Luigi’s Mansion

Luigi's first solo adventure on the GameCube may frighten away some gamers
SeriousGamer - Staff Reviewer

Content at a glance:

Mild violence

Minor violence, character gets knocked around, set on fire, frozen, and flattened in cartoon-style manner

Spiritual Content

Game is set in haunted mansion, ghosts are everywhere, one ghost is a fortune-teller, and you must let it tell your fortune to move on. One room features a possible occultish symbol on the floor

Mild Sexual Content

One female ghost is found in a bathtub and casts a suggestive silhouette, said ghost is dressed in a bikini

Gross Humor

One character is shown stuffing its face; another inspects bone from enemy, presumably to eat. Some objects are found in toilets.

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Mario’s always been the more adventurous of the two brothers; every game so far has involved the famous plumber with the red hat. Well, not this time. This time, it’s the little brother’s turn to shine in his first game since Mario is Missing and also the first game for the Nintendo GameCube.

Plot

Luigi’s won a mansion, at least that’s what the card in his mail said. After telling his brother Mario about the contest he supposedly entered, Luigi sets off to his brand new mansion. When he gets there, however, he soon finds it’s not at all what he expected: for one thing, it’s haunted. Shortly after arriving, Luigi finds help in the form of a strange, little man named Professor Elvin (E.) Gadd. Gadd informs Luigi that Mario is somewhere in the mansion and arms our green-capped hero with a ghost sucking vacuum cleaner. With this odd weapon ready, Luigi decides to brave the rather comical horrors of the mansion to rescue his brother…that is if he doesn’t run away screaming first.

Gameplay

Luigi’s Mansion is a very different kind of Mario game. Besides the fact that it doesn’t star our well-known plumber, it introduces elements that might be more familiar with the survival horror genre. The entire game takes place inside the mansion with you directing Luigi around every room hunting for ghosts and clues to his brother’s whereabouts. He can search furniture for things like hearts, keys to open doors, and money which comes into play later.

When confronted with a ghost, Luigi makes use of his flashlight to stun the attacking specter and suck it up with his handy vacuum cleaner. Some larger ghosts, mini-boss ghosts if you will, require a little more skill to catch. Once the ghost is caught, you have to play a little game of fishing until their hearts are reduced to zero. After catching all the ghosts in a room, the lights in that room turn on, indicating that you’ve cleared it.

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Offensive Content

Violence

Very mild. Luigi can be bumped around by the ghosts. Some ghosts can set him on fire, but all he does is run around and put out his hat. Luigi can also be frozen by some ghosts and some of the doors in the mansion are traps that will flatten Luigi if he tries to open them. All of this is played in a very mild, cartoon-like way.

Spiritual Content

Ghosts, ghosts, ghosts, and more ghosts; need I say more? The whole game is set in a haunted mansion, so naturally these unnatural entities play a pretty big role. Some of the ghosts are very comical in appearance, such as the Mario staple spook, the Boo. Some other ghosts appear more human however. I did not find these very offensive, as they are hardly any different than the old ghost houses of Super Mario World.

The worst of these rather silly spookies, however, is a fortune teller ghost. In order to capture her, which you must do to keep going, you have to let her tell your fortune five times. She does make references to spirits, but her predictions are pretty much things you’ve already figured out by that point. Still, for some this may be where the line is drawn.

One room also features an image of a star on the floor inside of a circle. I wasn’t sure if it was, but this symbol might be considered occultish for some. I wasn’t under the impression it was of the occult because stars are a common occurance in Mario games. Still, this might not be the case for some.

One minor issue here is one room in the mansion is described as an altar.

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Sexual Content

I never thought I’d have to write about this in a Mario game. One of the ghosts you find is a bathing beauty and you find her in the bathtub. When you first find this ghost, you see a rather suggestive shadow on the curtain and the ghost herself is dressed in a bikini. Other than that, there’s nothing to fear here. One of the ghosts mentions he has a crush on another, but that’s it.

Gross Humor

One ghost is an overeater and you find him stuffing his face, which makes him look something like Jabba the Hutt from Star Wars. This ghost is rather disgusting-looking, but not enough to make you sick. A dog ghost sniffs at the bone of a captured skeletal ghost, presumably to eat it. Neither of these are really played for laughs, although it might come across that way. Some items are also hidden in toilets, and one character you meet in the mansion describes how he will “flush away” his worries having just dropped an item in the toilet.

Destruction

In one area, you have Luigi firing a shooting-star-like object at the moon which explodes when a direct hit is made. As with violence in this game, it’s very mild and cartoon-like than anything else. Still, it is there.

Noteworthy Elements

Luigi’s an easily-frightened character, but he’s willing to go the distance to save his brother. He could easily turn and run, but he decides to stay and brave the mansion.

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Conclusion

One of the first games released for the GameCube, this game is actually quite light for a game set in a haunted mansion. It’s not on the same level of frightening as something worse like Resident Evil or Silent Hill, but then again this is the Mario series we’re talking about. Everything is quite tame. The game lacks the truly horrifying monsters and heavy occultist themes that feature prominently in other games of the survival/horror genre. In fact, this game was anything but horrifying for me. Inside Luigi’s Mansion, you’ll find it’s a fun little romp through the house free of disturbing images.

That’s not to say that this house party is for everybody. Ghosts abound in this three-story dwelling, and if that doesn’t keep you from going through the front door, the spiritual fortune teller might keep you from even taking one step pass the welcome mat. To top it off, the bathing beauty ghost was a bit of a disappointment as well. So, you might want to think if you really want to send your kid through this mansion.




Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.

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