh of the way through. It’s dark and damp down here, but we’re all doing okay.

Floor 10
Mario seems pleased. This floor didn’t have any enemies, only that weird guy Charlieton who keeps trying to sell us extortionately-priced trinkets. How did he even get down here?
Anyway, Mario’s got a new badge that lets him put enemies to sleep when he jumps on them. Kinda weird, really – I think I’d probably wake up if someone stomped on my head.

Floor 12
Oh yeah, Clefts. I remember those guys used to be a nuisance before Mario could smash them with his hammer. Still, this little bastard got the jump on us and now I’ll probably get a scar on my cheek. Flurrie says she’ll lend me some makeup but I’m not really a purple kind of Goomba.

Floor 18
These Pokeys need to learn they’re harmless now Mario can jump on them. Now that’s a useful badge. Did you know Pokeys hold water on the inside? Neither did I until we smashed a bunch open at Riverside Station. Got my clothes soaked for days. Still, we’re making short work of them now.

Floor 20
Fore! Mario can lob fireballs with his hammer now. It’s pretty neat, but I’m surprised anything can burn down here with all the stone and damp. Gosh, I’d hate that to be my fate.
Charlieton’s not here this time. It’s just us and the enemies. That’s okay with me, but I hope Koops is okay with everything we run into. Bobbery’s worried too, and he told me that in his seafaring days they used to lock up any bomb who started looking mad. I don’t think we’re quite there yet.

Floor 24
I tell you what, Koops is great at this adventuring thing. It gives me time to make notes on rock composition while he literally sweeps all before him. Having said that, it’s pretty distracting to hear the endless screams of Bob-ombs as they detonate themselves. I’ll have to get some earplugs next time we see Charlieton.

Floor 28
Well I’m glad Mario can jump, that’s all I’ll say. Turns out Koops ain’t so great when it comes to little flying guys who look kind of cute sat on their clouds until they start flinging Spinies at you. Still. He isn’t throwing anything now. Note: How are clouds forming in small underground rooms? Investigate.

Floor 30
Still no Charlieton, but that doesn’t matter, we’ve found something cool. Mario is literally electrified by this badge we found – I’d like to see any of these guys touch him now. Vivian and I tried it on – It feels like you’ve been anaesthetised, but anyone who touches you gets a heck of a shock.

Bobbery looked tired, so we all sat and ate one of Zess. T’s ice creams. No idea how we kept it frozen all the way down here, but it was delicious. Come to think of it, the cold down here is starting to get to me. I must pack a sweater next time.

Floor 33
There’s little I hate more in the world than Parabuzzies. Nasty little things. They’re balls of armour with wings attached that launch themselves right at your face – trust me, I know. I dodged it, but Mario’s nursing what we think might be a broken nose. He doesn’t look too happy, even though Mrs. Mowz offered to kiss it better.

Floor 35
Okay, maybe there’s one thing I hate more – Fuzzies are creepy little guys. I resent being given a love bite at the best of times, but some little fuzzball sucking on my face? Yuck.

Floor 36
Okay, this is BAD. We fought a bunch of Dark Koopas and they started taunting Koops about being a coward and deserting his species. He lost it. Slaughtered all of them, not that any of us tried to stop him. He hasn’t said anything since.

Floor 40
We’ve made base camp here and we’ll push on in the morning – not that morning means anything this far down. Mario’s tired, and so am I. Yoshi’s already curled up asleep and Bobbery’s humming sea shanties to himself and trimming his moustache.

It’s been a hard journey so far, psychologically if not in terms of combat. We’ve not run into anything we can’t handle, but I’ll tell Mario to keep Koops out of the way of any Koopas we run into. It’s not going to do any of us any good if he flips out again.

Floor 41
Flurrie’s handling Koopas now and I have to say that girl can LAUNCH herself. I mean it probably helps if you’re a, um, larger lady, but man my headbonking looks pathetic. Things seem to be back to normal with Koops – he’s a little quiet but we think we can keep a lid on him.

