Video Game / Wario Land 3

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The third game in the Wario Land series (not counting Virtual Boy Wario Land), released in 2000 for the Game Boy Color.

While Wario is riding in his airplane over some forest its engine randomly explodes, causing him to crash in the middle of said woods. While looking through the first cave he sees for help he finds a music box just lying about, only to be warped inside when he picks it up. There he wakes up and meets a hidden figure, who tells him about how the figure's powers had been taken from it and put in five music boxes scattered around, promising to help Wario return to his world if he returns these music boxes to the hidden figure. Wario agrees and immediately sets off in search for them.

Wario Land 3 borrows a lot of its gameplay from Wario Land II—being impossible to killnote , using enemy attacks as abilities, and sharing a lot of the normal abilities. However, Wario Land 3 takes an even less linear route: Instead of challenging you to reach the end of each level, some of which have alternate routes, Wario Land 3 challenges you to find the four keys and chests of every level. However, the vast majority of chests (and levels) are inaccessible at the beginning, forcing you to collect treasures to unlock more. Thus, Wario Land 3 is less about figuring out how to beat levels and more about exploring through levels, searching for treasures you can collect.


Tropes featured in this game:

  • Bag of Spilling: The game begins with Wario unable to do most of his Wario things, such as shaking the stage with his Ground Pound, performing high jumps or, you know... THE SERIES'S STAPLE OF BREAKING BLOCKS BY JUMPING UNDER THEM! Said abilities are recovered progressively by finding certain treasures. To sweeten the deal, Wario also claims power-ups that boost him beyond his original abilities, like the Frog Prince's Gloves, which allow Wario to swim against currents.
  • Baleful Polymorph: The entire population of the Music Box world was turned into the monsters Wario beats up throughout the game by Rudy.
  • Balloon Belly/"Pop!" Goes the Human: Yellowbelly. He has an air pump inside him, and you defeat him by making him cough it up and pumping it until he pops.
  • Bears are Bad News: Brr Bears, who repeatedly push you back with their icy breath, are some of the most annoying enemies in the game.
  • Be the Ball: Shoot, a sportsbunny almost exactly like Dunk from Wario Land II; Shoot, however, prefers soccer to basketball. Like Dunk, Wario must bounce on Shoot to make him curl into a ball and then cast him into the net. Unlike Dunk, Shoot's battle has a turtle goalie whom Wario must also knock down to get a better shot at the net; the turtle will block most of Wario's shots (though it is possible for Wario to score without stunning him), but will let Shoot score for free.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: You must beat Shoot at soccer/football.
  • Big Bad: Turns out to be the hidden figure himself — later known as Rudy in Dr. Mario 64 — when you deliver the five music boxes to him.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: E3 Castle of Illusions, N2 The Peaceful Village (at night), and E7 The Forest of Fear.
  • Black and Gray Morality: Though this is one of the few rare instances where Wario is actually a hero, even if he didn't really intend to be one.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: Getting every music coin in each level is much harder than getting all of the treasures. And what is your reward? You get one extra course in the extended mini-golf game.
  • Book Ends:
    • The final boss is fought in The Temple, the first “level” of the game.
    • Also, the last music box — the last treasure before the final boss — is the last treasure of the first level.
  • Boss-Only Level: The Temple.
  • Broken Bridge: You collect diverse MacGuffins that open new levels or areas in other levels.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: E1 The Stagnant Swamp.
  • Bubbly Clouds: S6 Above the Clouds.
  • Build Like an Egyptian: W1 Desert Ruins.
  • Cap: Oddly for a Wario game, Wario can only hold 999 coins.
  • Chain of Deals: The whole game is this. You can't just search directly for the music boxes; first you have to cut down the tree blocking your way to two other levels, find overalls so you can ground pound to reach certain treasures, collect a seed so you can make beanstalks to reach higher areas, and so on...
  • Collection Sidequest:
    • Zig-Zagged regarding the main plot. Wario's primary quest is to collect five Magic Music Boxes at the behest of a hidden figure, with the promise that he may keep all the treasure he finds on the way. Wario's treasure hunt is therefore both completely incidental to the story and completely necessary to the gameplay.
