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Prerelease:Luigi's Mansion (GameCube)

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This page details prerelease information and/or media for Luigi's Mansion (GameCube).

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  • Interview in the game's Nintendo Player's Guide
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  • New build possibly found, talk page has more details. Investigate other promo material from around the same time.
  • Verify: "Nintendo EAD Tokyo conceptualizes and starts development on Luigi's Mansion for the Nintendo 64 Disk Drive in Late 1999"
  • Miyamoto interview after spaceworld

Luigi's Mansion is a launch title for the Nintendo GameCube and the game itself had a rather interesting development cycle. It originally begun development on the Nintendo 64 as a title completely unrelated to the Mario series before it was moved to the GameCube due to better hardware. It is also notorious for having some of the most ludicrous rumors floating around the "beta" revision of the game such as the Safari Ghost, Zombie Luigi, Mario's demise, having a higher age rating, you name it. The purpose of this page is to clear up most of the rumors and to educate people on the subject.

Development Timeline


  • Aug. 23 - The game is officially revealed at Spaceworld 2000.


  • May. 17 - The game is shown off again at E3 2001.
  • Aug. 24 - The game is shown for the last time at Spaceworld 2001.
  • Sep. 14 - Luigi's Mansion is released in Japan.
  • Nov. 18 - Luigi's Mansion is released in North America.


  • May 3 - Luigi's Mansion is released in Europe.

Initial Concepts

Development originally started out on the Nintendo 64 having absolutely no affiliation with the Mario series and was later segued to the GameCube with it obviously having the better hardware. The conceptual stages of the game are a bit foggy; the two main ideas that were thrown around consist of a ninja house, European-inspired buildings, and a dollhouse. The developers eventually went with the European style, which can share a likeness with older mansions in North America.

(Source: N-Sider Interview)



Spaceworld 2000

Luigi's Mansion officially appeared on the sizzle reel for Spaceworld 2000, which took place from August 23-26; a compilation of games consisting of high-quality FMVs boasting how much of a powerhouse the GameCube was said to be.

There is also an extended FMV of Luigi entering the mansion, walking in the dark, looking at the fourth wall, and then looking back to see an undefined ghost appear right in front of him. The ghost shows off its set of teeth, which scares Luigi out of his mind. Two other ghosts had likely seen the antics and decide to join in on the fun. Then there are ghosts playing a game of poker. Originally, the FMV was floating out in an internet limbo until November 2021. Interestingly, the second screen is actually used as the pause menu image in the final game. (Some of the FMV was recycled in the E3 2001 trailer, hence the E3 marks on some of the images.)


The other portions of the FMV that exist in the public eye is Luigi being chased by the ghost. Luigi slides down the banister to evade the ghost, the chandelier falls, he screams, and then he is surrounded by a circle of weird-looking ghosts that all each sport a pompous nose. The full FMV has recently been found on November 24th, 2021 and published on YouTube by the creator of GamerWeb himself, Adam Doree.

From the same compilation, there are three ghosts sitting at a table playing poker.

GameCube Controller Demo

Also from Spaceworld 2000, a ghost from Luigi's Mansion was used in a GameCube controller demonstration. However, it is unknown if the behavior of the Ghost shown off in the game was once considered for the game. The ghost could skew vertically and horizontally, laugh maniacally, and burp with a projectile that would spread on the floor. The beginning of the clip also shows off the original Foyer at the beginning which was created for the FMV shown at the same event. This event was also only closed to the press.




The Nintendo Difference Build

In Nintendo's "The Nintendo Difference" sizzle reel, Luigi's Mansion is obviously one of the games shown off. However, it does not show off the build seen at E3. In fact, it is an even older build.

