The Unofficial, Incomplete Guide



Following an extremely drawn-out and controversial development, Watermelon Games finally released the brand-new beat-'em-up game Paprium for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive at the end of 2020. I preordered a copy ages ago, and was honestly surprised to actually get it due to the lack of information that was provided during the past few years. But the long wait aside, it's pretty fun! (Also, the music is freaking incredible.)

Anyway, the game seems to have a LOT of hidden content, unlockables, secret routes, etc. with requirements that aren't always straightforward. Thus, the community has been working to uncover all the secrets this massive 16-bit brawler is hiding. As of writing, this info is spread out across Twitter and forum threads, so this page is meant to consolidate all that info into a single place. Note that this is kind of an info dump since new discoveries are being made often-- maybe once we establish that we've found everything, I'll clean it up into a proper walkthrough.

I don't have adequate capture hardware so I have borrowed screenshots and videos from other sources. I'll provide credit wherever I can!



Table of Contents

Map
Paths
Secret Rooms and Shortcuts
Missions
Endings
Unlockables/Secrets
Recommended Path for Most Unlockables on a Single Save
Regional Differences
Misc. Stuff
Frequently Asked Questions
Unanswered Questions



Map

Here is a scan of the map included with the game. I am including it here for easier reference. (Click to enlarge)



Some of the names on the map are not the same as in-game; they're either abbreviated on the map or totally different. This guide will use the in-game names to avoid confusion. The following table notes the differences:

Map NameIn-Game Name
FRIDGEICE FACTORY
GLORI KTVDIGNITI KTV
G.O.SGOLDEN OF SEAS
MTS-BION-MARTBION MART
MTS-MIRAMARMTS
S.LABSSANOPHIX LABS
S.PUSANOPHIX P.U.


The colored diamonds next to the level names specify where you will start your next game if you get a Game Over (in Original Mode):

Icon ColorStarting Stage
RedREFORMATORY
YellowJUVENIUM
GreenICE FACTORY
BlueDEEP STORAGE


Note that this scan has been edited from the original scan due to a printing error; GLORI KTV was marked with the wrong color icon. (Link to original scan)

(Source: Devil N, corrections by bumfacekilla)



Paths

The game starts with just the Mid-Levels path being available in Arcade mode, but there are a bunch of paths that can be unlocked by playing through them in Original mode. (Remember though that if you delete the save you cleared that path with, you'll lose it)

Path NameLevelsHow to Unlock
FuniculusREFORMATORY
SANOPHIX P.U.
MTS
SKY SPA
DIGNITI KTV
THE VAULT
SANOPHIX LABS
THE SOLARIUM
Need to investigate, this just popped up in my Arcade list one day...
Low LevelsICE FACTORY
CENTRAL PARK
GREEN CROSS
THE DOCKS
GOLDEN OF SEAS
Defeat the end boss in GOLDEN OF SEAS.
Mid-LevelsBLOCK 888
INTERCOM
MTS
BION MART
ROOF-TOP
POLICE H.Q.
Available at start.
Royale ABLOCK 888
INTERCOM
CENTRAL PARK
AQUAWORLD
BLUE BAR
POWDER-ZONE
GREEN CROSS
THE DOCKS
ROOF-TOP
JUVENIUM
SKY SPA
DIGNITI KTV
THE VAULT
SANOPHIX LABS
THE SOLARIUM
Take the following path and beat the game:
  • BLOCK 888
  • INTERCOM (at the split take Low Levels)
  • CENTRAL PARK (at the split take Underground)
  • AQUAWORLD
  • BLUE BAR
  • POWDER-ZONE (take secret path to Low Levels via the breakable lock)
  • GREEN CROSS
  • THE DOCKS (take the secret path to Mid Levels via the breakable door)
  • ROOF-TOP (take the NX Terminal)
  • JUVENIUM
  • SKY SPA
  • DIGNITI KTV
  • THE VAULT
  • SANOPHIX LABS
  • THE SOLARIUM
SkylineJUVENIUM
SKY SPA
DIGNITI KTV
THE VAULT
SANOPHIX LABS
THE SOLARIUM
Defeat the final boss in THE SOLARIUM.
UndergroundDEEP STORAGE
AQUAWORLD
BLUE BAR
POWDER-ZONE
BHOPAL B-2
Defeat the end boss in BHOPAL B-2.



