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Video Game / Wario Land 4

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Wario Land 4 (Wario Land Advance: The Treasure of the Golden Diva in Japan) is the fourth game in the Wario Land series (not counting Virtual Boy Wario Land), originally released in 2001 for the Game Boy Advance.

Much like the other games in the series, the plot is primarily driven by Wario's greed: he finds out that a golden pyramid has been unearthed, and with the sight of gold in his eyes, he storms off to find it. When he does go into it, he jumps into a large hole and finds himself trapped in the pyramid. Now, the only way out is to conquer the paintings found in the four corridors of the area, with a boss lurking behind each one, before finally fighting the one behind all this. And there's a strange black cat that seems to come and go when you least expect it...

The gameplay is a bit different from its predecessors — while Wario still has his unique transformations, he now has a life meter, and thus can die much as he could in Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3. There are no lives, though - you're simply kicked out of the level without any of the money or bonuses you found in it.


Wario Land 4 was given a limited rerelease for Ambassadors on the Nintendo 3DS, and later released publicly on the Wii U Virtual Console.

The Wario Land 4 engine would later be repurposed for Metroid Fusion and Metroid: Zero Mission, and Dummied Out areas in both games feature assets from this game.

This game is the Trope Namer for:

This game provides examples of

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Several of them - two in Crescent Moon Village, one in Arabian Nights, and one in the Golden Passage.
  • Always Night: Crescent Moon Village, Arabian Night, Hotel Horror...
  • The Amazon: Monsoon Jungle.
  • An Axe to Grind: The Axe Ghosts.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Because the levels tend to be rather long and have to be beaten in one sitting to get the treasures, the game comes with a save state option on the pause screen, which allows you to save your game at the exact last spot you were at, then return to the title screen and shut off the game safely, so you can pick up where you left off later in a case where you're tired or have to stop playing.
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    • Because the boss fights have time limits and you can lose the best ending if you don't get all three treasures by taking too long in them, the game gives an item shop before each fight, which you can use to knock off as many as ten hit points before a fight, in exchange for some minigame medals. This is especially helpful in Hard Mode.
    • Also, beating the Golden Diva without all the treasures will respawn all the bosses (but keep all the levels beaten and the items you got in them) when you go back to your save file, giving a player a second shot at getting all the treasures again.
  • "Arabian Nights" Days: Arabian Night.
  • Art Initiates Life: Hoggus, found in Doodle Woods, draws enemies to attack you.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Princess Shokora at the end.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Princess Shokora was transformed into the Black Cat by the Golden Diva after she lost in a magic duel.
  • Bifauxnen: Princess Shokora, if you beat the Final Boss with all 12 treasures.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Three of the four levels in the Sapphire Passage (except Fiery Cavern).
  • Boss-Only Level: Every boss.
  • The Cameo: Mr. Game and Watch appears as the shopkeeper for the item store except not, it's actually Princess Shokora in disguise.
  • Cap: The coin counter maxes out at 999990. Since all the coins and crystals in the game come in multiples of ten, it's clear that the extra zero is only there to give Wario's adventure more worth.
  • Classic Cheat Code: To unlock Karaoke mode in the Sound Room, which normally requires getting a gold crown in every level, highlight "Exit" and hold Select + Start, + Up + L + R.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: The Golden Diva, 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.
  • Console Cameo: In the background of Spoiled Rotten's arena, two Gamecubes can be seen stacked atop a television, with one turned over to display the console's top.
  • Cool Car: The first appearance of Wario's trademark purple car. He also drives this during the end credits on Normal, or a pickup truck on Hard, and even a Hovercar on Super-Hard.
  • Credits Medley: Which varies depending on how much treasure you collected.
