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Video Game / Luigi's Mansion

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It's a picture, but I wouldn't call it art.
In most stories, the hero faces his foes without fear. This is not one of those stories.

(For the series in general, see here)

Luigi's Mansion is the first game in the Luigi's Mansion video game series. The first title was a 2001 video game produced by Nintendo and released as a launch title for the Nintendo GameCube. Though set in the universe of Super Mario Bros., the game is unusual in that it is not a platformer, but a third-person adventure game (it could even be considered a sort of Mario-themed comic parody of the Survival Horror genre, right down to a spoof of the Resident Evil loading animation) and in that the character of Mario plays the role of brother in distress and is not a player character at all, appearing only briefly around the middle and at the end of the game.

The plot follows Mario's brother, Luigi, who won a mansion in a dark, spooky forest from a mail-in contest he didn't even enter. Attempting to find fortune in this unexpected turn of events, Luigi decides to brave the forest to visit his new mansion, inviting his brother Mario to meet him there. Once he finds it, however, he gets burdened with some grim news: The mansion is not only infested with evil ghosts, but their leader has trapped Mario inside a painting.


With the help of a kindly old ghost-buster/Mad Scientist named Professor Elvin Gadd, Luigi straps on his trusty Poltergust 3000, a vacuum cleaner that can trap ghosts as well as money, items, and some minor props, and sets forth to rid the mansion of its ghastly inhabitants and rescue his brother from the spooky mansion.

Basically, the aim of the game is to capture all ghosts in the mansion while finding as much cash as possible, which is littered around the mansion in the form of gold coins, bills, gold bars and jewels. At the end of the game, the amount of money you were able to obtain is tallied up, and Luigi uses it to buy a house in accord to how much he has, from a truly regal estate if you did really well to a decrepit little shack if you really suck at the game or a tent if you go out of your way to avoid gathering money.


Despite not having had a sequel for many years, the game was represented in other games such as Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros., or Nintendo Land, showing that Nintendo hadn't forgotten the game. Eventually, in 2013, a sequel finally arrived via the Nintendo 3DS: Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (simply Luigi's Mansion 2 outside of North America). It would then be followed by a remake in 2018 for the same console and a second sequel in 2019 for the Nintendo Switch. The sequels were developed by Next Level Games, while the remake was handled by Grezzo.