Secret Rooms and Shortcuts

These are the current secret paths that have been found. These can only be accessed after defeating all enemies on screen. Click on the screenshots to enlarge them. (Todo: Add more screenshots and more info on where the shortcuts are/where they go.)

StageSecret RoomShortcut
BLOCK 888Breakable door with itemsAfter leaving the first room, if you go to the left you can skip the whole level and go straight to the boss area. You'll hear Showtime yell "Sissy!". This only works after your first playthrough.
INTERCOM
MTS
BION MARTThere is a shop with a ton of 50% stickers plastered all over it. Break the storefront to access a bonus room. The room also seems to be the only place in the game where the song "1988 Commerical" plays!
ROOF-TOPThere is a pillar marked with an X which when hit will drop a ladder, taking you to an alternate section.
POLICE H.Q.There is a door you can break to get into a room with some items and a mysterious "LX-V" inscription which nobody has been able to decipher the meaning of.
REFORMATORYStreets of Rage tribute stage! Get to the first area that has a pillar in the middle of the arena, then jump-kick the upper-left corner of the screen. You'll hear a breaking sound. Hit that spot for a while and you'll hear Showtime yell "Hey" and then you'll be transported to an area based on the second level of Streets of Rage (Inner City), complete with Galsia enemies! Copyright infringement, ahoy! (Video)
SANOPHIX P.U.
CENTRAL PARKThere is a breakable brick wall that will take you to a brief forest segment.
GREEN CROSS
THE DOCKSLocation is signaled by Ba Ba's little pink drone zooming across the top of the screen. A breakable door will take you to an elevator leading to the Mid-Levels path. This is also where you can fight/unlock Ba Ba. (After unlocking Ba Ba, the drone is replaced with a Mojo/Rutubo)
GOLDEN OF SEAS
ICE FACTORYBreakable curtain
AQUAWORLDThere is a small piece of glass marked with an X that can be broken to take you to a short lower area where a tied up enemy can be found.
BLUE BAR
POWDER-ZONEThere is a breakable lock just before the boss area, next to a throwable bust. Break this to go to an alternate path. This is also where you can fight/unlock L.Ektra.
BHOPAL B-2
DEEP STORAGEGolden Axe III tribute stage! At the very beginning of the stage, jump-kick the upper-left corner of the screen. You'll hear a breaking sound. Hit that spot for a while and you'll hear Showtime yell "Hey" and then you'll be transported to an area based on the desert level of Golden Axe III. Can Watermelon really get away with this? (Video)
JUVENIUMThere is a breakable door that will take you to a hospital room with a tied up enemy inside.
SKY SPA
DIGNITI KTVThere is a doorway with a "VIP" rope across it. When broken you will go into a room with some bonus items and a lubricant can.
THE VAULT
SANOPHIX LABS
THE SOLARIUM

(Sources: Google Docs spreadsheet by The Wizard who says Ni, Devil N, DanyROD1)



Missions

These are the missions you will get from throned characters if you reach them in subsequent playthroughs.

StageMission #Mission TitleLocationBoss
POLICE H.Q.1Pest ControlCENTRAL PARKLeach & V.V.
2Breach at the Sky SpaSKY SPAGandium
3Rondo Kidnapped a KidFREEWAYRondo (Red)
GOLDEN OF SEAS1A Foe is in TroubleICE FACTORYChavez (Yellow-Green)
2Big Troubles at Our RestaurantRESTAURANTRondo (Red)
3Cult at the DocksTHE DOCKSGandium
BHOPAL B-21We Lost the AquaworldAQUAWORLDShowtime
2Wrestling ReplacementBLUE BARTiger/Bear
3Police is Raiding Our FacilitiesPOWDER-ZONEChavez (Yellow-Green)

