Wario Land: Shake It!
Wario Land: Shake It! (known as Wario Land: The Shake Dimension in European languages and Wario Land Shaking in Korean) is a platformer game developed by Good-Feel for the Wii. It is the sixth installment in the Wario Land series, the eighth platformer starring Wario overall, the first game in the Wario Land series to be released since Wario Land 4 in 2001, and the only Wario Land game released on a home console. The game also features the return of Captain Syrup, who hosts the Pirate Shop. The animations for the cutscenes and gameplay were done by Japanese animation studio Production I.G.
One night, the pirate Captain Syrup sneaks into a museum looking for treasure to steal, when an item known as the Ancient Globe catches her interest. Upon inspecting it, she sees there is another world within the globe called the Shake Dimension. As Captain Syrup watches, dark clouds cover the Shake Dimension as the peace is shattered by the marauding pirate known as the Shake King. The Shake King steals a legendary treasure known as the Bottomless Coin Sack, which can create infinite gold coins by shaking it, and shares its contents with his minions. He also kidnaps and imprisons all but one of the peaceful Merfle tribe, along with their beloved ruler, Merelda. While the Shake King gloats, the one Merfle who managed to escape imprisonment vows to find someone from the outside world who can help his people and escapes. After seeing the events unfold, Captain Syrup decides that rescuing Queen Merelda and her Merfle followers as well as taking the Bottomless Coin Sack for herself may both prove too difficult for her to accomplish alone, so she steals the Ancient Globe from the museum, planning to give it to someone she hopes would help her with these two tasks.
At home in his garage, Wario is seen fast asleep in his car. He is then awakened from his slumber by the delivery of a very large gift, which, once unwrapped, reveals the Ancient Globe and a note from Captain Syrup explaining that there is treasure within the Globe. Misinterpreting the note, Wario gets a hammer to smash the globe open. Then suddenly, smoke bursts from the top, causing Wario to miss and smack his head. The smoke forms a large telescope, which Merfle uses to reach Wario's world. Merfle then greets Wario, causing him to hit his head on the telescope when trying to look up. In a fit of anger, Wario grabs Merfle and was going to punch him in the face until Merfle begins pleading for Wario's help. Merfle explains to Wario about how the Shake King appeared, captured, and imprisoned his people and stole the legendary treasure. At first, Wario showed very little interest in the story or the Merfle's plight, even picking his nose as it is being told, but then his interest was peaked at the mention of treasure. He then grabs the Merfle for more information and Merfle explains the properties of the Bottomless Coin Sack to Wario. Having been tempted, Wario then demands to know how to get into the Shake Dimension, and Merfle answers that the telescope acts as a portal into it, but warns him that if he doesn't rescue the other Merfles he would be stranded in the Shake Dimension. Tempted by the promise of wealth, Wario decides that this quest will be worth his time, which gladdens Merfle. Merfle then travels through the telescope back into the Shake Dimension, and Wario prepares to follow him.
After surviving all of the Shake King's traps and minions, Wario is able to battle the Shake King himself. It is a hard and long battle, since the Shake King also has some of Wario's moves; however, Wario is able to beat him, resulting in the Shake Dimension being saved at last from the Shake King's evil grip.
When Queen Merelda thanks Wario for saving her kingdom, Wario tosses her aside and takes the Bottomless Coin Sack. When returning to his world for the final time, he shakes the bag to collect all the coins he always wanted. However, the celebration doesn't last long. Catching Wario off guard, Captain Syrup takes the Bottomless Coin Sack and all the coins Wario shook out from it and makes a quick getaway. Wario is completely humiliated that he was double-crossed from the start, angrily chasing Merfle around his garage.
Like all other Wario Land games, Wario Land: Shake It! is a 2D platformer. Players must hold the Wii Remote sideways to play this game. is used for Jumping, while the is used to perform a Dash Attack. is used for ducking, and entering a Warp Pipe. When using in midair, Wario performs a Ground Pound. However, there are also some changes according to the environment. When pressing on a hillside, Wario will slide down on his belly. Throwing an enemy or object is done by pressing , but the player must hold the button and tilt the Wii Remote in the desired direction, and then release to make Wario throw in that direction.
There are also new features in gameplay, mostly implementing the motion-sensing abilities of the Wii Remote. Executing an Earthshake Punch uses the motion sensitivity. By shaking the Wii Remote when the Shake Meter at the top of the screen is full, Wario performs a powerful punch on the ground, causing an earthquake. It is needed to move objects in some levels, opening new paths, and it also stuns enemies. However, when used, the Shake Meter gets empty. The player can't use another Earthshake Punch when the Shake Meter is empty, so they must wait until the Shake Meter is full, which only takes a few seconds. Another frequently implemented action in the game is shaking an enemy or a Coin Bag. When Wario picks up an enemy or a Coin Bag, the player can shake the Wii Remote to let Wario shake it. Shaking a Bandinero may reveal a clove of Garlic, while a Coin Bag will lose all the Coins it contains.
