Paper Mario: The Origami King Bug Prevents You From Beating The Game [Update]

Illustration for article titled Paper Mario: The Origami King Bug Prevents You From Beating The Game [Update]
Screenshot: Nintendo

Players recently discovered what appears to be a game-breaking glitch toward the end of Paper Mario: The Origami King that can make it impossible to finish the game on an existing save file.


The bug is located in the Shangri-Spa area, arrived at after defeating the first four streamers in the game. Players get a Stamp Card that they have to take to four of the local springs. After reaching all of them and getting their locations stamped on the card, players get a Spring of Rainbows VIP pass which lets them into the hidden Spring of Rainbows area.

The problem is, a bouncer at the entrance to the spring takes the VIP pass the first time you enter, removing it from your inventory permanently. Players currently don’t know of a way to get a new one, so if you leave the Spring of Rainbows by accident, you’ll never be able to get back in. And if you happen to save after leaving, you’re doomed permanently. The Nintendo Unity channel, via Nintendo Life, breaks it all down in this video:

Credit: Nintendo Unity

While it’s not a bug that everyone will run into, there are already a number of complaints over on the official Nintendo support site. “Once I had realized the pipe was blocked, I looked around the whole area to find where I was supposed to go,” wrote one player explaining what had made them decide to backtrack out of the Spring of Rainbows. “I kept wandering around until I walked across the bridge to the front desk area, in which my characters started talking to me as if I hadn’t turned in the stamp sheet.”

As Gaming Invented points out, game breaking bugs like this are rare but still pop up every once in a while. Last year’s Mario & Luigi Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr’s Journey, a remaster of the original Game 2009 DS game, also had a game breaking bug that caused Luigi to keep running into walls if you backtracked at a certain point. After about a month, Nintendo was eventually able to patch that bug out, so maybe don’t go deleting that bugged Paper Mario: The Origami King save just yet. And for anyone else playing the game right now: don’t leave the Spring of Rainbows.

Update - 9:47 a.m. ET, 7/30/20: Nintendo is aware of the problem and working on a fix. The company provided Polygon with the following statement:

“We are aware of reports about issues affecting some players of Paper Mario: The Origami King. We are working to resolve these issues and plan to address them in a software update. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

Update - 9:54 a.m. ET, 8/6/20: The bug has been patched out.

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Adam Panzica

Alternative take:

It’s a tribute to old King’s Quest games (and similar point and click adventures) where you could absolutely make the game unbeatable by making the wrong choice at the wrong time, and not realize it till dozens of hours later. Some examples:

In one King’s Quest, you can buy a pie from a merchant at the very beginning of the game. You can eat the pie, but it doesn’t do anything if you do. However, it turns out that in the _second to last scene of the game_, you are supposed to use that pie to throw at an enemy and blind them. If you ate the pie, you cannot beat the game, and you will not know this until the very end.

In another, you enter something kind of like the Cave of Wonders from Aladdin. There is a door you use to get into this area that closes after a fixed amount of time, and it traps you in there permanently. There is no countdown timer telling you this, it just happens. It is possible to save in this area, and you can save in a location such that it is impossible to make it back to the door before it closes, making it impossible to beat the game.

These are just a couple of examples, old point and clicks were _full_ of this stuff.

Of course it’s not actually, cuz those games all made it extremely clear that it was game over once you hit that critical moment. This is very obviously a “we didn’t expect players to do that, so didn’t think to stop them from doing so.” But it would be much cooler if it was intentional :)