Most people think of the WarioWare games as good, crazy fun. The main goal is to complete random and strange microgames involving counting frogs, dodging vegetables, and other tasks that each last for only a few seconds. It's all in good fun. There's nothing violent, just an exciting, amusing Nintendo game. However, I discovered something about the Game Boy Advance game that is rather disturbing.
Most Nintendo fans know how Wario is obsessed with money, and he starts his gaming business with the intention of becoming rich. It's all about the money, even if it means not sharing the wealth with Jimmy, Mona, and the others who help him create the games. Sure, Wario is a fun, silly guy, but beneath it all, he's a self-centered and greedy man. Considering this, it makes sense that he would have enemies.
So, let me begin with what led up to my discovery.
I was feeling nostalgic for the old WarioWare games that I used to play as a teenager. I decided to find my old used copy of WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! for the Game Boy Advance, which I had purchased at GameStop a while back. Nothing ever seemed off about the game before, but after my recent experience, I wasn't so sure what to think.
I decided to restart the game from the beginning, so I deleted my save file (which had been completed, by the way, with all of the characters and games unlocked). When I deleted the file, I could've sworn that for a split second, I saw an image of Wario with a sad look on his face and tears coming out of his eyes. However, I ignored this and figured it was just one of those silly, nonsensical things Nintendo added, since this was, as I've said, a very wacky game.
I started the new save file and went through the opening scene, with Wario discovering how he can earn loads of cash by starting his own video game business. Then I began the first set of games, which were Wario's introduction games. This was when things first started to get strange.
If you've played the game before, you know that each microgame starts with an instruction telling you what to do, such as "Dodge" or "Eat", and you only have a few seconds to do each task. However, when I tried playing the microgames, none of the buttons would work. Obviously, I lost my lives after this and had to start over. Yet, the buttons would never work in-game even after repeated tries. I reset my DS Lite (which I was using to play this game), but it still refused to let me use any of the buttons during the microgames.
I thought the game might be broken, but being persistent, I tried around 10 or 20 times to get it to work. After a while, something strange happened. After losing all 4 of my lives for the last time, an image of Wario appeared on the screen, and this time I could clearly see that he was crying and shaking his head, with a frustrated expression on his face. When I exited the screen, a new character appeared: Jimmy. It actually let me move forward to the next set of microgames.
Since I was having no luck with the introduction games, I selected Jimmy next. The games played normally, and I played through up to the boss. What was odd was that the boss, which is normally a boxer, was Wario. This didn't affect the gameplay though, and I defeated the boss like normal.
After returning to the stage select menu that displays all of the characters you've unlocked, I noticed that rather than a nose icon for Wario's introduction games, there was a skull. When I highlighted that icon, the right panel showed Wario's face frowning, with a look of disapproval.
For each new character's set of games that I completed, Wario's expression became more upset, until eventually it started to look enraged. Each character's set of games had Wario in the boss stage, and in each one he was getting injured in some way. In Dribble's boss stage, I had to shoot Wario heads, which replaced the other objects that normally attack the player. Mona's boss stage made me hammer a nail into Wario's face. For the 9-Volt boss, Wario was the bat, and I had to hit the baseballs with his head, causing his face to get bumps and bruises.
The next three sets of bosses were even more gruesome. In Orbulon's stage, Wario was the attacking monster, but he lost his arms when I attacked him, and blood was gushing out where his arms had been. Dr. Crygor's involved destroying miniature Warios, which exploded with blood when hit with the laser. Lastly, in Kat's boss stage, Wario was the jumping character, but he landed on spikes with his face. The impact caused him to jump high up in pain, and in the end, he was scorched in a tub of lava. I started to have a feeling that Wario's repeated injuries and defeat were what were causing the icon of Wario's face to keep worsening in mood when I went to the Introduction icon.
Finally, I got to the set of games that normally would have been the second Wario stage. Strangely, the icon for that set of games was just a black silhouette this time, and I couldn't tell who the character was. It allowed me to play through the games up to the boss stage like normal. However, the boss stage was completely different than what it was supposed to be.
It showed Wario standing on a red backdrop, looking extremely enraged. I couldn't make him move or anything when I pressed any buttons. The screen began flashing to black every few seconds, and the flashes became faster, until the screen went pitch black for a while. I thought that my DS had shut off, but the light was still green, indicating that the power was still on. After waiting about a minute, I started to hear a faint screeching sound coming from my DS. As it grew louder, the screen faded back into the red background with Wario standing there, but another character was now there—the silhouette from the stage select menu.