Floor 45
Spiny Parabuzzies. I’ll let you take that in for a second. I’m trapped half a mile underground with a bunch of unassailable freaks of nature. Someone should take a flyswatter and cause a mass extinction event. Sorry, that’s the stress and claustrophobia talking. Mario stomped on them okay – that skill’s saved us no end of trouble.

Floor 50
We made it. Well sort of – we’re halfway. Technically, it’s the home stretch, but the roars and squeals I can hear through the pipes don’t exactly fill me with confidence. We’re dirty, hungry and cold, but we’re all of us alive. That’s something.
We found a weird thing down here. It’s just a bag, locked inside a chest. I’d ask why on earth someone would hide a sack in a chest, but when we inspected it we found it’s twice as big inside as it is outside. Don’t ask me what’s going on – I think this dungeon’s messing with our heads.

Floor 51
Would you believe it? First floor after halfway and some bandit freak snatches one of Mario’s badges and runs off. I don’t know where he thought he was going, ‘cause we caught him and dealt with him pretty soon afterwards. Kind of disturbed me, really – it was like this guy had been programmed and didn’t really know what he was doing. I don’t think Mario needed to dismember him that brutally. I know that face behind the mask is going to haunt me the next time I sleep.

Floor 55
My heart sunk as soon as we dropped out of the pipe. It was those brown Clefts we’d seen on the moon. They’re made of nothing I’ve ever seen before and you couldn’t scratch them with a tungsten drill. Bobbery took them apart pretty easily once he got the chance though. Mario took a couple of spikes to the arm and started feeling woozy, so we had to stop. This might be harder than we thought.

Floor 59
Gah, Chomps. I even hate the red ones. What are they? They don’t seem like robots, but they’re literally tough as nails – they’re made of iron. Still, a good hammering keeps them down, even if I swear I felt one of them clip me with those razor teeth.

Floor 60
I hate to say it, but Yoshi’s not holding up well. He can’t move as fast as he could, and keeps rocking back and forth and twitching in his sleep. Maybe we shouldn’t have had him eat those Poison Pokeys a few floors ago. We can use two items a turn now, so we gave him some tonic and put him to sleep.
Oh, and we saw Charlieton again. He’s still screwing the consumer where possible, but I guess down here he’s got a monopoly. He wished us well, which was nice – although shipping us a few crates of weapons might have been better.

Floor 63
The Wizzerds are becoming a serious threat – that laser of theirs goes through anything. Koops took a hit square in the chest and it came out of his shell on the other side. After we patched him up, he said it was like having his lungs flossed with razor wire. I’m definitely keen to avoid these things.

Floor 67
We could do without all the Dry Bones respawning – Koops is shaking with rage. I’ve got to go now. We’re two-thirds of the way down.

Floor 70
This isn’t fun. We’re exhausted and ran past the halfway mark on our provisions today. Some of us have untended wounds. Koops’ laser cut was neat and easy to fix but a gouging from some dirty creature is going to be more than we can deal with.
The badge down here is useless to us while we don’t have enough items.
There’s a pipe every ten floors that can take us all back to the surface. For a moment, it looks inviting. But then I see how far we’ve come, and head down the pipe again.

Floor 75
We lost Yoshi. It was my fault. We were fighting Chain Chomps and sent him to spit one of them against the other. My idea. It tore his neck open and we couldn’t get close to his body until we’re taken the things apart. I couldn’t even hurt them but I smashed into them again and again anyway. I was so angry, felt so stupid. We had Bobbery destroy the pieces.
We’re still dragging Yoshi with us, covered in a Boo Sheet. I think Vivian and Mario hope there’s a doctor out there with a Life Shroom big enough to bring him back. I know he died before he hit the floor.

Floor 77
The Dark Koopatrols are terrifying to behold. Dead faces and red eyes behind heavy armour we can barely penetrate. The ordinary Koopatrols were tough, yes, but they were soldiers, Bowser’s elite, and they fought with honour and dignity. The creatures we face here are simply mad beasts set loose.

