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"Ready for adventure!"
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Taking the Captain Toad levels from Super Mario 3D World to their logical extreme, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a Puzzle Platformer spinoff of the Super Mario Bros. seriesnote  that puts you in the shoes of the Captain of the Toad Brigade, making this the first game where (a) Toad was the primary player character since Wario's Woods. While out adventuring with Toadette, the pair come across a power star, but just as they are about to claim it, a giant bird snatches it, along with Toadette, and flies off. It's now up to the Captain to get Toadette back, while collecting treasure through various levels.

Sounds easy, right? Well, there's the tiny fact that some of the levels can get rather complicated. You see, unlike Mario, Captain Toad can't jump (his backpack weighs him down). There's also the fact that the usual mooks from the Mario franchise aren't just going to let you make off with their coins, gems, and stars. As such, players will have to use their wits to navigate Captain Toad through breezy plains, haunted mansions, enemy filled trains, and dragon infested volcanoes and stranger locales in his quest for treasure, while making sure to grab as many valuable gems along the way.

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The game has amiibo functionality, whereby scanning a Toad amiibo will unlock a hide and seek mode where the player has to track down 8-bit Toad sprites. Other figures can be scanned to get 1-up mushrooms.

Originally released for Wii U, the game has been ported to the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch in 2018, both ports having replacing the Mario 3D World levels with content based on the kingdoms of Super Mario Odyssey. DLC for the Switch version was released in March 2019 with more levels, and a free update implementing full two-character co-op play was released on February 13th.


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This game contains the following tropes:

  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • The game centers around Captain Toad, a recurring NPC in Mario games on Wii and beyond. Not since Wario's Woods (1994) did the Toad character manage to get a game for himself.
    • Toadette gets this treatment as well, while she was mostly an unlockable character in the majority of her appearances in Mario spinoff games. This is the first game where she is a main character and gets focus alongside Captain Toad.
  • Action Survivor: The titular Toad himself. Without the occasional (and rather rare) power-up, Captain Toad is almost completely defenseless against enemies that normally wouldn't pose any problem for the likes of the Mario Bros., Peach, or even Mii characters. Even a basic Goomba is a serious threat to him.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Though Captain Toad is still quite a ways behind the usual Mushroom Kingdom heroes, compared to his debut in Super Mario Galaxy where he was regarded by his crew as a General Failure, in here he manages to sneak way past and occasionally take out many hordes of enemies while making off with their loot, as well as (if somewhat unintentionally) taking out a giant lava dragon without even being able to perform the most basic Mario action of jumping.
    • Similarly, Toadette has mostly appeared in spin-off titles or in an NPC role. Here she's able to do all the things that Captain Toad can do, and she's only a Damsel in Distress because she wouldn't let go of the Power Star after it was stolen by a giant crow. Even then, this is only temporary.
  • Alliterative Title: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
  • Ambiguous Gender: Wingo is pretty androgynous, and has been referred to as both male and female by different Nintendo sources. Neither the manual nor the game itself elaborates on Wingo's gender. A Miiverse post by Shinya Hiratake, the game's director, finally clarified the matter: Wingo is male. And that isn't even the only official source that confirms Wingo to be male.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Among being able to do the coins galore stages anytime you want, completing Mummy-Me Maze Forever, the very last level of the game, nets Captain Toad and Toadette a golden crown for which they wear for the rest of the game.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The three Super Gems in each level only need to be collected once and won't have to be re-collected if you die. If you exit the level without completing it, though, you will of course have to collect them again.
    • Due to the somewhat iffy following AI and the larger target the line of Toads provides during the Toad Brigade levels, you can drop the Toads off at the Multi-Vator one by one to play it safe, and they'll wait there until the whole group is able to activate it. If you're going for the challenge times, however, you can't rely on this.
  • "Arabian Nights" Days: Probably due to other elements of Super Mario Bros. 2 (primarily the turnip-plucking and Shy Guys) returning, there is also a recurring Arabian theme in some levels and even with Wingo. This is, of course, because SMB2 was based on Doki Doki Panic, and retained some of its Arabian theming.