Wario ran toward it trying to attack, but it quickly caught him in a chain. It then started swinging him violently around the screen until Wario started to beg mercy. The scene disturbed me immensely, and I had no idea how and why Nintendo would have allowed this in an E-rated game. I tried to exit the screen, but I couldn't. None of the buttons I pushed had any effect.
At last, the shadow placed Wario on the ground and said that Wario must pay for his wrongdoings. It stabbed Wario with a knife a few times, and Wario could do nothing but sit there mortified, screaming his lungs out. The shadow character then laughed maniacally and left the scene, and Wario was left sitting there bleeding and crying. He looked up with sorrowful eyes. A message appeared on the screen that said "ABCDE, help me before he kills me!"
ABCDE was the username I chose for the game, and it wasn't unusual for characters to address the player with their username, but this instance gave me a bit of a disturbed feeling. After all, this was supposed to be a lighthearted game, and nothing like this had ever happened before. After this message, it sent me back to the stage select screen.
One thing I noticed right away was that the characters' icons were now all silhouettes—all except Wario's icon for the Introduction set of games, which showed him frowning with his eyes closed and blood on his face. The game's music was now deeper in pitch and sounded distorted, giving the game a rather disturbing vibe. Also, the colors were all dull, creating a dreary feeling, unlike anything one would expect from this game. I couldn't select anything except for the Introduction games' icon, so I chose to do these games.
Surprisingly, the buttons were working now, and the games were playing normally like I had remembered them to be, aside from the lower pitch of the music and sound effects. However, when I got to the boss stage, everything changed.
It once again showed Wario on a red background. He was still in chains, and he was being lifted and attached to a spinning wheel. The concept was similar to the mini game Wario Whirled (where you have to stop the wheel with an arrow while Wario spins on it).
Yet this time, it was a wheel of torture. This time, Wario took up the whole wheel, and I had to try to stop his movement with a knife instead of an arrow. The instruction it gave said "Don't stab!" and showed a type of emoticon with an evil, taunting expression. I had to try to stop the wheel on a tiny bar sticking out from it, which was only a couple pixels in width, and Wario was spinning extremely quickly, making it almost impossible to succeed.
It didn't have a lives counter or anything. Every time I failed, it just made me keep playing. When I failed, Wario got stabbed by the knife. Each time, he bled more and more, so as he spun, blood was flying everywhere. I don't know how many times I missed, but after a while, I couldn't take it anymore. I stopped trying, and the game must have detected this because it started a countdown. Text showed on the screen saying that I must stop Wario before the countdown ended, or he would suffer extreme consequences. I couldn't take it though. I couldn't try anymore.
When the countdown reached zero, Wario stopped spinning. For a second, I thought that the game had made an empty threat and that the horror was finally over. However, quite the opposite occurred. A large axe appeared, and Wario made a panicked facial expression. Just as the axe was about to hit him, the screen went pitch black for a few seconds before revealing a close-up image of a bleeding Wario with blood coming out of his eye sockets. I freaked out when I saw that. Never had I imagined that such a gruesome image would appear in this game.
After that, the screen went back to the boss area with the red background. Jimmy, Mona, Dribble, Spitz, 9-Volt, Orbulon, Dr. Crygor, Kat, and Ana emerged, but they all had a shadowlike appearance. They huddled in a circle in the middle of the screen and did a group chant, before lining up in a row. The characters then changed back to their normal appearances, except they were all dull in color, and they were smiling menacing smiles.
The last silhouette character, the one that had appeared in the game first, was the last one to reveal its identity. To my surprise, it revealed Waluigi! He just stood there for a few seconds with his eyes closed in a rather neutral expression. Then the screen went completely red, and the next thing I knew, an image of Waluigi's face appeared full screen. He had an evil, wide smile, and his eyes flashed red and black repeatedly.
The screen went back to show all of the character sprites surrounding Wario and shouting loud, unintelligible chants. They then picked him up and brought him to a large tank of boiling hot water. I could see Wario's body as they submerged him into the water, his body moving in uncontrollable spasms.
Waluigi spoke, "You treated me as worthless scum, so now I'd like to return the favor. You even left me out of your microgame business, trying to take all of the glory. You let these nobodies come out of nowhere and rise to fame," he said while pointing to Jimmy and the other characters. "Without me, you would be nowhere in life, and you know it! Now you must be punished. Also, as a bonus, I've controlled the minds of all of your associates, so you have nobody to help you."
I wondered what Waluigi had meant by this. Weren't Waluigi and Wario supposed to be friends? What did he mean that Wario would be nowhere without him? I had no idea what could have caused such an intense conflict between them.
