For the Game Boy Advance, a talented artist has designed a new visual style for the Paper Mario games. Many games have been produced in the series throughout the years, with the most recent installment, Paper Mario: The Origami King for Nintendo Switch, being met with critical acclaim at its 2020 release. Unfortunately, there was never a Game Boy Advance game in the series.
Several novel’s paper-inspired mechanics are used throughout the Paper Mario series, making it a fan favorite. Paper Mario was the first game in the series, and since then, six more installments have been released for the Nintendo 64.
Besides the gorgeous visuals of the paper environments and people, Mario also has unique abilities in these games due to his papery condition, such as the ability to fly for large distances by morphing into a paper airplane. The games also include unique gameplay compared to other Mario games; while the specifics of the battle systems in each Paper Mario game may change, they always involve turn-based battling with a few timing-based features.
This week, talented pixel artist Ninjamal (via Nintendo Life) revealed some incredible fan art for a Game Boy Advance version of Paper Mario on Twitter. The creator released a total of four photos, including the game’s title screen, two battle sequences (including one with a boss), and a dialogue exchange between Mario and Bowser.
The 32-bit aesthetic does a great job of conveying the game’s graphical prowess, and the game portrayed seems like it belongs in the series.
This GBA Paper Mario Art Is Incredibly Nostalgic
What if Paper Mario was on the Game Boy Advance? I drew what I thought that would look like! pic.twitter.com/3BaMN0tUC5
— Ninjamal (@Niinjamal) October 21, 2022
The original Paper Mario has been out for nearly twenty years, but that hasn’t stopped it from being a fan favorite. This adoration was rekindled in the latter half of last year when Paper Mario was released for Nintendo Switch as part of the N64 Expansion.
While some of the series’ enduring appeal might be attributed to simple nostalgia, the first game laid the basis for the rest of the franchise to expand upon, and some fans prefer the simpler fighting systems of the series’ earlier entries to those of more recent entries.
Many longtime fans of the Paper Mario series, seeing this gorgeous and creative imagery, would no doubt begin wishing that more games had been released during the series’ early era. An original Paper Mario game made for the Game Boy Advance during its heyday would have had a very different aesthetic from the 3DS installments in the series.
Paper Mario’s been in the works for a quarter of a century, and in that time it has become an absolute classic and a benchmark for the best that turn-based games have to offer; this artwork is a fitting tribute to that achievement.