Nintendo Treehouse Live Shows Paper Mario: The Origami King

The Paper Mario Origami King Treehouse Live gave us an extended look at Origami King's levels, combat system, and oh-so-many Toads.

With E3 cancelled this year, we obviously didn't get any Nintendo presentations this summer. But we did get a surprise Nintendo Treehouse Live focused in part on Paper Mario: The Origami King.

The Paper Mario Treehouse segment gave us a deep dive into the game's early stages, showing off gameplay, and thankfully skimming over potential plot spoilers for those who want to go into the game with a clean slate.

In a throwback to Color Splash, portions of the world are missing. King Olly's minions have ripped chunks out, and it's up to you to fill the holes in with paper scraps gained from battles and the environment. It's worth your time as well, since you'll often find lost Toads who go back to Toad Town and later offer you some important benefits.

The Treehouse segment focused on the opening area, Picnic Road. Alongside portions we've seen before with the road gradually winding up towards a hill, there's a Koopa Troopa shrine further down and a Toad shack near the river. Here you'll find a number of side scenarios unfolding apart from Mario's primary journey, some of which you can't access until other events take place in the main story.

Almost every area is stuffed full of detail and Toads, with plenty of clever references to past Mario games and foibles. And you can explore almost entirely as you please, thanks to Paper Mario Origami King's interconnected areas.

Picnic Road leads straight to Overlook Mountain without any need for a map or hub world. You're supposed to follow the streamer to find a member oft he Legion of Stationery, but there are plenty of rewards for those who take the time to drift off the beaten path and find them.

We also got to see the Paper Mario Origami King battle system in a bit more depth. Like we already knew, you'll have a limited period of time to manipulate the battle arena to line up your foes. Successfully doing this means you can basically finish most regular battles in one turn; failing means your enemies take a big chunk out of your health.

Coins are plentiful in Origami King, and one thing you can use them for is adding more time to the battle arena timer. And you can pay off Toads to help out with the ring and do some minor damage to enemies.

Your standard Boot and Hammer attacks never go away, unlike Sticker Star. But you can get a number of extra attack items like the Iron Boots that augment your abilities, e.g. letting you stomp on Spinies. These, however, are consumable.

Boss battles are a completely different affair. In these, your goal is getting to the center of the arena, while also planning your route to activate key tiles and either damage the boss or keep it from acting. Each round changes the icons and dangers Mario needs to navigate around, but you can still call on Toads to offer some guidance if you need it.

Bosses shift their patterns towards the end of each battle, but naturally, the Treehouse segment ended before showing us what to expect there.

Paper Mario: The Origami King launches July 17 for Nintendo Switch, so stay tuned to GameSkinny for our Paper Mario Origami King review shortly after that. If you can't wait for more Paper Mario, though, check out our dig into the best Paper Mario moments of all time.


Josh Broadwell started gaming in the early '90s. But it wasn't until 2017 he started writing about them, after finishing two history degrees and deciding a career in academia just wasn't the best way forward. You'll usually find him playing RPGs, strategy games, or platformers, but he's up for almost anything that seems interesting.

Published Jul. 10th 2020

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