  • Credits Montage: The ending.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: The game has no extra lives, so if Wario loses a level, he's simply thrown out without getting anything from it and has to play it again.
  • Dash Attack: Wario's signature shoulder-bash returns, but this game introduces a super-charged variant. After a running start, Wario's dash attack gets a speed and damage boost, allowing him to break tougher blocks and plow past weaker blocks and enemies without canceling the attack. A similar effect is applied to Wario's Ground Pound, provided there's enough vertical distance when the move is initiated.
  • Dem Bones: The skeleton ghosts, which can turn Wario into a zombie.
  • Denser and Wackier: The Wario Land series was always on the weird side, but this game made the weirdness even more blatantly obvious.
  • Deranged Animation: All of the bosses have weird animations that get more deranged as they lose health, and the Sound Room records have weird pics to go along with them.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: Most of the levels are fairly straight forward, but the bosses are no pushovers.
  • Easy Level Trick: If Cractus proves to be overwhelming for players going for a straight fight, there is an easy way to beat him. The boss writhes in pain for quite a few seconds once hit. Thus, Wario can stunlock him by camping on the ladders and repeatedly butt-smashing Cractus when his invincibility frames wear off.
  • Eternal Engine:
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Catbat. Guess what two animals he resembles.
  • Flunky Boss: Some of them.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
  • Gonk:
    • Princess Shokora looks remarkably like a gender-swapped Wario if you have only a few treasures left after the Final Boss fight.
    • The Golden Diva is also pretty hideous, with exaggerated features and a disproportionately large head. She doesn't do the best job of hiding her face, as the mask she wears is grossly undersized.
  • Green Hill Zone: Palm Tree Paradise.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: When you fight and damage the bosses long enough, except Spoiled Rotten, who's gross for half of the battle.
  • Ground Pound: One of Wario's moves. If you jump from a high-enough place, Wario's Ground Pound turns into a Super Ground Pound, able to smash through even ultra-hard blue boulders.
  • Guide Dang It!: The Golden Diva has multiple attacks, each of which has a different method that Wario has to use to hurt her. One attack involves a hammer being thrown at you. You have to throw it upwards and then move so that it lands on Wario, turning him into Spring Wario, which allows him to smash into the Diva's mask. The game gives little indication that you're supposed to do this - it assumes the player will remember that hammers are used by the enemies that can turn you into Spring Wario - and the player may even assume you're supposed to throw it at the Diva (which won't remotely harm her).
  • Hailfire Peaks:
  • Harder Than Hard: 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. Said boss is the easiest boss in the game, yes, but on Super Hard it easily becomes That One Boss. You have literally NO margin for error of any kind; as soon as you are able, you Attack! Attack! Attack! and don't let up for any reason.
  • Hearts Are Health: Wario's health is denoted in the HUD with a series of hearts. They can either be filled up with more hearts strewn about the levels, or the small red orbs dropped by enemies. As denoted by a secondary gauge on the UI, collecting enough orbs will fill one heart in Wario's health bar, unless his health bar is maxed out. As a bonus, a concurrently maxed out orb gauge means that enemies will drop even more coins when defeated, in lieu of the orbs. Furthermore, Wario effectively has nine hit points when these conditions are met, as the orb gauge expends itself to form the eighth heart if Wario takes damage at full health.
  • Hell Hotel: Hotel Horror, unsurprisingly.
  • Helpful Mook: Dr. Scienstein, who shows up in almost all the bonus rooms whenever a projectile is needed. He cannot be defeated, only knocked over, yelping in pain each time he's attacked in some way.
  • Hook Hand: Captain Coin.
  • Hub Level: The Golden Pyramid.
  • Idle Animation: Wario has quite a few that play when certain conditions are met:
    • When left standing still in a level, Wario pulls out a pair of dumbbells from somewhere and performs bicep curls. Sometimes, he instead jumps rope, and he does so very quickly, much like a boxer during a training regimen. If you break Wario out of these animations, he'll apologize for wasting time.
