Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Game Design: Luigi's Mansion

I would like to tell you something.

I LOVE Haunted Mansion and Phantom Manor.  The sights, the sounds, the scares that can get you year after year...  Admittedly, Disney does refresh the rides (For example, track Madam Leota when she appeared to the most recent update.  She hovers now!)

Anyway, getting back on point.  The reason why the ride still works is because the scares are classics.  They always have enough punch to get you each time, you feel happily unnerved at the end,  and even when they repeat you still enjoy it.

That's how Luigi's Mansion works.  (Ignoring the several parallels and nods to the mansion itself.  Yes, Japan has a Haunted Mansion, it's the same as the Disneyworld one)   The scares are built to creep you out and to repeat.   It has it's jump scares, the dancing ghosts, the ones which only appear when you face away, and those twins.  Those creepy twins.

Actually, it may be because it's inspired BY the Haunted Mansion.

(the Japanase and Walt Disney World are virtually identical.  The main difference is that the Ghost Host speaks in Japanese instead of English.)

One of the most obvious links is Madam Claravoya to Madam Leota.  Aside from their name, they are both Crystal ball hoisting Gypsies.  More importantly, they are the first obvious and friendly ghost in each mansion.  Madam Claravoya wants to help you.  She offers to help and does not struggle after she finds Mario for you.  (Okay, she struggles a little.)  Madam Leota is the first ghost to appear in The Haunted Mansion.  Everything up to this point has been effects in the environment.  She is the first to actually appear as a ghost, and she does not harm you.  Instead, she kicks off the party!

Next up is the eternal debate... the hanging Luigi glitch.
Simply stated, the debate is over if Luigi's Shadow is intended to appear like that, or if it's a simple glitch.  If it's a glitch, it would explain the E rating when that shouldn't really be E.  However, it's noticeable and has turned up in almost every copy.  Anyway, if we assume hanging Luigi is canon (and I did when I first saw it)  It would draw correlations to the Ghost Host.  He appears in the opening as a hanging body (this is late game though) Also appears in a lightning flash, and hints that suicide is the only real way to escape the mansion.  The Boos could be threatening Luigi this is the only way for him to escape.

Once you hit the ballroom in the Mansion, you find the dancing ghosts where women lead the men.  This happens in a ballroom.  The same happens in Luigi's Mansion, a pair of dancing ghosts are found in a ballroom. 

Our first bit of in game weirdness is the talking paintings that threaten you.  One of the first things you see in the Mansion is Gracey's portrait changing and then the room with the stretching portraits.  (though the Host narrates there, where the talking paintings take over the Host's duties.)

And then there is a piano player in the conservatory.  Okay, that would be generally assumed, but she's playing a very famous Mario song in a Mario game on a piano.
In the Haunted Mansion, we have an pianist whom we can't see in the conservatory and a organist in the ballroom which we can see.  Both are playing versions of the Haunted Mansion theme. 

Admittedly, there are some more iffy proofs, such as Luigi being the only mortal in the graveyard, and how there may be a pet cemetary in both,  and there's NO Bride character in Luigi's Mansion while she's one of the most adapted one in the Haunted Mansion. (We have "Emily" of the beating Heart and Candle, "Melanie" from Phantom Manor, "Priscilla" who was the first one, Elizabeth from the movie and most recently Constance Hatchaway the Black Widow Bride) 

But, enough is there to make you wonder....

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