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Video Game / Wario: Master of Disguise

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Wario: Master of Disguise is a Puzzle Platformer for the Nintendo DS.

One day, Wario was lounging on his sofa, watching TV, when a show called "The Silver Zephyr" came on. It was a show about a man named Count Cannoli who used his magic wand, Goodstyle, to transform into the eponymous master thief. After seeing him transform, Wario decided that he wanted in on the action, so he invented the Telmet, a device that allowed him to venture into the TV. Upon entering the TV, he landed right on Cannoli's head, causing him to drop Goodstyle. Wario, of course, being Wario, took Goodstyle for himself. Goodstyle proceeded to dub Wario his new master, and gave him his very own thief outfit.

Wario soon learns about the Wishstone, an artifact that, supposedly, can grant any wish. However, it was split into 5 pieces, which were then hidden in separate places. With this in mind, Wario makes it his goal to obtain the Wishstone pieces and recreate the Wishstone. However, this quest does not come without obstructions: Cannoli does not particularly enjoy having his wand stolen from him and will stop at nothing to get it back. If that wasn't enough, the Corrupt Corporate Executive Carpaccio also wants the Wishstone pieces, so needless to say, Wario has his work cut out for him.


The gameplay consists of traversing several different locations and using Wario's various disguises, each of which has its own special powers, to beat up enemies, solve puzzles, and search for treasure. The treasure chests require the player to win minigames to open, and consist of one of several different types of items, depending on the chest's color. Red chests contain treasures, which merely exist for the sake of 100% Completion. Purple chests contain area maps or important quest items. Green chests either contain Vita Mighties, which boost Wario's max health, or Guise Gems, which give him new disguises.


This game provides examples of:

  • Acrofatic: Wario, as usual. Especially in his thief outfit, since he runs faster and jumps higher in it than he does in any other outfit.
  • Anti-Hero: Again, Wario. He steals the Transformation Trinket of the show's main hero, the phantom thief Count Cannoli, and goes up against both him and other baddies so that he can claim all the treasure for himself. After unwittingly unsealing Terrormisu, he defeats her only because she's worse then him.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Count Cannoli. Most of his family's fortune was acquired through theft.
  • Art Initiates Life: Arty Wario can make blocks and warp doors appear out of thin air by drawing them. After being upgraded, he can also draw hearts. Drawing a shape that the game doesn't recognize will result in Wario drawing poop.
  • Artistic License – Economics: The treasures Wario finds would more than likely be worthless junk, save for a few collector's items. Instead, they're worth thousands of dollars each.
  • Artistic License – Marine Biology: Stuffy the 64th is a dolphin, but he breathes water instead of air, and he is defeated by trapping him above water so he gasps like a fish.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: All bosses except Ka-Bloom! and Stuffy the 64th. Cannoli and Carpaccio use machines that can be weakened by hitting or pressing certain buttons in them, Barfatonic Lavachomper's weakness is in the uvula, Poobah the Pharaoh has it in the crotch, and Terrormisu has a different one per phase.
  • Awesome, yet Impractical: The Royal Golden Tools, one of the treasures.
    "These golden tools were developed for a king. But since gold is one of the world's softest metals, they're pretty much useless. Fun to look at, though."
    • Also the Arty Disguise. Arty Wario is very useful for creating extra platforms that can press switches, act as extra steps, and even defeat certain enemies and bosses. He can even restore his own health and create fast travel doors! However, using Arty Wario takes a lot of work. He has the most difficult design to draw and then when you do get him, you have to draw even more designs which could end up failing. What's worse is that Wario absolutely cannot move while using this disguise. That means whenever he is painting (which takes a few seconds by the way), he is at the mercy of any enemy/boss in the game that is in range.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Wario’s main rivals in finding the pieces of the Wishstone are Count Cannoli and Carpaccio, the former being a Phantom Thief known as the Silver Zephyr, and the latter being the head of Sigil Securities. Cannoli is much more prominent, appearing in nearly every episode to antagonize Wario in an attempt to get Goodstyle back, but Carpaccio is more competent and has better resources than Cannoli does. They team up halfway through the game until Wario confronts them in Carpaccio's Lab, after which Cannoli concedes defeat and Carpaccio seemingly becomes the sole antagonist until the very end of the last level, when Tiaramisu, the cute girl who has been helping Wario, reveals herself as the ancient demon Terrormisu that Carpaccio's been trying to stop.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Blowhole Castle. The ghosts are harmless initially, but they become hostile when the spirit switches are turned on.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Wario defeats an ancient (presumably only fictional) demon, but he's unable to bring the fictional treasure he earned back to the real world.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: When Wario's your hero, you know that the opposition will have to be so much worse. Cannoli and Carpaccio both fall under gray, as while they're both unabashed thieves, Carpaccio has been secretly working toward the defeat of Terrormisu alongside the Pharaoh, and while Cannoli is clueless for most of the game, he helps Wario out at the end. Terrormisu is the only black-morality character in the game.
