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Released in 2000 for the Game Boy by Nintendo and eventually on the 3DS Virtual Console, Wario Land 3 is another game about Wario screwing things up for everyone and having to fix it later. This time he goes ahead and sets loose a crazy clown called Rudy on a nation of hapless individuals. What a jerk.


Individual-levels run in 0:42:52:

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Level name Time Date Player
N1 - Out of the Woods 0:01:02 2013-08-25 Mike 'mike89' McKenzie
N2 - The Peaceful Village 0:01:11 2013-08-18 Mike 'mike89' McKenzie
N3 - The Vast Plain 0:01:48 2013-08-18 Mike 'mike89' McKenzie
N4 - Bank of the Wild River 0:01:32 2013-08-18 Mike 'mike89' McKenzie
N5 - The Tidal Coast 0:01:18 2013-08-18 Mike 'mike89' McKenzie
N6 - Sea Turtle Rocks 0:01:59 2013-08-18 Mike 'mike89' McKenzie
W1 - Desert Ruins 0:01:08 2013-08-18 Mike 'mike89' McKenzie
W2 - The Volcano's Base 0:01:50 2013-08-18 Mike 'mike89' McKenzie
W3 - The Pool of Rain 0:01:10 2013-08-18 Mike 'mike89' McKenzie
W4 - A Town in Chaos 0:03:07 2013-08-18 Mike 'mike89' McKenzie
W5 - Beneath the Waves 0:01:53 2013-08-18 Mike 'mike89' McKenzie
W6 - The West Crater 0:02:11 2013-08-18 Mike 'mike89' McKenzie
S1 - The Grasslands 0:01:43 2013-08-18 Mike 'mike89' McKenzie
S2 - The Big Bridge 0:00:59 2013-08-18 Mike 'mike89' McKenzie
S3 - Tower of Revival 0:02:34 2013-08-18 Mike 'mike89' McKenzie
S4 - The Steep Canyon 0:01:38 2013-08-18 Mike 'mike89' McKenzie
S5 - Cave of Flames 0:01:35 2013-08-18 Mike 'mike89' McKenzie
S6 - Above the Clouds 0:02:10 2013-08-18 Mike 'mike89' McKenzie
E1 - The Stagnant Swamp 0:01:04 2013-08-18 Mike 'mike89' McKenzie
E2 - The Frigid Sea 0:00:55 2013-08-18 Mike 'mike89' McKenzie
E3 - Castle of Illusions 0:02:01 2013-08-18 Mike 'mike89' McKenzie
E4 - The Colossal Hole 0:02:07 2013-08-18 Mike 'mike89' McKenzie
E5 - The Warped Void 0:01:43 2013-08-18 Mike 'mike89' McKenzie
E6 - The East Crater 0:02:09 2013-08-18 Mike 'mike89' McKenzie
E7 - Forest of Fear 0:02:05 2013-08-18 Mike 'mike89' McKenzie

Author's comments:

Thanks to:
The SDA updating crew - keeping things awesome!
Anyone who's helped me with this game on stream or with videos - glad this game is getting attention!

So, I've never submitted an IL table to SDA before... it took me a few stages but I started to remember why. Optimising levels to this point is really freaking hard! Even though there aren't a huge amount of movement options - in fact that makes it harder as you have to raise your standards accordingly.

Now, considering my usual disdain for IL tables, the obvious question is... why this one?
The thing about Wario Land 3 is that when you get all 100 treasures, you unlock the Time Attack mode, which is the mode I'm doing these runs on... and that just happens to be (in my opinion) a far superior way to run the game. The main game is almost like a Metroid game in that you lose all your abilities at the start, work your way through open ended levels and eventually get more upgrades to open up more of the game. I don't find this nearly as fun, it doesn't seem to fit the rest of the Wario Land games in that respect.

Time Attack throws all of that on its head. You have all your upgrades, which allows for the widest range of moves, and the objective in each stage is entirely different to the main game. In the main game you need to get a coloured key and return it to its respective chest. In Time Attack you need to collect all four of these keys and then reach -any- exit (where the chests were in the main game). Immediately, the route planning challenge is obvious.

Movement techniques I use in this run:
Enemy throw - One of the key reasons I didn't want to run the main game is that you don't get to enemy throw until very late in the piece. You can't even pick enemies up until mid-game, and you can't bounce on them until getting the high jump boots, which is a late-game upgrade.
To do an enemy throw, simply throw a small enemy upwards while standing on the ground, then immediately after throwing make a high jump towards it (up+A). The enemy loses its hitbox until roughly the top of its arc, so you can jump straight through it, and when it gets it back, if you timed the jump right, you conveniently get a bounce off its head. This opens up a large number of unintended routes by circumventing some puzzles entirely (see W4 for a really good example of this).