(Source: Devil N)



Endings

EndingHow to Get
Good EndingComplete the game with all three thronable paths (Mid-Levels, Low Levels and Underground) paths throned, and with all 3 missions completed on each.
Bad EndingComplete the game with only the Low Levels and Underground paths throned, with all 3 missions completed on both.
Unsure EndingComplete the game in any other way that doesn't line up with the Good or Bad ending (no thrones, partial mission completion, etc)


(Source: Paprium Art Book/Guide)



Unlockables/Secrets

Here are the unlockables that have been found so far. They all unlocked via Original mode.

UnlockableHow to Unlock
Arcade PapriumYou need a Grand Stick III for this. Set the "Arcade" dip switch on the Grand Stick III. The title screen will change to say ARCADE PAPRIUM and will prompt for coins instead of pressing start. (Right now, we don't actually know how to insert coins, so we can't progress and see if it changes anything)
(Source: YouTube video by David Luna)

If combined with the "Reserved/Unused" dip switch on the Grand Stick III, there will be three Insert Coin prompts instead of two.
(Source: YouTube video by David Luna)
Alternate Character ColorsComplete the game after playing the save for more than 1E0 minutes (8 hours).
Then, press X, Y, or Z on the character select screen to use the alternate colors.
Arena ModeComplete the game with the Bad Ending.
Boom Box (sound test)Complete Original Mode with more than 160000 points, or press Up-Up-Down-Down-Left-Right-Left-Right-B-B on the main menu (a sound effect will play to confirm code entry).
The Boom Box is in the Options menu, labelled "?".
Character: Ba BaTake the secret path in THE DOCKS (breakable door). Defeating Ba Ba on this path will result in him asking to join you. Unlocking Ba Ba also will give you the ability to activate NX Terminals.
Character: L.EktraTake the secret path in POWDER-ZONE (breakable lock). Defeating L.Ektra on this path will result in her asking to join you.
Character: RondoUnlocked alongside Arena Mode, and he is only usable there. Rondo will be selectable by going right on the character select screen until you're highlighting him off screen.
Character: SpinalUnlocked by completing the Low Levels path in Original Mode. Spinal will be selectable by going right on the character select screen until you're highlighting him off screen.
Note: Spinal is only supposed to be selectable in Arcade or Arena mode, but WM messed up and he can be picked in Original mode. The late-breaking corrections/manifesto included with the game specificially warns you not to (if you try to throne him you will break your save?)
Extended Life BarDefeat the POLICE H.Q. boss (Murdock) with 0 lives and 0 continues left.
Your number of lives will flash green when you're on your last life with no continues left.
Supposedly this will NOT unlock until you complete the game, but I don't get how that would work since the save gets locked. I tried doing the requirements without beating the game and while I didn't make a before/after comparison, I couldn't tell any difference in available health. Anyone with additional info, please let me know.
KTV Member CardComplete the Low Levels path in Original Mode. The boss, Pang, will give you his KTV Member Card.
This is needed to access the last levels of the game (THE VAULT, SANOPHIX LABS, THE SOLARIUM).
Paprium DifficultyComplete the game on Very Hard.
Taunt ButtonComplete any path. Then, you can press Mode on a six-button controller to taunt.




Recommended Path for Most Unlockables on a Single Save

If you want to get as many unlockables as possible on a single save, follow this guide. It will require you to play through Original mode 10 times before completing the game. Thank you to Fei for figuring this out!
(Unlockables marked with a * only unlock after FULL completion of the game-- defeating the final boss in THE SOLARIUM.)

