I Feel Just Awful About Sucking Up Ghosts in Luigi’s Mansion 3

Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a lovely game. From the care put into the visual design to the satisfaction of finding secrets, everything about it is charming. Well, almost everything. See, I have a problem. I feel worse about sucking up ghosts in Luigi’s Mansion 3 than I do about gunning down enemy soldiers in FPS games.

Why should I? They’re ghosts, right? They’re malevolent supernatural beings who wish harm on Luigi and his kin. Well, yes, you encounter a number of ghosts in Luigi’s Mansion 3 who are definitely trying to kill Luigi. They come at him with weapons, objects, or even just their spectral dukes. But plenty of ghosts seem as afraid of Luigi as he is of them. Maybe he has a rep at this point, because lots of ghosts lose their goddamn minds at the sight of our green boy and go bouncing around the room until you catch them.

And let’s talk about what happens when you do catch a ghost. Using your Poltergust-G00, you suck in the ghost’s phantasmal body. When you get a sufficient grip, you can then slam the ghost around — into the ground, furniture, or even other ghosts. Subject the ghost to enough punishment, and it’ll explode.

But you don’t have to do the slam move. Instead, you can just keep reeling a ghost in. This method steadily depletes their health and is useful to get in some extra damage on bosses. When you reduce a ghost’s hit points to zero in this way, they scream as they’re helplessly sucked into the Poltergust. You know how that happens to the bosses? You can do that to any ghost. It’s just awful.

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Why do they scream? Maybe the ghosts have become so used to their permanency that the idea of nonexistence scares them even more than it would a mortal. But I don’t think the Poltergust actually erases them from this world, since Luigi can drop off his collected ghosts into a storage tank E. Gadd keeps at his lab for research. Perhaps, then, Luigi is delivering them to a fate worse than oblivion.

We already know E. Gadd is a ghost researcher. We know he created Gooigi by combining ghost “fluids” with coffee. What other terrible experiments is he performing on his captives? Perhaps he reasons that — as they are already dead, research ethics don’t apply to them. Neither human nor animal, ghosts are no more protected by Institutional Review Boards than a cloud of mist. E. Gadd could be researching whether ghosts feel pain, using them to power his machines, or even testing makeup on them.

Regardless of what happens to them after they’re caught, the ghosts’ screams have made me realize something. Most enemies in Mario games disappear wordlessly when defeated. Some let loose a low grunt. But I can’t think of any others that scream the way the ghosts in Luigi’s Mansion 3 do. And it’s because they know something we don’t.

Luigi’s fear, his trembling, his chattering teeth? They’re all an act. A carefully calculated ruse designed to lure his foes into a false sense of security. Because beneath that cowardly exterior, Luigi is a cold, methodical ghost extermination machine. He doesn’t know what happens to them after he sucks them up, and he doesn’t care. And if any of his friends should happen to see his true self, it’d all be over for him.

What I’m trying to say is this: game theory Luigi is a serial killer who was trained by his dad to only kill ghosts don’t forget to like and subscribe thanks guys.


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