  • Blackout Basement: There are several rooms throughout the game which are too dark to see in and require Sparky Wario to light them up.
  • Boss Remix: Count Cannoli and Carpaccio's boss battle themes.
  • Breath Weapon: Dragon Wario can breathe fire.
  • Bright Is Not Good: Tiaramisu, aka Terrormisu, looks like a beautiful princess, but is really a demon who destroyed an ancient civilization.
  • Build Like an Egyptian: Poobah the Pharaoh's Pyramid.
  • Character Development: Throughout the game, Wario's answer to opening a thick, locked door is to ram it, hoping for it to fall down, only to be stopped by Goodstyle and is suggested to find a safer way to open it. By the final locked door, he assesses it and decides to find another way to open it.
  • Chekhov's Exhibit: In the museum, Goodstyle stops a few times to comment on the exhibits, which at first seem pointless to Wario. However, later in the level, Wario must solve riddles involving said exhibits.
  • The Chessmaster: Goodstyle, in order to defeat Terrormisu, allows himself to be stolen by Wario and lies to him about the Wishing Tablet so that she can be defeated and sent back where she came from.
  • Chest Monster: Some of the chests are fakes. When Wario comes close, they reveal their single eyeball and then start jumping around. This typically makes getting all chests in a single run-through of a level impossible since it always replaces a random chest.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Wario has different powers depending on which disguise he's currently wearing.
  • Collision Damage: Averted; neither Wario nor the enemies inflict it. You'll appreciate this in the timed special stages.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Carpaccio, as well as Count Cannoli.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Wario invents the Telmet in less than a minute so that he can venture into his television and become a Phantom Thief. The thought of making a fortune by just selling his miraculous invention never occurs to him.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: For a demon that destroyed an ancient civilization and had to be sealed away inside a stone, Terrormisu is defeated pretty easily by a fat guy with a talking magic wand.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: The Wishstone was broken into 5 pieces. Collecting them is the main point of the game.
  • Down the Drain: Ancient Waterworks, a temple that has an internal watery passageway.
  • Dung Fu: When messing up a drawing as Arty Wario, an animate pile of crap will spawn and move to the right. Said crap can actually damage enemies, and is outright necessary for defeating one of the bosses.
  • Easter Egg: On the title screen, touching one of the knobs on Wario's TV toggles the appearance of a hidden Nintendo logo.
  • Enter Solution Here: The third episode had an interesting variation: Wario had to answer sphinx riddles in at least three different places to complete the level; the solution to each riddle would be the name of an object in the museum's various display cases, which Goodstyle would read the names of when you reached the room. Getting the question wrong resulted in either being set back or killed.
  • Eternal Engine: Carpaccio's Lab is a very sophisticated facility with giant batteries that can be recharged with Wario's Sparky disguise.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: This game's enemy selection includes demonic kitchen utensils, disgruntled cruise ship employees, pissed off statues, killer plants, enraged seagulls, and even treasure chests.
  • Evil All Along: The girl who flirts with Wario at Sweatmore Peak and helps him at Blowhole Castle is actually the Big Bad.
  • Extendo Boxing Glove: Genius Wario's upgrade gives him a boxing glove as a weapon.
  • Fartillery: There is a gorilla enemy in Sneezemore Cave called Mr. Cheeky who attacks with farts.
  • Fat Bastard: Wario, whose only motivation to find the fragments of the Wishstone is to get rich, and won't mind insulting allies and enemies alike.
  • Final-Exam Boss: The final battle against Terrormisu tests a lot of abilities for battling.
  • Foul Flower: One boss, Ka-Bloom!, is a giant flower that steals a piece of the Dismantled MacGuffin. It starts out with an innocent face, complete with Cat Smile, but when it is damaged, it gains a much scarier face.
  • Forgotten Theme Tune Lyrics: The title theme in the Japanese version has lyrics, which were removed in international releases.