Route #UnlocksInstructions
1Character: L.Ektra
Character: Ba Ba
Extended Life Bar*
NX Terminal Access
Taunt Button
  • Start a new save on Very Hard difficulty.
  • Take the following path:
    • BLOCK 888
    • INTERCOM (at the split take Low Levels)
    • CENTRAL PARK (at the split take Underground)
    • AQUAWORLD
    • BLUE BAR
    • POWDER-ZONE (take secret path to Low Levels via the breakable lock)
    • GREEN CROSS
    • THE DOCKS (take the secret path to Mid Levels via the breakable door)
    • ROOF-TOP
    • POLICE H.Q.
  • Defeat the POLICE H.Q. boss (Murdock) with 0 lives and 0 continues left.
  • Do not throne your character after defeating Murdock! The goal is to get the Bad Ending, so throning POLICE H.Q. will prevent this.
2Character: Spinal
KTV Member Card
Low Levels Path (Arcade Mode)
  • Take the following path:
    • BLOCK 888
    • INTERCOM (at the split take Low Levels)
    • CENTRAL PARK (at the split take Low Levels)
    • GREEN CROSS
    • THE DOCKS
    • GOLDEN OF SEAS
  • Defeat the GOLDEN OF SEAS boss (Pang).
  • Throne your character.
3(none)Take the Low Levels route (Route #2, above) again. When you reach the boss of GOLDEN OF SEAS, your throned character will give you a mission. Complete the mission to finish the route.
4(none)Repeat Route #3 (again)
5(none)Repeat Route #3 (yet again) -- now you will have all 3 missions completed for Low Levels.
6Underground Path (Arcade Mode)
  • Take the following path:
    • BLOCK 888
    • INTERCOM (at the split take Low Levels)
    • CENTRAL PARK (at the split take Underground)
    • AQUAWORLD
    • BLUE BAR
    • POWDER-ZONE
    • BHOPAL B-2
  • Defeat the BHOPAL B-2 boss ("-").
  • Throne your character.
7(none)Take the Underground route (Route #6, above) again. When you reach the boss of BHOPAL B-2, your throned character will give you a mission. Complete the mission to finish the route.
8(none)Repeat Route #7 (again)
9(none)Repeat Route #7 (yet again) -- now you will have all 3 missions completed for Underground.
10Alternate Character Colors*
Arena Mode*
Boom Box*
Paprium Difficulty*
Royale A Path (Arcade Mode)*
Skyline Path (Arcade Mode)*
  • Take the following path:
    • BLOCK 888
    • INTERCOM (at the split take Low Levels)
    • CENTRAL PARK (at the split take Underground)
    • AQUAWORLD
    • BLUE BAR
    • POWDER-ZONE (take secret path to Low Levels via the breakable lock)
    • GREEN CROSS
    • THE DOCKS (take the secret path to Mid Levels via the breakable door)
    • ROOF-TOP (take the NX Terminal)
    • JUVENIUM
    • SKY SPA
    • DIGNITI KTV
    • THE VAULT
    • SANOPHIX LABS
    • THE SOLARIUM
  • Defeat the final boss in THE SOLARIUM. You win!
  • It's pretty likely you will have at least 160000 points and 1E0 minutes played by now, so you should unlock the alternate character colors and the Boom Box.
  • Remember that completing THE SOLARIUM will lock your save. Don't erase it or you will lose the items you've unlocked!

(Source: Twitter thread by Fei)



Regional Differences

There are actually additional features when the game is run on a Japanese Mega Drive (or region modded system set to JP region):
It appears that Japanese Limited Edition copies are hard-wired to run in the Japanese region mode, regardless of console setting. On the other hand, the US and European Limited Editions as well as the Classic edition appear to base it on the console's region.
Stuck with a non-Japanese console? Never fear-- you can actually enjoy these features on your US, EU, or Classic copy of the game. Just pause the game and press ABABAB and you will hear a sound effect confirming you entered the code correctly. In addition, when playing on the unlockable Paprium difficulty, the Japanese exclusive features are automatically enabled.
(Source: Devil N)



Misc. Stuff

Dumping this info here for now, mostly just random notes and little bonuses. (Todo: Create a list of shout-outs/references in the game)


(Sources: Devil N, Ryoma234, bumfacekilla, Fei and this random Spanish forum thread I found on Google)



Frequently Asked Questions
(Source: Devil N)



Unanswered Questions