Luigi's Mansion

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
It's a picture, but I wouldn't call it art.

Proto Man: Damn, I think me and Luigi will never get our own games!
George: Actually, Luigi has his own game. It's called Luigi's Mansion...

Proto Man: God damn it!!

Luigi's Mansion is 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. Basically what Mario Is Missing should've been.

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. Once he finds it, he gets burdened with some grim news: The mansion is not only infested with evil ghosts, but their king has trapped Mario inside a painting and is waiting until midnight to take possession of him forever, using Mario as a new body for his disembodied self.

With the help of a kindly old ghost-buster / Mad Scientist named Professor Elvin Gadd, Luigi straps on his trusty Poltergust 3000, a machine 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 King Boo.

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.

The creator of the original wanted to make a sequel for the 3DS, which, as of E3 2011 and 2012, is going to be a reality.

Tropes used in Luigi's Mansion include:
  • Affectionate Parody: Of the Survival-Horror genre.
  • Always Night: The original game was one night... spinoffs put the mansion in an eternal night.
  • An Adventurer Is You
  • An Ice Person: Sir Weston.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The trippy boss rooms.
  • Art Initiates Life: Vincent Van Gore is probably the most blatant example of this ever, bringing the ghosts to life from portraits he paints.
  • Asteroids Monster: Boolossus.
  • Badass in Distress: Mario
  • Bad Guys Play Pool: Slim Bankshot
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The mansion (that is to say, the entire game.)
  • Blackout Basement: Normally, the lights come on once every ghost in any given room has either been caught or otherwise defeated. The last fourth of the game features a mansion-wide blackout, however, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. YMMV, since this follows the old tradition of beating a game to get the Second Quest, which is basically the same as the first but with tweaks to make it harder e.g. enemy substitution. See the original Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Land, The Legend of Zelda, and Kirby's Dream Land.
    • Subverted in the PAL version, however.
  • Breath Weapon: Mr. Lugg's fireballs.
  • Call Back: In order to make Melody appear in the Music Room, Luigi must first strike all the instruments except the piano; doing so causes them to start playing the theme music from the original Super Mario Bros. Melody then plays either the underwater theme from the same game or the theme from Super Mario Bros 3; the player must identify the song in order to fight her.
  • Camera Screw: Part of what makes Boolossus 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.
  • 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.
  • Chest Monster: Jarvis
    • Some mook-level ghosts work like this too, jumping out at you when you investigate nooks and crannies for extra loot. Subverted with the blue ones in that they still give up a ton of valuable shinies when you defeat them though.
  • 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.
  • Cowardly Lion: Luigi, given that he still saves the day despite his obvious fear.
  • Creepy Basement
  • Creepy Cemetery: The Boneyard.
  • Creepy Child: Chauncey.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Luigi steals the spotlight from Mario here.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Luigi, commenting on things he sees in the mansion.
  • Defanged Horrors: A Lighter and Softer take on the Survival Horror genre.
  • Dem Bones: "Mr. Bones" and the skeletal ghosts.
  • Demoted to Extra: Spinoffs featuring the mansion (Mario Kart DS and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, for example) tend to use the haunted mansion rather than one of the ones Luigi got at the end of the game. The mansion featured in the ending's highest rank made only one reappearance: as part of the background scenery in the Mario Kart: Double Dash version of Luigi Circuit (technically two, since the course in question made a reappearance as one of the many Nostalgia Levels in Mario Kart DS.)
  • 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.
  • Dude in Distress: Mario.
  • The Dragon: Vincent Van Gore, technically. He creates all the minor ghosts you encounter in the mansion and is the one keeping the key leading to King Boo.
  • Dual Boss: Henry and Orville (considering their vehicles, they're also an homage to Henry Ford and Orville Wright).
  • Dummied Out: A lot of things were changed or dropped from the beta compared to the final product, including how many promotions allude to the fact that Luigi was timed and had to rescue Mario within the night, or else Mario will be lost and Luigi will be possessed by a ghost as he leaves the mansion, how images of Luigi were to follow the final new mansion to show his reaction to it (one with two peace signs while grinning, another with one, and a third with him sulking while holding a flower), and a few other extra features such as the Game Boy Horror only taking the lower corner of the screen over the entire screen, a ghost who can harm Luigi to temporarily make his max HP 50 in addition to other damage, or how the Poltergust 3000 would burst into flames if left running for too long.
    • Just about every promotion for the game said that Luigi had one night to save Mario.
      • The game itself alludes to the time limit once. After catching five boos in order to progress to the washroom, Professor E. Gadd tells Luigi to calm down because he has "plenty of time left."
  • Dynamic Loading: If the action freezes right before you open a door, that means the area hasn't finished loading yet.
  • Easter Egg: Stand next to the Well and listen closely.

Mario: Hey, Luigi! What's the holdup?