When in contact with a bar, Wario can hang from the bar and then perform a Bar Spin by shaking the Wii Remote. Upon pressing the , Wario spins high into the air, and can also reach grab another bar if he comes into contact with one. Wario can also use Unibuckets to travel on cords - yet another action that uses motion sensitivity. When the player presses , Wario jumps into the Unibucket, and pressing will let Wario to pop out of the vehicle. Tilting the Wii Remote sideways moves it, with the angle of the remote affecting the speed at which the Unibucket moves. Pressing lets it jump. If a Unibucket lands on any surface that is not a Unibucket cord, it breaks instantly.
A flying counterpart to the Unibucket is the Rocket Bucket. By pressing , Wario will jump in. When in this vehicle, two rockets and a dome appears. Pressing accelerates it, and tilting the Wii Remote is used for steering. Colliding with spiky balls will break it. However, it can land on any piece of non-spiky ground. The game also introduces and underwater device; Wario's Subwarine. In underwater levels (of which there are 3), Wario must use this vehicle to proceed through the level. Tilting the Wii Remote will steer the Subwarine, and will move it back and forth. Pressing the makes the Subwarine shoot a torpedo in a straight line.
Wario will find metal boxes throughout almost every level, with a screen and a red entrance atop it. These machines are named Max Fastosity Dasherators; they let Wario run very fast when entered. Wario can still jump while dashing. Pressing the opposite direction of the direction Wario is running causes him to skid to a halt and quickly turn to that direction. Moving is automatic and Wario can also run over water. Another thing that Wario can do is break blocks and defeat enemies in this state. Wario will cease dashing if he collides with any solid object or wall.
Blast-O-Cannons are cannons where Wario can jump in, by pressing . The player can then tilt the Wii Remote to choose a direction. Pressing will let the cannon prepare to shoot, and releasing will let the cannon shoot. When touching another Blast-O-Cannon after being blasted from another one, Wario will automatically enter it. Wario can't enter a Blast-O-Cannon on a wall in a normal way. He should use another Blast-O-Cannon to enter a Blast-O-Cannon on a wall. Some Blast-O-Cannons move automatically.
The main goal of a level is to guide Wario to the cage where a Merfle has been caught. Such cages are called Merfle Barrels. Near to it is a checkpoint block. If Wario picks up the cage, an intruder alert is triggered. Then the player must shake the Wii Remote to break open the cage to free the Merfle. A timer then appears, and a different, faster song plays. With the Merfle holding an arrow that shows the direction to go, Wario must go back the beginning of the level before the timer reaches zero. Blue shake blocks also will appear, while red shake blocks disappear, which changes some paths and opens new places, often allowing different Treasures to be found. If the countdown reaches fifteen seconds, another tune will be played, and the Merfle is panicking. If the timer runs out, the Shake King's shadow appears, takes Wario, shakes him, so Wario loses all his collected money, and the King then throws him back to the start. If the player used a checkpoint block, the Shake King will throw him to the checkpoint instead.
The old transformations that were in previous Wario Land games were reduced to three. These were Flaming Wario, Snowman Wario, and Frozen Wario. They were not changed in this game. Wario can turn into Flaming Wario by touching a flame, and Wario runs with his bottom on fire until he becomes engulfed in fire that can burn Bonfire Blocks. Wario can turn into Snowman Wario if he touches a falling pile of snow. He turns into a snowball when standing on a slope, and can break Snowman Blocks. Turning into Frozen Wario is still a hazard. There is a new transformation called Mini Wario (which has the same goal as Tiny Wario, but is much different in appearance). This transformation can be used by entering a shrinkbarrel and will allow Wario to fit through small openings.
Also, Wario will come across Bomb Blocks, which have a certain number on them. Touching one in any way causes it to count down to zero and explode. Certainty Switches are block switches that turn Uncertain Blocks touchable and untouchable, depending on the color of the switch and the corresponding blocks.
Areas and levels
There are five continents with five levels each; four normal levels and one boss level. Additionally, secret levels can be unlocked by finding a Secret Maps in certain levels. After beating a boss, Wario must return to Captain Syrup to buy a map of the next continent. Depending on the amount of money the player has, they can go in any order they choose.
There are three or more missions in every level. Secret levels usually have more missions than normal levels. Some missions appear very often, such as finishing a stage before the clock reaches a certain time, finishing a stage without taking damage, or collecting a certain amount of coins. If all of the missions in the stage are completed, the player will earn the stage's music in "Media Room" (specifically the music heard before freeing the Merfle in normal stages, the music heard after freeing the Merfle in secret stages, and the music heard during the battle in boss stages).
