Luigi's Mansion

Luigi's Mansion
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Hideki Konno
Producer(s) Shigeru Miyamoto
Takashi Tezuka
Composer(s) Kazumi Totaka
Shinobu Tanaka
Series Mario
Platform(s) GameCube
Release date(s)

‹See Tfd›

  • JP: September 14, 2001
  • NA: November 18, 2001
  • EU: May 3, 2002
  • AUS: May 17, 2002
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player

Luigi's Mansion (ルイージマンション Ruīji Manshon, "Luigi Mansion") is a 2001 action-adventure game published by Nintendo for the GameCube. It was the first game in the Mario franchise to be released for GameCube. It was released in Japan on September 14, 2001, in North America on November 18, 2001, and in Europe on May 3, 2002. The game was a launch title for the GameCube, and the second title in the Mario franchise where Luigi is the main character, instead of Mario, the first, third, fourth and fifth being Mario is Missing!, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, New Super Luigi U and Dr. Luigi, respectively.

The game takes place in a haunted mansion when Luigi wins a contest that he never entered. Mario, who investigates the mansion earlier, goes missing, and it is up to Luigi to find him. To help Luigi on his quest, an old scientist named Elvin Gadd (or E. Gadd for short) has equipped him with the "Poltergust 3000", a vacuum cleaner used for capturing ghosts, and a "Game Boy Horror", a device used for communicating with E. Gadd. He also uses it as a map and to examine ghosts.

The ghosts have escaped from Professor E. Gadd's paintings (with the help of King Boo) and it is up to the player to capture every one of them. Every ghost is different and is to be captured in different ways.

Luigi's Mansion was relatively well received by reviewers, despite being criticized for its short length. The game has sold over 2.5 million copies, and is the fifth best-selling Nintendo GameCube game in the United States. It was one of the first games to be re-released as a Player's Choice title on the system. The game was later followed by a sequel entitled Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, released for the Nintendo 3DS in 2013.


Luigi's Mansion is set in a haunted mansion next to a laboratory outside.[1] The mansion consists of five floors, including a basement and a roof. Luigi starts out in a foyer, the hub area of the mansion.

Luigi using the Poltergust 3000 on Neville, the Bookish Father

In Luigi's Mansion, Professor E. Gadd arms Luigi with two of his inventions: the Poltergust 3000 and the Game Boy Horror, which resembles another Nintendo product, the Atomic Purple model of the Game Boy Color. The Poltergust 3000 is a high-powered vacuum cleaner designed for capturing ghosts and gathering treasure. To capture ghosts, Luigi must first shine his flashlight on them to stun them. This reveals the ghost's heart, giving Luigi a chance to suck it into the Poltergust 3000, steadily reducing the ghost's hit points to zero, at which point they can be captured.[2] The ghosts remain in the Poltergust 3000, although certain more advanced ghosts named Portrait Ghosts are extracted and put back into their portraits after a process at the end of the game's four areas. When these paintings are made, they are stored in the gallery in Professor Elvin Gadd's laboratory.[3] Luigi must also locate three medallions, which allow him to expel fire, water, or ice from the Poltergust 3000. These elements are needed to capture certain ghosts.[4]

The Game Boy Horror allows Luigi to examine items in the mansion, detect a Boo's presence in the room, and indicates its proximity to Luigi.[5] It also contains a map of the mansion and lets Luigi and Professor E. Gadd communicate.[5] Spread throughout the mansion are dark rooms containing ghosts, and when Luigi clears a room of all its ghosts, the lights come on and a chest usually appears. The blue chests contain a key or the water element, red chests contain three of the five items that Mario dropped and the fire element, green chests contain treasure, the only white chest (in the tea room) contains the ice element, and the gold chests (appearing upon the defeat of the area boss) contain special keys that unlock the door to the next area and King Boo's crown. Whenever Luigi finds a key, his Game Boy Horror automatically indicates which door it unlocks.

