When Gooigi, Luigi's goo clone, was first unveiled for the 3DS remaster of Luigi's Mansion, the internet went a bit mad. Gooigi became an icon of a sort. For a brief time, he was making headlines and turning heads, and then he vanished. But in Luigi's Mansion 3, Gooigi is back baby — and y'all had better bow down. Gooigi is your new god.
At PAX Australia, I had the chance to get hands on with Luigi's Mansion 3 in a neat little dark booth set up by Nintendo. It was some good, spooky set dressing for the 20 minute or so demo I was taken through.
In it, Luigi traverses several floors of a haunted mansion, sometimes aided by Gooigi, who can slip through spikes and reach places that Luigi can't. There's just one catch — he can't survive water. Also, he's a bit of a freak.
The relationship between Luigi and Gooigi was unclear from my playthrough. In the demo, Gooigi kind of... oozed... out of Luigi's body. Gooigi oozed just like Flubber, from the movie, Flubber. He schlooped out and balled up, wobbling out like jelly before collecting in an emulsified pile and forming the shape of a man. What is Gooigi? Thus far, it's (concerningly) unclear. Is he a man? Is he a monster? Does he have a consciousness?
When Gooigi leaps out of Luigi's body, Luigi slumps forward as if he's lost his own consciousness and transferred it into Gooigi's body. But there are also instances where Gooigi and Luigi work together and both retain their consciousness.
For my part, I'm thoroughly convinced that Gooigi is god, or at the very least, godlike. If you think about it for a minute — Gooigi cannot die. He demonstrated as such throughout the demo I played. He slid through deadly spikes and traversed rooms that Luigi couldn't on his own. Yes, he can't survive in water, but every time he "dies", he's resurrected once more, springing forth from Luigi's supple body and standing to attention.
And on the other hand, apparently Gooigi is edible. If you were to eat Gooigi, he would survive, presumably living in your stomach until nature takes its course and he oozes out the other end. That is deeply, horribly concerning. Gooigi's presence is frightening, but unfortunately, it's necessary. You can't survive the mansion without him.
Overlooking Gooigi's obscene nature, Luigi's Mansion 3 looks and feels fantastic. There's a great new mechanic where you can grab and slam ghosts into the ground until they explode into dust, and the controls are smoother and better controlled than the last generation of games. As always, there's plenty of secrets to find in the mansion, and a great many puzzles to solve, too.
I would've enjoyed the puzzles more if I hadn't been playing the demo right in front of a team of lovely Nintendo reps, who politely pointed me in the right direction several times though. In my defence, I was very distracted — the puzzles were simple enough, I was just being real dumb.
The majority of the ones that I encountered were logic puzzles requiring quick thinking and the co-operation of the deeply cursed Gooigi. The one that stumped me for a short little bit was a bit of elevator juggling, where Gooigi and Luigi need to tag team to reach the bottom floor of a room via a pulley system. I'll let you believe I finished that one on my own, with no help whatsoever. I am deeply intelligent.
The demo of Luigi's Mansion 3 was capped off by a complicated boss fight in a colosseum, where players are required to balance the ghost-stunning flashlight mechanic with the brand new toy crossbow to take down a gallant ghost knight. It was initially tough to get a grasp on, but this one, thankfully, I solved on my own. It was a great boss fight, continuing the tradition of great bosses for the franchise. With that, my time was up — and, good news, it left me wanting more.
Luigi's Mansion releases October 31 for Nintendo Switch. For me, it'll be a day one purchase — Gooigi be damned.