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Video Game / Wario Land: Shake It!

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Wario shakes things up.

Wario Land: Shake It! (subtitled The Shake Dimension in European languages) is a platform game on the Nintendo Wii, released in 2008. It's the only game in the Wario Land series to be released on a home console instead of a handheld, excluding the 3D spin-off Wario World. The gameplay here is similar to Wario Land 4. This game's main gimmick is that shaking the Wii Remote causes Wario to rapidly shake anything he's holding (such as a bomb, an enemy, or a sack of gold coins) or to perform an Earthshake Punch, a move that rattles the screen and causes various changes to Wario's environment.

The story concerns Captain Syrup stealing an ancient globe that turns out to be a portal to an alternate realm called the Shake Dimension, inhabited by peaceful pixie-like creatures called Merfles but ruled by a ruthless Viking named the Shake King. The Shake King has kidnapped the Shake Dimension's Queen Merelda and stolen the bottomless coin sack, a sack that never runs out of gold coins no matter how much you shake it. Captain Syrup mails the globe to Wario, who accidentally releases the only Merfle that managed to avoid capture at the hands of the Shake King. The Merfle explains his predicament and Wario agrees to lend a hand, ostensibly to rescue Queen Merelda, but actually because he has his eye on that bottomless coin sack.

Wario journeys across the five continents of the Shake Dimension, gathering coins, finding hidden treasures, and rescuing a Merfle at the end of each level. After freeing the captured Merfle, he must high-tail it back to the level's entrance before a timer runs out and the Shake King appears to steal back his loot. Each continent has four regular levels, a boss fight, and up to three hidden levels accessed by finding hidden maps. Every level also has three to seven missions for Wario to complete, as well as three (often comical) treasures.

This game provides examples of:

  • Advertised Extra: Many enemies exhibited in the manual and original website played up the rogues gallery of enemies Wario can face. In the game proper, much of them only appear in about one or two levels each. Buccaneros, Crackpots, Flipstings, and Peek-a-Booms are the most notable. Justified in the limited amount of stages that they'd match aesthetically
  • Animesque: All of the characters, gameplay, and cutscenes are completely animated in this style. Which makes sense, as the games' animation was done by Japanese animation studio Production I.G.
  • Anti-Hero: Wario, naturally. He couldn't care less about Queen Merelda—he's only interested in her bottomless coin sack. At the end of the game, he tosses her aside and heads right for the gold before she even finishes thanking him.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Bad Manor and Boogie Mansion.
  • Bilingual Bonus: An obscure example. The sound "tl" is extremely prominent in Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs (still spoken by some indigenous Mexicans today). It lends its name to Ratl Ruins and their boss, Rollanratl, himself based on the Aztec rain god Tlaloc.
  • Boss-Only Level: Every boss is fought in its own level. After defeating the Final Boss for the first time, they even get their own missions.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Finding every hidden treasure in the game decks out Wario's garage in gold and riches.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • If you leave your controller untouched in the middle of a level, Wario gets antsy and mumbles, "C'mon, c'mon, pick it up and play already!"
    • Done literally in the old YouTube advertisement for the game, in which every time there was an impact of some sort in the video (such as Wario hitting a wall or an earthquake), something on the actual web page would get thrown out of place, with the entire page becoming a total mess by the end.
  • Buffy Speak: The "max fastosity dasherators," so named by Wario.
  • Bullfight Boss: The Shake King. Jumping on him while he charges is Wario's main method of making him vulnerable to damage - he'll be thrown off by the jump and slam into the wall. Later in the fight he will charge across the stage multiple times and gain a shield that requires more timed jumps to dispel.
  • The Bus Came Back: Captain Syrup, Wario's flirtatious rival, returns for the first time since Wario Land II (albeit as an ally and shopkeeper).
  • Cargo Ship: Implied by the Kissing Stapler, one of the treasures in Rocking Range. "The first in a line of office supplies for lonely workers." invoked
  • Casino Park: Glittertown and Neon City.
  • Chest Monster: The actual chests are these in Bad Manor and Boogie Mansion. They'll actually eat Wario if you try to break them open normally. You need to feed them a bomb to get the treasure.
  • Comically Missing the Point: The Emerald Melon, as described in the game's treasure inventory.
    A cruel hoax played on melon enthusiasts. Don't try to bite it—it'll only lead to heartbreak.
  • Creepy Jazz Music: The Evil Chef boss, Large Fry, has a jazzy battle theme
  • Damsel in Distress: Queen Merelda is kidnapped by the evil Shake King, setting off the events of the game. However, Wario is less concerned with saving her than he is with gaining riches from his adventure.
  • Darkest Africa: The second continent, Wiggly Wilds, is based on the African savanna.
  • Dating Catwoman: Captain Syrup has a flirtatious personality, often calling Wario by affectionate nicknames. It's a ruse, naturally, as Syrup is using Wario as her stooge to get her hands on Queen Merelda's bottomless coin sack.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • While Syrup is the one that kickstarted the game by giving the globe to Wario and also stole the bottomless sack from him in the end, unlike Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 and Wario Land II, which had her as the main antagonist, Captain Syrup is primarily reduced to running the pirate shop with no real active role in the game.
    • This also applies to Wario's transformations, of which there are only threenote  in contrast to previous games which had about over ten per game.
  • Didn't Think This Through: At the end of the game, Captain Syrup steals the Bottomless Coin Sack from Wario and after she drives off, the Merfle nervously reveals that he went to Captain Syrup first and agreed to give her the treasure as a "Consultant's Fee". Cue Wario angrily chasing the Merfle around, with full intent to beat him up.
  • Dub Name Change: In the American English version, the boss of Jiggle Jungle is named Bloomsday. For reasons unknown, his name was changed to Scumflower in the British version.
  • Escape Sequence: Carrying on from Wario Land 4, after picking up the cage with the captured Merfle, a intruder alarm will go off, so Wario is gonna have to rush back to the entrance in order to safely escape from the level. If the time runs out, the Shake King will appear and shake Wario off all the treasure he has found before throwing him out from the level or to the checkpoint if it was activated.
  • Fade Around the Eyes: Inverted in the cutscene before the Shake King's boss battle. Everything is black at first (except for Wario), then you see the King's eyes, and then the whole room lights up.
  • Fake Longevity: Played with. While it's possible to find all of the secret maps before completing the game, completing it makes them easier to find. On the other hand, for those trying to get all of the treasures and complete all the missionsnote , at least one stage requires two playthroughs in order to get all three treasures and complete all three missions. Then after completing the game, the boss stages get missions of their own...