  • Ascended Extra: While Toadette was seen in Mario spin-off games such as Mario Kart and Mario Party, this is the first non-Mario game where Toadette along with Captain Toad are the main characters as well as being playable.
  • Badass Adorable: Captain Toad can defeat a dragon without jumping. We also have Toadette.
  • Balloon Belly: When you defeat Wingo, the final turnip you throw at him will be caught in his mouth. Wingo is then forced to swallow it whole and he becomes too bloated to fly.
  • Battle in the Rain: The second part of the final level in the main story, Wingo's Whackdown, takes place during a rainstorm.
  • Big Bad: Wingo.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: These types of levels appear in the game, complete with Big Boos. Boos are actually one of the few enemies that Captain Toad can easily defeat (by using his headlamp), but it takes a few seconds, which presents its own hazard.
  • Book-Ends: An almost literal variation. The prologue in the first episode contains clear blue skies, as does the battle with Wingo at the end of that book. The beginning of episode two contains pink skies, and so does the final battle with Wingo in episode three.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Captain Toad and Toadette and say the same phrase ("multiply!") as Toad in 3D World when they grab a Double Cherry. When they appear, Mummy-Mes say "mummify!" instead.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: Mummy-Me Maze Forever, the final level unlocked. You have to navigate 50 floors of randomly-generated enemy-populated mazes while hounded by Mummy-Mes that follow your every move. Good luck!
  • Checkpoint Starvation: Applies to the game as a whole. There are no checkpoints anywhere except in the two levels where face Wingo, Battle Tower Blitz, and the port-exclusive Downtown, Uptown. Given that the majority of the levels are small or short and have one distinct area each, this is pretty understandable.
  • Continuity Nod: In Conkdor Canyon, Shadow Play Alley, and Clear Pipe Cruise, you find the green Star at the same place you find Captain Toad in Super Mario 3D World. In Shadow Play Alley, Captain Toad is still afraid of Bowser's shadow.
  • Controllable Helplessness: The Toads can't jump with their heavy backpacks, but you can press the button to try anyway.
  • Cosmetic Award: Beating Mummy-Me Maze Forever gives Toad a nifty Mushroom crown to wear.
  • Damsel in Distress: In Episode 1, Toadette gets herself captured by Wingo while being overly zealous in her pursuit of Power Stars, and it's up to Captain Toad to get her back. She becomes playable in Episode 2 after being rescued, and this time, the roles are reversed: Wingo captures the captain, and now Toadette has to save him.
  • Damsel out of Distress: In Episode 3, Toadette is only captured for a very short time, becoming playable halfway through.
  • Dark Reprise: Wingo's final battle theme contains an evil-sounding version of Captain Toad's theme. It's heard about 57 seconds in.
  • Degraded Boss: Cookatiel, one of the main bosses in Super Mario Odyssey, is reduced to a stage hazard in the Switch/3DS port of this game. At least they brought back her Battle Theme Music.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Toadette is a fellow explorer and playable character, seeming to function the same as the good captain. In gameplay, she plays absolutely identically as well, due to the story frequently rotating between the two.
  • Distressed Dude: The second book has Toadette trying to save Toad from Wingo, in a reverse of the first book.
  • Downer Ending: Episode 2. After Toadette spends a whole book chasing after Captain Toad and finally reaches him after defeating towers of enemies, she is deliberately snatched up by Wingo and the two Toads are separated again.
  • Dub Induced Plothole: The Piranha Sprouts that appear in this game are completely different enemies than the ones that appear within Yoshi's Story. The former were waddling Piranha Plant heads, while the Sprouts in this game are more like moles, burrowing in and out of their spots in the ground and spitting seeds at the Toads. This is more obvious when it comes to their Japanese names due to the ones from this game, instead, being called "Pukkun" and the ones from Yoshi's Story, being called "Chuchu Pakkun".
