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One day, Wario was lounging on his sofa, watching TV, when a show called "The Silver Zephyr" came on. It was a show about a man named Count Cannoli who used his magic wand, Goodstyle, to transform into the eponymous master thief. After seeing him transform, Wario decided that he wanted in on the action, so he invented the Telmet, a device that allowed him to venture into the TV. Upon entering the TV, he landed right on Cannoli's head, causing him to drop Goodstyle. Wario, of course, being Wario, took Goodstyle for himself. Goodstyle proceeded to dub Wario his new master, and gave him his very own thief outfit.
Wario soon learns about the Wishstone, an artifact that, supposedly, can grant any wish. However, it was split into 5 pieces, which were then hidden in separate places. With this in mind, Wario makes it his goal to obtain the Wishstone pieces and recreate the Wishstone. However, this quest does not come without obstructions: Cannoli does not particularly enjoy having his wand stolen from him and will stop at nothing to get it back. If that wasn't enough, the Corrupt Corporate Executive Carpaccio also wants the Wishstone pieces, so needless to say, Wario has his work cut out for him.
The gameplay consists of traversing several different locations, beating up enemies and searching for treasure. The treasure chests require the player to win minigames to open, and consist of one of several different types of items, depending on the chest's color. Red chests contain treasures, which merely exist for the sake of Hundred-Percent Completion. Purple chests contain area maps or important quest items. Green chests either contain Vita Mighties, which boost Wario's max health, or Guise Gems, which give him new disguises, each of which has its own special powers.
This game provides examples of:
- Acrofatic: Wario, as usual.
- Anti-Hero: Again, Wario.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Count Cannoli.
- Art Initiates Life: Arty Wario.
- Awesome Yet Impractical: The Royal Golden Tools, one of the treasures.
"These golden tools were developed for a king. But since gold is one of the world's softest metals, they're pretty much useless. Fun to look at, though."
- Badass Mustache: Wario. Also Count Cannoli.
- Big Boo's Haunt: Blowhole Castle.
- Black and Grey Morality: When Wario's your hero, you know that the opposition will have to be so much worse.
- Boss Remix: Count Cannoli and Carpaccio's boss battle themes.
- Build Like an Egyptian: Poobah the Pharaoh's Pyramid.
- Chekhov's Exhibit: In the museum, Goodstyle stops a few times to comment on the exhibits, which at first seem pointless to Wario. However, later in the level, Wario must solve riddles involving said exhibits.
- The Chessmaster: Goodstyle, in order to defeat Terrormisu.
- Chest Monster: Some of the chests are fakes. When Wario comes close, they reveal their single eyeball and then start jumping around.
- Clothes Make the Superman: Wario has different powers depending on which disguise he's currently wearing.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Carpaccio, as well as Count Cannoli.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: For a demon that destroyed an ancient civilization and had to be sealed away inside a stone, Terrormisu dies pretty easily to a fat guy with a talking magic wand.
- Dismantled MacGuffin: The Wishstone.
- Easter Egg: On the title screen, touching one of the knobs on Wario's TV toggles the appearance of a hidden Nintendo logo.
- Enter Solution Here: The third episode had an interesting variation: Wario had to answer sphinx riddles in at least three different places to complete the level; the solution to each riddle would be the name of an object in the museum's various display cases, which Goodstyle would read the names of when you reached the room. Getting the question wrong resulted in either being set back or killed.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: This game's enemy selection includes demonic kitchen utensils, disgruntled cruise ship employees, pissed off statues, killer plants, enraged seagulls, and even treasure chests.
- Exposition Fairy: Goodstyle.
- Extended Gameplay: Beating the game unlocks five bonus episodes.
- Fat Bastard: Wario.
- Frictionless Ice: Sneezemore Cave has plenty of this.
- Gasshole: There is a gorilla enemy in Sneezemore Cave called Mr. Cheeky who attacks with farts.
- Gentleman Thief: Cannoli and Carpaccio.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: The treasure description for the Fishin' Hole Fishin' Pole.
"This magic fishing pole will catch a fish every time you dip it in the water! But only crappie. Which actually taste better than they sound."