    • Played straight with the Musical Coins. There are eight of these in every level, and collecting them will fill in an uncolored part of the picture of a golf course. Unfortunately, these are especially vexing: the game does not record the Musical Coins you collect during a visit to a level, so you must collect all eight in a single run; many of these coins are only available to you once Wario obtains specific abilities, so you have to remember where they all can be found; three, the prize, as mentioned under Bonus Feature Failure, is underwhelming.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Each level has four chests that serve as objectives, as well as four keys to unlock the chests, colored gray, red, green, and blue. You'll also occasionally find coins in those colors that are worth 10 coins each — whichever color coin you find is whichever chest you're closest to, making navigation a bit easier.
  • Cranium Ride: Used on one occasion to get to a musical coin.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Treasures can only be used to automatically change or unlock new levels; so, sadly, Wario cannot use that axe he found in N1 Out of the Woods to attack enemies.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: The only point in the game where you can die is during the final boss fight against Rudy. Your penalty for it? A Game Over screen and being sent back to the map so you can simply try it again.
  • Death Mountain: W2 The Volcano's Base.
  • Eldritch Location: E5 The Warped Void.
  • Excuse Plot: The whole story about the music boxes is pretty much an excuse to have Wario roam around collecting treasures.
  • The Face of the Sun: Not only do the sun and moon have faces, they have cognizance and can spit fireballs or electric sparks at Wario.
  • Floating Limbs: Rudy's hands. In fact, performing a ground pound on one stuns it, allowing it to be picked up and thrown freely.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Downplayed with a glitch that can occur in "The Pool of Rain" (it won't ruin the whole game, but it'll force you to reset); for some reason, if you play the game on an emulator and use save states, you won't able to climb all the way up the beanstalk into another area once it pops up. Resetting the game and not using save states before you finish the level remedies it, thankfully.
  • Giant Hands of Doom: These appear in The Desert Ruins (In the Day) and The Steep Canyon. Their reach out in an attempt to grab Wario and pull him into the quicksand/rapids.
  • Goomba Springboard: Possible once you get the Jumping Boots.
  • Green Hill Zone: Though N1 Out of the Woods might count, N3 The Vast Plain is probably a better example.
  • Ground Pound: Possible once you get the overalls.
  • Guide Dang It!: While few of the treasures are that hard to figure out, some of the music coins can be well hidden. The worst example is one in S1 The Grasslands. It is way up on a platform above the screen — and thus invisible until you reach it — which is above a cliff over the blue chest. So, not only do you have to jump off a Spearhead to reach to top of a seemingly empty cliff, you also have to find a rather small hole to jump through upward to reach the platform, which is only reachable by throwing another Spearhead onto the cliff and jumping off the thrown enemy to reach the hidden area.
  • Hat of Power: Getting the spiked helmet allows you to break blocks with your head.
  • Helpful Mook: You often need to use the enemies to get some treasures, mainly by using their attacks to get certain abilities (such as being set on fire).
  • Hell Hotel: W4 A Town in Chaos.
  • Human Snowball: An ability Wario can gain in E2 The Frigid Sea. It can be used to break snow blocks.
  • Interface Screw: Wario can become dizzy if hit by a pink bird in S1 The Grasslands.
  • Jump Scare: A few of the bosses, but most notably the red chest portion of E1 The Stagnant Swamp. If you've played the game before, that alone should tell you what you need to know, but if you haven't: You go down a pipe to the swamp portion of the level, leading you to a rapid current and a turtle, who ferries you across the current on its back (as in Wario Land II). Everything is nice, happy, and peaceful until you reach an area heavy on vines, when a menacing black shadowy figure appears in the water, causing the turtle to faint into the water, forcing you to jump up on the vine. You climb up a few ways and then without warning A HUGE SALAMANDER-TYPE THING JUMPS OUT FROM THE WATER MAKING A HORRENDOUS NOISE AND STARTS CLIMBING TOWARDS YOU WHILE THE BOSS MUSIC KICKS IN!note  As demonstrated here. (Note that this particular player scurries up the vine quickly as the turtle is dropping so as to avoid the boss' appearance.)
  • Kitsune: Wolfenboss, a flying fox in a sorcerer's robe who attacks with magic. His Japanese name is Kezune, the pronunciation for Kitsune.
  • Lethal Lava Land: S5 Cave of Flames. W6 The West Crater and E6 The East Crater could arguably count as well.
  • A Lighter Shade of Grey: This game is Wario's most heroic role to date.