Once King Boo, the final boss of Luigi's Mansion, is defeated, the player is given a rating (A to H) based on the amount of treasure Luigi has found. A second version of the mansion also becomes playable, called the "Hidden Mansion". In the European version, the entire mansion appears as a reflection of the previous version, bosses are different and possibly move faster, ghosts and Portrait Ghosts may be captured faster, and there are sometimes more ghosts in a room.[6]


The game begins with Luigi having won a mansion in a contest. Despite not having entered any contest, he promptly told Mario about the mansion, and the two agreed to meet up outside it that evening. Luigi takes a flashlight with him and he follows the map to the mansion. Upon finally arriving at his new mansion, which looks much more sinister than the supplied photo, Mario is nowhere to be found. Luigi proceeds inside the mansion, entering the Parlor after he gains the key from a strange ghost-like shape. Upon entry, he is soon assaulted by a Gold Ghost, only to be saved by a little old man wielding a vacuum cleaner. The old man, however, is unable to reel in the ghost and is soon overpowered. After being helped to his feet by Luigi, the old man introduces himself as Professor Elvin Gadd. The two retreat from the mansion when more of the Gold Ghosts appear.[1]

In E. Gadd's laboratory, he explains how Luigi's newly won mansion is obviously the work of something not of this world, as it only appeared a few nights ago.[7] As Luigi further explores the mansion, he discovers that it was built by King Boo to shelter the now-freed portrait ghosts, ghosts whom E. Gadd had previously captured and contained in paintings with a device dubbed the "Ghost Potrificationizer". They sent Luigi the supplied photo and map to lure him into a trap. Gadd also tells Luigi that he saw someone wearing a red cap go into the mansion some time ago, but has not seen him since.[8] Upon learning that the red capped man (Mario) was Luigi's brother, E. Gadd allows Luigi to take over his duties of ghost-catching and entrusts him with his powerful vacuum cleaner, the "Poltergust 3000," and a multipurpose invention called the GameBoy Horror that allows him to communicate with Luigi.[9]

After numerous confrontations and challenges with many ghosts, portrait ghosts, boss ghosts, Boos, puzzles, and locked doors, Luigi confronts King Boo, who has trapped Mario inside a painting like the portrait ghosts and hung him in a secret altar in the basement. King Boo pulls Luigi into a painting for their final battle in an arena that resembles the mansion's roof, puppeteering a lifelike Bowser suit from the inside.[10] Using spiked, explosive metal balls thrown by "Bowser", Luigi finds a way to blast off the suit's head and eventually vacuum and defeat King Boo, causing "Bowser" to collapse.[11] Luigi returns to E. Gadd with Mario's painting and successfully extracts him from within it using the Ghost Portrificationizer in reverse.[12] King Boo is turned into a painting along with the other portrait ghosts. The ending also sees the haunted mansion disappear, after which Professor E. Gadd uses the treasure Luigi collected on his adventure to build a new, non-haunted mansion on the site of the original mansion. The size of the house depends on how much treasure the player gathered before the end of the game.


The game was first revealed at Nintendo Space World 2000 as a technological demo designed to show off the graphical capabilities of the GameCube.[13] The full motion video footage had scenes seen in later trailers and commercials for the game, but were never used in the final release. This footage includes Luigi running from an unknown ghost in the Foyer, ghosts playing cards in the Parlor, and ghosts circling around Luigi and luigi standing outside the mansion with lighting flashing. Soon after its creation, Nintendo decided to make the demo into a full-fledged video game. A year later, Luigi's Mansion was later shown at the Electronic Entertainment Expo alongside the GameCube console.[14] A newer version of the game, more closely related to the final version, was later revealed at Nintendo Space World 2001.[15]

The original plan for Luigi's Mansion involved a game where the levels revolved around a large mansion or complex. Tests were later done with Mario characters in dollhouses and such. Once it was transitioned into a GameCube project, Luigi was selected as the main character in order to keep the game original and new. The other gameplay ideas, such as ghosts and the ghost-sucking vacuum cleaner, were added later. Older concepts, such as a role-playing game-like system which made real-time changes to rooms, as well as an underground cave area located under the mansion, were also scrapped due to the inclusion of the new ideas.[16]

