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.
Mario and Luigi drive into Toad Town, looking forward to the Origami Festival that Princess Peach has invited them to. Upon arrival, the brothers notice that the town and Peach's Castle are deserted, and the doors of the castle 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 drops him into a hidden dungeon, where several of Bowser's minions are being held. Mario discovers a Magic Circle and initiates the 1,000-Fold Arms for the first time, using them to free a trapped origami girl called Olivia. After escaping the holding cell, Mario and Olivia free a square-folded Bowser.
Escaping the dungeon to the upper terrace of Peach's Castle, Mario is attacked by a group of origami Goombas and Shy Guys. After defeating them, it is shown they are led by 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, but Luigi goes missing as they collide with the red streamer and are sent flying apart. As Bowser and heads off elsewhere, 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 Peach's Castle. Both of them set out to destroy the five streamers, find Luigi, and defeat Olly. Their search begins in the Whispering Woods, where they are trapped by Ol' Grandsappy who wants to be restored to his former glory. Mario manages to find the Soul Seed to do so and is allowed to leave. They later arrive in the ravaged and deserted Toad Town, where they encounter Paper Macho Goombas. Upon defeating them, they decide to search the remains of the castle for clues, traveling through the Graffiti Underground. The duo manages to find Luigi, 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 the door to the Earth Vellumental Temple locked, and four of the five Shell Stones required to open it all stolen by Folded Soldiers. Mario explores Overlook Mountain to find them. Inside, Mario comes across the turtle-like god, who has been folded into origami and has no choice but to fight and defeat it. Afterwards, Olivia gains the ability to transform into the Vellumental and uses her new power to access Overlook Tower. At the top, the duo confronts the Colored Pencils and they manage to thwart it by using its missiles against it. Following this, the red streamer is finally destroyed.
Mario and Olivia visit a tram station that takes them to Autumn Mountain, where the blue streamer leads. On the way, they meet Bob-omb, a 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 defeating the Water Vellumental, who has also been folded into origami, Olivia can refill a dry lake and overflow the Eddy River. Finding a gondola's oarsman, they are finally able to boat over the rocky obstacles and arrive at Shogun Studios, a popular theme park.
The trio enters the park to find it all but deserted, where they are tasked 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, eventually leading him to the Ninja Attraction. Inside, he finds and rescues Luigi, who presents the 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 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. 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 near the purple streamer 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. Heading back to the valley, Bob-omb discloses his tragic backstory. He then reveals that the object he wanted to find was his friend's fuse, which he ignites to destroy the boulder, saving Olivia and sacrificing himself in the process. Olivia is disheartened by this and runs off into Breezy Tunnel. 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, heading out into the Scorching Sandpaper Desert, which is shrouded in darkness with a black hole where the sun should be. They continue to Snif City to find answers. At the hotel, they learn of a guest named Professor Toad who is 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 performing an ancient ritual, the trio awakens the Fire Vellumental Cave and defeats its folded Fire Vellumental. Olivia can 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. Mario tracks down the "Thrills at Night" disc and rounds up all forty faceless Toads within the temple. The unknown assailant is introduced as Hole Punch, who Mario fights and defeats. His defeat results in the return of the Toads' faces. The desert's sun is freed from within the disco ball, returning to the sky and opening the Sun Altar, where Mario and his companions find Captain T. Ode preserved in a block of ice. Olivia frees him, 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.
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. Navigating through the thick fog over the Great Sea, the gang comes across Bonehead Island where they clear the fog. The gang soon discover the Sea Tower, where the purple streamer seems to end, but find that they cannot access it without finding three orbs located in Diamond Island.
While searching for the island, nearly finds the key on Full Moon Island, only to find a note from Luigi instead who has claimed it. Meeting up on Mushroom Island, Luigi once again presents Mario with the wrong key. Nonetheless, he sticks around to help his brother find the island's main resident, freeing the Origami Craftsman from the wall of his workshop. He explains that he 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 key to access Diamond Island, which is completely submerged. 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 gain by traversing the nearby Ice Vellumental Mountain and defeating its namesake. The duo then completes the trials, gaining an orb from each one and using them to unlock the Sea Tower. After a long climb, the duo confronts the Tape at the top, whom they defeat. They then proceed to destroy the purple streamer.
Mario and Olivia notice the green streamer and see that it is heading into the clouds. A mysterious light appears on top of the Sea Tower, and stepping into it transports them to Shangri-Spa, where it is revealed that Bowser's Castle had crash-landed. Here, the duo meets 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. Kamek reluctantly joins the gang and follows them to four of the spa's springs 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.
Mario then accesses 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 can fly the gang up to Boss Sumo Bro, who is promptly defeated. With the castle unguarded, the gang enter and search it, finding the throne room's entrance locked. Mario and Olivia follow Kamek to his quarters to seek the key. Kamek disappears before he reaches his room, but Mario advances to find Luigi in there instead, having found the very key they are looking for, once again mistaking it for the key to Peach's Castle. Shortly after, Olivia is snatched up by a shadowy hand. Mario travels through the now-empty castle alone, battling Big 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 minions on the floor before the Scissors arrive. Beforehand, though, it sends out the Paper Mistake Buzzy Beetle, who is quickly dispatched, freeing the minions' faces. Mario manages to defeat the Scissors and completely restores its cut-up victims, and Mario and Olivia finally destroy the green streamer.
Following the restoration of his army, Bowser reveals that he has an idea on how to reach Peach's relocated castle. This idea is shown to be a new airship. However, they are attacked by the Paper Plane Squadron, and although Mario defeats nearly every plane, 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 in attempts to hold them back, leaving only Mario and Olivia to reach Bowser, who 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 as Luigi returns, 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 origami Peach. King Olly then transforms Peach's Castle into Origami Castle. The gang manages to corner Olly, who instead retreats and summons the Stapler. Upon its defeat, Bowser finally manages to unfold himself, and he and Mario work together to lift Olivia's morale after she expresses concern over her brother. With her spirits lifted, the trio finally confronts King Olly.
They attempt 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 genocidal bigotry against Toads. He reveals that he has folded 999 origami cranes, and intends to use Mario to create the final one, wishing to turn every Toad into blank scraps. Olly refuses to listen to his sister and attacks, using the abilities of all four Vellumentals but is ultimately beaten by Mario and Olivia. 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 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 to fight him, transforming Olivia into the Origami Craftsman's giant-hammer design, 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. 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. With the help of the Origami Craftsman, she manages to do this, wishing to undo all of the origami her brother folded, including herself. 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 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. They will automatically attack enemies after Mario has used up all his given moves, although there is a chance their attacks will be unsuccessful. 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. Notably, each member of the Legion of Stationery has a color representing the streamer they guard, such as Colored Pencils guarding the red streamer spool and having a red lid.
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.
Certain items can be bought in bundles in shops, for a cheaper price than buying them individually.
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 the other Paper Mario games
Differences from the 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.
By March 31, 2021, the game had sold 3.12 million units worldwide.
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 soft-lock.
VIP pass glitch
Before 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