May’s surprise reveal of Paper Mario: The Origami King was met with some trepidation. Releasing in July, that first two-minute trailer didn’t show enough to earn much confidence. Paper Mario missteps like Sticker Star are too fresh in too many minds.
Maybe this six-minute overview will win some hearts. Nintendo covers a lot of ground here, explaining Origami King‘s exploration, combat, companions, and more.
Let’s take stock of everything in bullet points:
- The impetus for this quest is to find the ends of five streamers (not the Twitch kind) that have stretched out across the land. That is, somehow, how Mario plans to free Princess Peach’s castle from King Olly’s paper-clad stranglehold.
- The five streamers correlate to Origami King‘s five lands. They are: “a forest spring, an autumn mountain, a ninja-filled mansion, an underground sewer system, and a desert oasis.”
- As we learned during the reveal, exploration is driven by unfolding the environment to find new paths and hidden secrets.
- I love that Toad Tower shooting a laser beam out of its eye at 1:10.
- At some point, Mario appears on a quiz show in front of an audience of Shy Guys. That’s the kind of wholesome creative touch that wins me over.
- Olivia is Mario’s main companion in Origami King. She’s King Olly’s brother and she’s deadset on foiling his plans. Other companions mentioned are: Bobby the amnesiac Bob-omb, Professor Toad who cosplays as Indiana Jones, and Kamek the Koopa wizard.
- Finally, a proper combat overview. All battles take place on a grid of rings, with enemies each stationed in their own square. Before the fight starts, Mario has to rotate the rings so as to best align the enemies for efficient attacks. This stage is timed and is also limited to a set number of rotations. (Curiously, there’s also a “Buy Time” mechanic.)
- The grouping of enemies will inform the kind of attacks you want to pick. For instance, a line of Goombas would best be taken out with a Super Jump that bounces straight on each one’s head. But, a square grouping could be walloped with a hammer that doesn’t reach as far but has a wider radius. Fireballs, Raccoon Tail, and POW Block are a few more Mario-centric attacks that are namedropped.
- Maybe the most ridiculous and incredible inclusion of all, boss fights are against everyday office supplies. Cower in fear at 12 Colored Pencils. Tremble at the very sight of the might Tape Dispenser. I’ll be very disappointed if Milton’s Swingline doesn’t make a cameo.
- The ring-based combat system plays a different role in boss battles. Rather than lining up the enemy, it’s used for Mario to navigate around the boss’ attacks, putting him in position to target their weak points and launch his own offensive.
- Smash everything and there might be a Toad inside. Toads are Origami King‘s collectibles. That frying pan full of bacon and eggs is actually a Toad.
Paper Mario: The Origami King releases on Switch on July 17. At least now we have some proper information.