Luigi's Latest Parody Nintendo Console Is The Best One Yet

Image: Nintendo

Luigi’s heading back to another haunted mansion (well, a haunted hotel) in Luigi’s Mansion 3 this Halloween, and he’s got many more tricks up his sleeve for busting ghosts, including one gadget that’s a wonderful reference to a classic Nintendo console of yore.

Ghost-hunting tools that resemble old Nintendo hardware are a staple of the Luigi’s Mansion series. Luigi carried a Game Boy Horror in the series’ GameCube debut. It was a riff on the Game Boy Color, which was slightly outdated even in 2001.

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Screenshot: Nintendo (MobyGames)

When the series made its long-awaited return on the 3DS for 2013's Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, Luigi upgraded to the Dual Scream, which was based on the quickly-discontinued “fat” model of the Nintendo DS.

And of course Luigi’s Mansion 3 on the Switch has its own take on this, one close to my own heart. Nintendo actually discussed this and showed it off a bit during a Treehouse Live segment at this year’s E3, but the news hasn’t really propagated much, so I’m going to err on the side of caution here and call it a spoiler. Turn back if you don’t want to know!

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Early on in the game, Professor E. Gadd gives Luigi a way to communicate with him as he trawls the many floors of the hotel. It’s his latest invention… the Virtual Boo.

Screenshot: Nintendo (Kotaku)
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Nearly 25 years later, the Virtual Boy still fascinates video game likers for its sheer ridiculousness; a “virtual reality” system that projected monochrome red graphics in a headset to create a rudimentary 3D effect. It was pure out-of-left-field Nintendo, but this time it was way over the foul line, and Nintendo had to discontinue Virtual Boy within a year of its release.

Screenshot: Nintendo (Kotaku)
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I don’t think the Virtual Boo is going to do much better commercially, regardless of what Gadd thinks.

Screenshot: Nintendo (Kotaku)
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When Luigi gets a call from Gadd, he pops the headset on his face, where everything is rendered in shades of harsh LED red.

Screenshot: Nintendo (Kotaku)
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Actually, the game’s entire menu is Virtual Boy style, an excellent example of “committing to the bit.”

Screenshot: Nintendo (Kotaku)
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Later, when you become able to spend money on extra parts for the Virtual Boo, they even come in authentic Virtual Boy cartridge casings.

Screenshot: Nintendo (Kotaku)
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I think we can all agree that as the years go on, E. Gadd’s gadgets are becoming much better, and also much, much worse.

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About the author

Chris Kohler

Features Editor, Kotaku. Japanese curry aficionado. Author of the books Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life and Final Fantasy V from Boss Fight Books.