The third game in the Wario Land
series, 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 the Mysterious 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 Mysterious 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 kill, 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:
- Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: Averted. The sewer underneath the town in N2 The Peaceful Village is just one room.
- Accidental Hero: Wario just wanted to leave the music box; he wasn’t planning to defeat Rudy once and for all until Rudy attacked him.
- Always Night: The East side, at least until you collect the two sun fragments.
- Art Shift: The cutscenes, which are in much greater detail.
- Background Boss: Rudy the Clown.
- 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.
- Baleful Polymorph: The entire population of the Music Box world was turned into the monsters Wario beats up throughout the game by Rudy the Clown.
- Balloon Belly/Pop Goes the Human: Helio. He has an air pump inside him, and you defeat him by making him cough it up and pumping it until he pops.
- Beat Them at Their Own Game: You must beat B Bunny at soccer/football.
- Big Bad: Turns out to be The Mysterious Figure himself — who is really Rudy the Clown — when you deliver the five music boxes to him.
- Big Boo's Haunt: E3 Castle of Illusions and N2 The Peaceful Village.
- 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
- Cap: Odd 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...
- Cranium Ride: Used 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 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.
- Expy: A lot of the enemies act pretty much just like Wario Land II enemies, but look different:
- Spearhead = Pirate Goom
- Brrr Bear = Yukimaru
- Fire Robota = Flame
- Pneumo = Bee
- Doughnuteer = Cook
- Grab-bot = D-Bat
- Haridama = Sawfish
- Everything's Worse With Bears: Brr Bears, who repeatedly push you back with their icy breath, are some of the most annoying enemies in the game.
- Giant Hands of Doom / Raymanian Limbs: Rudy the Clown.
- Goomba Springboard: Possible once you get the winged boot.
- 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 Grassland: 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.
- 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 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 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.)
- Lethal Lava Land: S5 Cave of Flames. W6 The West Crater and E6 The East Crater could arguable count as well.
- Lost Woods: N1 Out of the Woods and E7 Forest of Fear.
- 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 notable E7 Forest of Fear, which is full of spikes.
- Market-Based Title: In Japan this game had the subtitle, “The 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 falls for this when he delivers the music boxes to the Mysterious 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 Clown, the final boss.
- 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 the Clown’s hands.)
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Your goal of delivering the five music boxes to The Mysterious 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 only named in Dr. Mario 64.
- One-Hit Kill: There is exactly one example of this in the game: Rudy the Clown'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.
- Recurring Riff: "Out Of The Woods". It's used in the first level, and many variations of it are used throughout the rest of the game.
- 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.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: At the end of the game you learn that The Mysterious 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.
- 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.
- 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 / Build Like an Egyptian / Ruins for Ruins' Sake: W1 Desert Ruins.
- Shout Out: One of the treasures is a Pokémon Pikachu.
- 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.
- 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.
- Tactical Suicide Boss: A few bosses. But the most notable is Yellow Belly who for some reason just so happens to drop the pump that fills him with air and causes him to blow up.
- The Amazon: W3 The Pool of Rain
- 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.
- 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.
- Unlockable Content: Includes...
- Time Trial / Post-End Game Content: 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 the Clown 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 Sun / The Face of the Sun: Not only does it have a face, it has cognizance and can spit fireballs 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 Researched Breathing: Apparently, Wario needs to collect certain treasures in order to swim, ground pound, or pick up enemies.