Paper Mario: The Origami King: Story, gameplay and more revealed in Nintendo Treehouse stream

Fans have been waiting for a new Nintendo Direct for a while and we finally… well, we didn’t really get one. Instead, we got a Treehouse, which is usually what Nintendo calls their developer roundtables held at E3 and other such events. Of course E3 isn’t happening this year, so this Treehouse is remote. The main focus is Paper Mario: The Origami King but a few other announcements were packed in as well. Let’s take a look.

The general theme and story

Paper Mario has always kind of had a paper aesthetic, but this takes it a step further. This is practically a craftwork game, similar to Kirby’s Epic Yarn or Yoshi’s Crafted World.

Mario and Luigi are invited to an origami festival… except origami in the world of Paper Mario is a bit of a strange cult. People are being folded and losing their personalities. It’s a bit weird.

The Origami King Olly decides he’s going to take over the kingdom by wrapping Peach’s castle in five paper streamers. Mario, Olivia (the king’s sister), and a number of helpers then set out to save the day, in stereotypical RPG fashion.

The overworld and new abilities

Mario can make use of new origami abilities that will help him both in battle and in dungeons. One is the “thousandfold arms” which allows his arms to stretch to long lengths and utilize super strength. This ability is used via motion controls.

There are two resources in the game: coins and confetti. Confetti is collected by breaking apart origami constructs and it used to repair holes in the paper world. Coins are used to purchase items and equipment.

Hidden throughout the game are several hidden toads. Rescuing a certain amount of them will grant you rewards. Rescuing some toads will build new shops in Toad Town giving you access to different weapons, items, and accessories. Mario can also find collectibles that will show up in the Toad Town museum.

The world in The Origami King is a nominally open world, in that it’s not linear and not instance-based like Color Splash. You can go to different areas, backtrack, find new items with later game abilities, and so on. However, the general flow of the game involves you chasing down each streamer to the end, where you will face some kind of arts and crafts themed boss.


Battles now take place on a ring-shaped battlefield. Enemies will be scattered around the ring and Mario will have to try his best to line them up using a certain number of ring moves. He can either rotate rings or slide enemies in a line. It’s a little like Yoshi’s Cookie.

After Mario uses his ring moves he will be able to attack in a line using his weapons. Weapons have durability, though, and will break after a certain amount of uses. Weapons work the same way standard attacks in Paper Mario games do, in that they are timing-based mini-games. Certain weapons attack in different areas of effect. Boots, for example, attack in a line while hammers attack in a 4x4 square. Successfully completing these timing-based actions will also get you extra coins.

The ring portion of battles is actually timed, but Mario can spend coins to extend the timer. Mario can also spend coins to “cheer” with the toads in the audience (the toad audience increases as he finds more). They then can deal damage, heal Mario, or even solve a portion of the ring puzzle for him.

If Mario gets attacked by two enemies at once, it triggers a Wave Battle. Wave Battles require you to fight multiple battles at once in exchange for extra rewards at the end.

There is no XP in The Origami King, just coins. Mario will get extra coins for solving the puzzle, not taking damage, finishing battles quickly, etc. Solving the ring puzzle also grants you attack bonuses in battle and possibly extra actions.

Boss battles are different from standard battles. In the stream, we were shown a battle with a box of colored pencils. In normal battles, Mario is in the center of the battle ring and enemies are on the outside. In boss battles, the boss is in the center and Mario is on the outside. It’s up to him to arrange the rings with Mario Party-style tokens on them to give him the maximum amount of attack boosts while traveling to the boss. By maneuvering Mario in particular ways, you can even strike a boss’s weak point. In the case of the colored pencils, attacking it from behind did extra damage. In boss battles, cheering for toads can actually highlight the path Mario will take, making it easier to visualize where to move the rings. Mario can also step on magic circles which will give him use of special abilities such as his “thousand-fold arms.”

That’s all the treehouse has to give us today. Will you be picking up The Origami King? Let us know in the comments.