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Taking the Captain Toad levels from Super Mario 3D World to their logical extreme, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a Puzzle Platformer spinoff of the Super Mario Bros. seriesnote But more specifically, the aforementioned Super Mario 3D World. that puts you in the shoes of the Captain of the Toad Brigade, making this the first game where (a) Toad was the primary player character since Wario's Woods. While out adventuring with Toadette, the pair came across a power star, but just as they were about to claim it, a giant bird snatches it, along with Toadette, and flew off. It's now up to the Captain to get Toadette back, while collecting treasure through various levels.Sounds easy, right? Well, there's the tiny fact that some of the levels can get rather complicated. You see, unlike Mario, Captain Toad can't jump (his backpack weighs him down). There's also the fact that the usual mooks from the Mario franchise aren't just going to let you make off with their coins, gems, and stars. As such, players will have to use their wits to navigate Captain Toad through breezy plains, haunted mansions, enemy filled trains, and dragon infested volcanoes and stranger locales in his quest for treasure, while making sure to grab as many valuable gems along the way.The game has been announced to have Amiibo functionality, but as of this writing, it is unknown what it will be.
This game contains the following tropes:
Ascended Extra: While Toadette was seen in Mario spin-off games such as Mario Kart and Mario Party, this is the first non-Mario game where Toadette along with Captain Toad are the main characters as well as being playable.
The game centers around Captain Toad, a recurring NPC in Mario games on Wii and beyond. Not since Wario's Woods (1994) did the Toad character manage to get a game for himself.
Toadette gets this treatment as well, while she was mostly an unlockable character in the majority of her appearances in Mario spinoffs games. This is the first game where she is a main character and gets focus alongside Captain Toad.
Action Survivor: The titular Toad himself. Without the occasional (and rather rare) power-up, Captain Toad is almost completely defenseless against enemies that normally wouldn't pose any problem for the likes of the Mario Bros., Peach, or even Mii characters. Even a basic Goomba is a serious threat to him.
Though Captain Toad is still quite a ways behind the usual Mushroom Kingdom heroes, compared to his debut in Super Mario Galaxy where he was regarded by his crew as a General Failure, in here he manages to sneak way past and occasionally take out many hordes of enemies while making off with their loot, as well as (if somewhat unintentionally) taking out a giant lava dragon without even being able to perform the most basic Mario action of jumping.
He takes out the dragon with sheer luck by accidentally "using" the last, collapsing platform as a hammer.
Similarly, Toadette has mostly appeared in spin-off titles or in an NPC role. Here she's able to do all the things that Captain Toad can do, and she's only a Distressed Damsel because she wouldn't let go of the Power Star after it was stolen by a giant crow. Even then, this is only temporary.
Balloon Belly: When you defeat Wingo, the final turnip you throw at her will be caught in her mouth. It is then swallowed whole and Wingo becomes too bloated to fly.
Big Boo's Haunt: These types of levels appear in the game, complete with Big Boos. Boos are actually one of the few enemies that Captain Toad can easily defeat (by using his headlamp).
Cosmetic Award: Beating Mummy-Me Maze Forever gives Toad a nifty Mushroom crown to wear.
Damsel out of Distress: Toadette only appears to be "captured" for a short time. Once unlocked, she's a playable character.
Distaff Counterpart: Toadette is a fellow explorer and playable character, seeming to function the same as the good captain.
Distressed Damsel: In Episode 1, Toadette gets herself captured by Wingo while being overly zealous of her pursuit of Power Stars, and it's up to Captain Toad to get her back. She becomes playable in Episode 2 after being rescued, and this time, the roles are reversed: Wingo captures the captain, and now Toadette has to save him.
Dude In Distress: The second book has Toadette trying to save Toad from Wingo, in a reverse of the first book.
Fake Difficulty: Not from the fact that Captain Toad can't jump, or even from the fact that the secondary objectives aren't revealed until after the stages are completed, but rather, it's from the fact that the stages must be completed before the secondary objectives are actually listed as being "complete".note In some cases, though, it can't be helped, such as finishing a stage without taking damage, or without being spotted by Shy Guys. Other than contributing to fake longevity (see below), this isn't really a problem until the Mummy-Me Maze Forever level is played. With it's randomly generated "floors", it's constantly pursuing Mummy-Me's and the fact that the player only has one chance to complete it, the level is difficult for many as it is, but even if the player has the 5,000 coins the objective asks for, the objective won't actually be complete until all 50 floors are completed.
Fake Longevity: An even worse case than its sequelSuper Mario 3D World. In this game, the player must not only collect all three super gems, but must complete a secondary objective as well...which isn't revealed until after completing the stage the first time. The worst part is, some stages actually have to be played twice in order to fully complete them. Unless you're using a guide (or are extremely lucky), the player will likely have to otherwise play the game twice in order to fully complete it.