  • Frictionless Ice: The ice in Sneezemore Cave is so slippery that Wario cannot stop sliding once he walks on it until he gets off of it.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Ka-Bloom! is the only boss in the game with absolutely no connection to the plot whatsoever. Poobah is very important to the game's backstory, the Barfatronic Lavachomper was set up by Count Cannoli and Carpaccio to impede Wario's progress in Sweatmore Peak, and Stuffy the 64th is an ally of Cannoli.
  • Guide Dang It!: You can use Arty Wario to hinder Carpaccio in the race. Good luck figuring that out. In fact, it is almost impossible to beat Carpaccio without using Arty Wario to block Carpaccio's path, as he has no obstacles.
  • Heart Container: Vita Mighties boost Wario's maximum health every time he acquires one.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: Goodstyle gives a tutorial whenever Wario acquires a new disguise.
  • Intrepid Fictioneer: Wario invents the Telmet so he can be on TV and become a master thief. The whole game takes place inside the TV.
  • Lava Is Boiling Kool-Aid: As long as Wario has the Sweatmore Hotpants or is wearing the Dragon Wario disguise, lava behaves exactly like water. Even if he isn't, the only functional difference from water is that it hurts him every few seconds, and he can even stand in it for a second or two without taking any damage. This is easily observable at the beginning of Sweatmore Peak, before you've collected the Hotpants, you can repeatedly jump in and out of the shallow lava pool and it's just like splashing in water.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Sweatmore Peak, thematically. In terms of gameplay, it's more reminiscent of Under the Sea due to Wario's eventual ability to turn into a submarine and "swim" through the lava.
  • Leitmotif: Cannoli and Carpaccio's themes.
  • Master of Disguise: An ironic aversion, considering the game's title. Wario is not an actual Master of Disguise, he just wears various outfits that give him special powers.
  • Mini Mook: The mini Munchelangelos in the third episode.
  • Monster Compendium: The coffee-table book contains profiles for every enemy in the game, including bosses.
  • Mooks Ate My Equipment: The Snackerals in Sweatmore Peak will bite off Wario's Sweatmore Hotpants if they come into contact with him, causing him to take damage in the magma until he replaces them. A purple chest containing a replacement for them will spawn in place of a regular chest if this happens.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Terrormisu.
  • Never Trust a Title: Wario is less of a "master of disguise" than he is a "master of superpower costumes." Wario never attempts to fool anyone with his disguises, not that anyone with a functioning brain would fall for them anyway. The problem? "Wario: Master of Costumes" doesn't sound as good.
  • Nonindicative Name: The Superfantastical Money Tree, one of the game's treasures.
    "Sure, it sounds fancy. But it's just a plant. A boring old potted plant. Slap anyone who tries to tell you otherwise."
  • No Pronunciation Guide: An odd aversion: "Carpaccio" is an actual word (it's a kind of Italian food), but for anyone who's never seen the word or doesn't know how to say it, the identically-named man sounds it out for Wario, who keeps getting his name wrong.
    Carpaccio: "Car", as in "car", and I got a nice one. "Pac", as in "posh", which my mansion is. "Cio", which rhymes with "B.O.", which is what YOU got! Seriously bud, shower much?
  • Non-Standard Game Over: Losing to Carpaccio at his race results in him and Cannoli forcefully taking Wario's Wishstone pieces.
  • One-Winged Angel: Carpaccio developed a morphing technology that lets him turn into Head Honcho Carpaccio, an enormous blue head resembling the Snow Globe and Blow Globe enemies. Notably, he only uses this form in the first battle against him — the second time, he challenges Wario to a Racing Minigame instead of a fight.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: The Dolphin Ghosts in Blowhole Castle.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: No matter which disguise Wario is wearing, it's still obviously Wario. Then again, he never tries to fool anyone in the first place, he is merely wearing the disguises for their powers.
  • Phantom Thief: Count Cannoli (The Silver Zephyr), but at the beginning of the game, Wario steals his magic wand, Goodstyle, and becomes a Phantom Thief himself (The Purple Wind). The game's Japanese title, Kaitou Wario the Seven, really spells this out — kaitou is Japanese for phantom thief, and the "seven" part suggests two classic examples, Lupin the Third and the Fiend of Twenty Faces (seven being how many costumes Wario has, besides the basic thief).
  • Playable Epilogue: Beating the game unlocks five bonus episodes that take place after the main adventure.
  • Playing with Fire: Dragon Wario can breathe fire and is Wario's only form that can survive in magma without the Sweatmore Hotpants.