This game contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Early Appearance: The Nintendo 3DS remake features an appearance by the Polterpup from Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon if you use the Luigi amiibo.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Luigi get his first Nintendo-produced outing in the spotlight outside of his brother's shadow (the first time ever was Mario Is Missing!, which was developed externally).
  • Advanced Tech 2000: The Poltergust 3000.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Shivers is deeply in love with Melody, but apparently she "won't even give him the time of day" (possibly because of their age difference of almost 50 years).
  • All That Glitters: The Red Diamonds; like the Gold Diamonds (which actually are extremely valuable), there are only two in the game, but each one is only worth as much as a single gold coin (amusingly, one of these two red diamonds acts as the jewel in King Boo's Cool Crown, and you get this automatically when you defeat him at the end of the game).
  • An Ice Person:
    • Sir Weston, the second-to-last Portrait Ghost, is self-sealed in a cube of ice, who, when awakened, will launch icicle waves at Luigi.
    • Some ghost mooks are icy and must be defeated through the direct application of flame.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The trippy boss rooms, including the infernal one for the final boss.
  • And I Must Scream: King Boo intended for Mario to be trapped inside the painting possibly for all eternity. As far as the Portrait Ghosts go, however, this is more ambiguous and unclear, especially since one of them (Madame Clairvoya) doesn't seem to mind that at all, actually asking Luigi to put her there since she's worried about King Boo and apparently Bowser.
  • Angry Guard Dog: Spooky, the Hungry Guard Dog. He's easily distracted by a bone from a complaining skeleton.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • In the remake, coins and money stick around twice as long before despawning. This makes it much easier to recollect anything dropped if Luigi gets hit or stunned by a trick door, and in general gives you more time to suck up all the money from treasure chests and the like before any of it disappears.
    • The remake allows you to refight any of the Portrait Ghosts from the Gallery, allowing you to improve your performance against them and get a better frame, which also serves as good practice. You also earn all of the lower-ranked portraits from getting a higher one at any time, and can switch between them in the Gallery. In the original game, your initial fight results were permanent, and you only got the portrait of the rank you achieved.
  • Archenemy: This game cemented King Boo as Luigi's greatest enemy. It's not a bad rivalry, either — throughout the game, King Boo shows himself to be a legitimate, cunning threat that even the likes of Bowser can only look up toward.
  • Arrange Mode: In all versions, the Hidden Mansion makes ghosts deal double damage to Luigi, and makes the Poltergust 3000 1.5x stronger. In the PAL versions, the Hidden Mansion is also mirrored horizontally, there are more ghosts, and Chaunceynote  and Boolossus'snote  boss fights are altered.
  • Art Initiates Life: Vincent Van Gore brings the ghost mooks to "life" from portraits he paints, which you find out for yourself when you reach him toward the end of the game.
  • Asteroids Monster: Boolossus, who is the third boss, is an amalgamation of fifteen Boos. When punctured, not only will he split up into his components, he'll recombine after a few seconds.
  • Badass in Distress: Mario. Who has been captured by King Boo and imprisoned in a painting.
  • Bad Guys Play Pool: Slim Bankshot is found in a billiard room. To catch him, one has to fire his own billiard balls back at him.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: A villainous example: Final Boss King Boo's Bowser suit has an attack that uses a vacuum of its own to swallow Luigi if he gets too close, and when the head is blown off, it'll start shooting ice at you, much like Luigi can with the Elemental Ghosts.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The mansion, which is to say, the entire game.
  • Big Eater: Mr. Luggs. In fact, he died due to overeating, but that didn't stop him...
  • Big Sleep: Sue Pea is explictly stated to have been a Heavy Sleeper in life, so much so that she died in her sleep. Even as a ghost, she continues to sleep a lot.
  • Blackout Basement: Normally, the lights come on once every ghost in any given room has either been caught or otherwise defeated. However, the beginning of the fourth area of the game includes a mansion-wide blackout, during which no amount of ghost-catching will bring the lights back. To fix the problem, you must work your way back from the third-floor balcony to the basement to turn on a backup generator. Or you can take the mirror to the Foyer. You do have to catch the first Portrait Ghost of the area before you can turn the electricity back on, however; the Breaker Room in the basement can be entered as early as Area 2, but it's locked up when the blackout starts, and you need the Portrait Ghost's key to get back in.
  • Blinded by the Light: Luigi has to stun ghosts with his flashlight before capturing them. The sequel makes this even more effective with a chargeable strobe function.
  • Blob Monster: Bogmire, boss #2.
  • Bonus Boss: Five of the Portrait Ghosts (Biff Atlas, Slim Bankshot, Mr. Luggs, Jarvis, and Sue Pea) are optional, and you can complete the game without bothering them at all. However, beating them often gains you some valuable treasure. Most Portrait Ghosts are required battles, though.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: What do you unlock for beating the game? A Hidden Mansion! What happens in said mansion? Well, the ghosts and Poltergust are stronger... and that's it. Averted in the PAL version, which revamps the Hidden Mansion to be more of a second campaign: the difficulty is higher, the map has been mirrored, puzzle solutions are different, etc. The remake implements the PAL Hidden Mansion in all versions, but with new twists as well.
  • Boss Arena Idiocy: The stage of Boolossus, the third boss, has two unicorn statues at either end, which can be used to pop him. (Then again, this is probably deliberate — the smaller Boos are fast, and get faster the less of them there are. By the time there's only one left, the damn thing is nearly impossible to freeze.)
  • Boss Corridor: These are at the end of the first area, the third area, and at the end of the game, and the Boos will stop you reaching the end of the last two corridors and send you back to the front door of the mansion if you haven't caught enough Boos (you need 20 for the Area 3 boss, and 40 for the final boss; the Boos have not yet appeared by the time you reach the Area 1 boss, as they are unleashed shortly into Area 2). Just for good measure, the doors to the boss room in each of these areas are locked; you need the keys for them too.
  • Boss Room: Four rooms in the mansion (the Nursery, the Graveyard, the third floor Balcony, and the Secret Altar, in that order) have a boss ghost residing in them to close out the Area where you enter these rooms. The bosses of the first two rooms have small puzzles that you need to solve to be able to fight them, but you can walk up to the other two bosses (though they are behind Boo checkpoints and locked doors that require both the keys and a certain amount of caught Boos; you need 40 out of 50 to reach the final boss). These bosses also take you to a special arena when you encounter them.
