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Video Game / Wario Land II

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Wario Land II (subtitled The Stolen Treasure in Japanese) is the second game in the Wario Land series (not counting Virtual Boy Wario Land), initially released in early 1998 for the Game Boy. An Updated Re-release on the Game Boy Color was released the following year.

The plot of the game starts with Captain Syrup and her crew sneaking into Wario Castle while he's sleeping and make off with his treasure, as well as setting off his giant alarm clock and flooding the house by leaving the tap running. When Wario wakes up and realizes what they've done, he sets off on an adventure to reclaim his valuables.

The gameplay is much different from its predecessor — Wario is now completely immortal, and as such the worst enemies can do to him is alter his physical state for a while or cost him a few coins. These various transformations must be used to solve puzzles. In addition, there are several branching paths that can be unlocked, sometimes through unorthodox methods.

The Game Boy Color version of Wario Land II was available for the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console until its shutdown in March 2023.

This game provides examples of:

  • All Just a Dream: The ending to Uncanny Mansion. Just as Wario is about to reclaim his treasure, the bridge beneath him breaks and he falls. The scene then changes to his bedroom where he rolls out of bed and wakes up. Surprisingly enough, this is not the ending you get by failing to wake up at the start of the game.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Stay in bed in the first level, and the pirates sneak into Wario's room, drag him and dump him outside his castle without him ever waking up. Then they replace Wario's sigil with their own, and the plot is now about Wario reconquering his castle.
  • Always Night: Uncanny Mansion, fitting through its Haunted House theme.
  • Artwork and Game Graphics Segregation:
    • In the Game Boy Color version, Wario's transformations all tint him a specific color (such as Bouncy Wario being blue, Hot Wario being red, and Dizzy Wario being purple); the official art for these forms, meanwhile, depict him using the exact same color scheme as his normal form.
    • Hen's official art depicts her with a large pair of Non-Mammal Mammaries; in-game, however, her chest is no larger than the average chicken.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: Going for the Ruins at the Bottom of the sea or Uncanny Mansion endings results in Captain Syrup getting snatched away by a different boss and Wario having to fight them instead.
  • Bee Afraid: Aggressive Bee enemies in the forest stages swoop down trying to sting Wario, causing his head to swell up into a balloon if they do. A giant bee also serves at the chapter boss of Maze Woods.
  • Be the Ball: Dunk, the boss of the chapter "In Town". You stomp him to turn him into a basketball and have to throw him into the basket three times. This also happens to Wario and if Dunk touches him, he will slam dunk Wario for a point.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: You must beat Dunk in basketball… more or less.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Uncanny Mansion. An alternate final chapter accessed from a secret exit in "Anyone For B-Ball?". It takes place in an abandoned creepy mansion filled with ghosts and creatures, and Wario has to battle a Ghost at end.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The technically second-to-last level, "Find the hidden door!!" is a disjointed cluster of rooms with almost no doors (though a surprising amount of windows). Turns out you have to break stone blocks all over the place to be able to proceed, culminating in an area that is two intertwined spirals, one leading to treasure and the other to the exit.
  • Blackout Basement: In some of the levels in "Go to the cellar!!", several rooms have light switches that alternate with which rooms and hallways have light. If they're dark, you can't see the platforms or doors, forcing you to memorize the platform layout to get out of the room. You can still see Wario and the enemies though, to give you some sort of guide to where the platforms are in the darkness.
  • Bleak Level: Steal the Syrup's treasure!! takes place in a freaky Womb Level with eyes, noses, ears, and mouths placed all over the walls, which resemble fleshy pink skin. Frozen corpses of enemies are also embedded in the walls throughout the level with shocked looks on their faces. The music for the level is also a very tense and ominous theme not heard anywhere else in the game.
  • Book Ends:
    • If you take the main story path, you'll begin in Wario Castle and end in Syrup Castle.
    • The chapter "Invade Wario Castle" begins with Wario being tossed out of the castle by the Black Sugar Gang after the alarm clock failed to wake him up, and it ends with Wario reclaiming his castle and going back to sleep.
  • Border-Occupying Decorations: The game sports a custom Super Game Boy border depicting Wario and his riches at the top as well as the location he's currently in filling the rest. If you're playing the Flagman D-D minigame, it uses a Game & Watch console as its background.
