|Distribution||Nintendo optical disc|
Luigi's Mansion, known as Luigi Mansion (ルイージマンション Ruīji Manshon?) in Japan, is an action-adventure game published by Nintendo for the GameCube. It was the first game in the Mario franchise to be released for Nintendo GameCube. It was released in Japan on September 14, 2001, in North America on November 18, 2001, and in Europe on May 3, 2002. The game was a launch title for the GameCube, and the second title in the Mario franchise where Luigi is the main character, instead of Mario, the first and third being Mario is Missing! and Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, respectively.
The game takes place in a haunted mansion when Luigi wins a contest that he never entered. He told his brother to meet him there to celebrate his victory. Luigi is searching for his brother, Mario, who came to the mansion earlier, but went missing. To help Luigi on his quest, an old professor named Elvin Gadd or E. Gadd has equipped him with the "Poltergust 3000", a vacuum cleaner used for capturing ghosts, and a "Game Boy Horror", a device used for communicating with E. Gadd. He also uses it as a map and to examine ghosts.
Luigi's Mansion was relatively well received by reviewers, despite being criticized for its length. The game has sold over 2.5 million copies, and is the fifth best-selling Nintendo GameCube game in the United States. It was one of the first games to be re-released as a Player's Choice title on the system. The game was later followed by a sequel entitled Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, released for the Nintendo 3DS in 2013.
The game takes place in a large, dark mansion set in the outskirts of a forest called Boo Woods. The mansion is haunted by various ghosts, including Boos, and it is being investigated by Professor E. Gadd, who lives in a small laboratory next to the mansion. It consists of five floors, including a basement and a roof. Luigi starts out in a foyer, the hub area of the mansion.
In Luigi's Mansion, Professor E. Gadd arms Luigi with two of his inventions: the Poltergust 3000 and the Game Boy Horror, which resembles another Nintendo product, the Atomic Purple model of the Game Boy Color. The Poltergust 3000 is a high-powered vacuum cleaner designed for capturing ghosts and gathering treasure. To capture ghosts, Luigi must first shine his flashlight on them to stun them. This reveals the ghost's heart, giving Luigi a chance to suck it into the Poltergust 3000, steadily reducing the ghosts' hit points to zero, at which point they can be captured. The ghosts remain in the Poltergust 3000, although certain more advanced ghosts named Portrait Ghosts are extracted and put back into their portraits after a process at the end of the game's four areas. When these paintings are made, they are stored in the gallery in Professor Elvin Gadd's laboratory. Later in the game, Luigi locates three medallions which allow him to expel fire, water, or ice from the Poltergust 3000. These elements are needed to capture certain ghosts.
The Game Boy Horror allows Luigi to examine items in the mansion, detect a Boo's presence in the room, and indicates its proximity to Luigi. It also contains a map of the mansion and lets Luigi and Professor E. Gadd communicate. Spread throughout the mansion are dark rooms containing ghosts, and when Luigi clears a room of all its ghosts, the lights come on and a chest usually appears. These chests can either contain a key, treasure, or one of the three element medallions. Whenever Luigi finds a key, his Game Boy Horror automatically indicates which door it unlocks.
Once King Boo, the final boss of Luigi's Mansion, is defeated, the player is given a rating based on the amount of treasure Luigi has found. A second version of the mansion also becomes playable, called the "Hidden Mansion". In the European version, the entire mansion is reversed from left to right, bosses are different and possibly move faster, ghosts and Portrait Ghosts may be captured faster, and there are sometimes more ghosts in a room.
The game begins with Luigi having won a mansion in a contest. Despite not having entered any contest, he promptly told Mario about the mansion, and the two agreed to meet up outside it that evening. Luigi takes a flashlight with him and he follows the map to the mansion. Upon finally arriving at his new mansion, which looks much more sinister than the supplied photo, Mario is nowhere to be found. Luigi proceeds inside the mansion, entering the Parlor after he gains the key from a strange ghost-like shape. Upon entry, he is soon assaulted by a Gold Ghost, only to be saved by a little old man wielding a vacuum cleaner. The old man, however, is unable to reel the ghost in, and is soon overpowered. After being helped to his feet by Luigi, the old man introduces himself as Professor Elvin Gadd. The two retreat from the mansion when more of the Gold Ghosts appear.
In E. Gadd's laboratory, he explains how Luigi's newly won mansion is obviously the work of something not of this world, as it only appeared a few nights ago. The mansion itself was built by King Boo to shelter the now-freed portrait ghosts, ghosts whom E. Gadd had previously captured and contained in paintings. They sent Luigi the supplied photo to lure him into a trap. Gadd also tells Luigi that he saw someone wearing a red cap go into the mansion some time ago, but has not seen him since. Upon learning that the red capped man (Mario) was Luigi's brother, E. Gadd allows Luigi to take over his duties of ghost-catching and entrusts him with his vacuum cleaner, the "Poltergust 3000," and another invention called the GameBoy Horror that allows him to communicate with Luigi.
After numerous confrontations and challenges with many ghosts, portrait ghosts, boss ghosts, boos, puzzles, and locked doors, Luigi confronts King Boo, who has trapped Mario inside a painting like the portrait ghosts. King Boo pulls Luigi into a painting for their final battle, reviving and puppeteering Bowser from the inside to aid him. Eventually, King Boo is beaten down and sucked into the Poltergust 3000 while Bowser collapses. Luigi returns to E. Gadd with Mario's painting and successfully extracts him from within using the Ghost Portrificationizer in reverse. The end also sees the haunted mansion disappear, after which Luigi builds a normal house on the site using the money he earned. The size of the house depends on how much money the player was able to obtain before the end of the game.