Floor 80
We met Charlieton again this time, and had him take Yoshi back to the surface through the pipe we yearned to take but did not dare. We had come too far and sacrificed too much not to make it to the end.

In a cruel twist of fate, the badge we got down here – that lets us knock out weak enemies without a fight – doesn’t work in this pit. They’re all too tough down here anyway.

Before Charlieton left, he asked us “What should I tell his family?”
I told him “They were us.”

Floor 82
Great. We came in here fighting freaky Goombas. Now we’re taking on blocks of spiked iron who’ll spear you in the guts without a second thought if you come within ten feet. We kept our distance and had Bobbery fling grenades at them until they weren’t grinning any more. I’ve stopped feeling sorry for these things trapped down here. They seem to enjoy tormenting us.

Floor 89
There are things down this far I’ve never seen before. The toughest Piders I’ve ever met. Bright red and white Piranha Plants, who zoom around and pop up out of the ground to torment us. Flurrie caught a bad bite and she’s fading fast. I hope we can get out of here soon.

Floor 90
Never has such a short distance felt so far. We ate our most precious food – The Zess Deluxe, some Jelly Ultras and a Whacka Bump. Now we’re down to the basics. Why the hell didn’t we bring any Life Shrooms? Yoshi’s dead and we nearly lost Flurry, all because I can’t pack.

I hate it here. The sounds coming from up from the blackness below torment me constantly. I’ve been through the same room 90 times. But we’re so close.

Mario’s changed since we got here, though. He found a badge in the chest and since he put it on, he’s been nimbler somehow. Like you could throw a rock and he’d dodge it without thinking. We may yet be saved.

Floor 91
We met a Puni in a bowler hat, and for a moment we thought the dungeon was screwing with us again. After Wizzerds and Piranha Plants, we could handle a Puni.

Turns out, he didn’t want to fight. He introduced himself as the Mover, and told us that in exchange for 30 coins he’d help us skip five floors. We were more than happy to oblige.

You know what the most ridiculous thing was? We were nearly dead, and he wouldn’t let us see his methods. I know he’s a businessman, but what’s happened to compassion?

Floor 96
Flurrie’s down – we don’t know if she’ll make it back up. We were thrown into a fight with a Poison Puff, and she took a blast straight to the face. I caught a whiff and was dizzy and vomiting for hours. She just hit the floor.

Just four levels left.

Floor 99
What fresh hell was this? Five armoured Wizzerds stared us down. We sprang into action and Mario took out two of them with his hammer. But we underestimated them, and their laser fire took out Vivian. I think that’s all the Shadow Sirens gone now.

Koops couldn’t take it any more. They weren’t even the traitorous Koopas he’d taken vengeance against hundreds of feet above. But they’d harmed his friends, and with a horrible screech he tore into them. Their armour splintered and alien innards spilled onto the floor. I’d be lying if I said they didn’t stink.

We paused there, and ate the last of our rations. Silence filled the pit, and our ears rang with it. Three of our number had fallen, and five remained. Mario was silent, covered in unpleasant substances and softly shaking.

Admiral Bobbery gave us his best attempt at a rousing speech, which echoed around the room.

“We cannot, and indeed must not turn back. It is a simple choice. Death, or glory.”

We nodded in silent agreement. We would reach the bottom of the pit, or we would die in the attempt. There was no alternative.

If I should die, and this diary be recovered from the floor of the pit, remember this of me. I was Goombella. I travelled the world with the greatest of men and brought down the biggest threat to our existence the people of Rogueport have ever seen. And I died, twisted and broken, in a giant hole in the ground.

It’s time.

MeetBonetail

Share this post

Robin Wilde

Co-Editor of Cubed Gamers, meaning I send out, take in, edit and upload content. I’m also in charge of doing much of the graphics and design stuff for the site.

No comments

Add yours

Got something to tell us? Leave a reply!