  • Far East: Mount Bighill and Bamboozle Village have a Chinese look to them.
  • Feed It a Bomb: The only way to defeat the chest monsters and Large Fry.
  • Flying Seafood Special: Large Fry appears to be some kind of fish that flies around in a giant wok.
  • Floating Continent: Airytale Castle and Prism Prison. They also have a Greco-Roman aesthetic.
  • Foul Flower: Bloomsday is a dark, menacing flower who serves as the fourth boss. It uses a variety of powers, from Blow You Away to Green Thumb, to try and kill Wario. It's also colored drab shades of gray and red, with bright green eyes.
  • The Goomba: Bandineros. They're actually completely harmless, as they can inconvenience Wario but not actually hurt him. They're mainly there to be a quick source of garlic, and occasionally to be used as projectiles by the player.
  • Ground Pound: One of Wario's standard moves. It gets stronger if you jump off a sufficiently tall ledge before you use it, unleashing a shockwave like the Earthshake Punch upon landing.
  • Hearts Are Health: As with Wario Land 4, Wario (who, again, is no longer immortal) has a life meter in the form of hearts.
  • Hollywood Atlas: Every continent in the Shake Dimension is clearly inspired by a real place on Earth.
  • Horny Vikings: The Shake King resembles a viking and has the requisite pointy helmet and wooden ship.
  • Hover Bot: Chortlebot is a giant floating Robot Clown head.
  • Human Snowball: If any snow falls on Wario, he becomes trapped in a snowball. His mobility is severely impaired, but he can roll along the ground, destroying everything in his path. This is the only way to destroy certain icy barriers.
  • Inconsistent Coloring: In "Boogie Mansion", you have to rescue a Pink Merfle, however, when you broke open the cage, a Black Merfle appears instead of a Pink one.
  • Jiggle Physics: Played for Laughs, as whenever Wario lands from somersaulting and leaping off a horizontal bar, his stomach bounces with an audible boing sound as he strikes a pose.
  • Jungle Japes: World 4, Jiggle Jungle.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Two of the levels in the Wiggly Wilds, Mt. Lava Lava and Sneak Peak, both take place in a volcano land.
  • Lighter and Softer: Than Wario Land 4. It has a much more cartoony, cutesy and silly artstyle, character designs and animations, a much more upbeat soundtrack, and the bosses, with the exception of Chortlebot, look far less disturbing.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: A literal example with Rollanratl—His entire boss fight is spent with him carrying his own temple above his head. Naturally, it comes crashing down on him upon his defeat.
  • Locomotive Level: Two of the levels at Rocking Range, Wreck Train and Derailed Express.
  • MacGuffin: The bottomless coin sack is the only reason why Wario is interested in saving the Shake Dimension.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Venus Guytraps. The regular version waits a bit before clamping shut, but the red variants are active as soon as Wario touches them.
  • Man on Fire: Some fiery enemies can set Wario alight, but not actually hurt him. When on fire, he can only run very quickly in a single direction until he touches water or the fire consumes him entirely (harmlessly, for comic effect). Certain barriers cannot be destroyed unless you make use of this mechanic.
  • Mayincatec: The first continent, Ratl Ruins, has a Central American theme.
  • Megaton Punch: Wario's Earthshake Punch is a non-combative variant. It's capable of stunning almost every enemy on screen and moving pillars and other large obstacles.
  • Money for Nothing: After purchasing every item that can be bought, money practically becomes useless.
  • Monster Clown: Chortlebot, "the first and last humor machine" and the boss of Rocking Range. He is a giant mechanical clown head.
  • Musical Nod: In general, alond with more contemporary nods, the game's soundtrack has a very 80's-90's vibe to it, similar to soundtracks of shows from that period of time.
    • One level in Ratl Ruins has a riff from Werewolves of London and/or Sweet Home Alabama.
    • Glittertown's music is a redo of the Greenhorn Ruins theme from Wario World.
    • Mt. Lava Lava's music also contains an excerpt from Greenhorn Forest's music from the same game.
    • Wario's victory music from Super Smash Bros. Brawl appears in the music for Stonecarving City.
  • No-Harm Requirement: Many bonus missions from Ropey Jungle onwards involve completing the level without harming a particular type of enemy.
  • Only in It for the Money: As the Merfle is on his knees telling Wario what happened to his world, Wario is picking his nose like he couldn't care less about the Merfle's dilemma. It isn't until Merfle mentions the Bottomless Coin Sack where Wario's interest is piqued and he agrees to help out. Sure enough, when he defeats the Shake King, he couldn't care less about Queen Merelda and goes straight for the sack and takes it with him back to his world.
  • Piñata Enemy: White Bandineros are always asleep and always drop a big clove of Garlic when shaken. However, they always take their naps in rather obscure locations.
  • Pirate Girl: Captain Syrup, returning from previous Wario Land games as a shopkeeper.
  • Pre-Final Boss: Defeating Large Fry unlocks the Shakedown Schooner, which only contains the final battle against the Shake King.
