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YMMV / (Mario) The Music Box

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  • Audience-Alienating Premise: The very execution of this game when it comes to depicting the Super Mario Bros. characters (like Mario being able to die more easily compared to his canon depiction) and the Animesque original characters and artwork pretty much drive even Mario series fans away. Many people question why Mario characters are involved in this game in the first place, commenting that nothing would change if they were original characters instead.
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  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Has been known to happen. If you're aiming for the "Missing" ending, which triggers the ARC Expansion, the story eventually becomes so relentless and depressing that it can turn people off. Since it's based in the Bad Ending of the original Music Box game, Mario is fated to suffer in all endings. Even the happiest thing to a happy ending, the "No Save Ending" (where Mario manages to break the "Groundhog Day" Loop Len had trapped him in and lives happily with Luigi and Peach) feels bleak.
  • Awesome Art: This game is packed with surprisingly good art, especially the full-screen pictures.
  • Foe Yay: Alice seemed way too obsessive when it came to stealing Mario's body from him. Even after she was exorcised from him in "Omitted Memory", and the perfectly serviceable Luigi was present, she only shows an interest in taking the unconscious Mario's body. In the "Sealed" ending, she goes as far as to drag Mario's soul with her after having been successfully sealed back into the music box. Of course, she could have done that out of spite for losing, but it's definitely eyebrow-raising, seeing as how Mario would have been of no use to her by then unless she planned on devouring his soul.
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  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The shot of a possessed Mario wearing a white gown brings to mind the Bridal Dress costume from Super Mario Odyssey, a game which came out two years after this one and also features copious amounts of possessing other creatures and people (though this time Mario is the possesser instead of the possessee).
  • Ho Yay: Between Mario and Riba, especially in the ARC Expansion, when it's revealed Mario is the reincarnation of Marchionne, Riba's liege and ally. It borders almost in Foe Yay, with Riba recalling how orchestrating Marchionne's death was one of his biggest pleasures he ever felt. If Mario is kind to Riba, it results in the "Continueance" 3 and 4 endings, where Riba pulls a Heel–Face Turn and learns to care for Mario, becoming a true friend to him. Also, when Mario dies of an illness in the "Continueance 3" ending, Riba mourns him and comments how he came to care and love for Mario as much as he loved Elizabeth (his first wife.)...
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • All but a few spirits (i.e. the spirits that don't try to kill you) qualify. Yes, they all try to kill you in very horrible ways, but they were good people in life screwed over by Alice and cursed to try to kill you.
    • Anna. She's at best a morally ambiguous character who killed her own sister — but she was abused and neglected by her mother, became a virtual shadow of said sister (who received all the love and attention), and only killed her so she could be loved for once — but instead she was brutally murdered by her mother.
  • Moe: The Spirits. Some of them keep the good looks they had after passing, such as Rosa, Aria (who looks almost exactly the same as she did in life), and Serina. The scissors girl retained some of her moe in life.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Alice's massacre of the mansion residents, starting with Alfred, cemented her into the irredeemably evil person she is in-game. Also in the ARC Expansion, when she murders Riba's wife out of jealousy and tried to kill baby Anna as well.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Sometimes you won't know whether something will result in a game over or not until it's already happened. There's also a few spirits that come to kill you out of nowhere (especially when it's really hard to see them when they're on the move, when they're right next to you when they start attacking, or when there was no prior indicator that they're even there).
  • Sequel Hook: The "No Save Ending" of the ''ARC'' Expansion, which sets up the plot of a future installment, titled "Mario: The Pocket Watch."
  • So Okay, It's Average: Although receiving a bit of recognition, most people see this fan game as a mediocre horror game. The ARC Expansion was more praised, with better mechanics, story and more character depth for Alice and Riba.


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