After a while, when Wario emerged from the water again, he let out an earth-trembling shriek and begged for mercy. Waluigi signaled for Jimmy and the others to stop submersing Wario into the water and ordered the group of characters to lock him up in a cage.
"That's enough for now, Wario, but you'll never get to experience freedom again. I'm imprisoning you for good. Moreover, you can consider your video game business over. I'll be taking command of your company from this point on."
When it sent me back to the stage select screen, everything looked the same with the silhouette icons and other changes in the visuals and audio that had occurred earlier. It seemed that Waluigi hadn't yet taken over the whole business. The only thing different was a Waluigi icon replacing the Introduction icon. My guess was that he would start taking over the stages beginning with the first ones and working toward the top.
I decided to continue the game and see if anything else had changed, so I began unlocking the rest of the games. I unlocked most of the side games on the stage select menu, including the four pig icons. I was only missing Pyoro 2 at this point. I played each game briefly, including the versus games, to see if anything peculiar would happen. Everything was normal until I played the first Pyoro game.
When I selected Pyoro and started the game, I couldn't actually play it like normal. The red bird was nowhere in sight, and no vegetables were falling from the sky. Instead, the following message was on the screen: The answer to your troubles is close. Remember, yellow is key. The screen then went black before it sent me back to the stage select menu. I decided to take note of this clue for future reference and do the same if I saw any more messages after this.
At this point, I only needed to unlock Pyoro 2. I recalled that the bird in this game had a yellow body, so I figured this is what the message "yellow is key" meant. After a few hours, I completed the tedious task of getting the high score on each of the microgames on the Grid, and I finally unlocked Pyoro 2.
Like the first Pyoro game, when I went to this game, the stage was empty. The only thing there was another message. It read: Yellow has been taken over by its opposite. The reverse has been reversed. Find the hero of this stage to guide you. He will be open to help.
I wasn't quite sure what to do from this point. I guessed that the "yellow is key" message wasn't referring to Pyoro after all, but this message seemed to be confirming my previous thoughts that Waluigi was taking over Wario's business, Wario being yellow and Waluigi being yellow's opposite. Thus "yellow is key" was probably referring to Wario in some way. Also, Pyoro was missing from both Pyoro games, so I guessed that I needed to find him elsewhere in the game. However, where could he be, considering I'd already unlocked everything? I thought about what else I could have possibly overlooked.
Then I realized something else. I had already completed all of the microgames, but the end cutscenes for the two Wario sets had never been shown. When I initially went through the stages, the bosses were different, and the strange events leading up to Wario's capture took the place of the epilogues for those stages. I went to Options to view the epilogues and see if anything was odd about them. Sure enough, there was, and they seemed to be giving me clues on what to do next.
What normally would have been the epilogue for the introductory stage instead showed a different scene. It was set in the Gelateria where Mona works, with all of the characters gathering around like they do when you complete a character's games, though Wario was missing. They still had their shadowlike appearances. Vegetables that looked like the ones in the Pyoro games were falling from the sky. None of the characters seemed to be paying any attention to the falling food; they just did their usual animations. After watching it a couple more times, I noticed one veggie hit Dr. Crygor on the head, and he fell from the sky, landing somewhere in the background. I took note of this, thinking this meant Crygor had some significant role in finding the answers I needed.
Lastly, the scene replacing the second Wario epilogue showed a setting that looked like the one in the Pyoro games. Purple hats were falling, which I assumed were supposed to be Waluigi hats. This lasted for a few seconds, and the screen showed the message: Things will return to normal when you keep your friends close. Then the scene ended.
Since I wasn't really sure what the significance of the second scene was, I decided to start with the clue from the first one. I went to Crygor's games to see if anything had changed. I played through the games multiple times, thinking maybe getting a high score would help, but nothing seemed to be giving me any other hints. Then on the stage select screen, I noticed that the scrolling message that appears at the bottom of the screen for the Crygor stage was different. Finally, I found another hint! It said, "This game has many opposites. Your score's reverse shall be the same reversed."
Figuring that this meant the score should be the same forwards and backwards, I began starting to complete the set with a score of 11, 22, 33, and so on, until I finished with a score of 77. After I did this, it showed a new epilogue, but this time, instead of the bird that normally rescues Crygor, it was Pyoro!
Pyoro carried the still possessed Crygor back to his island laboratory and fed him a large vegetable. This made Crygor turn from his mind-controlled state back to normal. Pyoro then appeared to be talking to Crygor, and Crygor was nodding his head and writing something down in a notebook. He then went into his lab, draining the water that had flooded the building earlier, and began swiftly working on building a device. After the invention was complete, he said, "We'll help the others with this, but we must work quickly!"
