Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door: How To Defeat Prince Mush 1
Image: Nintendo Life / Nintendo

Prince Mush is one of two new post-game boss battles added to Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door on Nintendo Switch. As the very first champion of the Glitz Pit, returning players will recognise him from Chapter 3, where you rescue the former champ.

Fans have been begging for a bonus fight against Prince Mush for years, and the remake finally delivers in an extremely satisfying way. Make no mistake, Prince Mush is extremely challenging if you don't know what you're doing, but that's what we're here for.

In this guide, we've got all the tips you need to take down one of the hardest bosses in the Switch remake of Thousand-Year Door, included recommended items, badges, and strategies.

How to unlock the Prince Mush boss fight

Unlocking Prince Mush's boss fight is relatively straightforward — you simply need to roll credits on the main game. That means taking down the final boss, of course.

You should also have received an email from Prince Mush where he challenges you to a fight. We got this after completing Chapter 4 and completing all of the Trouble Center requests up until that point, but you might get it later if you just power through the game.

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Image: Nintendo Life / Nintendo

Where to find Prince Mush

Prince Mush can be found in Glitzville at the Glitz Pit. He'll be standing outside of the locker rooms in the corridor surrounding the battle arena. Talk to him and he'll challenge you to a fight.

But you have to do this officially — it's the Glitz Pit, after all. Head into one of the locker rooms (this will depend on whether you have started making your way back through the Glitz Pit). Then, examine the Game Boy Advance terminal on the wall. Select Exhibition Match, and Prince Mush will be at the top of the list.

Make sure you're prepared before you take him on, however.

Prince Mush is incredibly difficult, and you absolutely need to be stocked up on items. If you've completed the Pit of 100 Trials, then you'll have the Strange Sack, which lets you carry 20 items.

Ideal level

In terms of your level, you want Mario to ideally be above level 30. We took on Prince Mush after completing the Pit of 100 Trials and were level 32 when we beat him. if you're struggling with the fight and need some levels to gain more Badge Points and Flower Points, check out our Easy Levelling guide for how to farm experience points.

Best healing items.

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Image: Nintendo Life / Nintendo

As for items, Life Mushrooms are an absolute must. In the second phase of the fight, Mush can easily take out your entire health bar in one turn. You can buy these in Twilight Town for 40 coins per mushroom, so grab as many as you can. These are particularly useful if you're not very good at superguarding during the second phase of the fight.

Make sure you also have FP-healing items on you as well such as Jammin' Jelly (which you can buy in Rogueport Sewers for 200 coins). We have a guide on how to farm money and get coins fast, so have a look at that if you need some cash. if you have any Whacka Bumps on you, take a couple just in case.

Lastly, Zess T. can whip up some easy healing items with Ultra Mushrooms and Jammin' Jelly. We recommend you focus on FP-healing for this fight exclusively, but our Recipe guide might help you on what to whip up in the kitchen.

Best badges

There are two ways you can approach this fight. Regardless, you want to pump all of your attack power into Mario. He will be doing all of the damage in this fight.

The safer way to play this fight is to just buff Mario's attack power with multiple Power Plus badges. We also stuck Jumpman on Mario, which limits him to Jump-only commands, but the multi-hit nature of them is the key here. Damage Dodge, Depend Plus, Last Stand, and Close Call are also excellent to help reduce the chances of Mario getting hit.

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Image: Nintendo Life / Nintendo

The quicker, but much riskier, strategy relies on the Power Rush badge. You can buy this from the Lovely Howz of Badges, and it increases Mario's attack power by 2 if his health is at critical levels (5 or below). Then, head to Chet Rippo in the Rogueport Sewers: go down the main pipe (outside of Professor Frankly's house), then blow up the crack on the wall to the left of the pipe with Bobbery. Go down the pipe and you'll be in the background, which is where Chet Rippo is.

Rippo can improve HP, FP, and BP at the cost of one of the other stats. For example, you can take three points out of FP and put them into BP. Here, you want to take all your points out of HP and put them into BP and FP so that Mario only has 5 HP left. This will have him in a permanently critical state, meaning he'll always have that +2 attack up.

How to beat Prince Mush

We've said it a few times, but Prince Mush is hard. And, if you're not prepared, he can easily defeat you in one or two turns. The fight is split into two phases.

Regarding partners, we highly recommend taking in Goombella for this fight — Rally Wink will allow Mario to take two turns per round, meaning you should be able to take a large chunk of Mush's health off every single round.

Phase 1

Phase 1 sees Mush swap between two stances - one where he will jump up and down, and one where he will shift side-to-side. You can only attack him when he is jumping up and down.

Mush can boost his attack power significantly, and every attack will also drain some of your FP. You need to boost Mario's attack (either using Power Lift, Charge, or any attack-boosting items you have. Use Mario's first turn to do that, then use Goombella's Rally Wink to allow him to do a second turn.

Depending on your skill and attack power, you can either go for Spring Jump or Power Bounce — the former is a very powerful two-hit attack, while the latter will let you attack a large number of times in a row, but you need to be good at button presses to do massive damage with it.

If Mush attacks Mario, you should attempt to superguard — countering Prince Mush will cause him to stop moving, essentially giving you a free turn to attack.

Once he drops below 50% health, he gets even tougher.

Phase 2

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Image: Nintendo Life / Nintendo

Prince Mush will now gain a huge attack boost and add two new moves to his arsenal and a new stance.

Prince Mush will start the fight by squatting down and covering his head — he is immune to any damage while like this, so use this time to restore FP, buff, or appeal to the crowd.

His first new attack is a fast-moving combo where he will hit one of your characters five times for around 20 points of damage per hit. If even two attacks hit, this will likely knock out Mario or your partner — this is where the Life Shrooms come in handy. However, if you happen to superguard a hit, not only will it stop the combo, he'll be unable to defend himself for a turn. If Mush starts defending, you absolutely need to focus on nailing that superguard.

His second move sees him split into three, and you need to deal damage to them to reveal the real Mush. This can also be deadly, but luckily, superguard is once again your friend. Hit Mush with it and you'll reveal the real Mush and be able to do big damage to him.

If you don't have Life Shrooms or aren't very good at superguards, then this section of the fight will feel impossible. Make sure you're stocked up as a failsafe. As long as you can knock him out of his attacks and do big damage when it matters, you'll take him down.

What do you get for defeating Prince Mush?

After you beat Prince Mush, you'll be awarded 12 Star points. Jolene will also give you 30 coins for winning the exhibition match, but she'll also tell you that her brother wants to give you something personally.

You find Prince Mush just outside of the entrance to the arena — so close to the locker rooms. Talk to him, and he'll give you Prince Mush's Belt, a little token that proves you've beaten one of the hardest bosses in the game.

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Image: Nintendo Life / Nintendo

For more hints, tips, and guides, check out our full Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door guide.