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If I had to point at one, single element of the Paper Mario series as a favorite it would definitely be the partners. Traveling around the Mushroom Kingdom and beyond with fleshed out and fully characterized versions of Mario series staples brings a whole lot of charm to the first two Paper Mario games and their absence in later entries is felt. 

Thankfully we’ll be reacquainted with the finest batch of partners when Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door comes to Switch. Before you head to Rogueport, read on to meet (or reacquaint) yourself with the game’s cast of sidekicks. Naturally this guide will spoil the whos, how’s, and when’s of TTYD’s partners. If you’d prefer to go in blind now would be the time to fold! 

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Your first friend once you set out to find Peach in the game’s prologue, Goombella is a promising student and research assistant from the University of Goom. While she can definitely lay on the damage with her bonk-based skills, Goombella is more defined by her more supportive options. 

Her signature skill, Tattle, will provide information both on your current location when used in the field, and on enemies when used in battle. This can give you insight into their weaknesses and attacks so they don’t get the jump on you. These also fill out your bestiary, the Tattle Log, so completionists will be relying on Goombella a lot! It’s less flashy than what later partners have to offer, but nobody can deliver on TTYD lore better than her. 


Recruited during Chapter 1 in the quiet village of Petalburg, Koops is a bit on the timid side. He’s driven to live up to a familial legacy and to impress his girlfriend Koopie Koo, so sets out to Hooktail Castle with Mario. 

In the field you’ll be able to use Koops’s shell to hit switches and grab items from a distance and across gaps. Certain puzzles are only solvable thanks to this guy! In combat he makes for a bulkier buddy thanks to his slightly higher defense and the fact his attacks don’t make contact (since he’s tucked into his shell) the way Mario and Goombella’s do. This makes him ideal for hitting fiery, spiky, or otherwise untouchable enemies but a poor pick for aerial ones. That weakness aside, for a while he’ll be your best bet for hitting multiple enemies with a single attack thanks to his Power Shell skill.

Madame Flurrie

Madame Flurrie is a retired opera singer and some kind of cloudy wind spirit. She’ll lend her aid beginning in Chapter 2, though you’ll have to recover her precious necklace first. Once onboard with your growing crew she’ll prove herself a welcome presence both in and out of battle, even if she can be a bit dramatic.

Out of combat is where Flurrie shines. Thanks to her affinity for wind, she can actually blow away papery pieces of scenery to reveal hidden passages and other secrets. Keep an eye out for fluttery, exposed “corners” and tag Flurrie in to reveal what’s underneath! She can also dizzy enemies in the overworld and manipulate other lighter than air objects. In combat she’s a bit less specialized than the others but makes up for it with utility. She can actually blow enemies away, ending battles before they can get dicey while still offering up some experience points.

Yoshi Kid

Yoshi’s have been helping out Mario since he was a baby, and finally they join in as an RPG ally too! You’ll receive this rambunctious buddy as an egg as you play through Chapter 3’s Glitz Pit competitive fighting circuit. It’ll hop along after you for a while before eventually hatching, making him the youngest partner but also the most willing to throw down. He also has some unique elements – you can name this Mini Yoshi whatever you like once it hatches, and he has seven possible colors and hairstyles!

Yoshi has two utility functions out of combat. Mario can hop on and ride him to get around the overworld a little faster, and use the Yoshi’s iconic flutter kick to cross small gaps. For general traversal, he’s the best option the game has to offer. When it comes to fights, Yoshi is where understanding TTYD’s defense values comes in handy. His Ground Pound attack can rack up damage, but each hit will only deal one damage. If the enemy has even one point of defense then all those hits won’t do a thing. That’s where his Gulp comes in, letting you bypass defenses and spit them back out – even right into other enemies!  


One of the most endearing characters Thousand Year Door has to offer, Vivian will pop up a few times over the course of the game along with her sisters as the group known as the Three Shadows (or the Shadow Sirens, if you played the GameCube original.) As the events of Chapter 4 unfold, both Mario and Vivian will find themselves abandoned by their groups, setting the stage for them to eventually join together permanently. 

Vivian’s signature skill is to pull Mario into the shadows. Out of battle this lets you dodge dangerous obstacles like spikes. In combat it makes both Vivian and Mario invincible for a turn, avoiding all possible damage. It’ll take some planning to make the most of this, as it’ll eat up your actions next turn, but if a tough enemy is about to unleash something big this is your best bet to bypass it. On top of that she has some handy fire-based magic attacks, letting her inflict the burn status. 

Admiral Bobbery

Avast! This salty sea dog may’ve retired some time ago, but Mario will need his assistance to reach Keelhaul Key and Chapter 5’s Crystal Star. It’ll take some time and effort to wear down his crusty exterior, but once onboard Bobbery will prove an indispensable asset to the team. 

As a living explosive, Bobbery can blast down weak walls without worry. It’s a straightforward skill, but one that comes in handy as you explore old and new areas alike. His bomb based abilities are a potent form of offense as well, with a lot of unexpected utility. Certain enemies can be flipped by it, fog can be cleared away, and more. Those elements are nice, but more than anything the Admiral is good as just getting in there and blowing stuff up!

Ms. Mowz

You’ll run into the flirtatious Ms. Mowz multiple times over the course of your adventure, where she’ll often be found stealing badges and hunting down valuables while being a step ahead of Mario. Uniquely, she’s completely optional as a party member, with her recruitment being based on a Trouble Center request that unlocks after Chapter 4.

Once she’s put her solo career behind her, Ms. Mowz will put her treasure sniffing skills to work for Mario – literally! In the overworld she can track down items like Star Pieces, though as an optional partner her ability isn’t necessary to get your hands on those collectibles. In battle she’s pretty flexible. She has skills that’ll ignore an enemy’s defense stat, the ability to steal, and other unique capabilities compared to the other allies. That variety makes her a solid all-around choice, especially if you anticipate enemies to be holding badges or items. 

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Written by Ricky Berg

When he isn’t writing for Nintendo Wire, Ricky’s anticipating the next Kirby, Fire Emblem, or if the stars ever align, Mother 3 to be released. Till then he’ll have the warm comfort of Super Smash Bros. to keep him going.