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Paper Mario: The Origami King Hole Punch boss fight guide

How to beat the Disco Devil boss in Temple of Shrooms

Paper Mario: The Origami King Hole Punch 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 Hole Punch in Temple of Shrooms, 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 Hole Punch in Temple of Shrooms so you don’t have to learn them the hard way, and then we’ll give you step-by-step guides to defeating it.

Hole Punch boss fight strategy

The Hole Punch fight is intimidating because of its max health depleting attacks, but once you know the process, it’s surprisingly manageable.

Attacks from the front and boot attacks will not deal any damage. You will only deal damage with your hammer from behind — on the rubber cover side.

After you deal enough damage, Hole Punch will charge up with a glowing yellow ring around it. At that point, you need to hit an Earth Vellumental Magic Circle attack. This will block damage from Hole Punch’s strongest attack, and also knock it over to reveal its soft underbelly.

When it’s upside down, a 1,000-Fold Arms attack will deal huge damage.

You’ll have to repeat the process to win the fight.

Throughout the battle, you’ll need to try to pick up your hole punched parts to restore your HP.

Hole Punch 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. Unlike the first few boss fights, this one doesn’t have a set pattern. The tiles, arrows, and items will change every fight and every round. Instead of spin-by-spin directions, we’ll give you goals for each turn.

Turn 1

  1. Tiles with only a couple holes are just deactivated, but you can still run across them. The tiles on the innermost ring with clear holes are the ones you’ll fall through.
  2. You have two goals this turn: Land on an attack action on the back half — the rubber side — of Hole Punch on one of the innermost two rings, and pass over a treasure chest on the way.
  3. Hit with your best hammer — like a Shiny Hammer.
  4. You’ll get hit with a Hole Punch that lowers your max HP and you cannot block, and then a Base Slap that you can block.

Turn 2

  1. The treasure chest in Turn 1 should have thrown out an extra attack tile. This turn, you want to hit an attack from behind again, but try to pick up that extra attack.
  2. Use your best hammer for both attacks.
  3. You’ll get hit with either another Hole Punch and Base Slap combo, or a Throwing Punches attack.

Turn 3

  1. If all has gone well, Hole Punch should be laying flat and glowing yellow. (If it isn’t, hit with more hammer attacks until it is.)
  2. You’ll notice that your Hole Punched parts are on tiles around the arena. It’s tempting to pick them up to get your HP back up, but only pick them up if they’re convenient.
  3. Your priority this turn is to hit an ON switch and land on an Earth Vellumental Magic Circle attack.
  4. When you’re successful, you won’t take any damage and Hole Punch will knock itself over.

Turn 4

  1. This turn is similar to Turn 3. You need to hit an ON switch and land on a 1,000-Fold Arms Magic Circle.
  2. If it’s possible or convenient, try to pick up one of your holes, but focus on the 1,000-Fold Arms attack first.
  3. Your 1,000-Fold Arms will deal a lot of damage, but you won’t finish the fight yet.
  4. You’ll probably get hit with a Hole Punch and Base Slap combo.

Turn 5

  1. Just like Turn 1, your goal here is to hit an attack action on the back half of the arena.
  2. If you can, hit the treasure chest for that extra attack tile, but it shouldn’t be necessary.
  3. While you’re at it, try to hit an ON switch just to get ready for next turn, but don’t worry too much about it.
  4. Hit Hole Punch with your best hammer.
  5. You’ll get hit again, but it should trigger Hole Punch’s glowing attack phase again.

Turn 6

  1. You’re looking to repeat Turn 3 here: Hit an ON switch, and land on an Earth Vellumental Magic Circle.
  2. Mix in anything else you can — like your punched-out parts or a treasure chest — but don’t make them a priority.
  3. You won’t take damage (again), and Hole Punch will knock itself over (again).

Turn 7

  1. Hit one more ON switch and follow up with a 1,000-Fold Arms Magic Circle.
  2. This time, you’ll finish the fight.