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The Truth About Gooigi

You thought Mario was the hero of Nintendo? You were sorely mistaken, because there's a certain green fellow, previously overlooked and unjustly ignored, who rightfully stole the show at 2019's E3. We are talking about the shivering, ghost-hunting, vacuum-loving ... goo? Luigi has another brother of sorts in the form of Gooigi, a clone created by Professor E. Gadd to help Luigi out as he faces the specters that haunt the mansions he's continually sent to. Gooigi previously was something of a bonus character, a player two for the 3DS remake of the classic Luigi's Mansion. However, as we shiver and shake with anticipation for Luigi's Mansion 3, it seems that somehow Gooigi has taken center stage. 

In the new game, Gooigi is an essential part of the puzzle solving. He also comes in a variety of colors for multiplayer madness. With his jiggly nature, the expressionless ectoplasm managed to gather more attention than even Luigi himself. Maybe it has something to do with his mysterious origins, or the fun new game mechanics demoed at E3. Or maybe it's just because everyone manages to upstage poor Luigi.

Time traveler Gooigi

Professor E. Gadd is a scientist of questionable ethics. We won't call him mad, because he's certainly done a lot to help out the Mario Brothers throughout various games. Specifically, he makes Gaddgets like Luigi's ghost-busting Poltergust 3000 or Mario's Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device from Super Mario Sunshine. But gizmos and doodads aren't his only specialty.

We discover that E. Gadd has figured out time travel in the 3DS remake of Luigi's Mansion. A Professor E. Gadd from the yet-to-be Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon calls his past self via video call, saying that he has decided to outsource testing for a new experiment to his past self. How efficient! In a blinding white light, Googi is sent from the future in order to support the new multiplayer mode. He's just like Luigi in looks, but he's prone to melting and burning. No worries, however, because the future E. Gadd reassures us that Gooigi is functionally immortal and will continually revive in Co-Op Mode. What the miraculous call from the future doesn't tell us, however, is how in the world did Gooigi come to be in all his jiggly glory.

The birth of Gooigi

E. Gadd's research journals tell the story of how Gooigi came to be. Gadd had been researching a liquid collected from ghosts when he spilled his Lunoman Greenie blend coffee into it, turning the liquid green and well, gooey. It turned out that mixing ghost energy and knock-off Starbucks creates intelligent, semi-solid gunk.

The professor, ever efficient, wanted to put the new discovery to work gathering ghosts. After some horrifying failures, he decided to use Luigi's DNA gathered from the Pixelator, used to fast travel in the game, to give the goo human form. To make the goo into a real boy, Gadd had the newly dubbed Gooigi watch thousands of hours of surveillance footage of Luigi's ghost hunting adventures. To properly test Gooigi's abilities, and to get some new ghosts to research, Gadd decided to send Gooigi into the past. After his return, the nutty professor used the new ghosts from the old mansion for research into possible new powers for Gooigi. This, and several cups of Lunoman Greenie, is what led to Gooigi's new ability to melt through tight spaces like prison bars shown off in the gameplay demo for the new Luigi's Mansion 3.

How to work the goo

Gooigi isn't the most essential character in his first iterations. He's there purely for co-op purposes: letting your younger sibling play along or having a friend help you out with a particularly ghoulish ghost. Gooigi will melt upon contact with fire or water, but revive instantly with his standard 50 HP. When he's not in use, he stares at the test tubes in E. Gadd's lab, perhaps remembering when he was nothing but glowing energy and caffeine. 

Luigi's Mansion 3 makes Gooigi into a key part of puzzle solving. These spooky old buildings have tons of hazards like spikes, iron bars, and dead ends that good old Gooigi can slide right by. Luigi will drift off dreamily when players switch to Gooigi, controlling Luigi's invulnerable twin; producers explain this as, "The essence of Luigi is sending Gooigi directions." There are even more Gooigis in the ScareScraper, a multiplayer mode first introduced in Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. These Gooigis are on the same level as the flesh-and-blood Luigi that player one controls, taking on multiple levels of pesky poltergeists.

Everyone, especially the game's producers, loves Googi

For whatever reason, Gooigi utterly stole the show at Nintendo's E3 presentation. This blank-faced, gunky glob was the object of an incredible amount of praise from publications like Engadget and The Verge, writers attesting to the genuinely enjoyable experience of playing as Luigi's slimey twin. Gooigi even graces the cover art for the game, sharing an equal amount of space with his fleshy counterpart. This might be because, like fans, the producers of the Luigi's Mansion series are equally enamored with Gooigi. 

In an interview with The Verge, producer Yoshihito Ikebata said that he wanted Gooigi to be a part of the 3DS remake "with no explanation whatsoever." Apparently thriving off of surprise and confusion, another producer, Kensuke Tanabe, said that Gooigi might taste like coffee, given his molecular makeup. Gooigi's strangeness is just another part of the off-kilter charm of the series, and his surprising appeal might just lead to his very own game series. Jokingly we're sure, Tanabe said, "There might be a Gooigi-only spinoff perhaps, with all different colors. Gooigi Power Rangers."

Did Nintendo know all along?

Gooigi is a time traveling abomination of science and caffeine. And he also just might be a testament to the long, long game that the producers at Nintendo have been playing. According to Yoshihito Ikebata, he wanted to add Gooigi into the remake for no particular reason other than making people wonder, "What is this?" Fans have theorized that this may have been a way to tease Gooigi's role in the third installment in the series and to gauge interest in the gooey doppleganger. 

Gooigi is a relatively new addition to the Super Mario world, a surprise bonus on top of all the nostalgia from the first game. The rerelease of the game heralded hints at a third installment, but we didn't anticipate that Gooigi's appearance was the first introduction to a character sure to become a quick favorite and an essential part of the series as a whole. Time travel was a quick and easy solution to make the Gooigi timeline tight, rather than suddenly throwing a green glob at players in the new game.