Luigi’s Mansion 3 paints its ghosts in a better light
In the Luigi’s Mansion series, the ghosts’ disposition and roles can vary. The very first game painted them all as “evil.” More recent entries have suggested they are misguided. For example, Dark Moon had every specter’s sudden shift in demeanor attributed to a shattered Dark Moon. Luigi’s Mansion 3 places players in a similar situation. Ghosts are around. They’re causing trouble. However, they aren’t as malicious as you might expect.
Every Luigi’s Mansion game has ghosts as the villains. King Boo is the big bad, he has an array of named, unique ghosts as his major underlings and lots of ghosts of different colors and sizes appear as generic foes. With Luigi’s Mansion 3, each one begins the game filling certain roles in Last Resort. We also see a number of boss ghosts in essential service industry roles before going after Luigi. Chambrea is cleaning rooms. Kruller is the mall cop who is as scared of Luigi as Luigi is of him. Nikki, Lindsey and Ginny spend a lot of their time around Luigi pestering him with their magic tricks. When not causing trouble, it appears as though they would be doing their “jobs.”
There are also the interactions we sometimes see in the Luigi’s Mansion 3 cutscenes. When a ghost encounters Gooigi for the first time, it isn’t trying to hurt this facsimile. It attempts to scare him for the amusing reaction. When that doesn’t work, he essentially “boops” the character’s nose. While there are many ghosts who can get aggressive, the gameplay suggests aggression wouldn’t normally be their go-to. Chambrea constantly runs and hides during her boss fight.
The best evidence for Luigi’s Mansion 3 generally redeeming ghosts is what happens at the end and during the ending. We learn King Boo is once again responsible for everything. In the second game, he destroyed the Dark Moon and made every ghost malicious. His crown was controlling everyone again. They would have just gone about their business without all that.
We also see Polterpup being exceptionally heroic at the end of Luigi’s Mansion 3. The ghostly dog is a good buy throughout the game. He points Luigi to important places, for example. But in the final battle, it is Polterpup that saves Luigi. King Boo would have trapped the whole party under a portrait. The dog pushes Luigi out of the way, showing the inherent individuality and even goodness of a ghost not under King Boo’s control.
Finally, there is the epilogue. Due to King Boo’s actions, the hotel ends up coming down. All of the ghosts would be homeless. That’s when E. Gadd steps in. Everyone comes together and rebuilds. The new version of Last Resort becomes a fresh version of their home. They resume the roles they likely held before King Boo and Hellen Gravely used all of them. It becomes at the end what it should have been in the beginning: a happy place to visit and relax.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 continues a trend that began in Dark Moon. Ghosts may not naturally be bad. Just like people, they could be good or evil. The majority of the ones in the game are being controlled by King Boo. Once Luigi saves the day, they go back to normal and get to be themselves.
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