Spoiler Warning: There are spoilers ahead for Luigi’s Mansion 3.
It’s taken a few days for me to get back to Luigi’s Mansion 3, what with all the theorising and building up to the third season of Star Trek: Discovery. Sorry about that, but we’re finally back with Mario’s scaredy-cat brother as he continues to explore the Last Resort hotel. In the first part, we saw Luigi and the gang check into the hotel, only for the whole thing to be revealed as a trap! Hellen Gravely, the owner, is in cahoots with Luigi’s nemesis King Boo, and the dastardly duo have trapped Mario, Peach, Toad, and Luigi’s professor friend in paintings. Here’s hoping Luigi can get them out!
One thing that makes writing this kind of article a lot easier than in years gone by is the ease of taking and saving screenshots. The Switch pro controller is my gamepad of choice for Nintendo’s console, and it has a screenshot button built right in. Regular readers may recall that I used to work for a large games company, and it wasn’t that long ago that getting a screenshot of a console game was a pain in the bum that required specialist equipment and a decent PC. So here’s to that little innovation!
Last time, we left Luigi in a large room which contained a portrait of his professor friend from the first title in the series…
This time, we’re going to explore some more of the hotel and even take on the first two boss fights. Let’s get started!
Luigi’s Mansion 3 doesn’t have the kind of “save anywhere” functionality that most modern games have. Instead it relies on an autosave which checkpoints Luigi’s progress every time he opens a doorway into a new room. Luckily this is a hotel, and exploring the hotel is the aim of the game, meaning we’re going in and out of a lot of rooms! The save file seems to keep the most recent three autosaves, meaning if – for whatever reason – one of them was no good, it’s possible to go back and choose a different one. As someone who’s been burned before by corrupted data, accidental deletions, and lost save files… this isn’t great. I like to be in control of my save, and Luigi’s Mansion 3 doesn’t give me that control.
After loading, Luigi was in the hallway behind the room with Professor E. Gadd’s painting. Exploring this hallway led to an impassable doorway (blocked by something behind the door), as well as a metal door that needed a key. There was one other door, which was the only accessible one in this area.
Opening this door led to a weird room that reminded me of a dressing-room for a theatre. There was a large mirror and several chairs facing it, with a table in front. I used to be involved with an amateur dramatics society many years ago, and this looked an awful lot like the backstage setup we had for getting people into their costumes and makeup! Considering that the ghosts who occupy the hotel had to put on a show for Luigi, Mario, Peach, and the Toads when they arrived, it makes sense that they’d have to have a dressing-room of some kind. And this is it!
The dressing-room was laid out very cleverly, and made good use of the mirror. Using the Poltergust on a coat hanging on the left of the room gave Luigi access to a safe, inside of which was a green gem. Not sure what purpose these gems serve yet, but we’ll find several more during this section of the playthrough. Another mirror on the right of the room showed a switch on the fourth wall (i.e. the one we can’t see). Activating this switch with the lamp on the Poltergust opened a hiding place behind a painting, giving Luigi the key to the metal door.
This was a clever puzzle, the kind you might’ve expected to find in an older point-and-click game like Monkey Island, and the combination of the camera and mirror worked well here. It isn’t Nintendo’s first time using a mirror to reveal a hidden secret; Super Mario 64 features a room in the castle where it’s necessary to use a mirror to find the way into one of the painting worlds. After grabbing the key I headed out of the room, and here’s where not playing the game for ten days almost tripped me up! An attack by a couple of ghosts almost led to Luigi’s untimely demise as I struggled to remember how to use the various settings on the Poltergust!
I was eventually able to defeat the ghosts, however, and make it back to the metal door. Unlocking it with the key led to a room with a safe. Inside the safe Luigi found a new lightbulb for the Poltergust; this one has the ability to save people trapped in pictures. So far we’ve only found one of Luigi’s friends, so it was back to the room with Professor Gadd’s painting to rescue him!
The Professor insists on being taken to his car in the basement – the place where we got the Poltergust earlier on. And here I’m almost embarrassed to say I got stuck! Heading back into the lobby leads the Professor to make a comment about heading down to the basement in the lift. But there didn’t appear to be a way to call or open the lift; the button was blocked by a fallen bin and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what to do for a solid five minutes or so! Eventually, however, I remembered that pressing both trigger buttons at the same time does a different kind of attack move, and this is the only way to dislodge the wayward bin and access the lift. Phew.
Upon entering the basement garage, Luigi encountered the first boss. I’m not sure what this character is called (or if he even has a name) but he was a ghostly member of the hotel’s staff, and attacked Luigi by throwing suitcases and other items of luggage. It wasn’t a particularly difficult fight all things considered, but it was time-consuming as this ghost had more hit points than any of the others we’ve encountered so far. Luckily the fight earlier on had reminded me of all the different moves at Luigi’s disposal, and while I did take some damage Luigi ultimately prevailed.
Most of the buttons in the elevator were missing – there was only the basement accessible when Luigi and the Professor rode down a moment earlier. This boss dropped two buttons when he was defeated, and this seems to be a pattern that will be repeated for every boss in the game. Each button allows the lift to travel to a different floor – so defeating a boss opens up a new level. Simple.