  • The HUD has a high-resolution icon of Luigi's dialogue box icon.
  • The HUD does not yet have the coin counter from the E3 build.
  • The overheat meter was placed in the middle and counts down from ten instead of starting from zero.
  • The game has brighter lighting compared to E3.
  • Several ghost models look slightly different from the E3 build.
  • A green border covers the screen during normal gameplay.
  • The paintings in the Parlor (Living Room) are all the same texture of a pink ghost smoking a pipe and sporting a top hat.
  • Ghosts use similar color schemes compared to what was seen in the E3 demo.
  • The "Scare Ghost" could be any type of ghost, but the main hallway variant is pink, this behavior is partially left over, luige.szp and bmario.szp still has the animations associated with the Nintendo difference fear state.
  • An orange puncher can be seen next to the entrance to the bathroom using the basher fail animation, implying that all ghosts can use the scare attack, which can be partially restored using appear type 1


E3 2001

Luigi's Mansion made an appearance at E3 2001, which was held on May 17-19. The game was shown off during Nintendo's press conference and it seemed to appeal to the crowd! The game has a number of differences compared to its final counterpart. The gameplay remained constant aside from the Poltergust 3000 having the ability to overheat and Luigi's max health could be drowned to 50HP if he was scared by a specific hallway ghost. Other content such as the music was arranged differently, sounding more eerie and synthesized as opposed to the final theme. This can be the more confusing portion of the article to understand. There are a few rumors that flounder around the E3 build of Luigi's Mansion. Some say that Luigi has 24 hours to save Mario; if he didn't, Mario would disappear and Luigi would turn into a zombie. Not true, definitely not; for example, the only ways the demo could be ended were via a Game Over, which happened to be identical to the retail build's, and reaching 1:30 AM on the Game Boy Horror timer, which would result in E. Gadd calling Luigi and sending the player back to the title screen.

The E3 2001 trailer shows off two builds throughout the trailer. Mainly just simple texture changes like the portraits in the Parlor. This particular trailer also does not show off the coin counter as part of the HUD. However, the coin counter ended up making it into the floor demo.

  • The ball ghosts bouncing around in some of the rooms were replaced by Boos in the E3 build.
  • There is no appearance of a coin meter in this trailer.
  • The textures for the portraits in the Parlor/Living room change from the Victorian Ghost to the Mozart-esque Ghost.
  • The trailer utilizes footage from the Spaceworld 2000 FMV.
  • Area 3 is shown off in the trailer, and the doors have different textures. This particular area isn't seen in the demo, only within screenshots from Nintendo.
  • The music in the trailer sounds slightly different compared to the E3 demo counterpart, most likely due to the E3 demo using sequenced audio.
  • When Luigi enters the mansion at 0:52, he does not have a flashlight. This could be part of the original opening.
  • The short cutscene for bringing up the GBH (which was originally a Game Boy Color) is different and much slower, could have been a pause menu at some point in time.
  • Most of the audio is different from the final game, which was likely all down to the person in charge of doing the audio mixing for the trailer.
  • In the ending of the trailer, it zooms out of the mansion gates and features Luigi with a long, depressed face as he shuffles back up, with lightning striking just as it shows this. This scene is not present in the actual game, it also being from the Spaceworld 2000 tech demo.
E3 2001 Final
Lm prerelease e3 14.jpg LM Final ComparisonHUD.png

Intro Differences

The intro to the demo is very similar to that of the final game, save for a couple of changes. The very beginning has the camera emerging from the forest into a wide shot of the mansion, while Luigi is walking up the steps to the door. It's more similar to the scene in which Luigi is leaving E. Gadd's lab than to the final intro scene.

