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Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 (Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land in Japan) is the third game in the Super Mario Land series, the first in the Wario Land series, and the first overall game starring Wario, released in 1994 on the Game Boy. Being the first in a new series, it is very different from the Mario Land games, though it still retains some elements of the franchise which its successors would soon disavow.

Since Wario is basically a Villain Protagonist — indeed, the game is often cited as the first from Nintendo to feature one — the game has no real noble goal. Instead, the game is based around Wario, hot off the heels of his previous failure to sieze Mario's castle, trying to get a lot of money in order to buy his own bigger castle and make Mario jealous. His main plan to do this? Steal a giant golden statue of Princess Peach that had been previously stolen by a gang of pirates, then sell it back to its rightful owners. There are Multiple Endings based around how much money the player accrued over the course of the game, something rather new at the time.


The gameplay, again, is markedly different from the original Mario titles, since Wario is much more combat-oriented. He can do a shoulder charge to defeat enemies, pick them up and toss them around, and use various power-up helmets to either attack enemies in new ways or explore the levels.

The game is available for the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console.

This game provides examples of:

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  • Achilles' Heel: Wario is immune to Collision Damage, but is vulnerable to sharp things. Naturally, most of the creatures on Kitchen Island can strike at his one weakness.
  • Adding Insult to Injury: When Wario gets a castle or other type of dwelling at the end of the game, he'll try to decorate it with a large W sign. In the worst endings, the sign falls off whatever dwelling Wario gets. The poor guy can't even personalize his new home!
  • Adorable Evil Minions: In Nintendo tradition, Captain Syrup's pirate crew are ruthless, but also very cute at the same time. Special mention goes out to the Gooms.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: The first level of Stove Canyon has a moving wall of instant-death lava.
  • After Boss Recovery: Money literally rains from the sky once a boss is beaten, as do hearts in one instance. Also, if you happened to take damage and are small, you will be returned to your normal size.
  • Artifact Title: The game has minimal ties to the previous two Super Mario Land titles, aside from Mario and Wario's old castle appearing in one of the endings, as well as a cameo by Mario himself. The overall gameplay is similar as well (use of power-ups, shrinking when taking damage). The Excuse Plot of this game is also somewhat related to Super Mario Land 2, as it is about Wario trying to claim a castle for his own after his defeat in the previous game.
  • Background Boss: The Genie who serves as the Final Boss.
  • Betting Mini-Game: At the end of each level, you have the option of playing a game in which you pick one of two buckets. One has a moneybag which doubles the coins you got in the level, and the other has a 10 ton weight which cuts your coins in half. You can pick up to three times. The Virtual Boy game also has this... with the option of going for 3x coins (one of two buckets are correct), 6x (one of three) or 10x (one of four) with your coins cut in half if you pick the wrong bucket (with a spider in it.)
  • Beware the Skull Base: Kitchen Island is shaped like a skull, and to say nothing about Captain Syrup's castle.
  • Big Bad: Captain Syrup, with Villain Protagonist Wario (and the 6 Golden Coins affair still fresh in everyone's minds) making it an Evil Versus Evil setup.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Wario doesn't get to claim the giant golden statue of the princess, but the Genie still gives him a place to live.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: At least Wario is taking on a gang of pirates here, while they apparently have a reputation befitting, well, pirates.
  • Bonus Boss: The Penguin, located in Sherbet Land.
  • Breakable Power-Up: Just like his red counterpart, Wario loses his power and shrinks into a small form whenever he takes damage. He also loses his ability to use the body slam.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Every time you complete a level, Wario will wink at you and give you a thumbs-up for succeeding.
  • Broken Bridge: Some levels change wherever a particular level is beaten; for example, the tide rises in Rice Beach replacing quicksand with water pools and revealing the first treasure; defeating a certain miniboss in Mt. Teapot causes the floating "teapot lid" island to crash down into the mountain, destroying one of the levels completely and replacing it with the boss level.
  • The Cameo: Mario makes a surprise cameo in the ending, where he flies by in a helicopter and snatches away the giant golden statue of the princess from Wario.
