Paper Mario: The Origami King has a game-breaking bug near the end

Paper Mario: The Origami King may be a kid-friendly RPG, but that hasn’t saved it from a game-breaking bug late in the game.

In The Origami King, Paper Mario and his new, origami friend Olivia have to save Princess Peach and her castle from the game’s titular villain. This involves hunting down the five streamers that envelop the castle, holding it in place on a distant mountain.

Destroying each streamer takes several hours, with each new color taking you to a different corner of the Mushroom Kingdom and requiring Paper Mario to learn new powers. But this game-breaking bug can destroy a player’s save on the fifth and final streamer — about 20-30 hours into the game.

The YouTube channel Nintendo Unity detailed the bug in a video this week, and a number of despairing players have said in a thread on the Nintendo Support Forums that they’ve been affected by the issue.

[Warning: This post and the video above include minor companion and location spoilers for Paper Mario: The Origami King.]

On your journey to the final streamer in Paper Mario: The Origami King, you’ll need to pick up the “Spring of Rainbows – VIP” card in the game’s Shangri-Spa area. To do this, Paper Mario, Olivia, and their companions need to collect stamps from four other springs in the area.

Once players have the VIP pass, Paper Mario can gain access to the secret fifth spring. Upon entering the cave for the Spring of Rainbows, a Toad takes the VIP card. If the player continues to progress like normal, the game will function as intended. However, if the player turns around and leaves the cave and the area, they have no way to return.

Once the Toad takes the VIP card, the concierge of the spa (who gives out the card to begin with) will treat Paper Mario like he still needs to collect all four stamps from the other springs. But the other springs act as if Paper Mario has already been there, and won’t let him punch again.

Paper Mario: The Origami King normally works on a manual save system, requiring the player to jump into a Save block to save the game. However, leaving the Spring of Rainbows automatically saves the game; this happens while loading in or out of some areas.

As of this writing, there is no way to solve this issue. Players who want to continue their Paper Mario adventure need to either wait for Nintendo to patch the issue, or delete their save and start over from the beginning.

We’ve reached out to Nintendo for comment, and we’ll update this story with any information we receive.

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