  • Break the Cutie: The major plot point of the game. Luigi was just going to visit the mansion with his brother, but it was actually a set-up by King Boo to get rid of Mario (and Luigi) forever. With the help of Elvin Gadd, Luigi has to save Mario equipped with a ghost-sucking vacuum cleaner, while dealing with ghosts he's scared out of his wits over all over the mansion.
  • Breath Weapon: Mr. Luggs' fireballs.
  • Call-Forward: The remake explains Gooigi as an invention of future E. Gadd. When he contacts his past self, the Dual Scream jingle plays and he's in the Evershade Valley Bunker.
  • Camera Screw: Part of what makes Boolossus, the third boss, so difficult is that once it's down to just a few Boos, the camera will inexplicably move in much closer to Luigi, making it very difficult to see incoming Boos before they swoop in to attack.
  • Cartoon Cheese: Yellow Swiss cheese wedges appear in discreet locations in five different rooms, and scanning them with the Game Boy Horror causes a Golden Mouse to appear.
  • Character Development: What you would expect from the first game really focusing on Luigi. This was the first game which cemented his lovable timid nature.
  • Characterization Marches On: This was one of the first games to depict Luigi as being phobic, and his fear has since become his most distinguishing trait. This was first touched upon in Paper Mario if you read Luigi's diary after Toad Town has been visited by ghosts. Luigi really does not like ghosts.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: When the power goes out upon opening the Area 4 door, all the Toads in the mansion flee in terror, which means the player cannot save the game until they restore the power, which will bring the Toads back.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When the Ghost Portrificationizer is first introduced, E. Gadd casually mentions how it can also work in reverse. This function proves essential for freeing Mario at the end of the game, who has been trapped inside of a painting.
  • Chest Monster:
    • Jarvis, who hides in the various jars in his room.
    • Some mook-level ghosts work like this too, jumping out at you when you investigate nooks and crannies for extra loot, with particularly nasty examples in the Hidden Room and Sealed Room (the latter unleashes FOUR ghosts at once when you open the chest in front of the mirror). Subverted with the blue ones (Speedy Spirits) in that they still give up a ton of valuable shinies when you defeat them, though.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: Added in the 3DS remake, where one player controls an animate slime-based copy of Luigi called "Gooigi". The existence of Gooigi is justified in-story by future E. Gadd sending Gooigi into the past for field testing by his past self and Luigi. Gooigi himself would later return in Luigi's Mansion 3.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Chests. Blue ones contain keys; green ones are full of money; gold ones are boss loot and have keys to new zones in them; the ones containing the medals are red, blue, and white respectively; and the ones containing Mario's items and those used as scenery in the secret rooms are all red.
  • Console Cameo: The Game Boy Horror, which is a means of communication between Luigi and E. Gadd and also provides a map of the mansion.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Gadd might qualify. After Luigi defeats Boolossus, the third boss, he offers to make dinner, and make his "old family recipe", which is "pickled dandelions with barnacles in a diesel marinade". (Of course, we never see it or Luigi's reaction... Who knows? It might be better than it sounds.)
  • Cowardly Lion: Luigi, given that he still saves the day despite his obvious fear.
  • Cowardly Mooks: Boos do not fight back. If Luigi finds a Boo in the furniture, they will attempt to flee to the nearest room. And if Luigi takes too long to follow them to the next room, he will have to search for them in the furniture again. Justified as they are afraid of the Poltergust, which is their weakness.
  • Creepy Basement: The central hallway in the basement as well as the twisty corridor to the Secret Altar, which both stay dark even after the final Portrait Ghost is vacuumed. Mook-level ghosts still appear in the former hall occasionally but avoid the latter.
  • Creepy Cemetery: The Boneyard, as well as the Graveyard/Cemetery, where the Area 2 boss lives.
  • Creepy Child: Chauncey, twins Henry and Orville, and Sue Pea, a girl on the third floor.
  • Creepy Twins: Henry and Orville. If they lose in Hide-N-Seek, they will try to kill you, and you can't complete the game without dealing with them (they have one of Mario's possessions, which you need to take to Madame Clairvoya).
  • Critical Annoyance: As Luigi's HP gets lower, his humming will become more rattled and nervous, and he makes gasping noises when opening doors.
  • Cry Laughing: Mario comes out of the portrait dazed and with the frame stuck on his head, Luigi simultaneously laughs at Mario's predicament and cries Tears of Joy at having his brother back.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: The Final Boss has 500 HP, far higher than anything else in the game, and you only have a limited amount of time to deal damage when he's vulnerable. In the 3DS Hidden Mansion, King Boo is not exempt from the 1.5 times HP buff everyone else has, and thus has 750 HP.
  • Darker and Edgier: While it is much lighter than other examples, this is a true horror game by Nintendo's standards. For all of its humor, the fact remains that gameplay consists of the player walking around genuinely dark rooms waiting for ghosts to sneak up, and the boss characters' deaths can be Truth in Television.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Luigi steals the spotlight from Mario here.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Luigi, commenting on things he sees in the mansion. Who would have thought he was quite the art critic and clean freak?
  • Death by Gluttony: Mr. Luggs, who died by overeating. He's just as much of a Big Eater in the afterlife, though now all the food he eats goes right through him.
  • Defanged Horrors: A Lighter and Softer take on the Survival Horror genre.
  • Dem Bones: The skeleton ghosts, who throw their bones at you. They appear in three rooms (the Boneyard, where one is woken up when the ghost dog barks enough, the Graveyard behind this, where they guard the Area 2 boss and rise when you tap one of the graves in the middle, and the Telephone Room, where they are in chests; the skeletons in the first two of these rooms must be defeated in order to proceed through the game).
  • Determinator: Even if it means his own death on his way, Luigi will do anything he can to save his brother, whom he looks up to more than anyone else, rather than resent him for usually taking the spotlight.
  • Detonation Moon: In order to obtain Mario's Star, Luigi must create a path of stardust by using meteor-like projectile ghosts to destroy the moon. It's an illusion, though.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: In an effort to keep himself comfortable, Luigi rather nervously hums the game's theme music when he isn't calling out his brother's name. If the lights in the room are on, Luigi calmly whistles the theme instead. In an effort to keep Luigi uncomfortable, the ghosts start humming along with Luigi in dark rooms (he doesn't hum or whistle outside, which has a piano rendition of the theme instead; he also doesn't hum or whistle in the game's first room, the Foyer, or the game's last room, the Secret Altar.)