  • Easter Egg: Just like in Super Mario 3D World, an 8-bit Luigi is hidden in each level.
  • Edible Bludgeon: The turnips from Super Mario Bros. 2 (U.S.) make a reappearance as one of the very few means for Captain Toad to attack enemies.
  • The End... Or Is It?: At the end of Episode 1, after a credits sequence, the "The End" title appears, but then it suddenly shakes and finally tilts sideways after what can only be heard as Wingo's vengeful squawking.
  • Escort Mission: The chapter "Toad Brigade, Move Out!" in the bonus book: you have to find the other three members of the Brigade and lead them to the Star. If one of them is hit once by an enemy, you lose a life.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: Or at least as close as you can get. Mud Troopers are shambling mud creatures that rise from the ground and slowly walk toward you, arms outstretched and moaning.
  • Excited Episode Title!: Note the exclamation mark, in the Japanese title of "Susume! Captain Kinopio", translated, it'd be "Onward! Captain Toad"
  • Excuse Plot: Wingo kidnaps one of the Toads, and the other needs to rescue them.
  • Fake Difficulty:
    • The Mummy-Me Maze bonus levels and, by extension, Mummy-Me Maze Forever level, which spans 50 floors, all have randomly generated layouts for each floor. While the Warp Box is in the same place each time and every layout is logical, the challenge doesn't get any easier on further attempts because the layout may be stacked against you or rather easy at the discretion of the RNG.
    • The gyroscope camera. It can't be disabled and causes the camera to shift upon moving the gamepad. Most of the time, it's not a big deal, since the gamepad can usually either be held still or the player is doing something that requires the touch screen or microphone that can be done at their own pace. In Magma Road Marathon, however, the Dash Panels from Super Mario 3D World cover the stage and, in this game, you can't jump. This wouldn't be a problem if not for the fact that this stage also requires using the microphone to move the panels for 100% Completion, which means moving the gamepad, thus triggering the gyroscope, or blowing into the microphone, distracting your focus for a second, which leads to a sudden change in control and very easily death. The Switch version has automatic moving platforms, and making sure you run across at the right moment is its own challenge.
    • The camera in Mummy-Me at Pyropuff Peaks. Normally, the angles that the player is locked to in the Draggadon stages doesn't greatly impact their ability to safely navigate the volcano, as they can sit still and observe the stage and boss without any distractions. In this version of the first Draggadon stage, however, a Mummy-Me, which functions exactly like a Cosmic Clone from the Mario games (for those unaware, they mimic the characters' every movement with a delay and harm them upon contact), is constantly on your tail and the camera angle makes it unnecessarily difficult to simultaneously avoid both obstacles and the Mummy-Me while also collecting coins for the bonus objective (which, in this case, requires that you collect every single one to meet the goal).
    • The longer levels with automatic checkpoints have coin-collecting bonus objectives. If you die past the checkpoint, you'll respawn without your coin progress and you'll be forced to manually exit the level to try again at the objective.
  • Fake Longevity: In this game, the player must not only collect all three super gems, but must complete a secondary objective as well...which isn't revealed until after completing the stage the first time. Some stages actually have to be played twice in order to fully complete them, as they require a separate approach from one that will allow you to get the collectibles. Unless you're using a guide (or are extremely lucky), the player will likely have to otherwise play many levels twice in order to fully complete it. (While for most levels, you could also collect everything and then die to start over, tackle the objective on that run, and complete the level, because gems are saved, it's a waste of lives.)
  • Feathered Fiend: The main antagonist is a large black crow-like bird named Wingo, who stole the power star that Captain Toad and Toadette found. He kidnaps both Toadette and the Captain, as well.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: If you look closely during the cutscene in Captain Toad's Trials, you can see a spire or two rising from Peach's Castle. This doesn't apply to the 3DS/Switch port, however.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Half of the "Sprixie Kingdom" levels are also levels where Captain Toad would've also appeared as an NPC in within the main game. True enough, the levels end in those spots. This trope comes in when one realizes Captain Toad was cowering within those levels due to the circumstances involved (Being attacked by a Conkdor in Conkdor Cavern, Cowering at the site of Bowser's silhouette within Shadow-Play Alley).