  • Cartoon Bomb: They have wings and try to latch onto your head.
  • Cast from Money: Wario can draw a heavy 10 Gold Coin and throw it at enemies, then pick it back afterwards. It's also the fee required to open the exit door of most levels.
  • Character in the Logo: The logo on the International logo has Wario's head in the "O" in "Wario".
  • Classic Cheat Code: Pause, press select 16 times, hold B, and go nuts. The only downside is that you have to wait a whole minute while your 999 coins are slowly added to your treasury at the end of the level.
  • Collision Damage: Zig-zagged. Wario can stun or kill most enemies just by bumping into them, without harming himself. However, most of these enemies either have spiky protection or carry sharp weapons, which do harm Wario if he touches them. The trick is to attack them from an unprotected side (usually from behind or below).
  • Color Wash: The Super Game Boy is precoded to play this game with a beige-yellow palette by default, reflecting both the monetary theme of the game and the fact that Wario wears yellow (as opposed to Mario's red and Luigi's green).
  • Continuing is Painful: If you were to lose all your lives, you'll lose one of the treasures collected and get to retrieve them again. If you had no treasures, you would lose half your collected coins instead.
  • Contrasting Sequel Protagonist: You're not the good-natured and heroic Mario this time around, this time you play the villainous Wario, the Big Bad of the previous game, who is on a treasure hunt to get a castle of his own.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: The ending where Wario gets a castle seems to be the canonical version. Later games show him living in it.
  • Death Mountain: The second world, Mt. Teapot, has Wario exploring a lake and scaling up the mountain.
  • Deface of the Moon: In the Golden Ending Wario pays Captain Syrup's genie to create a planetoid with his face on it.
  • Downer Ending: If Wario gathered a meager amount of coins, he has to live in a hollowed tree-trunk or worse, a birdhouse. However, you can continue playing that save file to earn more coins and treasures to get Wario some nicer digs.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Compared to future games, this one is much more linear and has a lot of Mario elements (lives, shrinking down when hit, powerups from blocks, etc.).
    • In both this game and Virtual Boy Wario Land, Wario wears a safari helmet by default, rather than his usual yellow cap. (He does wear the usual cap in this game's introduction, but loses it on the file select screen and takes the safari hat in its place.)
    • The best ending for the game has the Genie giving Wario his own planetoid, but the second-best ending, where Wario merely gets his own castle, seems to be the canonical one (despite urging the player to "please retry!").
    • The Spiked Koopa (the Hammer Brother-like boss of Rice Beach), as well as the Munchers, Piranha Plants, and Pouncers (a Thwomp variant) that appear throughout the game, are the only classic Super Mario Bros. enemies to appear in any form in any of the Wario Land games.
    • This is the only Wario Land game where the intro has nothing to do with the game's story. The intro's for the rest of the series actually show how the story starts, but this one just has Wario chasing and assaulting a Dangerous Duck. So if you didn't read or have the manual (or look up the plot online), the ending where Mario and a giant golden statue of the princess appear would confuse you.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: Getting the worst ending is a challenge in itself as you really have to try to avoid collecting coins.
  • End Game Results Screen: The "castle" Wario ends up getting is determined by the number of coins and treasures Wario has collected over the course of the game, ranging from a birdhouse to a planet.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: The boss of Sherbet Land is a spiked hat and boxing gloves wearing penguin. Also, the Penkoons resemble a cross between a tanuki and a penguin ("part penguin and part racoon" in the English manual).
  • Evil Versus Evil: Wario may be greedy as all heck, but he's at least going for an appropriate target in the Brown Sugar Pirates.
  • Feathered Fiend: Watches are annoying birds that swoop down at Wario and attack with their sharp talons.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Bobo, the SS Tea Cup's guard.
  • Flying Face: The Devil's Head, the boss of Stove Canyon.
  • Food Theme Naming: The worlds on Kitchen Island - Rice Beach, Mt. Teapot, Sherbet Land, Stove Canyon, SS Tea Cup, Parsley Woods, and Syrup Castle.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: The North American commercial for 6 Golden Coins involved Wario hypnotizing the inhabitants of Mario Land into turning on Mario. The North American commercial for this game repeats the theme, only this time Wario is trying to hypnotize you, the viewer, into buying his game and helping him get a castle bigger than Mario's.
  • Frigid Water Is Harmless: The frozen Sherbet Land has a few underwater levels, where the water behaves exactly the same as in every other world.