  • Difficulty by Region: The PAL version features a vastly altered and far more difficult Hidden Mansion in comparison to the Japanese and NTSC versions of the game, which features, among other things, a completely mirrored mansion, altered ghost placement and a general increase in ghost difficulty, upgrades for bosses, and fewer helpful items. Completing the Hidden Mansion in the PAL version is also required to get the A Rank mansion, as the requirement for A Rank was raised to 150,000,000 G, which is impossible to acquire in the normal mansion.
  • Distressed Dude: Mario shows up to the mansion before Luigi to celebrate, and is promptly captured by the ghosts. Luigi's primary objective is rescuing his brother.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: One of the ghosts in the Foyer bids Luigi to "wander lost in the darkness forever" for the heinous crime of snuffing out some candles.
  • The Dragon:
    • Vincent Van Gore, technically. He creates all the minor ghosts you encounter in the mansion, is the final regular Portrait Ghost in the game, and is the one keeping the key leading to King Boo.
    • In-story, it seems to be Boolossus, the third boss of the game, because the Big Bad attacked E. Gadd in order to free him (and freed the other Portrait Ghosts mostly to add injury to insult).
  • Dual Boss: Henry and Orville (considering their vehicles, they're also an homage to Henry Ford and Orville Wright).
  • Dynamic Loading: If the action freezes right before you open a door, that means the area hasn't finished loading yet.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The character designs in this game served the basis of subsequent 3D Mario games (unlike Super Smash Bros. Melee, which used designs from the Nintendo 64 era). Even then, certain details were different here — Luigi's pant legs are rolled up (a trait that carried over to Super Smash Bros. Brawl), Toad's vest lacks the yellow trim, and the Boos' middle two fangs are missing. Additionally, though not as much as Melee, there’s some N64/-like renders such as this Mario image taken from the first Mario Golf. All of these have been updated with the more familiar elements in the 3DS remake.
  • Early Installment Character Design Difference: In addition to the off models mentioned above, the style of the ghosts differs from the sequels, with their designs being more transparent, and featuring multiple colors for their eyes, mouths, and bodies, with the boss ghosts being more detailed. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon has much simpler enemy ghosts, all of whom are less transparent, have brighter colors, and use glowing white for their eyes and mouths. The most humanoid boss ghosts are also much simpler and closer to the enemies' level of detail. Luigi's Mansion 3 would continue from the second game, adding more detail for the enemies and the bosses are more like the Portrait Ghosts in detail, just with more cartoony features and animation.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: The worst "mansion" you can get is a mere tent, but it is considered even harder to get than the best mansion, as you have to go out of your way to avoid collecting any kind of money other than coins (which are the only kind of money you can drop), and even then, not too many of those.
  • Easter Egg:
    • Fake doors can be burned with the fire element to remove them as one way to prevent confusion. This is never required and the player is never told this and there's no reward for it. The remake, however, acknowledges this with an achievement.
    • When you head down the Well to see Mario trapped in his painting, linger on the ladder. You'll hear the frustrated Mario cry out "Hey, Luigi! What's the holdup?"
  • Eldritch Location: The Mansion is...weird. The mirrors can transport Luigi, there are mouse holes (and later a dog house) that can suck up Luigi and put him in a different room, one room is upside-down until it's not, the door on the right of the Astral Hall loops back to the left door, and the observatory may or may not transport Luigi to space, so it's not just ghosts that make the place uncanny. Justified as it's an illusion made by the Boos.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: The elemental ghosts, when sucked up, allow the Poltergust 3000 to expel fire, water, and ice. These elements factor into gameplay for required and optional puzzles, like lighting candles or watering plants. There are also ghosts who have their heart surrounded by a certain element and can only be sucked up after being exposed to the element they are weak to. Water beats fire, ice beats water, and fire beats ice.
  • End Game Results Screen: The state of the mansion at the very end depends on the amount of gold you obtained, and you're given both a letter grade and an appropriately happy Luigi. The mansions range from a beautiful manor for an A to a tent for an H, with a depressed Luigi and somewhat creepy music. The 3DS remake adds two new things: A) It's now possible to get an S grade, and its corresponding mansion is an uber-luxurious palace. B) Following the mansion ranking, the future E. Gadd calls to check the number of ghosts and gold Gooigi had collected. If Gooigi had not been used at all, E. Gadd instead tells Luigi to bring him along the next time he visits the mansion.
  • Enemy Posturing: After Chauncey completes his attack cycle, he'll start giggling and waving his rattle at you. When he does this, that's your cue to stun him with the ball and start vacuuming him up.
  • Enfante Terrible: Chauncey, Henry and Orville, and Sue Pea.
  • Extremely Dusty Home: Walking around and opening drawers seems to disperse a lot of dust. Examining furniture with the Game Boy Horror occasionally makes Luigi note how dusty the mansion is. The cellar is so dusty that it actually blocks Luigi unless he vacuums it up.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The whole game is set over the course of a single night.
  • Eye Beams: Nana fires short darts of some kind of energy from her eyes during her battle.
  • Fan Disservice: One of the Portrait Ghosts is first seen in the shower, and her shadow is a beautiful shapely (and nude) woman. When you pull back the curtain to reveal her, however, she looks like Fatso's twin sister.
  • Fighting a Shadow: Bogmire, the second boss, projects shadows of himself. Luigi has to capture these shadows and encase the genuine article in them to be able to suck Bogmire up.
  • Final Dungeon Preview: At one point Luigi goes down a well, where he finds a hallway leading to an entrance within the mouth of a lion gargoyle. From here Luigi looks into King Boo's room, where he is holding Mario captive. Luigi reaches out from the lion's head, but can't do anything, so he is forced to go back and continue his adventure until he finally gets into the room.
  • F--: You can get a grade for your performance as low as an H, but this requires effort.
  • Flawless Victory: The requirements for getting a platinum frame on area bosses in the remake's Hidden Mansion effectively requires that you take no damage when fighting Boolossus. You cannot lose more than 5 HP for the frame and Boolossus's attacks all do a minimum of 6 damage.