  • Genre Throwback: To the more puzzle-heavy Mario games of the pre-Super Mario Bros. era such as Donkey Kong (and indeed, one level is designed to look like a Donkey Kong stage) and Wrecking Crew. As in those games, the player cannot kill enemies except with special items or under special circumstances, so the best option most of the time is to dodge enemies while trekking toward the goal.
  • Goomba Stomp: Even though Toad and Toadette can't jump, it's still possible to do this by dropping down on a Mook from above.
  • Guide Dang It!: Hidden Gold Mushrooms are the hardest collectibles to find in the game, since they come from invisible Pluck Patches that you'll only be alerted to if you shine your light on them or feel controller rumble when you walk over one. The game never tells you about this mechanic, and the bonus objectives' phrasing is so subtle that it's easy to miss that "Find the Gold Mushroom!" and "Find the hidden Gold Mushroom" are referring to different goals, so the first time it's a hidden one, you will probably be looking for a visible one in some nook or cranny.
    • It's even worse in Wingo's Whackdown. The bonus objective is a coin goal, but to achieve it, you need to find two hidden Gold Mushrooms to get enough. While open Gold Mushrooms are sometimes unrelated to an objective, this is the only place where hidden ones aren't the objective...yet they're still required for the objective, and you aren't expecting to look for two.
  • Holler Button: The jump button acts as one. Toad or Toadette attempt to hop with their heavy backpack and make cute little noises while doing so.
  • I Have Your Wife: Before the final battle, Wingo kidnaps Toadette again in order to bait Captain Toad to his final castle.
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Dragons!: Draggadon, one of the bosses in this game.
  • Irony: One of the few enemies that Captain Toad and Toadette can easily defeat without additional items are Boos, who are normally very difficult to defeat in standard Mario games. It's all thanks to their headlamps, which are always equipped. When Mario needs to defeat a Boo with light, he either needs to find a source and lead it there or grab a temporary item that creates light.
  • Kaizo Trap: In Mummy-Me at Pyropuff Peaks, be sure to grab that Star as soon as it lands or, at the very least, be constantly moving. If not and you don't notice the Mummy-Me reappearing right over you because you were focusing on the Star as it was landing...
  • Light 'em Up: While headlamps are good for illuminating dark places, they're also effective at defeating Boos, an enemy that often gives Mario trouble. Multiple headlamps, from a second player or Double Cherry clone, defeat ghosts almost instantly, rather than taking a few seconds like one lamp.
  • Locomotive Level: Several of the stages take place on a moving train, requiring the player to explore inside, outside, and on top of the cars.
  • Marathon Level: Mummy-Me Maze Forever has 50 floors.
  • Market-Based Title: In Japan, the game is called "Susume! Captain Kinopio" ("Onward! Captain Kinopio"note )
  • Mind Screw: This game's canonicity to the rest of the series. It started out as a prequel to Super Mario 3D World, but then when it got updated for the Switch and 3DS, it became a prequel to Super Mario Odyssey instead. Making this even more confusing is the possibility in Odyssey of Mario encountering Captain Toad in the Cascade Kingdom before the Odyssey can be fixed, so Captain Toad and Toadette shouldn't be acting surprised by the Odyssey at all in the Switch/3DS version's ending. And finally, the Toads shouldn't have found the Odyssey this late at night, as when Mario first arrives in the Sand Kingdom, it's daytime.
  • Minecart Madness: Mine Cart Tunnel Throwdown in Episode 1, Sundown Mine Cart Rundown in Episode 2, and Mine Cart Ruins Rumble in Episode 3. These levels are rail shooters as Toad or Toadette throws turnips at their foes while riding a mine cart.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The turnips from Super Mario Bros. 2 make a reappearance as one of the very few means Captain Toad can attack enemies.