  • Gangplank Galleon: The SS Tea Cup.
  • Genie in a Bottle: The final boss of the game. At the end of the game, Wario gains control of the Genie and uses his wish to get the castle he's been after the whole game. The quality of the castle depends on how much cash you've gathered (in coins and hidden treasures).
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The final boss, a genie. Granted, the Genie is being controlled by the actual Big Bad, Captain Syrup, but there's no reference to it in the game or manual before that point, so its appearance is a bit of a surprise.
  • The Goomba: That would be the "Gooms" around here, which come in both Pirate Goom varieties, as the most basic actual threat in the game, and the Wanderin' Goom, which the manual outright — accurately — states is harmless and just there for Wario to "shake it up for a coin or two". Or to be used as a throwing weapon.
  • Graphics-Induced Super-Deformed: Demon Bats look like they are full of spikes (and thus nigh unbeatable) but Wario can jump on them just fine. Looking at the official art reveals their "spikes" are just ears and a tail.
  • Hat of Power: All the power-ups are hats in this game that grant Wario special abilities. The Bull Pot places a Viking helmet on Wario's head that strengthens his body charge attack, lets him cling to ceilings, and allows him to do a Earth-shaking Ground Pound. The Jet Pot gives Wario a hat that makes him move faster, jump higher, and has built in rocket thrusters that allow him to fly. The Dragon Pot places a mechanical dragon on Wario's head that lets him shoot fire that breaks blocks and roasts enemies.
  • Hero of Another Story: Implied in the manual with Mario, as it mentions him going on his own adventure to find the Princess Toadstool statue. He ends up appearing in the game's ending to take it back.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: The Garlic Pot serves to turn Small Wario into Wario and Wario into Bull Wario.
  • Immediate Sequel: The game picks up shortly after Super Mario Land 2, with Wario learning about the Princess Toadstool statue shortly after his loss in that game.
  • Indy Escape: Common in this game.
  • Infinite 1-Ups: Easily gotten in Course No.06, which is a short stage consisting of nothing but a Bull Pot, coins, invisible blocks containing hearts, and harmless enemies hidden in the ground. And that's not even with you accessing the Debug Cheat to edit your life count.
  • Instakill Mook: Pouncers will kill Wario in one hit no matter what his form is.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: The Star, unsurprisingly.
  • Jet Pack: Or rather jet hat.
  • Kill It with Fire: Dragon Wario. Although the fire become shock waves underwater.
  • Ledge Bats: Unlike Mario, Wario takes Knock Back, which means even enemies that otherwise cannot harm him like Demon Bats can effectively kill Wario in one hit...
  • Lethal Lava Land: Stove Canyon.
  • Locomotive Level: Two fixed scrolling ones.
  • The Lost Woods: Parsley Woods.
  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: Wario destroys Syrup Castle to reveal the giant golden statue of the princess, only for Mario to appear and snatch it right then and there.
  • Minecart Madness: One of the levels in Stove Canyon. A level in Parsley Woods is very similar.
  • Mini-Boss: Unlike any other enemy in the game, Captain Syrup is defended by an armored knight who behaves very much like any of the preceding bosses and takes some work to defeat.
  • Multiple Endings: Wario Land introduced a then-new mechanic for the series where the number of coins you collect will determine the quality of the epilogue. Getting the lower two endings requires you to avoid coins like the plague.
    • 6 Money Bags: Planetoid (must have 99,999 coins, all treasures found, and all courses cleared)
    • 5 Money Bags: Castle (90,008 coins)
    • 4 Money Bags: Pagoda (70,008 coins)
    • 3 Money Bags: Log cabin (40,008 coins)
    • 2 Money Bags: Tree trunk (10,072 coins)
    • 1 Money Bag: Birdhouse (lowest possible score is 300 coins)
  • Nice Hat: These serve as power-ups. Like wearing a fire breathing mechanical dragon and a jet engine shaped like a duck on your head?
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Even when it's downplayed, it's worth noting that the only things that can actually hurt Wario are sharp enemies and fire/plasma-based substances.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: Ghostly Spear Gooms are ghosts of prior Spear Gooms Wario defeated and behave the same as the famous Boos. They home in on Wario when he's not looking at them.
  • Nintendo Hard: The first world is harder than the entirety of Super Mario Land 2.

