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Video Game: Mario is Missing!
He's not missing, he's right behind you, Weegee!
"You won't find adobe here in Nairobi..."
Policewoman, Mario is Missing!

Mario is Missing! is a geography-based educational game released for the PC in 1992 and Nintendo consoles in 1993. It was the first game with Luigi as the main character, and the only one until Luigi's Mansion came out in 2001. The PC version is notable for giving birth to the "Weegee" internet meme, based on Luigi's creepy sprite. AVGN did a review of the game in summer 2009.

The premise is that Bowser plans to flood Earth, and he sends Koopas to steal famous landmarks to help fund his operation. Mario, Luigi, and Yoshi travel to Bowser's castle to stop him. Mario enters all by himself and gets captured, prompting Luigi to go and rescue him.

Luigi progresses in the game by completing levels in Bowser's castle; each floor is guarded by one Koopaling whom you must defeat and contains a number of pipes which transport Luigi to a city containing Koopas. Once in the city, Luigi must collect the stolen artifacts. He must then find and reopen the landmarks by correctly answering three questions about them.

A sequel, Mario's Time Machine, eventually came, which is pretty similar, but WITH TIME TRAVEL!

Relevant tropes:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: The text in the game frequently does this. Most notably, one of the newspapers you read in Kathmandu talks about the 'M' Club, whose members are Mayors of Moscow, Madrid, Marrakech, and Mexico City (they are said to have met the day before in Montana) and want to make Luigi an honorary member for saving their cities. They regret that Luigi's name breaks the whole alliteration thing (so do the mayors' actual names — respectively, they're Schmutznikov, Smallburg, I. V. Gottserve, and Devotegetter).
  • Adventure Game
  • The Cameo: Princess Daisy runs the information booths in some versions.
  • Celebrity Paradox: One of the missing "artifacts" is King Kong — the inspiration for Nintendo's very own Donkey Kong, famously inciting a trademark infringement lawsuit from Universal Studios in 1982.
  • Creepy Child: Princess Peach's voice acting.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: What Weegee does at 1:20 into the ending.
  • Edutainment Game
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: Because of this trope, you rarely need to actually ask people "Where am I?". Which is good, because almost nobody ever gives a straight answer to that question.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Bowser's grand scheme is to set of a bunch of Hair Driers at the South Pole, melting all the polar ice caps and flooding the world.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: Reading newspapers will bring up news stories about penguins ending up in different parts of the world due to Bowser melting the south pole.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Mario is missing, after all. It's the only thing that makes sense about this game.
  • Excited Show Title!
  • Excuse Plot: The whole robbed cities part of the story isn't even mentioned in the PC version's opening, and references to it elsewhere are only found in newspapers and Mario's calls (Bowser did it to raise the funds for all the hair driers). Exactly why you have to put everything back in order is never really said. Luigi's just a nice person that way.
  • Exposition Fairy: In the PC version, Mario himself can call Luigi with his videophone to give insight on what Bowser's up to back at the castle.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: One version of the game has Bowser get cracked in half after being frozen in a block of ice.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The Koopas and Luigi travel across the world using a machine found in Bowser's castle called the "PORTALS", or "Passcode Operated Remote Transport And Larceny System".
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Bowser.
  • Impossible Thief: In addition to stealing Mario, the Koopas go around stealing from national landmarks, which Luigi has to retrieve in order to complete each level. What they've stolen varies. Sometimes they steal something really huge, but other times you'd think they'd be able to get by just fine without. (Just a single brick from the Wall of China and you're closing it down?)
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: The exits back to Bowser's Castle are blocked off by a Pokey. The player has to figure out where in the world they actually are in order to get Yoshi to come and eat the Pokey so they can leave the stage.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: Besides the basic floppy disk based DOS version, there was also a deluxe CD version, which had enhanced audio and full voice acting. TERRIBLE voice acting.
  • Off Model: For a specific example, in the PC version, at least two castle hallways have shields bearing the faces of Larry, Roy, Iggy, Ludwig, and Lemmy... except Lemmy is blatantly Larry with Lemmy's hair in a glaring example of cutting corners.
    • Also, the SNES version has Mario with purple overalls.
  • Only Six Faces: There are specific types of people in each city, who give different types of answers to your questions.
  • Painting the Medium: In all versions of the game, Mario notices the title of the game, and does a double take as if to say "'Mario is Missing'? But I'm not missing!" And then he goes missing.
  • Palette Swap: The NES and SNES versions of the game continue the trend of having Mario and Luigi look exactly alike.
  • Parallel Porn Titles: Disturbingly enough, even with safe search on, an H-Game of the same name is featured on google before the actual licensed game. Even more disturbingly, that means those searches are more relevant the original game itself.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Iggy Koopa. Luigi also indulges in this a bit in some dialogue Dummied Out from the ending.
    • Most of your questions are answered in the form of a rhyme.
  • Shout-Out: When Luigi is asked who painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the SNES version, the choices are Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Splinter. The Irate Gamer admitted this was probably the most amusing thing in the game.
  • Spiritual Successor: Due to the voice acting in the 1993 DOS rerelease, the game could have one for the 2002 Mr. Men video games.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: Certain details and developments of the plot can only be found by reading newspapers or listening to Mario's calls.
  • Stupid Statement Dance Mix: Exhibited in this video.
  • Totally Radical: The manual's plot summary is so ridiculously cheesy, it could have easily been punched up by Konami USA's localization team.
    With dough through his slimy scales, Bowser hoards hair dryers from the Hafta-Havit Hotline. His plot? Melt Antartica and flood the world! Whoa! Will the brave brothers from Brooklyn permit this abominable snow plan? The boys say "Not!"
  • Unusual Euphemism: Mario exclaims "Sewage!" during his first call on the videophone.
  • Unwinnable: Alcatraz can only be reached by taxi token. If you use your last token to get there, you're stuck.
  • Verbal Tic: Mayor Griffeath of Dublin keeps saying "see", see.
  • Written-In Absence: Lemmy Koopa and Morton Koopa Jr. were the only ones not appearing in the PC game. Only Lemmy's absence was explained: He wanted to play in the snow.
  • A Winner Is You: The credits roll starts with the highly rewarding phrase "Congratulations! You did it!"

"...but they do have some spectacular hotels!"
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alternative title(s): Mario Is Missing
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