The game then brought me back to the stage select menu. When I got there, the screen scrolled up and revealed a new icon. It showed a black and white image of a skull that looked similar to Wario. Since I had never seen this before, I chose it and waited for whatever strange events were in store for me.
The stage started, and I was facing a character that was completely invisible except for their hat. The hat was purple, so I assumed I was facing Waluigi. The game gave the instruction "Solve!" which I found a bit strange, seeing that this didn’t appear to be a puzzle. I had to play as Pyoro, attacking by spitting seeds at the character. The character just stayed in the same place throughout the battle, and I defeated them with little effort. Strangely, when I defeated them, I got game over and had to start the level over. It gave me the message, "Remember your clues to complete this stage." Yet, nothing in the clues said anything about how to defeat an invisible character.
I tried a couple more times and got the same result, so I decided to rethink about the hints I had received. There was still one clue I was pretty confused about: the one with the falling purple hats. I went back to that clue to see if I could make sense of it. Then it hit me. When I first viewed this hint, I thought the hats were Waluigi hats at first glance; however, when I looked again, I noticed they had a W on them, rather than an upside-down L. That must mean they were actually Wario hats, not Waluigi hats! Nonetheless, I wasn’t sure why they were purple instead of yellow.
Then I thought about the other clues. They mentioned the importance of opposites in this game. If Wario and Waluigi are opposites and their colors are yellow and purple respectively, it would make sense to think that yellow is supposed to be the opposite of purple. That must be why the Wario hats were now purple! More importantly, that must mean that I wasn't battling Waluigi, but I was unintentionally battling Wario, thus resulting in the game over screens. That would also explain why the battle was so easy, since he was probably still tied in chains.
I went back to the battle, but this time decided not to attack the opposing character. After about a minute, the character became visible, revealing Wario. He was still chained up and had tape over his mouth, so he was struggling to talk. Crygor ran on screen to help Wario, taking the tape off of his mouth. Wario then gave us some important information.
Wario hastily told us that the other characters were still under Waluigi's influence, and they were hiding in one of the pig buildings in the city. If we could get them back to normal, they would know Waluigi's whereabouts. Crygor and Pyoro wanted to rescue Wario and bring him back to safety, but the second they touched his chains, a trapdoor quickly opened and closed beneath Wario, and he was gone once again.
I went to the menu to see if Jimmy and the others were in any of the stages. When I selected the Hard genre and went to the Building of Thrills, another cutscene played. Crygor and Pyoro were walking around on the first floor of the building. They went on the elevator, but rather than moving, the elevator just stayed in the same place. The doors opened revealing Jimmy, Mona, and the other mind controlled characters standing there with vicious smiles. They ran toward Crygor and Pyoro with ropes, about to tie them up, but Pyoro wrapped his long tongue around them to hold them in place. Crygor took out the device he had created earlier and used it on the characters. It sent out some sort of waves, which caused the characters' appearances to turn back to normal, so it appeared to have reversed the mind control. After this, they began looking around with confused expressions until they realized what had happened to them. They began talking amongst themselves until they reached a decision on what to do. Text appeared on the screen telling me to go back to the last icon that had appeared on the stage select screen.
When I went back to this icon, the setting was completely different. In the cutscene, the group of characters was shown walking to a small, tattered, isolated building. Inside the building, there was an elevator, which brought them deep underground. They were then walking around in a dungeon with lots of individual cells. The place was filled with skeletons, and spiders were crawling around on the ground. There was a lack of music, which gave me an uneasy feeling.
Suddenly, Waluigi came in from the right side of the screen, laughing maniacally, and he still had a vicious look on his face. As expected, his clothing was now yellow, since his and Wario's colors had been swapped. The group of characters stopped in their tracks and stood there cautiously. Suddenly, Pyoro jumped out in front, challenging Waluigi. Waluigi laughed mockingly as if he couldn't believe this tiny bird was going to try to fight him. "You wish to fight me do you? Fine, but when you lose, you'll be mine, mine, MINE!"
Waluigi jumped up onto a ledge above the ground, and Pyoro stood below, ready to attack. The battle began with Waluigi throwing fireballs from above. I had to control Pyoro to dodge Waluigi's attack. At the same time, rocks were falling from the ceiling. They were small enough for Pyoro to catch them and spit them back up at Waluigi.
After a few minutes of battling, I managed to defeat Waluigi, causing him to fall from the ledge. Waluigi was severely injured from the fall, and his arms and his legs appeared to be completely broken, keeping him from getting up to flee.