  • One-Hit Kill: Here and here alone.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Captain Syrup serves this function here.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: The money-obsessed boss of Parsely Woods, which summons Pirate Goom ghosts.
  • Our Minotaurs Are Different: The Minotaur. Amusingly fitting, he imitates some of Wario's trademark abilities.
  • Outside Ride: In the train levels.
  • Palmtree Panic: Rice Beach.
  • Planet Baron: If Wario goes out of his way to obtain every single coin he can find, then he'll have enough money by the end to buy his very own planetoid with his face on it.
  • Playing with Fire: Dragon Wario spews flames that can break blocks and roast enemies.
  • Point of No Return: Subverted. After passing the SS Tea Cup, You're shot into the Parsley woods and can't go back to the previous levels, until you find a way to drain the lake about three stages in.
  • Power-Up Food: The game parodies the traditional Mario method of power ups by having Wario eat comically oversized heads of Garlic, which give him his hat powers.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: The premise, and an Irony where someone's Greed causes them to make a more-reasonable decision: Rather than try to conquer Mario Land again, seek Revenge on Mario, etc., Wario decides to simply Start His Own on Kitchen Island.
  • Puzzle Boss: Albeit a very easy puzzle with the Minotaur. To defeat him, stun him with a charge, pick him up, and throw him in the lava. The "puzzle" is figuring out that you can pick the boss up, as giant and intimidating as he is.
  • Remixed Level: Several cases. After you beat Rice Beach, two stages there become flooded when you try them again. The final stage of Mt. Teapot is a remix of a previous version of the stage. The first stage of Parsley Woods changes significantly after you drain the lake.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: Parsley Woods is erroneously spelt as Parsely Woods after Wario drains the lake, it may have been possible that in an earlier state of development, the area may have referred to as Parsely Lake, utilizing the draining cutscene as the trigger for altering the map tiles. eventually they caught the misspelling and stuck to consistently calling it as Parsley Woods, they may have blanked out the tiles that spelt Lake (space saving measure?) but didn't realize they spelt Parsley twice in its drained state. This was not caught in localization.
  • Samus Is a Girl: The story in the English manual mentions that Captain Syrup is "known the world over for being a really rotten and ruthless guy".
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: What Captain Syrup does after you defeat her genie.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Wario destroys Syrup Castle to reveal a giant statue of the princess... which is then taken away by Mario in his helicopter. Luckily for Wario, he still has Captain Syrup's magic lamp, and the Genie who lives inside is willing to take cash.
  • Skippable Boss: Again, the Penguin, as there's a door in his arena.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Sherbet Land.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: Like the rest of the Mario series, the music speeds up when the timer drops below 100 seconds. Unlike them however, it climbs up a half-step.
  • Spanner in the Works: Subverted. After Wario's defeated Captain Syrup, he's about to get the giant golden statue of the princess...only for Mario to come along in a helicopter and take the statue back to the Mushroom Kingdom himself. It doesn't necessarily matter, since Wario gets ahold of Captain Syrup's genie. If Wario has enough treasure, the Genie can still give him the castle he wants.
  • The Spiny: Since Wario doesn't take basic Collision Damage in this game, the multitude of enemies in this game wield some sharp weaponry or protection of some kind. Be it spears, spikes, or knives, which does damage Wario. Wario has to attack them from an unprotected side.
  • Start My Own: Having failed to steal Mario's castle in the previous game, Wario goes on a treasure hunt to try and get enough money to build his own castle bigger than Mario's. In the best ending, Wario is so successful that he manages to buy his own personal planetoid.
  • Stepping-Stone Sword: Used to get a secret exit that leads to Sherbet Land.
  • Sub-Boss: The Knight mini-boss from Syrup Castle.
  • Super Strength: Wario is already a powerful guy, but the Bull Pot makes him even stronger. He can break solid blocks in one blow and can perform earth-shaking Ground Pounds.
  • Super Speed: Jet Wario is not only capable of flight, but he runs faster than his other forms on top of jumping higher.
  • Suspicious Videogame Generosity: There's always a power up right before the boss door.
  • The Unfought: Captain Syrup herself. You fight her genie instead. After defeating said genie, she promptly pulls an Exit Villain Stage Left.
  • Timed Mission: The timer is usually long enough so as to not be a bother, though.
  • Time Keeps On Ticking: Done in the pre-final boss cutscene.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Syrup Castle. Nothing subtle about that giant skull at all.
  • Traintop Battle: Done in several levels.
  • Treasure Hunt Episode: In what would become a Wario series tradition, Wario embarks on a treasure hunting adventure to get rich. In this case to claim a castle of his own.
  • Underground Level: Rice Beach, Stove Canyon, and Sherbet Land all have bits of this.
  • Under the Sea: Bits of Sherbet Land and SS Tea Cup count.
  • Unstable Equilibrium: Done differently than Mario games in that Wario can still break blocks when small but loses the ability to run(shoulder bash), meaning that if you couldn't get through platforming or combat without it...
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can throw any of the smaller Mooks underneath a "Pouncer" or into a lightning bolt, and you'll get 10x the coins for your trouble.
  • Video Game Flight: Jet Wario. Thanks to a programming quirk, you can pretty much fly forever.
  • Villain Protagonist: The game lets you know right from the box and the commercials that you're the bad guy in this game. You're not saving anyone. The world isn't in any danger. Heck, the pirates you're going after don't really do anything except get in your way. It's all about you and your own selfish self interest. Feels pretty good.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: If the player has not figured out that this is not a "Mario" platform game yet, the very first boss, a Spiked Koopa, will hammer it for them. He cannot be jumped on, as any Mario player would recognize, but must be jumped into, which Mario players have been conditioned to not even consider. More, he is immune to fire, and since this game has no dash button coming in with the Dragon Pot makes the fight harder than just being plain "big" Wario, and even then Wario's momentum is controlled much differently than Mario's so you cannot dodge by muscle memory. Even ignoring all of that, he is a fairly tough boss with multiple attacks that would be seen at the midway point of a Mario game rather than the beginning and consequently is one of most difficult bosses in this game. The fact that the level was aggravating didn't help things either.