Paper Mario: The Origami King — How to defeat all 16 bosses

Paper Mario Origami King Bosses
Paper Mario Origami King Bosses (Image credit: iMore)

Paper Mario: The Origami King employs a new combat style that can be difficult to master. If you don't get Mario to step on the right buttons and land on the appropriate icons, the plumber won't land an attack and might just get hit by a devastating blow. Whether you need help defeating one of the Vellumentals, one of the Legion of Stationary, one of the Paper Machos, or King Olly himself, we've got you covered. Here are tips and pointers for how to defeat every boss in The Origami King.

1. How to beat the Earth Vellumental

Earth Vellumental

Earth Vellumental (Image credit: iMore)

Start this battle by maneuvering the ring in such a way that Mario hits each of the Earth Vellumental's limbs, tail, and head with his hammer. Note that jump attacks are ineffective here. When it's the Vellumental's turn, make sure to press A at the right moment to guard against its attacks.

If your health gets low, make sure to place hearts in your path to heal back up. Once all of the giant turtle's vulnerable areas have been hit, it will retreat into its shell and prepare for a powerful attack.

Now move the rings around so that Mario lands on the 1,000-Fold Arms Magic Circle. When Mario lands on it, Press A to pull out your arms. If you have motion controls on, you'll need to move the Joy-Cons forward and backward in a striking motion. If you're playing without motion contols, press A several times until the Earth Vellumental is defeated.

2. How to beat Colored Pencils The Missile Maestro

Colored Pencils

Colored Pencils (Image credit: iMore)

Move the rings in such a way that Mario uses either the 1,000-Fold Arms or his hammer to attack the backside of the pencil case, making sure to avoid the green targets on the rings in the process. If you closed the lid using the 1,000-Fold Arms, then the Colored Pencils will hurt themselves and become dizzy.

When the Colored Pencils are dizzy, run in and make another attack with your strongest hammer (from any side). If the Magic Circles aren't turned on, try to place an On button in your path to set up for next time. Similarly, if your health gets low, try to place hearts in your path.

After the Colored Pencils have reloaded, once again, maneuver yourself behind the case and use the 1,000-Fold Arms to close the lid. Colored Pencils will hurt itself and become dizzy again. Repeat to whittle down the enemy's health.

When you get the boss's HP down halfway, it will start using a very powerful attack called Rainbow Roll, where the pencils all glow and spin together while aimed at our favorite plumber. To finish Colored Pencils off, you need to maneuver the field in such a way that the 1,000-Fold Arms Magic Circle is on and placed directly behind the case. Have Mario land on the 1,000-Fold Arms Magic Circle and then follow the prompts to defeat the Missile Maestro.

3. How to beat the Water Vellumental

Paper Mario Water Vellumental

Paper Mario Water Vellumental (Image credit: iMore)

This aquatic boss will wash away any icons that are on the same wedge as the water sprouts, so make sure to keep that in mind while creating a path.

While the Water Vellumental is in the air, maneuver Mario close enough that he can jump on the dragon's back. This will bring the boss crashing to the ground. See if you can manage to hit the x2 icon or the additional action icon along the way to whittle the boss's health down further.

While the dragon is on the ground, attack with your strongest hammer. If you can manage to land on the x2 icon or the additional action icon before making your attack, that would be best.

Eventually, this water diety will power up with water whisking around it for its heaviest attack. When it looks like this, direct Mario to the Earth Vellumental Magic Circle (make sure you turn it on first). The earth beneath Mario's feet will rise to protect him from the wave of water that floods the ring.

Now the Water Vellumental won't attack for one turn. You can either do a basic hammer or jump attack, or guide Mario to an On button before hitting the Earth Vellumental Magic Circle to inflict massive damage. Keep following these steps until it's defeated.

4. How to beat Rubber Band The Elastic Entertainer

Paper Mario Rubber Band

Paper Mario Rubber Band (Image credit: iMore)

Think of the triangular rubber bands placed on the ring as arrows that indicate where Mario will go next. You'll need to plan these into your path to reach the icons and items you're seeking.

If you jump on this enemy or hit it with a hammer, rubber bands will bounce out and land on the arena. However, at the end of a turn, Rubber Band will call the stray parts back to himself and will heal back up. What you need to do is navigate Mario to an activated 1,000-Fold Arms Magic Circle to land irreparable damage. If possible, you'll want to use this attack while in the smallest circle, as this does more damage.