  • Punny Name: Almost every level has a pun for a name. Standouts include Bad Manor, the Chinese-inspired Bamboozle Village, Sneak Peak, and It's-All Mine. Similarly, the five continents of the Shake Dimension have a synonym for "shake" in their names: Rattle, Wiggle, Rock, Jiggle, and Quiver.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Of an interesting sort, as composer Tomoya Tomita was given the MIDI data of songs from previous Wario games and told to incorporate them however he could. This is why the Stonecarving City theme is arrangement of Wario's victory theme from Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Glittertown is an arrangement of Greenhorn Ruins from Wario World; the latter is literally the same MIDI data with new instruments and Tomita playing electric guitar over it.
  • Robot Clown: The boss Chortlebot is a flying robot clown head. Its Gag Nose turns into a spikeball, which Chortlebot launches at Wario. It has Creepy Circus Music as its boss theme, and a distinct, high-pitched cackle.
  • Save the Princess: What the Merfles think Wario is doing in the Shake Dimension. In reality, he's only interested in her treasure.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Wario goes through all that work in the Shake Dimension to obtain the bottomless coin sack, only to have Captain Syrup steal it from him in the very end.
  • Shout-Out: Plenty of hidden treasures are allusions to other games and media. Some examples:
    • The Really Tempting Apple, a treasure from Rocking Range, already has a bite in it, implying it's the famous fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (popularly depicted as an apple), with which Satan tempted Eve in the Book of Genesis. The Swine Pearls, another treasure, are a clear reference to one of Jesus's sayings from his Sermon on the Mount. Their description in your inventory even asks, "Why put one before the other?"
    • Peach Sandals are "Sandals previously worn by a princess." Presumably, Princess Peach. The inventory description goes on to say, "They smell good. Suspiciously good."
    • The Turtleskin Hat is highly reminiscent of the helmet worn by Fred Flintstone.
    • Pandora's Box from Greek Mythology is one of the treasures in the game, found in Boogie Mansion.
    • That Star Hammer looks like the one used by a very famous king...
    • Meanwhile, some of the bandineros are wearing Sonic the Hedgehog's shoes.
  • Signpost Tutorial: The game uses signs in the background of the tutorial level to show the controls.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: When time is close to being up during the escape portion of each stage, the normal music cuts out and is replaced by a clipped, low-percussion version of the final boss theme.
  • The Spiny: Bumbleprods, tiny tan creatures wearing black spiky Viking Helmets.
  • Theme-and-Variations Soundtrack: Most if not all the levels in the game feature some arrangement of the main theme, though the one you're likeliest to recall is the version played in Stonecarving City, which became a Bootstrapped Leitmotif for Wario in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.
  • Timed Mission:
    • Every level (except for Wavy Waters, Windbreak Bay, and Creep Blue Sea) require you to head back to the start as fast as you can after you rescue the local imprisoned Merfle. Take too long, and the Shake King appears to take back all that treasure you plundered. One of the missions in every level also requires you to make it back to the start even faster than that (for example, if the timer says five minutes, you may need to do it in less than three).
    • Lowdown Depths and Launchpad Labyrinth are unique in that rescuing the Merfle is the first thing you do, forcing you to play the entire level under pressure.
  • Toggling Setpiece Puzzle: The Shake Blocks, which are marked with the face of the Shake King, operate in a similar way to the frog-marked blocks in Wario Land 4. At the start of a level, the blue-colored blocks will be transparent and marked with dashes (indicating that you cannot interact physically with them), while the red-colored blocks are fully solid and you can use them like platforms. However, after Wario frees Merfle from its cage, the blocks will swap their states, with the red ones turning transparent and immaterial and the blue ones becoming fully solid. As a result of the toggling, areas that Wario was able to traverse at first become inaccessible and vice versa, thus requiring to devise an alternate path to return to the level's entrance and clear it.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Garlic, for Wario. It comes in big and small varieties, each replenishing different amounts of health.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: The Subwarine levels–Wavy Waters, Windbreak Bay, and Creep Blue Sea.
  • Viva Las Vegas!: Glittertown and Neon City are based on Las Vegas. Curiously, their theme music is the Greenhorn Ruins theme from Wario World.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: One of Wario's treasures is literally Love. Its title, on the other hand, is only "Something Important".
    Somebody said that this is really important or something. What's the big deal?
  • Wheel o' Feet: After Wario enters a Max Fastosity Dasherator, he will be running at high speeds with his feet going round in a green circle.
  • The Wild West: The third continent, Rocking Range, is based on the southwestern United States. Wreck Train and Derailed Express are even set on cargo trains and have theme music highly reminiscent of classic Hollywood Westerns.

Alternative Title(s): Wario Land The Shake Dimension