- Heart Container: Vita Mighty.
- He Knows About Timed Hits: Goodstyle gives a tutorial whenever Wario acquires a new disguise.
- Intrepid Fictioneer: Wario invents the Telmet so he can be on TV and become a master thief. The whole game takes place inside the TV.
- Lava Is Boiling Kool-Aid: As long as Wario has the Sweatmore Hotpants or is wearing the Dragon Wario disguise, lava behaves exactly like water.
- Lethal Lava Land: Sweatmore Peak.
- Leitmotif: Cannoli and Carpaccio's themes.
- Master of Disguise: An ironic aversion, considering the game's title. Wario is not an actual Master of Disguise, he just wears various outfits that give him special powers.
- Meaningful Name: "Goodstyle".
- Mini-Mook: The mini Munchelangelos in the third episode.
- The Mole: The girl who flirts with Wario at Sweatmore Peak and helps him at Blowhole Castle is actually the Big Bad.
- Monster Compendium: The coffee-table book.
- Mook Maker: In the ninth episode.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Terrormisu.
- Non-Indicative Name:
- The Superfantastical Money Tree, one of the game's treasures. See the game's treasure description below.
"Sure, it sounds fancy. But it's just a plant. A boring old potted plant. Slap anyone who tries to tell you otherwise."
- The game itself is also an example, since Wario's "disguises" are much less "disguises" and more "superpower costumes." Wario never attempts to fool anyone with his disguises, not that anyone with a functioning brain would fall for them anyway. The problem? "Wario: Master of Costumes" doesn't sound as good.
- One-Winged Angel: Carpaccio developed a morphing technology that lets him turn into Head Honcho Carpaccio, an enormous blue head resembling the Snow Globe and Blow Globe enemies. Notably, he only uses this form in the first battle against him—the second time, he challenges Wario to a Racing Mini Game instead of a fight.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: No matter which disguise Wario is wearing, it's still obviously Wario. Then again, he never tries to fool anyone in the first place, he is merely wearing the disguises for their powers.
- Phantom Thief: Count Cannoli (The Silver Zephyr), but at the beginning of the game, Wario steals his magic wand, Goodstyle, and becomes a Phantom Thief himself (The Purple Wind).
- Plot Coupon: The Wishstone pieces.
- Punny Name: A lot of the enemies' names are this. Spoonatic, DaVincheese, Ramenses II, Snackerel, and Sarcopha Guy, to name a few.
- Recurring Boss: Cannoli.
- Red Boxing Gloves: Genius Wario's upgrade gives him this.
- Reflecting Laser: Cosmic Wario's upgrade gives him this.
- Respawning Enemies
- Riddling Sphinx: See Enter Solution Here.
- Role Called
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Terrormisu.
- Sequential Boss: Stuffy the 64th and Terrormisu.
- Shout-Out: "The Silver Zephyr" is an obvious parody of The Scarlet Pimpernel.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Sneezemore Cave.
- Slobs Versus Snobs: Wario's rivalry with Cannoli and Carpaccio has some shades of this.
- Super Drowning Skills: Enemies will not go in the water unless they are water enemies. At least not willingly. However, in Sneezemore Cave, there is a segment with a Mr. Cheeky running around on top of breakable ice platforms above a body of water. It is possible to break these platforms by hitting them from below. By doing this, the Mr. Cheeky can be dropped into the water, which kills him instantly.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: Wario.
- Timed Mission: The special episodes.
- Unique Enemy: There are eight enemies that only show up once each: Spoonatic, Slaughterfork, Jack the Knife, Stankulus, Tooty Kamen, Blamses, Mellow Kitty, and Stuffy the 5th.
- Vehicular Assault: Against Cannoli, who seems to get a lot of inspiration from Doctor Robotnik.
- Walk, Don't Swim: Wario simply walks in water unless he's wearing the Captain Wario disguise.
- Womb Level: At the end of Sneezemore Cave, Carpaccio transforms himself into a giant head. After that, he inhales Wario. Wario must then fight him from the inside.
- Would Hit a Girl: Wario has no issues with beating the living crap out of Terrormisu.