  • 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 and can affect things around the mansion.
  • 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.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The game only covers a single night, around 8 hours at best.
  • Eye Beams: Used by Nana.
  • 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.
  • F Minus Minus: You can get a grade for your performance as low as an H, but this requires effort.
  • Flunky Boss: All the 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), Boolossus gets "popped" like a balloon on the horn of a unicorn statue and becomes several smaller versions of himself, and Vincent Van Gore makes the figures in his paintings come to life and attack you.
  • Giant Mook: Boolossus (also That One Boss).
  • Gotta Catch Em All: The ghosts and the Boos. Getting the best ending also involves collecting as much money as possible (and ironically, getting so 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.
  • Haunted House: The titular mansion, obviously.
  • Haunted House Historian: Professor: E. Gadd.
  • 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.
  • Holler Button: Pressing the A button makes Luigi shout "Mario!"
  • Human Popsicle: Sir Weston, who froze himself because he hasn't warmed up to the idea about becoming a ghost, is in a giant block of ice that is melted by two torches.
  • Humongous Mecha: 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.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Most of the Boos' names.
    • Props to Nintendo for coming up with not ten, not twenty, but thirty-six Boo puns, each cheesier than the last.
    • One is even named Booigi!
  • Idiot Ball: King Boo lampshades this:

"Anyway, who would actually believe that mansions get given away in contests? Talk about stupid! What do they feed you Mario Bros. anyway? Gullible soup?"

  • Invincible Minor Minion: The red, spiky Bomb Ghosts (go ahead, try to trap one.)
    • Although they will just fade out of existence if you hose them down with water.
  • The Jeeves: Shivers, who roams the house in search of his master's will.[1]
  • Kill It with Fire, Kill It with Water, and Kill It with Ice.
  • Living Shadow: Bogmire creates shadow duplicates of himself.
  • Lovable Coward: Luigi himself, of course. Can you blame him for being freaked out of his wits? He's in a house full of ghosts, who would have taken care of him pretty easily if it hadn't been for E. Gadd being there with the Poltergust.
    • Toad, too, if you find him cute as opposed to annoying.
  • Mad Scientist: Professor Elvin Gadd.
  • 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, however, when Luigi blows "Bowser's" head off... and he is revealed to be just a robot. Controlled by King Boo.
  • Metal Slime: Speedy Blue Spirits and the Golden Mouse.
  • Money Spider: There are some ghosts you have only one chance to catch, and 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.
    • 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.
  • Mook Maker: Almost every non-portrait ghost is created by a single boss, Vincent Van Gore.
  • 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: Chauncy is pretty cute (for a giant ghostly baby). But when he cries...
  • Onomatopoeia: King Boo has one for vacuuming during his monologue.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different
  • Paper Master: Melody Pianissima attacks with sheet music.
  • Peek a Bogey Man: The white dangling ghosts just want to scare Luigi. They jump out at you noisily in the dark, but cause no damage.
    • The purple versions don't damage Luigi either, but the bombs they drop do.
  • Portal Network: E. Gadd apparently has one in the sequel, used to link the various mansions to his bunker.
  • Preview Piggybacking: The game included a trailer for the first Pikmin game, accessed through the options screen.
  • Punny Name: Prof. E. Gadd. Egad. Geddit?
    • 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.
  • Recurring Riff: The Luigi's Mansion theme.
  • Refrigerator Ambush: An ice ghost is hiding in the fridge.
  • Regional Bonus: The Hidden Mansion becomes a mirror version of the regular mansion and bosses have noticeable changes in how they are fought. Unfortunately, other regions get The Hidden Mansion detailed in Bonus Feature Failure.
  • Retraux: The appropriately named Game Boy Horror theme.
  • Scenery Porn: For the first game on the Gamecube, the graphics are incredible, not to mention the physics and paper/sheet effects.
    • It's the minor graphical details that really bring this point home. For example, mirrors in this game are actually reflective. That's extremely rare even in this generation's best-looking games.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Getting every last penny in the mansion and getting as little money as possible.
  • 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.
  • Shifting Sand Land: One of the mansions in the sequel has this theme, complete with mummies.
  • Shmuck Bait: Lots. A trail of coins leading to a door, 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 Hut at one point.
    • The cover is reminiscent and a parody of Home Alone.
  • Stealth Mook: There are two subtypes of Grabbing Ghost that are normally invisible - one can only be seen via their reflections in a mirror, and another can only be detected by their shadows on a projection screen. They only become visible when grabbing you, though you can also reveal them with your flashlight or elemental attacks from the Poltergust.
  • Survival Horror: Lighter and Softer (it is a Nintendo franchise game, after all), but it has its moments.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: All the boss battles except Boolossus play out like this.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: 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.
  • Throw the Book At Them: Books in the Study will fly off the shelf and into Luigi when he first enters it.
  • Trope 2000: The Poltergust 3000.
  • Very False Advertising: The mansion as depicted on Luigi's directions to the place looks far less menacing and is accompanied by such features as a bright blue sky and rainbow. The lightning strike when Luigi looks up to compare it to the actual mansion drives the point home.
  • Villainous Glutton: Mr. Luggs and Garbage Can Ghosts.
  • Weapons That Suck: The Poltergust 3000.
  • 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?
  • Who You Gonna Call?: Professor E. Gadd, Luigi.
  • Wind Up Key: The Clockwork Soldiers.
  1. He hopes he's included in it!