A Super Mario Bros spinoff. Specifically, a spinoff of the handheld original Mario titles Super Mario Land and Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins. They largely supplanted the original handheld sidescrolling Mario series, which would not be revived until New Super Mario Bros, more than a decade later.The Wario Land series centers on Mario's Evil Counterpart, Wario, in the search for treasure. The games play somewhat similarly to the Mario Bros series, with a few notable exceptions. Wario is much stronger than the Mario Bros., so many of the games revolve around object manipulation and combat. Wario can pick up enemies and objects to attack and solve puzzles, and generally has butt-stomp and charge attacks to deal with enemies. While you can breeze through each level to reach the goal, usually every stage has a number of hidden treasures that must be found on alternate routes to reach 100% completion and the best ending. Instead of Mario, Wario's nemesis in these games is usually Captain Syrup, a Femme Fatale pirate captain and her army of goblin-like pirates.Like Mario, Wario usually has a variety of power-ups which give him alternate abilities. Unlike Mario, Wario usually has to be hit by an enemy to "power up" and they are usually used for solving puzzles rather than getting from A to B.The series thus far includes:
Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Two in Crescent Moon Village in Wario Land 4: one in Arabian Nights in said game and one in the Golden Passage in the same game.
Accidental Hero: Wario. Saving the world is just a fortunate side effect of his treasure-hunting.
Acrofatic: Wario in Super Smash Bros and the Wario Land games is a far faster and more agile character than you'd expect from someone so overweight, being able to swing extremely high from bars and vines, jump rather high in normal and some other forms, and when shot from a machine in The Shake Dimension, run fast enough to glide across water.
Although in Wario Land 2, 3, and 4, one enemy's Status Buff is to make you even fatter so you can break certain blocks by jumping on them.
Always Night: Crescent Moon Village, Uncanny Mansion, Hotel Horror, Arabian Night, Bad Manor, Boogie Mansion, Shake King's Shakedown Schooner. Generally averted in Wario Land 3, with its night/day mechanic, but the East side of the music box also fits this trope (until Wario collects the two sun fragments and allows the sun to rise on this side, at least).
The Amazon: A certain jungle level from Wario Land 4—Monsoon Jungle.
Batman Gambit: Syrup pulls off a nice one at the end of Shake It, having manipulated Wario to save the Shake Dimension and gather treasure...but the Shake Dimension had to give her the endless coin sack for consolation, and took Wario's treasure with it.
Beam Spam: The Shake King in the final form of the final battle in the Shake Dimension somehow has the ability to fire HUGE laser beams and lightning bolts pretty much everywhere. Which is somewhat unexpected, considering the character and what not.
Beat Them at Their Own Game: B Bunny in Wario Land 2 and 3. In 2, it's via an odd game of basketball. In three, it's a game of football/soccer.
Be The Ball: In both cases, you must bonk him on the head to turn him into a ball and throw/smash him into the goal.
Betting Mini-Game: In Wario Land 1 (Game Boy), at the end of each level, you have the option of playing a game in which you pick one of two buckets. One has a moneybag which doubles the coins you got in the level, and the other has a 10 ton weight which cuts your coins in half. You can pick up to three times. The Virtual Boy version also has this... with the option of going for 3x coins (one of two buckets are correct), 6x (one of three) or 10x (one of four) with your coins cut in half if you pick the wrong bucket (with a spider in it.)
The Cameo: Mario makes a surprise cameo in the ending of the first Wario Land, where he flies by in a helicopter and snatches away a giant statue of Princess Peach from Wario.
Cap: Wario Land 4's coin counter maxes out at 999990. Since all the coins and crystals in the game come multiples of ten, it's clear that the extra zero is only there to give Wario's adventure more worth.
Cartoon Bomb: Found a lot in Shake It. Found with wings in the first game, except these try to latch on to your head...
Catchphrase: "HURRY UP!" It was even made into an emblem on the back of his biker jacket in Brawl.
Characterization Marches On: Wario himself started out as nothing but a jealous Mario wannabe, who hypnotised Mario's allies and tried to take his place. Starting from Wario Land, he eventually received different character traits, most notably his greed and lack of manners. He also Took a Level in Badass, as he'd now use more direct fighting moves and develop a tougher attitude. Strangely enough, this happened as he became less of a villain and more of an Anti-Hero.
Chekhov's Exhibit: The Shake Dimension Globe. Lasts about four minutes in the museum in the intro cut scene.
