Paper Mario: The Origami King
Paper Mario: The Origami King is the sixth installment in the Paper Mario series, released on the Nintendo Switch worldwide on July 17, 2020. The game follows the aesthetic style of its predecessor; Paper Mario: Color Splash, and follows Mario opposing an evil army of origami characters known as Folded Soldiers, ruled by the Origami King, King Olly; which have taken over the Mushroom Kingdom.
The game begins with Mario and Luigi driving into Toad Town on the latter's kart, looking forward to the Origami Festival that Princess Peach has invited them to. Upon arrival, the brothers notice that the town is deserted, but continue on anyway, assuming that they arrived early. Luigi pulls up at the suspiciously empty Peach's Castle, and once he and Mario are inside, the doors lock behind them. While Luigi runs off to search for a key, Mario heads into the foyer, where he meets Peach, who has been folded into origami. Peach asks Mario if he wants to see the kingdom folded, and if he will fold himself as well, then dismisses him by dropping him into a hidden dungeon beneath the floor, where several of Bowser's minions are being held. After folded Shy Guys escort the minions to an unknown fate, Mario hears a noise, and by stepping on a Magic Circle, he initiates the 1,000-Fold Arms for the first time, using them to peel off a square of wall and free a trapped Olivia. After escaping the holding cell and witnessing the silhouetted folding of a Koopa Troopa, Mario and Olivia free a square-folded Bowser from a clothespin.
Escaping the dungeon to the upper terrace of Peach's Castle via a secret passageway, Mario, after refusing to accept a Yellow Shy Guy's request to fold again, is attacked by a group of origami Goombas and Shy Guys. After defeating them, the Yellow Shy Guy reveals himself to be Olivia's older brother, King Olly. He initiates the takeover of Peach's Castle by summoning five streamers from all around the Mushroom Kingdom, which wrap around the castle and lift it from the ground. Mario, Olivia, and Bowser successfully escape in the Koopa Clown Car, piloted by a Red Shy Guy. Noticing Luigi's hat falling into the castle's ruined foundation, the group attempts to rescue him, but collide with the red streamer and are sent flying apart. The Red Shy Guy catches Bowser and heads off elsewhere, while Olly sets Peach's Castle down atop the peak of a far-off volcano.
Mario frees himself from a tree in a forest near Toad Town, and after rescuing Olivia, quickly notices that Peach's Castle has been relocated to a distant peak. Both of them set out to destroy the five streamers, find Luigi, and defeat Olly. Their search begins with a trek through the Whispering Woods, where they are trapped by Ol' Grandsappy who has recently been cut down. Olivia convinces him that they mean no harm, and he tasks the two with finding a way to restore him to his former glory. Mario manages to find and revive the Soul Seed in order to do so, and is allowed to leave the forest. After encountering and saving many secreted Toads and two stacks of paper Goombas, Mario and Olivia arrive in the ravaged and deserted Toad Town, where they encounter Paper Macho Goombas for the first time. Upon defeating them, they decide to search the remains of the castle for clues, traveling through the sewers to bypass the ruined drawbridge. The duo manages to find Luigi trapped within a wall, who quickly sets out to assist Mario by hunting down the key to Peach's Castle.
Deciding to follow the red streamer first, they travel to Picnic Road, where they find a group of panicked Koopa Troopas who worship the Earth Vellumental. The door to its temple has been locked, and four of the five Shell Stones required to open it have all been stolen by Folded Soldiers. Mario explores Overlook Mountain to find them, before entering the temple and uncovering its unexplored recesses. After navigating past a series of moving pillars and flaming shells, Mario comes across the turtle-like god, who has been folded into origami, and has no choice but to fight and defeat it by attacking its weak underbelly. Afterwards, Olivia gains the ability to transform into the Vellumental and uses her new power to lower a mound of soil upon which Overlook Tower rests. Upon entering, the two have no choice, but to climb the tower's stairs due to the elevator being broken and the door being barred, having to fill in some massive holes and help some Toads out along the way. At the top, the duo confronts the Colored Pencils, who is responsible for damaging the elevator, and they manage to thwart him by using his missiles against him. Following this, the red streamer is finally destroyed.
With the red streamer gone, Mario and Olivia are now able to access the tram station, which can take them to Autumn Mountain, where the blue streamer leads. On the way, they meet Bob-omb, an happy-go-lucky amnesiac, whom Olivia nicknames Bobby. They decide to let him tag along, and after getting sidetracked in Chestnut Valley, they find and unseal the Water Vellumental Shrine. After solving the shrine's sliding puzzles and defeating the shrine's Water Vellumental, who has also been folded into origami, Olivia taps into its power, refilling a dry lake and overflowing the resultant Eddy River. After finding a gondola's oarsman, who has been folded into a monkey, they are finally able to boat over rocky obstacles, ride a series of tumultuous rapids, and arrive at Shogun Studios, a popular theme park.