Crygor ran up to Waluigi and took off his hat. Surprisingly, there was a small button underneath. When he pressed the button, Waluigi shut down, revealing that he was in fact a robot. The color of his clothing changed back to purple, and he lost the evil look on his face. The other character gathered around looking grief-stricken, but they didn't appear to be surprised about what had happened. Crygor and Pyoro stayed behind, while the other characters carried Waluigi off screen.
The last thing I had to do was free Wario from his cell. When I arrived in front of his cell, I saw that his attire was once again yellow like normal. There was one final puzzle I had to solve. Sadly, the struggle was not completely over with yet. The walls in his cell had begun closing in. If I didn't hurry, Wario would be crushed between the walls.
The puzzle involved a series of 10 locks, each with a different symbol on it. The symbols were a Wario hat, a Waluigi hat, Pyoro, and the faces of Jimmy, Mona, Dribble, 9-Volt, Kat, Orbulon, and Crygor. I had to set each lock to either an open or closed position, and the correct combination would open the cell. Since there were 10 locks, it would have been difficult for me to guess all of them. Worst of all, I only had three minutes to solve this.
The screen gave the instruction "Solve". I had no idea what to do at this point, so I thought about all of the hints I had received during these events, wondering if I had missed something. After a bit of thinking, I realized that some of the clues had the words "open" and "close" on them. Maybe it was hinting at which locks to open and which ones to close!
The hint from the scene set in the Pyoro stage seemed rather obvious. Find the hero of this stage to guide you. He will be open to help. Pyoro was the hero of that stage, so the lock with the Pyoro symbol must need to be open. Things will return to normal when you keep your friends close. I decided this must mean I needed to close each of the locks with the faces of Wario's friends—Jimmy, Mona, and the others. The answer to your troubles is close. Remember, yellow is key. "Yellow is key", in the end, seemed to be referring to Wario, his color being yellow. Therefore, I needed to close the Wario lock. Lastly, since Waluigi and Wario were opposites, as I had seen during the earlier events of this game, I figured out that the two locks should be set to opposite positions, so I set that one to open.
My thoughts were correct. I solved the puzzle with 10 seconds to spare, and Wario ran out just in time. He let out a sigh of relief as the walls fully shut behind him. Crygor and Pyoro led him out of the dungeon, and they returned to the Gelateria, where Jimmy and the other characters were gathered, still with Waluigi's powerless, inanimate body.
The final epilogue occurred, explaining the conclusion to this story. Waluigi was a robot created by Crygor, supervised by Wario, in an attempt to create an intelligent being. When the experiment was a success, Wario secretly intended for Waluigi to be his servant to help him become richer, but the others just wanted them to be friends.
Wario and Waluigi got along well at first. In fact, all of Wario's friends got along with him. He was an extremely likable person, but Wario grew tired of him always being around. After all, almost anywhere Wario went and anything Wario did, Waluigi wanted to be involved. Wario decided to hide him away in an underground tunnel system, so he could focus on his own money-earning goals and not have to worry about Waluigi getting in the way or trying to take some of the profits. Wario figured nobody would ever find Waluigi there, but he underestimated Waluigi.
Wario lied to the others when he locked Waluigi away, telling them that Waluigi left to live his own life, become more independent, and make his own decisions. Indeed, Waluigi was becoming more independent, but Wario did not realize this. Waluigi began his plan to take over everything Wario had worked toward, in order to get the ultimate revenge and make Wario pay for his greed. In the end, Waluigi had to be stopped before he went too far.
Crygor spoke one last time, "If we reactivate Waluigi now, he'll remember the recent events and still hold grudges against us. It seems our good friend has reached his end."
Wario walked forward and stood next to Waluigi. He looked sad, as if he was remembering the good times he had had with Waluigi by his side. He looked like he regretted everything he had done to upset his former friend.
In the end, Wario had a conscience and made plans with the others to have Waluigi rebuilt with some modifications, so he wouldn't remember everything that had just happened. Wario and the others made an agreement to look past the recent events and not to tell Waluigi about what had happened. Waluigi and Wario were to become friends once again.
The game went back to normal after this final epilogue. The icons and music were normal once again, and the extra icon with the skull on it was gone.
I don't know if these horrendous and unusual events were ever meant to happen in the game. I don't know if I have a rare copy or if the previous owner actually hacked it. These strange events do, however, explain why Waluigi never appears in any of the WarioWare games and why Wario never invites him to be a part of his business. Whatever the explanation, I'm just glad it's over. The mystery is solved, I saved Wario from an untimely death, and everything else is back to normal.