Paper Mario: The Origami King has no problem playing tricks on its players. Nintendo’s newest Switch game has a variety of collectibles you can search for throughout all of its worlds, and it won’t hesitate to make you work for them. In fact, in its very first full level it’s already tantalizing you with that old ploy of letting you see something you can’t get into. If you’ve already explored the Whispering Woods, you probably know what I’m talking about: the cabin by the BBQ joint run by Toads. (Yes, this game has a BBQ joint run by Toads. Yes, this game is awesome.)
Since this is a game where you’re always on the lookout for secrets and hidden items, you’ll naturally try to get into this cabin. The door’s locked, though, and there’s no other entrance. You simply can’t get into this cabin the first time you see it, no matter what you do, and if you’re a completionist that might drive you crazy. Don’t worry, though: you can get in that cabin—eventually. It takes a long time, and most of the game, to reach that point, but it’s still possible. And guess what: we’ll tell you how to do it. It’s going to take some spoilers, though, so watch out.
Yep, you can’t get into that cabin until you’re about two-thirds of the way through the main game. Peach’s Castle is being held hostage on top of a mountain by the Origami King’s five giant colored streamers, and Mario’s goal is to destroy all five of them and rescue the princess. Because Mario, more than anybody, realizes that life is simply doing the same things over and over until time is up.
After you take out those first three streamers, you’ll gain access to the game’s fourth world. There you can find the Great Sea, a nice big hole full of water. You’ve got to clear up the fog shrouding the sea, but when you do you’ll be able to check your map and navigate to specific islands. If you look up C3 on the grid, you’ll see a nearby island. Next to it, deep beneath the waves, at the bottom of the sea, is a shell. It’s a big shell, officially called The Big Shell. Shockingly, given that this is a Mario game, it’s not a turtle shell. Dive down and grab it, and then be on your way.
During your travails you should have unlocked a skill known as Fire Vellumental. If you don’t have it, you won’t be able to get inside that cabin. If you do have it, use it to light a fire in the BBQ pit. Once it’s nice and roaring, you’ll have to put a specific object on top of that flame, and I bet you can already guess what it is.
Yep, you’re gonna whip up some BBQ Clams. Except you’re in for a shock when you find out what’s actually inside of that Big Shell: it’s no oyster, but one of the missing Toads. And, coincidentally enough, the one who lives in that cabin.
Clam Toad can get you in the door you’ve been wondering about all this time. Inside you’ll find one of the game’s many, many collectibles. I won’t tell you what it is. If you’re wondering if it’s worth all this time and effort, all I’ll say is that that’s up to you. How serious are you about collecting everything in the game? Or, alternately, how annoyed do you get when you can’t get into a place, and how much of a relief is it when you finally, eventually, figure out a way in? if that cabin keeps itching at you throughout the game, it might feel good to finally scratch it off your list once you’re able to.