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Paper Mario: The Origami King Colored Pencil boss fight guide

How to beat the Missile Maestro in Overlook Tower

Paper Mario: The Origami King Colored Pencil boss fight guide Image: Intelligent Systems/Nintendo via Polygon

Paper Mario: The Origami Kings boss fights introduce a twist on the game’s spinning ring-based combat. In every fight against a Boss or a Vellumental, like this fight against Colored Pencils in Overlook Tower, you’ll have to chart a path for Mario from the outside ring in and land on an attack action.

Every boss fight in Paper Mario: The Origami King has rules that you’ll learn over the course of your turns. Not knowing them means you’ll waste turns and open yourself to more damage.

In this Paper Mario: The Origami King guide, we’ll let you know the rules to the Colored Pencils fight in Picnic Road so you don’t have to learn them the hard way, and then we’ll give you step-by-step guides to defeating it.

Colored Pencil boss fight strategy

This boss fight is quite a bit different from the Earth Vellumental you faced previously, so don’t operate under the assumption that the same rules apply.

  1. Throughout the fight (starting with the first turn), there will be several ring segments targeted by the Missile Maestro’s missiles. They’ll be marked with crosshairs and you’ll get hit immediately if you step on one. However, the targeted locations don’t spin — the rings spin beneath the targets — so they’re easy enough to avoid.
  2. You can’t use boot attacks on the lid side — Mario can’t jump high enough — but if you attack from the back with your hammer, it’ll close the lid and Colored Pencils will damage itself with its own missiles.
  3. When there are no missiles inside the box, Colored Pencils is vulnerable to boot attacks from the front or sides. (On a related note, you can attack with a hammer from behind, but it won’t do much damage without missiles inside.)
  4. When there are no missiles inside, the attack to watch out for is the Snap Shut attack. Importantly, though, this attack can only hit you when you’re on the innermost two rings.
  5. Those three facts together mean that you should be trying to attack with your hammer from behind when there are missiles and with your boots from the third or fourth ring in the front (or sides) when there aren’t.
  6. When you take down its health enough, it’ll attempt a Rainbow Roll attack. When the pencils float out and start glowing and spinning, you’re ready to finish the fight with a 1,000-Fold Arms Magic Circle attack from the front.

Knowing all of that (and keeping it all in your head at once), this fight is deceptively easy. You can finish it in five turns without taking any damage, and with limited ring moves each turn. We’ll show you how below.

Colored Pencils boss fight step-by-step

Knowing what to do and managing to do it are sometimes two different things in Paper Mario: The Origami King. Below, we’ll go step-by-step through this fight.

Turn 1

Your first step is closing the lid so the missiles explode inside. You’ll also need to avoid the targeted segments.

Paper Mario: The Origami King Colored Pencil boss fight guide Image: Intelligent Systems/Nintendo via Polygon
  1. Rotate the second ring in one segment counterclockwise. This will make you step on the ON switch for Magic Circles. You won’t use this until the end, but it’s easy to get out of the way now.
  2. Rotate the innermost ring one segment counterclockwise.
  3. Burn your third Ring Move by hitting A twice.
  4. Hit the lid with a hammer attack.
  5. With the lid closed, you won’t get attacked on Colored Pencils’ turn.

Turn 2

With the lid open and no missiles inside, you can boot attack the inside — you just have to keep your distance to avoid the Snap Shut counterattack.

Paper Mario: The Origami King Colored Pencil boss fight guide Image: Intelligent Systems/Nintendo via Polygon
  1. Rotate the second ring in five segments counterclockwise.
  2. Rotate the third ring in two segments clockwise.
  3. Switch over to slide mode, and move the +1 Action segment (two counterclockwise from Mario) to the outside ring. We’re moving that blue +1 tile into our path. Stepping here will give you an extra attack.
  4. When Mario runs, he’ll pick up that extra attack, and then hit the attack button on the third ring out. Use a boot attack with your best boots for both actions.
  5. Colored Pencils will try to counterattack, but won’t be able to reach you.

Turn 3

Once again, your goal is to hit the lid with a hammer from behind.

Paper Mario: The Origami King Colored Pencil boss fight guide Image: Intelligent Systems/Nintendo via Polygon
  1. Rotate the innermost ring four segments counterclockwise.
  2. That’s it. Burn your other two Ring Moves.
  3. Hit the lid with a hammer attack.

Turn 4

You’re going to repeat the boot attack on the inside again. The arrows will even be laid out identically to step two.

Paper Mario: The Origami King Colored Pencil boss fight guide Image: Intelligent Systems/Nintendo via Polygon
  1. Rotate the second ring in five segments counterclockwise.
  2. Rotate the third ring in two segments clockwise. We’re moving that blue +1 tile into our path. Stepping here will give you an extra attack.
  3. Switch over to slide mode, and move the +1 Action to the outside ring (you’ll need move move the line two to the right of Mario.)
  4. Use a boot attack with your best boots for both actions.
  5. Colored Pencils will try to counterattack again, but won’t be able to reach you.

Turn 5

Colored Pencils will start up an intimidating attack at this point. When the pencils start glowing and spinning, this is the start of Rainbow Roll. It also indicates that you can finish the fight.

Paper Mario: The Origami King Colored Pencil boss fight guide Image: Intelligent Systems/Nintendo via Polygon
  1. Rotate the third ring in one segment clockwise. (Your goal here is to get that arrow out of the way and put a blank tile in its place.)
  2. Rotate the innermost ring one segment clockwise. This should put a magic circle directly across from Mario. (We hit the ON switch for this back in Turn 1.)
  3. Switch to slide, and move the section Mario’s on one segment toward him. This will put an arrow pointing in right in front of Mario and a 1,000-Fold Arms Magic Circle on the innermost ring.
  4. Activate the Magic Circle and follow the prompts to finish off Colored Pencils.