  • Flunky Boss: All the main bosses except King Boo and Costume Bowser are like this. Chauncey fights with the help of giant bouncing beach balls and haunted rocking-horses, Bogmire casts several shadows over the room (all of which act independently from him and one another), and Boolossus gets "popped" like a balloon on the horn of a unicorn statue and becomes several smaller versions of himself. Vincent Van Gore, while not exactly a bossnote , makes the figures in his paintings come to life and attack you.
  • Foreshadowing: Madame Clairvoya's final prediction depicts her seeing a vision of Bowser. Later, Bowser does appear in the final battle in the form of a hollow copy controlled by King Boo.
  • Fortune Teller: Madame Clairvoya will tell you key information if Luigi can bring her some of Mario's things.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Professor Elvin Gadd built the machine to capture ghosts and turn them back into portraits, and also made the Game Boy Horror scanning device.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • The Game Boy Horror states that Chauncey was born a ghost, yet the Nursery contains photographs of him when he was alive.
    • Lydia, as a ghost, has very light blonde hair, yet photographs of her when she was alive show her with very dark brown, almost black hair.
    • Pressing the A button away from anything Luigi can interact with results in him calling for Mario. At first this makes sense, as Luigi is there to find his brother. However, later on Luigi witnesses exactly where Mario is but the player can still do this despite Luigi having no reason to, making it become this trope.
  • Ghosts Abhor a Vacuum: The Poltergust 3000 is essentially a modified vacuum cleaner.
  • Giant Mook: Boolossus, the Area 3 boss, is a huge Boo formed from many smaller Boos.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Just what is, or was, Jarvis? Besides Spooky, he's the only non-humanoid, non-boss Portrait Ghost. It's unclear why he looks so different from all the others.
  • Goo-Goo-Godlike: Chauncey is Neville and Lydia's third son, who for some reason unbeknownst to Lydia is more terrifying than the twins. It's implied his powers as a Reality Warper might have something to do with the fact that unlike all the the other spectres in the mansion he was conceived and born as a ghost to begin with.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The ghosts and the Boos. Getting the best ending also involves collecting as much money as possible (and ironically, getting very little of it is a challenge, having to "avoid" the money). If you get all fifty Boos (excluding King Boo), then you get one of the only two golden diamonds, the most expensive treasure you can get.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Bowser. Referenced in game, but serves no purpose in the game's conflict; the Big Bad is King Boo.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • The game doesn't tell you you have to skip the Boo save after getting the final Boo. This is because E. Gadd calls you right before you collect the gold diamond, making the game think you didn't collect it at all.
    • There are also a couple of Speedy Spirits that will only appear during the blackout and in rooms that you've already visited beforehand. There's one in Melody's piano stool in the Conservatory, one in Chauncey's crib in the Nursery, and one hidden in one of the chests in the optional Hidden Room. The game doesn't even hint about there existences when the lights go out, nor would you ever think to revisit these rooms during the blackout anyway because you would be too focused on searching for Uncle Grimmly and retrieving the Breaker Room key.
  • Haunted House: The titular mansion.
  • Haunted House Historian: Professor: E. Gadd is a ghost researcher helping Luigi in his journey through the mansion, though he points out to Luigi that this particular house has no history, having appeared from nowhere in full form a matter of days ago.
  • Hearts Are Health: For both Luigi and ghosts:
    • A Heart Symbol that turns progressively greyer and flatter as Luigi loses health, is his Life Meter.
    • Ghosts' Hit Points are directly underneath their Heart Symbol shaped hearts.
    • Luigi collects small red hearts to recover his health.
  • Heroic Mime: Surprisingly averted. If you scan things with the Game Boy Horror, you can get Luigi's commentary on furniture, portraits, and the like. Even Mario has a voiced line if you listen carefully when near the well, as well as some dialogue just before confronting King Boo.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Subverted. At first, you seem to face Bowser once again as the final boss, but after blowing his head off, it is revealed to be a costume controlled by King Boo.
  • Hit Points: Luigi's are numerated beside the heart at the bottom left of the screen, while ghosts' are displayed when their hearts are revealed.
  • Holler Button: Pressing the A button when not near an interactive object makes Luigi shout "Mario!" The way he says it also depends on how much health he has left. If Luigi's at full health, he'll sound confident. If he's low on health, he'll be a stammering mess.
  • Hollywood Darkness: Largely averted. When Luigi's in a dark room, the room is actually pitch black unless there's some sort of natural lighting available.
  • Human Popsicle: Sir Weston, the semifinal Portrait Ghost and one of the most difficult ones to catch in one shot, died in ice, and during battle, he encases himself in ice.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Most of the Boos' names. There are a total of thirty-six Boo puns, each cheesier than the last. One is even named Booigi! (There's actually a practical reason for this: It helps you keep track of them when you're catching them.)
  • Idiot Ball: King Boo lampshades this:
    "Seriously, though, who would actually believe that mansions get given away in contests?! Talk about stupid! What do they feed you Mario Brothers anyway... Gullible soup?"
  • I Was Quite a Looker:
    • Miss Petunia was a model in life, but has really let herself go since then.
    • Various portraits around the house depict what some of the Portrait Ghosts looked like while they were still alive.
  • The Jeeves: Shivers, who roams the house in search of his master's will, but seems to stick around also for Melody.
  • Jerk Jock: Biff Atlas seems to be one, as he calls Luigi a "weakling" and says he'd like to use him as a punching bag. Oddly enough, the game guide describes him as a "kind bodybuilder."
  • Jump Scare:
    • If you vacuum the poster in the 2nd floor Washroom or the screen in the Projection Room for long enough, it will suddenly snap back, changing into an image of a Boo over the words "get out of here" and making Luigi fall back and lose 5 HP. This can be quite alarming, especially on the big projector screen.
    • There's a later room called the Sitting Room that is infamous for its jumpscare. After a few seconds in the room, FIVE Gold Ghosts pop out at once, amplifying their scream.
  • Kill Enemies to Open: Almost every first-visited room requires Luigi to suck up all the ghosts in it (not counting hidden Boos) in order to collect keys or important items and advance the game.
  • Kill It with Fire: One of the uses for the Fire Element is to burn ghosts.
  • Kill It with Ice: One of the uses for the Ice Element is to freeze ghosts solid (be careful because the elemental ghost can freeze YOU if you touch them). It also slows down skittish Boos.