Feathered Fiend: The main antagonist is a large black crow-like bird named Wingo, who stole the power star that Captain Toad and Toadette found. She accidentally kidnapped Toadette as well.
Genre Throwback: To the more puzzle-heavy Mario games of the pre-Super Mario Bros. 1 era such as Donkey Kong (indeed one level is designed to look like a Donkey Kong stage) and Wrecking Crew. As in those games, the player cannot kill enemies except with special items or under special circumstances, so the best option most of the time is to dodge enemies while trekking toward the goal.
Light 'em Up: While the Toad's headlamp is good for illuminating dark places, they're also effective at defeating boos, an enemy that gives Mario trouble.
Market-Based Title: In Japan, the game is called "Susume! Captain Kinopio (Onward! Captain Kinopionote Kinopio is the name for the Toad characters in Japan.)"
Minecart Madness: Mine Cart Tunnel Throwdown in Episode 1 and Sundown Mine Cart Rundown in Episode 2. Both levels are rail shooters as Toad or Toadette throw turnips at their foes while riding a mine cart.
The turnips from Super Mario Bros. 2 (U.S.) make a reappearance as one of the very few means Captain Toad can attack enemies.
Shy Guys return as enemies for the first time outside of a Yoshi title or a Mario-branded RPG.
Wingo has a feather on her turban which resembles a Cape Feather.
Nostalgia Level: The Bonus Episode's first chapter, Expedition to the Sprixie Kingdom, features four levels from Super Mario 3D World: Super Bell Hill, Conkdor Canyon, Shadow Play Alley, and Clear Pipe Cruise. These happen to be the levels where Mario can come across Captain Toad in 3D World.
Old Save Bonus: If you have Super Mario 3D World save data on your Wii U, the first chapter of the Bonus Episode will be unlocked automatically.
Reconstruction: Of the threat of standard Mario enemies. When you can't jump high enough to crush them, suddenly enemies that can kill you in two hits become a much bigger threat. Maybe that's why they're so good at conquering the Mushroom Kingdom over and over.
Scenery Porn: Every level is gorgeous, and sometimes there are cutscenes and controllable screens that do nothing but show off how good the game looks.
Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Some levels require you to cause friendly fire among the enemies. For example, your path is blocked by a horde of enemies and there is simply no available means for you to dispatch them yourself... other than a Chargin' Chuck who will not let anyone else get between him and his mission to destroy you.
Ship Sinking: A preemptive one. The producer has stated that Captain Toad and Toadette are not romantically involved and are just "adventure pals".
Slapstick Knows No Gender: After Toadette is freed from Wingo, she falls into the bird's treasure hoard headfirst and gets stuck. Toad then has to pull her out like a turnip.
Stealth-Based Mission: There are a few levels that work like this. Being unable to attack, Captain Toad spends most of the level sneaking past them.
Stealth Sequel: Actually a stealth prequel. The Stinger shows the intro to Super Mario 3D World, placing Treasure Tracker before that game's events, and by extension, the Captain Toad levels in 3D World.
The Stinger: After the credits scene, Toad sees a Green Star flying through the sky and chases after it, leaving Toadette behind. We then see the opening to Super Mario 3D World, only ending with Captain Toad chasing the star into the clear pipe.
Thieving Magpie: All Wingo is after is the Power Star. Why? Because it's shiny.
Took a Level in Badass: Captain Toad can not only defeat a giant lava dragon, but later ride on it, as well as having a number of ways to take down regular enemies granted the proper circumstances, such as with turnips and a pickaxe. It's not enough to elevate him to the level of most Mario characters, to whom the same situations would be infinitely easier thanks to their jumping abilities alone, but it's a step up from the Captain Toad who was afraid of the shadow of a wooden cutout of Bowser. Of course, he's still shaking in his boots at the prospect of entering a haunted house - but in the Mario franchise, who hasn't?
Try Everything: Subverted, as the hidden objectives could literally be anything. Do you try one objective? Maybe it's some other one instead. Indeed, trying one could even result in failing another (e.g.: trying to defeat all the enemies, when the actual objective is to not defeat any enemies). It doesn't help that, even with a guide, some stages require playing them twice in order to fully complete them...
People weren't expecting a Toad to star in a Mario spin-off, much less Captain Toad.
In case Captain Toad wasn't enough, Toadette is playable alongside him.
People certainly weren't expecting the Mario Bros., Princess Peach, and Bowser to show up in the ending, with this game being a spin-off and all.
Weak, but Skilled: Toad manages to sneak way past and occasionally take out many hordes of enemies while making off with their loot, as well as taking out a giant lava dragon without being able to jump.
The Voiceless: Mario and Luigi don't utter a sound in their cameo at the end. Even though the cutscene is almost exactly the same as the intro to Super Mario 3D World. Blue Toad, Peach, Bowser, and the green Sprixie Princess are voiced though (though in the case of Peach and the Toads, it's mostly because they're all voiced by the same person).