The trio enters the park to find it deserted of all but patrolling Folded Soldiers and some costumed minions, who task them with rescuing the park's staff, who are trapped in the high castle tower. Mario sets out to look for the park's master key, which will allow him to access the locked tower; he does so by completing a trading sequence, eventually leading him to the Ninja Attraction. Inside, he finds and rescues Luigi, who presents the park's master key, having mistaken it for the key to Peach's Castle. Undeterred, Luigi leaves to continue his search, as Mario reopens the park and eventually unlocks the tower's gate, infiltrates the Paper Macho Soldiers within, and enters Big Sho' Theater. After watching and starring in three different performances, Mario and the gang are confronted by the Rubber Band, whom they defeat by yanking its hair and flinging parts of its body out of reach. With the theme park saved, the gang celebrates their victory with some fireworks, which jog Bob-omb's memories, and sets off to continue their quest.
Destroying the blue streamer allows the trio to continue downriver to Sweetpaper Valley, where King Olly ambushes them, crushing Olivia beneath a giant boulder and blocking the way forward. Remembering a way to save Olivia, Bob-omb insists that he and Mario hurry to the Great Sea with Sea Captain Toad, whom they rescued back on Autumn Mountain. They stumble across a cruise ship called the Princess Peach, which Bob-omb recalls. After restoring the ship's power and rescuing the crew, they manage to find the suite Bob-omb stayed in, where the very item he's looking for is stored within a lockbox. Before they can open it, the Paper Macho Gooper Blooper arrives and snatches it, forcing Mario to fight him by hammering his weak points. Heading back to the valley, Bob-omb discloses his tragic backstory, involving the loss of his friends, his fuse, and his memories at the hands of the same Paper Macho Gooper Blooper. He then reveals that the object he wanted to find was his friend's fuse, which he ignites in order to destroy the boulder, saving Olivia and sacrificing himself in the process. Olivia is disheartened by this and runs off into Breezy Tunnel, unsure if she is able to continue with the quest. Mario manages to cheer her up by donning a Goomba Mask after Bob-omb's ghost suggests he try to make Olivia laugh again.
Mario and Olivia press on, leasing a Boot Car, which allows them to travel at high speeds, before heading out into the "Scorching" Sandpaper Desert, which is currently shrouded in darkness, a black hole where the sun should be. They find a series of odd monoliths and altars, but are unsure of their significance and unable to read their writings, continuing on to Snif City, a town populated by Snifits, in order to find answers. At the hotel, they learn of a certain guest named Professor Toad, a dedicated archaeologist who is currently pursuing the legend of Khap'taan Teeowed. They find him back out in the desert, freeing him from the inside of a Mega Paper Macho Pokey. After the professor is convinced to join the party, they head back to the hotel, using the second floor's murals as clues to solve the ruins' puzzle. After reading the instructions for an ancient ritual on the wall of the hotel's suite (unlocked with another key Luigi mistook for that to Peach's Castle), the trio awakens the Fire Vellumental Cave and defeats its folded Fire Vellumental. Olivia is able to use this new transformation to light fires in three Toad monoliths and unearth the Temple of Shrooms.
Inside, the gang discovers many zombie-like faceless Toads and a DJ who is being held hostage by a mysterious individual who refuses to reveal himself unless the DJ plays music he can "cut a rug to". Mario tracks down the "Thrills at Night" disc, and rounds up all 40 faceless Toads within the temple in order to fill the dance floor. The unknown assailant emerges from his room and is introduced as Hole Punch, who Mario fights and defeats by attacking his lid. His defeat results in the return of the faceless Toads' faces, prompting them to head out and resettle their former home of Shroom City. The desert's sun is freed from within the disco ball, returning to the sky via the slit created by the now-destroyed yellow streamer, and opening the Sun Altar, where Mario and his companions find Captain T. Ode, an ancient sea captain, preserved in a block of ice. Olivia frees him by melting the ice with the Fire Vellumental, prompting him to scurry off in search of his old submarine, the Super Marino. Once Mario and Olivia decide to resume their quest, Professor Toad decides to stay behind, feeling that he is most at home in the desert.
