While we’ve heard rumors about a new entry in the series, Nintendo surprised us by announcing a new Paper Mario title for the Nintendo Switch out of nowhere. Say hello to Paper Mario: The Origami King. The trailer dropped this morning and oh boy does it set a scene.
Right off the bat there’s a tense atmosphere as the camera comes up to a darkened door in Peach’s castle. It opens and we see that the Princess has gained a dimension. “Will you crease yourself and be reborn, like me?” she asks, slowly. No matter how Mario responds, it doesn’t matter. To the new Peach, his “replies are all paper thin.” He’s dropped through a trap door and we can see the full extent of the Mushroom Kingdom takeover, as Bowser’s minions seem to have turned against him, a yellow origami Shy Guy refolds himself into the Origami King, and ribbons encircle the castle. Mario and Bowser escape thanks to the help of a properly two-dimensional Shy Guy. The trailer goes on to show new characters, like a papier-mâché Goomba, new areas, such as a lush grassy plain, and new abilities, such as Mario’s horrible, horrible stretchy arms.
This new outing looks a little more like a 3-D action adventure like Super Paper Mario than the classic 2-D RPGs. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as this game looks gorgeous. The unique art style really brings out the cartoony aspects, but somehow still invokes an uneasy feeling. Seeing the flat characters interact with and fight against the folded characters gives you the sense that something is very wrong in the Mushroom Kingdom. Also, seeing Bowser skitter around in his semi-folded state is as hilarious as it is unsettling. Speaking of unsettling, stick around for the trailer’s stinger.
Paper Mario: The Origami King comes out on July 17. I’ve never been this terrified of paper, and I’ve worked in data entry.