  • Bowdlerise: The item held by the penguin enemies is a beer mug in the Japanese release and some sort of ball in the international releases.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: The Really Final Chapter.
  • Cocky Rooster: Roosters are uncommon enemies that appear in a few levels. If Wario attacks them head on, they go berserk and attack him. They are rather resilient foes that can only be defeated with a Ground Pound. The Roosters are particularly prevalent in the level "Return The Hen To Her Nest", where they will chase Wario if they spot him carrying Hen.
  • Color Wash: The game was originally announced just for the Game Boy, but it was released with Super Game Boy support and eventually enhanced for Game Boy Color.
  • Continuity Nod: The game establishes from its opening shot that Wario took over Kitchen Island from Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 and completely renovated it on top of building his castle.
  • Cranium Ride: Interestingly done with platforms that only enemies can walk on.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: Some of the boss levels have extra areas full of coins that can only be accessed if you lose in the boss fight.
  • Dragon Their Feet: The True Final Boss? The Dragon, the giant spear man, on an invisible floor.
  • Dramatic Disappearing Display: The coin counter in the bottom right corner of the screen vanishes while fighting a boss.
  • Eternal Engine: The "Escape From the factory!" story in the "In Town" Chapter. A secret exit leads to the "Mysterious Factory!" chapter, where all of the levels are based on this.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Syrup Castle again. This time, there's a whole five levels inside it (as with previous levels in the game), one of which is spent trying to find the entrance.
  • Evil Versus Evil: In a rare example in the Wario series, Wario isn't inadvertently saving the world from far greater evils by going on a treasure hunt, nor is Captain Syrup setting out to conquer it (as far as we know). Captain Syrup just takes revenge on Wario for the first game by stealing his treasure, and Wario of course wants it back. The whole game's plot basically boils down to "Terrible Trio of Pirate Jerks steal a treasure from a greedy Jerk. Wacky Hijinks ensue."
  • Floating in a Bubble: One of Wario's transformations, Bubble Wario, whose primary purpose is to bypass strong currents that he otherwise cannot get through. The bubble boss can also inflict this on Wario to throw him out of the arena.
  • Franchise Codifier: The first Wario Land (plus the Virtual Boy title) played close to the Mario series it spun off from. This game gave the Wario Land series its own identity by largely discarding the Mario elements and introducing a then-unorthodox mix of platforming, exploration, and puzzle solving with the "power downs" acquired from getting hit by enemies. Wario Land II also firmly established the Denser and Wackier atmosphere that would define all Wario games going forward, Land or not.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: A certain penguin enemy throws strange balls at Wario to turn him "crazy", which makes him harder to control. In the Japanese version, it's actually beer from a mug. The censored version sort of works if you interpret as Wario being dazed from having a blunt object thrown at his head, but it doesn't explain why he attacks by belching while in this state. The transformation returns in Wario Land 3, but this time it's triggered by a bird spinning him around in all versions, and the belching is removed.
  • Full-Boar Action: The cave master awaits Wario as the boss in the underground levels.
  • Gangplank Galleon: The SS Tea Cup serves as this once more.
  • Ghastly Ghost:
    • Ghosts are rare enemies that float about in patterns in certain stages. They are invincible and contact with them turns Wario into a Zombie. Naturally, they appear frequently in Uncanny Mansion.
    • A large Ghost is the Chapter boss of Uncanny Mansion. It swoops down trying to capture Wario.
  • Giant Mook:
    • The giant spear man is a recurring Pirate Goom.
    • The optional fish boss of the "Ruins at the Bottom of the sea" chapter appears to be this to the enemy cut of the Game Boy Color version (see below). Its name, Big Kamukamu, hints at this.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Wario has a giant snake in his castle's cellar, which he has to beat up. Why he has a giant snake (though maybe it's his pet), and why he has to beat it up is never explained. It's possible that the giant snake was left there by the Black Sugar Gang as another hazard to keep Wario from chasing after them.
  • Green Hill Zone: Chapter 2, Story 1, "Return the hen to her nest" takes place in a grassy field outside of Wario Castle.
  • Guide Dang It!: There's no real indication of how to reach the first branching storyline (in which the Black Sugar Gang boots Wario out of his own castle), and the method is actually very different from other story branches (where you have to find a hidden exit). If it weren't required for 100% Completion, it would qualify as an Easter Egg.
  • The Hedge of Thorns: "Through the thorny maze!!" is a level in Maze Woods where Wario has to ride owls to navigate around a giant maze of thorns. It is one of the more cumbersome levels in the game.
  • Harmless Enemy: Mice can only bounce Wario back a bit. They're commonly used as a Goomba Springboard or as an obstacle that can knock Wario off ledges.