Returning to Toad Town, the two find Captain T. Ode at the Musée Champignon, where his old submarine is being kept as an exhibit. After the museum owner reluctantly returns it, it is attached to the back of Sea Captain Toad's ship, granting them the ability to salvage underwater treasures. Navigating through the thick fog over the Great Sea with the help of the ancient captain's Sea Chart, the gang comes across Bonehead Island, and solving a puzzle they find there clears the fog and opens up the entire ocean. The gang soon discovers the Sea Tower at the northernmost portion of the map, where the purple streamer seems to end, but finds that they cannot access it without finding three orbs located in Diamond Island.
While searching for the island, Mario finds a chest on Full Moon Island, seemingly containing a key that leads to it, only to find a note from Luigi instead, who has claimed the key, thinking it is the key to Peach's Castle. The Mario Bros. reunite again on Mushroom Island, where Luigi once again presents Mario with the wrong key. Nonetheless, he sticks around to help his brother find the island's main resident, following him into a basement and finding a room filled with harmless origami. In the room, Mario and Olivia hear a voice calling for help and free the Origami Craftsman from the wall of his workshop. He then explains that he originally created King Olly as part of a display for the Origami Festival, but did so with the Forbidden Fold of Life. Olly turned on his creator and set out to fold the world in his image, using the Origami Craftsman's notes to fold Olivia to life, intending to share the kingdom with her. Determined anew to stop Olly and rescue Peach, Luigi sets off to find the key to Peach's Castle, and Mario and Olivia depart for Diamond Island (though not before the Origami Craftsman shares another set of notes with Olivia).
Mario and Olivia use the retrieved key to access Diamond Island, which is completely submerged and can only be accessed via the Marino. Mario and Olivia discover several temples leading to the Trials of Power, Wisdom, and Courage, though the latter two cannot be accessed without the Ice Vellumental's powers, which they promptly gain by traversing the nearby Ice Vellumental Mountain and defeating its namesake, a polar bear-like deity folded into origami. After gaining this fourth and final Vellumental power, the duo complete the trials, gaining an orb from each one and using them to unlock the Sea Tower. After a long climb, involving many callbacks to the dwellings of the four Vellumentals, the duo confronts the Tape at the top, whom they defeat by smashing its dispenser and then unraveling it. They then proceed to destroy the purple streamer.
Unobstructed, Mario and Olivia notice the green streamer, and see that it is heading into the clouds. After solving one last puzzle involving all four Vellumental abilities, a mysterious light appears on top of the Sea Tower, and stepping into it transports them all the way to Shangri-Spa, a resort for healing of the mind and body, where it is revealed that Bowser's Castle had crash-landed into the resort's banquet hall, resulting in his uncorrupted minions being forced to clean the place up. Here, the duo meet Kamek, who is attempting to take back the castle, but cannot due to Boss Sumo Bro. guarding its entrance. The only way to reach him is via Bowser Jr.'s Junior Clown Car, which is shredded along with its owner by a pair of Scissors which come streaking out of Bowser's Castle. Kamek reluctantly joins the gang and follows them to four of the spa's springs in order to revive his young ward. Though they ultimately succeed, Jr. ends up completely colorless after soaking for too long in the Spring of Jungle Mist.
Using a stamp card he was given earlier, Mario uses it to gain a VIP pass to the Spring of Rainbows, which he can only reach after sidling along blustery cliffsides and winning a game show, Shy Guys Finish Last. Bowser Jr. restores his color in the spring and is able to fly the gang up to Boss Sumo Bro., who is promptly defeated. With the castle now unguarded, Kamek rallies the remaining minions to fight, allowing him, Bowser Jr., Mario, and Olivia to search the castle. As Bowser's loyal minions battle the Folded Soldiers inside the castle, Bowser Jr. finds the throne room's entrance locked, and Mario and Olivia follow Kamek to his quarters to seek the throne room's key. Kamek disappears before he reaches his room, but Mario advances to find Luigi in Kamek's room instead, having found the very key they're looking for, once again mistaking it for the key to Peach's Castle. Shortly after, Olivia is snatched up by a shadowy hand, who retreats to the throne room's entrance hall. Mario travels through the now-empty castle alone, battling Big Cutout Soldiers and Li'l Cutout Soldiers along the way, before finally confronting his partner's captor, the Handaconda, whom he defeats in a game of Rock Paper Scissors with the 1,000-Fold Arms.
Following this, the duo notices the cut-up remains of Bowser's loyal minions (including Kamek's) on the floor, before the Scissors arrive and challenge them to a fight. Beforehand, though, it decides to toy with them by sending out the Paper Mistake Buzzy Beetle, who is quickly dispatched, freeing the minions' faces. Mario manages to defeat the Scissors by attacking its handle and freezing it solid, before whaling on it with the 1,000-Fold Arms. This completely restores its cut-up victims, and Mario and Olivia finally destroy the green streamer.