Do this several times until Rubber Band is reduced to its core elastic piece. Be careful as he becomes incredibly powerful at this point. At this point, hammer and jump attacks will have no effect. To defeat him, navigate Mario to an activated 1,000-Fold Arms Magic Circle. Rubber Band will be speedy and agile, so you need to use the motion controls or the joystick to grab him at the right moment. Otherwise, he'll avoid the attack. Now follow the prompts to defeat him.

5. How to beat the Goober Blooper Mini Boss

Paper Mario Goober Blooper

Paper Mario Goober Blooper (Image credit: iMore)

As you can see, there are King Olly stickers on this Paper Macho's limbs. Run around the deck, avoiding its swings. A wave of water will flow out from each attack. Jump over the water circles and hit the limbs with Mario's hammer.

More limbs will come out of the water to attack. Avoid them as you did before until all have been defeated. At this point, the Goober Blooper will jump onto the ship. Avoid the black ink it shoots out as it will slow you down. The paper squid will spin around and shoot walls of water at you before becoming dizzy. Dodge around these waves and then hit the sticker on the Paper Macho's eye with your hammer.

The boss will come out of its daze and will try to hit you with it's smaller limbs, which also create circles of water. Avoid these attacks and continue to hit the Goober Bloopers' body whenever possible until it explodes into confetti.

6. How to beat the Giant Pokey Mini Boss


Pokey (Image credit: iMore)

This paper mache monstrosity will try to topple over and crush you. Use the Boot Car to get out of the Pokey's path quickly. When it falls over, jump out of the car and smash it with your hammer before it buries itself. Each hit you land will result in a section of the body getting removed.

Now jump back in the Boot Car and avoid the Hokey Pokey and its sand tornadoes. Continue to strike it with a hammer whenever it falls over.

Eventually, only the head will be left. Race around Indiana Jones-style with the head rolling after you. It will jump into the air and then pound the ground. As it's sinking, quickly climb onto its head and smack the sticker with your hammer to defeat it.

7. How to beat the Fire Vellumental

Fire Vellumental

Fire Vellumental (Image credit: iMore)

This Moltres wannabe will throw it's flame feathers onto the ring. Avoid these if you can, as they can do significant damage. You won't be able to reach the flying bird with your hammer, nor can you hit it with the 1,000-Fold Arms. However, you can jump on its back as long as you are equipped with one type of the Iron Boots.

To smother the flaming feathers scattered around the board, all you have to do fish the Water Vellumental Magic Circle from the treasure chest and then activate it/use it on your next turn. The Water Vellumental will not only extinguish the loose feathers but will also put the fire out of the Fire Vellumental for one turn.

Now's your chance to hit the Fire Vellumental with your best attacks. You can either hit it with a hammer, boot, or the 1,000-Fold Arms. After the round of rest, this fiery phoenix will rise once more into the air.

Repeat the above steps until the Fire Vellumental's health is super low. Now activate and use the 1,000-Fold Arms to rip the remaining feathers out of the bird's head.

8. How to beat Hole Punch The Disco Devil

Paper Mario Hole Punch

Paper Mario Hole Punch (Image credit: iMore)

You're going to want to hit Hole Punch's rubber underside with your strongest hammer as that's its weak point. After making your attack, prepare to block Punch Hole's attack. If successful, it will punch out Mario's face.

Once again, run behind Hole Punch and smash its rubber back with your strongest hammer. It will attack once more. At this point, Mario's face and any other punched body parts will land somewhere on the ring. Chart a path to another attack that allows you to pick up these punched out circles. Doing so will restore Mario's health.

Hole Punch will continue to punch holes in the ring. Make sure to avoid these areas as you plot your paths. You need to activate the Earth Vellumental Magic Circles and then land on one. This will cause the Hole Punch to land upside down for one round. You can use that time to either jump on its rubber back with your strongest boots or reach an activated 1,000-Fold Arms Magic Circle to hit the rubber backing.

9. How to beat the Ice Vellumental

Ice Vellumental Paper Mario

Ice Vellumental Paper Mario (Image credit: iMore)

None of your attacks will land on this first round. Immediately make a run for a treasure chest to release the On button onto the ring. Now, plot a course through an On button before landing on the Fire Vellumental Magic Ring. The Ice Vellumental's ice shield will melt away, leaving it exposed.

Follow up with activating and then landing on the 1,000-Fold Arms to land some heavy hits. This will leave the Ice Vellumental dazed and unable to encase itself in ice. Now strike using your strongest hammer, boots, or Fire Flower attack (if possible, make it so you open the treasure chest along the way).