The Professor heads to his car and retrieves a strange geometric shaped item from the boot. This turns out to be his “mobile lab,” and when unfolded it’s an entire safe room! Setting this up in the basement will allow the Professor to keep tabs on Luigi, as well as being a safe space to return to between levels.
The Professor is kind of funny. A stereotypical “mad scientist” type who’s lost in his work, he’s nevertheless a fun character and I enjoyed the cut-scene with him inside the lab. He gives Luigi a “Virtual Boo” – an obvious clone of Nintendo’s own Virtual Boy console from the 1990s which failed. This was a funny, self-aware joke on Nintendo’s part! In addition to being able to call on the Professor to ask for hints, the VB also contains a map, which will come in handy. And just like the Virtual Boy on which it was based, all the menus, screens, and even the map are projected in shades of red.
After exiting the lab, Luigi’s first task was to install a machine of the Professor’s inside the lift. This will keep track of the available floors and provide a little information when inside the lift. Entering the lift triggered a cut-scene in which it was set up automatically, so there wasn’t much to do here. The next assignment took Luigi to the fifth floor, which is where the Professor had been staying when he was captured. Luigi is tasked with retrieving an important briefcase…
The fifth floor branched off in two directions. Both were blocked, one by furniture that was immovable – but may be able to be moved later if Luigi gains access to new moves. The other was blocked by suitcases that Luigi was able to move using his new “plunger shot” skill. The plunger shot is what it sounds like – the Poltergust fires a plunger (the kind used to unclog toilets) with a rope attached. It will stick to certain flat surfaces, and Luigi can then use the Poltergust to suck up the rope, moving whatever object the plunger is stuck to. Got that? It’s harder to explain in words than it is to use!
After rounding the corner, a housekeeping cart shoots off seemingly all on its own, giving Luigi a fright. Exploring these rooms yields little, and after a fight against a couple of ghosts, Luigi arrives at Room 508 – which had a giant yellow exclamation-mark on the map. Inside was the next boss: a chambermaid. Room 508 was the Professor’s room, and inside is the briefcase Luigi needed to get. Unfortunately the maid swallows the briefcase, and before I could figure out what to do she made her escape by floating through the wall.
Once I figured out how to use the plunger shot on the briefcase – ghosts are noncorporeal, after all! – the boss fight was another that was relatively easy yet still time-consuming. After a couple of successful attacks the maid will flee if you aren’t quick enough, and after she fled the third time, I wasn’t sure where she’d gone.
Looking around the entire accessible area – including an outdoor section on a ledge – yielded nothing, but after returning to Room 508 the maid was back where she started, and the boss fight was able to be continued. Defeating her meant Luigi could grab the briefcase, and also scored another elevator button for his trouble.
The new button is for the third floor – which says it contains a hotel shop, perhaps somewhere for Luigi to spend all of these coins he’s been collecting? Before we can go there, however, the Professor calls to ask for his briefcase. Returning to the lab in the basement, Luigi was rewarded for this outing with yet another new tool – Gooigi! What is Gooigi, I hear you ask? Well it’s a facsimile of Luigi… made entirely out of goo. Gooigi is able to access areas that Luigi can’t, and it’s now possible to switch between controlling Luigi and Gooigi with the push of a button.
Gooigi’s main feature is being able to squish his way into small spaces – such as in between bars or, perhaps, down grates. We’ve already seen a few rooms that had small, seemingly impassable holes in the wall. Perhaps Gooigi can access those areas. I had wondered if Polterpup (Luigi’s ghostly dog) might be useful there, but it seems like Gooigi might be instead. We’ll see next time we find such a room!
After a short section that served as a tutorial for using and controlling Gooigi, Luigi was once again able to explore the hotel. The third floor had been opened up, and though I couldn’t tell much from the map it didn’t look like a huge level. Also hearing that it was a shop led me to think maybe it would be somewhere to spend some coins, if indeed Luigi’s Mansion 3 has such a facility. So I headed to the third floor!
The third floor turned out to be larger than its map led me to believe, and contained who I assume to be the next boss – a security guard ghost. This ghost dropped a large key while patrolling around the shuttered shops and Luigi was able to sneak in and collect it. The next door has another large yellow exclamation-mark on the map… I think that means the boss will be there! But let’s save that for next time, since we’ve done quite a lot of exploring already!
Luigi’s Mansion 3 continues to offer cute spooky fun in the run-up to Halloween, which is all I wanted from it! I hope these write-ups are a bit of fun; Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a very different kind of game from the last one I wrote up, and with less of a story it’s sometimes hard to know what to say. I don’t want to skip over too much gameplay!
Come back next time to see what the giant exclamation-mark on the third floor is all about!
Luigi’s Mansion 3 is out now for Nintendo Switch. The Mario franchise – including the Luigi’s Mansion games – is the copyright of Nintendo. This article contains the thoughts and opinions of one person only and is not intended to cause any offence.