  • The HP meter on the HUD displays 100/100 rather than just 100.
  • The HUD has a spinning coin graphic on it.
  • The door to the Area 2 hallway is in the same style as the one to the Parlor, rather than having a heart design on it to match the key obtained from Chauncey's Nursery.
  • There is a shorter delay between Luigi trying to open the door to the Parlor and the ghostly giggling sound in the demo.
  • The music for when Luigi encounters the ghost carrying the key to the Parlor is different.
  • Luigi is completely static when it pans out to him in the ghost key scene.
  • Picking up the key to the Parlor doesn't start the "Got a Key!" animation and accompanying fanfare. This is consistent throughout the demo, so it was either added later or was disabled for demo purposes.
  • When Luigi enters the Parlor, the cutscene's music is completely different, and his cutscene model has different eye textures.
  • The cutscene in the Parlor has more text than in the final. Luigi screams "Aaahhhh!" when the ghost appears, the ghost says "... Ugh!" when E. Gadd starts to suck it up, and the trio of ghosts say "BOOOOOOOOO!!!" when they appear.
  • The images from the Parlor cutscene released at E3 do not match the actual cutscene. It's possible that the images were from an earlier version of the cutscene, or they were created separately.
  • E. Gadd's speech is completely different from the final NOA translation. He refers to himself as Dr. Elvin Gad, and says that he's been living in what he thought was a vacant house. He says that the mansion is famous for being haunted; this isn't the case in the final, as in the final the mansion is actually an illusion created by the Boos.
  • The title screen audio is completely different from the final.
  • The demo gives you the option of either playing from the beginning or skipping the intro; most likely there for demo purposes.
  • E. Gadd's Lab has different music.
  • Gadd's menu only has two options as opposed to three in the final game, gallery excluded.
  • The intro to the mansion is also quite different. It starts out in the woods coming to a wide shot of the mansion.
  • The music and HUD are quite different. The health meter reads 100/100, there is a coin meter, and the Game Boy Horror is a clock with a ghost radar.
  • The dark rooms theme had a more synthesized electronic sound to it, seemingly composed with samples still used in the final game. Lit rooms have a completely unused variant of the main theme performed with bell-like instruments, instead of Luigi's whistling.
  • Lighting looks a bit more intensive than the final.
  • Almost anything that had a cloth over it is completely absent in the demo.
  • The Poltergust 3000 also has a very different design.
  • The squatting function is briefly seen by accident.
  • Ghosts have a more diverse set of colors.
  • The vacuum tube swells when you suck up objects.
  • Normal ghosts could also appear in the hallway. The two that have been seen are the White Puncher, and the other ghost, which seems to vary in color.
  • Another HUD element appears, resembling the elemental meter. This is the heat meter, a feature that went ultimately scrapped.
  • There was a special ghost that would appear behind Luigi. A mist would form, warning the player that it was about to appear. If Luigi is scared by the ghost, a graphic appears that displays "BAHHHHH". When Luigi is scared, his max health is drained to 50 for a short period of time. he will also be unable to use his Poltergust and can only scuttle away. The ghost can also appear again after Luigi shortly gets back up from scuttling.
  • Some doors are blocked off entirely, assuming they were not finished or not included in the demo.
  • Boos can be seen floating around.
  • Vases in the hallways are blue with horizontal stripes which later appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
  • There is only one cabinet in the Dining Room. The final game occupies the areas in which the blocked-off doors are apparent.
  • A Grandfather clock can be seen at the right end of the Dining Room.
  • The door adjacent to the Dining Room is blocked off.
  • The Refrigerator is already open in the Kitchen.
  • The door to the Billiard's Room is blocked off.
  • The door to the Laundry Room/Butler's Room is blocked off.
  • The entire hallway is essentially a merge of Area Two and Three, given why doors to the Bathroom and Nana's Room exist.
  • Nana's Room is blocked off.
  • There is no door to the Observatory.
  • Luigi has the ability to suck back the curtain in the Bathroom.
  • Luigi's reflection in the mirror is almost pitch black. Luigi's model in the reflection lacks shaders; so while he appears as pitch dark, he is actually albedo.
  • Ms. Petunia is not behind the curtain, the silhouette was likely there for a tease.
  • The presentation demo also has the exclusive feature of testing the elementals out. The water element was the only one to be shown, accompanied by its own nozzle that was even color coded!
  • The water particle is different.
  • The game might have had some sort of Game Boy Advance functionality, considering how hard Nintendo was pushing the two consoles.
  • The GBH timer on the show floor ends at 1:30. E. Gadd will pop up on the GBH telling you that the demo is over; you are then brought back to the title screen, though the text box is too bright to see what E. Gadd is saying.