Ice Vellumental Paper Mario Tok (Image credit: iMore)

The Ice Vellumental will throw frozen patches onto the floor and encase the Magic Circles in ice. You need to avoid the frozen patches as they freeze Mario in his tracks. You can break the ice blocks by sliding the wedge they are on into the inner-most or outer-most edges of the ring. Just be careful, if you cancel the action, the ice gets put back where it was before.

If you haven't already, work on removing the On button and Fire Vellumental Magic Ring from the treasure chest, plot a course to the activated Magic Ring and burn this bears ice shield away.

Ice Vellumental Paper Mario (Image credit: iMore)

Once again, strike the bear with the 1,000-Fold Arms. When it's health is low enough, it will start powering up for a harrowing attack.

The Ice Vellumental will now create an ice maze. You need to remember the safe course it created, and then turn the rings so that Mario can easily make it to his destination. Tip: if it's hard to remember the correct path, take a screenshot before the Ice Vellumental moves the rings around and then refer to it when solving the puzzle.

When the Ice Vellumental's health is low, activate and run to the 1,000-Fold Arms to finish it off.

10. How to beat Tape The Shifty Sticker

Paper Mario Tape

Paper Mario Tape (Image credit: iMore)

Begin by whacking each of the four sides of the purple casing with your hammer. Once one side has been destroyed, you won't be able to attack from that side of the tape again. Keep in mind that jumping is never a good idea in this battle.

Tape will then appear in the ring without its fancy purple casing. This is where things get difficult. Tape will lay adhesive between various rings and wedges on the field, effectively making it so you cannot manipulate certain sections. Plan a route to the enemy and use your 1,000-Fold Arms on him.

If there is too much tape on the battle ring for you to do much with, activate and use a Fire Vellumental Magic Circle to burn the strips away and cause damage to Tape in the process. Don't forget to a chart a course through hearts if your health gets low.

When Tapes HP is low, it will begin spinning to unleash a massive attack. Stop it in its tracks by activating and using the Fire Vellumental Magic Circle. Remember, if there aren't any On buttons or magic circles on the board, you'll need to remove them from the treasure chest. When it's spinning, jump and hammer attacks will have no effect.

When it isn't spinning, activate and use the 1,000-Fold Arms to defeat it.

11. How to beat Sumo Bros Mini Boss

Sumo Bros Paper Mario

Sumo Bros Paper Mario (Image credit: iMore)

The four Sumo Bros as the center of the ring have stolen various action icons. Attack the enemy holding the ON button and the Fire Vellumental Magic Circle with your strongest Iron Boots to release these actions onto the ring.

The three Sumo Bros up top will attack with lightning at the end of every turn. Make sure to block their attacks just as the Sumo Bros' feet hit the cloud their standing on.

The Sumo Bros are all incredibly weak to fire. Once the On Button and Fire Vellumental Magic Circle are on the board, plot a course through both of them and burn the remaining ground Sumo Bros away. The remaining three Sumo Bros will jump down from the cloud and land at the center of the ring.

The smaller enemies will once more steal the Magic Circles. Use your strongest Iron Boots to jump on the one holding the Fire Vellumental Magic Circle.

Now land on the Fire Vellumental Magic Circle to burn the remaining Sumo Bros to a crisp.

12. How to beat Handaconda Rock, Paper, Scissors

Paper Mario Handaconda

Paper Mario Handaconda (Image credit: iMore)

Handaconda has kidnapped Olivia. Repeatedly hit this coiled enemy with your strongest Hammer to dislodge her from its folds. You must be in one of the two inner-most circles in order to reach Handacaonda with the hammer. Once Olivia's loose, you'll be able to use Magic Circles once more.

Now Rock, Paper, Scissors icons will appear on the battlefield. Navigate Mario to these icons to duke it out with the creepy paper hand. This might be different for each player, but for me, I needed to hit Rock first and then Scissors during the next round.

If you lose, you'll be walloped; if you win the Roshambo match, you'll be able to thump on the Handaconda. Repeat until it's defeated.

13. How to beat Paper Mistake Buzzy Beetle Mini-Boss

Buzzy Beetle

Buzzy Beetle (Image credit: iMore)

Paper Mache Koopa heads will form from the scraps on top of the Buzzy Beetle before flying towards you. Smash them with your hammer before they have time to return to the Buzzy Beetle.

Once several layers have fallen off of the Buzzy Beetle, it will begin to shoot magical rays at you. Move around the arena to dodge, then run up to the Buzzy Beetle's nose and start pulling Kamek off.