Luigi's Mansion's music was composed by Shinobu Tanaka and Kazumi Totaka,[17] and as such contains "Totaka's Song", a song featured in almost every game that Totaka has composed.[18] It is found by waiting on the controller configuration screen at the Training Room for about three and a half minutes.[19] The main theme of Luigi's Mansion is orchestrated and arranged by Shogo Sakai for Super Smash Bros. Brawl.[20] The game featured voice actors Charles Martinet as the voice of Mario and Luigi, and Jen Taylor as the voice of Toad.[21] Luigi's Mansion received an award for its audio by BAFTA Interactive Entertainment Awards in 2002.[22]

All GameCube systems support the display of stereoscopic 3D, and Luigi's Mansion was developed to utilize this feature.[23] However, 3D televisions were not widespread at the time, and it was deemed that compatible displays would be too cost-prohibitive for the consumer. As a result, the feature was never enabled outside of development.[24]


Aggregate scores
Review scores
Game Informer9/10[31]
Nintendo Power4/5[34]

Commercially, Luigi's Mansion is the most successful GameCube launch title and the best-selling game of November 2001.[35] Despite meager sales in Japan at around 348,000 units in total,[36] it became the fifth best-selling Nintendo GameCube game in the United States,[37] with sales of roughly 2.19 million units.[37] It was also one of the first Player's Choice titles on the console, along with Super Smash Bros. Melee and Pikmin.[38]

Critically, Luigi's Mansion received generally positive reviews, and reviewers praised the game's graphics, design, and gameplay. GameSpot stated that Luigi's Mansion "features some refreshing ideas" and "flashes of brilliance."[32] The gaming magazine Nintendo Power praised the game for being "very enjoyable while it lasts, with its clever puzzles and innovative game play."[34] GameSpy said that the game features "great visuals, imaginative game design and some classic Nintendo magic."[39] The game was referred to as "a masterful example of game design" by GamePro.[40] Game Revolution stated that "the graphics are quite beautiful and the interesting game mechanics are enjoyable."[41] The American-based publication Game Informer praised the gameplay, and referred to it as "brilliant and up to par with Miyamoto's best."[31] The audio was praised by IGN, who considered Luigi's voice acting as "cute, humorous and satisfying",[33] and GameSpy, who declared that the soundtrack remains "subtle, amusing and totally suitable throughout the game".[39] The Japanese video game publication Famitsu awarded the game with a gold rating, and noted that the control system, while tricky at first, works well.[30]

The game has also received criticism, mainly because of its length. GameSpot said that Luigi's Mansion "fails to match the classic status of Mario's adventures" and that the "short amount of time it takes to complete it makes it a hard recommendation." The review, however, also considered that the short length prevents the gameplay and audio from getting tiresome.[32] GameSpy also criticized the game's length, saying that it could be beaten in about six hours.[39] Allgame declared that Luigi's Mansion "ultimately fails to deliver a cohesive gameplay experience over the long-term."[27] Fran Mirabella III of IGN felt that the game was sub-par, due to its "predictable, formulaic gameplay."[33] G4's TV show X-Play criticized Luigi's Mansion in their special on Mario games and media, calling the game a letdown for players waiting for the first Mario game on the GameCube.[42] Luigi's Mansion was awarded the 2002 BAFTA Interactive Entertainment Award for audio.[43] The game placed 99th in Official Nintendo Magazine's 100 greatest Nintendo games of all time.[44]


Luigi's Mansion introduced two new characters, Professor Elvin Gadd (or simply E. Gadd for short) and King Boo. E. Gadd has reappeared in other Mario games, such as Mario Party 6 and Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time. E. Gadd is referenced in Super Mario Sunshine as the creator of Mario's F.L.U.D.D. device and Bowser Jr.'s paintbrush. He also appears as a playable character skin in Super Mario Maker. King Boo has also reappeared in other games, either as a boss (including Super Mario 64 DS and Super Princess Peach) or a playable character (including Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and Mario Super Sluggers). Although King Boo does not appear in Super Mario Sunshine, his name is used in the Western version of the game for a noticeably different Boo, who appears as a boss. The ghosts in Luigi's Mansion have made appearances in other Nintendo games, such as Mario Party 8 and Wii Party.