    • If he's left floating on a water body's surface, he begins flailing his arms in a desperate attempt to keep afloat (he won't actually sink, however).
    • If he's idle after the Frog Switch is activated, he starts panicking by nervously running in place. This one begins much sooner than the other land-based idle animations to emphasize urgency.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Wario, surprisingly. In the ending, while Wario was as rough as usual, he helped Dr. Scienstein and Princess Shokora out when the pyramid was collapsing, the latter of which he didn't know the identity of at the time. This goes against everything gamers have seen from Wario as a character so far, but that doesn't seem to be a problem here.
    • Might also be a case of Character Development, with Wario saving the inhabitants of the music box accidentally in the previous game, and now doing it intentionally. Showing that while he may be a greedy jerkass, he's not ALL bad.
  • Joke Item: The Smile, the only free item in the shop. "Buying" it will simply cause the shopkeeper to smile at you.
  • Jungle Japes: Monsoon Jungle and Mystic Lake.
  • Last Lousy Point: The hardest level to get a gold crown on is the tutorial level, as there are only just enough points to earn it. You can give yourself a tiny bit of breathing room when getting it by using one trick: Ground Pound next to the harmless purple Goomba-like enemies to pop them into the air and "upgrade" them to red. They're still harmless, but now they drop bronze coins that are worth 50 points, instead of two tiny 10-point coins.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Fiery Cavern, until you hit the frog switch.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: When the Golden Diva perishes, the pyramid collapses.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: The Golden Passage theme can be heard for a couple of milliseconds before Wario presses the frog switch right below the time portal, initiating 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.
  • Losing Your Head: One enemy is a robot that throws its head on the floor.
  • Magic Carpet: Found in Arabian Night.
  • Malevolent Architecture: Made rather obvious in Hotel Horror and Crescent Moon Village.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Cractus is a large, toothy, undead plant with arms. However, rather than attempt to eat Wario, it just drenches him in zombifying saliva and laughs heartily when it does so.
  • Monster Suit: Aerodent. The teddy bear shown in the boss icon is actually just a giant balloon; the true Aerodent is a rat ghost that inflates and pilots the balloon. Despite being very resilient, the rat itself is harmless when the balloon is incapacitated.
  • Mook Maker: Hoggus in Doodle Woods, by way of drawing.
  • Multiple Endings: How many of the treasures you earned for quickly beating the bosses at the end determines what form Princess Shokora takes, and what bonus images are received at the end of the credits. Finally, what vehicle Wario is driving during the credits is determined by the difficulty level of the file.
  • Numbered Sequels: Except in Japan.
  • Pinball Zone: The Trope Namer.
  • Redundant Researcher: Dr. Scienstein plays this role.
  • Save the Princess: Unintentionally. Wario saves the cat in the endgame, which turns out to be Princess Shokora.
  • Sequence Breaking: There's a Pause Abuse glitch you can exploit in Arabian Night that allows you to bypass most of the stage and get to a later part of it sooner.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Arabian Night.
  • Shopkeeper: The shops are run by a strange, shadowy figure resembling Mr. Game and Watch. If you buy an item from them, they'll follow you into battle and use it on the boss before leaving. They can also be seen in some of the images in the Sound Room. It's heavily implied that they're actually Princess Shokora.
  • Slasher Smile: Cractus and Spoiled Rotten (once she Turns Red).
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: 40 Below Fridge combines this with Eternal Engine. Additionally, there is the Fiery Cavern after the frog switch is hit.
  • Smooch of Victory: Wario gets one from Princess Shokora at the end of the game.
  • Stone Wall: Aerodent has very little offensive presence; the only way the boss will hurt Wario is by summoning the parachuting tack mooks, which are very easy to avoid. Otherwise, Aerodent's skillset is skewed toward wasting Wario's time: the boss has the second-most health of any boss in the game, he can light Wario ablaze and use the resulting transformation to eat up precious seconds on the clock, and reaching his weak point takes some considerable setting-up that can be easily undone if one isn't careful.