    • Shy Guys return as enemies for the first time outside of a Yoshi title or a Mario-branded RPG, and like in their debut game, turnips are frequently provided to defeat them.
    • Wingo has a feather on his turban which resembles a Cape Feather. He's also defeated similarly to Wart in Super Mario Bros. 2; by stuffing vegetables into his mouth.
  • Nerf: Captain Toad has a run button, but can't reach a charged sprint like in 3D World.
  • Nostalgia Level: In the Wii U version, the Bonus Episode's first chapter, Expedition to the Sprixie Kingdom, features four levels from Super Mario 3D World: Super Bell Hill, Conkdor Canyon, Shadow Play Alley, and Clear Pipe Cruise. With the exception of Super Bell Hill, these happen to be the levels where Mario can come across Captain Toad in 3D World. The Green Star is even located in the same places where you can find Captain Toad in the level. Also, the level Retro Ramp-Up is an homage to the original Donkey Kong arcade game.
    • The Nintendo 3DS and Switch ports replace the 3D World-inspired levels with ones inspired by the levels from Super Mario Odyssey, which can be unlocked automatically by using the amiibo made for Odyssey.
  • Old Save Bonus: If you have Super Mario 3D World save data on your Wii U, the first chapter of the Bonus Episode will be unlocked automatically.
  • Origins Episode: The March 2019 DLC seems to act as a prequel to New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, showing how Captain Toad and Toadette found the Super Crown.
  • Pinball Zone: The level Razzle Dazzle Slider puts Toad into a pinball machine.
  • Powerful Pick: One of the few power-ups in the game, in a similar vein to the hammer from Donkey Kong or Super Smash Bros.. It even uses a remix of the same musical cue.
  • Projectile Pocketing: One of the things to keep in mind is that items, including Super Gems, can be collected by throwing turnips or Piranha Sprouts at them.
  • Puzzle Game: Hope you can get through a ''Mario'' game without jumping!
  • Rail Shooter: The minecart levels, which use the Gamepad to hurl turnips at enemies.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: Implied to be the case within the "Sprixie Kingdom" levels of the game, or at least from Captain Toad's perspective. Levels shrunk to accommodate his slower moving speed. The absence of the cat powerup due to him not needing them. Ladders being placed within certain levels as to allow him to navigate them without jumping. Half of the levels ending where he could be found as an NPC within the main game (instead of ending where the now-absent goal post would be). There being only one green star (the one that acts as the goal star for those sets of levels).
  • Reconstruction: Of the threat of standard Mario enemies. When you can't jump high enough to crush them, suddenly enemies that can kill you in two hits become a much bigger threat. Maybe that's why they're so good at conquering the Mushroom Kingdom over and over.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: This game reuses a few tunes from Super Mario 3D World, but with different instrumentations. Subverted in Mummy-Me Maze Forever, which reuses the music from the Color Panel sections in that game, but instead of the Super Mario Bros. theme or the Legend of Zelda theme at the end, it plays Captain Toad's leitmotif.
  • Retraux: The level Retro Ramp-Up is a homage to the first Donkey Kong title. The music is an 8-bit remix of Captain Toad's theme, with the bass riff from 25m.
  • Rise to the Challenge: The Draggadon fights, Ghost Gallery Gambit, and Scalding Scaffold Sinkhole all operate on this, forcing you ever upward.
  • Scenery Porn: Every level is gorgeous, and sometimes there are cutscenes and controllable screens that do nothing but show off how good the game looks.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Some levels require you to cause friendly fire among the enemies. For example, your path is blocked by a horde of enemies and there is simply no available means for you to dispatch them yourself... other than a Chargin' Chuck who will not let anyone else get between him and his mission to destroy you.
  • Ship Sinking: A preemptive one. The producer has stated that Captain Toad and Toadette are not romantically involved and are just "adventure pals".
