Let’s Interview: The Paper Mario: Origami King Refolded Team!

Paper Mario The Origami King Refolded

For the most part, Paper Mario: The Origami King was a huge step in the right direction for the franchise. It had an interesting interconnnected world to explore with amazing graphics and music. There was a battle system not limited by resources like stickers or cards, and the bosses didn’t need special Things to defeat.

PMOK Coloured Pencils
In part cause many of the main bosses were Things themselves!

And with extra partners, badge style accessories and a unique story, the game’s development team clearly took feedback from fans disappointed with Sticker Star and Color Splash.

Yet despite this, there was still plenty of room to improve. The partners only stuck around for a single chapter each, there was still far too little variety in characters and enemies…

Professor Toad fighting in a battle
Plus the partners only used one automatic attack per turn..

And with references to earlier games few and ar between, there was still the feeling something was missing here. It was better than the previous two games, but still didn’t quite live up to the expectations set by the first few games in the franchise.

But where Nintendo falters, the fans step in! That’s because a new project called Paper Mario: The Origami King Refolded is in development, with the goal of reimagining the game to increase the number of unique characters, species and ideas! Here are some screenshots showing the project:

As you can see, it’s already making huge strides on the quality front. You’ve got species like Doogans annd Dryites returning from the older games, new weapons and items have been added in battles, and entirely new enemy species have been added to the world too.

So check out the screenshots above…

Then keep reading to see what amazing plans the team has for the project going forward!

Let’s start with a bit of background info shall we? So who are you? Who are the team behind Paper Mario The Origami King Refolded?

Hello! My name is William, otherwise known online as HunterXuman, or simply just Xuman. Our team is made up of many fans of the Paper Mario series who came together through that shared love of the games.

How did you get into the Paper Mario series?

Each of us has a different game that we started playing. For myself, I was 7 years old when my parents bought Paper Mario when it was released back in the year 2000. It’s still my favorite to this day!

Paper Mario 64 box art
The original Paper Mario was team lead HunterXuman’s introduction to the series

What things did you like/dislike about the Origami King game?

What I like about the Origami King is that, despite the series’ roots, it tries to offer something new. Unfortunately, when making the world it feels as though there is a lot of emptiness and repetition that you experience from beginning to end.

And what made you want to make this mod anyway? I’ve been modding games for a few years.

I knew I wanted to mod this game when it was released because I wanted to start making new types of characters for the game. I also wanted to create this mod to teach others about modding the game, so that they can make their own stories too.

Where did you learn about the Origami King modding community for the first time?

Well, there wasn’t a community for modding this game at the time because we had no way of properly modding it. It wasn’t until I reached out to KillzXGaming, creator of Switch Toolbox, about the issues saving files that we were able to start producing mods. After that, people were able to start producing mods.

How is the Origami King modding scene progressing anyway? Are you surprised how far it’s come already?

It’s advancing faster than expected! I am not that great when it comes to drawing or coding, or even organization at times. But the team has created a lot of awesome things that I would’ve never been able to do on my own. I owe it to them and their dedication.

Are there any other mods you’re impressed with so far?

Yes, there is a mod where someone imported a Woobat over a Swooper. At the time, I hadn’t done any major model imports yet. To see someone do that confirmed that imports would be very simple to do.

Regardless, onto Refolded particularly now. What’s the general goal of this project?

In the beginning this project used to be called the Paper Mario: The Origami King NPC Project with the main goal of making NPC’s unique like the previous games. Overtime with new discoveries and tool development the goal for the project shifted into being more of a “here’s everything you can mod in this game” kind of thing. I want to use this project to teach everyone and really get the modding scene growing.

It’s very ambitious too. Are you ever worried your goals might not be achievable?

Not at all! If we don’t shoot for the moon, then we’ll never know just what could’ve been with this game. With how this game was made, it’s actually surprisingly easy to create within as long as you are determined.

One of the best aspects of the project is how new characters and species have been added into the game. How easy is it to do that in Paper Mario: The Origami King?

To add anything new in this game, it’s as simple as adding an entry to a table for it. You want an alternate color of something? Make the colors, add the entry, and it’s there. Custom model and animations? Same thing. So far we haven’t hit a limit to how much we can add (and we hope it stays that way!)

Huey in Origami King
Huey will likely make a cameo in TOK Refolded

How do you choose which characters and species to add? Obviously the original Paper Mario games play an effect, but how do you choose which elements to use?

I let the team decide what characters they want to add to the mod. The only real requirement is that we have to find a location for where that character will fit in a way that doesn’t detract from the main story. If we could add everything from the previous game, we totally would if we could make sense of it.

There are also a fair few new enemies too. How difficult is it to add those?

Outside of the typical model/texture/animation creation stuff, the only thing we can’t do is edit game scripts easily. Hopefully as this project gains traction, it will appeal to more people with coding knowledge that would be willing to give it a try. Thanks to Darxoon and Pistonminer we can decompile them now, though, so it is readable.

Can you customize their attack patterns easily? Or give them entirely new AI in general?