  • Lone Wolf Boss: All of the bosses except the final boss, as they are revealed to be the citizens of the Music Box world who have been cursed into monster forms by the Big Bad, and are attacking you to try to stop you from getting the Music Boxes to revive him. In fact, the only enemy in the game who is actually working for the Big Bad is Mad Scienstein, who is also the only uncursed human you encounter.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: The Final Boss features a Boss Remix of the main theme, but as a matter of fact, the fight itself outpaces the music. If Wario is on top of the battle, the final boss will Turn Red and have a change in music before the refrain kicks in.
  • Lost Woods: N1 Out of the Woods and E7 Forest of Fear. The former is definitely more friendly than the latter, which is also a Big Boo's Haunt.
  • Magical Flutist: Wario temporarily becomes this after getting the flute, just to make the Fire Snakes pop out of their pots.
  • Magic Music: A large part of the plot is the powers held in the five music boxes, and the need to retrieve them.
  • Malevolent Architecture: Most notably E7 Forest of Fear, which is full of spikes.
  • Market-Based Title: In Japan, this game had the subtitle "Fushigi na Orgel" (meaning “Mysterious Orgel” or “Mysterious Music Box”).
  • Metroidvania: Arguably. Although this game is divided into levels, the progression is nonlinear, often requiring you to go back to earlier levels to continue.
  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: Wario learns he fell for this when he delivers the music boxes to the hidden figure.
  • MacGuffin Title: Only the Japanese version (See Market-Based Title).
  • Minigame: There is a minigolf game you have to beat many times to make a block move to access certain treasures.
  • Monster Clown: Rudy, the final boss, looks a lot like a clown, hence why he has been called "Rudy the Clown" in fanon.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: No matter how much he gets hit by enemies, Wario can never die. (Except for when he gets crushed by final boss Rudy's hands.)
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Your goal of delivering the five music boxes to the hidden figure. It turns out he's a monster clown who took over the world and turned the townsfolk into the monsters who acted as your enemies. They were really just trying to stop you from reviving him.
  • No Name Given: The final boss is later given a name in Dr. Mario 64; he's only referred to as "a hidden figure" in this game.
  • Non Standard Game Over: Inverted in the battle against Rudy, as it's the only way to reach the Game Over screen. It's Played for Laughs more than anything, though, as you just return to the world map afterwards.
  • Notice This: Whenever you acquire a new ability or unlock an event that affects earlier levels, the game shows you which levels to revisit to get new treasures.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: Wario only agrees to find the music boxes and free the hidden figure when offered freedom and any treasure he finds along the way. Played twice over when the figure, Rudy, is freed, reveals his plan to take over both the music box world and the outer world, and tries to kill Wario. Wario defeats him in self-defence, not only saving both worlds, but also lifting Rudy's curse on the music box world's inhabitants, who give Wario the rewards Rudy originally promised him.
  • One-Hit Kill: There is exactly one example of this in the game: Rudy's hands.
  • 100% Completion: Collecting all 100 treasures and all 8 music coins in every level.
  • Palmtree Panic: N4 Bank of the Wild River, N5 The Tidal Coast, and N6 Sea Turtle Rock.
  • Plot Coupon: The vast majority of treasures are this.
  • Plot Coupon That Does Something: The treasures that give Wario new abilities.
  • Poor Communication Kills: With the exception of Mad Scienstein, all of the enemies in the game are cursed townsfolk trying to stop Wario from releasing Rudy. Wario doesn't know that the hidden figure is evil, whereas the townsfolk think he does; they could have saved themselves and Wario a lot of trouble by telling him who — and what — he was really working for. They end up giving him the same reward Rudy promised him in the beginning, anyway, so his greed wouldn't be an issue. Possibly justified in that it's unclear whether any of the townsfolk can speak while cursed, though the manual suggests they can.
  • Power Floats: Wolfenboss, complete with Midair Bobbing when he moves.
  • Power-Up Food: One of the treasures you get beefs up both Wario's Dash Attack and Rolling Attack. That treasure? None other than garlic!
  • Reaching Towards the Audience: In this case, to form a "W" with his hand.
  • Remixed Level: Every level. Certain treasures change a certain level’s landscape, granting access to treasures previously inaccessible.
  • Respawning Enemies: By re-entering a room. Necessary to prevent a level from becoming Unwinnable without restarting.
  • River of Insanity: N4 Bank Of The Wild River and S4 The Steep Canyon.
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: W1 Desert Ruins.
