Wario Land 3

Wario Land 3[a] is a video game released for the Game Boy Color in 2000. In it, Mario's archrival Wario must free a mysterious figure who is trapped inside a music box. It was a critical and commercial success, and was followed by Wario Land 4 in 2001.

Wario Land 3
North American box art
Developer(s)Nintendo R&D1
Director(s)Takehiko Hosokawa
Producer(s)Takehiro Izushi
Designer(s)Hiroji Kiyotake
Masahiko Mashimo
Masani Ueda
Isao Hirano
Shinya Sano
Programmer(s)Masaru Yamanaka
Katsuya Yamano
Nobuhiro Ozaki
Yoshinori Katsuki
Composer(s)Kozue Ishikawa
Platform(s)Game Boy Color
  • JP: March 21, 2000
  • EU: April 14, 2000
  • NA: May 30, 2000[1]
Genre(s)Platforming, Metroidvania[2]


The gameplay in Wario Land 3 is very similar to that of its predecessor, Wario Land II. Wario must take advantage of his enemies' attacks to physically change and access new areas. For example, if Wario eats a donut thrown by a certain enemy, he temporarily bulks up to twice his size, giving him extra protection against attacks and the ability to break certain blocks. While Wario will always be affected by his enemies, he must also find new powers and abilities in order to progress through the game.

The world of the music box is divided into four different areas, East, West, North, and South, each containing a number of individual stages.[3] Each stage contains four treasures, each of which is locked in a colored treasure chest that can only be opened with the corresponding key. The colors of the chests are, in the approximate order that they are intended to be opened, Gray, Red, Green, and Blue. This order is not fixed, although the game provides hints as to the next stage to travel to and the next treasure to obtain. Often, when a treasure chest in one stage cannot be reached, Wario must backtrack to retrieve a new item to make it accessible.[4]

Finding new treasures usually grants Wario a new ability or opens the path to a new stage. Whenever Wario obtains a new treasure, he is transported back to the music box overworld. Time has passed while he was in the stage, and it is now either day or night relative to the time of day when Wario entered the stage. Some stages change depending on the time of day; certain enemies may be replaced or different paths may open up.[5] Wario cannot control time initially, but gains this ability when he finds a certain treasure.[6]

Coins can be found in each stage, and are used primarily to play the golfing minigame described below. Wario can carry a maximum of 999 coins. In addition, eight Music Coins are hidden in each level for Wario to find. If all eight are found in each of the twenty-five stages, an extra fourth golf hole will be available for play.

In some stages, Wario will have to play a golfing minigame to progress.[7] He must knock the enemy into the cup without going over par for that hole, while avoiding hazards such as water, bunkers, lava and rough. Upon collecting certain items in the game, this golf minigame is available to be played at any time from the overworld map.[6]

As in the previous Wario Land game, Wario has no health points and cannot die, with one exception is that he can get captured by the game's final boss, Rudy the Clown and get a game over. This simply returns Wario back to the music box overworld.


One day, Wario's plane stalls and crashes while he is flying over the woods. Uninjured, he spends the rest of his afternoon wandering amongst the trees and underbrush until he stumbles upon a mysterious cave. Inside the cave, he discovers a magical music box and is suddenly sucked into it. There, a mysterious figure informs Wario that he had once ruled the world inside the music box, until an evil being sealed away his magical powers in five music boxes. In exchange for freeing it, the being promises to send Wario back to his own world and let him keep any treasure he finds. Enticed by the thought of returning to his own world with a cache of treasure, Wario departs on his quest, in search of the music boxes and the many treasures of this mysterious land.

After collecting all the music boxes, Wario returns to the mysterious being's temple. The music boxes play a medley together that frees the being, revealed to be Rudy the Clown. It transpires that Rudy is in fact the villain and had been imprisoned, although not before turning the music box's inhabitants into monsters, who had been attacking Wario simply to try to stop him from freeing the evil clown. After Wario defeats Rudy, he is met by the inhabitants of the music box, now restored to their former selves. They thank Wario and transport him back to his own world, along with the treasure that he has collected, as promised.


Review scores
Nintendo Power8.2/10[10]

Wario Land 3 garnered tremendous critical acclaim upon release. It has an aggregate score of 90.00% on GameRankings based on 15 reviews, making it the highest rated game in the Wario series.[11] GameSpot rated the game 9.8 out of 10 and stated, "As far as platformers go, Wario Land 3 is a game that fires on all cylinders."[9] IGN gave it an "outstanding" rating of 9 out of 10.[12] Nintendo Power listed it as the ninth best Game Boy/Game Boy Color video game, describing it as the pinnacle of titular character Wario's early action-platform adventure games.[13] Nintendojo awarded the game a perfect 10 out of 10, declaring that "This is simply one of the best portable games ever made. It'll suck away hours of your time and leave you begging for more. No gamer should go without an experience like this."[14]

It was the tenth best selling Game Boy Color game in Japan, with 255,536 copies sold.[15]


  1. ^ Known in Japan as Wario Land 3: Mysterious Music Box (Japanese: ワリオランド3 不思議なオルゴール, Hepburn: Wario Rando Surī: Fushigi na Orugōru)


  1. ^ "Nintendo - Customer Service / Game List". Nintendo.com. Retrieved 2009-08-05.
  2. ^ Parish, Jeremy (August 29, 2013). "Virtual Spotlight: Wario Land 3". USGamer. Retrieved July 11, 2016. Wario's treasures aren't just trophies. They also let him do that whole 'Metroidvania' thing.
  3. ^ "Game Strategies: Wario Land 3" (Magazine). Nintendo Power. 133. Nintendo of America. June 2000: 58. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ Instruction Booklet 2000, p. 7-9.
  5. ^ Instruction Booklet 2000, p. 11.
  6. ^ a b Instruction Booklet 2000, p. 21.
  7. ^ Instruction Booklet 2000, p. 17-18.
  8. ^ ゲームボーイ - ワリオランド3 不思議なオルゴール. Weekly Famitsu. No.915 Pt.2. Pg.109. 30 June 2006.
  9. ^ a b Provo, Frank (2000-06-08). "Wario Land 3 Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
  10. ^ "Now Playing: Wario Land 3" (Magazine). Nintendo Power. 133. Nintendo of America. June 2000: 118. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  11. ^ "Wario Land 3". GameRankings. Archived from the original on March 21, 2016. Retrieved November 22, 2015.
  12. ^ Harris, Craig (May 30, 2000). "Wario Land 3". IGN. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
  13. ^ "Nintendo Power - The 20th Anniversary Issue!" (Magazine). Nintendo Power. 231 (231). San Francisco, California: Future US. August 2008: 72. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  14. ^ Griffiths, Ed (April 14, 2000). "Wario Land 3 Review". Nintendojo. Archived from the original on September 11, 2015. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
  15. ^ "【GBC20周年企画(2)】いちばん売れたゲームボーイカラー専用ソフトは『遊☆戯☆王DM4』! では2位は? GBC専用ソフト販売ランキングTOP10!". Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain. 2018-10-21. p. 1. Retrieved 2018-10-21.
  • Wario Land 3 Instruction Booklet. Nintendo of America. 2000.

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