The game was first revealed at Nintendo Space World 2000 as a technical demo designed to show off the graphical capabilities of the GameCube. The full motion video footage had scenes seen in later trailers and commercials for the game, but never used. This includes Luigi running from an unknown ghost in the foyer, ghosts playing cards in the parlor, and ghosts circling around Luigi, all of which never appear in the final release. Soon after its creation, Nintendo decided to make it into a full game. Luigi's Mansion was later shown at the E3 in 2001 with the Nintendo GameCube console. A newer version of the game, more closely related to the final version, was later revealed at Nintendo Space World 2001.
The original plan for Luigi's Mansion involved a game where the levels revolved around a large mansion or complex. Tests were later done with Mario characters in dollhouses and such. Once it was put as a GameCube project, Luigi was selected as the main character to keep the game original and new. The other gameplay ideas, such as ghosts and the ghost-sucking vacuum cleaner, were added later. Older concepts, such as a role-playing game-like system which made real-time changes to rooms and an underground cave area located under the mansion, were also scrapped with the inclusion of the new ideas.
Luigi's Mansion 's music was composed by Shinobu Tanaka and Kazumi Totaka, and as such contains "Totaka's Song", a song featured in almost every game that Totaka has composed. It is found by waiting on the controller configuration screen at the Training Room for about three and a half minutes. The main theme of Luigi's Mansion is orchestrated and arranged by Shogo Sakai for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The game featured voice actors Charles Martinet as the voice of Mario and Luigi, and Jen Taylor as the voice of Toad. Luigi's Mansion received an award for its audio by BAFTA Interactive Entertainment Awards in 2002.
All Nintendo GameCube systems support the display of stereoscopic 3D, and Luigi's Mansion was developed to utilise this. 3D televisions were not widespread at the time, and it was deemed that compatible displays would be too cost-prohibitive for the consumer. As a result, the feature was never enabled outside of development.
Luigi's Mansion is the most successful GameCube launch title and the best-selling game of November 2001. Despite meager sales in Japan at around 348,000 copies in total, it became the fifth best-selling Nintendo GameCube game in the United States, with sales of roughly 2.19 million units. It was also one of the first Player's Choice titles on the console, along with Super Smash Bros. Melee and Pikmin.
Luigi's Mansion received generally positive reviews, and reviewers praised the game's graphics, design, and gameplay. GameSpot stated that Luigi's Mansion "features some refreshing ideas" and "flashes of brilliance." The gaming magazine Nintendo Power praised the game for being "very enjoyable while it lasts, with its clever puzzles and innovative game play." GameSpy said that the game features "great visuals, imaginative game design and some classic Nintendo magic." The game was referred to as "a masterful example of game design" by GamePro. Game Revolution stated that "the graphics are quite beautiful and the interesting game mechanics are enjoyable." The American-based publication Game Informer praised the gameplay, and referred to it as "brilliant and up to par with Miyamoto's best." The audio was praised by IGN, who considered Luigi's voice acting as "cute, humorous and satisfying", and GameSpy, who declared that the soundtrack remains "subtle, amusing and totally suitable throughout the game". The Japanese video game publication Famitsu awarded the game with a gold rating, and noted that the control system, while tricky at first, works well.
The game has also received criticism, mainly because of the game's length. GameSpot said that Luigi's Mansion "fails to match the classic status of Mario's adventures" and that the "short amount of time it takes to complete it makes it a hard recommendation." The review, however, also considered that the short length prevents the gameplay and audio from getting tiresome. GameSpy also criticized the game's length, saying that it could be beaten in about six hours. Allgame declared that Luigi's Mansion "ultimately fails to deliver a cohesive gameplay experience over the long-term." Fran Mirabella III of IGN felt that the game was subpar, due to its "predictable, formulaic gameplay". G4's TV show X-Play criticized Luigi's Mansion in their special on Mario games and media, calling the game a letdown for players waiting for the first Mario game on the GameCube. The game placed 99th in Official Nintendo Magazine's 100 greatest Nintendo games of all time.
Luigi's Mansion introduced two new characters, Professor Elvin Gadd (or simply E. Gadd for short) and King Boo. E. Gadd has reappeared in other Mario games, such as Mario Party 6 and Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time. E. Gadd is also referenced in Super Mario Sunshine as the creator of the paintbrush that Bowser Jr. uses and the F.L.U.D.D. device that Mario uses. King Boo reappears in other games either as a boss (Super Mario Sunshine and Super Princess Peach) or a playable character (Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and Mario Super Sluggers). The ghosts in Luigi's Mansion have made appearances in other Nintendo games, such as Mario Party 8 and Wii Party.
The mansion in the game has reappeared in other Mario games, usually acting as Luigi's home stage. It appeared in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Mario Kart 7, Mario Power Tennis, Mario Kart DS, Mario Hoops 3-on-3, Mario Super Sluggers, and Mario Sports Mix. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, a Luigi's Mansion stage is unlockable. It can be destroyed when characters hit a set of pillars, but it can rebuild itself later on. There are also some stickers and trophies based on the game.
At E3 2012, Nintendo introduced the Wii U launch title Nintendo Land, which hosts Luigi's Ghost Mansion, a multiplayer mini-game based on Luigi's Mansion. In this mini-game, four players controlling Miis dressed up as Mario, Luigi, Wario and Waluigi, have to drain the energy of a ghost, while the GamePad player, controlling the ghost, must make all the other players faint before time runs out.
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