  • The Song Remains the Same: Oddly, the title screen stays in English in both versions and the Palm Tree Paradise one stays in Japanese in both versions. And the odd aversion is the ending song, which is an American-style song with English lyrics in Western regions and an anime-type song with Japanese lyrics in Japan.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Princess Shokora is an Engrish-y version of Chocolat.
  • The Spiny: One enemy looks almost exactly like the Mario Spiny - though on closer examination, it looks more like a yellow Kirby with a spiked helmet.
  • Stalked by the Bell: Hitting the Frog Switch prompts a time limit - if it runs out, your accumulated money is quickly drained. If that runs out, you're booted out of the level.
  • Super Title 64 Advance: The Japanese title, Wario Land Advance.
  • Temple of Doom: The Golden Pyramid, although only the Entry and Golden Passages are actual levels set there.
  • That Poor Cat: In the intro, a black cat is nearly run over by Wario's car as he drives up to the Golden Pyramid. Later on, in the ending, he nearly runs over a white cat when driving up to get $10.00 all-you-can-eat steaks.
  • Timed Mission:
    • Every level turns into this when you hit the Frog Switch. The entirety of the Golden Passage is this, considering the frog switch is placed under the starting vortex, and if you're playing on S-Hard, entire Palm Tree Paradise, as well as most of the Hall of Hieroglyphs, as you're forced to hit Frog Switch early in the level.
    • Every boss is fought on a time limit, with treasures starting to disappear if you take too long.
  • Toy Time: The Topaz Passage and the levels within.
  • Turns Red: Every boss becomes more aggressive when their health gets low. Sometimes, this aggression necessitates a change in strategy.
    • Spoiled Rotten serves as the page image for this trope. Out of nowhere, she throws an intense tantrum, baring her teeth to discourage attacks from the front.
    • Cractus continuously throws his punches farther as the battle progresses. During his last few passes, he also elevates his head far above the floor, meaning Wario must use the vines in the background to reach the boss' weak spot. Cractus eventually slows down to a crawl on the very last few passes, far out of reach from the vines, to catch players off guard with his punches.
    • With Cuckoo Condor's clock suit destroyed, Wario is left facing the bird within. Condor lays eggs, doing so progressively quicker as it sustains damage. The eggs hatch into explosive chicks if Wario doesn't catch them out of the air in time to throw at the weak point.
    • Aerodent begins throwing fireballs to transform Wario and waste his time. The rat even does so immediately after its balloon is flipped around.
    • When Catbat's bat head disappears, its cyclopean mooks literally turn red. Instead of transforming Wario, they directly hurt him. Catbat also starts creating speedier tidal waves that always undulate.
    • Without her masks, the frustrated Golden Diva can only body slam the floor to expose spikes, creating a secondary time limit.
  • Underground Level: Fiery Cavern.
  • Under the Sea: Mystic Lake.
  • Unlockable Difficulty Levels: The game starts out with two difficulties available to select when starting a file, "Normal" and "Hard". Beating a file set to the "Hard" difficulty for the first time unlocks a third difficulty option, "S-Hard".
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Upon zombifying Wario, Cractus will hover out of reach and laugh at his expense until the transformation is undone.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Especially blatant in the final boss fight. When the Diva's face is crying and throws spiked hammers, you must wait for the hammer to retract its spikes, pick it up, throw it in the air and hit yourself in the head with it. Only then is Wario in a state where he can damage her. If you figured out on the first try that this is what you had to do, without doing it by accident, you're lying.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The normally easy Spoiled Rotten becomes this in Super Hard mode - you have a scant 15 seconds to defeat it.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Spoiled Rotten, except on Super Hard.
  • Weird Moon: Crescent Moon Village, anyone? Stuck in a state of perpetual crescent phase, and way larger than it should be in the sky.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Dr. Scienstein lacks the exposed brain he had in Wario Land 3. Ironically, this makes him look closer to his original appearance in For the Frog the Bell Tolls.

Alternative Title(s): Wario Land Advance


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