Also the arena for Chortlebot Challenge in Wario Land: Shake It!
Clipped Wing Angel: The Golden Diva in Wario Land 4, so freakin' much. Her FINAL form is a quivering pair of lips that does nothing but crawl back and forth. You kill it with one blow. LAME.
Collision Damage: Zig-zagged in the first game. Wario can stun or kill most enemies just by bumping into them, without harming himself. However, most of these enemies either have spiky protection or carry sharp weapons, which do harm Wario if he touches them. The trick is to attack them from an unprotected side (usually from behind or below).
Combo Platter Powers: Wario. Some powers are just plain bizarre, and most are still pretty unusual with no linked theme.
Cool Boat: The SS Tea Cup. Also the Shakedown Schooner in Shake It, although it's only shown in a boss battle.
Cool Car: First shows up in the intro to Wario Land 4.
Cranium Ride: Interestingly done with platforms that only enemies can walk on in Wario Land II.
Also happens in one instance in 3 in order to get a musical coin.
Wario Blast: Featuring Bomberman!, which is really just the western release of a Bomberman game with Wario added to increase sales. This doesn't stop the fans from attributing the game more to Wario than Bomberman. Top billing has that kind of power.
Damage Discrimination: Oddly enough, in The Shake Dimension, it's positive towards Wario and rather cruel towards the enemies. Because you know, nothing instantly kills Wario, but nearly anything that hurts him, such as obstacles or boss attacks, will completely vapourise any enemy that's in the way. As will water for some reason.
Early Installment Weirdness: The original game and VB Wario Land are more linear and contain more elements of its parent series (lives, shrinking down when hit, powerups from blocks, etc.) Starting with Wario Land II, the series dropped those elements and became more based on exploration. (And Wario wasn't killable again until Wario Land 4.) (Well, except for one attack from 3's Final Boss.)
Everything's Better with Penguins: The boss of Sherbet Land in the original is a spiked hat and boxing gloves wearing penguin. There are also basic enemies called Pengoons in the Shake Dimension, and the Penkoons from the original were half penguin, half raccoon hybrids.
For those who haven't played the game: The second form of the boss fires eggs at you, which will either explode if you catch them and hold them for too long, or hatch into ducklings, which will chase you and explode.
It's also a giant flying cuckoo clock. Which fires lighting and buzzsaws at you.
In the first game, Wario himself plays like an evil counterpart to Mario.
Evil Tower of Ominousness: Syrup Castle in Wario Land 1 and 2 is a HUGE skull shaped castle on a nearly-as-high mountain. So big a place, in fact, it's got a whole FIVE levels set inside it in the second game, and one of those is just finding the entrance.
Excuse Plot: The story in every game in the series can be summed up as Wario trying to get as much money and treasure as possible while defeating any enemy creature that happens to get in the way.
Expy: Bloomsday (Scumflower in PAL territories) to Roger the Potted Ghost. Both are bosses rooted in pots which must be pushed off of their arena platform into the bottomless pit behind it (or in Bloomsday's case, the pool of water surrounding the arena).
Foregone Victory: Wario Land II and 3 had the unique feature of Wario never dying, but simply being pushed away (off a high-up platform, away from a boss...). This did have one exception; being crushed by the Final Boss in Wario Land 3would kill you, complete with Game Over screen.
Frictionless Ice: In Wario Land The Shake Dimension, ice blocks when punched on ice don't stop, but interestingly, many of the puzzles require you to stand in front of them and jump on them while they're moving to reach higher platforms.
Frothy Mugs of Water: In Wario Land II, birds throw beer bottles; in the U.S. version, this was changed to "crazy balls". Wario Land 3 averts the trouble in both versions by changing it to a spun-around "Dizzy Wario".
Giant Mook: the Giant Gooms littered throughout Wario Land 2's later and hidden levels.
Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The genie that shows up as the final boss in the first Wario Land. Granted, the genie is being controlled by the actual Big Bad, Captain Syrup, but there's no reference to it in the game or manual before that point, so its appearance is a bit of a surprise.
Gimmick Level: Many, doing the same thing twice in a row is rare, but Launchpad Labyrinth is pretty much THE example in Shake Dimension.
The Goomba: The Wanderin' Gooms. There's also varieties, like the Para-Gooms, Pirate Gooms (also known as Spear Men), and Spearheads.
Ground Pound: A standard move in many of the games in the series, with Wario Land 4 and Shake Dimension also having a powered up version if you use the move from a higher enough place.
