In Paper Mario and the Thousand Year Old Door, no one dies. It’s a Mario game, for God’s sake, of course no one dies, this isn’t Dark Souls. Why am I even saying this? Because in The Origami King, there is a (spoiler!) death. And I’m not counting the time that (spoiler!) Baby Bowser is sheered apart by scissors and has to be put back together. Which was pretty damn violent. This is a Mario game, for God’s sake.
I’m talking about Bob-omb, worthless as a companion (as are all the companions) but tragic in death. Because it’s a Mario game, for God’s sake.
Apparently, the makers stopped giving a shit and decided to ramp up the stakes with a little good-old-fashioned permadeath of a beloved (?) character. Your first companion in a game that was supposed to have more companions given the original installation, sacrifices himself so that the quest can continue. One young anthropomorphic bomb, cut down in his prime. He died in his finest moment. He is Braveheart-omb.
But wait! If it makes you feel any better, he lives on as a ghost in a mineshaft that you’ll literally never revisit for the rest of the game. Essentially begging you to forget that they killed him and left him to live in eternal nothingness in a mineshaft.
Who okayed this? Every companion in this game comes and goes. As in, they walk away. But Bob-omb DIES. Like, forever. Have I made that clear enough yet? He is living in an abandoned mineshaft forever and the game makers expect you to just push that out of your head or be satisfied with the inherent cruelty here.
I actually don’t play the game, my wife does. She’s an emotional creature. So when Bob-omb died, she cried. I had to promise her he’d come back to life. Cause guess what? I thought he would too. I thought, “there is no way Nintendo would condemn poor Bob-omb to live on as a ghost in an abandoned mineshaft for the rest of ever.”
Well, they did. And you’d better do your best to do what I couldn’t do—forget about it.
RIP Bob-omb. Maybe we’ll come visit you in that mineshaft sometime. But probably not, because I don’t remember how to get there.
Josh Sippie: I’m the Director of Publishing Guidance at Gotham Writers. My work has appeared in McSweeney’s, I have an ongoing Fiction series (about Yoda!) at Hobart and a forthcoming humor column at Points in Case.