After being defeated by Mario
in Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins
left Mario Land to search for new treasures to steal
. In his travels he
learned of the Brown Sugar Pirates
and their treasure horde, including a solid gold statue of Princess Toadstool
that they had stolen from the Mushroom Kingdom
. Determined, Wario
traveled to Kitchen Island
with the intention of swiping as much loot as he could and ransoming the statue back to the princess
Released by Nintendo for the Game Boy in February 1994, SML3:WL was Wario's first starring role. His moves mirror Mario's to some extent: he jumps on the enemies, but his major maneuver is a powerful body slam. Various hats and power-ups give Wario special powers, such as bull horns to hang from the ceiling with, dragon's breath, and jet power. Wario can also throw the coins that he's collected in increments of ten (i.e. one coin shot costs ten coins). These coins can either be used as a weapon against baddies or to open up certain locks (think of these locks as a toll). Like his counterpart Wario collects coins, but instead of 100 coins earning a 1-up, Wario's earnings pile up in a grand total. Acting somewhat as a score, the coins are used at the end of the game to buy a castle. The more coins Wario collects, the better his future home will be. Castles range from a measly birdhouse all the way up to an entire planet.
The Brown Sugar Pirates are a wily bunch, and Captain Syrup has sent some of her best minions to try and stop Wario. Spiked turtles, charging bulls, and angry ducks will all stand in Wario's way as he travels across Kitchen Island. A stomp and a body slam will deter most enemies, although some require some special treatment. Most baddies can be picked up and tossed, turning enemies into weapons. On the other hand, some of the pirates are spiked or otherwise dangerous and should be avoided.
After completing a level Wario has the option of playing one of two mini games. There's the Coin Pull in which Wario chooses from buckets hanging the air and pulls the string attached to one. Either coins or a lead weight will fall from the bucket. Coins mean more money, while the weight cuts Wario's level earnings in half. Wario could also choose to play Life Shot in which he has to try and win 1-ups. Both games cost coins to play, but a skilled player can turn a profit and reap some bonus goodness.
The cartridge features a battery pak so that games are automatically saved. Three save slots are available. The game is somewhat easy to find used even now as many cartridges were produced and many people divested themselves of their Game Boy hardware in the late 1990s. SML3:WL was popular enough to spawn several sequels, guarenteeing that Wario will be around for years to come.