Hailfire Peaks: One level in Wario Land 4 acts like this: after the level timer is hit, Fiery Cavern freezes over, complete with the gorillas turning into yetis and the lava freezing over to provide a different route.
Harder Than Hard: Wario Land 4's Super Hard mode, which starts off Wario with one hit-point, adds large amounts of enemies, hides most of the needed treasures, and gives a lot less time for the level escapes and bosses.
To let you know how hard it is, you are given fifteen seconds to beat the first boss.
Here There Be Dragons: The Shake Dimension's map. For bonus points, it's an olde worlde map showing a train, circus, a Las Vegas type city, and the Shake King's pirate ship as hand drawn images.
Here We Go Again: After the All Just a Dream ending of Wario Land II, the end credits, rather than showing Wario returning from his journey, instead show the pirates invading Wario's castle just as in the opening, indicating that the adventure is now going to happen for real.
Hub Level: Wario Land 4 has the Golden Pyramid, and Wario Land: The Shake Dimension has his erm... Garage.
Human Snowball: Snowman Wario after stepping on a slope. Yep, he doesn't even need to be skiing or going fast to become an out-of-control giant snowball, just standing on any slightly sloped ground will do until he hits a wall.
Indy Escape: Common in Wario Land 1 and The Shake Dimension.
Interface Screw: The aforementioned Drunk/Crazy Wario and Dizzy Wario meander back and forth and are difficult to stop.
Iron Buttmonkey: Wario. In fact, it's even used as a game mechanic; you have to do some pretty crazy things to your character to get past some obstacles in the second and third games.
Its The Journey That Counts: Every bit of subtext in the games imply this; as the page quote illustrates, the background and scenery are very mellow backdrops for Wario's adventures, and his endless quest for money is often either fruitless or a Pyrrhic Victory. Wario, however, is far too tenacious to ever take the implied lesson to heart.
Jungle Japes: Monsoon Jungle and Mystic Lake in Wario Land 4, the entire area of Jiggle Jungle in Wario Land Shake Dimension.
Jump Scare: A few of the bosses in Wario Land 3, 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 More specifically, this is the level's boss, named "Muddee." 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.)
Just Ignore It: One of the plot branches in Wario Land 2 is reached only when you do absolutely nothing at the beginning of the first level.
Large and in Charge: Averted by Captain Syrup in the first games, pretty much defined by Rudy the Clown and the Shake King in the later games, and used to a degree by the Golden Diva and Black Jewel in some of the other games.
Last Lousy Point: The hardest level to get a gold crown on in the 4th game is the tutorial level, as there are only just enough points to earn it.
Lethal Lava Land: Stove Canyon in Wario Land 1 and Fiery Cavern, the third level of the Sapphire Passage in 4.
Level Goal: A skull-marked door in the original and a door with flashing star symbols above it in Wario Land 2.
Load-Bearing Boss: The Golden Diva from Wario Land 4; when destroyed, the pyramid collapses.
Don't forget Rollanratl, probably the literal embodiment of this trope taken to the extreme (he fights while holding up the roof, and you can guess what happens when he loses).
Losing Your Head: The Recapitator enemies in Shake It THROW their heads like a boomerang as an attack and the robots that throw their heads along the floor in Wario Land 4.
Luck-Based Mission: Found in Glittertown and Neon City in Shake Dimension, which require you to keep winning at a certain slot machine to meet the required coin amount for 100% completion.
Made of Iron: One of the awesome things about most of the Wario Land games is that to solve many of the puzzles and levels, Wario has to get some sort of condition, like being lit on fire or stung by an insect which puffs him up. It's meant to be an opposite to Mario being able to smash every enemy he comes past.
Malevolent Mugshot: The Shake King's symbol from Wario Land Shake Dimension is nearly everywhere, including the flag, the boat front, and the intruder alarm in each level.
Man-Eating Plant: Cractus from Wario Land 4 and Bloomsday/Scumflower from Wario Land Shake It!! And a few plants in the levels of the latter game.
Man on Fire: Required to solve puzzles throughout Wario Land 2, 3, 4, and Shake It!
Market-Based Title: The Wii installment was called Wario Land Shake in Japan; it was titled Wario Land: The Shake Dimension in the PAL version and Wario Land Shake It! in North America.
Meaningful Name: Practically all the character, enemy and boss names, but the most glaringly obvious has to be Catbat from Wario Land 4... which is pretty much a cat/bat hybrid. Or the Wario Land Shake It! level called Mount Bighill.