  • Plot Coupon: The Wishstone pieces are the main driving force of the plot.
  • Pronouncing My Name for You: After Wario mangles Carpaccio's name several times, Carpaccio enunciates it for him:
    Carpaccio: "Car", as in "car", and I got a nice one. "Pac", as in "posh", which my mansion is. "Cio", which rhymes with "B.O.", which is what YOU got! Seriously bud, shower much?
  • Punny Name: A lot of the enemies' names are this. Spoonatic, DaVincheese, Ramenses II, Snackeral, and Sarcopha Guy, to name a few.
  • Reality Warper: Arty Wario, courtesy of his Art Initiates Life (see above).
  • Recurring Boss: Cannoli is fought three times. Carpaccio subverts this; the second fight is a race, not a battle at all.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Wario is the red, Goodstyle is the blue. Wario is brash, impatient, and prefers trying to solve everything with brute force, while Goodstyle is calm and always thinks of rational solutions to the obstacles they encounter.
  • Reflecting Laser: Cosmic Wario's upgrade gives him this.
  • Replay Mode: Not only can the player replay the minigames unlocked in the main campaign, but also the variations thereof (for instance, Traced Memory alone comes in twelve forms, so if he or she wants to play them all, each has to be unlocked individually).
  • Required Secondary Powers: The Forever X-Ray Glasses.
    This amazing treasure lets you look through absolutely everything...which means that you end up seeing NOTHING AT ALL! Think about it.
  • Respawning Enemies: They do whenever Wario leaves the corresponding room and then returns.
  • Riddling Sphinx: The sphinx in Episode 3. It gives Wario riddles relating to the exhibits in the museum.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Terrormisu turns out to have been sealed inside the Wishstone.
  • Secret Test of Character: It seems that Goodstyle helped Wario along to see if Wario is the one who could finally defeat Terrormisu for good.
  • Sequential Boss: Stuffy the 64th and Terrormisu both have three phases to their boss fights.
  • Shock and Awe: Sparky Wario can attack enemies with lightning, reactivate machines and light up pitch-black rooms.
  • Ship Level: S.S. Caviar, the luxurious cruise ship where the first two episodes take place.
  • Shout-Out: Terrormisu's One-Winged Angel form resembles a certain pink princess. She also attacks using magical masks that give her different emotional powers.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Sneezemore Cave is a frigid area filled with Frictionless Ice located inside a perpetually snowy mountain.
  • Slobs Versus Snobs: Wario's rivalry with Cannoli and Carpaccio has some shades of this.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Enemies will not go in the water unless they are water enemies. At least not willingly. However, in Sneezemore Cave, there is a segment with a Mr. Cheeky running around on top of breakable ice platforms above a body of water. It is possible to break these platforms by hitting them from below. By doing this, the Mr. Cheeky can be dropped into the water, which kills him instantly.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Breathing underwater is typically not a problem for Wario; this game is no exception.
  • Temple of Doom: Poobah the Pharaoh's Pyramid, which is explored underground.
  • Timed Mission: The special episodes. In each one, Wario must traverse previously explored levels and collect three treasures before time runs out (and the timer doesn't stop during the treasure chest minigames).
  • Toilet Humour: Prevalent. Certain enemies fart at you, Wario's constantly making crude jokes about his thief name, and poop appears outright in several minigames and when you mess up a painting as Arty Wario.
  • Unique Enemy: There are eight enemies that only show up once each: Spoonatic, Slaughterfork, Jack the Knife, Stankulus, Tooty Kamen, Blamses, Mellow Kitty, and Stuffy the 5th.
  • Vehicular Assault: Against Cannoli, who seems to get a lot of inspiration from Doctor Robotnik.
  • Video Game Flight: Wicked Wario can fly. At first, he is limited to flying straight up, but the upgrade (which is obtained in the same episode as the guise itself) allows him to fly left and right as well.
  • Walk, Don't Swim: Wario simply walks underwater unless he's wearing the Captain Wario disguise.
  • Weekend Inventor: Wario quickly builds the Telmet in his back room so he can journey into his television.
  • Womb Level: At the end of Sneezemore Cave, Carpaccio transforms himself into a giant head. After that, he inhales Wario. Wario must then fight him from the inside. Subversion, however, in that in his transformed state Carpaccio is made of snow and ice rather than flesh, not to mention his "real" face possibly being on the inside of the snow monster.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Wario has no issues with beating the living crap out of Terrormisu.
  • X-Ray Vision: Genius Wario can see otherwise invisible doors and objects.