  • Kill It with Water: One of the uses for the Water Element is to soak down the Bomb Ghosts as well as regular ghosts (the Bomb Ghosts are otherwise invincible; sucking them up simply has them exploding in your vacuum and damaging you anyway).
  • Late to the Tragedy: Luigi arrives at the mansion after his brother got kidnap and has to rescue him.
  • Left the Background Music On: Implied; Luigi sings/hums/whistles along with it constantly.
  • Level in Reverse: The PAL version of the Hidden Mansion mirrors the entire mansion left to right. This is one of the few Hidden Mansion changes that was not brought over to the 3DS remake, as the remake's Hidden Mansion does not flip the mansion.
  • Life Meter: Luigi's is a Heart Symbol that turns progressively greyer and flatter as Luigi loses health, being combined with Hearts Are Health.
  • Lighter and Softer: Of Survival Horror games in general.
  • Living Shadow: Bogmire, the Area 2 boss, creates shadow duplicates of himself. These can be sucked up and launched at him to make him vulnerable.
  • Loophole Abuse: Can be invoked in the remake due to the amiibo function. Boss Portrait Ghosts require Luigi to end the fight with a certain amount of HP for a higher ranking, ending with 90 HP or higher earning him a gold frame for the ghost in question. However, scanning the Mario amiibo turns Poison Mushrooms into Super Mushrooms that replenish your health, and scanning the Luigi amiibo gives Luigi a Gold Bone that summons Polterpup to revive him at full health if he hits 0 HP. Since the game counts how much health you have at the end, not how much you lost up until that point, those two amiibo features can easily be used to earn a better frame for those battles.
  • Lovable Coward: Luigi. This is the game that firmly cemented this part of his personality, which has remained a central aspect of the character ever since.
  • Mad Scientist: Professor Elvin Gadd. (His name is a pun: Professor E. Gadd.)
  • Madame Fortune: The Fortune Teller ghost and only friendly undead character in the game is named Madame Clairvoya.
  • Made of Evil: Bogmire, the boss of Area 2, although in this case, it's more like "Made of Fear", and he actually might be sort of a sympathetic figure: His biography claims, "A product of the mansion's fear and despair. He's not sure who to fear or what to despair these days."
  • The Man Behind the Man: Many hints throughout the game seem to indicate that Bowser, not King Boo, is the one who trapped Mario. This turns out to be a subversion during the final battle, however, when Luigi blows "Bowser's" head off... and he is revealed to be just a Monster Suit controlled by King Boo.
  • Marathon Boss: The 3DS Hidden Mansion gives all the bosses except Boolossus their gimmicks from its PAL equivalent, except now these three have a bit extra going for them to drag the fight on:
    • Chauncey will now always break free at around 40-50 HP, which is more important than it seems since Portrait Ghosts have 150 HP in this Hidden Mansion. This guarantees it'll take at least three cycles to beat him.
    • Bogmire now engages in borderline Teleport Spam, and is far more ferocious in breaking free of the Poltergust.
    • The Bowser Costume's bombs can now go right to being seconds away from exploding, forcing you to wait for the next bombs to come. On top of this, King Boo now has 750 HP.
  • May–December Romance: According to his heart dialogue, Shivers (who is 72) is absolutely besotted with Melody (who is only 26). It's entirely one-sided, though.
  • Metal Slime: Speedy Blue Spirits and the Golden Mice. You have only one chance to catch each individual one, and they will fight you bitterly if you manage to get them within range of your vacuum (except for the Gold Mouse ghosts; those are wimps). If you do catch them, though, they release absurd amounts of riches for you to collect.
  • Money Spider: Portrait ghosts release pearls of various worth when they're caught, but it depends on how much you struggled to pull them in. If you can trap them in one long vacuum-suck, they release enormous pearls. If they keep escaping your pull, you'll be limited to the smallest pearls (the size of pearls you get also determines the type of painting they turn into at the end of the area they are in). This trope also applies to the Speedy Blue Spirits and the Golden Mice.
  • Monster Suit: King Boo's Bowser costume. It doesn't need to "look" robotic to qualify as such. The fact that it's lifelike in appearance — especially for a giant costume — shows how much further ahead of the rest it is. That, and it emphasizes King Boo's trickery.
  • Mook Maker: Almost every non-portrait ghost is created by a single boss, Vincent Van Gore, who is unsurprisingly the last main Portrait Ghost encountered in the mansion before the Final Boss. He also qualifies as such when Luigi actually fights him, sending waves of Mooks after the hero.
  • Multiple Endings: At the end of the game, Professor E. Gadd builds Luigi a new house. Which house you get depends on how much treasure you collected in the game from a sprawling mansion all the way down to a measly tent. Getting the worst option is actually harder than getting the best; you'd likely have to pick up no treasure at all except the stuff that you automatically gain.
  • Musical Nod:
    • The first eight notes of the music that plays when Luigi talks to Toad are the same notes that played when he was talked to in Super Mario 64.
    • The song that the instruments play in the Conservatory is the Super Mario Bros. theme. Also in the Conservatory, Melody will play either the Athletic theme from Super Mario Bros. 3, the starting music from Mario Bros., or the underwater theme from Super Mario Bros.
  • Neat Freak: Luigi is implied to be one to some extent in his commentary. Examining furniture with the Game Boy Horror makes him complain about moth holes in furniture, how the place would never pass a white glove test, and how he regrets to have not enough time to tidy up a desk. Fittingly, his weapon of choice in this game is a modified vacuum cleaner.
  • Nightmare Face: Chauncey, the boss of Area 1, is pretty cute (for a giant ghostly baby). But when he cries...
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Biff Atlas is, of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger in appearance, vocal mannerisms, and strength (he's one of three ghosts that can take off a fifth of your health if he punches you; the other two are Sir Weston and his icicles and the final boss's body).
  • No Flow in CGI: Averted with every piece of cloth the Poltergust 3000 sucks, as a demonstration of the Gamecube's graphic processing chops.
  • Noodle Incident: What happened to Mario when he arrived at the mansion and how he was captured and put into the portrait is never actually addressed. He does leave behind a note saying "Look out for Boos, Luigi!" but this is the extent of it. Even the instruction booklet back in the day doesn't address what happened.
  • Off-Model: Luigi's proportions are a bit off in this game, such as his hands being too small, or his nose being too big. What makes this especially strange is that Mario isn't off model. This game was the first appearance of what would become the standard look for 3D models of Mario.
    • Bowser also looks a little off. His head is larger and chubbier, he has shorter limbs and the inside of his mouth is the same color as his skin. The 3DS remake fixes this, updating his proportions.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different
