I had a much harder time ranking the partners from Paper Mario 64 than I did ranking them for The Thousand Year Door. I mean, wow, it was a struggle. Their personalities don’t feel as strongly defined as the partners from TTYD and they don’t feel quite as unique. They make for very likable and enjoyable partners, but hard to place on a favorite to non-favorite spectrum.
Lakilester joins Mario’s party so late in the game that it feels like you don’t have enough time to really get attached to him. It’s like he’s an afterthought. Lakilester wants to be a tough guy and wishes his name was Spike. Or Michael. That is so lame. Mario can hop onto Lakilester’s cloud for a ride but it doesn’t help Mario travel any faster than just Spin Dashing. And, also, by the time I get Lakilester, everyone else in my party has been leveled up at least once, most of them twice. So this just leads to him feeling useless with his weak starter attacks.
Although he’s the first partner Mario gets, he quickly drops down into being the most useless once Kooper and Bombette join the party. Aside from Goombario being able to flip shelled enemies over, the other party members are more useful in battle. And the Peekaboo badge makes his Tattle ability worthless. Even Goombario’s upgraded moves aren’t anything stellar. But he’s a good partner to start the adventure off with, in that he’s a simple little dude.
6. Lady Bow
I was not expecting to put Bow this far down on the list, it just happened. I love her design and colorization and personality. It’s funny that she basically strong arms her way onto Mario’s party. In battle though, Smack is useless against any enemy with even one point of defense. Out of Sight is good when Mario is about to be hit by an extremely powerful attack but nothing else. Even then, you could just use Repel Gel. Fan Smack is a great move though. The noise when Bow’s fan whacks an enemy is so satisfying. But really I wish she was as useful in battle as she is cool looking. Her smirk though!
It took a while for Sushie to grow on me and for me to enjoy her presence on the team. When she first joined the party, I’ll admit I was upset because I wanted a Yoshi to join Mario. I mean, we were right there in Yoshi Village! But I love Tidal Wave so I guess I can overlook the fact that she’s not a Yoshi. I don’t like her character dialogue because she’s kind of worrisome. But I do like her design and she’s solid in battle.
Bombette is so cute! My favorite thing about having her in Mario’s party is the part in the game where she turns down the Bob-omb who’s living in Kooper’s house. She is not taking any of Bruce’s nonsense and straight turns him down. Also she rebelled against the Koopa Bros and they threw her in jail. Bombette is hardcore. The one thing I really dislike, though, is that in battle her default move isn’t Bomb. If you’re giving a Bob-omb as a partner, why would Body Slam be its default move? Goofy.
Kooper’s little bandana and wristbands are awesome. He seems like such a calm, laid back, likable Koopa. I’d hang out with him. He doesn’t even care when random Bob-ombs take over his house while he’s away! This dude has no problems or cares, except when Fuzzies steal his shell. His lovely blue shell.
One of my favorite Side Quests in Paper Mario is delivering letters. I love the long letter chain that takes Mario through pretty much every location in the game to get the letters to the appropriate recipient. And Parakarry has two of my favorite moves in the game — Shell Shot and Air Raid, my top favorite move. I like that Shelley joins Mario’s team, not to prove himself or grow or seek revenge, but because he’s lost so many letters that he would never be able to find them himself. Yeah, Mario needs Parakarry to help him cross large gaps, whatever. But Parakarry needs Mario to maintain his livelihood! He would literally lose his job as a letter carrier if he didn’t go on this adventure. Amazing. That is my favorite partner motivation in this game.
Watt has the best move set, hands down. She can pierce enemies’ defense and attack whether they’re on the ground, mid-air or ceiling. Ya girl can’t be stopped. And her personality just seems so goofy, but in a good way. Like fun-loving. Watt just seems awesome to know. Also you rescue her from a lamp. This girl was trapped in a lamp that a big doofus ghost used to attack Mario. Truly Watt is a survivor.