Every stage in the game, apart from boss stages, contains 3 treasures. They are always contained within treasure chests. Each treasure chest looks identical, with the only variation existing in underwater levels; where they are much smaller, and are blue rather than red. To obtain a treasure, Wario must simply attack the treasure chest and it will open. In order to 100% complete the game, the player must collect all 99 treasures as well as completing every stage's Missions.
The only time when a different method is required to obtain treasures is in the Boogie Mansion stage, where all three treasure chests are mimics, looking like normal chests until Wario comes into contact with them. If this happens, the chest's eyes appear and it opens up, swallowing Wario in a similar way that Venus Guy-Traps can. To obtain the treasures from these living chests, Wario must throw a bomb into them, causing them to eat it and explode open.
The creation of Wario Land: Shake It! began when Nintendo producer Takahiro Harada was inspired to do a new Wario Land sequel after playing Ganbare Goemon: Tōkai Dōchū Ōedo Tengu ri Kaeshi no Maki, a Konami platformer released on the Nintendo DS. Having enjoyed the Goemon game greatly, he contacted its producer, Etsunobu Ebisu who had subsequently left Konami to make his own video game development company, Good-Feel. While Ebisu initially envisioned a Wild Western-style shooter for the game, Harada convinced him that sticking to what they know with a platformer would be better. Picturing Wario as a reckless yet manly brute who relies on his strength to smash though obstacles and knock things down, they eventually came up with the idea of using the Wii's motion controls for shaking things around, with other uses of tilting and aiming to compensate for the lack of buttons on the Wii Remote.
After some discussion, Harada and Ebisu decided to make Wario Land: Shake It! "the ultimate 2D game" by having everything hand-drawn, from the characters to the backgrounds. Knowing the massive amount of work this would entail, they considered simply using 3D polygons, but decided to take advantage of the fact that technology had finally advanced enough to support such a lofty undertaking (for example, according to program director Koichi Yagi, "the scenery alone would have filled up the Nintendo GameCube"). A single action taken by a character amounted to about 30 animation frames, resulting in 6000 enemy patterns, with 2000 more for Wario alone, in order to animate the roughly 200 actions he can perform. The backgrounds were non-repeating and hand-drawn, and just as any change to a character's design required all the frames to be adjusted, "even a small change [to the background] meant everything had to be changed", according to design director Tadanori Tsukawaki. The end result was worth the "hard labor", however, as even in the early builds that only had basic line drawings, Tsukawaki could tell that the game "has impact". Knowing that they would benefit from the involvement of more experienced anime companies, Good-Feel brought in Production I.G to help with character animation and the opening and ending cutscenes, while Kusanagi assisted with the background art.
There was a promotional sweepstakes which began on August 13, 2008. To enter, contestants sent a postcard containing their full name, mailing address, phone number, and email address to the Nintendo Power sweepstakes address. The grand prize was given to one person and consisted of a Wii and a copy of Wario Land: Shake It! The second prize was given to ten people and consisted of just the game. The sweepstakes ended on November 1, 2008.
In collaboration with Six Flags, ten of their theme park locations were "taken over" in September. As a part of this event, demos of the game were available at the parks' Wii Experience areas. On September 27, 2008, competitions were held concurrently at Six Flags Magic Mountain and Six Flags St. Louis. Competitors were tasked to play through a level of the game as quickly as possible. The player with the best overall time from both parks won a trip to New York and the Nintendo World store. In addition, a person from each park with the best time won a "Bottomless Coin Sack" which contained a Wii and a copy of the game, a Nintendo DS system, a gift certificate for Six Flags merchandise, and "fun premium items".
On September 19, 2008, a video showcasing footage of the game was uploaded to YouTube. During the video, whenever a large shaking motion occurred in the footage, the webpage shook as well. As the video progressed, more of the webpage's elements were dislodged and fell down. Once an element fell out of place, it could be dragged around using the cursor.
Madoka Yamauchi is credited as the director as well as one of the game's planners. The assistant director, Nobuo Matsumiya, had previously worked on several Mario franchise games such as Super Mario Bros. Deluxe and Yoshi's Island DS. The backgrounds were illustrated by KUSANAGI, Inc. while the characters' animations and opening and ending sequences were created by Production I.G.
Pre-release and unused content
A cut track was found in pre-release versions of the game for a level known as "Plumber's Cave," the main melody being based on the Underground Theme from the mainstream Mario titles. It was featured on the game site as a soundtrack sample before release. For one reason or another, it was completely removed from the game. The accompanying "hurry up" theme was left in the game and used in Foulwater Falls.
Names in other languages