Sliding - Pressing down while in a dash causes you to slide. Sliding has a few advantages over regular movement; it lets you move through single-tile height areas quickly, it accelerates faster than a dash or walk so it's good for very short distances, and if you use it to go over the edge of a platform it causes you to stop immediately, which is great for dropping down single-tile wide gaps (see S5).

Now, before I move on to the levels, a full disclosure: This list of Wario Land 3 times on Cyberscore contains some (quite a few, actually) levels with times better than mine:
However, there's no video of any of these times. Having the benchmarks there definitely helped me with routing, I definitely discovered some things that I didn't even know about the game that I would have had no reason to otherwise. That said, considering I have no idea whatsoever how to get to some of the times (N1 and N2 spring to mind), I didn't feel bound by having to beat every single one of them. If new route information comes to hand, then that's fine, and I'll probably redo the level(s) in question, but for now I've done the best I can.

To the levels, then!

N1 - Out of the Woods

Route: Red - Grey - Blue - Green - Grey exit (Night)
Most levels are a little bit faster at night. Spearman enemies are asleep at night, which makes them much easier to attack and makes their position more reliable.

N2 - The Peaceful Village

Route: Grey - Green - Red - Blue - Blue exit (Night)
The way to the green key is only open at night. You can get there by day a different way but it's much slower.

N3 - The Vast Plain

Route: Red - Green - Grey - Blue - Blue exit (Night)
You have to become invisible in this stage. Not once, but twice. There's little hints you can use to tell where you are, but overall it really sucks to do anything accurately.

N4 - Bank of the Wild River

Route: Blue - Red - Grey - Green - Grey exit (Either)
Climbing stages SUCK. No matter how you slice it, the green key section of this stage is stupidly difficult to do optimally.

N5 - The Tidal Coast

Route: Grey - Green - Red - Blue - Blue exit (Night)
The water is higher at night, during the day I wouldn't be able to jump out of the water up to the land. This was one of the tougher stages, there's no really convenient exit to use. For a long time I was using the grey exit but that means running out the fire timer, which takes a long time. I thought it would take way too much swimming to get to the blue exit but I realised you could hit the key from underneath and save a ton of backtracking around the maze.

N6 - Sea Turtle Rocks

Route: Green - Blue - Grey - Red - Red exit (Night)
I am super proud of this level. This is one of the hardest levels to execute, because it relies on letting go of lots of ground pounds at EXACTLY the right time. Too early and you don't break enough blocks, too late and you get stunned on the ground, costing time.

W1 - Desert Ruins

Route: Grey - Red - Blue - Green - Red exit (Night)
Probably the most straightforward level in the game.

W2 - The Volcano's Base

Route: Blue - Grey - Green - Red - Blue exit (Night)
This stage features probably the single most difficult move in the entire game - the dash to the red key. I'm still completely astonished that it even works! Thankfully, the rest of the stage isn't too bad.

W3 - The Pool of Rain

Route: Red - Grey - Blue - Green - Red exit (Night)
Fairly straightforward stage, although the swimming against the current can be a bit tricky to get down.

W4 - A Town in Chaos

Route: Blue - Red - Grey - Green - Blue exit (Night)
The green key here is SO FAR out of the way that it really dominates the route plan. I used to do it first but that meant doing a very long switch room in the green key area - by doing the others first the blocks are already out of the way allowing the first room to be skipped. That still left the issue of which exit to take. Despite the fact that you're already in the green area and getting to the rest of the stage takes forever, it's still not faster to get the green exit (it would require doing each of the switch rooms one further time, and the second switch room is one of the harder rooms to optimise in the game). The grey exit might be faster in real time but the door transitions don't count against the game time, so blue works out faster.

W5 - Beneath the Waves

Route: Grey - Blue - Red - Green - Grey exit (Either)
The jump off the first enemy up to the grey key is surprisingly difficult. Actually a lot of things in this stage are... the route through blue key and back is very specific, as is the way to green key.

W6 - The West Crater

Route: Green - Red - Grey - Blue - Blue exit (Night)
This is the one stage I'm not 100% confident in the route for. The alternative is Green - Blue - Grey - Red - Grey exit, but the problem with that is that you spend so much time in the blue area just to get the key and the exit isn't much further along. It means going down and back up the stage, but going up the stage isn't too slow and you have to go down the bottom to get the grey key anyway. It also means you don't have to break the blocks in the middle and can use them as a stepping stone, which is surprisingly convenient.

