Cortez is a character and boss from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. He serves as the boss of Chapter 5 and is found deep within the Pirate's Grotto on his ship, the Black Skull. He has 20 HP in each of his three forms.


His first form resembles a skeleton with four hands that each carry a weapon. Many of his attacks in this form come from his multi-hit sword swings. After draining 20 HP from him, he reveals his second form, which looks like a skeletal snake. This is his weakest form, as his attacks deal pretty low damage. The final form of Cortez is just his head with his four swords floating beside him. This is his strongest form. In this form, he is capable of taking the audience's HP away and adding it to his own. When he takes 60 HP damage in total, he collapses in defeat and relinquishes the Sapphire Star.

After you defeat him, you have to go back to him for help. He goes to your aid after Flavio gives up the skull gem to him. After the chapter, he can be talked to sail his boat to Keelhaul Key. It should be noted that he is one of the few bosses to turn good in the Mario series. His name may be a reference to Hernan Cortes, the explorer.


For Cortez's first and second forms, the Partner that Mario should have out is Admiral Bobbery. Bobbery should always use his regular bomb attack (since this will be the most damage dealing move in the game) while Mario should jump on Cortez's head (unless he has the Spike Shield badge, then he could also go for the Bone Pile). In his second form, the rules are the same except the Bone Pile must be targeted by Mario (with hammer or jump+Spike Shield badge) as well. When his jewel is exposed, a quick Power Jump should already have dispatched of Cortez before he deals his highly damage dealing Bone Throw move.

This final form is actually really easy to deal with. Have Mario switch out Bobbery for Vivian and just have her keep casting Fiery Jinx to eliminate all of the weapons with Mario focuses on regular jumps and healing. Also, Earth Tremor could also be used to help deal damage to all enemies and items such as Thunder Rage helps as well.


Cortez Will Eat Your Soul!

Cortez Will Eat Your Soul!

Ship Battle with Cortez

Ship Battle with Cortez


  • Cortez's role in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door dates back to two characters from the original Paper Mario.
    • Tutankoopa: They both seen creepy messages throughout Mario's journey in a certain area though Tutankoopa isn't at all scary (at one point when Mario enters the room containing the Super Hammer, Tutankoopa briefly abandons his scary messages saying "Oh come on! Don't go into that room!").
    • Tuna: They both act as Mario's transportation from the main area to the island area.
  • Like Croco and Hermie III, Cortez is a boss that Mario fights but becomes an ally afterward.
  • Cortez is also similar to Lava Piranha as they are both the bosses of Chapter 5 in their games, they both are fought within an area of an island, and they both are fought in more than one phase.
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