    • Most of the Portrait Ghosts are explicitly stated to be humans who died (the exception being Chauncey, who was born a ghost) while Mook-level ghosts are more ugly and/or monster-like in appearance and are in fact the living (so to speak) paintings of the portrait ghost Vincent Van Gore, the Dragon and final major Portrait Ghost fought in the game.
    • Most ghosts caught in the vacuum funnel pull the machine along with them, so Luigi has to pull back. Boos, on the other hand, fight their way out of the vacuum funnel without affecting the machine itself, so Luigi has to keep the nozzle close to them.
  • Paper Master: Melody Pianissima attacks with sheet music.
  • Peek-a-Bogeyman: The dangling ghosts just want to scare Luigi. They jump out at you noisily in the dark, but cause no damage. (Except for the purple ones, which carry cartoon bombs.)
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • The two Gold Diamonds, the most valuable items in the game, can be missed under the wrong circumstances:
      • The next-to-last room of Area 2, the Boneyard, has a plant you can water once you bag the resident skeleton and Spooky, the guard dog. You need to water it before you enter the Graveyard beyond this point, since you become unable to leave the Graveyard and it has the boss of Area 2. Afterwards, you must water it at some point in Area 3 before its boss, and watering it in the last area rewards you with first Gold Diamond in the mansion. Miss any of the three waterings, and you can't get the diamond.
      • The second Gold Diamond is earned after capturing all Boos except King Boo, as he's the Final Boss and only has a much less valuable treasure. Although you're given the option to save your progress every time a Boo is captured, the Diamond can only be collected after you finish talking with E. Gadd and save. If you get the Diamond but forget to save again afterwards (either by talking to a Toad or by defeating King Boo and finishing the game), it will be lost permanently since you'll have already captured the last Boo and won't have a chance to claim back the prize.
    • The Speedy Spirits and the Gold Mice can't be found once you turn the lights on in their rooms. While you get a second chance with the mice during the blackout, the former will be lost for good.
  • Phantom Zone Picture: The ghosts roaming around the house were portraits before Boo intervention, and they are turned into portraits again after capture. Mario also gets imprisoned into a painting, courtesy of King Boo.
  • Playing Card Motifs: Each key to the next area, and the key to King Boo's Secret Altar, have bows shaped like the four suits.
  • Punny Name:
    • Prof. E. Gadd = Egad.
    • In the Japanese version, his name is "Prof. Oyama." Oya ma is a Japanese exclamation that roughly translates to "Egad!" If you listen closely, you can even hear oya ma in the midst of Gadd's gibberish.
    • In the Japanese version, the "Poltergust 3000" (itself a pun on "poltergeist") is known as the "Obacuum", a combination of "obake" (a word referring to a ghost, etc), and "vacuum".
    • Many of the ghosts' names, Boos or not.
  • Rank Inflation: At the end of the game, you are graded on a scale of A through H based on how much money you collect, and Luigi gets a real mansion (or other house-like object) corresponding to your grade. In the 3DS remake, there is also an additional S Rank that can only be acquired in the Hidden Mansion and is somehow even more lavish than the A Rank mansion.
  • The Real Spoofbusters: A rather complete example of this trope, Luigi is a blue collar working man in overalls, with science based ghost hunting gear—the Gameboy Horror as a hand held ghost tracker, and the Poltergust 3000 acting as a backpack-based ghost catcher.
  • Recurring Riff: The Luigi's Mansion theme.
  • Refrigerator Ambush: An ice ghost is hiding in the fridge. Plus the fridge knocks you over and hurts you if you open it by hand instead of sucking it open (its one of three pieces of furniture that can do that, the other being a shed with a Toad in the courtyard and the punching bags in the rec room, although you can avoid the bags after hitting them by moving out of the way of their return trip.)
  • Regional Bonus: In the PAL version, the Hidden Mansion becomes a mirror version of the regular mansion, ramps up the difficulty (ghosts deal more damage and there are fewer hearts), alters some of the puzzles, switches the money and gem locations all over the house, and retools some of the boss encounters, varying from mild variations in their attack pattern to the entirely different Boolossus fight, which has the whole floor covered on ice and Luigi has to ride the Poltergust to "snowboard" across the arena. The ghost-ridden rooms are also a lot darker which are quite difficult to explore unless you use your flashlight, or have memorized the positions of the furniture from previous game-play experience. Averted in the remake, which features an enhanced version of the PAL Hidden Mansion in all regions.
  • Retraux: The appropriately named Game Boy Horror theme.
  • Sexy Silhouette: When Luigi enters the bathroom, he at first sees the silhouette of an attractive woman behind the shower curtain. Subverted when the curtains are pulled back and we see that it's actually Miss Petunia.
  • Shadow of Impending Doom: In the Final Boss fight, Luigi finds himself on top of the mansion just as a large ominous shadow starts to fall from above him, turning out to be Bowser.
  • Shmuck Bait: Lots. A trail of coins leading to a door that is in fact fake and will squish Luigi against the wall if he opens it, a red button that has a sign hanging under it saying "Don't Push!" But you have to, to unleash the Boos, and so on.
  • Shout-Out:
    • King Boo almost directly quotes Jabba the Hutt at one point.
    • The cover is reminiscent and a parody of Home Alone.
    • Luigi parodies The Scream by Edvard Munch in most ads.
    • The eerily nodding taxidermied heads are bound to remind one of Evil Dead 2.
    • There are several references to Ghostbusters (1984), such as:
      • The Garbage Can Ghosts being based on Slimer.
      • The first human ghost being located in the library.
      • The Poltergust is a complete spoof of a proton pack, both worn on the back with hoses, but one is a vacuum. The capturing of the ghosts is reminiscent of the Slimer's capture. The Poltergust looks like a proton pack, but works like a ghost trap, and the flashlight serves the purpose (stunning) of the proton pack.
    • The name of The Floating Whirlindas, a pair of dancing ballroom ghosts, comes from a famous circus stunt group, The Flying Wallendas, and they bear an uncanny resemblance to Lucy and Desi.
  • Skippable Boss: Five Portrait Ghosts are optional, can be captured at any time after their rooms are unlocked, and can be ignored entirely if you don't care about 100% Completion; Mr. Luggs, Biff Atlas, Slim Bankshot, Sue Pea, and Jarvis, in that order. Rather than a key to unlock another room, each of these ghosts instead yields a treasure chest filled with money (including a rare diamond) when defeated. The 3DS Hidden Mansion puts a slight twist on this; Mario's Shoe is now guarded by Slim Bankshot, making him required to complete Area 3. In his stead, Henry and Orville are now optional, but you still need to defeat Nana since Mario's Letter has been moved to the desk in the Twins' Room.