S1 - The Grasslands

Route: Grey - Blue - Red - Green - Green exit (Either)
Mostly straightforward (although the ladder climb to get past the strawberries in the blue key area is kind of tight). The jumps off the birds only save a second over the usual route, but it all counts!

S2 - The Big Bridge

Route: Grey - Blue - Green - Red - Red exit (Night)
Quite a tough stage to execute on. Taking out the 6 blocks with the barrel at the start is important to get to the blue key door as quickly as possible. Then you have to do it again in the green key room...

S3 - Tower of Revival

Route: Grey - Blue - Green - Red - Red exit (Night)
This route features at least one move that should definitely not be possible: using the spike enemy to bump yourself slightly upwards and clear a path for you to go up as Puffy Wario. The alternative to this is going to the bottom left of this room and taking Puffy Wario all the way up to the top from there, which is painfully slow.
The shortcut down to the red exit saves about two minutes (!) of puzzling just to get the red key available. Fun fact... it requires the upgraded dash to open, and the red chest in this stage holds... the dash upgrade. Talk about insult to injury...

S4 - The Steep Canyon

Route: Green - Red - Grey - Blue - Blue exit (Night)
Straightforward stage. The owl kinda sucks, but you learn to deal with it. The biggest cause of failed runs in the stage is actually the fire room, because the window to make the jump up to the torch without wasting the time it would take to run across the bottom is incredibly tight. If you run into a wall in this game you always bounce downwards, so jumping before hitting the wall almost never works, and even if you jump after hitting it it's a very tight timing.

S5 - Cave of Flames

Route: Red - Blue - Green - Grey - Grey exit (Night)
The blue key room is the biggest stalling point in this stage (quite remarkable when you consider that the green key route requires invisibility...) and every move in the room is important. Throwing the first enemy left instead of right leaves you with enough room to land on the second ledge, but if you do more than one bounce on the enemy on the right, it will move the top enemy out of range and it will reappear in its original position.

S6 - Above the Clouds

Route: Grey - Red - Blue - Green - Green exit (Either)
This stage really sucks because every attempt is preceded by golf. Therefore any failed attempt costs 50 coins... unless you reset instead of exiting to map, which I forgot to do pretty much all the time. The stage is really technical too, it has three enemy throws, a number of tricky dash jumps to skip cycles of clouds, and a bunch of tricky slides and jumps right at the end of the stage. Then the last zombie spawns right in the hallway at the end...

E1 - The Stagnant Swamp

Route: Grey - Blue - Green - Red - Red exit (Night)
Apart from enemy throwing up to the blue key, this stage is pretty straightforward.

E2 - The Frigid Sea

Route: Grey - Green - Red - Blue - Blue exit (Day)
Typical rant about ice physics goes here, but it's even worse in this because while you're sliding on the ice you can't actually start a dash! Was surprised green before red was faster here, but once it was, it mandated daytime because at night the waterfall is frozen and you can't go through.

E3 - Castle of Illusions

Route: Blue - Grey - Red - Green - Grey exit (Night)
The most important room here is the blue key room. You need to clear out a gap for the owl to go through in two throws, then enemy throw over to it, and finally not get hit in the owl section. After that the stage is pretty easy.

E4 - The Colossal Hole

Route: Green - Blue - Red - Grey - Grey exit (Day)
Day and night actually both have advantages here: at day the sun appears in the green key room, but at night the owls can be grabbed immediately. You could probably get away with either.
There's one jump I use to bait out the spike enemy, that's entirely deliberate. The higher you get turned into Puffy Wario the better because of how painfully slow it moves upwards.

E5 - The Warped Void

Route: Red - Grey - Blue - Green - Grey exit (Night)
The biggest thing about this stage is making sure you don't get caught up on the crusher cycles. Particularly when going to the red key area it's a bit tricky as you have to jump out of a 1 tile gap to start another slide.

E6 - The East Crater

Route: Green - Grey - Red - Blue - Blue exit (Either)
Much like the West Crater, this ended up being the fastest despite more time spent travelling the main hub room just because the blue key and blue exit were in such close proximity.

E7 - Forest of Fear

Route: Grey - Blue - Red - Green - Grey exit (Day)
Day is mandatory here because it means the spear guy on the enemy-only ledge is awake. If he's not, you have to stun him to wake him up, which costs way too many seconds.

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