  • Save Both Worlds: What Wario ends up doing at the climax of the game.
    A hidden figure: Now I can rule this world and the outer one as well!!
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: To an extent. While a lot of the harder treasures are most likely to be encountered near the end, the game has rather bumpy difficulty near the middle. Most notably in terms of bosses: The first boss, Doll Boy, is much harder than most bosses, and the third boss, Wolfenboss, is harder than any other boss in the game — including the final boss.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: At the end of the game, you learn that the hidden figure is this, whose power was sealed within the five music boxes. Your goal in the game is to deliver them to him after he tricked you into thinking he was good.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Subverted; as stated above, the hidden figure is actually evil.
  • Second Hour Super Power: The Ground Pound, which is granted by the sixth treasure of the game, which in turn is protected by the first boss of the game, who resides in the fifth level you can visit in the game.
  • Secret Level: Arguably Above the Clouds, The Warped Void, and Forest of Fear, since it’s unlikely you’ll find these levels before beating the game.
  • Shifting Sand Land: W1 Desert Ruins.
  • Shout-Out: One of the treasures is a Pokémon Pikachu.
  • Sinister Sentient Sun: In the Vast Plains and the Colossal Hole lives the Taiyo, a small but mean sun enemy that flies around the sky during daytime, trying to set Wario on fire. It's name even means "Sun" in japanese.
  • Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness: Around level 4. Though the game starts out rather linear, treasure and level choices gradually widen as the game goes on.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: E2 The Frigid Sea.
  • Sound Stone: The music boxes.
  • Spring Jump: Bouncy Wario, which you become if you’re hit by a Hammer-bot or certain bosses.
  • Sting: When the hidden figure is revealed upon being freed.
  • Story Overwrite: The game saves after beating the final boss; but when you resume your save, Wario is back in the music box, despite leaving before. Rudy is also back in his seal, and you cannot fight him again until all the treasures are collected. Until then, he can only tell you the next treasure to collect.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Played with. Before you get the flippers, Wario cannot go below the surface, constantly paddling above the water. When you do get them, he can swim underwater fine.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: A lot of the enemies act pretty much just like Wario Land II enemies, but look different:
    • Yarimaru/Spearhead = Yarikuri/Pirate Goom
    • Brrr Bear = Yukimaru
    • Fire Robota = Flame Kitsune
    • Pneumo/Jellybob = Bee
    • Cookun/Doughnuteer = Cook
    • Omodonmeka = D-Bat
    • Haridama = Sawfish
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: A few bosses. But the most notable is Yellowbelly, who for some reason just so happens to drop the pump that fills him with air and causes him to blow up.
  • Theme-and-Variations Soundtrack: Many variations of "Out Of The Woods" are used throughout the game, including the title screen.
  • Treasure Map: Wario finds one at one point near the end. The treasure it leads to? His last upgrade, which allows him to carry heavy enemies!
  • Underground Level: E4 The Colossal Hole, N6 Sea Turtle Rock, W6 The West Crater, and E6 The East Crater. S5 Cave of Flames is this mixed with Lethal Lava Land.
  • Under the Sea: W5 Beneath the Waves.
  • Units Not to Scale: On the map screen, the Colossal Hole and the volcano crater appear to be several times larger than most other landmarks, such as the Big Bridge. When you go inside the levels, however, the opposite happens.
  • Unlockable Content: Includes...
    • Time Attack, after beating the game and collecting all 100 treasures.
    • A room with longer minigolf courses, unlocked after collecting all 7 crayon treasures.
    • An extra course in the aforementioned minigolf game after collecting all 8 music coins in all 25 levels.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Wario. Rudy was sealed away by the power of the music boxes, which had to be used together again to release him. Wario was told instead that these would bring him back to his world.
  • Weird Moon: Not only do the sun and moon have faces, they have cognizance and can spit fireballs or electric sparks at Wario.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Not even a potential, but a guarantee: The game's programmed so that all sprites literally explode when opening a chest. Well, to get to the red chest in E1 The Stagnant Swamp, you have to ride a turtle to get to the chest, and he's pretty much guaranteed to stay there when you open it, meaning you pretty much have to blow up the poor turtle who took the time to help you get there in the first place.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Rudy's first order of business when Wario frees him? Try to kill Wario, of course.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Wario needs to collect certain treasures in order to reclaim his abilities from Wario Land II. These include swimming, ground pounds, and picking up enemies.

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