If you're looking for a traditional RPG, the turn-based battle system in Paper Mario: The Origami King might surprise you. The newest entry in the series hasn't gone back to its roots, but it does have a whole new battle system for players to tinker with. While the Ring-based puzzle battle is brand new, some of Mario's attacks are tried and true. Hammer and Boots are still here, but our favorite 2D plumber has a bunch of new tricks up his sleeve to help him conquer the folded threat in this all-new adventure.
A new kind of turn-based battle
Unlike the original and it's predecessor, Paper Mario: The Origami King doesn't follow traditional RPG standards when it comes to the battle system. This game implements a brand new Battle Ring System. Instead of facing off and taking turns to beat the pulp out of Mario's enemies, players have to put on their thinking caps to solve attack puzzles. For random encounters, Mario is set at the center of a ring and must line up his enemies perfectly to take out legions of Folded Soldiers before they have a chance to retaliate.
Once you jump into battle, you'll have to figure out the best way to line up your foes, either in a straight line or a 2x2 section. Of course, there's also a time limit. If you can manage to get your "ducks in a row" before the time reaches zero, Mario will receive an attack boost, and you can take on your enemies. If you don't, well, you may be in for a world of hurt. Since the game throws a lot of enemies at Mario at once, it is possible to die in a random encounter if you don't figure out the ring puzzle.
These puzzles are different every time, but the objective is the same — line 'em up, and knock 'em down. So, how exactly can Mario squash his foes? Let me tell you the ways!
Mario's basic attacks
When it comes to the basic ring battles for general enemy encounters, Mario's arsenal is limited to a few things: Hammer, Boots, and Battle Items. To take out all of your enemies in one fell swoop, the goal is to set them up for that perfect attack. Players must figure out how to place enemies in a straight line or a close 2x2 formation to lay the proper smackdown in one turn.
As mentioned earlier, a proper line up within the time limit grants players a 1.5x attack boost. Whether you solve the puzzle or not, you do get bonus action commands, which is a nice nod to the previous franchise entries. When players time it right, hitting the A button can boost your attack power even more! This little feature also comes in handy when it comes to blocking enemy attacks. Get your timing, and Action Commands can save your skin. So, what can you use during a fight?
What kind of Mario game would this be if the famous plumber didn't jump on his enemies? Mario's first given weapon is, of course, his Boots. As the game progresses, players will be able to purchase Boot upgrades, but keep in mind; these specialty pairs have a limit. After frequent usage, they will break. Luckily, the original Boots will never break — plus, they will go up in power as play your way through the game.
All Boots on this list are useful for attacking enemies set up in a straight line.
The next tried and true relic from Mario RPGs past is his trusty Hammer. Mario doesn't receive a standard Hammer, but he does get one shortly after the game begins. Like his Boots, the original Hammer will always have a place in your inventory. Any Hammer upgrades you purchase, however, have limited durability. Keep in mind; you can buy plenty of upgrades, and coins are never a problem if you battle frequently or search every inch of the map.
Most Hammers attack enemy groups in a 2x2 formation. The Hurlhammer, however, attacks in a straight line and long-range.
Battle items: A little nostalgic flair
Basic attacks aren't the only tricks Mario has tucked underneath that famous hat. There are plenty of items at your disposal. These range from the classic Fire Flower to the beloved Raccoon Tail. These items, unlike the Hammers and Boots, are one and done so be sure to keep a fresh stock of them. Depending on the item, they will inflict elemental damage, attack in a straight line, take out 2x2 formations, or hit all enemies.
While these items are perfect for causing damage, there are many more items that can help Mario restore his health and boost his stats to make him an absolute tank. Sometimes the best offense is a good defense.
So, you've finally gotten the hang of the regular battles. Well, buckle up; boss battles are an entirely different species. Players will still move rings around, but this time, you will have to maneuver Mario through the puzzle to reach the boss at the center. Of course, each boss has its own criteria and weak spots, making these battles far more challenging than your average throw-down.
Navigate Mario from the outer ring using arrows and hopefully picking up a few bonus items and boosts on the way to the center. Don't forget to land on an "action" command at the end; otherwise, Mario will get to the boss and fall flat on his mustached face. Once you do hit an action command, you can attack the boss with any weapon in your arsenal.
Once you've reached a certain point in battle, Mario will get access to his special attacks. From the first battle, you will have access to Mario's 1000-Fold Arms ability, which can make quick work of the boss. As you progress through the game, Olivia will have access to even more abilities — that is, if you defeat the Vellumentals. Here are all the possible attacks you can find.
- Earth Vellumental Attack
- Fire Vellumental Attack
- Ice Vellumental Attack
- Water Vellumental Attack
Of course, these and the 1000-Fold Arms command can only be used as "attacks" during boss encounters. So, don't expect to whip these out when fighting Goombas.
Partners and Toads
This is an unfortunate reality for any fans of the original Paper Mario or Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. While partners may be a part of the game, they don't participate in battle like you would think. You can't control them, but a few of them will pop in and lend Mario a hand, but not really in boss battles and only if you run out of turns. They are more for moral support.
Toads play a little more of a crucial role, depending on how many you can find on the map. For a modest (or not so modest sometimes) fee, your growing crowd of Toads may assist you in battle. Depending on what you pay them, they will throw things at your enemies, or even make arrows appear during a boss battle so you can navigate the board easier. It all comes down to what you're willing to pay them. Coins make the world go-round, so if you have some to spare, it might be worth throwing some to your adoring fans.
Mario isn't safe, even outside of a ring. Giant origami monsters are taking over the whole Mushroom Kingdom, and these guys are little too big to throw in a line. When you encounter these foes on the map, the only way to deal with them is with your trusty Hammer. It's a SMASHING time. Just look for King Olly's seal and start wailing away. Be careful, though. One hit from these beasts can drain a massive amount of HP.
Duke it out
There you have it! With all these awesome attacks, you're sure to best any enemies. If you have an attack that isn't in this guide, drop us a note in the comments below.
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