Following the restoration of his army, Bowser, who is once again freed from a clothespin and still square-folded, reveals that he has an idea on how to reach Peach's relocated castle, beckoning Mario and Olivia to follow him. This idea is shown to be a new, improved version of his Airship, where his minions, as well as Bowser Jr. and Kamek, venture out to the isolated Peach's Castle with Mario and Olivia. However, they are attacked by the Paper Plane Squadron, and although Mario defeats nearly every one, the largest jet crashes into and damages Bowser's Airship, which plummets into Hotfoot Crater. Mario, Kamek and Bowser Jr. climb up to reach Bowser, pursued by a horde of Paper Macho Goombas. Kamek and Bowser Jr. are both separated from Mario and Olivia in attempts to hold back the ravenous horde, leaving only Mario and Olivia to reach Bowser, all three of whom use the Airship's cannon to launch to Peach's Castle.
They land outside of the Castle, but cannot get inside as the door is locked. At that moment, Luigi returns with his kart, dismayed to report he could not find the key to Peach's Castle. Luckily, the key is found lodged in his kart's tailpipe. Once they enter, they are greeted by the origami Peach. Luigi attempts to save her, but falls down the trap door. King Olly then transforms Peach's Castle into his own Origami Castle, which the heroes must traverse. After solving a series of puzzles and fighting waves of Folded Soldiers, the gang manages to corner Olly, who instead retreats and sics the Stapler on them, who acts as his guard dog. Mario manages to put him down by draining his ammunition and then attacking his sensitive mouth. Upon the Stapler's defeat, Bowser finally manages to unfold himself, and he and Mario work together to lift up Olivia's morale after she expresses concern that her brother is too far gone. With her spirits lifted, the trio then heads up one last staircase to finally confront King Olly.
The trio attempts to make him come to his senses one final time, simultaneously noticing that Peach has been folded into the rear wall of the throne room. Olly also reveals that the reason behind his consternation is because of a scribble left upon him by the Origami Craftsman, leading to a genocidal bigotry against Toads. He reveals that he has folded 999 origami cranes, and intends to use Mario to create the final one, completing the forbidden 1,000-crane technique, and wishing to turn every Toad into blank scraps of paper. Olivia rebukes him by explaining how origami would be nothing without paper, but Olly refuses to listen. During the final showdown, he uses the abilities of all four Vellumentals, but is ultimately beaten by Mario and Olivia, and the Vellumental powers they gained. Not giving up, he then folds himself into a large sumo wrestler, which Olivia counteracts by giving Bowser a folded sumo form as well. The combined efforts of Bowser and Mario, who assists him with the 1,000-Fold Arms, manage to knock King Olly off the arena, only for him to come back even stronger, complete with rising poisonous gas and long arms not dissimilar to Mario's 1,000-Fold Arms. Olivia summons a larger Magic Circle in order to fight him, but he scrambles it up, forcing Mario to reassemble it before activating the Magic Circle, transforming Olivia into the Origami Craftsman's giant-hammer design, and defeating Olly for good.
In his dying moments, Olly learns that the scrawl on his body was actually a blessing written by the Origami Craftsman, creating Olly to be a kind and noble king. Regretfully and remorsefully, Olly directs Olivia to fold his body into a crane, bringing the total to 1,000 and allowing her to grant any wish she desires. He then collapses into an ordinary scrap of paper. With the help of the Origami Craftsman, who is escorted by Luigi, Bowser Jr., and Kamek, she manages to do this, wishing to undo all of the origami her brother folded. The 1,000 cranes grant her wish and carry Peach's Castle back to Toad Town. Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Bowser Jr., Kamek, the Origami Craftsman, and the restored Princess Peach land outside the castle, and realize that one of their company, Olivia, is absent.
Later that night, the Mushroom Kingdom and Bowser's army continue their truce and celebrate the Origami Festival together, where the Origami Craftsman reveals his contribution, the original, scaled-down Origami Castle, complete with thrones for the two origami siblings. Mario expresses his sadness over Olivia's sacrifice, but Peach insists that she is still with them in spirit, before everyone releases paper lanterns into the starry sky.
Afterwards, the Mario Bros. drive home as the credits roll. Photographs shown during the credits depict the Toads and the Koopa Troop engaged in normal activities following the Origami Festival:
If the player manages to 100% the game before beating the final boss, the photos receive golden frames, and a post-credits scene plays in which the Origami Craftsman places miniatures of Olly and Olivia beside each other on his castle in the center of Toad Town.
