These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Designated Villain: Most of the Portrait Ghosts are found simply minding their own business and don't bother Luigi at all; a few of them even make it clear that they simply want to be left alone. They're not hostile and don't actually attack Luigi until they're attacked themselves, yet the game treats them as though they're villains. That said, there are also a few who are more malicious and will try to kill him with little, if any, provocation.
Ensemble Darkhorse: Ask an old fan who their favorite Portrait Ghost was and there's a good chance it'll have been Area-spanning ally Madame Clairvoya or pretty young Gamer Chick pianist Melody Pianissima.
Goddamned Bats: The ghosts that appear in the hallways. They're annoying, often pop out of nowhere, yet technically have zero health points (normally you have to battle ghosts to defeat them, but a ghost with 0hp will die the moment you attack).
Jerkass Woobie: Chauncey, the first boss who is fought after you defeat his mother and father. That's right, a baby is trying to avenge his fallen parents, which kind of makes you rethink the entirety of the first boss fight and makes it much Harsher in Hindsight as well.
Paranoia Fuel: Some doors in the mansion are fake and will slam you into the wall while a ghost laughs at your pain. Some of the doors are more obvious, like a trail of coins leading to them. Others give no sign that they are a trap, and can startle the hell out of you if not expecting it. Luckily, you can spot them by either vacuuming the doornote If it shakes, then it's real. or using the Game Boy Horror note The fake doors don't appear on the map., then destroy them with fire. Also, false doors lack doormats.
One could argue that the sequel is an even better one.
Scrappy Mechanic: Poison Mushrooms are generally more annoying than challenging as they just shrink you and forbid you from using your vacuum.
Catching Boos can be a huge pain in the later levels when their HP is very high. If you don't stop them quick enough, they may run to another room by phasing through a wall. Sometimes, this can mean that you'll have to traverse a long way just to get to that room or even worse, the room isn't unlocked yet, so you'll have to make a mental note to catch the Boo later. Going on a constant wild goose chase for one ghost isn't fun.
Tear Jerker: The portrait ghosts are living shadows of their former lives, limiting themselves to one basic activity rather than letting go and resting in peace. Also Chauncey and Sue Pea are both aversions of Infant Immortality who die before being born and while sleeping respectively.
Boolossus. The Boos that compose it start off fairly easy to catch. You have to freeze all fifteen Boos and capture them to win. Once you hit a certain number (usually around 7 or 6), they begin to avoid your ice blasts and will make more of an effort to harm you. Those alone are difficult to catch, but when you're one on one with the very last Boo, it will continue dashing at you and dodging your ice until you hit it. And you have to survive the fight without taking too much damage, whereas in most Portrait Ghost fights, it's determined on how long you hold them in your vacuum suction (in boss fights, the picture frame is determined by how much health you lost during the fight). This one Boo will outlast your health and quickly deny you that gold frame (if you have not lost enough health already earlier in the fight), unless you somehow manage to hit it during its dash attack.
It should be noted that Boolossus was so difficult that the fight was given a reimagining in the sequel and made easier in normal gameplay.
The final boss, King Boo. For starters, his Bowser Suit has quite a few more attacks than most of the other bosses in the game. He can toss explosive spiked balls at you, suck you into his mouth, breathe fire, and trample you. When you blow the suit's head off, his head can fire paralyzing ice balls as you are trying to pull King Boo in for the kill, which can screw you over if you are going for the gold frame here. When King Boo's health is lower than about 200, he will put his Bowser head on backwards, which results in him running all over the place sporadically. King Boo himself has only one attack if you let him fly about, which is trying to ram you, as is typical of Boos by this point. Plus, there are pillars that are littered around the arena which can be either a help or hinderance to your folly. But when you beat him once, you can beat him any time after that provided you keep on your toes and avoid the attacks effectively.
Vincent Van Gore. He can make trios of ghosts, which can either corner you or knock you out of a capture attempt. To make this even worse, some of these ghosts are either Goddamned Bats or Demonic Spiders (the grabbing ghosts and the blue ground pounding ones come to mind), which, if you're not careful, can easily drain your health. Thankfully, Vincent Van Gore himself is utterly pathetic (he doesn't even attack you), but it boils down to the fact that this is a fight you'll either quickly win or quickly lose.
Bogmire and Chauncey aren't quite walks in the park either, especially if you're trying to get the highest rating on them. Chauncey can summon a lot of attacks after you. The balls he summons are the worst, since their paths can be a bit unpredictable. The horses aren't better, but you can goad them by running towards them and past them as they fly by, missing you completely. Also, when Chauncey flops about on the bed, steer clear or else kiss a huge chunk of your health goodbye. Bogmire is probably irritating for all of those shadow clones it sends after you.
Sir Weston, when you're going for a Rank A. His icy room makes it impossible to get a good traction on the floor, so getting a large pearl to drop is mostly by luck. Oh, and you have the icicles falling from the ceiling constantly, so having one drop on you just as you're about to finish him with a perfect run can ruin your day.
The Clockwork Soldiers. Most Portrait Ghosts are a one-on-one basis. Imagine having to battle three ghosts of that level at the same time. All of them have the full health expected of a portrait ghost or boss ghost, totaling in at three-hundred health points (for reference, a handful of Boos match this figure and only King Boo has the most at five-hundred), and can knock you around with their popguns, which have a slight delay as to try and throw you off but still fire pretty quickly. Even worse, they're not particularly easy to catch. Being true to their name, they have clockwork keys on their back that you have to unwind by applying as much vacuum torque as you can to tear them off before you can start getting the ghost itself, which means, unless you're moving around and mindful, you will get bonked by their popguns...did we mention it takes a few precious moments to get the damn things off in the first place? Couple all of that with the fact that you have two equally powerful ghosts to avoid as you're being dragged around and all of the tables and crap around the room you fight them in, and you've got a trio of ghosts that have given many a player headaches. To add insult to injury? Only one of the ghosts actually drop the pearls (the blue soldier). Meaning without pre-requisite knowledge that it drops the pearls that you're gonna end up missing the gold frame the first time or so with the other two ghosts pestering you. That said, it does get easier to collect the pearls if you take out the other two ghosts first, but it's still Mister Luggs and Biff levels of annoyance to do with all the obstacles around you.
Lydia: A little less of an example than the other entries, but considering she's the second Portrait Ghost you capture, she can be somewhat of a handful. By that, we mean that every time she breaks out of your capture attempt, you gotta go through the whole process of drawing back the curtains again and try to draw her in again. The fact that she is a bit more resilient compared to her husband Neville doesn't seem to help matters either.
What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: The game shouldn't have an E-rating; its Fridge Horror is really grotesque and all the events are downright horrifying with it's creepy music and ghosts. The game has a whole new level in dark compared to earlier Mario games. And guess how you defeat robot Bowser, controlled by King Boo? You shoot off his head, and try to suck up Boo's soul into your vacuum cleaner.
Also Sue Pea, who was a little girl that died in her sleep.
Shivers, who is hopelessly in love with a woman (Melody) who will never return his feelings.
The two unique waiter ghosts who serve Mr. Luggs don't appear to do so willingly, or only do it out of fear. When his food supply gets low, they rush in a frenzied panic to refill his plate. If you manage to vacuum up all of the food without vacuuming up the waiters, they will flee in terror as he flies into a blind rage. They're also completely harmless and will never attack you, even if you attack them. It's kind of hard not to feel bad for them.