  • Here We Go Again!: After the All Just a Dream ending, the end credits, rather than showing Wario returning from his journey, instead show the pirates invading Wario Castle just as in the opening, indicating that the adventure is now going to happen for real.
  • Immediate Sequel: A direct continuation of the events of Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, with Syrup getting her revenge after her defeat in that game.
  • Interface Spoiler: Even though you can't access the level select screen until you get one of the endings, just playing through the "main" chapters and noticing there being twice as many treasures and picture pieces as there are apparent levels doesn't add up.
  • Intoxication Mechanic: Among the enemies that Wario encounters are, in the Japanese release, penguins with beer steins that chuck beer at Wario getting him drunk, resulting in him walking backwards and attacking by burping. In international releases, the steins are balls, and the form is known as Crazy Wario, but the function is the same.
  • Kidnapped While Sleeping: Neglect to wake up as the pirates storm Wario Castle, and they will just throw him out as he sleeps.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: Wario can be shrunk down into Tiny Wario if hit by a spell from a Goom wizard. He can jump higher in this form, but is useless in combat until he gets back to his normal size.
  • Just Ignore It: One of the plot branches is reached if you let Wario stay in bed instead of getting up to break the alarm clock.
  • Leitmotif: The main theme song from the first Wario Land returns, with more remixes throughout the game.
  • Level Goal: A door with flashing star symbols above it.
  • Locomotive Level: Both "Stop that train!" missions, where Wario explores a moving train and has to find the brake. There's one outdoors, and the other takes place underground.
  • The Lost Woods: There are quite a few forest levels in the game, but Maze Woods represents this best.
  • Metropolis Level: The "In Town" Chapter, where Wario rides a train, scales a giant building in the city, leading into a factory in the basement.
  • Mook Lieutenant: A fair amount of these.
    • There's the Terrible Trio of Pirate Gooms who steal Wario's money and are repeatedly seen following Captain Syrup.
    • There's the four ducks that you defeat at Syrup Castle. They aren't any more difficult to defeat than the regular D.D., but you do need to defeat them in order to beat the level they are in.
    • The giant spear man's much bigger than the other mooks, even though he's still incredibly easy to defeat, but he's also the Recurring Boss of the game alongside Captain Syrup, and he's even the very last enemy that you face at the end of the game.
  • Morality Pet: Wario's pet hen appears to be one of the few things in the world besides money that he deeply cares about. While chasing the Black Sugar Gang, the pirates disturb Hen, causing her to flee from her nest. Wario deliberately cuts off the chase for his treasure just to help Hen and return her to her nest.
  • Multiple Endings: Though there's no real Golden Ending. (Unless you count The Really Final Chapter.)
  • Musical Nod: The main theme of the first Wario Land returns in this game as a Leitmotif.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: This was the game that established Wario as completely invincible.
  • Numbered Sequels: It's the second game, and has II in the name (2 in Japanese).
  • Off the Rails: Each level's title usually presents your goal for the stage. Getting the secret exits and alternate endings requires you to not do what the level title says you should — leaving boss stages without fighting the boss, going deeper into places you were told to escape, etc.
  • Omega Ending: After obtaining the five possible endings and collecting every treasure and picture piece, The Really Final Chapter opens up, which leads to the final ending.
  • One True Sequence: Subverted; at first, you can only proceed from one level to the next, but after your first ending, you get a level select screen where you can revisit levels, find hidden exits leading to different levels and plot branches, and eventually earn all the endings.
  • "Pop!" Goes the Human: Done to the bubble boss — he inflates when jumped on.
  • Post-Climax Confrontation: By completing the entire map and completing every level in all the story branches, the game will continue on from the main ending to The Really Final Chapter, where Wario steals Syrup's treasure as payback, complete with a Post-Final Boss, the Recurring Boss giant spear man.
  • Post-Defeat Explosion Chain: The three Captain Syrup final bosses explode repeatedly before both Syrup and her machine fall off the screen.
  • Remixed Level: "Escape from the Tea Cup!" has the same layout as "Drop the anchor!!", except it's flooded. The premise of the level is that Wario just sunk the SS Tea Cup to the bottom of the ocean and needs to, well, escape from it. The treasure is even located in the exact same place.
  • Revenge: Captain Syrup returns to get payback against Wario for her defeat in the previous game by stealing his treasure.