The Buzzy Beetle will try to hit you with the purple ray three times in a row. Dodge each magic ray before trying to pull Kamek off again.

The Buzzy Beetle will now spin around and try to run Mario over. When it topples over, get close enough and whack the underbelly with your hammer. Repeat until you've destroyed it.

14. How to beat Scissors The Dual-Bladed Duelist

Scissors wears a plastic covering over its blades for the first portion of the battle. Do not hit this protective plastic unless you want to make the battle much much MUCH more difficult. Instead, attack the green handles with Mario's strongest hammer when it's pointing upward or attack with Mario's strongest Boots if Scissors is pointed downwards.

Eventually, Scissors will remove the protective covering and become incredibly deadly. Never try to jump on Scissors at this point, as this will result in Mario receiving 999 damage. Make your way to the treasure chest and remove its contents onto the battlefield.

Scissors will attack with a mighty slice. You need to press A and dodge at just the right moment, or else Mario will be cut into shreds.

During your next turn, activate and use the Ice Vellumental Magic Circle. This will freeze Scissors in place so it cannot do it's insanely overpowered attack.

While it's frozen, activate and use the 1,000-Fold Arms to seriously cause some damage. Note that when Scissors health gets low, it becomes harder to dodge its attacks, and it will attempt to slice you up more frequently. Continue to freeze and then manhandle Scissors until it's defeated.

15. How to defeat Stapler The Fanged Fastener

Paper Mario Stapler

Paper Mario Stapler (Image credit: iMore)

Get close to Stapler and then smack it with your strongest hammer. It will retaliate by either smashing you into the ground or biting you several times. Make sure to press A at the right moment to block its attacks. If you're close to Stapler when you attack, it will retaliate with two staples. If you're further away, it will shoot eight staples at you. You want to get this boss to use up its staples as it becomes vulnerable when reloading.

Eventually, it will run out of staples. At this point, it will open itself wide in preparation for a staple reload. If possible, take this moment to heal up before activating and using your 1,000-Fold Arms to land a lot of damage.

It will get loaded with red staples, which cause even more damage than before. Repeat the same steps from above until the Stapler has used up all of its ammunition. When it once more opens itself up, hit it hard with the 1,000-Fold Arms. It will reload with Gold staples and become insanely powerful. Use the same tricks as before to make it run out of staples.

When it's once more in its vulnerable, open state, activate and use the 1,000-Fold Arms and then follow the prompts to defeat it.

16. How to beat King Olly — Final Boss

Paper Mario King Olly

Paper Mario King Olly (Image credit: iMore)

There are three phases to defeating King Olly. Here are the steps for beating him in each section.

Phase 1

Paper Mario Olly

Paper Mario Olly (Image credit: iMore)

Olly will randomly take on the powered-up forms of the four Vellumentals. To defeat him, you'll need to remember what tricks you used to defeat each of these elemental origami beasts at the end of their battles. Don't take too long plotting your course, or Olly will heal.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
FormWeaknessFollow up attack
Earth VellumentalIce VellumentalFreeze and then flip with 1,000-Fold Arms
Water VellumentalEarth VellumentalGround pound and then flip with 1,000-Fold Arms
Fire VellumentalWater VellumentalSoak and then pluck feathers with 1,000-Fold Arms
Ice VellumentalFire VellumentalBurn and then smash with 1,000-Fold Arms

Phase 2

Olly phase 2

Olly phase 2 (Image credit: iMore)

Olivia will turn Bowser into a large origami figure to compete against Olly. Run behind Bowser and activate the 1,000-Fold Arms to help him win. Olly will throw origami shuriken at you. Jump on them as they pass to earn hearts. Continue until Bowser pushes Olly off the ledge.

Phase 3

Olly has turned into a massive origami monster and requires you to solve his puzzle before you can defeat him. To begin, move each of the wedges vertically across the board before rotating any rings. Once that's done, rotate each of the rings as the image is upside down.

You will need to dodge Olly's attacks in between puzzle-solving turns. Press A at the proper moments to avoid his attacks. When the puzzle is solved, press X to activate the 1,000-Fold Arms to turn Olivia into a massive Origami hammer. Now follow the prompts to defeat Olly for good.

Tear it up

Now you know all of the tricks Mario needs to defeat the various baddies in Paper Mario: The Origami King. Good luck restoring the Mushroom Kingdom to normal!

When you've beaten this game, there are dozens of other amazing multiplayers and single-player adventures to discover. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games to play next. And if you're looking for a fun game to share with others, check out our list of the best Nintendo Switch games with split screen or co-op modes.

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.