A/N: Oh, man. Have I really stooped to this level? I mean, everyone and their mom has been inventing their own Paper Mario game lately. Well, I hope nobody minds if I throw my hat into the ring. Considering this is a completely original story and not just a novelization, this is probably my most ambitious fic to date – and if by some miracle I finish the whole thing one day, it will definitely be the longest.
Well, enjoy. It's gonna be a long ride.
I'm going to tell you the story of the Temple of the Sun.
It's said that for long as life has existed, there have been two halves to the world: Night and Day, Light and Darkness.
It is essential that these two halves constantly remain in balance. Neither one can exist without the other.
The place where this balance is maintained is called the Temple of the Sun. It is a mystical place that exists out of time.
And within this sacred temple are said to dwell the six Guardians of Day, and the six Guardians of Night.
As old as time itself, these Twelve Guardians watch over existence, ensuring that the Light and Dark in the world constantly exist in harmony.
If one of the Guardians were ever to perish, it is said that a normal person, chosen for their courage and purity of heart, would be called to ascend to their position. But such a disastrous event has never occurred…
In a far corner of the world, deep within a fortress of shadow, a lone figure stood gazing up at something high above his head.
"Day to Night, dusk to dawn, light to shadow," he sighed, reaching up with a long finger to trace the outline of the object that held his attention. It was a clock.
"What a downright pathetic way of living," he declared. "Don't you think it would be better without all that light?"
Gathered around the figure, completely obscured by the shadow surrounding them, were several other, much smaller beings. They crouched down low and gazed up at him.
"Imagine a world of eternal night. Eternal shadow," the central figure said with a sly grimace. "And I would reign supreme over it all, as the true Master of Night."
"But that would be impossible, my lord," remarked one of the smaller figures. "You can't just get rid of the daytime, after all."
"I say different!" the central figure bellowed triumphantly, spinning around to face the others for the first time. "Jaff. You were so kind to give your opinion. Now answer me this. Who says that we must have both Day and Night in this world? Who made it so?"
The figure known as Jaff blinked several times. "The… Twelve Guardians, my lord?"
The central figure grinned, tapping his nose. "What a group of nuisances, wouldn't you say? Who says we should abide by their laws any longer?"
"What are you planning on doing?"
"I have an important announcement," the figure declared, sweeping his long cloak around himself. "After years of careful studying, I've finally discovered a way to enter the Temple of the Sun."
The smaller figures broke into incredulous whispers.
"But that's blasphemous talking, my lord!" one of them objected.
"You don't believe me. Well, it's true," the figure said smugly. "Very soon now, the time will be here for us to launch our attack on the cause of this accursed light. Under my guidance, we'll destroy Day once and for all!"
The others stared at each other, unsure whether to be nervous or thrilled.
"No one's ever tried this before, my lord! How do you know it's safe?" asked Jaff.
"Don't worry about that, Jaff. It won't be safe. Not for those who oppose me, anyway. When I'm through here, we shall live in a perfect world – a world of only darkness!" the figure laughed sinisterly. "And with those Guardians out of the picture, no one will stop me from being the true and rightful ruler!"
He glared up at the ever-ticking clock still suspended above his head. With a wicked smile, he opened his right hand and a flickering ball of pure dark energy suddenly appeared inside it.
"This world is about to be under new management," he declared, "courtesy of me, the great King Shroude!"
Without warning, he launched the ball of energy directly at the clock. An enormous crack appeared directly down its middle before it exploded into particles of light, vanishing from sight.
The figure threw back his head and laughed cruelly, fearlessly, while the smaller ones around him began jumping up and down and chattering wildly. Their discordant voices echoed ceaselessly throughout the fortress of darkness…
Paper Mario: The Temple of the Sun
Loading the save file. Do not touch the Memory Card in Slot A or the Power button.
The save file has been loaded.
Starting new game in File 1.