  • Ring-Out Boss: Inverted: since Wario can't be killed, the only way for him to lose in a boss fight is for the boss to throw him out of the arena, often using a particular attack that instantly forces him away. This forces Wario to return to the boss arena for another try. Also played straight by the boss of the "Go to the cellar!!" levels. Taking the form of a minotaur, the only way to actually damage him is to ram into him while he's off balance at the edge of the arena, thus knocking him off.
  • Ring-Ring-CRUNCH!: The game starts off with Wario hunting for, and destroying, an alarm clock. The clock is not pleased.
  • Savage Setpiece: Little cyclopian creatures called "Gugis" sit perfectly still in locations with a happy little grin on their face and have no interest in Wario, but attacking or even touching one will make them freak out and attack. Certain rooms have these enemies deliberately placed in tight corridors, forcing Wario to wade his way through without disturbing them.
  • Save-Game Limits: While the game includes Auto-Save after levels, it only supports one main save. This is more of an issue in the Game Boy Color release, as switching over to the other compatibility mode requires the player to erase their one and only save file.
  • Schrödinger's Gun: The plot involves Wario chasing after Captain Syrup and her pirate gang, who carry his treasure through various locations. Where they go with the treasure depends entirely on which story path Wario takes, even though they're ahead of him. The one case in which this makes a bit more sense is the Ruins at the Bottom of the sea chapter, where the pirates head for said ruins because Wario sunk their ship.
  • Shapes of Disappearance: In the second chapter's intro, Wario discovers that his treasure has been stolen when he enters an empty room and sees only a blinking afterimage of his missing treasure bags.
  • Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom: In the "Mysterious Factory!" chapter, there are compactors laced with spikes that constantly smash up and down across conveyor belts.
  • Squashed Flat: One of Wario's amusing injury transformations. Getting smashed by a weight or a falling rock will turn Wario into Flat Wario. While flat, he can fall slowly and waddle through small crevices.
  • Stock Video Game Puzzle: The "Water Level" puzzle occurs in "Move Through The Water!". Wario has to hit switches that change the water flow on or off: If the Water is turned on, it raises the water level, with causes some buoy blocks to raise that allow access to doors and areas, but a rapid current appears and Wario cannot swim through certain sections. If the Water is off, it lowers the water level, making doors inaccessible in certain rooms, but the water is easier to swim through. Wario has to carefully manipulate the water via switches to get through the level.
  • Swordfish Sabre: Sawfish enemies appear in the game, and touching their spiky rostrums will damage Wario.
  • Terrible Trio: Captain Syrup and her three Pirate Goom henchmen.
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change: The credits music starts in in C Major. Two bars into the coda, it shifts to D♭ Major.
  • True Final Boss: Who is waiting for you at the end of the final stage? Why, it's the giant spear man, of course!
  • Underground Level: The "Go to the cellar!!" chapter takes place entirely underground, with some Blackout Basement elements, as well as an underground Locomotive Level.
  • Underwater Boss Battle: Big Kamukamu, the Optional Boss of the "Escape from the ruins!" story in the "Ruins at the Bottom of the sea" chapter.
  • Underwater Ruins: The aptly named "Ruins at the Bottom of the sea", an alternate Chapter 3 unlocked by sinking the SS Tea Cup in the "Drop the anchor!!" story.
  • Unique Enemy: The original Game Boy version of the game has exactly two Kamukamu, one in a waterway in "Turn off the giant faucet!" and another at the very end of "Escape from the Tea Cup!". In the Super Game Boy and Game Boy Color versions of the game, these enemies are completely unused, replaced by the much more common sawfish, despite reshaded sprites existing for them.
  • Updated Re-release: When the game was originally released, it was on the black-and-white Game Boy. This version only came out in North America, Europe and Australia; a Game Boy Color capable version was released in Japan, and this version was released to the rest of the world as well.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Subverted — there's "The Really Final Chapter" after the skull-shaped castle.
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: The secret exit for the first level, "Turn Off the Alarm Clock!", can only be obtained by starting the level and not doing anything after the opening cutscene, simply letting Wario sleep in. Eventually, the level will end automatically and open a unique story route where Wario gets kicked out of his castle and has to break back in. Exactly how long the player has to wait depends on whether or not this is their first time playing the level on that file; a new game requires the player to wait 30 seconds, while replaying the level significantly shortens it to just a few seconds.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Wario Land 2


Stolen Treasure

Wario's missing treasure bags are indicated by a blinking afterimage.

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Example of:

Main / ShapesOfDisappearance

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