Battling is a major component of Paper Mario: The Origami King. The game takes a unique spin on traditional turn-based RPG battles. Each battle is essentially a puzzle that you have to solve before executing your attacks. Throughout the game, you’ll be battling against Folded Soldiers, as well as some major bosses, and the way you battle each is different.
Check out this page of our Paper Mario: Origami King wiki guide to learn how battling works in the game – and maybe pick up a few tricks and tips. If you’d like strategies for a particular Boss Battle in the game, check out our walkthrough!
Basic Battling Tips
- Hit them first! Before initiating battles, always try to jump on or hammer the origami soldier to score a bonus hit at the start of the battle.
- Double up on weapons! All weapons except for your regular Boots and Hammer break after multiple uses. It’s always a good idea to keep an extra pair of iron-type boots to deal with spiked enemies!
- Battle Lab. After unlocking it, the Toad Town Battle lab will have several devices that help in battle, and they’re free to use! Check out our walkthrough of Picnic Road to learn where to Rescue the Battle Lab operator. Learn more about the Battle Lab by clicking here.
- Accessorize! Certain accessories can help in battle too. You must equip them between battles. There are a variety of Accessories that can help you by increasing your HP, reducing damage, or by giving you extra time to arrange enemies during the movement phase.
Tips for the Movement Phase
- The corner is the cornerstone. Always look at the top right corner of the screen to see how much time you have and how many movements you can make.
- Time is money. Pressing and holding down the + button allows you to use your coins to buy more time! Every 10 coins earns you an extra second on the clock. You can do this multiple times per battle, as long as you have the coins for it.
- View from a new perspective. If you’re having trouble seeing where a certain enemy is standing, press down on the R-stick to toggle an overhead view of the battlefield.
- Use Toads to help you! During the movement phase, press and hold down the Y button to pay the Toads to cheer you on. Toads can do a variety of things, like heal Mario, damage enemies, simplify the enemies’ placement, and give Mario Items or even Weapons. You can use the cheer only once per round. The more coins you use, the bigger impact they’ll have. The border around your coin-count will light up from yellow – red – purple. Purple is only reached with the maximum cheer amount of 999 coins. This cheer can solve the puzzle and even give you Weapons.
- Time Plus. This Accessory gives you more time to arrange enemies during the Movement Phase.
- Battle Lab Devices. As you progress through the game, you’ll unlock the Time Extender and Puzzle Solver from the Battle lab. To use them, you must toggle them ON in the Settings menu.
- Train your brain. Use the Ring Training machine at the Battle Lab to play several ring puzzle challenges without getting hurt by enemy attacks. Doing all of the challenges earns you a trophy!
Tips for the Action Phase
- Take your time. Unlike the Movement Phase, the Action Phase does not have a time limit.
- How many actions? Look at the left side of the screen to see how many actions you have available for this round.
- Choose your target. As you scroll to select a weapon, the game usually auto-targets the lineup of enemies that matches that weapon. This is fine, but when there are multiple lineups and stronger enemies, you may want to choose a different target to attack. Use left/right on the L-stick to choose what section of the ring you want to attack. The range of the weapon is shown in red below the enemies.
- Conserve your weapons. As you progress through the game, you know how many hits it can take to defeat a particular enemy. If your regular Boots/Hammer can do the job, always use them over your consumable ones. If an enemy survives the first attack from your Shiny Hammer, they probably don’t have much health left. For the second attack, use your regular Hammer to conserve your shiny one.
- Timing is everything. When attacking, pressing A at the moment right before the attack will give you an Excellent notification, which increases the damage you deal. For the Boots, press A as Mario is jumping off of an enemy – just like you would if playing a platformer. For the Hammers, wait until the bright center of the circle to appear to get an Excellent hit. Use the equipment in the Battle Lab to help you work on your timing! It’s actually quite helpful!
- Equip weapons in battle. Though Accessories need to be equipped outside of battles, your Weapons can be equipped during the action phase by pressing +. This does not count as an action, so if a weapon breaks, just press + to equip a new one.
- Items are useful. During the action phase, you can choose whether you want to use a weapon or press L/R to select an item instead. Attack items work similarly as your weapons do. Most act like Boots (Fire Flower) or Hammer (Tail). Some items, like the POW Block, will hit all enemies standing on the battlefield.
- It’s okay to heal. Remember that you can use healing items, like Mushrooms, as an action instead of attacking.
THE SECTION BELOW DESCRIBES HOW BOSS BATTLE WORK. IF YOU WANT TO AVOID POTENTIAL SPOILERS, DO NOT READ PAST THIS POINT.
Boss Battle Tips
For strategies against specific Bosses, check out our walkthrough of the game. Below are some general tips that apply when battling Bosses.
- Start on the right foot. For the outer ring, you’ll always need an arrow next to Mario. The arrow can face in any of the three directions (clockwise, counterclockwise, toward the center). Mario will keep traveling in that direction until he reaches another arrow (or certain action icons).
- Turn on the magic. Walking over an ON icon activates all the Magic Circles on the battlefield. The Magic Circles will remain on between rounds if no Magic Circles were used in the current round. Once one Magic Circle is used, all Magic Circles will deactivate, and you will have to use another ON icon to activate them again.
- Action stops movement. When Mario lands on an Action Icon, he will stop his movement.
- Get stuff. The Chests make more coins, hearts, buffs, etc. appear on the rings. Unfortunately, it’s random and, because you’ve already programmed your movement before opening the chest, it’s not always helpful. Notes give you hints about defeating the boss, but you’re already on this wiki, so just check out our Walkthrough for that instead.
- Get buff. Walking over a blue + Icon will add an additional action for Mario on this turn. Walking over a red x2 Icon doubles the damage of Mario’s attack. These buffs are in effect for the current round only. They are only effective when Mario ends his turn on a regular Action Icon. If Mario ends the turn on a Magic Circle, the buffs will have no effect.
- Let the Toads cheer. You can still pay Toads to Cheer during Boss Battles. They heal Mario and can also generate new icons on the ring.
Check out the example in the picture below to get an idea of how the boss mechanics work.
- Mario steps on the spot of the outer ring immediately in front of him. That spot has an Arrow pointing counterclockwise. This causes Mario to walk in the counterclockwise direction and keeps him on the outer ring.
- As he’s moving counterclockwise, Mario will pass over a blue +1 Icon. This icon adds an extra action (attack or item use) for Mario to use on this turn.
- After passing over the +1 Icon, Mario will continue walking counterclockwise until he reaches the arrow pointing toward the center. This makes Mario change direction and walk toward the center of the ring.
- As he moves toward the center, he passes through a red x2 Icon. This icon multiples the strength of the attack by the number shown (x2 in this case).
- After passing over the x2 Icon,, Mario passes through the Heart, which immediately heals him.
- Mario finishes his movement on the Action Icon next to the Boss’s leg. Now he can choose his Hammer to attack it. His attack will have the x2 increase, and Mario will have another opportunity to attack because he picked up the +1 icon during this turn.
You can make the movement as simple as you’d like it to be – as shown in the image below. Here, Mario walks onto the arrow pointing to the center and keeps walking to the center until he reaches the Attack Icon in front of the head, which then lets him attack the head.