How does Paper Mario: The Origami King’s battle system work?

Ring-based combat is coming to Paper Mario: The Origami King.

Image via Nintendo

In a surprise announcement, we can expect Paper Mario: The Origami King to release to the Nintendo Switch on July 17. You have the option to pre-order your copy before it releases. When it does, you’ll be thrown into the heat of a brand new Paper Mario adventure that features an Origami-based villain with numerous soldiers attempting to defend him. Mario has a new experience, but there’s a unique combat system within the game that you’ll need to learn to ensure you can save Peach and the rest of the currently folded Mushroom Kingdom.

The new system focuses on a distinct ring with Mario at its center, while enemies occupying the ring’s outer locations. In the above clip, we only see less than 20 seconds of footage. It doesn’t give us too many in-depth most details, and most of the text is in Japanese. A brief screenshot of this battle has been translated by Fonse.

In the video, Mario is facing off against four Goombas, each occupying one of the slots of the outer ring while he stands in the middle. Of the four Goombas, one of them is elsewhere on the ring and not perfectly lined up with the others. Before Mario performs his attack, there’s a light blue outline encompassing that ring line that Mario shifts the line to have that Goomba aligned with the rest of them.

At the top right side of the screen, there’s a 20-second timer ticking, likely forcing Mario to line up all of his enemies up to hit them all at once. If he doesn’t, he may have to attack, and it might not do as much damage to the Goombas, or take them all out if he runs out of time.

Once all of them are lined up in a single row, Mario chooses his attack, bounces over all of them, reaches the green outer circle, and wins the battle. Mario has the option to choose one of his available attacks or to use an item during his turn. The description of all the attacks will be listed on the lower left-hand corner of the screen before performing the attack.

While brief, the ring-based combat system shown does mean players can expect to work against the clock in future battles to try and align all of the enemies up in a single row. If they successfully do that before the timer runs out, they can perform their attack and easily win the battle. Should they be unable to do everything they need to do within that timer, the attack may not be as successful, likely ending up with Mario being hurt by an enemy attack.

Underneath the timer, there’s an “x 1” icon. The icon is likely displaying how many ring adjustments Mario can make before he attacks. If he makes the incorrect one, he won’t be able to complete the attack.

By aligning the Goombas into the ideal formation, Mario can do more damage. When Mario finishes lining up the Goombas and is ready to make his attack, he receives a 1.5x multiplier, shown at the top of his head.

We can expect these ring-based tactics and Mario’s abilities to expand when you progress through the game. You may be able to receive additional ring rotations, new abilities to attack perfectly aligned enemies, and ways to defend Mario if you can’t successfully take out enemies.