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Video Game / Virtual Boy Wario Land

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"'s actually a good game. Damn good. But, only one problem: it's on Virtual Boy."

Virtual Boy Wario Land, subtitled Secret Treasure of the Awazon in Japan, is an entry in the Wario Land series for the Virtual Boy, released in 1995.

Wario is taking a nap during a trip into the Awazon River basin when he spots three masked creatures carrying treasure behind a waterfall. Following them in with the intention of taking the treasure for himself, he ends up falling down a trap door into a vast subterranean labyrinth. Wario must trek through the caverns to take the treasure and get revenge against the Mask-Guys.

The gameplay of Virtual Boy Wario Land is very similar to its immediate predecessor, Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, lacking the drastic changes to the formula made later in Wario Land II. Wario can be hit once and turned into Small Wario before another hit kills him. Garlic once again provides power-ups similar to the ones from the first game, though they must be combined with new items for more advanced power-ups. Each level also houses one treasure that must be collected for 100% Completion.

Despite the poor reputation of the Virtual Boy console overall, Virtual Boy Wario Land, the last Wario Land game that Gunpei Yokoi worked on before his retirement and death, is frequently cited as one of the few truly good games it had, and it enjoys a high reputation among the few who still know about it. It's also the only game for the console to contain the name "Virtual Boy" in its title.

Not to be confused with Wario Land II, which is technically the third game in the series.

Virtual Boy Wario Land provides examples of:

  • 1-Up: A diamond gives Wario an extra life. Often could be gotten in the heart bonus game at the end of a level.
  • 2½D: Of the "layered" variety. There are several Side View layers that Wario and the enemies can alternate between.
  • All Your Powers Combined: The King Dragon Wario form (obtained by combining the Sea Dragon and Eagle powers) combines all the powers of Wario's hats.
  • Artwork and Game Graphics Segregation: Various pieces of official art depict Wario wearing his plumber's cap from Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins; in-game, meanwhile, he is only ever seen in his pith helmet from Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: The enemies of the game are a bunch of mean monsters and demons, but Wario's only motivation against them is Greed.
  • Breakable Power-Up: Like in its predecessor, Wario loses his power and shrinks when he gets hit.
  • Busman's Holiday: Wario lands his plane in the Awazon Rainforest for a vacation, sees Mask Guys heading behind a waterfall with a huge amount of treasure... gets dropped into a trapdoor and falls into a sort of Lost World beneath the jungle, getting treasure and fighting a genie along the way.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Besides the fact that the next game after this is titled Wario Land II, ignoring this game entirely, the defunct Wario World website heavily suggests that it has fallen into this status, as the history of Wario section (which goes through the history of Wario and the Wario series) on the website completely omits it. The Super Mario UK Twitter account also doesn't acknowledge it either during its Wario retrospective, even though the other Land games were. Given the system it is on and how Nintendo feels about itinvoked, this is not a surprise.
  • Collision Damage: Like in the original, Wario cannot be harmed by enemies normally, but harmful objects like spears, spikes, or fire can damage him.
  • Continuing is Painful: Get a Game Over, and you lose all of your treasure. There's no world map or level select where you can just backtrack as levels are on level-by-level progression. Which means you basically have to ride the elevators back into previous stages and trudge your way all the way back through the levels themselves to recover the treasures, and that makes matters even worse because one of the best endings requires finishing the game under a certain time limit (Real-Time, not game time). If you get a game over while having a lot of progress, you're pretty much better off cutting your losses and restarting the entire game.
  • Cool Plane: Wario's Bulldog seaplane returns (it previously made an appearance in the Japan-only Mario & Wario and a Japanese educational video featuring Mario and Kirby).
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: In both this game and Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, Wario wears a safari helmet by default, rather than his usual yellow cap.
  • Hailfire Peaks: Since the whole game's setting is underground, it's a bunch of underground levels usually mixed with something else.
  • Harmless Enemy: The Horned Toads are the first enemy you encounter, and it can't even hurt you. However, they only appear in the first level. The enemy lineup for the rest of the game isn't so merciful.
  • Hat of Power: The Power-Up Hat mechanics from the first game are back. The Bull Helmet grants Wario a stronger shoulder barge and the ability to smash the floor to stun enemies and destroy blocks below him, the Eagle Helmet lets him fly long horizontal distances (like the Jet Helmet from Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3), the Sea Dragon Helmet lets him shoot out powerful streams of fire from its nostrils, and the King Dragon Helmet gives him the abilities of both the Sea Dragon and Eagle Helmets.
  • Hockey Mask and Chainsaw: Chain-Saw Fish wear hockey masks with a protrusion that looks like a spinning chainsaw. They charge at Wario on sight in the Swimming levels.
  • Law Of 100: A hundred heart points are good for an extra life: a small heart is worth one point, a large heart is worth ten.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The first boss is called a "Dinosaur Fish."
  • Money Multiplier: At the end of each level, there is a game where you can risk your coins to multiply them by choosing the correct bucket holding money bags: how much it's multiplied depends on how many buckets you want to choose from. Getting triple the coins means picking correctly from two buckets above you, getting six times the coins means picking correctly from three buckets, and the big ten times the coins means you must pick correctly from FOUR buckets! A wrong guess halves your coins, so if you choose wrongly three times, you leave with an eighth of what you came in with! But if you get three consecutive correct picks, you could leave with anywhere from twenty-seven times the coins (for three triple-coin games) or up to ONE THOUSAND times the coins (for picking the right bucket out of four each of three ten-times-coin games)!
  • Mook Maker: The vase produces an enemy called a Vase-Based, but only the first time you throw the vase on its side.
  • Multiple Endings: Wario's mode of transportation back home from the Awazon depends on how much money you have or on whether or not you've collected all ten hidden treasures. See them all here.
  • Mutually Exclusive Power Ups: The Garlic bottle is the only power up that turns Wario back to his normal form if he is small. The Garlic Bottle is also used to power up Wario into Bull Wario. The Viking Helmet (Bull), Eagle Statue(Eagle), and Dragon Crystal (Sea Dragon) are only used to access their forms, but the Eagle and Sea Dragon powers can be combined to access the King Dragon form, which doesn't have its own power up.
  • Playboy Bunny: One accompanies Wario on his magic carpet in the best ending.
  • Playing with Fire: Sea Dragon Wario, and also King Dragon Wario. The difference between them is the former shoots a stream of fire while the latter shoots fireballs.
  • The Spiny: Like in its predecessor, only enemies that have weapons or have spiky protection are capable of hurting Wario.
  • Super-Strength: The Bull Pot (now known as the Viking helmet) from the first game returns, with the same abilities.
  • Super Title 64 Advance: The only Virtual Boy game to have "Virtual Boy" in its title, funny enough.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The Mask-Guys are almost identical to Pirate Gooms and their ilk from the other Wario Land games, in that they have a sharp object held in front that prevents Wario from killing them with a normal dash attack.
  • Threatening Shark: Chain-Saw Fish are literal chain saw-sharks that attack Wario in the underwater levels.
  • Underground Level: All the levels are this.
  • Video Game Flight: Eagle Wario is capable of flight for a lengthy horizonal distance. Wario is also able to fly as King Dragon Wario.