Friday, May 13, 2011

Luigi's Mansion

(You won't find this picture in the game but it was the original back drop for the "Game Over" screen that was scrapped for something a little less frightening.)

I'm sure everyone's heard of Luigi's Mansion but just in case, here's a recap.

Luigi is finally the star of his own 3D gamecube game. After receiving a strange letter from his brother Mario, Luigi travels to a mansion that he thinks he has won in a contest. When he arrives at the mansion he is greeted by mad scientist, Professor E. Gadd who explains to him that he just met, and lost, a man with a red hat. He then explains that the mansion had just recently appeared and is haunted by ghosts. He equips Luigi with a flashlight and the Poltergust 3000, a vaccum-like ghost container that resembles something from Ghostbusters, and sends Luigi on his way.

When it comes to graphics, Luigi's Mansion, though not quite as groundbreaking as Super Mario 64, has it's share of impressive effects. When it comes to dynamic lighting and attention to detail this game was pretty ahead of it's time. The shadows cast and areas lit by Luigi's flashlight behaved very realisticly and the movement of ambient objects affected by the Poltergust were extremely convincing. Fabric would stretch, fires would die from lack of air and small objects would race towards Luigi when using the vacuum. Shadows and highlights could be traced easily to their sources of light as through they really existed. And that's part of what makes this story so strange.

If you played the game before you may remember the telephone room. It was a small, simple attic room with a ringing telephone that you could answer. However, if you answered the phone and waited for a lightning strike, you could see something a little too creepy for a children's game in the back of the room. The shadow of Luigi's body, not touching or connected to the floor in any way, appears on the back wall and ceiling of the room, as though Luigi had hung himself.

Below I've outlined the shadow as best as I could to show what parts of the body are visible. I can't tell if the shape on the right is his arm or the Poltergust. Even if it is a glitch, it seems strange that it's the only glitching shadow area of the game.

I'll let you decide for yourself what the shadow really is, but don't forget about all the other creepy stuff you can find in pretty much any Mario game.