While the controls is more or less similar, there are some notable differences:

  • The analog and C-stick are switched, meaning the C-stick is for movement and analog for direction.
  • The Z button makes Luigi crouch.
(Source: GameSpot E3 2001 Hands-on Luigi's Mansion)
IGN Footage

The footage IGN captured was quite sub-par in terms of quality.

Gamers Anonymous Footage

Footage uploaded on Aug 13, 2019 by Gamers Anonymous shows a tour of the E3 2001 Nintendo booth, including gameplay of the Luigi's Mansion demo. This footage has a small portion of training room gameplay, but most notably it features an early pause menu, with the text "<Pause>" at the top, which was replaced by a Boo in the final game. Additionally, the two control styles were called "Type A" and "Type B", rather than "Standard" and "Sidestep". This is noteworthy, as the textures for this text are named e_ptx_typea_a.bti and e_ptx_typeb_a.bti in the final game.

(Source: Gamers Anonymous, GeekyLuigi, LMFinish)
E3 Screens

Pre-Spaceworld 2001

  • The title screen still appears the same as in the E3 2001 build.
  • The element meter was once a ghost counter that counted all the ghosts Luigi sucked up, and maxed out at ten (it doesn't count Boos, mice, bats, etc.). This functionally still exists in the final game.
  • The Game Boy Horror would sink 3/4ths below the screen.
  • The Game Boy Horror once had the ability to act as a first-person camera (this still exists in the final game's code).
  • The cutscene where Luigi gets scared by the Gold Ghost; the music is entirely different and still shares the same one with the E3 2001 build.
    • Luigi was given a singular speech bubble for being scared in the same scene.
  • The Boo counter lacked the /50 denoter.
  • King Boo either had no crown when he and the rest of the Boos are unleashed from the grate, or he initially didn't show up at that specific part of the cutscene.
  • Door textures would vary.
    • The doors to Area 2 do not have the heart-shaped engraving. Instead, the textures from the Parlor's entrance were re-used.
    • The Twins and Chauncey had their own unique door textures (which both still exist unused in the final game).
  • Luigi's animation in the Chauncey boss sequence is different.
  • No ditty would play when Luigi picked up a key. However, this could have been in the promotional footage only.
  • The ice elemental icon was different.
    • The icon for said elemental is currently the only one seen in this build, so there's only speculation to if the other two also had different icons or not.
  • A money chest originally appeared in the Wardrobe room once lit. It may have been removed to avoid a potential clash with the key chest that later appears when defeating Uncle Grimmly.


Spaceworld 2001

Luigi's Mansion would have its final appearance at Spaceworld 2001, held on August 24-26. The game's aesthetics are the same for the most part, except for most of the ghost designs. Although, other elements such as the music and HUD were changed as well. The game by this point is complete and identical to the Japanese retail release.

  • The Heat Meter is "removed". It appears to be grayed out and the Poltergust 3000 no longer overheats.
  • The Game Boy Horror no longer has a clock function. Instead, it keeps track of any collectibles you have come across.
  • Music has been changed to a more realistic like organ.
  • Door layouts and ghost locations have been modified.
  • Aesthetic changes:
    • Normal ghosts gained a makeover. (colors, facial features, animations, etc.)
    • Luigi now only holds the flashlight with two hands when his health is low.

GameCube Manual

The Nintendo GameCube instruction manual contains screenshots featuring what appears to be an early banner for the game.
The banner image features icons for Luigi, E. Gadd, an early Gold Ghost.

Mockup Final
LM-ManualMockup.png Lm-bannerlogo all.png
First Game Play Screen Second Game Play Screen
Luigi's Mansion-prerelease-gamecube manual 1.png Luigi's Mansion-prerelease-gamecube manual 2.png
Short Long
Luigi's Mansion
Nintendo Co., Ltd.
Luigi's Mansion
2001 Nintendo Co., Ltd.
This is the new title in the Mario series.