The overworld exploration is quite different from the series' standard; whereas the previous three games were either sorted into individual chapters or levels, The Origami King switches to a completely open-world style of progression, with Mario being able to travel to any of the game's locales completely on foot like the first two games. The game's combat system has also been overhauled: at the start of each turn, Mario can rotate and slide rings of a circular battle arena, lining up enemies for consecutive attacks, although the number of ring moves and allotted time are limited. Mario has permanent Boots and Hammer attacks, and may equip stronger variants that break after a while. Attacking enemies on the overworld will grant Mario an extra attack in battle, and timed button presses can increase damage when attacking. Lining up the enemies successfully will increase Mario's attack power by a factor of 1.5. Coins can be spent to extend the time limit (at a rate of 10 coins per second), or call the Toads that have been saved to assist Mario in battle. Boss battles use a different system in which the player rotates and slides the rings to line up arrows, making a path for Mario to attack.
Olivia, a character new to the franchise, has a role similar to Kersti and Huey from Paper Mario: Sticker Star and Paper Mario: Color Splash respectively. Once a Vellumental is defeated, Olivia can transform into the Vellumental while standing on Magic Circles, an ability that carries over into battle. Additionally, partners return to ally with Mario and aid him in battles, including Bob-omb and Kamek. Various partners join and leave Mario's party at various points in the story.
Accessories grant Mario benefits both in battle and on the overworld. Toads can be found on the overworld, folded into various shapes. Hitting these Toads with the hammer will cause them to unfold and return to Toad Town, some of which open shops. The Toads that have been saved can even help in battle if the player spends coins using the Cheer command. These Toads will fight enemies, heal Mario, give items, and solve puzzles. Mario can gain confetti by using his Hammer on trees, grass, and enemies. This confetti can be used to fill Not-Bottomless Holes torn in the landscape, revealing Coins or a Toad.
In the settings menu, there is an option to control certain aspects of the game with motion controls or entirely with the controller buttons. This applies to the 1,000-Fold Arms, fishing, and the Super Marino. Three settings are locked with four question marks. They are unlocked by going to the Battle Lab. The first unlockable setting offers hints for battles with the Puzzle Solver, the second adds time to each battle's clock with the Timer Extender, and the third lets the player control the amount added.
Legion of Stationery
The Legion of Stationery are sentient tools. They guard the ends of each streamer, besides Stapler.
Weapons, items, and objects
Mario's attacks are now weapons that can be bought or found alongside items. The player can also find stronger variants of weapons.
Accessories are sold through the Fun, Funky, and Functional chain, found throughout the world in places such as Picnic Road and Bonehead Island. To activate their effect, Mario must equip them first. The Heart Plus, Guard Plus, and Time Plus have three variants of increasing effectiveness, but Mario can only equip one variant of each. The six other accessories have their own group, and Mario can only equip two from this group. After a certain point in the game, all accessories will be sold at an 80% discount.
Overworld collectibles and objects
Nintendo eShop description
Release date: August 5, 2020
Pre-release and unused content
Before entering Peach's Castle for the first time, the player was originally going to have a 360-degree view of the castle as well as some models of Princess Peach, which appear unused in the game's files with different hair and jewels on her crown. Some leftovers from Paper Mario: Color Splash in the game's code include Mario swinging his hammer, which is 2D, even though in the game it is 3D. The Monty Mole accessory vendor originally had walking animations. Additionally, there are unused sprites for Captain T. Ode, as well as Bowser and Bowser Jr. inside the Koopa Clown Car.
References to other games
References in other games
Similarities to other Paper Mario games
Differences from other Paper Mario games
The game was directed by Masahiko Nagaya, who was the art director of the previous installment, the game's art was directed by Isamu Kamikokuryo, ex-Square art director of the Final Fantasy series, and produced by Kensuke Tanabe and Atsushi Ikuno.
Paper Mario: The Origami King received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised the expansive overworld, graphics, writing, and plot, but criticized the battling system for being repetitive, frustrating, and unrewarding.
Wave battle glitch
If a wave battle is supposed to start, but only one enemy is alive and another is in their death animation, it will still initiate a wave battle and consider both enemies alive.
Sumo Bro glitch
During the second phase of the Boss Sumo Bro rematch in the Battle Lab, defeating the Boss Sumo Bro with a POW Block without defeating the two Sumo Bros beforehand will cause the game to softlock.
VIP pass glitch
Prior to the version 1.0.1 update, in Shangri-Spa, after obtaining the VIP pass to access the Spring of Rainbows, if the player left the path to the Spring of Rainbows after entering, the VIP pass would disappear from the menu. If the player then spoke to the Toad at the reception, they would not have the stamp card and there would be no way to get another one. Saving after this point would permanently prevent the player from progressing.
Names in other languages