The mansion in the game has reappeared in other Mario games, usually acting as Luigi's home stage. It appeared in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Mario Kart 7, Mario Power Tennis, Mario Kart DS, Mario Hoops 3-on-3, Mario Super Sluggers and Mario Sports Mix. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, a Luigi's Mansion stage is unlockable. It can be destroyed when characters hit a set of pillars, but it can rebuild itself later on. There are also some stickers and trophies based on the game. The stage reappears in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.

A sequel was revealed at E3 2011 for the Nintendo 3DS, and demonstrated as Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon at E3 2012. After a delay, the sequel was released in March 2013 to celebrate the Year of Luigi.[45]

At E3 2012, Nintendo introduced the Wii U launch title Nintendo Land, which hosts Luigi's Ghost Mansion, a multiplayer minigame based on Luigi's Mansion. In this minigame, four players controlling Miis dressed up as Mario, Luigi, Wario and Waluigi have to drain the energy of a ghost, while the GamePad player, controlling the ghost, must make all the other players faint before time runs out.[46]

In 2015, Nintendo released Luigi's Mansion Arcade, an arcade version of Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon developed by Capcom and published by Sega. The game uses the same plot as Dark Moon, but goes for a first-person, on-rails gameplay style, and utilizes a special vacuum-based controller. The game is mostly exclusive to Japanese arcades, although some cabinets have been localized and released at some specific Dave and Buster's locations in the United States.