  • The So-Called Coward: Luigi endures the spiteful mook ghosts, hostile portrait ghosts, and the ever so gloaty Boos, which try to hinder him on his way to Mario.
  • Sore Loser: Henry and Orville ask Luigi to play hide and seek with them, while Jarvis challenges him to a game that's sort of like "whac-a-mole". In both cases, if Luigi wins, the ghosts get angry and attack him. Note that this is the only way he can capture them, something which is required to proceed in the case of the twins; they hold one of the items you need to bring to Clairvoya and finish Area 3.
  • Spoiled Brat:
    • Chauncey, the Spoiled Baby and yes, that's his name. He's bossy, bratty, and forces Luigi to play with him.
    • Henry and Orville, Chauncey's older twin brothers, complain that they lost hide and seek and, like Chauncey, try to kill Luigi. Heck, even if you manage to find them without using the Poltergust, they'll say you're cheating.
  • Stealth Pun: Combined with Visual Pun, in the 3DS remake where E. Gadd from Dark Moon asks his past self and Luigi to test his newest creation; Gooigi, the monitor behind him featuring the Dark Moon pieces collected at the time are at 3, meaning that this took place when Luigi was at the Old Clockworks.
  • Stealthy Mook: There are two rooms in Luigi's Mansion that feature ghosts that are completely invisible, save for their reflections in a mirror and their shadows on the projection screen in each respective room.
  • Sudden Name Change: In the 3DS remake, the Kitchen's Boo, Booligan, is renamed Booldog, the same name he was given in Dark Moon.
  • Survival Horror: Lighter and Softer (it is a main Nintendo franchise game, after all), but it has its moments.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: All the boss battles except Boolossus play out like this.
  • Tae Kwon Door: If you open one of the trap doors in the house, open the fridge in the kitchen by hand, or open the Toad shed in the courtyard on the wrong side. For the trap doors, they swing wide open and squish Luigi against the wall (the trap/fake doors reveal only a wall behind them), then they close, a Paper Luigi falls to the floor, and a ghost laughs.
  • Teleportation: If Luigi uses his Game-Boy Horror scanner on any mirror, it will immediately send him back to the mansion's entrance.
  • Theme-and-Variations Soundtrack: On top of the main theme playing constantly throughout the Mansion with different types of Variable Mix, many of the fanfares and other songs contain snippets of the main theme.
  • Throw the Book at Them: Books in the Study will fly off the shelf and into Luigi when he first enters it.
  • Token Good Teammate: Madame Clairvoya, who's the only portrait ghost who doesn't have evil intentions; helping out the hero and then asking him to suck her up with the vacuum cleaner when she has finished her purpose with helping him.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Luigi in this game, considering he's usually the Butt-Monkey in most of the games he's in.
  • Towering Flower: Luigi can water a seedling growing in the Boneyard once during each chapter. Water it enough and it grows into a huge red flower that is bigger than Luigi himself. It then matures into a big fruit, which contains a gold diamond.
  • Very False Advertising: So much so that it's even the page image for this trope! To elaborate: the mansion as depicted on Luigi's directions to the place is accompanied by such features as a bright blue sky and rainbow (the brochure is even hand-drawn). The lightning strike when Luigi looks up to compare it to the far more menacing real deal drives the point home.
  • Villainous Glutton: Mr. Luggs and Garbage Can Ghosts.
  • Vocal Evolution: This game was the first to feature what could be considered Luigi's proper "modern" voice. Throughout the N64 Era, Martinet's Luigi had a voice that was deep, and quite confident-sounding, but in this game, Luigi now sounded timid and skittish, to go with his newly established Cowardly Lion personality.
  • The Von Trope Family: Vincent van Gore, whose name doubles as a reference to the famous painter Van Gogh.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: ALL of the Portrait Ghosts are impervious to the Poltergust 3000 (or sometimes cannot be fought or even seen at all) until you do something that makes them vulnerable. The method is different for each one (it's easier with some than others) and you have to figure each one out.
  • Weapons That Suck: The Poltergust 3000.
  • Wham Shot: Descending down the well in the Area 3 Garden has Luigi come face to face with King Boo's lair... and Mario, trapped in a portrait and screaming for help.
  • When All You Have is a Hammer…: Everything that needs to be done in this game comes down to using the Poltergust 3000. Luigi captures ghosts with it, sets things on fire with it, puts out fires with it, and freezes water with it. Then again, the game gives you no ability to jump nor any physical attacks, what else is there?
  • White Glove Test: Luigi mentions, while inspecting a room, that it would never pass this.
  • Wind-Up Key: The Clockwork Soldiers all have them, which you have to pull off in order to suck them up.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Chauncey, the first boss, who can throw a mean tantrum.
  • Worthy Opponent: This game actually implies a sliding scale for this. Your skill at capturing the gallery ghosts results in one of three different images: one each for a Bronze, Silver, or Gold frame.
    • The bronze frame is the worst, in which the ghost will generally assume a bland and uncommitted pose or is slightly obscured, in which case the ghost is deciding to ignore Luigi. For example: Nana's greyed out, motion-blurred photograph; Sir Weston's fuzzy traveling image, Sue Pea returning to her upside down posture in-frame. The 3DS version takes it to an extreme by making all bronze paintings black and white, and some of them take it to an extreme by not showing themselves properly, such as Bogmire being a clone mid-generation and Miss Petunia hiding behind the shower curtain.
    • In the silver frame, the ghosts clearly acknowledge Luigi, but with clear disdain or resentment. For example: Lydia scowling, Chauncey shrieking, Melody scoffing, the Clockwork Soldiers looking away while saluting.
    • The gold frame generally features the ghost's fanciest pose or at its most photogenic, which suggests that the ghost is putting on a bit of a show and wants to be thought well of, that they seek Luigi's respect. For example: Neville posing with his rocking chair, Shivers smiling with a lit candle, the Floating Whirlindas waving cheerfully, Biff Atlas flexing... Although Nana's gold frame picture is highly distorted and Spooky's is in negative colors.
    • The 3DS remake adds a platinum frame, exclusive to the Hidden Mansion and its accompanying Boss Rush difficulty, which is obtained by dealing 140 damage in one go or, for the main bosses, winning with 95+ HP remaining. In it, the ghost will generally take a fighting pose, as if he's eager for a rematch.
    • The remake also has different portraits than the original. For instance, in his gold portrait, Biff Atlas lifts his dumbell instead of flexing.

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Video Example(s):


Luigi's Mansion - Fake Doors

Some doorways in Luigi's Mansion are traps. It's recommended you don't try to use them, unless you like the Paper Luigi look...

How well does it match the trope?

4.82 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheDoorSlamsYou

Media sources:

Main / TheDoorSlamsYou