Paper Mario has seen its fair share of ups and downs with its last few entries, but with the upcoming Paper Mario: The Origami King, Nintendo and developers Intelligent Systems will be hoping to deliver a game that fans of the series will be happy with. What we’ve seen of the game so far looks promising, and with its release right around the corner, in this feature, we’ll be talking about key pieces of information that you should know about the game. So with all that said, let’s jump right in.
Paper Mario: The Origami King will begin as Mario games often do- with Mario and Luigi heading to Princess Peach’s castle after receiving an invitation for an origami festival. Things go wrong, however, with the dastardly King Olly turning Princess Peach into origami, and setting a plan into motion to do the same to the entire world and “re-fold” it. With the help of various characters, Mario sets out on a journey to defeat King Olly and put a stop to his plans.
Plenty of details have also been revealed about the characters who’ll be playing a role in the game’s story. It goes without saying that Mario, Luigi, and Peach are involved, while we can also expect to see lots of Toads. We’ve spoken about King Olly as well. Meanwhile, Mario will also be joined by unlikely companions. There’s Olivia, the sister of King Olly, who’s looking to stop her brother’s plans. Meanwhile, even Bowser is affected by King Olly’s plans after his minions turn into the Folded Army and betray him, thus leading him to an unlikely alliance with Mario in their fight against King Olly. Others, such as Bob-omb, Shy Guys, and more have also been revealed.
Paper Mario has had an “on again, off again” relationship with RPG mechanics with its last few entries, much to the dismay of series fans. Happily enough, with The Origami King, it’s going to be on again. It’s been confirmed that the game will return to the action-RPG roots that endeared millions to previous, older Paper Mario games. While the extent of that remains to be seen, concrete details have revealed that the combat system in particular will be focusing on RPG battles. What exactly can we expect from that? Well, let’s talk about that for a bit…
As always, you’ll see enemies in the game’s overworld, and attacking them in the overworld will grant you an extra attack in the battle- but what about the battles themselves? Paper Mario: The Origami King is going to employ a ring-based combat system. Enemies will appear in a circle around Mario, and players will have control over various rings. You will, essentially, have to move these rings around in order to line up enemies, not only to get more of them with your attacks, but also because doing so will increase your attack power. There will be a time limit to setting up the rings and lining up enemies, but spending coins that you’ve collected while exploring the overworld will allow you to increase that time limit a little bit.
MORE COMBAT DETAILS
There’s other intriguing stuff to know about combat in The Origami King as well. For instance, on top of using Mario’s abilities and attacks, players will also be able to call on Toads for battle aids. Meanwhile, there will also be party members to control, while Mario will also be able to make use of several Accessories to give him the upper leg in battles. Mario can also equip stronger variants of his equipment- though these won’t last forever, and will break after a while.
When you’r fighting set-piece bosses in The Origami King, the game will switch up its combat system in some interesting ways. Mario will come up against various bosses – members of the Legion of Stationary – including the likes of coloured pencils, a big, bouncy boss made entirely out of rubber bands, and a roll of tape. In these battles, while you’ll still be manipulating the ring grid, you’ll do so for different reasons. The bosses will be at the axis, and you’ll manipulating the rings to build a path for Mario to get to them, through which you will deal attacks, hit enemies’ weak points, and more. It looks… interesting. Let’s hope it turns out well.
Exploration will be an important part of Paper Mario: The Origami King, as you can imagine. While doing so, you’ll be undertaking platforming challenges, meeting NPCs, collecting items and coins, and more. It also looks like there will be plenty of environmental variety in the games- we’ve already seen quite a few locations. Players will be traversing the sea with a boat, the skies with airships, visit deserts, forests, frozen mountains, autumn mountains, beaches, theme parks, and locations that fans of the series will appreciate, such as Mario’s own house, and, of course, Princess Peach’s castle.
Another aspect of exploration that will be an important part of the gameplay will be puzzle solving, and unsurprisingly, you can expect many of these puzzles to be paper-themed, like much else in the game. Companion characters will help Mario solve various puzzles (in addition to helping out in combat, of course), while Mario himself will also have some new abilities at his disposal for this purpose. One of these, courtesy of Olivia, will be the 1000-Fold Arms, using which Mario will be able to reach out and tear out parts of the paper environment in order to reveal various secrets.
Something else that players will have to keep an eye out while exploring the game’s overworld other than puzzles and collecting coins and items will be various all-too-familiar Toads. Mario will come across various Toads in the overworld, who will be folded into various shapes. Rescuing them will present you with various advantages, such as being able to spend coins during combat to call these rescued Toads to your aid, such as attacking enemies or healing Mario. Toads can also be called upon to help out with puzzles- so keep an eye out for them in the overworld.
Any Toads you rescue in the game’s overworld will also head back to Toad Town, where some of them might open up shops. In fact, it seems like Toad Town is going to be an explorable location within the game. Though footage of it has been scant, we have seem glimpses of it and locations within it in what Nintendo have shown of the game so far. How in-depth the town will go and how much the rescued Toads will play into it from a mechanical perspective remains to be seen.