  1. 1 2 Luigi's Mansion instruction booklet. Nintendo. 2001. pp. 4–5.
  2. Luigi's Mansion instruction booklet. Nintendo. 2001. pp. 10–11.
  3. Luigi's Mansion instruction booklet. Nintendo. 2001. p. 16.
  4. Luigi's Mansion instruction booklet. Nintendo. 2001. p. 13.
  5. 1 2 Luigi's Mansion instruction booklet. Nintendo. 2001. pp. 28–29.
  6. Goldstein, Hilary. "Luigi's Mansion guide – Secrets". IGN. Retrieved February 16, 2008.
  7. Nintendo EAD (November 18, 2001). Luigi's Mansion. Nintendo GameCube. Nintendo. E. Gadd: So, you believe the mansion really exists, then.... Strange. I've been living here since I was a lad of twenty or so, and I'll tell you: that mansion appeared just a few days ago! The sprirts have fooled you!
  8. Nintendo EAD (November 18, 2001). Luigi's Mansion. Nintendo GameCube. Nintendo. E. Gadd: Now that I get a look at you, I just recalled... A guy with a red hat kind of like yours went up to the mansion without even stopping to chat....and he never returned.
  9. Nintendo EAD (November 18, 2001). Luigi's Mansion. Nintendo GameCube. Nintendo. E. Gadd: What? That guy was your brother? Oh no! That's horrible! He wouldn't stand a chance against those ghosts without my help! You have to go after him! Here's the plan: I'll teach you to deal with ghosts so you can rescue your brother, Luigi!
  10. Nintendo EAD (November 18, 2001). Luigi's Mansion. Nintendo GameCube. Nintendo. King Boo: Don't imagine that I'll flee... I'll fight you like a true Boo!
  11. Nintendo EAD (November 18, 2001). Luigi's Mansion. Nintendo GameCube. Nintendo. E. Gadd: Luigi, you did it! Truly remarkable, my boy! I supplied the Poltergust 3000, but you ran with it all the way to the top, sonny!... What's that? You found King Boo? He jumped into a painting of Bowser, you say? He even blew fire at you?
  12. Nintendo EAD (November 18, 2001). Luigi's Mansion. Nintendo GameCube. Nintendo. E. Gadd: ...Right, well, anyhoo, Luigi! Grab your brother's painting and bring him to the lab!... I'll get the machine ready to return your brother to his former state, all righty?
  13. "Luigi's Mansion preview". IGN. October 9, 2001. Retrieved February 16, 2008.
  14. "Pre-E3: Luigi's Mansion Disc and Controller Revealed". IGN. May 15, 2001. Retrieved November 17, 2007.
  15. "Spaceworld 2001: Ghostbusting with Luigi". IGN. August 25, 2001. Retrieved February 16, 2008.
  16. Anthony JC (September 2001). "The Making of Luigi's Mansion". N-Sider. Retrieved November 24, 2007.
  17. "Game Credits for Luigi's Mansion". MobyGames. Retrieved February 6, 2008.
  18. Orland, Kyle (December 14, 2006). "Totaka's song: The search is On". Joystiq. Retrieved February 7, 2008.
  19. "'Kazumi Totaka's Song'". NinDB. Retrieved February 7, 2008.
  20. "Full Song List with Secret Songs". Smash Bros. Dojo. Retrieved September 23, 2008.
  21. "Full cast and crew for Ruîgi manshon". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved February 6, 2008.
  22. Parker, Sam (October 11, 2002). "BAFTA 2002 awards announced". GameSpot. Retrieved February 6, 2008.
  23. "Hideki Konno Discusses The 3DS - Edge Magazine". July 7, 2010. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  24. "Iwata Asks: Nintendo 3DS". Retrieved January 11, 2011. Iwata: To go back a little further, the Nintendo GameCube system actually had 3D-compatible circuitry built in [...] Itoi: Nintendo GameCube did? And all the Nintendo GameCube systems around the world? Iwata: Yeah. If you fit it with a certain accessory, it could display 3D images. [...] Iwata: We already had a game for it, though - Luigi’s Mansion, simultaneously released with Nintendo GameCube. Itoi: The one in which Luigi shoulders a vacuum cleaner? Iwata: Yeah, that one. We had a functional version of that in 3D.
  25. "Luigi's Mansion reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved January 20, 2006.
  26. "Luigi's Mansion (cube: 2001): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved January 20, 2006.
  27. 1 2 Thompson, Jon. "Luigi's Mansion review". Allgame. Retrieved February 6, 2008.
  28. Edge. Future US (103). 2001. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  29. ニンテンドーゲームキューブ - ルイージマンション. Weekly Famitsu. No.915 Pt.2. Pg.95. June 30, 2006.
  30. 1 2 "Famitsu Gives GameCube Gold". IGN. September 12, 2001. Retrieved February 16, 2008.
  31. 1 2 Reiner, Andrew. "Luigi's Mansion review". Game Informer. Archived from the original on October 4, 2007. Retrieved June 29, 2007.
  32. 1 2 3 Satterfield, Shane (November 7, 2001). "Luigi's Mansion review". GameSpot. Retrieved June 29, 2007.
  33. 1 2 3 Casamassina, Matt (November 16, 2001). "Luigi's Mansion review". IGN. Retrieved June 29, 2007.
  34. 1 2 Nintendo Power. Future US: 142. November 2001. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  35. Gerstmann, Jeff (December 19, 2001). "November software sales charts". GameSpot. Retrieved November 17, 2007.
  36. "Japan GameCube charts". Japan Game Charts. Retrieved November 9, 2007.
  37. 1 2 "US Platinum Videogame Chart". The Magic Box. Retrieved December 5, 2008.
  38. "Nintendo Expands Player's Choice Line-up". IGN. January 23, 2003. Retrieved November 17, 2007.
  39. 1 2 3 Williams, Bryn. "Luigi's Mansion review". GameSpy. Retrieved June 29, 2007.
  40. Tokyodrifter (November 19, 2001). "Luigi's Mansion review". GamePro. Archived from the original on June 3, 2008. Retrieved February 6, 2008.
  41. Liu, Johnny. "Luigi's Mansion review". Game Revolution. Retrieved February 6, 2008.
  42. "X-Play: Bad Mario Games". G4. Retrieved June 8, 2008.
  43. "Interactive - Audio in 2002". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Archived from the original on September 27, 2015. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  44. "100-81 ONM". ONM. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
  45. "E3 2012: Ghost Bustin' in Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon". IGN. June 5, 2012. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  46. June 5, 2012 3:27 PM by Ben Chapman (June 5, 2012). "Nintendo Land Unveiled with Zelda, Animal Crossing, and Luigi's Mansion Mini-games | Piki Geek". Retrieved November 7, 2012.

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