Wario's name is meaningful as well, a portmanteau of the Japanese word warui, meaning "bad", and Mario. The most approximate translation would be "Bad-io." (English gamers who aren't familiar with "warui" are more likely to think that Wario's name indicates a war-like nature.)
Or they may mistake it for the fact that 'W' is an upside-down 'M'.
Metroidvania: Wario Land 3 has elements of this, with the treasures in each stage opening up new abilities for Wario, new stages, or removing obstacles in previous stages.
Minecart Madness: One of the levels in Stove Canyon of Wario Land 1. A level in Parsley Woods is very similar.
Mirror Boss: The Shake King in his first battle stage is essentially a bigger version of Wario, using many of the same techniques.
Beefne and Red-Brief J are also this to a lesser extent, using only Wario's Grabbing/throwing and Charging moves respectively.
Monster Clown: Rudy the Clown from Wario Land 3 is a literal Monster Clown. Chortlebot from Wario Land Shake It! is a monster robot clown.
Mook Lieutenant: The 2nd game has a fair amount of these. First there's the Terrible Trio of Pirate Gooms who steal Wario's money and are repeatly seen following Captain Syrup.
Then there's the 4 Elite Dangerous Ducks that you kill at Syrup Castle. They arn't any more difficult to defeat then the regular Dangerous Ducks, but you do need to kill them in order to beat the level their in.
Multiple Endings: What new home the genie creates for Wario at the end of the original game is determined by your amount of coins and treasures collected.Wario Land II has several, but most aren't any better than each other. You also get some bonus images for collecting all the treasures in Wario Land 3. How many of the treasures you earned for quickly beating the bosses at the end of Wario Land 4 determines what form Princess Shokora takes, and what bonus images are received at the end of the credits and what vehicle Wario is driving during them is determined by the difficulty level of the file.
Mythology Gag: Wario sometimes uses an Ultra Hand as a special attack (in Shake It!, Master of Disguise, and Mario Tennis) because Nintendo engineer Gunpei Yokoi invented the device.
Nice Hat: The hats in Wario Land 1. Got to love the complete insanity of the Dragon and Jet Caps though, complete with fire breathing mechanical dragon and a jet engine shaped like a duck.
Nigh Invulnerability: Wario is pretty much made of diamond in every aspect, amplified by Wario Land II or 3 which made him COMPLETELY invincible to damage or being killed. Most damage also won't do more than one heart of damage to him in the games with a health bar, instant kill obstacles are completely nonexistent after the first game, and hey, anything that transforms him, like being set on fire, frozen solid, squashed flat, or the like, is completely harmless to him. Actually, it IS possible to die in Wario Land 3, but you simply have to be caught by the hands of Rudy the Clown. But that just takes you back to the world map. It could freak you out to think it's a real game over, especially after it saves after the scene.
Hell, even in Wario Land 1, the only things that can actually hurt Wario are the sharp parts of the enemy (IE: If he bumps into a spear-wielding Goom from behind, he will stun it as opposed to taking damage), and fire/plamsa based substances. In fact, 90% of all things that actually CAN hurt you in this series fall into either category. For a character in the Mario Universe, that's still very resilient.
Nintendo Hard: Gurgle Gulch and Launchpad Labyrinth in Shake Dimension, among others.
No Name Given: Rudy the Clown's name is never mentioned in Wario Land 3. We don't learn his name until Dr. Mario 64.
Orcus on His Throne: Captain Syrup in Wario Land 1, although averted in 2, as well as the Shake King in Wario Land: Shake It! They basically do a whole lot of evil stuff (sometimes off camera/in cut scenes), send hordes of minions after Wario, and personally just sit around in the darkness waiting for Wario to walk through the door for the final boss battle.
Power-Up Food: Garlic gives Wario different effects depending on the game. Most of the time, it restores health. However, garlic in the first game restores him to normal after being shrunk from a hit, if he's already big then it gives him a Bull Cap. In Wario Land 3, it's a one-off treasure that permanently powers up his bashing attack. In others, eating too much turns Wario into "Fat Wario," who can defeat any enemy by touching it and break through hard blocks.
Shell Game: The Virtual Boy Wario Land had one where Wario could gamble what coins he's collected. He had to choose the right container to get more coins out of two, three or four—the more containers he had to choose from, the higher the payout if the right one was chosen.
Slasher Smile: Cractus and Spoiled Rotten, both from Wario Land 4.
