Nintendo Treehouse Live: Paper Mario: The Origami King

Friday, July 10th, 2020

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During the Nintendo Treehouse Live event on Friday, July 6, Nintendo showed off two upcoming titles: Paper Mario: The Origami King; and Wayforward’s new Bakugan installment. Let’s take a look what’s in store for players in the latest installment of the Paper Mario series.

After being invited to an Origami Festival in Toad Town by Princess Peach, Mario and Luigi are confronted by an origami-fied princess. She opens a trap door and sends Mario into the dungeon, where he finds his companion for the game, Olivia, as well as a folded up Bowser. Together, the three escape the dungeon, only to run into Olivia’s brother, Olly, the titular Origami King. He wraps up Princess Peach’s castle in five long streamers and rips it from the ground, sending Mario and company hurtling toward the earth.

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Back on the ground, Mario uses strips of confetti to repair bottomless holes scattered around the world. He can also use a special ability called the Thousand Fold Arms to reach out-of-the-way parts in each level, either by peeling away bits of the environment or breaking rocks. These areas of the world can hide lost Toads, collectible items, coins, and more that help Mario on his journey. Mario can also run into NPCs on the world map, including Monty Mole, Koopa Troopas, and a host of helpful Toads.

“The environments are connected organically into this big world to explore, which is one of the neat things about this game that I really love,” said Treehouse member Sam, who played the game for the Treehouse Live stream. “In previous titles in the series you had the environments separated into this kind of Super Mario World-style overworld map, but here you’ve got this big connected world. It feels much more like this big place to explore where you can backtrack into areas you’ve been before and maybe find some of the hidden Toads or fill in some of the bottomless holes you might have missed.”

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While traipsing about the world Mario can run into an assortment of familiar enemies to battle. The battle system is separated into two phases: there’s a circular ring puzzle phase, and then an attack phase. During the ring portion of the fight, players have to line enemies up in order to gain damage bonuses when Mario attacks. Some enemies, like Goombas, are best lined up in a row so Mario can jump on their heads for big damage. Others, like Shy Guys, can be grouped into squares for a devastating hammer blow. Each ring phase of the fight is on a time limit, so if players need more time they can spend coins to add a few seconds to the countdown. Mario can also spend coins on Toads in the audience, who will cheer him on and help in a variety of ways: they can rearrange the ring, place items, or heal our hero. The more Toads you find out in the world, the more will be in the stands to help you during battle.

“It’s immensely satisfying to solve these ring puzzles, get that damage boost, and then do a ton of damage when you get into the attack phase,” Sam said. “You can get through these battles really quickly if you master this system.”

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Boss battles switch things up and, instead of Mario being in the center of the rings, the boss is. Mario needs to navigate the ring puzzle using arrows to avoid the boss’ attacks and reach an opening to damage the boss himself. During battle, Mario can also use the Thousand Fold Arms if he stands on a lit-up Magic Circle. Defeating bosses lets Mario unravel the streamers holding Princess Peach’s castle in the air, and gets our hero one step closer to saving the world.

Paper Mario: The Origami King will release on the Nintendo Switch on July 17, 2020.

About Leah McDonald

Leah's been playing video games since her brother first bought an Atari back in the 1980s and has no plans to stop playing anytime soon. She enjoys almost every genre of game, with some of her favourites being Final Fantasy Tactics, Shadow of the Colossus, Suikoden II and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Leah lives on the East Coast with her husband and son.