At the moment, we can’t because of the scripting. However we do know where this is controlled.

Are the bosses being changed up here? I know the Legion of Stationary and Vellumentals have some great personalities, but their designs can be somewhat divisive…

We almost unanimously don’t really find the boss fights to be that interesting since there’s always a gimmick to beating them. We don’t have current plans to change them but it isn’t off the table.

How about partners? Are they all getting more unique designs too?

We do want to make all the partners unique, however it would take a lot of sprite work to do that so we aren’t.

Unlike TTYD, SPM, and SS where the characters were models that were layered on top of each other, TOK is like 64 and CS where every 2D character has many sprites for every action. Some have sprites into the 400 and 500 numbers. It would burn any artist out making that many sprites for one character, even worse if you suddenly wanted to change the color of something.

Bobby Sprites
As you can see on The Spriter’s Resource, partners like Bobby have hundreds of sprites, making it hard to change them

Can they be made usable in more situations too? It was always disappointing to not have them by your side in boss battles… During my tests,

I actually was able to get Prof. Toad inside a boss battle with me, but he stood in the middle of the ring and didn’t do anything. If we figure out how to make them operate during boss battles then we’ll explore those options.

What about field abilities? Can you give them Professor Toad style field abilities if they don’t initially have them?

We think this should be possible, but we won’t know without any script editing.

Speaking of new mechanics, what other interesting mechanical changes are you guys looking at implementing here?

One of the mechanics we can change is allowing partners to travel with you continuously throughout the game instead of being sectioned off. We have been successful in doing so, but it is still a work in progress. A side effect of this, is that all the partners following you join you in battle!

Is the battle system going to be improved?

The number 1 thing I have been focusing on has been Items. Items have been the source of creativity in Paper Mario games, from food to weapons. Luckily, we can create and add both without removing anything.

Any major story tweaks? Like new cutscenes, story paths, etc?

I don’t plan on changing the story itself, people can play this mod and still enjoy the original storyline. We do want to add side content, like new areas to explore, side quests, and collectibles. We’ve also changed the dialogue in a lot of areas so that the jokes aren’t so dry and full of outdated memes.

New Origami King Line
They also added lines taken from other localisations of the game, like this one

How about extra music? The original soundtrack for The Origami King is already amazing, but could anything be done there too?

We don’t have any plans to change or add any music currently.

Either way, are you positively surprised how well the mod’s been received so far? Every post online gets a lot of attention for sure…

We are! As I’ve said before, I owe everything about the development of this project to the team and their outstanding creations. They deserve the praise and attention from making this.

What aspects of the project are you most proud of so far?

So far, my favorite part of this project has been being able to help other people’s ideas come to fruition. If it’s something we can do, and it makes sense to do, we’ll give it our best shot. It’s an open project, so anyone with the skills and desire to create can work on it and see their art in the game.

Do you ever worry that Nintendo will try and shut down the project? What would you do in that situation?

If Nintendo sends us a C&D, legally we will comply as this is their I.P. and they have every right to protect it. Besides, there are plenty of Paper Mario games before this one, and there will be more after!

Still, assuming the project does get completed, what plans do you have for afterwards?

I will more than likely step away from the project itself when everything that needs researched and tools that need created are done. I’ll leave it to the team to decide how to move forward so that I may continue creating mods, teaching people, and bringing ideas to life.

Finally, what advice would you give someone wanting to get started in Paper Mario modding?

Follow all the tutorials I’ve been writing!

HunterXuman’s Paper Mario: The Origami King Modding Tutorials (Game Banana)

Fair enough! We’ll definitely keep those tutorials in mind for later for sure.

Regardless, thanks for the amazing answers in the interview, and good luck with the future of Paper Mario: The Origami King Refolded too! It looks like an amazing project, and your ambitions for the game are admirable for sure.

Here’s hoping it turns TOK into the classic Paper Mario game it always should have been!

Either way, what did you think? Did you enjoy the interview? Are you excited for Paper Mario: The Origami King Refolded?

Leave your thoughts in the comments below, on social media, or on our Discord server today!

Paper Mario: The Origami King Refolded on Social Media

Paper Mario: The Origami King Credits

  • HunterXuman – Project Lead Dev
  • Scrooge200-@scrooge_200
  • GreyFox2-@Fox2Grey
  • StarholtProductions-@SHP_YT
  • TruPotato-@TatoTrupo
  • Dylan Kit-@DylTendo
  • Tuba-@RefereeToad
  • Darxoon
  • Brunoxby
  • Skye Void
  • X4X5
  • ColorfulDJ
  • Bite
  • Fincal
  • A Krita User
  • BOOM! Fanfic-a-latta!
  • PistonMiner
  • tee-@teebeeYT
  • FIRE METEOR THE ANIMATOR Skiidigger720
  • powerup136
  • Dark Johnathan
  • Mememaster
  • Jpthe1&only7
  • PistonMiner
  • Rantaruko Amami
  • Jimtendo
  • Greg Ritferd Jr
  • Cado
  • Cyberic
  • Robothing
  • UltimateBreak82
  • Techmuse

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