Sliding Scale Of Realistic Versus Fantastic: Between Fantastic and Surreal, usually borderline. Of course, it depends on the level and game. Some early games are fairly standard fantasy, and then you've got The Big Board, the Very Definitely Final Chapter, Doodle Woods and Fiery Cavern. You've got the fairly usual scale in enemies too, pirates and man eating plants? Fantastic or Unusual. Cuckoo Condor, Aerodent, Large Fry and Killer Dolphins? Definitely Surreal. That's without counting Wario's Woods or Wario Blast...
Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness: It doesn't just fall on the silly end, it pretty much defines it. Don't honestly expect ANYTHING to be treated dramatically, and expect some really, really weird characters and places.
Stalked by the Bell: In Wario Land 4 and Shake It!, finishing a level required hitting a switch then running back to the level's start. 4 had a timer to get back, and if it ran out, your coins would be rapidly leeched away; if those ran out, the level ended in failure. Shake It! just gave you bonuses based on how quickly you got through the level.
Story to Gameplay Ratio: Very low in most of the games. Heck, in the latest game, you don't have to see the intro or ending more than once, and after the first time it's just an optional extra to be viewed in a media room.
Sub Boss: The Knight mini-boss from Syrup Castle in the original game.
Temple of Doom: Wario Land 4 has the Golden Pyramid, although only the Entry and Golden Passages are actual levels set there.
Theme Naming: The maps in the first game all have names related to food; Rice Beach, Mount Teapot, Stove Canyon, S.S. Tea Cup, Parsley Woods, Syrup Castle. The Shake Dimension's continents are named after synonyms for "shake" (e.g., "jiggle", "quiver", "rock", "wiggle", and "rattle").
Tremor Trampoline: Happens every time the screen shakes. Even Wario himself is capable of doing this to most of his enemies by Ground Pounding. However, in 3, he can't do this after first obtaining the ability to Ground Pound; he has to collect a certain power-up later on before being able to bounce his enemies like in 1 and 2.
A Twinkle in the Sky: Exactly what happens to the second boss, Hot Roderick in Shake It. Courtesy of a boxing glove to the face from Wario's unicycle.
Underground Level: Some of Rice Beach in the original game, some of Stove Canyon, some of Sherbet Land.
There's also Fiery Cavern in Wario Land 4, various in Wario Land 3, pretty much the entire game of Virtual Boy Wario Land and the aptly named Lowdown Depths in Wario Land: Shake It.
Also a few levels in the original (Sherbet Land for an ice-themed variant, and SS Tea Cup levels as a mix of this and Gangplank Galleon), and Wario Land 4 had Mystic Lake, which despite not being the sea, had the kind of wildlife more likely found in a Pacific Ocean coral reef.
Unwitting Pawn: Wario in 3. 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.
Subverted in Wario Land II, in which there is a "Really Final Chapter" after the skull-shaped castle.
Updated Rerelease: When Wario Land II was originally released, it was on the black-and-white Game Boy. This version only came out in the US and Europe; a Game Boy Color-capable version was released in Japan, and this version was released to the rest of the world as well.
Video Game Cruelty Potential: One of the possible missions in the levels of Shake It! is to clear the stage without killing any enemies. While directly killing them counts as a fail, the game has no problem with, say, knocking them out and leaving them on top of carnivorous plants.
Better than that, in the first game you can throw any of the smaller Mooks underneath a "Pouncer" or into a lightning bolt, and you'll get 10x the coins for your trouble.
Villain Protagonist: In the original game, as his motivation was to steal Mario's statue of Princess Peach back from Captain Syrup so he could hold it for ransom. The later games make him more of an Anti-Hero.
Spoiled Rotten becomes a Wake Up Call Boss if you're playing on the hidden S-Hard mode; the alotted time is cut to a mere 15 seconds. It's possible to win without items, but it may take a few tries.
Wasted Song: The Golden Passage theme in Wario Land 4 can be heard for a couple of milliseconds before pressing the time bomb right below the beginning and starting the Hurry Up theme. It's a shame because the song is quite creepy, mood-inducing and short, so it would have been perfect for a small corridor between the entrance and the time bomb.
Weird Moon: Crescent MOON Village from Wario Land 4 anyone? Stuck in a state of perpetual crescent phase, and way larger than it should be in the sky.
What Could Have Been: When Good-Feel was first approached about developing what would become Shake It!, their original idea for Wario was a Western-style shooter, until Nintendo told them to stick to platforming.