Pre-Hooktail Pit Run and other such Paper Mario challenges

Well, this is my first attempt at a blog. Having not done this before, I think I might actually enjoy it!

Anyway, I’ll start by asking whether you like Nintendo games; more specifically Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door? I’ve played through this game several times over the last few years, and I’ve got steadily better at it. I won’t describe the game if you’ve not heard of it; simply click the link and all the information you need is there.

This post is going to look at several of the self-imposed challenges that people do. Firstly, we have the (optionally minimalist) OBPNBNLP run, which stands for Only Badge Points, No Badges, No Levelled Partners. In this run, every time you level up, you increase Badge Points, but you never wear any badges. You also don’t upgrade your partners. You play through the game with only 10 HP and 5 FP, while wearing no badges. People often call this the “Level 0” (or Level Nought or Level Zero) Run, because Level 1 is 10 HP, 5 FP, 3 BP.

Then there’s the Negative Run (or Level -1), where people reduce their Max HP to 5 as early as possible, which is immediately after Chapter 5. To make it even harder, exceptions to the No Badge rule can be made, such as Double Pain and/or one or two Unsimplifiers.

The optional “minimalist” part is where you do as little as required to complete the game; this means you only fight necessary battles and don’t complete any sidequests, etc. Finally, once the main quest is completed, you can attempt a Pit of 100 Trials run, keeping the same restrictions. I completed this run a couple of years ago, but forgot to do the Pit; I still had the save file, so I completed the Pit a few months ago.

Another popular self-imposed challenge is the Pre-Hooktail Pit of 100 Trials Run, more commonly known as the Pre-Hooktail Pit Run. In this run, you play through the prologue and most of Chapter 1, but stop short of fighting Hooktail (the Chapter 1 boss). You then go down to the Thousand-Year Door and enter the Pit of 100 Trials, and complete the whole thing in one go, without leaving part of the way down. This run is very popular, and it requires a lot of skill at Superguarding (the game’s term for counter-attacking). Being able to consistently perform Stylish Moves and hit the BINGO! Roulette also helps.

This is Part 9 – the boss fight against Bonetail. If you are interested in these sorts of challenges, then this game’s GameFAQs message board has a lot of information. Simply use the Search Bar – terms such as Hooktail, Challenge etc. will help you find what you are looking for.

If you are interested in watching one of these challenge runs, I have prepared a full, unedited Pre-Hooktail Pit Run for your viewing pleasure, along with written commentary. Here is the link to the playlist and videos:

Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Part 4:
Part 5:
Part 6:
Part 7:
Part 8:
Part 9:

Finally, a link to my Youtube channel:

If you enjoy my videos, please spread the word! I like to think that this is the best Pre-Hooktail Pit Run video series on Youtube at the moment; if anyone finds a better one, I will recant this statement. Almost everyone else uses Mega Rush P (which makes it cheap), and almost everyone else has their partners die regularly. This does NOT happen in my run!

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10 Responses to Pre-Hooktail Pit Run and other such Paper Mario challenges

  1. kostass says:

    Well I’m up to do it, but I don’t find it that difficult to do it if you don’t have mega rush P like you say. It’s because you might not have mega rush P like you say but using heart finder is cheaper than using mega rush P in my opinion.


    • avengah says:

      Mega Rush P boosts attack by 5. Considering attack power is 2 per hit normally (and Goombella hits twice), this can make a huge difference. However, Heart Finder doesn’t help as much; you can use Sweet Treat and items to heal often anyway, and given the amount of Sweet Treating already, it ends up making very little difference.


  2. jdaster64 says:

    Another fun run to try is a Minimalist, minimal-level run of the Flopside Pit of 100 Trials in SPM. The problem being that to do it properly, you’d have to clear it once beforehand, then use cheats to lower your level to minimum. The Flipside run isn’t nearly enough of a challenge, unfortunately.


    • avengah says:

      While I’ve not done lowest-level runs, I’ve done them as early as possible (pre 2-2 and pre 5-3). I remember that you need an item to beat the Chain Chomp if you go into the Flipside Pit at minimum level, but I wasn’t that low a level. I found the Flopside one trivial due to having almost all the Pixls by that point, but at least the Flopside one is relatively challenging with only Mario, Peach, Thoreau and Boomer. I didn’t use Bowser much if at all in the Flopside one.

      Yeah, sorry I kind of lost interest in doing that FAQ but if you still want to do it I’ll make an effort to get the curse and audience testing done. I think the audience was a nuisance to test because it wasn’t consistent. The numbers I recorded on Miles’s forum for audience regeneration seemed right most of the time, but sometimes it was different.


  3. slweigel says:

    Hey avengah, I looked at this run of yours. It’s very impressive. I also like how briefly you explained the Paper Mario challenges.

    I’d like to announce that I have completed a Pre-Hooktail run without superguarding. I still used Mega Rush P, but it was still very challenging. I did carry in two Ultra Shrooms (shame), but I made a rule to myself to ONLY USE THEM ON BONETAIL. I stuck to this rule, as you can observe that I nearly died in the later floors but didn’t even consider healing with the Ultras.

    Here is the playlist:

    Right now, I’m also working on trying a 10 HP Pre-Hooktail Run. The farthest I’ve gotten is Floor 96 so far.

    I’d appreciate your feedback on this, as I really respect you as a Paper Mario player.


    • avengah says:

      Thanks for the support! I think WordPress removed your link but it did appear in my email notification. If you want to repost the link, change some of the dots to “dot”. I’ll watch it and let you know what I think!

      Edit: I was viewing the page on my phone and it looked like the link had been removed, but now I see it was changed to an embedded YouTube playlist.


    • avengah says:

      It doesn’t matter, I thought it had removed your link but it hadn’t. If you do need to post a link on a website that doesn’t accept links, remove the http and www and replace all . with dot, but you can make it clearer by inserting spaces. Thanks again; I’ll watch it and let you know what I think.


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