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: After Toadette is freed from Wingo, she falls into the bird's treasure hoard headfirst and gets stuck. Toad then has to pull her out like a turnip.
  • Snowy Sleigh Bells: The frosty levels have a wintery remix of the game's main theme featuring sleigh bells. The opening segment of Blizzard on the Snow Express's track features some sleigh bells as well.
  • Spin Attack: Toad and Toadette can spin and attack enemies with their backpacks. It's hard to do so though because you must calculate the timing and not let enemies touch you until the Toad is dizzy.
  • Spin-Off: A full game based on the Captain Toad levels in Super Mario 3D World.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: There are a few levels that work like this. Being unable to attack, you'll spend most of the level sneaking past enemies. Shy Guy Heights and Shy Guy Shadow Den's bonus objectives also require you to pass every patrolling Shy Guy without them noticing you.
  • Stealth Prequel: The Stinger shows the intro to Super Mario 3D World, placing Treasure Tracker before that game's events, and by extension, the Captain Toad levels in 3D World. The 3DS and Switch versions act as this for Super Mario Odyssey instead, changing the ending accordingly.
  • The Stinger: After the credits scene, Toad sees a Green Star flying through the sky and chases after it, leaving Toadette behind. The opening to Super Mario 3D World is then shown, ending with Captain Toad chasing the star into the clear pipe.
  • Super Strength: Captain Toad and Toadette. They can't use it to fight hand to hand, but they can lift really big objects to throw.
  • Suspicious Video Game Generosity: Ghost Gallery Gambit screams this trope. Oh look, there's the star right in front of you! This is too easy... PSYCH! The actual level begins when you try to collect the star.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: Wingo would be pretty much unbeatable if he didn't summon those giant turnips.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: When Captain Toad shivers in fear, he'll say "s-s-scared..."
  • Thick-Line Animation: In Retro Ramp-Up, everything but the Power Star and Super Gems has a purple outline.
  • Thieving Magpie: All Wingo is after is the Power Star. Why? Because it's shiny.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Captain Toad can not only defeat a giant lava dragon, but later ride on it, as well as having a number of ways to take down regular enemies granted the proper circumstances, such as with turnips and a pickaxe. It's not enough to elevate him to the level of most Mario characters, to whom the same situations would be infinitely easier thanks to their jumping abilities alone, but it's a step up from the Captain Toad who was afraid of the shadow of a wooden cutout of Bowser. Toadette applies even more, because she hasn't appeared outside of spinoff titles, where the most dangerous threat is losing a round. Of course, both of them still shaking in their boots at the prospect of entering a haunted house — but in the Mario franchise, who hasn't?
  • Try Everything: Subverted, as the hidden objectives could literally be anything. Do you try one objective? Maybe it's some other one instead. Indeed, trying one could even result in failing another (e.g.: trying to defeat all the enemies, when the actual objective is to not defeat any enemies). It doesn't help that, even with a guide, some stages require playing them twice in order to fully complete them...
  • Unreliable Narrator: Before entering Stumpy Springs Sanctuary, Episode 3's book shows an illustration of Wingo accidentally dropping Toadette, as indicated by his shocked expression. But entering the level, he doesn't look fazed by it in the slightest, implying that dropping Toadette in there was indeed intentional. Whether he did this to get her killed or to make her find more treasure for him is up to debate.
  • The Voiceless: Mario and Luigi don't utter a sound in their cameo at the end. Even though the cutscene is almost exactly the same as the intro to Super Mario 3D World. Blue Toad, Peach, Bowser, and the green Sprixie Princess are voiced though (though in the case of Peach and the Toads, it's mostly because they're all voiced by the same person).
  • Weak, but Skilled: The Toads manage to sneak way past and occasionally take out many hordes of enemies while making off with their loot, as well as taking out a giant lava dragon without being able to jump.
  • Weakened by the Light: Ghost enemies like Boos are some of the few enemies you can kill without the secret Spin Attack or an item. All you need to do is shine Captain Toad's headlamp on them for a few seconds, and they will die.

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